Monthly Archives: July 2019

COG Chapter 23


#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #DeepState

With his office infiltrated by a traitor and hobbled by incompetence, an increasingly unstable POTUS attempts a ‘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 23

“Mr. President…”

Buckminster knelt and knocked on the saferoom door located at the back of the UltraBunker. He listened as the locks turned. The steel door opened and the stubbled face of President Manfred peered out. “You have an urgent call on the bat line, sir.” The POTUS crawled out into the conference room and took a seat on his executive chair. He combed his greasy black and gray hair back with his fingers and cleared his throat, then nodded to Buckminster who patched the call through to the wall mount monitor. The first lady’s image appeared.

“Veruca… This is a surprise.”

“Hello, Arman.”

“To what do I owe this pleasure?”

“I’m calling to say goodbye, Arman.”

“Goodbye? You’ve been gone for weeks already.”

“This time it’s for good. You’ll never see me again. Ever.”

“We’re in a bunker, Veruca. There aren’t that many places to hide. Our paths are sure to cross.”

“No, they won’t. This is it.”

“Should I expect a call from your attorney at some point?”


“So you don’t want a divorce?”

“What would be the point?”

“To protect your inheritance.”

“Thanks to you, it no longer exists.”

“Oh, a  re you going to kill yourself?”

The first lady cackled.

“I’ll understand if you do, Veruca. But I want you to know something… I’ll carry on just fine.”

“Still making everything all about you, Arman? I do have to thank you, though.”

“For what?”

“For reminding me of why I know there’s no hope for changing you.”

“Why would I want to change? I’m the President of the United States.”

The first lady winced.

“But I do need to ask about something before you go…” the POTUS continued.

“I figured you would.”

“Not that it matters. We’re going to spin it to our advantage.”

“You don’t have to worry, Arman. Your little sex video is safe.”

“You mean you didn’t give it to the Russians?”

“They’ve seen it, but they don’t have it.”

“So you kept it as a bargaining chip?”

“I did. You see? I’m not as stupid as you think.”

The POTUS glanced at Buckminster who could hardly contain his bubbling glee. “May I ask what prompted you to change your mind about releasing it?”

“What would be the purpose? To humiliate you? You’ve already ordered the destruction of the world. I don’t think anything could be done to worsen your reputation as a human being. If anything, seeing you in your throes of passion with that fat little Frank Tibbles might actually humanize you in some people’s eyes.”

“I suppose you want me to thank you, now?”

“You’re welcome, asshole. Goodbye.”

The screen went dark.

“This is great news, sir!” Buckminster shouted enthusiastically with a pumped fist.

“Indeed it is. Pour me a brandy.  I feel like I’ve just cut a giant millstone loose. What a relief.”

Buckminster filled a snifter and set it next to the POTUS. “I’ve brought doughnuts too if you’re hungry.”

Manfred glanced at the box. “We might as well keep it going. What’s on the agenda?”

“Did you get a chance to review my force redeployment directive? If you would sign off, I can issue the order to—”

“Issue the order to whom?” Manfred asked. “No orders are getting out and the nukes have already been launched.”

“Sir, conditions are constantly evolving. I think that in the event Protocol 4 is lifted, we should remain fully prepared to implement our strategy.”

“Strategy for what? You heard the explosion last night. There’s nothing left to strategize.”

“If the surface has been vaporized then it is what it is, but we don’t have confirmation of that. I believe we need to continue to act as if there is still a nation to govern up above. Just in case…”

“Fine. I’ll sign it. There.”

A sinister energy pumped through the president’s veins. He pushed himself upright in his chair and coughed a bit to dislodge some phlegm. Then he rubbed his stubble. Haberdash, whom the POTUS had not even noticed, reached his hand across the conference table and grabbed a strudel.


“Yes, Mr. President?”

“How can we get some intelligence on what is happening on the surface?”

“Sir, the only way I know of would be for you and Hu Li and Dmitriy to get together and agree to end Protocol 4 again.”

“Again?” Manfred laughed. “That’s never happening again. That’s exactly what they want me to do, anyway, to come groveling over to them and beg them to open the doors. The POTUS never grovels, Bucky. Groveling is defeatist and America is never defeated.”

“What about Vietnam?” Haberdash asked, ejecting crumbs of sweet bread as he spoke.

“America never surrenders…”

“What about the Philippines in WW2?”

“America never surrenders… without dignity.” The POTUS slouched back into his chair. “We always end everything on our terms.”

There was a faint knock at the door, after which Nurse Baum entered pushing in a cart.

“It’s time for your vitamin shot, Mr. President,” she said.

“I don’t think I need it, today. I’m feeling good.”

“It will help you get through the day, sir,” Buckminster added.

Baum wheeled the cart next to the president. She gazed down at him like a robot while mechanically pulling on two latex gloves that she released with a snap. She rolled up the president’s right sleeve. Then she tore open a foil packet containing an alcohol swab and wiped the surface of his bicep. Next, she grabbed a plastic pouch off the cart and tore it open with her teeth, producing a needle with an orange safety cap. She clamped down on the cap with her incisors and pulled the needle free. With the orange cap still lodged between her teeth, she aimed the needle at the president’s arm. She plunged it in and withdrew it, re-affixed the cap, and dropped it in a plastic jug. Fricke watched as the president’s expression and posture brightening while Baum took his pulse.

“How are you feeling now, sir?” she asked.

“Even better.”

“I’m sure you have a long, busy day ahead.”

“Every day is long and busy, my dear.” He turned to Buckminster. “What else do we have on the agenda?”

“Ag Secretary Roseman.”

“Is he here already?”

“He’s been waiting patiently for three hours.”

“Oh, send him in.”

“Mr. President,” Baum asked.


“I was wondering if I might make a request.”

“This is not the appropriate time,” Buckminster scolded.

“Go ahead, my dear. But make it quick.”

“Do you need any volunteers to go up in one of those missiles you built? You know, to deliver your orders. I would definitely go if asked.”

“Why would you want to go? You’d likely die.”

“It’s my daughter, sir. I’d like to go be with my daughter if she’s still alive.”

The president reached up and gently clasped Nurse Baum’s forearm, his face beaming contrived sympathy. It appeared as if tears were welling up in his eyes and his chin faintly quivered. Baum looked down at him hopefully.

“I’m afraid that’s impossible, honey,” he answered.

The secretary of agriculture entered the room. Baum withdrew her arm and pushed her cart past him on her way out.

“What can I do for you, Rosey?”

“Mr. President, thank you for seeing me. It’s the god damn Canadians, again. They refuse to curb their illegal dumping of genetically modified sorghum flour surplus on our markets. This is in total violation of our trade agreemneent.”

“How do you know?”

“Because the Canadian Department of Agriculture just published their quarterly report and it shows no reduction in their exports.”

“Where are they getting their data?”

“It’s from their regression-based statistical inference… a computer simulation, sir.”

“What do you suggest we do about it?” asked the POTUS.

“Tariffs, sir. Slap some tariffs on those canucks. That’ll teach them.”

“I like your thinking: teach America Junior a lesson. Do you have the executive order drafted for my review?”

“Right here, sir.”

The president signed it with a flourish. “Let me know how it goes, Rosey.”

“Will do, Mr. President.”

“Is there anyone else?” the POTUS asked.

“Secretary of Education,” Buckminster replied.

“Send her in.”

“Good morning Mr. President.”

“Good morning, Mrs. Lebsock.”

“I trust you are feeling better, sir?”

“Much improved. Much improved. What have you got for me?”

“Well, I need to brief you on a little situation brewing in Alabama.”

“What of it?”

“Well, I am hearing rumblings that their state legislature intends to vote to nullify the federal No Education Resource Denied program and spend their grant money on alternative special education programs.”


“We don’t even know that Alabama exists,” Haberdash remarked as he reached for a second strudel.

“Sir,” Mrs. Lebsock continued, “I heard it directly from the governor himself… last night, during the Save The Earth Gala.”

“Those god damn hillbilly republicans. You tell Governor Hogge that, if he signs that legislation, I will get his transportation funding slashed.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Who’s next?”

“Housing and Urban Development.”

“Send Cumberland in. Tom, how the hell are ya?”

“Great, sir.”

“What can I do for you?”

“The Orange County project… we talked about it last week.”

“Ah yes. You need funding.”

“I do.”

“Have you talked to Stu?”

“I have. He said that if you gave a verbal, he would earmark it in the budget committee meeting coming up.”

“Tell him I’m on board. Are they still going to build that petting zoo in the courtyard?”

“They are, sir.”

“Excellent. Those poor minority kids need exposure to wildlife. It’s good for them.”

“I am very aware that the petting zoo is your pet project, if you would excuse the pun. We all love the idea. And at one hundred and seventy million dollars, the zoo’s cost is practically nothing.”

“Thank you, Tom.”

“Thank you, Mr. President. Oh, and when this is all over, we’d like to invite you and the first lady to spend a couple nights in our little cabin in Aspen. It has a helipad so you can get in and out pretty easy.”

“Tom, If Aspen is still there, I’ll be there.”




The meetings continued in this manner for ninety minutes. Finally, they came to the subject of Manfred’s re-election campaign.

“What are the simulated polling numbers saying, Bucky?”

“We’re where we need to be, Mr. President.”

“What does that mean?”

“We’re within striking distance of the lead. We’ll hit Iowa hard with an ad blitz before the caucuses.”

“What’s the theme?”

“Wartime president, sir. We can’t afford to change leadership during an existential crisis.”

“Can I see the ad?”


Buckminster thumbed the buttons on a remote control and the wall monitor came to life.


Ominous music. A grim female voice.


“In an increasingly dangerous world…”


A first-person view of someone stumbling through a murky forest.


“Before the nuclear attack on America…”


The visage of a stalking wolf.


“Senator Mordimer voted to slash military spending…”


A montage of newspaper headlines touting spending cuts.


“…and weakened America’s defenses.”


An unflattering picture of a smirking Senator Mordimer riding in the turret of a tank with an oversized helmet tilting awkwardly on his head.


Cut to a pack of wolves.


“And weakness encouraged our enemies to attack…”


Happy music.


President Manfred appears, talking on the phone, looking presidential.


