osiris (fiction)

⧭⧭⧭⧭

DR. ALEXEI KOPYCHNAKOV – PHYS. TO THE PRES. – MEDICAL VISIT REPORT

DATE: 03192019. TIME: 0040 hours – 0130 hours. LOC: CASTLE – Master Bedroom.

Mogul[1] rang my personal line from the Master Bedroom phone at 0040 hours and alerted me to his condition. He then requested I come to Castle. I arrived at Castle at 0055 hours and was escorted by Guardians to the Master Bedroom. I found Mogul restless, struggling to fall asleep. This is not a regular condition of his, so I asked Mogul why he was struggling. Mogul informed me that he had been feeling intense anxiety over what he referred to as “the scheme of things.” I prescribed and administered two Ambien (zolpidem) tablets at 0100 hours to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.

Mogul began to show signs of restfulness at 0130 hours. Heart rate began to approach 75 BPM. Side effects not present within first 30 minutes. At 0135 hours, Mogul requested I leave Castle. I left Castle at 0140 hours.

END OF REPORT. SUBMITTED TO OFFICIAL RECORD – 03192019, 0145 hours.

Secretary of Defense R.L. Coitus creases the report at its midsection, folds it in half, sets it down on his desk. He removes his glasses, rubs his septum with the middle and pointer fingers of his right hand, and sets the glasses down atop the folded report with his left. He snatches the landline phone on his desk like it’s the throat of a gook and presses it up to his ear.

He grunts to himself as he dials the phone: “Fucking Ambien.”

⧭⧭⧭

Gary Dawson has never traveled to Egypt.

In fact, Gary Dawson has never strayed far from the coastal Atlantic U.S. He’s been to New York twice for the Belmont Stakes, Maine one time for the Lobster Fest. The furthest inland Gary’s ever gone was Pittsburgh back in 98’ when his freshman girlfriend dragged him to the Andy Warhol Museum on a long weekend. He’s always been a D.C. kid, born and raised in the Southeast, graduating from Howard U in 02’ and enlisting in the Air Force that same year. So far it’s been seventeen years of Air Force service. He’s forty now. Forty and committed as ever. He knew from day one that the Air Force wasn’t just something to do. Not a work-play type deal. He definitely wasn’t going to half-ass something like the Air Force. Ma taught him different.

On August 11, 1979, Gary Dawson was born on the shag carpet of the lower level of a two story townhouse just south of Benning Road. When Gary was a kid he went to public school, and lucky for Gary, two years into his first term, President Reagan decided to make a huge fuss over education – and so he told a group of D.C. thinkers to do some studies about the state of education in the country at the time. What they came up with was a 48-page informational booklet called “A Nation At Risk.” From the report:

“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”[2]

Gary spent his elementary years of school napping and counting with two fingers. Middle school was all sweat and hair. High school Gary played football, and was actually kind of good, but only that kind of good that’s good relative to the competition he faced, not the kind of good that translates into anything promising post-grad. By High School graduation Gary was about half as smart as the average Korean 8th grader and had no idea where he stood. How could he? How can anyone know where they stand when they have nothing to compare themselves to? Lucky for Gary, compared to his classmates, he had above average potential as a football player and was accepted by Howard U on a D-1 scholarship.

Howard was where Gary found focus. He spent most days in the weight room or on the field carving himself into mid-season shape. He would eat 4,000 calories per day, every day. He hung with only a few other Howard kids in his four years, dipping his toe into feral college romance for just half a semester (recall his trip to Pittsburgh). Regular communication was mostly with his Defensive Line Coach and his Ma (also, unknown to Gary, some extracurricular communication between his Ma and his Defensive Line Coach). Gary’s Ma knew better than anyone that he needed a strong authority figure, someone to be there to push him through his mistakes. She knew that Gary responded best to instruction, and when instruction wasn’t enough, to coercion, and she was worried that her son would begin to lose discipline in college away from his Ma. But she might as well have quoted the Reagan Report when communicating her feelings to his D-Line Coach. From the report: “Our society and its educational institutions seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of schooling, and of the high expectations and disciplined effort needed to attain them.” The report illustrates a way to say what Gary’s Ma was trying to say to her son’s D-Line Coach the first time they met, though she said it in a language she knew: “Beat the best out of my son.”

