He spoke no parting words. There was nothing left to say. These people had given everything to him, some of them literally. They’d been with him from the very beginning, through the worst of it, all the way until the end. Until today, when he betrayed them all.
There was a deafening silence in the hall. They were still stunned and staring in shocked disbelief when he closed the connection, disappearing from the screen on which they had all watch their hopes die. He had known better than to show up in person. After all, these were extremely passionate people. Nobody knew that more than he did. That deep passion to fight for what they believed in is exactly what he exploited, riding it like a wave to victory. That passion would certainly be on display again when they found out what it was all for.
He took no joy in this. The images of each and every one of them were still fresh in his mind, the utter trauma and incredulity spreading across their faces. It would soon turn to rage, but an impotent one. They had already won their fight; the results were irreversibly final. They just hadn’t known which side they were truly on until his announcement.
He hadn’t bothered trying to couch it in the usual political doublespeak, or to justify it as anything other than exactly what it was. There was no need anymore, no one could stop him. He wanted power, and now that it was legally and totally within his grasp, he was taking it. He’d have to be a little less candid with the general population when he spoke to them in the coming days, but for the most part, they wouldn’t care. Those people who had given everything to him, dedicating their lives for years to getting him to this position had done such an effective job of it that he was certain every last man, woman, and child of Mars loved him like a benevolent father. They would simply see this as a natural step. Why shouldn’t he become First Mars Augustus, truly unifying his people under that love for the first time in their history?
Even the rest of the senate would have no choice. Thanks to the success of his team, his major opponents held little to no power and he was the most beloved figure in the whole government. Those who might stand in his way would be powerless to do so, and would be held at bay by either an unwillingness to subvert a leader so venerated by the public, or the many undyingly loyal senators he had helped install. They would all bow to him, whether they wanted to or not.
As he stood up from the desk, he looked out of the massive window. A beautifully lush, green cityscape stretched below, crowded with people and alive with activity, even this late at night. He stepped as close to the window as he could, placing both hands and pressing his face against it. He looked through the edge where the thick layer of transparent aluminum met the edge of the habitable area’s enormous dome, providing just a few inches through which he could see raw, untouched Mars. The narrow visible strip of red landscape went on uninterrupted until it met the black night sky, where his eyes found his next ambition, a tiny blue speck.