The President of the United States of America was preening. An aide scampered around while he practised his stern look in the mirror and directed his hair dresser. He raised an eyebrow quizzically. Then he raised the other one and burst out laughing. He glanced at his watch.“OK folks, let them in.”
The aid ran to the door and opened it the instant three men in tailored suits and silk ties ploughed through it.
“Whoa gentlemen, easy does it now,” chirped the President with an amicable smile on his face.
The first to speak was his Chief-of-staff. “Mr. President, we’ve got a busy day ahead of us and we have to get you to Marine 1 right now if we’re going to make it to the UN Financial Union countdown briefing in New York, but as I told you yesterday, we have a Mr. Smith here from the CIA to brief you on the Salt City dome project.” The Chief of Staff turned to the man, Smith, who was the rearmost of the three. “OK, you’ve got precisely 5 minutes while we walk.”
“Yes sir, Mr. President. These are the facts, Sir.
“The Salt City dome project is a front for a military intelligence installation.
“The location is directly over a large natural cave system that was developed in the 1940s and 50s as a nuclear fallout shelter for a battalion-sized force and equipment. It is connected by rail to our sub-station under Moab, Utah, and we could get there from here on the Subterranean Intercontinental Rail Link in about 8 hours. The city is covered by 7 geodesic domes that are designed to withstand direct blast from a nuclear warhead with a nominal yield of 30 kilo tonnes. The city is self-sufficient for water and energy, and currently is stocked with food for 20 years. The cover story is that this is an achievement by the tree hugging sustainability crowd.
“One of the many reasons why this installation has high potential is the computer system that has been built into the Municipal Library. This is an advanced model of the one that we have here in the West Wing, Sir. You only have to talk to it and it understands what you say. The Salt City Library system has over 100 terminals and is about to start trials on interpreting intelligence gathered by the Clandestine Service.”
They were moving quickly through the passages of the White house, on their way to the Helicopter landing pad. The President interrupted Smith, “Seems like a lot of trouble to go to build a computer system.”
“Yes and no Sir.” Smith returned quickly. “The added bonus of this installation is that we can detonate a nuke outside, blame it on anybody we need to go to war with, declare it off-limits to civilians and we’ve got ourselves a top-secret base and a revenue generating war.”
The President stopped dead in his tracks. He slowly turned to look directly at the man, Smith. His hair and moustache were neatly trimmed, the cut of his suit was just as fine as any he had seen lately, he was medium height, medium build, not overweight, he seemed boringly normal. Just offering to start a war by detonating a nuclear weapon on top of an US city, then blaming it on a foreign nation.