A Short Story – What If
By Athena Louise
It was a warm spring morning, the kind that Amelia loved. Flowers had emerged from their safe cocoons and turned to the sun’s warmth. Their scent filled the air as the sweet smell wafted on the faint breeze. The colours seemed especially bright and beautiful this morning. Amelia knew it was going to be a special day. She could feel it in the very air that gently caressed her face.
Amelia decided it was too nice a morning to drive to work. She felt it would almost be a crime to have car emissions mix with the wonderful day and pollute the air. She decided to ride her bike. After all – it was only three miles to her job. She jogged that every day after work.
Amelia went back indoors and was humming to herself as she got ready for work. In a way, she sort of resented having to be indoors on such a day. She wished she could call in sick and just take the day off, but she was too conscientious to do that. It would be like cheating and Amelia never cheated. Her friends told her she was too honest. After all, how many people would give back money if cashiers gave them back too much change? Amelia’s standard reply was always – my conscious would not let me keep anything that did not belong to me.
Amelia finished dressing for her bike ride and took out a knapsack. She neatly folded a skirt and put it in the knapsack on top of a pair of shoes. There was a plastic bag covering the shoes so they would not get her to skirt dirty. She couldn’t exactly wear sneakers at work all day.
Amelia walked around her house and made sure all doors and windows were locked and secure. Then she went back outside, unlocked her bike, added the chain to her knapsack, got on her bike and began pedalling down the street. Her humming mingled with the thrill of the birds.
When Amelia reached the building she worked in, she was a little sad. The ride had been too short. She wanted to keep riding on this beautiful spring morning. She gave a little sigh as she got off her bike and ‘parked’ it in the bike rack. She pulled out the chain from the knapsack and chained it securely. You never knew who might be passing and decide they would rather ride than walk.
She went into the building and walked straight to the lady’s room. There she changed from riding clothes to work clothes. She took out her purse then put everything neatly in her knapsack. On the way out of the lady’s room she saw Judy, a co-worker and the two of them exchanged pleasantries as they rode up on the elevator to the floor which housed the company they worked for.
The morning passed quickly enough, but Amelia still had the feeling it was going to be a special day. She was right, but not the way she had anticipated.
Just before noon – headlines flashed across all computers in the office. Breaking news – President Anderson has been shot. The headline kept repeating over and over.
People in the office just looked at each other in shock. A few were old enough to remember when Kennedy had been assassinated. Deja vu. It did not matter if they agreed with President Anderson’s policies or not. He was the President. How could this happen?
Radios were turned on, computers clicked on all major news sites. The information was very sketchy but apparently, someone had gained access to the President’s ranch in Texas. When the President rode around the ranch in his jeep, this unknown person fired two shots. The secret service guarding the President was taken unawares. By the time they reacted, the person was gone.
The helicopter, which had brought the President to the ranch, was dispatched to immediately take the President to the nearest hospital, but it was too late. One of the bullets had gone through his head and the other through his heart. He died instantly.
Vice President Smith was immediately sworn in as President. Because this was a national disaster, his first order was, according to the Executive Order signed by President Bush in May 2007 to declare Martial Law in Texas. Texans protested peacefully, but the National Guard, now under the direct command of President Smith, was sent in to quell the protesters. When the news flashed pictures of Texans being quelled by the National Guard, other states began to protest this treatment of United States Citizens.
President Smith then declared Martial Law throughout the entire United States. Congress protested. According to the executive order under which President Smith was ruling, the head of Homeland Security was now in charge of Congress and the head of Homeland Security promptly removed all senators and representatives and had the Guard lock and bar the doors of Congress. When senators and representatives tried to meet, they were promptly arrested under the sedition act.
President Smith then declared all elections are suspended until the order is restored.
Anyone who studied history knows what happened next. They know of the riots, the arrests of thousands, the slave labor camps, the suspension of the Constitution, and the National Police force under the command of Homeland Security. They know how the government nationalized all television stations, and all communication companies and tried to shut down the internet. They know how there was a complete blackout of any news not favourable to the new government and how Americans were able to send and receive news to and from the rest of the world via the internet.
George Bush senior, although an old man, still had a lot of friends and still was a member of the Carlyle Group. He went before the Carlyle Group and demanded they find out exactly what happened, and who was responsible for President Anderson’s assassination. He reminded them that their fortunes were directly tied to the economy of the United States and that if they did not do something their profits would be affected.
