by John Galt
June 24, 2016 23:00 ET
I’m back from my brief vacation and thus the news and this blovel shall accelerate. Stay tuned for the next few chapters to be published this week. -JG
ALL OF THE CHARACTERS OTHER THAN POLITICAL LEADERS ARE FICTIONAL. ANY RESEMBLANCE OR DIRECT USAGE OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL IN THE STORY IS PURELY RANDOM AND BY COINCIDENCE.
November 11, 2016 09:48 A.M. Eastern Time somewhere in Northern Virginia
“Vice-President Biden, Mrs. Biden, I am afraid I have some bad news,” the Secret Service agent began, “President Obama has asked that you join him for lunch at the White House and added the phrase Greenbrier with his request.” Mrs. Biden, unsure what that meant asked Joe, “Joe, what does that mean?” Vice-President Biden looked down at the ground then slowly up to his wife and said, “Jill, pack a month’s worth of clothes and all our family heirlooms. I will meet you at the White House at 12:30 where we will begin an adventure that I pray means this will defuse itself immediately and not have to live underground for too long.”
Shaken, Jill responded, “Is this related to the destroyer being sunk Joe, if so, I want to warn my family.” Biden looked her in the eyes and replied, “We can not contact anyone for seventy-two hours and even then we may not be able to unless the military gives us the all clear. I will explain when we get to the shelter. With that they hugged and parted ways. Vice-President Biden looked at his lead Secret Service agent and shook his head, “Tom, I’m not supposed to do this, but tell your family to get the hell out of San Francisco please.” The agent shook his head and reminded the Vice-President, “Sir, I’m under orders, no matter how painful the outcome may be, if you can not tell your immediate family, neither can I.” The Vice-President patted Tom on the back and ducked into the waiting limo. The increased presence was notable as military police on motorcycles replaced the civilian police with the increased international tensions. Biden knew this situation was different but had no clue as to what was coming.
November 11, 2016 12:25 P.M. Eastern Time, White House Emergency Operations Center
An aide rushed into the center where the Vice-President, Joint Chiefs, and Obama had just settled in as the national security team was entering the room and shocked everyone by grabbing a remote for one of the monitors and screamed in a horse voice, “YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!”
On the screen was the midday Pentagon briefing, packed with reporters from every network where questions were peppering the poor civilian representative with the questions.
“Does this mean war?”
“Was Russia responsible?”
“Are we going to have a nuclear war and shouldn’t we warn the public?”
Those classic questions caused alarm in the room but not as much as the Fox News reporter ending his report with “Remember the Donald Cook” without any prompting from the Pentagon, Obama administration, or apparently his news room as they acted in shock but then supported his statement.
“Sir, you have to check this,” General Buford of the USMC piped up, “this could only accelerate a course to an armed conflict and retribution against innocent Russians and even Ukrainians inside our own country.” Obama nodded at first, then shook his head and replied, “No, let the media hype this up and keep them in the dark. It will help keep Putin on his heels while we mobilize and give us a chance to get the CoG (Continuity of Government) in place. Valerie, get some t-shirts printed up and filtered through the usual outlets. A little hype will take the attention off of our preparations.”
Vice-President Biden was stunned. When he finally spoke up he said, “Barack, are you sure this is the path you want to take. John Kerry and I can head to Moscow and stop this if we need to and avoid any conflict. Too much has happened already.” Before President Obama could say a word, United States Air Force (USAF) General Andrew Wolcott spoke up, “Sir, I have to report some critical information I just received. Three of our GPS satellites over the Ukraine and western Russia have not confirmed their positions nor have we been able to correct their orbits or establish contact for six hours now.” President Obama and Vice-President Biden both stood up with Obama getting visibly upset, “So is this how that son-of-a-bitch wants to play it,” he began,”FINE! Joe, initiate the CoG with the Speaker and Leaders and get out of here now. General Wolcott, can we jam their satellites over the U.S.?” General Wolcott replied tersely, “Yes Sir! We can do it but then we are in violation of the Open Skies Treaty which by law I am required to remind you of.”
