COG Chapter 20

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 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. 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 urgency.

“You should be safe,” Buckminster assured 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. 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 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 you 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 with his trembling hand.

“Dex, you’re going to be the hero of the republic. You are saving democracy.”

“By destroying the world.”

“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 a 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 breast. 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 continued.

“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. Contact local law enforcement and have them assist you.”

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 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.

“Loud and clear,” Fricke shouted between pants.

“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.

“Understood.”

“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 into the vertical air shaft. In moments, it was accelerating into 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

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 19

Before the ceremony to suspend Protocol 4 had even ended, aides were whispering into the ears of the presidents of Russia and China. Within moments of the announcement of Brock McGuinn’s entry, they were whisked away by 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 magnum, then standing guard over their 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, Buck. 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.”

“Can’t we just send someone out right now, while the doors are still open?” Buckminster asked.

“There’s not enough time. Just answer my question.”

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 terminated.”

“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’s 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 Dracula-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 solution to this crisis, the only 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 resolve and 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 onree 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 onree presume it is being built to make it possibo for you to send an agent to the surface to give your orders.”

“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 imbues you with the confidence to confront any matter 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 of sheep-shagging musketmen. 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’ll pay with their own blood. 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 in this current state. 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.”

“Sir?”

“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 a laminated sheet that resembled a Denny’s menu. He handed it to the president who passed it to Tibbles. Lastly, Fricke produced a metallic a metal cube with a large red button affixed to the top, setting 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:

 

Unipolar

 

Bipolar

 

Multipolar

 

Fricke reluctantly eyed the POTUS, awaiting instruction.

“I presume multipolar, sir,” Tibbles offered.

“Sure.”

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 200.

“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 Ukraine

 

“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?”

 

‘Yes.’

 

What day of the week is it?

 

‘Friday.’

 

Proceed?

 

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? I think it crashed.”

“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, melodic bars.

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

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

“Did you say ‘Buckmeister’?”

“Buck-min-ster.”

“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 had the occasion 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.”

“Fine.”

“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’s 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 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 choose…”

“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 carry a sidearm in the UltraBunker.

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

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

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

“Do it!” Buckminster ordered.

 

Click

 

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 shoot you 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 revelaing 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 Protocol,” the POTUS explained.

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

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

“Does anyone have any poison handy?” 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 can’t do it,” repeated the POTUS.

“We understand, sir.”

“No, you don’t.”

“Sir?”

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

“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’s 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 instant 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 nose. 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.

“Sir…”

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

“I love you.”

 

BANG!

 

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.

“What does it say?” Haberdash asked.

“Holy Christ, it’s not a fortune cookie,” Fricke snapped.

“It says ’42’,” Buckminster answered.

“42?”

“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 digits. “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?” Buckminster asked, glaring at Fricke. Fricke shrugged. Buckminster turned to the computer. “Hello SAM, what do we do now?”

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

“Hello SAM,” said Haberdash. “How do we deliver launch sequence manually?”

Fricke scowled at Haberdash.

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

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

“Simply re-establish internet connectivity with PAL.”

Confusion filled Buckminster’s face.

“You’ve gotta take the PAL and the red button 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.

“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

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 18

One week later, at precisely noon, Protocol 4 was about to be rescinded, yet again, by the presidents of China, Russia and the United States of America. 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 the information blockade, the contract was inserted as an ear-mark into an emergency military funding bill. Upon passage, the contract was awarded to Ralfamark, 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 primarily 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 non-vendor snacks in order to maximize Ralfamark’s revenue. A congressman from New Hampshire also sat on that corporation’s board of directors. He voted yes on the 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 suspend Protocol 4 that has left us cut off from the world we are to govern. It 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?

“Please give a warm welcome to…”

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

“Ladies and gentlemen, 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, smiling. He wore a shimmery gray silk suit and carried a 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, Buck,” the POTUS snapped. “You sit there in silence until I call on you. Understand?”

