[AC] Bush43 Daily Week Eight

Jason Kenney jasonkenney at gmail.com
Wed Jul 26 10:47:41 PDT 2006

Artifice Comics - http://www.artificecomics.com

Wow, the whole thing's starting to wind down, isn't it?  Well, not
action wise!  Woo doggie!

Last issue had the return of some serious hardware called the Siege
Engine.  This beasty originally appeared in the ACU during the Siege
Engine Saga crossover that involved Bush43, Millennium Man, Anthology 2
and Humanity.  And if you want my opinion (which I'm giving anyway), it
was Artifice at its best.  You can check out the whole list of issues
involved and brush up on the arc here:

Siege Engine Saga - http://artificecomics.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=56

And now for more Bush!


BUSH43 #57
By Jason Kenney


"The press are clamoring for a statement concerning reports that Bush43
was involved in a breaking and entering this morning at the Lawrence
and Sun Pharmaceutical facility in Lorrington."

"Well, good morning to you too, Nancy."

"The Mayor is in your office, and he would like some answers as well."

"Yippie," I said, as I opened my office door and stepped inside.

"You have a ten o'clock press conference to explain this morning's
adventure," said Erlend Romanov from where he stood in the center of my
office, arms crossed, his eyes glaring at me. "So, you can start
practicing your speech right now."

"To be quite honest," I said, as I walked past him, "I cannot confirm
whether or not any of this city's science heroes were in Lorrington
this morning, as I have not received any confirmations on the matter."

I walked around my desk and sat down.

"Seeing as how you did not authorize such an event, or did you?"

Romanov's eyes narrowed, and I smiled, as I folded my hands behind my
head and leaned back.

"So, since you were not involved in any way, then this is not a City
Hall matter.  We are not responsible for the actions of vigilantes in
Lorrington, are we?  If these vigilantes happen to be citizens of
Pacific City and the Australian government wants us to do something
about it, then perhaps they can actually start recognizing us as a
legitimate government within the country's borders and treat the
citizens of Pacific City as actual Australians and maybe begin taking
seriously our pleas for assistance when those people are in trouble."

I unfolded my hands and leaned forward, the smile fading from my face.

"Until then, I don't believe there is anything we need to say on this
matter until the federal government is willing to actually sit down and
explain what exactly happened, why they seem to believe that we were
involved, and what they intend to do on their end to acknowledge that
intergovernmental relations are a two-way street because I will be
damned if we're going to be dictated to when the government in Canberra
did nothing but sit on their goddamn hands, as a hundred and twenty
people lay buried and dying under the ruins of Ferguson Place.

"Should I have that typed up and released to the press or just wait for
the ten o'clock press conference?"

Romanov and I stared at each other for a while, and I leaned back in my
chair, taking a deep breath and moving on.

"Lorrington had four Siege Engines, now only three operational, though
I'm sure they'll be fixing the broken one," I said.

"If you had sought me out before your little adventure, I could have
told you that," said Anna Romanova, now standing where Erlend Romanov
had been a moment before, bringing a cigarette to her lips and lighting
it, taking a long drag and then pulling it away, breathing out and up.

"Did Burke sell them?"

"Thomas Lansing has offered his services and technology to the
Australian government."

"I thought the Siege Engine was the property of LanTech under Burke

"That is a legal issue for Burke Enterprises to resolve."

"So, if Lorrington has Siege Engines..."

"So far, only Lorrington has them," said Romanova, as she walked toward
my desk and sat in a chair across from me.  "Justified by their crime
rate and close proximity to us.  But, other cities may be getting them
as well."

"And maybe the federal government itself," I said, leaning forward and
resting my arms on the desk.  "These seemed weaker than the last one,

"Perhaps you're stronger?"

I didn't reply to Romanova or her grin.

"And, what of your girlfriend, Jeffery?" she asked, as she leaned
forward and tapped the ash off the tip of her cigarette into the
ashtray on my desk.

"I..."  Shit.  "I don't know," I said, hanging my head and taking a
deep breath.  "Did you find her?"


"Good," I said, looking up quick.

"Is it?  Do you know where she is?"

"I have no clue, but I'm sure she's all right."

"You're sure, or you hope?"

"A bit of both," I said, standing up and starting to pace.  "She's
confused right now, Anna.  Richmond was fucking with her head."

"And, what did you do to Richmond when you found him last night?"

I froze.


"I let him go," I said, more to myself than Romanova.

I let him go.

"A hero does not save lives by letting the bad guys walk away,

"I guess he doesn't," I said, turning my head and looking out the
window of my office, out to the city beyond.

