When Charles Hope was elected into office there were no routines in the White House. That was just over 9 years ago and at that time there was only one routine in the entire world and that was Kimberly Keys, daughter of Echo Corp CEO Kendrick Keys.
When he was a senator, he saw the government folding. There was no bi-partisanship and the republicans argued with the democrats on every issue. The president, the house, and the senate all butted heads constantly while America fell into a recession and faith in democracy hit an all-time low.
He ran a campaign with the slogan “Don’t just hope for change, change your vote to Hope,” and several variations. It was clunky and he didn’t come from a rich background, however he did know what people wanted, and that was an overhaul of the system. And that’s what he did.
It took more than just him of course; in fact it took a perfect alignment of political stars to make all the changes he saw lining out before him. His party had to regain control of the house and senate and he needed them all to be on his side. He also needed people who could spin his proposals into bigger, people friendly proposals. The old trick of putting gun legislature in with school reform was nothing compared to giving more power to Washington while taking other freedoms away as a diversion.
His initial intentions were just a simple change in the ways things were done but coming into power he was told a few key things that skewed his view even more. When any president comes into office they are given a briefing on various things that most people don’t know about. What’s really in Area 51, who has nuclear weapons pointed at us, and what exactly is going on in the war overseas are just a few things that he might hear in his first few weeks. The job itself is enough to feel overwhelming but add onto it information you weren’t even ready for and it can get stressful.
The report that stuck with him though was the list of suspected terrorists living in America at that time. It was basically everyone over the age of 8 and showed how more weapons led to more shootings which led to more security measures in private homes which led to more guns which led to more shootings. It was a circle that they were unsure how to deal with as they all liked their guns a lot, but a circle that President Hope saw an end to. Hope and his friends in the Senate realized that because there were so many guns anyone could have more than one and anyone could have a semi-automatic rifle, great for when you’re deer hunting more than ten deer at once.
He understood that limiting the number of guns in America meant people giving up guns they already owned and that would cause a lot of uproar. And everyone who objected would not only be upset, but armed as well.
He also knew that a large change in gun laws was the only way his future plans would be able to occur. It had been long decided that four years in office is barely enough time to get anything done. Even if you get bills out and laws started a disgruntled congress could hold things up until you were out and someone else would come in and veto everything you’d fought for. Were you lucky enough to get a second four years you had better make something of it because that was the last chance you’d have. Or was it?
“But why do we accept a system that seems created to keep everything at a standstill?” he had asked when running for office. This had resonated well with citizens who didn’t realize it meant he wanted to be in office for more than 8 years.
He pushed the gun law through in his third year and his approval rating tanked. People in rural areas refused to give up any guns that had since been banned and fought back against anyone who approached them. Crime started to drop but gun lovers didn’t care and just wanted less Hope.
Around this time, routines were becoming more prevalent. Sarah would have had her implant for just over two years and in the last year they went from just under three thousand sold to over seventy-five thousand. Hope saw the power in such technology and started convincing his influence circle in congress as to the authority they could provide a military as well as the need for such power.
The deal was shady and it forced Echo Corp to turn over all patents and technology, as well as over half of their staff. They could keep making routines for the private sector, however if anyone showed an interest in being in the military they had to send them to the government firm that started creating the next big thing in war tech. And it all happened the day before Hope lost his re-election. And that was his day to shine. As the would-be future president took to the podium to thank everyone for voting for him, the major news networks suddenly cut-in and said the President was making an announcement.
It was unprecedented to address the country while your successor was giving a speech and the whole world listened close to see what could be so important.
“Good evening. I would like to start by congratulating my opponent on a great campaign run. When I took office I promised you all change would come and while I have delivered on that promise you have chosen to go yet another way. I tell you the truth when I say that nothing good will ever come from flip-flopping from one candidate to another every 4 to 8 years and constantly bickering about the same issues. The problem is these candidates simply want the power and money and influence that comes with the office of presidency and they don’t care nor even have an idea what it is like to be a working middle-class drone in America.
But there is no need to worry about this mistake as I have had the foresight to fix it before you even made it. A new law, recently enacted, allows a sitting president to remain in office if the U.S. is in a state of disillusion and disrepair. I am enacting this ordinance now and stating that I will remain in office until I feel that America is once again strong and united, and we are again the powerful nation the world once saw us as.
