COG Chapter 14

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

Buried a thousand feet beneath Ohio, the ten trillion dollar, UN-constructed SuperBunker can shelter a million members of the global elite indefinitely, with all the comforts of the surface including simulated blue skies, boutique shopping, and three golf courses. The President of the United States, Arman “Our Man” Manfred, regains consciousness in one of the bunker’s six hospitals. Surrounded by his trusted advisors and his official hagiographer, his office becomes ensnared in the Machiavellian underworld of SuperBunker geo-politics. The situation worsens when the president’s Russian and Chinese counterparts execute Protocol 4, sealing the blast doors and severing all contact with the surface, relegating the world’s leaders to governing a mere computer simulation of the world above. An attempt to blackmail the POTUS with a salacious video taken by his own security agency forces President Manfred into seclusion. With his office infiltrated by a traitor and hobbled by incompetence, he attempts one final ‘Hail Mary’ that might just save the office of the president… even if it destroys the world in the process.

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Chapter 14

Deep in the Hades Level, within the confines of the UltraBunker, the POTUS sat on his thronelike chair contemplating the situation in the company of his closest confidants: Fricke, Buckminster, Tibbles and Haberdash. The conference was marked mostly by silence. Tibbles’s eyes rolled back into his head in deep thought. Buckminster stared at Fricke, waiting for him to make a suggestion that he could immediately shoot it down. Fricke checked the time on his cell. Haberdash doodled a pair of rotund breasts on his notepad. The POTUS sighed.

“What?” Fricke finally burst, sensing Buckminster’s glare.

“Are you ready?” he replied.

“Ready for what?”

“Ready to activate that thing…?” He glanced down at Fricke’s feet where the nuclear football rested.

“Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.”

“Let’s hope?” Buckminster mocked. “We don’t have the luxury of hope. We must be prepared to act. The survival of the U.S. federal government hangs in the balance.”

“Knock it off, you two,” barked the president. “What have you come up with, Frank?”

Tibbles scratched his head through his wispy hair, removed his glasses, rubbed his doe-eyes, then gulped. “I’m still working things out in my head, sir. If the Chinese have the First Lady, why aren’t they using her as leverage to get Chung back? Why are they holding that back? Using her as negotiating leverage would be a vastly better alternative to Protocol 4. I’m starting to think that she is not with them. Perhaps the Russians have her. But if they did, I’m certain they would have notified the Chinese of it. Maybe they already have and the Chinese are playing coy. I’m not sure. I believe that—”

Just then, Faucett poked his head into the room.

“What is it?” asked the POTUS.

“You have a call.”

“Is it Huli?”

“No Sir.”

“Who then?”

“It’s the Duke of Watford Gap, sir… the Kingforebear.”

“The who?”

“The grandfather of the future Lord Protector of England, Prince James Edward William George.”

“Oh, not that inbred old fart. Tell him to make an appointment.”

“I tried sir, but he’s very insistent.”

“Tell him to bugger off… isn’t that the expression they use? Do it with decorum, though.”

“All right. If you say so, sir.”

Tibbles raised an eyebrow and subtly shook his head at the POTUS.

“No. Wait!” The POTUS sighed. “Go ahead and put him through.” The POTUS glanced at Tibbles who nodded in affirmation.

“Yes sir.”

The Kingforebear’s long and pointy, bushy-eyebrowed face materialized on screen.

“What can I do for you, James Edward? Can I call you Jed for short?” asked the POTUS.

The Kingforebear started right in. “Good evening Mr. President. Thank you for speaking with me under such informal arrangements.”

“Always happy to make time for royalty. What can I do for you?”

“I do realize your time is extremely valuable so I’ll get right to it. I was inquiring as to the present situation and wondering how I could be of service. Perhaps I might be able to help mediate in the dispute with the Chinese.”

“I appreciate the offer Jed, but I don’t see how. There’s nothing to mediate. Those sneaky Chink bastards have exercised Protocol 4. “

“Yes, indeed they have. But perhaps we could enter into negotiations before…” the Kingforebear trailed off.

“Before what?”

“Well, before there is a global catastrophe.” The Kingforebear smiled awkwardly, but he always smiled awkwardly so nothing could be read from it.

Buckminster scowled.

“What is there to negotiate, Jed?”

“What I was thinking is that perhaps we could at least get together and draw up an agreement to set aside some countryside here and there to protect it from total destruction…” the Kingforebear smiled awkwardly-er. “…so that there might be a place for the future King to go riding upon once this is all over.”

“What good would that do?” Buckminster chimed. “I’m sure it will all be irradiated.”

