So this is a novel that I started maybe 5 years ago and just haven't gotten around to finishing it. Let me know what you think and if you can add some more!
Air Force One flew at its normal cruising altitude of 38,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. President Samuel Knight was in his first term as president of the United States of America, he was the youngest person ever to get elected at the age of 38.
He was a well built man, not to tall but not short by any means he stood nearly 6‘2. He was handsome and still very young looking at 38. He had brown hair with a few hints of white in it. He kept himself in good shape though his body wasn’t what it once was. His years of flying had taken a toll. His eyes were dark and intimidating, often times people would look away when talking to him or look at the ground. This was hard for Knight, he was a man with a huge heart and a great love of all people. He tried his hardest to become more inviting to people now that he was President.
Knight was a war hero in World War Three and had flown the plane over Germany that released the last bomb that destroyed Berlin and the evil chancellor Victor Nebocov.
Nebocov idolized all evil dictators especially Hitler and Mussolini. Nebocov actually rose to power in Germany when he strangled all the major political heads in a single night. He named himself the fourth grand chancellor in the history of Germany and he also happened to be the first of Russian decent. People throughout the world were glad to know that he was killed when his house was bombed by the Americans and Samuel Knight, but people in Germany were not willing to believe that.
“Mr. President, we are going to be hitting a few bumps right now we are right outside of Bermuda.” the pilot’s voice said over the intercom.
“Well that should be just great. Never experienced rough air.” He thought to himself with a chuckle.
Knight sat and thought as he began to dose off and sleep. He was on his way back from his first visit to Germany after America had reunited the country. It went well, a democracy had been set up and things were moving in the right direction, but the country was still years away from being what it once was. For the most part there was very little resentment towards the new American president, despite the fact he was responsible for destroying nearly half of Europe.
Knight was the best pilot in the whole air force. He did things in his V-27 fighter jet that most people would not even attempt in the virtual reality testing before you get into the air. He had been a pilot since he was 16 when he started dusting crops. When all the crops were wiped out as a result of the war he joined up. He was nearly 22 by then, but it only took him 6 months to be named the top rated pilot in the whole Air Force. It was said that in combat his plane had never been hit with a single bullet. Some say his reflexes were so fast he could dodge the flying bullet before it got near his plane. Though as good of a pilot as he was, his fellow pilots were not near as good or lucky. He would fly into places that only he could survive in and would lose entire crews, this would keep him grounded for long periods of time. This became a popular war strategy among the German forces, attack all the other planes with full force instead of wasting bullets on Knight. Out of frustration Knight began to fly solo on many missions taking out two or three flight battalions in a single attempt before he would run out of ammunition or gas. War was very frustrating for him most of the time, it was like a great athlete on a bad team. He could only do so much.
Sirens erupted and the lights flickered. Knight shook and woke from a deep sleep. He felt as though he had been asleep for days. The engines were screaming and the plane jostled as though it weren’t even being piloted. Knight rose to his feet the best he could and made his way to the cockpit from his lounge chair. Upon entering the He found the plane had been abandoned and was heading for certain doom. His thoughts began to race, “Could he pull up in time or should he try to save himself?” Following this was the next realization; Where was the pilot? He looked around for any indication that the plane had been taken over during the flight. His attention was immediately drawn to the control panel. There he saw a single piece of paper that read,
“Happy flying. Hope to see you soon.” Signed Nebocov.
It couldn’t be. He was dead, or was he? Americans never ever found the body; the German government told them they had found the charred remains. Knight was stunned but knew that he had little time. Soon He gathered his wits and he knew time was very short. Knight had to think quickly. It was too late though he wasted too much time while thinking about Nebocov. He knew now he had to jump, so he quickly ran to the emergency cabinet to find his parachute, but not to his surprise, empty. The plane plummeted quicker and quicker to the ground and Knight stood stoic pondering his fate.
The plane crashed with an explosion that could be seen for miles and miles around. It wouldn’t burn for long though, German winters were historically very cold. It was the middle of February and mountains were much colder due to their elevation. The flames rose up higher than the lower part of some of the Alps. The planes engines were still running after the crash. The engines slowed and an eerie silence fell over the mountain peak. “BOOM!” The wreckage exploded with a thunderous eruption that nearly shook the mountains. The left wing rose seven feet out of the ground. Icicles started to form on the edge of the wing and the left over gas dripped onto the ground. The plane was completely except for that wing and its lone passenger, Samuel Knight. He tried to push his body out of the snow, he tried and failed. His arms weren’t broken but they were bruised pretty badly, he hadn’t remembered what had happened once the plane hit the ground. He knew he had been thrown from the plane at some point but he didn’t know where the plane had gone. His thought had been to get as close to the ground as he could and try to jump and roll. He hit the ground and had rolled successfully but the left wing had landed on him during impact.
Once he was able to stand he would be able to get a better grasp on the damage and the problems that he would be in. Knight smiled a little as he laid on the ground cold and bruised. It was ironic because while flying through combat he never came close to be shot down and now that he was President he was brought down on his first flight.
The snow was cold on his face and he knew that if he didn’t get up in a couple of more minutes he would have a chance of getting frostbit which was not something he wanted to deal with.
His first co-pilot from early on in the war lost both legs from frostbite so Knight knew exactly what could happen, Bobby Sharmten was his name. Sharmten had been captured on one of the many ground attacks and was forced to do hard labor during the winter months. Most of it was dealing with oil for the many of the war vehicles. Bobby spent many hours in the cold drilling and moving the oil from the underground location to many of the large air tanks. This was a job that involved becoming very wet and cold for hours at a time, so the frostbite struck him rather quickly. Though he could barely move his legs he was still forced to work, sitting down drilling. No one was more relieved than Bobby when the Americans rescued the men from their work camp. He remembered hearing the jets over head and knowing that he was saved. That was the happiest day of his life.
The Germans late in 2095 had come up with a way to use oil as a main source of fuel without converting it into gasoline. It was terrible for the environment but it was very highly cost effective. With the underground oil supply that was discovered in 2065 they had enough oil to last them nearly the rest of the Earths existence. Many Americans and other supporters of America claimed this was a large factor in invading Germany, though invasion was inevitable once Nebocov bombed New York City.
