Protocol Six

Protocol Six: Chapter Nineteen

Admiral McMillan rubbed his chin and locked eyes with David. “David, we’re aware that everything we’re telling you right now sounds ridiculous, even insane.”

“Good assessment,” said David, snorting a laugh.

McMillan nodded his agreement. “Mhm. But you’ll see today, with your own eyes, written in their hand, the Founders’ hope that power could one day be reconciled with wisdom and justice. They understood their shortcomings, their limitations as human beings. They knew that America was a lie from the moment it was conceived, because they lacked the moral strength to practice their views of the rights of humankind. Why, no sooner was the Revolution won, than we were slaughtering Indians, stiffing veterans of their back pay, and invading Canada.”

“But,” chimed in LeMoyne from the window, “they held the door open as best they could, waiting for a better, nobler kind of human to evolve. And they set the bar high. Their yardstick, the measure of that man, would come from the line that gave us the might of King David, the wisdom of Solomon and the compassion of Jesus. With you, David, the element of humility is added. And so, the line of God’s anointed is perfected at last.”

“Stop!” barked David, pointing sharply at LeMoyne, then lying back and rubbing his eyes. “This is ridiculous. And insane. And I want nothing to do with it.”

McMillan put a hand on David’s good shoulder.

“I know,” he soothed. “And that’s precisely why you’re perfect for the job. Power is abused by those who desire power, to protect and entrench it. Look at you, though: you have the ability to refuse power. The resilience to its temptations, the strength not to desire it in the first place.”

David batted McMillan’s hand away angrily. “I said stop. I don’t want to hear any more of this shit. Leave me alone. Go.”

McMillan nodded to the others, and they began to file out. Agent Diaz lagged behind, folding her hands and looking uncertain.

“What is it?” asked David impatiently.

She groped for the right words, and eventually: “You had asked me a few times, what I was holding back.”

David raised his eyebrows, waiting.

“I attended your lecture the other night,” she finally continued. “And I’ve read some of your writings. I noted the detractors at your lecture. Ridiculing and making personal attacks. The hallmark of the person who’s angry over losing the argument. No one had any counter-interpretation of your data.”

That surprised David.

“You know what’s at stake,” Rebecca said. “You know we’re headed for a cliff. If any real change is even possible… who do you trust to implement it?”

She folded her arms and looked out the window, unable to look David in the eye.

“I’m not… a ‘believer’, by nature. To be honest, I’ve always been a little smug in my skepticism. I’m not religious, or even spiritual, really. But I think we have the right guy.”

Rebecca looked at him briefly, and without another word she turned and exited. David lay his head back and reached for the nurse-call button.

“Yes, Dr. Solomon?”

“Hi… could you come see me, please? I think I’ve got a migraine coming on.”

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