Posted October 10, 2012

Legacy

A Naptown Tales Sequel by Altimexis

Chapter 40 - Fragments - Joshua Kimball-Reynolds

Friday, March 27, 2043, 4:17 PM

“Mmmm… this is nice,” my boyfriend said as his lips separated from mine. I was certain the grin on my face matched the one I was seeing on his. It might have been only a few days since we met, but we already knew we were made for each other. Alan was my soul mate.

Around us the sounds of explosions echoed throughout our living room in the Underground White House as Tie Fighters clashed with rebel X-wing aircraft, high above the Death Star. We were watching the holographic re-make of Star Wars IV, A New Hope, but Alan and I scarcely paid any heed to the action all around us. Our minds and hearts were focused only on each other as we cuddled together on the sofa, clad only in our bikini briefs.

We’d spent much of the afternoon right here, me singing and playing my guitar, the two of us making out with each other… and more, and still we couldn’t get enough of each other. Our faces came together yet again as I gently stroked Alan’s right nipple with my left hand and rubbed his bare back with my right hand. As I did this, I felt Alan's hand snake its way inside my briefs and gently rub up and down my growing erection and fondle my balls. I was in heaven.

Suddenly, the door to the outside corridor swung open and the room was flooded with bright light. I popped my head up over the back of the sofa to see the imposing figure of my dad in the doorway. Following him into the apartment were my Uncle Kurt and my Uncle Trevor, as well as my Uncle Sammy.

Sammy just chuckled as Dad said, “You two remind me so much of the way your pop and I were when we were your age. You’re cute as hell.”

Dad might have thought we were cute, but I was embarrassed as fuck. For his part, Alan still had his hand inside my briefs, although my penis had deflated instantly the moment my dad opened the door.

“These remakes are pathetic compared to the originals,” Dad went on. “Sometimes it’s just better to leave the classics well enough alone.”

“So Brad’s onboard?” Uncle Sammy asked as the three of them continued into the apartment, heading directly for the dining area and all but ignoring Alan and me.

“Solidly,” Dad answered as he took up residence, leaning against the kitchen counter. “Naturally, he had a few choice words for Schroeder once I laid out what went down, but he’ll keep quiet in the interim.”

“Good,” Trevor replied. “He’ll make an outstanding VP, and then maybe president some day. We all know he’s been holding back all these years to let his brother have the limelight. Now it’s time for him to shine.”

“Agreed,” Dad responded.

“I assume you want Kramer for Chief Justice,” Uncle Kurt interrupted as he grabbed one of the dining room chairs and sat backwards on it, resting his hands and chin on the seatback.

“I can’t think of anyone more qualified, can you?” Dad responded. “I’d like to move quickly on the nomination, too, bringing him out at the same time we announce Roberts’ retirement.”

“But he wrote a piece in the Georgetown Law Review a few weeks ago in which he opined that a transaction tax would be unconstitutional,” Uncle Sammy countered as he leaned back against the adjacent wall.

“He did?” Dad asked. “That could be a fucking disaster. The transaction tax is a central element of the Reynolds Doctrine. Without it, it would be hard if not impossible to create the incentives we need for a level playing field.”

“I’ll get you a link to the article,” Uncle Sammy replied.

“And I'll come up with an alternate short list of names,” Uncle Kurt added.

Putting up his hands, Dad said, “Let’s not be too hasty. The choice for the next Chief Justice should not and cannot be based on a single issue. There are damn few legal minds on our side of the aisle that are as sharp as Will’s and I’m not ready to dismiss him based on a single article he’s written. I certainly have no objection to looking at alternatives, but I doubt that we could do any better and we sure as fuck could do a hell of a lot worse.”

Shit, Dad never used profanity when I was around. This showed how much his mind was elsewhere. Alan and I were invisible to him right now. He’d forgotten about us.

“But if all indications are that he would declare the transaction tax unconstitutional, shouldn’t you reconsider?” Uncle Trevor asked as he placed his hand on his husband’s shoulder. “That one action could wreak havoc with your economic program. All the other good he would do would pale in comparison to the harm done.”

“History has shown time and again that no matter how carefully the president vets his candidates,” Dad answered, “Supreme Court justices pretty much do as they damn well please once they are appointed. Past writings can serve as a guide to how they might vote, but there are plenty of examples of how they change once charged with the role.”