America needs proven leadership. America needs to stay the course.


“I’m Arman Manfred and I approve this message.”


“What do you think, sir?”

“I love it.”

“We’re uploading it into the campaign computer simulation today. And with Brock on the ticket as your Veep, and the whole gay thing out of the way, we can really take the offensive now.”

“What did you say?”

“The gay thing, sir? I’m sorry, I should have—”

“What are you talking about?”

“You and Frank, the video, the gay thing.”

“I already told you I’m not gay, Bucky. There is no gay thing.”

“Right. Understood, sir. Hang on, I have a call.”

“Who is it?”

“Oh, it’s Tex Cleveland.”

“Excellent. He’s finally ready to sign for CANAMCO. Put him on the monitor.”

A still of Cleveland’s face appeared on screen.

“Tex, how’ve you been?” asked the POTUS.

“Is this Bucky?”

“No, it’s the POTUS. Bucky put you on the monitor.”

“I see.”

“What can I do for you, Tex? I probably shouldn’t tell you this but I’m having a great day so far. I’m anticipating it’s going to get better.”

“Sir, I am just calling to let you know that the CANAMCO board has declined your proposal.”


“I’m sorry, Mr. President.”

“What the hell are you talking about.”

“I’m sorry, but the CANAMCO board simply can’t agree to the terms, Mr. President.”

“Who’s we, Tex? You’re the only board member left.”

“Regardless, we’ve decided to decline your proposal.”

“We had a deal, Tex. What the hell is going on?”

“Well, after talking it over with my wife, I’ve decided to go in another direction.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that I’m throwing my hat in the ring.”

“Throwing your hat in the ring for what?”

“I’m running for president, Arman.”

“As a republican?”

“Afraid so. We’ve got great backing. Hundreds of millions in the bank. It seems there are a lot of corporate boards that are really pissed off about you nuking their balance sheets.”

“What are you talking about?”

“It took some effort convincing them. Them board member types don’t like uncertainty. But they’ve finally decided to back someone other than the man who blew up the world.”

“Tex, don’t do this. You’re wasting everyone’s time and money. Throw your support to me and I’ll get you a cabinet position.”

“No can do, Arman. It’s already in motion. We announce today.”

“Why are you doing this? This makes no sense.”

“It has to be done, Arman. You must be defeated. You and that smug punk of a quarterback you call a running mate. I’m gonna bury you two bastards and I’m gonna love every minute of it.”

The POTUS was speechless.

“Hook ‘em Horns.” Tex gestured before he disconnected.


Follows, comments, likes, edits and suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Previous Chapter

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COG Chapter 22


#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #DeepState

With his office infiltrated by a traitor and hobbled by incompetence, an increasingly unstable POTUS attempts a ‘Hail Mary’ that might just save the office of the president… even if it destroys the world in the process.




Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

Chapter 22

The Save the Earth Gala was scheduled for the upcoming evening. Widespread gossip suggested that it might be canceled in lieu of nuclear Armageddon, but it was decided by the bunker superpowers that snubbing the environmentalist movement would be bad political optics.

The POTUS had his themed wardrobe brought down into the UltraBunker. Haberdash helped him dress, assisting with his buttons and his cummerbund. The presidential nurse was summoned and a stoic Ms. Baum appeared within moments, toting her medical bag. She removed a syringe, drew medicine from a vial, and plunged the needle into Arman Manfred’s upper arm. The president’s posture immediately stiffened and his eyes brightened as the amphetamine took hold. He shooed Haberdash and finished dressing himself. The expressionless Nurse Baum left once excused. Haberdash used a brush to sweep the lint from the back of the president’s baroque tuxedo and escorted him out of the UltraBunker, up the elevator shaft, and helped him into his bullet proof, executive golf cart.

The black motorcade spun along the gently arcing arterial roadway flanked by the monorail line on the left and a wall of roughly hewn stone on the right. They passed beneath an endless succession of white orb lights that cast everything in lunar harshness. After several minutes, the motorcade entered the facades beneath the canvas skies of Section F, stopping before the Ballroom Africana

The host delegation of African leadership met the POTUS as he arrived. Manfred greeted each of them and their escorts with a forced grin and a handshake. The gauntlet of festooned, propped dictators, muti-national corporate puppets, and media-contrived statesmen culminated at the President of Zimbabwe. He had grown quite fat since the two leaders had last met.

“Where is your… your significant other?” The POTUS asked.

The president of Zimbabwe was patting his belly when asked. He forced a toothy grin and nodded but didn’t answer.

The POTUS continued up the steps and into the ballroom foyer where he found a Napoleonic Buckminster waiting. They were instructed to wait behind a red curtain. The Mozart music soon faded and was replaced with Hail to The Chief. The curtain was pulled aside and the POTUS, with Haberdash in his muted navy coat and pantaloons, and Buckminster Bonaparte in tow, stepped into the cavernous, ornamented hall. The crowd— women adorned in shimmering, sack back gowns and petticoats and men with long, gold-fringed waist coats and knee breeches exposing silk stockings— turned their gaze to soak in the grand entrance and assess the festiveness and presence of the American contingent. With the elite American’s arrival, the Rococo-themed ‘Save The Earth Gala’ had achieved validation.

The POTUS shook a dozen more hands on his way down the aisle, stopping before a priest-like figure dressed in head-to-toe, blood red robes, with a hood that covered his face. Suspended in the air above, heavily feathered trapeze artists swung and flipped like exotic birds. Jugglers dressed as court jesters tossed ivory bones and skulls into the air. A massive, faceted disco ball fired multi-colored laser beams across the domed ceiling.

Buckminster stepped forward, bowed, and handed a decorated box to the POTUS who, in turn, presented it to the priest. The priest bowed and turned, slowly walking up the dais behind him. He placed the box upon a glass altar shaped in the form of two feminine hands emerging from the earth. The priest raised both his hands and muttered something in Latin. He reached down and lifted the lid on the box, releasing a white dove that flew upwards into the dome to the vigorous applause of the guests. The bird circled the disco ball three times until it was blinded by a laser beam at which point it fluttered outwards, crashing headfirst into the molding and dropping motionless onto a high ledge. The Mozart resumed and the POTUS was escorted off the ballroom floor and up to his box that overlooked the festivities.

The costumed patrons mingled and bowed and curtsied, weaving around a formation of twelve-foot tall guide stones set in a Stonehenge pattern in the center of the floor. Acrobats in flesh-toned spandex twisted and spun and flung themselves through the air. At exactly eight o’clock, an army of tuxedoed staff infiltrated the maze of round tables carrying silver trays. They set them before the famished guests and lifted the cloches revealing the gourmet courses. The meals were carved and sliced with utensils that glimmered in the reflected laser beam light. They filled their mouths and chewed and swallowed and washed it down with vintage wine, spilling crimson droplets on their silk jabots. They smudged their lipstick with embroidered linen napkins and washed the grease off their fingers in crystal finger bowls. Occasionally, one gave pause and pondered what piss the survivors on the surface might be drinking now that war had begun.

During this feast, the order of what was soon to be a post war world was being arranged. Who would be doing the rebuilding? What would be rebuilt? Who was going to pay for it? Who was going to be left out and what would it take to buy their complicity. The New New World Order metastasized with handshakes, nods, and toasts.

The final courses were devoured and the army of tuxedoed servants infiltrated the maze of tables once again, like coiffed black lab rats, and snatched up all the trays and cleared all the tables and then they  scurried out through the walls.

Seated in their balcony loft, the POTUS gestured to Buckminster who handed him his miniature field glasses. The POTUS put them to his eyes and scanned the crowd, searching for the president of China. With some difficulty, he found him seated in his box, barely recognizable in his powdered white wig, but identifiable by his thick eyeglass frames. He searched for Timoshenko and found him as well, dressed like a Romanov, with a blue silk sash draped over his shoulder and a saber sheathed in his belt.

The Mozart music stopped and was replaced with an eerie baritone— the low groan of a waking dragon. A spotlight shined within the guide stones and all eyes drew towards it and the discussions, that had turned toward the frivolous as the alcohol and opiates had taken hold and the window for deal-making had closed, ceased with a hush. The disco ball stopped spinning and the lasers went dark. The floor within the guide stones opened. The baritone drone grew louder.  The patrons rose from their tables and gathered around the stones and the widening window into the abyss, with some still clutching their silver cutlery.

The servants appeared once again, encircling the patrons like a shadow as a platform rose from the depths. A jeweled crown appeared first, rising up from the floor, then the priest in the red hood beneath it, then another altar, then upon the altar, a naked man and woman, entangled in thorns. The platform rose up past the floor-level forming another dais. It stopped and the groan of the dragon ceased with it.

The priest motioned as if in a form of genuflection, then he withdrew a blade from his hilt and with two gentle strokes, he cut through the necks of the naked man and the woman to the gasps of the audience. The servants stepped into the circle and handed the guests fine china plates and the patrons formed into a queue that passed by the dais where they received a slice of the marzipan man and woman.

A servant appeared in the presidential balcony to deliver their desert. Haberdash took his piece which contained a confectionary eyeball that stared up at him with unblinking courage as he sectioned it with his silver fork and delivered it to his tongue.

Finally, the last guest received their portion—Adam’s genitals, served to the president of Cambodia— and all that was left of the edible Adam and Eve was a bit of frosting vines and a section of Adam’s right heel. The priest in the red robes and crown descended with the dais back down into the abyss within the floor.

Just as the well closed back up, a booming thunder shook the ballroom, so powerful that it knocked the dead dove loose from the ceiling ledge and downwards where it plunked onto the table where the English royals were seated, splattering the Duke of Watford Gap’s face with cream.

“What do you think that noise was?” asked Haberdash.

“Sounds like Fricke’s mission was a success,” answered Buckminster.

After a momentary pause of grim reflection concerning the end of the world as it was known, the party resumed, carrying on into the wee hours.


Follows, comments, likes, edits and suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

COG Chapter 21


#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #DeepState

With his office infiltrated by a traitor and hobbled by incompetence, an increasingly unstable POTUS attempts a ‘Hail Mary’ that might just save the office of the president… even if it destroys the world in the process.




Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

Chapter 21

Due to his declining health, the POTUS began conducting all his briefings and meetings in the UltraBunker. He stopped returning to the Brown House at night and slept in the eight-foot by eight-foot safe room accessible by a reinforced steel door located on the wall directly behind his UltraBunker executive seat.

It had been three days since launching Fricke to the surface. During that time, the POTUS appointed Brock McGuinn to a newly created COG cabinet position titled Special Advisor/Presidential Life Coach. The oath of office was administered by Buckminster at the UltraBunker conference table.

“Raise your right hand… No Brock, your other right hand. There you go. Now repeat after me: I, Anheuser Brock McGuinn…”

Brock grinned, eyes glazed.

“Repeat after me, Brock: I, Anheuser Brock McGuinn…”

“I, Anheuser Brock McGuinn.”

“Do solemnly swear…”

“Do solemnly swear.”

“That I will faithfully advise the President of the United States…”

“That I will faithfully advise the POTUS.”

“According to the best of my abilities and my understanding…”

“According to my best capabilities and understandments.”

“Agreeably to the Constitution, and laws of the United States.”

“Agreeing with the Constitution and the United States.”

“So help me God.”

“So help me God. Amen.”

“You can put your hand down now, Brock.”

Brock grinned.

“I have big plans for you, Brock,” said the POTUS after congratulating him with a pat of his shaky hand. “Come. Have a seat here, next to me.” The POTUS pointed at the cushion of the leather high back chair placed next to his. Brock complied.

“So,” continued the POTUS to his COGCON special council of three plus Haberdash, seated at the conference table with places for twenty. “What’s on the agenda today?”

“World War 3, sir,” Buckminster answered.

The POTUS yawned. “All right. What’s the latest report?”

“Well, we obviously cannot obtain any real information due to Protocol 4, so we have to rely entirely upon computer simulations. Our models are telling us that there is a 97% likelihood of widespread gasoline shortages occurring nationwide.”

“I thought we enacted price controls.”

“We did. But the models say that the price controls only exacerbated the problem.”

“Who programmed these god damn models?”

“The program was written by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, sir.”

“Can I fire them?”

“You could, sir, if we could contact them. But even if we could send the order, there is no guarantee that they are still alive. Either way, it would not be possible for them to re-program them.”

“Well, what am I supposed to do about it, then?”

“I think we need to implement rationing.”

“How would we implement it?”

“We can plug it into the simulation, but we’re going to need to enlist the oil companies, sir. They have the logistical wherewithal to actualize a directive.”

“Is there anyone from Big Oil we can reach out to that’s down here in the bunker?”

“There is, sir. Do you know Brandeis Tex Cleveland?”

“The CEO of CANAMCO? The billionaire who donates to that natural gas PAC?”

“That’s him. He’s waiting outside. Should I bring him in?”

The POTUS pondered, then turned to McGuinn. “What do you think, Brock?”

Brock shrugged, eyes still glazed, smirk etched within the frame of his chiseled jaw line.

“Have the new admin send him in.”

“Sorry, sir, she didn’t come in to work today. She emailed saying she was ill. Hab, would you please go and bring in Mr. Cleveland.

Hab stopped doodling and set down his notepad. He pushed back from his seat, straightened his Bermuda shorts, strode over to the door and opened it. Tex Cleveland, a balding, barrel-chested man in his mid-sixties was seated in a chair in the concrete corridor. He stood. He wore a navy suit with a pinstriped shirt and a belt clasped with a massive silver buckle emblazoned with a five-pointed star surrounded by an outline of the border-shape of Texas. He held a white, ten-gallon hat in his hands. He entered the UltraBunker and the POTUS met him and shook his hand. They both took their seats opposite each other.

“Thanks for coming, Mr. Cleveland.”

“My pleasure, Mr. President. Please, call me Tex,” he said with a grin that revealed one golden-capped canine tooth.

“You already know Bucky, and I’m not sure if you’ve met my new special advisor, Brock McGuinn.”

“Although I’ve never met Brock in person, I’ve been a big fan of his over the years… so long as he wasn’t playing against Dallas.”

Brock was still smirking.

“To what do I owe this honor?” Tex asked in his beefy drawl.

“Well, we need your help, Tex—”

“Let’s not forget about your beloved Longhorns, either,” Brock interrupted.

“Ah, yes,” Tex replied, with a tone of reluctant deference. “You must be referring to your big game against us. That was a few years back. What’s it been, twenty years now? I must admit it took some time to get over that one.”

“Which game are we talking about?” Buckminster asked.

“I’m sure Brock is referring to the Raytheon-Boeing Fiesta Bowl. Michigan certainly got the best of us that day,” Tex demurred.

“I’d say ‘got the best of you’ is a little bit of an understatement,” Brock clarified.

“Yeah, I guess it wasn’t much of a game now, was it.”

“67 to 2, as I recall.”

“Well…” Tex replied, “…at least we scored.”

“Yeah, you only scored because we fumbled the second half kickoff and the ball rolled out the back of our own end zone.”

“I forgot all about that game,” the POTUS remarked. “Brock, how many passing yards did you have?”

“I was 31 of 38 for 534 yards and 7 TDs. And they took me out at halftime.”

“Can we get down to the business at hand, gentlemen?” asked Buckminster.

“Sure. Sure. Go ahead, Bucky. Tell the CEO what we have in mind.”

“So, as we are currently on the verge of global thermal nuclear war, we are encountering special circumstances and situations that will require a shared sacrifice by our corporate partners.”

“Shared sacrifice?” Tex asked.

“We are getting reports of widespread, nationwide fuel shortages.”

Tex winced with skepticism. “How can you know that? No one is supposed to have any contact with the surface. Do you have special communications equipment? Oh, the CIA must have laid some secret fiber during construction… I knew it.”

“Actually, none of that,” Buckminster explained. “This is what our computer simulations are telling us. They are pretty good at predicting socio-macroeconomic behavior. The Bureau of Stats has been using them for years, long before this place was even built. Hell, the BLS and the Treasury Department haven’t published any real observational data in over a decade. Everything they report is simulation-based.”

“Hey, coach uses those computers too,” Brock added. “He says he can predict what the other coach will call on every play. Some say that’s how we won the last three Super Bowls.”

“I see,” added Tex. “So what do you want from me?”

“We are asking you to cooperate with FEMA in the allocation of fuel and implementation of price controls.”

“Oh boy. Now that’s a tall order, there.”

“Why so?”

“Well, for one, I can’t communicate with the surface.”

“We are aware of that,” Buckminster replied. “We are asking you to comply virtually, so we can plug that into our computer models.”


“We just need your signoff.”

Tex stared blankly.

“Your signoff so we can proceed,” Buckminster repeated.

Tex sighed.

“Do you have any questions?”

“What’s this fixin’ to cost me?”

“Nothing, Tex. All your costs and lost income will be reimbursed.”

“Yeah, but at what premium?”


“Reimbursed at what percent margin? Fellas, CANAMCO ain’t in the business of doing your dirty work for nothin.”

“How’s ten percent?” Buckminster answered.


“Okay, fifteen,” declared the POTUS.

“So we get fifteen percent, plus pocket any enhanced margin.”

The POTUS glared at Buckminster as if to ask, ‘why did you bring this asshole in here?’

“Just to be clear,” Buckminster answered, “you’ll have to implement our regulatory and price controls. That’s part of the deal.”

“Why wouldn’t I just raise our prices. That’s sure enough a means of rationing… and CANAMCO keeps the profit.”

“Tex,” Buckminster remarked, “if you were to raise prices to market levels, that would seriously jeopardize the president’s re-election chances in the Midwest. Indiana soccer moms won’t vote for ‘Our Man Manfred’ if they can’t afford to fill up their minivans.”

“Does Indiana even exist anymore?” Haberdash asked.

“Twenty percent!” the POTUS snapped. “That’s all I can do. It’s more than fair. If you don’t like it, I’ll talk to the boys over at Alabrasco.”

Tex pondered in stoic silence for a moment. He scratched his bald head, then rubbed the rim of his hat with his thumbs. Then his face brightened with a wide southern smile. “Gentlemen, CANAMCO is always happy to help America in her time of dire need. Where and when do we work out the details?” Tex began flipping through the pages of the agreement that was lying on the table. “The cost of implementing some of these logistical controls could get quite exorbitant. I’ll need to make sure our shareholders are protected.”

“You’ll be reimbursed fully. I guarantee it,” the POTUS affirmed.

“The costs are all outlined in the proposal. Those numbers come from our most detailed and accurate spreadsheet models,” Buckminster explained.

“Well, you have your spreadsheets and we have ours.”

“What else do you need, Tex?” asked the POTUS. “How can we get this done right now?”

“Frankly, I want signoff on my new refinery in Panama City.”

“Impossible. The greens would revolt. I’d lose Oregon and Hawaii in the general.”

“Yeah, but you’d win Florida, sir,” Buckminster advised. “We’ll feed the jobs number statistics to the simulated cable news networks.”

“One Florida is worth way more than Oregon and Hawaii,” Tex added.

“Well, we think we can win Florida even without a jobs bump.”

“I still think it’s a tossup, sir.” Buckminster explained.

The POTUS scowled at Buckminster who was proving to be terrible at negotiation. “Brock, do you have any thoughts?”

Brock, who had had never ceased smirking, replied: “All I know is we crushed Florida in the Lockheed Martin-General Dynamics Cotton Bowl my junior year!”

Tex forced a smile to cover up his building annoyance at McGuinn. “I’ll get back to you with our answer shortly, Mr. President.”


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“Finally, Some Good News”

I loved this one.

One quote from the book that sums it up for me:

“It was the day of his annual review. In one or more areas he had not been Very Satisfactory. He woke up thinking he was late. Then remembered. There had been a nuclear holocaust.

“Thank God, he thought.

“Then felt bad. Millions dead. Millions more burned. Irradiated. Trapped even now, lungs half crushed choking on smoke. Pinned in flaming rubble. Can’t even scream, and if they did, who would come?

“Still. It felt like a snow day.”

I wrote an Amazon review but it went into mod-review purgatory. I tell myself it’s just the corpo-marxists shutting me down.

