Planet Buster
by Don't Make Eye Contact

"Tony? It's George." President Bush's voice was full of warmth and feeling and Blair smiled. He enjoyed talking to Bush, it made him feel important.

"George! Hello, that is to say, what can I do for you?"

"Well, Tony, thing is back in the good old days when Senior himself was in the driving seat all sorts of exciting defence projects got started up. Well one of those projects flew off the starting blocks and now it's coming up to bat."

The Prime Minister's brow furrowed at the metaphor mixing but he wanted to play along, even if he was unsure who Senior was. "What is it? A new type of nuke?"

"Well yes and no. I don't know the ins and outs, that's for my tech boys to say, but the one thing I understand is that America has a new weapon so we've got to test it."

"I suppose so. You still haven't told me what it actually does."

"Didn't I? Well its....mutter mutter." Bush's voice trailed off.

"What was that?" Blair was starting to get a sinking feeling, George wasn't normally one for beating round the, well, bush.

"Glad you're on board. Now just promise that you'll support this in the UN."


"Ok, ok. It's called a Planet Buster. You fire it at a planet and it burrows inside and blows it up or something. Basically it destroys planets."

Blair was stunned silent for a minute or so, Bush was making it sound like he was just talking about bombing a middle-eastern country or something. When he spoke his voice was strangled. "Jesus Christ! What are you thinking of?"

Bush was in earnest politician mode. "I am thinking of the safety of our two great nations, Tony. I am thinking of keeping us ahead in the arms race. This isn't just for America, it's for our allies too."

"How, in God's name, is having a bomb that can destroy the planet going to be of help?"

"What aliens are going to fuck with us if they know we can destroy their planet, huh? I've heard all the stories about goddamned anal probing and the American people won't stand for it. Do you want Britain to be anal probed? Huh? Is that it?"

Blair could virtually feel Bush's finger poking him in the... chest to punctuate words. "No, but..."

"And it's not like Britain has any emotional attachment to Pluto."

"Pluto? Why Pluto?"

"For the bomb test, dummy. We're going to blow it up. My Generals tell me that it's tricky strategically anyway. Best just to be rid of it."

Blair's initial surprise was being leeched away by a creeping sense of tired horror. "But surely people won't stand for it?"

"Sure, some geeks will whine about it for a while but my P.R. people can spin anything. The plain truth of the matter is that the average American wants to know that they belong to the greatest nation on Earth and that the greatest nation on Earth can blow the shit out of any planet that fucks with us." Bush's voice dripped with glee. He sounded like a kid on a sunny day with an anthill and the biggest magnifying glass in the world.

"It's madness. It's villainous."

"How can it be bad if the good guys are doing it?"

Blair stopped trying to fight it, the simple certainty in Bush's voice told him that he had already lost and he would end up doing whatever was asked, but he still felt an obligation to put up barriers. "There will be a backlash."

"I told you, my P.R. people are on it. They're already leaning on Disney to phase out their cartoon dog, its name could give the wrong associations."

"I don't know if I can swing this here. My support is getting pretty low."

"All you have to do is go on TV and give your personal support to us. And if you ever wonder where your loyalties lie, remember I've got the photos."

"You're in those photos too, George." Blair's voice was filled with petulance.

"Well you know the voters think that it's better to give than to receive."

"Ok, I'll get it done."

"You're my guy, Tony, you're my guy."

Blair put down the phone. He felt sick but still, he liked it when Bush called him his guy.


Two months later.

"Hi, Tony."

"Hello, George, I hear that the test was successful. I've had people trying to talk Patrick Moore off a ledge all morning."

"Yeah it went great. We've got all kinds of cool footage of the whole planet exploding. Great fun but..."

"What? Are there meteors from it? Are they heading towards us?"

"I don't think so. I'm sure NASA would have mentioned it. No it's just that it turns out the Pluto's the smallest planet in the solar system."


"Well there's no point in the test if people think we can only destroy tiny planets so I wanted to check. How attached are the British people to Jupiter?"


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