“Still…” Uncle Sammy started to say, but Dad held up his hand and interrupted.

“I’ll want to see that short list, but I’m not going to dismiss Will based on a single article alone. I’ll want to meet with him and to question him on the matter myself.”

“Of course you will, Jer,” Kurt replied, but Dad again interrupted.

“I don’t care what he thinks about the constitutionality of the transaction tax. All I care about is that he keeps an open mind on the matter. Will may be the top expert on constitutional law in America, but I believe I’m every bit as good as he is… I just don’t go writing about it.”

“Modest, aren’t we?” Uncle Trevor responded as he crossed his arms in front of his chest, but Uncle Sammy came back with, “Maybe not modest, but factual. We all know that Jer’s forte at Harvard was constitutional law. Will may be second to none when it comes to scholarly works on the subject, but Jer could run rings around him when it comes to an actual debate.”

Sighing, Uncle Kurt said, “I’ll prepare a short list of other candidates, and we’ll schedule a meeting between the two of you once the dust has settled.”

“Have you given any thought to who you want at Education?” Uncle Sammy asked.

Pushing himself away from the kitchen counter, squaring his shoulders and facing Uncle Sammy, Dad put his hands on Uncle Sammy’s shoulders and said, “Sam, I want you to be my Education Secretary, and I won’t take no for an answer.”

“Holy fuck,” Uncle Sammy replied, “you want me to be your Education Secretary?” Then getting a more serious look on his face, Uncle Sammy continued with, “You just want to replace my seat in Congress with a Democrat.”

“I’ll admit, the thought did cross my mind,” Dad responded with a chuckle, “but that’s not the real reason, and I think you already know it. Can you honestly think of anyone better qualified for the spot?”

Uncle Sammy scrunched up his face for just a moment before getting a look on his face that I guess I’d call a look of resolve. “No, Jer, I can’t think of anyone better qualified. Shit, I guess that means I have to accept!”

“Damn right it does,” Dad said before he pulled Uncle Sammy into a hug.

Laughing, Uncle Trevor asked, “Now who’s being modest?”

“You know it’s true,” Uncle Kurt replied.

“Yeah, I do,” Uncle Trevor admitted.

As the old folks continued chatting, I realized that Alan‘s hand was still inside my briefs. I therefore discretely grabbed hold of his wrist and removed his hand from my genitals before my penis had a chance to realize that my dad and the uncles weren’t paying us any attention and decided we could get away with a little fun under their noses.

Realizing that I was starving, I quietly said, “Something tells me it could be a while before they decide it’s time for dinner, let alone get anything ready for it, or go out for it. Frankly, I don’t think feeding us is even remotely on their minds.”

“Ya think?” Alan replied with a soft giggle. “Maybe we’d better get dressed and see if we can meet up with some of our friends for dinner.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I agreed. Taking his hand, I led Alan to the bathroom where we quickly showered - separately - and brushed our teeth. Dressing in our usual casual attire of cargo shorts, T-shirts and sandals, we passed back through the living room, where my dad and uncles were still animatedly going at it, and exited the front door into the outside corridor.

Heading for the game room, we spotted several kids we knew engaged in a variety of activities. Holding hands, Alan literally tugged me along as he made a bee-line for a foosball table occupied by two of Uncle Randy and Altaf’s foster kids and a couple of boys I didn’t know.

“Hey, Bro,” Alan called out as he approached the group, and then added, “Hey, Kyle.” Kyle was one of the boys I knew. Although Kyle went to Walt Whitman High School up in Bethesda, we’d chatted with each other at a number of functions in recent years. We were both around the same age, we were both gay and we enjoyed each other’s company but, other than that, we had nothing much in common. I considered him more a social acquaintance than a friend and he was certainly not boyfriend material. Now he had his arm around a boy of similar age and height to Alan and me and I couldn’t help but smile to think that both Kyle and I had found boyfriends.

Taking a closer look at Kyle’s boyfriend, I noticed that he bore a striking resemblance to Kevin Williams, the new Surgeon General, and I realized he must be Alan’s brother, Adam. Reaching out my hand to shake his, I announced, “I’m Josh Kimball-Reynolds, and you must be Adam Taylor-Williams.”

Smiling, the boy replied, “I know who you are… I just can’t believe you fell for my younger bro.”