Regardless, Delicious Tacos captures the essence and ennui of post-modern, post-industrial, consumerized Western Civilization where humanity has been reduced to sub-mammalian, econometric parameters. I read it after Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’ and loved it the same. Hope to see more from Tacos.


Check it out.

COG Chapter 20


#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 20

And so the race to put a man on the surface of the earth ensued­. Originally deemed the “Race to the ‘Face,” it ultimately came to be known by academics and historians as the “Face Race.”

The Chinese and Russians pooled their resources and technology into this endeavor, for the first state to put an agent on the surface would be the first to be able to order its obliteration or at least prevent the other from doing so.

The Americans and the Sino-Russian Alliance did a great deal of spying on each other’s progress over the twenty-one days during which the Face Race raged. The Chinese and Russians struggled with cooperation as the Chinese regarded their Russian counterparts as troglodyte drunkards and the Russians regarded the Chinese as backwardized Mongoloids, but they nevertheless caught the Americans, beating them to the surface. The first terranaut was not a human agent, mind you, but was instead a Jack Russell terrier who was latched into a fabricated steel capsule and exploded upwards through a ventilator shaft. Igor could be heard, via microphone, vigorously and healthily panting until the very moment his capsule burst through the embedded, metallic Faraday latticework that protected the SuperBunker from electro-magnetic pulse, but also prevented the transmission of radio signals.

The Sino-Russian face program had beaten the Americans to the surface. ON word of this, President Manfred, now exhibiting tremors and looking ill, understood that the situation was beyond desperate. If the Russians and Chinese were first to reach the surface with a human being, not only could they order a nuclear first strike, but they could stifle any American response by destroying the ventilator shaft that the Americans were intending to use for their mission. This meant that there was no time for the Americans to send a test dog or other suitable mammal. The survival of the American government required bold, brave urgency.

“You should be safe,” Buckminster assured Dexter Fricke as he stood before the coffin-sized steel tube. He opened the door.

Fricke, who was dressed in a spandex suit, holding his helmet and clutching the Nuclear Football, didn’t appear convinced. “Why does it look like a cruise missile with a window?” he asked.

“Because that’s what it basically is,” Buckminster explained.

“I was expecting an elevator type of thing. Why a missile?”

“Fricke, when you work for the Pentagon, the solution to every problem ends up looking like a missile.”

Fricke pondered.

“Isn’t it a thing of beauty? Look at the head. It’s made of solid titanium, strong enough to smash through ventilator fans, steel grates, backflow traps and flanges. It’s the toughest material we could find. Beneath your feet will be a foot of ceramic insulation protecting you from the searing heat generated by the combustion of the solid fuel rocket boosters.”

“And you put a window in.”

“Yes, although there won’t be much to see until and if you reach the surface.”

The door to the situation room opened and in walked the frail POTUS, flanked on either side by a secret service agent, and trailed by Haberdash clad in Bermuda shorts and polo shirt.

“Mr. President!” Buckminster greeted with a salute.

The POTUS approached Fricke and patted him on the shoulder. “Are you ready to be a hero, Dexter?” he asked in his weakened voice.

“I don’t believe I have a choice, sir.”

“Excellent. You’re the next Neil Armstrong. A pioneer.”

“I’m just hoping I’m not the next the next Gus Grissom.”

“I see you have the Football.”

“Right here, sir.”

“Good. Now, when you get to the surface, open the laptop and make sure you have good connectivity. Then plug in the red button thing and press it. There’s nothing more to it.”

“Are you sure that will launch the nukes, sir?”

“That will do it.” The POTUS turned to the technician seated at the computer. “Are we ready for launch?”

“Sir, we are nearing completion of our pre-checks.”

The POTUS turned back to Fricke. “Dexter, do you have any apprehensions or doubts about your mission?”

“What do you mean, sir?”

“Do you harbor any second thoughts about pressing the button?”

“No sir,” Fricke answered.

“Dexter, do you love democracy?”

“I love my country, sir.”

“Excellent,” the POTUS replied while patting Fricke on the shoulder once more with his trembling hand.

“Dex, you’re saving democracy.”

“By destroying the world,” Fricke added.

“Indeed. Here, let me help you with that.” The POTUS took the helmet from under Fricke’s arm. Fricke bowed and the POTUS slid it onto his head with his trembling grip. A technician rushed in to check that it was properly fit. The POTUS shook Fricke’s hand and patted him on the helmet. Fricke turned and stepped into the capsule, clutching the Nuclear Football at his chest. Buckminster approached to give final instructions.

“Don’t be alarmed if you hear an explosion once you reach the surface. The capsule is equipped with a C4 activated parachute. If you break through with too much speed, it will deploy and hopefully soften your landing.”

Fricke nodded.

“Let’s review one more time. What is your mission?” Buckminster asked.

“First, I need to find WIFI. Once a connection is obtained, activate the PAL and push the red button. Then I have to maneuver to the air duct located behind the Wal Mart on 2887 S Arlington Rd in Akron Ohio.”

Buckminster nodded. “Exactly. Guard that shaft and make sure no Sino-Russian terranaut breaks through. If one does, you’ll have to neutralize him.”

Buckminster closed the capsule door and saluted. Fricke gave a thumbs up sign in the portal. The technician made a few last-minute checks then he and Buckminster joined the POTUS and the other lab coats behind the protective glass of the control room.

“Can you hear us, Dexter?” one of them asked into the radio.

“Loud and clear,” Fricke shouted back.

“Are you ready?”

“Ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Do you know what to do when you reach the surface?” asked POTUS.

“Bucky and I just went over it.”

“Don’t forget. Wal Mart. Akron, Ohio.”

“I have the address in my pocket.”

“Failure is not an option, Dexter,” the POTUS advised.


“God bless.”

Buckminster turned to the technician seated at the computer terminal. “Are we a go?”

“Roger. All systems are go.”

Buckminster turned to the POTUS. The POTUS nodded. Buckminster gave a thumbs up to the technician.

“…Five… Four… Three… Two… One…”

The tech seated at the computer depressed the enter key. The crudely fashioned rocket fuel stored in the base of Fricke’s capsule ignited. The launch chamber filled with white smoke. The chamber’s air vents whined as waves of oxygen rich air was exchanged for carbon dioxide. Fricke looked out helplessly from his portal window. His capsule thrusted upwards, slowly at first, then building momentum, up, up, up it ascended into the vertical air shaft. In moments, it was accelerating through the ductwork, its titanium- shielded nose puncturing the screens and fans and grates that barred the way. Up, up, up. The capsule dubbed The Victory climbed from its subterranean Hades, through the steel tube carved like an artery that coursed through the geological strata. Up, up, up. The capsule began to rifle, spun by the patterned welds in the cylindrical shaft.

Buckminster, Haberdash, the POTUS, and the technicians in white lab coats watched the capsule cam of Dexter Fricke’s face. His cheeks rippled with vibrations. His irises rolled back into his skull. Drool ran drawn down his chin and ran across his face, drawn out by the rifling action and the G forces generated in a roar of breaking covalent bonds. Up, up, up. The Victory spun towards the surface, rotating once per second. Fricke’s eyes rolled to the right. His foaming spittle ran horizontally across his right cheek. The technicians could not discern if he was still conscious. Up, up, up.

Then nothing. The feed went black.

The POTUS stared at the floor. Haberdash stared at Buckminster. Buckminster stared at the men in white lab coats.

“Did he make it? Haberdash asked.

“The Victory has passed through the Faraday barrier,” explained a technician. “Radio communication is no longer possible.”

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COG Chapter 19


#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 19

Before the applause for Brock McGuinn’s entrance had subsided, aides were already whispering into the ears of the presidents of Russia and China. Within moments, they were whisked away in their executive golf carts. The POTUS left shortly after them, before the conclusion of McGuinn’s press conference. Upon arrival at the Brown House, he got into the elevator along with Tibbles, Haberdash, and his personal secret service bodyguard, and descended into the depths of the Hades Level. The door opened into the concrete chamber cast in the bluish hue of fluorescent lighting. They came upon the glass security coral where they placed their personal effects in a bowl and stepped through one at a time. The doors closed. A shotgun like sound fired which trailed off into a high-pitched buzz. The door on the opposite end opened and one by one, the POTUS, Tibbles, and Haberdash passed through. The secret service agent stayed behind, handing President Manfred his .44 magnum, then stood guard over their other effects.

On the other side of the scanner, they came to the internal blast door where Tibbles presented his eye to a monitor for identity scanning and his wrist for RFID identification. The massive steel door pinged as the locking bolts released. It opened. They passed through into the UltraBunker.

They entered the conference room and took their seats. Fricke and Buckminster were already there. The nuclear football rested on the floor at Fricke’s feet.

“Gentlemen,” the president began. “Welcome to Plan B.”

“Yes sir,” Buckminster fawned with the eagerness of a low-ranking sycophant.

“Shut up, Bucky. Your failure is the reason we’re here.”

“So, what is the plan, sir?” asked Fricke.

“We’re going to be back in Protocol 4 shortly.”

“Are you certain?” asked Fricke.

“I’m one hundred percent certain.”

“I’m not following what is unfolding, here. What do you see as the possible scenarios?” Fricke asked, guarding the nuclear football with his leg.

“We can only hope that the first bitch hasn’t given them anything yet.” The POTUS turned to Buckminster. “How far along is your project to get a man on the surface? We’re running out of time.”

Buckminster swallowed. “We believe it is nearly operational. We just haven’t tested it.”

“Sir,” Tibbles added, “perhaps we can at least work up a short list of possibilities and…”

“There are no other possibilities. What god damn difference would it make anyway, Frank? We know where this is headed. We had their couriers assassinated.”

“What was that?” Fricke asked with grave concern.

“Don’t be naïve Dexter,” the POTUS replied.

“What is happening?” Fricke asked. “Why wasn’t I informed?”

“Plan B was a top-secret operation,” Buckminster answered. “Only those who need to know were informed.”

Fricke looked as if he had just had the wind knocked out of him. He spent a moment gathering himself.  “Can we just discuss this for a minute. We only think we know what the first lady has done or will do. We know that Timoshenko and Hu Li must know that we have reneged on our end of the deal, but they may not know for certain that we had their couriers assassinated. Perhaps we should try to find out all of what they know before they make any moves. We need to buy some time. Who terminated the couriers?”

