As 9-11 shakes the Doonesbury world, many of its denizens are drawn inexorably toward Ground Zero--Mike to attend a memorial service for a former employer; B.D., reactivated for crowd control and celebrity tourism; Marcia Feinbloom to hit on firefighters; and Zonker to deliver potent fruitcakes to weary rescue workers. Those on the home front are no less affected by events: "I no longer care what Madonna had for breakfast," laments Boopsie, proof positive that Everything Has Changed.
Half a world away, in Al-Qaeda Qountry, a burka-clad Roland Hedley is captured by a freelance warlord, then wounded by a can of Spam during a massive friendly food drop. Feyzabad Station Chief Havoc's effort to rescue the downed journalist speaks well for the new, improved CIA, which has somehow managed to parlay its "massive" intelligence failures into cult status on the nation's campuses. How else to explain Jeff Redfern's new internship with "Acme Imports"--and his sudden affinity for shaken-not-stirred libations?
Meanwhile, former inside trader Phil Slackmeyer watches from his deathbed as the effort to smoke out evildoers expands to include the entire management team of Enron. Prominent among them is "Jimmy Jack Jumbo" Andrews, head of over 400 Caymans-based businesses, who calls his old friend to ask the question on many an ex-exec's mind: "What's prison like?" And back at the White House pressroom, NPR attack-dog Mark has questions of his own, like, "What time will you be launching the cover-up?" and "Will there be a lunch?" Yes, excavating Enron's smoking crater will be a long and dirty job--even if the president barely knows "Mr. Lay," the disgraced CEO with whom he exchanged 350 letters. As Dubya assures us, "I did not have political relations with that man."