Kane threw himself down beside the doorman with the sound of the rifle shot. He felt a burning sensation in his left thigh. “I’ve been shot.” He shouted.
Kane reached down to touch his burning leg. There was no pain and no blood and he could move his legs freely. The burning sensation increased and the throbbing intensified. Kane reached into his pocket and pulled out the hot stone. It immediately cooled but the new color persisted. The stone was red.
Kane pocketed the stone and looked around. Pulsatile blood was rapidly expanding from the doorman’s gelatinous head and spreading toward him but he couldn’t stand up for fear of another rifle shot seeking him out. He heard a door slam as the cab driver ran from the cab and zigzagged across the street avoiding screeching cars. Kane entered the taxi and hugged the passenger side floorboards while reaching for his cell phone. The 911 operator acknowledged that a patrol car had already been dispatched to the scene.
The adrenalin circulation surge in Kane’s brain switched from the fight-or-flight area to the cognitive and processing sections. The snipers bullet was meant for him just like the garbage truck had targeted Colin Smith. And for the same reason–to disallow obtaining any data from him regarding the totally misrepresented report from President Holmes’ last conference defining the Democratic position on terrorism. Who could he call next? He didn’t need help; help was on the way. Kane pressed a speed dial button.
“Hello, you’ve reached Secretary of State Tara Corbet’s private line. I’m not available to take your call, but if this is an emergency press the star button. Now.”
Kane complied and held the cell phone tightly to his left ear.
“Tara Corbet. Please identify yourself and your urgent situation?”
“Tara, this is Morgan Kane. I’m outside my apartment building stuffed in a taxi after being shot at. You’ll probably hear the news within the hour. I’m calling because I’m concerned about your safety.”
“Morgan, oh my God! I was just going to call you about the USDC report. Jesus Christ did you just say you were shot at?”
“Someone tried to kill me but got the doorman at my apartment building instead. I was on my way to see Jane Ames before getting in touch with you. Someone from our conference session is orchestrating Holmes downfall with these misdirection misquotes.”
“Look Morgan, we have to turn this around. Between Colin Smith’s murder and your attempted assassination we’re in a situation that constitutes an act of terrorism. Call your boss at the Times and get your article released as soon as possible. I’ll arrange for you to be at a press conference scheduled for one o’clock. Jane, you and I and the President will profile the actual conference minutes as a disclaimer.”
“I agree. But first I have to get out of this cab and away from the police who will want to interrogate me about what happened here.”
“Do what you can to get the hell out of there and be at the White House by one. I have to go now.”
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