The Presidential motorcade wound through the exit gate of the White House and headed east on Pennsylvania Avenue NW towards 14th Street NW.
“Mr. President, please try and understand. We have a situation here. It’s a security threat. You can’t go in there.”
“Buck, this is too important an event to miss. Besides, if we have our security protocol in place, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
“I understand, Mr. President. Regardless of that, this is too dangerous. Interpol has confirmed the threat and I just got off the line with the Director. She has strongly recommended that we send in a double.” The motorcade turned left onto Constitution Avenue NW and the President sighed in his Limo One.
“The press will see through it easily, Buck. You know that.”
“Don’t worry, Mr. President. Brooks has been trained well. Have a look at him”, said Buck, pointing to Brooks sitting opposite them. “Can you spot any flaw? The Agency has taken special care with him.”
“Exactly why. I don’t trust the Agency and you damn well know that. That woman, Helen Dexter, will be the death of me. She has survived five Presidents already. I’ll be damned if I come across a worse Director.”
“Mr. President, I understand your position. But for now, it is vital that we have you in a secure location. We’ll be changing limousines at Stanton Park.” They continued onto Maryland Avenue NE.
“Alright. Whatever you say, Buck. I don’t want the press to get even a whiff of this”, said the President, gesturing towards Brooks. “The Agency will be willing to wash their hands off it in a jiffy and I can picture Helen smiling smugly. Thank you, Brooks. I appreciate it. Here, wear this badge. It will be a nice touch. The press will lap it up.” The President took of a badge from his lapel and handed it to Brooks, who pinned it on his lapel.
“Thank you, Mr. President”.
The motorcade slowed down as it crossed C Street NE and came to a halt outside Stanton Park. The President, Brooks and Buck stepped out.
The voice on the radio crackled, “The Eagle has landed”. The sniper peered through the viewfinder and hesitated for a moment. The next instant, he spotted the American Eagle badge on Brooks’ lapel, made a decision and pulled the trigger.