Joel Tanner reached for the intercom and pressed the talk button. “Yes.”
“...Forbisher, sir. CEO of um... United Interests.”
“He wants to speak with you.”
“He seems to think you know, sir.”
The newly inaugurated President turned back to the pile of papers on his desk, a hint of annoyance playing on his brow.
He reached again for the intercom. “Add him to the list.”
“That list must be getting long,” he remarked.
“Yes,” Morgan agreed. “I think just about every CEO, union boss, and lobbyist in the country is on it now, at least the ones who contributed to his campaign.”
The Secret Service agent smirked. He had seen it before. Payback time.
Morgan guessed his thought and shook her head. “I don't think this one is going to pay them back, not the way they're expecting.”
The agent shrugged.
“No, really,” she insisted.
“They paid for his election,” the agent insisted.
“Yes, but...” Morgan began and then let the thought trail away.
It was Morgan's turn to shrug as she reconnected with the CEO waiting on the line. “I'm sorry, sir. The President isn't available.”
“Yes, that's right.”
“He knows you asked for him.”
A few “Yes, sirs” more and she hung up.
Morgan looked up to see the agent smiling at her.
“Can't or won't.”
Morgan smiled. “Just that those who contributed may soon learn that it wasn't a good investment.”
“He's not for sale?”
“No. More like he won't have anything to sell.”
The agent responded with a blank look.
Morgan glanced around and leaned towards him. The agent put his elbow on her desk and closed the gap between them.
“I guess it won't hurt if you promise not to tell.”
The agent drew his finger tips across his mouth in the traditional gesture announcing that his lips were sealed.
“The President's issuing his first Executive Order tomorrow closing down one third of the government.”
Morgan's revelation rocked the agent back in his seat. His shock was clearly visible in his expression.
After a few moments lost deep in thought he observed, “You're right he won't have anything to sell.” Then added, “It won't be easy finding anyone to contribute to his reelection.”
Morgan smiled. “Maybe he won't need it.”
The agent's head tilted to one side.
“Maybe the people will reelect him without an expensive campaign if they see the cost of government cut in half.”
The agent agreed with a nod, then worried, “But that's going to put a lot of us out of work, isn't it?”
“I suppose so,” Morgan replied with a smile, “but he's still going to need a secretary.”
“...and protection,” the agent added. “Lots of protection once the bureaucrats get wind of this.”