Pick up any thriller novel and you’ll find the same story: a super-spy uncovers a terrifying plot by someone in power. He then races against time and overwhelming enemies to expose and stop it. And everyone praises him in the end! But I’ve decided to re-imagine this concept—based on absolutely nothing that is happening in the real world, of course—and write a really short, satirical tale that shows a thriller going in a completely different and wacky direction. Enjoy.
“And I’ll give China every secret and work with them to ensure the defeat of the United States!”
The words from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dick “Buzz” Busby kept ringing through Grant Strongjaw’s mind. Espionage and treason at the highest level—a promise to work with the commies to destroy America. Once Strongjaw reached his field office and handed over the recording to Miss Thighsley, they’d be able to get it to higher authorities and upload it to the internet and expose the whole plot. Or rather, not “once” he reached his field office, but “if” he reached it.
Another bullet sped past his head, piercing the air with the familiar warning that it only missed him by inches. Strongjaw’s foot planted firmly into the ground and he made a ninety degree turn into the alley. Fifty feet ahead of him was a dead end.
He inhaled sharply and ran faster—burst into a full sprint. He was halfway down the alley when his pursuers rounded the corner and zeroed in on him.
“You’re a dead man!” one shouted.
Just twenty-five more feet, Strongjaw told himself.
“Stop!” The second pursuer thrust out his arm and held up his partner. He raised his Sig Sauer 9mm and placed Strongjaw in his sight picture. “I got him now.”
Down the alley and Strongjaw was six feet from the wall. He leaped for it.
His pursuer squeezed the trigger.
The bullet whizzed between Strongjaw’s legs. His foot hit the gap in the masonry three feet off the ground and he pushed off it, propelling himself upwards. His fingers grasped the top of the wall, slipped, and regained a hold. He heaved with all his might, pulled himself to the top, and rolled over. His enemy’s next shot pinged off the top of the wall, just barely missing his hand.
Strongjaw dropped to the pavement on the other side and exhaled. He turned and in front of him, just rounding the other end of the alley only feet away, was yet another pursuer.
Strongjaw charged forward. His enemy yelped and began raising his weapon. Strongjaw slammed into him like a linebacker running over a wide receiver on a crossing pattern.
His enemy hit the ground and the air rushed out of his lungs. Strongjaw fell on him and delivered a single blow and rendered him unconscious. He picked up his enemy’s weapon and resumed running. Ahead of him was nothing but clear streets.
Strongjaw burst into his field office. Miss Thighsley looked up from her laptop on her desk.
“I have something for you,” he told her.
“A request for a date? Why, Grant, you know that goes against office policy.”
“No time for prattling, Thighsley. I need you to upload this to the internet right away.” He tossed her the small, digital device. “We’ve got to stop a plot to overthrow America.”
She caught it in her finely manicured hands. “Yes, sir. Right away.”
Within hours, all the bloggers, pundits, and journalists were braying about CJCS Busby’s open admission of treason. The video recording had been authenticated.
“I’d expect the president’s people to contact us very soon,” Miss Thighsley told Strongjaw.
He sipped his beverage. “Yes. And I’m sure they’ll find this goes beyond Busby. Can you believe we were this close to losing the nation to a madman at the highest levels of our government? We just barely staved off disaster.”
A day later, and the chatter from all the important people had changed.
“Treason? Are you serious?” the progressive Speaker of the House said during a press briefing. “This is just a standard part of the Chairman’s duties. In fact, this shows how heroic he is under our illegitimate president.”
And on the major Sunday talk programs, pundits spouted off similar thoughts.
“This is just another case of someone trying to smear an honorable patriot,” progressive blogger Kareem Johnson-Myers huffed.
“Incivility is destroying this nation,” conservative think tank-er Emily Wunderspock mused. “We need to bring back decency instead of flocking to every salacious accusation—especially when they come from anonymous sources. Just who recorded this video anyway and how did he gain access to do it? That’s the real question.”
Two days later, Christian commentator Terry Blivens, fresh off of demanding that the government shoot and kill Americans who were lawfully protesting against government overreach, spoke out as well. “Why do purportedly civilized people believe they have a right to be mean and nasty to our politicians or anyone else? And it’s especially disturbing to see fellow Christians call Gen. Busby a ‘spy’ and a ‘traitor.’ That’s quite un-Christian. What has our nation come to?”
And after that the ball kept rolling.
“Pundits are defending Busby. Politicians are too. Journalists want to know our identities. But they can’t find them out. Right? We’re protected by law,” Miss Thighsley said.
“N-No. They can’t disclose our identities,” Strongjaw stammered. “I mean, w-we’re protected by law because we’re human intelligence assets. Plus, we’re the heroes. Don’t they know that? How can they be defending Busby?”
“And why isn’t the president defending us? Is he even running things any longer?”
“I don’t know.”
“Oh, no,” Miss Thighsley gasped.
“What?” Strongjaw asked.
“It’s Busby. He’s just announced on social media he’s gay.”
Strongjaw’s face turned ashen.
“And now we know that the spurious recording made of Gen. Busby was nothing but a homophobic attack!” progressive pundit Roy Weiner yelled.
A video of Busby dancing in his work office, dressed in a pink leotard and tutu, played on the split screen beside Weiner’s angry countenance.
“As a gay man, I find this particularly disturbing,” conservative magazine editor Bob Polk added.
“We shouldn’t care what someone’s sexual orientation is. As long as our warriors can do their jobs, I don’t care who they sleep with,” veteran and conservative wonk Meegan Timmons chimed in. “It’s time to put this ginned-up controversy to rest and focus on the real villains.”
Warrior Busby did a pirouette and donned a sparkling tiara.
A week after Strongjaw showed the world Busby’s treason the FBI showed up at his house at three in the morning. Strongjaw’s house—not Busby’s.
The government thugs dragged him into the middle of the street in his underwear, parading him around before his neighbors. Miss Thighsley received the same treatment. Then they threw them in prison without charges, and never set trial dates. Journalists, pundits, and politicians cheered. They showered universal praise on Busby, who started wearing makeup on the job as CJCS. He eventually announced he was transgender.
A month later and the House of Representatives impeached the president and the Senate convicted him. They did the same with the VP, and the Speaker became POTUS.
Five years later, and Busby (wearing his finest dress and heels) was at the ceremony where the POTUS and the rest of the American government handed over the country to China. Strongjaw and Thighsley remained in prison, as far as anyone knew, at least. They might’ve been dead. After all, they were denied legal representation and no one had heard from them after they had been arrested.
“This is a great day for America!” Busby shrieked as America officially ended.
And everyone stood up and clapped.