From the mind of Samuel Harkness
It flew through the celestial void without pause or remorse. It's astrological destiny, forever distant, now not far to go. Passing by billions upon billions of stars, all who bear witness to the comets stellar journey.
Enormous and unrelenting in it's speed, not a whisper could be heard in the cold, null void around it. Like the cue ball on a pool table, it shot past the collection of orbiting balls. Uranus. Saturn. Jupiter, Mars.
It's destiny to sink the blue one in the corner pocket. Earth.
The sky was dark and grim. The sounds of thunder could be heard in the distance. The shadows from the trees outside stretched far into the oval office where the President sat. His head rested on closed fingers, deep in thought.
Five men stood around him, all waiting for his cue for their approval. The military adviser. The head of the science division. Foreign affairs officer. Public Representative. And the second most important man in the room, the Vice President.
Cracking the silence with a voice that had seized a country, the President looked to the man from science division and spoke. "Whats the trajectory on the comet"
Professor Hamilton, bug eyed and nervous, startled for suddenly being pulled to attention, answered through a mumbled tone. "Um..Let me see...judging by the current speeds...compensating for gravitational interferences...angling the projection"
The President cleared his throat. A stern cough, his patience was wearing thin.
"It'll hit Paris, France. Approximate impact time. 3:00pm noon. Five days from now", Professor Hamilton blurted, fearful of the Presidents manner.
A sigh of relief erupted from the President. A relaxed wave swept over the room, easing the tension.
Frederich Sykes, foreign affairs, spoke up. "Should I get the French president on the line"
"Not yet", the President quickly replied. "Jack, whats the estimated damaged for when it hits"
Colonel Jackson Bridge, known to the President simply as Jack, stepped forward and addressed the President in an authoritative and factual tone. "Mr President. Comets decomposition suggest that when it hits it will be about the size of a basketball. Estimated damage calculated to complete devastation within a five mile radius. Estimated casualties in an urban environment are approximately 650 thousand.
The President resumed his deep thought posture. Mulling over the details and pondering about the not so friendly relations he has had with France of late. Recently, they intervened with shipping tariffs between America and Europe. It was costing the country more to do business with their foreign allies and proving to be quite a nuisance to the President.
"Mr President ?", Sykes asked nervously, not wanting to disrupt his commander in chief. "Should we call them now"
A disturbing pause. But then the President answered simply. "Let it hit them.
The assembled group gasped at the Presidents insidious announcement. Theodore Long, the public relations head, spoke first. "Mr President, you can't be serious. The country will be devastated. If the French find out about our knowing this beforehand"
The President ignored his pleas and turned back to Professor Hamilton. "How many birds do the French have in the sky right now"
"Satellites?..Um... About eight. All class AX-Mark 3 models. American class sold to the French years ago.
"Good. Schedule them all for a maintenance check. Take control of their birds. I don't want them to see whats coming.
Sykes, bewildered by the Presidents decision, stepped forward. He banged his hands down on the Presidents table, and yelled frantically into the Presidents face. "Are you crazy ?! Their our allies. Our relations have not been at their best, granted, but you can't just let people die.
The President was unperturbed by Sykes sudden outburst. He just returned his gaze with a steel cold stare that forced his shuddering foreign affairs minister to take a step backward. He nervously straightened his suit and excused himself from the room. "You sure about this, Tony?" The only man in the room allowed to call the President by his first name finally spoke. Vice President Vincent Brown was a nuggety little man. Known for his strength in front of the media and his no bars hold approach to the legal system.
"Yes, Vince. I most certainly am", the President said. An ominous tone rang out from his voice. His stare still transfixed forward, determination unwavering. "The French are gonna learn that if you don't play by our rules, then you don't play"
The End ?
( As a closing note, I do not know whether or not to continue this story. The idea of America being the leader of space exploration and using that knowledge to their advantage just came to me while watching the Discovery channel one day. Please let me know if you think I should continue the story, thanks!)
( P.S. Word of advice, the Discovery channel is an awesome place to get story ideas, so tune in.)