Madame President, the people from Boston are here. Shall I show them in?

Yes and give us thirty minutes

Most first visits were fifteen for the new POTUS and the official White House outlook calendar entry for this time slot was blocked out as ‘reserved’ with no identifying information.

The pleasantries included the obligatory regrets for the 45th President’s death from a heart attack suffered at dinner and believed to have been acquired by stress, fatigue, medical history, age and seasonal influenza.

They didn’t bother to ingratiate themselves to her, which she appreciated and it was an indication that they all knew who was whom in the room.

Our mutual acquaintance sends her best. We hear that you know her from San Francisco.

She taught Bill the business and I was glad to help them with the 9th circuit cases. I learned about power and absolute power and, I think, that’s why I’m here.


Tell me about the virus, where we stand and where we’re going.

Gladly, we each have part of the denouement. Dr. John, you’re on?

Madame President, while we conduct many official and many deeply private initiatives in the Science Services, as you know, the pandemic virus is a pure, random, natural case of cross species transmission of a total of five sub-viruses in five animal species. It just took us a while to sort out the RNA and geopolitics facilitated the equivalent of global genocide.

A couple of veterinarians found the answers but didn’t know what they found. Our venture capital friends jiggered the pieces but eventually solved their part of the puzzle and Benny brokered the minor characters into line, as usual, before he died.

Is it over? Would I have liked Benny, asked POTUS

Yes and yes. It’s winding down on its own and we have a 90+% effective vaccine from Dr Faucci’s stock which he would have found next spring had he not had a fatal heart attack. We can release it whenever you’re ready.

We also discovered the common pathways for CST and that will likely make the next vaccines available within weeks of finding a new virus. Some of the best work was in our private division at Woods Hole and we?re releasing that gradually into the main channels where it blends in nicely with the official lines of investigation. By the time the definitive papers are published, it will all be above board.

POTUS laughed. That’s what you said about the San Francisco problems, Doctor John.

Touche, Madame President.

I heard about the woman in Woods Hole from Bill. I need her in my Cabinet, if Bill will release her.

I’ll convey that, Ma’am. This is General Ripper?

Madame President, now that we’ve abandoned the Wall, I have over a half million troops and civilians on hold for your orders. They’re working and can be re-deployed to a national emergency response via a Presidential order and congressional approval in 10-20 days. The previous administration built the skeleton distribution system and we only have to populate and service it to do national immunizations.

Do you want to sign the order today, Madame President?

POTUS locked eyes with me. I am the sensei. The Seymour grandfather clock in the Oval Office by way of Boston, circa 1800, would have chimed 11, had not President Truman removed the chimes in all 85 clocks in the White House when they couldn’t be synchronized.

I’m not ready to sign the order, said POTUS

General Ripper stood to object.

Sit down, General, said POTUS and he did.?? Please excuse yourself from the meeting. He did.

Does he need to have an accident, asked POTUS?

No he’s absolutely loyal to the Office of the President, Ma’am. Now, about the vaccine. Our friend and her friends are flexible.

Will I have an accident depending on what I decide, asked POTUS.

No Madam, our friends are friends of your administration and look forward to your being elected after you serve out this term. The benefits accrue to everyone if you are successful.

What do our friends recommend, asked POTUS?

They’d like you to let the virus run its course while they make some adjustments in the geopolitical balance for a year.