A/N: Okay, this sort of goes outside of my American Politics pieces, and sort of not. It's in with it, but on the outside as a sort of "What if" scenario. The deal is I keep getting people going "America isn't conservative! America is liberal!" and "There's got to be another America! This one isn't really America!" Okay, let's have at that then. Two Americas.
Alfred F. Jones, the embodiment of America, walked into the White House for his usual meeting with the president of the United States of America. He was a very handsome young man, his appearance somewhere around nineteen or twenty, with clean-cut looks, blue eyes and blonde hair. He walked by the secretaries, the workers, lobbyists, and the so called Czars. He really didn't pay them much attention, though. He knew the Czars gave him loathsome looks usually, though they hid it decently enough most of the time.
He made his way to the door to the oval office and opened it, but stopped short when he saw someone was in his usual seat. He would have just backed out or said "hello" to the person, taken a seat elsewhere and waited his turn, like usual, except that the person in the seat was an exact replica of him right down to the cowlick hair that never seemed to stay in place. The only difference was that he didn't wear glasses. Alfred was the one wearing the glasses. The glasses that Texas, Hannah Cook, always had made for him.
"Sorry? What… is going on?" asked Alfred, frowning. The president simply looked up, relaxed, smiling that same benign smile that Alfred hated seeing spreading across his dark face.
"I knew that there must be another America running around. After all, you simply couldn't be the America that represents all of us, right?" said the president in a cool tone.
"I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm the only America around," said Alfred, "I already told you that when you were sworn in. I told that to the previous guy when he was sworn in. I told that to the guy before him and the guy before him and so on."
"That's not true and you know it, Alfred," said the other Alfred, laughing brightly as he put his feet up on the desk. "After all, I've been around since the beginning."
Alfred frowned deeply. "No, that's not right at all." Alfred would remember another America running around. There was Alfred and Matt when they were growing up under Arthur and Francis's care and then the colony girls cropped up and Alfred helped take care of them and played with them while he never saw Matt again after he was taken away. And then the colony girls took on the traits of their respective colonies as they grew up and developed their love for Alfred. Not even when those girls were divided in their ideologies reflecting their people's ideologies did there arise a second America. Not even when Alfred was splitting apart at his stomach during the Civil War did there arise a second America.
So why was there a clone of him sitting in that chair in front of him?
"Oh my God, I've finally cracked," muttered Alfred. He pulled his glasses off and rubbed his face, trying to understand and getting no where. But even that analysis wasn't right. The president could see the clone as well and was all smiles toward him, too. Even Ivan Braginsky, the former Soviet Union and the embodiment of Russia who was driven utterly insane by the bloodshed and the stress Lenin and Stalin, especially Stalin, had given him for years, was not two people. Well, saying that, yes, in a way, he was two people. Ivan had a sort of split personality that was thanks to his people cracking. Normally the Russian nation was very nice and, in fact, was Alfred's good friend back before the Soviet Union got started up. Now Alfred could barely look him in the eye in any sort of friendly fashion without thinking of the constant veiled threats the Russian gave him. Even he had not split up like this.
"I'd say you were already cracked, but that's just my opinion, of course," said the other Alfred. Alfred shot him an annoyed look. "What? It's true, isn't it? Hell, you even had me chained up in your basement for the longest time."
"I never did that," said Alfred. He looked to the president, but only saw that ever present smile on his face. "Well, I never did! He's lying. Hell, I don't even know what made him crop up at all."
"Pfft! You're going to look to Mr. President for reassurance? Look, just fess up and all will be forgiven. After all, he is our president and we must respect him no matter what. If he fails then I fail—I mean—we fail," said the other Alfred, chattering way cheerfully. That was how Alfred normally was, though. Alfred was cheerful, good, decent, and very optimistic. It was only when the president and the congress started governing against the will of the people that Alfred started losing that cheerful, optimistic nature. Even still, Alfred was Alfred and he had never been two people at all.
"I'm inclined to agree with Alfred here, Mr. Jones," said the president. "And it makes sense. You haven't been very respectful to me and he has. You are the conservative America and he is the liberal. He is the majority. You are the minority."
Alfred shook his head in disbelief. It was like reality itself was unraveling for him. Perhaps something really had happened and he had somehow split into two people. "Look, I'm calling Arthur. He'll clear this up," said Alfred as he took out his cellphone and started looking for the number to England.
"I wouldn't do that," said the other Alfred, leaning back and putting his sneaker clad feet up on the desk. "Wah wah wah, that's all you'll be crying, anyway. Like a baby to dear England."
