Alternate History

Timeline (Trailblazer Is Down)

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10th of May 2005 (Tbilisi, Georgia)

On the 10th of May 2005, United States President George Bush and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili walk into a press conference being held to promote the former's visit to Georgia. Vladimir Arutyunian, a Georgian national, is sitting on the sixth row away from the podium, the first row of seats open to civilians within the press conference. As President Bush approaches the podium to begin his planned speech, Arutyunian stands up from his seat, and places his hand into his pocket. Within seconds of President Bush's speech beginning, Arutyunian unveils a Soviet-made RGD-5 hand grenade covered in a red plaid handkerchief, and throws it towards President Bush. The grenade travels on a trajectory which allows it to reach above the bulletproof glass, which surrounds the podium, by the slimmest of margins, and just as it does so, the red handkerchief comes unraveled, causing the grenade to detonate at the height of the President's waist. President Bush is killed instantly, along with President Saakashvili, who suffers significant shrapnel injuries to his right hand side. A Secret Service agent, who saw the object traveling towards the President and ran to his aid, is also killed, as he tries to leap to cover the President with his body. This causes the two of them to fall behind the podium and be obscured from the press before anyone can react. The nearest member of the Secret Service to Arutyunian draws his weapon nearly instantaneously, shooting him just below his right temple, which kills him instantly. In the ensuing chaos, a number of things take place. A reporter reaching into his jacket to call his office to report on the tragedy is shot and killed by the Secret Service, under the assumption he is drawing a weapon and is an accomplice of the now dead Arutyunian. The remaining individuals within the press conference begin to flee the room against Secret Service instruction, but are prevented from leaving the building due to a number of Secret Service warning shots. The Secret Service personnel who were surrounding the President carry him from behind the podium into an adjacent room, designated as the route for evacuation, and also where the Physician to the President is located. It is at this point, that the physician, after only viewing the President for a few seconds, turns to the Secret Service agents, and says simply: "Trailblazer Is Down".

10th of May 2005 (Washington D.C, USA)

At the United States Naval Observatory, the residence of the Vice-President of the United States, Vice-President Dick Cheney is woken by his Secret Service escort and informed that there has "been an attack on the President", but nothing more. He is bundled into a Secret Service car and taken to the White House, where he is quickly ushered to the Oval Office. It is here where he is met by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert. The room is also populated by Secret Service personnel and various members of the White House's press staff. It is at this point, that the Vice-President is informed of the President's fate, and the requirement for him to take his office. He steps forward, and places his hand on the Bible being held by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and in the ensuing minutes, Dick Cheney is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America.

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