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Mexico City, War Dept.
July 31, 1974
11:10 AM

Alexander Winston sat in his office going over routine
and boring paperwork.  He didn't think he'd ever
actually liked this part of the job; he was wishing
for some relief from it. His wishes were granted when
his secretary stuck her head in the door.  Her face
was shocked.

"Senor... El Presidente is here to see you.  In
person."

Winston's jaw dropped a small bit, but he recovered
quickly.  She hadn't said "El Popo," which had to mean
that the President was angry  (1).  "Send him in,
Maria."

President Moctezuma walked in, looking calmly angry. 
"Nnnngh.  Senor Winston, I want to talk to you about
Operation Chaos," Moctezuma said to him in English.

"What is the problem, Senor Presidente?"  Winston
fought down a nervous tic in his face.

"The problem is that I supposedly permitted this
operation two years ago.  Explain to me then why it is
that my authorization didn't come to my knowledge
until someone accidentally sent me a report?"

"Mr. President, I... I... Senor Mercator told me he
had spoken of this with you." (2)

"Then I would know I authorized it, right?"  Moctezuma
leaned a little closer and stared right into Winston's
eyes.  It was almost like having the real Mount Popo
staring at you.  A frightening experience.

Winston found the President had a penetrating gaze; he
could not convincingly lie to the man.  "Secretary
Mercator, sir, he was the one to bring your name in."

Moctezuma scratched his chin absently in deep thought.
 "Fnnnnaugh braugh.  I don't suppose I need to tell
you that I don't feel the goals of this operation are
in the country's best interests.  I also don't suppose
to tell you that I've got you by the eggs for keeping
me out of the anillo." (3) He looked into Winston's
eyes again.  "Some vacancies may be opening up in the
War Department soon.  You have a good record.  You
keep it that way, and you might be able to take
advantage of that fact.  Me explico, Alexander?"

Winston was on a circus tightrope, he was aware.  But
the reward... "Yes."

Moctezuma nodded.  "Bueno.  Chewy will be in touch. 
Hasta."

1. See FAN #64.

2. Mercator did say this; he was hoping Moctezuma
would also be implicated so that he can say "If this
takes me down, you go with me."  Whether it backfires
on him remains to be seen.

3. "Ring."  Read "loop" in OTL English slang.