“Whereas the Members of this Congress hold dear both the Freedom and the Safety of the People of these United States,
Whereas this Congress recognizes that the most just governments of this Earth can over time become perverted by Man’s intemperance,
Whereas this Congress on the whole respects the authority of God over that of Man, and
Whereas God in the past has anointed His own mortal servants to rule by Law, rather than ambition,
Be it then ordained that the Seed of said Anointed may be invested with the powers of the Chief Executive, if and when such person is presented unto the People with proof beyond contradiction of his origin and authority, said proof coming either from God or from Science known or as yet unknown.
SO ORDAINED by the UNITED STATES in CONGRESS assembled, this Fifteenth Day of December, in the Year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred Eighty-Four, and the Year of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eighth.”
As David read the document, his expression went from merely ‘doubtful’, through ‘grim’ and well-on into ‘sickly’ by the end. He sank back into the wheelchair, hands holding his head as if it were about to explode.
“Professor Koenig’s reaction was far, far worse,” LeMoyne said, nodding his acknowledgment of David’s exasperation. He threatened to expose this program to anyone who would listen. We couldn’t stop him from doing that, of course. But we could see to it that his accusations would carry no weight, anywhere. And so he was systematically discredited.”
“What carries no weight is this document,” David eventually said, containing his temper. “It predates the Constitution by, what, three years?”
“It was written at a time when America had won the Revolutionary War, but was failing at peace,” LeMoyne answered. “The country was nearly bankrupt; the government could make laws but had no ability to enforce them, and we were in danger of falling into rebellion and anarchy nearly everywhere.”
David dealt his words with precision, as Rebecca Diaz might with cards at the poker table. “If this thing really is authentic, it still would have been superseded by the Constitution. It has. No. Authority.”
“The Constitution was a series of compromises, from start to finish. For stability’s sake, it was designed to be very resistant to change. But no one really trusted it to protect the rights of the people over the longer term. It was always known that the rule of such vast resources would invite the greater ambitions of lesser men.”
David fired back, “And what differentiates me from those ‘lesser men’? Biological accident?”
“Your life. Your work, as unregarded as it’s been thus far,” offered Diaz. “Even right now, being offered power on a silver plate, you’re still pushing away in the interests of justice. That’s not biological accident; that’s evidence that biology still seeks improvement.”
David had no answer to this, other than an indignant sulk. Diaz continued.
“Think of every good thing that should have been done, and wasn’t done, simply because it ran against the interests of the people in power. Then imagine the difference it would have made to have one, good, incorruptible man who could make things happen.”
LeMoyne slid the document back into the wall, and locked it again.
“These people,” he said, “much better, much more accomplished people than I can ever hope to be, wanted a better human society than they could create themselves. And so they left the door open for a better kind of human to bring it about. And, to this day, people continue to hold out that hope.”
David’s jaw clenched for a bit, then eventually relaxed again. “Who? Who supports this?”
“Many, many people. From many more walks of life than you’d expect. And they’re all waiting to meet you. Just as soon as you’re ready to meet them.”
Begin the journey to a better you.
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a sci-fi mystery
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