The entire city was wiped out in nearly 27 minutes, without the use of nuclear weapons which was an amazing feat. Over 100 jets were sent in a to attack the largest city in the world. They used every bit of artillery that their jets were capable of holding to annihilate the city. Millions of people died in a matter of minutes. The Statue of Liberty stood burning after a fly by of one of the jets. The enormous skyscrapers and the street venders were all made the same size as piles of dust. The country had been affected greatly by the 9/11 attacks but that was nothing compared to Nebocov’s rage in this event. He made sure that the entire world saw him setting his example on New York. That’s what it was, a large message to show his power and the ability of his military. The ability to wipe out a city that large without the use of a nuke. That day will be remembered as the day that the world changed.
Bobby was still a good friend of Samuel’s and the President wished he had his friend’s help right now.
Samuel tried again to lift himself off the ground, this time with a little bit more success. He lifted himself into almost a push up position before crashing to the Earth again.
“I know I can do this. GET UP!” He said to himself with great determination and a bit of anger.
Samuel was someone who had always been in control of everything he could be and for last few minutes he felt as helpless as he ever had in his entire life. Blood dripped from his head; he must have hit it during the crash, it wasn’t bad though. He muscled up again and made his best attempt to get out of the snow, this time he pushed himself completely out of the snow and onto his butt. His legs still weren’t responding to much pressure that he put on them. He didn’t think that he was paralyzed but he wasn’t sure. He hoped he wasn’t he didn’t know that if his pride would allow him to live life as a cripple, he also wanted to get back at whoever had done this. Then he remembered the note that he saw on the instrument panel just before the plane went down signed by Nebocov. Could it be? Most Americans and opponents of Nebocov’s believed he was dead and along with his death most of the evil in the world, but if he was still living then things were going to become very interesting in the times that followed.
The snow was getting colder on his wet clothes. He knew that he needed to move if he wanted to survive the only problem was that he had no way of moving. From his butt he could see a little more than from his chest, he was getting warmer but not warm enough. He had tried his legs only a few times with a couple of unlucky responses. He knew that death was much worse than any pain that he had to put his legs through so his thinking went into a rapid cycle.
“If I could only grab something to lean on or pull my self up with.” He thought out loud.
Then he saw the broken part of the wing and its sheer side that he could hold onto. His body raced with adrenaline and before he knew it he was crawling rapidly through the snow towards the wing. Upon reaching the wing he saw that the piece of the plane was in better condition than he thought. He reached his hand up and began to pull with all his might. His legs were tingling from the cold and there was some numbness but not as bad as they had been before he started moving. They had to be able to support some of the weight that was in his body, he knew he only would get one chance at standing if he fell back down he didn’t think he had the strength to get back up again. He slowly reached the top of the wing and rested for a moment against the side of it. He took a deep breath and nudged off the wing.
Nebocov had been lucky the day that his mansion was blown up, not smart but lucky. You see Nebocov has a wine cellar that doubles as a bomb shelter beneath his 2 billion dollar mansion. He just happened to be down in the cellar where normally he would send a servant. That faithful day, a body double of his used for protection, was sitting at the head of the table when the bomb exploded. He was an identical match to the evil ruler, right down to the dental records. Nebocov was a very imposing figure standing near six feet four inches tall. He had jet black hair and a sharp goatee that dangled a few inches away from his chin. He was in very good shape and very skilled in many forms of fighting. The double, not Nebocov, is who the U.S. scouts had seen sitting down to a meal, that is why they ordered the strike when they did. When the house shook he knew what had happened and he knew what he had to do, disappear, he had no other choice. He didn’t have the resources anymore, Germany had fallen. He never really disappeared completely though, in fact he even attended his own funeral in disguise. Quite arrogant of him if you really think about it. He also attended all the speeches that President Knight had made to the German people while he was in the country. Nebocov knew that this time was the perfect time to strike. He knew that the president would not have his usual cavalry of secret service men with him in a foreign country Knight was looking to rebuild. He wanted Germans to get the impression that he felt safe in his new brother country. This was a tactic that most of Knights advisors had suggested against. Nebocov also knew it would be easy to switch the pilots on the flight back to America. Once Knight was trapped in Germany if he didn’t die from the plane crash the world would be his.
“Man what was I thinking?” Knight said to himself in a dumbfounded way. The snow was still cold to his skin only this time it wasn’t his face it was his ankles.
When he pushed off the wing to try to walk he stood up perfectly and began to walk. He thought he must have had a stinger in his neck or back which would have caused paralysis for a while but not permanently. Your body gets compacted or hit hardly and your nerves go numb for a while, this must have happened in his legs, that was the only explanation that he could think of. He felt better now that he could move but he felt worse because he had overestimated the amount of the plane that had survived the wreck. He walked around to where the explosion had been to try to salvage anything that he could which wasn’t much. There was no food, water, or extra clothing. There was part of one of the seats from the plane, an inflatable life raft with a hole in it, and one of the seat belts from the plane. It wasn’t much but it would be enough because that’s all he had to work with. The wreck area was a small grassy area that for some reason was not covered in snow. It was actually good that the plane had gone down there, if it had hit any other part of the mountain where it was rockier he might not have survived. It was cold but Knight knew that once the sun went down he was going to have to get indoors very quickly.
The first thing that he needed to judge was about where he was in Germany. It was a huge country and it had gotten bigger during World War 3. It was nearly as large as Russia had once been before it had been broken up into many several smaller countries. He could see mountains that gave him a good idea where he was, sort of. He was either really north, south, or west. He guessed west based on the height and distance of the mountains, he would later find out that this was a lucky guess. He had flown over all of Germany hundreds of times, he had looked at thousands of maps, but being on the ground at the top of a mountain in the winter was a totally different story. He began to move in the direction he thought to be east and down. He knew that he needed to head down the mountain as fast as he could so that he could get warmer and slow down the possibility of frost bite, hypothermia, or cardiac arrest.
