You are President Jones. You are here in the Jungle Room (codename for the Oval Office, thanks again President Bill) with the Wizard of Oz (codename for your new Director of National Intelligence) who you have called in to speak with you. You are here because you have been redrafted by the people for another term. This is why you have dedicated this term to getting even with them.
As you watched Brick House (codename for your secretary) pour you and Oz a couple of drinks, you realize that there are only ever two reasons you call someone to speak with you: either to yell at them or to solve a problem caused by someone you want to yell at. This meeting is one of the former.
Moments later you hear yourself asking, “You leaked that on purpose?” As you hear that come out of you and realize you almost sound like you care. Actually you care that this NSA spying leak is gonna cause you to have to do another one of those White House briefings.
“Yeah, of course, you don’t think his name is really ‘Snowden’ do you? I mean, come on, he’s stuck in Russia…” He looks annoyed at you, “Get it? He’s ‘snowed in’?” You can tell from the smug look on The Wizard of Oz’ face that he’s the one who came up with the name.
“Okay, so why? What was the purpose? And it better be good, cause I’m going to have to do one of those briefings and that makes me surly. You do know what happened to your predecessor right?”
“Um, actually no, just that it must have been pretty bad. But we had to do something drastic. There was speculation in some online chatter about the fairy napalm, we had to divert attention from that.”
“Okay… so what is that codename for? Cause I never heard of it.”
“It’s not a code name, that’s just what we call it.”
“Okay…” you decide now would be a good time to start another glass of Jack Daniels so you down the one in your hand. “What is it?”
“It’s a new kind of weapon of mass destruction… well, actually I guess it’s an old weapon but our Skunkworks boys and girls are trying to make it work.”
“Can you explain it layman’s terms or do I need a PHD? Cause I really don’t want to call Doctor Strangelove in here.”
“Doctor Strangelove wouldn’t help, it’s hard to explain this in scientific terms, legal terms maybe… anyway it’s basically something fairies can do with their magic dust.”
You finish that next glass of Jack too. “Are there meds you might be off of at the moment Oz?” you ask ever so gently.
“No, and believe me, I asked the guy that told me the same thing when I heard it.”
“Sounds like total bullshit to get black budget funding based on including more gays in the military. I’m okay with that but I’m still not okay with having to do one of those damn briefings.”
“Well, it doesn’t have anything to do with gay people, it’s actual fairies, but that’s okay, best you don’t believe it anyway, plausible deniability and all that,” he replies with an all too straight face.
You get the bottle of Jack. “Now I’m scared and I’m not sure which of the possibilities scare me more. So, assuming this is a real thing, what does it do?”
“Well… for one it would relegate nuclear weapons to something pretty you could do on the Fourth of July…”
You hope there is another bottle of Jack in the case, “Go on…”you say even though you’d like to stop about a half hour ago.
Oz swallows and clears his throat. “Well… imagine having third degree burns over ninety-five percent of your body. And it doesn’t kill you.” He pauses, apparently for dramatic effect, “This is WAY worse.”
As you walk to the liquor cabinet you think to yourself: And the good news is, you do have another bottle of Jack Daniels and the bad news is, “My God, with a weapon like that you could easily take over the world.”
“Yeah I know!” Oz cuts a wide grin, “Pretty awesome huh?”
You sit down and gather your thoughts so you can yell eloquently, “Listen up Numbnuts! I don’t want to rule the United States! I sure as Hell don’t want to rule the whole world! There better be some kind of draw back to this weapon. And if fairies are real how come no one has ever covered it on the news.” A little Scotch sprays out Oz’ nose and you realize what you just said. “I mean, if news were real. Anyway how is it still a secret?”
