November 25, 2061 — The sun was shining in El Paso. In fact, the sun had been shining for the past four years in El Paso. A severe drought had impacted what was once the southwestern region of the United States. But that did not matter to Texans. After what was now called the Great Crusade War that was sparked by the explosion of a nuclear bomb on Manhattan Island, Texas had become an independent nation, and had grown in size including the former New Mexico and Arizona. There was a two-year period when Californians and Texans fought over Arizona. It got bloody, A few small nuclear devices exploded in Tucson and Phoenix, sort of a scorched-earth policy favored by Texans, was enough to California to back off. The far westerners could not stomach any more mushroom clouds, and so they made a decision to let Texas have Arizona. “Let Arizona Go To Hell” was the political banner of choice by the California Peace Now movement, the implication being that Texas was as close to hell as one could get.
All of this was history to Jenna Bush who was celebrating her 80th birthday on this hot November day. Her parents were dead. Her sister Barbara was dead. Her three husbands were dead. And her children were dead. In fact, Jenna was the last remaining member of the Bush dynasty. And somehow she had outlasted them all, avoiding getting the cancer that dashed from gene pool to gene pool after the Great Crusade War that was responsible for raising worldwide rad level by 32%.
Barbara sat in a wood chair next to a metal frame one story cinderblock house. She was drinking a bottle of Diet Coke. The Coca Cola Bottling Company was one of the multinational corporations that survived the wars and bombs, and Coke seemed to be everywhere. Water was scarce, but not Coke. And Jenna loved the stuff, drinking almost 13 bottles a day. It did not matter to Jenna that her bladder did not work well, and that she continuously soiled her pants or dress. The heat evaporated anything that was in liquid form, and though it must have smelled, Jenna had long since lost the ability to smell anything.
El Paso had been a shrine to Jenna’s father, George W. Bush, for many years. But people had re-thought the Bush legacy, and now the conventional wisdom was that Jenna’s father was responsible for the mess the world had found itself. Though Texas was strong as a political and military entity, it was nothing like the former United States of America. And it bothered Texans that Iran and China were the most powerful nations in the world. Damn those Russians, never getting their act together, always fighting with each other and letting corruption poison their authority. And damn those Europeans who kept appeasing anyone who threatened them with violence, to the point that Europe became an Islamic state, except for Italy and Poland, which were in constant states of a war footing.
Jenna did not wish to think about all this. Afterall, this was her 80th birthday, and all she wanted to do was drink her Diet Coke and let her bladder empty onto the wood chair. It was a beautiful day.