After the Apocalypse
Chapter 28: New National Order

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

It was January 3 before Arkwright was able to confirm any of the reports from the mainland. While information would continue to remain unclear for some time, she decided that the time had come to re-establish the United States government and to face up to whatever challenges were ahead. Honolulu seemed the most logical choice for the new seat of government, and she commandeered a Mahalo Airlines jet, redesignating it Air Force One in a curiously sad move, for a flight to Oahu on the 4th.

Kevin Chen, chancellor of the University of Hawaii, met her and Anu'ala'a, who had been designated as her #1 bodyguard, at the airport. "Aloha, Madame President," he said, "Welcome to Oahu."

"Thank you, Dr. Chen," she said. "Have you made the preparations we discussed earlier?"

"Indeed we have. The facilities of the University are at the federal government's disposal for as long as you deem necessary," he said. "We plan to suspend the start of spring classes until we get some more information on exactly what's happened, but no one is sure what that will mean in the long term. However, we think that there will be ample room in the administration complex for suitable offices and meeting space under any circumstances. Shall we be off?"

They got into Chen's official Mercury Mountaineer and drove toward the campus. "Okay, Kevin, this is what I need," Arkwright said. "My number one priority is to find out just what's going on out there. For that I need a radio communications capacity. Anyone on campus know anything about amateur radio?"

"I don't know offhand," said Chen. "Maybe some of the folks in the broadcasting department would have some idea. But what's wrong with the University broadcast facilities? I mean, you could take over the PBS station and-"

"No good," interrupted Arkwright. "I'm not really interested in broadcasting at this point; what we need is a dedicated network of receivers. If this really came out of Russia, there's probably some sort of news, or at least propaganda, coming out of that corner of the world. We need to get a monitoring system together, see what's happening. And it's just possible that there might be American citizens on the air trying to find out what's going on. Elementary probability theory states that some people and structures must have survived this. We owe it to those people to be looking for them and, eventually, trying to contact them back."

"You expect anyone from the mainland to be able to reach Hawaii?" asked Chen. "I mean, if there's no electricity there, I wouldn't expect anything really powerful to be broadcasting."

"I don't know, but I intend to find out," said Arkwright firmly.

As they rode toward the university, Anu'ala'a thought that he was seeing a new leader emerging. Arkwright hadn't seemed terribly Presidential since the emergency had begun, but she appeared to be growing into the role now.

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