[For my sixtieth birthday, a bit of mythic whimsy, as I revision Nemesis’ role in Donald Trump’s life and career; all celestial relationships are authentic and reflected in Trump’s chart; events alluded to are accurate, though embellished; reported conversations may or may not have occurred.]
Nemesis pursed her lips as she glanced about her at the droves of celestials lining up in the Hall of Destiny, shuffling and taking their places for Zeus’ final approval of the about-to-be-incarnated’s horoscope as the birth moment approached. Enthroned on his dais, the King of the Gods seemed preternaturally still, even from Nemesis’ vantage point, some ninety degrees away.
She looked again at her traveling companion, standing on the same degree marker; this wouldn’t do at all.
“Um, excuse me, Lord Zeus?”
“Jupiter, if you please … it’s 1946 down there, have to keep up with the times.”
“Right. Sorry. I don’t mean to cause trouble, and I certainly don’t want to imply that you don’t know how to do your job, but you’re a bit, well … distracted just now. You know, going through the change?”
“And?” Zeus thundered.
“Well, it’s just … you’ve got me here with Bilk! I mean, right here!! How am I supposed to deal with that?” She turned to the celestial at her side, who was grinning slyly. “No offense meant,” she sotto-voce’d. He nodded understandingly.
“What’s the problem, Nemesis?”
“Do you think this wise?” Zeus glared, sparks of pique sizzling at his brow. “Of course, your worship, you epitomize wisdom. What I ought to have asked is, ‘is this advisable?’”
“I mean, there’s me – you know, ruin and downfall, divine retribution, vengeance, keeping the cosmic balance; and then there’s him!” She jerked a deprecating finger in Bilk’s direction. “Fraud, duplicity, false financial dealings. Do you really think we make the best pair?”
“You worry too much, Nemesis. Can’t you see how powerful I am right now – it’s just minutes to the change! I’m standing tall and standing still, about to move forward once more. And I’ll be there for him like that his whole existence! I’ll offer him largesse and bounty, bail him out of jams, grant fame and avert blame, build him up bigger than life and twice as cocky; I won’t let anybody take advantage of him, this, ummm … what’s the name again?” Ganymede passed him a ledger. “Thanks, boy!” smirked Zeus, smacking Ganymede’s butt as he exited. He thumbed through the ledger quickly; “This … uh, ‘Donald John Trump’. Don’t worry, I’ll keep him safe from fraudsters, he won’t come to ruin or downfall via Bilk’s agency.”
“Pardon me, Sir, but it’s not him I’m worried about!”
Zeus considered a moment. “Hmmmm … you may be right. Well, too late to do anything about it now – time’s come, and there he goes!” he exclaimed as a bolt of white lightning shot from the dais, Earth-bound. He turned to Nemesis. “Tell you what. Keep an eye on things, and we’ll revisit this in a few decades.”
“As you wish, Sir,” Nemesis intoned dully, and nudged Bilk in the ribs. “Watch your step, and keep your nose clean!”
“Of course, Divine One,” Bilk replied, smiling an oily smile, but crossed his fingers behind his back.
* * *
Over the years, Nemesis had quite a time of it, holding herself back whenever DJT crossed the line. Fate is paramount but also what we make it, and although nobody chooses their chart, we do decide how to work it, via that ever-so-slim sliver of Free Will we all possess. And DJT had made a practice of using her, Nemesis, to bring ruin to others via fraudulent financial shenanigans, utilizing Bilk’s proximity to her, just as she feared he would. She’d approached Zeus countless times about this, whenever DJT cheated his contractors, shorted his workers, bailed on his legitimate debts via bankruptcies, conned his eponymous “University” students, hawked his inferior wares, pretended to fire people on his reality show, inflated his net worth for loans or downplayed it for taxes.
Every time, Zeus proved immovable, seemingly unable to extricate himself from the inertia of his original stationary stance, as Jupiter, that day DJT incarnated. Always making excuses for him, denying the worst of the character traits he’d helped to foster with his constant propping-up of his protégé, Zeus habitually turned a deaf ear to Nemesis’ pleas for redress.
