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No skeletons

[Image: 0D78B293-CB1C-4277-B3E1-0719479BE0DE_zpsexg5zqev.jpg]
Lacey Frieburg, White House Chief of Staff

The White House Chief of Staff, Lacey Freiburg arranged for one of her deputy Chiefs to contact Nicholas Trano after a couple days of Intel gathering. The FBI did a full background check on his entire life, for instance. They even discovered the offense for every time he was sent to the Principle's office in school and whether his immunizations were up to date. When he came up clean, just to triple check, Lacey ordered a similar investigation into his family going back two generations. She could not afford a single skeleton in the closet to haunt the administration. President Dawson had enough controversy to thwart as it was.

Finally, when she was satisfied, she arranged to be taken to Trano's house. She had the authority to negotiate with Trano over the Cabinet position, but it wouldn't be official until Dawson himself shook hands over it. There was no point in wasting the President's time if Trano was going to decline the offer.

About five minutes out from his house, Lacey checked her appearance in the mirror, and swiped down the shoulders of her blouse to smooth away wrinkles. The trip to Aberdeen, South Dakota from DC wasn't short.

No security detail accompanied her today, just the car driver. Not so much as one of the deputy Chiefs of Staff came along. It was just her.

She slipped sunglasses into her briefcase when she stepped from the town car. The driver stayed behind and she strode to the front door alone, knocking purposefully.
Nicholas Trano's home in Aberdeen wasn't quite a mansion, but to call it simply a house would be an understatement. No, it was just as big as it needed to be. Too small, and it would seem he was ashamed of his wealth; too large, and he would simply be boasting. The city was almost entirely new construction, a reminder of the rapid flight of the coastal wealthy in the wake of disaster after disaster rocking the nation's coasts. Nobody quite knew why they had all congregated there, but they did.

One of Nicholas's security guards, newly hired as a result of the countless death threats received after his announcement, opened the door to greet the woman. His muscular form towered over her, and the expensive suit only served to exacerbate the image that he would fit better on a battlefield than in a wealthy suburb. "This isn't a scheduled visit, Miss," he said, "Care to explain why you're here?"

Reporters had only recently vacated the premises, but then, the real crazies only tended to show up after the majority of the eyes were off. Still, the woman was quick to answer and clearly not unused to dealing with security personnel. "I'm here on behalf of President Dawson. My name is Lacey Frieburg, White House Chief of Staff." She said, before showing her credentials. "I am here to see Mr. Trano. Could you please tell him I'm here?"

The guard reached a hand to his earpiece, and said, "White House Chief of Staff here to see the employer." His tone was uninterested, as though the arrival of White House staff was just something to be expected in the house of Nicholas Trano. He lowered the hand, and after a moment, he got his orders. "Mr. Trano will see you in the conference room. His maid will show you in in just a moment, Ms. Frieburg."

Ms. Frieburg nodded, and thanked the guard. She didn't have to wait long for the maid to arrive. Alejandra Munoz had been Nicholas' maid since shortly after he'd returned to claim his parents' wealth. Serving in that capacity for as long as she had, her compensation was not a small sum. But she was certainly worth it.

As Ms. Frieburg was led to the conference room, she was not shy in studying the surroundings. Alejandra had expertly chosen the furniture and decorations, and the home was very well put together. Once inside the conference room, Alejandra took her leave of the Chief of Personnel. A bottle of whiskey was open on the table, with two glasses set aside it.

Nicholas arrived a few minutes later. Clean shaven, and casually wearing a suit without a tie, he didn't look one bit the madman the Custody had attempted to paint him as. "Lacey Frieburg,"
he said as he crossed the room and extended a hand. "I've heard you do good work. It's good to meet you."
As she grabbed his hand, he asked, "Mind telling me why you've decided to come for a visit?"

She shook his hand, holding his gaze. Weighing him. Probably wondering what it would be like to work with him, Nicholas wagered. The Chief of Staff didn't make house calls for no reason.

