Read The Second Shooter Online
Authors: Chuck Hustmyre
Blackstone fixed Donahue with a dead stare. "Did you somehow misunderstand your orders, Agent Donahue?"
"They didn't include allowing you to take an FBI agent into custody and transport him off site."
Blackstone nodded to a telephone. "Maybe you want to call your superior and clarify what he meant by full cooperation."
The FBI man looked at the phone but didn't make a move toward it. Exactly as Blackstone had expected. A fucking benchwarmer. "So now that we got that straight," Blackstone said, shifting his gaze from Donahue to the monitor showing Miller, "tell me everything you know about him."
Donahue was pissed. Blackstone understood that. He would be pissed too if some jackleg barged into his office and started barking orders. But there wasn't anything the FBI man could do about it. Not unless he was willing to risk his career. Which he wasn't. A chairborne warrior through and through. So he did what he was told, making sure to put enough resentment in his tone to ensure that Blackstone understood he was doing it under protest.
"Special Agent Miller is a first-office agent," Donahue said. "He graduated from the Academy...six months ago. Did well, near the top of his class. He's a CPA. with special training in forensic accounting, so we assigned him to Four Squad."
"How exciting," Blackwell said, laying on the sarcasm, knowing from his research that Donahue's background was also in the sedentary world of financial investigations.
"A lot more money gets stolen with a pen than with a gun."
"Is that what you tell yourself as you near the end of your career? That you made a difference, that you protected your country by chasing money-grubbers?"
"Fuck you," Donahue snapped.
Blackstone stared at him. Donahue tried to match the stare, but he couldn't. After about fifteen seconds he looked away and gave a nervous little cough. "I'm sorry," the FBI agent said. "That wasn't professional." He cleared his throat. "And to be honest, I'd rather it not leave this room."
Blackstone smiled. "Forget it."
"Anything else you can tell me about your man?"
"He's a legacy."
"His father is a retired agent. Lives in Bethesda."
"Then why is he helping a French terrorist?"
"Who says he was helping him?"
They both turned to the bank of monitors. Miller still sat at the table. He had barely moved.
But Favreau was gone.
"I had no idea what was going on. I was thinking maybe I needed a lawyer. Nobody said I was under arrest, and I knew I hadn't done anything illegal. But I was still locked in a room. Then I heard a gunshot."
Jake had his elbows propped on the metal table, his head leaning forward into his palms. Who the hell were these guys? Clearly, they weren't FBI. But they had to be government of some kind. And what had the ASAC meant by It's not my call?
The Bureau was the top law enforcement and counterintelligence agency in the United States. Who had the stroke to barge into an FBI office-particularly the Washington Field Office, considered within the Bureau to be first among equals-and simply take over to the extent that they, whoever they were, could even get away with shoving around the assistant special agent in charge?
Favreau had said CIA, but even though the historic turf wars between the Bureau and the Agency were legendary, especially when it came to counterintelligence, as Jake had learned at the Academy, the Bureau held a trump card in all matters domestic, thanks to the foresight of J. Edgar Hoover, who had made sure that the 1947 National Security Act, which created the Central Intelligence Agency, expressly forbade the CIA from operating inside the United States. So who were these clowns in the suits?
Am I under arrest? Do I need a lawyer?
Jake jumped at the sound of the gunshot. It had come from down the hall. Then he heard shouting. He looked up at the camera. The alarm sounded again. There were more shouts. Then pounding, like fists beating against a distant door. Then the door to the interview room banged open.
Favreau stood in the doorway. His hair had sprung loose from the ponytail and fallen around his shoulders, making him look even crazier. A pair of handcuffs hung from his left wrist. He was breathing hard and clutching a Beretta pistol in his right hand, the muzzle pointed at the floor. "Let's go."
Jake stood. "What are you doing?"
"Those men are mercenaries," Favreau said. "They're here to kill me."
"You said they were CIA."
"I'll explain later. Right now we have to get out of here."
"I can't go anywhere. Especially not with you."
Favreau sighed. Then he pointed the pistol at Jake. "Let's go. Now."
