Title: Mourning In America III: On The Horizon (1/1)
Pairings/Characters: Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen
Series Notes: This series will star various DC characters as they live under the new regime in America. The entire series can be found here.
Summary: Lois and Jimmy cover Inauguration Day in 2017.
Date Of Completion: July 14, 2020
Date Of Posting: November 2, 2020
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1466
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: VOTE!!!
Dark clouds gather,
Ominous and full,
Ready to rain
On our parade.
Sir Bertrand House
“On The Horizon”
Lois Lane stood at the edge of the crowd gathered in front of the Capitol. It was a well-heeled crowd, dressed in furs and expensive coats and showing flashes of jewelry. They smiled and laughed but some of the celebrants would occasionally glance over their shoulders. Despite the gaiety and sense of victory, there was also an underlying tension.
Inauguration Day was always a festive celebration in the nation’s capital. It survived Depression, wars and protests, and it was certain that protests would hit this ceremony, as grim and raucous as the protests surrounding the Nixon inaugurations of ’69 and ’73.
Lois was dressed in a warm, dark-blue, tailored pantsuit and winter coat. She wore a matching knit cap and gloves and boots lined with faux fur. She loosely knotted a pale blue woolen scarf around her neck. The day was cold, as befit a January day.
Lois kept her press pass tucked away out of sight inside her coat. This crowd was not fond of the media unless it was Fox News. She kept moving around the edges, listening to snatches of conversation. Most of it was smug and self-congratulatory.
“We’re back where we belong.”
“Things are back to normal.”
“The Dems thought they had it all wrapped up. Think again, Feminazis!”
Most of the crowd probably belonged to the 1 Percent, but there were those wearing red MAGA hats who looked like working-class folks. Lois wondered how these voters could believe that the richest people in the country cared one whit about the 99 Percent. It would make an interesting study someday.
The 2016 Presidential election had been a strange one, and the results had shocked everyone, delighting one half of the nation and horrifying the other half. People were frightened and angry. That was a combination for trouble.
Well, that’s my job. Covering trouble!
Lois saw the police, military and Secret Service stationed in strategic places.
Considering the mood of the country, not a bad idea.
The upper crust of the Government started to come out from the Capitol and take their seats on the temporary inaugural stand. Lois took out a pair of opera glasses and studied the participants. The Supreme Court, Congressmen, Senators…more officials were joining them. The seats were filled as the outgoing Vice President and Vice President-elect took their seats with their wives. The ceremony would start soon.
Lois waited until she saw the outgoing President and President-elect, also accompanied by their wives. She watched the quartet descend the steps, a study in contrasts: one quiet and dignified, the other loud and ebullient. How would their Administrations differ? It would be interesting to find out in the days ahead.
The oath of office was administered to Mike Pence and then to Donald Trump. As he began his Inaugural Address, Lois drifted away. She walked around the edges of the crowd again, watching people’s reactions. Most seemed happy.
And why not? Most of these people are Republicans.
She listened to the banal speech. He’s no Jack Kennedy.
When the speech ended she walked away from Capitol Hill. There were pockets of sullen protesters watched by police, but Lois could hear sirens in the distance. She walked rapidly, glad she had chosen low-heeled boots. Practicality trumped fashion every time.
She reached the center of the disturbance. The peaceful protest had turned violent as storefront windows were broken and cars were set on fire. Lois filmed the action with her cellphone. She had taken pictures of the Inauguration, but Perry would like these better.
She and Jimmy had split up before the ceremony to get different angles. She texted him her location.
She stayed out of the way of the police as they went after the rioters. Most of the protesters were peaceful, but the longer this went on, the more people might join in.
Ten minutes later Jimmy showed up. He used an expensive camera for his professional photographs. Quality still counted.
“Whoa, riotsville.” Jimmy began snapping pictures.
“A lot of people aren’t too happy right now.” Lois watched a cop on horseback brandish his nightstick.
“Gee, ya think?” Jimmy shook his head. “What a mess.”
“Democracy in action.”
“It’s a strange world.”