“Faucett carried out the order,” answered Buckminster.

“Well, maybe we can promote the idea that Faucett was a rogue agent.”

“There’s no chance they’ll buy it,” Tibbles replied.

“I support the president. The time for dialogue is over,” barked Buckminster. “It’s time for action.”

“Sir, I…” Fricke pleaded.

“Enough!” snapped the president. “Put me through to Timoshenko right now. Do it!”

“Right away, sir.” Tibbles lifted the plastic cloche off the bat phone and lifted the red receiver to his ear. “Hello. This is the Chief of Staff for the President of the United States. President Manfred would like to speak to President Timoshenko…”

All eyes in the UltraBunker fixed upon Tibbles.

“Yes…,” Tibbles continued. “I’ll hold.” Tibbles put the phone on speaker. A tinny Muzak version of Tchaikovsky played. “Sir,” Tibbles whispered after clicking mute, “my advice would be to let him make his demands. Don’t capitulate. We can come up with a way out of this. I know it.”

“I didn’t ask for your counsel,” rebuffed the POTUS.

“Do you know what you’ll do if he tries to blackmail you?” Tibbles asked.

“Let’s just pray Veruca hasn’t given him anything. If she has…”

The Muzak stopped. Tibbles picked up the receiver. “Yes,” he said into the phone. “Yes… of course… I’ll let him know.”

“What is it?” asked the POTUS.

“They want to connect on screen, sir.”

They? Who’s they?” Buckminster asked.

Tibbles’ became doe-eyed. Sweat instantly beaded on his forehead. “Hu Li is with Timoshenko.

The POTUS winced and clenched his fist. “Fine. Put the commie bastard on, too,” he relented.

Tibbles pressed a button and the scowling faces of President Timoshenko and President Hu Li appeared. The POTUS didn’t offer a greeting.

“Hello, Mr. President.” Timoshenko greeted in his thick toned voice.

“Heroh, Mr. President,” added Hu Li in his labored English.

“What do you want?”

“You called us,” answered Timoshenko.

“Do you want to negotiate?”

“Negotiate what?”

“A solution to this crisis,” answered the POTUS.

“There is only one sorution to this a-crisis. There ohnree one way out for you.”

“And what would that be?”

“Your resignation.”

The POTUS scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“It will be very embarrassing for you if you don’t.”

“That’s not happening.”

“Mr. President, you have this one final opportunity to save your dignity,” explained Timoshenko.

“Be very careful,” the POTUS cautioned. “You don’t have the leverage you think you have. Do you want to trigger world war 3?”

“This does not need to be the end of the world, Arman,” Timoshenko continued, “…just the end of your presidency.”

“I can’t resign, Timmy. I just announced my campaign for re-election.”

Buckminster pounded his fist on the table. “We won’t surrender! The president of the United States is the symbol of America and America never surrenders.”

“It seems that your General Buckminster overestimates the loyalty of his fellow commanders.” Timoshenko punctuated his explanation with a snort.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Buckminster asked.

Timoshenko leaned back with a confident look on his blotchy, pink face. “How do you suppose your first lady came into possession of this most scandalous video?”

Buckminster faked ignorance. “What video?”

Timoshenko continued: “You don’t think she just asked someone for it, do you? No. That wasn’t how it happened. The video was given to her. It was given to her by an insider— a high-ranking, insider.”

“Who was it?” Buckminster demanded, veins throbbing in his neck. “I’ll have him shot for treason.”

“The who is not so important as the why they did it. Mr. President, even your closest allies are turning on you. They no longer believe you can lead your nation through this crisis. They are plotting for your removal from office.”

Buckminster shook his head in denial.

“I already know who leaked it,” the POTUS replied.

The eyes in the room jumped from person to person, glazed in suspicion.

“Who?” Tibbles gulped.

“It wasn’t me,” Buckminster protested before glaring at Fricke.

Fricke shook his head in denial.

Haberdash ceased scribbling tits on his notepad to observe the tension.

“It was Krusty. Krusty did it!” the POTUS groaned. “Krusty betrayed the Office of the President. Krusty sold out America.”

“That son of a bitch!” Buckminster growled.

“This pornogwaphic video is not the ohnree information that we have been given, Mr. Pwesident,” added Hu Li. “We have recent-ree discovered that you have begun work on a SuperBunker escape tunnel. We can ohnree presume it is being built to make it possibo for you to send an agent to the surface to give your order.”

“And what of it?”

“That is fo-bidden!”

The sound of the blast door alarms rang through the complex and down into the depths of the UltraBunker.

“They must have re-triggered Protocol 4,” Fricke observed.

The POTUS had no reaction.

“That is legally incorrect,” Tibbles interjected. “Our lawyers found nothing in the codex that explicitly forbids sending someone out of the SuperBunker during Protocol 4. It only forbids making any effort to open the doors.”

“It vio-rates the intent,” Hu Li rebutted.

Timoshenko intervened. “Regardless, your tunnel is no longer an advantage. Due to receiving this information, we have begun our own joint, Sino-Russian mission in the race to put a man on the surface of the earth.”

“You’ll never beat us,” Buckminster gloated.

Timoshenko laughed, then continued: “American hubris is both your best and worst quality. It fills you with the confidence to confront any challenge but it blinds you to the possibility of catastrophe. You don’t even see that we have nearly completed our own tunnel.”

Tibbles looked at Buckminster who was silently cursing.

“There’s nothing left to discuss here,” said the POTUS. He motioned to Tibbles who disconnected the monitor. The room fell silent. The POTUS appeared shaken. He drew a breath but began to speak in a calm tone. “What the hell is happening? Is there no respect for the office of the president? Who do my commanders think they are to do this to me?”

Buckminster stood up from his seat and watched the POTUS in emotionless anticipation. Fricke’s face filled with weariness. Tibbles began to tear up.

The president’s voice turned sharply louder. “So this is what it has come to: My own men, the military, everyone spying on me? Even the NSA? They’re all a bunch of contemptable cowards…”

“Sir,” Buckminster interrupted out of compulsion, “I can’t let you insult the dedicated men and women serving our country.”

“They’re all traitors! “

“Mr. President, this is outrageous!”

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the scum of the American people! Not a shred of honor!” The president stood and started to pace, his voice rising. “They call themselves generals… years of training at the academy just so they can become little treasonous voyeurs! Useless! For years they’ve prevented American victories overseas. They have decades of training but they can’t even keep an aircraft carrier afloat.” The president rubbed his temples. “They have all these smart-bombs and laser-guided things and satellites but they can’t even conquer ass-backwards countries defended by sheep-shagging musket-men. Worthless!” He pounded his fist on the table sending a stack of papers over the edge. “But they can turn on me like this? Why?”

Buckminster turned to Fricke as if imploring him to do something. Fricke sat motionless.

“You know what I should have done? I should have liquidated all of them like… like Stalin did. Traitors!”

The president plunked himself down into his seat and attempted to gather himself. Tibbles filled the moment of brief silence with his blubbering. Buckminster fumed in silence. Haberdash stood up, eyes widened in amazement, and sidled over towards Tibbles.

The POTUS’s rant continued. “I’ve been deceived all along by them… by this cabal… by this Deep State. What a monstrous betrayal of the American people!” The president curled his right hand into a fist.  “But all these traitors will pay! They shall drown in their own blood!”

Haberdash patted the weeping Tibbles on the shoulder as if to say: “There, there, Frank. It’ll be all right.”

The president exhaled. His posture slumped. He appeared spent. He curled up in his seat and started to rock like some distraught grandmother. “Under these circumstances,” he mumbled, “I am no longer able to lead. There is only one thing left to do.”

Fricke’s face filled with a glimmer of hopefulness but it was quickly quashed when the president spoke again.

“…But if you think I am going to resign, you are sadly mistaken. I’d rather blow my brains out.”

Fricke glanced at Tibbles who had stopped sobbing upon hearing the president’s remark.

Buckminster broke the short silence. “What are your orders, sir?”

The POTUS pondered.

Buckminster turned to Fricke.

Fricke shrugged.

Tibbles produced a wad of tissue from his pocket and blew his nose into it.

“Fricke…” the POTUS groaned.

“Yes sir?”

“Set the football on the table.”


“You heard the president,” barked Buckminster.

Fricke remained motionless. The POTUS produced his gold-plated .44 magnum. Fricke reluctantly lifted the satchel off the floor and placed it on the table.

“Open it,” ordered the POTUS.

“But sir…”

“That was an order,” Buckminster snapped.

Fricke complied.

Haberdash leaned in to have a look.

Buckminster’s eyes widened.

Fricke reached in and pulled out a laptop computer emblazoned with the presidential seal and the Numenor Corporate logo in the right corner.”

“Turn it on,” the POTUS ordered.

Fricke opened it and it lit up and began its boot up sequence. He reached down into the satchel and pulled out the laminated sheet that resembled a Denny’s menu. He handed it to the president who passed it to Tibbles. Lastly, Fricke produced a metallic metal cube with a large red button affixed to the top, and set it on the table alongside the computer.

“What does it say?” the POTUS asked of Tibbles.

Tibbles scanned down a few lines then read from the menu. “It says: Connect the Permissive Active Link (PAL) transponder to the computer with the black connector cable…

“Do it!” the POTUS ordered.

Fricke connected the cable. The red button blinked three times.

Tibbles read on: “When connected, the red indicator light on the launch button will flash red three times. The PAL will then begin its boot up sequence. When complete, the mouse pad will become active. Use the mouse pad and the left button on the computer to click ‘Proceed’. You will then be taken to the Strategic Algorithm Matrix (or SAM) program…

Buckminster moved behind Fricke to observe. “It’s ready.”

Fricke clicked the mouse pad button.

“Welcome…” came a sultry but offish female voice through the laptop speaker. “My name is Sam. I am here to assist you. To initiate the Strategic Algorithm Matrix, please select a geopolitical scenario…”

“What are the options?” the POTUS asked.

Fricke read them off:








Fricke reluctantly eyed the POTUS, awaiting instruction.

“I presume multipolar, sir,” Tibbles offered.


