Oval Office, The White House – Washington DC, USA – April 4th, 2017 – 09:33:44.918 pm Planet Earth
“General Dunford and General Selva, “ said President Donald Trump, “Sorry for running a little late there, I have no doubt you already know how Mike can be,”
The three exchanged formalities, with a hint of nervousness, what with the the recent appointment of General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. as the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selvamaking as the vice chairman less than two weeks prior – the oval office, let alone the responsibility in their positions was still fresh in their minds.
No stranger to tense atmospheres, Trump smiled, warmly, and said “Gentleman, please have a seat,” as he glanced at the couches set facing each other.
‘Informal as all hell, he’s already not taking us seriously and giving us the courtesy of taking a seat behind his desk,’ thought General Selva to himself as he looked at his laptop case he was clinging on for dear life.
“President, I had thought that we’d have more formal settings and would have an overhead projector for my presentation,” General Selva said, tensely.
“I can appreciate that, General, but with it being only the three of us, I figured we could all use a break from those formal settings, “ said the President.
General Selva looked at General Dunford as they exchanged a look of clear concern for the informality.
“We need this to be taken seriously,” said General Dunford.
The President smiled “This office has a history behind it I have no doubt you’re both aware of, and whether it’s President Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis, or it’s President Reagan and his concerted efforts to take down the wall in Berlin, it’s right here in this very office those decisions were both discussed and put into action. I can assure you, you have my rapt attention,” said the President.
The two Generals exchanged glances with each other, and conceded, as General Dunford looked nervously in the direction of the Secret Service agent guarding the door and General Selva sat down at the couch and pulled out his laptop and sat it on the table.
“Straight to business, I see,” said The President, “can I have a receptionist bring you gentleman a cocktail or a beverage”
“I’m fine with water,” said General Selva, as he turned on his laptop.
The President looked at the secret service agent – and as if speaking through ESP – the Secret Service agent nodded his head and walked out the door, closing it behind him.
“General Dunford, shall we?,” said President Trump, gesturing towards the couch.
The General walked over, standing next to the seated General Selva who was already intently engaged on his laptop, as President Trump stood, and took a seat on the couch opposite them, as General Dunford followed suit.
“I know I shouldn’t be asking this question this late in the game, but is he always like this?,” said The President to General Dunford.
General Dunford smiled a forced smile.
“President, it’s two weeks in, and as much as we had hoped this, our current state update, would go without glitch, we have found something we both consider of utmost importance not handled properly by the previous administration which requires your immediate attention,” said General Dunford.
The President sat back on the couch, his right arm extended on the top of the couch, trademark blue jacket slightly open with his red tie draping over his white shirt, his right leg crossed over his left knee, heels of his shoes aimed intentionally away from either of the two men seated across from him,
A look of cynical derision not directed at the pair came across from him came across his face, as the President said “Only two months into office, and if I had a nickel for every time I heard that … already!”
General Selva looked at General Dunford who was about to respond to the President, and said “Ready”
“Of that I have no doubt, Mister President. Are you familiar with a man who refers to himself as Q?,” said a concerned looking General Dunford.
The President smiled without confirming or denying the question, “What is it you have?”
General Selva rotated the computer towards the President, and pressed the space bar, starting a video which showed a four separate images video feeds – one was a view from the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas overlooking the strip, the other was a view from atop a hill overlooking Phoenix, another was looking down a desolate highway in the Mojave Desert, and the last was a view from somewhere inside Yosemite at Sequoia National Park.
“About six years ago, in a range extending nearly a thousand miles in diameter, a sizable chunk of the Southwest United States was decimated by a series of nuclear explosions, as well as the cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas,” said General Selva.
At about the time Selva discussed the fate of Phoenix and Las Vegas, a ball of orange fire could be seen igniting above what looked to be the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, at the same time three separate balls appeared in a line over Phoenix, the Mojave Desert appeared to have numerous ones, in every imaginable direction, and at least three could be seen inside Yosemite.
The General pressed the space bar, pausing the video at precisely the moment the ball of fire was still a fireball and hadn’t turned into a plume of fire year, and hadn’t done any real destruction, as he looked at the President, expectantly.
