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Authors: Murray McDonald

Captive-in-Chief

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Captive-in-Chief

Murray McDonald

Published by Murray McDonald

Copyright 2016 Murray McDonald

 

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

The right of Murray McDonald to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Chapter 1

 

 

Chaos was Officer Stevens’ first thought as he reached the scene. Three cars lay strewn across the upmarket lawn - one police cruiser and two Executive Town Cars, each bearing witness to a brutal gun battle. Bullet holes and shattered glass littered the area. The front door to the house was thrown wide open, an unmoving body obstructing the entrance.

“Thank God,” croaked a blood-soaked officer in the crippled cruiser.

Stevens rushed to his aid. “What the hell happened?” he asked, checking the officer for injuries.

The officer pushed Stevens’ hand away. “I’m fine, a few scratches, it’s not my blood.” He pointed to another officer on the lawn. The large hole in his chest didn’t require further investigation.

Stevens looked again. The injured officer’s uniform wasn’t the same as his.

“Are you Secret Service?” he asked, taking another look at the house to see if he recognized it.

The injured officer stood up. Stevens noted the name badge, ‘Tueur.’

“Tooer?” he asked.

“Close. More like ‘fewer,’” replied Tueur, leading the way towards the house.

“Is it safe?” asked Stevens, drawing his weapon.

Tueur pushed down on Stevens’ Glock pistol. “Yes. One heavily armed attacker took out pretty much the entire detail. The bodyguards got the director safely in the house before they died. I tried to help, but…”

Stevens holstered his pistol and patted a forlorn Tueur on the shoulder.

“You said
director
?”

“FBI. He made it to a safe room, he’s fine. We need to get him out of here.”

“There’re more units a few minutes out, let’s wait for backup,” cautioned Stevens.

“Protocol demands we should get him out of here and to a secure location as a matter of urgency,” Tueur insisted.

              A second police cruiser burst into the street, its blue lights bathing the street intermittently. Two officers rushed out, their weapons at the ready.

“All clear, the shooter is down!” Stevens called out, calming the new officers instantly.

“We’re going to get the FBI Director, the target of the attack, out of the house and to a secure location. Keep watch,” Tueur commanded, leading Stevens to the house, both stepping over the body in the doorway.

Inside the house, the body count mounted. A body was face down in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs, another on the staircase. Tueur indicated upwards. Stevens could picture the scene. The bodyguards had rushed their protectee into the house and up the stairs, falling one by one as they fulfilled their sworn duty for the last time.

Tueur picked his way up the stairs, closely followed by Stevens. A female officer sat at the end of the hallway, her body propped up by the wall, her arms lying limply by her sides. A bullet hole in the center of her forehead explained her lifeless pose.

“Jesus,” said Stevens, stepping over her legs and crossing himself.

Tueur gestured towards a bedroom. A man in fatigues lay face down, a quarter of his head decorating the wall. Two assault rifles and a shotgun were scattered by his side.

“The attacker,” Tueur said.

He turned his attention to the door at the end of the hallway towards the far wall. A line in the wallpaper denoted a doorway but no handles or hinges could be seen. “That’s the safe room doorway. The director can see everything from the room. Go tell him we’re here to get him out.”

“You’re Secret Service, you should go in.”

“Look at me. Would you come out to a guy covered in blood? He needs to see the local police are here or he’ll worry I’ve been coerced by the attacker. When he sees you, he’ll know it’s clear.”

Stevens walked in and identified himself at the doorway, informing the director that backup had arrived, they needed to get him out, and that the attacker was dead.

Stevens gave his identification number and after another minute, the safe room door cracked open. Stevens led the FBI director out of the house. Tueur was already at the front door keeping watch when they reached the top of the stairs.

“Get the car up here!” Tueur shouted to the two officers covering the front, then held up his hand, telling Stevens to wait.

The officers raced back to their cruiser and drove it around the abandoned Town Cars, pulling up to the door.

Tueur waved Stevens and the director onwards before stepping out into the driveway and opening the rear door.

Sirens invaded the stillness of the night, growing closer. The full force of the police and FBI would soon be in place to uncover what had happened in the sleepy suburb of Virginia, scant miles from Washington D.C. Stevens exited first, stepping back to allow the director access to the back of the cruiser. He looked up at Tueur to thank him.

Tueur smiled reassuringly, a smile that said he always got his man. He raised his pistol and without a second thought shot the FBI director exactly where he had recently shot the man’s wife. Stevens followed merely a fraction of a second later. He hadn’t even had time to register the deceit that had taken his life.

The two officers in the cruiser struggled to turn and return fire in their confined space. Two more bullets, and Tueur’s job was complete as the blue lights of the cavalry were about to invade the street.

Tueur, or at least the name on his tag, holstered his pistol and jogged around the back of the house. A powerful KTM 500 dirt bike was waiting for him and would have him miles away in minutes.

