THE PERIOD

This will not be the United States of America any reader would be familiar with living in the 21st century. Civil wars have a way of changing the face of a collective born with certain inherited ideals. Ultimately, over turning the course of a three-hundred-year-old civilization back on its roots and to force its people to repeat the human experience. When this change came to awaken in Jane Marshal to the reality of her day. She planned the exact hour and to the minute she would seize her moment.

10:08 AM

Along Pennsylvania avenue two gatehouses bar the way to Americas most iconic museum: the white House. On any given day the hub of the city noise swallows the air around this house of the President, but today those days have since passed into a time of nostalgia. The iconic white building with its broad sandstone structure extending east and west have long ago drifted out of the American conscience as a symbol of democracy.

Equally its wide entrance with two broad stretches of grass separate the 256-year-old mansion grounds in two. Creating a isolated peninsula around a broken state and a nation in turmoil with itself. the south lawn and the north lawn blazes of grass shimmer a yellowish brown underneath a warm October sun. The soil once abundant in vitality and vibrance to its gardeners now slowly break down almost giving a fuss when toiled. Begging to be left alone to die.

Amid this lawn of dreary grass curves a garnet road steering to the west wing. Approaching this entrance, a black motorcades wheels spin to a stop. The rear door pops open. Americas, Vice president, Secretary of State, Director of the FBI, Chief justice of the supreme court, Secretary of Defense and first term Senator of Louisiana Jane Marshal with a pair of tall black suited bodyguards’ stride through the corridors of the white house she knew so well. Jane spent most of her career here. Stamping her influence on the three-term president still in the oval office. She held press briefings, met with voters and held town halls in the blue room. She gave speeches on Americas foreign policy all with in the halls of his symbolic house of the people.

Today the halls are empty its press room forgotten. The people kept out and the United states President kept in.

Jane imaged a better world today. She saw crowds again lining up to cheer her name. Pushing against barriers to get a glimpse of her before she road off beyond their reach. She pictured straight fit uniforms in rows of columns goose stepping in parade procession. She glimpses at a moment in time. A future she will build. Her right hand raised high. Her next words rehearsed. Her eyes steady before her government peers. Her son proud of his mother. Indeed amid this gloom of a building which sat a puppet leader Jane rehearses her shopping list next: white and beige Reagan paintings; Roosevelt carpeting. Kennedy furnishings. And a German sharped. For a moment she even allowed herself to be spoiled. Two German shepherds. To run around a renewed green lawn, With her list focused in her mind Jane enjoyed her pace across the west colonnade and now to the oval office corridor. Were two agents blocked her path.

“Yes, of course. . . Let’s stick together on this Sir. . . yes, the meeting will start shortly. I will pass the message to her. And thank you Sir for keeping our foundations strong.” As his conversation was ending. A polite knock on the door compels him to quickly hang up the phone. Yet, He curls the cord and pins the rosy red phone to his ear, and judders marginally in his chair. A dictatorial woman in the prime of her life at forty-three shouts in a roar of promises toward men in black suits formally known as the Secret Service. Just before the door flew unlocked and before she signals with a point of her finger for them to stand aside. The President eye lid twitches at the echo of her command. The middle age man now felt his heart rate increase to the point he couldn’t hang up the phone without dropping it.

“John, this is where your hiding. We were supposed to meet at the courthouse?” As she enters and examines each person present, the president’s joint chiefs of staff sat in their official uniforms, key congressman lounge beside them, and eight Chief Justices made up the rest. She could see clearly the naked display of might in the three branches of American government. To Jane Marshal it only exposed their weakness. Jane is tall, but not imposing. She left that to her robust ego and piercing voice. Almost like a mans. She swiftly sat at the end of the couch facing the Oval Desk. She crosses her legs and strikes her gaze towards the fifty second President Johnson H. Brown. Ignoring his guests.

“Madam secretary, I was just on the phone with the Louisiana Governor your father. As we move along in our negotiations, he will chime in and give us a critical update.” The president shifted again in his chair. Jane noticed.

“On what? Congress is not in session today.” she said.

“Our Great Governor has unflagging worked to reach the votes needed in the house of representatives to pass Sovereigns Peace today. Everyone in this room knows and acknowledges Our Fleet Admirals dream to have it passed. And by extension please you.”

“And I didn’t even need to twist your arm this time. . . John. I look forward to his phone call,” Shifting to push himself forward to match her shoulders, a stern two term senator in his late forties opened his mouth. “Jane the American people are indebted to you for championing this defense bill ,” He said with an easy smile. She leans in and takes his hand tightly. “So, humbling for you to say so Senator.” The pain in his hand caused him to tighten his poker face. “You shake like a man Jane. Where did you get a grip like that cause I know your dad doesn’t have one. Not since you pushed him off his horse when you found out you won the election. An accident of course. She couldn’t believe you won.”

