“Madam President! We need to get you into the bunker?”
The large, burly member of the Secret Service detail couldn’t help but roll his eyes when Madam Elaine Clifton, the President of the United States – and arguably the most powerful person in the world – finally appeared around the corner. She looked somewhat out of breath already, and she clutched a large, struggling orange tomcat in her arms.
“Sorry, sorry,” President Clifton panted, trying to adjust her grip on the wriggling animal so that he couldn’t slip out of her determined grasp. “Little Georgie-kins here just didn’t want to come out from underneath the couch!”
Another eye roll. Kane, the Secret Service member, offered up a brief but fervent thank-you to whoever decided to include tinted sunglasses in the uniform design for the President’s guards. Were it not for those shades blocking his eyes, he would have been fired long ago.
Hastily, he pulled himself back to the present. “In any case, Madam President, we need to move right now to get you to safety. We don’t know if the threat is-“
“What’s going on, then?” President Clifton demanded, cutting him off in the middle of his explanation. Obviously, she wasn’t listening to a word he’d been saying.
Thankfully, at least, he got her moving into the elevator that would drop them down into the emergency bunker. The big orange cat, George (Kane steadfastly refused to even think of the animal as ‘Georgie-kins’) finally managed to squirm and claw his way free, but the elevator doors had already closed, trapping the irate animal in the elevator with them.
“Your code, Madam President?” Kane prompted the woman, pushing her gently towards the control pad that granted the elevator access to the bunker.
“You haven’t answered my question about what’s going on!” Clifton shouted back, although she flipped open the little pad and began keying in her unique sequence.
Kane held back a sigh; the middle-aged woman might notice that sign of disrespect. “There’s a threat on the White House, Madam President. We aren’t sure if it’s fully legitimate, but we have enough reason to believe its credibility to move you to a safe location in the bunker until we can fully assess whether there’s a risk. This shouldn’t take long; agents are running down the message behind the threat right now.”
He really hoped that the woman wouldn’t blow up at him. President Clifton always put on a soothing, motherly face and attitude for the American people, but off camera she was known to be a firecracker – and not in a good way. Some of the other Secret Service members had given her the unofficial nickname of ‘grenade.’
But as the elevator dropped down into the depths of the earth, provoking a yowl from George(ie-kins), she smiled. “Well, this will be a new environment for dear Georgie-kins to explore,” she commented. “Maybe he’ll find some tasty mice under some of these dusty old tables and chairs down here!”
“Er… Madam President, aren’t there some sensitive electronics down here?” Kane asked, wondering how fired he would be if he shot that damn cat.
“Oh, that’s fine.” President Clifton kept on babbling, but Kane ignored her. The elevator doors opened, and he hurried over to the phone, praying that the threat had already been resolved.
No such luck, his supervisors told him as he held the phone up to his ear. In fact, it looked like there might actually be some chatter by enemy combatants confirming-
“Holy shit,” cut off the voice at the other end of the phone.
Kane frowned. It wasn’t professional to swear on secure channels. “Come again? What-“
“Holy shit, no, it can’t be!” the voice repeated. “What the hell is Madam President doing? We just got authorization for nuclear missile launch! What in the name of God is going on in that bunker??”
Kane’s blood went cold as he spun around. There was Madam President, cooing at that damn cat-
-who was standing on top of a large keyboard, one hind leg resting on a very scary looking red button.
With great satisfaction, probably far more than he ought to feel, Kane grabbed a nearby stapler and chucked it at the damn cat, hitting it in the side and knocking it off of the control panel.
“Oh my god!” gasped out President Clifton, but Kane stormed past her, reaching out and slamming down the plastic cover that belonged over the red button. He stabbed a finger down at the button, glaring daggers into the eyes of the taken aback President.
“This,” he hissed, “is the nuclear armament button. This is dangerous. This is NOT the sort of thing that your goddamn cat should be walking on!”
For a moment, the President just gaped back at him – and then Kane saw a new glint enter her eyes.
“No one’s ever talked to me like that,” she commented, still looking at him intently. What was that new sound in her voice? Was that… no, it couldn’t be. “I could get kind of used to someone telling me off like that.”
Oh god, it was. Lust.
Kane felt his whole mindset lurch. On one hand, he might have just prevented a nuclear war from occurring. But on the other hand, he really, really didn’t like how President Clifton was eyeing him up, looking at him as if he was a sack of meat.
He began to silently count up the number of sick days he could take in his head.