Snakes and Pills

069 - paper parts

"Another jockey was eaten?!" the President asked exasperatedly. His advisors nodded. "That's right, sir. Fourth one this week. It's small fries compared to all the pony ride-related fatalities, though. A lot of those involved little kids. Got a lot more media sympathy than a couple of jockeys at the tracks."

Seated at his desk in the Oval Office, the President just shook his head slowly. "So, where do we stand on this whole equine situation, then?" Another advisor stepped forward. "It's looking pretty grim. The public are expecting some kind of response, Mister President. When it was just polo players and other rich people getting mauled unexpectedly, no one really cared. But now that it's trickling down to petting zoos and touristy hansom cabs, a greater percentage of the population is taking an interest."

Yet another advisor spoke up. "Even worse, as of yet the media hasn't caught on to the situation in China where a pack of wild horses may have been responsible for a small-scale nuclear detonation. We're working with the Chinese government as best we can to keep it under wraps, but if news of this gets out, it'll be a catastrophe."

The President turned to a man in a lab coat. "Any word on the cause?" The man just shook his head slightly. "The cause thus far remains elusive. We have eliminated the theory that it started as some sort of genetic mutation, and right now we suspect it has something to do with the food supply, although we're not quite sure how whatever is causing this has spread so quickly across the globe."

The scientist paused. "Whatever the hell it is, though, it's giving these horses super-intelligence. Well, at least super-intelligence for horses. We don't think they're smarter than us, at least, not yet. But, they also seem to develop an extreme aggressiveness, and it causes them to quickly engender animosity toward humans."

"So, ladies and gentleman, what exactly do you propose we do, then?" the Commander in Chief asked the gathered crowd.

"We need more data about what the expected public response will be to the various options we have before we consider any course of action, Sir. It's an election year after all, and a great deal of your supporters are horse-owners and equine sympathizers. Any rash move could,"

The President suddenly pounded his fist on his desk, cutting the man off. "Goddamnit! I want answers! I want to do what's right, not what will get me the most votes! We're talking a matter of life and death here! A matter of national, no, GLOBAL security! What, realistically, are we looking at that can stop this?!"

The room fell silent. Finally, one voice, from the back of the room, spoke up. "Sir, with all due respect, I happen to know the best course of action to take." The President did not hesitate in replying. "So, go ahead then."

"Simple." The crowd of advisors had parted somewhat to reveal the man speaking. He was in an ill-fitting suit, looking grizzled and unkempt. "Kill. Them. All."

A few of the other advisors appeared shocked at the suggestion. The President just nodded, apparently mulling it over. "You think this is the best course of action because?"

"I'm certain it's the best option we have. We can't have rogue horses setting off h-bombs while we run public opinion surveys and keep doing tests in labs. Kill them now while we still can. It's humans versus the equines, Sir. I know which side I'm on."

"This is madness!" another advisor suddenly shouted out. The President held out his hand, to silence him.

"No, this man is right," the President said, decidedly. "Do it. Kill them all."


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