Interlude 4

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Interlude 4

"What the hell happened? How did things get so out of control?"

"You know perfectly well. We accelerated too early."

"How do we deal with this? I've got the army on one line and the navy on the other and the Goddamned Chief of Staff trying to schedule a presidential briefing. What exactly am I supposed to say?"

"That's your area of expertise, not mine."

"What the hell good are you, then?"

"I don't know. It was a mistake to let the project slip out of our sole jurisdiction."

"You were the one who told me this resource operates on its own."

"I'm talking about other agencies pushing things in the wrong direction. This was never what we set out to do."

"It's done. Here and now, I have to deal with this God-awful mess in a way that ends with someone else's head on the chopping block. If you don't want it to be yours, give me suggestions."

"They'll tell you to do things right in China and let Pakistan go to hell."

"China was all that mattered to those bastards from the beginning. Okay. Good. Should we put SS-74 on it as well?"

"It hasn't reached deployment status. It might make things worse."

"If we leave it to DE-16, what are the odds it will get done in time?"

"Maybe 50-50."

"Is there anything we can do to improve it?"

"...Pray. If you believe in that sort of thing."

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