There was very little light coming from the skyline but there was just enough for him to follow and hopefully it would take him into the nearest city. He knew that on his own, Germany was not the best place for him to be considering the circumstances. He still couldn’t get over the fact that the note had been signed by Nebocov. Could Nebocov still be alive? This was the question that was driving him through the cold. He had his watch on his left wrist which was set for military time but he knew that it was closer to dawn than to dusk. It would be light soon which would be good and bad. It would be much lighter but he also would not be able to travel with darkness as an aide. As he moved the snow started to become thinner and thinner. He thought this was a good sign that he was moving in the right direction. He really had no clue if he was right but the fact that the snow was dissipating made him feel better.
Walking down a mountain was not the easiest thing that you can do for your body. Knight was in shape still but it still took its toll on his entire body. He was now looking for a place to rest, he was feeling very woozy like it was a good time to stop. He used to get that way when he was pushing to many G’s in his jet. He hadn’t felt this way in a while; it brought back many good memories of flying to him. As he walked he thought about his very first flight through Germany.
He could still hear General Yorkshire’s voice… “You will fly in as low as you can and blow them off the face of the Earth. Lieutenant Miller you have the lead. You young pups follow close and remember the Germans are ruthless. That is all. Dismissed.” He said with a wink.
He always closed his meetings by winking at the crew.
“Well you ready for this kid?” Miller turned and asked Knight.
“You know it. I am not going to get touched.” He said with confidence.
“Well I hope that is the case. That would be a pretty mighty feat.” Miller said with a smile. “Good luck I will see you when we get back.”
Those were the last words that Miller ever spoke to Knight face to face. The planes took off in a hurry and made the eighty mile trek from their base in England over to Germany. Unfortunately the Germans were waiting for them. It seemed as though they always knew when the American forces were going to attack. It was to the point that America almost backed down from the Germans completely. The attack was a very short one. It lasted only 17 minutes. Lieutenant Miller was the first one shot down. He was the lead in the formation and the Germans always hit the lead first. This effectively crippled the rest of the jets. Three of the fifteen, 3 million dollar jets were down in less than seven minutes. Knight still untouched took out two of his own in lighting fast time. He bobbed and weaved around bullets. Able to almost anticipate the next shot. It was a thing of beauty to watch. People used to watch him test fly jets just to see him fly. He would cause a commotion every time he was in the air. He was better than any stunt pilot or any pilot for that matter. In another seven minutes the U.S. forces were down to two planes.
“Knight are you still out there?” First Class officer Joe Michaels asked in a panic. “Yeah I am still flying great. What about you?” he asked not really realizing there were only the two of them left.
“Well one more hit and I am done for. You are in command now, what is your call?” He said wanting to report back to base. “Well let’s see if we can take them.” Knight responded back with extreme confidence.
Before Michaels could respond his plane was shot out of the sky. Knight had to turn back now because of air force rules, no pilot could fly solo in a dog fight. With hesitation he swung his jet in the opposite direction and went full thrust back towards the England base. It was a losing battle but Knight was promoted that day to the head on the Air Force pilots.
He needed to stop somewhere but he couldn’t sleep in the open. One because it was to cold and secondly because he knew that many unfriendly creatures lived in the mountains that he didn’t want to mess with. If he could find a cave or some sort of passage out side of most of the wind it would be ideal. He may even be able to find a stream or some dripping water that way. He was getting hungry and thirsty. He couldn’t eat the snow because it would lower his body temperature and the cold would kill him quicker. He looked to the large trees that were along the path and realized that the snow was covering less and less of the tree as he kept moving in the same direction. This in the long run he thought was a good thing. The path that he had been walking which seemed to him to be a great long while was starting to look like an actual path or at least a route by which someone had traveled on. Then out of no where actually some good luck, a cave, just up a few more feet. He approached the large rock home with caution not wanting to disturb any large creature that might be as hungry as he was right now. He crept slowly towards the entrance and the first thing his did was smell. He thought that if someone was living there he would be able to smell fresh urine or dung from the cave and that would be a good indication to walk in the other direction. He took a big whiff, nothing. Not a smell except snow and his own snot. Maybe his nostrils were frozen or maybe it was an empty cave, either way he was to cold to wait around. He entered the cave which had to be at least twenty feet deep. He didn’t dare to venture to far into the cave due to the fact that he was still using the moon as his main source of light. Though he was only a few feet in, his blood began to warm. It was nice to sit down and be out of the cold even though it was still very cold. The cave was dark and not particularly dank. He hoped that it would have some sort of moisture to it but it hadn’t and he wasn’t going to walk any further into the cave to look for a stream. He decided to wait until morning when it was lighter and it would be considerably warmer. For now he was going to lie down on his rock bed and try to rest his eyes before his next long journey tomorrow night. He knew he could go with out food for at least another two days but after that he would begin to struggle so tomorrow was going to be a big day. With that thought he nodded off to a very uncomfortable sleep on rather hard rock.
Laura Knight hated the White House. It was too big with too many rooms. She wasn’t allowed to move anything and she only had one room that she could try to make her own. The presidential bedroom, which was hardly her own since nearly a hundred other people, had slept in the same bed. She liked being the first lady but she was ready for it to come to an end. Laura was a beautiful lady. She was a couple years younger than Samuel and she still stays in great shape. She had long blonde hair and deep blue eyes. She could have been a model is what people always said. She tried very hard to keep her appearance appropriate for a first lady, she wasn’t anticipating leaving the job anytime soon. The way things were going though she knew they were going to get reelected in three years. Her husband was the most popular president in the history of the United States and probably the best one. His approval rating was nearly 92% and he was loved by both republicans and democrats. She knew that the longer she lived there the more the place would become her own but it was hard to live without a husband most of the time especially one she had known for so long.
From the day they first saw each other they knew they were going to be married. Lopley, Kansas was a small town where everyone knew each other. Laura and Samuel had known each other since they were babies and had been in love probably that long also. When he became a pilot they were married before his first flight. They had been married nearly 20 years ago but they had been together for close to thirty and they still loved each other more than ever. Being apart was hard but being together made it worth the wait.
