Washington S Requiem

[15:37] <Minaplo> [The tumbler smashed against the wall, breaking into a thousand pieces.-
[15:38] <Minaplo> [The shattering glass brought silence- heavy, ominous, suffocating silence.-
[15:42] <Minaplo> [James Howell flinched, fidgeting nervously. He was a thin, bony, gangly man, with wide eyes and thinning grey hair. His fingers, twisting and wringing each other, were very long and spider-like. It had not been these hands that had thrown the tumbler.-
[15:43] <Minaplo> [James Howell, 43rd President of the United States, thought himself a peaceful fellow, but more accurately he was a timid one, easily startled, easily intimidated. He hated being in control, and was willing to relinquish it at the first sign of a dominant personality.-
[15:43] <Minaplo> [How did such a man become President?-
[15:46] <Minaplo> [The reason was sitting next to the heavy wooden polished desk. Tall, broad-shouldered, straight hair and goatee going grey. Sharp, hawk eyes and aquiline features, such as a prominent, slightly curved nose and a thin mouth. This was the dominant personality to Howell's submissive one- Theodore Washington, the American representative to the Human Instrumentality Committee.-
[15:48] <Minaplo> [Theodore Washington's representational status had once meant that he'd more or less -ruled- North America- indeed, practically the entire Western Hemisphere had silently answered to him. He'd installed Howell, who was too timid to really exercise power, and with the support of the Joint Chiefs he'd held the United States together- sternly- since the 42nd President's 'accident' in Second Impact.-
[15:49] <Minaplo> [But now, his 'representational status' hinged entirely on the scraps thrown to him by Minerva Linden. Minerva fucking Linden. In the space of less than a year he'd gone from one of the most powerful men in the world to the cut puppet of some pathetic teenage girl from Austria.-
[15:50] <Minaplo> [Austria! Who'd ever want an Austrian president, anyway?!-
[15:51] <Minaplo> [The loss in power, so quickly, had been felt hard by Washington. He was becoming an irrelevance, and this, more than anything, drove him to utter fury.-
[15:52] <Minaplo> ["That fucking whore!" he swore, slamming his desk with both hands, enough to rattle the top and everything on it. A bottle of cognac trembled dangerously.-
[15:52] <Minaplo> ["How dare she… How dare she tell me what to do. Me!"-
[15:52] <Minaplo> ["R-Ridiculous." Said Howell, his voice practically a squeak.-
[15:54] <Minaplo> [Behind Washington was a window, a large bay window overlooking a manicured French garden. Yes, their current lodgings in the Gascogne countryside were lovely, and honestly, for Howell, he found it extremely relaxing.-
[16:01] <Minaplo> [Washington didn't. Washington was a man who woke up at 6:30 AM every morning, went for a jog for an hour and a half, ate meals on the go and worked 'til 2 AM. He only needed four hours of sleep a night. He was a man who, for all his other faults, worked hard. He lived to work.-
[16:03] <Minaplo> [And now…-
[16:04] <Minaplo> [Washington grumpily pulled a panel back on his desk, revealing a digital console with a row of buttons. He pressed one- and a holographic display flickered to life before his desk.-
[16:04] <Minaplo> [It was his inbox. At the very top, it read No New Messages. No New Calls.-
[16:05] <Minaplo> [Both Washington and Howell knew that it'd say that before he did it, but it just made Washington angrier anyway. He roughly jabbed his console, the inbox vanishing.-
[16:06] <Minaplo> ["No new calls?" Said Howell timidly.-
[16:06] <Minaplo> ["Fuck off, Howell."-
[16:12] <Minaplo> ["R-Right." Howell coughed, skittered to his feet and practically ran from the room.-
[16:13] <Minaplo> ["Fucking skulking little cock." Growled Washington to himself. He stared sullenly at the door, then grabbed one of the unbroken tumblers and poured himself some cognac. He drank it straight.-
[16:15] <Minaplo> [Washington was a perceptive man. He knew that Howell was happier locked away in a chateau in France than he had been in the Oval Office. It infuriated him, because Washington hated the idea that Howell was the one to 'win' and he, Washington- clever Washington, hard-working Washington- had lost.-
[16:16] <Minaplo> [Another glass of cognac. And another.-
[16:16] <Minaplo> [And another. Eventually he just grabbed the bottle, swivelled his chair around to face the window.-
[16:17] <Minaplo> [No new messages, no new calls. He barely got a call a week from SEELE associates now.-
[16:18] <Minaplo> [Once upon a time, the Canadian member for SEELE would call once a day at -least-. Now the smug dickhead barely called, and when he did, he was always just a little condescending.-
[16:20] <Minaplo> [The last time the Brazilian member called, he openly laughed in Washington's face.-
[16:20] <Minaplo> [And so Washington drank. He was slowly getting drunk. He got drunk a lot these days. There wasn't much else to do.-
[16:21] <Minaplo> ["The puppeteer puppeted." He muttered, laughing bitterly. "How fucking ironic or whatever."-
[16:24] <Minaplo> [Another drink.-
[16:25] <Minaplo> [He steadily grew drunker, until he was starting to lose himself in the haze. He thought angrily about Minerva Linden, then realised the solution was easy- why not just assassinate her? A bullet between the eyes, or…-
