Chuck vs. the Seventh Day


Just before Christmas 2011, the world almost came to an end.

The Middle East had reached critical mass. The Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan was practically out of control. The United States and Russia had gone to each other's throats over Iran. Palestinian militants constantly lobbed rockets at Israel, and Israel responded with massive airstrikes.

Syria had launched a full scale invasion of Lebanon. Libya had gone directly to hell in a handbasket. Al Qaida was running rampant in Saudi Arabia. Jordan and Kuwait were doing the national equivalent of hiding under the covers and hoping for the nightmare to end.

And on December 17th, a small nuclear device was detonated in the Bedu wilds of Saudi Arabia.

It was in the middle of nowhere. It harmed nobody. Perhaps an unlucky Bedouin and his camel who happened to be in its path, but there was no physical damage, no loss of life, the only evidence that it had occurred being the half square mile of Saudi Arabian sand that had been turned into a sheet of blackened, radioactive glass.

Within minutes, the world had saddled up, locked, and loaded. Intercontinental ballistic missile bases in the United States, Russia, and China were receiving targeting packages. America's fleet nuclear missile submarines were received orders to go deep and prepare for launch.

Long range strategic nuclear bombers launched from air force bases around the world. India and Pakistan loaded their fighters with what nuclear weapons they had. Israel's entire nuclear inventory went airborne, as did South Africa's.

And yet, in the midst of it all, the President of Russia had the presence of mind to call the President of the United States and say, "This is insanity."

The United States and Russia stood down first. The stand-down of their forces mirrored each other, as they both stood down to pre-event defense conditions by Christmas Eve. With the two major nuclear superpowers at rest, the remainder of the world took that as a sign that they could breathe easy.

On New Year's Day 2012, the President of the United States brought a proposal to the Presidents of Russia and France, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the Premier of the People's Republic of China – the leaders of the five nations that possessed intercontinental nuclear strike capability.

The proposal was simple – disarm. Destroy all land-based intercontinental missiles by the year 2020, and all sea-going missiles by the year 2025. There was an additional part of the proposal, but it was just a recommendation, not a requirement – destroy all nuclear weapons by the year 2050.

The thought of what could have been spurred the five countries to action. The five leaders met in Casablanca, Morocco, and put together a peace treaty within a week. All five nations immediately signed off on it, and submitted it to the United Nations for recommendation to all other countries.

Within a month, the world had gone from the brink of Mutually Assured Destruction to living on the eve of peace – the end of the nuclear age. It was a time for celebration, and for rejoicing.

For most.

There was a secret organization, formed during the Clinton presidency. They were a group of hardliners within the United States government who had bonded together during Bill Clinton's attempts to bring peace to parts of the world that they thought could never become peaceful – Palestine, Korea, Northern Ireland.

This organization thought that nuclear disarmament was a very bad idea. They likened it to neutering a dog, saying that it would strategically weaken the United States.

And so, they began to put into action a plan, a plan that had been drawn up many years before. This plan had been created in the event that it was thought that President could no longer serve. Under the plan, the military would take control – essentially a coup d'état.

With high ranking members ranging from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President's Cabinet to the NSA and beyond, this organization made a vow to keep America armed, to keep America strong. This organization would ensure that America remained the premier dominant superpower in the world long after the prominence of Russia and China had faded.

This organization had a very simple name. They thought that it was quite an appropriate name – after all, by its very definition, it was the single point upon which everything else hinged.