Homeland Security in Chicago jumped at the news. More terrorists at the little white church on the bluff, four separate explosions and injuries. Ed Jones looked aghast at the reports filtering in. He put his hands over his face for a moment. All those troops. We’ve failed against an unknown enemy.
He motioned to Nadine. “Get me the Pentagon. This just escalated.”
He yelled into the phone as he struggled into his field jacket. “Yeah, that’s right. They hit us again. Yes, sir, same place, serious injuries this time. Put the Mississippi corridor on alert. Yes, the whole corridor and I hope we don’t have to find out why. That’s your orders. I’m on my way down there right now.”
He let the phone drop as he raced out to the waiting helicopter. He looked up as more troops hurried past into waiting helicopters. “Boys, this ain’t no drill. Pass that along. We’ve wounded on site. Get those boys movin’, now!”
Jeanne poked her head out of the water and carefully surveyed her job under the bridge. That oughta put a dent in any reinforcements from this direction.
She glanced at her waterproof watch. Simon should be away by now.
She blushed under her mask as she always did when she thought of the passion they shared. I’ll see him later. Time now for his diversion. Hope the old man knows what he’s doing with all this. I’ve a mile to swim ahead of me, best get goin’.
Jeanne pulled herself out of the water after the first bend. Catching her breath, she reached into her satchel, tore off the waterproof seal and pressed the release. Behind her, the night sky brightened as jarring series of blasts ripped the bridge into heaving sections, collapsing into the river. Overlapping concussion waves raced past her on the river. No heavy troops over that bridge. That’ll give Simon the cover he’ll need to get away – and back into my arms.
A moment later Ed Jones bent over in his helicopter, straining to hear the faint report. Another attack? Where? Sudden reports flooded the channel. Another terrorist attack. He bent over to his second. “They just took out a main highway bridge north of Ravenna. Divert your troops back north and around. Wow, how did they know I’d need that bridge? Something too strange in this. Someone knew my backup plan. Someone knew how I’d react to the terror at the little white church on the bluff. Someone inside?
He turned to his radioman. “Get the word out. Expect more bridge attacks along the Mississippi Corridor. Repeat this is not a drill.”
Troops swung into action at major bridges, utilities and other probable targets from Minneapolis to New Orleans. Traffic stopped five miles from each bridge as emergency teams fanned out along the corridor. Gingerly, teams started out under each structure, searching for what they hoped they wouldn’t find.