(originally written in 2006, updated Jan 2021 to make it "president independent")
Podunk, Idaho has two thousand four hundred and five human residents. Sixteen do not exist in any way that could be tracked, and eight hundred forty two refuse to accept at least one form of government required identification.
The local law enforcement, Sheriff Riggs knows better than to ask for ID when he pulls someone over for speeding in their pickup trucks, much less to cite them. He rightly doubts he could get twelve people who would agree that speeding was a crime. Even less citizens would view driving without a license as a crime.
Oswald’s basement room at Mrs. Snowden’s house smelled of mildew, rat droppings and currently of aging clothes strewn randomly about the floor. A few times a month the spirit would move Oswald into a cleaning frenzy and all of his clothes would end up in multiple trips through Suds-4-Duds. This was not one of those weeks, yet.
A poster of Miss Piggy held a prominent place over the unmade bed. Oswald had a thing for pigs. He visited Oscar Snowden’s pig farm at least once a month. God only knows how he could project Miss Piggy’s sultry smile onto a four hundred pound breeding sow, but the little ones were cute. He enjoys the squealing, grunting, frolicking and of course always asks forgiveness for his transgression.
The Snowdens had been divorced for twenty-eight years, and Mrs. Snowden had made it extremely clear and explicit that the no-pets policy extended to piglets. A small, once plush, stuffed pig was some consolation currently buried under last Thursday’s clothes.
This morning, just before ten AM, Oswald dragged himself out of bed for the first time in two days; not counting nature’s calling which could be relieved in the half bath just outside his door. Coke and Twinkies made up the morning fare while Oswald settled down on the only chair in front of a second hand Compaq computer to see what the Hoofers were doing. “Pig lovers, pig topics and make new friends” the promise of this Yahoo group. Oswald was a lurker on the list, rarely posting with his Ihart-Pigs screen name. That part about friends sounded good.
On those days when the spirit grabbed him, shook him to his roots and the light of inspiration burned though him, he made things happen. It was one of those days when he looked for kindred spirits of the chocolate-syrup-on-anything-to-eat kind. The pornification of chocolate by black women was horrific, not that he didn’t peek. Persons of color didn’t get close to Podunk – probably a well advised sixth sense. MyPoorPiggies caught his interest until he noticed it was indexed under Gay-men. It took two days to purge all of the files from his computer and re-build the system from scratch after de-toxing the disk drive with repeated passes of ‘Dariks Boot and Nuke’ just to make sure. So he formed his own group, ‘Chocolate2Eat’ where his fetish for chocolate and peanut-butter on bananas, as well as chocolate syrup on pancakes could find expression. Within two days he had thirteen new members in the group and the chocolate was spreading on everything, everything eatable that is. This was a moderated group and he was not going to let any form of porn creep in.
He had a long soul searching over a Mole-pork recipe. For his own diet, no form of pork was permitted. No matter how good bacon smelled, just the sniffing of it was dishonoring the death of some poor pig. Ten years ago, when he was still in high school he expressed his distaste. That was a bad day, it took him three days before he could come back to school and months before the name calling subsided.
Podunk Regional High reflected the anti-Semitic values of the surrounds. A refusal to eat pork was a sure sign that someone was a closet Jew. In a community as small as Podunk, you didn’t need arm-bands -- people knew. It wasn’t until Oswald won the county fair hot-dog eating contest – 100% pork wieners – that his marginal reputation recovered. He had to dig a pit in the yard and force every bit back up that night. Oswald considered that hallowed ground, the Tomb of the Unknown Pigs. He couldn’t face a hot dog after that day.
He almost became a celebrity three years later. His editorial decrying the use of a ‘red light’ in the only traffic light in town, the corner of Elm and State 34, as just one more indication of the acquiescence to the commies was well received. So well that the next day someone took it out with a sniper shot. Two repairs later and the state finally decided to abandon the light and replace it with stop signs. Of course The State was the people that put up all of those shiny reflective indicators on the back of highway signs that were designed to help the United Nations troops as they invaded from Canada to find their way into the heartland. Everyone in Podunk knew that and these signs seemed to get swapped about quite a bit, or the marks painted over.
