Those eigth centimeters that changed the face of the free world…

« Those eight centimeters that changed the face of the world… »

Disclaimer: the characters of the saga « Fallen » belong to Millenium Film and their creators.

I do not derive any financial benefit from this fiction.

This story takes place before the events of the fiction « Cursed Soul Sisters » where Mike Banning has a special interview with Lucifer Morningstar in his office at the White House about a video incriminating Thaddeus Ross in the kidnapping and torture of Timot Danlen.

When Lynne Jacobs, director of the US President’s Security Service, introduced Benjamin Asher, newly elected leader of the free world, to Agent Mike Banning, assigned to protect the presidential couple and their son, the former US Army Ranger concealed, under his mask of efficient and discreet professional, the amusement felt when he realized that he was a few centimeters beyond his now protégé.

Mike would later learn that he was eigth centimeters taller than his President. It was nothing eigth centimeters. Just a detail, yet that eight centimeters, so insignificant at first glance, determined an important role in Mike’s life and his decisions regarding Benjamin Asher.

Especially when the forty-fifth President of the United States had an imperceptible twinkle in his eye as Mike shook hands with his Commander-in-Chief and uttered the phrase that sealed the fate of the two men:

« You are not the president I will have elected, but rest assured, sir, that I will put your safety first and above all other considerations. »

The indignant murmur of Lynne, his boss, reached Agent Banning’s ears as a muffled, distant sound, and the man thought distractedly that he would be reprimanded for his outspokenness.

But Mike didn’t dwell on that thought for long because there was another matter that caught his attention: the President’s reaction to his words.

A suspicion was aroused in the agent who studied the leader of the free world meticulously and with great care.

Mike’s doubts were confirmed when his blond interlocutor replied in a clear and confident voice:

« I appreciate your honesty, agent Banning. I’m beginning to understand why Lynne chose you to protect me. »

Hearing the sentence written word for word on his right shoulder, Mike knew that his life had just taken a difficult and complicated turn.

His soul mate was none other than Benjamin Asher, President of the United States, married and father of one child!

Shit!

Mike forgot the eigth centimeters that differentiated him from his commander-in-chief that day.

 Lynne, later that day, in an informal interview in his office, criticized him for being too outspoken and advised him, in friendship, to keep quiet because one day Mike’s insolence would get him into trouble.

       ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Those eitgh centimeters were a reminder of Mike on a snowy road where Ben, his commander-in-chief and now his friend, was trying to rescue his wife Maggie from their limousine, which threatened to slide into the icy river water below the bridge.

Despite the efforts of the other agents charged with protecting the presidential family and Mike, Margaret was out of reach and Banning saw the very second he had to make an irrevocable and difficult decision: the life of the president or continue the rescue attempts of the First Lady.

In a brief moment of unreal calm, as Mike, almost lying on top of the President who was desperately trying to reach his wife, grabbed the blond man with force, he noticed again those eight centimeters of physical difference between him and Ben.

A powerful sense of protection cut off Banning’s sense of duty as he pulled a recalcitrant Ben, gesticulating with grief and despair, from the limousine and held him against it, watching the limousine sink irretrievably into the ice-cold river.

Mike watched the car fall into the ice-cold river with resignation mixed with guilt: now holding Ben against him to prevent him from committing an act of madness, the young agent felt an almost guilty sense of relief and pleasure at feeling the warm, strong, living body of his soul mate in his arms and admitting, with a shameful and diffuse uneasiness, that those eight centimeters had played a major role in his choice to save the President’s life.

       ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Benjamin Asher was a calm man, very much in control of his emotions and feelings. The permanent entourage of the President of the United States agreed on this point: Asher always managed to rally people to his cause without raising his voice or losing his temper.

With the strength of his convictions, his charisma and his incredible magnetism, he knew how to bend the most reluctant of wills and obtain the necessary votes to achieve the goal.

Mike, being in close contact with his entourage, had witnessed verbal duels, which could drag on for hours, between Ben and one of his advisers who disagreed on a subject, and had felt a growing fascination and respect for the politician’s unfailing tenacity.

