(Part 2) M31: First Blood
Posted By: Greg and Wes Foutch<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 7 May 2003, 1:19 AM
SATURDAY, JULY 5, 2865
"Madam President, the General is here to see you," the President's assistant said.
"Very well. Lead him in," the President said as she sat at her desk in the Oval Office, waiting as the General was being prepped on what to do.
"Madam President, sorry about the hour" he said as he entered the room, nodding his head in a slight bow.
"General," she said. "Don't worry about it. You have an important piece of information for me?" The General noticed that the Vice President was also present, along with the Secretary of Defense. They don't waste any time, the General thought.
"Yes, I do." He held up the small disk, and handed it to the President. She put it in the small desk computer. The message of distress played for everyone present, relaying the information the General was there to give. The General stood calmly, as he watched the face of the President turn from calm to shock. Famous for being strong willed, it was obvious she hadn't ever been faced with what was ripping through her brain at this very moment.
"Ansible?" the Vice President, Jason Walters, asked.
"No, the U.S.S. Pinta was not equipped with an ansible. Even if it had been, it would have been a prototype, an early prototype. I doubt it would've worked," the General replied.
"So we don't know how long ago this message was sent?"
"Correct Sir. However, I can get someone to figure it out."
"What the hell do you mean, figure it out? We spend 20 trillion dollars for 3 chunks of iron the size of Manhattan, and we have to figure it out! Sure as shit don't get much for a buck anymore, huh?
"Apparently not, sir... Sir, with all due respect, my staff and I had nothing to do with the design or for that matter the cost. We do however have the task of keeping her airborne and track communications."
"Ok, ok, sorry. Look, it just pisses me off to have to deal with crap like this. What are our options?"
"There's only one logical option, as far as I see it." the President said.
"And that is?" V.P. Walters Jason asked, somewhat annoyed. He didn't come here to play games.
"We constructed three of these cruisers, correct?" The General nodded grimly, knowing what she had in mind. It's crazy, he thought. "So we send a rescue crew."
"For all we know, the Pinta was obliterated years ago. It could be suicide, and for absolutely nothing! I'm not sending my Marines halfway across the universe to recover a ship full of bodies!" The General was outraged. It was suicide, and she knew it!
"We don't know that the crew has been killed, General! It's entirely possible that the crew has been kept alive. This just may be the greatest thing human kind has ever done. We've made contact with another species! These may be hostile or friendly; we don't know the whole story. All we have right now is a 46 second transmission. We cannot base the future of deep space exploration on this information alone. This government has way too much invested to just scrap the project, not to mention, we may still have survivors at M31. We cannot just abandon them. We need to determine if there are survivors, that being accomplished, first, and then we must seek out this new species and try to contact them on peaceful terms. I don't see how we can pass this up! Let's not forget the press this will create. It can be good or bad. The decision is ours. Whatever we decide, right here, right now can change our futures."
Everyone in the room knew what was at stake. The President was right. Throw away 20 trillion and the press would serve you up in central park to be cooked alive. Save all of humanity and achieve the next big step in space exploration, and you will be remembered for centuries to come, like that Hubble guy.
"Your right. It makes sense," the Vice President said. "Surely you're not going to send in more civilians? They should all be military, preferable
"Yes...No. We'll have to have several civilians aboard for life support purposes. We'll set them up as MCS. And we need Air Force to go up, too. What if this escalates to a war on another planet? We'll have to send in reinforcements, but I want to have air strikes capabilities. Go ahead, and make a list of the best possible crewmen. This is going way too fast," the Secretary of Defense said. "We still have to get this to Congress, get their approval."
"Escalates to War? This is supposed to be a reconnaissance mission! Gentleman, I understand the need for military escort, but, honestly, we're trying to show signs of peace. But...go ahead and make the list, our boys will not go in defenseless. Make a list for another crew, to send as backup, if needed, on the U.S.S. Nina."
"Yes, Madam President, I understand. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll immediately start contacting personnel for this mission." She nodded to him, and he left the Oval Office.
"Now, General, I thank you for bringing this to my attention. From this moment on, until I say otherwise, this is considered classified information. I want to keep the media away from this as long as possible. I will address the nation once we have all our ducks in a row. Until then, let's keep a lid on this." she said.
I have a feeling we'll have fucked duck before this is over the General thought. "Yes, Madam President, I am familiar with procedure. The media won't get anything from me," the General replied
"I'm keeping the disk also, General," she said.
"Of course. I'll be on my way, get back to the station, and make sure nothing else comes in." The General left, heading back to his car. Today he would get a plane ticket and head back. The General needed time to think and that was hard to do at mach 6.
"Now, Madam President..." the Vice President started.
"I know, the media is going to get their hands on this, sooner or later," she said.
"I can only hope it's later, rather than sooner. We need time to get the details straight."
Some people have had questions, so here goes:
This story has nothing to do with Halo, but I decided to post it here because we got the idea from Halo, plus it should appeal to the same kind of people.
Thanks, Steele for the comment, you pointed something out I never noticed.