"I'm getting old. I never really thought about it until recently, but that doesn't make it any less any true. I worry I'm getting too old to do something worthwhile. I don't have the same energy I used to. Real passion, you know?"
"Having trouble getting it up, Dan?"
"Jesus, Mike. I'm talking about ideas! Big ones! Ones I set aside when something easier came along."
"Sounds like somebody just watched 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' recently."
"I worry about not having enough time left to do all the things I'd set out to do, or enough energy."
"Isn't that what retirement's for?"
"Not running again? I thought for sure you'd die still sitting in office, at the ripe age of 100."
"That's not what I meant. I'm drunk but I didn't think I was slurring my words that badly. I want to be remembered for something good. Something important. I don't care what that sounds like to you cynical bastards. Here, I have something."
"Couldn't be your wallet. I don't think I've ever seen you pick up the tab here."
"It's a letter. One of my aides gave it to me today. I think you might know the sender, Pat. Chris Sluzky?"
"Yeah, I've met him a few times."
"His son, Ben, died."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"He didn't talk about him a lot. He was, uh, you know."
"No, one of the meat syndrome, uh, sufferers."
"The official report is that he died from complications, but he doesn't believe it. Ben was involved in the Democratic Church of Christ, but left a couple weeks before his death. Chris thinks that-"
"Didn't they all move down to Venezuela?"
"Uh, yeah, most of them. Chris thinks that there were people in the church that had something to do with it."
"What do you think?"
"I don't know yet. Donaldson thinks they're on the level. Eccentric, but doing a good thing."
"Taking the mutants out of the country gives him a good grade in my book."
"I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that. Listen, I don't know what they're doing. I don't know. Nobody does. That's what I'm trying to get at."
"This is it! Nobody knows what's going on with those people! Chris wants to find out why his son died. If somebody in the church knows anything, anything at all, don't you think that's worth looking into? If somebody is involved, what's to say any of the other rumors about these people are any less true? Guns. Drugs. Forced slavery. Who knows what else. Maybe more people have died than my friend's son at their hands. If I can show the world what these people are really up to..."
"Then maybe I'll be remembered."
"You're worried about your legacy?"
"Listen, I don't need to hear it. I just need you to make me chairman of the subcommittee on South America. I can take it from there."
"I don't know. This sounds risky."
"I would have jurisdiction. They built their own damn city down there. Strictly Americans."
"No, I mean, what if the rumors are true? What if they don't like you prying in on them?"
"I know, but I'll bring people with me. Cameras, too. They wouldn't dare to kill someone on live TV. Especially a Congressman."
He smiled and took another drink.