An hour later I was stepping off Marine One at Morton Field. The press pool had rented all the rooms at the Holiday Inn East. They had rented twenty cars from the MAAR rental counter at Morton. There was now a roped off area for the media to stand in whenever I arrived.
They were no longer wanting me to get out of sight if they could help it. At least several of them were to follow me around. They even went as far as setting up a system to alert one another by text. It was an unusual agreement among rivals. They staked out Morton, the gym and the house.
The media had filed several court challenges that my White House was denying reasonable and proper access to the media. There were insufficient news conferences along with insufficient access to the President. The public has a right to know – they argued in court that the freedom of the press trumps all other rights and secrecy needs of the government.
I was left to move around from the gym to the house by the tunnel and of course, I could be carried out in one of the blacked out Suburban from the parking garage. My mates traveled around in the blacked out Suburban, usually in convoys of thee.
We went over to the gym via the tunnel. My mates were going to work out with me before we were going to have dinner. Vicky and Marcy were going to do light doctor-approved exercises.
Ching Lee, Jenny and Lorrie had agreed to a hard work out with me. They jokingly said my ass was getting wide from too much sitting in the padded chair.
We had originally planned to work out for an hour. The Secret Service agents with us wanted to prove how manly they were. We worked out two hours before they decided they had enough. A hot shower and dry clothes and I still felt good – sore but good.
We had a nice supper courtesy the Secret Service’s chef. It was easy to see why the agents that were assigned here were gaining weight. After such a workout we elected to eat light.
My mates wanted to go back over to the offices for a private talk about things they had been working on. There we could shut out the Secret Service agents and not be bothered by others.
I was educated for two hours on all the things they had been working on, from the Cameroon security agreement that they had signed and progress on the oil deals. The oil deal on Jeanna’s joint venture had one well pumping oil now. Ten more would be pumping before the end of the year.
The South Africa gold and diamond mines just kept producing record amounts. They were trying their best to keep the amounts from the public eyes. Right now there was a backlog of getting the gold shipped to Morton because all the C5s were busy with military contracts and Iran.
I suggested that rerouting a couple of the empty C5s to Polokwane on their way home might help. Marcy said it would take three to take care of the backlog.
Damn, I thought – that was three hundred tons! I wondered how much more the basement second room would hold. It seemed like I had been away for years instead of just a few months. I was worried about that much gold being stored in Africa, considering all the things going on there now.
Things took a different turn in the conversation – they told me what they had been doing with all the questions and research over the last few weeks. I listened while they talked. My mates brought out all kinds of research and legal documents they had prepared in case they were needed.
As usual when they wanted to do something, they had supporting information. As usual they were right with their intuition – it was just a matter of timing and commitment to a decision after a few more things. With Iran on all burners, now wasn’t the time and they agreed to putting a temporary hold on the issue.
We had a great evening making up for the time apart. The time together tonight was only a start; we were spending almost all next week together.
Saturday morning we went to the gun range and were followed by the media group tagging close behind. First was the handgun range. Even though the Secret Service tried to keep them back, they were crowding while citing the court ordered access. My mates and I blasted their eardrums by running fifty rounds through our Glock.
Then we moved up to the M16s and fired one hundred rounds each. It didn’t take long before we switched to the three shot burst. James Clown from the gun club came over and brought me one of the new dual drum one hundred round magazines to try out. It was a new and improved design that was touted as being jam proof.
We had dozens of the older ones that always seen jam up unless you were doing the three shot burst. It was full and all that needed to be done was to snap it in the M16, cycle the action and pull the trigger. At the firing line I flipped the selector to full auto. It ran all one hundred rounds without a jam.
”How many did Andy order of these?” I asked.
”Vicky ordered two thousand for the security group,” he replied.
”You might want to order another thousand after you get them in inventory,” I said.
”Did you bring the other item I asked for?” I asked.
”Yes, I will drive it over to the rifle range for you. I also brought the shoulder padding and heavy vest you asked for and the mat,” he said.
I waved the media to follow as my group walked over to the five hundred yard section of the range. I put on the padding, the heavy vest and double hearing protection.
Then I carried the M82A2 Barrett fifty caliber sniper rifle to the mat. It had the good muzzle brake; it was an impressive looking rifle. I set it up on the tripod, removed the scope covers and inserted the filled ten round clip.
The media crowded too close for this kind of rifle. They needed pictures of the President face down on the mat with a big gun in her hands to stir up the fringe elements.
I practiced my breathing control as I lay on the mat and put a round in the chamber. I took a breath as I was getting the cross hairs in the right place, released half of the breath to steady my body movement and pulled the trigger.
The media left in a hurry; they were not standing behind me for the next two shots. I left the action open as James looked at the target with the spotting scope.
The three shots were grouped to the right and low of the bullseye. After looking at the scope sighting chart and making a couple adjustments, I fired three more rounds and James checked the target again. The changes were good so I shot the last four rounds and James went to get the target and placed another new one on the stand.
The last seven rounds were all in the bullseye, I was happy. It had been months since I had shot the Barrett. The recoil was aggressive but manageable. I could have easily fired it without all the extra padding. But the Secret Service insisted – they didn’t want to explain a badly bruised or broken shoulder to their superiors.
I asked if any in the media wanted to shoot it and had no takers. Several of the agents wanted to shoot it. James came prepared with several loaded clips so it worked out OK.
I stood with my mates away from the noise along with the JBG part of my security team as the agents had their fun. I knew that the Secret Service agents were specialized in what they did. Some of them never got a chance to shoot a sniper rifle.
Shooting the Barrett and the 308 sniper rifle was part of the JBG training for our top level agents. Every JBG security site had a designated sniper. The location determined which rifle was assigned there.
They qualified three times a year with every weapon in our armory. It was another thing that had changed after we hired the Mossad ladies and now we also had twenty former Mossad male officers.
From there we went to the sporting clay range. Goose season would be here soon enough and a little practice would help. I went through each position twice as did my mates.
I wondered if the media was happy following me around now? They had plenty of video to piss off the anti-gun crowd and they were given no ear protection. I wanted it to be realistic as possible for them.
Air Force One carried me, my family and the White House news group to Detroit for the fund raiser. It was the same as all the rest – meet and greet all the big donors and mingle with the local politicians.
Pictures were important now. The party had arranged for me to do several endorsements for TV ads and radio commercials. Politicians on my side were more important than ever now with Iran getting so much air time.
Adam and I had written a barn burner of a speech for this close to the convention. I delivered – pausing at the right times, pounding the podium, raising my hands and voice at the right times. ‘Eight more years’ was shaking the building.
I went back out for a fifteen minute encore, blasting the opposition party and their liberal insanity. I found out while I was speaking my mates had the chairman in the corner again, hitting him with questions. There was one more fund raiser, next Saturday and then the convention speech the following Thursday. We were home by 0200 Sunday night.
I read notes during the flight home. There was only one important one that stood out. The Generals wanted a MTAC call at 0900.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
Another great installment, accompanied by one of those minor gaffs that self-review will likely never catch; “My mates traveled around in the blacked out Suburban, usually in convoys of thee.”
Pretty sure you meant “… three” (with Suburban vehicles implied) there at the end, but you knew that so well that it was easier for your mind just to recognize it as being what you meant. 😦
Unless, of course, you were pulling a Wade Wilson “Fourth Wall violation” and inviting your audience members to ride with the convoys. I understand some Presidents have been known to allow (read “sell”) overnight stays in the WH for major donors, so such an invite would not be without precedent, even though it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that YOUR protagonist would condone. 😉