Friday, April 20, 2012

"Cartman Rising" Chapter 11: Blackmail

 South Park fanfiction
Rated T for language, some sexuality, and just Cartman in general

That night, I stayed up, thinking, unable to sleep. Now that Craig was gone, the others were a little more dangerous. They could see that having one fifth of the power was better than having one sixth, and they might try to gain even more.

Of course, anyone could want power. But who was the one who would actually make the move? I weighed the options in my head.

Butters wouldn't do anything. No matter what he tried to convince everyone, he had no ambition. It was very possible that he hadn't even considered the implications of banishing Craig, and what that would mean for the rest of us. No, Butters was safe.

Kenny did have ambition, but he also knew his place. He knew he wasn't cunning enough to outthink me, nor did he have anything to gain by trying. I had never steered him wrong before; he had money, and he had women, and that was enough for him.

Wendy, of course, was both cunning and formidable. But I believed that we both had each other's best interests at heart. It was a risk, naturally, but what is politics without risk? Wendy and I were both the real leaders here anyway, so there would be no point in her betraying me. Or me betraying her, for that matter.

Which left…Ike. I had always known that Ike would prove to be the most dangerous member of the Brotherhood. He probably thought he had the brains to run everything himself. He was the youngest, and therefore the rashest, of any of us. Out of all the Brotherhood members, he was also the most distrustful of me.

But most importantly, he was still a Jew. He may not have been born that way, but thirteen years of living with the Broflovski family just couldn't be cured. And as long as he was a Jew, he couldn't be trusted to follow through with this campaign. Yes, Ike would be the one to make his move. I had no choice but to stop him.

But the even bigger issue was how to stop him. Ike had always managed to cover his tracks pretty well, and he was bound to see me coming. I wouldn't be able to outmaneuver him politically, and it wouldn't be possible to discredit him the way Craig had been; he was much too smart for that.

There was one option available: I did have some dirt on Ike that, if spread to the right people, could land him in prison. I could blackmail him. The only problem was that he probably had stuff on me that could get me in even bigger trouble, the least of which being what I had done to my friends back in South Park.

Then I got another idea…a more daring one. It was still blackmail, but it had even greater rewards for success. If this worked, then not only could I neutralize Ike at little risk to myself, but I could accelerate my timetable. Instead of building power over the course of several years, like I had originally intended, the United States could be under my control in less than a month. I quickly made the arrangements.

Over the next few days, I kept a close eye on Ike while I waited for everything to fall into place. It didn't look like he was ready to try anything at the moment, which was fortunate for me. Had he done anything during that period, I would have been in no position to stop him.

About a week passed. Then the FBI showed up on our doorstep. Apparently, Ike had been involved in a heist of the Smithsonian; he and several other criminals had made off with the valuable Hope Diamond, and the FBI had been trying to catch them for years. The FBI demanded that Ike be extradited to the U.S. for trial. The Brotherhood had no choice but to turn him over.

"I didn't know what I was doing," Ike cried as they carried him across the border. "They—they bribed me with chocolate!" But he wasn't fooling anyone.

Who would have thought that one of our own was a wanted criminal? And for a museum robbery, no less?
After another week, I made the call.


"Yes, have I gotten through to President Barack Obama?" I asked.

"Yes, you have. And who am I speaking to?"

"Mr. President, it would be in your best interests to make sure that this conversation is not being monitored," I said. "It would not do for other people to hear what I have to say."

"What do you mean?"

"Trust me."

There were a few moments of silence, probably for Obama to clear the room and make sure his phone wasn't bugged. Then he came back, only he sounded a little more annoyed. "Okay, there's no one listening. Now would mind telling me who you are?"

"Right now, it's not who I am, but how much I know. And what I know, Mr. President, is everything."

A pause. "What?"

"I mean, I know all about the heist," I told him. "I know that you, along with your wife, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Ike Broflovski, and several others, stole the Hope Diamond right out of the Smithsonian."

There was a longer pause. I could practically hear Obama sweating. "That's impossible," he finally said.

"Not true. Ike Broflovski has already been taken into custody by the FBI. I wonder if they have any idea how far up the conspiracy really goes."

"Are you threatening me?"

"Mr. President, please. This is not a threat; this is a negotiation."

And now the shoe has finally dropped. "What do you want?" Obama asked.

"It's really very simple. I want you…to surrender."

"You want me to resign?"

I smiled, even though Obama couldn't see me. "No, Mr. President. I want you, as the current leader of the United States, to surrender. You will turn over the country to me and my associates."

"And what makes you think I'll do that?" Obama snorted.

"I didn't think I'd have to spell this out for you, Mr. President. Basically, I could have you ruined, for a start."

"Do you think you are the first person to accuse the president of a crime? Or that I am the first president to supposedly commit one?"

"Of course not. This is where I tell you who I am. I am a member of the Brotherhood of Four, the ruling body of Mexico. Now I can tell you that, in addition to ruin for you, I can also order all of the Mexican workers and maids in the U.S. to stop working. Production and construction in the country would come to a standstill. How does that sound? If that's not enough, I can list off another dozen problems that America is having right now, and how I can use them to ensure the country's collapse. Which would inevitably be blamed on you."

