The Governor’s private shuttle landing exemplifies the opulence of the upper class with its gold plated railing and shiny white floor. Italian white marble, a memory from a woman who liked to travel from her earnings as a prison guard. A flash of the mountains with white caps where the marble was cut from. A country called Italy.
A lush red velvet carpet crushes under my feet as I step out of my shuttle onto the balcony that leads to the door of my new office.
Things like this special balcony could pay for the programs that I want to instate. The programs that made the people cheer and shout and scream as I spoke before them. The very same things that made my contenders hate me.
My private guard, Reno follows me as I wrap my victory around my shoulders and stride forward across the red carpet. Midway to the engraved oak door of my new office I stop and smile at the drones carrying cameras. I walk toward the railing, off the red carpet and stand against the railing, looking over the city below me.
“My dear people,” I begin, my voice amplifies to the people below through the mike I am hooked up with. “Today we have won a victory. Today, we move forward with making a world that gives everyone in Virginia the opportunity to better themselves. Today, the American dream will be yours!”
I can hear the screaming and cheering of the people. The people wanted my vision they chose me. I turned and smiled at Lizzie. I’d found her and begged for her help with running for governor. All the knowledge that the prison forced into her brain made her useful to me. Behind her stood my third supporter, Patrick. He’s been reading the books in his library and listening to everything Lizzie told me trying to fill in the gaps in his memory.
Patrick helped me craft my speeches and my campaigns. Even without his memory he was a political genius. I’m glad that he wasn’t a contender for the position.
The only person missing is Nathan. I haven’t seen him since I went to talk to him before my meeting with the city council. Well, that’s a lie. I have seen him, just not talked to him.
His startled expression, a moment’s hesitation, those shockingly blue eyes making me forgot what I was about to say, and then the door slammed in my face. I hadn’t expected that. I wasn’t quite sure what I had wanted, but he obviously wanted nothing to do with me. I’d nocked again, waited quite a while, but that door didn’t open up again, and eventually I gave up.
But I can’t stop thinking about him. About the look on his face. The startled look, and then, just a moment’s glimpse as his eyes grew wide and his mouth opened in a look that could only be described as horror. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done.
He escaped the jail with me. Heck, he knew the person who was in my body before me, Lily, back when they were orphans with no real power. He’d seen me bring down those guards when we escaped, and he hadn’t rejected me like that then.
Why did he slam the door in my face? Why did he look so horrified to see me? He told me to follow my heart and to choose the path that I thought was best.
And you. I can barely see you, a faint wisp at the corner of my vision, still following me. For a while I thought you’d abandoned me also. I thought maybe I’d just forgotten about you, but even when I looked for you, it was like I couldn’t see you. Were you still there, or are you fading as I grow stronger and don’t need your support as much? Or are you so horrified and disappointed with me that you want to also slam the door in my face like Nathan did?
Is this the first time I‘ve seen you since I killed the previous Governor? I’m not even sure anymore. I was so focused on my goal, but seeing you out of the corner of my eye… Where have you been?
I focus back on the crowd. You’ll never tell me anything. You are just an annoyance in my life. An imaginary being that no one else even notices.
I finish waving at the crowd and walk toward the door. This will be the last time I use this balcony. After this I will use the entrance at the base of the building, like all the normal people that have to work in this building. I will dismantle that absurd balcony and use the funds to pay to repair old buildings as soup kitchens and places for people to sleep at night.
And the rich buffoons in office will help pay for it. Anyone who disagrees will end up like James Marchin, the man I slowly took memories from until I’d taken them all and left him with the “Memory Sickness”. The disease created by me. The disease I am using to make these scared politicians fall into line and work for the betterment of the people.
I can see it in my mind. A place where the streets are clean, where there is no one dying in some forgotten alley. Where people are happy and will choose to live instead of simply being forced to live here because they don’t have the means to escape. This city will shine in a golden and beautiful light in the future.
This is my world that I am making. My dream is coming true.
The Governor’s office looks the same as the day I killed the previous Governor. It is far too opulent for the likes of me. I will sell the paintings on the wall to help fund my dreams.
A woman walks in and dumps a stack of papers. “Well, Governor. Here is the budget we need approved in two days. The lieutenant Governor who was supposed to take over and sign these, well – “
“I know. He got the Memory Sickness. That’s why I’m here. That’s why a special election was held.”
The woman nodded. I’d been a little shocked to learn that there was someone who would take over from the Governor, but it wasn’t had to have him develop Memory Sickness, especially when they kept having Patrick and me in the building to discuss the Memory Sickness.
The woman turns to leave, but I call out to her, “Ummm, Ma’am? May I ask your name?”
She’s turns back toward me. “My name is Naomi Riskell, Madam Governor.”
“Naomi, could you help me look over this budget?”
The woman nods, her tight black bun moving with her head. She looks like you stereotypical secretary with two inch heels and a black skirt suit. I wonder if she is required to dress like that, or if she chooses to. It’s not my place to question her fashion sense though. I will have to remember to look at the dress code at some point though and see if it is too strict. I want her to be able to be happy and comfortable in her place of work.
She comes over and points to the first item. “This right here is the amount of money we get in from taxpayers that own land.”
It’s going to be a long day for the beginning of a new world. I just have to keep telling myself, it’s for a better world that I have to sit here and look through a budget.
It’s a long boring path to that better world though.
I stop her at the end of the list of funds we bring in.
“Is there a way we can bring in more funds?”
“Umm, raise taxes?” She says, slightly nervously, as if she’s afraid because I asked for more money.
I nod. “That’s a good idea. We’ll raise the taxes on anyone who makes more than 150,000 a year. We’ll raise them even more for people who make more than 300,000 a year. They can afford to help pay for the centers we will need to build to help rehabilitate people with the memory sickness. Make sure it is known that this is temporary.”
She looks nervous, like she has something she wants to say.
Patrick taps me on the shoulder, “Unfortunately Madam Governor, you have to send that proposal through the House of Delegates and the State Senate to get it approved. You can’t make unilateral decisions like that.
Naomi nods in agreement.
This is going to be exhausting, but I have to keep going. I finally made it here. I can’t give up now.