It was the fall of 1979, and Senator Thomas Wilkins was completing his third lap around the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He silently cursed his doctor, then his bad cholesterol for having to actually exercise. As anyone could tell by his figure, exercise was not something for recreation for the man. He looked around, as if someone was monotoring his daily walks, punishing him if he lapsed. After slowing down, he sped back up again, finishing two more laps. There, he thought. I'm never doing that ever again. Ever. Unfortunately, he knew his wife, and he knew that at the same time tomorrow, he would be there, "come Hell or high water," as she would say.
Later that morning, Thomas called his aide into his office. "Linda," he asked, "what's on the agenda for today?"
"Well, Senator, you have your day pretty much cleared out for you. You have a meeting with Senator Jones over the new enviromental legistlation at eleven, lunch with the Motion Picture Association of America's lobbyist at noon, and then your Pentagon security briefing at three." He easily shrugged off the first two items, focusing heavily on the third. He chuckled at what they had told his aide. Security briefing. Well, technically, that was correct. There was a briefing, and it was going to pertain to security...
"Thank you, Linda," he said, smiling at his intern. "I'll be in my office if anyone important needs me, but hold the rest of my calls, will you?"
"Of, course, Senator." She understood the euphamism; anyone important would be the group of congressmen that he played golf with, ate lunch with, blocked legistlation with, the usual boys club – only fourty years too old.
"So, Thomas, I understand that you have an idea for us?" General Pierce asked. The General was sitting in one of the Senator's plush leather chairs in the cramped office.
"Yes, it's actually a pretty great idea, one that can help us beat the Russians if it works."
This piqued the general's intrest. Anything that could help the war effort, even if it probably wouldn't actually work at all, was carefully considered, and usually tried at least one.
"Well, now you've got my attention."
"General, the capacity for children to learn is enormus. Children who are taught a second or third language from birth are able to speak them for the rest of their lives, usually indistinguishable from native speakers. Studies show that children under the age of twelve can retain information and habits three-hundred to five-hundred percent better than adults of comperable intelligence."
"And, that helps us fight the Russians how?"
"If we take the smartest infants, the ones with the most promise, and train them in various military fields like battlefield tactics, intelligence gathering, analysis, weapons training, and infiltration, by the time they become adults, they will be the best military minds the world has ever known!" The senator's face was full of excitement – this was the first serious idea he had concieved, and this could get his foot into the political playing grounds. However, Pierce's expression was the complete opposite.
"So you are suggesting that we kidnap American children--"
"No, of course not! They could be orphans, or runaways, or..." His voice trailed off, as he realized that his project was not going to gain any momentum in the government.
"Senator, let me tell you a little secret: This was tried in the fifties, called Project Korhal. The children were mentally unstable, and the entire group commited mass-suicide at the age of nine. Fourteen nine year old children. Dead. If you want to tell the President that we should try it again, you can damn well kiss your political carrier goodbye." He quickly changed his tone to a congenial one, adding, "Anyways, elections are in November, why don't you focus on that?"
"But my term isn't u--."
"Thomas, trust me. Drop it."
Pierce quickly left the Senator's office and made his way to the nearest telephone booth, in the main lobby. He dialed a seven-digit number, adding several additional numbers. "Allan, I need you to get the Chief's of staff togeather for a meeting. We need to discuss some, uh, additional programs to the Army."