This short story gives a look into a very possible situation that could happen.
Finding the President
By: Daniel Cornett
"Passengers of the plane buckle your seatbelts. The plane is getting ready to land."
The announcement startled the President out of a dream. He had remembered the many times he was abused as a kid by his parents. Both of them drank and they ignored him. He was so saddened by the experience that he had become an advocate for domestic violence and now had decreased the percentage of domestic violence rates in the country by twenty percent.
It had been a long day. He left Saudi Arabia twenty-one hours ago and was landing back in Washington D.C. at 2:37 A.M. He was thinking about the meeting he had had with the U.S. Ambassador about the progression of the liberation of Eastern Saudi Arabia.
The mission was dangerous so the Secret Service and the U.S. Embassy Guards had to preplan and cut out any loopholes that might allow an act of terrorism to take place on the ground. They decided once there, the President would go straight to the embassy in the cloak of night, hopefully unnoticed. Then, he would get the necessary information to the ambassador and get out of there. His goal was to get home by 3:00 A.M. They were running ahead of schedule so they chose to land at 2:25 A.M. The robotic voice boomed through the speakers, "We have touched down, passengers get ready for unloading."
"Why not just search the plane! They do everything else!"
The plane jolted to a stop; airport security boarded the plane. They found the President. "Sir you know protocol."
Sighing, the president stood up and stretched out his arms. Two different security guards searched him as the other two searched the rest of the plane. When they returned the president was finished with the security check and he was heading towards the front of the plane. "Sir! Your baggage!" one of the guards said panting.
"Leave it, I'll have my agents get it."
Looking outside, the president was greeted by red and blue flashing lights, a sign that the motorcade was assembled and ready to go. The president could see over the motorcade and he noticed blurry silhouettes behind the cars.
"Of course, normal Secret Service. I am just a normal person leading the country! I am NOT a king!"
As the president made his way down the stairs, he knew it would be hard to do anything without getting publicity. He looked to the right and noticed a cloud of media personnel studying his every move.
"Good Lord! Do they really have to follow my every move? So much for going unnoticed."
He continued down the steps of the plane. He sighed as he thought about the upcoming election. It was less than a year before a new president would be where he was now. He hoped to God that Senator Carson didn't get in because he was going to force all illegal immigrants out of the country on the first day, or so he said.
"How is he going to round up 11 million people in the first day?"
Once on the ground, the president saluted the military officers as he walked slowly down the carpet to his limo. Camera flashes continued to catch his eye as he wearily clambered into the back of the limo. Secret Service Captain Miller stood outside of the door as he spoke into his wrist radio. "The president is secure in the limo. I repeat the president is in the limo."
An agent standing by the one of the other motorcade cars gave a thumbs-up indicating it was time to get on the road. Agent Bradford climbed into the car just as the engine rumbled to life. Miller slipped into the limo with the president and the motorcade jerked forward starting towards the White House. "Sir we are going straight to the White House because you have an important meeting to attend."
"An important meeting?"
The president didn't remember setting up a meeting but as tired as he was, that didn't actually shock him. He shrugged it off and glanced out the window. He noticed a man that ran into the darkness of the hangar, expecting him to be a worker. Giving the man more attention, there was a loud explosion followed by a ball of fire that lit up the sky. The fuel tanks were burning. "My God!" exclaimed President Waylor startled by the sight.
The drivers instinctively sped up and flew out of the exit-gate. Behind them the sound of sirens wailed and a smoky cloud billowed toward the heavens. "Get me back to Air Force One! I have to leave..."
"No Mr. President! You are not leaving Washington D.C. until we have a conclusive idea on what is happening!"
"I need to leave Washington now! My family needs to leave now! We are obviously in danger if we stay here! I have a secret bunker set up in California that even you don't know about!"
"A bunker? Without the authorization of the Secret Service you are not leaving Washington D.C!" barked Miller.
"Turn this limo around!" commanded the president.
Instinctively the driver obeyed and within seconds, they were headed back toward the plane. "Faster!" barked the president.
Captain Miller pulled his Sig Sauer-P226 out of the shoulder holster and aimed it at the president's chest. "You are not leaving the limo and you are definitely not leaving Washington D.C!"
The president froze and he knocked the gun out of the agent's hand. Stunned, the agent tried to retaliate and retrieve his gun, but the president already had it and slung it into the agent's face. The president growled through clenched teeth, "You will let me leave or you will have a bullet in your head!"
The agent backed down surrendering to the president. Pointing the gun at Miller the president barked, "Give me your holster and badge!"
Slowly, Miller slipped his jacket off, unclipping his holster and badge, and then tossing them at Waylor. The driver slowed to a stop in front of the hangar and in a trembling voice said, "We are here Mr. President."
