Lost Tales of History: The Ultimatum

The senator was not a man accustomed to waiting, but there he was, cooling his heels in the anteroom along with eight of his comrades. Shit, he thought, I hate that it’s come to this.
He looked forward to this meeting like one would look forward to a undergoing a root canal with no novocaine while watching Nancy Grace. But he had to do it. For the good of his party — hell, for the good of his country — he had to do it.

The door opened. “He’ll see you now,” said the young man in the bow tie sitting at the receptionist’s desk.

They walked into his ornate office, and looked around. “He’s not here!” the senator said, his colleagues already mumbling their agreement.

“Who said he would see you here?” the man asked, and pressed a button.

The pink smoke filled the room before the Senator could react. He shouted at the receptionist,

“You can’t do this? Don’t you know who we are?”

But the man simply stepped back and closed the door, which was already swimming in the senator’s gaze. They slumped to the floor, unconscious.

* * *

The senator awoke slowly rubbing his head. Gas. Last time he’d been gassed was in basic training sixty years ago, and then just enough to get a sense of it. What the hell was going on?
He blinked as the world came back. He was sitting in a plush leather chair at a simple, if immense, oval oak table. That was not what drew his attention.

What drew his attention was that this table sat in the middle of a brightly lit cave, with no apparent exits.

His colleagues were slowly coming to. He turned to his left, and that’s when he saw him.

“Hello, John,” he all but quacked out of the left side of his mouth. “Glad you and your friends could join me.”

“Where the hell are we, Dick?” the senator asked.

“An undisclosed location. Don’t worry about it. So, I understand you wanted to talk to me?”

The senator looked at the Vice President and felt something he had not expected: fear. “All right. Yeah, yes, Mr. Vice President. We want you to resign.”

The Vice President looked distant for a moment. “You know, a friend of mine once suggested I quit early, take some time off. You know what I did to him?”

“What?”

“I shot him. In the face. I’m not going to resign, John.”

The senator sputtered. “You son of a bitch, don’t you see what you’re doing to the party? To the country? You’re dragging us down. Iraq was one thing, but now there’s the Iran talk, and this stupidity about being in both the legislative and executive branches at the same time….”

“Well, that’s true,” came a quacking voice from behind the senator.

He whirled, and saw the Vice President, standing directly behind him.

He turned around, and saw the Vice President still sitting at the table.

“What’s going on?” the senator said.

“Nothing that need concern you,” the Vice Presidents said simultaneously. “We’ve worked too hard to get in position for what we need to do to let you ruin it now. Do you think it was easy getting that simpleton into position? Do you think we like being laughed at? But no matter. The time grows short, and eighteen months is enough to do what must be done.”

“You’re not human,” said the senator, as one of his colleagues screamed. He turned, and saw another Vice President entering from the shadows.

“To the contrary,” the new Vice President said. “We’re all too human. But we’ve got connections.”

“We’ll go to the press,” said the senator. “All of us. We’ll tell them what we’ve seen.”

“You didn’t see anything,” said the Vice Presidents. “There’s only one of me. And there’s no secret cave. And there’s no doomsday device.”

“But — but we’re here! There are three of you! We’re seeing you now!”

“No, you aren’t. It’s just an illusion cooked up by Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Who are working together.”

“You’re a madman,” said the senator.

“You’re just figuring this out now?” the Vice President hissed. And then there was the gas again. And the senator welcomed oblivion this time.

* * *

He awoke in his bed, confused. Had it been a dream? No, it was all too real. He reached for his phone, and suddenly found he couldn’t move.

“Ah, ah, ah,” came a voice that filled his head. “Not a good idea, John.”

“Dick?” he said, weakly.

“You’re not the first ones to come, you know. There’ve been others. But don’t worry. You get used to the modification chips after a while. How do you think I’ve been able to keep my war going all this time, without losing any defectors from our side? I mean, ”

“No…” said the senator, slumping down.

“Yes,” sneered the voice. “But don’t worry. It’s not so bad. Heck, Lieberman was positively giddy when he got his implant. Now, Senator, go back to sleep.”

The senator, defeated, did as he was told. And in his undisclosed location, the Vice Presidents laughed together. The senators always did as they were told, in the end.

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