Above: A Halliburton RoboReclaimer surveys what remains of Omaha.
 

RUMSFIELD, EMPIRE OF TEXAS—Officials at the Crawford White House announced Monday that the Halliburton Corporation has been awarded the lucrative task of reconstructing the Midwest, a contract worth approximately Ÿ92 billion.

"Halliburton is proud to have been entrusted with the task of repairing the damage done during the Great Wars between the EOT and the Great Lakes Alliance," said Halliburton CEO Richard Ch5ney, the fifth clone of the former U.S. president Dick Cheney and clone-once-removed of Texan Vice Overlord Rick Chen4y. "With the know-how and can-do spirit of Halliburton at their disposal, the radiation-blasted peoples of the Illinois No Man's Zone can look forward to a bright new future."

Halliburton's efforts in the region will include filling the mile-wide glowing craters dotting the Midwest, repairing the fractured domes over Des Moines and St. Minneapolis, decontaminating approximately 100,000 square miles of farmland, and restoring satellite-hologram service to the more than 120 million homes that have been without access to celebrity infotainment since 2052.

"Our first objective is to suppress the Wisconsinite and Illini insurgents," Halliburton spokesman James Rothman told reporters. "Attacks on the area's megasilos and supermills have cut the region's grain production in half. Once the insurgents have been contained and the farmland has been adequately irradiated, we will build our own MechaSuperfarms, which we will manage for as long as is necessary to maintain stability in the area."

Halliburton won the bid over stiff competition from 22 other international heavy-hitters like 3M-Hasbro, Microsoft Monopolies Inc., and Global Tetrahedron/Fox-Regency. ChaseMitsubishi, whose privately issued neo-yen became the new standard U.S. currency in 2055, also lost the bid, making it possible for Halliburton to introduce a regional economy based on the corporation's new Hallibucks.

The Midwest region remains volatile more than three years after the peace accord between Texas and the Midwestern Statehood Alliance.

 "The Middle West region, previously known for its scenic beauty and quaint small-city life, is in a state of anarchy," Rothman said. "Citizens suffer under the thumb of regional warlords, many of whom use mass slaughter and starvation as a means of controlling the population and suppressing nomadic tribes of Presbyterian extremists."

Rothman said the recent defeat of Chicagoan Warbot Battalion and six other regional warlords by Texan forces has paved the way for change in the area.

"I will personally oversee the rebirth of the Midwest," said Ch5ney, speaking from a fortified bunker in the new city of Halliburtonia, located in the Peninsular Borderlands formerly known as Michigan. "The region will soon be safe, secure, and most importantly, profitable."

In spite of Ch5ney's optimism, some Midwestern-policy experts have said his promise to "feast on the bones" of insurgents could result in further attacks.