Chapter 2

 

 

Commanding, powerful, imposing, intelligent, heroic…
Those were just a few of the adjectives that preceded the introduction of Clay Caldwell, the president of the United States. His presence on TV caught your attention. His face and voice pulled you into his words, enchanting you with his smiling eyes and wicked grin. Approval ratings had reached a point where the Democrats were seriously considering saving their campaign funds and sitting out his reelection battle. His thoughts and feelings preceded the groundswell, and before anyone had a chance to show outrage, he was already voicing it. The troops were on the ground before anyone could even think the country should be doing something, and were safely back home safe before anyone thought they had outstayed their purpose.

All in all, he was the president every American had dreamt of. A veteran with an exemplary record and a Medal of Honor earned in the heat of battle. A husband who loved and cared for his wife deeply; a father who understood that the health and education of children were fundamental principles of parenting; an economist who understood that shareholder wealth was a right and that greed was wrong; a bureaucrat who believed in a government big enough to do what its people needed but not everything they wanted.

He inspired Americans to be better, to achieve more, and to expect less if they didn’t try. He was a president to whom the people wished the two-term limit didn’t apply.

Joe looked around while everyone else was transfixed by the TV screen. He appeared to be the only person in the queue not mesmerized by the president. He shuffled forward as the line moved, drowning out the president’s words with the thoughts of how he would be described: bum, loser, drunk, waster. Just a few of the choice words thrown at him over the years. The closest to presidential he would ever get was courtesy of his dearly departed mother, who had deliberately picked a middle name beginning with F, Joe Francis Kelly. Unlike John Fitzgerald Kennedy, he was simply referred to as Joe. Nobody, it seemed, would dishonor the memory of JFK with Joe.

Joe reached the front of the line and held up the metal tray. Two dollops of food were deposited by the volunteer, one containing an unidentifiable mix of meat and vegetables, the second mashed potato. They were back to the usual slop, he noted, looking at it with some disdain.

“No roast beef?”

“Do you see any cameras here today?”

Joe looked back at the slop, shrugged, and moved on. Beggars couldn’t be choosers.

“Joe?” someone called behind him, but he ignored it.

“Joe?”

Although it was directed at him, he kept shuffling towards a table, unfazed. Nobody knew his name. He hadn’t told anyone his name in years, and certainly no one in Corpus Christi, nor the whole of Texas for that matter.

Joe sat and took a mouthful. It may be slop but it was tasty.

A hand tapped his shoulder. “Joe?” It was the elderly woman who sat watching over them each day from the office.

“Nope,” he said dismissively, swooping in for a second forkful.

“I have a call for you, it’s urgent.”

“I’m not Joe,” he lied, depositing the contents of his fork in his mouth, ending any chance of a conversation.

“He described you and said you were Joe, he desperately needs to speak to you.”

Joe tried to chew although it was useless, the slop melted in his mouth and slipped down his throat with ease. Many of the down-and-outs had few or no teeth, and the food was prepared accordingly. He swooped down for another load, trying to ignore the woman.

“He said to say ‘brothers forever,’” she said. Joe’s fork paused mid-flight. “He said it’s life or death,” she emphasized.

Joe stood up and followed her to the office. His eyes caught sight of the president. His speech from the previous day to the UN was being replayed incessantly by the news channels; it was a slow news day.

The woman showed him to her office and motioned towards the handset on her desk. Joe picked it up and held it at his waist, looking back to the woman. She took the hint and closed the door, offering Joe the privacy he needed for the call.

“Hello?” said Joe awkwardly. It had been many years since he had used a phone.

“Joe, thank God!” exclaimed the caller, the voice desperate, anxious. “You know who I am?”

“Of course,” replied Joe, watching the TV screen through the glass window. The president was receiving rapturous applause from the audience at the UN.

“I need your help,” said the caller. Joe’s eyes were like everyone else’s, transfixed to the TV screen as the president accepted the adulation.
Powerful and commanding,
thought Joe.

“I don’t know who I can trust anymore,” continued the caller in a whisper.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” replied Joe. “You obviously spotted me on TV after the news crew was here.”

“You’re Joe Kelly and the Joe Kelly I know can help me.” The voice was pleading, pathetic.

“We’ve not spoken in over twenty years, what can I, in my position, possibly do to help you?”

“You can be the only person in the world I can trust,” said the caller. “I need you Joe, can you help me?” The voice was frightened, the caller on the verge of tears.

“You know I will,” Joe replied. “Brothers forever.”

“You don’t know what that means to me.” The voice was barely audible.

A knocking at the other end of the phone drowned out the caller’s next words.

“I need to go. Come to my house and ask for Mrs. Klein and—”

“Mr. President, are you okay?” The shout resonated through the handset.

“I’m fine!” The voice was back to the one that matched the image on the TV outside the office. Joe listened as the president of the United States flushed a toilet and ended the call. His childhood friend needed him and it was a childhood promise that was going to have him hitchhiking to the nation’s capital to help the most powerful man in the world.

BOOK: Captive-in-Chief
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