Monday, February 08, 2016

January 1976

It was time to make a change.

In the first week after the Christmas break Senator William March of Minnesota held what he called a junior town hall meeting.  Students from Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and the surrounding suburbs were brought to Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus for what was essentially a pep rally for the March presidential campaign.  In his previous life Stone had the opportunity to attend but didn’t because he dismissed it as a load of political nonsense.

Today he would attend and cast the first pebble in the avalanche.

After the speech there would be a question period.  The attending students, being ignorant of any relevant fact, were expected to ask softball questions of Senator March.  But Stone intended to aim a hardball straight at the head.

For the pep rally Stone chose a white dress shirt with dark gray slacks and a matching tie.  For the Minnesota winter he wore a pair of Vietnam jungle boots with black electrical tape over the drain holes and a surplus olive drab field jacket with the name tapes and insignia removed.  His appearance was of a young conservative from a decade ago and apart from Vicky everyone else looked at him like he was an alien from another planet.

“You’re going to do something?”  She said.


The speech was the usual meaningless political noise and the questions from the students were worse.  Every time he thought of stepping out of the line and abandoning the mission the memory of being tortured by field officers of the KGB during the Final War came to mind.  Stone endured the noise until it was his turn.

“Senator March,” he said, “the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Soviet Army carry out a counterforce attack on the United States, which leaves most of the population intact but destroys the capacity to resist other actions, and the Soviet ambassador comes to you in person to demand a total surrender.  How do you respond?”

March was struck dumb.

On live televison he had the literal deer in the headlights look on his face as he now had to answer a real question.

After about five seconds spoke.

“I would...I would do what was best for the people.”

That wasn’t an answer.

Stone responded.

“Senator March, the correct answer is simply to say NO.”

Some of the students suddenly felt that something was wrong and started to boo at Stone.

Stone continued.

“Senator, the doctrine of Totalitarianism holds Human life in absolute contempt and sees people as things to be used or destroyed, over the last six decades Totalitarians have enslaved numerous nations and murdered tens of millions of people, and surrender to such people, regardless of the circumstances, is simply not an option.”

And then he thought of something else.

“I vy tovarishch, mozhet idti yebat' sebya.”

And you comrade, can go fuck yourself.

The true believers were now fully aware that there was an enemy in the room and started to fully scream obscenities at him.  Evelyn smiled as he took Vicky’s hand and walked away.

She asked a question.

“What was that last thing you said to him?”

“Merely a helpful hint.”

The memory of the previous life remained clear. 

In spite of his gross incompetence William March had been reelected to the office of President.  During the two terms Iran had been lost to the followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the nations of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico were taken by the Communists.

On the morning of September 10, 1984 the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Soviet Army carried out a counterforce attack on the United States.  At the same time Soviet Airborne and naval Infantry forces carried out landings in Alaska and Western Canada.  And the Latin American Communist armies crossed the southern border with the support of Soviet paratroopers.

Later that day in the Oval Office the Soviet ambassador the demanded the surrender of the United States.

And President William March complied.

But while the Reds and their American collaborators celebrated their victory the armed forces acted.  M60A3 tanks of the United States Army smashed through the fence around the White House and William March was dragged out to Rose Garden and shot.  The Soviet Embassy was demolished by the guns of other tanks and the attack submarines of the United States Navy started hunting for Soviet missile subs.  Finally, before noon, the Secretary of Heath, Education, and Welfare gave the order to launch the retaliation from the remaining ballistic missile submarines.

But perhaps she didn’t want to join the growing pile of dead politicians in the Rose Garden.