It is true that my name is Kalashnikov, and that I have returned. This is not to say that I was gone, for I was always present, to myself. I labor this point only because I wish to inspire no rumours of a departing and of a return, of a passing and a reanimation, of a death and a resurrection. If you hear stories along such lines, of my resurrection and of my offers of a blesséd redemption, pay no attention. Paradise is a work of deceit, calculated to prey upon your credulity. They will invariably ask for money, but do not give it to them. Simply walk away, paying no heed to their stories.
My name is Kalashnikov, it is true. The President is a lover of honesty, and of facts, and of reality, and so he has hired me to be his personal detective. That is why I carry this notebook of mine wherever I go. I am forever conducting investigations on behalf of the President. I am forever sorting out the truth on behalf of the President. Which is to say the facts. Which is to say the reality. Yes, I am in the business of reality, the real, the thing in and of itself. The President is a lover of the thing itself, the thing in and of itself. And I am at his service.
Mr. Crusher is intoxicated. He is a world spectacle. All eyes look upon him, all ears listen to his words. The heavens still the rain when he speaks at the inaugural. It seems as if God Himself now defers to the orange menace.
The fog of a Washington sky obscures the waning moon, as an inaugural gloom overtakes the nation. Lightning strikes the Lincoln Memorial, piercing the paraffin-saturated ceiling of translucent Alabama marble. The bolt electrifies the sixteenth President of the United States. The animated figure rises, breaking free of the fasces with one heave of its arms. Mr. Lincoln has returned.