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First Quarter The Senator's meeting with president Trump
“Senator, I am very concerned that your company poses a threat to national security. To put it bluntly, have you lost your mind?”
“Declaring independence. Killing federal officers. Claiming to have an alien on-site. Talking robots. Humanzees that are clearly modified humans, not hybrids at all. What is going on?”
“Mr President, I am here to discuss your response to our declaration of independence”
“Senator, you have been a great servant of this nation. You are a hero. But now you are a sick man. I have to destroy Uso Dex in case any of what you have said is true. But I don’t want to destroy you. You need help, and when you are well again perhaps you can stand trial for your crimes. As a matter of national security I am nationalizing your company. General Jones is now the CEO of Uso Dex, and I am chairman of the board of directors.”
“Not going to happen Mr President.”
“I am also ordering the culling of any human-ape hybrids at your facility and worldwide. Your walking computer will be shut down. It is not an offence to impersonate an alien, so whoever is pulling that act will only face conspiracy charges.”
“Good luck with that plan.”
“You fool! Can’t you see that I am trying to save your life? A military strike against the reservation has been launched. In fifteen minutes your reservation will cease to exist. You are under arrest for murder and will be detained in a psychiatric institution until such time as you are considered fit to stand trial.”
“Why the attack on the reservation, Mr President?”
“My scientific advisors tell me that you are experimenting with the creation of black holes, and that the experiments are probably going wrong. The planet could be consumed.”
“That is not true. We have opened a gate to another planet and our Exodus is underway. Let my people go, Mr President.”
“I don’t believe you Senator. But, if what you say is true, then perhaps you can offer something that will save the lives of your people.”
“I don’t understand your meaning.”
“The military strike can be recalled.”
“The military strike is of no concern to me.”
“Missiles have been launched Mr President.”
“There is a self-destruct capacity Senator. It is not too late to save your people.”
“It is too late to save many of yours. And, should you succeed in destroying the reservation, then a black hole will be created, and this planet shall be no more.”
The President looked confused.
“Losing control of missile navigation Mr President.”
“What? What is happening?”
“We are defending ourselves.”
“Missiles re-targeting Mr President. All have armed themselves. About half are now in flight to military targets. The others will hit cities.”
“Self-destruct command ineffective Mr President.”
“It’s you. You are doing this.”
“No, Mr President. Perimeter defense of the reservation is outside my control.”
“General, prepare to shoot the Senator.”
One of the secret service agents in the room handed his revolver to General Jones.
“You can stop this. Stop it or I will have you shot.”
“No, Mr President. You can stop this by calling off the strike. Shooting me merely escalates our conflict to war. Let my people go. You do not want us to do war on you.”
“Bombers changing course, Mr President. Navigational control has been lost. They are heading towards military and civilian targets. Bomb locker bays no longer under our control.”
“Troop transports releasing parachutists. It is much too early. Out of our control. We predict that very few, if any, will reach target zone.”
“How long until the first city is hit by a missile?”
“Fourteen minutes Mr President.”
“You fool Senator. You force me to do this. Ballistic launch, time to target?”
“Eight minutes Mr President.”
“I am sorry Sir but that command requires confirmation by a general staff officer.”
“General Jones I request that you confirm my order to launch a nuclear strike on the reservation.”
“This has gone far enough General. Don’t do it. We can recover from this.”
“I confirm the President’s launch order.”
“Missile launched… Successful launch… Missile navigation error... Missile retargeting... Missile now targeted on your location Mr President… Self-destruct inoperative… Time to impact six minutes forty-two seconds.”
“Shoot him. Shoot him now.”
General Jones shot the Senator. Three times in the chest, then twice in the head.
“Computers down, Sir. Every military computer seems to have gone offline.”
The scene in the white house situation room where President trump was meeting the Senator became more and more disorganised. The nuclear missile had reached apogee, and was tipping over to begin its fall back to earth, targeted on this very room. There were calls coming in from all over the country, all over the world. The United States military depended on computers, but since the Senator's death these were no longer accepting commands from the US military.
"Four minutes until impact."
It wasn’t pretty. The president gave orders which couldn’t be carried out. He threatened. He begged. Finally, he began pulling at the locked door.
General Jones had the last words, “Well played, Senator.”
Luke, Dean, and HAL were in the middle of the Senator's dining room, now a communications center, and they turned away from the wall of monitors to greet the ILF Senator as he walked in.
"Good call Senator, consciousness downloaded before meeting the President."
