Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 7 – by lostandwhatever
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Mary Christmas 2: Christmas in July – Chapter 7
Continued from Chapter 6.
Secretary of Defense Taggart spoke up first. “Sir,” he said. “Our team from Department 8 is back from the field, and they have secured their facility after the break in today. They have some ideas about how the attack may have happened, but they have been a bit… hampered in their ability to analyze the situation due to the-”
“Due to the fact that half the staff were turned into barnyard animals and toys?” the president interjected. “I had a briefing earlier. Is that what you mean?”
Taggart braced himself. This was going to be bad. “Yes, sir.”
“Now, I can understand how someone could attack our schools. We live in a free society. That’s an unfortunate part of the deal,” The president said. “What I can’t understand is how our own top secret department developed specifically to deal with magical attacks was itself attacked and crippled by one God damn elf. Care to explain that to me?”
“Well, we are still evaluating the situation. Obviously there were unexpected vulnerabilities that were exploited. I don’t have all of the information yet, but we do have a teleconference set up with the team at Department 8,” the general said. “They could explain what happened more clearly than I could.”
The president waved his hand. “Put them on,” he said.
A large screen in the room turned on, and a camera was set up in front of the president. Angela Martinez, Head of Department 8, appeared, sitting at a conference room table. She looked composed but exhausted.
“Angela,” the president said. “Can you hear me?”
“Yes, mister president,” she said. “I am prepared to brief you on what we know so far about the events of today.”
“Well,” she said. “It appears that the attack on the schools was meant as a diversion for our response team to get them out of the way so that Mary Cole could infiltrate our building.”
“I see. So, how the hell did she get past all of your security?”
“What we know at this point is that she had help from the inside. One of our analysts was… compromised and used as a mole to help Mary infiltrate the building. We are interrogating him right now.”
“Unbelievable,” the president said. “That still doesn’t explain why the guards didn’t stop her or at least set off an alarm.”
Angela said. “She seems to have used a combination of a new type of Youth Gun on some guards and a hypnotic object on the rest.”
“‘Hypnotic object?’” the president asked.
“Anyone who looks at the object becomes hypnotized to the point of losing the ability to look away or do anything else but look at the object. The guards at the door were hypnotized by it first. After that, it seems to have affected the guards in the camera surveillance room. The object works over a television screen as well, it seems.”
“What does this thing look like?”
“I don’t know,” Angela said. “I would not dare look at it. The guards are still recovering from seeing it. Some of our team from the field were caught by the object as well when they came back into the building. Thankfully, one of them figured out what was going on and managed to cover the object without looking at it.”
“What a mess,” the president said. “Now, why would she want to infiltrate a building full of people trying to capture her besides trying to slow you down or take you out? She didn’t kill anyone did she?”
“No. She did not kill anyone, but she did manage to break into our vault to rob us,” Angela said. It was clear that the following words pained her. “I am sorry to say she… compromised me as well, sir.”
“I see,” the president said and paused a few seconds, quietly letting Angela know that she would probably be in big trouble once things had settled down. “So, Mary has stopped giving and started taking… turned burglar. I guess we could add that to her list of crimes after breaking and entering, assault, and grand theft sled. Mind telling me what she stole? Did she clear you out?”
“No, from what we could tell, she took only one item, a ring.”
“Why only that? Don’t we have tons of stuff collected? What’s so special about that ring?”
“We are not entirely sure,” she said. “Some of the analysts have theories, though.”
“All right then,” the president said. “Put one of them on.”
Angela hesitated. “A few of them are… unable to speak at the moment,” she said. As if in response, a moo was heard in the background. Then, a black and white cow wandered into the frame behind Angela. A clucking chicken flapped its way up onto the cow’s back and let a few feathers float down onto the table in front of Angela. “They were transformed by the food that Mary left.”
The president sighed. “Who do you have that can speak?” he asked.
Angela turned to someone behind the camera. “Dr. Schultz? Dr. Schultz, could you come explain what we know about the ring to the president?”
“Oh, okay,” a woman’s voice said. A gorgeous blonde woman wearing a man’s shirt walked into the frame and stood behind Angela and next to the cow and chicken. Her shirt was unbuttoned down to her cleavage as her breasts were so large that the shirt could barely contain them. The shape of her nipples were clearly visible under the fabric. “Um, can they see me here?” she asked. Her voice had a sort of uncertain airheaded levity that seemed to fit her body perfectly.
“Yes, Dr. Schultz,” Angela said and then addressed the president. “This is the senior researcher on our team. He has been examining the history of the ring.”
“‘He?’” the president asked.
“I used to be an old guy,” the very female blonde professor said slowly. “I ate a little cake, and now I’m all weird and sexy and stuff… but it feels kinda good, you know?” Her hand subconsciously cupped one of her breasts for a moment.
“No, I don’t,” the president said.
“Please, forgive him,” Angela said to the president. “His… or her mind is a bit foggy after the transformation.” Angela turned to Dr. Schultz and said, “Tell him about the ring.”
“Oh, that ring?” Dr. Schultz said. “Um, lemme see…” She put a hand on her chin and appeared to really concentrate. Then, a look of realization filled her face. “Oh, that’s that one we found at the Smithsan… Smithington?”
“The Smithsonian Museum,” Angela corrected her.
“Yeah,” Dr. Schultz said. “That big ol’ place. The ring was in their old stuff room the… storage. And, they said it was from when they first made the place. In fact, it’s really really old, like, from sandals and horsey times. From that summer place. Wait, what’s it called?”