Samuel’s flight should have gotten in about an hour ago and he should have been home by now. The day time was a difficult time to travel with the president in public but it was the only way that they could when this time. Laura had not received any calls about her husband or any updates about his flight. This was generally a bad thing.
“Hello, yeah get me the secretary of state. This is Mrs. Knight.” She said in a worried voice. “Right away.” A monotone voice said back into the receiver there was a brief pause in the phone and then nothing.
“Hello?” she asked wondering why she wasn’t already talking to Marshall Jenkins. He was the Major General for the entire Army during the war. Marshall was a shorter squatty looking man. He was a bit overweight and he knew it. He was not going to hide the fact that he liked to eat. He was always well dressed and always had his tie tied correctly. He had dark brown short curly hair and had a dry sense of humor. He and Knight had been friends nearly ten years and he trusted no one other than his wife more than Marshall.
“Hello?” Laura said again this time with less volume. Suddenly a voice shot in, “Mrs. Knight, Mr. Jenkins can’t be reached right now. I will tell him to call you immediately.”
“Ok but once he gets free, you have him call me.” Laura said sternly.
She hung up the phone and many of the fears she had during the war rushed back to her. Was her husband still alive? Or was she now the widow of the President of the United States of America?
The fire was warm and the hot chocolate warmed Knight’s body. Laura was dressed in sweats and slippers. He was wearing a pair of his favorite jeans and his air force sweat shirt. Cooper, their golden retriever, was sitting in front of the fire licking his paws enjoying his master being home. Cooper walked over to Samuel who now was sitting on the carpet next to his wife. Cooper began to paw at Samuel’s face. Touching it gently and licking his cheek every so often.
“Cooper knock it off.” Knight said sternly. The dog responded by pawing harder than he had before. This time the paw hurt Knight’s face.
“Ouch Cooper! Knock it off.” He said smacking the dogs paw.
Then the room went dark. Nothingness all around him and a smell that wasn’t very nice. It smelled like a wet dog that has been sitting in a warm car for a couple of hours. Knight was also getting hot then cold and his face felt funny.
“Open your eyes.” He said to himself.
He was afraid that he had been in a bad dream in the mountains, but the dream was actually his wife and dog and the reality was that a bear, not his dog, was pawing his face.
Knight knew that he was in a great deal of trouble and he had no clue how he was going to get himself out of it. He could fly a jet with one wing, or land on a strip the size of a small driveway, but dealing with a large possibly angry and hungry bear was never in any of his training. His eyes were still tightly shut and he was very nervous about possibly opening them and setting the bear off. He thought that you were supposed to play dead when a bear was about to attack you or was it run away from them, he couldn’t get it straight in his head. So for now sitting and not letting this thing eat him was the best plan he could think of.
The bear’s weight was unbelievable. Knight thought the bear had to weigh close 600 pounds. Its claws were really sharp and were digging into Knight’s chest. Knight’s ribs were hurting from the fall still and this predicament didn’t help matters very much. Knight decided that if he was to keep moving he was going to not be eaten and he needed to walk. He cracked his left eye to peak at his new friend. He was surprised and happy at the same time. The bear was not near as large as he thought it was. Its mass was still a great deal but actual size was not that large. Knight thought that he had a chance to role away and make a run for it. He knew that he would have to time it just right and make sure the bear was caught off balance to give himself the maximum amount of time to flee from the large carnivore.
“Well know or never.”
With that thought Knight jerked his body left and then right and the medium sized bear wobbled and fell to the ground. Knight jumped up from the ground and made his way towards the light of the outdoors. He was within feet of the front of the cave when from behind, he heard a sound that made his spine shake. This time it was not a medium sized bear, it was mommy. She must have been farther back in the cave and she heard Knight move. Frozen now Knight didn’t think that he could out run a large angry bear. He knew that he had to take a chance even if it meant getting hurt but he had to risk it. Knight looked directly at the bear who was now standing on her hind legs growling and roaring in rage.
“Here goes nothing.” He said out loud as if to challenge the large furry beast. Without hesitation he turned and took off down the path he had been on the night before. It was light outside sometime early in the morning and the sun hurt his eyes as he ran. He didn’t look back and he couldn’t hear anything behind him so he didn’t know whether he was gaining ground or right about to become breakfast. He didn’t dare stop he had only been running for a couple of minutes but he knew that he was going to have to turn around and check to see if he was still being followed. He would soon, but right now was not soon.
Nebocov awoke to his alarm buzzing and then his telephone ringing.
“Hello?” he said with his Russian accent sort of groggy from just waking up. “Hello sir. Good morning. Preliminary reports are that no one survived the crash of the U.S. flight.” The voice said in a scratching way.
The voice was that of Luca Nebocov, Victor’s German cousin and top aide and assassin. Luca was taller than Victor by and inch or so and by appearance you could not tell they were related. Luca had blonde almost white hair and a very thin clean shaven face. He was clean in everything that he did. He thought sloppiness was a sign of weakness. He was the pilot of Air Force One when it went down and he placed the note on the control panel.
“Good Luca. And you are ok?” Victor said in a concerned voice.
“Yes I am fine. I landed on a nice patch of snow at the base of the mountain. Just a couple of bruises.” He said in his thick German accent.
The two of them had been best friends since they were boys along with being related. There fathers were brothers. There was no one Nebocov trusted more than Luca and Luca felt the same way about Victor. When he first escaped the bombing, the first place that Victor went was to Luca’s home. Luca kept everything a secret and had never been unfaithful to his cousin. Many thought that Luca was going to take over Germany when Victor was killed but instead Luca disappeared. Both men had many resources and plenty of money to live of off for the rest of their lives but that’s not what each of them wanted. What they wanted was power and to rule the entire known world without any sort of American interference. The only way to do that was to eliminate the dynamic leader of the free world, Samuel Knight. To this point they thought they had the job done. They were wrong of course. But they were still very cautious.
“We will not rest until he is found dead and we know that it is him. Remember looks can be deceiving when it comes to dead bodies.” Victor said with an evil chuckle. “Yes of course I know this cousin. And we will find his body, if not I will search this entire country until he is eliminated.” Luca said reassuring his anxious cousin.
