Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Landsman #2.7

Cameron Orr approached the large sandstone Catholic church that had a beautiful fountain in front of it. Sitting on the edge of the fountain was Father Gideon Ponziglione.

"Hello, Father," Orr greeted. "How's the religion business?"

Father Ponziglione smiled at this. "It's going good. I can't complain. How's the...whatever it is you do business?"

"It could be better. We're up to 155 now," Orr said.

Father Ponziglione shook his head. "That's too bad," he said. "And no one is doing anything?"

"155 out of six billion? More people die from choking on a pretzel. But I found a group that knows those people are missing and they've promised to help me if I help them with something."

"Really? Well, that's good. Maybe now you can find a connection or something to really help you," Father Ponziglione was optimistic but Orr stayed composed. "Who is this group? If you don't mind me asking."

"The Ptolemy Group. You've probably never heard of them. They are an organization created to tell the world that the Earth is flat."

Father Ponziglione thought for a second. "But the Earth is round."

"Don't believe everything you read," Orr said casually. He glanced up at the sky and saw a jet flying overhead. "You better get inside, Father and prepare to be bombarded with customers."

"Why?" he was confused.

"See that plane?" Orr pointed up to the plane overhead. "It's about to crash into Times Square."

"President Malcolm Russ"
President Malcolm Russ sat in the Oval Office with his Secretary of Health and Human Services and his Secretary of Education. "We need to reform health and we need to reform education. Those are the big platforms I ran on and that's what we're going to fix in these four years."

"What about national security and terrorism?" asked the health secretary Regina Cowles.

"I do not use fear-mongering tactics with my country. We need to work on things over here, not in some desert on the other side of the world. Our children and our citizens are more important than trying to pretend to go after Osama Bin Laden," Russ said.

"Well, what did you have in mind, sir?" asked education secretary Gregory Barbera.

"We need to upgrade our education system. The system we have now is an antiquated piece of garbage set up to teach farmers. We need to update it and make it a viable resource. We need to start looking at countries whose schools are better than ours," Russ explained. He then turned to Cowles. "And health. We can do better there, too."

"Surely you're not going to suggest a Medicare-for-all idea," she chuckled.

"No but Medicare needs to be stripped and rebuilt from the ground up. The insurance that we all get," he motioned to himself and the secretaries, "should be made available to the people who want it."

"Who would pay for it?" asked Barbera.

"Either the people or us. The people will have access to several insurance plans and what they can't pay, the government can subsidize the rest."

"I don't know if that's feasible," Cowles said.

"Then we will make it feasible," Russ said.

An aide suddenly walked in and headed toward the president. "Sir? We have a situation."


"A jetliner just crashed into Times Square."

President Russ stood up. "Prepare for a press conference. Ground every flight and and get every plane out of the air. Call every metropolitan area and get them on alert."

"Ground all flights?" Barbera scoffed. "Don't you think that might be overkill?"

"Maybe if the last president would've grounded all planes immediately after the first strike maybe we'd still have at least one and the people of Flight 93 might still be alive," President Russ said. "Better safe than sorry. But this doesn't let you two off the hook. We're still gonna reform healthcare and education."

Most of Times Square was unrecognizable amid all the wreckage and rubble. People were moaning in pain and screaming in horror. A massive sprawl of flaming wreckage was scattered around the area. Cameron Orr calmly walked through the area, directing people who needed help to medical personnel who were now arriving in the area.

Orr stopped at a car on the side of the road. He opened the back door and peered in. "Matthew Landsman, I presume?" he smiled.

"Am I dead?" Landsman asked.

"Not by a long shot," Orr helped Landsman out of the car. "Good idea, hiding in this car."

"Well, when you see a huge passenger jet barreling toward you, you kind of want to hide out somewhere," Landsman chuckled. "What the hell happened?"

"Terrorist attack," Orr said casually. "Come with me, I'll try to explain everything."

"Now wait a minute! I was nearly killed in a terrorist attack and so far this day has been very dangerous. What's going on around here and why does this all involve me?" Landsman demanded.

"In short, someone wants you to do something really good for your country and someone else wants to kill you," Orr said. "Now come with me, I'll protect you."

"Why should I?"

"I'll take you to your family," Orr motioned.

Landsman shrugged and he and Orr began walking away from the destruction.

Landsman Family Reunion