Thunderous Applause

A tear fell from the eye of disgraced Senate Party Leader Mitchel Delvonmic as he was led to the gallows. He was being hung for pedophilia and corruption. The first charge was, of course, ludicrous, but he couldn’t help feel the pain of the second one. It burned because deep down, he knew there was a grain of truth to it.

He’d never broken the law. In the old days, the Republican era before the rise of Emperor Nixreagump the First, known as Nixreagump the Mad among undesirable circles, Mitchel had been the most powerful human alive, truth be told. The President had always been more of a figurehead, deferring to congress, and Moscow Mitch, as he was known, had been the commander of congress. The leader of Conservationalist party.

Then Candidate Nixreagump came, a sideshow of ludicrous behavior, outrageous rants belting out the garbled words of a seventh grader who thought himself a genius due to some narcistic madness. The man did something no other Concervationalist had ever done, rally the party on a grand scale. The average party member was afraid, and he promised actions against their fears. Wages were falling. Jobs were disappearing. Immigrants from colony worlds coming in seeking opportunity that was in scarce supply on earth as well. Housing prices were exploding. The lot of the average was stagnating and dying. For years, the party donors had maintained a network of technically unaffiliated news shows designed to tell those people who were to blame. Immigrants and Social Democrats. Communist Agents. Antifascist saboteurs, Feminist Misanthropes, Transexual deviants and, if one delved into the extreme of the media the party produced, a cabal of pedophile elites running everything. Then Nixreagump came and screamed that line all the way to the ballot box and won.

Moscow Mitch, who’d earned his title from a tendency to drink Moscow Mules at high brow galas, due to a combination of heartburn issues and gluten intolerance, should’ve known better than to stand in his way. When Nixreagump appeared on the national stage, Mitch considered him a sideshow. A screaming banshee to rally the extremists in the party. Mitch was pleasantly surprised to find the party was made of extremists, and his constant underestimation of them was what led to where he was now. Climbing the stairs to an ancient device of execution. One which prior to the rise of the Tanalcany Empire of Man had not been used in five hundred years.

As he ascended the last stair, a thought briefly blipped into his mind. “The corrupt always seek power.” The quote hit his head. It was from some ridiculous science fiction he’d read as a boy. Some wild tale of far-off worlds linked by interstellar teleportation and a galactic senate run by little green men who fought with glowing red scimitars made of photons. He’d never cared much for fiction. He only read the book because it was the most violent option for his fifth-grade book report assignment. Perhaps if he had paid attention, he would’ve seen the warning signs.

He’d had a way out, seven years earlier, and he knew it. Nixreagump had lost re-election and refused to accept the result. The enormous warning sign had been, in fact, another gallows, albeit more simplistic and improvised, which had been erected not a stone’s throw from the one on which he stood now.

The neck snapped on senator Elizabeth Green in front of him as he stood. He was to be the main event, and they were making him watch as all his colleagues met their end, one at a time, to repetition cheers and applause from the crowd of well over a million. Billions more were jumping with applause on couches at home, surrounded by platters of breaded and sauced chicken wings and snack chips. In his mind, he daydreamed that The Resistance, as they were known, would save him. In his heart, he knew they would not. Not only was security too great, but the resistance had in fact released a statement in advance of today’s proceedings.

“Today we celebrate the deaths of those who sold our democracy to fascism. Though they die under false charges, their corruption and loyalty to the treason which now slays them is undoubtable to anyone who has watched the rise of totalitarianism with open eyes.”

That first gallows, erected on the capital lawn years earlier, before the Nixreagump started the Great Galactic War, should’ve been the end of it. No deaths. But Mitch, Mitch was a greasy one. He had seen the party’s passion, and he sought to direct and guide it rather than temper it. Though that mob had stormed the capitol on that day and sought to hang both him and the Secondary President, he had refused to take action against the President who had summoned them. Within months, he had relegated that event to a footnote in history, calling any attempt to discuss it as partisan harping. A few months after that, he was praising the riot as a grand moment of patriotism.

The Social Democrats had sought impeachment after that fateful day, which was known as the Beer Hall Putsch due to the president’s choice to take up residence in the Palace’s beer hall following his speech. In it he had commanded the crowd to “March on Congress and fight like Hell!” Mitch had refused to allow impeachment to proceed in the final days, citing a never before heard of rule against impeaching a president on his way out the door. At the conclusion of the impeachment trial, his testimony had been that Nixreagump was undeniably guilty but that they could not convict due to another never before heard of rule stating that a former President could not be impeached after his term.

Mitch, who in private loved to think that there are no rules in politics, was a master of inventing rules. His most brilliant before that point was the creation of a rule that an outgoing President could not appoint High Court judges, a rule he himself had ignored both four years later and eight years earlier, both times when his party had controlled the presidency.

That mantra had been on his mind for months now. Ever since Nixreagump, who had the undying support of the military, launched his coup following his re-election. The pretext was simple. Marxist pedophiles had taken over large swaths of the government and needed to be purged through martial law. The justification for it had been a string of rather large terrorist attacks, most of which were thwarted early in the planning phase. These terrorist attacks had been covertly supplied and planned by private intelligence contractors who went out and found particularly disturbed leftists and provided them both the means and encouragement to perform horrendous actions, leaving only enough in the target's hands to charge the target as a mastermind.

After martial law was secured, enhanced interrogation was again legalized. Mitch had campaigned for it himself. Then the President’s newly formed Special Security Task-Force went out and purged the dissidents. It started with online surveillance, but moved into the outright capture and electro-stimulated interrogation of undesirables. These undesirables put the finger on other undesirables, and although most of those executed for alleged terrorist intent were merely lying to regain their ability to not feel excruciating pain, the effect was as the president’s goons wanted. Anyone not of ideological purity could be executed with few questions asked.

Mitch arrogantly thought the sanctity of the senate would endure, even with the Social Democrats all dead or in hiding. They were Nixreagump the Mad’s rubber stamp of legitimacy after all. Nixreagump, of course, was not happy with the arrangement. It was inefficient. He had no need for a one-hundred-man bureaucratic rubber stamp. He had a rubber stamp on his desk already. So, he turned the SS-TF on them. And now, on the 6th of January 3021, Moscow Mitch’s spine held his own weight for the first time in his opulent and pampered life.

“Moscow Mitch Has a Spine After All” the headline of the obituaries page of the Resistance Pirate Paper read the following day. A macabre reference to the “botched” hanging. The SS-TF agent who wrote the headline was fishing for a raise.


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