WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS STAYS IN VEGAS

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Chapter13    

Exactly sixty days from the attack on Washington D.C., America was still on full alert. The American people had begun to lose faith in their government in the aftermath of recent events. The entire world began to distance themselves from the current U.S. administration after the successful assassination of President Okunun and deaths of the two Japanese emissaries. President Cotton completely denied any involvement. NATO launched a full investigation into the matter.

At noon Pacific time all hell broke loose in Las Vegas. Hundreds of people simply dropped dead in their homes, on their jobs, in their cars, without any apparent reason. Hundreds turned to thousands, thousands turned to tens of thousands. Hundreds of passenger and cargo planes that departed Vegas early that morning, were traveling across American skies with their entire crews and passengers deceased. Fighter jets were scrambled to shoot them down, to prevent more loss of life. Many came crashing to the ground, killing hundreds more and causing massive destruction.

Patrons of the many casinos lay dead at the tables and slot machines. The streets were littered with bodies, humans and animals. The Angel of Death was discharging his duties with immaculate efficiency.

The military quickly quarantined the entire city. Nothing in, nothing out. Of the almost 600,000 residents, over 380,000 were dead.

The CDC struggled to find the cause of the greatest unnatural loss of life in the recorded history of mankind. The country was gripped in fear. And as if on cue, Genesis addressed the American people, taking over the Internet, television, and radio airwaves.

"Some of you would say that what happened in Vegas was the action of a heartless individual. In actuality, I have emotional and insecurity issues, but that's another story. Your president decided to fight a fight you cannot win. And I am forced to resort to extreme measures to make my point crystal clear. This morning, I released a very powerful, very fatal toxin into the water supply." The video screens displayed hundreds of automated machines disguised as electrical panel light fixtures, fire hydrants, trash cans, and many other common items mobilizing from their normal locations and attaching themselves to the waterlines. "This newly discovered toxin is one of the many weapons I have at my disposal, to unleash on you at will. I possess superior technology, far beyond anything your country can imagine. I was taught as a child to never fuck a gorilla because you cannot make it stop. Your president just laid down with King Kong, and I'm not going to stop until I break her back. Your government cannot protect you. In fact, none of the governments of the world can protect their citizens from me. Unfortunately, I will have to crush many more of you like ants beneath my feet before you accept the reality of my words. The toxin I released will soon dissipate, and it is isolated to the Las Vegas area. You know what they say: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

The transmission came to a halt. The American people, along with the entire world, were in utter shock and disbelief. The death toll reached a little over four hundred thousand, over two-thirds of the population. Fires raged out of control throughout the entire city, without no hope of relief. The military discovered the numerous automated machines, but each of them had self-destructed after completing their missions, leaving no usable evidence to assist in finding and catching this ruthless enemy. The CDC was able to detect the toxin in the water supply but was unable to determine its composition. Just as Genesis stated, it dissipated after several hours, leaving no trace. The investigation and clean up effort has begun.

President Cotton instituted a nationwide state of emergency, and martial law was in full effect, with a dusk to dawn curfew. The National Guard was activated in every state and was deployed on the American streets. U.S. troops around the world were recalled home to protect the homeland.

"Do you mean to tell me that our nation's water supply was not one of your priorities. It was not one of your main areas of concern?" screamed Cotton.

"Yes. Absolutely, it was. But the attack was extremely well calculated. He hit every major line, after the main supply. How could we have defended against that?" replied John Casper.

"Isn't it your goddamn job to figure that out? Is that what you expect me to tell the American people, that this piece of shit is too smart for us and we cannot protect them?" she continued to rant.

"No, I expect you to tell them to stay vigilant and patient. That one battle does not win a war. If you recall, Madam President, I am from Las Vegas. And I haven't heard from my family. I may have lost everything that is dear to me," Casper replied, voice cracking, trying to hold back tears. "So all I want to hear is that we have the heart and fortitude to kill this gutless son of a bitch."

"John . . .," she responded cautiously and compassionately. "I apologize. I completely forgot. Please forgive my absentmindedness and take some time off and see about your family."

No. If my family is still alive, the best I can do for them is help prevent another attack."

"John, it wasn't a request. I will have everything you need at your disposal. Go find your family.

"Thank you, Madam President," he said, seeing no sense in trying to argue any further and lacking the strength to do so. "Let me update you before I leave."

"Thank you. Your dedication will not be forgotten," she replied

"Every city is on complete lockdown. All movement is being carefully monitored. All vessels coming in and going out are being thoroughly searched, and their contents examined and inventoried. All flights, foreign and domestic have been suspended until further notice. These and many other procedures will remain in effect until we have something more definitive about this group."

"Kneely reported that we cannot track his satellite transmissions, nor can we stop them at this time. However, we did catch a break. I believe I know who killed Okunun, and she may be able to lead us to this asshole."

"She?" he asked astonished.

"Yes, she. I'll let you know more when I've confirmed her identity. In the meantime, stay in contact and let us know that everything is ok with your family."

"Thank you, Madam President. I will keep you abreast of my situation and security concerns," he replied heavily, full of concern.

"May God be with you and your family," she said sincerely.

"May God be with us all," he returned before leaving the Oval Office.

Although the world seemed to be closing in on her, the president feltbetter upon learning that Casper was not the traitor she was desperatelyseeking out. She was well aware that time was against her. The American peoplewere turning against her. Foreign governments, that were once staunch allies,were turning against her. She needed a breakthrough, and she needed one fast.At the moment, her best chance of finding the faceless, nameless villain was tofind Medusa. Cotton knew that Medusa was the only living person who could havepulled off the assassination of Okunun. They had uneventfully crossed paths inthe past, now, however, she had become a priority, along with calming the fearsof her fellow Americans.

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