"Last night, you mentioned the Imperial Magistrate returning, Jeffery,"
Romanova said.  "Who told you that?"

"The angel in Victoria's scarab," I said, still looking out the window.

"When did you speak with Yehovah Vehayah?"

"A month or so ago, when I had the scarab that night..."  That night.

"That night you died?"

I looked to Romanova, and she was now standing near me, next to me,
smirk on her face, as she brought the cigarette to her lips.

"That night Layla Burke died."

"And, when were you going to tell me about this conversation?"

I looked back out the window.

"I don't know."

"We will have to discuss this more later, Jeffery," said Romanova, as
she turned from me and walked away.  "You have a press conference to
prepare for."

"What I told you," I said without looking to her, "about the federal
government and all--does that sound okay to you?"

"It sounded fine, Jeffery."

"Is it the stance you want to take on this, Anna?" I asked, now turning
to look to her, as she stood at the door to my office, hand on the

"When have you ever cared what I truly felt on an issue, Jeffery?" she

"When I wondered if one side or another would make you put your sword
through me again," I said with a smirk.

She smiled.

"I agree with your stance, Jeffery.  Tell the press what you must."

And, she opened the door and left.


The phone rang and rang, and then the voice mail kicked in, just as I
thought it would.

"Cass, it's me," I said into the phone, as I hung my head into my free
hand and closed my eyes.  "I just wanted to make sure you're okay.  I'm
sorry...  I'm sorry.  Whatever's going on with us or not or...  Shit,
Cass, I'm worried about you, and I just want to make sure you're all
right.  Just...  If you could let me know, please, I'd appreciate it.
Leave a message with Nancy or have Tina relay something or, I dunno,
put out a personal ad to the man with the sweetest ass in the city;
I'll know it's for me, okay?  I'm just worried about you and...  Well,
now, I'm repeating myself.

"I hope you're okay, dear.  I really do.  Please let me know.

"Take care of yourself."

I hung up and breathed deep, setting the phone on my desk and bringing
my other hand to my head.

I sat like that for a long time.


"Mister Carter, the Australian government is calling on the Mayor to
turn Bush43 over to the police."

"They are asking us to arrest Bush43 because a man in a President
George Bush mask broke into a drug company in Lorrington," I said to
the reporter I didn't recognize.  "There is absolutely no evidence
connecting this character in Lorrington with the science hero here in
Pacific City, so we are immediately hesitant to simply turn over one of
this city's protectors to a government that has gone out of its way to
try and cripple our ability to provide for and protect the people of
this city."

"Mister Carter," said another reporter, one from a station in Sydney.
"Reports indicate that items stolen from Lawrence and Sun
Pharmaceutical are directly related to the science villains recently
apprehended in connection with the Ferguson Place attack earlier this

"I'm afraid I have seen nothing official concerning that report and
therefore can not comment on rumor at this time."

"But, if those items were related," pushed the reporter, "then can we
assume that it was indeed Bush43 in Lorrington?"

"You can assume anything you would like," I said. "But, all I can
assure you of is that the Mayor had no knowledge or involvement in
whatever may have happened in Lorrington last night."

"If it does end up being Bush43 who was involved last night," said
another reporter that I didn't recognize, "then will the Mayor
cooperate with the federal government in this matter?"

"That is something the Mayor will have to take into consideration if
and when we face that hurdle."

"So, are you saying it is possible the Mayor will not cooperate with
Australian authorities?" asked Tina Wilson, a question that I fully
expected but still didn't want to deal with.

"I believe the Mayor will have to weigh the options available to him
and will make the decision he feels is in the best interest of the
people of Pacific City."

"Doesn't the Mayor have an obligation to the people of Australia...?"
started another reporter that I couldn't see, but I cut him off.

"The Mayor has an obligation to the people of Pacific City first and
foremost.  The government of Australia has an obligation to all of its
people as well, yet it chose not to acknowledge this city and her
people when a hundred and twenty of them lay dying in the ruins of
Ferguson Place.  The federal government has proven itself to be
selective in its treatment of obligations between Canberra and Pacific
City, and, if that weighs into the Mayor's considerations, well, so be

"And, if all the federal government is going to accuse our heroes of is
breaking and entering into a building to procure items necessary in the
containment of villains responsible for terrorist acts on the people of
Pacific City, the people of Australia, then that will also weigh into
the Mayor's decision.

"But, that is if the federal government chooses to go about this
process through the proper channels and manners and realize that
intergovernmental relations are a two-way street.  Otherwise, there is
no decision necessary in this matter, and the city will go about
business as usual."

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