[16:25] <Minaplo> [And the answer was so simple that he started to laugh.-
[16:25] <Minaplo> [… And then he realised that the days where he could order assassinations on anyone he wanted had passed, and his laughter promptly became sobs and tears.-
[16:26] <Minaplo> [And so he wept, for a few minutes, a drunken broken man, the epitome of a politician made a sad clown- a true power made so pathetic that it was both pitiable and funny.-
[16:27] <Minaplo> [Eventually, he took a mouthful of cognac, only to find there was no cognac left in his bottle.-
[16:27] <Minaplo> ["Ffk." He mumbled incoherently. He spun his chair, reaching for the mini-bar beneath the desk.-
[16:27] <Minaplo> [He came face to face with five Phantom rifles, pointing at his face, chest and throat.-
[16:32] <Minaplo> [Washington sobered up incredibly quickly. "Oh, shit."-
[16:40] <Minaplo> [There were six of them. Five Phantoms, and the sixth was a Solomon Prime, wearing bone white armour.-
[01:05] <@Minaplo> [The Prime wore robes of blue, as well, but was holding no weapon. Its helmet was high-crested, with large red lenses for eyes, framed by some blue material that radiated out like thin rays of a sapphire sun.-
[01:07] <@Minaplo> ["Oh God, oh God…" Washington got to his feet. He had gone utterly white, his eyes wide with terror; he was perpetually seconds away from shrieking in fear. His entire body shook.-
[01:07] <@Minaplo> [The Phantoms were like statues.-
[01:08] <@Minaplo> [The Prime reached into his robe and drew a short blade, thin and pointed like a stiletto.-
[01:09] <@Minaplo> [Washington froze. And then he made a break for it, driven mad with fear. He vaulted the desk and tried to leap past them.-
[01:09] <@Minaplo> [The Prime slashed out once, the blade nicking Washington's leg lightly. Nowhere near enough to even hinder him.-
[01:10] <@Minaplo> [Washington hit the ground running- a strong, fit man like him had no problems with that.-
[01:10] <@Minaplo> [… Only, it seemed as though his legs had suddenly given up. He didn't make it a metre before he stumbled.-
[01:10] <@Minaplo> [The Prime and the Phantoms watched all of this, their masks impassive in a terrible way, like exaggerated ghost masks…-
[01:11] <@Minaplo> [Washington, on his knees, pulled himself up, but even now his legs were going numb. He stumbled forward. One step. Two step. Another…-
[01:11] <@Minaplo> [And then his legs simply gave way.-
[01:11] <@Minaplo> [But Washington didn't hit the ground, even as he fell. The Prime had followed him, and so Washington fell into the Prime's arms.-
[01:12] <@Minaplo> [The Prime gently lowered itself and Washington down, until Washington lay on the floor and the Prime on one knee.-
[01:12] <@Minaplo> ["Why…" Gabbled Washington. "Why…"-
[01:13] <@Minaplo> ["It is what she wants." Said the Prime, the voice soft and warm.-
[01:13] <@Minaplo> ["I can't feel… My body… What…"-
[01:14] <@Minaplo> ["It is a poison." Said the Prime. "it affects your nervous system. It turns off and begins to die, quickly, and before long it reaches your heart and brain and the poison shuts down your organs. It is painless, and quick."-
[01:14] <@Minaplo> ["I… Murder…"-
[01:14] <@Minaplo> ["It is happening." Said the Prime. "Whether you see it as mercy or murder, it is happening."-
[01:15] <@Minaplo> ["…"-
[01:15] <@Minaplo> [Washington's arms were dead, now. The man was shaking his head. It was all he could do. Was he sobbing? It felt like he was sobbing again.-
[01:15] <@Minaplo> ["I don't… I don't… Want to die."-
[01:15] <@Minaplo> ["I know." Said the Prime softly.-
[01:16] <@Minaplo> ["Not like this. Not like this."-
[01:16] <@Minaplo> ["I know."-
[01:16] <@Minaplo> [Funny. Washington's vision was going weird. It looked like the Prime's mask was crying…-
[01:16] <@Minaplo> ["Please…"-
[01:17] <@Minaplo> [The Prime gently placed a hand on Washington's cheek. It was the only place where he'd be able to feel it.-
[01:17] <@Minaplo> ["I'm scared…"-
[01:17] <@Minaplo> ["I know. But don't be afraid. I have died before. It is not so bad. It is peaceful there, you don't have to worry about anything…"-
[01:18] <@Minaplo> ["… You… Promise?" He sounded like a child. But he was so scared…-
[01:18] <@Minaplo> [How long had it been since he'd seen his mother? His thoughts were going strange. His mother was dead. But hadn't she just come home from that summit in West Germany…?-
[01:18] <@Minaplo> [He thought about his mother…-
[01:20] <@Minaplo> [The Prime shifted its hand, placing it on Washington's forehead.-
[01:20] <@Minaplo> [It concentrated.-
[01:20] <@Minaplo> [The Phantoms did not know what was going on. Which was good. The Prime did not need them, or Caine, to know what it was he did.-
[01:21] <@Minaplo> [A minute later, the Prime took the hand away, closing Washington's eyes as it did so. "Rest, Theodore." It said fondly. It paused, and then reached down to take a Stars and Stripes pin from Theodore's lapel.-
[01:22] <@Minaplo> [A second later, Augustine pinned that same pin to his robe- and stood up.-
[01:22] <@Minaplo> [He had learned much.-
[01:23] <@Minaplo> [He turned to the Phantoms, and nodded. They walked to his side, and a second later, they all vanished.-
[01:23] <@Minaplo> [A minute after that, the security cameras, deactivated beforehand, finally turned on.]

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