The good news never comes in the middle of the night, especially when it’s preceded by a phone on your knees. If the source of the call is the White House in the hours when the registrars and water load are resting, the call will receive 10 points for each disaster index. I recognized the voice and his legendary cast-iron resilience, which made me run under a blanket in search of my pajama pants in case they ended up outside my door with a cell phone in my hand. It was Diane Fenway, the White House chief of staff, a name known to all the news junkies on the planet. I’m Michael Duffer, the White House communications director. Charities call me a political technologist.
Speaking of spiders, I felt foggy. The world turned a little faster than usual, but I put it off until the last shot I had drunk a few hours earlier. I looked at my watch and in the middle of the night I asked a universal question that we were talking about on the phone. “Do you know how much time?”
In her voice sounded icy indifference, it could be heard barely concealed pleasure, which she received from the relaxation that was caused in all men under her jurisdiction. ‘Of course. You should be here in thirty minutes. Can you do that? ‘
She knew I could, otherwise she wouldn’t have asked. We’re talking about the White House. She probably even knew her pajama pants. The gate gate was a fifteen minute drive away if I could find a taxi at this time of the morning.
She read my mind and said, “There’s a car waiting for you outside.” I went to the window to take a quick look, and of course, in front of my door lurked a black SUV, the exhaust pipe quickly pumped out small puffs of CO2, which said, “Hurry, hurry up!”
Still trying to get my brain into any form of functioning organ, I went to the stables and muttered, “What is this?”
With the motion of my wrist, I tapped on the TV remote. The screen was filled with ominous talking heads. A giant map of the galaxy was built on the wall behind them. A big part of my job is watching them… most of forcing them to utter the words I want to say. My job, my whole reason is to avoid negative publicity because it affects my boss, the president of the United States of America. Before I could figure out what made them appear in front of the cameras in the middle of the night, the screen was covered in snow. I cursed the loss of communication with the cable, then turned to the chair on which I threw my clothes.
The event, which angered newspaper readers, who had shiny hair and silky tongues, was worth a million dollars in salary, which began thirty-six hours ago. The whole world knew about it, except for the woman I met every day at exactly 8:05, to see the news that came into her personal rooms during her morning rituals. She understood the news correctly, but misinterpreted it.
“Madame President,” I said in a greeting a few hours ago in a voice echoing the soft modulations of subsequence that drew her ego, “Betelgeuse misses.” She stroked her hair with one hand, suppressed the yawn with the other, then frowned.
“Yes,” she snorted, “something was on the radio, but at the time I was in the shower and didn’t hear well.” How important is it to skip the juice of beetles, whatever it is? Captain Kuig? ‘
“No, Madam President, I’m not talking about beetle juice; I’m talking about Alpha Orion, often referred to as Betelgeuse. I explained it to her. “She’s a red superstar. Some people describe it as the shoulder of the constellation Hunter Orion. It’s been around for millions of years, maybe billions. It blinks, and the world goes crazy with surprise. Faced with the consequences of his sudden absence. “
Her eyes stopped on a silver tray with a coffee pot, two cupcakes and a mug. I took a cue and got up to pour. She said, “Fox and CNN, what do they think?”
“Well, Madam President, all networks have suspended regular programming and formed expert commissions.” I put a cup of coffee in front of her. Not realizing how he got there, she lifted him up to ruby lips. I went on. “Most of them are scientists from previously federally funded programs that were put in place by your predecessor and then repealed by you.”
“You mean they support the other side.” I nodded approvingly. I taught him that, not to mention the other side. It made them stand up. “Come on,” she ordered, raising her eyebrow imperiously. “They assume, with all the usual reservations, that it is our fault, Madam President. Remember when the satellite we sent exploded last year to prove the safety of Red Dye 40 for use in lipstick? Her eyes began to glow.
“The theory is that its fragments have spread into deep space and disrupted the normal orbital patterns of the universe, think of the cosmic tsunami that caused one of the black holes to move in its orbit. Then a black hole swallowed Betelgeuse.”
A soft silk whisper accompanied the change of posture – a sign of impatience. “Actually, Siggy, it’s just one planet. There are millions of them. Siggy – I hated the name the press gave me; The director is zig zag; they called me, for the brevity of Siggy. Sometimes she used it to push me. Using it at the time of the crash made me quit smoking. His chin rose – another sign of growing impatience. He has to talk to the nation. She needed a spin. She needed it now.
“Betelgeuse is not a planet, Mrs. President. I want to emphasize that you could refer to it in the event of a more public environment. Betelgeuse is a star, the sun, if you like, is four hundred times bigger than ours. “I bowed to show a good dose of submission, teaching the basics of astronomy.” When a big star burns all its fuel, it explodes. What remains collapses into an extremely dense nucleus, which then has a supergravity that attracts objects that cannot escape its power.