It was cold in Washington D.C. That biting chill that only occurs when the sky is clear and there’s no chance of rain. One almost wishes that the sky would open up because no doubt that would dull the tempered blade of the wind. But here, today, the body heat of thousands of men and women drove away the needling cold. He could hear them, murmuring and stamping their feet in anticipation. He could hear the buzz of the giant television monitors set up for those who had come to witness the event, but who could not fight their way through the crowd. He could smell their excited sweat, tinged with the sterile bite of alcohol. The vicious campaigning had been laid aside for this day. It was time for a Coronation. Hail to the Chief.
Orpheus Ziev stepped forward to a deafening wave of noise. He clutched the podium for support, feeling the monumental historic weight of the Capital building behind him. “Hello my friends!” he smiled, letting the audience work themselves into a frenzy. “First of all, I’d like to thank you. Without your votes, I never would be standing here today.” Applause. Cheering. It was the old ‘school spirit’ tactic. He would kill to see how many in the crowd wore sunglasses, or even full Orpheus Ziev cosplays. “We are now standing on the brink of greatness. 50 years ago, President Harry Trumen announced the construction of the atom bomb. That was the nuclear age. Today I am here to tell you that we’re entering a new era…one where we are not defined by scraps of metal or radiating atoms. We are entering an era where all that holds us back are the limits of imagination. Ladies and Gentleman…welcome to the Synaptic Age.” He threw his arms wide, presenting a gift to mankind. “I made many promises over the last few months. I intend to make every one of them a reality within the next four years. It’s time to end bipartisan squabbling and unite for glory. I give you my word that I will do everything within my power for the United States of America.”
He kept it short and sweet. He wanted to be seen as a man of action, not words. The Chief Justice approached with a Bible. After the inauguration, Orpheus would have to take the oath again using a Braille Bible, but for the sake of show they were using the Lincoln Bible for the actual ceremony. Orpheus put his left hand on the Bible, raising his right hand.
“Orpheus Ziev, do you swear that you will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of your Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States?”
“I do affirm that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Cheering, loud enough to disorient Orpheus. He forced himself to carry on with the ceremony. “Thank you…thank you.” He waited for the audience to quiet down. “Before I yield the stage to the new Vice President, Mr. Atticus Blair, I have one more thing I would like to say.” He took a deep breath. “Well, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought…” he paused. “The White House is a big place for one man. I don’t want to do this alone…Clarice Michelle Zeraz…will you marry me?”