I’m doing the rewrite in multiple passes, one pass per story arc.
Today I got near the end of the President and Linda Haig arc and wrote two new scenes.
These both occur a day after the US/PK invasion fleet fails and the Aristillus colony…well, I’m not going to give spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read the rough draft already, so let’s just say “one day after the US/PK invasion fleet fails”.
== 16 sep 2064: Oval Office, White House, Washington DC, Earth
The staffers and advisors scurried to leave the room.
As the final door closed behind them Themba picked up a vase from her desk that some foreign diplomat had given her…then put it back down.
She didn’t even have the energy to throw it against the wall.
How pathetic was that?
She swayed on her feet for a moment, then collapsed into her chair.
Why did this sort of thing have to happen to her?
She was the best president in the last ten years…hell, she was the best president the country had had in her entire LIFE, and she kept getting dealt all of these utterly wretched unfair hands. The accelerating fiscal collapse, the California earthquake, the late planting and small harvest because the God damned farmers couldn’t get their fertilizers figured out.
She put her head down on her desk and let the sobs come.
And now, she was humiliated – HUMILIATED – because that incompetent Restivo had utterly failed in the lunar invasion. The country needed that gold. SHE needed that gold…and the political win of spanking those God forsaken arrogant expats.
But, no. God had given the country the best president they’d ever had…and then He had given her the worst collection of bad luck, incompetents, and just plain UNFAIRNESS he’d ever given any man or woman.
And now the election was coming.
Shit, shit, shit.
The convention and the online voting was just two weeks out, and given the lack of real challengers she’d sweep that, but then she had the general election against whoever the Greens put forward…and that worried her.
== 16 sep 2064: Senator Linda Haig’s Office, Tester Senate Building
“You’re sure about this?”
“Yes, mam…the polls don’t lie.”
“You really think that Themba is vulnerable?”
“Two weeks ago? No. Not really. Today, though? Absolutely. Her numbers are terrible.”
Senator Haig blew a puff of air out between her lips.
This was serious.
She stared at Allenbend “You know, this is the Rubicon. I can’t swing and miss. The safe route is the original plan – take another term in the Senate, and then – in the NEXT election – go after the presidency.”
Allenbend made as if to close his binder. “Well, if you’ve decided -“
Linda shook her head and crooked one finger. “No, you’re not leaving that easily. Tell me your thoughts.”
“You already know them.”
“Out loud, one more time.”
Allenbend pulled up a chair. “The nation is sick of Themba, and they’re getting sick of the Democratic Republicans. The lunar humiliation is terrible, really terrible, and people want their minds off that. They want change. If Themba coasts through this primary, like she thinks she’s going to, then she either wins or loses in the general. If she loses, then the Greens blame everything on us for a generation…and, frankly, it’ll stick. You don’t get your shot in 2068. Probably not even in 2072. And, to be frank, the models are unequivocal: a bit of gravitas helps male candidates, but for a woman another eight or twelve years -“
Linda scowled slightly and motioned for Allenbend to move on.
“Our models show that your chances of winning the primary are 46.6% as of today. If you win that, though, we show you as beating ‘Unspecified Green Candidate’ at 57%.”
“For the last 24 hours we’ve been getting calls. Wall Street. Construction. The idea -” he motioned with one hand at the air around him “- is in the wind. The money people – the people who matter – know that Themba is vulnerable.”
Senator Haig nodded, then let a smile creep onto her face.
“Themba is a fucking incompetent, isn’t she?”
The two of them laughed.
The Senator continued “…and the people deserve better.”