The Manchurian Presidential Candidate
The final debate between Presidential Candidates Donald Agnew and Mitt Nixon in Baltimore, Maryland was about to begin. It was going to be the first color-televised debate in American history, and was set to bring in some of the best ratings of all time.
But Donald Agnew was feeling sick.
His advisor Joe Kennedy came up to him as they sat in their green room and rubbed his back. “You’re gonna get this,” he said. “You’re gonna get this. We’re gonna win this fuckin’ election.”
“I don’t know… There’s something weird inside me… I must have eaten Texan or something…”
“Don’t worry about it. Just go on the stage and let everything happen.”
“I guess you’re right,” Donald said. He stood up from his chair and made his way out towards the main stage.
Except… The hallway was very long. It was way too long. The reds and greens of the carpet seemed to stretch into infinity, and the Picasso copy painting on the wall separated into six pieces.
Donald felt like he wanted to barf, but it wasn’t happening. That… didn’t seem to be the problem. It was like… something else. Maybe he just needed to clear his head.
The stage was very big and very loud. He had a podium but it was just… so far away. The loudness of the crowd surrounding him was just… not appealing.
Donald wasn’t sure if anything was appealing anymore.
Nevertheless, he hobbled over to his podium and bowed to the audience. “Hi,” he said, testing his microphone.
The moderator, whose face had become a mere blur to Donald by now, began to speak. “So we have on our stage Presidential Candidates Donald Agnew and Mitt Nixon. It’s going to be an exciting night tonight and we’re going to have a good time. Let’s start with an opening statement from our candidates. Mr. Agnew?”
Donald tried to speak. He tried to think of the speech he rehearsed. He tried so, so hard… But nothing would come out.
He looked over to Mitt Nixon. Who was this guy, up on a stage with him…
No. He knew who he was.
“DEATH TO CAPITALISM!” Donald pulled out a pistol and shot Mitt six times through the chest, and then once in his own temple.
He collapsed on the ground and let himself sink into the blurriness.
Joe Kennedy had been working for the Chinese for decades, now. It was no longer a traitorous act, because he knew full well that China was the only good power in existence.
America was a capitalist pig of a country that wanted to invade other nations for their resources and prop up dictators for its own gain. The USSR was an expansionist pig that wanted nothing less than to control the planet. Both sides disgusted him. But China… China was good to him.
He stepped up to Donald Agnew, one of the finest Presidential Candidates Joe had ever seen, and tapped him on the back. There, in Donald’s study, where nobody else could see them…
“Yes?” Donald asked.
“I wanted to tell you something very important, as your advisor,” Joe said. “I think you’re a great candidate. However…” Joe grabbed Donald by the neck and put a rag filled with chloroform into his face. Donald passed out, and Joe smiled.
He pulled a radio out of his jacket pocket. “I’ve got him,” Joe said. “Ready for extraction.”
While he waited for his teammates to come, he grabbed a pear out of the fridge and bit down into it. It was okay, but… that wasn’t the kind of fruit that Joe really enjoyed. He reached a little further and… Ah. He found a mandarin orange. Now this was a party.
Donald woke up in a shock. “What the hell?” He realized he was in a stark white room with no windows and only one door… And he was strapped to a chair.
“Is this a prank?”
An intercom turned on. “Yes. It’s just a prank! Just a prank!”
“Well then I think this prank went way too far!” He shouted.
“It’s not a prank, Mr. Agnew. I was joking. This is your new reality.”
“Who… Who are you?”
A projector behind him began to automatically crank, and an image displayed on the white wall in front of him. It was a cartoon of some sort, showing several silly animals dancing and hitting each other with mallets. It was actually kind of funny, Donald thought…
“Watch the images, Donald.”
The cartoon suddenly started flashing red and yellow… Hammer-and-sickle images… Dead American bodies and President FDR in a wheelchair….It was horrifying.
Donald tried to close his eyes to shield himself from all of this, but they wouldn’t close.
“Now you wouldn’t think we weren’t going to hold your eyes open, were you?” the voice on the intercom asked.
The images on the screen began flashing burning American flags. Hundreds of them. Red, white, blue, and orange…
“Please, make it stop!”
“I’m afraid we can’t do that, Mr. Agnew. I’m sorry.”
“Goodbye, Mr. Agnew.”
The voice was gone. But the projector kept going.
Joe Kennedy heard the police sirens blaring. He stepped up from his seat and entered the cockpit with his rifle pointed at the pilots. “I need you to take off. Now.”
“We can’t do that,” one of them said. “They’ve already radioed saying that no flights to East Asia are to take off tonight. We’re grounded.”
“What’s your name?” Joe asked the pilot.
“Rand Johnson,” he said.
Joe shot the man in the head, blood splattering over the nearby window. He turned to the other pilot. “I suggest you take off.”
He sat back in his seat and fastened his seatbelt as the plane began flying towards Saigon. There he would be able to get to Beijing and then to his new home… his home in Harbin.
Walter Cronkite looked into the camera with as little emotion as possible and read from his paper. “It would seem that a plane has been shot down just east of Louisville. The government has not provided any more details and will not confirm whether or not these developments are linked to the events at the Presidential debate last night. But we do know that at least twenty civilians were killed in the blast, including four whose home was destroyed in the crash. We will bring you more developments as the story progresses.”
Walter tried not to shed a tear… But he knew good and well his daughter was on that plane. “I promise you,” he said. “We’ll bring you more developments.”