Fantasy Science Fiction

Part 2:

The first Tuesday in November was upon the nation, and the election turnout was the largest in the history of America. The outcome was a foregone conclusion. Franklin prevailed in all 50 states, winning the highest number of electoral votes ever. Franklin Jacobson was now President of the United States. And his ascension came at a very fraught time in the world. There were several hotspots that demanded the immediate attention of the new president and his team. 

The most pressing problem involved the recent invasion of Russian forces into a neighboring country. The war had been going on for several years with no apparent resolution on the horizon. The target of the invasion, a country considered the agricultural breadbasket of Europe, was getting systematically destroyed, while a vast humanitarian catastrophe ensued. 

Franklin’s military advisors were loathe to recommend direct involvement of American troops, since the leader of Russia, a nuclear power, was thought to be potentially unstable. There was an ongoing fear that a direct confrontation between American and Russian forces could lead to a difficult-to-control spiral, ultimately leading to World War III. Therefore, Franklin’s first important task as president was to make a phone call to this tyrannical leader. 

The time of the phone connection was worked out by each leader’s staff, and at exactly 11:00 AM EST the two presidents greeted each other on a secure line. 

The conversation began with the Russian leader launching into an extended diatribe of complaints and threats, warning the new American president to stay out of the war and not to interfere with Russia’s aggression. 

After listening patiently for more than 30 minutes, Franklin asked if he might interject a few comments. The Russian president settled down, took a deep breath and granted the request. To the utter shock of all involved, the American president dismissed his translator and spoke in fluent Russian.  

Franklin began his comments with praise of the Russian leader. He offered compliments for the Slav’s many years of stewardship, his success at expanding the Russian oil industry, and his good work developing certain aspects of Russian agriculture. 

However, Franklin then said, “Sir, notwithstanding my compliments, I would like to change the focus of the conversation to the current war going on at your border. This conflict has been a terrible stain on the world’s consciousness. The level of cruelty and suffering occurring in the war zone is unacceptable. People do not deserve to suffer like this. 

I believe your aggressive actions are based on your confidence in Russia’s nuclear deterrent. You obviously feel protected from any response by NATO due to your nuclear forces, thinking that no one would dare attack Russia because of the potential severe consequences.

Therefore, I want to let you know that your nuclear forces have been totally neutralized. All the fissile and fusion material in your nuclear missiles, all the uranium 235 and plutonium contained in them, has now been rendered totally inert. They no longer have any explosive potential. Their radioactivity is gone. This applies to all your forces, including land-based ICBM’s, submarine-based warheads, and those contained in your bombers. All your military nuclear material, wherever it may be, is now inert. And it won’t do you any good to try to develop more material in your centrifuges. I will not allow the material to achieve critical purity.”

The Russian leader, astounded beyond description, immediately asked his assistant to call their military nuclear command and several ICBM bases. The answer was as Franklin predicted. The geiger counters were silent. The warheads contained nothing but non-radioactive metal. 

Then Franklin continued the discussion.

“Sir, since you understand that your nuclear forces are now ineffective, I am hereby requesting that you pull all your military forces back to their bases within Russia. You have 48 hours to do so. If I do not see immediate progress in that direction, I will have no choice but to order a full military response on your Army, including squadrons of A-10 Thunderbolts to mop up your armored divisions along with drone and cruise missile attacks on your command and control infrastructure. But so that you do not feel embarrassed or humiliated on the world stage, I will not inform the media of this instruction. You may claim your retreat as your own decision. By the way, don’t worry about any adventurism from China. I have inactivated their entire nuclear forces, as well as those in North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

Sir, please feel free to call me any time. My phone line here at the White House is always on for you, although I hope we don’t have to speak again for a while.”  

Following this unusual telephone conversation, Franklin called each NATO leader to inform them that the Russian Army would be ending its attack and withdrawing back to its bases within the upcoming two days. The leaders were not only incredulous but also somewhat amused by what appeared to be childishly wishful thinking on the part of the new American president. However, a few hours later, when satellite imagery revealed that the Russian Army was showing signs of packing up and withdrawing on a large scale, the NATO leaders sat in amazement. 

