President Shaw was about to enter the Press Briefing Room for a quick chat about Reynolds’ win, when Jack Hill, his detail lead, abruptly grabbed his arm and led him away. The angry noises Shaw could hear from Hill’s earpiece told him something was very wrong, even before Hill said a word.
Inside the briefing room, things were even more surreal. Cell phones rang in a dozen places at once, and as newspeople answered them they saw every exit closed off by men with heavy weapons. The regular White House employees had been removed, and the men who replaced them looked very angry indeed. A man most had never seen before stepped to the podium:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for the inconvenience, but this is an emergency situation and we require your immediate cooperation.
“There has been a shooting involving the media, and I’m afraid we must require everyone to sit down and keep your hands in plain sight.”
For a moment, there was a stunned silence, prolonged as reporters began to realize the deadly earnest of the men holding guns on them.
Across town, Heather Connolly was about to enter her car to go to her Senate office, when her detail lead was stopped by a large group of Secret Service agents Heather had seen before at Camp David. Her pique at the delay was vented at the Secret Service, who Connolly found a hindrance and too sure of their importance to the world. The she saw Sam Wilson come from the group towards her, walking with a grim urgency that she knew meant bad news.
“Let me guess, bomb scare at the Hill?” she suggested, but Wilson ignored the remark.
“Someone shot Reynolds and Green and damn near everyone in a block’s range” he said bluntly. “No word on their condition, yet, so we’re still going to the Senate but no press appearances for now.”
“Why the hell not?” demanded Connolly, “Does Shaw want to control the spin on this?”
“It’s not that,” replied Wilson. “The guys who did this had media credentials and a CNN van. The Service thinks they may not be done.”
For the first time in many days, Heather Connolly was at a loss for a reply.