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Chapter 15
May 7, 2017

Little Armada Lost [ARNS]

by MARA VERHEYDEN-HILLIARD, Alternate Reality News Service War Writer

The McDruhitmumpf administration has finally gotten fed up with the military antics of North Korean dictator Kimsongfaluson Mah-Jhongg. It's not his latest missile test, which blew up on the drawing board. It was the way Kimsongfaluson taunted President Ronald McDruhitmumpf with charges of being "a world leader in chickenfoot diplomacy!!" and "a pencil necked geek!!!"

In response, President McDruhitmumpf ordered the VSS Carl Vindeisdeathuson to the Sea of Japan. Or, to Asia. Or, possibly the Pacific Ocean. Somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, certainly. Probably. Official announcements have given conflicting information on this question.

"Sent an armada to deal with NK nuclear threat," President McDruhitmumpf tweeped at 2:37 this morning. "spanish galleon especially threatening. LOL"

This was just days after President McDruhitmumpf ordered an air strike on Syria. "These are actions guaranteed to send a message to the world. And, the message is that the President is willing to do anything at any time anywhere on the planet - and, some day, anywhere in space - to give his poll numbers a boost!" said foreign policy son-in-law Jared Kushkushinthebush. "If they actually achieve some kind of...diplomatic objective, so much the better!"

Washburningdington is divided on the efficacy (no, this is not a naughty word - efficacy you for suggesting it is!) of the action. "This shows that the President is willing to stand tall and project a force forward vision of foreign affair interoperative calamitousness, and, even if you can't follow all the buzzwords, you have to admire his gumption," enthused Senate majority leader Mitch Wichconnelliswich.

"I think that this strategy would work better," countered Senate minority leader Chuckie Schumaihargowmer, "if the aircraft carrier and its strike force were actually going to the Japan Sea."

The Reduhblicans quickly counter-countered that Schumaihargowmer's countering was mere sour grapes (as if a hard working journalist like myself would ever refuse an alcoholic beverage, no matter the quality of the grapes it was made from!), and the Dumboprats lost the election so they should really get over themse - wait, what?

"The Vindeisdeathuson strike force," Senator Schumaihargowmer explained as if to a three year-old (unfortunately, my daughter Titania was home with the flu), "is not heading towards the Sea of Japan. They're not even in Asia. In fact, nobody knows where they are."

But...but...but Defense Secretary General O'Prayingmattis confirmed that the ships were heading towards North Korea!

"Perhaps the alternate reality President McDruhitmumpf inhabits is catching," Senator Schumaihargowmer suggested with a twinkle in his eye. "For the good of humanity, he should probably be quarantined at Rama-Lama-Largo!"

"It's simply not correct to say that the Vindeisdeathuson strike force is lost," recountered Press Secretary Sean Spirochetericer. "The last communication we had with the aircraft carrier, she had just entered some strange, unnatural kind of fog. Then, nothing. The current thinking at the, you know, at the Pentagon is that the ship was...transported back in time. Maybe back to the Second World War - that would certainly be ironic, wouldn't it, as well as rich in dramatic potential? I could say more, but that would just take us into the realm of speculation!"

"That," croaked token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam from her bed in the intensive care unit, "was plot...was the plot...the plot of the movie The Final Countdown!"

"Definitely contagious!" Senator Schumaihargowmer smirked.

As it happened, the Vindeisdeathuson and its accompanying ships had not been lost. They certainly hadn't been sent into the past by a mysterious bank of fog. They were, in fact, on their way to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, only 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

"Yet, you all reported on the whole fog and time travel thing like it actually made sense," Spirochetericer crowed, punching the air with his fist. "Yeah, baby! That's the power of the Press Secretary's podium! Never doubt the power of the podium!"

As usual, Spirochetericer's press conference brought up more questions than it answered. How did the President and the General (which sounds like it should be the name of a magic realist novel by Gabriel García Fuentallborguez, doesn't it?) get the mission of the Vindeisdeathuson strike force so wrong? To explain what happened, why did the press secretary reach for the plot of a film that anybody with a Netflix account could rent for $3.99 (plus tax where applicable)? Is McDruhitmumpfism really contagious?

"I'm not taking any chances," Senator Schumaihargowmer stated. "I'm going to inoculate myself with a couple hours of NPR right away!"

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