#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.
“Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.” President Manfred waved at the crowd of summoned Greys from behind his teleprompter. A Manfred/McGuinn campaign banner formed a backdrop. The “u” in “McGuinn” was fashioned into a goal post. “Tonight, America goes to the polls to exercise their unalienable right to choose their rulers. It’s been a long, hard fought campaign. And these have been trying times. We have battled an opponent in this race hardened by decades of corporate profiteering and pillaging of the environment, but we know our message of ‘staying the course and rebuilding America’ is a winning message.”
“America loves a winner. My running mate, Brock McGuinn, is the embodiment of a winner— the winningest quarterback in football history! He brings the spirit of a champion to the Brown House, for now, and to the White House after we rebuild it!”
Brock McGuinn grinned.
“My fellow Americans, we had to make some tough choices. Leadership is never easy. But we are firm believers that America should always stand by her convictions and never, never surrender. Americans do not stand on the sidelines. They get into the game. So do your patriotic duty and go to the polls and exercise your unalienable right. Due your patriotic duty and remember to vote for your champions.”
Slightly more vigorous applause.
The POTUS held up Brock McGuinn’s fist and smiled and nodded. A Cheshire grin remained frozen into McGuinn’s face. His chin dimple was made especially prominent by the makeup team and lighting. The POTUS released Brock’s fist then gestured for him to take center stage. Buckminster, dressed in his military dress uniform, entered the frame and crouched down over a red white and blue football. Brock got behind him, placed his hands between Buckminster’s legs, under his crotch, and barked out the signals. “Red eighty-eight! Red eighty-eight! Ohio! Ohio! Hu-hut!” Brock took the snap, dropped back, planted his back foot, and threw a bullet pass that rifled just over the heads of the crowd, hitting a bespectacled Grey in the face some fifty yards away, dislodging his glasses upon impact. The crowd went bananas. Brock raised his hands to signify a touchdown. The crowd cheered even louder. Brock pumped his fist. The crowd started jumping up and down, some started to weep. A few wetted themselves in the excitement. Then the loudspeakers began the opening chords of the Saxon football team fight song and when concluded, the crowd broke off into a fevered chorus of “Don’t Stop Believin.”
The surveillance cameras captured everything that happened, converted it to binary code, and fed it into the supercomputer election algorithm.
POTUS and Brock and Buckminster shook a few more hands and retreated into the UltraBunker to watch the election returns. Buckminster turned on BNN. Haberdash poured everyone a brandy. Brock stood with his hands on his hips, leering at the screen.
“How’re we looking?” Haberdash asked.
“It’s early,” Buckminster replied. “The polls haven’t closed on the East Coast.”
“Can someone explain why this whole process isn’t just instantaneous? Can’t they just push a button and have it over with?” asked the POTUS.
“Sir,” Buckminster explained. “An authentic, reliable modeling of the voting decisions of every single potential voter from a voter population of over two hundred million requires a very complex computer simulation. Every conceivable voter parameter has been included. Unemployment rates. Price levels. foreign policy decisions. The stock market indices. Consumer confidence. The time of day. The results of other states. The results of the past Super Bowl…”
“I was MVP!” shouted Brock McGuinn.
“…The simulated eastern time zone results, as reported by BNN, impact voters in the west. That parameter has to be applied sequentially. There really is no way to get the most accurate simulation without processing it in real time.”
The POTUS downed his brandy and watched the television avatars break down the results.
“…and here is Wolford with the latest results in Florida where polls have just closed. Wolford…
“Thank’s DeForest. We are getting simulated results in from the panhandle precincts. President Manfred has a strong lead in Broward country, which is strongly democrat, but is it strong enough? Let’s have a look. If Tex Cleveland can win these seven counties, all historically republican counties, he will probably have enough to win Florida.”
“Shit!” cursed the POTUS. “Why did we only get 55% in Broward county? Bucky?”
“I don’t know what’s happening there, sir. I’ll call my people in the IT department.”
“Tell them we should be getting 65% in Broward. Those damn Mexicans and Jews all vote democrat. This is wrong. The simulation is broken.”
“I think they’re Cubans, sir, not Mexican. They tend to be more conservative.”
“I don’t care what you want to call them. They should be voting for democrats. What the hell is going on?”
Buckminster made a call on his cell.
Brock tossed the red white and blue football to himself.
Haberdash, who was already on his second brandy, began watching BNN intently.
A faint knock came from behind the UltraBunker blast door.
“Who is it?” the POTUS asked.
“It’s Nurse Baum, sir.”
“Yes, yes. I’m sorry there is no one there to let you in. My assistant has not been reporting for duty. Hab, will you let her in please?”
“Sure.” Haberdash got up from his chair and backstepped to the blast door without taking his eyes off the screen or spilling his snifter.
“Oh, for the love of Christ!” shouted the POTUS. The returns from Virginia were flashing on the screen. Tex Cleveland was the projected winner. “What in the hell is going on?”
Haberdash opened the door and Nurse Baum rolled her cart in. The POTUS stood up to curse the screen, but took a seat when Baum pulled up next to him. She took his vitals while he fumed.
Brock raised the red white and blue ball to his ear and feigned a throwing motion.
Buckminster made more calls on his cell.
“Bucky!” the POTUS shouted.
Nurse Baum wiped a vein on the president’s arm with an alcohol swipe.
“Bucky! What the hell?”
“I don’t have any information yet, sir.”
Nurse Baum removed a needle from a plastic package and flicked loose the tiny air bubbles.
The avatars on the monitor discussed the surprising victories for Cleveland. “It’s going to make things interesting,” one remarked.
“Just a moment, Mr. President.”
The POTUS leaned back in his chair, trying to calm himself while awaiting his injection.