“But for now we will search the woods every hour on the hour to make sure that he is not alive. If he can make it through the mountains in the cold without getting eaten by some sort of animal he will still have to deal with you and me.” He added.
“Very true Luca, very true.” Victor agreed with a smile.
The two walked out of the room and into the hallway. Whatever they were planning was not good for the rest of the world, especially the United States. For America’s sake they could only hope that their president comes out of the country unharmed. The only problem was, no one other than the secretary of state really knew that he was missing.
Marshall Jenkins sat over his sixth cup of coffee in the last 2 hours. He hadn’t slept all night. He had been receiving information about the flight that never made it over the Atlantic Ocean. The United States had many look outs to make sure that Air Force One was heading in the right direction. When the first lookout reported that he had seen no plain the White House went into red alert. After many attempts to contact the pilot unsuccessfully they became more frantic. Without their leader the United States would be crippled. The vice president, Henry Wilson, was not near the leader that Knight was and wasn’t half as smart. He was a good man for the job but not to run the country. He looked more the part of politician than actually being able to do the job. He fit the job based on appearance. Not a fighter pilot or an athlete but rather a student. He wore classes and had thinning brown hair which was nearly grey. He was thin and a strong wind would probably knock him over. He also was not in the country; he was on a peace talk in Japan. They had remained neutral in World War Three and the United States thought it was very important to get Japans support in any further endeavors. It was strange not be able to get a location on vice president Wilson because like a doctor he was supposed to always be on call, especially when outside of the country. Marshall was in charge of the country for the time being and he surely wished that his best friend was here to help him and give him advice at what to do. There was no contingency plan for when the president and vice president both could not be contacted especially if one of them was supposedly missing.
Knight didn’t know if it was a good time to stop or not but at the rate he was moving if he didn’t stop he would not be able to go any further. He also did not want to get caught in the day time by any one that shoots before asking any questions. Slowly he began to lessen his pace to a jog and finally to a complete stop. He waited for the worst to happen and got nothing. He was relieved though, he was really out of breath, he had been holding it until he turned around. Breathing heavy now from the chase down the mountain he had his hands on his knees and his head was tilted towards the sky. The wind blew a nice breeze his direction and though it was cold it felt good to him. He didn’t know whether to go back up the mountain to see if there was anything that could be of any help to him on his journey or stay at his current pace down the mountain. He knew that he was a far way off from where he had spent the night before but he had no way of telling how close he was to the lights he had seen before. If he was not close enough to he town to rest, he would be stranded until night fall. One thing was certain he needed to find a spot to hide off of the main road because he knew that someone would be out looking for him. If he knew Nebocov, someone was probably not too far behind him looking to shoot to kill.
The road seemed like it went on forever but Knight had not seen a car the entire day nor had he seen any people. He knew that Nebocov’s men would not be so stupid as to walk on the main road giving themselves away to anyone that was present to see. Knight was following the main road still very closely just using the wooded area off to the sides as cover to travel during the daylight. By his estimation it was getting close to around 6 o’clock, which was around 1 o’clock in the afternoon back in America.
He was supposed to have gotten back sometime yesterday. He was sure that Laura was worried about him and also very sure that no one was going to give her any information. He missed her a great deal and wished badly they could take a vacation together, which he hadn’t had since he entered office. He really actually couldn’t remember the last vacation that he had taken. He knew that it had been a long while. When fighting in a war there was no time to take a break. He wondered how the vice president was handling the situation or if he even had made it back safely? The last time he had talked to Henry while he was sitting on Air Force on waiting to take off. The vice president was supposed to be in Japan until sometime today. Surely upon hearing that the president was missing Henry would hurry straight back to the United States.
“I hope that they find me soon. The longer I am out here the more things could go wrong.” Knight said worryingly to himself.
“No you don’t have anything to worry about.” Nebocov said calmly into the phone.
“You better be sure. I have done my part of the bargain you better take care of your half.” The scared voice said quickly and franticly.
“Once Knight is dead, you will get what you want. That is all you need to know.” Nebocov coolly speaking while rubbing the bottom of his coal black goatee.
“Well I better. You should not want to cross me Victor.” The man said suddenly with a full voice.
“No it is you who will not cross me. You will do as you’re told and you will live. You are not in charge and you are not making any choices in this matter. Sit tight for my call.” Nebocov said in a thundering voice and hung up the phone. Still rubbing his goatee he began to chuckle and think about what he was going to do to the man he had just hung up the phone with.
Henry Wilson sat on his bed in his hotel room waiting to leave for the airport. He didn’t like to fly and he was very nervous by nature. He had been vice president for nearly a year and he still thought someone was out to get his job. He hadn’t been in the Army or Air Force like Knight or Jenkins, but he did know his politics. He was smart or he thought he was. He had been a part of every sort of government. He had been a city council member in Tuscaloosa, Mississippi, he was the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, and he had been the Governor of the great state of Georgia. He later served in both the senate and the house, representing Georgia both times. When Knight asked him to be his running mate he was flattered and realized that it was the natural next step forward. He was in his late forties and knew he only had so many years left of being a politician. He was actually planning to run for president the same year as Knight but Knight won the nomination. He never forgave Knight for winning the election. He never brought it up to Knight because he was too big of a coward.
The phone rang in Henry’s hand. “Mr. Vice President your limo is here to take you to the airport.” A tiny female voice said into the phone.
“Ok thank you I will be right down.” He replied and hung up the phone.
He walked to the door where the secret service men were posted outside of the room. The man knocked 6 times and the door opened.
“Time to leave boys next stop who knows.” Wilson said with a smile and exited his hotel room.
Knight turned around to see where he had come from. He had made it a great deal down the mountain in a short period of time. He was at the part of the mountain that could be considered more like a large hill than a mountain. It was not near as cold at the lower elevations but it was still winter in Germany. He also realized that he was breathing much better as he moved down the mountain. Logically since the air is thinner at a higher elevation. It would soon be night time and he would be able to move back out onto the main road where he could move more quickly. He hoped by tonight he would possibly reach the city that he had been searching for. He also knew that he closer he got to civilization the better chance that he may run into some one that was looking for him. He knew he could handle one or two at a time but if more than that showed up he would be in a great deal of trouble.
