Kentbridge felt bored as he half-listened to a speech by the US President being televised on a monitor set into the back of the seat in front. Such was Kentbridge’s disdain for politicians, he didn’t even bother to look at the screen.

Contrary to the media circus which portrayed politicians as all-powerful figures, Kentbridge knew from experience the vast majority of US Government officials – elected or otherwise – were puppets who only had the illusion of power. This included Presidents. These public figures all understood the game and were happy to go through the motions, carrying out orders that came from above – from the likes of the Omega Agency – so they could fulfill their own egotistical ambitions.

Although political parties often seemed poles apart, in reality they all bowed to this higher order of power. Kentbridge had long since understood Democrats and Republicans were essentially the same party with different faces and that was why, no matter how many promises each leader made, significant change rarely transpired.

Consequently, Kentbridge had never voted in his life. Certainly there were obvious differences in policies between the various leaders, and an America run by a Bush, an Obama, a Clinton or a Palin, would have distinct contrasts.

Those variables didn’t concern the secret elite rulers, however. As long as the Omega Agency and other clandestine groups ensured each administration sold out on the most lucrative issues – oil, banking, drug trafficking, arms sales – they couldn’t care less whether a political party poured a few more measly bucks into healthcare or schools.

Kentbridge switched the television off and focused his mind on Nine. He hoped the man in Paris was indeed the rogue orphan.

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