Hillary Clinton, ten years into retirement, restively watched from the sidelines with growing concern as two feet of rising seawaters tipped the course of America’s history.
All of South Florida had surrendered to the sea. Abandoned high-rise buildings poked out from the ocean floor like a multitude of forlorn hands reaching out from overturned graves.
Rich cities, like Boston and New York, privately financed seawalls and pumping systems, creating mammoth projects employing ant-like armies of construction workers.
As resources diminished and scarcity spread, border-states degenerated into lawless territories. Horrendous hate crimes were on the rise, as vigilante groups flying the banner of ‘America First’ made broad daylight attacks in armed SUVs against immigrants. When night fell, whole towns came under control of a shadowy group known as ‘Native Force.’
When her party drafted her to stand once again for the Presidency, she reluctantly agreed, and the convention’s hall soon shook in response to her rousing pledge to make the number one security goal of a Clinton administration the ending of domestic terrorism and the restoration of law and order to the land.
The red security phone started to trill in the middle of the night, waking a jet lagged and emotionally exhausted President Clinton.
“Madame President. This is Winston Adams; I’m tonight's national security emergency officer. I’m sorry to wake you, but Homeland Security just issued an internal 'code red' alert.”
“What’s the threat?” Hillary said, slurring her words.
“I’ve the Secret Service Director on the line. He wants to brief you.”
“What’s going on?” Hillary groggily asked as Caleb Toussaint, the Director of the Secret Service came on the phone.
“A murder, a very ugly one, happened a few hours ago,” Toussaint said.
“Where?” Hillary felt her blood rush and her heart began to race.
“Just outside Las Cruces, New Mexico— a few miles from the Mexican border.”
“Who was killed?” Her voice tightened.
“An extended family of Mexicans executed and butchered. It could be a Native Force operation.”
“Oh my God,” she said. The room gyrated and her chest felt like a boa clamping on it.
“Our head agent at our field office in Albuquerque got a call from an old Army pal in the New Mexico State Police. He told him to chopper into the crime scene … right away!”
“The crime scene has the blood prints of ‘Native Force’ vigilantes all over it. They wrote their call letters, NF, everywhere and used the victims’ blood to write a graphic threat. I want your authority for the Secret Service to intervene on this case.”
“Intervene? On what grounds? What did the threat say?”
“CLINTON is next!”
“Did they’ve cell phones? Was there no cry for help?” Hillary asked sitting behind her desk in the Oval Office as Toussaint and the Army’s Chief of Staff General Peter Grace briefed her. She wore an embroidered blue silk dressing gown, a present from China’s first woman premier—Bai Ling. Underneath were her favored L.L. Bean flannel pajamas which her eldest grandchild Rebecca had given her. She nervously licked at her lips; they tasted bitter like dandelion greens.
“Three cell phones were found on the crime scene,” Toussaint said. “They all belonged to the Diaz family. It looked like each one tried to place outgoing calls, rapidly, in a two-minute period to 911. But none of the calls completed.”
Hillary looked sharply at Grace.
“Two years ago, the Navy Seals lost, among other things, portable all-frequency cellular jammers,” Grace said. She clenched her right hand so tightly that the veins on her arm popped out. “What else did they lose?”
“I’m not sure you want to know,” Grace said.
Hillary’s hands formed into fists. She squeezed them so hard, pushing downwards, that she rose up off her chair. Following this reflex, she stood up fully; pushing her eyeglasses down, her eyes peered blazing over the frames.
“Stop pulling your punches. I’m not a Girl Scout. I want it all now.”