Alfred willed himself to ignore the chattering and dialed England's number quickly. He heard Arthur pick up and, before he could start talking, he realized that he was in the room with the other Alfred and the president, both of whom he hardly trusted enough to let them eat off the same plate as him much less have a conversation in front of them. "Hey, Arthur, can I have a quick word with you?"
"Alfred, what the bloody fuck are you calling me again for?" snapped Arthur Kirkland, Great Britian/England. "You just called me a few minutes ago and started spouting off a line of shite to me about how you were finally going to be like me. What is it you want now?"
"What do you mean there's always been two of us? There has only ever been one Alfred!" snapped Alfred, ruffling his hair and pacing in an agitated fashion.
"Two of you? You've got to be joking. April Fools has passed, Alfred," said Arthur.
"You're the one who told me I only had one brother and that is my twin, Matt, right? Why are you just now telling me there's always been two Americas?" said Alfred quickly. "That doesn't make sense. I would remember that kind of thing."
"What on Earth are you on?" said Arthur in bewilderment.
Alfred stayed silent and rubbed his face for good measure, making a grumbling noise in his throat to show his exasperation. The president sat back, looking very intrigued. The other Alfred stayed put; smiling as though he knew that was the truth all along. Alfred never tried so hard in his life to be the best, most convincing actor he could be. He never had a reason to until then.
"Stop smiling like that. It's not funny," snapped Alfred at the clone.
"I'm not laughing," said the other Alfred, chuckling. "Geez, man, you take shit too seriously."
Arthur was dead silent on the other end. Alfred hoped that getting the other Alfred to speak would help his case to Arthur and he was proved aright when Arthur spoke again. "That was just you… answering you," said Arthur, "Fucking brilliant. Two of you. What the fuck happened?"
"There's only ever been me, Matt and the states!" Alfred shouted into the receiver. "One minute I'm coming into my usual meeting with the president and then the next he's sitting across from another me and that me is saying I've chained him up in my basement for ages. I have no idea what the fuck he's talking about, Arthur!" Alfred paused, Arthur made a noise as though he was going to continue, but Alfred cut him off. "No, no, no—There's only ever been me!"
"That hurt, you realize, Alfred," muttered Arthur. "So he's saying you locked him away in your basement and your president has got to be one of the most arrogant bastards I've ever come in contact with and is the slimiest politician I've ever had to deal with in a long while, so no doubt he's enjoying this show." Alfred rubbed his face again and groaned. "I'll call Matthew and talk to him. You get in contact with your girls as soon as possible. I don't trust this new development one bit."
"Fuck you, Arthur!" snapped Alfred as loudly as he could and threw his phone down. The other Alfred snorted and started laughing.
"Now, calm down, Mr. Jones," said the president in that patronizing tone he had taken to using toward Alfred for the past year. "No need to break your toys."
"Seriously, man, I told you I've always been here. What's up with you, anyway? Don't you like having another me around? Come on!" said the other Alfred.
Alfred gathered up his phone and stuffed it into his pocket. He had successfully broken it in his little show of anger. He sighed as he looked at it. He'd have to get another one to replace it, but, in the mean time, he had a second one the president didn't know the number to. "Damn it," he muttered. The other Alfred laughed again, aggravating Alfred a bit more. Alfred looked to them and then walked over, sitting down in the chair next to the clone.
"Now that we are gathered," said the president, once more acting exactly like a king on a throne. What was it with this man and thinking he was the ruler of the land? He was an elected representative, not a ruler. He wasn't representing anyone the way he had been acting for the past year. In fact, he had been tearing down America bit by bit. "Alfred, you were saying that you thought the healthcare reform bill was a wonderful idea, right?"
"Oh yeah, man. That's awesome stuff, there. No more uninsured people, no more problems. Hell, we might even end up getting free healthcare from the government at some point, right?" said the clone.
"That's in the plans, actually," said the president. "It won't happen right away, but that is the eventuality."
"Meanwhile, you're going to tax the people more and more just to sustain this endeavor, you're going to fine people for living without health insurance and all of this is mandated," said Alfred, his leg twitching again like it usually did when he started getting agitated. "Sir, I've told you before that you can't do this. The people don't want this! They keep coming in droves to prove it to you."
"In droves? I haven't seen quite that many people, Mr. Jones," said the president calmly, "I've just seen a bunch of radicals coming to try to push their hateful words on everyone here."