It took more than seven decades, but just as DJT threatened to take his con game national, Nemesis eventually realized that if she was going to correct this imbalance, she’d have to do it without the approval of the King of the Gods, and she needed allies.
She called up a mental image of the celestials who had assembled that day so long ago, and considered the intrigues DJT had been up to of late. Who among them could lend assistance? Someone vital, engaged, tapped in to the energies at birth, but also present and active in the moment. It was 2016, and DJT’s run for the US presidency was in full swing.
How about … Russia! That was perfect! She sought out the burly, bearded, sable-clad Cossack who at DJT’s birth had stood proudly opposed Jupiter, ninety degree markers away from herself.
She found him in the Cosmic Design Bar, swiftly downing shots of vodka. “Comrade!” she cried in greeting.
“Privyet!” He grasped her in a big bear hug. “It’s been too long!”
“What can I say? Putin’s got my gig in your neck of the woods now.”
“Ahhh,” he nodded disconsolately. “What can I do for you? I know you, Nemesis, it’s never idle chitchat with you.”
“It’s this DJT matter.”
“Mmmmmm. Yes, he’s been poking his nose around here a lot of late, I was wondering when you’d notice. Is Zeus finally ready to cooperate?”
“Uhhhh, not as such, no.”
There was a twinkle in Russia’s eye as he grinned. “But you think you’ve found a loophole?”
“Perhaps, with your help.”
“Anything for you, Nemesis. I haven’t forgotten the Germans at Stalingrad.”
“Oh, piffle – that was mainly the weather, not my doing.” She smiled in self-deprecation.
“As you say, but I remain in your debt.”
“Any ideas about how to bring him down? Something even Zeus can’t ignore?”
“Well… he’s unlikely to bat an eye about the business deals; he never has. But things have escalated. I hear he’s seeking Putin’s help in winning the American election.”
“You don’t say? Zeus hates usurpers, having been one himself…”
Russia growled a deep chuckle. “Oh, Nemesis, you do fish in deep waters. Least said about that the better. But then, that’s where the sturgeon are; I think I can help – there’s lots of material there, but it’s fairly well hidden in plain sight.”
“That old gag? ‘If I say it out loud you won’t believe me’?”
“Well, you know he has no imagination. He just publicly asked for help in hacking his opponent’s email.”
“Da. I think it runs pretty deep, this collusion.”
“But how to prove it?”
Russia considered, and downed a few more shots. He offered one to Nemesis, who declined with a polite “Nyet.” “Ah! I have just the fellow – Mueller is right next door!”
“Mueller? I don’t think I know him.”
“No reason you should; he’s a straight shooter, this Mueller I have in mind. First name Robert, a former FBI Director. He’s deputized for you countless times; he’ll get to the bottom of it.”
Nemesis looked impressed. “That should work. I’ll set him to it! Spasibo!”
“Na zdorovie! Anytime, Nemesis!”
* * *
It took a further two years, but Robert Mueller did get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, by then DJT had perfected his misdirection and misinformation campaigns, his supporters were dug in, political allies were terrified of him and afraid to step one toe out of line whatever he did, and he’d installed a flunky as Mueller’s boss. Terrestrially, the mountains of evidence of DJT’s complicity in Russia’s 2016 electoral meddling went nowhere.
Celestially, Nemesis found Zeus in his usually complacent mood regarding DJT, and when presented with the full roster of his misdeeds, uttered a resounding “meh.” “You’ll have to do better than this, Nemesis; much better.”
The goddess of vengeance ground her teeth and retreated, determined to return to the fray and this time, take down DJT. ‘Perhaps I’ve gone too far afield with this. Russia and Mueller were always a bit of a stretch for me. Who have I got close at hand?’ Once again she mentally scanned the pact of celestials queueing up in the Hall of Destiny that fatal day. There had been scads of minor players clustered close about her – maybe there was leading man potential there. Seventy-plus years later, who on the planet would resonate to those players? Who was placed to help her wreak her retribution, ready to step into the spotlight? And what would form the pretext?
She didn’t have long to wait on DJT’s further shenanigans. Barely was the ink dry on the Mueller Report, with the former FBI Director’s testimony still echoing in the halls of Congress, before the US President was once again seeking illicit foreign assistance in his election.