Shouts and screams filled the air as the police tried to quell the rioting. Protesters chanted and surged over barricades.
Lois decided this was the place to be. The new President was inside the Capitol having lunch before he and his wife would be transported to the reviewing stand outside the White House.
“Fuck Trump!” screamed a protester.
“Pence hates gays!”
“Trump’s a lecherous old man!”
“Keep abortion legal!”
Lois kept taking video footage with her cellphone. If this went on the air or on the website, there would be a lot of bleeping required as more screams spewed out. Per their training, the police did not answer back, but Lois could see more than one man mutter under his breath.
Lois and Jimmy stuck with the protests as several blocks away, the new President was driven to the reviewing stand and the Inaugural Parade began. A protester saw coverage of the parade on her cellphone and her anger grew. She waved her phone at the police.
Eventually Lois cornered a protester and began a quick interview. The young woman was eager to talk, her ponytail bouncing as her head moved.
“We have to stop the fascists.” She pumped her fist.
“You mean Trump?”
“Who else? Our rights are in danger. Those MAGA idiots will declare open season on people of color, gays and women.”
Jimmy kept his eye on the melee as Lois asked, “What’s your plan going forward?”
“Well, it’ll be four years until a change can be made. What are your plans?”
“Not give the fascists a moment’s peace.”
“Did you vote?”
“Did you vote?”
The woman snorted and ran toward the other protesters.
“I take that as a ‘No’,” Jimmy said with a grin.
“Maybe Hillary just didn’t do it for her.”
Lois managed more interviews and Jimmy took more pictures. They headed for the parade as things began to wind down.
“Are the protesters coming close?” asked a woman in a sable coat.
“No, the police seem to be handling it,” said her companion as she looked at her phone. Diamonds sparkled at her ears.
“Good. That protesting scum ruins everything.”
Lois and Jimmy stayed another hour, then left to grab some dinner. They checked in with Perry back in Metropolis and Lois promised a story before she went to bed. She texted her videos to The Daily Planet. Jimmy sent his rolls of film by special courier.
“We’ve got the Women’s March tomorrow,” Lois said.
“This election sure is bringing out all the political groups.” Jimmy buttered a hot roll.
“Politics is going to be a hot topic for the next four years.” Lois drank her coffee.
The restaurant was half-empty. She figured most people were still watching the parade.
“Do you see upheaval for the next four years?”
She lowered her cup. “At first. Some people like the protesters will continue their opposition. As for the rest, they’ll be galvanized if Trump starts taking away rights or cutting back on successful Obama programs.”
“What about the Trump supporters?”
Lois cut a piece of roast chicken. “What about them?”
“Why will they remain politically active? They won.”
“For now.” Lois speared a carrot slice. “Besides, they’ll follow Trump’s lead.”
Jimmy sipped his Diet Coke. “You mean they’ll chase women?”
Lois snorted. “That, and feel free to insult whomever they please. Their hero has no filter.”
“That’s an understatement.”
Lois sipped her coffee. “Remember 1948?”
Jimmy grinned. “Journalism History 101: the media all predicted a win for Dewey over Truman in the 1948 Presidential election.”
“And Truman won.”
Jimmy nodded. “The Republicans thought they had it in the bag.”
“This time around it was the Democrats. Guess the current crop of journalists flunked that course.”
They finished their meal and Lois ordered fresh coffee while Jimmy chose a slice of lemon meringue pie for dessert. He offered Lois a bite and she accepted.
“Mmm, pretty good.” Lois helped herself to a second bite.
Jimmy grinned again. “So what angle will your story take?”
“Contrast between the crowds on Capitol Hill and in the streets.”
“Plenty of that.”
Lois looked contemplative as she held her coffee cup with both hands. “I wonder what’s in store for us the next four years.”
“Guess it won’t be boring.”
“I think it’s going to be a long, strange journey.”
Tomorrow was another day. Lois figured she and Jimmy would have plenty of work in the next four years.
What a world!
This story can also be read on AO3.
This entry has been cross-posted from Dreamwidth. Comment on either entry as you wish. :)