Fricke maneuvered the mouse pointer over ‘Multipolar’ and clicked.

“Now,” came the voice, “please enter the number of global superpowers. Please note that you can back up one step at any time by simply pressing the control and backspace buttons simultaneously.”

Fricke entered ‘3.’

“Excellent. Now please identify the global superpowers. Please enter all superpowers regardless of political alliance. For a definition of superpower, please click the appendix button on the menu bar.”

Fricke scrolled through the list of nations and selected ‘Russian Federation, The’ and ‘China, The People’s Republic of’. ‘United States of America, The’ was pre-selected.

“Great. Now, on the next screen, please select all the strategic conditions that apply. Click advance to conditions to proceed.”

Fricke clicked advance and the screen filled with text and check boxes. At the bottom, he noticed a page selector. The screen was on page 1 of 207.

“Please note,” continued the voice, “that there is a search box in the upper right of the screen. You can also search for conditions by voice command by saying ‘Hello Sam, search conditions… dirty bomb,’ for instance. Or, ‘Hello Sam, search conditions… Chinese invasion Taiwan.’“

“Hello Sam,” Buckminster shouted. “Search conditions… Russian invasion Bolshevistan.”

An hourglass appeared onscreen. After a moment, Sam said, in her sultry deadpan, “I’m sorry, there are no conditions that contain ‘Russian invasion Bolshevik stand.’ Here are some results that contain ‘Russian invasion’. Please select from one of the following or refine your search terms…”


Russian invasion of Afghanistan

Russian invasion of Alaska

Russian invasion of Bulgaria

Russian invasion of Canada

Russian invasion of China

Russian invasion of Finland

Russian invasion of Lithuania (or other Baltic State)

Russian invasion of Lapland

Russian invasion of Mongolia

Russian invasion of Monte Carlo

Russian invasion of Nepal

Russian invasion of Other

Russian invasion of Poland

Russian invasion of Turkey

Russian invasion of Uzbekistant


“Select ‘other‘,” Buckminster urged.

Fricke toggled the checkbox.

“What else?” Tibbles asked. “Should we put more information in?”

“Hello Sam,” Buckminster barked. “Search conditions: blackmail.”

“Here are some results that contain ‘blackmail’.”


Extortion of Prime Minister of Canada by China

Extortion of Prime Minister of Canada by Russia

Extortion of Prime Minister of Germany by China

Extortion of Prime Minister of Germany by Russia

Extortion of Prime Minister of Germany by China

Extortion of Prime Minister of Germany by Russia

Extortion of Prime Minister of Israel by China

Extortion of Prime Minister of Israel by Russia

Extortion of President of France by China

Extortion of President of France by Russia

Extortion of Prime Minister of United Kingdom by China

Extortion of Prime Minister of United Kingdom by Russia

There are 188 More results…


“Hello Sam, search conditions… extortion of President of United States,” Tibbles asked.


Extortion of President of United States by China

Extortion of President of United States by Russia

Extortion of President of United States by Israel

Extortion of President of United States by Mongolia


Fricke checked the first two boxes.

“What else?” Buckminster asked.

Tibbles consulted the laminated instructions. “It says to click ‘advance to secondary criteria.’” Fricke clicked the button and a popup question appeared:


Have nuclear weapons been detonated by any nation state?


Fricke clicked ‘No’. Another popup immediately appeared.


Is it confirmed that nuclear weapons have been launched by any nation state?


Fricke clicked ‘No.’


Are any nation states preparing to launch nuclear weapons (including rogue states)?


Fricke looked at the POTUS who was staring at his gun in a catatonic state.

“Yes, of course!” Buckminster scolded.

Fricke clicked ‘Yes’. A popup appeared with a list of countries and check boxes. Fricke clicked ‘Russian Federation, The’ and ‘China, Peoples Republic of.’


Have the critical members of government been evacuated to hardened facilities in order to ensure continuity of government?”




What day of the week is it?






Fricke looked over his shoulder at Buckminster for affirmation. Buckminster glanced at Tibbles who was faintly shaking his head. The trio turned to the POTUS who was still staring at his gun, motionless. “Just do it!” he ordered.

With a shaky hand, Fricke moved the mouse pointer onto the ‘Proceed’ button, but he hesitated.

“You have your orders. Do it!” growled Buckminster.

Fricke clicked the button. The screen went instantly black. Fricke hopped back, looking as if he had broken something.

“What did you do?” Buckminster demanded.

“I… I just clicked ‘Proceed’,” Fricke appealed.

“Please stand by…” SAM implored.

The screen came back with the icon of an hourglass with the sands running out.

“Please stand by… Pareto-optimizing…”

The sands ran down the hourglass.

“Please stand by… Pareto-optimizing…”

“Please stand by…”

The last grains ran out and the hourglass icon froze in the middle of the screen. Everyone but the POTUS gathered and stared at the screen in anticipation.

“What happens now?” Haberdash asked? “Is it frozen up? Did it crash?”

“Shouldn’t the hourglass flip over or something?” Tibbles queried.

“How long should we wait?” Buckminster asked. “I think we need to call someone.” Buckminster grabbed the black telephone receiver and lifted it to his ear. “Get me IT!”

After about two minutes, Tibbles asked: “Can you put it on speaker?”

“I don’t know how to do that. I’m afraid I’ll hang up and go to the back of the queue.”

“It’s easy,” Tibbles advised. “Here…” Tibbles took the receiver from Buckminster, pressed the speaker button, then hung the receiver up. The room filled with the melody of Summer Breeze by Seals and Croft.

“Catchy, isn’t it?” Haberdash chimed in after several effervescent measures.

Finally, someone answered on the other end. “Help Desk. Who am I speaking with?”

“You are speaking to General Fitzmaurice Buckminster, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Special National Security Advisor to the President.”

“Did you say ‘Buckmeister’?”


“Okay. Got it.”

“I’m letting you know you are on speaker as well.”

“Thank you. What can I help you with?”

“It seems that the PAL system has frozen up on us.”

“The PAL system?”

“Yes. The Permissive Active Link.”

“Hmm. One moment while I look that one up. Oh, here it is. Okay, what seems to be the problem?”

“Like I just said, it appears that it has crashed or locked up on us.”

“Do you see an error message?”

Buckminster leaned in to look at the screen. “No. There’s just a frozen hourglass.”

“Can you tell me what you saw before it froze?”

“Well, it said it was ‘Pareto-optimizing.’ Then it just froze up.”

“Hmm. Hmm. Uh, how long has it been frozen?”

“It’s been a couple minutes.”

“Have you experienced this issue before?”

“No. I don’t believe any of us have ever tried to launch nuclear weapons before… No.”

“I see.” They could all hear the click clack of keyboard typing. “Unfortunately, I cannot access this system remotely. We will have to try to solution it over the phone.”


“Mr. Buckmeister, can you hit control-alt-delete, please? Make sure you press all three keys simultaneously.”

“Sure.” Buckminster nodded to Fricke who carefully pressed the three keys.

“Can you tell me what you see?”

“Nothing. I still see the hourglass.”

“Hmm. And you said you didn’t see any error message?”

“No. Nothing like that.”

“Well, I think at this point we should try a hard reboot. Can you turn the PAL system off, wait thirty seconds, then turn it back on for me? I’ll hold while it reboots.”

Buckminster picked the computer up and looked under it and on the back side and scanned the keyboard. “I don’t see a power switch.”

“Hmm. Well, let me ask someone else in the department if…”

“Hang on!” Tibbles urged. “It just did something.”

The hourglass disappeared and was replaced with a popup.


Pareto-optimization complete.

Click to proceed.


Tibbles reached in and clicked the link.


“The Strategic Algorithm Matrix has resolved the current scenario to three possible strategic solutions. Select the appropriate solution and click Proceed.”

“What does it say?” The POTUS asked.

Tibbles scanned the screen. Fricke got up from his seat and Tibbles sat down in his place. “It has three solution buttons titled ‘Good’, ‘Better’, and ‘Best’. Click for details.

“Click the ‘Good’ one.”

Tibbles clicked the button.

“What does it say?”

“It says: ‘Limited tactical nuclear strike upon frontline military and naval targets. Pros: Shock and awe should undermine adversarial resolve. Cons: A limited military strike prior to a threatened enemy launch may trigger a military coup against the Office of the President as the Joint Chiefs of Staff will view it as a waste of initiative. Chance of preserving continuity of government: 29%. Press select to transmit launch codes.

“What is the better option?” Buckminster asked.

Tibbles read it off. “Large scale thermo-nuclear detonation over select industrialized population centers. Pros: Enemy may become demoralized and resolve to detente. Cons: If successful detonations are skewed toward civilian targets, the U.S. civilian population may attempt to overthrow the current government of the United States. Chance of preserving continuity of government: 55%. Press select to transmit launch codes.”

Buckminster pondered. Fricke gazed at the screen in astonishment. Haberdash scribbled notes over the scribbled tits in his notepad,

“And the best option?” asked the POTUS who remained fixated on his magnum.

“It says…” Tibbles started.

“It says what?” the POTUS asked.

“It says…”

“Spit it out, Frank,” ordered Buckminster.

“It says: ‘Total, full scale, thermonuclear first strike.’” Tibbles’ lip quivered.

“What could possibly be the pros of that?” Fricke asked.

“It says: ‘Pros: Enemies will be totally annihilated.’

“And the cons?” Fricke asked.

Tibbles gulped. “It says: ‘The end of the world as we know it.’

“What are the odds?” asked the POTUS.

“The odds, sir?” asked Tibbles.

“Yeah. The odds of preserving continuity of government, so we can at least save democracy.”

“It says: ‘the chance of preserving continuity of government is… is 99%.’

“This is ridiculous,” Fricke intervened. We don’t even know that the Chinese and Russians will launch their nukes. Gentlemen we still have time to negotiate a peace.”

“The time for talk is over,” Buckminster rebutted. “It’s time for action.”

The POTUS started to rock again in his chair. He reached up and massaged his temples, with his pistol clasped in his right hand. Then he ran his fingers through his hair. “I choose…”

“What was that, Mr. President?” Buckminster asked.

