Throne Room, The Whitehouse
17 December 1992, 8:00 a.m. EST (1500 GMT)
Washington City, Federal District
Princess Anna returned from the necessary room with
Rachel Berry in tow. She wore a very stylish cream-colored suit.
The medals of the Noble Orders were displayed in a row of
miniatures on her right breast. Rachel, a Lady of the Royal Order
of King George in her own right, wore a dark blue suit which she
knew the King would like with a pin displaying the medallion of
the ROKG on her right lapel. She had been a favorite of the
King's for years. Their relationship was one of a favorite uncle
to his favorite niece.
Her eyes scanned the room in a practiced maneuver.
She sighed as she watched the different groups around the room.
The politicians were divided up by party in the case
of the Senators and Members of Congress with the Royal Governors
who had been invited in their own little knot. Her brother-in-law
Prince James was holding court with a group of senior military
officers, one of which was Commandant of the Royal Marines
General Marty Fields, who looked like he would love to break away
from the Prince. Arthur seemed to lately be in constant awe of
Drew Thompson, something which Anna took to be a good thing. In
her mind, there were few men she would rather her son emulate.
The heroic Brigadier was listening closely to what the Prince
said, while the eyes of SOC Rhymes and Captain Sanford scanned
the room with military efficiency. Even here, where there was
little threat of attack, they were vigilant. In the heart of a
mother, that should be painful, she thought. But in the heart of
the mother of a Prince who would make a valuable political
target, it made her feel good.
She glanced around to see that every point of entry
was guarded by Royal Marines in Blue and White Dress uniforms
with rifles. She had received the message from the King two weeks
before that the King wanted Prince Arthur and a particular list
of people from Lincoln in Washington City for this meeting. Drew
Thompson had been the third person on that list behind the Prince
and Anna herself. She saw that he had separated from her son and
was moving toward her. She also caught the sight of Commandant
Fields heading to intercept. They arrived together in the middle
of the room.
Thompson's smile to Fields was more than genuine.
"General," he said.
"Cut that shit, Drew," came Field's gruff,
oddly-accented voice. His eyes cut quickly to Anna. "I beg your
pardon, Your Highness."
Anna smiled sweetly. "That's okay, General." She
leaned over and kissed Fields on the cheek. She knew that General
Marty Fields was a favorite of her father-in-law's and that Drew
was a favorite of Marty Fields.
She watched the gleam of a paternalistic pride glow
in Fields' eyes as he brushed the shoulder of Thompson's Dress
Blue uniform tunic. "It's nice to see that you've kept that star
for the better part of a year this time."
Thompson chuckled ruefully. "They've let me keep it
Anna was confused. "What are you talking about?"
The voice of Marty Fields answered in a New York
accent colored with the flavors of Alabama. "Well, back when our
boys were in trouble down in Bogota, I get this message from some
Major who's an intelligence officer for the 8th Marine Regiment
who's taken command of the 8th. Well, he's rendezvoused with the
rest of the 2nd Division and they don't know who should be in
charge. So, I made him a Brigadier and put him in command, and he
made me look like a genius. Now they call him the 'Hero of
Bogota'." He grinned over at Thompson. "But they busted him down
to a Colonel when they get out. A year ago, I talked to His
Majesty and he tells me that he's decided to make him a Brigadier
again. I told him if they took it away this time, I was
quitting." He nodded, hesitated. "So, this time they let him keep
Anna laughed as Thompson grinned. "I think it was
because this time, it was Bob Stuart's idea, not Marty's."
Fields laughed and slapped Thompson's shoulder. He
looked back at Anna. "So, how's he doing with guarding you folks
out at Lincoln?"
She looked speculatively at Fields before cutting her
eyes to Thompson. "I've never felt safer, General."
Fields, shrewd old Jew that he was, thought there was
more to the story, but it was none of his business, so he let the
matter rest. Instead, he gazed once more upon the young man he
had known such pride in since he first heard that tense, strong
voice over the radio from Bogota. Fields had gotten Thompson's
file immediately that day back in November of 1984. He had been
more than a little impressed with the young man, then of only 29
years, and had only grown more impressed when he saw how the boy
handled himself. He had made sure that Thompson had been assigned
to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force early the next year, to be
sent to combat in Medellin. He had overseen the career of
Thompson at Medellin and been unsurprised when he heard of his
heroic leadership against the Cartel in 1986 and 1987. The
then-newly-promoted Commandant had ordered the Director of Marine
Personnel to have the Colonel assigned to Intelligence Command in
1988 after the conflict with the Colombian Cartels was ostensibly
over. It hadn't been Bob Stuart's idea to have Thompson assigned,
which Thompson knew and Fields knew that Thompson knew, but
Fields didn't mind a quick riposte, even at his own expense.
The doors opened and everyone snapped to attention.
Even the attention of the politicians went to the man who entered
King Samuel wore a purple tunic, decorated with the
medals and Order ribbons of a man who had achieved much in his 62
years, both in the military field and the political realm. Fields
knew that the King had been a brave Marine in Korea, starting out
as a butterbar and earning a battlefield promotion to Captain
before being wounded and almost losing his left leg. He had lived
his life to the fullest ever since, running for and achieving
office in the Texas State Senate before being elected to the
House of Representatives from a district centered on Texas' State
capital. He had been appointed by King James II first to the
position of Royal Governor of Texas, where he had earned the
King's full trust, then to Chairman of the Royal Council, a
position that denoted much about the man who held it and the
respect which the King had for him.
