From the Ashes: CATU Book 6 Ch. 18byJoeBarnosky©
The White House
MAKE SURE THAT THE PRESIDENT SEES the tape. Tancheres says over the video.
"I understand," the aide says with a nod. He picks up the tape. "It has been edited to your specifics."
Excellent, the Ancient Asura says smiling. Let's make a good show out of this though, double the Secret Service guard.
"What do I say if questioned about it?" the aide questions.
Tancheres frowns. Don't start disappointing me with useless questions.
"Forgive me my lord," the aide quickly says. "I will figure something clever."
You had better. If this gets fucked up then you will be the first to feel my wrath.
"It will be done as commanded," the aide says assuredly, but the screen has already gone blank. "Fuck," he says silently before stepping out of the room.
The aide heads down the hall which is nearly empty having been previously cleared on Todd Nichols, director of the FBI, recommendation. Other than the aide the only other people in the hall were Secret Service agents, so he heads for the first agent.
"I need you to report in to Director Rodriquez and tell him to double the Secret Service agents this morning," the aide says quickly. He stands there just long enough for the agent to relay the message through his mic before he proceeds past.
He only gets a few feet past before the agents turns and says, "Hold a second sir. Director Rodriquez is asking where the authorization is coming from."
The aide turns around abruptly with a flash of anger. "Intel straight from Director Nichols points to the president being compromised and I'm sure once the president is notified he would like the extra detail."
The aide doesn't realize he is standing up almost against the agent in a threatening manner until the agent reaches for the inside of his jacket. The aide quickly steps back seeing his error and says, "Tell Rodriquez if he wants to risks the president's life over wasting time with authorizations then the blood is on his hands and you can relay that to him." And with that the aide spins on his heel and walks away.
The agent quickly removes his hand from his jacket and speaks into his mic. After a quick conversation he leaves his spot and runs in the opposite direction of the aide. The aide looks over his shoulder to see the agent leave and smiles.
The aide walks briskly through the near empty halls. As he nears the Oval Office the halls begin to swell with more people as the walls line with more Secret Service agents and the pathways become more congested with officials and other aides like him. He squeezes and shoulders his way through until he reaches the door to the Oval Office where he is stopped by none other than Director Rodriquez, head of the Secret Service himself.
The large Hispanic man holds up his hand and says, "You may as well just turn you happy ass around and walk right out the front door before I decide to detain your scrawny little ass."
The aide glares up at the big man. He towers over the aide and the aide slightly and pushes up his thin framed glasses before summoning up the courage to stand up to the man. He looks from the left then to the right at the two agents flanking the director then at the director himself and says, "You go ahead detain me. I know you have no love for me and it's no secret you haven't liked me since I stepped foot in here."
"You're damn right," Rodriquez admits. "Besides the fact you're a fucking ass kisser, there is just something not fucking right about you."
"And you're basing that fact on what?" the aide glares back at him. "Because my parents were Russian and with recent problems you're pinning me as a spy?"
"Oh I've done some digging and you're far too clean and perfect."
"Good luck with your accusations," the aide says. He pushes past the big man surprised the director actually moves for him.
As he reaches for the door knob Rodriquez says, "And Lapinsky." The aide stops but doesn't turn around. "Remember you said the words not me. When I find the evidence to prove it I'll be coming for you personally."
Lapinsky doesn't move until Rodriquez's footsteps are far down the hallway. Only then does he take a deep breath and turn the knob.
"Good morning Mr. President," he says as he enters the office.
Dave McKinsey looks up from his desk with a sour expression. "I was expecting you almost ten minutes ago Mr. Lapinsky."
"Yes sir, I was caught up in the hall. Apparently some people do not take the safety of the president into consideration as much as others," Lapinsky says as he suppresses a smile.
"Excuse me?" McKinsey asks clearly not on the same page as the aide.
Lapinsky frowns. "I'm not surprised you are still being kept in the dark either sir considering Director Rodriquez recent actions sir." The aide walks over to the desk and sits down before the president letting the silence build and the president in wait before continuing. "I'm not sure at the director's intentions sir, but Director Nichols notified this office of a possible attack today and yet Director Rodriquez thought it wise to not increase security and imperative to attempt to stop me from reaching your office."
McKinsey gives a disapproving frown. "I will admit that Horacio can be a very stubborn man, but I'm sure that there is just some kind of misunderstanding between the two of you Lazar."
"I apologize then sir for any misunderstanding," Lapinsky says with a hesitant smile.
"Now you're not here for my safety issues," McKinsey says. "Trust me when I say that since the last attack, security has been upped. You have brought me something on the apparent attack on President Valois?"
"Yes sir," Lapinsky says as he pulls out a CD from his jacket pocket. "It appears that the supposedly shut down CATU program is involved."
He gets up and moves over to a television that has already been set up and puts in the CD. Within moments the screen comes on and plays out a scene with Agents Cassidy and Greyson attack the French president. The scene plays on into another where it turns into a battle between the two agents and the horseman Ratmmas.
When it is over the aide pulls out the CD and places it on McKinsey's desk. "As you can see sir, it does not look very good."
"Are we the only ones with a copy of this?" the President asks.
"I'm afraid not sir," the aide answers. "This was actually sent over from Director Nichols' office just minutes ago and he stated the source they got it from sold it to several news stations already."
"Then it will be on the news by noon today," McKinsey states.
"It will be a frenzy sir," the aide says.
McKinsey ignores the aide's last statement and hits his intercom on his desk. "Sir?" comes back the voice of his secretary.
"Marie? I need you to get me the Vice President in here right away," he says. "Also see if Todd Nichols is on his way over here."
"Put in a call over to CATU and make sure confirm Director Grines' arrival please and I will also need to see Director Rodriquez in my office promptly."
"Right away sir."
Lapinsky's eyes lift slightly at the mention of CATU in his presence and McKinsey didn't miss the subtle movement either. "You already know what is going on here Lazar, so you are in as much of it as any of us."
"I'm not really sure about that sir," Lapinsky begins.
"Intentional or not, you brought me the video and I don't have time for games right now so you're going to get a crash course in what has been taking place around here." McKinsey look hard at the man and says, "It is a matter of National Security that everything you hear is to be kept only in this room. You understand that?"
Lapinsky gulps hard, more for the show of the president and says, "Yes sir." In the back of his mind, however, all fears are cast aside because any worries he would normally have are already taken care of.