2.4: The President – Internal External Security
Peter slumped back onto his chair after the door shut behind the departing Tom. He loved Melissa and wanted her to be his official Partner. Since Elites were allowed to have non-State sanctioned children, it was decided by Peter’s Nation that Elites were not allowed to be part of the Partner Group Therapy program in the event that accidents occurred and one of the female Partners became pregnant. This was to avoid complications in matters of social and financial inheritance should a female Elite decide to keep the accidental baby.
If Melissa was to be Partnered with Como, it would almost certainly be the end of any informal relationship Peter had with her.
“David,” Melissa announced. Peter smiled weakly at her. He wondered if the Director had briefed her on the next step in her life.
David was the Director of the Internal External Security Department. Although Peter had been Vice President, Peter had minimal interaction with the third most powerful man in the Nation.
“Hello Mr President, ” David greeted Peter.
“David, take a seat.”
“If you don’t mind, I would rather continue standing. Could you please ask Melissa to leave.”
Before Peter could raise any objections with the request, Melissa left the room.
“Let’s begin Mr President. Most things about the IES you already know from your duties as the Vice President. Today’s briefing is to share with you the one thing you do not know. This information is made known only to four people. The current President, the Prime Minister, Julian Septius Wong and Christian Octavius Lim.”
“How about previous Presidents?”
“None of the previous Presidents are alive.”
Peter stood up and turned to face the window. Peter wasn’t sure if David’s last statement was a threat, warning or admission that David knew about Peter’s involvement in the murder of the last President.
“After the Universal Tracking System was implemented, we were able to monitor all the vital biological details of every Trackable in the world. During the roll-out phase, we started observing anomalies in the system. Andrew who was still alive theorized that the radiation from the attacks of June 26th had created a condition where some human babies who were born in the aftermath of June 26th was mutated in significant ways.”
Peter turned to face David.
“What does this mutation mean?”
“Different for different folks.”
“Do you know the powers for every mutated individual.”
“No. Only the more noteworthy ones.”
“Am I one of them,” Peter asked.
David smiled. Most Presidents never ask that question.
“Yes, you are.”
“I was born before the attacks occurred,” Peter said.
David smiled. Peter was paying attention.
“Yes, you were. Andrew noticed from the data that humans who were within a certain age near the attacks also were affected. Radiation works in really mysterious ways. I believe you were nine when you were in San Francisco on June 26th.”
“What are my powers?”
“Power. You just have one.”
“What is it?”
“You have the ability to cause physiological and neurological change in other humans which will impact their ability to execute desired actions.”
“You have the ability to increase or decrease the confidence of other individuals thus impacting their physical and mental performances.”
“Please explain it like I am an idiot,” Peter asked. David’s information would have fazed most individuals but Peter took it with the equanimity of a man who always knew he was special without knowing what made him special.
“Let me give you an example. The first tennis competition you won. You were playing against the then National Champion. And you won. How did you think you did it?”
“You tell me.”
“I think you intuitively knew of your ability. You made him believe he could never beat you. You made him lose all confidence in himself, in his training, in his abilities. He couldn’t play the right tennis strokes to beat you because he didn’t have the confidence to. His body reacted accordingly to the vanishing confidence.”
“So this ability can be directed.”
“Yes, it can. But normally, from what we have understood, subconsciously you emanate an aura outwards which just reduces the confidence of the people around you.”
“Are the effects persistent or localized to my presence.”
David started laughing.
“What’s so funny.”
“I’m sorry Mr President, ” David apologized, “if I may have a little indulgence, I would like to compliment you on your intelligence. No President has ever asked me such a question.”
“What’s the answer?”
“From what we have seen, it is localized though there are residual effects which dissipate only after a fairly significant amount of time and distance.”
“You mentioned that I can decrease and increase confidence.”
“Yes, ” David confirmed Peter’s statement.
Peter sat down and leaned forward, his elbows resting on the table. He covered his face with his hands. If what David said was true, that would explain why he could never effectively motivate a team of people. Peter had always seen himself as a possible who could be a winner, but never the leader.
“David,” Peter said, looking up, “Tell me how I can train myself to control my ability. To be able to direct it and to increase confidence.”
“One of my analysts will contact you.”
“David, you mentioned only four other Elites who know about humans with Powers. What about these analysts? Who are they.”
“There are only five Analysts. All of them are Nurtured. They do not have any emotional ties with anyone besides me. They are loyal to me.”
“And who are you loyal to,” Peter asked.
“No one. I’m loyal to an idea.”
“Never to let June 26th happen again. Not even something close to it.”
“Does my power affect everyone?”
“No. It does not. For example, it does not affect me or Tom, your Director of the CI Ministry.”
“Some humans have inhibitors. Another manifestation of the mutation occurring within the human race.”
“What then is your Power?”
“I have none save for the inhibiting mutation.”
“As President, do I have the full list of all humans with Powers.”
“No,” David replied, “there is no such list. Only what my Analysts and me can remember.”
“So will you tell me about all the humans with Powers.”
“No,” David replied firmly. David knew he was treading on dangerous territory here. None of the previous Presidents took kindly to David’s insistence that the knowledge of all the humans with Powers be kept from the them.
“I understand,” Peter said.
David allowed himself to reveal his pleasant surprise.
“But one last question for now, does John have any Powers,” Peter asked.
“Yes, he does. Which is why he has been so valuable to you.”
“What are John’s powers,” Peter asked.
“He has the ability to cause physiological and neurological change in other humans which will impact their ability to attribute failure or blame to him.”
“Basically, he is always blameless,” Peter wryly added.
“Yes,” David chuckled, “Basically if you grew up with him, he gets all the icecream and mother will always scold you for breaking the vase.”
David started walking towards the door.
“Wait,” Peter instructed, “actually, there is one more individual I would like to know about.”