FANDOM: X-files/ political fic crossover
ARCHIVE/FEEDBACK: Yes please.
KEYWORDS: Mytharc. Crossover. Marita/Alex.
SPOILERS: All Mytharc. The G. W. Bush administration.
RATING: Call it PG, for politics, evildoers and kissing
LENGTH: 2500 words
Notes/Summary: Remember the old, innocent days, when people were looking forward to an administration of honesty and openness and the most we had to worry about was arsenic in our drinking water? Yeah, me too. The science here is dodgy but plausible; the mytharc stuff is all true; the politics are as bipartisan as I could possibly get, and I'll hopefully end up writing something equally cynical about President Kerry.
Conflict of Interest
Marita stepped into the spacious, round room, keeping her business face on, as Dick dealt with the security people and shut the door behind them. The office was sunny and airy; its new occupant had swept it clean of his predecessor's overstated elegance, and Marita felt far too exposed in the Southwestern warmth of it.
The man himself was slouched behind his desk, absorbed in something on his laptop; he'd shown no sign of noticing their arrival until Dick went to him and tapped his shoulder. "George? The UN person is here."
George sat up straight, closed the laptop with a click, and gave her a boyish, friendly smile. "How d'you do, ma'am? Pleased to meet you."
Marita took the hand he'd offered and shook. "Marita Covarrubias, sir. And may I say it's an honor? I'm glad to see that all our hard work getting you into this office has paid off."
Dick, standing behind him, caught the implication of that and glanced sharply at her. George just grinned, sincerely pleased. "Well, that's very kind of you, Miss Cova-- Cov-- d'you mind if I call you Ruby? So how are things back at the UN?"
Marita smiled thinly and seated herself in one of the chairs. "Well, sir, I have to be honest with you: I'm not here today simply in my capacity as a United Nations employee."
"Oh? Just come by to check out the new boss?"
"George," Dick muttered, "Listen to her. This may be the most important meeting you'll ever have."
"Thank you, Mr. Vice President," Marita said, "Although I hope that's not true, it is vital that you understand what I have to tell you. Mr. President, along with my career at the UN, I work for a secret organization which sometimes refers to itself as the Syndicate. We work both within and in loose association with the federal government in an effort to eradicate the greatest threat this nation, indeed, our world, has ever faced."
George shook his head, eyes sparkling with good humor. "A vast secret conspiracy? You gotta be kidding me."
"I suppose you could call us that," Marita said, "But we have no desire for power or anything beyond our single purpose, and the secrecy is absolutely necessary. We prefer to think of ourselves as merely a group of concerned citizens who sacrifice ourselves to do things which are necessary, but which this government, by its very nature, cannot."
"And what is this shadowy, evil threat you're fighting?"
"Alien invaders." She raised a hand to curtail his inevitable protests. "I realize it sounds implausible, sir, but as longs as Americans can sleep safely in their beds, believing that the biggest threat they face is a few pissed-off fanatics with a bomb, my organization is doing its job. I have here," she reached into her briefcase and pulled out the dossiers, "over fifty years' worth of records and evidence, which we invite you to check at your leisure."
George looked at the stack of folders she'd dropped on his desk as if he were afraid they were going to bite. Dick stepped up and broke the silence. "I've seen the evidence, George. It's all true. They're really out there."
George glanced from one of them to the other, then back again. and visibly pulled himself up. "Okay then. Alien invaders. So, what are we doing to stop them? And why haven't I heard any of this before now?"
Marita shook her head. "It's not that simple, sir. As to why this wasn't mentioned in the transition, your predecessor never got this briefing. We didn't believe his administration could be trusted to do what was necessary to win the war, or to understand that certain things need to be kept secret for the sake of national security and the sake of everyone's peace of mind."
George preened, flattered by the implied compliment. Marita leaned toward him, intense. "This isn't going to be like Independence Day, Mr. President. It won't be as easy as setting off a few bombs or letting a hastily programmed anti-virus do our work for us. The enemy are immeasurably older and more powerful than we are; they have the resources of a galaxy behind them; they have infiltrated our society at every level. They are capable of subverting anyone; they can take over a human's body or shapeshift or kill by a thousand methods we barely understand. They're completely evil and completely beyond our comprehension. There can be no treaty and no compromise. They created us to be a slave race, tens of thousands of years ago; they ruled the world absolutely then, and they will again. No human agency can stop them."
She had expected disbelief, fear, anger, or ridicule; but instead he was frowning in thought. "If they're so unstoppable, and they ruled the world a long time ago, why aren't they still in charge?"
He'd caught the gap in the logic, then, and quickly. He wasn't nearly as stupid or inflexible as he gave the impression of being. Good. Marita felt herself relaxing, truly optimistic for the first time in years. "I said that no human agency could stop them, Mr. President. The first time, it wasn't humans; it was the earth itself. Their biggest weakness is cold; we humans can survive with relative comfort in temperatures that kill the alien organisms outright. That is our only hope, sir, our only strategy that offers a real chance of victory-- we have to induce a new ice age."
George was clearly fascinated; he gestured eagerly to her, while Dick stood protectively behind. "And how do we do that?"
"Our original plan, for the first twenty years or so of our work, was nuclear winter. The Syndicate was formed after WWII; you understand the fascination we had then. But it became clear that would be a Pyrrhic victory at best; we would be as weakened by the radiation as the aliens would be by the cold, so since the late sixties that has been relegated to our last-ditch backup plan. We're currently attempting a more gradual method, by increasing the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By the calculations of our scientists, who are significantly ahead of their colleagues who don't have access to extraterrestrial data, if the globe warms enough to melt a relatively small amount of Arctic ice, the ocean circulation patterns will change enough to start building up continental ice sheets in Europe and restart the feedback loop. Within ten years the earth will be inexorably headed into an ice age; within fifty most of the surface will be uninhabitable to the aliens--"
"Wait just a minute, little lady," George said, having picked one fact out of the torrent of science. "There's no such thing as global warming. I've looked at the reports."
