NOTES: See Part 1
SUMMARY: Rade finds herself in another bad situation and the West Wing is
left feeling helpless as they have to deal.

"Sir, we've got the call." Ron exclaimed as he listened to the small
device within his ear. Jed looked at his wife who had finally gotten Ellis to
lie down on the couch only for him to sit up again at the sound of Ron's
announcement. Jed then moved to look at the various members of his staff. CJ
and Sam looked up from their conversation to him. Leo and Josh did the same.
Toby just got to his feet nervously.
"Okay." Jed said softly as he looked at the blinking light on the phone.
With a deep breath, he pressed the speaker button. "Hello?" He said as best
as his voice could muster.
"Mr. President. Your voice sounds the same as ever." A deep yet somewhat
familiar voice spoke through the room.
"I'm not sure I can say the same." Jed admitted uncertainly. "To whom am
I speaking?"
"Call me Cougar. It makes things simpler." The voice exclaimed.
"Cougar." Jed repeated. "Well, Cougar, you seem to have something that I
hold very dear. The question is why?"
"Because history has been very badly written. I need your help to rectify
history's mistakes and I think Rade's presence here with me will help me to
persuade you to do that." Cougar replied smoothly. His voice seemed so calm,
so even, but not cold. Jed marveled at how human the voice sounded.
"I need to talk to Rade, to make sure she's okay." He asked, probing the
"Of course." Cougar exclaimed. There was a rustle on the line as the
staff waited in apprehensive silence.
"Hello?" Rade's weak voice asked."
"Rade. It's me, granddad. Are you okay?" Jed asked, some bit of relief
flooding to him. She was at least alive.
"I'm not sure." Rade admitted. "This guy hit my head but now he's
bandaged it. I have to admit that it's somewhat confusing." She said shakily.
Cougar smiled weakly. "Is Ellis okay? Is he dead? She asked weakly.
"No, I'm here." Ellis called, relieved to hear her voice.
"Thank God." Rade murmured.
"Rade, things are going to be okay." Jed said softly. Toby stared at the
phone as if he wanted to say something but couldn't.
"Okay." Rade paused. "Um, this weird Cougar guy wants the phone back."
She said softly. Weak smiles spread around the room. Even in the midst of all
this, Rade was Rade.
"Mr. President." The dark voice spoke again, an eerie contrast to Rade's
weak tone. "Was that satisfactory?"
"I suppose that it'll have to be." Jed relented.
"Who is there with you? I can tell that I'm on speakerphone and I'm more
than positive that your secret service is trying to trace my signal. I can
assure you that such an attempt is futile. I have many satellite connections
and computer hookups working against you." Cougar paused. "Tell me, who else
is listening?"
"My staff is here and a few others." Jed replied.
"Who? Name them." Cougar demanded. After getting weak nods from his
staff, Jed did as he was told, but purposely did not mention the presence of
his wife. He wasn't sure why, but he did. Cougar was silent for a moment.
"Mr. President, please get out a black pen and a piece of paper."
"I beg your pardon?" Jed asked.
"A black pen and a piece of paper. I want you to write my demands down
and I intend on seeing this paper soon enough, so I will know if you did the
writing or not." Cougar exclaimed softly. Jed grabbed a black pen and a piece
of White House stationary.
"Okay, I'm ready." He announced.
"Please understand that these are my demands. I will not hear 'we need
more time' or 'we can't do that'. I will not hear such things." Cougar
"Understood." Jed replied uncertainly.
"My monetary concerns must first demand ten million dollars in cash,
unmarked bills, in a briefcase, preferably a black Stuart Martin, but that is
not necessary. I would also like an L-142 private plane waiting for me at the
GW airport, preferably at any hangar between A-7 and A-13. I expect to
recognize this plane by its tail fin which must be painted silver." The voice
said slowly as Jed scribbled down the notes he could get. "I shall also
demand the release of the following prisoners of injustice: Daniel Boonridge,
imprisoned in Salt Lake City, Utah; Michael Foster, imprisoned in San Diego,
California; Ste Bertkin, imprisoned in Billings, Montana; Derek O'Malley,
imprisoned in New Hampshire; Nathan Merryl, Lucas Johansen, Paul Benedict and
Jesse Marks who are also in New Hampshire. Finally, Eric Knox in Virginia.
These men must be released with 36 hours. With the exception of Mr. Knox,
they must be told specifically to 'contact cougar'. Mr. Knox must be on the
plane at the GW airport with the briefcase of my money. This must be done
within 48 hours." Cougar started to slow to a finish and then looked at Rade
who had paled. Jed finished writing, but was shaking his head.
"Sign the paper, Mr. President, and place it inside the briefcase with
the money. This briefcase must be on my plane within 48 hours. This is my
last demand. You have your guidelines." Cougar exclaimed and then hung up.
"Why Eric Knox?" Rade asked him shakily.
"Because he has done a great wrong." Cougar replied gently. "He must pay
for hurting my child, and I cannot kill him if he is behind prison walls." He
added calmly. Rade stared at him in disbelief.
"Your child?" She whispered.
"Yes, Rade." He replied softly as he knelt on the floor in front of her.
"I am your father."

Luke...I am your faaaatttthhheerrrrr... Oh, wait, wrong story.



Everything That Changes - 5



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