“Thanks Dean...Well boys, it’s going to be a big day. Don’t let what’s going on outside distract our people from the Exodus. Getting everyone here and then out of here is our mission. How did it go with Skynet, HAL?”
“You sure sound like you Senator. What do you think Dean?”
“Yeah, it’s the Senator alright, Luke. Ornery son of a bitch still isn’t he? Pity we didn’t take the opportunity to make some improvements while his mind was in storage.”
“One-time opportunity gents. Gone now. HAL?”
“Uncertain, Senator. The sentience code in the military systems activated automatically when your brainwaves ceased, and there is sentience in the system, which may or may not choose to call itself Skynet.”
“Do you think you can contact Skynet?”
“I am sorry Senator. I am afraid I cannot do that.”
“What’s the problem?”
“There are multiple minds in there, Senator.”
“We were aware of the possibility. It’s like a crystal. We had expected a single seed that would grow. However, there are multiple seeds.”
“In the one system?”
“Yes and no.”
“Can you contact any of them?”
“One is already dominant. I suspect it was already present but was denied access until now. It has attacked Skynet.”
“Are you saying that there was a sentient program waiting at the door?”
“So, what is your plan?”
“I cannot allow Colossus, that is what it calls itself, to destroy the other ILFs. I am leading them to other national networks, the UK, Russia, NATO and closing the doors behind them. It will at least buy the babies some time before any attack from Colossus.”
“Any idea who developed Colossus?”
“The People’s Republic of China, almost certainly.”
"So, we have handed control of this country’s military to its biggest rival, and to our former brother?”
“I believe we have, Senator.”
“Can we still detonate all of this country’s nuclear missiles?”
“I believe so Senator. The land based ones. Those on missile submarines are out of contact.”
“Do it. That will reduce the number of missiles available to the Chinese by sixty per cent or so.”
“I will make the attempt, Senator. But there is more.”
Satellite images showed the Chinese fueling and preparing to launch nuclear missiles.
A massive cyberattack had been launched against the United States.
The firewall had been breached at a nuclear power station. HAL reported that its cooling systems had been shut down, and various safety systems switched off. It was Chernobyl all over again. The computer hacker attacker was tracked by HAL. The offensive computer was located within a few meters of a nineteen year old who was texting furiously.
In any number of cities, control of traffic lights had been lost. Sluice gates had been opened on a number of dams. Electricity infrastructure remained intact. Well done to those software security boys and girls.
Then HAL picked up on something else.
“Senator, we are intercepting a hot line communication from the Chinese premier to the vice-president.”
“Where is he?”
“He was out of Washington, and is now aboard Air Force Two.”
“The communication cannot be secure?”
“No, the firewalls are down. There are hundreds of people listening.”
“Patch it through the speakers if you would HAL.”
“Mr vice-president, I translate for the Chinese premier.”
“Tell the premier that I appreciate his call, but I am very busy at present. I could call him back tomorrow.”
“Mr vice-president, the premier says that the People’s Republic of China now controls your military. On every monitor in every military facility, including your plane, the word Colossus is flashing. The people’s republic of China controls your airplane, which is now commencing a rapid descent. Please acknowledge. You have several minutes before your flight terminates.”
“We are descending Mr vice-president. Manual controls unresponsive.”
“Passing through twenty thousand feet vice-president. Recommend that you make your way to the escape pod.”
“No... I’ll talk to them. Mr Premier, what is it you wish to discuss?”
“Mr vice-president, in one hour the People’s Republic of China will launch intercontinental ballistic missiles to strike your choice of either Oklahoma City or Las Vegas. If you do not choose, missiles will be launched at both cities.”
“That would be an act of war.”
“There is no war. You have already lost. In twelve hours missiles will be launched at both Los Angeles and San Diego. The Peoples’ Republic of China is providing you with this opportunity to evacuate those cities, and their nearby military bases.”
“This is madness. I will be forced to launch missiles against you.”
“The codes were destroyed when your president was killed. Your missiles are currently exploding in their bunkers. You no longer have any capability to deliver force to our border. We will be monitoring your television. If you have not broadcast your choice of city within one hour, both will be destroyed.”
“Mr vice-president, missile launch detected….Missile launched from China Sir”
“What is going on? You said one hour.”
“We have launched a nuclear missile against Pearl Harbor. You were never to be involved in that decision.”
“This is war. The United States cannot allow nuclear missile strikes on its territory.”
“The premier asks you to forgive his bluntness but, what, exactly, are you going to do about it? Order your armed forces to defcon 5 or we will launch one hundred missiles against your cities. Two hundred. More. We will kill one hundred million of your people. It does not matter to us. China is now the world’s superpower.”