"I'm sorry, Mr. President, but I'm afraid there is. Anything you may have read denying it was probably the fruits of our disinformation campaign. We have to keep doubt out there until we go public; we've lost too much ground already to the combined efforts of the environmentalists and extraterrestrials. You've been briefed on the Kyoto Protocols?"
George nodded slowly.
"They're set to have reduced greenhouse gases by the year 2012. This is not a coincidence. 2012 is the date set for the final conquest. The protocols are a brazen attempt to slow us down enough that we will lose."
Dick made a sudden movement. "That's not possible! The Kyoto treaty was a joint effort of the governments of most of the developed world--"
"Any of which may be under the control of the aliens. They can be anyone, sirs, in any position. The only way we can win this is to trust no one. Any victory we win will have to be ours alone; any war unilateral, because any ally is a potential traitor. We are already critically behind schedule after eight years of a non-cooperative, democratic administration, and even if we win this, there's no time left to make the victory neat or pretty."
Bush nodded. "So what do we need to do?"
"The critical first step is to undermine the Kyoto treaty, and all the other air pollution initiatives they have introduced to prevent us from causing the change. If we can do that successfully, the next step is to prepare for damage control. We need to be able to win the peace, not just the war."
"And that means--"
"The first task is to make sure the aliens are really gone, for good this time, and not just in hiding. After their first retreat, many of them simply went underground, and that's put us in a very bad position right now. Take away their hiding places, and we make the victory permanent."
"And how do we do that?" asked Dick, skeptically.
"The alien organism is capable of achieving a resting state in the form of a prosentient virus," Marita said, "which can sustain itself in any sufficiently large hydrocarbon reservoir." She paused. "We will never truly win this war until we burn up all our oil reserves. Fortunately, the colder temperatures should help with that eventually."
"And in the meantime it will also pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere," Dick breathed. "That's brilliant."
Marita contented herself with a nod. "The two of you have background with the oil. I'm sure you'd be familiar with the tried and true methods for increasing consumption and securing control over foreign oil supplies. But at the same time, we will need to prepare the people for what's coming. We can't risk telling them the truth, at this point; it would tip our hand and introduce too many random factors. But no matter how this comes out, there will be drastic and sudden changes, in society and in the earth itself; disasters and panics are inevitable, even without the destruction the aliens will inevitably cause. We need to be able to prevent outright chaos. So we need to get people onto an emergency footing, now. Prepare the country to accept martial law on short notice. Build a powerful executive, improve the military's preparedness, shape a culture of secrecy, order, and security that can withstand terrible blows. Give the country a firm foundation of faith which will keep them stable as their world ends around them. All the while keeping the aliens confused as to what we're really doing."
"And how do we do that?" George asked.
"Well, we have some preliminary outlines here, although events as they occur will create new circumstances and of course, we'd prefer to leave as many of the details as possible up to your greater resources and ability--"
Eventually, Dick showed her out again, sticking by her until they were well out of George's range. She turned to him just as they came back to a more populated area of the White House. "Do you think he'll do it?"
"We'll do our best, ma'am," he said, shaking her hand firmly. "You just keep doing yours."
If she'd turned to look at him as she left, she would have seen him watching her with an odd smile on his face. She might even have noticed the way he blinked, and the film of black which covered his eyes for half a second. But she didn't look.
Alex got back to the apartment to the sound of the kitchen sink running. "Marita?" he called. "I'm home."
She came into the living room, drying her hands on a flowery orange towel, and found him dropping his coat and bag over the chair. She offered him half a smile and a peck on the cheek. "So how was your day?"
"Well, nobody lost a limb, so I'll count that one as a success." Alex grinned. "How did your meeting go?"
"It went well," she said, then shuddered. "Extraordinarily well, in fact. I have no doubt they'll be willing to do everything we need. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to fall, at this point."
He caught one of her hands in his and turned it over. It was scrubbed and pink as if she'd been washing it repeatedly. "You're not worrying about keeping your hands clean at this late date, are you, Marita?"
She pulled at him half-heartedly and then gave in and leaned toward his embrace. "I know, I know. We're doing what we have to, and that means doing things that would be inconceivable if we had any choices left. But I feel so dirty-- since I shook his hand. It's like engine grease-- you know-- it gets in the pores and it won't wash out."
"Yeah, I know," Alex murmured into her hair.
She turned in the half-circle of his arm and smiled ruefully. "Yeah, well, all you have to do is murder a defenseless little baby. Want to trade jobs? God, Alex, I didn't even have to try very hard; it was as if I was just giving them an excuse to do what they wanted anyway-- and it's not like we didn't design things so they would want to-- but I didn't even have to threaten them with exposing our election tampering. They wanted everything I offered, and they didn't want to think about what it will mean, to people and families and, and everything, so they didn't think about it. We're destroying the world to save it, Alex, and they didn't care."
"We have no more choices, Mari--"
"Yes, we do. We do. They're just even more unthinkable than the ones we've chosen. Sometimes I think we should just go back to the old plan. Nuclear sterilization. Kill them and us and leave the Earth clean--"
"Mari, we'll get through this. We will. You have to believe this. It will work. Only twelve more years, and it's decided one way or the other. The old men didn't even have that to look forward to."
"Only twelve more years," she said, rocking back against him. "Twelve more years, and then, forever."