"Thank you," she began as took a chair. "As you can imagine, the President has had a lot to field the past couple of days." She was referencing the CCD announcements - the one that directly contrasted what Nicholas tried to tell everybody before, and the one that confirmed it. "You likely have a lot to say about it, but have been quiet. I've come to talk to you about these people." Her eyes met his. "And what you would do if you were in the Federal government to regulate them."

Nicholas nodded, and seized the power as he stepped to sit across from her. Let's see how she reacts to this
, he thought. He had been practicing since his announcement, and it came easily to him. Strands of air coasted out, grabbing the whiskey and the glasses. Once filled, the glasses floated to each of them. Nicholas grabbed his, and took a sip.

"Now that the dictator confirms it, my story checks out?"
He laughed a short, humorless laugh. "You're asking me to tell you how to contain a force I know little and you know nothing about."

The woman tried to keep her expression neutral. A career in politics was good for that. But the power multiplied Nicholas's perception. Her heart beat spiked, her eyes widened just a hair. She was terrified. "The President was never involved in the reaction to your story," she began. "He couldn't take a position on such a thing. You know that. Next we would be owning up to aliens in Area 51 and JFK was an inside job." She leveled her gaze, and continued. "I suppose it's unfair to assume you have all the answers. None of us do yet. Especially the President, but he's looking for them."

Nicholas nodded, and waited a moment before answering. "I saw how you reacted when I lifted that glass."
Sending more strands of air, he lifted his into the air again. "You're afraid."
He sighed, and asked, "Remember thirty years ago, when the Democrats were desperate to push gun control through?"

Lacey lifted her chin. Whether in defiance or confidence, Nicholas could not tell. "Yes, of course I remember."

"The democrats pushing that legislation were primarily from states lacking any kind of gun culture."
Nicholas continued, "They had no experience with guns, most of them had never even been to a range before. But they knew that some looked scarier than others, so they tried to ban them. They didn't know what they were doing, and they blatantly ignored statistical fact in their efforts."
He grabbed the glass out of the air and took another sip. "You're asking me to help you control this. That won't work. You'll never find these people until they choose to be found. You need to educate these people, and task the ones you can trust with rooting out the bad ones. We don't know enough about what's possible to even begin making laws beyond that."

A hint of a smile lightened Lacey's face. She liked Nicholas's little speech. "That's exactly the kind of advice the President needs to hear. He's afraid. We all are. For every benevolent user, there must be a malicious one. Domestic and foreign policy will all need to pivot on this knowledge. And the administration is lacking the experience, the insight, to intelligently design such policies." She pulled out her Wallet and swiped the president's executive order over to the table's screen. "Read this over. The President asks if you will consider the position. Senator Holden nominated you."

"I knew I made the right decision when I helped him get reelected."
Nicholas paused before clarifying, "Holden, not the president."
The executive order wasn't long, but it was informative. Secretary of Powers,
Nicholas thought, Blunt, but descriptive.
It wasn't a hard decision to make. This was his doorway back into a world that had been calling him crazy for months. "I'll do it, since you won't find anyone better. I guess this means I'll be working for Dawson."
He hid his shiver at the thought as best he could.

She ignored his comment about the president. "Yes, Senator Holden. The President was asking his advisors for advice, and they offered it. It took little to no argument on the Speaker's part to show the President that the choice was best. I'll inform the President then that you intend to accept. We will arrange for you to come to the White House promptly." Lacey offered to shake hands after disabling the screen with the order.

Nicholas took her hand and shook. "By the way, you said if you'd had to accept magic existed, you would have had to admit to aliens and killing JFK."
He looked at her with a wry grin. "Are you telling me both of those conspiracy theories are true, too? I could use the story."

Lacey laughed. "You work for the government now, Mister Trano. Keeping secrets is your new trade." She nodded, before turning to go. "I'll see you in Washington soon."

After she left, Nicholas leaned back and downed what was left in the glass. Then he floated her untouched glass over, and did the same. Now I have to figure out how to deal with thousands of people who can crush buildings, before the witch trials start.
He would have to take a leave of absence from the news. This was going to be interesting.

Edited by Nick Trano, Aug 10 2016, 10:10 PM.

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