This time it was Ukraine, and the case looked promising. But it was only when Nemesis noted the Ukrainian president’s name that she whooped with glee – Volodymyr Zelensky! And celestial Volodymyr had been right there in her coterie, just seven degree markers away, when DJT incarnated! That’s the ticket!
Despite Bilk’s independent streak under DJT’s command, most of those celestials within her orbit when he incarnated were fully under her control, and Nemesis sought out others who could bolster the case against DJT, either directly by conjunction, or tangentially by aspect.
As she perused the names at her command, the roster grew exponentially. “Ahhh, here’s Maria, just six steps away – that’s Marie Yovanovitch, the US Ambassador to Ukraine DJT had bad-mouthed and forced out when she didn’t back his plan to withhold military aid until the Ukrainian government supplied fake dirt about his presidential opponent.
“And Alexander, three steps away – that’s Lt Colonel Alexander Vindman, who listened in on the call where DJT attempted to shake down Zelensky. And George, just a step away – that’s George Kent, the State Department official who confirmed DJT’s smear campaign against Yovanovitch, Putin’s poisoning of his attitude toward Ukraine, his demands on their president, and repeatedly tried to warn top officials of the dangers of this policy.
“And Laura, just two steps away – that’s Laura Cooper, the Defense Department official who can testify to the delay of congressionally approved aid to Ukraine while DJT applied his pressure campaign; and Davida, eight steps away – that’ll do for both David Hale, another State Department official who expressed concern over DJT’s unorthodox methods in withholding the aid; and David Holmes, who overheard DJT’s flunky Gordon Sondland responding to his boss’s query about how Zelensky was complying with the requested investigation.”
Nemesis considered. ‘That’s a lot of allies, all at my beck and call. But maybe I can do better – how about those at the periphery?’
“Like Gordonia, 90 degree markers away – that’s for Gordon Sondland, DJT political donor and EU Ambassador, who oversaw the pressure campaign and then tattled on his boss; and Hill, 150 markers away – she can testify to the National Security Adviser’s distaste for the whole scheme, which he characterized as a ‘drug deal.’ And Andersen, also 90 markers away – that’s for Christopher Anderson, another guy at State who can confirm Hill’s testimony. And there’s Katharina, 60 steps away – that’s Catherine Croft, another witness to the military aid delay and the smear of Yovanovitch.”
Nemesis smiled to herself. ‘This is good; ironclad, in fact. If this doesn’t get DJT thrown out, I don’t know what will. All I need now is someone in real time, someone to push the case forward, prosecute it, and get that conviction.’
“How about … Adam! Right there, strongly supporting me, exactly 120 steps away. That’ll be Adam Schiff, US Representative, who can lead the House impeachment inquiry and bring the comeuppance DJT so richly deserves. Now to tackle Zeus!”
* * *
Nemesis stood at attention before the King of the Gods as he reviewed her dossier. “I have to say, Nemesis, you’ve been very thorough here. Really dotted those i’s and crossed those t’s. Not much left to the imagination, and everything backed up with multiple proofs.” He paused a moment, then chuckled. “He’s quite the scoundrel, isn’t he? Ya gotta love that. Nice work.” He handed the dossier back to her with a dismissive gesture.
“You mean … after all this? You’re still not going to give me the green light?”
Zeus shrugged his shoulders. “What can I say? I tell you what – you’ve been a good servant all these millennia, so I’ll throw you a bone here. You can have the House impeachment – I can hardly deny you that, given the evidence. But no conviction! He stays right where he is.”
“I’ve made my ruling, Nemesis. Sure, this is awful, truly bad behavior; but it’s not like anybody died.”
Nemesis sighed. “As you wish, Lord.” Disconsolate, she turned away from the throne, stalking wearily toward the door, determined to leave Olympus for good. ‘Why am I doing this? Zeus is never going to abandon him; this has all been wasted effort. I’m done here – this is one time I won’t get my way. Justice can’t be done; the imbalance can’t be rectified.’
Nemesis left the Presence, and headed for the exits. But in the forecourt, she paused, seeing Apollo canoodling with Koronis in a window embrasure. Zeus’ parting words came flooding back to her: “It’s not like anybody died.”