"Hateful's too light," said the clone, "More like racist and bigoted. They're all redneck rubes. They have no idea what's going on. Like that Palin chick. Man, talk about one that flew over the cuckoo's nest."
Alfred frowned. The former Alaskan governor wasn't all bad from the dealings he had had with her. In fact, Alaska herself seemed rather pleased with her. Certainly she didn't seem that well informed at times, but she was quick to learn what she didn't know and was quick to point out what she did know for certain. Either way, the idea of her being seen as crazy was, in a word, crazy. "She's not that bad," said Alfred.
"Not that bad!" snapped the clone, sitting up sharply. "She's a total idiot! And she's disgusting! Look at what she did to rape victims in her own state! She forced them to pay for their own rape kits!"
"That was the police chief, actually, while she was mayor," said Alfred. He had heard about the incident from Aga Tukkuttok, Alaska, back when it happened. "There's never been any proof she had a hand in it."
"Of course she had a hand in it! She was the mayor! As mayor she should know what's going on!" snapped the other Alfred.
"Aren't people supposed to be innocent until proven guilty?" asked Alfred calmly. The other Alfred opened his mouth to say something, but smiled when the president cleared his throat.
"Sorry, man, didn't mean to steal your thunder," said the other Alfred.
"Quite all right," said the president.
"That reminds me. The IRS is going to be overseeing this new healthcare reform, sir. They don't treat people as 'innocent until proven guilty', but 'guilty until proven innocent'. Why have them head this?" asked Alfred.
"Well, someone has to look over the money, right?" said the president. He smiled a little and leaned back in his chair. "In any case, I need you to talk to the girls, reason with them, and make them understand that this will make everything better, Alfred," he said to the clone, "Oh and I need you to talk to Israel, as well. She's been very obstinate about the settlements in Jerusalem."
"That's her capital, sir," said Alfred, "She's breaking no treaties with it."
"But it's inconvenient," said the president, "In our dealings with Palestine to gain peace in the Middle East, we need Israel to stop encroaching on Palestine territory."
"It's not Palestine territory, it's her capital!" Alfred said quickly. "What part of that don't you understand?"
"Don't be disrespectful to the president!" snapped the clone. "Get the hell out of here, man. You're being a drag."
Alfred got to his feet, exasperated, and straightened his jacket. "I'm going home. Excuse me." Then, he went for the door.
"Don't you mean, my home?" said the clone.
"No, it's my home," said Alfred. Then, he walked out.
"What?" Matthew Williams, Canada, the twin brother to Alfred in every way, appearance-wise, except that Matt had longer hair and was very shy, looked puzzled as he talked on the phone with Arthur. "You can't be serious, Arthur. That doesn't make much sense. I would remember if there was two of him." In fact he would probably hate it if there were two Alfreds. Just imagining two Alfreds made him shudder.
"I'm being serious, Matthew," said Arthur through the speaker, "This isn't something ordinary. I know that nations suddenly appear sometimes from no where, but split apart like this?"
"Well, Alfred did almost split apart during the Civil War," said Matt softly.
"Don't be silly, Matthew, Alfred nearly died thanks to that silly war," said Arthur. Matt kept his mouth shut and smiled sheepishly. "It nearly split him right across his middle. You've seen the scar."
"Y-yes, I have," Matt mumbled softly.
"What? Speak up. I can't hear you."
"I said I have seen the scar too, Arthur," said Matt a bit louder. "But really, if the other Alfred is agreeing with you, then what's the problem? I mean, he's never been very agreeable with anyone, right? So, why is the other Alfred a problem?"
"Because it's not fucking Alfred, that's why," snapped Arthur. Matt held the phone away from his ear to keep from getting his eardrum blasted by the surly Englishman. "Even if Alfred's disagreeable a lot of the time and acts like a complete idiot at times, it's still Alfred. It's independent, free flying Alfred and to have some fucking git sit there and play yes-man to me is both frightening and beyond aggravating!"
"I guess you're right," muttered Matt. Personally, he would prefer an Alfred that didn't beat him so often at games and didn't make fun of him.
Arthur sighed in exasperation. "I can tell this is going to go no where. I'm calling Aashiyana and getting her input. And then I'm going over there."
"N-no, I can go south and talk to Alfred," said Matt.
Arthur sighed. "Fine. Just do it. I'm coming over there anyway to see this for myself anyway."
"Eh—Okay, I guess," said Matt, smiling a bit. Arthur hung up shortly after that, leaving Matt very bewildered.