Oz leans back in his chair and replenishes the Scotch that came out of his nose, “Well, the fairies don’t like us that much. In fact they don’t like us a lot. You know all those dragon stories from the Norse and Chinese legend?” He pauses till you nod, “Well, apparently the ancient Norse and Chinese had some special ability to piss them off, which is why they’ve seen dragons. But for the last couple thousand years no one has really pissed them off much, probably cause most people couldn’t figure a way to talk to them.”
You jab the intercom button for Alfred (codename for your most excellent butler) “Alfred, please go down to the stock room and bring up some Jack to restock my cabinet.”
He replies, sounding puzzled, “Sir there should be two bottles in there already.”
He answers, sounding a lot less puzzled, “I see. I’m on it sir.”
It occurs to you that you really should try Tequila, since the Jack isn’t making you exactly brave enough to ask the next question, “So… What you are implying is… we have a way to talk to the fairies? Which means a couple thousand years from now I could have my very own King Jones tale about me and slaying dragons? I’m a lover not a fighter, how about we just buy said dragons a drink and leave it at that. Or better yet, let’s not do anything to piss off the fairies in the first place.”
Oz has that look now that says he knows something you don’t and it’s something you aren’t going to like or want to know. Worse, it says he’s about to tell you what it is. “It might be a little late for that. We’ve been talking to them for a while now.”
“Right, well, as Commander-in-Chief I’m ordering you to stop that.”
A look of horror comes across Oz’ face. And that makes you wish you had paid more attention to Tony Siragusa’s commercial cause now you could probably really use his product. “Sir, that’s a bad idea. If we just stop talking to them they might take that as an insult. That is exactly what happened to the Qin Dynasty. Also it’s why Eric the Red didn’t found New York City.”
“You know, I’m never using that Commander-in-Chief bit ever again. It never works.” You note that bottle of Jack number two is nearing the red zone. “Ok, what can we do to slow the development of this down?”
Oz looks a bit dejected, which makes you want Siragusa’s products even more. “Well, that’s not really a problem, one of the things hampering this as a weapon is the VERY slow reload time. In fact, we’ve only gotten it to fire off once.”
“There has been a test firing? If it’s such a terrible weapon how come no one noticed?” You are beginning to get real worried about the level of Jack in the bottle.
“Oh lots of people noticed. The fallout from it was named Sandy.”
“It makes hurricanes and you test fired it on New Jersey??” Saying it out loud it sounds a lot more sensible than it seemed at first.
“Oh no sir! That was just the fallout, the weapon went safely off on the open ocean. Which, by the way, I should remind you, don’t eat the sea bass for a while, especially if it looks odd, like with two head or has hands.”
“So you guys dumped a load of radiation in the ocean and accidentally wiped parts of Jersey out? And ‘safely’ too? Please tell me the press will never hear about that.”
“It’s pretty buried sir, but we didn’t dump any radiation. The weapon causes those mutations but not with any thing we can detect. We didn’t know about the hurricanes cause quote ‘we didn’t ask specifically.’ That’s one of the problems. You see, when you talk to fairies they are sort of God-like. So they think very deeply about everything, and we have to be very, very careful in our dialogue, You don’t just small talk with them, that’s what happened to the Shang Dynasty and also was the inspiration for Beowulf.
“It took a massive team of our attorneys years to negotiate that one test firing.”
You finish the second bottle of Jack. “Wait… what? You are speaking to them through lawyers?? You’re going to get us all killed!”
“Lawyers are the only people who phrase things carefully enough to negotiate with them. That’s how it works, we talk them, very carefully, into firing the weapon for us. As much as pissing them off generally is a bad thing, so far they have only gotten specifically pissed off a few times… okay, well maybe a few dozen times. Which is another problem, we’re running out of attorneys. Worse I think word is starting to get out, I think the general pool of attorneys we have around is starting to notice the… um… unusual health problems that attorneys working for the government seem to develop.”
“But it’s not from radiation…” You get the last drop out of the bottle, to help you create the sarcasm.
“No radiation no… well far as we can tell anyway.”
