The iCandidate: 14th Installment
To begin with Installment 1, please click here.
Editor's Note: This in-app iVote is now closed - but there's another coming right up!
The iCandidate is a guilty pleasure - a unique interactive thriller about a political reality show to choose a potential President of the United States - in which the reader has a key say in how the plot unfolds.
In The iCandidate, eight finalists from all walks of life face the kind of challenges they might have to deal with in the Oval Office:
• Will they use the nuclear button?
• What will they do about ISIS?
• How will they cope in a crisis?
At the end of each round the reader gets to cast an iVote to help determine who stays and who goes home. It is democracy in its purest form, free from party loyalties, donor obligations and antiquated electoral practices - and it keeps the authors on their toes!
In the novel, serialized weekly only on NoteStream, the eventual people’s champion goes on to challenge the political establishment in an iCampaign for the presidency climaxing in an explosive finale in Washington on November 8.
But The iCandidate has even greater aspirations to trigger a revolution in the way America selects the most powerful man or woman on the planet, and really, would it be any crazier than what we've got now?
Change America one iVote at a time - and cheer on your iCandidate! Be sure to cast your in-app iVotes to save your favorite iCandidates!
NoteStreams are readable online but they’re even better in the free App!
The NoteStream™ app is for learning about things that interest you: from music to history, to classic literature or cocktails. NoteStreams are truly easy to read on your smartphone—so you can learn more about the world around you and start a fresh conversation.
For a list of all authors on NoteStream, click here.
Read the NoteStream below, or download the app and read it on the go!
Chapter 35 - iCANDIMANIA
Cameras panned across the gates outside Studio 4 revealing a mass of people filling every inch of the road.
The police struggled to find enough room for cars to pass through. Fans were climbing on top of each other, desperate to catch a glimpse of their favorite iCandidate.
Inside the gates, David Mason shepherded a jostling mob of TV crews and photographers.
“This is politics on steroids. It’s Political Idol - who would have thought it? iCandidate fever has swept the nation.” The silver-haired CNN anchor shouted over the crowds welcoming the contestants who arrived back on the set for the next round.
Change Is Coming
“It’s like Beatlemania here. We’re not seeing the kind of violence that has sullied some of the Trump rallies recently. There is a sense that this is going to change the voting system as we know it in America,” he continued.
What We Don't Know
“The producers are being extremely tight-lipped about the last challenge.
The only fact we have confirmed is that they finished taping the new challenge yesterday.”
The anchor was almost knocked over in the surge as Todd led the small group from the first limo. A squad of burly bodyguards prevented them from being overrun. “As you can see behind me,” he said recovering, “the contestants have arrived. Some people are estimating that this week’s results show will surpass 60 million iVotes..
“In the studio we have Tim Western from the Washington Electoral Institute to discuss the ramifications of the show on....”
“Turn it up would you?”
White House Chief-of-Staff David Platt picked up the remote gingerly from the table in the President’s private living room. He’d been advising the President since his days in the Illinois Senate and they were more friends than colleagues.
“Honestly, iCandidate fever? Has the country gone mad?” the President pretended to look shocked. “Hillary must be pulling her hair out.”
“Do you want to form an action committee to report back on how this is going to affect the next election? At the very least, the party could use some of their ideas,” Platt told his boss.
“Nah, let Hillary worry about it.
It’ll probably fizzle out. None of these people have the sort of experience to become President.”
“That’s what they used to say about you,” Platt reminded him.
“To be honest, much of what they’re saying makes a lot of sense to me. These aren’t Tea Party nuts. They’re the voice of America. Most people just want to see the government get things done. They don’t want to see us arguing about every little detail.”
“That may be true, sir, but if the iCandidate show really does become a presidential campaign, then they will be looking to tear down the very fabric of Washington. It’ll be the end of the two-party system.”
“Not such a bad thing, but it’ll annoy the heck out of everyone on Capitol Hill.”
“So, not all bad then.”
The President’s equanimity never ceased to amaze Platt. “It would, of course, be impossible for the winner to raise the kind of money needed for a realistic challenge.” The Chief-of-Staff was paid to cover all the angles.
“Not in such a short time, so Hillary probably doesn’t need to panic this time around, but the party had better be ready for the future. What does the First Lady make of the show?”
“Never misses it. I think she’d pick Grace and Gillian over me if she could. I’m just happy the girls are too young to vote.”