“Ok, “ said The President. “Bad shit happened in the desert. What’s new? Clearly it was resolved amenably.”
The two looked at eachother, stunned.
“Ok. Well sir, are you familiar with the mechanisms used to resolve the destruction?,” said General Dunford.
“I am,” said The President, “now do you mind explaining the man you discussed earlier and the relation to these events and the current relevance?,”
The two were genuinely confused by the President’s emotional detachment, as they looked at each other.
“President, do you mind explaining how you think the destruction was resolved?,” said General Dunford.
The President’s faced flushed red with anger as he got up off the couch and said “Generals, not just now, but anytime you come into this office, as far as you’re concerned, I’m God – assume I know everything you’re about to say – so when you come in here – let’s just say what’s important to me isn’t accuracy what I know, it’s that you – as a trusted advisor- come to me having done your homework and equipped with an opinion and perspective.”
The generals nodded, without being submissive, and walked over to his biog mahogany desk, a latch could be heard as he grabbed something as he continued and stood back up with a book in his hand “Now do you know what this is?”
He slammed a book down on his desk.
The Generals looked at eachother.
“I’d always figured it was a myth, “ said General Dunford.
General Selva looked at General Dunford, and said “I’m not entirely sure..”
“General Dunford do you mind explaining to General Selva here what his is?,” said The President.
General Dunford looked at General Selva and said, matter-of-factly “It’s called the book of secrets. It’s rumored to have all of the secrets the President has in a secret book only accessible to the President which is handed from President to President”
“Exactly,” said President Trump, his patience with a pair of assertive leaders worn thin by their dramatic approach, “Now I need you BOTH to understand this book is a metaphor – a symbol. It’s ridiculous to think that everything there is to know that happened before me is contained within the pages of this book, so think about this book as a metaphor. “
He picked up the book. A few switches pressed on the desk. AS General Selva spoke up.
“Mister President, I’m used to military leadership not civilian leadership, so my apologies for my naiveity,” he said.
“Apologies not necessary, now do you mind explaining the pertinence of the southwest nuclear incidents and Q,” said the President as he got up from behind his desk and walked back over to the couches.
“So you’re aware of Q?,” said General Dunford, as if he’d just been absent from the entire rant.
President Trump looked at him, his eyes tinged with animosity, a non verbal which delivered an extremely powerful message, as he sat down on the couch in front of the laptop which was still paused.
“Ok, ok, “ said General Dunford, as he looked to General Selva.
“Project Source Code at Nellis Air Force base reverted the events nanoseconds before the events occurred, so as far as the greater public is concerned, none of it ever happened,” said General Selva.
He looked at the President, who was still listening intently.
“The prior administration eliminated the perceived enemies of the state with extreme prejudice. The entire conspiracy was swept under the carpet because it involved domestically based terrorists – men and women who were American born and raised, nearly 30 people in all, who’d confounded the leadership at the time because no obvious relation could be established between them and despite the orchestrated nature of the attacks, there was no obvious methods of communication,” said General Selva.
“You said one thing that has me curious, Mr Selva. Perceived. Do you mind explaining what you mean by perceived enemy? As I see it, this gang almost got away with killing nearly 40 million people. Had it not been for project Source Code, the entire Southwest portion of this great nation would be unlivably irradiated for the next 5000 years. Now would you care to explain why you used the word perceived?” said the President.
General Selva looked at his notepad which contained some of his discussion notes, he’d circled livable within 2 weeks under a section titled ‘dispelling myths’, as he took a pen and put a line through it.
General Dunford spoke first, “We prepared this report together, and while General Selva addressed the humanitarian portion of things emphasizing perspective, I focused on the numbers, and what we found – together – was a correlation both in people and processes that pointed to one individual as the epicenter of the nuclear blasts.”
“I see, “ said the President, “Well let’s go get him. Assuming it is a him of course.”
“You see. That’s the thing. We can’t technically go get him, because he’s currently the focal point of nearly a third of this country’s leadership and their curiosity. They believe he’s an entity depicted as a being known as Q, and have in a literal sense had him under constant observation for nearly 16 years now. ”
“Hmm. And Project Source Code has only 8 minutes, yes I can see how that might pose a problem,” said the President.
General Dunford exchanged glances again.