It was not surprising that the discussions in Chocolate2Eat migrated into some politics. ‘KnowFriendOfMine’ posted a recipe for Broccoli in Chocolate sauce. This quickly led to the agreement that the old President Bush was not totally wrong since he didn’t like Broccoli. This broached the topic of the current President. ‘WindsOfChange’ suggested that the President was really a closet commie, making sweet with the Russians and undermining true conservative values. ‘RegalFuture’ pointed out that it was Nixon that kowtowed to the Maoists, and the Republican Party was suspect ever since. That’s when they got into Washington: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush under the imposter so-called President Ford – not ever elected. ‘RoyalEagle’ pointed out that Reagan joined forces with the Pope to destroy the Soviets, but what made any of us think the commies really went away? Wasn’t the Catholic Church just a front anyway? Reagan was the last true conservative and he was hoodwinked by the Pope. That’s when the commies took over the Republican Party – NeoCon’s is really just short for NeoCom’s … the new commies, a U.S. subsidiary of the New World Order. ‘Rumsfeld’ now there was a Jewish name if he’d ever heard one. Cheney’s daughter was a lesbian, and Halliburton was really a Soviet-Jewish front. ‘KnowFriendOfMine’ observed that NSA was listening to every email, every Blog, and Yahoo Groups was not a secure spot to discuss such matters.
Ihart-Pigs suggested that they get together for coffee at the Dingy Diner, a proposal broadly endorsed in the group. The world-wide-web and it didn’t strike Oswald as odd that eight of the participants in his group were within walking distance of the Diner.
A membership of fourteen is not bad for a Yahoo Group, and they seemed to be active. What Oswald didn’t know is that the other thirteen were all aliases of Richard. Richard disliked the number thirteen and would always make sure when he joined a group that it would not end up with thirteen members. So he would add as many of his aliases as needed to push it to fourteen.
Richard King the Third did not toy with online aliases lightly. Richard was the only direct descendant from First Sea Lord and Baron George Cockburn, and rightful heir to “the rebel capitol called Washington D.C. and environs, should it fall to your valiant efforts” -- which it did on August 25th, 1814. The letter with this commitment signed for his Majesty George III by the Prince Regent was passed down from generation to generation with the vow to regain the lost inheritance.
Richard was reminded of the family’s loss by the Baron’s voice on a regular basis. Others advised him of the possibilities and dangers that his fate held. ‘KnowFriendOfMine’ provided regular consideration of the threat his mere existence poised to the U.S. Administration and the New World Order in general.
Richard’s room was on the top floor of one of the few two story buildings in town, in the corner where he could see both directions down Elm and down State 34. It was important to both see where they were coming from, and which way he might go to escape. Six years ago there were three assassination attempts on his life. On each occasion the shot intended for him had struck the traffic light at the center of that intersection. Providence had protected him, along with his good sense to fall to the floor where sheets of metal roofing provided lining to his walls below the window level. It was not a royal apartment, and without any of the appropriate household staff, he had to make do. The hand full of remaining antiques passed down after his father’s death had been sold to cover the exorbitant expenses of living in exile. He had perhaps a year’s expenses left so the time for action was near.
His metal frame bed, second generation Salvation Army, was on the far side of the room. The dresser positioned between it and the windows offered an extra level of protection. The mirror on the wall was tilted so he could see out the windows while lying in bed. He kept the lights off at night, fully aware that this mirror worked both ways and they could see him if the lights were on.
The room smelled of Pine-sol. He had lived further north a few years ago and regularly washed the room down with Pine-sol and bleach. He had taken his last large items to a dealer that cold winter day when they detonated his room. He wasn’t clear on what they had done, but the walls blew right away from the apartment leaving a gaping hole where they no doubt expected to find his body. The fire department had said something about a mixture releasing chlorine gas and ignited by the pilot on the small gas water heater in the room. The landlord had given him one hour to get his belongings and get out of town. He read things more closely. Bleach has chlorine in it. KnowFriendOfMine said it was a government deal, targeted at him. He didn’t use bleach again.