Franklin then instructed his staff to set up a phone call between him and the leader of China. Because of the large time zone difference, the call was scheduled for late evening, allowing for an early morning response in Beijing. Once again, the new American president dismissed his translator, indicating that he spoke fluent Mandarin.  

Franklin was initially exceedingly deferential and complimentary to the leader of the Chinese Communist Party. The conversation began in a cordial manner, Franklin remaining careful to allow his adversary a sense of being respected. 

However, after a few minutes of pleasantries, our new American president dropped the hammer.

“Sir, if you don’t mind, I would like to discuss for a moment your encroachment on the maritime territory of the South China Sea. I understand your country has made an ownership claim on a large swath of the Sea, including the Paracel and Spratly Island group. We also see that you have been building a military base at these locations, including air strips. 

Based on prior treaties governing the South China Sea, and for reasons of freedom of navigation, your control of these areas is hereby canceled. I am giving you one week to begin the process of pulling your forces out of these areas in their entirety. All these areas must be completely vacated within the next six months. Please keep in mind that this request is made with the sincerest respect and with hopes of good relations between our two countries. 

I also want to let you know that all your nuclear forces have been rendered totally inert, and your entire navy has been temporarily deactivated. I will reactivate your navy in two days. In addition, to ensure you understand the seriousness of my request, I have decided to give you an additional sample of what might await your country if you decide to ignore my request. 

Towards the western part of your country is a sparsely populated area, just north of the countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, and east of India, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan. That entire area has now been stamped out. You will find that there is no longer anything in the area. It is completely devoid of life, and everything has been flattened. Fortunately, there were very few people living in this large area. 

I also want to inform you that the technique of “stamping out” an area is not geographically limited. The area can be extended to include your entire country, and can be done instantaneously. The technique does not involve any radioactivity, it is not nuclear, so you don’t have to avoid the area. You would not understand the actual technology of this method, but please understand its significance. Please do not make it necessary for me to stamp out a densely populated area in your country, or possibly all of China. 

So, just to wrap up our telephone conversation, I reiterate my desire for good relations between our countries. I hope you understand clearly my good intentions and that you feel the same for the future of our people and in order to build a better world for our children.”

The following day, President Jacobson asked his staff to set up a national address from the Oval Office in order to update the American public of these events and to lay out a plan for the future. The talk was scheduled for 8:00 PM, prime time. 

Franklin appeared relaxed but very focused sitting behind the famous Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The Desk had been a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes in 1880, the oak taken from the HMS Resolute, a warship. Somehow, the desk suited President Jacobson quite well. 

At 8:00 PM, the cameras rolled, and the moderator stated simply, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States.”

Franklin smiled and commenced his evening talk.

“Fellow citizens, I am speaking to you this evening to update you on some important developments in the world and also several new policy changes that we will implement, all to the benefit of our great country. 

The first item I would like to discuss with you is our efforts to bring about world peace and harmony. During the next few days, you are going to see an end to the terrible war currently going on at the border of Russia. With my encouragement, the Russian leader has decided to end the conflict and pull all his troops back to his country. However, there remains a serious humanitarian crisis in the region. The cessation of hostilities will allow us, along with our allies and the United Nations, to begin immediately a full-scale transfer of aid to the beleaguered victims of this war. Much work stands to be done. But, in a short time, we will help to rebuild this part of the world and restore as much as possible the shattered lives of these people.

Secondly, the leader of China has agreed to pull his military and all Chinese presence from the disputed islands in the South China Sea. This agreement will restore full freedom of navigation for all countries. I believe we will see in the future much more cooperation and reasonableness from the Chinese leadership.

With further regard to China, the United States now recognizes Taiwan as an independent country, and I encourage all other countries to follow suit. I am confident the current Chinese leadership will not interfere with this new status.

On a different note, my team and I are going to be introducing a new type of solar cell technology tomorrow morning which allows a much greater amount of energy capture from the Sun. This new technology will allow us to satisfy the great majority of the energy needs of the world without the burning of oil or coal. We will be issuing detailed instructions and technical manuals that will explain the new technology clearly for our scientists and engineers.