And that’s exactly what he did. He came down harder on Gary than on any other player, forcing him to exert his developing body in ways he could barely afford, keeping him after hours in dark, damp rooms repressing Gary’s Michelin-Man body, a body illuminated by highlights from reels of game film Coach had projected on the rows of lockers he faced, Gary the lone viewer. Lockers, twenty across and three up – all the exact same cut and color – differentiated, if not defined by the distinct scrapes their days delivered them. Lockers which played tricks on Gary as he watched, slowly blending into one single solitary body as wide and tall as the room itself, The Great Locker, combination unknown, projecting something inward Gary couldn’t see – something so fixed in its nature it was nearly invisible – something more sinister than he could bare to come to terms with, and Gary, like most slow heads, didn’t like being tricked, so whenever exhaustion would blur his focus and his eyes would drift into that mystic darkness he would prick himself with a handy ball pump to retain himself. This is where Gary found focus, in the football team locker room of Howard University, beating his delusions into submission. The more time he spent watching film, the clearer his objective became: Restrict the quarterback. Punish him for his mistakes. Bury him in the locker and chew up the key.

Gary was good, good enough to win Defensive Player of the Year in the New England Athletic Conference by his junior season, though not good enough to have any legitimate NFL draft prospects post-grad. Still good enough to feel like all his work had been for something, or at least good enough at convincing himself it had. Either way, his coaches and his Ma were good at making his world seem small enough so that winning NEWMAC DPOY seemed like the triumph of a full lifetime, something to make all the days of excursion and suppression well worth their costs. After graduating from Howard in May of 2001, Gary enlisted in the Air Force to stay close to home, close to his Ma. No less, he could build on the one trait that he knew he had: discipline of body and brain.

This made Gary a perfect fit for the Air Force, especially considering that football and war are so similar. Both built on discipline, strength, commitment, featuring two sides fighting to force each other off the field, both with a general, or quarterback, taking tactical orders from a base, or sideline, and commanding the offensive. Both relying on a strong defensive line to halt the offensive before it’s too late, an ominous time limit watching them as they work. A far throw from the quarterback to a wide receiver is called a long bomb for fucks sake. American Revolution? Touchdown, USA. World War II? Fuck your blitz, the red white and blue is here to move the pile. We might even have got the win in Vietnam if we had a decent fan section…

A trait that Gary so clearly possessed but was unaware of was his obedience, another marker of a successful soldier. So after seventeen years of being the most damn disciplined and obedient Airman he could be, moving up the ranks from Airman First Class to Senior Airman, Senior Airman to Staff Sergeant, Staff Sergeant to Technical Sergeant, Technical Sergeant to Master Sergeant, Master Sergeant to Senior MS, Senior MS to Chief MS, Chief MS to Command Chief MS, Command Chief MS to Chief MS of the Air Force, Chief MS of the Air Force to Lieutenant Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel, Gary Dawson was finally promoted from Colonel to Brigadier General of the Air Force. Very few ever make it this far, only the supremely committed, disciplined and obedient. That final promotion happened today, actually, on August 11, 2019. He would now be stationed at the Pentagon, where he would head the National Military Command Center[3], just a stone’s throw from his Ma. Today is also Gary’s 40th birthday.

Today is the best day of Gary’s life, even better than the day he won NEWMAC DPOY, because today, Gary is done. He’s reached higher than he ever thought he would, and is fulfilled. So before he starts, he is considering maybe taking a trip to Egypt sometime, to see the pyramids.

⧭⧭⧭

DATE: 03192019. TIME: 0217 Hours. LOC: The Pentagon.

Defense Secretary R.L. Coitus’ office on the 7th story of the southwest side of The Pentagon is placed directly above and across from a Taco Bell. The Pentagon, which acts as the headquarters for all 5 branches of the United States Military – Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Marines – is home to a KFC, Starbucks, Popeyes, Panda Express, Subway and perhaps the last Redbox kiosk in the multiverse. All of this is 100% true and 100% verifiable[4].

Coitus’ office is walled with mirrors on all six sides, so that all the objects and persons in the room’s reflections travel endlessly in all directions. As of this moment, Coitus is two feet up on his mahogany desk wearing an undershirt and no shoes, his reflection multiplying exponentially on the walls around him. He is smoking the final Mayan Sicar[5] in existence, a 600 year-old artifact uncovered in Guatemala in 2012 and bought at auction for $507,000 by Coitus’ trust-funded wife as a congratulations for being promoted to Secretary of Defense. With each hit of the Sicar, Coitus burns a remnant of Mayan history, of a civilization that controlled all of Central America for 3700 years, building many grand pyramids that still stand today. It tastes like mud and dust. Coitus blows O’s.