“Perhaps.” Smile. “But my advisors tell me the exponential decay of the individual radionuclides is… is… not very long… that after a short while the surface would have radiation levels that are less than life threatening. Perhaps our progeny could still go topside and enjoy a bit of mother nature now and then, even if wearing protective suits were necessary.” Smile.

“What areas did you have in mind, Jed?”

“Well, nothing much, really, just a million hectares of English countryside…” Smile. “Perhaps a small piece of the Scottish moors as well.”

“I’ll make a note of it and pass it on to missile command,” answered the POTUS. “Anything else?”

“That’s all, really.” Smile. “If we were to incinerate the greater portion of the world, at least we would be comforted in the knowledge that our descendants might one day enjoy a good fox hunt.” Smile.

“Thank you, Jed.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.” Smile.

Click.

No sooner had The Duke of Watford Gap’s smiling face dissolved from the screen when the face of the president of Japan appeared.

The POTUS grimaced.

“Mr. President? Am I connected? I wasn’t expecting to get through to you so quickly.”

Faucett stuck his face into the room again. “I apologize Mr. President. I seem to have patched the president of Japan through by mistake.

The POTUS shooed Faucett off. “Not now, Ticky Taki!” The president pressed a button. Taki’s face disappeared just as it was about to formulate a sentence. The screen finally went black.

“So what were you saying, Frank?” asked the POTUS.

“Sir, I do have some good news to report.”

“Spit it out.”

Faucett’s smug face appeared in the door once more. “You have another call, Mr. President.”

“Who is it now?”

“It’s Lucius von Rothschild, sir.”

“Who?”

“You met back him back in August, in Davos,” the page explained.

“He’s the richest person in the world, sir,” Tibbles added. “He donated a hundred million dollars to your campaign… in the form of two thousand separate donations from the individual branch banks he owns.”

“No shit? Put him through.”

A pointy, wart-nosed, balding visage appeared on screen. Rothschild’s skin was gray like worn out athletic socks and the bags under his eyes invoked the droopiness of a sleepy Saint Bernard.

“Good evening Mr. President.”

“Lucius! How the hell are you old friend?”

“I suppose well, all things considered.”

“What can I do for you?”

“I wanted to let you know that we fully support you and that we stand at the ready to unleash our financial reserves in the event they are needed for postwar reconstruction.”

“That’s good to know, Lucius. I pray it doesn’t come to that but if it does, and it probably will, you will be the first ones we call. Is there anything else?”

“Well, as a matter of fact there is. Although our banks are very well capitalized, we fear that a full-scale nuclear conflagration would severely denigrate global infrastructure and either vaporize or at least isolate a large portion of the global workforce. Reconstruction would be very costly from a labor shortage perspective.”

“That’s true. But why would that bother you? We’d have to borrow even more to cover the rising costs.”

“Yes, yes, that is true. But if the pool of labor were to drop below a certain critical mass, no amount of credit would suffice. You can’t rebuild a bridge without someone swinging a hammer.”

“What are you getting at?” asked the POTUS.

“I’m suggesting a consideration for military strategy to accommodate preserving a pool of labor… for reconstruction.”

“This is total industrial war, Lucius,” remarked the president. “We vaporize everything with scientific efficiency these days. Those barbaric days of antiquity, with armies maneuvering around on a pitch of battle are long gone.”

“Yes, yes, of course. Those primitive tactics belong to the bygone era.”

“So what are you proposing?”

“We were wondering if perhaps your military strategists might consider sparing viable pools of labor in Sub Saharan Africa, South America, and Southern Asia. There are billions of them. Billions of uneducated, hungry, and desperate Negroes and Orientals who have very reasonable expectations of living standards… if you know what I mean.”

“You mean cheap labor.”

“Yes, yes, of course. They could comprise a vast workforce which could be mobilized and imported for reconstruction. Once the rebuilding has begun, they would become a large populace from which to extract taxes that you can then use to repay your debts to us.” Lucius Rothschild, whose black eyes reflected no light, grinned in the manner of a jackal baring its teeth.

The POTUS glanced over at Tibbles whose eyebrows raised. “Can we plug that parameter into the doomsday algorithm?”

“I’m sure it’s in there, sir,” Tibbles answered.

“Thanks for calling Lucius. We’ll try to work your proposal into the war plans.”

The screen went dark.

“So,” the president turned to Tibbles, “You were saying?”

“Yes, sir. So I met with the lawyers earlier and we might have uncovered a possible remediation to this Protocol 4 situation.”

“Which is?”

