COG Chapter 16

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 16

Sitting at his subterranean Oval Office desk, in front of the gold curtains parted to allow the artificial light to permeate the room and illuminate the traditional furnishings, with his gold-plated .44 within arm’s reach, President Arman Manfred signed Executive Order 98745 with a flourish of pen.

“We are in total support of this, Mr. President,” affirmed the wrinkled House Speaker whose false eyelashes fluttered and false teeth flashed as she spoke.

“Damn republicans were running interference, again,” the president cursed. “They left me no choice.”

“This is for the greater good,” the speaker assured.

“We all know god damn well that if I was a republican, they’d support my bill one hundred percent.”

“Oh, for certain. But the critical thing to remember is that the indispensable task of federal governance must continue. This order will strengthen democracy.”

What the speaker was referring to was the intent of the executive order just signed which instructed the acting attorney general to address the SuperBunker FISA court to request a warrant to access all the online data kept on everyone. Every email. Every voicemail. Every social media post. Every purchase. Every website visited. Why the request? Simple. The data collection was necessary so that the SuperBunker supercomputer algorithms might be applied to the most recent backup of everyone’s data in order to model the population’s behavior. This was necessary due to the implementation of Protocol 4, where real world observations were no longer possible.

“I don’t see how the FISA court will interpret this request as constitutional,” Fricke commented.

“Why not?” asked Buckminster.

“Because it’s very broad. It sounds like a general warrant on everyone,” Fricke explained. “It seems to fail the 4th Amendment test.”

“That’s exactly why the lawyers think it will be approved,” the speaker replied, kicking up a fog of stale perfume. “Because it’s so broad, and because it applies to everyone, we think the court will interpret the request as not a violation of anyone’s specific rights.”

Haberdash groaned.

“We’re in a state of national emergency!” Buckminster barked. “They’d better rule favorably… or else they’re traitors.”

“They’ll approve it,” the POTUS said. “Hell, I appointed two thirds of them. So, assuming we get access…” the POTUS continued, “Hey, do we have the votes on the Montasco legislation?”

“We are close, Mr. President,” answered the speaker.

“We’ve got to get it through. This is my signature legislation. It’s what I campaigned on. My re-election hinges on it. How many votes short are we?”

“We’re just a couple short, Mr. President. A few moderates are holding out, but we’ll get them to come around.”

“What about Fransen? She said she was ‘yes’ last week. Is she waffling, now?”

“She’s concerned about the budget projections. She ran as a deficit hawk and she’s in a tight race this year.”

“Budget projections? Who cares about the budget?”

“Sir?”

“Who cares? The whole goddamn surface of the earth is gonna end up a Superfund cleanup site. Get on the phone and ask that bit… the congresswoman what she wants. Tell her I’ll expand Doolittle Air Force Base. That would create a few thousand jobs in her district.”

“Do you think that’ll work? I’m certain the Chinese and Russians have that base targeted with nukes.”

“It doesn’t matter. We’re dealing with a new reality— SuperBunker reality. If we can’t know the real world, then the algorithms become reality. Just get her on board. If not, tell her I’ll have to make a call over to NSA and dig up some dirt on her for leverage. No, don’t tell her that… not yet. Just casually remind her that any FISA warrant is likely to be approved giving us access to everything.” The POTUS winked. “I need a win here. This is for my legacy.”

“I believe your legacy is already well-established,” Haberdash chimed.

“What was that?”

“I’ll call Rep Fransen right away,” offered the speaker.

Faucett poked his head into the room. “Mr. President…”

“What is it?”

“The Russian president is on the bat line, sir.”

The room darkened. The POTUS glanced at Buckminster who averted his eyes. “Give me a moment,” the POTUS said. “Thank you, Madam Speaker. Go get those votes!” The speaker stood up from her seat, slipped past Faucett, and out of the Oval Office.

“What is our plan for Timfimovich?” Fricke asked.

“I advise against speaking to him,” Tibbles remarked.

“Quiet.” The POTUS pondered with eyes still locked on to Faucett whose toothy face remained in the parted door. “We can’t avoid it any longer.”

“Sir I…” Buckminster started.

“Shut up, Bucky. You already failed me. You were supposed to take care of this.”

“It’s only been twenty-four hours, sir.”

“I don’t want to hear any excuses.”

“Should I ask him to hold, sir?” Faucett asked.

“No. Put him through. I know what has to be done.”

“Right away, sir.”

“Hold on… Mr. President, are you absolutely certain?” asked Tibbles.

“Put him through. Do it!”

Faucett disappeared and the door closed. Within moments, President Timoshenko’s blotchy, balding, perspiring face appeared on screen. “Mr President. How are you?”

“Great, Timmy. What can I do for you?”

Timoshenko grinned. “I called to discuss a recent defection.”

“Veruca. You need to turn her over to us, Timmy. This is outrageous.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Arman. She is too valuable.”

The president pondered. “I’m prepared to make you an offer.”

“I’m listening.”

The POTUS glanced at Tibbles whose face was painted with curiosity. “You tell me what you want, Timmy. Let’s start there.”

Timoshenko leaned back with a smirk filling his blotchy, pink face. “You know what I want. I want your missiles out of Bolshivistan.”

The POTUS glanced at Buckminster as he thought. Buckminster shook his head. The POTUS turned back to Timoshenko. “Done!”

“No!” Buckminster protested.

“Shut up, Bucky!”

“Sir, you are compromising NATO! I strongly advise you to…”

“I said shut the fuck up. That’s an order.”

Buckminster went silent.

“So Timmy, how do we do this?”