Waylor unfolded his six-foot frame, darted out of the car, and dashed to the plane. Flying up the steps, the president jerked the door closed sealing himself off from the rest of the world. Realizing what had happened, Miller said "Jesus. I never thought I would say this, but the president has become a refugee of the United States. We are now in a manhunt for the president."
Ahead, in the motorcade, the other agents were given a terse summary of the preceding events. "The president has become a refugee of the United States. We have to find him."
Agent Bradford told the motorcade to continue to the White House. He knew they needed to formulate a plan to subdue the president but that meant they all had to be in one room.
"Andrews Air Force Base, come in. This is Limo One requesting that you scramble F-16s to the site of Air Force One."
Across the radio came a crackle then a voice. "We read you Limo One. We are scrambling jets to Air Force One."
Taxiing onto the runway, Air Force One throttled up and increased speed, preparing for ascent. The president saw the F-16s that were taxiing to the same runway. "My God! Can't they understand that I want to be safe?"
Half a mile away, the man spotted heading into the hangar pulled onto Pennsylvania Ave. away from the Air Force Base.
The pilot pulled the controls back forcing the nose upward and the plane started to climb. As part of a systematic routine, the pilot flipped seven switches to adjust everything and then pulled in the gears. With the F-16s in close pursuit, the plane continued to climb, reaching ten thousand feet within seconds. Soon, they would be at thirty-five thousand feet, high enough to deploy their defenses. Staggering to the radio, the president said "Deploy countermeasures."
The pilot didn't hesitate. The countermeasures were released hitting the jets. Looking back out of the window, the president saw the chain of fireballs that consumed the F-16s. Turning back around he reached into his pocket for his phone. Without hesitation he dialed a number. A voice came across. "Hello this is the White House Service Desk how may I help you?"
"Janet? This is the President of the United States. I need you to send my wife and kids to Missouri International Airport."
"Oh my God Mr. President! It is so good to hear your voice sir."
"Thank you Janet. Can you send my wife and kids to Missouri International Airport?"
"I will try sir. I'm not promising anything because the Secret Service is searching for you and they will not stop until you are back on the ground at AAFB."
"I don't care what the Secret Service wants. I care only for my family's safety and for my personal safety."
"But, sir, it is protocol for me to run this request through Captain Miller and..."
"I don't care what Miller has to say. Just get my wife and kids to Missouri."
President Waylor shoved the phone back into his pocket and picked up the radio. "Mr. King, let me into the cockpit so I can tell you where to go."
The plane that escorted the First Lady and her children to Missouri reached the airport before the president's plane. Climbing off of the plane, Mrs. Waylor and her kids were escorted to a safe place, expecting an all-out firestorm once the president touched down in Missouri.
"Sir, we are going in for landing at Missouri International Airport."
Now strapped into the co-pilot's seat, the president acknowledged him with a brief grunt. "Decreasing speed to three hundred and fifty miles per hour."
With great ease, the pilot applied force to the controls, causing the gleaming nose to dip. The runway lights flickered into view. "Switching to landing flaps."
Picking up the radio, the pilot said, "This is Air Force One coming in for refueling and pickup of passengers. MIA Control, do you read?"
A response crackled across the radio. "You are clear to land, Air Force One."
Slipping the radio back on its hook, the pilot flipped the same seven switches that he had flipped so many times before. A light flickered on just in front of the president. Glancing over at it, the pilot confirmed that the gears were extended properly and it was time to land. Travelling at two hundred miles per hour, the plane gently touched down on the runway. A wave of relief washed over the pair in the cockpit. Relaxing, the president released his grip on the controls, showing the pilot how hard his grip had been. "Jesus! You really were nervous weren't you, sir? Why? You have been in the air many times."
"Yes I have, but I haven't gotten to experience the job firsthand."
A silence hung in the air for a moment. Finally, the president clambered out of the cockpit. Strolling to the door, he pushed it open, to welcome his waiting family. His wife's smile cut through the tension that was eating at him. The First Lady and the children ran onboard and threw themselves at the president. "Daddy!"
The president had a large grin on his face when he heard that. He hadn't heard that since he left for Saudi Arabia four days ago. Ascending the stairwell, the First Lady looked at the president and gave him another warm smile. The children ran to the back of the plane as the First Lady said, "Hello, honey. It's so good to see you."
Planting a kiss on his wife's forehead, he responded, "It's good to see you too, honey."
Pulling her away from his body, Waylor looked into her eyes and was reminded of how much he had to be grateful for. They had been together thirteen years but theirs had not been an easy path. Waylor had met her in high school and they dated for a while, but life happens. They split up, going their separate ways, but after seven years, Waylor reconnected with her at a bookstore, of all places. It was so easy to get caught up in the memories.
