"What do you mean?"
"The ladies in the cosmetics parlor told me. That redhead of yours, she was too good. So many men and no girlfriends, no society to boast to. Too good. But otherwise - a great job. We will rebuild the town, of course. How did you mine it without anyone noticing before the Special Forces came?
"We did it long before that. We mined the places and installed the firebombs during the forest fires."
"But why? After you handled those fires with the toddler mobilization I understood your strategy. You couldn't anticipate..?"
"Sure we could. You wouldn't have asked us to protect the town if there wasn't an adequate threat. Such total threat could only be a threat to the whole population. The only way to get them all would be those 'specialists.' And they could be engaged only in case of the coup. You figured that out too, right? You knew what the generals would do."
The man opened his briefcase once again. He produced three beautiful red roses, fresh, even with drops of water on them. The aroma filled the room.
"Please, give these to those three courageous ladies. This is from all our people. If they decide to come and stay in our town they are welcome with open hearts. May our love be always with them."
"Thank you, I will pass your wishes to them. And good luck with the foreign invasion."
The man smiled. Then he said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes,
"You taught us a lesson and we are good students. If someone invades the whole country will blow up. They know it, those, who want to invade. Also they are happy I have cancer."
"Do you, really?"
"No, but there are persistent rumors. Say, for 10 years they will wait for my natural demise. By that time I'll have a successor. A good one."
"Anticipation is my middle name," he said.
I opened the door for him and he went down the street to hail a cab at the corner. A man with cancer. An invincible man. Lord- Protector.