Imbued with the new spirit of cooperation, I asked Kann Mer Ray and San Cirr Ray, “Please, listen to my proposal, and cut it to pieces if you don’t like it. I’m a big boy and can take the criticism.”
They both grinned and nodded their assent.
Once I began the preliminaries, I noticed a look of approval from Kann Mer Ray. I think he liked the idea of destruction of machinery and currency only, and that it didn’t entail killing some major Union personage, like Lincoln or one of the Union Generals.
San Cirr Ray had a perplexed look on her face. I believe she thought I would want to assassinate someone vital to the Union government or military.
When I got to the part about using Greek Fire, Kann Mer Ray grinned and San Cirr Ray gave a short gasp. She turned toward Kann Mer Ray and gave him a wide-eyed look that seemed to say, “You’ve got to be kidding.”
I have to give them an “A” in social etiquette. Both listened to the end of my monologue without interruption. Once I finished, they looked at me for a long time and then turned to face each other. Neither of the two said a thing, but they just looked at each other without any change in their body language or facial features.
This led me to believe they were communicating via mental telepathy, which apparently was on a wave length from which I was excluded.
After about five minutes they turned back toward me. Kann Mer Ray asked, “Why did you want to use Greek Fire?”
I shrugged and answered, “Based upon what little researched I conducted on the unusual aspects of the concoction, it has some unique aspects that might terrorize to the point that the Union would be fearful of its application on the field of battle. If the Confederacy waved an Olive Branch after the foray into Washington, maybe the Union would call an end to the invasion of the South and be open to the secession of the Southern States.”
Kann Mer Ray looked at me for a moment and then said, “Do you advocate using Greek Fire on The White House?”
It was my turn to look at him for a long moment and then answered, “In my universe, the British burned The White House. I don’t want the Confederacy to be put in the same category. However, I would like for Lincoln to witness the destruction of the Treasury Department. If my facts are accurate, I understand that Greek Fire can eradicate metal as well as wood and paper. If so, we can use it on the printing presses to burn them to molten metal.”
Kann Mer Ray smiled and began, “Jim your idea of hurting the Union government in their pocket book is admirable. However, the Union’s monetary system is more cumbersome here in the East than in the West. The Union at this time in history has minting facilities in two cities: San Francisco and Philadelphia. In the West there is enough gold and silver being mined to provide coinage for the populace. Not so here in the East. Paper money or Demand Notes, what you refer to as greenbacks, have undergone a metamorphosis due to the shortage of silver and gold.”
“Your idea is a good one, and it couldn’t have been conceived at a better time. At the beginning of the war, two companies printed script for the Union. However, on July 11, 1862 the Second Legal Tender Act was signed into law, which provides for the Treasury Department to print currency. So, the Treasury Department is a viable target.”
At this point Kann Mer Ray stopped, looked up at the sky, crossed his arms and lifted his right hand to gently rub his chin. He appeared to be in deep concentration. After a few seconds he said, “The idea of using Greek Fire to eradicate the machinery and any currency at the building is excellent.”
I nodded in his affirmation, but asked the sixty four thousand dollar question, “Do you have the formula for Greek Fire?”
Kann Mer Ray chuckled and intoned, “Well not at this very moment, but I believe we can replicate the formula.”
I added, “You know that it would help our foray immensely if the Greek Fire could be confined to individual weapons instead of the large machines used in the past.”
Kann Mer Ray focused his gaze on me, and it felt like he was looking into my soul. After a few seconds he noted, “Yes, that would be a much easier way to transport the mixture and apply it quickly at the needed areas.”
Kann Mer Ray turned to look at San Cirr Ray. They seemed to be communicating again. After a few seconds they both looked at me and Kann Mer Ray asked, “Can you find out how many Union command posts there are between here and Washington?’
I nodded that I could.
Suddenly, Kann Mer Ray said, “Good. Then why don’t we meet here again in two days?”
We all nodded in agreement, and suddenly the aliens disappeared.