United (The United Trilogy Book 1) (10 page)

BOOK: United (The United Trilogy Book 1)
3.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Now that all that is taken care of its time to get down to it then, yes?” I can’t help but smile at Annabelle’s enthusiasm.  I nod.

“Lovely!  Ok, first things first we need to put together a press release to all of the zones.  We will do a live feed introducing you and letting them know you will be by to meet them when you can.  The best way to learn a country is by seeing it, knowing it.  So that’s what you will do.  Before we throw a bunch of paperwork at you and tell you to fix it, you first have to see the problems.  And knowing you like I think I do, I have a feeling you will see so much more than we ever have.  So this is run and lead by you.  You pick where you want to start, what you want to do, and we will go from there.  Right now I want you to take the rest of this week and get to know the staff.  I want you to introduce yourself, talk to them, observe; whatever you want to do, you do.  You have that power now Roz.  You need to show them strength, show them you are here and you are confident in your abilities.  If you aren’t confident, none of them will be confident in you.  Make this place your own, put your stamp on it!”  She was so excited I couldn’t help but catch it!  She was making me excited too.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

“Ok, then.  It looks like I will get started!  Its lunch time now, I promised Wes I would meet him and then I will start meeting everyone and learning the Ministry building.  Has everyone been told of my presence and who I am?”

“Mostly, yes.”  We will be making an announcement as soon as you leave informing the staff you have taken the roll.  You will meet your staff today and we will hold a meet and greet ceremony for the rest of the ministry later this week. Just have fun, and be yourself.  If you are yourself with them they will love you as much as we do!  Now we both have a lot to do, so get to it!  We have selected a personal assistant and staff for you.  Aspen is going to get you started.  Of course you are welcome to change around anything and anyone you need.  Molly is starting in a few days and Wes is going to be touring different areas so that he can better see what fits him exactly, but they will both be at your disposal.”

I give her a hug, “Thank you so much Annabelle!” I turn to the rest of the members.  “Thank you all so much!  I’m going to try hard not to let you down.”

On my way out I could hear Peter say “She sure is touchy isn’t she?” HA!  This is going to be more fun than I thought, I found another person to torture other than Wes, Peter is going to be on the receiving end of my next hug and I can’t wait!


Chapter Eleven

By the time I reached the café it was already after 1:00.  I spotted Wes as soon as I entered, sitting with a small man with jet black hair that reached his shoulders, bright blue eyes, and more tattoos than I could count on both arms; this made me laugh to myself.  Never in a million years would I picture Wes friends with someone fitting this description.  I approached their table and said, “Hello.”

“Oh Roz!  It’s about time you got here; I was starting to wonder if you’d ever make it.”  Luckily Wes left it at that and didn’t get into his punctuality speech again.

“Sorry Wes, running a country can’t be on a time table you know.” I said with a smirk.  “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”  Wes gave me that perplexed look that he has down cold by now and finally seeing the realization dawn on him I chuckled again.

“Oh right, yes.  Miles, this is Rosaline a.k.a. Roz.  Roz, this is Miles, the Engineer I was telling you about yesterday.”  I shook Mile’s hand and was offered a beautiful smile along with his hand shake.

“Hello Rosaline.  It is lovely to meet you, congratulations by the way; everyone is most excited with your arrival.”

Before I could utter a response Wes piped in, “That’s because she brought me!” Wes said with a huge cocky grin on his face.

“That’s it, who are you and what have you done with my best friend?  You sir have gotten awfully cheeky since we arrived!”

“Aww, but I thought you liked it when I told jokes Roz.”

“Hmm, yes, perhaps but let’s keep it to a once a week minimum huh?” At his nod I burst out laughing.  “My goodness Wes I’m only kidding.  It’s nice to see you broadening your horizons and adding a little humor.”

“You just missed the announcement Roz,” Wes informed me.

“What announcement was that?” I asked even though I was pretty sure I already knew the answer to that question.

“The announcement naming you new President of course.  We are supposed to welcome you and be at your beck and call or some such nonsense!  You have to promise me Roz, that this won’t go to your head.” I honestly couldn’t tell if he was joking or not.  It took me sixteen years to finally figure this boy out and now he decides to go and get a sense of humor on me!

“Of course not, I will always have you to keep me grounded.  Anyway, I’m starving so I need to grab something to eat, are you boys sticking around?”

“As much as I’d love to stick around and get to know you better I must head back and finish something in the lab.  Wes, you are welcome to stay if you want to catch up.”  I could tell instantly that Wes was dying to get back to the lab as well, but I could also see him calculating how bad of a friend he would be if he left me here alone so I decided to put him out of his misery.

“Actually I really was just going to grab a quick bite and then I have a ton of people and way too many departments to meet before the end of the week.  Would you mind terribly if we waited until tonight to catch up?”

