Raiden stared at the President for a long moment, then asked, "If the world is broken, then what was the point of all of that? If we're all doomed... why bother? What was I fighting for?"
Michael Valentine reached into his suit jacket, extracting a cigarette and lighting it. "I couldn't tell you, son, no one can tell you why you fought except yourself. Looked to me like Armstrong had been trying to kill you, and you happened to kill him first. Uncovered a ton of crimes he'd committed, including assassination and outright treason, to the point that the media's going to applaud me taking executive action and the Attorney General is chomping at the bit. Frankly, Armstrong effectively killed himself - he just didn't realize it yet."
With a shake of his head, Raiden looked down at the sheathed sword. Jetstream Sam's. He laughed, despite everything. "Nice bit of wordcraft with the deputization, the pardon. I know you're going to throw me in some deep, dark hole if anyone ever found me back in the US."
There was a long pause, then a laugh in answer. "All right. The truth then."
Raiden perked up, hand on his sword, ready.
"I'm not going to bullshit you, son," Valentine continued, pausing to take a drag on his cigarette. "Why should I beat around the bush? All of this... none of it matters. Pakistan? Fuck 'em. Their government exists because we allow it, and they would end if we demanded it. They're not the only one, either. Frankly, the world has bigger problems than one vigilante that went legit. You can write your own meal ticket - you took care of Armstrong when I was fully ready to personally execute him."
A blink. Then two. "You?"
"Jack... you know, better than anyone, not to judge someone based on their appearance." Another exhale of smoke. "You barely scratched the surface of the programs that existed, and there were more programs that benefitted from super soldiers than Fox-Hound. But no, none of that matters. You know why?"
"I expect you'll tell me."