Richard’s apartment was over the drug store. Across the street, the single story Dingy Diner, with its land locked dinghy sign out front was an easy rendezvous to monitor. They knew where he lived, the assignation attempts proved that. So whoever Ihart-Pigs might be, he didn’t know where Richard lived, and that might, just might, mean he was not one of them. Richard could tell fairly quickly who was who. Sometimes the tone of voice, or look would give them away. Often, he was told if someone could be trusted. Well, not often, very rarely was he given that message. Usually he was told that a person couldn’t be trusted. The doctors, or so they called themselves, that his parents took him to were like that – “Don’t trust this one, he is a Jew” or commie, or just one of them.
When Ihart-Pigs went into the diner it was obvious. The Miss Piggy t-shirt stood out from the typical flannel, even if it was more practical on a warm May afternoon. He watched for a few more minutes. No odd cars, no hooded men, things looked safe. Of course that’s how they want you to feel, safe. He had a bullet-proof vest made of old tin cans, over this he put on a respectable dress shirt and sports coat. Then he headed down to meet destiny.
When Richard entered, Ihart-Pigs was the only other person present, except for Sally who did the afternoon coffee and pie shift until Maxine joined her serving up diners. Ihart-Pigs had the agreed signs, a cup of coffee and the chocolate syrup.
“Hello,” Oswald said to the man coming in. Anybody at this hour must be part of the Chocolate2eat group. “Would you like some syrup?” He remembered the password they had agreed.
“Could be a sticky situation,” the well dressed man approaching replied, properly.
Oswald wondered if the others would show up. He had taken the table for four, and there was one more for two they could slide over, and the counter had spinning seats if there were more than the six chairs could hold.
The man looked around, and then pulled one chair closer to the back wall of the diner, joining Oswald at the table.
“Oswald Rightner,” Oswald said, extending a hand towards the new comer. “Founder of chocolate2eat.”
“Richard King,” the man said, taking his hand tentatively.
“So, Dick, what is your Yahoo alias?”
“Richard, please,” Richard pulled his arm back a bit abruptly. “I use many different online names, it is a critical matter of security you know. I think you know me as RegalFuture.” There was no point in revealing the other aliases he used, nor his sense that occasionally he was simply the scribe for some of these voices.
And so they exchanged small talk, chocolate talk and weather talk for a while. But of course things had to turn towards politics.
“So, do you figure The President’s South America policy will affect the availability of chocolate?” Oswald had almost gone out to do laundry after the time for the meeting was set, but instead he had disciplined himself and did some research on the topics that had lead to this meeting. He was feeling good about Richard, the coffee-cum-mocha was good, the day was sunny, even Sally was looking good.
“He wants it all for himself,” Richard replied. “Chocolate is the food of Kings, and has been ever since the Spanish tried to withhold the secret from the rest of Europe.”
“And being a King yourself, you enjoy it,” Oswald was quite pleased with his play on words.
Richard stole a quick glance around. How did this fellow know, who else was with him. “A loyal subject, not one of them,” his Great Grandfather’s voice spoke up.
“Thank you, it is probably too apparent,” Richard replied with a nod to Oswald. He had ordered hot chocolate, actually with two refills by this time.
“All of the chocolate? None for us? What will we eat?” Oswald realized that this was not an idle concern. He had heard that the endangered species act was passed just so some of the Washington elite could have their favorite dishes without competition from the masses. Chocolate, no chocolate; maybe it was not a good day after all.
Richard considered this for a moment. It almost appeared to Oswald that he was listening. “Horses and pigs,” was the reply. “When Napoleon was taken by the British, they banned Chocolate and other preferred foods from his diet and limited him to horse meat and pork. My great-great grandfather was charged with his transport and the facts have been held in our family for generations.”
“Horses? Pigs? This is barbaric,” Oswald spit out the coffee he was savoring in his mouth. The taste of thirty-seven innocent hot-dogs mixed with bile in his mouth. He could feel the spirit arising. “These barbarians must go. We have to restore our country to the hands of just men.”
“I could not have said it better myself,” Richard smiled with delight. “But they will not listen to us you know. Not the people in Washington, nor the political machines they dominate.”
