complied from interviews with the subjects
It was a normal day for former President Richard Milhous Nixon. He had landed in Detroit a day earlier. The main reasons he had come there were: one, to promote his latest book, and two, that night he was to attend a fundraiser for the National Boy Scout Association, an association he had long supported. It was generally a low level day, and he was in a good mood – as good a mood as Nixon could be in as he pulled into the dinner function. He got out; he shook a few hands; he took a few pictures, and looked at a few of the props. The charity function was co-sponsored by some new movie they had just released called RoboCop. He hadn’t seen it, and he probably wasn’t going to get around to seeing it anytime soon.
He was an old man at that point; in truth he had been an old man since he was about five years old, but now he was really starting to feel it. He didn’t care much about the new things or anything. It was then that the nice young man who had been assigned to him started guiding him along. And then he saw the most peculiar sight. It was a man dressed in full robotic regalia.
“Ah, one second, I’ve gotta do something over here.”
He went up to the man in the plastic suit in a somewhat confused daze. The man inside the suit, a local actor and model Charlie Acton, was of course surprised and delighted to meet a former President.
“I don’t suppose you know who I am.”
“That’s just a costume, right?”
“Yes sir, oh, yes sir.”
“Very funny, very funny; do you know how I knew it was just a costume?” asked Nixon.
“Uh, no sir, no sir.”
“Because you look nothing like the real one.”
It was then that they took the picture.
“Yes, yes, yes; the real one is quite extensive.”
“No, not that.”
He had shaken Charlie’s hand, but the seventy-six-year-old president still kept a tight grip.
“Yes sir, yes sir,”
In truth, Charlie was just trying desperately not to say the word ‘Watergate’ in front of him.
“Oh yes, oh yes, I can spot a fake a hundred miles away, because you don’t forget that, Charlie. You don’t forget when a robot comes and tries to kill you.”
The thought that ran through Charlie’s mind was, ‘Oh, the poor man must be delusional.’ And then inexplicably, in his mind he started to hear the President speak.
“I’m not delusional, Charlie. I’m not delusional, Charlie. There are many things a president knows.”
“A president knows.”
Charlie tried to back up.
The President’s tone played throughout his whole head.
“Have you ever seen a real RoboCop?”
“No, Mr. President.”
“That’s right. Charlie, tell me, did they send you?”
“Those bastards, those bastards at Owl Grove.”
“They have many things, Charlie, oh they have many things to go after old Tricky Dick for; but they can’t stop me, Charlie. The device is almost ready, Charlie. Charlie, I’m going to be reelected president, trust me.”
“Trust me, Charlie; for sure Nixon has got a few tricks up his sleeve. I’ll be around longer than anybody knows, Charlie.”
Charlie closed his eyes, and the room grew dark, and when he opened them up again, he was in a hotel room with a raging headache. He put his hand up to his other hand; the hand was ice cold, and he looked at it in horror. The hand was robotic. He looked around his entire body, and he realized most of it had been replaced with metal. He opened up the previously closed window, and he saw two suns staring down at him.