posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 06:16 PM
Commander in Chief
It was difficult for the President to tell if he was still alive.
He couldn’t hear. He couldn’t see. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest which, he assumed, was a good sign. On the other hand, he had
the distinct sense that no one was moving to help him which, he assumed, was not a good sign.
His Texan accent sounded thick as it echoed back into his face. His accent always seemed to congeal when he was under stress and it would be
difficult to argue that he had ever been in a more stressful position.
Holding his breath, he strained to hear any activity outside his pod. Nothing.
“Cal? Marty? You guys okay?” Again, his voice sounded silly as it slapped back against his ears. He sounded helpless. He sounded stupid. The
press would have a field day with this one, the President thought to himself.
That thought hung in the President’s brain like a cloud.
The press would have a field day. Such an understatement. He had gone too far. The press, congress, the citizens of the United States, the
world…they would absolutely execute him for this.
The President found himself whispering a sincere prayer that his Press Secretary had survived the crash.
* * *
It seemed like a good idea at the time, to kick up the dusty embers of the Cold War.
The economy of the U.S. was flagging, the Iraq effort had become a punchline, the world in general had grown weary of aggression. If the Republican
party had any hope of competing in the upcoming election, there needed to be fear. Fear without overt aggression. A Cold War.
Naturally, it started with the media. A seeded story run on page A7 of the New York Times. A gentle whisper that the Russian president had ordered
the overhaul of numerous ICBM silos. A caller in to a syndicated radio show claiming that his friend in Noginsk is building a bomb shelter.
The President made a timely announcement shortly thereafter that Russia’s recent nuclear activity was being closely monitored, followed by a pat
remark that lumped Russia, Iran, and North Korea into a pool of countries that the President didn’t trust.
The Russian President, a fiery man with a limited conscience, responded through an interview with the Tvoi Den newspaper where he referred to
the U.S. President as an “impotent leader on the final leg of his questionable tenure.”
That’s when everything spun out of control.
* * *
One short month after conspiring to revive the Cold War, following an extended plea from his advisors to back away from a situation that was spiraling
too quickly to control, the President flashed his crooked half-smile and said: “Come on now. Every Kennedy needs a Krushchev.”
The President mispronounced Krushchev.
The gaffe did not go unnoticed by many of his advisors who feared that the President’s pronunciation was equal in accuracy to his estimation of his
own charisma as a leader and, even more terrifying, to his assessment of the current Russian President’s patience and character.
* * *
Twenty-six days of trading insults with his Russian counterpart led the American President to a press conference where, contrary to the advice of his
Press Secretary, the President sternly commented that the Russian nuclear arsenal was too dusty to stand against the U.S. array.
Taking questions from press row, the President answered a query regarding the strength of the Russian President. Leaning against the podium like Gene
Autry, the president quipped “I’m not sure what he thinks he’s going to do. You know? Maybe he thinks he can carry the Tsar Bomba
right over here on his back.”
The President looked out across press row with a grin. His playful joke was met with a room of concerned faces.
* * *
The Tsar Bomba was a near-mythical nuclear device tested by the Soviets in 1961.
U.S. intelligence sources claimed that the Tsar Bomba hadn’t actually existed in a working state since the early 90s, that it was an urban
They were wrong.
The same sources claimed that even if the Russians managed to produce an operating version of the 27 ton device, they had no way to deliver it to U.S.
Again, intelligence was wrong.
The Tsar Bomba existed. It had been upgraded with a depleted uranium tamper which bumped its yield to a staggering 100 megatons, twice the
size of the largest hydrogen bomb ever tested. It could produce a fireball eight miles wide.
And Russia did not have one. It had seven. In Cuba.
* * *
No one found it funny anymore. The President wasn’t a buffoon any longer, or a caricature, or even simply a poor leader. With every glib comment,
with every egomaniacal sound bite, a cold chill ran down the collective spine of the nation.
The subtext of every pundit, comedian, and reporter was a unified: Please God, don’t let this man start a nuclear war before the election.
* * *
No one knew who fired first. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that the silos were empty.
* * *
The President was practically carried into Marine One by his security detail. The presidential version of the venerable Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King
pulled off the ground before everyone was seated.
The helicopter headed due west. It was a panicked maneuver. An attempt to get to the only place that the Russians would never target, the Atlantic
Of course, the President should have been on Air Force One hours before. Under no circumstances should he have been allowed to order a launch from
the White House. The protocol had been breeched initially several hours prior, and no one had spoken up to get things back on track.
The truth was, none of the President’s detail wanted him to survive what was coming. He didn’t deserve to and they all knew it.
* * *
The President, his face white, was roughly escorted into the back of the helicopter, and assisted into a small, padded chamber. He was strapped into
the pod and the door was closed.
The pod was meant to ensure the safety of the President in the event of an imminent crash. No one was really sure if it would do any good.
Marine One was ten miles outside of Washington D.C. when the first Tsar Bomba detonated and effectively removed the American capitol
The blast wave hit the helicopter moments later, lifting the tail of the craft over the top of the cockpit. As the aircraft toppled toward the
ground, the radio rattled a list of casualties: “Confirmed impact New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit…”
* * *
[edit on 18-3-2008 by Essedarius]