“I said, I choose…”

You don’t have to do this, Mr. President,” Fricke urged.

“I… choose…” the sentence dissolved into mumbling.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t roger that,” Buckminster said.

“I said I…”

“Don’t do it!” Fricke pleaded.

“Best!” shouted the president. “I choose best. Now get on with it.”

Fricke looked desperately at Tibbles imploring him to stop the madness. Buckminster’s hand slid down and unsnapped his holster, forgetting that only the POTUS was permitted to possess a sidearm in the UltraBunker.

“Best! Best! Best! I choose best. Do it!”

“You heard the president, Frank,” Buckminster added.

Tibbles’ finger moved the mouse pointer. He toggled the box. Then slid the pointer down to the link that said ‘proceed.’

“Do it!” Buckminster ordered.




The hourglass returned. Tibbles watched the screen as the grains of sand ran out. When the last grains passed through the icon, a new popup appeared.


Please enter authentication code.


“Authentication code?” Buckminster asked. “Fricke, give me the code.”

“I don’t have it.”

“Give me the code or I will have you shot for treason.”

“I don’t have it.”

“Mr. President? Do you have it?”

“I don’t,” mumbled the POTUS.

“Who in the hell has it, then?” Buckminster asked. “Fricke? You’re a damn liar.”

Fricke shrugged his shoulders. “I’m not lying.”

Tibbles backed away from the PAL.

“Tibbles, do you have it?”

“Uh…” Tibbles gulped.

“It’s Tibbles. Tibbles has the code,” the POTUS muttered. “But you have to get it out of him.”

“What do you mean, sir?” Buckminster asked.

“I’m sure it’s all there in the instructions.”

Buckminster yanked the Denny’s menu from Tibbles’ who had started shaking. He flipped to the last page where he saw the diagram of a person’s head and neck, but with the skin peeled back revealing the cardiovascular system and musculature. An arrow pointed to the external carotid artery and the depiction of a small splice connecting both ends of it. A text box on the instructions described how the authentication code was contained within the arterial splice.

“How in the hell do we get it out of him?” Buckminster asked.

“You have to cut it out,” the POTUS lamented.

“But won’t Frank bleed to death,” asked Fricke.

“It’s part of the Fail-Safe Thermonuclear Protocol,” the POTUS explained.

“We can’t just cut him open, can we?” Haberdash asked, backing away from Frank.

“I think it would be best if we euthanized him first,” the president suggested.

“Does anyone have any poison?” Haberdash asked.

“Sir, you can use your pistol,” Buckminster advised.

“No, I… I can’t do it,” the POTUS protested.

Tibbles sighed in relief.

“Why not?”

“I just can’t. I can’t do it.”

“Thank God,” Fricke exclaimed.

“Why not, sir?” Buckminster asked.

“I just can’t.”

“Well what do we do now?” Buckminster asked.

“I said I can’t do it,” repeated the POTUS.

“We understand, sir.”

“No, you don’t.”


The president looked up at Buckminster. “Here, you do it!” The POTUS slid his gold pistol across the table to Buckminster.

“Why me?” Buckminster cringed.

“Because you got us into this mess.”

“Gentlemen, we really don’t have to do this. We can…” Fricke interrupted.

“I’m sorry, sir, but I just can’t shoot a man point blank.”

Tibbles’ eyes darted between Buckminster and the POTUS.

“What?” asked the POTUS.

“I said I just can’t kill someone like this.”

“What in the hell are you talking about?” The POTUS smoldered. “You’ve killed hundreds… thousands of people. You’re a soldier… a general.”

“Yeah, but that was by text message. It was never in person. Not face to face.”

“What the hell difference does it make?”

“This is different. I… I can’t do it.”

“You have to.”

“I can’t.” Buckminster’s voice cracked. His chest heaved and fell. He sniffed. His throat tightened his voice into a squeal. “I… I…” He started to sob.

“Do it!” the POTUS urged.

“Arman, are you sure?” Tibbles whimpered.

“I… I can’t, sir,” Buckminster wept openly.

“That’s a direct order, Bucky.” The POTUS got up from his seat and slapped Buckminster across the cheek.

“Arman…” Tibbles beseeched.

Buckminster hefted up the gold-plated magnum.

“Gentlemen, please!” Fricke shouted. “Let’s talk about this for a minute.”

“Arman,” Tibbles implored, “I… I…”

Haberdash cleared further out of the way.

“Bucky, I’m giving you a direct order!” shouted the POTUS.

Buckminster stepped forward, tears and snot running down his face. Blubbering incoherently, he placed the barrel against Tibbles’ temple.

Tibbles stared lovingly at president Arman “Our Man” Manfred, who himself had sat back down and stared at the floor rather than looking his lover in the eye.


“What, Frank,” the POTUS asked, finally looking up.

“I love you.”




Fricke sat frozen in terrified disbelief. Haberdash vigorously scribbled notes in his notepad. Buckminster wiped the tears and blood splatter and brain matter from his face with his handkerchief and reflexively stuffed the president’s sidearm into his holster.

“Is everything okay there?” came the voice of the IT support person who was still on the speaker phone. “I heard a loud bang and crying or something.”

Buckminster cleared his throat, straightened his splattered uniform, then withdrew his pocket knife and proceeded to cut out the authentication code splice capsule from Tibbles’ neck. When he had retrieved the capsule, he broke it open and unraveled a tiny strip. He took out his reading glasses.

“It’s like a fortune cookie. What does it say?” Haberdash asked.

“It says ’42’,” Buckminster answered.


“What do I do now? Enter it in the computer?”

“You have to enter the complete code. I have the prefix,” murmured the president. “Enter #… @… A… first, then 42.”

Buckminster entered the code. “What now?”

No one answered.

“Hello Sam, what do we do now?” Haberdash asked.

“One moment please…”

Buckminster stared at the screen.

“One moment please…”

Fricke looked at the president.

“One moment please…”

The president stared at his shoes.

“I am unable to establish connection.”

“What did she say?” Buckminster asked.

“It must have been trying to transmit the launch sequence to NORAD. It can’t connect due to Protocol 4.”

“Well, what do we do now?” Buckminster asked, glaring at Fricke. Fricke was unresponsive, as if in catatonic shock. Buckminster turned to the computer. “Hello SAM, what do we do now?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.”

“Hello SAM,” asked Buckminster. “How do we deliver launch sequence manually?”

“Due to loss of connectivity, you must deliver the launch codes manually.”

“Hello, SAM. How do we deliver the launch codes manually?”

“Simply re-establish internet connectivity with PAL.”

Confusion filled Buckminster’s face.

“You’ve gotta take the PAL and the red button thing up to the surface,” the president mumbled, “so it can connect.”

“Oh, of course,” Buckminster replied. “So we’ll need to send someone up to the surface, in the transport capsule? You’re not going to send me, are you? I get claustrophobic.”

“Not you, Bucky,” said the president. “You’ve already failed me once.”

“Who then, sir?”

All eyes were set upon the president who looked down at the floor. “Fricke,” he answered. “I want Fricke to do it.”


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COG Chapter 18


#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 18

One week later, at precisely noon, Protocol 4 was about to be rescinded, as scheduled. A public ceremony was arranged and an army of Greys were deployed to construct the temporary bleachers, build the stage, and hang the sky-blue bunting. The ten-million-dollar vending contract was awarded to a firm from South Carolina. Although no one from that firm was actually present in the bunker, or even aware of the award due to Protocol 4’s information blockade, the contract was inserted as an ear-mark into an emergency military funding bill. Upon passage, the contract was awarded to Ralfamerk, Inc. which ensured both South Carolina senators, whose spouses had family members on the board, would vote in favor the president’s Federally Appropriated Regional Transportation bill that funded, among other things, a ten billion dollar monorail stretching from Rapid City, South Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota.

The Greys constructed a raised dais on the stage in the turfed athletic fields directly across from the Hotel Americana. Behind the dais was a platform with seating for dignitaries. Behind those seats hung a backdrop of sky-blue curtains embroidered with the image of three interlocking hands gripping at each other’s wrist. One hand was light brown, one was white, and one was black. Temporary fencing was erected and nude-imaging scanners, manned by security personnel which included Chinansky, were placed at the entry points. There was very minimal risk of terrorism or violence as whatever was brought down into the bunker was tightly controlled. Rather, the nude-imaging scans were conducted to find contraband as a concession to the firm awarded the exclusive vending contract. The crowd of mostly Greys had to be prevented from smuggling in any snacks in order to maximize Ralfamerk’s event revenue. A congressman from New Hampshire had a cousin on Ralfamerk’s board of directors. He voted yes on the ear mark and appropriations bill as well.

The crowd began to pass through the scanners and into the viewing area. Security agents wearing sunglasses scanned the crowd and whispered into their lapels. Greys put the finishing touches in place, tested the sound system, adjusted the signage, and rolled out the red carpets.

It was a perfect simulated day. The canvas sky above was featureless blue. The temperature was dialed in at a perfect seventy-two degrees. Just before noon, the dignitaries shuffled in with a flurry of perfunctory handshakes and forced grins. They took their seats behind the dais. At precisely noon, the fanfare music blared. Everyone stood. Chinese President Hu Li appeared from behind the stage, followed by Russian President Timoshenko, and then President Manfred. The three shook each other’s hands, placing their free hand on the other’s shoulder as an expression of primordial dominance, then turned and straightened their blue suits and grinned for the crowd and paparazzi masquerading as journalists. When cued, they each approached their separate podium on the dais. They had negotiated in advance that only the President of the United States would speak, although the remarks were approved by all three leaders.

“Welcome,” the POTUS began. “Two weeks ago, the leaders of three of the world’s great nations were able to set aside our differences and come together for peace.” The president turned left to Hu Li who grinned and then right to Timoshenko who nodded approvingly. “The outcome of this unprecedented meeting was the agreement to temporarily suspend the protocol that has left us cut off from the world we have been entrusted to govern. Our ability to forge an agreement has shown us all that nations can still work together… that war is not inevitable… that peace and cooperation is still possible. So, without further ado, gentlemen…”

The trio of presidents each placed their hand on a giant white button affixed to their respective podiums.