Night fall came quicker than Knight expected and he was rather pleased. He was able to get up on the main road and move quickly towards the lights. They seemed brighter than ever. He knew it was not a major city but one big enough that is stood up over the horizon. It was hard to tell what part of Germany that he was in since the topography had changed a great deal over the years. Germany once had few mountains but when the country expanded its borders the Alps became part of the German landscape. He was making excellent time and was nearly in the city which he finally found out his destination,
“Nurnberg. Great.” He said out loud as he read the sign.
This had been where one of the worst concentration camps of World War 2 had been. It was also then re-used as a slave camp during the third World War. Many former soldiers and commanding officers of the German army still inhabited this city. Knight had been met with large boo’s and many flying objects when he had spoken there just 4 days ago. The other major problem was that the American embassy was in the direct center of town. If he moved quickly he may be able to make it there tonight but he was going to need some help from one of the locals in finding a speedier mode of transportation.
The bar looked nice enough when Knight approached. Not to worried about the bar more worried about the vehicles that were parked out front Knight knew what he had to do. He knew that stealing a German car and then driving entirely to fast through German streets was not the best thing he could do for foreign relations but it is what needed to be done. He picked a little red car. He wasn’t sure what type of car it was but it probably was not the best for the environment. Surprisingly enough the doors were not even locked. It took him a minute or so to hot wire the car, and then he slowly pulled out of the parking lot. He figured at best he had at least a five minute head start even if the owner of the car left the bar immediately. He pulled out into the poorly lit street and had to remember how to drive a car. This may sound weird but when you are the president everyone drives for you. He picked it up again rather quickly the main problem was having to drive on the opposite side of the road and make sure he stayed on that side. He wandered close to the middle a couple of times but for the most part he did a fine job that was until the worst happened. He was well on his way to the embassy, when he passed a German Police car that quickly turned on his sirens and began pursuit of the freshly stolen car.
“Well it was seven minutes.” Knight said looking in the rear view mirror and smiling.
He knew that he couldn’t stop considering he was not the most popular person in the country right now, especially to law enforcing or government officials. He began to pick up the pace of the car. He knew there was no way that he was going to out run a police car but if he could make into the embassy he would be more than ok and he could end this nightmare. As that thought left his head a heard of cars joined the pursuit. Left turn, then a right, things began to flow together in front of Knight. He felt like he was back in his jet. Dodging things that were in his way. Making the next move two and three moves ahead. He was having fun flying through the Nurnberg streets in the middle of the night. All the while looking for the large peach colored building that was the American Embassy. If he could just find the American flag flying high above the door he would be in the clear. With a sudden jolt he was rocked from behind. One of the numerous chasing cars slammed into his bumper and nearly sent his car spinning. Knight was able to maintain control and yank on the wheel and turn left onto another street. Though he probably could die from this event he was having a great deal of fun in the chase that he was having. As much fun as he was having he knew that it was going to have find the embassy sooner than later because his car was running out of gas. He began looking up every couple of seconds to find the flag. In the process he took his eyes off the road and didn’t realize he was heading straight for a dead end. Milliseconds before his car slammed head first into a concrete barricade he turned right down an ally. The car immediately behind him had not been so lucky. It slammed into the barricade and exploded on impact. Knight slowed down to look if maybe he was in luck, maybe he was behind the building he needed to be. Sure enough flying high on a large peach building was the American flag. The only problem was there was no back door to the embassy. He couldn’t possibly go back onto the street and make it in the front door. He saw there was a fire escape on the side of the building next to the embassy. If he could climb to the top he thought he could jump across the small space between the two buildings and find a window to crawl through to enter the embassy. It wasn’t the best plan in the world but it was the only plan that he had right now so it was as good as any.
Knight quickly moved up the ladder like a monkey climbing a tree. The car chase exhilarated him in a way that flying used to. He hadn’t felt that way in a while. It had been nearly two years since he had flown his own plane or a jet. Being president didn’t allow time for the occasional strong g-force fun ride. He was moving quicker now but the thing that surprised him was that no one seemed to be pursuing him. He looked back and the only thing in the alley was his car. He would be at the top of the ladder soon where he had a better view of the streets around him. Something struck him as funny, he tried for two days to make his way down an mountain always moving down and now he was moving up higher and higher to try to save his own life.
The building was unexpectedly higher and farther from the embassy than Knight had guessed. He still thought he could make the jump but it surely was not going to be a walk in the park. He could see that many of the officers that had been following him were now gathered in front of the embassy waiting for him to come out of no where. By all his accounts they had no idea that he was up where he was. He thought maybe his turn was quick enough that no one saw him go down the alley.
The time was now or never to make the jump. He backed up on the opposite roof as far as he could and began to run. Had he had to do this an hour earlier he surely would have fallen to his death or tried another route but his adrenaline was pumping really hard. He reached the edge planted his foot on the side of the roof and jumped. The landing was not as smooth as the take off. The embassy’s roof was heavily shingled and it tore some of the skin off his exposed wrist and hand. Most of the other parts of his body had still been covered. He lay close to the roof and decided to peek his head up a bit to see if he had been spotted, but he hadn’t. He had to find a window to get into the building. Once again it was easier said than done. All the windows were at the front of the building and that’s also where all the guards were so he had to make it a fast process otherwise all this work was for nothing.
