*As Carry on Wayward Son plays*
“It’s over JFK, I have the high ground!”
A trio of Bigfoot runs through a forest chasing a tanned and handsome man.
George Washington extends his hand to grab a buffalo wing, “This is my table, so these must be my wings too,” a knife goes through his hand.
Andrew Jackson laughs maniacally.
Teddy Roosevelt pulls against chains as Harrison Ford (as President James Marshall) and Terry Crews (as President Mountain Dew Herbert Comacho) are shot and killed.
Ronald Reagan and Kenny Loggins crash into frame driving a red, white and blue Mustang as Andrew Jackson flees.
Theodore Roosevelt kneels in front of a memorial. He is clearly distraught, anguish litting plainly on his face. Despite a lifetime of brilliance, he’s made mistake after mistake in recent days, leading to the deaths of numerous Presidents during Andrew Jackson’s rampage.
A steady, miserable rainfall drums into the Earth, matching the mood. “I’m sorry my old friend,” Teddy says, “I have failed you.”
Footsteps approach from behind him.
Teddy, the consummate hunter, realizes these aren’t just anyone’s footsteps, they belong to someone tall, someone powerful. He tenses, preparing his body for a fight, perhaps the last fight, expecting the worst.
His sentimentality, but perhaps more to the point, his greatest enemy, has surely caught up with him.
Martin Van Buren likes cats.
He always has, and, given the fact he’s been enjoying his afterlife for over 150 years at this point, he figures he always will.
The memory of being forced by Congress to surrender the tiger cubs gifted to HIM by the Sultan of Oman still leaves a bitter taste in his mouth. Those goddamned Congressmen had insisted they belonged to the American people. They’d made him donate his babies to a zoo. A zoo!
Martin had loved those cats, more than any of his human children. It crushed him to let them go, but what was he going to do? Ignore Congress and jeopardize the integrity of the young American democracy over a couple of tiger cubs?
He couldn’t have. He should have.
Upon waking up in Presidential Heaven after his death, Martin was delighted to discover that pair of cubs waiting for him.
Azula, his favorite, sits at his feet now as he rested by the fireplace in his study. Galahad, the more restless of the pair paces behind him.
Suddenly, Azula tenses and lets out a low, rumbling growl, followed by a knock at the door.
Teddy rocks back on his heels, ready for a fight. He spins to face his assailant, leaping to the right as he does, but who he sees, and the shock it gives him, nearly causes him to spill over.
Standing in front of him; tall, powerful, imposing, bearded, is none other than James A. Garfield.
“Theodore, my friend,” Garfield says, “it has been nearly a score since last we spoke”.
He’s right, Garfield, as the saying goes, didn’t get out much. He was a bit of a recluse even before the recent souring of things in Presidential Heaven.
Besides, it had been a while since Teddy had seen any other President. Most had gone to ground, scattering in the wind on his advice, hoping to avoid the fury of Jackson and his Bigfoot army.
Teddy doesn’t speak, so Garfield plows on.
“You took a risk coming here today, but it was a good one. A worthwhile one. Reagan has a message for you.”
Teddy smiles, eagerly awaiting this much needed bit of good news.
“Well, what is it?”
James A. Garfield pauses, he hadn’t been President for long before that madman Guiteau had killed him, and truth be told he rather enjoyed being the center of attention.
“Reagan heard from Kenny Loggins, who was told by Michael Bolton who heard from Marilyn Monroe that the man we’ve all been looking for has been found.”
Teddy stares at Garfield, opens, and then closes his mouth before saying, “Run that by me one more time.”
“Kennedy has found him.”
“I’ve been expecting you Jack,” Van Buren says, nodding to his former boss.
Andrew Jackson flinches, as if though struck. He has to admit, the tone, and the implication behind it, stings quite a bit, and while his hands are quite dirty, the thought of killing the man he considers his best friend has not entered his mind.
He eyes Martin’s twin tigers, the two beasts are impressive, and they’d surely serve the pair well on the mission he has in mind.
“Marty my friend, I’m putting together a team,” Jackson says.
Martin van Buren thinks for a moment. Sure, Jackson has done many deplorable things in his life, and nearly as many in his after-life, but above all else, he is his friend.
He smiles before saying, “You son of a bitch, I’m in.”
John F. Kennedy is on a mission.
Well, technically, he has accomplished his mission, but as he sits in a small cabin, sipping a scotch and reflecting, it certainly doesn’t feel accomplished.
In all the years since his afterlife began, these last few had been the busiest. First, there was that unfortunate business at The East Wing, but who among us hasn’t attacked one of their best friends in a horniness fueled murderous rage before?
After that had come years of shame and ostracization from his peers, only to be captured by that madman Andrew Jackson and forced to fight for his life in a maze with Teddy.
Then, after saving Teddy’s life, with an assist from Ronald Reagan and Kenny Loggins of course, he’d spent the last year searching for Lincoln, while constantly dodging the assassins Jackson sent after him.