Fortunately at that moment Alfred arrives with three fresh bottles of Jack Daniels and a tray of food which he insists vehemently that you consume before he puts the bottles in your cabinet. After you wolf down the last bite, you thank Alfred for the lunch to which he replies, “It is nine AM sir, I will be back at noon with lunch, which will likely include some Ipecac.”
A few moments after he leaves it occurs to you that you’re not finished yelling. However you are interrupted by a new visitor, Patton Two (codename for your Secretary of Defense) enters. “Hello Sir,” he says as he salutes sharply and proceeds to get himself a Scotch. “Alfred called in a Three Bottle alert, the rest of the Drinking Buddies (codename for the Joint Chiefs) are on their way” he tells you as he takes a seat. “What’s the situation?” he asks.
“Well Patton,” you note the slur in your voice and you hope it’s the Jack and not the fairy not-radiation, “have you ever heard of fairy napalm?”
The looking-over-the-shoulders reaction this produces in Patton Two does not reassure you. “Um… Yes sir. We really probably shouldn’t discuss it in here though.”
“You’re worried the Russians or the Chinese will hear about it via the bugs? I would think they already knew.”
“Oh they do know, but the Russians can’t get it to work, ever seen a Russian lawyer? Their very existence pisses the fairies off, they have yet to send one in and get him back normal. And the Chinese are flat terrified of them, which we know due to the Chinese Premier making a large order of Siragusa’s new product. Didn’t really need bugs to find out when he learned about it. No sir, it’s not the bugs I’m worried about, it’s the fairies. They hear everything…” his voice had trailed off to a whisper at the end. You’ve never heard Patton Two whisper or even talk in a normal voice so it’s very unsettling.
Another sip of Jack and you redirect your yelling to the General, “Look, I know you just love things that go boom in the night, but this sounds too dangerous. I want…”
Patton Two interrupts you, “I totally agree sir. When I was a young boy at West Point I used to think there was nothing better than the awe inspiring power that a good explosion produces. The blinding flash of light, the boom that you feel more than you hear, the whooshing sound of you flying backward in a cloud of dust, the ringing in your ears blotting out your instructor’s screams that you used too much explosive…” He pauses looking wistfully into the air, obviously recalling good times, “I thought that no explosion could ever be too big. I hated the nuclear test ban treaty, I never got to fire one of those puppies off. But this thing… this thing… well you’d just have to see what it does. And you don’t want to see what it does. It’s too much.”
This speech inspires bottle of Jack number three to simulate a bow by dropping to the fifty percent full mark. “Fuck me. I was scared before. If it scares you, we have to nip this in the bud!”
“I’m already on it sir. The latest batch of attorneys we sent in work directly for me. They’ve been slowly negotiating a cease-talk with the fairies.”
Oz jumped to his feet, “You can’t do that! On who’s authority…”
Patton Two stood up cutting him off, “On the authority that could drop kick you through that window boy.”
You intervene, “Take it easy Oz, we’re stopping this program, if you’re still around when I’m out of office, you can work it out with the next guy, hopefully I’ll be living someplace safely away from the Atlantic Ocean or New Jersey when you nuke yourself or whatever it does. Oh and I got my watchers watching your watchers too, so if there is another weapons test of this thing, you will find your new code name is Ground Zero. Get it?”
“Yes sir.” He says with an odd mix of crestfallen and relief in his expression. You figure it must scare the bejeesus out of him too. He then gets up and quietly leaves.
As you and Patton sit back down, you ask, “So this thing’s real huh?”
“Yep, too real.” He says as he sips his Scotch.
“Could you really kick him through the window?”
“Probably not sir. Nice try though.”
“Just looking forward to retirement.” you muse and Operation Plowed Under begins. You lean back and finish off the last of the bottle of plausible deniability in hopes that by noon you won’t remember any of this.
Remember kids, some things are classified because you don’t want to know. And, Mom, this also applies to much of my teenage years.
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