The President's Son Ch. 05byDWSimon©
The President's helicopter set down about twenty minutes after James was brought in. John, Malcolm and Madeline were escorted by the secret service to the Emergency Room. Stan Baxter stood outside, waiting for the President so he could fill him in on the updates into the investigation. While in the helicopter, John tried to decide how much he should prepare his wife for. It wasn't that he thought she wasn't strong enough, he knew she was far stronger than most people. He just didn't want her to read what had happened until after she had seen their son.
The moment they descended upon the emergency room, a nurse went into the exam room. She informed Admiral Johnson that the President had arrived. Johnson had only a preliminary workup, and wanted to wait until the X-rays had come back before he spoke to the family. Outside, Stan Baxter called on his cell phone to the Director of the FBI, getting the latest update from the compound in Alaska. John McNeely waited until Baxter was off the phone, but it felt like an eternity.
Baxter joined the President with grim determination. "Mr. President. The abductors videotaped the majority of what went on once they arrived at the compound. We are reviewing those tapes now and have pieced together most of what happened. Apparently, there were four captors, two of which left shortly before we arrived. We are searching, but so far, haven't found them."
John stood and listened, feeling angry and helpless at the same time. "Where is Masterson?"
Baxter didn't want this question, but didn't flinch from it either. "Lieutenant Masterson is being held at a local hospital in Anchorage. He is under arrest and has four guards on him at all times."
John spared a glance at his wife, sitting on a bench, looking pale. Malcolm was holding her hand. "Is he injured?"
Baxter shook his head. "He isn't." He paused, not sure if he should go on, but decided it would be worse to hold the news back. "He's wondering why he can't be with Captain McNeely. They sedated him because he became too agitated. The preliminary psych evaluation is being worked up."
John was going to ask more questions when Admiral Johnson came out of the exam room. He walked straight to the President and waited a few seconds for Mrs. McNeely and Malcolm to join him. "Captain McNeely is in stable condition. We're going to have to take him into surgery soon."
Madeline's heart lurched into her throat. "What is wrong with him?"
Johnson looked at the First Lady and felt all the admiration he'd felt toward her strengthen. The woman had guts. "There is an orthopedic specialist who is going to repair his knee. The preliminary X-ray shows that at least four tendons are detached or torn. We've set his right arm and it is now in a cast." Johnson paused, not wanting to be blunt, but knowing that sugarcoating it wouldn't make it any easier. "We're going to have to remove his tonsils. There is also some tearing that needs to be stitched around his lips. We've done the stitching already on his rectum."
Madeline wanted to be sick. John had told her the bare facts about the situation and what her baby had gone through. But the damage that the Admiral was describing made her feel weak in the knees. Malcolm's calm hand on her arm helped steady her. "Can I see him?"
Johnson looked at Madeline McNeely and admired her strength. Now came the hard part. "Your son is in a catatonic state. His eyes are open, but he isn't aware of his surroundings. You can see him, just don't be surprised if he doesn't respond."
John shook the Admiral's hand and escorted his wife into the exam room, lead by a nurse. Malcolm waited out in the hall, wondering what he was supposed to do. He felt so damn helpless. He was filled with this rage that wanted to consume him. Anger poured from him. But there was no target. Masterson was thousands of miles away. The abductors were in prison or on the run, out of his reach. So he paced, letting the hate build where there could be no outlet. Stan Baxter watched the Senator pace, feeling helpless, wanting to go out and help hunt down the people who had done this. For the rest of his life, he'd never forget the sight when he'd walked into that room and seen Alec Masterson rutting on top of James McNeely. Nor would he forget the pitiful cries and hysterical ranting when they separated them and handcuffed Masterson. Either the man was crazy, a sadistic fuck or both.
When Madeline saw her son, her first thought was simple: this couldn't be her boy. He was draped with a sheet, covering him from about his belly button down. His chest and upper arms appeared to be one giant bruise. His jaw was swollen and his lips were cracked. His eyes were open and once she saw that deep blue, she knew that this was her son. It took everything she had not to break down and weep uncontrollably. But even with her iron control, the tears still streamed down her face. She stood beside him and touched his hand, taking it gently in hers. Lowering to his face, she was hoping there would be some flicker of awareness, but his eyes didn't even shift. He stared at nothing, not even blinking. She knew her son was strong. She could only imagine what horrors he must have faced. John leaned down to his son as well, but got the same non-response. John and Madeline stood together, her slightly in front of him, his arms around her and she holding his hand. At that moment, they weren't the President and First Lady. They were just Mr. and Mrs. John McNeely, watching over their son. After a few moments, a nurse directed them out of the room.
They wheeled James's gurney out of the exam room, on its way to the operating room. Malcolm got his first look at James. His eyes flooded with tears, seeing this kind, wonderful man in such a state. Madeline joined Malcolm as he watched the gurney disappear down the hall. Admiral Johnson stepped out of the exam room, and offered his office as a waiting room. The three of them accepted and went to the small office and paced and worried for several hours. All the while they waited, the media got a copy of one of the tapes the society had created. After hunting down a source at the FBI, the press began to piece together what had happened. The same group that made James McNeely and Malcolm Richardson's kiss a national scandal became the champions of the Captain and his courageous fight for survival.