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, 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 approved. 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 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, the GAG Act, was passed by our senate and signed by me last week as one example. 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 by one tenth of one percent per decade, 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!”

Applause.

“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 love. 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.”

“Seven-time league champion.”

“You all know him, you all love him. He’s the greatest of all time. Quarterback for the Boston Normans, Brock McGuinn!”

McGuinn’s smirking 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! MVP!” the POTUS repeated, cajoling the crowd to louder and louder cheers.

“MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP! MVP!”

 


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COG Chapter 17

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 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.”

“Bucky…”

“Yes?”

“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, right off the fairway and right 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. 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 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 and my ball up into the air. That little white projectile hung in space and time and I was transported.”

“Transported, sir?”

“Yes. I was transported to June 1945. I saw, for instant, Patton storming the beaches of Normandy… I was with him.”

“Patton wasn’t at Normandy, sir. I believe he was stationed in England as a decoy.”

“He was there, Bucky, and so was I. We were 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 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.”

“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 stood aghast for a moment while the announcement sunk in, then he congratulated the POTUS. They finally reached the president’s ball where they stopped and waited for Haberdash 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.

“Bucky…”

“Yes sir?”

“It is going to be very hard for me to win re-election if the First Lady releases that 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 the Allies. 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 did 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.”

“There’s no upside in that. If we don’t rescind it, the Sino-Russians 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 excuses. …It’ll be all your fault.”

 


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COG Chapter 16 (Continued)

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 16 (Continued)

The next day, the emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council convened. Arrangements were made to coordinate the temporary rescinding of Protocol 4 thus allowing the three couriers to exit the bunker laden with their diplomatic instructions. When news of the political breakthrough leaked, hopefulness effervesced within the souls of the Greys. Perhaps nuclear annihilation might be averted and they would get the chance to return to their loved ones on the surface.

Forty-eight hours later, a small ceremony was held at the Section 4 auxiliary entry node. The three presidents were introduced and took their positions behind podiums that were meticulously arranged after a six-hour negotiation. They each shook hands in a choreographed sequence, and then each gave a short speech congratulating themselves for their statesmanlike efforts to save the world.

The three couriers were then introduced. The Chinese courier was selected from the officer ranks of the People’s Army. His name was Yao. He stood five-and-a-half feet tall and was of sinewy build. He never smiled, and his narrow, dark eyes were constantly darting from point to point assessing and reassessing the situation. His father, grandfather, and great grandfather were all ranking members in the party. His great grandfather had counseled Chairman Mao during the first Great Leap Forward to rid the country of the pestilence of sparrows that exploited the labors of the agrarian class by devouring their stores of rice. At his behest, an army of three million useful idiots was assembled to patrol the countryside and murder and terrorize all the evil little birds of capitalism. But unfortunately, in addition to rice, the sparrows ate the insects that devoured the crops afield. When the sparrows were eradicated, a plague of feasting insects triggered a famine that killed millions. Yao’s great grandfather was reassigned to oversee the industrialization of the country by placing a tiny foundry in every farmhouse. Yao, seeking to live up to the sacrifices and achievements of his forebears, was quite honored when presented with the opportunity to surrender his PIN and place in the bunker so that Taiwan might be returned to Chinese rule.

The Russian courier was an officer in the army. He was tall and fair, and lean, with deep-set eyes and a jutting jawline. His name was Petra. It was rumored that he was a descendant of both the Romanov and Smirnoff dynasties. His great grandfather was turned over to the secret police by his grandfather for maintaining royalist sentiments. He was sent to a Siberian gulag and never heard from again. His father was also an officer. He devised a plan to win the war in Afghanistan by poisoning the civilian water supply. He died when his helicopter was shot down. Petra, seeking to live up to the sacrifices and achievements of his forebears was quite honored when presented with the opportunity to surrender his PIN and place in the bunker so that Bolshevistan might be returned to the bosom of Mother Russia.