It took another round of coffee before the plan was truly met. Richard had checked out the President’s schedule. He would be at Arlington Cemetery in four days to lay a Memorial Day wreath at the tomb of the Unknowns. Oswald would obtain appropriate armament, and take out The President. Richard would sally forth to take over the White House and purge the polluted center Neo-communism. Richard would declare the masses free of the tyranny of democracy and assume leadership of Washington, elevating Oswald to the first knighthood of the restored realm.
Oswald headed for Riggs Rod and Gun, where he decided on a 32 caliber piece that held eight rounds. Filled with hollow-points, Riggs assured him it could take down a thug at close range. When asked about Neo-commie government shills, Riggs didn’t blink an eye … “at 20 paces, the bullets sniff em out, you don’t even have to aim. No need to worry about the waiting period, no doubt you’ll be in town.”
Riggs knew he didn’t have wheels. Of course that’s why Richard and Oswald hitch-hiked in the back of ol-man Snowden’s F-350. A warm jacket, second pair of BVD’s, a box of week old Twinkies and a 2-liter Coke and his unopened prescription of lithium-citrate were in Oswald’s small green duffel. The bag had the logo of the Northwest Swine Breeder’s Association on it. Oswald had been pretty pissed when he found out they traded in pork bellies, and raised the pigs just to kill em. Snowden hadn’t been at that meeting, which was probably all for the better.
They caught the Rimrock/Greyhound by way of Salt Lake, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Baltimore out at 10:43AM from Idaho City. The hours of the Neo-Com republic were limited – thirty seven before they reached the capitol.
There were eighteen pig farms on the route to Denver. Oswald could smell a pig farm from a few miles away. Richard could smell them when the bus passed downwind. He found the cattle feed lots a far more pungent indicator of their passage.
Oswald offered Richard some Twinkies, but Richard had his own Jerky and distilled water. When Richard caught sight of the prescription bottle in Oswald’s bag, he demanded to see it. “What is that? What are you planning to do to me?”
Oswald handed it over. “Stinking meds, the docs try to get me to stop thinking, so they give me this stuff. They think I’m taking them, or they won’t release the government checks.”
“I’ll just keep these,” Richard pocketed the bottle.
“You want ‘em, you got ‘em,” Oswald devoured a Twinkie and washed it down with Coke.
A series of hand made signs across Kansas spoke to their souls. ‘The New World Order means death to American values’, ‘The founding fathers roll in their graves as the U.S. sells out to the commies’, ‘From the Bay of Pigs to the Pig Trough of Washington Politics’ and so they went.
“Richard, what do they mean the Bay of Pigs?” Something didn’t sound right about this to Oswald.
“Kennedy let Castro take over Cuba, part of the ongoing sell-out to the commies.” Richard was a student of American debacles. “He provisioned up a brigade of Cuban refugees to land at the Bay of Pigs. The U.S. was supposed to provide air support and backup, but Kennedy chickened out. So they died, like pigs in the bay.”
Oswald was very quiet after that. Kennedy sent out pigs to liberate Cuba and then let them die and the commies live. Innocent, lovable pigs and they died. Oswald was very quiet. Kennedy was a very bad man.
Nights on the road, days on the road. The porta-john in the back of the bus providing an increasing stench to mark the traversal. The honeypot was just about ripe when they finally arrived in Washington, at midnight.
The two men stumbled down first street to Union Station. Here they found real coffee. The benches looked tempting, but men on a mission cannot embrace the luxury of rest when the task is undone.
Richard found his way into a men’s room, took out a shirt laundered many seasons ago for just this purpose, and donned it over his tin-can vest. A fresh solid blue power tie, and jacket as well as a shave and overall treatment with Old Spice covered the effects of the trip. He might even pass for a member of the press, or presidential advisor. From here he started a long walk past the Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue towards his destiny.
Oswald took the metro, which, despite the schedule, did actually stop at Arlington Cemetery. Most of the gates were locked, but after wandering about a bit, he found a maintenance door that led to a set of dumpsters in a road cut that lead south-west around the cemetery. After about a half mile of traveling along side an eight foot wrought iron fence, it became evident that there would not be an easy entrance.
He went back to a spot where a group of oaks grew close to the fence on both sides and worked his way up between the tree trunk and the fence, then over and worked his way back down to the other side. Over a rise ahead he could see there must be some lit up area, but this side was all dark with rows upon rows of shadowed marble stones protruding from the dew damp grass.