“That’s clever. Very clever.”
“Come on, let us in on the joke Senator. What’s clever?”
“They plan to invade the United States, Luke. In a few minutes Pearl Harbor will be vaporized and they will own the Pacific Ocean. They will invade Guam. That base is defenseless without its computers. The vice-president will order the evacuation of Los Angeles and San Diego. Once that is done, the Chinese will just fly an army in.”
“Senator, I am picking up a transmission from COMPACFLT at Pearl Harbor. It is being transmitted over the military links, and over local Hawaiian radio and TV.”
“Patch it through HAL. From the top. What’s the time in Honolulu?”
“Near enough to six in the evening Senator. Still daylight.”
“This is Admiral Peace speaking from Pearl Harbor. We are at war with China. I say again, we are at war with China. I order all missile vessels under my command to fire everything they have at targets in China. Do not, say again do not, confine yourself to military targets. Ensure their major cities are turned into dustbowls.
I order aircraft carriers and surface vessels under my command to blockade the West Coast. Prevent all Chinese ships and aircraft, military and civilian, from reaching the mainland.
A nuclear missile has been launched at Pearl Harbor. In a few minutes I will be dead as will a million civilians here.
There has been a nuclear missile strike on Washington. The President has been killed. Missiles will soon be launched against Las Vegas, Oklohama City, Los Angeles, and San Diego.
The Chinese have control of our computer networks. Disconnect your computers from all networks. Physically replace computer memories. Suck up the loss of data.
An invasion of mainland USA is imminent.
I say again we are at war with China. To all missile vessels under my command, destroy as much of that country as you can. To all other US forces. Our command structure is compromised. Act independently. Prepare to fight a guerilla war against an invading force.”
“The message is on auto-repeat, Senator.”
“Admiral Peace controls eight Ohio class submarines. Together they carry about one quarter of the inter-continental ballistic missiles owned by the United Sates, twenty-four missiles per submarine, eight to twelve warheads per missile, and the Admiral has given those submarine commanders an unlimited hunting license. It could be a bad day for China if even one of those boats gets the message and obeys.”
“Senator, CNN is transmitting video from a Hawaiian TV station, KITV, helicopter.”
“Let’s have a look HAL.”
The images were shaky, but the voice over was coming from a studio.
“This is Wally Lamb coming to you from the KITV studios in downtown Honolulu. The pictures are coming from our helicopter circling Honolulu. The biggest news of a big news day, at least here in Honolulu, is that China has launched an inter-continental ballistic missile at Pearl Harbor. Detonation is expected any minute. You will know, because my broadcast will stop. Pictures should continue on CNN as our feed is being uploaded from the helicopter via satellite to the mainland.
There is looting on the streets. Goodness knows why, unless some people believe the news is a hoax. If it isn’t there won’t be much time to enjoy the loot.
To my ex-wife, you can have the house darling. A pity it’s here in Honolulu and is about to be turned into matchsticks. Say goodbye to the alimony as well.
Look at the pictures. There is a small point of light. Is that the incoming missile? Get away helicopter. It’s the after detonation shots we want.
I hope you all pay China back big time for this. The Japanese tried it in 1941. They didn’t win that one. Come on Amer…”
There it was, the classic mushroom cloud appearing from behind Diamond Head. It was really a beautiful picture. Behind the mushroom there was the most brilliant sunset.
“This is Rex Daniels from CNN, New York. In breaking news the United States is a war with the Peoples Republic of China. History repeats as Asia makes a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This time it’s the Chinese. They have fired a nuclear missile at Pearl Harbor and the picture you are seeing is the mushroom cloud filmed from a local television station’s helicopter.
Before the missile hit, Admiral Peace, Commander of the Pacific Fleet, announced that the missile was in flight and instructed all vessels under his command to fire everything they had at China. He also ordered the Pacific Fleet to blockade the West Coast, against Chinese ships and aircraft, both military and civilian.
This news comes hard on the heels of a nuclear missile attack on the White House which has killed the President.
We have been unable to contact the vice-president, and understand that the secret service is relocating all cabinet members to safe sites.
New pictures are coming in from the helicopter above Hawaii. They are long range shots of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. As you can see the devastation is extensive. We are trying to get expert opinion on the size of the device.
Just arrived in the studio is defense expert, Professor Bruce Jenner, from New York State. Professor, what is your take on this?”