Although officers, neither had any combat experience. Neither had even fired a rifle over the course of the previous ten years.

The American courier was somewhat of a surprise. It was none other than the president’s personal administrative assistant Ford Faucett.

The three couriers approached the podiums and shook hands with the three presidents and each other, then posed for photos. Then, the presidents took their places at their podiums and, on cue, nodded to each other. In unison, they each pressed a red button affixed to their podium. A loud buzz was heard over the PA system. The pistons in the nearby blast door fired and the wall of steel began to open, rising slowly upwards. Then, to the added sound of a drumroll, the three couriers proceeded abreast, down a red carpet, clutching their diplomatic satchels as they strode. They reached the blast door and waited for it to rise. When it had finally opened fully, they turned once more to their presidents stationed behind at their podiums. Yao and Petrov saluted with prideful, patriotic expressions. Faucett waived and grinned his buck-toothed grin. Then the three turned and marched out of the SuperBunker.

The presidents then gestured graciously to each other to do the honors. Hu Li acquiesced and when he was given the all clear signal, he pressed his red button which re-triggered Protocol 4. The alarms sounded and the blast doors descended again.

The three couriers emerged from what resembled a plastic outhouse set in the middle of a Wal Mart parking lot in Akron Ohio. It was sunny. Nearby, a large woman was unloading sundries into her minivan while seated in a motorized mobility scooter. The couriers were greeted by a surprised army reservist who had been posted at the auxiliary entry node. Faucett communicated briefly with him and he darted off to summon a vehicle for their transportation. Faucett gestured towards the entrance of the big box store rising from the sea of asphalt some tw hundred yards away. The three couriers started off in that direction. Faucett lagged slightly behind and when they stopped to allow a rusted Kia pull out of a parking space in front of them, Faucett withdrew a 9 mm pistol from his shoulder holster and shot Petrov and Yao each in the back of the head.

 


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COG Chapter 16

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why not?” asked Buckminster.

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

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

Haberdash groaned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Budget projections? Who cares about the budget?”

“Sir?”

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

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

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

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

“What was that?”

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

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

“What is it?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Sir I…” Buckminster started.

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

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

“I don’t want to hear any excuses.”

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

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

“Right away, sir.”

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

“Put him through. Do it!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m listening.”

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

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

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

“No!” Buckminster protested.

“Shut up, Bucky!”

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

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

Buckminster went silent.

“So Timmy, how do we do this?”

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

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

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

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

“What do you mean?”

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

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

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

“Okay. Fair enough.”

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

“That all depends on the Chinese, Arman.”

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

“Do svidaniya.”

The screen went dark.

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

“Yes sir.”

“What are we doing here?” Fricke asked.

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

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

“What is it Mr. Pwesident?”

“It’s time to make a deal, Huli.”

“What kind of a-deal, Arman?”

“A deal for Chung.”

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

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

“Let’s hear it, then.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Taiwan?”

“Sir, no!” Buckminster shouted.

“Shut up, Bucky!”

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

“We have to rescind Protocol 4, obviously.”

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

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

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

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

“So you sacrifice your resident PIN for Chung?”

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

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

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

“I don’t know.”

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

“Too hard. You give Chung American PIN.”

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

Hu Li pondered.

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

Hu Li sighed.

“I’m counting to three…”

Hu Li scratched his head.

“One…”

Hu Li glanced left, then right.

“Two…”

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

“Wait! Okay deal.”

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

The screen went dark.

“What just happened here?” Buckminster asked.

“I saved the world, Bucky.”

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

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

Buckminster froze, glaring down at the seated POTUS.

“Sit down!” the POTUS ordered.

Fricke and Tibbles watched in wide-eyed anticipation.

“Trust me…”

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

“Faucett, can you come in here please.”