When King James II had died without leaving a viable
heir from the Royal House of Roosevelt, it had come down to two
Houses to ascend to Royal House status as the Roosevelt line was
declared at an end: the House of Kennedy from Massachusetts,
which had produced four Presidents of the Senate, or the House of
Webster, which had produced the Chairman. The decision had been
shockingly easy, even if it had embittered the Kennedys to
further hatred of Texas. The House of Webster had been selected
by a wide margin and Chairman Samuel Houston Webster had become
The King ascended the three steps to the throne and
nodded once to his younger, now his only, son, who ascended to
stand behind him and to the left. The second nod went to the
King's grandson, who, by prior arrangement, rendezvoused with his
mother and moved to stand behind and to the right of the King.
Chief Rhymes and Captain Sanford moved stealthily to the base of
the dais. The Chief took position to tackle the boy in case of a
problem, interposing his muscled bulk between the boy and a
bullet. Sanford's position gave him greater command to fight back
in the case of attack.
The old Texan's voice carried easily over the
disturbed silence of the room.
"I have asked all of you to be here today because I
am making a statement which will be released to the press this
afternoon regarding the succession of the Throne in the event of
my sudden demise. As you know, since the reign of King George II,
a Royal House which wishes to remain viable after the death of
the sovereign is wise to select a Crown Prince as heir-designate
to the throne. If you will recall, the only monarchs who have not
done so at some point in their reigns were King Robert II, the
last monarch of the Royal House of Washington-Lee, and King James
II, last monarch of the Royal House of Roosevelt. And while these
Houses will forever maintain the status of being dormant Royal
Houses, I wish to see my House maintain its position of the
active Royal House. That being said, I must here make a decision
that will carry my line as far into the future as possible and
produce the best results for the nation.
"I have made that decision. I will be presenting to
President Bush and Senate Opposition Leader Gore Royal Resolution
1 of the next session, formalizing the succession of the Royal
House of Webster and of the Throne of the United States of
America by naming Prince Arthur George Webster as Crown Prince
and heir apparent."
There was muttering as the words of the King sank in.
Most eyes went to the disbelieving face of Prince James. It was
most unusual for a generation to be skipped and many were aware
that, since the death of his older brother, James had coveted the
concept of being King, talked about it, even bragged about it.
To quell any untoward thoughts, the King reached out
and waved Prince Arthur forward. "This is no ill reflection on my
son. He is a fine man and a fine officer in the Royal Navy, and I
have no doubt that he will serve me and the next King effectively
and well. I believe that this young man has the will of a King,
an uncommon thing that I doubt I have despite my high status." He
turned and gestured for James to come forward. "This is my will
and my right as King." He looked over at the President. "Mr.
President, my private secretary will have a copy of the Royal
Resolution, with a copy sent to the Opposition Leader's office,
by this afternoon."
The nasal voice that betrayed Connecticut birth and
Texas transplantation rang from the throat of George Bush. "I
will have it sent to the floor as soon as the Senate convenes,
Your Majesty, with my personal sponsorship."
The Tennessee tones of Senate Opposition Leader Al
Gore responded. "The Whig Party will lend its voice in support of
the measure as well, Your Majesty."
The King nodded once, decisively. "I thank you both,
gentlemen. That is all I have. I wish you all good day."
He turned and left the stage.
The voices rose again, in excited tones from the
King's announcement. Only two did not participate in
Prince James had an angry, embarrassed, and dangerous
look to him.
But the only one who seemed to see it was Brigadier
The Oval Office, The Whitehouse
17 December 1992, 11:03 a.m. EST (1803 GMT)
Washington City, Federal District
"Come in, Brigadier."
Thompson stepped into the King's private office. The
Princess and Prince, Crown Prince, Thompson corrected himself,
had been sent to their places in the Residence, where they were
under the watchful care of both their own private bodyguard and
the highly-trained forces of RSF Alpha.
Thompson brought his heels together before the King's
desk. The King, his eyes tired, nodded up at the younger man
before motioning him to a seat. "You asked to see me, Brigadier?"
Thompson looked away for a moment. "Your Majesty, I
"With what, Andrew?"
"I fear that your son might plot with his being
skipped over for the Royal office."
Samuel blinked. "I do, too, Andrew. That is why you
are where you are. By the way, I hear you are doing an excellent
job. There have been no repeats of the incident in January."
"No, sire. There have been attempts, but all
The King sighed. "If something happens to me, Andrew,
I fear that the attempts will be by better-prepared forces."
Thompson knew that the King did not fully trust his
son James. That was all right, Thompson didn't trust him either.
"That's why I have the best."
The King smiled. "A SEAL to watch over the boy and a
Recon Marine to watch over the Princess, one male and one female,
from what I gather." There was a slight leer in the King's voice
and Thompson realized that, as discreet as they had been, the
King knew about his and Anna's relationship.
The King ended his fears. "I am happy that she is
happy. When she is well, my grandson rests more easily. I also
see that it has lifted you into a higher realm of thought."
Thompson swallowed hard. "Yes, Your Majesty."
The King sighed again, the sadness returning to his
features. "I know I put you in an impossible situation, Andrew. I
do that because you are a man who is unaccustomed to failure,
perhaps even a man who is unable to fail. You can lead a large
number or a small number of men because you lead by example and
your men follow with respect. That is why you are who you are and
that is why I want you protecting my family. Now, is there
Thompson thought about the King's words and felt
energized by them. He shook his head once. "No, Your Majesty.
That is all."
Samuel nodded. "Good. Dismissed, Brigadier."
Thompson snapped to attention. "Aye, aye, sir."