On the medical front, I have received very positive feedback about the series of cancer books and papers we recently released. Our scientists and doctors in this country and around the world are feverishly studying this information and learning how to use it therapeutically. Soon, cancer will be an easily curable disease.

My team and I are now going to be releasing a new book about dementia. The book lays out the exact mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease and its treatment. It turns out that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the interaction of genetics and a heretofore unknown viral infection which invades the brain, causing neurofibrillary tangles of nerve cells, deposition of beta amyloid protein, and scarring. Our book will detail the necessary method of eliminating the virus and preventing its sequelae.  

Next month, we will be releasing a new series of papers regarding the disease of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This disease is the cause of heart attacks and some strokes. The book explains the exact genetic factors leading to this circulatory illness, and methods of intervening genetically to eliminate the factors that cause the disease. Please keep in mind that atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in the world. 

The penultimate item I would like to discuss with you this evening is the ongoing and disturbing amount of violence in our country. Violence has the effect of diminishing our quality of life and leads to anxiety, fear and death. We must get a firm handle on this problem.

So, to take care of this problem, we are instituting a new system of instantaneous enforcement and justice. The way this new system works is like this: Anyone who commits a serious violent act that results in another person’s injury or death will be immediately vaporized. Vaporization causes solid matter to be converted into a gaseous plasma which then dissipates into the surrounding atmosphere. 

One might wonder how an individual could possibly be precisely vaporized without any collateral damage. My team and I have installed a network of satellites orbiting the Earth, approximately 30,000 satellites to be exact, that can instantaneously pinpoint any single individual on the surface of the planet. These satellites are armed with a type of energy beam that can be fired with an extremely high level of accuracy. There is no defense against this type of energy. The specific type of energy being used is not currently known to our scientists. However, we are going to put out a book with technical specifications next week. 

The last item I wish to discuss with you tonight is something that might be called one of the ultimate questions of life. Scientists and philosophers for centuries have pondered where and how the universe came to be. The current thinking on this centers around the concept of the Big Bang theory, that the universe was suddenly created by an incredibly massive explosion approximately 14 billion years ago, and has been expanding since then. There are many scientists who currently believe the universe’s expansion is accelerating at its outer boundaries, possibly even faster than the speed of light itself. Much of their calculations are derived from the red shift of objects at extreme distances, such as distant, outlying galaxies. 

Well, I’m sorry to say that the current scientific models are not entirely correct. It would have taken scientists at least another 500 to 1,000 years to gain further insight into the true nature of the universe’s birth and current trajectory. However, my team and I are going to be releasing next week a series of papers explaining the origins of the universe and its ultimate destiny. I believe you will be extremely fascinated by the information this series contains.  

In closing, let me say that I know very well that I have given you a great deal of new information to digest, and I would certainly understand if you found much of this a little frightening. But let me assure you that all of this is for the benefit of our country and for the benefit of mankind. 

I am going to be speaking with you again in a few days, at which time I will explain precisely how I came to have this advanced information and technology. I wish you peace and prosperity and good health. Good night. 

February 04, 2023 02:34

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Samsara Lind
00:10 Feb 10, 2023

I shudder to think of what's coming in part 3.... Franklin woke up from his sleep and this was all a wet dream???


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Wendy Kaminski
17:57 Feb 04, 2023

Your erudition and scope of knowledge are so impressive, and add so many extra layers of awesome to this, Bruce! The ways you are addressing issues in this piece are so believable (well, the non-magical ones, but I'd love a stamp-out... in the right hands...). This in particular caught my eye: "It turns out that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the interaction of genetics and a heretofore unknown viral infection which invades the brain, causing neurofibrillary tangles of nerve cells, deposition of beta amyloid protein, and scarring." Is ...


21:01 Feb 05, 2023

Hi, Wendy, Well, I would like to take credit for an amazing medical discovery about dementia, but, actually, the gross mechanism of Alzheimer's is fairly well-described. It's characterized by neurofibrillary tangles and plaquing from the inappropriate accumulation of abnormal beta-amyloid protein. That's the gross observation. Now, what's the underlying genetic mechanism? That's the secret that we have not discovered yet. I used a little creativity when I mentioned the "heretofore unknown viral infection." It's a possibility, but jus...


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