The president hesitated.

"Come now, Mr. President," I went on, "it's not such a bad thing. My associates and I are already the rulers of a country. We have the experience to make the right decisions. Who's to say we won't make the country better? It may not be called the United States anymore, but without the conflict caused by the bureaucracy of American politics, we may be able to make some of the much needed changes you guys deserve."

Obama may be a skilled politician, but everyone had their weakness. I had him by the balls, and he knew it.
"And the best part," I said, "is that you get to have a nice retirement. With your family. And all the Tyler Perry DVD's you could want."

I heard a sigh on the other end. He had given in. America…was…mine.

The next day, the four of us flew to the White House for our inauguration. We figured to call it another coronation would be going too far, too fast. The Mexicans were sad to see us leave to rule from a more distant location, but they really couldn't complain; we had made their country about a hundred times stronger.

Needless to say, the whole thing had come off as a shock to the American public. Not only had Obama told them that he was resigning as president and retiring, but that he had surrendered control of the government to the rulers of Mexico. I could picture Kyle quaking in fear. I knew it wouldn't be easy to convince the Americans to bow to an oligarchy, no matter how benevolent we might be. Fortunately for us, there were plenty of people who just wanted Obama out of office, no matter who replaced him. And they were the ones who shouted the loudest.

Once again, it fell on me to make the speech to the people. White people are smarter than Mexicans, and like I said, Americans balked at the idea of being ruled by merely four people. So it goes without saying that trying to convince the American people to accept us as their rulers was the hardest speech I had ever made. To put it simply, I told them I wasn't a politician, and that I wouldn't act like one; I had no reason to lie to them. I explained how, with a more simply structured ruling body, the changes that this country so desperately needed could be implemented easily and efficiently. I made a list of very specific tasks that I would begin, starting tomorrow. By the time I was finished, I was out of breath, but very satisfied with the results. The crowd may not have been 100% on our side, but many of them were, and the ones who weren't were not storming the White House, at least.

We stepped back inside. Wendy and Butters dealt with the paparazzi, but Kenny motioned me into the oval office, and closed the doors. He looked at me for a long time, then asked me, "Cartman…when the fuck did this happen?"

"I told you we were going to take over the U.S., didn't I?" I reminded him.

"Oh, you kept your promise, alright," he sneered. "And all it took was throwing two of our own under the bus to do it. I mean, you helped throw a 13-year-old in prison, for God's sakes!"

"He probably won't be there long," I said. "Canada is already demanding the release of Sir Ike, so I'll let him go soon…after I make a few demands of my own. Of course, he won't be able to rule with us anymore, so he'll just go back home."

Kenny shook his head, astonished at how quickly I had capitalized on this whole situation. "And then there's Craig," he said. "By the way, what did you do to Craig, anyway? I must have missed that whole bit."

"We banished him to Peru."

Kenny gasped. Unlike Wendy, Butters, and Ike, Kenny knew full well what was waiting for Craig in the Peruvian rainforest. As did Craig.

"I suppose you left him in the middle of the jungle," he said.

"Something like that," I replied. "We thought about executing him, but decided that it would be better to show him mercy."

"You call that mercy? You might as well have killed him!"

"But we didn't," I insisted. When would these guys learn? "Sure, he might wish we had killed him by the time the Guinea creatures catch up with him, but the important thing is, we didn't kill him, so we're not responsible."

Kenny folded his arms. "By that logic, the Romans didn't kill a single Christian, and it was all the lions' fault. The point is, you knew that the Guinea creatures were in Peru, and you knew that they wouldn't hesitate to get revenge on Craig for thwarting their rampage. Which means you sent him into that jungle knowing full well he wouldn't make it out alive." He sighed. "Did he really deserve that? Just for building a crappy monument?"

"Don't forget killing you," I added.

"Well, I guess—" Kenny suddenly realized what I had said. "What?"

"I said, his shoddy workmanship caused the monument to fall on you and kill you. Don't tell me you forgot about that?"

Kenny stared at me, once again reevaluating his opinion of me. He was the most moderate of my childhood friends; he didn't blindly follow me like Butters, or show constant dislike for me like Stan and Kyle. He was always somewhere in the middle, and his feelings about me and my methods changed from day to day. But this one had to be the biggest shock of all.

"How long have you known?" he demanded.

"Since we were little," I replied.

"I thought no one knew," he said, more to himself than to me. "How did you find out?"

I decided to change the subject. "Why did you bring up Ike and Craig? Is it because you are having second thoughts about this endeavor? Et tu, Kenny?"

Kenny composed himself. "Not at all. I'm happy. I have all the money and women a guy can want. Ruling the United States is going to be great. But I am going to warn you, Cartman…I'm not like you. I do have limits on how far I will go, or let you go, just because it benefits me. And when you cross the line, don't count on me to back you up."

"Don't worry, I won't."

He turned to walk out the door. "Oh, and by the way," he said. "Since you already know my secret, you do realize I'm basically immortal, right? So just in case you get it into your head to send me the way of Craig or Ike, I think you'll find I'm not as easy to get rid of."

I kept smiling, right up the moment the door closed behind Kenny on his way out.

Son of a bitch!

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