The search had been arduous. Perhaps the hardest thing he’d done in his life, or after-life, but his hard work had been rewarded. He’d finally located Lincoln after his many years in hiding.
The only problem was getting there.
Suddenly, the door swings open, rousing Kennedy from his thoughts, and Ronald Reagan walks in, shadowed by Theodore Roosevelt.
Teddy shares a smile with JFK as he walks in. It’s a curious smile. A complicated smile, no doubt about it, a smile that shows an endless well of pain, but also an even deeper, even more endless well of hope.
Kennedy spares his friend a smile in turn, though his is much less enigmatic. Standing, he wraps the pair into a hug, it’s been too long since they’ve all been together.
Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and Woodrow Wilson stand together at the gates of Hell.
“Are you sure about this Jack? I know we need this information, but must we stoop so low to get it?” Martin Van Buren asks. He was willing to help his friend, but this stage of the plan, going to see this “man”… well it unnerved him.
“As far as I’m concerned this man did many things right,” responds Wilson.
Jackson growls, making a sound like something a wild animal would.
“Enough,” he says, “You both know the plan, now Marty, I hate the son of a bitch as much as you do, but Jefferson Davis is the only one who knows where the Presidential Nukes are hidden, and we need that intel!”
Van Buren nods, he still doesn’t like it, but Jackson is right, well mostly right anyway. Abraham Lincoln also knows, or at least knew, where the Presidential Nukes were held, but nobody had seen him for 87 years.
Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy walk through the woods.
Kennedy had successfully narrowed Abraham Lincoln’s location to Yellowstone National Park. Helpful? Yes, and it is much closer than any other President has come to finding him in 87 years of searching.
However, it still left the pair with over 3,000 square miles to search, and according to the information recently received by Reagan, time is even more of the essence than they had originally thought.
The duo has been searching for some clue to narrow their search area for the past two days, and have yet to find anything, but it appears their luck is about to change.
Moments before, the pair had stumbled into a clearing, and found something curious. Row after row of fruit trees, particularly apple trees. Before his disappearance, Abraham Lincoln had been a favorite at the bi-weekly Presidential Potluck for his fruit salad.
As they examine the grove for any additional clues, the pair becomes aware of a tremendous rustling in the forest around them. It sounds like something big, scratch that, an army of something big, something fearsome, is surrounding them.
They fear the worst, Jackson’s Bigfoot Army must have caught up with them.
The duo nod to one another, “Ah shit, here we go again.”
Hell, as I’m sure you can imagine, is dreadfully hot. Located in the super volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park, living there is a thoroughly unpleasant place.
Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, and Martin Van Buren trudge through Hell, experiencing the side effects of the intolerable heat. They are irritated, drenched in sweat, and itching for anything cold to drink.
Van Buren points, they’ve finally found what they’re looking for. About a block ahead of them the street sign reads, Racist Boulevard.
Jackson smiles greedily, rubbing his hands together in excitement.
“Now gentlemen, this is a score I’ve been waiting to settle for a very long time.”
The trio continues along their path, turning onto the road and following it until they come to stop at a mailbox labeled Calhoun.
John C. Calhoun, noted piece of human garbage, is in Hell. In fact, he’s been in Hell for quite some time now.
He’s just finished preparing a cup of tea to choke down, when a knock comes at the door. Calhoun grimaces. Company down here is never a good thing, then again, nothing else is either.
As he ambles towards the door, he laments his years spent suffering in Hell. The worst thing, he thinks, is that the water is always too hot to be enjoyable, or even quench his ever present thirst, but too cool to make anything resembling good tasting tea.
Just before he reaches the door Calhoun feels something rough against his neck, rough, and tightening. Then everything goes black.
The thing about fighting Bigfoot, Teddy Roosevelt thinks, is that it really sucks. Sure, the creatures are huge and powerful, but that’s the least of it.
They’re also incredibly intelligent, surprisingly agile, and very resilient. He’d barely survived his last encounter with the beasts, and wasn’t looking forward to his rapidly approaching next one.
Roosevelt and Kennedy square into their fighting stances. Back to back, the men draw their weapons. Kennedy has a large hunting knife with a brass knuckle handle. It’s a weapon he’d seen in action whilst fighting with Fidel Castro.
Roosevelt draws his staff from his back, giving it a quick spin before lowering himself into his ready position.
The pair knows the odds of survival are slim to known, yet they are prepared to face the army with bravery rarely seen in others, yet routine for them.
Finally, the army emerges from the forest. As one several giant creatures surround Kennedy and Roosevelt, releasing a mighty roar as they do.
Only, these aren’t Bigfoot, as the duo expects, but a sleuth (look it up) of grizzly bears. The bears surround them, growl and snuffle, but don’t make any moves to attack.
Suddenly a high, shrill, surprisingly unpleasant voice rings out.
“Four score and seven years ago, I descended into these woods, hoping to never be found again.”
The bears part, as a truly massive specimen, comes towards Kennedy and Roosevelt. The creature is so big that at first they think that it is speaking. Until they notice the bear bears a rider.
