Title: Interlude: Conquered Earth
Series Order: 3
Banner Art: None
Word Count: 1,584
Warnings: Character Death
Summary: Stone cold sober, Henry looked insanity in the eye and laid it all on the line, “Madame Orici. I am Henry Hayes, President of the United States of America. I would say that I am pleased to meet you, but that would be an utter lie. What do you want?”
Henry Hayes, President of the United States and the so-called ‘leader of the free world’ was watching the invasion of his world from the Oval Office. He had Kinsey tied to a chair at the back of the room and had even taken the time to tie a big red bow onto the back of it. While the Ori might not get the joke, it was making him feel better. If God were kind, he would get to see what happened to him before the Orici dealt with him.
There were very few people left in the White House and most of the ones who were left were the single and or childless sorts who had no one else. They had all been offered a chance to go, but had stayed behind, each of them offering their place to someone else, to allow another family member to be saved. He was deeply humbled by the courage his people had shown. Everyone else, everyone he could save, down to the Presidential chef and the First Family had been sent to the SGC to be safe. O’Neill had let him know when they had gone through the gate to Atlantis. It had taken a huge load of worry off his mind when he had heard that.
Bomb after bomb fell on some of the most strategic areas on the planet, wiping out the bases of the major powers. Russia was crippled, wounded in ways that the Cold War planners had never dreamed. China tried, but paid for their efforts with carpet bombs in Shanghai that killed most if not all of the twenty-three million inhabitants. They had gotten off some of their ICBM’s, but they had done little good. Israel, Saudi Arabia, North and South Korea, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Iran, they all tried to shoot the Ori down. They all failed. Henry was keeping a tight hold on his ships and bases. There was no way he could afford to lose more than he absolutely had too.
When the sparkles of someone beaming into his office started, Henry sad back in his chair and just watched. There was no one in the room besides him and Kinsey and he was deeply glad of that now. His Secret Service Agents would have done their best, but they would have died and he knew that down to his bones. Died in vain at the hands of a mad woman. Nine people beamed in. Eight in some form of armor and one woman who looked like every picture he had ever been given of the leader of the Ori. The Orici.
Stone cold sober, Henry looked insanity in the eye and laid it all on the line, “Madame Orici. I am Henry Hayes, President of the United States of America. I would say that I am pleased to meet you, but that would be an utter lie. What do you want?”
It was a struggle, but he kept his eyes and face calm as he watched the ‘woman’ in front of him react to his speech. For the most part, she seemed amused by his defiance, which he supposed was good and beat being killed out of hand. When she finally did answer him, it was pretty much what he had expected, and she was obviously very satisfied to be saying it. “We have taken this world. You and all the other Tau’ri will bow before the power of the Ori. Your new Gods.”
Henry watched over her shoulder as Kinsey turned a lovely shade of puce. The last time that particular color had shown up, Robert had gotten into spectacular screaming fit with the Secretary of State and it had lasted over an hour. So when he blew, the President just closed his eyes for a moment and tried to ride out the storm.
“There is no God, but Jehovah! We will not worship at false idols and God will smite thee for thy blasphemy! Repent sinner.” And it was on. Worse and worse with every word that dropped out of his mouth. Why hadn’t he gagged the stupid bastard?
Adria apparently had a shorter fuse than he did and Robert only got to rant for about five minutes before she had had enough. Henry was devoutly glad that he had a strong stomach, because there was not much left of Robert Kinsey, former Vice President of the United States when she was done. He had even felt a bit of vindictive glee at what his headache had gotten, but then came the guilt. He had set Kinsey up and there was no denying it.
When the Orici turned back to face him, Henry felt himself blanch at the site of her eyes. Dancing in her eyes were flames. Flames that seemed to get bigger for just an instant and then banked themselves down to embers, while her face remained impassive, “What was that about?” she asked in a very sweet tone that fooled no one.
“That, Madame Orici, is a taste of how some of the fanatics we have on this planet will react to the coming of your troops. The most extreme are, by and large, unreasonably certain that their God is the only God, unwilling to bend to accept any other God and willing to die to prove that point. Moreover, there are several billion of them all over the planet in one form or another. In addition, there are people who aren’t as religious who are just as fanatical about their freedom to choose what they worship, if they worship and how they worship. There are seven billion people on this planet and most of the time, we can’t get along with each other, let alone worship the same thing. Imposing Origin will not go over well here.” Henry explained grimly. Laying it all out that way, Earth was not likely to make it through the rest of the day.
But if it did, if the Ori didn’t carpet bomb the planet, Robert’s death might lead to more lives being spared. The good of the many after all…
Adara said nothing as she stared at him, her eyes jumping with flares of flame and sparks. Uncomfortable with watching the fate of his planet be played out so silently, Henry turned his attention to the men who surrounded the Orici. They had been silent throughout the whole conversation and he could admit he was curious about them. Other than the odd armor, they looked normal, like the various members of the Secret Service he had seen on his detail over the years. One would think that aliens would look more like aliens.
He was watching the only blond in the room because he was the closest and well, if he was going to die, he might as well be watching something that freaked him out less than watching the pretty girl with flames in her eyes. What snapped him out of his funk were the voices of the anchors on CNN as they rose and fell in tired panic. Adrenaline, fear, excitement and at the start anticipation had been carried on those voices as the day had passed as the Ori fleet had moved over the planet. Flicking his eyes over the ticker at the bottom of the screen, Henry saw that the news agencies around the world were reporting sightings of alien troops in all the major capitols and cities around the globe.
It wasn’t quite ID4, but he had heard one of the anchors make the comparison and he winced. He really, really hoped that Adara didn’t want to blow up the White House with a giant laser. That would really complete the utterly fucked up week he was having.
“Henry Hayes,” he snapped his eyes away from the TV and looked at the woman who held the fate of humanity in her hands. “You will stand beside me as the Ori take over this planet and dedicate it to the glory that is Origin. Right after we teach the Tau’ri a lesson in why you do not make war on us,” She declared with a hard and eager look on her face.
Horror churning in his guts, Henry looked at the TV and saw a live shot of Paris and the Ori Battlecruiser over it, releasing wave after wave of the devastating pulse that was the ships main weapon. It took only moments and Paris was gone. The view shifted as the anchors exclaimed in horror, trying to explain what the world had just seen and failing, Dubai and the tallest building in the world was now just so much slag. Islamabad, Pakistan was on fire and so was New Delhi, India. Moscow, Berlin, Sydney, Cape Town, Cairo, the pictures just kept coming. Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida both burned along with Chicago, Colorado Springs, and finally the CNN studio lit briefly and then was gone. And that meant that New York was gone too.
“Come. We have things to do.” Adara, Orici and now the likely ruler of a crippled Earth moved out of the room. Henry followed her because he couldn’t do anything else and prayed that the people he had sent out with the SGC were strong enough, resourceful enough to find a way to eventually come rescue them. Because this was going to be a long, bloody conversion and he now had a front row seat to the whole thing.
God help him.