 


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“For back in our forefathers’ time, the devils ruled this land…”

Hat tip to Bear Bussjaeger…
#DeepState, #ContinuityOfGovernment, #COG

Leslie Fish – The Digwell Carol Lyrics

It is the time of Digwell, now Summer’s gone away.
People come from miles around to meet on Digwell day.
We all come here with mighty stones, with gravel, rocks, and sand,
Bring it here with oxcarts or with buckets in your hand.

Chorus:
Pile high, pile high, the devil’s underground.
Pile high, pile high, keep the devil down.

And bring you all your blighted crops and blighted beasts beside,
And coffins of this season’s dead that of the blight have died.
Bring them to the mountain’s top and fetch the boulders near,
‘Tis fitting that the blighted dead should all be buried here.

So fetch the boulders, sand, and stones, and pile them deeply here.
We bury now the sorrows, sins, and bad luck of the year,
And when the mountain’s higher by the mound we build today,
Then we shall feast and dance and sing this autumn night away.

For back in our forefathers’ time, the devils ruled this land.
They made cruel wars and laws to rule the folks on every hand.
They spoiled the land and water, and they poisoned half the sky.
They cared for nothing but their power, though man and nature die.

In time the danger grew so fierce it threatened them as well,
And so they dug deep in the Earth and hid them safe in Hell.
They hoped to wait in comfort ’till the poisons wore away,
For then they could come out again and rule another day.

They hid themselves below the ground and left the people here,
Amid the blight that they had made and even they must fear,
But still the people stayed alive, and well they promised then
That all the devils hid in Hell would never rule again.

And so our fathers hunted ’til they found the secret gate,
And there they piled the boulders high above where devils wait,
And thus we’ve ever after done these many years and more,
So now our manmade mountain stands above their exit door.

Pile high, pile high, the devil’s underground, oh,
Pile high, pile high, keep the devil down

COG Chapter 15

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 15

President Manfred’s eyes opened. He lay still in his bed staring up at the ceiling. He always woke precisely thirty seconds before Faucett would knock on his door. He glanced out his window. The faint glow of simulated dawn was coloring the stretched canvas sky beyond his window.

Knock knock

“Come in.”

“Good morning Mr. President.”

The POTUS sprung up in bed, surprised by the sound of Tibbles’s voice. “Where’s Faucett? Why are you here?”

Dread filled Tibbles’s face as he started to speak.

“What is it?” asked the POTUS.

“Sir, I’m afraid there has been a development in the matter of the First Lady’s disappearance.”

Manfred rubbed the crust from his eyes. “Is she dead?” he sneered hopefully.

Tibbles didn’t immediately answer, being momentarily stunned by the president’s callousness.

“I said, is she dead?”

“No, sir,” Tibbles finally answered.

The POTUS sighed, then threw his covers off and swung his spindly, veiny, bluish legs out and placed his feet onto the floor.

“What is it, then?”

“We think we know where she is, sir.”

“Great.”

The POTUS got out of bed and walked, unabashedly nude, over to the closet where he retrieved his blue, chief executive’s robe, emblazoned with the presidential seal on the back. He draped it over his torso rendering him in the visage of some middle-aged, Irish palooka fighter.

“So, I suppose you want to talk about how we get her back,” he groaned.

Tibbles hung his head.

“You tell me, Frank. What’s our next move?”

Tibbles struggled to speak.

“Spit it out.”

“There’s more to it, sir.”

“What?”

“Sir, she… she…”

“Out with it!”

“We believe she’s defected to the Russians, sir.”

The president’s icy blue eyes flashed with anger, then dissolved into capitulation. He ran his fingers through his matted hair but it remained disheveled.

“Sir—”

Manfred raised his hand to silence Frank. He lumbered over to his bureau and retrieved his carafe of bourbon. He poured two glasses and offered one to Tibbles. Tibbles accepted it after being prodded. Manfred clinked Frank’s glass, then shuffled back to his bed and took a seat.

“I expected this.”

Tibbles gulped. “There’s more, sir.”

Manfred sighed. “What?”

Frank gulped down the bourbon, then sighed.

“What?”

