Un-Secret Service

So, Danielle have been married for over a month now, and Delta Force has been keeping their distance. I appreciate that, because it’s nice to have a honeymoon phase, you know?

A few weeks ago, I got to see one of the top candidates for President answer some (likely scripted) questions, as Rudy Giuliani came to Nashua for a “town-hall meeting.” First off, there is nothing “town-hall” or even “meeting” about what happened. It was a campaign stop, and he got to shake some hands and win some votes. It worked, from what I could tell of the other people sitting in the ball room at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

Mayor Giuliani’s entrance was pretty interesting. They blasted some music as he entered and shook some hands, and then faded it out as he took center stage to give a 20-30 minute monologue on health care and terrorism. I found it interesting that he’d put the two together, but I didn’t argue. It was entertaining, at the very least.

About the time the Honorable Mayor got to asking questions, I saw some movement among the darkly-suited men around the edge of the room that I had assumed were working security. They started sweeping the seats with their eyes; I could tell they were looking at faces. They seemed to settle on one guy in the middle of the right most section of chairs. They started talking back and forth and then fanned out around the back of the room. One of them over towards the left wall started fishing in his pocket for something, and came out with a handkerchief. It looked monogrammed, but I was a bit far away to see it in any detail.

“And so we will rise to that challenge, as Americans, as a nation not divided by..” the Mayor was going on about something really important, but I was positive what was happening in that room was more important than foreign policy right now. As the agent over on the left wall went to put the kerchief back in his pocket, I saw the insignia, a dark grey D and a green F overlapping. Delta Force.

I knew I had to get the guy they were watching out of there safely. His life depended on it. These Delta Force guys don’t quit, and they wanted this guy for something. I was briefly concerned where the secret service was, and how they had been subdued without anyone noticing, but after thinking about it, I decided that plot holes weren’t worth contemplating.. there was evil afoot.

The agents tightened their perimeter, slowly and cautiously. As far as I could tell, the target had no idea he was in danger. I scanned the room quickly - there wasn’t any way out without going through at least two Delta agents. I looked around the stage the mayor was on. He wasn’t being protected in close proximity.. maybe I could grab the guy and get behind the stage.. there had to be a door there, as that’s where Giuliani had come from. There would likely be agents back there, too. I started to panic for the guy. There was nothing I could do without sacrificing myself as well. My stomach tightened, and I started to get cold. I needed to do something – anything – for this guy, but there were no options. He was going to die, and I was going to be helpless to stop it.

One agent walked down the aisle and stopped at his row. I couldn’t believe how brazen they were being. I knew these guys were ruthless, but right here, in front of everyone? Most people, even people in that immediate area, were still focused on the candidate. “In fact, if they did say that in that report, then they’re wrong. It’s important that we know that the State department has an obligation to the American people to..” he continued his message. I watched, horrified, but unable to turn away as the agent scooted past people in the row of seats to end up right next to the target. The man, whose fate was now sealed, turned up to look at the agent, and he knew it as well as I did. It was over.

Everything at that point happened in slow motion. The agent bent down towards him, no emotion present at all in the steel grey eyes of the trained killer. He reached into his jacket, and paused for a second, as he must have been getting a better grip on his sidearm, or maybe it was stuck in the holster he was using. He started to slowly move his hand out of his jacket, but it was behind the target’s head, so I couldn’t see it. I braced for the gunshot and the consequential screams. I winced, and heard “Sir, you seem to have dropped your wallet in the lobby. Here it is. Have a good night.” Then, like the well-trained operative he was, he walked out of the row, down the aisle, and the rest of them pulled back, resuming their original positions around the wall.

I sat in stunned silence. They didn’t kill him. I sat back in my chair, blinked, and then took a bite of my sugar cookie with a pie chart of Pentagon spending waste on it. It wasn’t a very tasty cookie.

Once the Honorable Mayor had answered his last question of the evening, the emcee cranked out Rascall Flatts’ verion of “Life is a Highway,” as the mayor shook hands and made his way towards the door. As we filed out the back of the room, and walked away, one of the agents winked at me.

I just kept on walking.