“Younger by a whole two minutes,” Alan countered, getting a laugh from all of us.

“How are you doing, Frankie?” I asked the younger Bernstein-El Tahari foster kid.

With a somber voice, he answered, “About as well as can be expected, Joshie,” and then it all came flooding back to me.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Frankie,” I responded. “I almost forgot. I’m so sorry about Uncle Altaf.”

“I just hope he’s OK,” Frankie replied.

“He’s all right,” the fourth boy, who appeared to be Frankie’s age and was obviously his boyfriend, reassured Frankie. “I can feel it in my bones. He’s gonna come back home just fine.”

“I sure hope you’re right, Mike,” Alan responded.

“Anyway,” I continued, “Alan and I are starving, and we thought we’d head to the cafeteria for a little chow. You guys interested in eating with us?”

“You expect me to eat dinner with my brother?” Adam responded in a perfect deadpan. “Man, I eat with him all the time. Do you know what he does when he eats? Man, it’s disgusting!”

“How’d you like me to tell them what you do when you eat, Bro?” Alan countered. Then turning to me, he added, “Would you believe he eats spaghetti with…”

“With a fork like everyone else, Bro,” Adam interrupted.

“Enough of the teasing, guys,” I interrupted them both. “I’ve eaten with Alan plenty of times during the last week and can attest that there’s nothing weird about the way he eats. Now let’s go. I’m starving!”

Laughing, we all headed out of the game room and stood in line at the main cafeteria. The food wasn’t all that appetizing, but it wasn’t any worse than the slop they served us at school. Loading up our trays with everything we could that looked halfway edible, we picked a table just large enough to seat all six of us.

As we started to chow down, Adam asked, “You guys notice anything strange going on? I mean, Randy was all devastated this morning when he headed to the cabinet meeting, but when he got back this afternoon, he seemed almost happy… like he was relieved or something. Something just doesn’t feel right about things, ya know?”

“I noticed it too,” Frankie chimed in. “Not only that, but some of the other kids noticed the same thing. Jimmy’s dad's the Secretary of Defense. He said his Dad seemed almost elated when he got back from the meeting.”

“Your dad and his pals sure seemed to be acting strangely when they got back to the apartment, Josh,” Alan pointed out. “Remember how he was discussing the nomination for Chief Justice?”

“What the fuck were they doing talking about the nomination for Chief Justice?” Adam asked. “I mean it’s not like Roberts has resigned or something.”

“Didn’t your dad say something about announcing Roberts’ retirement?” Alan asked me, and when I thought about it, I remembered just that.

“Yeah, he did,” I responded. “He talked about giving the nomination to Will Kramer, which isn’t exactly a big surprise.”

“Except that it wouldn't be your dad that would be nominating Roberts’ successor,” Frankie pointed out. “If Roberts submitted his resignation or indicated his intent to retire, it would be Schroeder that would nominate his successor.”

“Fuck, you’re right,” I replied, but then I added, “Unless Roberts indicated his intent to retire after the next election.”

“Why the fuck would he do that?” Kyle asked. “If anything, Roberts would jump at the chance to have Schroeder nominate his successor. If I were Roberts, I would have submitted my resignation as soon as Schroeder took the oath of office. Why take a chance on a Democrat winning the election when there’s a Republican in the White House right now?”

“Shit, that’s a good point,” I replied. “I can’t think of any reason my dad and my uncles Kurt, Trevor and Sammy would have discussed the nomination of the Chief Justice. Maybe it’s the Chief Justice of another court than the Supreme Court.”

“And that court would be?” Kyle asked.

“I dunno,” I finally admitted.

“I don’t know about the Chief Justice, but one person who definitely has resigned is the Secretary of Education,” Mike, Frankie’s boyfriend, threw in. “One of her kids is a good friend of mine and he told me their dad is sick… very sick. His mom had decided to resign even before the assassination.”

“Didn’t your dad say something about nominating a new Secretary of Education, Joshie?” Alan asked me and I remembered that he had.

“Yeah, he did,” I replied. “He specifically asked Uncle Sammy to take the position and they joked about replacing Sammy's seat in the House with a Democrat.”

“It gets curiouser and curiouser,” Mike responded.

“What the fuck do you think’s going on?” Kyle asked.

“I dunno,” Adam replied, “but it sure as fuck sounds like they're acting like Schroeder’s no longer the President.”

