Castle Roland

To Serve My Country

by David Spowart


Chapter 1

Published: 8 Apr 14

Hello! My name is Bryce Noda. Senator Bryce Noda to be exact. I am Senator for New York. I was elected in 2022, by a large majority. At 34, I was the youngest to win office in New York, and for that my parents are very proud. I have served the citizens of New York for almost six years.

I am now being touted for a run at the Governorship of this fair state, and I am up for the battle. I have no scandal; no, what I call skeletons in my closet to speak of; and no 'yes I smoked pot but didn't inhale' story to be found out. I am clean. Oh, except for the little matter of being a major closet case.

I was called to attend a meeting at the Republican office in Washington to clarify a few things before we announced my running for the Governorship. You know cross the T's and dot the I's as they say.

I arrived at the office just off Pennsylvania Avenue and headed straight to the top floor. I came out and was greeted by one of the parties longest serving Senators. "Bryce, good to see you my boy" said Michael Longo. "And you Mike, you look well" I replied with a firm handshake. "Thank you, as do you. New York agrees with you", he laughed out. "Nice running into you, but I have to run" he added before entering the elevator with a broad smile plastered on his face.

I walked down the long corridor and entered the main area of the Republican headquarters and introduced myself to the receptionist. She welcomed me and then buzzed me into the conference room. "Bryce, come in take a seat", The Chairman of the party said. "Tony you look well" I said, and took my seat. "Thank you. You know Sara and Bob, Danny and Miles", he said, introducing others who were at the meeting and were sitting at the table.

"Yeah, Sara, how's the family?" I asked. "Good, how are your folks?" she replied, "Oh, you know my dad, give him his clubs and he's in heaven" I replied with a wry grin.

"Okay. Bryce, I think you know why you are here", Tony started. "Yeah, you want me to announce my candidacy" I responded. "Yes, that is correct. What do you think of that…….will you?" he asked.

"Well, I have served New York well for six years. If you think I am ready for a bigger Job then yeah, I would love to run", I informed him. "Bryce, you have some influential admirers within the party. Being selected would go well, but there are others that think you are too young to hold the office", He informed me.

"And Tony, what is your take on my running?" I asked. "Bryce, I am on the fence on this one. I am chairman of the party and I have to be impartial until someone is confirmed as the parties' choice", he informed me. "Okay. Off the record?" I asked again. "Yeah, I would back you", he replied, and that brought a smile to my face.

"Okay, I will announce in New York when I return on Monday, and set up office there. I can use my Office in New York until after the election and go on from there", I started. "You will need a campaign office here; we need some financial backers as well, as many as possible. Elections do not come cheap", responded Sara.

"Why do I need an office in Washington?" I asked, looking confused to why I needed an office here for a campaign in New York.

"I mean, why do I need to Campaign here, for an office in New York?" I eventually asked. The sense of confusion around the conference room was palpable.

"Bryce, what are you talking about?", asked Tony, looking as confused as I was. " I am running for the Governorship of New York", I replied. And more confusion reigned. "Bryce, you are mistaken. We are not asking you to run for governor", Tony replied. Now I was lost and confused.

"Bryce, we are asking you to seek approval and support of the party so you can run for the office of….. President of the United States of America", Tony got out.

I dropped to my seat; all air escaped my lungs. I was unable to speak. I took a deep breath and grabbed a bottle of water. I poured it into a tumbler that was placed on the long oak desk. I took a long hard drink and placed the glass back onto the table. I looked at Tony and then Sara. Danny looked at me like he was looking for a sign or some semblance of a joke.

"Care to run that by me again?", I asked with a look of total and complete shock.

"Bryce, we believe you can get the required votes to win the ticket" he added. "But Fuck!......" I started. "Tony, I thought I was being put forward to run in New York" I went on.

"Bryce we need young blood at the head of the party, and since the President has run his two terms, its wide open for whom gets the top job" Tony explained.

"And you think I am that guy" I responded. "Off the record, yeah, I do", he replied.

"Do you think you are ready Bryce? Do you think you are ready to serve your country? " Tony stood and asked. "Sir, that would be my honour", I replied. I still sat stunned at what was being discussed. I had set myself up for a run at the Governor's mansion, not the Presidency. We talked for a short time as I was being overwhelmed by the situation. Sara sat a little uncomfortably in her chair; the customary false cough before she spoke.

"Bryce, I would be honoured if you would allow me to head up your campaign", Sara offered. I looked at the rest of the people assembled and realised they all had merit to be on my campaign staff; and I would need all the help I could get.

