|The Oval Office.|
“Morning, Mister President.”
Wiener Capsberger settled into a seat, hitching up the knees of his trousers in unconscious tribute to the gods of fashion, who had dictated that tight pants should return.
L.L. William ‘Chill-Will’ Blaine regarded the Secretary of State in bored fashion as they waited for the Attorney General, Hope Fargill, a tall, quadraplegic, French-speaking Haitian Lesbian girl and graduate of Vasser.
She and a tripartisan delegation were expected momentarily. In some Clancy-esque secret political gambit they had agreed to keep mum and their respective parties in check on this one special issue without actually knowing what it was even about ahead of time. All of this had taken some doing, but the President and his advisors were patient people and they swung the heavy hammer of federal patronage with some experience after three years in office.
The senators had been assured that this would be an important session and well worth their time.
Hope, nuclear wheelchair buzzing and steaming, ushered in the three senior statesmen, Zeke Beaudoin of the Dems, Nally Parduck of the G.O.P. and Emerson Smielbmork, the lone Independent.
Some said Smielbmork held the true balance of power in the Senate, which wasn’t too far at variance with the truth although Chill-Will liked to think he had something to do with policy himself from time to time.
Smielbmork had won election in his district, partially bourgeois working-class with elements of Hispanic NeoPlatonism, and one or two socialists too boot, 64,921 against, with 64,922 for. Of those who voted against, the split was so near 50/50 as made no difference. Everyone in Brogenville figured old lady Thickleforp was the real power in the land, but she’d been sweet on him since grade four and his debut as Jack Sprat in the class play, performed at assembly on or about October ninth, 1967. They thought she must be the one that tipped the balance."
“My dear.” Zeke nodded at Hope and settled into a chair beside Wiener and the others sorted themselves out.
She hated the term and that’s probably why he did it.
“So, Mister President.” Right on cue, Smielbmork tried to make it all about him. “What’s this all about?”
He had an air of someone who was expecting a big time-waster.
“I want you to hear something.” But first he pushed a button and the door opened again and the chiefs of the CIA, the NSA, the DUI and the IUD quietly filed in and took seats in the second row, empty up until now.
Heads craned to get a good look.
Eyebrows lifted all across the political spectrum as the President shoved his chair back, put his hands behind his head and his feet up on one corner of the desk.
His assistant, Barney Dibble, glanced at his watch. He stepped forward with his ingratiating toadying-ness.
“Coffee, tea perhaps?” His eyes rolled towards the ceiling. “We’ve still got a couple minutes.”
The clock ticked inexorably onwards and the President kept looking at his watch.
The President was looking nervous. It was ten-oh-three by this time.
“He’s never been late before. But I promise you, this is worth it.”
Barney looked like he was about to say something, and Beaudoin was into the second syllable of something hopefully not too fatuous when it came. The one thing they apparently could not do was to sit patiently in silence and wait.
Even the President twitched at the deep, rumbling voice that seemed to come from all places at once. The uninitiated threw their hands up to their ears and almost leapt out of their seats, looking all over the place, trying to locate the source of the sound.
Hope grinned, looking down at her hands and Dibble nodded seriously.
“Whoa!” They were unanimous in that.
“Bill. Lookin’ good, bro.”
“How’s it going up there?”
“Very well, thank you.”
Both paused, Chill-Will to let it sink in and God because it was His way.
There was disbelief and a kind of consternation in the room. They would need some convincing.
“Ah—ah. What the hell is going on, Mister President?” Beaudoin was incensed.
They were all talking and gasping and angry, sure it was some nutty trick or demonstration the president was pulling on them.
“What in the hell is this?” Smielbmork stood up, red in the face. He was pointing an accusing finger at the president when a force he could neither comprehend nor resist enveloped him from head to toe and shoved him back down into his seat.
“Shut up, senator.” God seemed friendly enough.
Firm but fair.
The senator gulped and looked at the president. Staring wildly around, he pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his forehead and around his mouth.
“I’m sorry. We thought of warning you, or trying to kind of describe it.” Barney was speaking for the president, which he often did.
“Yes.” The President eyed them all up, one at a time. “Sorry about that. God?”
“Some of these folks might like to say hello.”
“Hello.” Hope was at last week’s meeting, being introduced to God for the first time.
“Hi, Hope. How’s the daughter?”
“Fine, fine. She’s graduating Summa Cum Laude in the spring.”
They chatted back and forth. God asked about each and every one of them, seemingly knowing some personal tid-bit, some little thing about each of them. He had really been doing His homework.
Smielbmork just said ‘Hi.’ He had no real questions.
Hope had some sympathy for Smielbmork. It was a devastating experience to be manhandled by God like that. It was embarrassing enough that on their first meeting, she had demanded that God bring her a shot of Scotch and then having it materialize right in front of her eyes.
Grabbing it out of mid-air, she downed it in a single heartfelt snort.
She felt ashamed later, of course.
Smielbmork was shaking his head emphatically, the other members taking his unspoken word for it initially.
“Mister President. I have a question.”
“Yes?” God answered, the low frequency sound waves shaking the books on the shelves and the single vase on a side table, with a white rose in it for some reason, distinctly rattled, then steadied as if an invisible hand had rescued it from certain destruction.
God had a really deep voice.
“Why? I mean why are you talking to us and not the Russians or something?”
Chill-Will smiled inscrutably, eyes suitably downcast and humble. That was one of his first questions.
“Well, Senator Parduck, that’s a very long story.”
And it was, too. They listened intently to His reasoning. They weren’t all that amenable, with Beaudoin for one convinced that God probably was talking to the Russians, and the Chinese, and anybody else who would listen.
He wouldn’t put it past Him! For obvious political reasons, he kept those observations to himself.
In the end, while not wholly convinced, they agreed to think on it. It was almost an hour later, when God went back to His more regular duties. There was quite a bit more discussion, but in the end, they came to an agreement which would have been insulting to all concerned if it had been written up and signed as an aide-memoire.
Suffice it to say the tri-partisan committee members agreed to keep it a secret that the United States of America was talking to God on a weekly basis, and that they were getting some quite good information from Him on subjects as diverse as economics, governance, sociology, public policy, psychology, moral issues, legal issues, the relationships of man with his brothers and sisters all over the world, and all sorts of good things, really.
It was also agreed to form a subcommittee under the umbrella of the department of defence in order to study the nation’s new relationship with God and to assess any potential threats, as they were all duty-bound and constituted to do. The field of international diplomacy was well-known, but this was charting new waters and there was no book of Creator/Man Relations to go by.
Any sort of case law was a couple of thousand years old, according to the Attorney General.
In the meantime, the President and his advisers were promising all that the still-stunned gentlemen had asked, which was to be kept in the loop while they consulted amongst themselves and considered what their attitude towards this interesting new development ought to be.
It was one of the sweatiest sessions any of them could remember in all of their long careers.
That sweat, the very uncertainty of what was happening and why, was a measure of its importance, as they all understood on some intuitive level.
*Editor's Note: either one of the two major parties did not field a candidate or Louis has lumped Party A and Party B together and ignored the possibility of a close, three-way split in the voting--in which case old lady What's-'er-name may still hold the balance of power with a single vote.