The President’s information was very, very stale.
“Sir, Project Source Code has a fifty year range now, but what we’re involved in even the other time travel technologies we’re leveraging still don’t even come close to letting us touch him,” said General Dunford.
The President looked a little bewildered. “Let’s start over. I know you had more on this laptop to show me than a few random nuclear blasts in the most god forsaken area of the country that no one’s going to really miss should one stick. So how about we just start there?”
General Selva, breathed, he was tired of explaining what was in the video he’d spent a great deal of time preparing.
The video commenced, and showed, blast after blast, and depicted the nuclear blasts from the air and from satellite.
Everything was devastated.
As General Dunford watched, he mentally noted the discrepancies in number the President cited and the actual number of casualties, 40 million quoted by the President and a little over 7 million in actuality. A sizable enough quantity to question the President’s information sources and/or memory.
The next image was of arrests being made. Black Cadillac Escalades, three per house, driving up to normal suburban houses in Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Typically two people were taken out, in black hoods, typically a male and female, with no externally identifying characteristics.
A bus could be seen at a remote location in Phoenix, the bus marked discretely with markings making it appear like a church bus, with highly tinted windows, which once the passengers with hoods on were loaded up – around 26 were counted in Phoenix, the bus was then shown – via satellite and real escort camera feeds – to have highly armed but civilian looking escorts as the bus arrived at the Executive Terminal in Las Vegas where they met up with the 4 Las Vegas area residents and were taken on board an unmarked 737 jet.
Satellite information from the military feeds saw the jet heading north from there.
“We were told the combatants were sent to Guantanamo. We even have manifests. But we have yet to find any definitive evidence any of these individuals, who are still unnamed, were sent. The addresses on the house and camera views were set up in such a way to make the property location practically impossible to actually find a physical location, “ said General Selva in a narrative style.
“Working with Google and Facebook, the US military tried to leverage distinguishing features of the property and people in the masks, only to still encounter a dead end. We thought we had accuracy at first, but came to realize programmer bias would highly influence the outcome which had us chasing ghosts. I say us, because I was part of the technology assessor team who was concerned about investigating civilians without being told about the events that happened concerning Project Source Code. Which is among the reasons this was one of the first things that garnered our mutual attention,” said General Dunford as he looked at General Selva.
President Trump was remaining patient, but his patience was wearing thin.
“Gentleman. Not to rush things. But do you mind explaining… Q’s relevance?,” said the President.
General Dunford spoke up.
“30 people. I didn’t understand how 30 people could be responsible for 300 simultaneous nuclear blasts over such a broad swath of territory. Which brought my focus to timing. I’d discovered an anomaly in the timing of the events when I received the Top Secret reports from Nellis. Once I drew a heat map, with timing, we had nearly 300 bomb points to plot, I saw a clear circular pattern and an all too obvious epicenter of all the blasts, which led me to think there was one origin,” said General Dunford.
A chart came on the screen showing the blast radius.
“And Q?,” said the President.
“Had tried committing suicide at ground zero at approximately the same time as the nuclear blasts,” said General Selva.
“How in the fuck could we and I have missed this before?” said the President.
General Selva looked at General Dunford, as he mentally tried to frame the response in a way which wouldn’t offend the President.
There wasn’t any.
“Mr President. Have you actually tried talking to him?,” said General Dunford.
The President got up.
Stroked his hand through his lovely locks as he walked over to the window looking over the courtyard.
And then said.
“We’ve been at this too long. Way too long. I’m tired, quite frankly, and I have no doubt he is as well, but the last time I tried approaching him, it nearly cost me my life. I’ve long past gotten over the fears, and seeing time and space and the world around me change, so I sincerely hope this time – when we do meet – that things can be different. I hope by the time I approach him that he understands the world as I do, why I’m concerned, but why I’m going to work with you two and the rest of this staff to do what’s right for this world,” said the President.
The two Generals looked at eachother again, this time utterly confused.
“I’ll tell you what I know. Everything. And while I know you two are Bynars and my real Generals are long since gone, I haven’t the first clue what a Bynar is let alone where he may be taking this planet and universe which frightens such a sophisticated synthetic pair of lifeforms like you two at your core,” he said.