“We believe the Russians have a video, sir.”

“A video?”

“Yes.”

“What has she done, Frank?” Manfred took a drink, then studied his flat, boney feet.

“You should probably watch it, sir.”

The glow of the president’s demeanor darkened further as if storm clouds had rolled into his bed chamber. He sat naked on the bed, bluish, spindly legs splayed, holding his drink between his knees. “One look at you, Frank, tells me it’s bad.”

“Should I, sir?”

“Play it!”

Tibbles nervously scanned the room, spotted the remote control on the nightstand, grabbed it and turned on the screen. He navigated to the POTUS’s top secret messaging account and opened the message from “Timmy”, which was the contact name President Manfred had given to the Russian president. He pressed play. The visage of the First Lady, bleary-eyed and mannequin cold appeared. Her silky, jet black hair was done up in meticulous fashion. Her eyebrows, which tended to grow into convergence when not shorn, had been expertly waxed into the shape of two narrow, angry brush strokes of calligraphy. Her heavy makeup was nevertheless flawless. When she started to speak, only her crystalline-white bottom teeth appeared. The president stared down at his glass.

“Arman, I am sorry it has come to this. I am not sorry for you, I am just sorry in general. I had nowhere else to turn. I just could not stand by and allow you to destroy the world. The lives of billions of human beings hang in the balance. I know how you regard them— a thousand times you described them as a horde of mindless, zombified fucktards— but they are still human beings, Arman. Nuclear war would result in their death… their murder… their genocide. I can’t let you end life as we know it because of some ridiculous political disagreement. I must stop this insanity. No office, no prince or kingdom is worth the end of the world.”

“I always knew that bitch was a communist. All Jews are commies, Frank. Remember that.” The president took another drink.

“I’m Jewish, sir,” Tibbles mumbled. The president didn’t acknowledge.

The First Lady continued: “You were wrong to throw that Chinese boy out. He is just a child, Arman. You threw him out so you could bring in that…” her face scrunched into a bitter scowl, “…that piece of shit Frank Tibbles. He is your undoing, Arman. He is an evil troll of a man. A sycophant bloodsucker. If you are listening to this, Frank, and I know you are, I want you to know that you are a slithering snake, and hardly a man at that. And that’s not because you are a homosexual, Frank, it’s because you just are what you are. You’d fellate Satan if it would advance your career…”

President Manfred glanced up at Tibbles who had moved to the karaff to pour another bourbon.

“And you…” she paused to gather momentum “you are Satan, Arman. I hate you. I hate you because you would incinerate the world over that… that… homosexual… not that there’s anything wrong with being gay.”

“She’s obviously upset that I didn’t get her entire family PINs to get down here.”

“Obviously, sir,” Frank affirmed.

“What was I gonna do, Frank?” Manfred continued. “If I brought her whole family in it would look bad… like I was taking advantage of my power.”

Frank acknowledged the president with his widened eyes, but grimly turned back to the video. “There’s more, sir.”

“So I want you to know, Arman,” the First Lady continued, “I want you to know that I know… that I know what you are. And I know the things you’ve done.”

The POTUS took another drink. Tibbles bowed his head and drifted backwards away from the screen as if increasing heat were being thrown off from it.

She continued: “I’ve seen you and Frank together, Arman.”

Concern strained the president’s face.

“I know why you kidnapped and deported that poor little Chinese boy…”

“What is she talking about, Frank?”

“I know about you and Frank. I’ve seen it, Arman. I’ve seen it on video.”

“What is she talking about?”

“I’ve seen him blowing your tiny little cock, Arman. I’ve seen you on top of him, pounding away in your throes…”

The POTUS’s eyes widened.

“…And don’t think I am making this up. Like I said, I have seen it. It’s on video and I have it. You are so stupid, Arman. You authorized all your spies and surveillance, but it never dawned on you that those same assholes would turn around and spy on you. You are an idiot. My father warned me about you. He said, ‘Princess, you are making a big mistake marrying the dipshit goy.’ And he was right. You’re nothing but an ignorant fool­—a fool with his finger on the nuke button.”

