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"Yes, it is, Pumpkin, and you're safe here with me now," father assured daughter as he stroked the back of her head.

Lisa pulled back. "The program's over! They wrecked it all--"

"Lisa." The President glared at the Secret Service agents lingering near the entrance to the Oval Office, who quickly and quietly departed the room. "Get ahold of yourself. Yes, they killed everybody Dark Side. They destroyed both the John Glenn and Luna Twelve. But those evil people are in a deep sleep in deep space now, and they're not coming back to harm you or anyone else."

"But the program, daddy!" Lisa insisted as she resisted another hug from her father. "No one's going to follow them out! Congress isn't going to put up more money!"

President Goodall smiled as he ran a hand down the side of his daughter's face. "I'm the President of the United States, Pumpkin. Leave Congress to me."


"I know it's a long shot," Goodall took his daughter's face in both of his hands, "but let's not worry about that." He lowered his hands from her face to her own hands. "For myself at least, this has all been a grand exercise in escapism: I've put all my energy and my country's energy into running from the world's problems rather than solving the world's problems."

"But what if those problems can't be solved, daddy?"

"The world is always full of surprises, Pumpkin," Goodall assured his daughter as he gave her a squeeze. "Who knew that Carter Dedender and company had perfected the human cloning process twenty years ago? Everyone thought that Agent Bettmann was out of his mind until it turned out he was perfectly right."

Lisa Goodall shuddered and released her father's hands to rub her bare arms vigorously. "They certainly got his clone right. What's going to happen to Agent Bettmann?"

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