The Button "Ladies and gentleman! Thank you for coming tonight on such a short notice, but what I have to say could change your lives and the world. As you can see, I hold in my hand a button, and this button is rigged to a computer that can set off eight nuclear warheads that are aimed at Afghanistan." The hushed crowd of the nation's defense counsel now started to murmur amongst themselves and a few gasps could be heard. Several mouths opened as they realized what had just been said. "Silence please!" commanded President Bush and then he continued. "As you all know, it was a year, three months and eight days ago that a deliberate attack on our country was issued upon us by the Taliban. In the months following after the second day that will live in infamy, threats of anthrax and other terrorist acts were made and the people of the United States have existed in constant fear ever since. There have also been subsequent terrorist acts which are unbearable to speak of." The room had an impromptu silence then, thinking of the most horrible occurrence yet that had only happened a little over eight months ago. "For the last few months though, I ordered our top military professionals to come up with a solution to our problem and they came up with this." He hoisted the button above his head so everyone in the room could see it. Oh, what power he held in his hand, what control, but the button looked more like a fake-looking movie prop for a sinister character who wanted to eject the unwanted person in the seat next to him, rather than a deciding factor of what was to become of Afghanistan in the future world history textbooks. The red light that the button gave off reflected upon a secret service agent's sunglasses. "I know that I have gone behind your backs and did not seek your opinion on the decision to have this evil thing made, but as you know, more and more information has been leaking to the Taliban. In turn, they have put up a better resistance and have not given up Osama Bin Laden yet. I have found out that this person betrayed their beloved country for money, for money!" The president's face turned a little blue from suffocation from the anger that welled in him but he immediately calmed himself down, his color back to normal, and spoke again, now with poised conviction. "I also have reason to believe that one of you may be this despicable person, who has the excuse of money for their motive." Louder gasps and murmurs rose up among the counsel men and women. One mouth closed, gulped, and the face reddened, but no one noticed, not even the secret service agents who were the only ones in the room with their coolness intact. "The investigation has been going on for quite awhile and all of your phone and Internet lines have been tapped, but we have had no luck in catching the culprit. It doesn't matter who you are or how much information you have given now, because with one press of this button, it will all be over." One woman stood up. "Mr. President, you can't be serious! Think about all of the innocent lives!" The secret service agents stepped closer to her, one hand each in their pockets, fingering their guns. She was normally a respected cabinet member, but now she was just another suspect. She sat back down, her face white. The secret service agents slithered back to their previous positions. The president forced a smile, but it was obviously a smile of a weary man who was tired of dealing with a situation long gone down the drain. It was also of an angry man, angry because he wasn't able to pull it out of the drain and angry because potentially, someone in this room had put it in the drain in the first place. He sighed, remembering a simpler time when the biggest problem on his mind was if there would be a recount or not. The counsel members continued to stare, but a new feeling had entered the room. His lips started to turn a tint bluer; somehow the room had become colder. A low voice from the back growled, "Mr. President, this is ridiculous. To nuke Afghanistan even at this point would be.unwise. What would the rest of the world think? Do you want to keep our allies? And for God's sake, it's nearly Christmas!" The whites of the man's eyes glowed. The secret service agents were on the move again. President Bush started to sweat. He rolled up the sleeves of his blue suit. He tried to think of ways on how to improve this situation but instead, he lost his composure. "Please, ladies and gentlemen! I am sorry that I have worried you all but I did not do this to create hostility. It was just a safety precaution and I hoped maybe the traitor would give themselves away, even though I'm not even sure if it was one of you." The president was scared; he really hadn't thought this whole thing through. He now realized how rash and foolish he had been to even think this idea could work. He should have concentrated on what people's reactions would be and all of the possibilities that could happen if he were to push this button or even to tell about it, not if he could be seen as a symbol of power that would crush the Taliban and relieve the world. Originally, he never even planned to make a button that would work; only one that was meant to make others believe it would. The military officials made the point though that someone would figure out what was really in the new spacecraft they had sent to orbit the earth and tell everyone, but if they made a real button, the worry of taking the nuclear weapons down would be eliminated because no one would want to risk the suggestion. Indeed, it was found out and posted on the Internet around the globe, but even the most paranoid took it as a hoax. It was just too unbelievable; the United States couldn't be that immoral. What was done was done though; the president had spoken. Everyone would know now. The president felt like he wanted to wrap himself in the huge flag hanging from the ceiling. He wanted to hide behind the red, white, and blue and leave this crisis for another day. He just didn't want to deal with it, for the enemy was no longer Osama Bin Ladin or Afghanistan; it was himself. He took out his white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face. He looked down at the button still in his hand and wondered what it would be like if he were to just push it, to make it all stop. But really, what about all of those innocent people? What about the surrounding countries? What about Christmas? What a horrible thought he said to himself, and then he shook his head and looked up, his eyes now glistening with tears. Numerous pairs of eyes stared back, some with fear, others with murderous intent, and maybe a few with understanding. How could he have thought one of these fine American citizens could have done such a horrendous act to the great United States of America? One pair of eyes though, that he had not noticed, was strained and bloodshot, the nose below quivering with utter and complete panic. "I'm." began President Bush. He was now shaking a little but smiling. "I'm." He couldn't finish; it was too painful. He would say his apologies later, to them, the nation, and the world. He would ruin his career and might be shunned for the rest of his life, but the truth had to come out. He took a deep breath. "Bring in the military specialist." If it were a time for cheering, the rest would've cheered. If it were a time for screaming, they would have. But it wasn't; it was a time for the military specialist to deactivate the button, because without it, the nuclear weapons and the computer with access to them were utterly useless. A secret service agent ran to the doors that were closed and severely protected, and threw them open. The military expert rushed in with his equipment; he knew it was he who was wanted. With giant strides, he nearly leaped to President Bush; thanking God for the saneness he had given the president in the last two seconds. He took his blue pliers out and went nimbly to work, knowing that on his shoulders lay the countless lives. Only one mind in the room wasn't focused on what the military specialist's task. It was reasoning how long it would take for the country to figure out it was they who was the one whodunit, who had fueled this mess into what it had become, and was the main reason for the incident eight months ago. They knew it was when, not if, they would be found out; they couldn't fool everyone forever. The easiest way though, would be to eliminate the people who knew of this information, and all of those people were located in Afghanistan. And if they were to somehow get rid of them all without a possibility of blame being put on them. A plan formulated in their mind at the speed of light. Something so demonical, so purely evil and egomaniacal. Without anyone looking, they reached into their pocket and pulled out a red tack, only touching it with the inside material of their pocket. With a small motion of the wrist, they flung it at the military specialist's pants leg. He buckled and his pliers slipped. The red light of the button blinked and then went out. The president and his entire defense counsel stopped breathing as they slowly turned to look out the window, wondering if that new streak in the sky was their imagination or not.