Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
November 8, 2016
Birkwood stared at the reports she had received at the same time as the rest of the NATO leaders, most of them in their night clothes like she was. Her hair was a mess, and the bright light of the screen in the dark room was almost blinding.
America had been nuked. At least fifty cities, probably more. Nukes believed to be Russian, the American systems were likely hacked. DC was confirmed to be gone, Wilson was most likely dead. Currently no known survivors from the legitimate government.
"Madam Prime Minister?" The French president tilted his head as he said her name. "Are you alright."
"I..." Birkwood trailed off, clenching her jaw together. Then, she said, "An attack on one is an attack on all."
"Si," the Spanish Prime Minister said, "and we have been attacked. We must discuss this--"
"Tomorrow," Birkwood said slowly, trying to steady her breath, "I would like all of us to meet. We need to gather around one person--"
"--we have already chosen, madam," the French president answered her. "You will lead the Free World, and we will follow you."
Shocked, Birkwood nodded and quietly said, "Tomorrow, then. I must... speak with my Cabinet. Goodbye."
The screen went dark, and the other twenty-seven NATO leaders disappeared with the light. A hand touched her shoulder, making Birkwood jump with a quiet yelp.
"It's j-just me," her foreign secretary stammered. "It's j-j-just me, Ellen."
"Loxley," she gasped, clearly startled. "When did you come in?"
"I g-got a c-c-call from a friend in C-Canada," Loxley said sadly. "I needed to c-come in."
"Thank you," Birkwood said quietly, still trying to catch her breath. "Yes, yes, thank you... Loxley?"
'Let's get to work."