George Bush smiled appreciatively. He was going to miss this job. Surreptitiously glancing in Danny's direction, he asked what the problem was.
Fidgeting, the Advisor replied, "It's those dead and missing people, sir."
"Not that old thing again!" Bush rolled his eyes.
"Sir, we have definite proof now. It's no longer just rumors by disgruntled Democrats and worried mothers."
Quayle interrupted. "But people disappear all the time. You've brought up all this before, and there's never anything to show it's any different from your run of the mill missing persons problem. So a couple of them knew each other. So what?" The Vice President looked faintly annoyed, but his voice remained calm.
"Sir, this time we have proof. The NSA has verified that every one of the missing people knew each other from networks attached to the Internet. They also show that every one of the disappearances was preceded and followed by radio transmissions between the immediate area and a communications satellite. Every instance coincided with a visit of yours to the area in question, sir." Gazing steadily at his boss, the Advisor showed no undue signs of nervousness.
"Well, that's very interesting. What sort of hypothesis do you have?" The president looked almost bored, but his fingers twirled nervously at his hair above his right ear.
"Sir, we don't have one yet. The NSA and the CIA are working together on the signals, but nobody has been able to decode them, or tell where they go from the satellite. We feel that is the key to the whole operation."
"But surely," the VP replied sarcastically, "you have some sort of idea. The finest minds in the country, the best computers in the world, and you don't have one single idea?"
"No sir, we don't. Lots of ideas have been kicked around, but they all end up sounding ridiculous, and there's nothing to support any of them."
"All right. Off the record, then, surely you have some idea about all this?" The president was looking very annoyed.
The Advisor sighed. "Well, sir, I do, but I don't like it, and you won't like it either. I haven't even voiced it because it sounds insane."
"Other correlating data shows electromagnetic activity on the moon at the same time. Eye witnesses indicate you had some contact with each of the dead or missing persons just prior to each incident." The President was smiling encouragingly, but the Vice President was looking distinctly angry. The Advisor wished he had kept his mouth shut. "I feel... I believe that some party or parties with a base on the moon are planning an attack on you, Mr. President, and are still gathering data. Due to a recent increase in the rate of deaths and disappearances, I believe that whatever they have planned, they will do soon." That, he thought, was enough. More than likely enough to get him put away for good in the loony bin.
"Well, Danny, what do you think?"
"Makes sense to me, sir."
"Okay. I want you to keep looking into this. Find out everything you can. Keep me posted, but don't speak about it to anyone besides us. Anything else?"
His mouth agape, the Advisor stared at the leaders of the country. "Yes, sir. Ah, you really think it makes sense, sir?"
"Nothing else does. Keep at it. Thanks, son." The Advisor nodded at the dismissal and quickly left. A Secret Service agent glanced into the room behind him, and closed the door.
Dan Quayle stood up and walked to a picture. Pressing the eyes with the tips of his fingers, he activated hidden electronics. A sudden shimmering appeared in front of Bush's desk. As the shimmering slowly cleared, Bush and Quayle removed masks. Bush mask in hand, Richard Nixon looked at his cohort with a wry smile.
"Well, Jimmy, that certainly throws a wrench in our plans. Better add him to the list."
Jimmy Carter manipulated an apparatus in his briefcase. "Done. He'll be gone by midnight."
Before Richard could answer, a shape solidified before them. It spoke.
"What is it? You know we don't have time to waste, etc, and all that grade B movie stuff." The tentacled alien leered at them, a half eaten, nondescript life form dangling from one arm. "Besides, you know better than to call at dinner time."
"We need a new subject removed. Jimmy has already entered the data, but it's a priority strike, and you need to oversee it personally."
Ras glaned at an offscreen screen. "No problem. Is this a quiet one?"
Nixon glanced at Carter. Carter shrugged and answered. "No, let's make this a big deal. Give him a call to get over to the big Clinton/Gore bash, and waste him on the front steps or something."
Ras and Nixon roared together in laughter. "Perfect! Jimmy the Genius, like I always say." Nixon shook his head in amazement. Carter never ceased to amaze him with this sort of brilliant stroke. He waved at Ras, who winked out.
"Boy, Clinton's in for a surprise when he gets in here. I only wish I could leave this mess for McGovern, but we take what we can get, eh? Well, I've got to get over to the British embassy for a tea. Stay here and hold the fort down."
Carter grinned his trademark grin. "With pleasure. It's sure been nice getting my second term, finally."
Dick laughed and walked to the door as they both replaced their masks. He explained to the agent stationed outside that the Vice President was not to be disturbed.
The door shut, leaving Quayle alone in the office. Pressing the button which placed the bomb doors in place over the normal doors, he relaxed. He pulled off his mask, and went to the mirror. Reaching under his collar, he gripped the edge of another mask and lifted.
Laughing at the mirror, Perot pranced back to the desk and sat down to sign Jimmy Carter's codename on some documents Nixon had left.
Last updated: 16 Dec 1994
Copyright 1992-1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
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This copyright may be freely used, distributed and modified subject to the conditions noted above in the preceeding paragraph. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514