Obama looked at Valerie Jarrett who had a wry smile on her face then replied, “Just do it. And all of you give me a status update on the mobilization at 5:30 p.m. tonight.”
November 11, 2016 7:35 p.m. Eastern Time NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium
“General Alvin,” the aide de camp yelled, “I need to give you this information ASAP!” General Alfonse Alvin had endured a lot during his military career inside the British Army, with two deployments to Iraq, time in the Falklands as a junior officer, but this situation this close to his retirement meant he knew that he had to keep the young bucks paying attention as most had no idea how brutal a projected war with the Russian Federation might be.
“Stand tall son,” Alvin bellowed, “so what in the bloody hell is so important?” The aide saluted, handed General Alvin a piece of paper, saluted again, and ran off. The top secret document revealed one of General Alvin’s worst fears:
“Per DIA intelligence reports, the Russians have begun reinforcing Kaliningrad Oblast with two brigades of Russian Federation Marines plus relocating one additionals SA-400 and SA-500 battery into the region. End of Message.”
The General knew what this meant but did not want to acknowledge the reality of the situation. With this message however, he had to call and wake someone up at midnight at 10 Downing Street. This phone call would cause every military resource left in the United Kingdom to action stations.
November 11, 2016 9:02 p.m. Eastern Time CINCPAC, Hawaii
“What in the Sam hell is going on in Washington,” Vice-Admiral Lewis bellowed out, “and why are we not getting orders for our fleets in reaction to China’s actions in the East and South China Sea?”
Before he could utter another word, an ensign knocked, entered and handed Lewis another priority communication which stated that the Japanese Navy had sunk three Chinese trawlers fifteen miles east of Okinawa believed to be spy trawlers based on signals intercepted from those vessels.
Vice-Admiral Lewis looked over to his aide and as he poured some coffee, shook his head and said, “Well, this is our nightmare. A two front war, maybe three with the Pacific, Europe, and probably the Middle East. I tried to warn them and others did also. We do not have enough forces to engage in a conflict of this magnitude and it appears there is no stopping it now. I warned them. Maybe now they will tell us what to do instead of getting prepared like they did eight hours earlier. There isn’t much time to get this small fleet moving considering how gutted we have become thanks to the idiots in the District.”
November 11, 2016 2 p.m. ET New York Stock Exchange
The Dow was already down over 300 points but had stabilized after the Russians and Chinese had called a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting to discuss calming down the world situation and to find a peaceful solution to the extreme disagreements facing all parties. The British Ambassador to the U.S. however, caused another panic at exactly 2:01 p.m. when he revealed what appeared to be classified information during a CBC interview when mentioned in an almost matter of fact manner rescue of the Danish patrol boat crew that was sunk by an unidentified torpedo and shooting down of the German Navy helicopter.
At 2:07 p.m. the market was down 1,374 points and phone calls were being put in from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to the White House but all of the calls were diverted to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. “Sir, we do not have the authority to shut down the markets,” Bill Dudley began, “but you do. I highly advise you consider this as we are now getting reports of bank runs around the region.” Jack Lew was aghast, “We are not at war President Dudley, thus we can not act at this time. I will put a call into the White House to ask about declaring a national financial emergency however if the markets are halted during the trading session should they hit the New York Stock Exchange limits.” The look on Dudley’s face as described by his friends at a later date was incredulous. “Secretary Lew, I want this established for the record,” Dudley began, “The Federal Reserve will only act when the banking system appears to have liquidity issues. If this is confirmed by our members, we will limit withdrawals from corporate and personal accounts within thirty-six hours.”
Secretary Lew sighed, and then said, “Whatever you feel is necessary is acceptable to the administration. I can not get a meeting at this time, so please send out your surrogates to the media to try to calm things down.”
Fifteen minutes later the NYSE hit its first trading halt and did not re-open for trading the rest of the day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average settling down 2,136.62 points. Gold was up over $174 per ounce when trading was stopped at 2 p.m. as well as silver up $31 at the hat.
As the deluge of bad financial and international news hit the wires, the American public knew at that moment their leadership had failed and it was up to each individual to prepare for what they felt was about to happen next:
Panic first, beat the rush.