She joined Eliza in the hallway and answered her second-in-command's question before she could ask it.
"Assassins, given to me temporarily by one of our supposed allies." Raylene explained, starting off down the hall with Eliza in tow. "Bring me up to date."
"The president just touched down, ma'am, and I already have Captain Henry watching the video you had us put together." Eliza managed a smile. "He's crying."
"I knew it." Raylene pounded her fist in her hand. "That sap would resist torture for a week but will break the minute you show him something even mildly patriotic. We could have played 'Proud to Be an American' for ten seconds and he'd be swearing an oath of allegiance."
"We have also just received a message from President Olenkov in Moscow. He has agreed to launch 75% of their active arsenal at the coordinates we gave him, but only after his generals have verified that our own missiles are not headed towards Russia."
"Does that fat idiot not realize that launching minutes after us will virtually guarantee his entire salvo is shot from the sky? Send a message back to him informing him that if he doesn't launch simultaneously I - make that the president - will personally ensure that our reserves are allocated to a trans-continental strike. This is our one and only punch before the xenos attack commences and I'm not going to see it wasted because of some petty cold war political holdover."
"Yes ma'am." Eliza made a note on the legal pad she had affixed to a clipboard.
They reached the holding cells just as the president arrived by a different route. He was being lead by an Amazonian Princeps with a freshly bandaged nose and two black eyes. It was early in his clone decay cycle and he looked healthy and intelligent still, albeit a bit rough around the edges from lack of sleep.
"Great to see you Mister President," Raylene offered the man her hand and he took it politely but warily. "I hope my people here have managed to bring you up to speed."
"No, not really." He replied, looking for his mysteriously absent Marine guard. "We were less than half an hour from SAC when we turned around to come to New Jersey. Now, I may have been sick while all of this madness was happening with the aliens, but I deserve an explanation."
"In due time, I promise Mister President." Raylene casually put her arm around the man's shoulder and guided him towards the cell containing Captain Henry. "Inside this cell is one of America's top agents, a member of the Gamma Strikers by the name of Captain Patrick 'Liberty' Henry. You are going to go into that cell and give him the pep talk of your lifetime. Convince him that Lady Liberty is down but not out of the fight, tell him the fate of the free world may rest on his shoulders, and then give him this mission profile."
Raylene handed the president a hastily prepared mission briefing contained within a manila envelope with falsified "Top Secret - Super Compartmentalized" seals all over it.
"Lady Liberty is down but not out of the fight, Mister President, and the fate of the free world may rest on your shoulders." Raylene clapped President Clark on the back and shoved him into the holding cell.
They told us to stop playing videogames on a school night. If only we'd ignored them.
As a vicious predator, I find that I have a constant, overwhelming urge to lick apples out of a huge block of ice. It's only, natural, right?
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