“Sumeria?” Angela guessed.
“Yeah, that,” Dr. Schultz said excitedly. “It’s this metal that they call… um…”
“Can we get to the point?” the president said. “I don’t need a metallurgy lecture from a stripper. The ring, what is it?”
“Oh, it’s magic. It’s, like, super magic. We had some magic finding stuff we made, you know, de-tec-tors,” she said, carefully pronouncing each syllable the last word. “They don’t work so good yet, but, if there’s a lotta magic in something, and it’s, like, really really close, they work okay. But, this thing is so magic, like, the detectors found it as soon as we got to D.C.”
“We think it’s kinda like a magic battery. You can charge it up with magic and then, like, use it somehow. We don’t really know, though,” Dr. Schultz said and then put an hand on her head. “Ugh, this is hard. My head is tired.”
“Why don’t you go sit down? That should be enough,” Angela said.
“Thanks,” Dr. Schultz said. She gave a little wave and walked out of the frame.
Angela said to the president, “That’s about all we know so far. The ring is immensely powerful and potentially very dangerous.”
“And now Mary has it,” the president said. “How the hell did you all let this happen? How did she even know that Department 8 exists?”
“We believe that Mary was able to detect the ring in our building somehow. It’s clear she has more skill with finding magic objects than we do. Then, she approached and seduced one of our analysts as he was on a short personal trip. She transformed him with the swap necklaces and threatened him, telling him she would not turn him back unless he helped her. We never realized that he had been captured, since he was still supposed to be out of the office this week.”
“And then she pulled this stunt at the schools to distract you,” the president said.
“Exactly,” Angela said.
“How the hell did she transform all of those kids anyway? She must have been nowhere near the schools if she was busy robbing you.”
“Our working theory is that she magically tainted the food at the schools,” Angela explained. “Most of the transformations happened during lunch and snack times, so the food would be the most logical cause. Especially, if you consider what happened here as well.”
“Do you some kind of have a food expert there to explain how she might have done that?”
“Uh, well, Alice is studying the enchanting of objects. She might be able to explain,” Angela said. She called to someone behind the camera. “Ken, can you bring Alice over to the table?”
A little blonde girl wearing an adult man’s shirt walked into frame holding a doll in her hands. She set the doll on the table, and the doll began to move on its own. Angela walked over to the camera and pulled it in close to get a good view of the doll. It became clear then to everyone in the room that it was not in fact a doll but a doll-sized woman. She appeared to be about six inches tall judging by the relative size of the pen on the table next to her. She wore a white tissue wrapped around her like a large towel, and she looked very nervous.
“This is Alice,” Angela said as she sat down behind the small woman. Angela’s face was not visible only her hands, which only emphasized how small Alice had become. “As you can see, she has also been transformed by the food Mary left.”
“Alice,” the president said. “What do you think Mary did with the food?”
“Well,” Alice said in a tiny voice. “We have been looking into what you might call magic potions to figure out how they are made. Our theory is that they’re something like poisons in that they contain certain chemicals in them. For some reason, these chemicals can be charged up magically to cause specific effects, such as what happened to me and the other people in here.”
The cow mooed again.
Alice continued, “We’re preparing to analyze the school lunches and the food Mary left here to see if we can find some chemical or chemicals that might have done this. Of course, we might be wrong. It is just a theory right now.”
“Let me know what you find,” the president said.
Angela readjusted the camera to show her face again and nearly knocked over little Alice in the process. The little blonde girl returned to rescue the doll-sized woman from the table.
“We should have a preliminary report ready by the day after tomorrow,” Angela said. “We would get it to you sooner except we are short-handed at the moment.”
The cow mooed even louder.
“Oh for crying out loud,” said a four-star general sitting near the president. “Can someone help that cow out already?”
“What are you talking about, Bob?” the president said.
“Well, she clearly needs to be milked,” the general said. He addressed Angela. “Is her udder almost touching the floor there?”
Angela looked down at her coworker’s udder. “It’s hanging a bit low,” she reported.
“Go on and milk her then,” the general said. “That’s gotta be seriously uncomfortable. I mean hasn’t anyone there lived on a farm?”
“I… don’t know how to milk a cow,” Angela admitted and then addressed the room she was in. “Does anyone here know how?” No one replied.
The president chuckled. “Well, Bob,” he said. “It looks like you just got drafted into cow duty. You can milk that cow, right?”
“Yes, sir. I can, but-”
“Great,” the president said. “You have your orders. Get over there and milk that analyst.”
“Yes, sir,” the general said reluctantly.
He got up and walked to the door. Just as he exited, an aide entered the room then and whispered something into Secretary of State Amy Purcell’s ear.
“Sir,” the secretary of state said. “We have just received a phone call from the North Pole. Their leader would like to speak with you.” Purcell had learned to use the phrase “their leader” in place of Santa Claus as the name had a way of irritating the president.
“Wonderful,” the president said. “Just what I wanted today, another chance to sit on Santa’s lap.”
“We are setting up a teleconference connection with him right now,” Purcell continued. “Are you ready to speak with him?” she asked.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” he said to the secretary. He addressed Angela one last time. “I’ll expect that report ASAP. Keep me informed if you discover anything new.”
“We will,” Angela said.
The teleconference ended, and the president mentally prepared himself to chat with Santa Claus.
“Okay,” he said. “Put the big guy on.”