Leaked emails reveal an embarrassed and angry U.S. Secretary of the Exterior, Jasmine Minnette-Rice, railing against bestselling novelist, James Houston Turner and his fictional spy hero, Aleksandr Talanov.
“Aleksandr Talanov makes us look bad!” a boiling Minnette-Rice was overheard yelling. “Why the hell do you think my office, the Secretary of the Exterior, exists? To make us look good! And Talanov makes us look bad. How the hell can we look good if Turner, by way of Talanov, exposes what things are really like in this town?”
Undisclosed sources say the secretary was angered further by an anonymous photo of Turner’s book cover, which prompted Minnette-Rice to blast Turner for daring to suggest a former KGB colonel, who became a spy for America during the Cold War, could now help the American intelligence community bring down enemies the Soviets helped train. “Don’t you get it?” Minnette-Rice hissed. “We do things a certain way here in Washington, and Talanov is constantly springing into action to help people when he should be operating by established political protocols.”
In Dragon Head, which will be published in 2017, Talanov violates a direct order from the Director of National Intelligence to abandon an orphaned child deemed unimportant in the scope of a national security crisis, with other novels in the series chronicling how Talanov and his team, who now consult for the United States, are able to hack into the networks of organized crime and terrorist cell groups once trained by the Soviets.
Minnette-Rice dismissed claims that Washington politicians were for the most part indecisive, craven, inept, ineffective and diminutive.” When asked by an aide what diminutive meant, the secretary threw up her hands and said, “Exactly my point! He uses big words designed to make us look bad. Well, that ends, right here and now,” whereupon Minnette-Rice vowed to not read another Talanov novel as long as she was in office, with exclusions allowed for long trips and bedtime. “If that’s not being decisive, I don’t know what is.”
When asked what she planned to do next, Minnette-Rice said she wasn’t sure, but that the issue would be referred to committee for further discussions before being tabled pending a full investigation and further talks, and, contingent on the outcome of those deliberations, assigned to the docket of a special litigation task force charged with determining what subsequent steps should be taken, if any.
James Houston Turner works really, really long hours at a laptop writing novels and screenplays, and when he feels like he’s going crazy, he concocts something goofy and spoofy in order to maintain sanity. This has been one of those tales.
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