After Margaret Asher’s funeral, Agent Banning, summoned to the Oval Office of the White House, saw a rare facet of the personality of the president, who had been widowed less than a week before, that he would not have been able to discover.

Ben’s cold and distant demeanor and his accusations, spouted in a tone as cold as the night of the accident depriving him of a wife and a mother for Connor, made Mike’s eitgth centimeters of physical superiority over his protégé disappear.

As the unjust and cruel words were imprinted on the agent’s mind, the impassive, silent, soldier-like features, the President seemed to crush the young agent with his suffocating presence and venom.

A venom distilled to wound, without killing, however, and to make the agony last.

« I know very well that you saved me that night, not out of duty, but because you wanted me for yourself. I know that we are soul mates and that we are destined to be with each other. Forget this damn bullshit, agent Banning! It’s not going to happen. You’ve robbed the world of a smart, brilliant woman, and through your own selfishness, Connor will grow up without a loving mother. »

Mike remained stoic, showing none of the bitterness and agony felt over his President’s speech, and waited for his commander-in-chief to give him permission to retire from office.

He assumed, correctly, that he would be transferred to another position. But he didn’t expect to be relegated to paperwork and low-hanging fruit.

Thankfully, meeting Leah was like a balm for Mike’s wounded soul.

          …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Eighteen months later, during the terrorist attack by Kang and his supporters against the White House and the hostage-taking of the President and his close entourage, Mike, listening only to his duty and courage, found himself the only hope of the free world.

Alone against a heavily armed and organized commando, the agent succeeded in exfiltrating Connor from the White House, extracting vital information about the terrorist group and managing, in extremis, to prevent Kang and his henchmen from escaping with the President.

Ben attempted to disarm Kang while Mike shot the remaining terrorists one by one and was shot in the abdomen.

Collapsing on the ground, his mind fogged with pain, he saw Mike, like a wild animal, throw himself on Kang and engage in a fight to the death.

Mike was not fighting for patriotism or the free world at that moment, but enraged by the sight of Ben on the ground and bleeding, he was punching Kang for his soul mate.

Freeing the beast within him. With a stab in the head of the terrorist who had dared to touch his soul mate (his soul mate was eight centimeters shorter than him, for God’s sake!), he finished off Kang.

At the request of the president on the verge of unconsciousness, he stopped the Cerberus program to transform the United States into a vast, desolate and irradiated continent.

Exhausted, hungry and wounded, Mike had never felt such a sense of fulfillment as he did with Ben, who, leaning on his savior to walk, looked at him with infinite respect.

He felt like he finally belonged.

Mike discovered, in amazement, that he was as popular a hero as the Avengers, xho had meanwhile saved New Yok fron an Alien invasion.

Stopping an alien attack was probably more important than saving the President of  the United States…

            …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Two years after Ben’s re-election as President of the United States, Mike was forced to run through the streets of London with Southpaw (codename of Asher) to escape the terrorists who had succeeded in decimating five of the world’s most powerful heads of state.

Gathered for the funeral of British Prime Minister James Wilson. The funeral was supposed to be the most secure event in the world.

But apparently Barkawi had supporters undercover in the London police force.

Kamran’s threat to execute the president of the United States, live and on the Internet, before the eyes of the entire planet, led Ben to a radical measure: he ordered Mike to kill him if the terrorists captured him. Standing opposite each other, contemplating each other in the thin glow of the Charing Cross subway basement, the two men dared not take the initiative to admit the feelings that bound them.

Mike had never been so distraught in his life and seeing Ben raise his head to meet his gaze, he was moved by this gesture which reminded him of their slight difference in size.

Those eight centimeters, so tiny…Oh, but so important to Banning!

Ben approached his friend and bodyguard and, making up his mind, placed a kiss…on the cheek of Mike who had turned away at the last second.

Leah. The officer couldn’t bring himself to accept anyone’s kiss as long as his wife, pregnant with their first baby, was waiting for him at home, probably dying of anxiety.

Leah didn’t deserve that.

Ben said nothing, understood the reason for Mike’s refusal and simply followed his friend to a safe hiding place at MI16.

   ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Despite the attack by an armed commando that had penetrated the MI16 safe house and the reckless conduct of a US president (who hadn’t been behind the wheel of a car in six years), the two friends managed to escape the intense terrorist fire on their way to the US embassy.

Relieved and euphoric to have survived an ambush, they didn’t see the truck run into them.

Mike’s rage, helplessness, and frustration mingled with regret and remorse for having refused Ben’s kiss when he was ripped from the overturned car, struggling and screaming:

« -Mike! »

A nameless fury seized Mike who proceeded to brutally and mercilessly interrogate his prisoner with a knife.

As was the case with Kang, Banning unleashed the savage, bloodthirsty beast inside him and attacked with Will Davies’ SAS from Kamran HQ.

He made his way to Kamran, with grenades, shots and methodical strangulation of the terrorists daring to resist him, and the sight of Kamran, sword in hand, preparing to decapitate  Banning’s  beloved POTUS and of Ben, on his knees in front of a camera, completed Mike’s little lucidity.

The agent, like a vengeful angel, shot the President’s torturers and clearing Ben from the struggle area, he threw himself at Kamran.

He beat him, ferociously and unrestrainedly, giving him a speech about the convictions of the free world and passing all his rage and fury on Barkawi’s son.

« You didn’t get it, did you, assohole? » Mike said, punching a totally dazed Kamran each time. He’s not just my president! He’s also my soul mate! That’s why attempts by assholes like you to kill him will fail, because I will always be there! »

This was Ben’s warning,as he yelled « Mike, grenade! « and the thought of his soul mate in danger drove Mike to drop Kamran and rush to Asher to protect him from the explosion.

Once Ben was safely aboard Air Force One and on his way to the United States, Mike learned that  the Avengers had been busy preventing an evil android from causing a mass extinction of mankind.

The fate of all mankind weighed more heavily in the balance than that of the heads of state and hundred of Londoners…

   ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Three months after the London bombings and the successful elimination of Barkawi, Mike finalized his divorce from Leah after much discussion. The couple had waited, however, for the birth of their daughter Lynne, named in memory of Jacobs, and had decided on new arrangements following their future separation.

Ben asked to speak privately with Mike in his White House office a week after his favorite agent’s divorce was finalized and recorded on paper.

The President and his agent had begun a relationship, in complete discretion, as soon as Leah and Mike had a separate room.

« You wanted to see me, Mr. President? « asked Mike, as he entered his Commander-in-Chief’s office.

Ben stepped away from the window where he was looking up at the sky, pensive and lowering his arms, he raised an eyebrow, a smile on his lips.

« Ben, » he said, in a falsely dismayed tone. When we’re in private like this, you can call me Ben. »

Mike left his professional reserve before joining his soul mate in a few steps and wrapping his arms around him.

Ben relaxed, surrendering to his man’s embrace and had a mischievous half smile as he noticed how Mike liked to rest his chin on the top of his head and thus accentuate their slight physical size difference.

« Look to your right. »Ben whispered, not moving from Mike’s arms.

Mike, without letting go of the blonde, turned and saw a blue box on a corner of the desk. Disconcerted, he grabbed it and opened it unhurriedly: placed on a blue velvet pad, there was a silver key and attached to it was a key ring in the shape of a number…eight.

Mike uttered a small amused laugh, understanding the symbolism of the key and the number eight: the key to the White House and the number eight, inverted, meant « infinity ».

« You seemed to be obsessed with the number, Mike, » Ben noted, with affectionate indulgence. Eight… You’re eight centimeters taller than me, hm? »

Mike swallows, moved by the gesture of his soul mate. He passionately embraced the man who was his protégé, his commander-in-chief and his president.

« I love you so much too, Ben. » Mike said in a breath, stepping away from his soul mate and plunging his green eyes into Ben’s blue eyes.

              ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

And then came Thanos with his Snap that erased half of the American citizens, as well as President Asher and Mike Banning, from existence.

Vice President Trumbull discovered, with amazement and dismay, that Connor, Leah and Lynne were among the countless victims.

The end.

On 5/11/20

Duneline

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

2 commentaires sur “Those eigth centimeters that changed the face of the free world…

Votre commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Google

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Google. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s