Previously in Future Prefect... Bill, who has been training as a wizard, travelled back in time three hundred years to the dawn of modern magic and taught the basics to the emerging talents resident in England, charging them to pass on what he learned. Part of his destiny fulfilled, he returned to his own time with Daniel Harris, the leader of the wizards of the Channel Islands, who lost his mind in a magical attack on New York, whom Bill is determined to heal for reasons he has yet to reveal. Accompanying him are Lloyd and Gillian, a wizard and witch from England.
'This cannot be good,' The Geraldine muttered, surveying the battle taking place on the outskirts of Washington D.C. 'This cannot be good at all.'
As she spoke, a brief flash of light and a muffled thump indicated h2g2 wizards intercepting another thermonuclear warhead launched by the Americans.
'You'd think they'd learn to stop doing that by now, wouldn't you?' Pord commented. They'd all come back from the moon the previous day, after Bath had rested long enough to contact the school of magic at Cambridge, and the others had located Linda, who had yet to reveal her apparently highly effective methods of freeing the moon people.
'It keeps them occupied,' the Sitter on the Chair of Mina said. 'Probably helps make them feel like they're doing something useful. Nothing else is working after all.'
'Well, taking on the entire rest of the world was never a very good plan,' The Geraldine said. 'Even if we didn't have thousands of wizards to help.' As she spoke, a large fireball formed in mid-air and fell to the ground, flattening twenty acres or so of suburban Washington. 'Can't they see that they cannot possibly win?'
'Not yet. They'll figure it out eventually.'
'How much more of their country are we going to have to flatten before they do?'
There was no reply. The Geraldine looked around at the place where Linda had been standing.
'Hey, where's Linda?' she asked.
Linda found herself in a large, vaulted chamber built of the finest white marble and softly lit by thousands of candles mounted in elaborate candelabras scattered around the floor. She looked around, seeing nobody.
Her voice echoed back from the stonework.
Again there was no reply. Then there were footsteps. She spun and saw three figures in green robes approaching. They stopped six feet from her.
'Linda, Sitter on the Chair of Mina. I am Bill. You may have heard of me.'
'Bill? Really? Pleased to meet you. Is this where you've been hiding?'
'Not exactly. May I introduce to you Gillian, and Lloyd, first among the witches and wizards of England.'
Linda frowned. 'I know the First Witch and First Wizard of England. Your companions are not they.'
'Indeed not, Sitter,' Gillian said. 'For we are from your past, and shall return there when our task here is complete.'
'And your task is?'
'Saving the world, of course,' Bill said with a smile. 'What else has it ever been since I encountered your friends in the middle of California? You were watching the battle for Washington, you know what the stakes are. America will be flattened before they surrender, and millions more will die needless deaths if action is not taken.'
'Glad to see someone willing to take some,' Linda said. 'But how can you three affect anything by yourselves?'
'With the aid of your rather unique talents, of course.'
'What-' Linda paused, the light of realisation growing in her eyes. 'Oh. Very cunning. Isn't it a little unethical?'
'Is it more ethical to let them die fighting a futile war?'
'When do we start?'
'We were thinking about right now.'
And so was it written that as the forces of h2g2 defeated the American forces holding Washington, a great light did appear in the sky, and a great sound of singing was heard. And the light was above the White House, and the light did descend to the White House, and all the time did the sound of singing continue, a chorus of voices unlike anything mortal ears had heard before that moment.
And in the White House was the President of America, and his council of advisors, and they did cower from the light as it appeared before them, for it was bright and painful to behold with the naked eye, and the singing was loud, loud.
But the light did fade, and visible within it were four shadowy figures. And three were dressed in robes, and the fourth was a woman dressed in skin-tight synthetic leather, and the glow did emit from her very skin, and the singing from her open mouth as she exhaled unceasingly.
And the central figure wearing robes was a man of America, and with a wave of his hand did he part the light and step from it, for he needed not the light of the Sitter on the Chair of Mina, for he had light of his own and it did glow and flicker around him. And up to the President did he walk, and before him did he stand and speak.
'Thy time is past,' quoth he, 'Thine war is lost. Thy people have but one chance. Step aside, and we shall see it done.'
And the President did cower and weep, for he knew the truth of the figure's words most keenly. And so did he step aside, and so did the figure move forwards and take his place upon the President's chair, and lo was Bill George Hillary Lewis Lewinsky declared President, and the strangers Gillian and Lloyd were his advisors, and peace did he forge with h2g2 that none should live in fear.
Relaxing in the bath a week later after a day on the ocean floor near the suspected location of the meteor strike which wiped out the dinosaurs, The Geraldine watched the news on television.
'President Lewinsky of America today announced that the first American school of magic will open at the start of next week, accepting talented students from all over the continent. For our new American viewers, if you would like to be tested for magical talent, please call the number on the bottom of the screen.'
The Geraldine smiled and rose from her bath, making the water stay behind in the bath as she stepped out, perfectly dry, and donned a thick fluffy bathrobe. Bill had been making a lot of changes in America, and The Geraldine wasn't entirely convinced that the Americans had really worked out what had hit them yet.
'And in other news, astronomers have reported that the extraterrestrial spacecraft which the former American military have been tracking for the last three years is on course for entering orbit of Earth in about five months. No determination has yet been made as to whether the craft poses a threat to humanity.'
'Off,' The Geraldine instructed. The TV projection vanished, and she walked over to the window and stared up at the stars. Peace was restored on Earth, but there was still the possibility of war from an outside source. They really needed to know why that spacecraft was coming.
She got her computer to book a flight to Washington, then had to spend half an hour arguing with airline officials to make them believe that she had a legitimate reason to be travelling to America, which was still considered at least semi-hostile. Once that was sorted out, she was able to relax on the supersonic passenger liner with a chilled cocktail in one hand and a large bar of chocolate in the other.
She called Linda.
'Geraldine!' The Sitter on the Chair of Mina appeared on The Geraldine's screen, looking dusty and dirty from helping with the rebuilding of London. 'Where are you?'
'I'm in a plane, flying to Washington,' she said. 'I thought I'd go and see Bill.'
'You might have a problem getting close enough to him. I hear he's got some overzealous American bodyguards following him everywhere.'
'If he stands near a water pipe, I doubt that'll be a problem,' The Geraldine assured Linda with a smile. Linda grinned back. 'I was meaning to ask you something,' The Geraldine continued. 'We all saw what you did when Bill took over America, but I don't understand how you did it. What does your power do?'
Linda smiled again. 'Can you keep a secret?'
'It's the power of truth.'
'The power of truth?'
'Yes.' Linda noticed The Geraldine frowning. 'Think about it for a bit. You'll work it out.'
She cut the connection, and The Geraldine leaned back in her seat. The power of truth, was it? Very interesting.
Peace is restored, but the extraterrestrial ship moves ever closer to Earth, and the story shows no signs of ending yet. What will happen in the next installment of Future Prefect? Only one way to find out...