31 Decree

As soon as the final ovation is over, Janet gathers up her folders and grabs Benjamin by the arm. “We are going to my office for some privacy.” The two of them maneuver their way through the crowd to her small office in the General Assembly’s building. Once she sees her nameplate on a frame, she pulls Benjamin inside and closes the door. “What was that?”

“Janet, please calm down. This isn’t helping anything.”

“Benjamin, I just arrived here. Imagine my shock to find out in a General Session my predecessor signed off on this ‘contract to annihilation’ and did not extend the courtesy to cover it with me. Now, I am going to have to go in there and vote on this thing and either be dutifully compliant and screw our nation, or go rogue and ostracize myself, all the while compromising future relationships. What do I do?”

“I don’t think you have much of a choice.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just received a message that President Cohen would like to speak with you. He asked you call him on his secure line.”

“He knows about this already?”

“Janet, his daughter is lurking in the corner on this one, of course he knows about it. You have to call him. Please, keep your cool and remember Anna helped to draft this document.”

Janet dials the number. Her palms begin to sweat and her heart to race. “How does anyone deal with this much stress, Benny?”

“Shhh—everything is recorded on the phone line you’re using.”

“Hello, Ambassador Jagger.”

“Hello, President Cohen. It is an honor to speak with you again.”

“Likewise. Welcome to the United Nations. I bet you’re realizing by now this is a lot tougher than you thought.”

“Yes, but I’m ready.”

“Good to hear. Janet, I was aware of the Thirteen Mandates for a United World before your appointment. I didn’t have the finer details or the supportive data at the time to share these with you. I have gone through the document with my advisers and I want you to vote affirmative.”

“Mr. President, I don’t want to be out of line here, but enforcing this document will destroy the U.S. economy. Beyond this, these regulations placed upon our companies will cripple their operations. It will send a shock through the workforce. If that isn’t enough, can you imagine what will happen when a world-governing committee ousts our President-elect? We haven’t been the most popular nation over the last decade. I do not believe this is in our best interest. We have exclusion on the military inventory. Can we also ask for an exclusion of these other conditions?”

“Ambassador Jagger, I understand we have a meeting planned for Wednesday. We’ll discuss your concerns at that time. A Senate or House congressional committee has approved every one of these mandates. For now, I am ordering you to support this. I expect you to verbalize your support at the U.N. Security Council meeting tomorrow. I ask you withhold any negative comments in the General Conference Room as well. Are we clear?”

“Crystal clear, Mr. President.”

“Good. You have my items for today’s agenda to tackle. I trust you have a strategy for their introduction. I will see you on Wednesday. Tell Benjamin I look forward to his presence as well. I have missed him. The White House has not run as well since his wife passed. She was the finest Chief of Staff in recent history. I wish she were here to help me. I look forward to our meeting.”

Janet drops her phone on the desk and sinks into her leather desk chair. “Oh Benjamin, we are in big, big trouble.”

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Triple Digit TOC by K.M. Sheridan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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