There is a quick knock at the door before Commander of U.S. Strategic Command Brooklyn Musk opens it, enters through the doorway, turns and salutes[6]. The mirrored walls create the illusion of endless ranks of men in uniform displaying respect in perfect synchrony – endless meaning they could theoretically stack themselves one by one horizontally in all the ocean’s and seas in the world until they formed a bodily surface (though a bumpy, squishy one) that could be traversed without modern technology by an infinite number of other soldiers wishing to colonize any competitive country or powerless sovereign state they wish. A handsome sight.

“Secretary Coitus,” Musk says.

“At ease, Commander. Have a seat.” Coitus blows a final O and sets the Sicar over a platinum tray on the desk, where it roasts like incense. He speaks:

“Commander, there is a piece of intelligence I must pass on to you. Once you receive this intelligence you will move swiftly. At O-Two-Ten this morning the North Korean leadership fired five ICBMs in the direction of our United States. Three of these missiles are targeting weapon’s storage locations across the country, one is targeting residential D.C. and the last is going to land right where you stand.”

Musk is still, other than a slight and uncontrollable eye twitch that he’s acutely aware of.

  “Roughly,” Coitus adds.

“Good God Sir,” Musk says.

“That’s right Commander. We believe that the bases have 11 minutes until touchdown. We have about twelve.”

“Oh Lord, Oh Jesus Lord.”

“That’s right Commander. It appears that that trigger-happy gook finally let his tiny weenie get the better of him, and everyone you know is going to die.”

“Oh sweet mother Mary. Sweet Baby Jesus.”

“You’re right, Commander. Sweet Baby Jesus is absolutely right.”

The Sicar glows and dims on the tray as a small cloud of smoke begins to collect above the two men’s heads.

“But why? Why, sir? Why is this happening?”

            “Ambien, Commander.”

            “Ambien?”

            “That’s correct Commander. A report I received at 0200 hours informed me that at 0100 this morning, The President’s physician prescribed The President Ambien to help him sleep.”

            “Ambien?”

            “Yes, Commander. Ambien. It’s a drug used by people with insomnia. The President couldn’t sleep, so he was prescribed and given Ambien by his physician at 0100 hours.”

            “What’s that got to do with anything?!?”

            “Well, Commander, side effects of Ambien tend to include dizziness, confusion, lack of concentration and aggression. It appears as though The President suffered from serious side effects after taking Ambien this morning,” Coitus says. “I’m only saying this because you’ve always agreed with my principles as a man and I think you have a right to know.”

            The cloud of smoke dissipates slowly, shading the mirrors around the room like an Etch-A-Sketch.

            “Sir, please. Tell me what this has to do with the fact that we’re all going to die. Please,” Musk says.

            “We’re all a bit bent out of shape here. It appears that once The President began to feel the side effects, he began tweeting.”

            “Good God.”

“That’s correct, Commander. At 0201 hours, The President posted a tweet directed at the North Korean leadership,” Coitus says.

“Sweet Baby Jesus.”


           “You’re absolutely right, Commander.”

In what would be his last conscious act as a piece of sentient matter on planet Earth, General Brooklyn Musk slid to unlock his phone screen, tapped the little blue and white birdie icon and glanced at Twitter one final time. There it was, a tweet by @POTUS at 0201 hours:

@POTUS

02:01 AM

.@KimJongUn can lick my balls.

“Sweet Mother Mary.”

            “That’s right, Commander. Sweet Mother Mary is absolutely right. This leads me to why I called you here today. The President has, in a state of confusion, already launched the nuclear football[7] and spit the biscuit[8]. I have just received the code from The President ordering a full-scale attack[9] on North Korea. This code I will now pass on to you.”

“Oh Jesus, Oh Lord Baby Jesus and Sweet Mother Mary all rolled into one.”

“The code is Anubis, Commander. Remember your mission. Pass this code to the launch center. Godspeed.”

