Irwin appeared in their video exactly like the official North American release showed him, except he had on a heavy neck collar attached to a waist chain and another long heavy chain hanging to ankle shackles. A separate long chain connected wrist to wrist. There were two black clad figures standing behind him pointing sub-machine guns at his head. He recited the same message exactly as before. When he naturally paused a little in his recital one of the figures nudged him with a muzzle.
At the end of the official video somebody off camera called: “Cut!”
The black clad figures lowered their guns and swept black balaclavas up and off of their faces revealing the President of the USNA and the Secretary of State.
The Secretary smiled and reached in his pocket. “Good boy!” he said, and tossed a treat. Irwin stretched a little to catch it in his mouth and looked stupidly happy.”
“It’s ridiculous,” April said, shaking her head.
“Good, that’s exactly what we were aiming for,” Chen assured her. “The thing was documentary length by news standards, but it made them look ridiculous, not us. If we claimed their video was fake that would be easy to ignore but we just demonstrated how easily it could be faked. That has much more power than the unsupported claim.”
“What?” Chen asked at the flash of consternation that showed on April’s face.
“It just occurred to me. Somebody down there will believe our video with the added officials just like they did North America’s video.”
“Well sure. I could have put them in clown suits and somebody would believe it.