The Generals at first protested.
The President held up a hand, stopping the objections.
To which they looked at eachother.
Both pressed a button on the side of their belts.
With that, their uniforms disappeared, their heights substantially reduced and their appearance replaced by a purplish looking humanoid and clothes were replaced by a synthetic cloth that resembled spandex which conformed to their body so tightly that the lack of gender identifying organs was made clear.
“When did you?” said 1001 which had only moments before been General Dunford.
“figure it out?,” said 1010 which had only moments before been General Selva.
“The moment General Selva sat down without waiting for me,” said President Trump, “you alien types, especially you cyborg and android types have a tendency to make emotional formalities secondary to business. It’s not a problem as much as it’s a feature.”
“How can you,” said 1001
“Have had prior experience with,” said 1010
“Other sentient AIs prior to us?” said 1001
“Let’s just say time doesn’t move the same for me as it does for others. Which seems to be the issue with mister Q. I’d previously thought he was an ignorant menace to society. While he is still ignorant, we need to understand how he views time before he becomes an actual menace and you two are my only resources to achieving this,” said the President.
The Bynar pair looked at each other, talked back and forth in their high-pitched incomprehensible dialect, then looked back at The President.
“There are others,” said 1001
“who need to become involved,” said 1010
“who need to become involved,” said 1001
“a threat to,” said 1010
“the entire universe,” said 1001
“that we have been,” said 1010
“unable to contain,” said 1001
“Please return to your human form. For now, I ask that you return to your assignments, and I’ll be in touch later, as I have resources of my own I have to consider before we take a step forward,” said the President.
“We have concerns over,” said 1001
“our planet’s safety,” said 1010
The President then conspiratorially said as he pointed up “He’s listening,” as he repeated, “he’s always listening.”
The two looked at each other, mortified.
“Please. Study Fiction. In particular science fiction and consider it as fact. Also. Understand physical human interactions, the most rudimentary form to study is pornography. Q’s here at this time and place for a reason. We’ve determined we can’t stop him. So what we’ve decided to do is understand him and why he chose this time and place in our world’s history to visit. The better you two and all of Bynar is prepared for and understands this, the better and greater of assistance you can be to our mutual efforts to contain the situation,” said the President.
The two bowed, and then simultaneously pressed the buttons that were now on a wrist band of some kind that re-materialized their human form.
“Thank you, President Trump, for your time and advice,” said General Selva.
“Is it true that Q is being forced to be homeless in Hollywood at this very moment?,” said General Dunford.
“It is,” said the President, “We’re trying to make sure someone wasn’t abusing his powers before he became aware of who he is to commit a billion dollar theft from banks worldwide at about the same time the nuclear incidents occurred. Isolating him seems to be our only real option.”
“Good to know. Another statistical correlation we weren’t made aware of,” said General Dunford, extending his hand to the President, “Thank you for your time, sir”
General Selva repeated the gesture.
“Anytime, and please, do your assigned homework before we chat next, I’ll set you two up for a follow up visit at Area 51 where I’ll provide you two a tour of a few areas I can promise you’ve never been to then in about a month. And to be clear – if you two are going to be participating in my country, I’m not going to ask what you did with my Generals, I need you to understand and have a perspective in the basics of at the very least in sexuality, which has proven to be a consistent and proven motivator to Q, moreso than even money, and also your perspectives on fiction as applied to this planet’s history which hopefully makes more sense over time.,” said President Trump.
The two looked at the President, with a slightly overloaded look on their faces.
“You’ll both be fine. One month. Understanding my planet, you should have the necessary information to discuss a collaborative and mutually beneficial approach to mitigating the risk to your planet, and from there we can discuss who to include and how to include them,” said the President.
“Again, thank you, President,” said General Dunford.
The President walked them to the door.
Let them out.
And walked back to his desk.
As he sat on it.
He wondered openly about our future.
“Q. I know what you have planned for your future, and I no longer fear it for me and for this population. Before that happens, I ask that you treat my world with respect and understand why I am so damn proud of this world. Maybe. Just maybe. We can turn this into something that benefits us all,” said the President.
He was right.
I was listening.
I always listen.
Thank you, President Trump, for the lessons in humanity and why we chose each other.