November 17, 2004

Secession Diaries, Part VII - Atlas Fled

As the great summit dawned on that fateful morning at Federal Courthouse in Fargo, North Dakota, nerves were raw and on edge on both sides. The US delegation, under President Buck Lincoln, knew that tensions were running hot, and the USoC was in many ways like a cornered bear. He came prepared to tread gently.

The USoC delegation, on the other hand, knew how precarious their nation's economy truly was - the market was in freefall, public perceptions of the food problem were still dire, and unemployment was flirting with double digits; the Ministry of Employment's "Industrial Resuscitation Tax" had not revived manufacturing, and had indeed exacerbated the problem.

And Prime Minister 1092 knew another secret.

Rude Welcome

At precisely 9AM, the summit convened. Two rows of tables, each seating the respective nation's delegations, faced each other, surrounded by flunkies and the media.

Prime Minister 1092 opened the proceedings.

"President Lincoln, speaking as a representative of the non-former-slave states, I'd like to thank you for your hospitality, and present you with a little token of our nation's esteem for the United States of, America".

A group of hotel employees, straining and sweating, pushed a pair of dumpster-sized containers on caster wheels. Both were coverded with sheets, like sculptures awaiting unveiling. One was the size of a small contstruction dumpster, the other roughly the size of a huge cake.

"Mr. President,", 1092 continued as the containers were wheeled into place, "In honor of our USoC native tradition, I present our gift to your nation"

Staffers pulled off the sheets, to reveal...

...a large cake, and a 12-foot-square metal plate piled high with vegetables.

"Ah", said President Lincoln, covering his brief confusion. "A cake, and a huge plate of Vegan Tabouli. Why, thank you!" He looked around, mildly nonplussed. "Excellent. It looks like we don't need to order lunch!"

The crowd laughed - all but Prime Minister 1092.

"No, you certainly don't!", the woman finally said with a sneering menace. "Unleash the plan!"

The plate of tabouli shuddered, then disintegrated as a dozen North Korean commandos in bulgur-and-tomato colored camouflage climbed out from the clumpy mass of vegan fare, weapons at the ready.

"Nobody move!" yelled 1092, "and nobody gets hurt. Yet!", she added with a chilling cackle.

The commandoes trained their weapons on the US table.

"What on earth are you doing?" asked President Lincoln, momentarily stunned.

"Don't ask me", replied Prime Minister 1092. "Ask him!"

From the top of the cake erupted a large, grubby figure covered in white frosting.

"It's Michael Moore!" gasped the crowd.

"Yeah, it is", Moore replied as a quartet of commandos lifted him over the side of the cake.

"Have you been working out?" asked Vice President Mgembe.

"Er, no."

An awkward silence ensued, as the commandos aimed at the US members heads.

"OK", Moore continued. "Anyway, you stole two straight elections, and we're here to steal 'em back. And Halliburton can't help you now!"

"So what do you think you're going to do?" asked Lincoln.

"Simple," Moore answered. "We're going to re-unite the United States."

"Pffft", replied the President. "Why on earth would we do that? We're doing great without all of you hoity-toity, tax-guzzling, merit-piddling, neo-socialist wonkomaniacs", the President replied.

"Silence!" yelled 1092. "You have a choice, and you have only a minute to make it!" She pulled a document from an organic hemp folder. "This is a document declaring unconditional surrender to the USoC, allowing the enlightened and progressive people of the USoC to take their rightful place at the head of a progressive North America".

"Hah. And why would I sign such a thing?"

"Because", Moore picked up the narrative, "at this moment airplanes full of jihadis with Iranian nuclear weapons are heading toward Denver, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Miami. The blood of millions of people will be on your hands if you don't!"

A group of USoC Foreign Ministry employees burst into spontaneous applause.

"Damn you!" yelled Lincoln. "You can't blackmail the hopes and dreams of 150 million Americans!"

"And you, Mr. Lincoln, can't stand in the way of the ineluctible forces of history!" yelled 1092. "Sign, or watch your biggest cities vaporize!"

President Lincoln sat for a moment; a dozen Korean rifles pointed at his head, and Prime Minister 1092 held a pen and the surrender form.

"Very well". He took the pen.

"No!" shouted Secretary of State Nguyen.

"I have no choice", Lincoln said, with audible anguish. He turned, and put pen t paper.

He hesitated.

"Er, Ms. 1092?"

"What?" she replied, audibly irritated.

"Your shoe is untied".

"Huh-what?" she replied, looking down. It was all the opening Buck Lincoln needed.

He flicked the fountain pen with a practiced flip of the wrist. The instrument buried itself in Prime Minister 1092's forehead, and she sank to her knees, shrieking in agony.

Lincoln flipped the table up on its side, sending a cascade of documents and donuts into the air. The North Korean guards, stunned, fired blindly at the cloud of papers and food.

Lincoln dropped and rolled, coming to his feet next to a commando. With a practiced knee kick, he felled the Korean, seizing his rifle. The next four shots dropped four more of the elite, tabouli-clad troops. The other eight spun on their heels, firing wildly as Lincoln rolled along the floor, bullets ripping the hardwood scant inches behind him as he rolled and fired. Another commando dropped, then another, and the remaining half-dozen fled the room, into the gunsights of the waiting Secret Service, where they promptly surrendered.

President Buck Lincoln rose to his feet, and blew the smoke from the muzzle of the Korean rifle. The room was silent, except for Prime Minister 1092's whimpering and the chatter of the two-way radio strapped to Michael Moore's belt.

"But Buck! What about the nuclear weapons!"

President Lincoln walked to Moore, and as the older and much larger man trembled in terror, seized the radio from his belt. He looked it it, thought for a moment, and keyed the microphone.

