Chapter Forty-one

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Kita stood with the Angels and Autobots on the stage of the briefing room in the bunker at Area 51 watching the large screen in the center display a visualization of her attack plan. Around the large screen, Secretary of Defense Gary Lowman, General Brice Mayfield and the other Joint Chiefs of Staff faces were on small screens watching rigid.

"Well," said Kita, "What do you think?"

"We're asking for World War Three," said Lowman.

"Why? It's just one large military exercise."

"On every major border of our largest rival."

"They do it to us all the time. It's where I got the idea, but on a much larger scale. Turnabout's fair play."

Mayfield cleared his throat. "A coordinated exercise across the Atlantic, Europe, southwest Asia, the Arctic, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Pacific will take months, if not over a year to plan."

"I want to go as soon as my weapon's launchers are ready. At most, you have two weeks."

"That's impossible!" said Lowman.

"Aren't you supposed to be ready at a moment's notice?" said Kita.

"Rapid response units are, not the broader military," said Mayfield. "But, we'll need time to move personnel and supplies, get units readiness up, get the proper clearance from our allies—a military exercise requires lots of coordination."

"I don't want any of it. The more of a paper trail we create, the easier it will be for the Soviets to discover our intentions. Let our units be surprised, just like a real war. They'll catch up. I would put out a military-wide directive to make sure maintenance is up to date and provisions filled."

"Princess Roosevelt, this is preposterous," said Lowman. "It will start a shooting war. You can't be considering this."

"I've read Princess Logine's report, and I believe her simulation is accurate. The Soviets will be paralyzed by so many threats along their borders. We won't cross the borders, naturally, except where we mean to. They'll be so busy with our main groups they won't notice us penetrating a far corner of their country. Flexing our military muscle is good for us and reminds Kryuchkov who carries the bigger stick."

"I'm more interested in changes the generals and admirals have," said Kita, "then excuses about if we should or can do it. I know you can do it. Should is up to Kimmy and I. I want to make sure it's done safely with the greatest impact."

"It's up to Princess Roosevelt," said Lowman. "You have not completed officer's school, been commissioned, or appointed to any civilian post in the military."

"Don't make me commission her," said Apocalypse.

Kita looked at Lowman and smiled. "I'll only accept my last rank—commandant. That is a system grade officer, Gary. I was in charge of planets worth of units."

"None of your claims have been corroborated."

"Of course not. You're in the wrong universe. But, feel free to ask Kimmy if I was lying."

"No, she's not, Gary. Leaf?"

Aspen shook her head.

Lowman's eyes narrowed. "Your Highness, this plan is ludicrous and will start a war. You want to throw away our carefully cultivated reputation around the world and heighten tensions with the Soviets? Princess Logine has already upset the balance enough."

That's only what you know about. "Secretary, what military school did you attend?" said Kita.

"I didn't. I was appointed after serving as CEO of General Dynamics."

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