"Yes Sara, I would be grateful for your help", I responded and we smiled. "Okay let's have a real drink", Tony said out loud. "Not for me, I don't drink", I replied. I want my team from New York on this. No offence Miles, Bob. I have people I have worked with for several years and they have earned my trust. Don't get me wrong, I will need you on this campaign and I do hope you will help. Sara seems to trust you and that is good enough for me. I have known Dan for a while also. But I need my people around me", I informed the remainder of the people assembled around the table.

"Bryce, I believe I speak for Bob, when I say we will help in any capacity you need", Miles replied. "Campaign contributors. When I announce tomorrow, hit the phones", I said to them, and they nodded in agreement. "Sara. Danny. Catch the late Flyer out of Washington. I will need both of you in New York for this conference", I informed my newly acquired campaign staff, and that now shocks the shit out of me.

"Danny, I want you to handle the press. No comment is the watch word, and that remains until Bryce announce on Monday morning". Sara informed. Danny nodded and replied, "Sure thing".

"Tony, can I ask you one thing though?" I asked. "Yeah, sure", he replied. "Who suggested me for the candidacy" I asked. "Bryce, as I said, you have a lot of support within the party", he replied, squeezed my shoulder and left it at that.

As I left the office one thing struck me. I would have to make sure that nobody discovers my secret. Yeah, I have had lovers in the past; but I have been careful. All been clandestine flings, dark places, glory holes, anonymous sex with strangers, no names, no ' I will call you later's. I have been devoted to my job. I have never come across that single person that made my heart jump at his presence, and if I do, I will deal with it the way I do with all my emotional needs………………. ignore it!.

The next few days were full of secret meetings, and strategy powwow's. The media were at a loss. They announce a new name almost every day who the Republicans would run; my name never being mentioned. A few of the usual suspects in the party had thrown their name into the hat; but were being dismissed by the political pundits on CNN and NBC as well as Fox news.

Then a report coming from a network affiliate in New York brought my name up.

"News just in. Senator Bryce Noda to announce his shot at the Governors mansion tomorrow. Our New York Correspondent Luke Lant has more. " Yes John, we are hearing reports that Senator Bryce Noda will announce he is running for the Governor's Mansion. We expect him to make that announcement sometime Monday morning. The 39 year old Senator , would be strongly tipped to win the house, as he has a large following here in New York. So watch this space as they say. Back to you John" the reporter ended.

"Boy is he in for a shock", I said looking at Danny and Sara. "Danny can you set up the press for Monday, say around 10am?", Sara said, and I agreed, since some of the cat was out of the bag.

At the end of the day I left my Washington Office and headed for the Airport. I was soon met by two men. They showed me their badges and said they would be with me for the forseeable future. The party had brought in the secret service to protect me. I thought it was too soon for this sort of thing. I had not even announced yet. But the report on the news said it warranted a security detail to watch my back.

I did not argue!.

"Senator, your flight is on time", one of the black suits informed me. "Thank you", I replied.

The flight was uneventful. I was in a secluded part of the plane: one guard sitting across from me, and the other on the doorway into my cabin area. "Is this all necessary?" I asked. "Sir, I have seen some shit…..erm sorry…I mean things happen sir. So, best to edge on the cautious side", he responded. I nodded and continued to drink my coffee.

"So, how long have you been in the service?" I asked. He looked up and replied, "almost twenty years sir."

"Wife? Kids? Girlfriend?" I asked, not flirting, just curious. "No sir, never had time. I am married to my country; and at this moment sir, you are my mistress", he responded, and I laughed so loud the second guard appeared.

"Back to your post Davis", the first guard demanded. He did as he was ordered to do. "I amuse you sir", he said, directing his attention back to me. "No I am not mocking you. It was just your choice of words. I mean, Senators do not have mistresses", I replied with a wry grin.

Ladies and Gentleman we will soon be descending into New York and will arrive at JFK in approximately 8 minutes; so can you please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts

I fastened my belt as did the agent. The other agent did likewise, sitting by the doorway. A few minutes later we began to descend and touched down as smooth as any landing I had ever felt. We taxied up to the terminal and disembarked the plane into a terminal. I was ushered straight to my Car and headed home.

I arrived at my apartment and knew that the following day things were going to change. When would I come back here?, would I ever come back here?

I climbed the short set of steps up to my door and walked in. A car stationed at the front and rear of my apartment was obvious for anyone to see. As a senator, I had always had security. But now I have agents watching for anything untoward.

I sat at my desk, the time approaching 11pm, and I decided to ring my Mother and father.

"Noda residence" a voice spoke softly. "Rosa, it's Bryce. Is my Father still up?" I asked. "Yes Sir. I will just get him", she replied. Rosa had worked for my parents for almost thirty years. She was part of the family now, and I had plenty of time for her.