Haberdash picked over the adjacent buffet tray.
Nurse Baum reached in to administer the amphetamine shot.
“BNN is now projecting republican Tex Cleveland as the winner of North Carolina.”
“What the fuck, Bucky?! Who are you talking to? Here, give me that goddamn phone.”
Bucky handed his cell to the POTUS.
“Hello. Who the fuck is this? Chester? Chester who? You listen to me, Chester, you go find out what the hell is going on or it’s your ass. Do you hear me?” He handed the phone back to Buckminster.
“What do you want me to do, Mr. President?”
“What do you want me to do?” the POTUS mocked, then glanced over at Brock who carefully laid his ball down on the conference table, then crossed his arms and glared at Buckminster. “You’re my campaign manager, Bucky. Start managing things.”
“I don’t know what I am supposed to do, Mr. President. I’m hopeful things will turn around in New York. New York is always blue.”
“I don’t want any excuses,” the POTUS replied. “Brock, do you like excuses?”
“We don’t make excuses,” Brock answered. “Champions don’t make them. One time, we got down by 21 points to Denver due to some really bad calls and a bunch of guys on I.R. But did we make excuses? Hell no. We sucked it up and started making plays… came back and won that one in overtime.”
“Yeah, yeah!” the POTUS interrupted. “Do you hear that Bucky? No excuses.”
“What should I do then?” Buckminster asked.
“You get on the phone to that Broward County and make sure they find some missing ballots.”
“Some missing ballots, sir?”
“Some missing ballots, sir?” the POTUS mocked again. “Yeah. Missing ballots. Like they missed an entire truckload of them or something. Get them tabulated. We gotta have Florida.”
“Sir, this is a computer simulated election.”
“No excuses!” Brock barked.
“Find a way, Bucky,” added the POTUS.
“But sir,” Buckminster continued. “How do I engineer a truckload of ballots to show up in a computer simulation?”
“Not my problem. Figure it out.” The POTUS fell back into his chair and presented his vein to Nurse Baum who promptly injected him. He exhaled and relaxed and barely stirred when it was announced minutes later that New York had gone to Cleveland.
“We still have Texas and California,” Haberdash offered.
…But by 9 PM standard bunker time, it was all over. BNN called the race in Texas for Cleveland which put him over the top. Manfred had lost. Not only had he lost, but he had lost every single state except one— Connecticut— which is where Brock McGuinn’s Saxons played their home games.
“I don’t understand,” lamented Buckminster. “You’re a war time president. War time presidents never lose.”
“Now you’re just a one-and-done,” Brock pined. “Like those losers Bush and Carter and the Eagles.”
“I just don’t get it,” Buckminster moaned as he paced the room. The POTUS reclined in his chair, barely lucid. Buckminster shuffled over to the president’s side. “Mr. President,” he asked in a timid tone. “I think we may need to make the call to President Elect Cleveland.”
“What the hell for?”
“Well, because it’s what the losers do, sir. They call and concede. It’s a gesture that promotes national unity. It helps us to move forward as one republic.” Buckminster presented his phone to the POTUS as if he was a waiter presenting the check. The POTUS stared at it, his expression darkening.
“You can take that phone of yours and shove it straight up your ass.”
“You heard me.”
“I’m not conceding anything.”
Just then, Buckminster’s phone rang.
“Who is it?” asked the POTUS.
“Uh, it’s Tex Cleveland, sir.”
The POTUS stared at Buckminster lost in his thoughts.
The phone rang again.
Brock stared at the POTUS.
Haberdash piled caviar onto a cracker.
“Should I answer, sir?”
The POTUS broke from his trance. “Sure. Put him on speaker… Hello! Who is it?”
“I have President Elect Brandeis Cleveland on the line. Are we speaking to the president?”
“Hello, hello Mr. President.”
“Tex. What do you want?”
“I was expecting a call from you.”
“Oklahoma just came in. I’m over 270 electoral votes.”
“Are you going to concede?”
“Sure. Congratulations for winning a rigged computer simulation.”
“Sore loser. Hey, is Brock there?” Cleveland asked.
“He’s here. You’re on speaker.”
“Yeah. What do you want?”
“What did you think about that ass-whoopin we put on you tonight? I can’t recall any presidential election ever being a shutout.”
“It wasn’t a shutout,” Brock snapped in a shrill voice that sounded as if he was choking back tears.
“Oh, right. You guys won Connecticut. Still, 531 to 7, that’s an ass-kicking for the record books.”
“You don’t have 531. We still have a chance to win the west coast and make a game of it.”
“No way, Brock. We’re running up the score. We’re gonna rub your face in shit. We want all the votes. 531 to 7. Hell, we might even contest Connecticut. You only won that by half a percent.”
Brock tried to speak but stopped when his voice came out as a squeak.
“You all have a pleasant evening.” Cleveland signed off.
“That bastard!” The POTUS slammed his fist.
Brock massaged his eyelids to prevent his tears from rolling down his face.
Bucky slouched in dejection. “Sir, what should we do?”
“Shut up, Bucky! I’m not conceding that I lost an election that didn’t even happen.”
“But sir, that would be an abuse of power.”
“I said I’m not conceding. I demand a real election, with real voters and ballots, where most of the rules are enforced.”
Buckminster looked dumbfounded.
“Get that stupid look off your face, Bucky. Now listen to me…”
“I’m listening, sir.”
“You’re fired! Now get the hell out of here and don’t come back.”
Buckminster stared at the president, then glanced at Haberdash who shrugged before shoving a cracker into his mouth. With nothing left to say, he stormed out.
“I’m promoting you to chief of staff. Can you handle that?”
“Why not? I was a walk-on at Michigan.”
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