Tuesday ~ 4:45 am
At 4:45 the First Lady awoke. She
was leaning on the Presidentís shoulder in the Oval Office with Zoeyís head
in her lap. No one else was awake. Everyone else had cleared out to
give the family privacy. She knew that at 5:00 everyone would start to
come back in. She wanted to let her husband and daughters sleep as long as
they could. Quietly she got up and slid a pillow under Zoeyís head.
Lizzy and Emily were curled up on the other couch.
Abbey walked out of the Oval Office
rubbing the dried tears from her eyes. She realized that they had only
gotten to sleep around 2:00 am. There was no one in the area directly out
side of the Oval Office. She walked back into the room. She walked
over to the President and lightly tapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey, honey, wake up," she
whispered. The President sat up and looked up at his wife.
"Nobodyís here yet, but I wanted us all to talk."
"I think thatís a good idea."
The couple woke up Lizzy, Emily, and Zoey. "We just thought it would be
good to talk as a family before everybody showed up," he said once again
choking back tears.
"I think that itís important for us
to stay calm. As hard as I know that sounds--" Abbey couldnít finish
her sentence. The tears stopped her.
Jed put his arms around her to comfort
her. "Your mom is right. As bad as this sounds, we need to stay
composed. Weíre going to get Brooke back. I donít care what I
have to do. If I have to blow up California I will."
With that the girls choked out a laugh, still wiping the
tears from their eyes. At that moment there was a knock at the door.
"Come in," the
"Sir, everyoneís here and ready to
begin," Leo said walking into the office.
"Thanks Leo, give us a minute."
The President stood up.
"Dad, we talked about it, and me,
Lizzy, and Zoey are gonna go back to the residence," Emily said softly.
"Alright. Weíll let you know
if anything happens." Abbey and Jed kissed each of the girls before they
headed out through Leoís office.
The President sat back down and put his
head in his hands. "Jed, we can handle this. We can. Brooke
is going to be fine. Iíll go tell everyone they can come in."
Abbey headed over to the door to let everyone in.
Tuesday ~ 7:25 am
They had been sitting in the Oval Office
with little going on for the past two hours. The CIA knew nothing.
The FBI knew nothing. And the Secret Service agents assigned to Brooke had
apologized at least ten times. The director of the FBI was speaking again,
"Weíre going to break and then meet back here at 9:00." With that
the majority of the people left the Oval Office. The only ones that
remained were the Senior Staff, the President, and the First Lady.
"C.J." the President said softly.
"Yes, Mr. President."
"Absolutely nothing to the press."
"Sam and Toby. I want something
written that I can say to the public. I donít want too much detail.
And I want it short."
"Yes, Mr. President," Toby said.
After that the group left the Oval
C.J. headed back to her office to get
ready to prepare for her morning briefing. ĎThis is going to be hard to
get throughí she thought. Barely before she had sat down there was a
knock at the door. She looked up to find Danny standing in the door frame.
"Danny, this is possibly the worst
time you could ever pick to come here."
"C.J. I know whatís going on."
"No you donít, get out."
"I know that the Presidentís
daughter was kidnapped from a local mall.
I know that the FBI, the CIA, and the Secret Service have
absolutely no leads."
"How do you find these things out?"
" I have sources."
"Ok, well what do you know?"
"I know that the group only wanted
Zoey. Theyíre a hate group associated with the 14 Words group.
They wanted Zoey because of her relationship with Charlie. I also know
where their main headquarters is."
C.J. stood up. "How do you know
this?" she demanded.
"Thatís not important."
"You need to go to the President.
I need to go to the President."
"C.J. I donít know if thatís a
"Danny, you have to. Iíll go
"Hey Danny," she paused,
"Yeah," he smiled.
"Sam, I have absolutely no idea how to
pursue this," Toby said dropping onto the couch.
"I donít either."
"Well, then we have a lot to
"Iím still having a hard time
understanding how this could happen."
"I know exactly what you mean."
"Mr. President," C.J. said softly as
she entered the Oval Office. The President and the First Lady hadnít
moved since the Senior Staff had left the office.
"C.J., now is not a good time,"
Abbey said looking compassionately at her.
"I think this is important,
Maíam." Danny walked into the Oval Office behind C.J.
The President looked up. "C.J.
I said no press, what didnít you understand about--"
"Mr. President, I have information
about your daughter," Danny interrupted.
Both stood up from the couch.
"What is it Danny?" the President
asked. For the next five minutes the
President listened intently as Danny told him what he knew.
"Danny, Iím going to go get the director of the FBI and youíre going to
tell him exactly what you just told me."
"Stay here." With that the
President walked out of the Oval Office and talked with Mrs. Landingham for a
moment before coming back. "Danny."
"Yes Mr. President?"
"Thank you." Danny nodded his
head in acceptance.
Tuesday ~ 3:20 pm
By 3:00 what seemed like every agent in
the FBI had been stationed within a two mile adius of the headquarters of the 14
Words group. The President, First Lady, Zoey, Elizabeth, Emily, Charlie
and the Senior Staff were still at the White House. With all of the
protesting from the family, they were not allowed into the area because it was
The head of the FBI was in constant
contact with the President by phone.
"Sir, we have just established contact
with their leader."
"They refuse to talk to anyone but
"Do you know why?"
"Sir, they told us they weren't after
Brooke. They werenít after Zoey either."
"Well, then who did they want?"
Zoey gasped and started to cry. Charlie put an arm around her to comfort her. The President picked up the phone so it was no longer on speaker phone.
"Let me talk to them," the President
said, not looking up at any of the people sitting in the Oval Office.
After a short pause the President spoke,
"This is President Bartlet."
His voice was scratchy and he was obviously scared.
The terrorist spoke with a low voice,
yet almost chipper "Well, well, well. Who would have guessed. Me
talking to the President of the US."
"What do you want from me?"
"Oh. We donít want anything
from you. We just want Charlie." With that the terrorist hung up
The President turned back to the people
sitting in the room, unable to look at the pairs of eyes focused on him.
"They still want Charlie."
Zoey stood up and ran out of the room
crying. Abbey started to get up to follow her out. Charlie put a
hand on her shoulder. "Let me," he said.
Abbey sat back down on the couch.
"Jed, what are we supposed to do?"
Abbey asked without making eye contact. She loved Charlie almost as much
as her own children, and didnít want anyone to see the tears starting to build
in her eyes.
"I donít know. Why donít you
take everybody back to the residence and
Iíll be there in a while with an update," he said, not
"Ok." They all stood up to
leave. Abbey walked over to the President and hugged him before following
her other daughters out of the room.
The terrorist hung up the phone and
started to laugh. He looked over at Brooke, curled up in a ball in the
corner of the room. Her hands and feet were tied. "You know,
girlie, I canít lose! If I donít get Charlie, then I get you.
What better. If I were to kill Charlie by next month it would be
completely forgotten. But you! You! It would be remembered
forever. Oh, Iím loving this."
"Youíre a jackass, you know that.
Do you really think you could get away with something like this?" Brooke
starred at him. His eyes were big and dark, almost as if they had never
seen sunlight. "If you kill me theyíll have no one to protect anymore.
Youíll just be someone they donít have to worry about. The only reason
they havenít blown you up yet is because of me. You--"
"Shut up!" He walked over to
her and pulled her up. "Yeah, but I do have you for now. And
whatever happens to me is worth it to keep the White in power!" He threw
her back down into the corner. Brooke hit her head against the wall on the
way down and passed out...