"All units!" Lincoln said.

A variety of Persian-accented voices responded "Rrroger".

"Vast Republican Conspiracy. I say again, Vast Republican Conspiracy".

There was silence on the air. "Oh, lord, we're gonna lose Denver", said a terrified Department of State employee.

And then nothing but static, for a few seconds that seemed to drag on for hours.

"Rrrroger. Breaking off attack, rrreturning to base", said a voice with a thick Iranian accent.

The Americans in the room erupted in cheers.

"How on earth did you know their abort code?" asked Vice President Mgembe.

"It's the Democrat's answer to everything", the President replied.

"It matters not one bit!" yelled Prime Minister 1092 with an edge of pain to her voice, the pen still sticking out of her forehead. "Our armies are massed along the border, and all they have to do is see me give the order...", she motioned toward the cameras from CNN and NARN News, still cranking away, relaying the scene to millions of TVs around the world, "and they'll march! March, I tell you!"

"You can't!" yelled Lincoln.

"I will!" yelled 1092.

The people in the room looked at each other.

"STOP!" . It was the impassioned voice of a woman.

"It's pop star and TV personality Ashlee Simpson!", yelled one of the surviving North Koreans.

"Yes! And I ask you, in the name of the whole world, please, please stop this madness! This nation - the WHOLE nation, the United States - is built on an idea - that all people are created equally before the law! It's a place where people seek freedom - rich people, poor people, people of all colors and faiths and orientations! It's a place where a mechanic in Biloxi has the same vote as a bond trader in Manhattan! And we need them both - we need the dynamism and the chaotic agglomeration of the big cities, sure - and just as much, we need the stable, moral compass that the rural heartland of this nation provides. We need it all!"

Simpson stepped to the middle of the room. "This nation - this one nation, this shining, exceptionalistic city on the hill - has always been this world's one great hope for liberty, both political and economic. We've always been the bellwether of international right and wrong. And when the rest of the world went crazy, it was us who brought it back around. It was the sons of farmers and of stock brokers that died on the USS Arizona, that stormed the beaches at Normandy, that mourned JFK, that teared up as the Berlin Wall fell, and yes, even went to see Throbbing for Halliburton", she said, nodding to Moore and referring to his 2010 documentary. "Christians, atheists, drunkards, everyone. We can all learn something - the New York Metrosexual Master of the Universe can learn self-centering and humility from the Wal-Mart greeter! The small-town insurance agent can learn self-questioning and the yearning to improve himself! We are all stronger with each other than without!."

The room sat, silent, nothing but the sound of rolling cartridge cases and Michael Moore's skin stretching.

Finally, a single voice broke the quiet. "What the hell is Ashlee Simpson doing here?"

"I dunno", replied another disembodied voice, "but she makes some sense".

Lincoln nodded. "So whaddya say?

1092 nodded. "Sure. Let's".

"Nooooo!" bellowed Moore. "I'm meellllllll-tingggggg!", he screamed as he was escorted to a waiting truck by the Secret Service.

Lincoln and 1092 shook hands, sealing the deal as flashbulbs popped and video cameras whirred.

Lincoln turned to Ashlee Simpson. "That really was a perfect speech", he said, shaking the young pop star's hand.

"Why thank you!", she responded with a flick of her hairdo.

"Yes. Tooo perfect", he added, as a thought crossed his mind. "Extremely perfect, for someone who sounds so...hoarse?" He walked to a curtain by the window, and yanked it aside.

The crowd gasped.

"Hugh Hewitt?" someone yelled, recognizing the famous talk show host and Rhythm and Blues singer. "Lip-Synching again!", yelled Mgembe, pointing at Simpson accusingly.

"Morning Glory!" said Hewitt.

"Evening Grace", answered half the crowd.

"Damn!" yelled 1092.

Terms of Rebirth

And so the United States was united once more. The new-again nation learned from its mistakes; from the Red states, it learned to trust the inherent drive and ambition and common sense of the American people, and to get government out of the people's way. And from the Blue states, it reinforced the lessons about that "trusting the American people" bit even more, except when they are being led around by the nose by a bunch of raving moonbats. The Constitution was not only restored, but was reinforced. The tax system was rationalized, corporate welfare abolished, and on Christmas morning of 2013, President Lincoln opened a box containing a trussed-up, infuriated Osama Bin Laden, courtesy of the Special Forces of the thriving Federation of Iraq, who had captured him buying a Slurpee at a 7/11 in Bandar Abbas.

And Lincoln addressed the nation later that morning, joined by his late adversary, Ms. 1092, who had been named Professor of Victimology Studies at UC Berkeley.

"...and in closing, may God bless us, every one!"

"Ahem", 1092 interejected. "Goddess".

"Christ. Whatever.

Posted by Mitch at November 17, 2004 12:36 PM | TrackBack

What the Hell.....? The ending works in Hewitt and Simpson and a special forces trained president named Lincoln?

I have to confess, it didn't end like I thought it would when you began.

Morning Glory.....

Posted by: Kaptin Marko at November 17, 2004 01:25 PM

Yeah, I know. I originally figured on a different ending completely - but then about 20 people wrote in and said "This is shaping up just like "Atlas Shrugged" - and they were right.

And I couldn't have that.

Posted by: mitch at November 17, 2004 02:57 PM

I loved the use of vapidpoptart ex machina in the ending...

Posted by: Jay Reding at November 17, 2004 07:18 PM

I knew it!! Hugh really is the Haliburton puppet master controlling the world behind the scenes. His charm and good looks didn't fool me.

One question. Why Ashlee Simpson? Jessica would be better suited (especially in a Wonder Woman type outfit).

Posted by: John at November 18, 2004 01:27 PM