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Chapter 5

The westbound Blue Line train entered the Metro Center subway station on schedule, each car loaded to capacity with passengers. The train came to a halt, the warning chime sounded for the doors to open, and the first of four immense explosions ripped through the interior of the station, triggering the other three in succession. The impact of the blasts collapsed the interior and buckled several buildings aboveground. The shock waves could be felt in the Oval Office of the White House, several blocks away.

The devastation and carnage was beyond horrific. Thousands of people of various diversities, ethnicities, and religious affiliations had been converging on that single location, at that very moment, heedlessly going about their way, not a single one of them thinking their next breath was to be their last. Young teenagers planning their weekends. Young lovers planning their futures. Business professionals planning their big deals. All believing that Metro Center was simply a temporary stop on the way to their planned destinations, completely unaware that they would become victims of revenge for the sins of their country.

Within minutes after the attack, the voice that had spoken to Othello as he hung helplessly above the hyenas began to speak to the world, via the Internet and hijacked satellite feeds, behind the backdrop of video footage of the explosions. "To the American people and the world: Do not call this incident a terrorist act. Call it an act of war. If you want to know who to blame, blame your treacherous, lying government. But be clear, this is just the beginning. The world is about to enter a new era, and I will be its supreme master. I will destroy all that oppose me. There were no innocents killed today. You live your lives like cattle, heedless of the affairs of the world and the actions of your government. You depend on them to take care of you and they depend on you to remain ignorant. In your name, your corrupt leaders kill thousands every day and leave millions to starve death. You will now be held accountable for their actions. The world as you know it is over. No more wolves in sheep's clothing. I'm a bear, and you are the fluffy white rabbit. President Cotton, if you interfere in my affairs again, I will, once again, wipe my furry ass with you. I will now return you to your regularly televised programs."

The transmission terminated and regular broadcasting resumed. The mysterious malefactor struck fear in the hearts of the American people. Major cities were on the verge of breaking out into riots. World leaders rushed to the airwaves to reassure their citizens.

President Heather Cotton, the first female President of the United States, addressed the country to respond to this wanton act of aggression.

"My dear fellow Americans, sadly, once again in our illustrious history we have been attacked by a foreign enemy on our soil. The enormous loss of life has been unspeakable, the destruction unfathomable. The pain we are feeling seems unbearable. I want to assure you that every available relief agency is on the scene, providing every imaginable service, for assistance, recovery, and support."

Cotton paused to maintain her composure and fight back the tears welling in her eyes. The only sound that could be heard was the press cameras. "To this wretched, sadistic, cowardly piece of garbage, hiding in the shadows like cockroaches and rats, scared to death to expose yourself out of fear of being crushed under the feet of the free world—know that, yes, this was an act of war. And, yes, we are going to hunt you down and kill you. We will leave no stone unturned to find you and anyone involved with you. You have underestimated the resolve of the American people. We will lace up our bootstraps and pull together. We will overcome any obstacle. We will not bend. We will not compromise our ideals or the way of life that made this country great. We will fight!" she exclaimed with great passion. "Make no mistake, we can and will protect and defend this great nation of ours. Brothers and sisters, we are at war. We must be vigilant and steadfast. It is important that you report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to your local authorities. My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to the families of lost or injured loved ones. May God bless and keep us all. Good evening."

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