“Sir…” Faucett’s face appeared in the doorway.

“No more calls!” barked the president.

“It’s not a call, sir. It’s your nurse. She’s come to take your readings and give you your vitamin shot.”

“Now?”

“She says the readings must be done now, sir, in order to get a consistent sampling for comparison.”

“Can she do it while we continue our discussion?” asked the POTUS.

“I don’t see why not,” Buckminster answered. “She’s vetted with security clearance level six.”

“Send her in, then.”

“Mr. President,” Tibbles continued, “I…”

The POTUS watched as Nurse Baum entered the room carrying her black medical bag. She walked over to him and placed it down on the floor next to his high back chair. The president redirected his attention to Tibbles.

“Mr. President,” Tibbles continued, “Protocol 4 seriously hampers our ability to govern. But I am happy to tell you that, after meeting with the attorneys, it seems we may still be able to send information to the surface legally.”

Nurse Baum wrapped the blood pressure cuff around the president’s arm and activated the pump.

“Explain…”

Tibbles shuffled through his notes. “It seems that Protocol 4 is quite specific in what it authorizes. It is very clear in wording that no information from the surface and no persons are to be allowed into the bunker for the duration of the situation but…”

Nurse Baum noted the president’s pressure readings on her notepad. Then she rolled up the president’s sleeve.

“But what?”

Nurse Baum wiped a spot on the president’s forearm and withdrew a syringe from her bag.

“But it does not say that all information and persons are precluded from leaving the bunker.”

Nurse Baum flicked the bubbles in the syringe and eyed the dosage.

“Go on…”

“In fact, in the fine print, there is a provision that arranges for persons to actually leave the bunker.”

Fricke’s eyes widened.

“How is that possible?” asked Buckminster. “Everyone is RFID tagged down here. The minute someone leaves, their blip will disappear. The server will alert the Chinese.”

“And what could they do about it?” asked Buckminster.

“Even so,” said the president, “how would we get someone out? The doors are sealed.”

Tibbles pondered. “We’d have to get the Chinese and the other security council members to agree to open the doors. I’m reasonably certain they would want someone to be allowed out as well.”

“They’ll never go for it. It defeats the purpose of Protocol 4,” Buckminster argued.

“How would we convince them to go along?” pondered the POTUS.

“Maybe they have someone they want to bring in,” suggested Fricke, looking as if he was suggesting the obvious. Chung, perhaps?”

“No,” snapped Buckminster. “No. Chung. It’s too risky, anyway. They would never agree to do that unless they could use it to their advantage.”

“What other options are there?” asked the POTUS.

The room fell silent. Fricke Finally looked up and started to speak. “Maybe we could—”

Buckminster rolled his eyes, then pounced. “Chung will not be a part of any deal, Fricke. Don’t even try to bring it up.”

Fricke fell silent.

“Hear me out for a second,” Buckminster continued. “We don’t want to do anything cooperatively with the Chinese. They’ll screw us for sure. Perhaps there’s a way we can go it alone.”

“How?” asked the POTUS.

“There have to be thousands of exhaust and air vents tunneled from the surface down into here. If we got the Corps of Engineers together, I’m sure they could devise a way of sending someone up to the surface through one of those, in secret.”

“Is putting a man on the surface of the earth even feasible?” asked Fricke.

Buckminster scowled. “There are grates and traps and fans and other obstacles, but it can’t be as difficult as putting a man on the moon. I’ll put the Corps on it right away. They’ll figure it out.”

“And then what?” asked Haberdash who had been sitting quietly in the corner the whole time, doodling his increasingly lewd cartoons. “What I mean is: so we get someone out, but they certainly won’t be able to get back in.”

“That’s correct,” Tibbles added. “Once you leave, you can never return. But if that person or persons carry the president’s orders, the president could at least continue to exercise the powers of the office.”

Fricke interrupted. “I think we should still make the offer to rescind Protocol 4 to the Chinese… even if we know it will be rejected.”

“Why?” asked Buckminster.

“Because it will serve as a diplomatic distraction and buy us some time… and it keeps all our options open. The sticking point will be Chung and we can draw the negotiations out indefinitely.”

“Fine. Write it up and I’ll sign off,” answered the POTUS just as Nurse Baum jabbed the needle into his arm.

 


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2 thoughts on “COG Chapter 14

  1. “Is putting a man on the surface of the Earth even feasible?” < Made me chuckle!

    Did you intend the bankers name to be Luscious or were you reaching for "Lucius"?
    (Given the man's appearance, demeanor and position, Luscious works well, though, eh?)

    Liked by 1 person

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