Julian was reeling from shock and anger. “I can’t believe it.”
The foundation director, Philippe Roux, shook his head somberly. “Yes, it’s true. We didn’t want to tell you right away, but realized that you would find out eventually.”
Philippe had just informed Julian that Victor Green—perhaps the most prominent public antagonist to the Amendment—was actually his old nemesis, the very same back-stabbing Victor Gruenholtz who had ruined Julian’s political career nearly 150 years ago.
For reasons unknown, Gruenholtz had frozen himself shortly after Julian had. Gruenholtz was then successfully unfrozen fourteen years ago. He had gotten a large amount of media attention, and he decided to leverage that to re-run for national office. He won a Congressional seat and had quickly risen to prominence.
Back in the 21st century, it had been a matter of an important gentleman’s agreement that Julian and “Vic” had made, and Vic had then secretly broken. This treachery had led to a humiliating scandal that had sent Julian’s political career spiraling. Julian was no dope; he knew that politics was often played this way. But this episode had enraged him like nothing in his life ever had.
Philippe answered some of Julian’s questions about Green. When Julian appeared to be more composed, Philippe went on. “I’m going to be very honest with you. We have been researching Green, and discovered the past relationship between the two of you, and then researched you. We believe that, based on your past political record, that you would quickly understand and resonate to the importance of this proposed Amendment. Which, I’ve been hearing from Eva Florez, appears to be the case. Not so?”
Julian’s head was swimming. The best he could muster was, “Yes. I... I do.”
Philippe eyed him cautiously, and decided to slow down. “I am a believer in the Amendment also, Julian. At any rate, let me not... how about a drink? I’d like to pitch you a couple ideas about your future—you might not yet realize how many options you have...”