The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

Chelsea's chance

08.11.32: AMID SCENES that were a far cry from the Clinton victory parties of her childhood, Vice-President-Elect Chelsea yesterday announced her intention of taking up the reins as the next president of the US.

Her declaration follows the withdrawal from public office of her running mate, Gaynor Hockney, widow of assassinated presidential candidate Orson Taylor, after the death of her son in a tragedy that has led to disorder in America.

At a press conference in Chicago, Clinton presented a cool face to reporters and refused to comment on the fires and riots that have forced outgoing President Mack White to declare the city a national disaster area.

In a television broadcast that would have secured the highest ratings ever if it were not for the worst info-breakdown to have hit the developed world, Clinton promised prompt and drastic measures to mend the nation's "gaping wounds".

The riots were triggered by the botched police rescue of Hockney's three children from kidnappers who had struck as the president-elect was delivering her victory address. The children were being held at gunpoint with their English nanny in a house five minutes from their father's birthplace. By 5am Hockney had been able to secure the release of Loyola, 3, and Franklin, 5.

Sandra Sparkes, the nanny, was offered release but opted to stay with Orson Jr, 6. What happened next is disputed, but what the cameras showed is Sparkes leaving the house with Orson in her arms and the police opening fire.

These images triggered unrest in every city. Then Hockney's decision to stand down prompted Wired Workers of Color, a secret coalition of minority officials in the Pentagon, the FBI and the State Department, to initiate the computer sabotage that led to information blackout.

Less than a week earlier the nation had held the biggest street party in memory when the "Two-Woman Ticket" won a landslide victory that vindicated the Democratic candidates' branding of their Republican rivals as the "Two Might-As-Well-Be-Dead White Males". Pundits were hailing a new era as Hockney claimed a sensational equivalent of her late husband's three Olympic golds: the first president to be an African-American; to be female; and to be a single mother.

In her victory speech, Hockney caused supporters to shed tears when she reminded them that she had not scored this hat-trick alone. "It takes a village," she said, "to make a First Lady." She went on to say that she intended to retain the honorific, in memory of the "fine women before me who have been cruelly constrained by that role".

Clinton declined to comment on Hockney's resignation. "She will speak for herself," Clinton said. "But first let's give her time to grieve."

Later Clinton was seen embracing Hockney outside the cemetery where her son was being buried. MF



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