“How could that be possible?” I asked. “He would have had to have resigned, and I can’t picture that happening… ever. And impeaching him would involve hearings and proceedings in the House and a trial in the Senate, and that takes time.”

“Isn’t there a mechanism for impeaching the President more quickly in a national emergency?” Frankie asked.

“There are two,” I replied. “In a pinch, the impeachment proceedings can be abbreviated to a matter of mere hours. Obviously the President would have to do something really bad, like launch a nuclear war or something, for that to happen.

“The other is to invoke the twenty-fifth amendment, which provides for removal of the President by a simple vote of the cabinet in the event of his incapacitation. It's only temporary and subject to approval of Congress if it lasts longer than four days, I think.”

“But Schroeder isn’t incapacitated,” Mike pointed out. “I saw him at his news conference this afternoon. He was still very much the President.”

“The incapacitation doesn’t have to be physical,” I pointed out. “He need only be judged incapable of carrying out the duties of office. That could certainly be due to physical disability, but it could also be from mental illness or even so-called instability. Technically, the cabinet could remove him for any reason at all… even just a loss of confidence… but that prolly wouldn't hold up when Congress votes on it.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” Alan suddenly called out, drawing stares from people at all of the tables nearby. Realizing what he’d done, he turned a deep shade of red and got a sheepish look on his face.

Once the din all around us had returned to its previous level, I asked my boyfriend, “Alan, what is it?”

“Do you remember when your dad and your ‘uncles’ first walked into the apartment, they talked about Brad being on board? They were obviously talking about your Uncle Brad.”

“Sure, but what of it?” I asked.

“Remember how your dad said he was pissed at Schroeder, but would keep quiet about what went down, or something like that?”

“Yeah, so?” I replied.

“First, it means that something did go down,” Kyle responded. “Second, it means that whatever went down needed to be kept quiet and, third, that Brad Reynolds is now somehow involved.”

“Do you suppose that what ‘went down’ had something to do with Schroeder being removed from office?” Alan asked. “I mean, it sure would explain a lot.”

“But Schroeder was still the President at his news conference, dufus,” Adam countered.

“What if the cabinet didn’t want anyone to know?” Mike suggested.

“Why would they do that?” I asked. “What possible reason could they have for voting to remove Schroeder from office, but leave him in power?”

“I can think of dozens of reasons,” Kyle responded. “Perhaps they were concerned about the confidence the world would have in America if we had a change in leadership so soon after Josh’s dad’s assassination. Perhaps they were worried how the American people would respond to yet another crisis in leadership. Perhaps they were afraid it would appear to be a coup d’├ętat.”

“Or perhaps they have a clue as to who killed your pop,” Alan added, “and they didn't want to tip them off that they were onto them. Maybe Schroeder even had something to do with it and removing him from office would have clued his co-conspirators in that something was about to go down.”

“I don’t want to even contemplate that Schroeder had something to do with it,” I responded. “I don’t like the man as is, but that would be too much to take, you know?”

“But it sure would explain why your Uncle Brad is pissed at Schroeder,” Alan replied, “and didn’t Trevor Austin say something about him making an outstanding VP, and then president?”

“Yeah, he did,” I responded, “but then they could have been talking ’bout my dad running for president with Uncle Brad as his running mate in the next election.”

“That does sound a lot more logical,” Frank chimed in, “but it still doesn’t explain why they’d be talking about Roberts’ replacement. Asking Sammy Austin to be Secretary of Education makes sense, but if Roberts is retiring, it should be Schroeder that gets to choose his successor.”

“Maybe it’s part of a disinformation campaign,” Mike suggested. “Maybe they’re trying to confuse people about who’s really in charge so they can… I dunno… maybe flush out the bad guys.”

“And you think they would do this by spreading disinformation via their kids?” I asked incredulously.

“You have a better idea?” Mike replied.

“No I don’t,” I responded, “but I seriously doubt they would deliberately use their kids to spread disinformation. Hell, Dad and my uncles didn’t even seem to know we were still there when they started talking.”

“Guys, this is all conjecture,” Kyle replied. “We'll never know unless we ask them.”

“Are you suggesting we ask my dad?” I asked incredulously.

“Do you have a better suggestion?” Alan asked me in return.

