“Mister Speaker, I agree with your proposal, that we will have a debate and vote of confidence commencing three days hence,” De Witt answered. Remarkable, she thought. D’Angelo hadn’t been told in advance what was coming, was also minding the Chamber, and his deskcomp got him to ‘signed into law’. She told herself she had just made the riskiest political move of her life, since her party might not back her, in which case she would soon be relegated to standing behind the rear benches.
“In that case, Question Time is indeed at an end, and we recess for lunch. I propose we delay return from two in the afternoon until four in the afternoon, that we may have time for a pleasant meal and rational discussion.” Loud shouts of ‘Yes’ were heard. “We are therefore in recess.”
One of Drummond-McLaren’s advisors, a woman who’d clearly been vigorously and competently biosculpted yet whose figure still suggested to De Witt the body of a stoat, or perhaps a weasel, slinked across the chamber to where De Witt stood. It occurred to De Witt to wonder how the woman had acquired the biosculpt, which on consideration was well outside what Union medical services could provide, no matter how much one was willing to pay. In the Stellar Republic, of course, such procedures were readily available, if one had enough Republic Crowns, or the right friends.
She pointed at DeWitt. “You will now be coming with us,” she announced, “where you will agree that your claims are completely false, and help us craft a full retraction.” To De Witt’s astonishment, the woman grabbed De Witt’s sweater and pulled.
“Take your hands …” De Witt began.
A large fist descended from above, opened, and swallowed the woman’s hand. From the way its veins stood out, de Witt thought, the man’s grip was set to ‘crush brazil nut’. “You will be taking your hands off our party leader,” the man announced. “Will you not?” The grip obviously tightened.