matapam (pamuphoff) wrote,

_Guardsman_ part 53

 A repeat with better cohenancy:

Chapter Election

25 Shawaal 1415yp

The Current Event’s Seminar was swapped to very late Wednesday, and was going to run until the last polling places closed, when Polynesia and western Alaska hit midnight.

Which would be six o’clock Thursday morning here, and noon in Paris

By the time the results, the speeches, and the announcements were over, Government House in Paris would throw a victory party that would run into the night.

Here, after the results, at least two thirds of the student body would hold a wake over breakfast, while the winning faction crowed about it. Then they’d hold a few classes, mostly for the professors to go over the finals with them, and point out common problems that they really ought to work on over the Ramadan break, before they hit the next level class in the Spring semester. Same Friday and Monday, except they wouldn’t be excused from the run, and then they’d all be off for a month.

The seminar was much less formal than usual, and in fact closely resembled a big party, complete with drinks—non-alcoholic—and munchies.

The big screens showed the candidates frantically racing around the globe for one last get out the vote effort.

The professors had wisely split the students up by party affiliation.

The Modern Federalists’ section of the whole opened up auditorium building was the smallest, with the War Party loyalists spilling over from one side and the Isolationists crowding them on the other. The One First Party held the opposite quarter of the building, and it sounded rather like there were still political arguments going on, and both sides accusing the One Firsters of pulling votes away from the established parties.

About fifty of us, and a hundred and fifty each for the others. Here the One Firsters are as large as the other two. World-wide? C’mon, Oners are less than eight percent of the population. Even with the Halfers that the Crow tried to appeal to, less than a quarter of the population. And if the school is any indication, they won’t be voting as a block.

The most coherent block will be the !Zolt.

The biggest question here, is how will the Multitude vote?

Ramos would be a disaster of a President, with the Council ignoring him, over-riding his vetos. I’m really glad he

They took pity on the three defiant Pacifists in the upper seats, and invited them to have some cookies.

At three in the morning, Arno stretched out on the floor, his * hat pulled down over his eyes, and snoozed. At five minutes to six Pussy kicked him.

“Up and at ‘em, Hotshot. It’s time to face the music.”

Arno groaned and crawled to his feet. “Remind me to never sleep on concrete again.” He staggered up to the lavs, wishing he’d packed a toothbrush, then back down as the countdown started, with everyone chanting.

Two minutes ago we were all too tired for this nonsense . . . Three . . . two . . . one . . .

And the numbers started scrolling down the screen, the totals on one side, the districts reporting in, starting in the far east and racing westward.

Izzo leapt into the lead immediately, commentators talking about his years as the subdirector of the Pacific region. Then the Chinese and Indian votes reported in and Afgu, Edte, and Ovil passed him in a virtual three way tie, but Izzo was hanging on in a strong fourth place. The Middle East and eastern Europe were mixed, with Izzo closing the gap with a strong showing from his Alcairo division and Orde’s home Ottoman Clan and surroundings.

Western Europe went strongly for Afgu . . . then the colony votes rolled in, with a sweep for Izzo vaulting him well into the lead.

“Holy One!” Ryol squealed and bounced. “He even beat out the European votes!”

Arno swallowed. “And the polls had the Western Hemisphere pretty split. Is it enough for him to hang on?”

The numbers kept scrolling Brazil, Uruguay—Izzo took Uruguay tidily.

“All the photo ops with Rael, and her clear endorsement.” Ryol bounced more.

New York, East Coast, Great Lakes. Mid-west . . . Izzo barely ahead in New York, then he took the Central Plains. Colombia a tossup, the last of the west coast, western Alaska and Polynesia . . .

“Oh my One!” Ryol started screaming “He won, He won!”

Cheering around them, groans from beyond, cursing. Everyone quieted down as the counts were rechecked. An inset window on the big screen showed a grinning Izzo tapping at his comm. Hand over his mouth to keep it private . . . more tapping . . . and a third, that elicited a frown, and nod.

Then Arno’s comm buzzed. He pulled it out, a three way, Mother calling both of them.

A quick text message.

Arno sucked in a deep breath and met Ryol’s wide-eyes.

Arno clicked off and watched the screen confirm Izzo’s win.

Milo shoved in from the War Party side.

“Well, Hotshot, guess you called this one. Why the poleaxed look? Not so confident that Izzo will do a good job, now that he’s somehow pulled off a win?”

“No . . . the poleaxed look is because Dad’s going to be the Presidential Director.”


A Party with One Winner and A Whole Bunch of Losers

Izzo watched the recount . . . then the official certification.

Half his attention on his com.

“Ox, how’d you like to be my presidential director?”

“I suspect I will hate it. But I’ll do it.”

“Excellent. Excuse me for being abrupt, but . . .”

“Yeah. Later.”

Izzo tapped again. “Hey, Ajki. I don’t suppose I can lure you into the Modern Federalists?”

“No.” Firm. Resigned.

“Oh well, will you none-the-less remain as Director of Interior?”

“Yes. Are you sure?” He sounded surprised.

“Eh, let’s just drop the politics, we’ve always gotten along. And now I’ve got more calls to make.” Ox clicked off, tapped in another number. And hit his first road bump.

“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 is Black Point. And 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 New York, but since they worked in my campaign . . .”

“We’ll get them here for the inauguration.” 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.”

“Exactly. Otherwise I’d have tried to get Ajki. And no doubt there will be some other shake-outs. But today I make a speech and tonight we party, and in three days, the swearing in.” Izzo grinned. “And I am certain that the Directorate School will consider them attending the inauguration to be a reasonable reason to miss the last day of classes.”

“Yep. And now it’s time for you to make a speech. C’mon.” Urfa led the way through the crowd. Slowly.

Lots of congratulations, as they headed for the raised platform.

Izzo stepped up, and turned to face Government House, across a sea of faces. He tilted his head upward at the figures on the roof of Government House.

“You get a good view from up there, and you can see the layout of the gardens here.” Urfa grinned. “Nothing like the maze behind the Gothic Horror, though. Tonight, of course, there are lots of camera men for the news services, as well as spectators.”

Izzo scanned the crowd, there was Xiat, being escorted toward the platform. Lots of black and purple uniforms . . . there was Lucky Dave. Talking to Qamar, who pointed at the roof and walked toward Government House. Dave turned the other way, and veered suddenly.

A disturbance . . . Ycrw and Insa. Yeah, a courtesy to invite all the candidates, even the losers from the primaries.

Rumors that some people run just to get invited . . . have never been disproven.

But it’s just begging for trouble, having those two at the same event.

Dave put a hand on Insa’s arm, steering him away, talking.

The Crow’s glow flashed, his fingers curled into fists. The space around them expanded and people drew back from the eruption.

“ . . . get you, you son of a dog . . .”

“One! Ycrw mad enough to yell?” Urfa muttered. “Didn’t think the iceberg had it in him.”

“Heh. He’s having a bad day.” Izzo grinned. “I’ll have to ask Dave how he did that.”


“I probably should not have mentioned that people have been detained but not yet charged, in order to keep an appearance of a normal election.” Lucky Dave shrugged. “Above my pay grade.”

Insa growled. “Do you know anything about that explosion in Italy, two weeks ago? Is it the same . . .”

“They’re getting a chemical match, with the truck bomb. If the people from there have any idea who they’re working for . . . and if it’s Ycrw . . . He’s toast.”

“Surely there was a cut-out. I know he thinks he’s brilliant but surely he’s not that trusting?” Insa shook his head. “Unless he’s a whole lot more screwed-up mentally than I’d ever guessed.”


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