The roof came to a point at the top of both sides of the roof. It was hard for him to hold on to one side of the roof and not make any noise. The adrenaline from the car chase was wearing off and the fatigue that he had experienced that day was finally kicking in. His legs felt heavier than they had through his entire ordeal. He lowered himself backwards down the side of the roof and made it to the edge and peeked over to see how many guards were there. There were less than the last time he had looked. He wondered if some had gone inside or had gone around to the other side of the building to see if they could find something that they hadn’t seen. Knight slipped slightly and began to nearly fall off the building. He dug in with his finger nails and held on with dear life. His fingertips began to bleed from the roughness of the shingles. He quickly looked around to try to find a solution to his ever growing problem of falling off the roof onto the pavement. He looked left, and then right, no help either way. He looked back over his should to the top of the building, no solution there either. The last to look and the last place he wanted to look was down, but it just so happened that’s where his way out was. There was a window not three feet from his head. If he could some how swing on the edge of the roof and release with all his momentum he could break through the window and into the embassy. Of course if he let go too early or to late he would bounce off the window and fall to his death. But he wasn’t planning on letting go at the wrong time.
He could only take one shot at it and he knew it had to be a good shot. He waited for maybe two minutes to compose himself. Going over the process nearly a hundred times in his head all having different outcomes.
“Well here goes. I love you Laura, I always will.”
Upon saying those words he firmly placed his hands on the edge of the roof and swung out over the concrete. When he swung someone must have seen him because shots rang out in his direction. One hit a shingle half and inch from where his left hand was holding on. The shots came quickly but Knight had it timed perfectly, at full tilt Knight aimed his feet back towards the large circular window and shot himself forward, like one of the many missiles he had shot so many times in his jet, straight at and through the window. The glass shattered in all directions including onto the desk of the man who had been working diligently into the night. He was a smaller man with glasses and a well pressed suit. He probably shined his shoes every day. He was stunned that his desk was now covered in glass.
“Hi. How’s it going?” Knight said extending his hand to shake the other man’s hand. “Samuel Knight. President of the United States of America. That’s me on the wall over there.” He said referring to a poster of all the past and current presidents.
“B B B Bill Tracy. I voted for the other guy.” The man said still in shock.
“Well that’s too bad, and to think I was going to give you a raise. Well thanks again.” The president said wiping himself clean of the dust and the glass he had collected.
Security officials immediately rushed to the floor where the window had been broken .The windows were wired with alarms that went off when the glass was shattered. Upon seeing the president the security team was shocked and quickly called the United States. Being inside the embassy meant that technically he was on American soil and he as in charge. The first thing that he did was locate where exactly the plane crashed. After that he wanted to find out all the people that got on the plane before take off.
“Find me, flight logs, passenger manifesto’s, and get me the black box from that flight. I could not find it near the crash sight so it was probably thrown during the explosion.” The president said with a sudden surge of energy.
He was frustrated that he got chased through the streets of Nurnberg, that his plane got crashed, and that Nebocov was still possibly alive. He still hadn’t mentioned the note about Nebocov. He knew that he was with Americans, but if someone could get on Air Force One and manage to crash he couldn’t trust to many people right now.
The next problem that he faced was getting on another plane and having to fly back to the United States. He had an idea that he felt the most confident about.
“Where is the closest U.S. military base?” He asked the head official.
“Uh it is in a small town about 15 miles from here called Strausberg.” The man replied nervously.
He was scared to have leader of the free world ticked off and asking a whole lot of questions.
“Here is what I want. Four armored cars, two hummers, and a large truck. This is to be my escort to the U.S. base. Call over there and have them fuel and have ready a V-14 fighter jet with enough excess fuel tanks to get to Washington D.C. I will inspect the jet myself and then fly it myself back to the states. I am I understood.” Knight said without hesitation glaring at the young officer.
“Ye...Ye...Yes sir. Understood perfectly.” He said still very nervously.
“Then why are you still standing here in my face.” Knight said back quickly to the scared boy.
With that the officer was gone busy taking care of the things that the president asked him to do. Knight was ready to get back home and figure out what the heck was going on with the world.
“Mr. Jenkins. We have confirmation from Germany that the President is still alive and is on his way back to Washington.” The man’s voice said into the phone.
“Good I am glad to hear that. How is he getting back here?” Jenkins asked
“He is flying, sir.” The man replied.
“What airline?” Jenkins asked another question
“None sir. U.S. Jet.” The man replied carefully expecting a bad reaction.
“Well that probably is the safest route now isn’t it?” Jenkins said with a chuckle. “What was that sir?” The man asked.
“Oh nothing let me know when he lands.” Jenkins hung up the phone and sat back in his desk. With only a moments relaxation the door flew wide open in a rush. Laura Knight stood disheveled looking and very stressed out.
“Where is my husband?” She said with a great deal of anger.
“Laura it is ok.” Jenkins said calmly
“No it is not ok. I have been stressed out of my mind for two days wondering where my husband is. So no it is not ok I want to know where he is.” She replied without hesitation.
“He is on his way. He is probably somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.” Jenkins said putting his arm around his long time friend.
“That’s what you told me two days ago.” She said still full of rage.
“Trust me. He is on his way.” Jenkins said with a cunning smile.
“I want to know the second he is back in the United States.” She said calmer than before.
“You will be the first to know. If you would like we can even go and pick him up from the airport.” He said not thinking she would take him up on the offer.
“That’s exactly what I want to do.” She responded quickly.
“I will go get my stuff we will leave in the next five minutes.” With that she turned and left the office. Marshall stood in shock at how upset the first lady was.
The air was smooth and clear. It felt good to him to get back in the air and fly his own jet. Though this jet was no where near the jet he had custom made when he first became president, it was nice to be at the controls. Knight knew this way that if he died in the air, he died while he was in control. The chances of that were very highly unlikely.
The sky began to fill with many large buildings as Knight approached the biggest city in the world New York. The Statue of Liberty was still being rebuilt. It was one of the first things that was attacked when Germany struck the U.S. shores. New York recovered with surprising quickness considering it was all but wiped out. New Yorkers made up a great deal of the volunteering armed forces. Needless to say they were mighty ticked off that their city had been destroyed. But almost as quickly as it was destroyed, it was being rebuilt.