“Because they’d vote for Cameron, for sure.”
Chapter 36 – The Ice Queen Is Melting
One of the biggest movies of the spring was premiering at Mann’s Chinese Theater, but there was only a sprinkling of fans on Hollywood Boulevard and the leading lady called to say she was running late. Like everybody else, she wanted to see who was going out in The iCandidate.
“Ladies and gentleman,”
Kristoff was back in the spotlight. “You’ve watched the footage from the war zone and the extraordinary events that took place there. But now we’ve reached the moment. As much as it grieves me, we will be saying goodbye to another contestant. What do you think, Rob?”
“Andy, I’m telling you, we are changing politics one iVote at a time, just as we said we would. It’s mind blowing, dude.”
“Okay, is everyone ready?” Kristoff walked in front of the contestants, ratcheting up the tension by pausing dramatically next to each one.
“Who are you going to choose, America?” his face filled the screen.
Who Goes Home?
“Who will your votes be sending home, I wonder?
Will it be this man? This woman?
It may be okay on other reality shows to get it wrong. After all, they were just choosing a singer, a dancer, or a chef. Walter, who do you think deserves to stay, or go?”
“When the going gets tough, the weakest links show themselves. In my opinion, right now, up to this moment anyway, Todd is the strongest.”
Todd smiled and waved at the cheering audience.
Change The System
“Big words coming from the man who rarely showers praise.
Here on The iCandidate,” Kristoff continued, “you the viewers, the voters, have been given a responsibility that is so immense it can reshape politics and change the system forever.”
He stopped between Grace and Cameron. “Are you sending either of these two home, America?” The lights on the stage were dim, with just a tiny spotlight hovering over Kristoff’s face and now Grace.
“How are you feeling Grace?”
“I’m a little nervous. But all in all, I’m feeling good,” she smiled.
“And what about you, Cameron?”
“Excellent as always, Andy.“ His trademark lopsided grin was met with screams from the women in the audience.
Jen’s phone vibrated in her pocket as Kristoff walked towards her.
She couldn’t believe she forgot to turn it off. She was trying to find the silent button in her jacket pocket.
A second or two passed before she realized Kristoff had asked her a question.
“Sorry, what was that?” Her cool exterior evaporated. Gillian and Grace glanced at each other, puzzled.
“I asked you if you feel confident that you’ve made it into the iPrimaries, Jennifer? You are without doubt our most controversial and confident contestant, after all.” Jen’s phone quietly buzzed again.
“I em, I er... I just don’t know how it will go, Andy. I –I-I’m sure,” she stammered, “America will get it right. It’s anyone’s game I think.”
Turning to the judges, Kristoff asked: “Any thoughts, Rob?”
The Judges Weigh In
“Hey, okay so, Jen lacked decisiveness in the last challenge.
She’s tumbling but we all take a fall now and then, let’s give her a round of applause for making it this far. She looks like she needs some encouragement right now.”
Jennifer hardly noticed.
“Jacqueline,” asked Kristoff, “who got it wrong?”
“I think the decision not to go ahead with the waterboarding made by Gillian and Tom is going to hurt them. America’s not prepared to take chances when it comes to national security.”
“Rob, what do you think?”
“I think they were 100% right to stand firm and refuse to agree to torture a civilian.”
“Okay folks,” interrupted Kristoff. “It’s that time again. We all know that Todd and Cameron and Grace agree with Donald Trump that waterboarding is an effective and justifiable means to an end. But do you at home agree with them?
“Or do think Gillian, Tom and Jen got it right? Do you agree with the Geneva Conventions that waterboarding is tantamount to torture?”
“Everyone in the studio can place their votes now. For you at home, go to your NoteStream app and tell us your Top 3 iCandidates. It couldn’t be simpler. Just your Top 3.
“For now, that’s it from The iCandidate. For one of these fine people behind me, our next show will be their last.
“Good night everybody and iVOTE NOW!
Breaking News At 11
The cameras flashed back across the stage to show the finalists huddled around Jen, who appeared to have collapsed.
The studio quickly went black, but not before a voice was heard calling for a paramedic.
A small light from a camera to the right of the stage came on and a heavily made up woman reporter stepped in front of the lens with a Fox11 microphone.
“Stay tuned for the latest drama from The iCandidate. The Ice Queen is melting. More on that at 11.”