After several moments of silence, Dr. Clarkson finally weighed in, “General, they are going to the Moon first, and this may be something that isn’t a threat as we know it, especially since it might give us a chance to get a visual image or two. I don’t think we can assume that their intentions are hostile, but at the same time, I would NOT want to be the one who just assumed they weren’t hostile and then have something bad happen. That is what got us in trouble the last time.”
“Thanks, Doctor. That is precisely what I was thinking.” With that I turned to General Whitney and asked, “Well? What are your thoughts about what we tell the President, evacuate the population or not?
“Sir, I know this is probably not a basis for making sound policy judgments, but my gut says evacuate. At least until we know more about these...... Okay, if they’re not Gomers, then what DO we call them?”
“I’m sticking to Gomers for the moment, but you’re right, if they’re not what we know as Gomers, we’ll have to come up with something else to call them, since I don’t want to get the tactics confused later on down the road.”
“Sir, if I may?”
“Sure, Doctor Clarkson.”
“Sir, I would stick to Bogies right now. Once we get more visual intelligence based on our photographic information, we can find something to call them. Assuming they actually orbit the Moon, we should have some great panoramic views of them within the next several hours.”
“Okay, General Whitney, advise the President, and tell him our recommendation is to move forward and order the evacuation of the cities. We can’t afford to repeat our mistakes, and this could be just such an instance. In the meantime, move our forces to Threat Level Red, and keep them in the passive mode on all radars and radios.”
“General, if they decide to evacuate based on your recommendation, you do know that if this turns out to be nothing, it will be your ass on the block.”
“Whit, right now I don’t give a flea turd on a rat’s ass. I can promise you that if we don’t tell them to evacuate, and this IS something to worry about, then not only would they have my ass, but I would want them to have it. I’d rather be wrong and unemployed, than wrong and not be able to live with myself.”
“I know, sir, but I wouldn’t be a good staff member if I didn’t at least point out the down side.”
“Geez, Whit, in all the time I’ve known you, you have excelled at being my conscience, which is Latin for one huge defacto pain in the butt. Now, tell the boss to get everyone away from the cities and the coast, and I’ll be happy to take the heat if it becomes necessary.”
“Yessir!” With his response, the entire War Room took on a whole new purpose. We activated all recall procedures, initiated the evacuation plans, and took every step we could think of taking, to get the ball rolling.
The END of Chapter