The President looked at his Chief of Staff. “Did I miss something?”
“Mr. President?” The Chief of Staff did not seem perturbed by this.
“I thought,” continued the President, “That this briefing was going to be about the official dedication of a new research facility,”
“But it seems that there is a rather complicated twist involved.”
“Life is complicated.” The Chief of Staff was a seasoned veteran of the intelligence community. He reminded himself to be patient with his naive new President.
“Mr. President, this is an initiative that started over 20 years ago. All 4 of your predecessors were on board with it.”
“OK, but what you have told me, Mr. Smith,” he looked him over again, “sounds like a twisted, evil plot that will never work out. There are always unintended consequences. I’ll humor you for now though. How could you possibly do this without the truth getting out. If that happened, anyone involved would be impeached, imprisoned and probably executed. Not to mention that you could start another Civil war. The West against the East, how ironic.”
Mr. Smith gave a panicked look to the Chief of Staff, who nodded encouragement.
“Well,“ Smith continued, more warily now, with the Chief of Staff ushering them to begin walking to the Helicopter pad. “We would not use soldiers to deploy the weapon. We have some drone infantry that can be remotely operated from any location. They are programmed how to deploy and diffuse tactical nuclear weapons. They are ready any time. The control of the operation can be done by just two operators, CIA, not military.”
“Drones,” replied the President, “are computers which have memories. Military drones are in constant contact with the Pentagon. There is no way that this could be kept secret.”
“Not in this case, sir. You see these drones were developed by an independent contractor in California 40 years ago. The entire research and development facility is somewhere at the bottom of the San Bernardino Oceanic Trench. All records of the product development and manufacture is gone. The entire development team disappeared into the ocean. There is no one left who knows about them. The drones were transported to Fort Picket, Virginia, for ballistics calibration when the San Andreas catastrophe occurred. Because of the chaos they were never unpacked and tested. They have been in crates in a disused hanger ever since.”
The President rolled his eyes at the Chief of Staff. “Please tell me we are not having a conversation about using 40-year-old drones in a 20-year-old plan to blow a nuke over Utah.” They walked in silence for a few moments until they reached the parlor. Outside beyond the patio doors the helicopter was ready, blowing a steady gale from its rotors.
“OK, so why are you briefing me on this now?’ said the inexperienced President to the Chief of Staff.
“Because this can help solve another problem that we have.”
“And what would that be?”
“The tent city in Canyonlands National Park. After next Friday night, it will be impossible to do anything with those people, they refuse to register. We can, with Mr. Smith’s drones, make the problem go away. No one will ever know that they were there, and no one will care.”