Tibbles eyes filled with tears.

“Don’t think I am going to let you get away with genocide, Arman. I have the video, and soon the Russians will have it too…”

The president closed his eyes and shook his head. “She has no idea what she’s done.”

“Now you listen carefully, Arman. You are going to make peace with the president of China. You are going to bring that Chinese boy back into the bunker and you will do it on Frank’s PIN if necessary. We are putting a stop to this insanity before it goes any further. Do you understand me?”

Manfred stared at Tibbles who looked back with his desperate, watering eyes, like a puppy expecting to be beaten.

“Turn the bitch off.”

Tibbles clicked off the monitor and the screen went black.

The president downed his bourbon, set his glass on the nightstand, and braced his hands on his thighs.

“Mr. President, if I may make a suggestion…”

“Shut the fuck up, Frank. I know what to do. But first, I am going to have a shit.”

The POTUS pushed himself up, shuffled over to the bathroom and took a seat. A moment later, his phone resting on the nightstand lit up.

“Get that, please.”

Tibbles grabbed the president’s cell and activated it.

“Who is it?”

Tibbles took the cell into the bathroom and handed over. “It’s Buckminster.”

“What is it Bucky?… What?… What?… Fine.”

The president handed the cell back to Tibbles.

“What is it?”

“The Russians. Timmy wants to meet.”

“He’s going to blackmail you, sir.”

“Do I look like an idiot? Of course he is.”

“I think you should let me make my suggestion?”

“What is it?”

“Don’t meet him.”

“What choice do I have?”

“You don’t have to.”

“Oh, that bitch has made a real mess of things, now.”

“Sir, no good can come of meeting.”

“But a lot of bad can if we don’t.”

“Maybe there’s a way out. Maybe we can spin this to our advantage.”

“What the hell are you talking about, Frank?”

“Hear me out for a second. Perhaps you could pull the pin on this grenade before it blows.”

“Before it blows?”

“I meant before it mushrooms.”

“How and why would I do that?”

“Think about this: You could come out, sir. You could tell the world that you’re gay. It would make you a pioneer. You would be the first gay president.”

The president’s face flushed with anger. “What are you talking about? I’m no homo, Frank.”

“Sir? But we…”

“That doesn’t make me gay. Being gay is…” the president stopped to ponder.

“Being gay is being attracted to people of the same sex, sir,” Frank said.

“No, no, no. Being gay is a lifestyle. It’s about being emotive and sensitive and wearing skinny jeans. I’m no queer, Frank.”

“Sir, but you have sex with men,” added Haberdash who had been lounging silently on the sofa the entire time.

“So what? Inmates have sex with each other too. That doesn’t make them homos. Would you dare call one of those inmates at Leavenworth a homo? Huh?”

“Well I…”

“You want gay? I’ll give you gay. Gay is like Elton John, and those hosts on those home decorating shows, and Bruce Jenner, and…”

“And Frank,” added Haberdash, smirking at Tibbles.

“And… and… that singer from Queen and Liberace and every newsman behind a desk on CNN. Now that’s gay. I’m not one of those people.”

“But—” Tibbles protested but was cut off.

“Just set up a meeting with my circle of trust. Get them over here immediately. Tell them it’s urgent.”

Tibbles surrendered and began dutifully tapping away at a message on his cell.

The president showered and shaved and dressed. When he was ready, Tibbles escorted him to the SuperBunker Oval Office where Fricke and Buckminster were waiting.

“Gentlemen.”

“Mr. President,” they replied as they stood up from the two opposable sofas in the middle of the room.

“Have you briefed them?” the POTUS asked Tibbles.

“No sir.”

“We came right over when we got the message from Frank,” Buckminster answered.

