1. President Merkin Muffley (from Dr. Strangelove) tries to prevent nuclear catastrophe.
2. President Nicholas Franklin Augustine (from Acts of Mercy by Bill Pronziniand Barry N. Malzberg) is paranoid and works closely with advisors who turn out to be hallucinations.
3. President Charles Baker (from Nightrise by Anthony Horowitz) makes humanity his slaves with the help of the Lovecraftian Old Ones.
4. President Abraham Brown (from The Music Master of Babylon by Edgar Pangborn) is tortured to death by the “North American Soviet” in the rubble of NYC in 2070.
5. President Billy Cabot (from The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman) is visited by Jesus Christ in 2180; Jesus forbids television and cinema, kills half the nation, and has the other half under surveillance by killer satellites known as “The Avenging Angels.”
6. President Gary Callahan (from Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis) is a sadistic psychopath who commits cold-blooded murder while in office.
7. President Robert Colonby (from The Eclipse of Dawn by Gordon Eklund) gets help from extraterrestrials from Jupiter after Washington DC is decimated.
8. President Ferris F. Fremont (from Radio Free Albemuth by Philip K. Dick) incites a resistance movement centered around radio transmissions from an alien-manned satellite device named VALIS.
9. President Nicole Thibodeaux (from The Simulacra by Phillip K. Dick) is not the original Nicole but an actress hired to impersonate her and is only one of a successive series of Nicoles.
10. President Robert “Dakota Bob” Shaefer (from The Boys by Garth Ennis) becomes the Republican candidate in an alternate 2000 election in which George W. Bush was assassinated by a chainsaw.
Stan and Elizabeth wandered away from the lab like a pair of dejected jesters.
As the purple Blood Lust coated the sun and the Frozen Ice Flue Gem Planet rose to lighten the world, only dirt and endless trenches were revealed. Trench after trench after trench.
They walked for a few miles until they encountered a billboard depicting a scene from the Holy Book of Defamation Regulations. It was the Nativity Scene, except, instead of the usual squid woman’s sultry elephant tusk veil dance, their glass baby rocked in a rocking chair in a manger while smoking a pink cigar.
Mimicking their glass baby’s smoking in perfect sync, Dayglo Arnie leaned against the side of the shed in equal enjoyment. He clapped.
Elizabeth twisted and scrunched her hairy face until it peeled off like shed snake skin. The androgynous police officer’s face smiled as she removed the rest of her Elizabeth Dracula costume.
“Congratulations, new recruits. At first I’d just hoped you’d rebel by submitting, but then you went ahead and one-upped me! You started a war, fer christsakes! And if you look around, I’m sure you’ll agree that the world is a whole lot better for it. What’s next, kids? World War 5? Do you think you have it in you? Do you—“
Stan grabbed the pink cigar from Arnie’s mouth. “Hey Arnie?”
“Y-yeah?” Arnie stammered, backing away.
Stan’s eyes lit up as he puffed greedily. “I’m in love with the war. I’m in love with the bomb. I’m in love with revolution!”
“Hallelujah!” Arnie sung before beginning a break dance.
“I plan to start another war,” Stan continued as B726 Bombers whizzed overhead. “Then another and another war until this godforsaken world rebels against itself and THE PEOPLE rise up in one glorious act of eternal submission.”
As if electrocuted, the police officer shook while foaming at the mouth and speaking in tongues. She partially regained her composure. “Blimey! Let’s do it!” She agreed so enthusiastically that she ripped off her entire uniform, revealing her body to be an antique dresser overstuffed with lacy under things. The police officer hesitated, then awkwardly wheeled her squarish body closer to Stan. “But there are a few outfits I’d like you to try on for me first, if you don’t mind.”
Stan puffed at his cigar, purple smoke escaping his ears as his eyes glowed a vaporous blue. He shrugged. “Sure. Why not? VIVA LA REVOLUTION!”
Elizabeth Dracula licked Stan’s eyeball feverishly as they made out hungrily in the cold metallic corridor outside the Work Lab at Ice Enterprises. “Jesus, Stan. The Ice flows through you. I just want to suck down every last chip of your bones.”
Stan glanced down. His skeleton was indeed glowing blue through his skin.
The lab door creaked open. Cheryl, dressed as a nun, greeted them with a look of dismay. “My god…you brought HER. Stan…but…THE CHILDREN ARE HERE.” She opened the door to reveal children in white lab coats with the faces of badgers, moles, and skunks fiddling with dissecting tables and knives difficultly with their inflexible purple and blue glass hands.
Cheryl returned to her lectern and pushed down the pleats of her nun outfit at the thighs. “Let’s continue our lesson, children. Now where were we? Oh yes: and so who was SOLELY responsible for starting World War 4?”
“Stan Lunch and Elizabeth Dracula!” the children chanted in unison.
Elizabeth abruptly stopped licking Stan’s eyeball like a rabid animal hit with a stun gun.
“And what about World War 3?” Cheryl asked hopefully.
There was dead silence.
Cheryl blushed. “Yeah, I, uh, don’t remember much about that one either.”
“The lab results came back.” Cheryl paused gravely. “I’m sick with the Flue.” Icicles rattled at the condo’s windows as if shaken. “And all these gashes? They’re infected with Blood Lust.” Cheryl wore the golden skeleton mask as purple light poured from slashes on her neck and blue light seeped from her eyes. “Do you still love me?” The purple and blue light beams singed Stan’s flesh as he backed away in terror.
A hairy werewolf arm shot out from the wall and pulled Stan backwards. “You’re needed back at the lab,” Elizabeth Dracula said, wrapping Stan in a silk blue sheet with silver stars.
Elizabeth lunged forward across the pitch black highways while carrying Stan. They only occasionally passed the illuminated neon green bones of an abandoned motorcycle or tongue car.