"You're kidnapping me?"
Favreau nodded. "In a manner of speaking."
They ran down the hall, Jake in front, Favreau behind him, pushing him. The Frenchman's left hand, handcuff still dangling from his wrist, gripped Jake's shoulder. Jake could feel the Beretta at his back. "Did you kill anyone?"
"I heard a gunshot in the hallway," Jake said.
"That wasn't me."
"Who was it?"
"A man shot at me."
"I didn't ask his name."
"No," Favreau said. "One of the mercenaries."
"You keep saying mercenary, what do youâ"
Two men in dark suits and carrying pistols rounded the corner twenty feet in front of Jake. Favreau shoved Jake aside just as the two men opened fire. Favreau fired back. His aim was low, the bullets striking both men in the legs. As the two suits fell, Favreau sprinted to them. He kicked one gun away, then stepped on the other man's wrist and twisted the pistol from his hand.
Favreau glanced at Jake while shoving the extra Beretta into the back of his pants. "We have to hurry," he said. Then he ran down the hall.
Too stunned to do anything else, Jake followed him.
When they reached the elevator doors, Jake said, "They can stop the elevators. We need to take the stairs."
They ran down the stairs to the ground floor and stopped at the steel door that opened onto the lobby. "The guards will be on high alert," Favreau said.
Jake shoved the Frenchman's back against the door. Favreau's hand moved, and Jake felt the Beretta's muzzle press against the underside of his chin. But he didn't back off or let go. "You're not shooting the guards," he said.
"Of course I'm not going to shoot them," Favreau said. "They are working men doing their jobs."
"I just saw you shoot two men."
"That was different."
"How was that different?"
"Those men were trying to kill us."
"Kill us?" Jake said, feeling like he was losing his mind. None of this-absolutely none of this-made sense. "Why would they want to kill me? I'm an FBI agent."
"You say that like it's a shield," Favreau said. "Like it will protect you. It won't. They don't care about that."
"Because they assume that by now I've told you."
"Told me what, goddamnit? You haven't told me anything."
"I told you about President Kennedy."
"What you told me was bullshit."
Favreau shook his head but kept his intense blue eyes focused on Jake's. "No, it wasn't. What I told you was the truth. But I haven't told you everything."
"Then tell me," Jake demanded. "Tell me right now."
The stairwell door two floors above them banged open.
"There isn't time," Favreau said. "We have to go."
Jake heard feet pounding down the stairs. He let the Frenchman go. Then he followed Favreau through the steel door into the lobby. The alarm klaxon was still blaring.
Inside the lobby, the guards were indeed on high alert. One was locking the glass front doors. The other was talking into a portable radio. Neither was looking toward the stairwell.
Jake trailed Favreau as he strode quietly toward the nearest guard, the one talking on the radio. The Frenchman had both Berettas tucked out of sight into the back of his pants and his manacled left wrist concealed behind his leg. When he was ten feet from the guard, Favreau blurted in an excited voice, "Have either of you seen him?"
The startled guard spun around and clinched a hand on the grip of his holstered pistol. He stared at Favreau and Jake, but after taking in their non-threatening postures for a few seconds he relaxed. Still his hand didn't leave his sidearm. "You two are...undercover agents, right?" He eyed Favreau, probably trying to calculate his age and figure out how such an old timer could still be an active FBI agent.
Favreau didn't give him time. "We're looking for an escaped prisoner." He pointed to the bank of elevators. "We believe he's stuck in one of the elevator cars."
As the guard glanced toward the elevators, his hand slid from the butt of his pistol.
Favreau sprang forward and locked an arm around the guard's throat, then snatched his pistol from the holster. The second guard dropped his keys and tried to draw his own pistol, a Glock 17, 9mm, but Jake-who couldn't believe he was actually doing this-leaped at him and managed to wrap his hands around the pistol and the man's wrist at the same time the guard brought the gun up. Then, using a technique he'd been taught at the Academy but had never used in real life, Jake spun under the man's arm and simultaneously twisted the Glock from his hand. He pointed the gun at the guard's face.
