Into the Shadows - Chapter 10

Chapter Ten

Paivi Anderson
Current Events p.6
Dr. Hasenpfeffer

This week’s article by Jerome Knowles ‘Election Upset!’ from the St. Andrew Herald discussed the election results. President-Elect Wendell Stevens was elected in a landslide victory after revealing his new plan for dealing with the Righteous Front during the final debate. The voters are now waiting to hear when the Anti-Terrorism Coalition will take effect and the list will be released. Knowles states that the election was by far one of the biggest surprises in history. Personally, I am still surprised that Moira Kelly didn’t win, because everyone seemed to like her. I hope that President-Elect Stevens’ plan really does work and they get the terrorists off the street. I am sure most Americans would be happy to have no more attacks from the Righteous Front. People could go to work and school and never have to worry about dying and that would be an awesome change.

Paivi, let’s hope you’re right! A -
Dr. H.

Election Day was a happy blur for Senator Wendell Stevens, or rather President-Elect Stevens. Hand shaking, speeches, posing for pictures.  Sitting quietly in his office the next day, he could hear the hustle and bustle in the hallways. Government was going on all around him. He was happy to finally get some time to himself.

President-Elect Stevens glanced at the newspapers on his desk, a large picture of himself on the cover, with confetti and red, white, and blue balloons all around him. His hands were raised, fingers forming victory signs.

It was everything he had always wanted. He was now the most powerful man in the world. He leaned back in his leather chair. Soon enough, he would leave his small, cramped senator’s office behind for his new place, the Oval Office in the White House. He closed his eyes, picturing himself sitting behind the large presidential desk in the Oval Office.

He sat forward suddenly in his desk, breaking his daydream. He felt like he had to check on it again. He pulled open the desk drawer, moved some papers aside, and slid a secret panel in the bottom of the drawer aside. He pulled an oddly shaped key from his pocket. It was a thin skeleton key with a tiny pyramid at the end. It wasn’t smooth, but instead carved with various notches of different sizes and shapes.

Stevens remembered receiving the key from the office’s previous tenant, Senator Reginald Tuttle. Tuttle said it had been passed to him some forty years before from the legendary Senator John Graham. No one knew when the key had been made.

He placed the odd-shaped key into the lock in the desk drawer. It clicked and popped open. There, in a velvet-lined compartment, lay the flash drive. The list. The future.

It made him a bit nervous, keeping something so valuable, so precious, in such an old-fashioned device. Luckily, both Senators Tuttle and Graham were long dead, leaving him as the sole person alive that knew about the key and the secret compartment in the desk.

In a week, he was to meet with his new committee, and the lists would go public. Then security wouldn’t matter.

He thought about the names on the list. Some of his own family members were on there. Cousin Lisa, his nephew Danny. There had been others as well, his own assistant Martin, members of Congress, mayors, governors, and celebrities. He would approach them after the committee meeting. Perhaps by pledging their allegiance to the cause, along with a considerable cash donation, he could convince the committee to put them on the ‘compliant’ list. That should keep them out of trouble. But he would still keep an eye on them all. Just in case. It was clear that they could not be trusted.

There was one name on the list, however, that he would be sure received no special treatment.

It brought him back to his college days. Wendell Stevens had a difficult time in school. He found high school relatively easy, but upon entering Harvard University, he struggled in every class, spending all of his waking moments with his nose stuck in a book.

Wendell’s obsession with studying, in addition to his frumpy and unattractive appearance, put a damper on his social life. It was, in a word, non-existent.

His roommate, Peter Farmington, was anything but awkward. He was tall and blond, good at sports and even better with the girls. It always irritated Wendell that Peter did so well in school, considering that they shared a room and Wendell rarely witnessed Peter crack a book.

Peter was never mean to Wendell. He even invited Wendell to a few parties throughout the year that they lived together in the dorms. They never had any disagreements or misunderstandings. Peter was an easy roommate and was liked by all, even Wendell, though he hated to admit it. In general, most of the other guys on their floor would have said Peter and Wendell were good roommates.

Deep down Wendell thought it was all so unfair. Peter had it all, looks, friends, brains, girls, and a fantastic personality. To Wendell, that made it even worse. He wanted to hate Peter, but he was just so darn nice.

Wendell only had to suffer with Peter’s perfect nature for a short time. Peter Farmington dropped out of Harvard University during his sophomore year. He started a small company making computers out of his parents’ garage with a couple of friends.

Today, Peter Farmington was the head of Vantage Tech, the world’s most popular and influential computer company. Peter was the world’s second richest man, behind some prince from the Middle East.

He had seen Peter Farmington many times throughout the years at dinners, cocktail parties, and various other functions. Peter was still just as charming and popular as he had been that year at Harvard. He always greeted him warmly.

All along it grated at him. Here was the world’s most perfect person, popping in and out of his life, just to remind him that no matter how hard he tried, he could never be as friendly, successful, or all-around perfect as Peter Farmington.

But now to have seen that name on the list, could it be that Mr. Farmington was a fraud? Was his entire life a lie? He was sure it had to be. Soon enough the world would know that they had all been taken by this swindler.

President-Elect Stevens leaned back in his chair, cracking his knuckles.

I may not be the world’s golden boy, he thought, but I am the world’s most powerful man. Peter Farmington’s time has come to an end.


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