2007-08-16: DF: The New Guards



Summary: A speech is made, a gauntlet is thrown.

Dark Future Date: August 16th, 2009

The New Guards

The Oval Office

Simultaneously, every television and radio around the country fizzles to static. After a few seconds of white noise the picture and audio solidifies. The image is of a hawkishly lean man who appears to be in his mid to late thirties. He has the worn face and sharp, wary eyes of a war veteran. He's dressed in a crisply tailored suit and snug leather gloves, both black. The video feed zooms out slightly to include his surroundings. Of all places in the world to be, he's sitting behind the President's desk in the Oval Office. He clears his throat and smiles pleasantly, as if he gives speeches from one of the most highly guarded locations in the country every day.

"Citizens of Free America," The strange man begins. His voice is a terrible, rasping rattle, like smoker's lungs intesified a thousand times over. "By now you all know that the President of the United States has been kidnapped. My name is Jack Derex, and I am the man who is responsible. I come to you live from the Oval Office with a message for every government official who's watching or listening. I have your President. If you want him back, I would listen very closely.

Jack Derex steeples his leather-gloved fingers into a thoughtful triangle and leans back in the President's chair. "My demands are simple. First, a list of ten thousand names and account numbers is being uploaded to the Pentagon's mainframe as I speak. Each name is a soldier who died on American soil trying to uphold American law by fighting against a destructive government. Some call them rebels and insurgents. I call them heroes and patriots. Each of these ten thousand soldiers left families behind. I would see those families cared for. The American government will transfer a sum of one million dollars to each of the accounts listed. I may not be able to bring those brave men and women back, but by God, I'll see to it that their sacrifice does not continue to burden those that they loved."

As he speaks, the man stands and leans forward slightly to rest his hands on the President's desk.

"'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.'"

A cold, cynical smirk creeps across the terrorist's face. "For the rest of you who didn't go to high school, that's from the Declaration of Independence. I'm not speaking of our rights. These are our responsibilities as American citizens. I urge you all, stop acting like children and start fulfilling your obligations. You are the new Guards. Only when you are ready to fight will you truly be free."

Once again, the video and audio feeds across the country fade to static.

The Oval Office

Not for the second time within a month, the White House is on lockdown.

The West Wing is being cleared of anyone who gets in the way of man in military garments, storming through the plush corridors with guns pointed. Some don't have guns. Some don't need them. Homeland Security swarm the office, and one man, Agent Fairfax, speaks into his radio.

"Do we have a visual of the terrorist?"

"No sir. Windows are obscured."

"Stand by."

The doors are shut, and agents line up, preparing for the order to attack. In his earpiece, Fairfax can hear the illegal transmission. "Do we have a source?" is asked again.

"Working on it."

Damn. Make a decision. Fairfax shakes his head once, and them, for all to hear, he gives the order. Boots kick in doors and agents flood in, just as Fairfax remembers that in the transmission, the curtains were open.

Digitial numbers count down to 00:00 on the bomb resting innocently on the desk within the empty office.

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