International Incident Ch. 10

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June 7, 2027

It was an extremely humid 92 degrees in Central Park, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind. Even if it was 120 degrees, they would have turned out to see this event.

The moment Mark Robinson walked onto the podium, the crowd erupted. It was beyond electric, and Mark stopped to take it all in.

“Good evening, New York City!” Mark bellowed into the microphone to a rock-star roar. “I’m so glad you could make it here tonight. Just wish it was a little colder.” The audience laughed.

“Well, you all know the story. About two years ago, I stepped down as President.” There were loud, brief boos from the audience. “It was a profoundly difficult decision, a decision that I believed was necessary in order for this country to move on after an unfortunate scandal, a scandal of my own making. My Vice President, Jonathan Cahill…” The booing was even louder now, so loud that Mark had to stop. “My Vice President became President, and since he took office, he has taken this country down a path that I do not believe is the right path.

“Now, let me clear: I know President Cahill. I believe that he is a fundamentally decent man, a loving husband…” Mark had to stop again due to the boos at the mention of Cahill’s name. “A loving husband, a devoted father and a proud patriot. However, his decisions simply have not been the best ones for this country.

“Now more than ever, this country needs leadership on the major issues facing our country and our world. President Cahill is simply not providing that leadership. He is not fighting for full and equal access to health care. He is not fighting for a society free from gun violence. He is not fighting for a world that is no longer threatened by carbon pollution. He is retreating from these fights. He has the job, but he seems not to want to do the job.

“As you know, I wrote a book about my short presidency, and the circumstances that led to its conclusion. During my book tour, I’ve spoken to Americans from coast to coast, in big cities and small towns, who have urged me to reach for the brass ring once again. They’ve told me that my presidency ended prematurely. They’ve told me that Kadıköy Anal Escort I left the job undone, that I have unfinished business. They’ve told me to do it again.

“I’ve had hours of conversations with my wife, Kylie, who’s here tonight.” The crowd cheered, and began to chant “Kylie! Kylie!” Mark smiled and gave his wife a thumbs-up before continuing. “She says I have an obligation to this country and to the world to reach for that brass ring again. She says that it’s not enough for me to complain about the lack of leadership in this country. She says that I have to do something about it.

“Tonight, I’m here to declare that I’m going to do something about it.”

“Yeah!” several people in the crowd yelled.

“Tonight, I’m here to declare that President Cahill needs a primary challenge.”

“Hell yeah!” more audience members yelled.

“Tonight, I’m here to declare that I am once again a candidate for the presidency of the United States!”

Central Park exploded in cheers.

“Our work is indeed not finished! Our goals have yet to be achieved! Our mission has not yet been accomplished!”

The crowd was overjoyed.

“We can’t quit the fight–not when our democracy depends on our victory! We can’t quit the fight–not when our prosperity depends on our victory! We can’t quit the fight–not when our safety depends on our victory! We can’t quit the fight–not when our ecology depends on our victory!

Some audience members were now openly weeping.

“And I make this promise to you tonight–once I return to the White House, my first order of business will be to demand that Congress pass legislation to repeal the so-called Helping the Homeland Act, one of the worst pieces of legislation ever signed into law! That bill has destroyed privacy in this country! It has violated civil and human rights! It is an atrocity that this bill is the law of the land, and as your President, I’ll do everything within my power to make sure the Helping the Homeland Act is thrown into the ash heap of history!”

Members of the crowd were now jumping up and down.

“In 1912, one hundred and fifteen years Kadıköy Yaşlı Escort ago, former President Theodore Roosevelt attempted to once again become President of the United States. He declared, ‘I shall fight to the end, win or lose.’ I’m no Teddy Roosevelt, but I vow to you tonight that I, too, shall fight to the end, win or lose. However, with your help, and your support, I know I–and we–will win.

“Thank you! God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America!”

Mark waved to the roaring crowd before walking towards Kylie, who was at the front of the stage; she smiled as he strode in her direction. Then suddenly, there was a crack in the air, and Mark fell forward, crimson covering his face. Kylie rushed towards him screaming as the crowd became frenzied and chaotic. An ambulance was summoned, and Mark was rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

June 11, 2027

Kylie visibly trembled as she approached the podium at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Her dress was a deep and haunting black, and her shoulder-length blonde hair was tied back in a black lace bow. She sighed quietly before speaking.

“My husband…”

She paused.

“My husband…”

She wiped back a tear.

“My husband, Mark Douglas Robinson, served this country with honor as the 46th President of the United States. His time in office was short, as was his life…yet his impact will never be forgotten.

“How can I put into words the gallantry of this man? How can I put into words the wisdom of this man? How can I put into words the grace of his man?

“I can only try. That’s all he ever asked of us, to try–to try for a better tomorrow and a better world. To try for a stronger future.

“Mark Douglas Robinson was a man of conviction, a man of passion, a man of courage. He was a man who could not sit idly by when he saw injustice and inequality. He could not sit idly by when he saw hurt and deprivation. He believed that freedom and peace were not meaningless words, but powerful goals–goals that still must be achieved, even though he will not be here to witness our achievement of those goals.

“My Kadıköy Zenci Escort husband is now resting after a historic journey, a journey that made him the second African-American President of the United States. Yet he will not rest in peace. He will not rest in peace until the dreams he fought for have been realized. He will not rest in peace until every resident of this country has the protections they need in terms of civil and human rights. He will not rest in peace until every resident of this country has complete access to health care. He will not rest in peace until the threat of climate change has been mitigated. He will not rest in peace until the bloodshed caused by gun violence…”

It took everything within Kylie’s power not to break down.

“Until the bloodshed caused by gun violence stops. And he will not rest in peace until his killer…”

She glanced at President Cahill, sitting in the front row of the cathedral; Cahill looked away.

“Until his killer is brought to justice.”

She sighed again.

“Only then will he rest in peace.”

She paused to wipe away another tear.

“The father of my child will not live to see his child grow into an adult. I will have the honor of seeing Edward become a man. I will have the honor of teaching Edward about the greatness of his father. I will have the honor of educating Edward about the causes that motivated his father. I will have the honor of ensuring that Edward carries forward his father’s legacy–his passion for justice, his commitment to excellence, his desire for change.

“As for me? I will heal, but I will never be whole. I will forever be grateful for the moments I shared with this shining jewel of a man…and I will fight until my last breath to make sure that his legacy is respected and honored.

“Mark Douglas Robinson was my husband and your President. Mark Douglas Robinson is a hero–a hero with flaws and imperfections, yes, but a hero nonetheless. And Mark Douglas Robinson will never, ever be forgotten.”

Kylie left the podium, kissed Mark’s casket, and returned to her seat, finally breaking down in tears. After the funeral concluded, Kylie and Edward stood outside the cathedral as the casket was loaded into a black hearse. As the casket was placed into the vehicle, Edward saluted, just as a young President’s son had done decades before. Kylie kissed Edward’s head, and the two made their way towards a waiting limousine.

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