The POTUS ambled over to his desk and took a seat. He opened his top right drawer, reached in, and clicked off the recording device, then pulled out his gold-plated .44 magnum and set it on the desk. He closed the drawer and gathered himself.

“Gentlemen, we have a situation.”

“What is it?” Buckminster asked.

“Do you want me to explain it, sir?” Tibbles asked.

“No. Everyone have a seat.”

Buckminster, Fricke, and Tibbles sat down in the chairs facing the president’s desk. The president looked each of them directly in the eye in succession.

“It seems that the First Lady has defected to the Russians.”

“What?” Buckminster asked.

“It’s true. Fricke, you don’t look surprised.”

“I’m not, sir. But at least we know she’s alive. That’s good.”

“Normally, I would agree. But it seems that she is now working with them.”

“What’s she doing?” Buckminster asked.

“She said, in an encoded message to me, that she has some sensitive information that she will turn over to Timmy if we do not meet their demands.”

“How sensitive?” Buckminster asked.

“Very sensitive,” Tibbles answered. “So sensitive that it could undermine or even destroy the very legitimacy of the U.S. government.”

“Like how we lied about weapons of mass destruction?” Buckminster asked.

“More sensitive than that.”

“Like how we set the drug cartels up as a front for funding the Contras in Nicaragua?”

“Far worse.”

“Like how we had Kennedy assassinated?”

“Even worse than that.”

“Worse than faking the moon landing?”

Silent pause.

“Worse!”

The POTUS grabbed his gold-plated .44 magnum and started waiving it as he spoke. “We can’t allow her to give this compromising information to the Russians. We just can’t do it. The very survival of the office of the presidency depends on preventing that from happening.”

“What do you propose we do about it?” Fricke asked.

“We have to stop her.”

“What does she have?” Fricke asked.

“It’s so sensitive I can’t even divulge it to you.” The POTUS replied, pointing the barrel of the pistol at Fricke for extra emphasis. “She has to be stopped.”

“How?” Fricke asked, ducking slightly.

The POTUS got up from his desk, turned, and used the barrel of his gun to part the gold curtains and have a peek out the window. There was nothing to see. The window was frosted glass hiding a bank of lights simulating daylight just beyond it.

“We have to terminate the First Lady,” Buckminster advised, reading the president’s mind.

“Like assassinate her?” Fricke asked.

The president turned and looked at Buckminster without any expression.

Buckminster stood up. “Mr. President, you need say nothing. I will coordinate this operation without any direct order from you. Gentlemen, this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist. The president did not order it. The president has no knowledge of it.” He saluted the president and left the Oval Office.


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COG Chapter 14

CogCoverSquare

#ContinuityOfGovernment, #WW3, #Deep State

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

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Chapter 14

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

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

“Are you ready?” he replied.

“Ready for what?”

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

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

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

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

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

Just then, Faucett poked his head into the room.

“What is it?” asked the POTUS.

“You have a call.”

“Is it Huli?”

“No Sir.”

“Who then?”

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

“The who?”

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

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

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

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

“All right. If you say so, sir.”

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

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

“Yes sir.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Before what?”

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

Buckminster scowled.

“What is there to negotiate, Jed?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Thank you, Jed.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.” Smile.

Click.

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

The POTUS grimaced.

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

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

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

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

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

“Spit it out.”

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

“Who is it now?”

“It’s Lucius von Rothschild, sir.”

“Who?”

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

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

“No shit? Put him through.”

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

“Good evening Mr. President.”

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

“I suppose well, all things considered.”

“What can I do for you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So what are you proposing?”

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

“You mean cheap labor.”

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

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

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

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

The screen went dark.

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

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

“Which is?”

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

“No more calls!” barked the president.

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

“Now?”

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

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

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

“Send her in, then.”

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

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

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

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

“Explain…”

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

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

“But what?”

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

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

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

“Go on…”

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

Fricke’s eyes widened.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fricke fell silent.

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

“How?” asked the POTUS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why?” asked Buckminster.

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

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

 


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