The maid had just vacuumed the beige carpet leading towards the oval office when a flood of shoes trampled across the V-shaped marks on the nap. the door burst open and three panting aides attempted to enter at the same time.
The woman behind the desk slipped her hand over the mouthpiece of her phone, as she mouthed the words, what is it?
"Madame President", whispered a young woman in a dark and slightly ill-fitting suit, "there's a rumor going around that--"
"--that there are aliens--" said another, a man in his mid-thirties with thick glasses.
"--here in the United States!" said the third, a man in jeans and a suit coat. He immediately put his hands over his mouth, his eyes wide.
The President smiled broadly, and motioned the aides to sit down. She removed her hand and quickly concluded her business with the President of Hungary. She returned the handset to its cradle and sat up straight, facing the three young faces.
"Now, what's going on?" she said calmly.
"Its all over the news," they said together.
"How do we respond?" said the woman.
"To what, precisely?" asked the President.
"That we made contact with aliens over twenty years ago, that it's been covered up, and that they've infiltrated the government. Apparently there's a deepthroat type character who's verified all of this."
The President burst into laughter. The three aides stared sheepishly at her, their cheeks simultaneously reddening.
"I know it sounds ridiculous, but I don't think it will just blow over--" said the man in jeans.
"People say all sorts of crazy things, especially the media," said the President. "But I'm not suggesting that we just try to let blow over."
"So you're going to have an official response?" asked the man with the glasses. "How do we even deny this? I mean the whole thing is just foolish--"
"We're not going to deny," said the President. "We're going to correct."
"What do you mean?" asked the woman, shifting forward to the edge of the sofa.
The President slowly broadened her smile and looked gleefully at each of the aides in turn.
"It wasn't twenty years ago, it was sixty. There has been a coverup, but the government hasn't been infiltrated. The 'deepthroat character' you refer to is a a particularly observant accountant for a contractor that supplies materials to one of our secret research divisions--that little tidbit we'll have to sort of glaze over--and yes, we're aware of him. He tried to blackmail the CIA out of a significant sum of money, but they wouldn't play ball. He won't be a factor in how this plays out, since he couldn't keep silent. We're not going to smear him though. I'm actually glad there was such a mild trigger. I think the American public is finally ready to hear about this. We've been shoving popular science fiction down their throats for long enough, and we've 'discovered' thousands of planets across the galaxy for the last two decades or so. It's been a forgone conclusion for quite awhile that we're not alone in the universe. They're more than prepared."
The three aides stared at her, jaws unhinged.
"What, really? For real?" whispered the man in glasses, his voice cracking.
The President nodded.
"Have you seen one?" asked the man in jeans.
"Oh yes. I've been off planet as well. When I was Secretary of State. That was quite interesting. In fact I think that was the most satisfying part of the job, although the time dilation was a killer. I aged a decade. I thought I might not have the energy to run a decent election campaign."
The President sat back and sipped a cup of coffee, and looked expectantly at the silent aides.
"Shall we started with the press release?" she prompted, the sides of her mouth curling ever so slightly upward.