Favreau had the first guard at gunpoint and was pulling a set of keys from his duty belt. Favreau gave Jake a nod. "Well done."
Jake told the second guard, "Listen, this isn't what it looks like. I really am an FBI agent. My name isâ"
"We don't have time to explain," Favreau said as he switched the Glock to his left hand and used the guard's key to unlock the handcuff on his wrist.
As soon as the pair of handcuffs clanged on the tile floor, Favreau pointed to the elevators. On the digital display panel above one of the doors, the number "2" flashed. The car was seconds away from the lobby.
Jake glanced at the set of keys the second guard had dropped on the floor. The ring held more than a dozen keys. If the glass outer doors were already locked it could take several minutes to find the right key.
"No time," Favreau said. Then he fired ten shots from the guard's pistol into one of the bullet-resistant front windows, spider-webbing the huge sheet of glass. He picked up a chair and hurled it into the fractured glass and sent the entire thing exploding onto the sidewalk.
Favreau dumped the remaining ammunition out of the security officer's Glock and threw the empty pistol into the street. Then he grabbed Jake and pulled him through the busted window just as the elevator door behind them dinged open. Jake heard shots and felt a bullet crack past his ear. He turned and saw the two disarmed guards scurrying for cover as the older hardass in the suit charged out of the open elevator car firing a pistol.
Favreau pulled one of the Berettas from his waistband and fired back, but Jake saw that he intentionally fired high so as not to hit ASAC Wendell Donahue, who stood in the elevator behind the hardass and directly in Favreau's line of fire.
Despite the bullets flying back and forth across the lobby, the ASAC still had his gun holstered. Nor was he moving toward cover. He was just standing there, inside the elevator, with a look of stark terror plastered across his face. Jake doubted the man had ever drawn his weapon other than at the firing range, but his expression didn't appear to be one of physical fear. It looked more like bureaucratic horror, the kind spawned by a shootout in the lobby of the WFO and the resultant flushing of the ASAC's career down the FBI toilet.
Then the hardass dropped to the floor and rolled behind a heavy planter. Favreau kept firing, now directly at the man in the dark suit, chewing up the planter with 9mm bullets until the slide on the Beretta locked back on an empty chamber. The Frenchman dropped the spent gun and pulled the second Beretta.
Then he dragged Jake south on 4th Street. "We have to get to the subway."
At F Street, Jake, still holding the security guard's Glock in his hand, yanked Favreau to a stop. "We just shot our way out of the FBI Washington Field Office. They're going to shut down the Metro."
"What do you suggest?"
Jake looked around, seeing the buildings, the streets, the passing cars. How had this happened? Two hours ago he had been on his way to a football game. "I don't know," he said. "I have no idea what to do."
"I do," Favreau said as he stepped off the curb in front of an oncoming Nissan Sentra. The female driver locked up the wheels and skidded to a stop inches from Favreau.
"What are you doing?" Jake said.
"Getting us a ride."
The woman laid on the horn. Favreau aimed the Beretta at her. The horn stopped.
"Are you insane?" Jake shouted.
But Favreau ignored him and walked to the driver's door of the Sentra. The woman kept both hands on the steering wheel but turned her head to follow the Frenchman. Favreau kept the pistol pointed at her. Despite her obvious terror, she didn't drive away. Favreau pulled on the handle and found the door locked, so he tapped the muzzle of the gun against the window. "Open the door, madam."
She opened the door.
"I am very sorry," Favreau said, helping her out of the car. "But we have urgent need of your automobile." He climbed behind the wheel. The door was still open. He looked up at Jake. "Are you coming?"
Sirens wailed in the distance.
The woman stared at Jake.
"I'm sorry," he said.
She didn't speak or even nod. Just kept staring at him. He thought she might be in shock.
"Come on," Favreau said.
Jake climbed into the passenger seat. Favreau punched the gas even before Jake could get the door closed all the way. As they raced down the street sirens closed in on them from every direction.
"Where to?" Favreau asked.
"Why are you asking me?" Jake said. "This was your idea."