“You have to give the order, and we have to verify. But that is going to be difficult because Protocol 4 needs to be lifted by all members of the Security Council. The Chinese will want something in exchange for their cooperation.”

“Don’t worry about the Chinese. I’ll deal with them. So when will you hand her over to us?”

“Once it’s been verified that the missiles are removed.”

“All right. It’s a deal. But we have an understanding, right?”

“What do you mean?”

“We understand each other that any information the First Lady releases to you is part of this deal.”

“I’m not exactly sure what you mean, Arman.”

“What I mean is: anything she gives you, documents, affidavits, thumb drives, pass codes… it’s all part of this deal. If you try to use it against us, the deal is off.”

“Okay. Fair enough.”

“Excellent. I’ll have council draw up the agreement. We’ll have it over to you today. Timmy, we may have just averted world war 3.”

“That all depends on the Chinese, Arman.”

“Don’t worry about the Chinks. Goodbye.”

“Do svidaniya.”

The screen went dark.

“Faucett!” the president called into his intercom. “Get Huli on the bat line.”

“Yes sir.”

“What are we doing here?” Fricke asked.

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m saving the office of the president of the United States.”

Within moments, the Chinese president’s wide, round face appeared on screen.

“What is it Mr. Pwesident?”

“It’s time to make a deal, Huli.”

“What kind of a-deal, Arman?”

“A deal for Chung.”

“I’m grad to see you have come to yo senses. What are you pwoposing?”

“I’m not asking for much, Huli. I think you’ll find the terms are in your favor.”

“Let’s hear it, then.”

“Here it goes. I want China to agree to buy two hundred billion in Eurodebt repos. I’ll get Schumpert to agree to buy it all back in twenty-four months.”

“My guess is you just made a deal with the Timoshenko to withdraw from Bolshevistan.”

“It’s tentative, Huli. But if all goes according to plan, you’ll get your reserves back before your term is up. It’s a small price to pay for saving the world.”

“But it’s a heavy pwice to pay for Chung. Too heavy, I’m afwaid.”

“Huli, your return will be guaranteed. China will come out ahead on this.”

“It’s still not enough! I have to convince the ministry of finance. It’s vewy difficult.”

“All right, fine. I’ll sign an agreement to stay out of the East China Sea for the duration of the repo term.”

“Hmm.” Hu Li took off his glasses as he pondered. The removal of the magnification effect of the lenses made him almost unrecognizable. “Still not enough,” he remarked.

“Huli, you’re taking us to the cleaners here.”

A total silence fell over the room. The POTUS glanced at Buckminster and sighed. Haberdash picked at his teeth.

“Okay, fine. How about this: I’ll throw in Taiwan.”

“Taiwan?”

“Sir, no!” Buckminster shouted.

“Shut up, Bucky!”

“Taiwan? Seriousree? Now that’s vewy intewesting,” Hu Li remarked. “So the question becomes how do we make this a-happen?”

“We have to rescind Protocol 4, obviously.”

“How do I know this isn’t a trick?” Hu Li asked.

“No trick. We’ll open the doors briefly, just long enough to get three couriers out. When they’re out, we’ll immediately go back into Protocol 4. The courier will deliver orders to our vice president to withdraw the missiles from Bolshevistan and pull our navy back beyond the Seven Dash Line. We’ll also have Chung brought back down here. Your courier will instruct your government to make the financial transfer with contingencies in place, of course. The Russian courier will verify our withdrawal from Bolshevistan. At a predetermined time, we’ll re-open the doors to allow Chung back in.”

“But Chung does not have a PIN. Your Fwank Tibbers has the PIN.”

“That’s true.” The POTUS looked at Tibbles whose face was filled with concern. “How about this: the three couriers that leave the SuperBunker will be full time residents with PINs. We’ll get Chung back in on one of their numbers.”

“So you sacrifice your resident PIN for Chung?”

The president looked assuredly at Tibbles, winked, then wagged his finger at Hu Li. “No. You sacrifice your resident PIN.”

“I don’t know if we can do that. That’s vewy difficult. The person next in line for the PIN will be vewy upset.”

“Then choose very carefully, Huli. Minimize the blowback. You’re getting everything you want in this deal. You can make that one small concession.”

“I don’t know.”

“Huli, the governments of the world are depending on you.”

“Too hard. You give Chung American PIN.”

“No.” Manfred’s demeanor stiffened. “Chinese PIN for Chung. If not, then no deal.”

Hu Li pondered.

“Make up your mind. I’m hanging up, Huli.”

Hu Li sighed.

“I’m counting to three…”

Hu Li scratched his head.

“One…”

Hu Li glanced left, then right.

“Two…”

The president extended his arm to press the button that would end the conversation.

“Wait! Okay deal.”

“Great. We’ll send the paperwork over.”

The screen went dark.

“What just happened here?” Buckminster asked.

“I saved the world, Bucky.”

“By giving away everything? I’m sorry sir but I must tender my resignation effective immediately.” Bucky stood up and straightened his uniform in a huff.

“Calm down, Bucky. It’s not what you think.”

Buckminster froze, glaring down at the seated POTUS.

“Sit down!” the POTUS ordered.

Fricke and Tibbles watched in wide-eyed anticipation.

“Trust me…”

Buckminster finally relented and retook his seat. The POTUS reached out and pressed the intercom button.

“Faucett, can you come in here please.”

 


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1 thought on “COG Chapter 16

  1. “Just casually remind her that that any FISA warrant is likely to be approved giving us access to everything.” ” -double “that”

    “What is out plan for Timfimovich?” Fricke asked.” *our

    Liked by 1 person

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