Dr. Non was anxious to see the culmination of four long years of research and engineering. True, he didn't know exactly what it did, but it was bound to be spectacular. How could it not be? This was a device sent from the stars, its blueprints decoded from a mysterious radio burst originating light years away. Ever since Earth received it on June 6, 2004, an international team of scientists worked day and night in secret, seemingly with limitless resources, to make this device a reality. The public, no doubt, would resist such a gamble, so instead they hid the research under a mostly unknown and mysterious branch of science, claiming they were colliding subatomic particles to study the limitations of the Standard Model. The public knew it by the name Large Hadron Collider; its actual name, Halo, hinted at the project's celestial origins. Even so, there was speculation that the device could "end the world." Preposterous. Mankind probably had not even evolved when the signal was created; it was unlikely to be some weapon. Merely the musings of the uneducated masses concerned only with their own selfish existence, resisting great leaps for mankind such as this.
It was hard to hide his excitement during the weeks leading up to this, warming up the complex machinery that dwarfed the engineers. It was almost childish, but in light of this elegant device, we were but children. But today, today we would finally see what it does.
One of the assistants called out from behind a monitor, "Dr. Non, the readouts; something is wrong."
Dr. Non stepped briskly to the assistant. No, this would not do. We did not need anymore delays. "What is the problem?"
"The detectors are clocking the particles at superluminal velocities."
Fool. "Obviously there is a flaw in your program," Dr. Non waved at the monitor. "It is inconsequential to the experi-"
"Dr. Non, come quickly!" an alarmed voice called from across the room.
Can these men not do anything on their own? Must their hand be held through every bump in the road? Dr. Non wondered if other great explorations were hampered by such-
His thoughts were cut short when he saw the video feed from the chamber housing the CMS detector. Engineers were running, panicked, in circles. The detector itself had taken on an odd glow. Before Dr. Non could even begin to think of an explanation, the screen filled with a dazzling light. No...as Dr. Non turned away, he realized the blinding white was in the room, surrounding him. He couldn't see further than his hand in front of him... and that was too much, his hand was dissolving. He realized he should have felt horror, but he was oddly calm. In fact, he thought he heard a choir, a heavenly choir, which soothed him even as his flesh was ripped from his bone. Dr. Non turned back to where the monitor was, and he could see a dark figure in the light, a figure that seemed to grow.
My God, what have we done? The last thing burned into Dr. Non's retina before it, too, dissolved away, was the unmistakable figure of Ronald Reagan.
"...because of equipment failure, CERN has said that it will be shutting down experiments with the Large Hadron Collider until next spring. Bolek Wyslouch, an MIT physics professor who is working on the project, said today that problems arising at this point in testing what is the world's most powerful and massive particle collider should not be unexpected. He declined to comment further on the latest problem. In related news, the rash of suicides around the world blamed on the device has been steadily rising. Today's high in Kennebunkport will reach the 60's with lows tonight in the 40's..."
The radio broadcast went unnoticed, the former President's attention was focused intently on the document laid out on the desk before him.
"You'rrrre such a dirrrty girrrl," Bush panted, clawing the pages from the lingerie section of his wife's Sears catalog. But a cough interrupted his euphoria; he threw the magazine into a desk drawer, crying out, "Barrrr- I love my wife! Excuse me, I was- what arre you doing walking into my office without knocking, who do you-" His mouth fell open when he looked up and realized who had trespassed into his sanctuary.
"But...you'rre dead! I spoke at you'rre funerral!"
Reagan smiled mischievously. "Jesus taught me something up there: you can't keep a good Republican down."
Reagan waved the question away. "I thought, as my former right-hand man, you would want to be the first to know about... my return. Unfortunately, I come with bad news, too. You won't be my main man anymore."
"Don't act innocent. You betrayed America, you betrayed her people, you betrayed me."
"I did no such thing! I continued new worrrld orrderrr we built togetherrr!"
