I think I'm hyperventilating. I also think I'm having a heart attack.

These people, these people are insane but that doesn't mean they're
entitled to randomly shoot at public servants. Wait, I guess I mean
they're not entitled to shoot at anyone, but I'm starting to take this
personally. Sam keeps sneaking me these odd looks. Actually, I guess
they're not all that odd. He gave me those same looks in the Oval Office
that one time, but hey, I'm not yelling at anyone, so what gives?

I'm uh, I'm starting to think I should have stayed in Hoynes' office.
It's just, uhm, he's a pain in the ass, but there isn't anyone shooting
at him. Sam elbows me, and nods towards my beeper. Oh, that. Right. I
pick it up and drop it on the floor of the patrol car. Well, that didn't
work all that well. Sam leans down and picks it up. "It's Leo." Oh,
right, Leo. I don't suppose we could, uh, you know, not tell him about
this? It's just that, um, it's not really that important and I don't want
him to get the idea that I should..... that I might..... I mean, it's not
like I'm going to yell at the President again. Just gimme a few minutes
and I'll be fine. "Josh, it's been an hour. We ought to....." Yeah.

Oh boy, I don't believe this is happening. That's sort of naive, but I
just, right now I cannot believe that this thing is happening to us.
Sam's sitting next to me, holding his head in his hands. Yeah, take me
back to the Convention, but first we'd better drop Sam off at the
hospital. He's going to lose his mind if he doesn't see her. I think this
whole...... No, I don't think. I can't right now.

*

"Find anything?" Leo's got me locked away in the backroom trying to
locate a few of our favorite missing people. This is definitely not up my
alley. CJ's good at tracking down people, pictures, errant Senior
Staffers. Hell, even Toby'd be better at this. My growl isn't working
that well right now. Course, since we're trying to limit the number of
people involved, it's just me, on the phone with Sam, trying to
brainstorm and call people. So far, most of them have hung up on me, but
there have been a few interesting faxes, and at least one funky looking
e-mail that I can't quite figure out. With my luck, the e-mail's a virus
or something.

I spin the chair to face Leo, and grab Sam's football off the edge of the
desk. It's starting to look less complicated and slightly more
frightening. Lillianfield supposedly asked Bennet for a favor, in
exchange, Lillianfield wouldn't have a floor fight at the Convention if
Bennet won the nomination. That's my best guess at how they hooked up. Of
course, anyone that might be able to confirm or deny is conveniently
missing. The favor? That part's easy to figure out. Mr.
Former-CIA-Director-under-the-High-and-Mighty-Republicans accesses the
files on this one guy, who we apparently pay to kill people, something
Leo and I are going to have a long talk with Konrad about, and
Lillianfield puts him on the payroll.

Leo's looks interested, but I'm not even getting started yet. Now this
guy, his name's Harrold Keeter, we presumably sent him off to Africa to
kill a dictator we didn't like in 1989, so I can't pin that annoying
little London murder spree on him, but I do know he was in London during
the bombing itself, because he was checked into a hospital missing a few
chunks of skin and a couple pints of blood. That's all in the personnel
file - thank you Glen Havverson. "Josh, while I'm still young." Right,
I'm getting there, Leo.

So he and Lisa's whatever, Mark what's-his-name, bled all over some
rescuer's shirts and left behind their fingerprints, which no one thought
to worry about 'cause the shirt got stashed in a locker at Hoover with a
bunch of other stuff related to the bombing. No one even paid attention
when it turned up missing. Here we are, Lillianfield paying some nutcase
we produced out at Langley, and I think we can both guess what he's going
to be paid to do, and then what. Then, and this is all speculation and
junk from Dick Tracy down at the NYPD and James' notes. Do you know Lisa
don't take notes? Isn't that insane? "Josh!" The point? Right.

Okay, so the subway bomber, he was feeling pretty good about himself, so
he's decided to make a spectacle out of all of us. He's trigger-happy or
stab-happy or whatever we ought to call it. Anyway, I think everyone who
reads a paper is right in there with us on him. "Do we have any idea how
to find either of them?" Well, as Donna would say, it's time to drag out
the psychic powers. Sorry. Nope. Leo picks himself up out of the chair.
"How the hell did Havverson find out about Lillianfield?" Once again, I'd
love to ask him, but no one this side of Pluto knows where he is.

"Find someone. Find anyone. The President's giving his 'I won't be afraid
of the bogeyman' speech to Charlie." Yeah, 'cause between Harvard and
Yale I learned to track dangerous criminals. Look, I only know stuff,
'cause I'm the Deputy Chief of Staff. I get to frighten Konrad and his
pals at the CIA on occasion. This has been fun, but find yourself a
real..... Hey, Leo! Fine!

*

The rumble of the Convention is hard to grasp, but before I make it down
to the floor, Sam barrels into me. "Is she here?" Who here? Cordova's
still at the hotel with the President. Okay, wrong answer. He's looking
at me like I'm an idiot, which I am on occasion, but I'm today's a smart
day, at least, it better be. "Lisa checked herself out of the hospital."
Excuse me? She couldn't keep her eyes open this morning and now she's
AWOL? Sam, tie that girl to the bed or something! "Josh!" He's blushing.
See? This is almost cute. I suggest he tie his wife to a bed, and the boy
blushes. If the sky weren't falling, I'd probably get a good hard laugh
out of that.

Okay, so how far could she have gone. Wait, forget I asked. "Her dad's
been trying to call Paul all morning, but he's not home. You think he
picked her up?" I think that's a definite possibility. You know how that
brother-sister blackmail works. I'm sure she had some information that
just compelled him to come to her aide. He probably painted the dining
room table or something when he was six. Relax. We'll find Lisa, then
we'll work on our list of missing persons. Absently, I glance at my
watch. Well, maybe we'll just find Lisa. We're running out of time to do
much else.

Sam's walking down towards the floor when his phone rings, and stops
short to answer it. I walk right into this back, and we take a nice
tumble down the remaining ten steps together. You know, I think I'm too
old for that. He crawls on his hands and knees until he grabs the phone,
which, surprisingly, is still ringing. He answers it, and there's a hand
in my face offering to help me up. Alice Ritcher. My favorite annoying
person. Look, thanks, but no time to talk. "No problem, just warn me next
time you guys go skiing in here." I would have had a witty reply, I swear
I would have, but Sam elbows me in the stomach. "It's Lisa."

TBC

Fade to Black - 25

 

 

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