“Might as well get started,” he muttered.
He looked down the table of contents clicking on topics he thought relevant. Reading through the 6th document, he stopped as the window shutters rattled loudly, sliding down and sealing him in the building.
“I might as well eat,” he told himself.
He trudged down the stairs, feeling hungrier than he realised when he spotted the vending machine. Not wanting to go through pockets again for change, he picked up a chair and swung the legs hard into the window. At the last moment, he turned his head, as glass shattered, stinging his legs. Angling the chair, he broke away the jagged edges before reaching inside and extracting a packet of chips.
On opening them, they smelt good, but tasting them, revealed their staleness. Still, it filled a hole. He scoffed down two packets, then took out an armload of snacks. Breaking into the drink machine yielded another can of drink. Taking his meal upstairs, he resumed his seat, then went further down the table of contents. Two, then three hours elapsed without him finding the information he needed.
He clicked onto a new page. At the head of the page a headline in bold print demanded his attention; 2131 Prime Minister Keagan’s address to the nation.
Clicking on the headline produced a holographic image of Prime Minister Keagan, standing on a podium. He wore a grey pin striped suit, and blue tie. His grey hair looked swept back in the manner of the 1950s with matching, thick sideburns.
Brad witnessed the shift of heads in the background.
“Quiet please,” said a male voice off camera.
“I remember this,” said Brad.
Although he didn’t take much notice at the time, he recalled watching Prime Minister Keagan’s address on TV with his parents.
“Fellow Aussies,” Keagan began. “It’s for a very solemn occasion that I have called this address. As you know, President Logan of the United States has visited here and been in conference with me for he last few days. He flew back home this morning, but not before making me an offer.”
He stared intently into the crowd.
“Or as he put it, an offer for you. America’s in dire straits.”
Some of the attendees voiced sympathies.
“Due to their open slather immigration policy since the early 1900s, they simply have no more room left. Resources have been depleted. In short, I was told they wanted… in fact need our home.”
“Quiet please; let the Prime Minister speak!” said the same male voice off camera.
“President Logan told me that there’d be benefits to being the 51st state.”
Angry shouts filled the air, so much so, that no appealing by security for calm could lull the crowd.
In the end, Keagan raised his arms for quiet.
“That’s about what I said too! President Logan wouldn’t commit himself, but he hinted that if we didn’t take his offer, then America would be forced to take our country.”
“Let the Yanks try and take it!” yelled a woman from the crowd.