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datatime: 2022-12-03 20:34:36 Author:KUNWDkhe

Robby, back when I was in high school, I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I remember wondering if the world was going to blow up. But I still had to translate half a page of Caesar's goddamned Gallic Wars, and I saw the President on TV, and I figured things were okay, because he was the President of the United Goddamned States, and he-had to know what was really going on. So, I translated the battle with the Helvetii and slept that night. The President knows, because he's the President, right? Then I become President, and I don't know a damned thing more than I knew the month before, but everybody out there-Ryan waved his arm at the window-thinks I'm fucking omniscient . Ellen he called loudly enough to get through the door.

I have no problems with that. And there's no way I was going to offer them MFN anyway, unless they decide to break down and start acting like civilized people.

Not fair, Robby, Ryan told his VP.

He still had more work of his own to do in China.

And they think it's decent speculation, but not something to bet the ranch on.

I think you know, Ellen, Jack told her.

So, what else is going to go wrong over there? Ryan asked.

Yes, sir. She fished in her pocket and pulled out a fliptop box of Virginia Slims. Ryan took one out, along with the pink butane lighter stashed inside. He lit the smoke and took a long hit. Thanks, Ellen.

Do they? Robby Jackson asked, just before Arnie van Damm could.

So, what else is going to go wrong over there? Ryan asked.

Robby, back when I was in high school, I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. I remember wondering if the world was going to blow up. But I still had to translate half a page of Caesar's goddamned Gallic Wars, and I saw the President on TV, and I figured things were okay, because he was the President of the United Goddamned States, and he-had to know what was really going on. So, I translated the battle with the Helvetii and slept that night. The President knows, because he's the President, right? Then I become President, and I don't know a damned thing more than I knew the month before, but everybody out there-Ryan waved his arm at the window-thinks I'm fucking omniscient . Ellen he called loudly enough to get through the door.

Things will quiet down if the other side has half a brain, Adler said hopefully.

He still had more work of his own to do in China.

Nothing new from SORGE today? van Damm asked.

Not fair, Robby, Ryan told his VP.

They can forget MFN, van Damm said. Congress would impeach you if you asked for it, Jack. And you can figure that the Hill will offer Taiwan any weapons system they want to buy next go-round.

I think you know, Ellen, Jack told her.

And they think it's decent speculation, but not something to bet the ranch on.

Sir, that's not a question with an easy answer. Are they stupid? No, they are not. But do they see things in the same way that we do? No, they do not. That's the fundamental problem dealing with them-

Nothing new from SORGE today? van Damm asked.

Her smile was downright motherly. Surely, Mr. President. And she headed back to the secretaries' room, closing the curved door behind her.

Sir, that's not a question with an easy answer. Are they stupid? No, they are not. But do they see things in the same way that we do? No, they do not. That's the fundamental problem dealing with them-

That's the problem with good intelligence information. It doesn't agree with what your own people think-assuming they really think at all, the Vice President observed.

Okay, I am not omniscient, and I'm not perfect, POTUS admitted crossly after the second puff. Now, back to China.

And that's the problem, Adler reminded them all. They think we're the uncivilized ones.

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