by rdhill316

Prompt 11, the last one for the night!

You are forging someone’s signature but it’s for a good reason. What is that reason?

He’s catatonic. Damn. The leader of the free world should be made of sterner stuff. I’m just an aide; a glorified admin; a secretary. I shouldn’t have to deal with this. I shouldn’t even be here, in the oval office, while the world goes to hell.
Fifteen minutes ago, the President ordered all his cabinet members out of his office. He had just ordered a preemptive nuclear strike. I happened to be there, because he needed a pen. A pen. They have these special pens they use, that … well, that doesn’t matter. Not any more. He had me stay when everyone else left. I’m not sure why; we’re not especially friendly. He still gets my name wrong. I guess he just needed someone to be there. His wife and kids are at Camp David. Or were; they’re probably on their way to Cheyenne Mountain. Or maybe Denver Airport, if you believe the conspiracy nuts. I guess that doesn’t matter either.
Nuclear war. And I’m standing awkwardly next to a nearly catatonic president. He’s just … sitting there. Staring out the window. I shouldn’t even be here.
I see the cancellation oder that Anderson wrote up. That could stop the whole thing, if he’d just sign it. I tried asking him to, but he didn’t respond. Just sat there. I heard Anderson talking about shaky intelligence on the way out. Said it was a mistake. And Gartner was praying.With tears on his cheeks. Gartner. “The Fort” himself. Crap.
I look at that cancellation order. And at the pen I brought. I sigh. I’m going to be in prison for the rest of my life.
*****
A minute later, I run out of the Oval Office and shove the signed cancellation order in Anderson’s hands. He and Gartner both thank God. Phone calls are made, faxes are sent, codes are relayed.
The world goes on.
Aftwerards, the President is quietly taken in for psychiatric help. Anderson walks up to me.
“It’s funny,” he says, “I could have sworn the President’s last name had two N’s in it.”
Anderson smiles at me, and walks away.

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