“For better or worse, this is the last time we have to do this.” Izzo stepped out of the Limo, waving to the crowd. Calcutta . . . I remember the first time I was here! Chasing down those odd people, whom I was beginning to realize weren’t infiltrators from Comet Fall.
His grin widened as he remember his first encounter with survivors of Rangpur, eleven centuries in the past—and in deep trouble. Not they didn’t escape after twelve-year-old Qamar power punched him off the train platform.
Fortunately there was no train coming, and it all worked out in the end.
He shook hands, spoke to the crowd form fifteen minutes, then ducked back into the aircar and whisked back to the limo waiting at the corridor.
Aukland, Sydney, Perth, Singapore, Peking, Tokyo yesterday.
Because it simply couldn’t all be done in 24 hours. Even using the fast room to sleep. Which felt like cheating, but . . .
Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Tehran, Dimasq, Cairo.
The aircar, that had the guards chewing their fingernails, was riding on a low trailer. When he couldn’t speak right by the corridor, it was the only way to avoid hours in traffic.
A fast wave in Paris, since he had to pass through anyway.
Nairobi, Johannasburg. Leap the Ocean to Montevideo, Caracas, New York, San Francisco.
He took a breather in Honolulu, long enough to catch a solid eight hours asleep in the fast room, then a shower at the Hotel, a change of clothes, and he was back to shaking hands and talking. Then they jumped to Anchorage in their twilight for one last speech.
Four hours to midnight, when the polls would close.
And then he was mostly done. Called in a couple of interviews while they corridored all the way to Paris.
Where it was almost noon the next day, and the polls had been closed for twelve hours. Of ten referred to as “half a day of second guesses and regrets.”
He made his entrance stopping at the top of the steps to wave and, shake a few hands, then into the party.
Quite sober, so far. He glanced at the big screen, showing the countdown to the official results being released.
“Made it with ten minutes to spare.”
/// Then the chapter with the Directorate students watching the election ///
A Party with One Winner and A Whole Bunch of Losers
“Are you insane?”
Izzo grinned. “Problem Ajha?”
“Yes. Are you replacing Ajki at Interior?”
“Black Point, your wife’s Uncle. And how about your Presidential Director?”
“Crap, you’re right. Ox. Xiat’s half cousin. And you.”
“Also a cousin. You can’t have three Black Pointers. I highly recommend Wxxo. Good organizer, well known as a no nonsense organizer.”
“All right. You’re off the hook. This time.” Izzo clicked off, glanced over at Exle. “Well, I’ve got Presidential and Interior Directors. I just have to talk with my second choices at Exterior, and I’ll look like I’m well prepared.”
Urfa grinned. “So shall I send transport for all concerned?”
“Sure, umm, Ox’s two older kids are in NewYork, but since thy worked in my campaign . . .”
“I just happen to have a car and driver rather near the School.” Urfa grinned. “Ox is a damned good choice. You need a director you can trust to not do anything . . . dubious unless there is no other way and it really has to be done. You need to know that he won’t cut corners.”