“On a count of three. One… Two… Three…”

Each pressed their button. When signaled, the crowd roared in approval. The presidents turned and congratulated each other with handshakes and smiles and shoulder pats. The sky-blue curtain raised behind the dignitaries showing an image of a bunker blast door. The video screen zoomed in on the door.

Before the event, the presidents drew lots to determine the order of presentation. Timoshenko lost so he went first. The other two presidents took their seats.

Timoshenko began to speak in his Dracula-toned English. “After much deliberation, and with much difficulty, we have made our decision regarding who we have chosen to be allowed into the bunker…”

The crowd hushed in anticipation. Would it be Roskolnikov the famed composer? What about Nikolsky the Nobel prize winning physicist?

“Ladies and gentlemen…”

“Could it be Potoff the statesman who brokered the peace between Khazakstan and Belarus? Or what about Karamzin the great author?

“Please give a warm welcome to…”

The crowd hushed in anticipation.

“Yuri Gregorivitch!”

A husky man with rosacea cheeks and narrow eyes appeared on the screen. A crooked smirk cleaved his face. He wore a shimmery gray silk suit and carried a metallic briefcase.

A sparse applause trickled out from the crowd.

“Who in the hell is that, again?” The POTUS whispered to Fricke who sat behind him.

“He’s one of the oligarchs. They call him the Ukrainian Cranium,” Buckminster answered.

“I didn’t ask you, Bucky,” the POTUS snapped. “You can just sit there in silence until I call on you.”

Buckminster nodded.

“Why do they call him the Cranium, Fricke?”

“He is apparently a genius at money laundering.”

“I see.”

The president of Russia applauded vigorously, waived, and took his seat.

Next up was Hu Li. He stepped to his podium.

He unfolded a piece of paper to read from and adjusted his thick lenses. “I will say that our serection was very easy to a-make. I am happy to ernounce that Master Chung has been approve. Welcome home Master Chung.”

The skinny Chinese boy appeared on screen, looking disinterested, bangs of black hair falling into his eyes. The Asian section of the crowd applauded wildly as Chung had become a cult figure since the kidnapping. The POTUS faked a smile after Hu Li glanced at him on his way back to his seat.

When Hu Li was finally seated, the POTUS rose and approached his podium. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for coming. This is a momentous event, perhaps the most momentous event since Protocol 4 was declared. These are challenging times but there is now reason for renewed hope.” The POTUS gestured to the other two presidents. “A lot… a lot of good has been accomplished since we’ve found a way to work together. And not only with our international partners, but within our own government as well. I must take this opportunity to cite the passage of the Governmental Abatement of Greenhouse Act, which was passed by our senate and signed by me last week as an example of progress. If the world still exists when this crisis is over, we can all rest assured that we will have committed to reduce increases in greenhouse gas emissions, thus doing our part to ensure that we’ll avoid the environmental catastrophe of a .4 degree increase in global temperatures by the turn of the century!”


“Also, I just signed legislation that will create a ten-billion-dollar subsidy for our pharmaceutical companies so that they can continue to provide low cost pain killers to African Americans, working mothers, the handicapped, and the LGBTQ community. No person shall ever be deprived of opioids based upon the color of their skin or handicap or their gender or gender identity ever again!”

Louder applause.

The president beamed with pride.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have achieved global peace, protected the environment, expanded our transportation infrastructure, and done our part to end discrimination and promote equality!”

Wild cheers.

“On the heel of these great victories for democracy, I think this is as good a time as any to make an announcement. Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially announcing my campaign for re-election as your president of the United States.”

Subdued applause.

“Thank you! Thank you!”

The applause quickly petered out.

“And finally, we come to this: the person who has been granted asylum in our magnificent SuperBunker. You must know that I met with a committee and we reviewed many excellent candidates. The process was exhaustive. Candidates were scored based upon their accomplishments… their contributions to America. And I am happy to say we arrived at a decision that I think you all will approve of. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, let me introduce to you the next American citizen of the SuperBunker…”

The president turned to face the monitor behind him.

“His accomplishments include…”

The crowd drew a collective breath.

“Five-time MVP.”

“Over 75,000 career passing yards.”

“A seven-time league champion.”

“You all know him, you all love him. He’s the greatest of all time. America’s MVP! Quarterback for the Hartford Saxons, Brock McGuinn!”

McGuinn’s sheepish smile and dimpled chin appeared on screen. The crowd, at least the Americans section, roared in unconditional, uninhibited approval. The POTUS clapped vigorously, grinning.

“Brock McGuinn, everyone! The GOAT!” the POTUS repeated, cajoling the crowd to louder and louder cheers.


Follows, comments, likes, edits and suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Previous Chapter

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COG Chapter 17


#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 17

Buckminster found President Manfred on the golf course. He was playing alone. Fricke stood nearby clasping the Nuclear Football. Tibbles was reading something on his cell. Haberdash was serving as his caddy. Buckminster’s driver pulled their golf cart next to them on the 10th tee.

“Mr. President?”

“Bucky!” The president responded without making eye contact. He took three practice swings then hit. The ball shot out with a ping, low but true. “Come, walk with me Bucky.”

Buckminster exited his cart and marched up to the POTUS. The president motioned for Fricke and Tibbles to hang back.

“Bucky,” the POTUS started, let’s have a little chat.” The duo started down the turf fairway towards the president’s ball. “Isn’t it good to get out and get some fresh air?”

“I suppose. But we’re a thousand feet underground, sir.”

“Oh, Bucky….”

“What can I do for you, sir.”



“I want you to be the first person to know about my decision.”

“Which decision, sir?”

“I want you to know I’ve been laboring long and hard about this. Last night, I got down on my knees and prayed to the good Lord for a sign. Well Bucky, I think I got that sign earlier this morning.”

“Really, sir?”

“Yep. You see, I got myself into a little trouble back on hole three. My tee shot hooked– you know that nasty slap hook I have. Well, it hit in the middle of the fairway but… but then it just rolled left, and rolled, and rolled…”

“Sorry to hear that, sir.”

“It rolled left, clean off the fairway and into the bunker.”

“Oh no,” Buckminster feigned concern.

“Yep. Right down into the middle of the trap.”

“That’s terrible, sir.”

“Yes, it is. Oh, you should have heard me cussing, Bucky. I was so angry. You know my bunker play is not my strong suit.”

“I thought it was coming along, sir.”

“Bucky, what have I said a thousand times about my theory of golf?”

“You always say to ‘attack the green,’ sir.”

“That’s right. Attack, attack, attack! You can’t ever give your opponent breathing room. If you lay up, you give your enemy time to take the initiative.”

“I believe the putting green is an inanimate object, sir, but I think I get your point.”

“Play golf like Patton would, Bucky. Sitting in a bunker is like god damn trench warfare. It doesn’t suit his or my style.”

“No, it doesn’t, sir.”

“So, after breaking my three iron in half, I took my sand wedge from Hab and walked up to that evil, godless, Nazi bunker to face my peril alone. I was in a dark place, Bucky. How was I going to get out of that quagmire?”

“I don’t know sir.”

“It was very bleak, very bleak. But I just kept thinking about General George S. Patton Jr. What would he do in my place, Bucky?”

“I don’t know, sir. Maybe he would have slapped his caddy?”

“I took a deep breath and I drew into my backswing…” the president’s eyes closed so that he could immerse himself in the memory. “…and a great sense of calm came over me.”

“Then what, sir?”

“I let go and swung. I brought my wedge down into the trap just an inch behind the ball, launching a perfect little dollop of sand along with my ball up into the air. That little white projectile hung in space and time and, for a moment, I was transported.”

“Transported, sir?”

“Yes. I was transported back to June 1945. To that beach in France. I saw, for instant, Patton storming the shores of Normandy… I was there with him.”

“Patton wasn’t at Normandy, sir. I believe he was stationed in…”

“He was there, Bucky, and so was I. We were there together on Omaha beach, directing artillery fire at the Nazi positions.”

“Artillery, sir? From the middle of the English Channel?”

“We were dialing it right in on those commie Hun bastards.”

“Then what?”

“Then I transported back here and watched as my ball descended, like shell, no, like an ICBM on re-entry, perfectly on target. It bounced once… twice… then rolled… curving along the slope of the green… closer… closer… until it fell directly into the hole, vanquishing that son of a bitch Nazi green!”

“Wow, sir. An eagle. Nice job.”

“And then, at the very moment the ball went in the hole, I got the text message from the speaker. The Monfasco bill passed.”


“Yep. It was right then and there that I knew what my decision was going to be, Bucky.”

“Which is?”

“I’ve decided I am going to go public and announce my campaign for re-election.”

Buckminster froze for a moment while the announcement sunk in, then he congratulated the POTUS. The POTUS waived to Haberdash and the others. They reached the president’s ball where they stopped and waited for the entourage to catch up. The president walked over to Haberdash and unzipped one of the pouches in his golf bag. He took out his gold-plated .44 magnum and walked back to Bucky whose face was filling with concern.


“Yes sir?”

“It is going to be very hard for me to win re-election if the first lady releases that secret video. Do you understand?”

“I do sir. I am doing everything I can to find her. The Russians have her well-hidden.”

“I don’t want excuses, Bucky. Excuses are what people use when they flub three shots out of the sand trap and end up taking a triple bogie. Excuses are what the Germans made when they lost Berlin to Eisenhower. I want results, Bucky.” The president waived his gun for emphasis. “You have to neutralize that situation; you have to neutralize that situation before we open those blast doors again. Because about a minute after they open, Huli and Timmy are gonna know what we pulled and there won’t be any turning back at that point.”

“Why don’t we just call it off, sir? Just leave things as they are… in Protocol 4.”

“Because there’s no upside in that. If we don’t rescind it, the Sino-Russian axis will know something’s up. At least by opening the doors we can buy some goodwill with whom we’re allowing in. But if you don’t get that bitch neutralized beforehand, then we’ll have to go with my Plan B.”

“Plan B?”

“Just do your job, Bucky. If not, it will all be over, and it will all be your fault.” The president pointed the magnum at Buckminster, right between the eyes.

“But sir, I…”

“Shh, shh, shh,” the POTUS shushed. “No more excuses. Take care of it or it’ll be all your fault.”


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