The Monuments Group May 8, 2018 0:37:54 GMT -5
Post by Andrew Michner on May 8, 2018 0:37:54 GMT -5
Taylor Hall, United States Military Academy
As was his habit most days since re-establishing some semblance of an American Government, President Michner made it a point to meet with various groups - civilian and military - using the Fifth Floor offices which currently housed the President of the United States and other senior officials....most days, as he sat back in his leather chair and opened up a bottle of Old Forester Kentucky bourbon, the meetings went alright, another way, however small, to remind people that yes, there was a functioning United States government and yes, it was slowly building back up in strength. Occasionally though, he mused as he poured a small amount into tumblers and set one aside for his senior legal official just as he walked inside the President's Office. "You have the most amazing timing, Ben," he joked as Colonel Ben Stone sat down across the desk from him and picked up the tumbler, holding it in his hand and trying to divine some mystical message from it.
"Not amazing, Mr. President, just impeccable," Stone replied deadpan, still holding the tumbler for some time before downing it in one swoop, "which is more than I say for the group that just left; who were they, art historians, curators...?"
"A mix," President Michner said, taking a small sip before setting his glass down. "Which reminds me; this came from General McArthur...dated ten days ago; I just read it this morning," pausing as he got up and walked over to the office window, looking out in the distance. "Are you familiar with the MOnuments, Fine Arts and Archives program from World War II?" he asked Colonel Stone.
"Vaguely," Stone replied, adding, "but from what I've read, several hundred museum directors, art curators, historians and others fanned out all over Western Europe in the latter years of the war to search for, catalog, document and recover works of art, manuscripts...whatever they found, in order to keep it from either being stolen from its' rightful owners or to keep it from being destroyed....," pausing as he looked over at President Michner, a quizzical look about him, "Why the..."
"Well," President Michner said, returning to his seat and sitting back down, "what are the things that make up a coutnry...besides the people, of course, Ben; that report from McArthur details a successful salvage effort on an old World War II-era destroyer docked along the Buffalo waterfront. Now, that salvage effort was on a piece of military equipment but it got me to thinking.....how many museums are out there, historic places, libraries...places slowly being lost to the ravages of time. Remember all the work done in Rochester months back by that one stronghold we set up, the one with the Russian dissidents in charge?
"Now, that was just one small region but imagine what's out there, hoping someone will come by and maybe preserve it for the Ages....maybe I'm woolgathering, I don't know but if we can preserve and catalog even a small portion of what's out there, isn't that worth something?" Michner said, staring straight at Stone as he finished speaking.
Shaking his head a few times, Colonel Stone replied, "You don't have to sell me on it, but whoever you send out there is going to be on their own, in more ways than one...they've got to be strong-willed, able to adapt and change on the fly....we got a lot of work to do, Andrew," getting up from his chair and adding, "when do you them to head out?"
"The sooner the better but like you said, we got a lot of work to do," President Michner said, taking out a small notepad and writing down ideas as he thought of them....Stone is right, he thought, we do have a lot of work to do but the reward if successful is well worth the work and the risk...