Author: Ken Carlson

“This a good trade, Tommy; a good trade.”

“Yes, Mister President.”

“It’s the kind of deal that’s good for America. Maybe it’s my greatest trade ever.”

“Yes, Mister President, right this way, sir.”

The President and Thomas Lee Jarvis, a junior member of the state department walked the halls of the West Wing after leaving the generals and the loudest security briefing ever. The President made the call. The military didn’t see any other option, but that didn’t stop Cabinet members from screaming in rage. Security was called in. Weapons were drawn. This wasn’t the theatre Jarvis expected when he left Law School at Georgetown early.

How it became his responsibility to escort the President back to the oval office with the mandates to sign was still a mystery. It’s possible the President requested him, that his hard work, the long nights, and his cheerful disposition had paid off. More likely, no one else from his department wanted to be anywhere near this agreement or be remembered by history for what it meant.

It had been a week since they lost Seattle; a show of strength by the Kailleans. The President and the generals didn’t believe when they said how powerful they were. Their exploration force, about a dozen ships appeared in the sky over a handful of cities one Friday morning when people were on their way to work.

Jarvis, the youngest man in his department, a tall baby-face that hardly needed to shave, he had been tasked to write this agreement, this ludicrous treaty, a non-aggression pact like none other. It was typed. It would be signed. It would be buried somewhere or burned out of shame.

The Kaillean prince was comfortable in the Oval Office. He was actually seated behind the desk when the President returned.

“Prince,” the President said, “no, don’t get up. I think you’ll be very happy with this agreement. May I say we are very impressed of your ability to understand our culture and your ability to read English.”

The alien nodded. “It helps,” he said with a sardonic note of derision, “that I and several of our operatives were able to live here and learn your ways without your detection.”

“Well, with the authority of the American government, we will honor this agreement in the hopes of a better relationship in the future,” said the leader of the free world. “We understand your people have certain needs, in terms of resources. We hope this trade will help.”

“Mr. President,” said the Kaillean prince, “we appreciate your understanding in this matter. As we said we are in need of human frames and your rudimentary structure, as well as an isolated home base to work from.”

“Hey,” said the President. “I understand. I’m a leader of my country. You’re one of the leaders of your people. There’s no reason we can’t work together.”

“If you’ll sign here, gentlemen,” said Thomas. “By the authority of our government, and the UN Security Council, you will be given the nation of Australia. Mr. President, it will be necessary for an Executive Order to begin your rescue operations of the indigenous people.”

“Tommy, there will be no rescue operation,” said the President. “The Prince here says he needs about 25 million unites to start with. Australia should suit those needs.”

“Mr. President,” said Thomas, “what you’re saying is the people of Australian, uh, a sovereign nation, an ally. You’re saying the existing people there will be, uh, harvested.”

“Like I said,” said the President, “this is a very good deal.”