Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This Could Take Awhile

He had finally gotten the call:  he was in the inner sanctum.

Charles Wu had just finished setting up Condoleezza Rice's new Apple computer and was showing her how quickly and easily she could connect to the Internet.  He rolled his chair back from the desk and let her move towards it.  He was surprised by how nice her apartment smelled and wondered if she had trained the cat to use the toilet.  She thanked him again, and he waved his hand cavalierly.  He stood up to see the view of the Potomac from her apartment window...and it wasn't bad.  His instincts told him she would prefer that he not walk around her apartment and examine her stuff, so he picked up Pippin and continued gazing out the window.  He knew she hadn't invited him here to help her set up the new computer, so he waited patiently.

A couple miles to the east, Laura Moreno walked into the kitchenette to retrieve her lunchbag from the fridge, only to have an avalanche of poorly stacked leftovers and a milk carton come crashing down on her feet.  She kicked the styrofoam containers to the side and grabbed some paper towels to wipe off her shoes.  Apparently the sweatshop had been repopulated, and, again, no additional refrigerator had been brought in to accommodate the quadrupling of personnel on her floor of Prince and Prowling.  Chloe Cleavage paused as she walked by the kitchenette:  "Oh, there you are."  Chloe's eyes dropped to the mess on the floor, and she laughed.  "I left the privilege log on your desk.  I need to go, but you can reach me on my Blackberry."  Laura nodded politely.  Like I need to ask you how to finish the log--you only want somebody to email you so you can keep billing the rest of the day.  Laura exited down the hallway in the opposite direction, just in time to see a sweaty banking lobbyist (another former millionaire!) enter former Senator Evermore Breadman's office and close the door behind him.

A few miles to the east, the Chairman of the Heurich Society was sitting in the back garden of the Vice President's residence in a hunter green Adirondock chair with splinters.  He gingerly recrossed his legs and took another swig of whiskey and root beer.  "What the hell were you thinking?!"  Cheney was red in the face, and the gloves were off.  The Chair replied that he was not sure what Cheney meant.  "You think I never read that damned Moon Township Plan?!  I know what you're doing!"  Cheney fished out an ice cube and threw it at an approaching squirrel.  The Chair reminded Cheney of the Heurich Society rules and regretted that he could not discuss its current activities with a former member.  "Are you kidding me?!  Are you @#$!% kidding me?!  Have you forgotten who you're talking to?!"  The Chair was painfully aware of whom he was talking to, and held no doubt that the man had every member of the Heurich Society under federal surveillance.  "Freedom is on the march, sir!  I tip my hat to you."  With that, the Chair stood up and walked away as the Vice President let loose with a new stream of invectives and foot-stomping.  "I know you talked to Woodward for that book.  I KNOW!"  The Chair sighed deeply and shook his head, still walking away.  "I'm not taking the fall for all this, you bastard!"

About a mile south, Han Li opened the back door of the Brewmaster's Castle and let Henry Samuelson in.  "You are early, sir?"  Samuelson nodded gruffly, suddenly remembering the rule that nobody could arrive at the Heurich Society meeting before the Chair was in the room.  Han Li showed Samuelson to a small sitting room and promised to bring him some tea.  Samuelson sat down and thought about all the information he had fed to Bob Woodward for that embarrassing book and how quickly it had been eclipsed from the headlines.  It doesn't matter--the right people know.  He didn't like people trodding on CIA turf, especially when it came to the Middle East.  He picked up a newspaper from the coffee table and flipped through it until he arrived at an article about Father Miguel d'Escoto's becoming head of the United Nations General Assembly.  Samuelson knew the CIA operative who had tried four times to assassinate d'Escoto, and about a dozen times to assassinate Daniel Ortega, now President of Nicaragua.  Sandinistas!  What a waste of time that was.  He had seen people come and go from Washington, lost in a sea of ideology, tilting at puny windmills, lost in a storm of sound and fury signifying nothing.  He put down the newspaper.  The whole economy was going into the crapper now, national lands were being given away to whoever provided the Feds with the best whores, drugs, and bribes, the Chinese were loaning the U.S. cash until the cows came home, the Rule of Law Initiative was a sad joke, Rice was desperate enough to make up with Libya, and the media thought the Presidential race was about proper rhetorical use of the word "lipstick".  Han Li entered the room with a glass of sweet tea and a plate of crackers, bowed and left silently.  Maybe it was time to clear the decks a bit.  Maybe there were just too many pieces to control--too many people, too many greedy people, too many stupid people.

Back at the Watergate, Rice announced that she needed another favor from Wu.  He returned to her side, sat down, and placed Pippin gently on his own lap to show how nurturing he was.  "Of course!"  Rice pointed almost imperceptibly to the crashed personal computer on the floor.  "There are some files that I really need to rescue from that computer--files I didn't keep at State or on my laptops, files that are of the most sensitive kind.  Do you know how to retrieve them without getting anybody else involved?"  Wu was afraid of insulting her, but he did think it was necessary to ask if she had back-ups of any of the files.  "Some of them, but I've been traveling a lot and very busy--I just didn't have time to back-up everything."  "Let me see what I can do."  He opened up his briefcase and pulled out his new laptop from Hong Kong, complete with a state-of-the-art data extractor.  "This could take awhile."  Rice nodded and asked if he would like a smoothie.  "Yes, I would!"

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