Now in New York, the man who had set off the bomb at the Air Force Base stopped, being pulled out of the car with officers surrounding him. "Ow, ow! Stop! I didn't do anything, I swear!"
Looking off the side he sat off another bomb that blew up his car killing the investigating officers near the car. Shoving him into the back of the police patrol car, the others shouted on their radio calling to roll backup and the fire department. "Our suspect has killed two officers. Two officers down, I repeat two officers down."
"Come on, sir. We have to get out of here. We have a full tank of gas and will be able to make it to Los Angeles International Airport."
The voice startled the pair, but it was only the pilot. Instinctively, both the president and the First Lady strode to the back to sit down. As the engines powered up, Waylor rested his head back. "Honey, do you remember the first day we met?"
Sighing, Mrs. Waylor responded, "Yes, I do. We were just fifteen years old. I was on the cheer squad and you were on the debate team. I guess that is why you are president."
Smirking and laughing, the president closed his eyes, submerging himself into darkness.
"Honey! We've landed!"
Startled, the president's eyes flew open. Hopping up out of his seat, he took control and immediately began to give directives so his wife knew what to expect next. "Honey, grab our bags and take the children to the terminal."
He reached in his suit jacket and pulled the Sig-Sauer P226 pistol that he took from Captain Miller. Loading the chamber, the president said, "I'll stay here. You and the kids will be fine."
The First Lady got off of the plane and ran toward the terminal where she would be able to keep an eye on the president. "God have mercy on your soul." She mumbled as she watched the Secret Service planes coming in for landing. "I love you."
The president stepped off the plane and watched it taxi into the hangar. Fiercely looking on, he spotted the first Secret Service jets landing. "This is it," mumbled the president as he took aim with the Sig-Sauer. Aiming at the first jet, he fired a shot. The jet's tire gave a staccato pop and the jet lost control, smashing into the refueling rigs, causing a massive explosion that engulfed the plane. With no hesitation, the president aimed at the others, but couldn't fire as they were too far away.
Captain Miller shoved the Beretta in his holster. "Remember, the president is armed and dangerous. We can't let him win. On any cost, take out the president."
Miller spun around and with a vengeance, marched forward, mumbling. "We will find the president at any cost, even our own lives."
Mrs. Miller cried out in a mumbled voice with a hand over her mouth. She shook when she felt the cold metal of a gun pressing against her temple. "Your husband will pay for this."
The president pointed the gun at the agents, firing four shots in rapid succession. Three agents fell; however, Miller wasn't one of them. Miller continued to storm forward, yanking his Beretta out of the holster, and firing repeatedly towards the direction of the shots. The president managed to get one more shot off towards the jets. Hearing an explosion, the president knew what had happened. He had taken out the agents transport. Now the only way they could get home was to use Air Force One. Sneaking around the back, Captain Miller caught a flash of the president's legs. Now in a furious sprint, Miller flew around the corner, stopping immediately. Miller trembled. The president had Miller's wife as a hostage. "You worked so hard to have her, and now I can finally have her."
Finally arriving at the scene, FDNY put out the fire, now raging, taking out one of the squad cars. The patrol car that had the suspect rushed off, leaving a squealing smoke cloud behind the car. Although the car disappeared, the sirens could still be heard. The criminal was in custody and wouldn't commit another crime again, as he was going to jail on two counts of terrorism.
Miller, tears streaming down his face, released his grip on the Beretta, dropped to the ground and misfired, shooting the president in the leg. The president cried out in agony and released Miller's wife to clutch his leg. Miller sat on his knees, and he embraced his wife. Now, on the ground, the president reached for the Sig-Sauer. He applied enough pressure to the trigger to fire the weapon. The loud bang startled Miller, but his wife was silent. It was then that he realized what the president had done. Miller's wife slid out of his arms and fell to the ground, blood pouring from her back. In an outrage, Captain Miller picked up the Beretta and aimed it at the president; the president was unconscious, allowing Miller to kick the Sig-Sauer away from the president. He aimed the Beretta at his head. "Now, it is truth or consequences. You chose consequences."
Miller squeezed the trigger, burying a bullet in the president's head. Miller dropped the Beretta and, once again, fell to his knees. He had lost everything. He lost his wife and his leader. Five Secret Service agents flew around the corner and saw the scene. They drew Miller back and shoved him out of the way. "My God, Miller! What did you do?"
With silence, Miller lost all consciousness and fell forward, landing face down on the asphalt.
Miller strode across the lawn of his mansion in the country. He slowly walked over to the pier and gazed out over the ocean. As the sun began to set, he remembered his first wife. It had been three years since that fateful day, and Miller had remarried, but he had not been able to totally move on. Every day he remembered the wife who had died and the man he had killed; every day he gazed out over the ocean and battled his heartache.