“No, but we can’t ask my dad, or anyone else for that matter. This is really important shit, you know? In case you haven’t noticed, we’re just kids. Two thirteen-year-olds, a fifteen-year-old and three sixteen-year-olds…”

“I’m seventeen,” Kyle corrected me.

“Yeah, and I bet that makes a big difference,” I challenged. “Yeah, I think my Dad will certainly listen to you whereas he won’t listen to me, ’cause I’m only fifteen.”

“Governor Reynolds was testifying before Congress when he was only thirteen,” Frankie pointed out. That was certainly true, but under vastly different circumstances.

“Uncle Brad testified before Congress in support of his brother, my pop,” I countered. “What we’re talking about is asking the vice-president about top-secret shit here.”

“Who was it that said that the only stupid question is the one that was never asked?” Alan mused aloud. “Seriously,” he continued, “The worst that can happen if we ask is that your dad’ll say no…  and if we’re speculating about this stuff, you know that other people are, too, and not just us kids. Don’t you think that maybe your Dad and your uncles would like to know about it?”

After thinking about it, I could hardly come up with a counterargument. Alan’s logic was on-target. “OK,” I agreed, “We’ll ask my dad.”

It was a while before we were all finished with what passed for dinner, and then we headed out as a group to our family quarters in the Underground White House. When we opened the door, it was dark inside and there was no trace of my dad or my uncles.

“Shit, what do we do now?” Alan asked.

“Maybe they went out for something to eat just like you and Alan did,” Frankie suggested. “Maybe if we wait a while, they’ll all return.”

“Or they could have gone to another cabinet meeting and will be out all night,” I pointed out.

“And you would deal with that how?” Kyle asked.

“I dunno,” I answered honestly, “but we could argue all day and still be no closer to the answer.”

“What were you guys doing when your Dad walked in?” Adam asked but, when he saw both Alan and I blush, he added, “Eww, gross. I don’t even want to think about that.”

“Like you and Kyle don’t do it too,” Alan countered.

“Actually, we were watching Episode Four of Star Wars,” I explained.

“Yeah, I bet you were watching,” Frank giggled.

“Was it the original, or the new holo-remake?” his boyfriend asked.

“The holo-remake,” I answered.

“Ooh, I haven’t seen it yet. I’d soo love to see it,” Mike responded.

And so that’s exactly what we did. After finishing the Star Wars holo-movie, we watched an old movie from thirty years ago called Inception that was way cool, and then we watched a century-old black and white sci-fi movie called The Day the Earth Stood Still. We couldn’t help but laugh at how corny it was but you know, it was really good!

The last thing I remembered was watching the start of a newer holo-movie called The Simean Vortex, and then I heard Dad’s voice calling out, “Hi guys. Fell asleep watching a movie?”

As I wiped the sleep from my eyes, I realized that indeed, we’d all fallen asleep, and that the holoprojector had shut itself off.

“What time is it?” I asked my Dad.

“About quarter after three,” Dad answered.

“Crap,” Frank responded, “Randy is gonna be so pissed that I didn’t call.”

“No worries, Frankie,” Dad explained. “Randy was in a sort of unofficial Cabinet meeting with the rest of us. When he couldn’t reach you in your apartment, he had you tracked and we all found that the group of you were watching movies in here. So everything’s cool.”

“Dad!” I exclaimed, “You’re too old to say, ‘everything’s cool’.”

Lunging at me, Dad pinned me under him in no time flat and said, “You forget I was an Olympic athlete and a championship soccer player in college. Too old? Who did you say is too old?”

Laughing my head off, I replied, “Surely not you, Dad.” It felt really good to play around with Dad like this. We hadn’t wrestled in years and especially with all that had happened…

Getting up off of me, Dad said, “And don’t you forget it. Besides, people have been saying, ‘everything’s cool’, since before my grandparents were born.”

After a few moments of what could only be described as awkward silence, I began, “Dad, there’s something we need to talk to you about. You see, we’ve all been picking up these clues…

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope in editing, Low Flyer in proofreading and Ed in beta reading my stories, as well as Gay Authors, Awesome Dude and Nifty for hosting them.

DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional account of the assassination of the first openly gay president of the United States. Except as noted, all characters are fictitious and the reader is cautioned against attributing anything from the story to real individuals. There are occasional descriptions of consensual sex between underage boys and it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure the legality of reading this material. The author retains full copyright.