Prologue

The family room in the Barclay house was full of occupants. This was not unusual, but the fact that they were all focusing on the same thing was. The center of attention was an HD television mounted on a wall otherwise devoid of furnishings. The TV was currently on the news channel where there was a reporter interviewing somebody sitting outside. When the reporter started talking, the few noises in the room stopped immediately.

"Mr. Weathers, who do you believe will win this presidential election?" the reporter asked.

Mr. Weathers coughed nervously. "I believe that it could go either way, ma'am. I think that Celio Wyndham does have the advantage right now, but this could change at any time. As you all know, Yanick Barclay-"

At this, everyone sitting in the family room turned their head quickly to a man who was sitting in the back of the room. This man looked to be about 45 years old; his once brown hair had a whitish tint in some areas. His appearance was nothing extraordinary. However, the same could not be said about his behavior. He seemed to be shaking in terror and was not even looking at the television. His head started off in his hands, but then every couple of seconds it would suddenly dart in the direction of the window. The rest of the people in the room did not look the least bit surprised by this behavior. They turned back to watch the news. By this time, the reporter had moved on to another person who, when asked who he thought would be the next president of the United States, said "Barclay" without any hesitation. The reporter turned toward the camera, and said, "Well, there you have it. Coming up next is the final tally of votes to see who will be the President!"

The television now displayed a red background with the words "PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2016" written in big blue letters on it. The people in the room could hear the national anthem being played in the background. A few seconds later, the announcement went away and the commercials resumed. An elderly woman slowly stood up and stumbled over to the nervous man in the back. "It'll be OK, honey," she said and patted him on the shoulder. She looked almost as nervous as he did.

The man raised his head and moaned, "What if I don't win? My career will be ruined. I should have campaigned harder."

The woman replied, "If you had campaigned any harder, you would have dropped dead from exhaustion. Now, come on. Stand up and for heaven's sake, stop that dreadful shivering." The woman turned around just as a string of five or six cars passed by the window. They all were silver Pontiac Vibes. On another day the woman would have paid it more attention, but today she just passed it off as some stupid company advertising its cars. Not that anybody else would care on this historic day. She thought back to the events of the day. The election had come down to the wire, both candidates even in electoral votes until the votes from the last state, Hawaii, were tallied. The results were about to be announced live on TV in just a couple of minutes. The results meant everything to her and her family, especially the man who she had just comforted, Yanick Barclay. If he won, it would mean they were the top family in the greatest country in the world and Yanick would have a chance to make his mark in history. If they lost, well, they would have to wait another four years for another chance. Another four years of campaigning, trying to impress the country with their charitable donations, and showing their desire to make the United States of America back into the country it was supposed to be. It was no wonder why Yanick was nervous. She was starting to feel faint herself. Another member of the Barclay family, a young woman, saw her just standing there and quickly ushered her over to an empty chair. Then, the last Budweiser commercial ended and the screen shifted to a view of a news studio. An important-looking man wearing a suit stood behind a desk with his hands clasped behind his back. Next to him was none other than Barrack Obama, the current president of the United States for a mere couple of months longer. The air was tense with anticipation both in the studio and in the room. The reporter cleared his throat and started to speak.

"I would like to tell all the viewers of this telecast that the results from Hawaii have come in and there is a clear winner. As I am sure you all already know, this is the closest election in the history of the United States. It will probably be the closest election in our lifetime. The race for president was tied coming down to the last state to vote, Hawaii. So, I am sure everyone wants to know the winner. Was it Republican Celio Wyndham? Or will the Democrats maintain the presidency with a win from Yanick Barclay? Here to tell us the answer is our president, Barrack Obama!" Everyone in the room shifted to a more comfortable position in their chair. The president walked calmly up to the desk where the reporter had stood moments before.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to announce to you the next president of the United States." There was a collective intake of breath from everyone in the family room. Obama continued, "The Hawaiians have voted and the new President of the United States of America is...Yanick Barclay!"

Everybody in the room paused for a moment before letting out a roar which was heard from everybody in the neighborhood. People flocked around the man in the back of the room, cheering and yelling encouragement. The cheering people had seemingly conjured champagne out of nowhere and were spraying it around the room more than drinking it. In the midst of the celebration, a team of reporters who must have been in those Pontiac cars made their way through the crowd and up to Yanick Barclay.

"Mr. Barclay, may we ask you a few questions?" Mr. Barclay agreed. They walked through the mill of people and champagne and into Mr. Barclay's office, where he sat down in his chair. The other 5 members of the reporter's staff formed a semicircle around the desk and one lifted up a TV camera. "Now Mr. Barclay, how do you feel now that you are the 45th president of the United States?" the reporter asked while slightly turning himself around so that the president had to come towards him and turn his back away from the TV camera.

Mr. Barclay answered, "Well, I would like to thank the wonderful people of America for voting me into office. It is a great honor to hold this office and..."

While Mr. Barclay was talking, the man holding the video camera now trained on Mr. Barclay's back quietly set the camera down and put his hand into his pocket. He pulled out a pistol, a TT-33 Tokarev model, and leveled it at the small of Mr. Barclay's back. His other hand pulled out a silencer and clipped it on the muzzle of the gun. Suddenly, Mr. Barclay stopped talking. He looked in front of him and saw that there was no camera pointed at his face. He looked toward the reporter who was holding the microphone to his mouth. His eyes widened when the reporter's mouth opened in a malicious grin. Yanick quickly turned around and saw the man holding the gun. He looked up into the man's eyes and saw a look of cold fury. Then, just as he was about to scream as loud as he could for help, a muffled shot rang out. All of the sudden, the floor became closer and closer and then bang! His head hit the floor and he lost consciousness.