Jim vs Jim
Jim Webb stands, panting, surrounded by a pile of cybernetic corpses of a hundred thousand Neo-Union soldiers.
One mangled robotic body of George McClellan attempts to grab Jim’s leg and pull him back into a fight, but Jim stomps on the robot’s arm, severing it from the rest of the body. He plugs a bolt of lead into McClellan’s cybernetic head to finish him off.
His phone starts ringing in his pocket. He knows he needs to answer it. As always, Senator Lindsey Graham is the voice on the other side of the phone. That monster is always at the end of these battles, Jim has learned.
“Good job, James,” Linds says. “You’ve improved. But Chesapeake is not saved. It is, in fact, lost.”
Jim looks up and stares around at the carnage of what once was a beautiful city, but is now ash and napalm. He loves the smell of it in the morning, day, and even the evening, but this destruction is not a sweet smell; it is disgusting.
“I believe your greatest threat is not yet here, though,” Linds continues, despite Jim’s silence in this conversation. “You know who he is, though. I hope you do, at least.”
Jim knows who Linds is referring to. He doesn’t have to say a damn thing back to confirm this, because Linds hangs up only moments later.
In the sky is a helicopter made entirely of chrome. It’s zooming closer and closer, and its turrets are already firing at Jim, who has to activate his spider-shield, made of ionized silk, to block the bullets from hitting him.
Out of the helicopter drops the one man Jim knows will be the death of him– Bill Titanium Sherman M4. The most advanced prototype of all the William T Sherman destructobots, and the only one to defeat him in battle, during the Siege of Roanoke. (Goodnight, Sweet Prince, Roanoke. You will be missed.)
“YOUR END IS NOT ONLY NIGH,” Bill Titanium Sherman M4, BTSM for short, says. “BUT IT IS INEVITABLE, AND IT IS NOW. LET YOURSELF BE TAKEN TO THE ETHER, THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE NEO-UNION. JIM WEBB, JOIN US.”
Jim has absolutely no idea what BTSM is referring to, but he gears up in his techno-equipment regardless, preparing himself for what could be the last battle of his career, and his life as well. He activates his electro-bayonet and turns on his cybernetic laser-eye, replacing the one he lost at Fairfax.
“I just have one thing to say to you,” Jim Webb says. “The South Shall Rise Again.”
The man and the robot jump at each other, bullets blazing and swords clashing. They each hit the ground, and–
Bill Titanium Sherman M4 implodes, shredding himself into a thousand tiny pieces. Jim Webb is now alone among the rubble and dead bodies.
Or so he thinks, until he turns around and sees a man levitating in the air, descending slowly to the ground. It takes a moment, but Jim Webb realizes who this man is–
And not just any Jim Gilmore, but the Alternate Universe Jim Gilmore, exiled from his own reality for his godlike powers that made him the bane of existence. And a man who can control existence, as well.
Another presidential candidate.
Jim Gilmore’s feet gracefully touch the ground, and he lets his heels impact the dirt and smashed-up concrete. He looks Jim Webb straight in the eyes, and makes no emotional movements whatsoever. It is as if he is… bored.
“Jim Webb,” he says. “I know you. You’re the man who ruined my state.”
Jim Webb grits his teeth. “I think you’re thinking of Bob McDonnell,” he says.
Jim Gilmore does not seem to laugh at Jim Webb’s remark, and instead begins frowning, the first hint of an emotional response towards anything.
“I don’t regard you any higher than I regard this universe’s version of me,” Jim Gilmore says. “Though I think you are a very accomplished fighter. The men you killed in Vietnam… You were ruthless. I like that.”
Jim Webb thinks back to the time he killed that enemy soldier, just one of many, but him in particular. The grenade piercing his back, the gunshots, the dead bodies– seeing his corpse, stained in blood as rich as the Stars and Bars… it made him into who he is today. “Do you want to fight me?” Jim Webb says. “I can take you on.”
Jim Gilmore laughs, but with a completely flat tone. “You fighting me would be like an ant attacking a skyscraper. You bite down against me, but I cannot even feel the pain you wish to inflict. There is no reason for you to even bother.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I want to recruit you to be my Secretary of Defense once I win the presidency. It is as simple as that. You have defended your nation against the Neo-Union with considerable grit and valor, and I believe you deserve to be rewarded for it, despite how badly you have destroyed Virginia in the process.”
“No.” Jim Webb refuses, and he charges at the other Jim. He can’t let this man patronize him like this. Not after all that’s happened. He won’t let–
Jim Gilmore flicks his fingers, and Jim Webb crashes to the ground, his spine tearing itself apart.
“You only had one chance,” Jim Gilmore says. “You ruined it. Goodbye.”
Jim Gilmore teleports away, and Jim Webb looks at the grey sky, smiling. His war is finally over.