Chapter 8:

Chapter 8 "War Comes A Knockin' "

America Stranded In A Fantasy World

“ War Comes A Knockin’ ”

June 25th, 2040: The White House, Oval Office

“Yes I understand Larry, we are all still shocked by the situation, but Governor McKenzie needs that steel if they are to build new steel foundries. We have enough vehicles in storage around the country to last us for a while.” John twirled a pen while holding the phone. The last thing he wanted to deal with was the mega-corporations.

“And what am I supposed to tell the board then? Oh sorry but you are going to have to lay off millions of workers because your steel is being taken for other uses?” Larry mocked.

“Actually yes, and if you don’t want me to fly over there and tell them myself I suggest you go do it now before I do, good day Governor.” John slammed the phone down before leaning back into his chair and letting out a breath of frustration. This country was going to tear itself apart over steel of all things.

Opening the file on his desk, John glanced at the list he had been given showing everything the country was not in a deficit of; which turned out to be mostly everything. To save resources production had halted for some things such as vehicles, planes and other items with long life spans, with only the military being able to continue normal operations, or at a reduced capacity if the situation allowed.

While pondering the numbers the door to the oval office opened to have the secretary of the treasury step in.

“Mister President, I hope you are doing well today?” John stood to greet the man.

“Better than the last few, that's for sure Omer. Please, sit.” John motioned to the two black couches. “So what is it you wished to discuss?”

“It’s about our currency, or rather, what we lost because of the transfer. Due to offshore accounts or simply being outside US borders, we have lost about five hundred billion dollars. I request we start printing before we risk deflation.” Omer watched as John’s eyes widened with the number rattling around his head.

“Good Lord, alright, you have my permission; but turn some of it into stimulus checks for the people. How is our projected spending so far?”

“Bad to put it mildly. I sincerely hope Aaron has managed to secure some trade agreement for us otherwise the deficit is going to balloon.” Omer said, leaning back into the couch.

The two were interrupted when the door opened once again with Harold stepping in, holding a file.

“John, Secretary. I have news on our incursion to the port city.” The two watched as Harold opened the file and placed it on the coffee table.

“Aaron has made successful contact with The Ruppriecht Kingdom and with their ruler, King Heinrich. He has been successful in securing a trade deal of five million bushels of wheat for ten thousand gold coins, along with partial ownership of the port city of Händluf and the surrounding region. The deal is being finalized as we speak with it being official in the coming days should all go well.” John could only laugh at the very one-sided deal they got.

“By God, make sure to give Aaron my thanks, this is far better than anything I was expecting!” John smiled at the one piece of good news he had received all week.

“I should add that Aaron did express concern about a potential threat. The Autoriario Empire, as it is called, appears to be one of the dominant nations on this continent, having managed this through complete and total military conquest, including the genocide of any who stand in their path towards complete imperial authority.” John's face turned slightly white.

“Are we talking Confederacy or Nazi Germany?” John questioned.

“From what Aaron has gathered, it’s a mix. What are called pure humans, like us, are treated with some decency but the demi-humans and the anthropomorphic animals called beastmen are normally used as disposable slaves”

John leaned back into the couch with his military mind now working. They could easily wipe out any force this empire could field, but the problem was what came after, nation-building. There was no way he could allow the Autoriario Empire to continue its practices but the United States was in no position to rebuild other empires while it was struggling to support itself.

“How many of our forces are trapped inside?” John watched Harold fiddle around with a piece of paper.

“Around forty thousand across the empire with some having regrouped into larger forces and are making their way to Yokota Airbase. If the reports I’ve been getting are true, we are already in open conflict with the Autoriario Empire. American soldiers have been freeing any slaves they come across and bringing them back to Yokota.”

John let out a heavy sigh, burying his face into his hands. War was the last thing he needed to worry about.

“What are our casualties?” John held his breath.

“None thankfully, but about three hundred have been injured, mostly by what is being classified as magical weaponry.”

“Omer, can we afford a war with what we currently have?” John turned his attention to the secretary.

“If it doesn't last more than four months, yes. But there is no way we can stick around to help rebuild anything we damage.”

“Agreed, I’m not having a disaster like what happened in Africa on my hands. God, what a waste of brothers and sisters that was…” John held the bridge of his nose in annoyance.

“Agreed John, but we might be able to use public anger to justify stationing troops inside them. With a deal that would allow us to export essential materials to stabilize our economy, think of it as reparations.” Harold smirked.

“You sly old dog, I love it! Anything else I should be aware of Omer?” John snapped shut the file.

“Well apart from the dozens of companies crying for a bailout, no, Mister President.” Ome smiled before leaving the oval office.

John went back to his desk with Harold looking over the files; a smile formed on his face.

“Looks like your Presidency is just starting. Edwards has confirmed seventy thousand soldiers having reached safe zones, so far no casualties but I wouldn’t hold your breath, there’s bound to be at least one.”

“But we can keep that number minimal. On a different subject, what's this I hear about the navy shooting down a dragon?” John's curiosity spiked.