Nemesis’ lips slowly curled into a crooked smile, and her hands folded together into a steeple, which she rested under her chin. ‘Perhaps … there is a way. But the cost!’ she balked. Then she remembered all the injustices, the frauds, the back-stabbings and underhanded dealings, the deception, the bluster, the hubris of it all! A lifetime of flouting the rules, with no consequences! It had to stop – now!! And desperate times require desperate measures.
Boldly she strode across the forecourt to Apollo and Koronis. “Hey – you two! We need to talk…”
* * *
“So we’re agreed?” Nemesis had outlined her plan as the three deities sipped nectar and picked at a bowl of ambrosia in an alcove off the forecourt of Olympus. She had laid out two maps on the jeweled mosaic table, one of planet Earth, another of the skies at DJT’s birth, the better to illustrate her strategy.
“Absolutely!” said Apollo, turning to Koronis at his side. “Honey, you in?”
“Anything I can do to help. The man’s a schmuck.”
“As soon as I saw you two, I knew you’d play along! Koronis, I remember you standing across the floor from me that day, 180 degree markers away, looking so svelte in that chemise; and Apollo, 45 degree markers away, standing right there at DJT’s rising point, just waiting to affect his public image someday. I knew you’d come through! But you’re key here, Koronis,” explained Nemesis. “This is your baby, so to speak. Apollo will spread it around, but you’re the one who has to produce it.”
“I’ll be ready.”
“Now, what’s the timeframe? You two are set to meet up in the skies again, when?”
“Early January 2020, I believe it is, down there.” Koronis quickly consulted a day planner. “Yes, January 7th; I can get the ball rolling a bit earlier, but that will be the key date when I hand off the ‘baby’ to Apollo …”
“ … and I’ll take it global.”
“Fine. So where’s the inception point?”
Apollo pored over the dual maps, comparing one to the other, then plunked his finger on the world map decisively. “Here!” Nemesis craned her neck to see. “Wuhan, China,” continued Apollo. “It’s a large populace, it’ll spread quickly, and look – Wuhan at DJT’s birth is exactly 150 degree markers from you!”
“That’s perfect!” enthused Nemesis. “If I can’t get him any other way, we’ll let the people of Earth take him down. And once he’s no longer protected by his office, I’ll move in for the coup de gras.”
“How long?” asked Apollo.
“Oh, twenty to life ought to do it.”
The bringer of plague smirked. “No, I meant how long until the denouement? When does DJT get his comeuppance?”
“At the American elections, November 3, 2020. And look! Koronis will be right there, too, ready and waiting to help me take him down – on that day she’s exactly 90 degree markers from where I stood at his birth. Oh! And isn’t this precious? Lookee who else is there, staring straight across the zodiac at Koronis, and also exactly 90 degree markers from me – Josefa! That’s Joseph Biden, his election opponent. Couldn’t be sweeter!”
And so it came to be. Koronis set the plan in motion a few weeks later, in early December, with a dangerous new coronavirus (her namesake) emerging in Wuhan. And, right on cue, Apollo was there to meet her in the heavens on January 7th and spread the virus, which that very day was first identified by the Chinese government.
Before long the planet was overrun, and in the US, DJT’s feckless leadership and inability to face the reality of the situation soon made America the epicenter of the global pandemic. Millions were affected, hundreds of thousands lost their lives, but the disaster had the required effect, with DJT’s support falling lower than a grub in Tartarus.
But one more supporter remained to be convinced. As Nemesis once again approached the King of the Gods for final approval, she had a moment of self-doubt. Had it been worth it? Millions of lives irrevocably altered, economies shattered worldwide, all to reduce one man to ashes? Then she considered the character of that man, and his ability to wreak global havoc from where he now sat, and she questioned no more.
She found Zeus at dinner, meditatively chewing a turkey leg and quaffing flagons of beer. He seemed uninterested as usual, but listened indulgently to Nemesis’ presentation, then briefly perused her dossier.
Zeus looked at her, sighed, and inquired: “You’re never going to let go of this, are you, Nemesis?”
“It’s my job, Sir.”
Zeus belched, tossing a turkey bone over his shoulder. “All right, you can have him…”