Some more rough stuff from 2020
Sitting comfortably in his bunker, which was buried more than a mile beneath the White House, Special Adviser Palmer Gross watched the interview between Tom Orwell and Roger Baskin. The video was projected on a screen on the wall opposite Palmer's desk. The display was the size of a drive-in movie screen that was common in America in the 1960s. That should give you some idea just how big the bunker buried a mile below the White House that Palmer Gross sat in comfortably was.
Palmer sat with his feet on his desk. His feet were clad in slippers fashioned from the skin of the craftsmen who had recreated the drive-in movie screen that had been built from the skin of the craftsmen who had built his desk.
Palmer didn't care for those high-tech, modernistic, synthetic giant visual displays. He liked things natural, the way they'd been in his boyhood.
His feet rested on a desk fashioned from trees from the Petrified Forest. A majestic work surface, Palmer's petrified desk was the width of five football fields and the length of twelve nuclear aircraft carriers. In former days, Palmer often wondered if the size of his petrified desk was a sufficient tribute to the size of his gravitas.
But Palmer had mellowed in recent years. The matter of whether his petrified desk masked the size of his gravitas didn't keep him up at night any more.
He'd gotten his ego under control.
Palmer watched Roger Baskin plop down the stairway of Tom Orwell's apartment building and pushed a button built into the console of his petrified desk panel that killed the video.
He reached down and stroked his juvenile tail. His inner eyelids closed, for the first time.
I'm making progress, Palmer thought.
He sank back into the executive leather chair that had been upholstered with the left over skins of the tradesmen who had built his video screen and petrified desk. Always the environmentalist, Palmer hated to waste raw materials.
The elevator doors behind him opened, and Palmer's Cyborg bodyguard said, "Halt, who goes there?"
"It's just me," came the reply.
Palmer waved his hand--which looked more like a claw now--and said, "Let him in, Robby. It's just Doctor Strangelove."
"Aye, aye, sir," Robby said, and saluted, and marched back into his alcove, and plugged himself into his battery charger, and went back into the sleep mode.
Doctor Strangelove, dressed in a white laboratory gown, his kinky hair jutting and odd angles and his thick glasses making his eyes look twice as large as they actually were, approached Palmer on his unholy throne.
"Are you certain you want to go ahead with the next step?" Doctor Strangelove said.
"In for a penny, in for a pound," Palmer hissed.
Strangelove pulled a syringe from his black medical bag. "And you still promise that you'll protect all my relatives in South America from the Extraordinay Patriot Rendition Act?'
Doctor Strangelove plunged the needle into Palmer's right forearm.
"If you won't be needing me anymore," Strangelove said.
"Not until next time…"
Palmer's outer eyelids closed over his inner eyelids. His tongue, forked now, briefly flicked out from between his lips.
As he dozed off, he reminded himself that once he'd become a complete reptile, and destined to live forever by human standards, he'd have to task SPAT to wipe out Doctor Strangelove, and go down to South American and wipe out every member of his extended family.
And he'd have to do something about Thomas Orwell.