Terri Hayes is back, her daunting mission to West Russia far behind her. However, a catastrophe befalls the city of Neola, which sets the standard for domestic terrorism to unimaginable heights.
On February 15th, 2180, a cataclysm of epic proportions befalls the city of Neola. Terrorists destroy an icon of Neolean society in an act of terrorism the likes of which have never graced the pages of human history. As the dust settles around the destruction and chaos, Terri Hayes must find out who committed the viscious act in hopes of stopping this new strain of domestic terrorism.
A vibration rumbled through the IDC, the lights overhead slightly flickering. Powers turned to look at us, horrified and paling by the second. It seemed to take hours, but I managed to make the three-step journey to the window to see what his finger was pointing upward at.
Shakily his head steadied on the MSDC a mile away, its huge towers straddling the hot morning skies above. Looking up, I felt my heart drop.
One of the towers was mushrooming fire and smoke, debris billowing out and down the cylindrical façade of the MSDC tower. The oily black cloud stretched into the air, blotting out the sun that had just peaked over the top of the building.
The room fell silent as more and more of the patrons gathered at the window, light gasps escaping all who drew near. The boom echoed through the air, rattling the window we were pressed against. The thunderous roll careened off the steel jungle walls outside, ricocheting through the room as my heart jittered with the explosion.
On the verge of hyperventilation, I watched in horror as a few more smaller blasts rocked the tower, glass showering out on all directions. Puffs of flame and smoke jetted into the pristine morning air, coating the beautiful blue sky in a haze of death.
Still, not a word was uttered as the air raid siren began to wail for the first time since I had been born. Through all my years, it had never come to the siren, the screeching banshee noise reserved for the worst of the worst, a military Code Black. Powers’ ‘com started buzzing on the floor crazily. The small piece had fallen from his limp grasp, now lying at his feet. I heard voices through the other end, the blank screen a dead giveaway that Solar was on the line. From what seemed like a million miles away, the voices bubbled up from the far reaches of insanity.
“. . . We are at a Code Black. Military Law Set Mil/09/IH in effect until further notice. Sliders are to target any remaining civilian airbuses and open fire, direct order from SuOff 765 . . .”
I let it become background noise to the thoughts in my head. The Supreme Officer number 765 of the Solar Committee had just authorized the destruction of every airbus in the city. We were at a Code Black, the worst case scenario’s envelope being pushed.
Heat waves rippled up the glass tower’s face, more debris still fluttering about in the six hundred story void, the cloud thinning as the rubble blew about in the wind. Hundreds of glass panes above and below the point of impact were shattered, the black interior of the building seen through the empty frames.
More rolling explosions caught my heart in my throat, twisting the core of my being as I watched the flames begin pouring out from where the fireball had once enveloped. The thick, black smoke seemed to get thicker, dumping hot ash and sparks into the sky, the titanic cloud creating a shadow over the IDC as the winds blew the mass our way.