“I am afraid gentlemen, I must ask you to leave this place and never return”.
The rider brings his bear to a halt and stands towering over Kennedy and Roosevelt. Though they now recognize the voice, were it not for the beard, and of course the hat, they would not recognize the rider.
They have found Abraham Lincoln alright, only he is absolutely ripped.
Calhoun comes to, feeling oddly weightless.
As he regains his senses, he remembers the feeling of a rope encircling his neck, and his eyes open as he flails about, suspended in the air by his neck.
“My, my, if it isn’t my least favorite Vice President,” Andrew Jackson says, wearing a jackal of a grin.
He gestures for Wilson and Van Buren to lessen their hold on the rope holding Calhoun aloft, and they do, allowing his feet to lie flat on his table.
Calhoun coughs, gasping for air, “You bastard!” he sputters.
Jackson laughs, an evil sound, and nods to Wilson and Van Buren, who heft Calhoun once more, this time leaving him standing on the table by the tips of his toes, just barely allowing him to draw breath.
“Now John, is that anyway to speak to one another? Marty, Woody and I are merely here to ask you one question, and then, provided you answer, we’ll be on our way.”
He pauses, Wilson and Van Buren heft Calhoun again. Jesus Christ, did they rehearse this, he thinks, before the animal part of his brain takes over.
“Where is Jefferson Davis?” Jackson asks.
Wilson and Van Buren lower Calhoun back to the table, this time loosening the rope even more, allowing him to hunch over as he attempts to regain his breath.
“I’ll… nev..er… tell,” he says between gasps.
Van Buren whistles as Jackson makes a tsk, tsk sound before saying, “Now John, we’re currently doing things the easy way, and believe me-.”
He’s interrupted by a tremendous crash as Azula and Galahad rush into the house through Calhoun’s windows.
“Believe me, I’d much rather we go with the hard way.”
Wilson and Van Buren once again pull on the rope, lifting Calhoun even further into the air this time, bringing with it an unholy pressure on his throat. Blood trickles down, and Van Buren’s tigers rush beneath him, batting at his feet.
Van Buren whistles again and the tigers retreat, as he and Wilson release their hold on the rope allowing Calhoun to crash onto his table.
Van Buren snaps and the tigers rush at Calhoun. Though struggling to regain his breath once more, he leaps to his feet.
“Enough, I’ll tell you,” he croaks.
“Very good, thank you John,” he says, once Calhoun has spilled his guts to the former Presidents.
He nods to Van Buren and Wilson who release the rope and leave Calhoun’s home, Azula and Galahad following in their wake.
Calhoun is crouched on his table, on all fours, frantically attempting to remove the rope from his neck.
“John, I’m truly sorry for all that… unpleasantness.” Jackson purrs, running a hand creepily over Calhoun’s cheek.
“It’s just,” he continues, “I’ve always regretted never doing this.”
With that, he plunges his knife into Calhoun’s side, before pulling it out and stabbing him several more times.
As Calhoun bleeds to death on his table, Jackson walks over to the rope and with a tremendous heave, lifts his old foe into the air.
Tying it off, he walks out as Calhoun dies once more.
Theodore Roosevelt and JFK stand in a stunned silence. Their arms, which had previously held their weapons aloft, slowly drifting to their sides.
Teddy recovers first, closing his jaw and reaching a hand across to close Kennedy’s for him he says unsteadily, “Abe… we’ve come a long way to find you, please hear us out.”
The Great Emancipator takes a moment, looking to the bears in the clearing, the fruit trees he has grown in his self imposed exile, and closes his eyes. He knows no matter what happens next, no matter what he does or doesn’t say or do, things will never be the same.
Kennedy and Roosevelt exchange a cautious look. This isn’t the man that disappeared all those years ago, nor is it the man they were looking for.
With a great sigh, Lincoln opens his eyes. “I think you’d better come with me,” he says.
As one the bears surround Roosevelt and Kennedy, box them in, nearly pinning their arms to their sides with their bulk, and march them after Abe.
After some time they arrive at a modest, yet impressive log cabin. Standing in another clearing, the home is surrounded by a nearly impenetrable wall of trees. A garden is visible behind the cabin, and a large stack of firewood dominates one of the sides.
The column of marching bears stop, and Lincoln dismounts his grizzly. Without turning, he gestures for Roosevelt and Kennedy to follow him inside the house.
The interior of the cabin is just as rustic as the exterior, though there are some modern amenities. A large room featuring a couch, a wood powered stove, and a small kitchen area, dominates the home, though they see a separate bedroom and bathroom.
Lincoln walks to the stove, lights a small fire, and places a kettle on the stove. Roosevelt and Kennedy walk to the table, Lincoln joins them, sitting across from them and gesturing for them to sit as well.
“Abe-,” Kennedy begins, but Abe cuts him off with a click of his tongue.
“I can’t give you the codes.”