            Commander Musk did not salute before running out the door, but it didn’t matter. He could barely see or be seen anymore, as the rising smoke from the Mayan Sicar had collected and largely clouded the room’s visibility. Coitus exhaled deeply and put the Sicar back to his lips before kissing the sweetest kiss he ever kissed, well aware he’d just passed the baton on a nuclear holocaust that would end the world as he’s had it. The dementor’s kiss, a kiss to reap a soul. And then smoke.

⧭⧭⧭

            The truth is that Gary’s draw to Egypt is nothing more than a draw to obedience. That’s what the pyramids stand for. They stand for obedience and domination. The Pyramid of Giza was built for Pharaoh Khufu by his subjects over the course of 20 years from 2580 to 2560 BC and Khufu never lifted a grain of sand. Instead he delegated, dominated; the people were obedient because the Pharaoh was their leader, He who set the laws of their land. They prayed to thousands of Gods but took only guidance from them, not orders. They took orders only from the Pharaoh, a representative sent by the Gods to lead them. This was the gift of the Pharaoh, to live the life of a mortal man while guided by the delusion that he was sent by the God’s, and to have thousands of subservient subjects reaffirming his delusion. What is there to tell a man that he is not a God, when he believes he is one, and everyone and everything he knows about the world reaffirms his belief? Can he ever be sure that he is not a God?

            Gary Dawson doesn’t believe in serendipity, he knows that everything happens for a reason. Everything that has happened to him in his life until this point has been planned by a natural force, a force which he is sure is called God, and nothing has come to him to disprove this belief. Why else would his D-Line coach have been harder on him than on anyone else, directly leading to him becoming DPOY? It has all been planned. He was born to be disciplined. Everything in his life has taught him to take orders when they are given, to follow leaders who lead with force, to commit himself wholly to whatever he is led in to, because that is how law and order are maintained, how success is guaranteed, how pyramids are built. Why else would he have been promoted to Brigadier General? It had to be planned, had to be something carved out of the stone tablets of history that put him where he is today, ready for action. He is now and will forever be a man of service, his greatest liberty the freedom to obey. This is the liberty of Gary Dawson, Brigadier General of the U.S. Air Force. He gets a call.

            “Hello?”

            “Brigadier General Dawson, this is Commander Musk.”

            “Commander Musk! Great to hear from you. I’m just pulling in to the Command Center, I was just so damn excited to check out my new office…”

            “Good, you’re there. Is there anyone with you?”

            “No sir, just me, I haven’t stepped out of the car yet.”
            “Step out. Your team is inside waiting for your order.[10]

            “Sir?”

            “The code is Anubis, Dawson. I trust you know what this means.”

            “Sir, it’s my first day, I don’t know what anything means.”

“Anubis, son. The Gold Code. MAO’s against the gooks.”

“Oh.”

            “TACAMO[11], Dawson, three minutes before your major missile silos are destroyed. The fate of our country is on you now. Good luck, my son, may the Mother Mary bestow grace upon your soul.” The General hung up the phone immediately, for he had another call to make.

            “Okay.”

            Today, the National Military Command Center became the responsibility of Gary Dawson. Today, Gary Dawson received his first command as DDO[12]. The command is to launch all of the ICBMs under his command at The People’s Republic of North Korea.

Gary puts down his phone and doesn’t move. He tilts his head to the right, swivels it left and peers out his driver’s side window. It’s dark out. He slides down the window and looks at the NMCC. He asks it why and it doesn’t respond.

Gary walks into the security foyer of the building where an armed guard is removing his socks and placing them on the moving conveyor of the CT scanner[13], where the rest of his uniform and underwear has already begun its passage into the black. The guard locks his eyes on Gary and freezes like a frightened doe, watching him carefully as he approaches. Gary asks him where the War Room is and the guard points down toward the floor. Gary swiftly glides past him without speaking again and coasts toward a door with an Exit sign above it which precedes the stairs. He hears only his own steps as he descends. When Gary reaches the War Room, a team of 20 await him. Well, not quite await as much as fuck – violently fuck – all over the room. There are Actions Officers mounting Senior Officers, assistants ravaging section heads, the Surveillance Officer does a headstand whilst masturbating. Some are fully naked, some in half uniform, but all are active participants in the violent orgy. There is fluid wherever there is sound, and there is sound all through the room. The tracks of human excretion in the War Room are indelible. Gary watches for a bit too long before speaking.

