President Carter had spent Armageddon in a subterranean bunker. Separated from the world by several meters on reinforced concrete isolated from everyone besides his top advisors. Information filtered in through the remnants of the digital network. They were like a severed head taking its final few blinking glances at the world.
After 35 minutes they were all still alive, so it seemed the secret was safe, and the commander in chief and his brain trust could get to work solving this latest crisis. Many on the staff relished the idea of going down in history as being part of the cabinet that unified the nation in history's darkest hour; people were going to make movies about them for sure!
When the personalities of the roundtable convened, they were briefed by a parade of experts about the unfolding situation beyond the walls of their miniature fortress. The razed cities and tens of millions of dead were expressed as figures in multimedia presentations by people just as insulated from the worldwide holocaust happening above their heads. The appointed head of FEMA Ted Summers was standing at the head of the conference room concluding his own slide show while the president leaned back in his chair and watched with an attentive expression on his face his aides were busy scribbling down notes in legal pads.
“Most estimates put the initial death toll at somewhere between fifty and one hundred million. Of course, this number will undoubtedly continue to rise as time goes on. Every major population center has been hit by over 50 megatons of warheads. The roadways including the interstate highway system, as well as the railway lines, and all the inland waterways are largely unusable. However, the good news is FEMA has in its store enough food to feed 75,000 people for up to 9 days.” Summers said glumly.
Carter sprang back to the table “Alright distribute what you can for now, and I'll make sure you get more,” was his decisive if unthoughtful answer. “Alright, next thing on the agenda we have to plan our response. People this is as big as it gets I only want A game ideas here. Show me what you got!”
All at once everyone at the table clamored to speak first. Summers sighed and shuffled out of the room completely unnoticed
“Mr. President I have an aggressive three-phase strategy that will put us on just the right footing!” Ms. Elle Daneils confidently declared over the clashing voices.
“Alright, Elle give it to us.” President Carter said silencing the room
“First we got live on Facebook that way people can see you're ok. Tell them that their commander in chief is still in charge and is using real-time data to deal with problems as they arise. You're also going to want to issue a rallying hashtag. I recommend something like #cantstopus #stillhere #ready2fight. Then after that go on the offensive tweet the enemy leaders and tell them, the worse is yet to come. I suggest a reference to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. That way people will see you're in the fight too. Assure, unity, strike! One two three! Elle shouted with a defiant fist pump.
“Right on Elle!” Carter said raising his arms in the air triumphantly. “Let's do this!”
Before the huddle could break a general in full uniform burst into the room. “Mr. President!” He announced himself trying to catch his breath. “Supreme Commander Amir just hit us hard!”
“What do you mean?” asked Carter.
The overly decorated officer handed him a phone. The President looked at the screen and read the message aloud.
“The US was taught a grave lesson in humility. The Goliath was hit between the eyes by our stone and finished quickly. #notsotough”
“Sir we must respond in kind.” The general said gravely.
Carter furrowed his brow. “Retaliation will be swift and severe,” he said before starting to tap away at the screen. The room was silent as they watched the president fumble with the touchscreen, Occasionally muttering curses under his breath about the size of the buttons.
“Alright go it,” he said . “kinda sad a so-called supreme commander thinks those were all the missiles we had! Just keep telling yourself that.... :) #notdoneyet. See I put in that winking face to make him think we have a trick up our sleeve.” He grinned smugly and held up the screen for everyone to see. The sycophants all agreed it was the perfect retort.
The celebration was quickly halted when an aid jumped to his feet and held a tablet. “Sir we have a problem. The tweet says misses, not missiles and the hashtag says not done yeti!” He said in abject terror.
“Fucking autocorrect!” Carter snapped. “Quick somebody edit it now!” He barked.
“Sir it won't go through,” Ella panicked.
“What do you mean?” asked a visibly worried Carter.
“There's no connection I think the WIFI's down, sir!” She said frantically tapping the reload button.
“Shit somebody get the IT people on this!” The president ordered.
"Is there an IT department here?" Someone enquired.
Carter was silent for a moment. "Well find out if there is then get the on it!"
They all scattered from the table elated about the importance of their new responsibilities, but tt was too late; their connection had been permanently severed. The vast digital universe made of billions of people connected by server hubs had been demolished and imploded into nothingness and took with it the executive branch presiding over the end of the world.