Monday, March 31, 2008

Legacy, Chapter One

January 2008

Nothing lasts forever. Even the longest, the most glittering reign must come to an end someday.

Some people mourned the passing of British Prime Minister Sir Francis Urquhart.. Others, of a less civilized frame of mind, saw his death as a cause for celebration.

Air Force One lifted off from runway 12L of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and turned left onto the great circle route towards London. It was the usual practice of American Presidents to fly directly to the capital of a foreign nation whenever he would attend the funeral of that nation's leader. But in this case President George W. Bush, being a good Christian gentleman, had decided to offer a lift to the sister and other American relatives of the late Prime Minister.

Mary Urquhart March was one of the small number of the sons and daughters of the British aristocratic class who continued to marry members of wealthy American families. In her case a Richard Charles March II of Minnesota.

The March family fortune began in the industries of lumber, mining, and local railroads but shifted to other endeavors over the course of time. When Mary Urquhart met and married Richard, who was named for the legendary creator of the family fortune, he was a charming gentleman who showed no hint of the character flaws that would ultimately bring about his early demise. Richard was now interred in the family crypt in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Mary Urquhart March had borne three children for her husband.

The first, Richard Charles March III, had upon entering the University of Minnesota immersed himself in the local drug culture and ultimately discovered Heroin. He was subsequently interred next to his father in the family crypt.

The second, Anne Elizabeth March, had left the University as a Marxist agitator and a lesbian. It was no surprise to anyone that she had joined the ruffians who celebrated her uncle's death.

The last, John Andrew March, had skipped entering the University and instead enlisted in the United States Army as an infantryman. He had night-schooled his way to Bachelor's degree and was selected for Officer Candidate School. It was after being wounded in a fratricide incident during Operation Desert Storm and receiving a medical discharge that he, with his uncle's influence as a newly minted Prime Minister, he went to Oxford to continue his postgraduate studies and earn a doctorate in history. John would use that "piled higher and deeper" degree and his subsequent writings as a ticket to a political career.

John Andrew March was now entering his second year as the Republican Governor of the State of Minnesota. Even without that he was still the dutiful son who would accompany his mother to her older brother's funeral. But John wanted to be elected to a higher office. And a photo opportunity was a photo opportunity, even if it was literally over his uncle's dead body.

John sat at a window seat on Air Force One, contemplating the path he had taken to reach this point, and the path he must follow to reach his ultimate goal.

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