The arguing rose to a fever pitch. It began to grate on General Sarah York's nerves. She covered her ears, but it didn't seem to drown out the childish fighting. Suddenly she leapt to her feet.
"God dammit, shut up!"
The whole delegation stared at York. She had to compose herself before continuing, but she tore into it.
She was here as a political obligation. She'd found that often the higher in the ranks of the army you go, the more you become a politician rather than a soldier.
General York was in command of the military in the northeastern states. She'd been working herself to death, ever since the Rape of Washington, when she was given her post. The governors of all the states were making their monthly meeting, and General Johnson, the chairman of what was left of the Joint Chiefs, had asked her to come to brief the governors on how things were going in the major metropolitan areas.
Things were not going well at all. And York could see why things were not getting better. All the governors seemed interested in doing was yelling at each other.
She took a deep breath.
"This petty bickering is not getting a thing done! Ladies and gentlemen, you are destroying America every second you spend here arguing with each other. Washington is still not taken back, and Canada and Mexico are trying to invade us with their Coalition allies."
There was some murmuring amongst the governors, but they all listened intently to York.
"Uh...The state governments are just as important as the federal government to the people right now, which is why none of you should leave your posts. I think you should all appoint officials whom you think would best serve as a congress, from your respective states. The federal government can relocate to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - it's ancestral home. And I also think that the general here should be the new provisional president."
General Johnson blustered at the remark.
"I can't leave my post! America needs me!" he exclaimed.
"With all due respect, sir, you're not a brilliant enough military mind to lead America in a state of war. You're a fine politician, and an excellent military officer, but not for this war time. The president needs to be someone who has an intimate knowledge of the workings of the military, so that he doesn't screw the military over at every turn. And he also has to be a politician who can quell the people. You'd be the perfect choice for that, sir."
Johnson was staring at York, half-heartedly trying to give her the evil eye. The idea was beginning to click in his mind.
"And who will be the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?"
"Promote me, sir," she said simply.
"Do you realize there are at least a dozen officers ahead of you in line for that promotion, General York?"
Johnson had been trying to crush York's confidence by pulling rank, but he had only bolstered it. She was proud to be a major general.
It was then that the governor of California stood up. Morgan, she thought the governor's name was.
"All right, General York. We've decided you're right in that we need decisive action. We'll try your plan. If it doesn't work in two months, the whole idea gets scrapped. We'll form the provisional government a completely different way."
"Ladies and gentlemen," she said, "I promise you that in only one month this war will be turned upside-down."
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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