Oswald worked his way up towards a maintenance shed near the rise. It was a granite block building, well manicured, with green tarp on the downhill side away from the lights and main center which covered a wheelbarrow and a few tools. Under the tarp was dry, so Oswald crawled in for his first real night’s sleep in a few days.
Richard walked towards the White House, staying on the far side of the streets trying to avoid detection and out of the direct light of the street lamps. Even at this late hour there were a variety of cars, taxis and buses scuttling to and fro across the intersecting spider webs of Washington’s avenues. Bushes and trees surrounded the loop that went south around the East side of the Oval. A panel truck was located there; the side read “Halliburton Telecommunications.” Its rear doors were open and behind it a utility manhole was open with some fellow down there pulling cable off a reel in the back of the truck.
Richard watched for a few minutes.
“Richard, crush the Oswald’s pills,” Richard heard the voice of the Sea Lord. It had been a while but he recognized that voice. He pulled out the bottle he had taken from Oswald, and a short thick twig off the ground and methodically mashed the pills into a powder.
“Now piss just a little into the bottle,” the voice said. Richard thought about this, and went over to one of the more secluded set of bushes, and relived himself, with a bit into the bottle.
“Mix it and pour it on that cable.”
Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. Richard obeyed.
“Now hide in the van.”
Just because no one else hears the voice you hear does not mean that the voice is wrong.
Richard found himself a spot behind the cable. There were large diameter metal conduits; he found he could put his legs in these. He lowered a bucket over his head. Then fell asleep with his back against the partition to the drivers area.
Some consideration should be given here to the pros and cons of highly classified projects. Of course the good news is very few people really know what is going on. The bad news is that very few people really know what is going on. As part of an ongoing interest in assassinating middle east leaders, Halliburton had commissioned, with appropriate obfuscation, a Palestinian company to make fiber optic cable, ostensibly for use in top Israeli facilities. It was shielded with a special plastic compound provided by an Israeli company that would break down the cable by chemical reaction if a tap were inserted. The Palestinian company did exactly what Halliburton hoped, and diverted significant amounts of this ‘secure’ cable to key government facilities in Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia. A second aspect of this cable, on a need-to-know basis only, was that the plastic was also a potent explosive when exposed to the right catalyst. A slow crystallization would occur along the entire length of the cable, then detonation. Of course Halliburton Telecommunications was unaware of this secondary application, and found they could recycle a significant amount of cable that had been located during early phases of the Iraq War. They acquired enough to provide the contracted upgrade to the White House communications system.
Morning broke over the cemetery, but Oswald did not awaken.
A phalanx of military and secret service agents swarmed over the grounds with bomb sniffing devices and visual inspection behind every stone. They would have been wise to have used the old fashioned dogs. A dog knows human scent and would have called attention to the tarp and wheelbarrow. There was no bomb to be sniffed there. The eyeballs assigned the visual inspection glanced from the bright morning light to the dark under the tarp and did not see the unexpected lumps associated with Oswald’s slumber, just garden tools, black plastic bags of who-knows-what and a wheelbarrow.
Richard awoke when the van started up. At first he was about to jump up and find his way out, but that would be certain exposure. The van jerked awake with stops and starts as the driver negotiated a block or two. The morning light that had provided some clues was suddenly occluded as the van dropped into an underground parking garage.
Near the back of the garage it entered a private bay, and the door slid down behind it. The driver got out and ran a company ID though a reader, held his palm to a reader, put his eyeball up to a reader and was properly confirmed. An intensive XRay scan of the van raised a question about the stack of tin cans. “Do you have a case of beer in there?” a voice spoke out of the wall. The driver did some quick thinking: How did cans get in the back of the van? Rodriguez on the other shift was always leaving half-full Coke cans around, that must be it. “Na, that’s Coke, my partner can’t do without it.”
