Morgan continued signing documents several moments before pausing to look up and smile again. He signed three more and then waved the staff off before answering. “There was a change in Administrations last night,” Morgan began. “Your term in office ended.”
Allen looked quickly around for an explanation but was met with blank stares from the assembled staff. No one was laughing.
“No, it's not a joke, Tim,” Morgan continued. “There was an election last month and you lost. Sorry.”
“The union voted,” Morgan replied.
“Yes, The National Federation of Civil Servants.”
“I never heard of that,” Allen demurred.
“Of course not. It's a conglomeration of the various state and local unions of civil servants,” Morgan continued, “and the National Federation of Federal Employees, of course.”
“I never heard of this.”
“You wouldn't,” Morgan explained. “You aren't an employee. You're just a politician.”
“I'm not just a politician,” Allen countered. “I'm the President of the United States.”
Morgan smiled and shook his head. “No, you were the President,” he responded. “As I said, your term in office ended last night.”
Allen looked around the office again. The staff remained mute. “But...” he began.
Morgan held up a hand. “I know this is a lot for you to take in, Tim,” he said. “We understand.”
Staff members nodded in mute agreement.
“You and your family will have the remainder of the week to vacate the White House, but the West Wing is closed to you as of now.”
“But... but...” Allen stammered. “What about Congress.”
Morgan signed three more papers before returning Allen's desperate stare. “They've been replaced too,” he said as though it should have been obvious. “They've all been replaced by union members as well.”
Five minutes passed while the new President continued signing papers and Allen searched his brain for an explanation that made sense to him. “The Supreme Court?”
Morgan spoke without looking up. “All replaced.”
“Supreme Court clerks, all union members.”
“But, they have to be...” Allen began.
“...all confirmed by the new Congress,” Morgan concluded the thought for him.
Allen stood and paced while the color returned to his complexion. Red then rose from his neck and stained his cheeks. “You can't get away with this,” he said. “I'm still the Commander-in-Chief. The Army will put a stop to this... this coup.”
Morgan looked up again, this time pity showed clearly in his expression. “Technically, I'm the Commander-in-Chief now,” he responded, “but it won't do you any good if any units of the Armed Forces are willing to accept your orders.”
“We've disarmed them.”
Morgan laughed in response. “Actually, you and the other politicians helped us with that one,” he said. “California gave us the idea. Remember? It was back in 2013 when they began licensing and taxing citizens who wanted to purchase ammunition. Then, a couple of years later, they drove the ammunition manufacturers out of the state. It gave us the idea.”
“The Union,” Morgan continued. “We slipped provisions into Bills here and there that led to the seizure of all ammunition manufacturers.”
“You slipped provisions into Bills?”
“It was easy. All Congressional staffers are members of the Union. They could write anything we wanted into legislation. No one actually serving in Congress was reading them anymore. They trusted their staffs to read everything for them and provide reports.”
The Oval Office (click to enlarge)
Allen sat down again and swabbed his forehead with a handkerchief while his former Chief-of-Staff seemed to look inward, smiling at the memory.
“Hell,” he added, “and none of the Presidents were reading them either. Just like you, they signed whatever the staff, the Union, stuck under their noses.”
Allen and Morgan exchanged glares for a moment.
“What does this have to do with the Army?” Allen demanded.
Morgan began laughing. Two minutes passed before he could compose himself to answer. “We've been shipping them duds,” he answered and laughed even harder.
“Union members,” Morgan answered, “and they have the good ammunition.”
Allen hung his head and was on the verge of tears when a hope illuminated his eyes. “There's still the Marines, and the Navy and Air Force.”
“Out of gas,” Morgan replied evenly, “and whatever else they need to fight.”
“Just about everyone working in the Pentagon these days is a civilian employee,” Morgan answered. “Union members. Remember, you helped us dismiss the few remaining active duty service men and women last year.”
Allen seemed to have run out of options and fell silent, and Morgan returned to work. Several minutes of silence passed, broken only by the soft padding of staffers entering and exiting the Oval Office, and the rustle of papers. No one spoke. The solemnity of the moment seemed to be weighing on them all.
When a staffer bent low to whisper into Morgan's ear, the new President looked at Allen as though he had forgotten that he was there. Allen's eyes were on his hands, folded between his knees, and Morgan wagged with his fingers to a Secret Service agent. The agent approached Allen and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Please, Mr. President, it's time to go.”
Allen looked at the agent, his face a mask of confusion. He allowed himself to be led from the office, but stopped in the doorway. Turning back, he addressed Morgan one last time. “But, the oath,” he said.
“To preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”
A trickle, then a flood of laughter erupted.
“Civil servants don't take the oath,” Morgan replied.
“No,” Morgan interrupted Allen before he could finish. “Remember, you promoted me from the ranks of civil servants. You didn't want another politician. You promised in your campaign to take politics out of government.”
“But the Constitution,” Allen protested.
“Don't worry,” Morgan said and waved his hand to dismiss Allen for once and for all. “We replaced that.”
Later that afternoon, Allen sat with his Vice President, George McNair. “How did this happen, George?” he pleaded.
“They out maneuvered us, Mr. President.”
Allen looked directly at McNair, waiting for an explanation.
“Mary, my secretary, was more forthcoming,” McNair continued. “Last year the total number of civil servants in the United States surpassed one third of the total population. They decided that was enough to implement their plan.”
“To take over the country,” McNair explained. “Homeland Security now out-guns the combined military forces and you know about the ammunition and supplies...”
“Not only don't they need a majority of the population serving their union,” McNair continued, “but also, they don't want it. They believe that two citizens working in the private sector are needed to support each civil servant.”
“Two to one,” Allen mused. “Is that enough?”
“It'll be tight, Mr. President, but they aren't worried about any resistance.”
“They're opening the borders and offering citizenship to anyone who can get here. They figure that the new labor force will be used to working for minimum wages and living under tyrannical rule. Of course,” McNair quickly added, “they don't refer to it as tyranny. They see themselves as benevolent rulers. The civilians won't have to worry about pesky things like deciding where to live or the work they'll be doing or how much they have to pay in taxes.”
“And what about the population,” Allen said almost pleading. “Will they go along with this?”
“Most of them already have been,” McNair answered. “They elected us, didn't they?”