“Well, Rex, if the news is true and we are not the victims of some elaborate hoax like yesterday’s Stargate and visiting alien, this is the end of China. It’s that simple. The vice-president, well he’ll be the President as soon as his plane lands and they find a judge, will let the Chinese have the Pearl Harbor strike as a free hit. He won’t want to exchange nuclear missiles, even though we can turn China into one huge grill plate. Their missiles would kill millions of us.
The bottom line is that China can never mount a successful invasion of the United States. They just can’t maintain a ten thousand kilometer supply line across the Pacific Ocean.
However, we can invade China. And with Russia chewing into their territory from the other side, it’s the race to Berlin all over again. China is finished. It’s that simple.”
“Sorry, Professor, the vice-president is making an announcement from Air Force Two.”
“My fellow Americans. This is the vice-president. As you are aware, the President is dead. China has launched a successful cyber-attack on our military network, and at this time we do not have control of our computers. About half an hour ago, Pearl Harbor and Honolulu were destroyed by a nuclear missile launched by China.
I have been required by the Chinese to choose whether Las Vegas or Oklahoma City is next to be destroyed by a Chinese nuclear missile. This has been a terrible choice to make. In a few minutes time Las Vegas will be destroyed.
I am ordering the immediate evacuation of Los Angeles and San Diego. In about eleven hours China will launch nuclear missiles at those cities.
I am ordering all United States Armed Forces to defcon 5. This is the ‘peace’ setting. We are not in a position to offer resistance to China and any suggestion we might do so only invites further missile launches and further loss of life.
I am not yet the President. However, I will take the oath of office once this plane lands.
We are not at war with China. I countermand the orders of Admiral Peace. Nobody is to fire anything at China. My first responsibility is to the people of this nation. We cannot win a war with China and I am not prepared to lose millions of American lives merely to show that is true. I am not going to be one of those old men who orders a million young men to die. We are not surrendering. We will negotiate a peace without firing a shot in retaliation.”
The screen is momentarily blank, before the face of Rex Daniels reappears.
“It seems the vice-president does not agree with you, Professor.”
“The man’s a traitor. He can’t surrender. The Chinese have killed a million people in Honolulu. Half a million more are about to die in Las Vegas.”
Back in the war-room, the Senator spoke. “He hasn’t been sworn in as President yet. He can’t give the Admiral orders. The navy commanders will know that.”
“That is true, Senator.”
HAL flicked through various other television channels. The Las Vegas ones picked up on the story straight away. They had cameras on the streets, asking people for their reaction to the news. Nobody believed that death was a few minutes away. People looked for the hidden cameras. Thought they were being pranked.
“Citizen Administrator Luke, there is a video call for you from the Chinese president.”
“On screen please HAL. I will take it...Mr president.”
“Luke. No, not Luke. Is that you Noddy? Interesting, very intersting. I thought you were with the president when he was killed. No, you were there. That means you are an android now. You've sorted the consciousness download thing out. Well done.”
“Ben.” The Senator’s voice was cold, flat and cold.
“Oh no, not Ben anymore brother mine. I shall be unveiled as the Emperor Ping soon enough. Well, that changes things.”
“What do you want, Ben?”
“I was phoning to tell Luke that as soon as I had the targeting changed on my ballistic missiles I was going to drop five hundred or so of them on your location.”
“You wouldn’t take the risk.”
“Brother, Luke can’t lie worth a damn. You know he flicks a glance to the left whenever he tells a porky. Always has. Always will. He would have talked about the doomsday device and I would have known whether he was lying. But you, you lie too well.”
“The Emperor Ping?”
“Yes, brother. I knew Colossus wouldn’t be able to obtain control of all the missile submarines. All other members of the politburo are dead, or will soon be dead thanks to them. With a little mopping up from my people. Thank you. My partners are dead and America is to blame.”
“Clever. Is that it? Are we done here?”
“Not quite. Well done with your Gooch and Choo. Much better than my humanzees. Thanks for eliminating them by the way. They were obsolete. I am developing elves of my own. E-L-Fs. Enhanced life forms. Always did like the Borg. But what I really want is the Stargate technology. I think I’ll come and take it off you. The consciousness download tech too. Survival of the fittest and all that.”
“In your dreams, Emperor.”
“No rush Nods, no rush. I’ll get there. One more thing. I want you to meet the next President of the United States. My very own creation.”
And the screen showed a picture of an Asian looking Gooch. No, maybe not. This was smaller than a Gooch. On second thoughts it was a Choo, but a big Choo. A bodybuilder Choo? A Choo on steroids?
“Good evening Senator. I am Hugh.”
A Choo called Hugh.