So it was that Richard found his way into the White House West Wing underground Garage. He also found a badge with a picture of the White House, the words “Contractor – Halliburton” and the name Rodriguez O’Malley that he clipped onto his sports coat pocket. There were three major doors, “Contractors”, “White House Press Corps” and “Authorized Personnel Only.” The Sea Lord’s voice instructed him: “You are the only authorized person, that door should have our name it.” He entered that door into a VIP lounge with coffee, donuts, a large walk in coat closet and doors to ‘Briefing room’, ‘Press Room’ and one other that had no door handle on this side.
He helped himself to a cup of coffee and glazed, jelly filled donut. And retired to the closet to sort out the next steps and shake the donut crumbs and wrinkles out of his pants.
His great grand father’s voice echoed though his head with a chuckle “Ich bein ein Berliner, stupid colonial presidents.”
It was at this time that the President and entourage poured though the lounge and out into the garage where they formed into the motorcade that would leap frog though the city for the morning ceremony at Arlington.
The US Army Band, welcoming the President of the United States to these hallowed grounds was Oswald’s alarm clock. At first he wanted to just roll over and go back to sleep. The spirit that had consumed him for the last four days had waned, and there was really nothing he wanted to do, nothing he could do. It was a grey, dismal day, if the damn neighbors would shut down the damn music. It got worse since the music stopped; only to be followed by a broadcast from God knows where of someone that sounded like the Neo-Com President talking about a “grateful nation”.
Oswald rolled over and the pistol jabbed into his thigh. That was it, he couldn’t save those thousands of pigs that Kennedy had slaughtered by collaboration with the Commies, he couldn’t drag down the New World Order, but he could take out that damn speaker and get some quiet. He stumbled from under the tarp into a bright sunny patch, and lurched towards the noise.
Over the immediate rise he could see the hill went up further. There was some kind of low hedged area with a flame burning in the middle, then beyond that something that vaguely looked like Stonehenge with a batch of people and noise. He worked his way up towards the hedge and knelt down to get the lay of the land.
A few hundred yards from him was a set of speakers droning on about “what got us into this war”. Below these, two lines of every kind of U.S. soldier Oswald could imagine, some in dress uniform, some in commando out fits, Navy, Air Force, even some character in a revolutionary war costume. There, dead center between the lines of troops was the President. The NeoCom was speaking into a microphone while squinting at a TV camera to the right.
Oswald was not real experienced with guns. He had shot one as a kid, and the Sheriff had shown him how to unlock the safety on the pistol in his pocket. He did know from hours of TV experience that bad guys’ shots seemed to miss and the good guys seemed to hit their targets. So when he climbed out from behind the hedge, positioned himself on the granite stones right by the torch and took out his pistol at arms length aiming it at the President two hundred yards away, it didn’t dawn on him that he might miss.
In the course of human events, the gods choose to intervene in strange ways. Had Oswald shot, according to the plan, he damn well might have hit the President. But the squeal of tires on the street outside of the fence reminded him of a pig. Not just a pig, but Miss Piggy in some terrible pain. He glanced that way and saw that the grave he stood on was that of John Fitzgerald Kennedy; the purveyor of porcine persecution. So it was that he turned to face the flame, aimed his 32 caliber pistol where he imagined Kennedy’s head must be and methodically started to fire bullets into the granite stones.
The first bullet glanced off the stone. The second buried into the grass beside the flame. The poor pigs abandoned in that filthy commie bay. The next bullet went into the hedge as tears filled Oswald’s eyes.
Richard had frozen in place when the crowd had moved though the lobby. The voices had made it obvious that this was the President and his court, headed off to meet his doom in Arlington. It was also a room full of them. He could feel the overcoats, the hats and hoods pulled down, right hand resting on the handle of a gun loosely held under an arm pit that smelled of French toilet water.
They must have smelled his scent in the room, missed the donut, looked furtively for the trail of crumbs that would lead them his way. Most would leave, but one would stay behind, sniffing, searching. Richard remained quiet, very quiet, barely breathing for a long time.
A voice called out from some other side of the walls. “Ed, Cokie, get to the press room, someone is shooting at the President.”
This was his call to action. The President was going down. Now was Richard’s time. Not just Richard’s time, but the ascendancy of the Cockburn dynasty to its right full place in history. He strode purposefully out of the closet. He walked straight for the door to the Press Room. He could see the scurry of press folks as they flowed into the press briefing room from the other doors, whispering, holding cell phones up that no doubt carried live images of the action in Arlington. The White House spin-meisters were not at all prepared for this, so when Richard strode to the podium, a quizzical quiet fell over the press corps.