Knight loved New York, and had for a while thought of suggesting moving the capital to New York. He knew that no one would go along with this of course. He spent many a weekend flying through the empty streets of New York during the war. The city was all but abandoned and the people that were there almost found the low flying refreshing. He knew know of course he couldn’t do something like that and get away with it since many of the inhabitants of New York populated the streets all day. He actually probably shouldn’t have flown by the city as low as he had just now but he knew that he was the president and he could probably get away with it. As he approached Washington D.C he began to contemplate if and how he was going to inform the country about the attempt on his life. He was scheduled to go on national television and talk about his trip to Germany in the next couple of days so he had the chance. He also thought it may be a bit rash to stir up the country and possibly the world so shortly after the war just came to an end. He decided to tell them that his plane went down but that it was an electrical error and that no one was hurt and there are no initial signs of sabotage but they will continue to investigate. He thought that it was the best idea at the time and probably the idea that Marshall would tell him to use.
He wondered how worried his wife had been when he never showed the night that he was supposed to be back in town. This is something that didn’t happen often but it happened and it didn’t ever make Laura happy. She would usually get upset and worry until she saw Knight again so he knew what to expect. In the past however he had only been late a few hours at the most, rather than a few days like this time. He could only imagine the shape that she was in now. Especially since he knew that no one was going to tell her what was going on through the whole ordeal. He knew that he was going to have to fill her in bit by bit. As he approached his private airfield located near what used to be Camp David, he started to see the small figures that were all the people that he knew and loved. He could start to make out Marshall and a slender lady standing next to him.
“Is that? Well all be darn. I love that woman.” Saying to himself as he recognized Laura standing next to his best friend.
The jets engine slowly purred as the cockpit door elevated and the president hopped out in his air force jump suit. It was one that he had been given at the military base in Germany, and it didn’t fit particularly well, but it did the job for the flight.
“How was your flight? Not as bumpy as the last one I hope.” Marshall said with a smile.
Laura wasted no time to wrap her arms around her husband once he touched the ground.
“Yeah it was much better this time.” Knight said as he hugged his wife smiling at his friend.
“You need to call me next time something like this happens. I have been going out of my mind. Tell these people they need to share information with me.” Laura said as she began to cry.
“Ok I will. I promise, why are you crying?” Knight said still holding tightly.
“I thought something terrible happened to you. I am just happy that you are ok.” She said squeezing even harder this time.
“Yeah I will be fine. Now we have some work to do.” He said releasing his wife and looking intently as Jenkins.
“Yeah we sure do. We sure do.” Jenkins replied as the three of them got into the back of a black stretch limousine surrounded by secret service men.
The limo felt good to Knight who had been in a cramped cockpit for nearly 6 hours. Though he had flown long missions before he had never had to climb down a mountain and then endure a car chase and then hop in the cockpit and fly an attack mission. Without realizing he had stretched out nearly laying down in the back of the large black vehicle. Laura was rubbing his head gently to make sure that he was ok, all the while Jenkins was briefing him on the things that went on in the country while he was gone. Knight wished he could say he was paying a great deal of attention to his secretary of state but he really wasn’t. He was so tired that the words just gelled together.
“So did you get all that Sam?” Marshall as to be finishing his never ending thought. “Huh? Oh yeah crystal clear. Heard every last bit.” Knight said with a large yawn. Jenkins knew that he was of course lying and he was going to have to brief the president again later after a good nap. That’s all Knight really wanted was a nap and a nice warm shower. He had not showered in nearly three days. There had been no time to do so before he left Germany.
Though Laura was happy to see him she did think that he smelled a little rank.
The limo arrived in front of the White House just under ten minutes and the car came to a stop. The red brake lights flashed red and then white again as the driver shifted the car from drive to reverse then into park. Knight was nearly asleep when the car stopped and the secret service men had to help carry him inside the house.
“He must have been really tired?” Marshall said to Laura in a soft voice.
“Yeah he is amazing. He didn’t sleep for two days and flew a jet across an ocean and stayed awake the whole time. Sometimes I wish he wasn’t trained so well. I wish he was able to shut down when ever he wanted to. But he is my Sam and I love him no matter what. Good night Marshall, I will see you in the morning.” Laura said as she put her hand on his shoulder.
“Good night Laura. Get some rest. We are going to need it.” Marshall responded and turned back towards the limo.
As Laura walked away Marshall began to talk to himself, “You are going to need every ounce of strength that you can get.” With that he turned and walked back into the White House and to his private room.
Henry knew that the plane ride was not going to be an easy one and where he was going was also not going to be very pleasant, but it was what he had to do to live with himself. The plane was a small jet that fit nearly 20 people. This flight however only had 12 on it, including its crew. Henry had not been in contact with anyone in the United States now for nearly two days which was highly unusual for the Vice President. He had lost his beeper at one of the state dinners that he had attended and had no way of knowing if someone was trying to get a hold of him. He hated cell phones so he rarely carried one and prohibited his secret service men to carry them either.
He could not imagine why anyone from the States would need to get a hold of him anyway.
He began to talk to himself, “The great Samuel Knight is there, what I am I going to be needed for.” He said in a sarcastic voice. It wasn’t that he hated Knight it was just he thought that he would make a better president than the war hero. He had every intention of running against the president in the next election to try to win his parties nomination. This was some sort of a long shot and every day he had doubts that he would ever do it. The thing that got him going was that he didn’t want to live his life thinking that he never tried to beat Samuel Knight in an election. He knew that he, Henry Wilson, not Knight knew the more about politics. It was only a matter of time before Knight truly got what was coming to him.
The planes engines began to hum as the giant ship began for take off. Their next destination was one that Wilson was both intently looking forward to and dreading at the same time. Knight was still in Germany to the best of his knowledge and where Wilson was heading, Germany seemed like a good place for Knight to be.
The floor was hard but the fire was nice and warm. Laura was sitting in her chair knitting something that she had been working on for some time now. Knight lay on the ground near slumber and Cooper was lying at his feet. Cooper suddenly jumped up and began to wrestle with Knight.
“Cooper, knock it off.” Knight said as the dog licked his face. The dog ignored and continued to lick his face.
“I mean it Cooper knock it off.” Knight said with authority in his voice. After that the room went black and Knight got a sick feeling in his stomach. It was basically the same dream that he had in the cave. He didn’t want to wake up and find himself back in the mountains or in Germany
Created: Jul 20, 2010Document Media