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Monday, February 4, 2013. The White House. Washington, D.C.
John Morse was overjoyed to be back with his children. Today, they had been
invited to the White House to have a long talk with the President of the United States.
She was most anxious to meet them. The Morse family was waiting for their turn with
the President in the Office of the Secret Service. Detective Jensen was their welcoming
party, and he couldn‘t have been more effusive with his praise. He told Morse he was
sorry he never trusted him from the beginning, but any good detective has to follow all
the leads and not assume any one person is innocent. Morse was magnanimous in return,
and was happy to have played such a vital part in rescuing the President.
Jensen let it slip that the President had managed to obtain an orange longboard with
orange wheels, even better than the one Zach had before, and this one was going to be
signed by Tony Hawke, the world‘s greatest skateboarder. And the President had
promised that in all their photos with the President, her P.R. people would airbrush in
Zach‘s old hair. Zach thought that was very funny. Zoey would be receiving a brand
new electric and acoustic guitar, each one signed by the Jonas Brothers. Zoey was
jumping up and down with excitement. And the President this morning had negotiated
with the French and Italian governments to allow Morse to keep the ancient scrolls he
obtained in France and Italy for one year before returning them to French and Italian
museums. The French and Italian governments had assured the President that Morse
would be able to claim the academic credit for discovering the scrolls. All criminal
charges, of course, would be dropped.
Jensen had brought over Chinese takeout to share with Morse and his teenagers.
Jensen and Morse caught up on all of the details of the last few weeks. Jensen asked
Morse if he put any stock in the notion that Vice President Suba was really the ―spawn of
the Devil,‖ as the scrolls had claimed.
―Well, it does seem rather preposterous, doesn‘t it? But the scrolls have been right
about everything else!‖ Morse laughed.
―Well, just about everything,‖ said Jensen.
―What do you mean?‖ asked Morse.
―Well, it says that this MABUS character is going to gain power by death or
blackmail. The attack on the President‘s life was stopped, so that rules out death, doesn‘t
―Well, for now anyway,‖ said Morse. It was an interesting point, though. Why did it
say ―death OR blackmail?‖ It was almost as if the Prophet wasn‘t sure or couldn‘t make
up her mind.
Down the hall from the Secret Service office, in the Oval Office, President Anna
Scall was alone with the Vice President, Matt Suba. Despite the great success of the
previous afternoon, Suba was in a horrible, angry mood.
―Anna, you know you were just lucky yesterday. You should have shot down that
plane. Everyone in that stadium could have died if that pilot couldn‘t figure out how to
work the controls.‖
―You have to have a little more faith in people, Matt,‖ said the President, smiling.