Mortal Gods: Ignition is a prose anthology that introduces a universe of superhumans that examines how they might actually impact the world, and what threats and challenges they might face.
Mortal Gods: Ignition
"The First Transgender Superhuman"
January 13 2016 | Rate This |
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Adam usually didn't care a whit about a speech by the President of the United States but he was very interested in this one. So were many other Americans.

"The Congress has failed to act on the immigration crisis, and because of that I must act alone," the President said after a few introductory words. "Not only will I continue using my prosecutorial discretion to refrain from arresting and deporting the undocumented Americans living among us, but I will use my executive powers as president to end this human tragedy once and for all by granting them unconditional citizenship. The consciences of the members of Congress might allow them to ignore this crime against humanity, but mine will not allow me to do the same."

Adam White smiled as he listened to the President. He sat alone in the living room of his home. His wife and children were somewhere else in the house. They lived in Houston in a middle-class community. He lifted his hands from where they had been resting on his tailored pants and straightened his tie before pulling it tighter again.

"One of the things that makes us great as Americans is our willingness to help others," the President said. "And if we refuse to help others in their greatest time of need we condemn ourselves in the most explicit terms imaginable." The television camera panned across the crowd, showing a mixture of the top leaders from both political parties in the Rose Garden under the midday sun enthusiastically applauding and cheering the president before they returned to looking extremely grave.

Adam watched a little more and then he turned off the television and grabbed his keys. He found Victoria in their bedroom and kissed her, thanking her for the lunch before driving back to the office of his cover job to finish the rest of the work day.

He reached the office of his nonofficial cover job and sat down behind his desk to do some paperwork but he was only there for a short time before his secretary called his line and told him that a woman had come to see him. Adam told her he would see her immediately.

Amanda Langli, not the name she had given his secretary, opened the door and the first thing Adam saw was her long legs ending in crimson high heels. Today, she was a long-haired blond (half hanging behind her and the other half hanging over her front shoulder--no bangs) wearing a fiery dress that matched her shoes.

She quietly closed the door and walked towards him, taking off her sunglasses when she stood in front of his desk, her thighs pressing against the wooden top. "They finally found the courage and voted to start it. They've given you the go." She remained standing, her right hip ever so slightly to one side and her red fingernails touching the desktop, ignoring both of the available chairs on that side of the desk.

The Caucus had formed some time ago after the President had seized absolute power following a Convention of States.

The Convention of States had come about after a handful of national leaders had helped organize it in response to the President after he had already grabbed a substantial amount of authority. However, once they had assembled the Convention of States, the President and his party had said that in doing so they had nullified the entire Constitution, and that he then had the power to rule with an entirely new interpretation of the law. His opponents had countered that a Convention of States did no such thing and had spent countless weeks writing articles and papers for media outlets and think tanks, and filing legal motions to prove that he was wrong. The President and his backers had simply ignored them.

The Caucus had originally lacked cohesion and the ability to function as a unit. Many of its leaders had conflicting ideas and agendas on what to do about the President and his regime. And that wouldn't have changed had it not been for Amanda and her ability to persuade and mollify people. And once she had succeeded in helping make the Caucus an effective entity, the nation had its first true, albeit secret, opposition to the President and his party in years.

"They will not like what I will do," Adam told her. "And when they see what I will do, do you honestly think they'll be able to hold onto their newfound courage?"

Amanda smiled at him and leaned forward, placing both finely manicured hands on his desk as she got closer to him. "Of course they won't. But I'll be there to force it back into them," she said, looking him straight in the eyes.

Adam looked back. "Okay."

She smiled even bigger at him and then left.

Adam ended his work day and returned to his house. Victoria walked into the living room as he arrived, smiling at him as she carried some freshly laundered clothes. "Back so soon?"

He looked at her. "Amanda stopped by. Get ready to run."

Her smile remained, but she paused and brushed some of her long blond hair behind her ear. She looked away and then looked back at him, nodding her head once before she walked out of the room.

Adam's government job had him working directly for an element of the executive branch very few people knew existed. The element consisted of only four people: the President, the Vice President, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and him. No one else, apart from those who had previously held the positions, even knew of the existence of this element. The President who had created it had decided to make the D/CIA a part of it instead of the Director of National Intelligence. He had viewed the DNI as largely a figurehead of the intelligence community and hadn't really respected it.

Yet despite his unique position, even Adam could not see the President simply because he wanted to see him. He was the operational component of the element and yet the others viewed him as a junior member who rarely should speak unless spoken to first. He would have to have a reason--a good one--to contact him and he would have to go through the D/CIA first. But he knew just the thing that would guarantee him an immediate audience with the President; the one thing the President prioritized over everything else. . . .

Read the rest of this and two other stories by buying Mortal Gods: Ignition at Amazon.
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Paul Hair is an author and national security/intelligence expert.

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