"Bryce how are you Son", my Father shouted. "Father, I am still not deaf", I laughed out. "I saw the news. Is it true? Are you running for Governor?", he asked. "Father just watch the news conference tomorrow at ten. I cannot say anything over the phone. I don't trust the press at the minute", I said to him. "Yeah, wise. Very wise", he replied.

We talked for almost an hour about some things we had planned for the summer and some trips he and Mother were planning for Christmas. I said my good nights and said I would call him after the news conference the following day. I knew he would definitely want to talk to me about what I was about to announce.

I lay on my bed alone. I had been like this for years, except for the occasional trip upstate for a secret meeting; no names, no call backs. Just sex. No love, no promises. Just me, him, both emptying our balls, no payment given nor asked for, so no sordid past. Just one that some still frowned upon despite it now being 2028. Barak Obama back in the day brought in the equality act. So a same sex couple could get married in any state and be afforded the same rights as married couples. Some in his and my party wanted that executive order stricken from the statutes. But the supreme court stopped their test case before it even got started.

So yeah, I could come out. But that would kill my campaign stone dead. Okay, yeah, Obama was the first black president. I do not believe this country is ready for an openly gay president. I did not want to be the first to try.

I stayed in bed despite the inability to sleep. The thoughts of my press conference in a few hours kept me awake. Then the thought of the primaries coming up. The first being New Hampshire. The other candidates had been campaigning for over a month. So I was already a mile behind.

I decided to get up, the clock showing 6:47am. I walked down the hall and put the coffee maker on. I went to the bathroom to piss off the nights flow. No morning wood. You have to sleep to develop one of those. I walked back into my den as the maker had just finished spurting out the last of the coffee.

I put the News on and over and over again they still speculated who the Republicans were pinning their hopes on. Some reporter even suggested as an off the cuff remark that they should look for a younger candidate and my name was mentioned, among many.

I watched and listened to many opinions of some respected pundits, and the names in the frame for the republicans and the ones already announced were being ripped to shreds by some quarters. "Wow that was harsh" I said as Old Bill Clinton ripped Senator Nick Miller apart, using his lack of leadership skills, his non-participation in some debates. Yes, he ran before and was dropped after the New Hampshire Primary; but jeeze, "leave him his dignity, Bill, for fuck sake!", I said to myself.

At 9am Sara and Danny arrived to prep me for my first of many press conferences, and I was actually looking forward to the announcement. I would love to see the look on my parents faces. I was their only child, and I was going to announce on live television that I was running for the most powerful job on this planet. And that excited me. Seventy two hours ago I was thinking about running for the New York Job, but now…….wow.

We drove with our new escort to my office in New York, and stood on the steps of the Courthouse on the opposite side of the street. The cameras were in position and the seal of the state of New York was on the podium. I walked up the steps with representatives of the Republican Party as well as the head of the New York Chamber of Commerce. Danny stood behind me, as did Sara. I was soon given the signal that we would be live to air in 5 seconds.

The press had been given their instructions before I arrived. I would answer a few questions after I had finished speaking. But no questions during.

"Good Morning Ladies and Gentleman. My name is Senator Bryce James Noda. I was born and raised here, in the great state of New York. I served 6 years for this great country as a Marine and rose to the rank of Major. I left the service with honour and I have never regretted serving my country", I started.

"I love this country and ran for public office, and became a congressman when I was 27yrs. Old. I served that job with honour and pride. I then became the Senator for New York six years ago and have served this job to the best of my ability. But again, It's time for a change. I need bigger challenges, I need new horizons", I said and kept on.

"This country is in a slump. New York is bucking that trend because of strong leadership. I have given six years of my service to the great state on New York and it has prospered because of it. And nobody can deny that" I went on; the support I had beside me all cheering and nodding in agreement.

"Some speculation in the media and on social websites state that I am going to announce my candidacy for the Governor of New York………………. I would be honoured to be the Governor of this great state. But the problems of this country run deep, and I believe I can help us out of the downward spiral we are most definitely in………. So, today ladies and gentlemen of the press, my fellow Americans. Today I announce my candidacy for the office of the President of the United States of America", I concluded, and a rapturous round of applause was heard.



"Senator". I pointed to the reporter from the New York Times. "Yes Mike", I yelled. "Senator, why are you running now? Why not after a term as Governor?"

"Well Mike, I don't think there is time for me to be governor. The country needs strong leadership and I intend to give it to them. Next question", I replied.

"Lucy", I pointed to the reporter from NBC. "Senator Noda, what has driven you to announce this attempt on the white house?", she asked.

"Simple. My desire to serve my country" I responded.

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