Henrietta Hombs smiled out at the crowd before her. She could do this, she thought. "Good people," she began, her right hand raised as if it could somehow stop the whispering. "I'm here tonight with a report that sounds like it was lifted from the pages of a horror novel. If only it were so. However..." Henrietta stalled, scratched her face, cleared her throat. "President Austen once scribbled in her journal that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a President in possession of grave news must put on a false-face and pretend otherwise.
"Ms Austen, as I have become aware, did such that. During her term the Western Rebellion had just ended and it was imperative for the President of the United States to appear in control. Much has changed over the last two centuries, but there are some things that have not." Henrietta paused again. She tried to find the compassionate eyes of her husband in the crowd, but the white light of the cameras essentially blinded her. As if she needed another handicap.
"I received a report not twenty-four hours ago that our world will be ending within the week." Whispers. A guffaw. "We have reached the terminus and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Physicists once thought of time as an infinite line, having no beginning nor end. It turns out that there is, in fact, both a beginning and an end, and we are all quickly approaching the latter.
"I do not have the vocabulary to explain this here, but the data has already been published to the Department's website, if anyone cares to find meaning. My purpose in this speech is three-fold. First, I implore you to heed my words as truth and to spend your last days with the people you love doing the things that you enjoy. Second, I beg you to remain as calm as you can and to act with charity and love, not selfishness and greed. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is that I ask you to relinquish any hope that you may be clutching. This is an irrefutable and inescapable event, and the sooner you realize that we are all doomed the sooner you can get on to doing the first two points.
"I have enjoyed serving as this nation's final President, and I beg your forgiveness for not finding a way out of this situation. Believe me, we have tried. It is a hopeless situation. Thank you, and may God save us all."