“Hello everyone,” is what he decides to go with, and as would be expected, nobody reacts. He shouts:

“HELLO EVERYONE.”

And some hear, but none react.

“I IMAGINE YOU HEARD THE NEWS.”

The response sounds like rubber tires rolling through puddles of jam.

“DOES ANYONE INTEND TO STOP FORNICATING?”

It doesn’t seem so. Gary begins to feel frustrated. He recalls his position.

“STOP FORNICATING. THAT IS AN ORDER.”

Nothing changes, but the Surveillance Officer rolls onto his back for better leverage. Gary is becoming frustrated by his position. He shouts again:

“I NEED AT LEAST ONE OF YOU TO DO THIS WITH ME.[14]

And the Surveillance Officer comes.

“I CAN’T DO THIS ALONE.”

And an Actions Officer comes.

“WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.”

And two assistants with locked eyes simultaneously come.

“WILL ANY OF YOU FOLLOW YOUR ORDERS?”

And the security guard barges through the door, naked, red & yelling with steam rising from his hairless dome.

“WHERE’S MY WATCH?” The guard yells at the room. No one responds.

The guard sprints through Gary and into the crowd of bodies, but instead of fornicating (as would be expected), violently assaults officers and assistants alike. He cracks two jaws and bites the nose off another’s face. He spits the nose onto the floor and screams again:

“WHERE’S MY WATCH?”

Gary is confused and feels that right here and now he’s maybe a little bit behind. He starts to cry, not because he’s about to die, but because he isn’t able to follow orders in his final hour. He thinks about Ma.

“I am Gary Osiris Dawson. I am a man of service.”

⧭⧭⧭⧭


[1] The Secret Service and some permanent White House staff refer to many people, places, and even things by codenames. These codenames are not determined by the Secret Service, but by the White House Military Office, headquartered at the Joint-Base Anacostia-Bolling, which is not far from the action by any means. Mogul is the SS codename for President Donald Trump (who went against tradition and assigned this nickname to himself), Guardian is the codename for a Secret Service Officer, and Castle is the codename for The White House.

[2] Sic.

[3] The primary task of the NMCC is to monitor worldwide events which may be of defense significance. The NMCC also has a crisis response component and a strategic watch component (e.g., monitoring ballistic missile launches and other nuclear activity). The NMCC is operated by five teams on a rotating watch system. Each team typically has 17–20 personnel on duty performing a wide variety of functions. Teams are led by a Deputy Director for Operations (DDO) who is typically a Brigadier General or Rear Admiral.

[4] Sort of. I got all this information by looking up “The Pentagon” on Google Maps and zooming in really close. Feel free to double check this point (I only say that because I know you won’t).

[5]A cigar, don’t ask why it’s spelled this way.

[6] An unnecessary gesture in this situation that he makes by muscle memory.  Military personnel are not required to salute any superior other than the Commander in Chief (currently doped off his ass on sleeping pills).

[7] This is the name of the briefcase that contains the nuclear launch codes. The football is in the possession of a member of the President’s security detail with the highest military clearance, Yankee White. Before opening the football, this person must first verify the identity of the Commander in Chief but is not allowed to question whether or not the Commander in Chief is sane.

[8] The biscuit is another term for the three-by-five-inch plastic card kept inside the nuclear football containing the “Gold Codes,” which are renewed each day by the National Security Agency.

[9] The attack options are preset war plans developed under OPLAN 8010, and include major attack options (MAOs), selected attack options (SAOs), and limited attack options (LAOs). The president has selected major attack options, because if you’re going to launch nukes, why not fully send it?

[10] Because the NMCC is primarily a surveillance service, they would have known that North Korea had fired missiles very soon after they did. However, they are unable to respond to the attack before receiving direct orders to do so from the new DDO, which so happens to be Gary Dawson.

[11]Take Charge and Move Out,” a communication used only by military personnel in critical cases.

[12] Deputy Director of Operations. Leader of the branch. Typically, a Brigadier General. It’s Gary.

[13] The machine that airports and other buildings with thorough security use to check bags.

[14] Critical operations such as missile launches adhere to a two-man rule, also known as the four-eyes principle. In this respect, two authorized personnel would have to turn separate keys in the missile control panel simultaneously for the ICBM’s to be launched. The two slots are placed far enough from each other so that one person can’t turn both alone.

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