“Ah, that show. From what I’ve been told it was spotted on radar and a fighter squadron went to investigate the contact, which turned out to be hostile.”

“And what have we learned so far?”

“Quite a lot actually. For starters, it was too cold for an infrared lock, plus it messed with the radar so they had to use a laser guidance system. It also appeared to be invulnerable to the F-35s cannon. The air force is already updating the firing system to allow the pilot to invert thermals so we shouldn't have any more problems.”

“Speaking of, how is the Air Force doing since the transfer? I would presume some of our planes were in the air when all this kicked off?”

“Correct, unfortunately. By the radio chatter, we have been able to gather, a new temporary airfield has been set up in a kingdom that is, and I quote the Brigadier General when I say this, “A goddamn French kingdom, names and all.”’

“These names do seem rather…odd. German, Spanish and now French, seems like this world has leeched a lot from Earth.” John looked over a piece of paper that had all the nations names they so far have had contact with.

“All the more evidence for the theory that a being with what can only be described as godlike powers did this. So far we still haven't been able to figure out what brought us here but I feel like we won’t be in the dark for much longer.”

“Agreed. It almost seems like we were brought here to bring stability to this world. But this can wait, the country comes first, then we figure out a way to return to Earth. Is there anything else I should be aware of?”

“Hmm, there is something. I doubt the liberated slaves at Yokota have anywhere to go so I was thinking that we could have them settle in former Canada and Mexico?” Harold proposed.

“That actually might not be a bad idea, the boost in workers would certainly help. But Armistead would need to clear this first. Think he will go for it?” John questioned.

“He's a tough bastard, I’ll give him that. I may be able to cut through his more extreme views if I can spin it. I’m surprised you haven't replaced him yet.”

“Unfortunately he's the most competent one on the list for Homeland Security. I just wish he wasn't a blithering racist.” John sighed before his mind lit up. “You know what? Get him in here, we can have this conversation now. I have an idea that might work.”

Not wanting to argue, Harold walked out to find Armistead. Being one of the more hardline and outspoken republicans, he wasn't liked among the populace but he knew his job better than all the minds on the candidate list combined. Nearly an hour later Harold came back with Armistead shortly behind.

“Mister President, you needed me?” Armistead's gruff voice spoke.

“Yes, it is on the matter of immigration or more precisely, refugees. Soldiers at Yokota airbase have freed slaves currently staying there and nearly all of them have no home to return to.” John explained with Armistead raising a concerned look.

“You can’t seriously think we can accept refugees in the midst of this crisis, let alone the fact that they are a completely different species! The south would be in an uproar not to mention nearly a third of your supporters!” Armistead replied.

“I understand that, which is why they won’t be settled on American soil. Rather, they will be moved to Canada and Mexico, whichever one needs more workers. Think of it, tens of thousands of people we can put to use extracting the raw resources we so desperately need right now.” John watched Armistead try to process this.

“Mister President. While I support your view on our military policy, I cannot in good conscience agree to this. We know nothing about these aliens or their practices!” Armistead fired back with John frowning in frustration.

“So what do you suggest then? Give them back to their masters? Maybe we get to have a front-row view to see the men executed and the women raped. I can save you a seat if you wish at Yokota Airbase, maybe bring a spare pair of binoculars so you can see it in closer detail?” John stood up from his desk, marching over to Armistead. “These people need our help, and I’m willing to bet that once the public finds out about the horrible conditions they were in and that you turned them away, well…I will be forced to dismiss you as Head of Homeland Security, Armistead.” John’s fury grew with each word.

“Mister President, are you trying to intimidate me into compliance?” Armistead didn’t move an inch at the threat.

“No, I am merely telling you what the consequences will be for your actions. They won’t settle on American soil, I can guarantee that.” Armistead scoffed at the proposal.

“You know darn well this was exactly what led to the war in Africa! A sudden influx of supposed refugees, not enough infrastructure to share. Nearly twenty thousand good souls died for this country, and for what? Just to have the Russians sweep in, pushing us and China out of it!” Armistead spat, making John's fury snap.

“And what gives you the right to criticize me? I was there! Stuck behind miles of blood-stained razor wire, hundreds of ruined vehicles littering that hellscape; I saw what a man can do when truly desperate, so don’t give me that crap about different races when we all come from the same damn tree!” John roared. “Have you truly forgotten what this country stands for? Or perhaps you’re too blinded by the money being shoved down your throat?” That was too much for Harold who finally stepped in.

“Alright, enough, both of you! We are on the same side here for the sake of Isis, the nation is already heading for total collapse and I don't need to listen to you idiots bicker about this. If I have to, I will shove my boot up both of your asses to save this country. Now stop arguing like fucking children and--” Harold was cut off with John snapping his attention to him.

“The fuck you just say?” John along with Armistead stared dumbfounded at what Harold just said.

“The Goddess John. You know, Wiccan, the religion I have been a part of for nearly two decades?” Harold clarified.

Before anyone else could speak, the Oval Office door slammed open, with a panting general standing in the doorway.

“President sir! Yokota Airbase is under assault!” With that single sentence, all of their hearts sank to the floor as John sprinted out of the room.