“Now let’s keep it playful gentleman” a slight laugh broke the tension amongst the leaders she will have shot first. The president quickly stole back the conversation. “Madam Secretary, I want you to meet Governor Mathew J. Marshall of Florida.

“Good morning Jane your diplomatic involvement with the Chinese and Russians have saved this country from war.”

“He’s a rising star mark my words Jane,” The president added. “Oh, how could that be? I’ve never appointed him.” Jane said. With out the smile and cool demeanor they would have all thought she was serious.

“Jane next to him is good old Bill Power Senator of Texas.”

“Senator Power good of you to come.” Jane rose up over the couch and shook his hand warmly.

“Now I called this meeting because we all know each other well. All the major players are here. There doesn’t need to be any fighting among teammates?” The president said.

“I see, so we are all just going to play nice with each other? This is a waste of time, The dictator is not even here to negotiate,” Governor Power said and continued with a bit of a definite tone, “I stand by the principles that founded this country. But I’m not blind. Jane what are your intentions?”

House Speaker Micah Kelly kept his eyes on jane waiting for her reply. She held her eyes on the US president.

“Sheep. All of you out.” She demanded as two men dressed in black suits stand by the door.

Governor Power nearly rose at her command. “I BEG your pardon.”

Matthew couldn’t believe this was happening, “You want us to leave?”

“Yes go. Get out. I need to speak with the President of the United States,”

These fine gentlemen a titanic group assembled to show the base of power in the country. Only displayed the reality of their day. Micah didn’t even acknowledge his colleagues as he made his way out the door. The rest soon followed.

Governor Bill Power arose at last with a fixed gaze to Jane. His brow flexed with anxiety. His cheeks stiff under the weight of his weak position to challenge her. Then a rush reached within him for a smile as he walked himself out the oval office. Closing the door behind him.

Jane straightens her posture on the chair. “You are the President of the United States. Imagine if you were me. you walk into the oval office with 12 incompetents. Praising you, at the same time faulting you for starting Civil war. I saved this country. Where would you be if it weren’t for me. The world powers would be already at the gates. i deserve this — John – today has become a turning point in our nations history. Today Americans can rest easy for the next 20 years. I’m sorry John I will miss trashing you in tennis on Wednesdays. you served your country with distinction. But i see another vision for America. I Jane Marshal by the power invested in me by the Constitution of the United States of America. Hereby end your presidency.”

President Johnson awkwardly lends back on his leather chair. He gave thought to her demand. Avoiding eye contact. But he also had a choice today. With the ring of his next phone call. The president’s nerves began to unwind and run steady. Jane understood something was off.

“You finally decided to be a king instead of a pawn?”

She rose off the couch demanding her agents to enter and arrest the president. Eight of her agents swarm into the oval office.

Leaping out his chair the president resists his own staff.

“WAIT! the Governor. . .”

As Jane had her prisoner the phone rang.

Another agent rushes into the oval office, screaming “Tristan’s dead.”

The Tone of the ring grew louder as the entire room stood still as if even the air was aired out. The president stopped fidgeting to listen to the ring. His cheeks began to loosen a smile.

Jane inches towards his desk and gently picks up the phone to her ear. she did not speak first but waited. a long silence followed which only lasted a minute until the voice of the Governor of Louisiana spoke softly.

“I want to take us in a different direction daughter.”

“I will always have a choice.”

“You really want to go down this road?”

Jane, smashes the telephone back on the dialer. The blow caused it to bounce to the floor with the cord swinging it back towards the base of the desk. Causing a load bang as it hit the wood.

“So there never was a bill passed for Sovereigns peace in the House.”

Jane is resolved and dismisses her other agents to prepare for her escape. Her next orders were to take the president down the hall and into the press room to be held for power sharing concessions and left on the white house lawn alive. However, her decision was changed when word came to confirm the death of Fleet Admiral Tristan. Jane visibly in pain orders her agents to get her to Marine one. “I still control the skies.” She said giving her the added boost she needed.

But before than she required her agents gun. The tall blonde hair agent hands her his side gun. She sets her aim towards the President and before Johnson could cry out she let fly four shots. Hitting first his left chest twice then his neck and knee. Jane wipes a few tires off her cheeks. Her knees buckle but steadies and she quickly walks over to the resolute desk. Wiping her fingers and nails over the wooden surface.

“Kennedy sat here.”

Her agents begin to flood into the oval office. “Marine one is ready we must go now.”

Throughout the halls of the white house they rushed. Within minutes secret service agents loyal to the President surround the white house. Blocking Janes escape. Still her agents forced their way to the helicopter pad. Yet good fortune seems to have abandoned her. She was feet away before she took 85 bullets to the back. splashing her not yet cold body onto the withered lawn.

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