Election Day
Chapter 15

Copyright© 2021 by Lumpy

The next day was a whirlwind. Packer could practically taste the PR value of Taylors’ on-air apprehension of a mad bomber. Taylor wanted to tell the man to go screw himself, but Caldwell still somehow convinced him to give one interview after another. Taylor decided then and there that he never wanted to be in the spotlight again. He’d truly hated the attention he’d received after his takedown of Qasim, but that paled in comparison.

Most of the news crews had been live when Taylor came crashing out of that window and millions of Americans had been tuned into their TVs, hooked on the horserace that was the nation’s politics.

Packer sat Taylor in a small studio, where he had to listen as newscaster after newscaster reacted to that footage before asking him the same questions as the last dozen reporters. Packer had written him an outline of what he needed to say, some of it stuff Taylor would have said anyways, and other parts Taylor flat out refused to say.

He’d been okay with the ‘aww, shucks’ type answers about just doing his duty but balked at declaring his willingness to give his life to ensure that American people in the future could become President. Of course, he’d been willing to put his life on the line for Caldwell, but that had nothing to do with politics, which Taylor cared little about.

Hubbard had survived their fight with several broken ribs, a broken nose, concussion, one severely sprained and one broken wrist. They had him handcuffed to a hospital bed with an army of federal agents keeping an eye on him. Caldwell’s final speech had been canceled after the building, along with every other building on that block, had been evacuated. Taylor hadn’t heard if they’d managed to get Hubbard’s bomb off that gas pipe, but since he hadn’t heard any massive explosions, he assumed they’d managed it.

By midnight Taylor stood on the wings of a stage, watching Caldwell give her big speech. The final results wouldn’t be in for several days, but her lead was massive enough that there wasn’t any doubt that she was the next President of the United States. Although she’d already been the favored candidate, according to the few minutes of election coverage he’d watched before being hustled on stage, she’d cleared her expected margin by several percentage points. According to which guest the different channels had on, it was either because the American public were sheep easily wowed by any spectacle or because the American public were wise and able to recognize how strong Caldwell had been, standing up to a madman bomber.

Taylor assumed they were all idiots. He was happy his friend had gotten what she wanted, although he had a vague memory of some ancient curse warning people about getting exactly what they asked for.

 
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