Roosevelt and Kennedy look to one another, slightly taken aback, but not super taken aback, nobody has sought Lincoln out for years, there aren’t a lot of reasons they’d be here now.
“We understand your concern, but things have changed since you disappeared,” Roosevelt begins, taking over, “Andrew Jackson has gone mad, he’s… he’s killed scores of us, and we think he means to use the Presidential Nukes to finish us off.”
Lincoln’s expression darkens at this news. Roosevelt continues, elaborating, going over that dreadful night in the East Wing, the fight with Jackson’s Bigfoot army, and nearly getting killed before being rescued by Reagan and Kenny Loggins.
As Roosevelt talks, Lincoln grows more and more dismayed.
“Jackson was always pugnacious, but this, this, is beyond anything that should’ve happened, that should’ve been possible,” he says, taking a beat before continuing.
“I… I’m sorry, but I can’t give you the codes, but… I will come with you. When I was granted access to the Presidential Nukes, I was also told how to destroy them.”
Martin Van Buren trails behind Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson, his tigers on either side of him, as they traverse across one of the many dead forests of Hell in search of the entrance to Tartarus.
Van Buren spares his beloved cats a look, depite the incredibly inhospitable enivronment of Hell, they seem to be doing remarkably well. A surpise, to be sure, but a welcome one.
In fact, he realizes with a start, he seems to be doing remarkably well too. He feels better than he has in years.
Before he gets the chance to think on this, Jackson stops to a dead halt, just as one of his tigers utter a soft warning growl.
Jackson turns with a darkly mischievous smile on his face, beckoning for Van Buren to catch up. Wilson shoots him a quizzical look.
A group of figures emerges from the surrounding forest moving to encircle the villainous trio.
“Ah, I was wondering if you’d ever get involved in this,” Jackson says chillingly calm.
“Jackson you’re a mad dog that needs to be put down,” Oliver Wendall Holmes, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and current Associate Supreme Court Martial says, “You’ve caused enough death, destruction, and Marshall has had enough.”
Woodrow Wilson and Martin Van Buren drop into their fighting stances, while the tigers prepare to pounce, hideous growls issuing from their throats. Jackson shakes his head, an honest to god amused grin on his face.
“Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it,” Jackson says, to Holmes and his assembled Martials.
“Marty, take Wilson and find that pit Davis has hidden himself in, I’ll be along shortly.”
Wilson, Van Buren and the tigers depart, several of the Martials move to intercept.
“No, let them go,” Holmes says, “Jackson’s who we’re here for, his spineless followers aren’t worth the effort.”
“This is your last chance Jackson, Marshall has issued a Judicial Review, you’re fair game now, wanted dead or alive.”
Jackson just chuckles.
“Take him,” Holmes orders his men.
Jackson shrugs off his cloak, draws the sword concealed in his cane, and twirls into battle.
Where he moves, men die. He moves through them, hacking and weaving, a tornado of carnage. Though outnumbered, this only serves as an advantage, as he spins amongst the Martials, using each as a shield from the others.
Holmes joins the fray with a cry, ducking Jackson’s sword, he tackles him to the ground. Jackson wiggles free and rises, surrounded now by Holmes and his men, of the original twelve, only five remain. Aside from Holmes and Jackson all are wounded.
Jackson surveys his foes, gleeful, nearly mad with exuberance. These past years had been too easy, he relishes this opportunity to test himself, to live again.
He springs into action, throwing his sword into the chest of the man to Holmes’ right. The others rush him, one grabs his shoulder, Jackson spins, wrenching the man’s arm with him, dispatching him with a blow to the throat.
As he falls, Jackson pushes his body into the next rushing him, sending him sprawling. Wasting no momentum, he adds some of his own, slamming the man into the ground.
Jackson ducks low, just avoiding the swing of another man’s cane, before it can be withdrawn he grabs it, and in a burst of immense strength, flips it’s holder over his head, impaling him on a tree.
Holmes and his remaining man are more cautious now, having seen their three fellows dispatched with astonishing violence.
Jackson stoops to retrieve his sword and Holmes and his man launch their attack. A tomahawk hurtles towards Jackson, who snatches it out of the air, returning it to its owner’s chest.
Holmes is on Jackson once more, hammering him with blows from his cudgel, forcing him to give ground.
The pair exchange a flurry of strikes and parrys, Jackson’s eyes gleaming with delight at finally meeting a somewhat worthy foe.
Despite the tenacity of Holmes’ attack, there’s a reason so many men were sent with him, and Jackson’s superior killing ability quickly becomes apparent as he peppers Holmes with minor wounds.
Finally, he lands a more damaging hit, slicing Holmes thigh. Holmes attempts to retreat and regroup, but hobbled, he is no match for Jackson’s speed.
Ol’ Hickory spins once more, using the momentum to launch his sword into Holmes’ shoulder. Holmes falls to his knees, dropping his cudgel, going into shock.
Jackson snatches the tomahawk from the body on the ground, walks to Holmes, and removes the former Supreme Court Justice’s head.