After some deliberation, and consulting with their stockholders (who happened to be the richest people in the world) they agreed. The first thing the Carlyle Group did was get in touch with every member of the Skull and Bones. Since everyone was either in charge of a company or in high positions of government, their net was widely spread.
The next thing the Carlyle Group did, got in touch with the Free Masons. They developed an uneasy truce. Even though their agendas were diametrically opposite, they did have one common ground. That was to see justice restored in the United States.
The third members of this uneasy alliance were the companies that hired ex-military. Even though these companies hired mercenaries, all of their members were United States citizens and believed in the way of life they had fought for.
All ex-military were called back to the states from whatever countries they happened to be ‘working’ in.
President Smith tried to declare war on Canada but that was impossible. First of all, there were no troops to fight this war as all were ‘guarding’ the country. Second, Canada and England stationed their troops at the borders. The Canadians and English had strict orders not to fire a shot unless the borders were crossed. If someone from the American side fired a shot, they were not to respond.
The Carlyle Group, with money being no object, soon found out who had assassinated President Anderson and that Vice President Smith, and his head of Homeland Security, had initiated the plan. Once this was confirmed, everything else was set into motion.
The military, although under the direct command of the President, was not under the command of Homeland Security. Retired Generals soon began visiting military bases for ‘nostalgic’ reasons. The ex-military who worked for private companies were able to access every military base because of their previous connection. Soon every commander of every military base started ‘weeding out’ the bad apples. These were the odd ones and others that joined for the thrill of killing people. These were quietly detained and what was left were Americans that loved their country and what it had stood for.
Quietly the Free Masons got in touch with all the Senators and Representatives who were not in prison for sedition. Communication was difficult, but they managed. The Military was in place, the elected officials were in place. The only ones left were the Nation Guard. Here the Free Masons were invaluable. Since most of the National Guard had joined to protect family and home, many of them were also Free Masons.
Those of the National Guard who were also Free Masons, left their posts and joined up with the military. They were able to identify which fellow Guardsmen were loyal to the President and those loyal to the Constitution. The ex-military men donned the National Guard’s uniforms and took their place ‘guarding’ American citizens.
When everything was in place, on July 4th, ex-President Bush spoke to the American people. The Carlyle Group had expert hackers hack into every satellite of every television and radio station. His message appeared on every computer simultaneously.
“My fellow Americans. Our country has been taken over by a madman. Our government and way of life have been usurped by his lust for power. This is our Independence Day. It is time we again declared our independence from tyranny. I am asking you to join me in declaring, in one voice – no more. We refuse to be intimidated any longer. We refuse to sit idly by and watch every freedom we ever had to be taken away in the name of ‘security’ . Our fathers and forefathers fought and died for our freedom. Our sons and daughters died for our freedom. Are we going to let their deaths become meaningless? It is time to take back our country. Join me – now – in declaring this is our 4th of July, this is the day we take back our country.”
People began pouring into the streets. Those that had guns – and many, many did, took them out of where they had been hidden. The ex-military who wore the National Guard uniforms took their hats off and donned caps with the American Flag boldly emblazoned on them. Guards that tried to stop the rioters, or shot at them, were killed by the ex-military. Town by town, city by city, Independence was again declared.
President Smith called the Joint Chiefs of Staff to an emergency meeting and demanded they send the military to stop the riots happening across the country. Instead, the Joint Chiefs of Staff took President Smith and his head of Homeland Security into custody. Many Homeland Security National Police deserted and joined the rioters.
By nightfall the coup was complete. The military took over until Congress could reconvene and the law is restored. All the slave labor camps were taken over by the military and the prisoners were taken immediately to hospitals.
Congress unanimously asked ex-President Bush to step back into office until elections could be held.
The first thing he did was void the Executive Order his son had signed and by which Vice President Smith had taken over the country. His second act as acting President was to restore the Constitution and all rights of citizens. The third thing he did was disband Homeland Security and declare in an emergency time – this once only – elections would be held at the beginning of September.
Ex-President Smith and all his cohorts were tried in a court of law and found guilty of treason and sedition. Congress allowed all of them to be sent to the Hague where they were found guilty of crimes against humanity. Their hangings were telecast around the world.