Just as I knew it would his face lit up.  “Oh of course not; I understand you are going to be very busy, don’t worry about me I’ll be fine!” He hopped up and grabbed his tray to leave.  “See you tonight.” He yelled over his shoulder and took off.  This caught Miles completely by surprise one that he just left so fast, and two, he was leaving to “go be with miles” while Miles was still in fact here.

“Well you better go catch up to him, Wes waits for no one.”

“Yes, duly noted!  It was a pleasure meeting you Roz.” And Miles was off to find Wes.

My stomach chose that moment in time to remind me it’d been hours since I last fed it, and I was more than happy to comply.  I chose a pasta dish that smelled and looked amazing, a side salad and a few bread sticks.  The lunch crowd had died down, so I sat down at the table Wes vacated and ate as quickly as I could.  I needed to find my office and get settled if I was going to get anything done today.  Once I met all my direct staff, then I would take on the departments one at a time.  I figured I’d start at the place that made it happen, the Career center and then go from there.  I must admit I was dying to meet Natasha Starr.  After quickly eating, I made my way back up to Annabelle’s floor and found Aspen in her office.  The door was open so I stood in the door way and said “knock, knock.”

Aspen was sitting at her desk typing something into her computer.  Without looking up she said “no one is home.” and kept typing.

I smiled to myself.  “Well that’s really too bad, I wonder who I will give this chocolate crescent to?” I said trying to keep a straight face.

She shot up and her hands reached out in front of her, “ooooo gimme, gimme.  I absolutely love chocolate crescents and I had to skip lunch today, you are an angel!”

I frowned, “I’m sorry, if I would have known that, I would have brought you a sandwich or something to go along with it.  I can run down and be right back.”

“Oh stop Rosaline; you will do nothing of the sort.  This is just perfect, thank you very much.”

“Well make sure you get seconds at dinner then to make up for it.”

“How about one dinner and two desserts, does that count?”

“Oh yes, I love the way you think!” I shot her a wink, and took a seat across from her.

She went back to typing and concentrating hard on a file in front of her.  “Sorry, this should only take a second and then I should be finished up here enough to take you on a quick tour, but I won’t be able to stay.  Will you be alright introducing yourself around and finding everything ok?”

She looked a little guilty for not being able to help more which I waved off with a hand.  “Of course I’ll be fine, I’m going to be running a country, if I can’t find the people who are here to help me then I am in the wrong job.  Just give me instructions on where I need to go and you won’t even need to leave.”

Aspen brushed back my idea with a hand flick of her own.  “First off I need to stretch my legs; I’ve been at it all morning.  Second I am under strict orders to take you directly to your office and I don’t want to be sacked!” I scoffed at the idea of Annabelle firing anyone.  Aspen ignored me, hit a few buttons and then stood up.  “There, I think I’m finished for now, picking up her treat she started walking to the door.  "Give me one sec ok."  She took out her phone and called Annabelle to let her know she was leaving for a few minutes.  Once that was done she slipped the phone into her pocked and took off toward the PVE.  “Whew, as much as I love you girl ever since you showed up my job has me slammed!”

Oh, I didn’t even think of that.  Being that the Council was the only ones who actually knew anything I’m guessing most of the paper work and everything fell on Aspen to take care of.  Which made me a bit curious, “Did you have to sign a confidentiality report?”

She laughed, “In blood.” Laughing, I took a moment to enjoy myself.  This really was turning out to be much easier than I thought.

We made our way to my new office, stopping a few times for Aspen to show me where the good coffee carts were (not that I drink it) but they might have chocolate milk so it might come in handy one day.  As we waited for Aspen to get her Caramel Mocha I realized just how much I was in the dark about how everything works around here.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, maybe a “things you need to know about the Ministry 101 class” or something, which would be extremely helpful, but until then I’m guessing I’ll just have to depend on the brains of the people around me.  Aspen is the perfect place to start.

“So do you also help out with things for other members of the Council or do you work strictly for Annabelle?”  I asked out of curiosity.

Aspen looked at me like I must have fallen and hit my head or something.  “Roz, you know that you are the only one who even knows who the members are right?” Um, no I didn’t know this.  But how is that possible?  She must have read the confusion on my face because she answered my unasked question.

“In order for the Council to stay as neutral as possible and get everything done they need to without intrusion and without outside influence, no one is actually aware of their individual identities.  Annabelle, being the rep, is the only known Council member.  I am her assistant yes, and I do whatever needs to be done as far as scheduling meetings and setting up appointments and what not, but when it comes to anything to do with the “Council”, even I don’t know who the others are.” Well that is a lot to take in.  No wonder they were so weird about the confidentiality thing.  But Aspen was wrong on one account; I’m not the only person who knows their identities.  Whatever it was that Natasha had said to get her a meeting with them must have been very good.  If Aspen wasn’t aware that Natasha met with more than just Annabelle I wasn’t going to be the one to enlighten her.