"When I was stricken with disease, I had believed that. But I have insight now. You betrayed America by not giving the evil empire its death blow when it was at its weakest. Now Stalinism has reemerged. You betrayed our people by raising taxes and allowing a Democrat to be elected president for the next eight years, doing untold damage. You betrayed me by taking advantage of my 'sickness' and hoping I would not notice."
"No, it pained me! I always admirred you! Rrrronald, I alrrready lost you once, don't make me lose you again!"
Bush fell silent to Reagan's raised hand. "But I did notice. Though I forgive you, I have already found another. One who is already making great strides to return the GOP to it's former glory. Together, we can return America to her rightful place in the world."
"You can't mean...!"
"I do, and I have no concerns of her mocking my policies behind my back."
Bush pulled a gun from his desk and leveled it at Reagan. "I won't let you do this to me!"
At that moment, Bush's sons, no doubt alarmed by the yelling, broke through the locked door into the room. They rushed to their father's side, but were not fast enough to wrestle the gun from him before he fired off a single shot.
Despite the efforts of immediate medical attention, the former president died that afternoon from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. There had been no sign of anyone else in the room.
Reagan sat perched upon a gable of the compound watching the confused rush of the EMTs below, tie billowing in the wind. "If only my visit with the rhino should go so well."
"So he sticks his dick a little bit further into her, and asks if she's sure she still wants to do this, and she says 'Aw'll oo any-ing ho a iddle ed rihicle.'" A smile crept over one side of McCain's mouth as embarrassed laughter and weak applause floated from the small audience.
The awkwardness of the situation was soon broken as the doors to the conference hall were slammed open. In fact, the event was forgotten entirely as the audience whispered amongst themselves in astonishment about the intruder that was striding to McCain at his podium onstage.
"President Reagan?!" exclaimed McCain.
Reagan chose to ignore the address, instead turning to the audience. Pointing at the nominee, Reagan boomed "This is the man you have selected? This is the man you think will defeat the Democrats at this trying hour? This is the man you think can lead this nation to glory it deserves? This self-proclaimed maverick?"
McCain quickly threw off his surprise, objecting "My policies are in line with the party's! Abortion, immigration, campaign finance reform, the religious right, torture, all my positions now fit it! I am a Republican. I'm loyal to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Why wouldn't I be best?"
Reagan spun around and stared into McCain's eyes. "Because, you intend to commit treason."
"This is ridiculous! Who are you? What gives you the right to make such claims?"
"You intend to commit treason on behalf of the communists, as you were compelled to when you were captured in Vietnam."
"No! I hate the gooks! I will hate them for as long as I live!"
"I don't blame you for your purposes, you remained oblivious to them. They brainwashed you. Now it's up to you to do the right thing. Serve this country and step down."
"I worked years to get where I am! After so many set-backs, I'm finally given this opportunity! I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will fight. Fight! FIGHT!"
"Then I will have to take you down myself," Reagan sighed as he drew his katana.
McCain's face, a moment flustered for a second time, quickly hardened. "Sir, with all due respect, I was trained by the greatest fighting force in the entire world, the US military." In single, quick motion, McCain pulled out two combat knives from under his jacket.
"And I played one in a movie," Reagan retorted, leaping up to the stage. The crowd gasped as katana sang, and metal clashed with metal, and though Reagan was quick, each blow seemed to be struck aside by McCain's knives. Reagan panted, "Indeed you honor our nation's fighting forces. So, I almost regret exploiting your weakness." He concluded his statement by throwing his katana through the air. McCain was about to laugh as the sword obviously flew too high to even be a threat, but stopped short as it sliced through the lighting above him.
"Nooooo!" McCain attempted to shield his head, but was only able to get his arms as far as his chest. Someone in the audience screamed as the lighting swung down and crushed the senator.
A loose wire dangled beside Reagan, which he grabbed, and swung down to the audience, sparks still flying, and swept up the vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. "Palin, your efforts are admirable, your successes are stunning. Together, we can lead this country back into revolution, a revolution for betterment of all her true citizens. Will you help me? Will you help our country?"
Palin swooned. "Of course, Mr. Reagan."
The audience burst into wild applause and cheers. The golden age had arrived.