United Kingdom of Great Britain
April 29th, 2040
Jacques Winchester leaned back a bit into his desk chair as he stared at the papers in front of him. A prominent politician, he was not unused to seeing so much before him, but this time it was not primarily letters from constituents or internal memos, nor was it primarily communications from other members of Parliament. Instead, he found himself looking through polling numbers and statistical predictions. A faint smile was rising on his lips as he saw the analysis. As he had hoped, his political campaign for election to the position of prime minister was still going well. He knew that even if he did win the election that he would have to wait before making some of the major changes he had in mind, but he was content with that. The kingdom had been removed from the European Union since the early 20s, but there was more that he believed need to be done for his power. After all, the borders were still open, and it seemed a dangerous precedent to suggest that people could enter or leave freely and without a permit.
Of course, he had more than one motive behind that. The protection of internal business, prosperity, and trade were his open political reasoning, but, as it went, were not the primary reasons. There were two women across the pond in America that he felt threatened by – not only due to their positions in the American bureaucracy. In many ways, it seemed the tables had turned since the eighteenth century; Britain was not a threat to America, but America was a threat to Britain.
At least, to the man who wished to seize power over the nation.
Regardless, he couldn't pretend that he had a grudge against the entire nation. In fact, he had a soft spot for one of its countrymen in particular. His thoughts began to swirl around in distraction around that woman; no longer were his thoughts solely focused on his political agenda. Glancing at the clock and calculating the approximate time in Washington DC, he shifted slightly to reach the corded phone on his desk. Lifting up the receiver, he quickly dialled one of the few numbers he had memorised. There was the characteristic hum of the line for several seconds, followed by a click before a female voice answered.
"Mid-Atlantic PR –"
"Corinne, there's no need to do that with me," Jacques said, and a silence passed over the line. "I only thought that it might be good to…catch up."
She sighed. "I beg your pardon?"
"You know what I'm speaking of," He said bluntly. "Things could have been so much different if we'd stayed together. You and I could have –"
"Yes, I know about your political machinations," Corinne said, her voice clipped. "You're set to become the prime minister if the polling really does translate to actual election turnout next week."
"We could have had –"
The door opened across the room.
"We'll speak more later," Jacques said, calmly setting the receiver down as he turned towards the woman in the doorway. "Yes?"
"Is something going on?" She questioned. "Who exactly was that?"
"A contact of mine in the States," Jacques told her. "Nothing to worry about, Jadelyn."
She smiled tightly. "You are going to be careful if you do win the election, you know."
Jacques sighed heavily as she started to pace around the room, relieved that he had been able to end the call with Corinne Lanson before it had gone much further. A scientist through and through, Jadelyn was inherently questioning which, to him, was also suspicion. Still, he always had admired her intelligence and subtle manipulative ability. The way she spun a lie so convincingly to keep the other MPs on their side was one of those subtleties. For him, that was a great advantage. Looking to his wedding ring as he shifted a pen in his hand, he smiled to himself while she paced.
She was Jadelyn Quinseski-Winchester, doctor of neuroscience. Leader of the minority party. The perfect assistant to his plans, and, of course, his wife. Her heels clicked louder against the floor; a sense of irritability resonating from her. Swivelling his chair away from his desk, Jacques waited all but a second before she looked to him. She let out a tired sigh, slipping her mobile phone into the pocket of her lab coat. A moment passed in which she tapped her foot impatiently, expecting him to speak first, but gave in to her own inhibitions instead.
"Jacques, what exactly are you planning?"
He raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
She narrowed her eyes. "Don't playact. I'm referring to what you intend to do after you win the election."
"Well, what do you think I plan to do?" He replied, and she snorted at the rhetorical tone. "I am going to continue to push the UK further into the future. I will close our borders; we've been severed from the EU for long enough now that I believe we can handle ourselves. Furthermore, as you already know, I am going to strike trade deals with contacts of mine in the States and, of course, better relationships with the leadership in Russia."
"You have those oligarchs under your thumb," She remarked, a hint of derision in her tone. "I suppose you expect to make the quote un quote president the next?"
"The oil there is beneficial to one of my contacts in the States," He reminded her. "And, regardless, the more wealth and resources I have easy access to, the better. We're going to revolutionise the UK, my dear."
Jadelyn rolled her eyes. "And subjugate the people?"
"Who ever said anything about that?"
"You know just as well as I do that this plan of yours includes tightening parliament's – and by extension your own – control over the populace."
"To reduce crime," Jacques said, standing up and taking her hand. "Jadelyn, the nation will be safer, our people will have better lives, and our family will be protected."
She quirked an eyebrow. "Why is it that I'm not sure this will work the way you're saying?"
"Nothing is ever perfect, my dear," He replied. "But this will be one of the ones that works in the favour of us all."
"Or, you mean, the favour of our dynasty and the CEO of the Northwest Oil Company in the States, alongside your handful of other major connexions," She shook her head. "I take it Martin Ciel's exports of oil to the UK are going to benefit you, your Russian contacts, and a few other power blocks?"
"You needn't worry," Jacques said with an edge of finality to his voice. "Things will be perfectly fine."
She smiled a bit coyly as she pulled her hand out of his. Then, in almost an instant, any humour left her features and she composed herself to her generally cold demeanour.
"I do hope that the Ciel family does not become a nuisance," She said, speaking more so on behalf of the people than of her husband's interests. "But time will tell."
Jacques laughed. "They won't."
She rolled her eyes as she left the room, and haughtily straightened herself in the process. Pausing for a moment before shutting the door behind her, he reminded himself of the few issues relating to the Ciel family. Their connexions to the Lansons were one of those. Corinne was the least of his concerns; their personal history gave him a bargaining chip against her. On the other hand, her husband posed a great threat to him, as did Corinne's eldest daughter. A general in the United States army, Michael Lanson had access to some of the most classified information in the world. The threat was obvious, but he had a feeling that, through Corinne, he could manage it. The same, he knew, would be true for her eldest. Brittney Lanson, director of the FBI, daughter of Corinne and Michael Lanson. For all of her power, he knew that she would take the advice of her mother and father so long as it was presented reasonably. The game would not be an easy one to win, Jacques could not deny this no matter if he wanted to, but it was possible.
It was primarily in Hannah Ciel that he found himself unnerved. The recently confirmed head of the CIA was the wife of Martin Ciel's son, Blake. As the COO of the Northwest Oil Company, it was natural that the man had quite a bit of power. However, his quarrels with his father over the company and some of its more questionable business practises were well know and, for Jacques, a potential issue. All that he could do was hope that Corinne kept silent on her connexion to him, and, by extension, Hannah's. Beginning to pace himself, he accounted for a list of immediate enemies, those he would need to be wary of.
General Michael Lanson, Blake and Hannah Ciel. Brittney Lanson. Dr. Devon Corbel, Dr. Blake Wimpleton, and Dr. Lillian Corbel.
And then there were those who he needed to remain under his thumb. Martin Ciel was primarily concerned with profit; he would not be an issue.
As for Corinne Lanson, he would ensure that she remained in her place. Otherwise, the consequences for her part would be severe.