“Goddammit,” Ronald Reagan yells, slamming his headset to the console where he’d just watched the disaster that’d unfolded.
Holmes had ignored his orders at every turn, and now their last good chance to stop Jackson gaining access to the Presidential Nukes was no more.
The last hope, for all of Presidentkind, lay in Roosevelt and Kennedy finding Lincoln and convincing him to come back to the world.
Jefferson Davis had accomplished a lot in life, but, oddly enough, Hell had been even better to him than Earth had.
While most of his Confederate Compatriots had been confined to eons of torture, he’d scammed his way to a gig as a Prince of Hell.
Still, not everything was good, Tartarus was always freezing, and always smelled terrible, though that may have something to do with the company he kept.
Davis currently stand on his porch, dressed in an immaculate white suit, sipping a cup of sweet tea.
A sound catches his attention, and is shocked by the appearance of Woodrow Wilson and Martin Van Buren running up his drive.
He tenses, preparing for a fight when Van Buren calls out, “We mean you no harm Davis, we’re on a mission from President Jackson.”
Curious, Davis thinks, and voices the thought as well.
Van Buren looks to Wilson, hoping the man would chime in, he’s not particularly enthused to be in the presence of this traitor, and has only come at Jackson’s request.
“Do come in,” Davis calls from his porch.
He escorts them to his parlor, where some incredibly awkward small talk commences, Wilson still haven’t uttered nothing.
A knock comes at the door, and Davis stands to answer it.
“What is wrong with you,” Van Buren hisses at Wilson, though he now notices the man appears almost in shock.
Wilson opens and closes his mouth several times before answering. “It’s, it’s just, it’s so much meeting your heroes you know?”
Van Buren looks away, disgusted, before he can dwell too much on the matter, and perhaps come to question his dedication to Jackson, his former boss enters the room with Jefferson Davis.
As soon as all parties are seated Jackson makes to speak, before Davis cuts him off.
“Even here word of the carnage you’ve caused has reached us,” he says with a nod to Jackson. “I must say, I was surprised not to find you waiting for me when I arrived down here, but, it seems only a matter of time now.”
“The Light One has told me you’d be here at some point, and has said to help with whatever you need.”
Jackson loathes Davis, he sees this arrangement as a means to an end, and is slightly troubled by what he’s just heard, but determined to finish his mission, he pushes on.
“Let me keep things brief, we’ve come for the codes.”
“That is an easy thing, but unfortunately for you, things are not that simple. I’ve received word that Roosevelt and Kennedy have found Lincoln, it wouldn’t surprise me if that fool has already destroyed the Presidential Nukes.”
“Bah, if what you say is true you are of no further use to us,” Jackson says, preparing to rise. He’s disappointed, though he figures killing Davis will be consolation enough.
“I may have something else, of value to you, gentlemen, if you’d follow me outside to the shed,” he says.
The villainous trio follows him out to his shed, wary, expecting some sort of ruse. As they approach, the rank smell they’d all noticed intensifies, and a hideous moan springs forth from the shed.
“What is that?” Jackson asks.
Davis throws the doors to his shed open, Van Buren and Wilson recoil in fear, Jackson laughs.
“Yes, you may just be of some use after all, but how do I know this will help me at all?”
Davis nods to Jackson, moving his eyes to Wilson before asking, “Perhaps a demonstration is in order?”
Jackson nods and Davis reaches out lightning fast, snatching Wilson, throwing him into the shed.
Wilson issues a hideous scream.
Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Theodore Roosevelt arrive at the Pentagon riding a trio of grizzly bears.
As they approach their intended entry point, a set of double doors wide enough for the bears to enter as well, a figure emerges.
Our trio of heroes is clearly anxious at first, but as the figure grows closer they dismount their bears.
“Marshall you old son of a bitch, how are you?” Teddy says with a massive grin.
The figure before them is none other than John Marshall, Fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and more relevantly, Chief Justice of the S.C. Martials.
Shaking off a small start of surprise after observing Lincoln’s bulk, Marshall says, “My Martial’s caught wind of your plan, we’ve secured the Pentagon and are ready for you to destroy Hell, Mr. Presidents.”
“That’s no-”, Lincoln begins, before JFK cuts him off.
“Thank you Mr. Marshall, now, if you wouldn’t mind, please take us to the War Room”.
They walk through the Pentagon, Lincoln’s bears having been sent back home, making note of the staggering number of Justices and Clerks Marshall has assembled to fortify the building.
“I know you said you’d secured the building, but this seems like an awful lot of security Marshall,” Teddy says, somewhat suspiciously, though his suspicion is likely only noticed by Lincoln and Kennedy.
“Why yes of course!” Marshall replies, “With what I’ve heard, we’ll need every bit of them for what that madman Jackson has in mind for us.”
He pauses before continuing, “He’s entered Hell with that lackey Van Buren and Woodrow Wilson, I sent a squad of my best Martial’s to take them out, but it appears they’ve failed…”, he takes a moment to collect himself.