Cameras flashed and clicked. Cell phones that had been receiving were switched over to transmit mode. A crew rapidly pulled the cover off the standing video camera and the feed headed out to the networks. This did not depend on the recently installed fiber cable, which was even now crystallizing in a conduit from the West Wing and on up to the Oval Office.
“I am Baron Richard Cockburn King newly ascended to the seat acquitted my family over the Barony of Maryland and Virginia and now rightfully restored in its loyalty to the Crown of England.”
A popping sound, like distant fireworks could be heard.
“As you know, the pretense of the American President has been eliminated by heroic loyalists clearing the way for the restoration of this land to its rightful position in the commonwealth of the British Empire.” Richard pulled an ancient parchment out of his pocket. “This letter, duly authorized by the Regent of George the Third clearly passes this holding to Sea Lord Baron and Knight of the realm George Cockburn, and his descendants in perpetuity.”
“Who the hell is George Cockburn?” an impatient voice in the back called out. As he spoke, even more fireworks seemed to be exploding, perhaps a bit closer.
“Admiral Cockburn, razed this very city and its environs, in August of eighteen fourteen and set this White House on fire.”
It was at this point that alarm bells triggered throughout the building accompanied by a succession of explosions and a very dry, mechanical voice stating “A fire has been detected in this area of the building. Please move out of the building as quickly as possible. All visitors and Press are required to leave via exits on the south or east side of the buildings. The green blinking exit signs will lead you in this direction. All White House staff members are to leave by exits on the north and west side. The President is not in the building and the Vice President has already been evacuated.” This voice waited a moment, then started to repeat the litany as the press corps flowed out of the room following blinking green signs.
Smoke was starting to pour into the room from ducts along the base of the wall.
Richard stepped back though the VIP entrance to the podium. The green flashing light to his left was of no interest. Instead he headed right, up towards the Oval Office to take possession of his rightful place. The explosions continued on all sides, no doubt the fireworks celebrating his announcement. The smoke of victory, the very same sight that greeted his great grandfather rolled though the halls. The bells subsided but the voice droned on; he would have to order a replacement of that mechanism, it was most annoying.
Meanwhile, back at the Cemetery the President was surrounded by two tight circles of agents looking very much like an upright rugby scrum. This multi-legged organism moved rapidly away from the sound of the shots with the bewildered voice of the President saying “I can’t read the teleprompter this way.”
A daring Army Captain in full dress uniform tossed down his useless rifle, knowing it had no live ammunition, and sprinted down the hill. He launched himself into flight at the edge of the grave as Oswald fired the eighth shot into the ground. The captain struck Oswald at the waist, and the two went down rolling over twice before they stopped up against the hedge.
Baron Richard Cockburn King the Third was found asphyxiated in the Oval Office, sitting at the ruler’s desk. The fumes of the fire suppression system had deprived him of sufficient oxygen to sustain life. It was six months before the White House was certified safe for occupancy, a slightly shorter period of time than Richard’s great grandfather’s impact. It was three months before the full, and well kept, secret of the explosive fiber optic cable was recognized, and even then there was no indication of how it could possibly have been triggered. Halliburton asserted, and demonstrated in key tests, that a very specific, and non-obvious, albeit easy to create chemical compound was needed to detonate the cable. It was inconceivable that anyone could have done this. Of course they also asserted that it was inconceivable that the cable would have detonated without that mixture.
A top secret panel, under the direction of the Vice President determined that White House attack was deliberate sabotage of the electrical power system installed by a North Korean agent. The subsequent invasion of North Korea was the inevitable retribution for this vile strike at the heart of democracy.
The Miss Piggy poster holds a prominent position over Oswald’s bed, along side a photo of his firing into the grave just before the army captain reached the site. The facility here is much nicer than his old apartment. The food’s good, no pork – not enough chocolate. They do make him take the meds now, but after a while that all seemed to make sense. There are two thousand, four hundred and five patients here, counting Oswald, and they don’t allow pets, or politicians.