The President of the United States of America is sitting at his desk, flicking through a newspaper alone in the Oval Office. He stops at a page, pulls the page closer to his face, then puts the paper down on the desk. He presses a button on his intercom.
PRESIDENT: Mary. Could you send in the vice president please?
MARY: (through intercom) Certainly Mr President.
The President picks up the paper again and stares in awe at the page for a while. The vice president comes in.
VP: You asked for me Mr President?
PRESIDENT: Indeed I did. I just noticed here in this paper that there is a place called Titan. Now I ask you Mr Vice president, and I do ask you sincerely; have you heard of this place they call Titan?
VP: Yes. I have.
PRESIDENT: And did you know that vast swathes of oil have been discovered there?
VP: Yes. But…
PRESIDENT: Well I’ve been looking at the pictures and it doesn’t look like a very hospitable place to live. Looks like it’s always night there. Looks kinda gloomy…
VP: Yes. That because…
PRESIDENT: Now let me finish now. I was just getting to thinking about how we can help those poor Titaneses or whatever some-such they’re called over there. Looks to me like Titan needs a helping hand. I can feel the hand of freedom liftin’ high…
VP: Forgive me Mr President but, we’d have to lift it pretty high. You see….
PRESIDENT: Well we’ll just Goddamn well have to. The price of freedom cannot be….bargained with. Why I’ve never known such a lack of candour coming from yourself Mr Vice President. Where has you heart gone? Where is your fire for freedom?
PRESIDENT: Yes! It’s the new triangle of evil. Iran. North Korea of course. (the President stands up.) Titan.
VP: Please Mr…
PRESIDENT: They got terrorists in this Titan?
VP: Well if they did they’d find it pretty hard to breath…
PRESIDENT: Pollution huh?
(the president sits down again, slowly.)
VP (gets louder.) Mr President…
PRESIDENT: Y’know. I’ve been getting’ tired of all this pollution., pollutin’ the good air of this great planet…seems to me something ought to be done.
VP: That’s the thing Mr President. Titan is a planet Mr President. Well…the moon of a planet. Saturn to be precise.
PRESIDENT: Well why didn’t you say so.
The President presses the button on his intercom.
Mary. Could you get me NASA on the phone?
MARY: Certainly Mr President.
A dialing tone comes through the intercom. Charles Bolden, the head of Nasa’s voice comes through.
CHARLES: Charles Bolden, NASA. How can I help you?
PRESIDENT: Good day to you Charles. This is your president speaking.
CHARLES: Why, good day to you Mr President.
PRESIDENT: Yes indeed it is. I have one question for you.
CHARLES: By all means fire away.
PRESIDENT: Do we own Titan?
CHARLES: Own? Uh…no Mr President. We don’t own any of the planets.
PRESIDENT: All due respect Mr….uh…
CHARLES: Bolden sir. It’s Bolden.
PRESIDENT: Well all due respect Mr Bolden but I do believe Titan is a moon and if I’m not mistaken we have claim to at least one moon.
CHARLES: That’s not strictly true.
The president looks at the vice president and makes a circle with his finger next to his temple.
PRESIDENT: Yeah. Uh. Sure Bolden. Well…uh…thanks for the uh…advice. Speak soon.
CHARLES: Nice talking to you Mr President.
PRESIDENT: Right back at ya.
The president hangs up on the intercom then presses the button to speak to Mary. He stands up and straightens his tie.
Mary. Could you set up a press conference for 6 o’clock? I want to declare our ownership of Titan. Goddamn it. The first foot that’s going to set foot on that forsaken frontier will be a free foot. Mark my words. Freedom’s gonna lay claim atop Titans toosh before any terrorist can ever set toe there. Let the shuttles soar!
VP: They’ve been de-commissioned sir…
PRESIDENT: Let the spacecraft soar! Let the first toe on Titan be an American toe! We’ll get those western values there if kills us! Well y’know….not us. Oh and Mary?
MARY: Yes Mr President?
PRESIDENT: Fire the head of NASA will you? He’s a few planets short of a system.