My apologies to Candidate Williams, I know he was looking forward to taking office and had lots of ideas even I hadn’t considered. I will be extending to him an offer to be a top advisor at the White House and I hope to work closely with him, so that when I leave office he can step in and take over without any hiccups.
Changes will soon be coming to the nation, because we can’t fix the world unless we ourselves are not broken. Stand with me, work with me, build a better tomorrow so that today won’t be in vein.”
There was a great backlash at this announcement from most groups. While plenty of people took this as more political shenanigans others felt they had been duped by an already controlling power. The policy allowing Hope to stay in office had been added by him to the Gun Control bill. It was buried deep and used only enough words to make it iron clad while still vague enough to give him more power than any president since the founding fathers.
Under the Emergency Executive Proclamation or E.E.P., the president could enact any law temporarily even if it went against the Constitution, only to be released at his resignation. It also stated that a Constitutional right or amendment could be removed, changed, or overridden permanently if the majority of Congress agreed to it.
There was no voting by the people, there was no debate, there was only presidential power, and Hope now had it.
Hope had withdrawn all troops from foreign soil 2 years prior and they were now deployed to major cities to avoid as many riots as possible but this was only a small band-aid for a gaping wound. His plan had been to do this at the end of his second term but he had to move it ahead before he lost all chances entirely. He immediately charged his new firm with making war routines. The major programming had to remove emotions and political opinions while increasing knowledge of weapons, their usage, and tactical warfare in all environments.
His office started recruiting new military personnel by the thousands. Offering financial incentives and free food for family members of military they started building their routine army and then filling them with steroids to make them as strong as they were smart. Within 6 months, large groups of routines were sent out to every state capital city to start patrolling.
By the end of the year, a large education camp was opened in the middle of the Mojave Desert to help citizens understand how great President Hope was. The first students to attend were non-routine military who had originally been charged with maintaining the streets they grew up in yet instead started and led riots themselves.
By the end of year two, life was basically back to normal. People went to work and paid taxes. They went to grocery stores and movies. They traveled from city to city and could even leave the country, though getting back in was more difficult than ever. People speculated what exactly went on in the education camps and stories would pop up on social websites about family members that had never returned, though these were often taken down and replaced by notes that apologized for overreacting and their family members had contacted them and were doing fine.
And news media continued commenting on news stories including what was going on in Washington. They would break stories of freedoms being removed or people disappearing yet since they had always overreacted and overstated or misstated facts in the past, none of this really seemed to matter to anyone.
The truth was America was numb to drastic and devastating occurrences. Whether it was a natural disaster, a bombing, or political scandal they saw so much negativity spewed through all sorts of media outlets on a near constant basis that they didn’t really pay much attention to what was going on in Washington. There were extremists holed up in rural areas screaming that this was the end of the world and our rights were gone but they had been doing that all along as well. The only difference was there were more of them but no one noticed because they WERE in rural areas.
And the routines were effective. There was less crime in New York City than ever before and no one could really argue with those results, not that people didn’t try. But the routines had a flaw.
The problem with an army of thousands in a small area is getting consistent and concise orders out to the right people in a timely manner. One person couldn’t relay information back and forth with more than a handful at a time. They played the telephone game with information up the chain until it was distorted and useless. But Hope had been working on this problem as well.
He had the acquired scientists and programmers working on a way for a single routine to be able to instantaneously communicate with other routines. What he got was even better, as they created routers who could not only instantly communicate, but do it without using a radio and be able to see what they see as well.
They called them routers, filtering information to and from routines as needed, and they were an upgrade to the existing programming. Communications could happen from across the lands thanks to the infrastructure already being full of cell phone towers, which bounced information around perfectly. They started finding the people who would make good leaders with a large need for the ability to multitask and oversee large battle areas. To their chagrin America had been training such people for years so they started putting a requirement on applications that you would have had to play hundreds of hours of strategy and war video games to be considered. Applications flooded in.
And so he had his army to squash any negativity to his rule in no time at all. He became a router himself to be able to receive information from all the other routers around the U.S. He was powerful, full of diplomatic information with an army at his complete control, and a nation practically getting out of his way so he could rule it.
Now just 5 years after taking total control of the U.S. he had one thing on his mind, which city would he bomb first?
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