Galley City by John T. Cullen


CON2 The Generals of October political thriller crisis during Second Constitutional Convention by John T. Cullen

Page 2.

Chapter 1

CON2 The Generals of October political thriller coup d'etat during Second Constitutional Convention by John T. CullenU.S. Vice President Louis Cardoza and the man licensed to kill him actually once came within 25 feet of each other. This happened at a reception in the White House, a year before the option needed to be exercised.

There was nothing accidental about this near-meeting.

It was a cold, calculated exercise by the Second Service, the shadowy intelligence arm of the equally shadowy government-in-waiting in Washington, to show that they could penetrate what they called the Rots at any level, any time, at will.

A preppy-dressing man of 35, Cover had a bland, unmemorably youthful face that could belong to any serious but impish graduate student, and could blossom into a warm if somehow distracted grin. His blond hair was cut short around the ears, and was already receding from his bulbous temple ridges. Only the thinning hair, a certain slouch when he relaxed, and hard lines around his eyes, gave away his real age. He preferred to wear custom eyeglasses with thin steel rims; because he could kill a man with them if all else failed.

At a reception in the East Room for diplomats and their wives, Cover posed as a Swedish correspondent. The Swedes were naive and open, and he slipped in among their party as they left their embassy for a row of limos. The Ambassador’s wife wore a leather coat and smelled of a faint, expensive violet perfume. Cover hovered by her side, speaking sufficient Swedish to impress her. When the Ambassador noticed, Cover smiled disarmingly, and the man nodded and smiled back with a bit of a confused look—was this an old friend whose name would come back to him? Cover nodded and smiled, and the Ambassador smiled back.

At the reception, Cover held a sturdy saucer in one hand and a steaming coffee cup in the other. A waitress in black, with white apron, offered miniature blintzes from a silver tray, and Cover accepted one. Behind the thin lenses, his eyes twinkled cornflower blue, and his cheeks dimpled in a smile. The woman gave him a lingering look of appreciation before moving on.

Cover sized up his man. The Vice President, Louis Cardoza, was a former boxer. Light-skinned for a Mexican-American, and sandy-haired with gray sidewalls at 48, Cardoza was movie-star handsome. Cardoza’s beautiful wife stayed by his side, a smallish brunette from immense old Anglo wealth, with a model’s picture-perfect face. She looked stunning in a little black dress that complemented her tanned, firm breasts and well-exercised thighs. Cover could easily understand the charm these people had upon a nation mired in the Second World Depression, with all its poverty, homelessness, crime, and despair. A nation waking up from nearly 200 years of uninterrupted rule by a two-party cabal that used billions of dollars of taxpayer money as a reelection slush fund each year—roads to nowhere, bridges over nothing, ships the Navy didn’t need, planes the Air Force didn’t want, to bring tax dollars to one’s district, and get votes—grand larceny, felony theft in Cover’s dictionary. He was reminded of the Romanovs—300 years in power, and nobody had believed there was any other way to rule the country. Soon, America would awaken from its long sleep.

Cover was a moral man. There was a job to do. Actually, these people were so pretty, he hoped they would not get in the way, because then he’d have to do fearsome things to them.

Wiping sugar dust from his lips as Louis Cardoza moved within 25 feet of him, Cover beamed. The Secret Service Rots hovering out of earshot from their man had no idea the Second Service was at all times moving among them, as Cover’s ideological arch-enemy Chairman Mao had said, ‘as a fish swims in the sea.’

One of them even brushed Cover’s sleeve, and mumbled, “Excuse me.”

Cover shrugged matter of factly, waving a napkin, and said: “think nothing of it.”

A year passed.

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Copyright © 2018 by Jean-Thomas Cullen, Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved.