When I'm feeling sick, I usually like to have somebody else read me a story. Sadly, Mommy is busy helping her best friend, and Daddy thinks that 45 is too old for me to be expecting bedtime stories, any more. He made faces at me, of the same sort he used to make over my report cards in school. Therefore, I am left to read to myself (sniff, sniff, sniffle, sigh), and I will share a bit more of the little book I started exerpting, "War in the Atomic Age?"
We left this story as Father O'Shea had noticed an unusual reading on his seismograph at Georgetown University, and, when consulting a colleague at New York, was instructed to turn on his radio/television, where he learned that the Galaxy of Nations had just bombed Kansaas City out of existence, to "liberate [the people of the United States] from the tyranny of obsolete democracy and to admit them to the modern age of Galaxy." From there, we will pick up:
"Kansas City was chosen as an object lesson because it is in the heart of America. Its loss, while sentimentally regrettable, does not impair the basic economy of the United States, which will hereafter serve all the people of the world under the new order.
"Glory to the Galaxy!
"Slave-drivers of America, take warning. This is our ultimatum.
"The entire Cabinet of the United States government must resign by midnight tonight, eastern standard time. The Vice President will also resign. As soon as the resignations are effected, the President will appoint as Secretary of State a person whose name will be furnished at the proper time.
"Then the President will also resign, and the newly appointed Secretary of State, as acting president under your law, will receive and execute the terms of surrender.
"If this ultimatum is not obeyed by midnight tonight, eastern standard time, we are prepared instantly to destroy the following cities: Boston, New York, St. Louis, New Orleans and San Francisco. Stand by. this messae will be repeated for the last time in exactly one minute."
Like millions of his fellow-citizens, Father O'Shea sat as if paralyzed before the radio, cold perspiration on his brow. The fluttering green banner snapped into view on the television screen again, suddenly to be criss-crossed iwth flowing streaks as Central Station strove to jam the nauseous vision of destruction from the government wave-band.
Another instant, and, in place of the nauseous "green, gold and gore" of the Galaxy's standard, flashed the vision of the Star Spangled banner. It was a sight to bring a person to his feet cheering, and that is just what millions did at that moment in every community in the nation -- except Kansas City.
And then a voice poured out of the concealed diaphragm; clear, precise, calm.
"This is the President of the United States, speaking from the headquarters of democracy to the headquarters of infamy.
"The ears of America have heard your ultimatum.
"The heart of America aches with horror at the martyrdom imposed upon a great city. Without provocation, without warning, without defense, without a prayer, thousands of innocents were slaughtered.
"America's heart aches, but it has not missed a beat. The pulse in America's powerful wrists beats evenly and strong.
"America's voice speaks through my lips. This is the answer to your ultimatum. We will not wait until midnight. Here it is now.
"You can go to hell, and we will speed you on your way there."
* * * * *
There. I feel a little better, now. Don't you? Sleep tight, now, kiddies.
Until next time...