“Given that, we don’t truly know what he’s after, but it’s not a long list of possibilities. The current working theory is that he’s after Jefferson Davis”, he says with a look to Lincoln.
Teddy and JFK share a look of their own at this, they’re not surprised that Jackson went after Davis, it’s why they’d been looking for Lincoln, they needed to prevent anyone else from using the Presidential Nukes, but there seems to be more to this look.
Before either of them can press their concerns they arrive at the War Room. Marshall steps aside as Lincoln steps forward, he types in a security code at the door, and then places his palm on a scanner.
A green light sweeps over the party, followed by an audible beep, and the pneumatic opening of doors as a robotic voice intones, “Welcome Presidents Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Justice Marshall.”
They enter the War Room.
In the War Room, Lincoln and Marshall are at a computer terminal, with Lincoln typing in passcodes, Kennedy and Roosevelt sit at the large conference table which dominates the room, Kennedy is swiveling a bit in his chair.
And why shouldn’t he? They’ve done it haven’t they? They’ve beaten Jackson here, and are moments away from destroying the Presidential Nukes and upending all of his evil plans.
“What have you done?!” Marshall asks Lincoln, simultaneously angry and incredulous.
“What had to be done,” Lincoln replies calmly.
“You fool! You had no right to do that. You know just as well as I-”, shaking his head, he looks to Roosevelt and Kennedy, “He’s destroyed the Presidential Nukes! Our best weapon against Jackson and Davis!”
Suddenly he realizes how calm Roosevelt and Kennedy are, “You knew”, he says angrily, “Of course you knew, you President’s always think you know better than anyone else, don’t you? Well I’ll bet your good buddy Abe here hasn’t told you-”
A gunshot rings out, some distance away. The group all turn towards the door, Kennedy and Roosevelt standing as they do so.
A general commotion is heard, gunshots, screams, yelling, and a dreadful moan.
“It sounds like someones breaking in!” Abraham Lincoln says.
“Just a storm Abe”, Kennedy says calmly. The other three give him absolutely bewildered looks. Whatever is going on out there, it certainly isn’t a storm.
Before any of them can press him on this fact, a window in the room is smashed. At first, they’re unable to make out the form of their attackers, but it swiftly becomes apparent from the Confederate Uniforms, just what they’re dealing with.
“Oh my god!” Abraham Lincoln says.
“It appears the Pentagon has been breached,” Theodore Roosevelt says matter of factly.
John F. Kennedy looks at his comrades, “Zombies,” he says with immeasurable nonchalance, “Gentlemen, at times like these our capacity to retaliate must be and has to be massive, to deter all forms of aggression”.
He decisively makes his way to one of the paneled walls of the War Room and pushes a large red button.
“Gentlemen, lock and load”.
Outside of the Pentagon, Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Martin Van Buren stand at the helm of a vast army of Confederate Zombies, Van Buren’s tigers, notably, are nowhere to be seen.
“Remember Davis,” Jackson says, “Your beasts aren’t to kill Roosevelt or Kennedy, I couldn’t care less about Lincoln, do with him what you will, but the other two are mine.”
Davis spits in reply.
“You can’t possibly think these mindless bigots could kill our foes do you?” Van Buren asks.
“Not really, no. I’m just counting on them to soften up Roosevelt and Kennedy for us, but-” he continues more quietly now, “I wouldn’t trust that cur over there to ensure it.” He finishes, inclining his head towards Davis.
Despite the staggering size of the Confederate horde, several groups of Marshall’s Martials have managed to hold on.
“Let’s go have a bit of fun”, Jackson says, hefting his revolver with a wicked grin.
Back in the bowels of the Pentagon, our heroes wade through an incomprehensibly large horde of Confederate Zombies, leaving carnage in their wake.
Abraham Lincoln runs around the corner, and with a mighty upswing of his axe, he splits a zombie in twain. Just behind him comes JFK, wielding the bowie knife gifted to him by Fidel Castro, as well as an absolutely monstrous revolver.
Roosvelt and Marshall bring up the rear, holding off a wave of zombies as the quartet beats their retreat.
“Want some? GET SOME!” Marshall yells as he unleashes his B.A.R on the horde. After unloading his clip, the crowd chasing them is considerably thinned, allowing the group to pause briefly. Roosevelt uses this moment of respite to clean the grime from his cavalry sword.
“It’s been some time since I’ve last been here, are we nearly out?” Abe asks.
Kennedy and Roosevelt glance at one another as Marshall responds, “Nearly there, this place is massive, but another few hallways and we’ll be out… Shit, here they come!”
Another wave of zombies comes careening towards them, and the group forms a circle, ready to meet them at both sides.
“I’ve been thinking, perhaps this is the time to finish things off, after today, Jackson will disappear again, and we’ll have to go back to living our lives constantly looking over our shoulders,” Roosevelt says, as he cleanly slices the limbs off of an approaching zombie.
