By the time Martin made it to the precinct house, the FBI had also discovered whohe was. They were there to meet him. The local FBI agents immediately took him fromthe precinct. His wife arrived just as he was leaving. She tried to run up to him, but theagents and the cops formed a wall between them as they escorted Martin to a waitingBuick.He was taken to the airport and a charter flew him to Andrew’s Air Force Base inMaryland, just outside DC. From there, a helicopter flew him to the White House, andthe Secret Service took charge. They brought Martin to a plush conference room that hada huge mahogany table in the center surrounded by large televisions each mounted with avideo camera. They left him there alone. Martin was of course stunned by all this. Hehadn’t been handcuffed and they hadn’t locked the door, but he was clearly a prisoner.He paced the room for thirty minutes wondering how long they would make himwait. Just as he was about to try the door, it opened; and a tall, whip thin man in his lateforties entered. The man wore an expensive but conservative business suit. His longnose, piercing eyes, and tightly drawn mouth made him look like a hawk. The imagedissolved though as he suddenly flashed a toothy smile and extended his hand. Martinrealized he’d seen the man before on TV. He was someone important. Martin wished hefollowed politics more closely because he couldn’t remember who his host was.“Hello, Mr. Martin, I hope we haven’t kept you waiting here too long.”Martin shook the man’s hand. “It’s been like waiting to see the dentist.” The mangave him an odd look, just for a moment, and then chuckled softly. Martin wonderedwhether his sense of humor seemed inappropriate, but he never could help himself.The newcomer sat in one of the leather chairs around the conference table andgestured for Martin to do the same. Once they were both seated, he said, “My name isThomas Church. I’m the White House Chief of Staff. Do you know why you’re here?”“No, please tell me. Nobody would tell me a thing.”“Of course not. It wasn’t their place to tell you; besides, we had to make sureyour lack of comprehension was genuine.” Church got up from the chair and placed aDVD in one of the players built into the back wall. He then positioned himself to watchMartin as Martin watched the alien’s broadcast for the first time.