"This was stated in bold on the contract you signed Roz!"

Oops, note to self, read everything you sign. I gave her a sheepish smile.

“Interesting,”  I said, not sure of what else I could say.  I understand the need for the secrecy, but it seemed to be just a tad bit over kill if you ask me; nobody did so I will keep it to myself.  The thought came to me.  “What about Masters?  Surely the head of the ministry of defense has met them?”

Aspen was already shaking her head.  “Nope, not even him.  He gets his orders and reports directly from the President; you.  He sends the Council a weekly update through the system.  If there is something emergent he would meet with Annabelle.” In my daze I hadn’t realized she had already gotten her coffee and handed me chocolate milk.  We’re already walking away from the cart and heading towards my new office.

“You might want to mention an introduction to all things presidential video to Annabelle.  It would certainly be beneficial.”  Aspen laughed and put her arm around my shoulder.  “It’s OK honey, I know it’s overwhelming.  I’m sure all the former Presidents felt the same way.  You just fake it till you make it and ask questions whenever you need to.”  This didn’t seem very efficient to me, but I can understand why they can’t put most things in writing or spare the time to sit me down to train me in depth; still, there has got to be a better way.  In all my musings I completely blanked out and just then I realized that I was standing in front of a group of people looking at me expectantly.  Aspen giggled and I turned beat red.  Great, what a wonderful first impression I’m making.

Aspen cleared her throat and nudged me forward.  “Everyone, this is President Thatcher.  Please make her feel welcome and help her to get the lay of the land.” Turning to me she said “Roz, I’d like you to meet Judy Mitchell, she is going to be your personal assistant.  Anything you need, just ask her.  She will set up all your appointments and will keep your schedule.”

Judy stepped forward offering me her hand to shake.  She was in her late 50’s, and reminded me of a grand-mother figure.  She was round and soft looking.  Her grey hair was pulled back in an efficient bun.  Her soft brown eyes were glowing with excitement and she has a wide welcoming smile.  “Hello Miss, it is very nice to meet you.  Anything at all you need I am at your service.” Yes, very welcoming, if not a tad bit too formal.  I’m sure with time everyone will come to relax around me.

“It’s wonderful to meet you Judy, and please call me Roz.” This seemed to make her completely uncomfortable and I could see the confusion on everyone’s face as they began to shift their feet.  Interesting, I’m guessing President Vaughn wasn’t the informal type, well new President, new rules.  They will learn.

“Well if you are comfortable I shall leave you in Judy’s capable hands.  She will introduce you around.” With that Aspen was off.

“If you will follow me Miss I would love to show you around.”  With a nod I followed closely behind.  The office was very spacious.  There was a large open room with a few nice chairs that Judy tells me is the waiting area.  The office is in a circle.  All of the outer offices surround the waiting area are in a circle as well giving everything a unified open feel to it.  I like it instantly.  We walk through the waiting area and she starts with the office on the far end.  Introducing me to all the staff that works for me and telling me their responsibilities.  I will never remember everyone’s names.  Most of the people are much older, ages ranging from 40-60 years old.  I try not to let my age make me feel inferior but I can only imagine how they feel working for a teenager.  I meet an older man named Bob who seems to be the most unimpressed with me.  He is just as polite as everyone else but you can see unimpressed all over his face.  I stop and look directly in his eyes, showing no fear is going to be important.  Annabelle’s words come back to me.  If I want people to be confident in my abilities I need to exude confidence.

“Hello Bob, it’s very nice to meet you.  I’m looking forward to learning all I can from you and I’m looking forward to building our working relationship.” I could tell that I caught him off guard, but there is going to be a lot of work to do in order to earn his respect.  Luckily we quickly moved on.  I met a very sweet woman named Marybeth and several others whom I instantly forget their names.

We start to reach the end of the offices when an older gentleman comes out to meet us.  “Well hello Rosaline.  I’m so very happy to meet you, my name is George.”

I took his out stretched hand and immediately wanted to hug him.  Of course I held back, but he was just so warm and open and welcoming.  Between him and Judy I’m sure I will be fine.  “Hello George, it’s so nice to meet you as well.  Please, call me Roz.”

This earned a hardy chuckle from George, “Ah, Roz is it?  Yes, that fits you well.  I’m not sure how well it is going to go over with all the old geezers here who have to stand on ceremony otherwise they’ll fall over.” Ha!  This guy is awesome!  We are going to get along well!

BOOK: United (The United Trilogy Book 1)
3.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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