“Are you mad?! I mean no disrespect Teddy, but fighting Jackson and his gang, even without these beasts on their side would be no sure thing,” Marshall replies.
“I’ve fought worse monsters than these foul creatures,” Lincoln replies, “At least they aren’t vampires.”
“Vampires!?” Marshall says incredulously. Lincoln just grunts, decapitating another zombie.
Marshall takes a moment, pouring shot after shot into the encroaching horde of course, but gathering his thoughts for the closing argument of his (after) lifetime. Fortunately, this latest wave is slowing, in fact, it appears the zombies might be retreating, and the group is later to resume their exfil.
“You Presidents are a confident lot, and who could begrudge you so, particularly you three, but, we need to regroup, with the combined forces of the S.C. Martials and the remaining Presidents we’ll route out Jackson when the time is right. Together we’ll crush him.”
“He’s right,” Kennedy says, “Teddy we’ve been fighting these beats for hours, running for months, we’re exhausted, we’re in no shape to do anything but fall, and if we fall, no one left can oppose him.”
Roosevelt says nothing, shooting Kennedy a hurt look, but as he does so, he realizes his friend may just be right. Glancing to his fellows he takes note of their various injuries. In fact, if he’s inclined to be honest with himself, he’s had better days as well.
Still, running isn’t in his nature.
“Our problem is take Jackson now or split, do not go home, do not pack, nothing, thirty seconds flat from now we are gone on our separate ways that’s it… Abe?”
Lincoln looks at Roosevelt intensity personified before saying, “His death is worth the risk. We need it for our brothers. We should stay and take him down, that’s where I come out.”
Kennedy shrugs, “I roll with you Teddy, whatever,” he says with a resigned shake of his head.
“No, not on this one John, on this one you’re on your own,” Roosevelt replies.
Kennedy stares are Roosevelt, looks at Lincoln, looks back to Roosevelt, licks his lips, thinking hard, blinks approximately one thousand times, looks back to Lincoln, a huge smile takes over his face.
“Well ya know for me, the action is the juice, I’m in.”
Jackson, Van Buren and Davis are now deep into the Pentagon themselves, though hampered significantly by the sheer size of the Confederate Zombie army.
“Enough of this, Davis, call back your beasts, it’s time to settle this ourselves,” Jackson says.
Davis opens his mouth, preparing to argue, before being interrupted by the sudden return of Van Buren’s tigers.
Galahad runs ahead, rubbing against Van Buren’s side, a low purr erupting from him. Azula trails behind, struggling slightly with something adorable, furry, and wriggling, hanging from her mouth.
“Your pets have done well!” Jackson says with a grin, “Come, let’s make a call.”
Marshall and the Presidents are rapidly approaching the hanger they’d left Lincoln’s bears in. Though no longer hampered by the zombies, who have seemingly vanished at this point, the effects of their various injuries have revealed themselves now that their adrenaline has abandoned them.
Though the zombies had curiously not attempted to bite them, they’d managed to score the odd cut or crushing blow on our heroes. Kennedy, fighting as he was with a knife, had taken the worst of it, and is being supported by Lincoln now.
Suddenly an intercom on the wall nearest them starts squalling.
“Attention Presidents Roosevelt, Lincoln and Kennedy, I know you are still here, and given I’ve not found you yet, I also know you cowards are fleeing, rather than face me,” the evil, pompous voice of Andrew Jackson comes over the speakers.
Unbothered, the quartet continues their retreat to the hangar, hoping to use it to exit, and catch Jackson and his gang in the rear.
“Now, I’m sure you have seen you can’t beat me and now, I’ve something to entice you. Lincoln… honestly, you had done quite the job hiding, though fortunately, Van Buren’s cats were able to find your home.”
Lincoln stops dead in his tracks, and his compatriots halt as well.
“Weird isn’t it, for as fierce as adult bears are, their cubs are rather cuddly. Why don’t you say hello little guy?”
A yelp of pain comes through the speaker.
“Meet me in the courtyard or I feed this cub to Van Buren’s tigers, Jackson out.”
The Pentagon’s Courtyard, well at least Heaven’s Pentagon’s Courtyard, is basically a mini park. It has a litany of trees, a lovely picnic area, space for Heaven’s commanders to play Ultimate Hooverball, and, most importantly, a killer sound system.
Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and Jefferson Davis stand in the middle of the Ultimate Hooverball court, posted up as if though posing for a movie poster. Jackson stands with his sword/cane draped over his shoulder like a baseball bat, the stolen tomahawk at his side.
Van Buren is now sporting a red headband, and Jefferson Davis hefts a war hammer. The bear cub is in a tree, Van Buren’s tiger’s sitting statuesque beneath it.
Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy enter the glade. Roosevelt still has his cavalry sword, Lincoln his axe, and Kennedy his knife.
The sound system kicks on.
Davis launches himself at Lincoln, bringing his hammer crashing down, Lincoln leaps out of the way, rolling to his side, springing up, lithe as a cat despite his bulk, sending his axe at Davis’ head.
Though the two had anchored opposing forces long ago, they never faced one another in martial combat, and besides, a lot has changed since then.
Van Buren looks to Jackson, who just rolls his eyes, he’d had an epic speech planned, though, it was obviously scrapped now as Kennedy and Roosevelt ran at them.
Kennedy is closest and Van Buren cuts him off, leaping into the air, attempting to land a flying kick. Kennedy somehow manages to grab his leg, and uses the momentum to throw him into a tree.
Roosevelt continues on, throwing a devastating succession of blows at Jackson, hoping to overpower him.
Jackson somehow manages to parry these, and the two spin off into a sword fight.
Lincoln and Davis continue their fight. Warhammer meeting axe again and again, sending sparks through the air. The two weapons meet once more, this time at their apex, Lincoln and Davis are face to face now.
“I’ve waited long for this Abe,” Davis says, an insane grin on his face.
“You shouldn’t have sent Booth to do your bidding then,” Abe replies.
Unable to bear the immense force the two fighters are applying, their weapons finally give way, snapping in half, sending both men crashing to the ground.
Nearly the instant they land they’re back up, wrestling now. Somehow it seems Davis has gained the upper hand, he slams Lincoln into a tree, sending Lincoln’s hat soaring threw the air.
“The South will rise again,” Davis says, menacingly in Lincoln’s ear.
With a roar Lincoln rears back, sending Davis sprawling, as he rises Lincoln grabs him by the neck, apparently to choke him.
Then with a might THWACK, Davis throat is snatched from him, and his body crumples to the ground lifeless.
Lincoln grabs his hat, placing it on his head as he says, “You’ve seceded alright Davis, from life.”
Van Buren and Kennedy meanwhile are locked in a life or death struggle of their own. Despite his lack of size, Van Buren is rather formidable, more than making up for a dearth of bulk with the agility of his beloved tigers.
He lands an uppercut to Kennedy’s jaw sending him reeling, moving fast, Van Buren, launches sand into Kennedy’s eyes, momentarily blinding him.
“JACK!” Lincoln yells, as Van Buren lands a series of devastating blows to Kennedy’s stomach, sending him to the ground.
With a growl, Kennedy stands. “Let me handle this clown,” he calls to Lincoln.
Van Buren just jeers and then launches into another attack, Kennedy springs up, sailing into a 360 spin-kick, hammering his heel into his opponent’s face, caving it in.
With a howl of fury, Van Buren’s tiger’s abandon their post making a beeline directly to the still blind JFK. Out of nowhere, Lincoln’s bear emerges, intercepting them, and pinning one under each paw.
“Let them go,” Lincoln says, and the bear does so, allowing the tigers to flee.
Lincoln runs to Kennedy, and is relieved to see his friend mostly unharmed. “Come,” he says, and his bear follows. Reaching up, Lincoln retrieves a bottle of water, which he pours over Kennedy’s face, clearing the sand from his eyes.
“Let’s finish this.”
They rush to join the fray against Jackson, though Roosevelt appears to have more than held his own.
Ol’ Hickory and The Bull Moose are locked in a titanic struggle, their swords whirling faster than Lincoln and Kennedy can detect.
They hesitate, unarmed, neither Lincoln nor Kennedy is unsure how to proceed, and worry that by getting closer they may distract their friend.
Finally, Roosevelt’s weariness opens a small gap in his defense and Jackson presses his advantage, kicking Teddy in the chest, sending him to the ground.
He draws the tomahawk from his side and hefts it, preparing to end Theodore Roosevelt’s afterlife.
“You should have made sure I was dead when you had the chance,” he says.
The report of a rifle rings out and a hole appears in Jackson’s head. He falls to his knees, dropping the tomahawk, and then crumples, face first on the ground.
“Consider my decision enforced,” John Marshall says.
Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States of America, sits alone at a booth in a bar. More specifically, he sits alone at a booth in his favorite bar, The East Wing, Heaven’s premier hangout spot for dead U.S. Presidents.
“He’s late,” Roosevelt says with an amused shake of his head, before downing what remains of his whiskey.
“Whose late?” comes a familiar voice.
“Good to see you John,” Roosevelt says with a smile, which grows when he sees Abraham Lincoln with him.
“ABE!” he says delighted, as his friends slide into the booth across from him.
“It’s good to be back,” Lincoln says, a waiter approaches them and takes their drink orders.
“You know Abe,” Roosevelt says, a twinkle in his eye, “With everyone that went on, I never got to say, you are absolutely jacked man!”
Lincoln looks a little embarrassed. “I don’t know about all that,” he begins, before Teddy cuts him off.
“Come on dude, you more shredded than a julienne salad man.”
Kennedy bursts into laughter, “He’s right Abe, my word.”
Their waiter returns, bearing their drinks, as he departs, our trio of formidable heroes raise their drinks in toast, commemorating so much. Their lives, their afterlives, lost friends, their victories.
Roosevelt looks to the men across from him.
“To the birds?”