"Just about half an hour ago, a teenager allegedly set off a bomb in the Mall of America."

The blue-eyed Caucasian newscaster stands in front the taped off rubble of what was one of the world's largest shopping centers.

"The bomb appears to have used an advanced, custom built trigger which, experts say, indicates that the teen may have had accomplices. Witnesses on site claim that local law enforcement personnel, coordinated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, evacuated the site a full hour before the explosion. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security have declined to comment on their source of information."

The on-site anchor pauses for a moment. Her eyebrows furrow as her eyes tilt down, head cocked slightly as if listening to a bird on her left shoulder. Storm grey eyes focus on the camera again. "This just in: our source has confirmed that besides the teen fatality, rescue workers report not a single casualty. A joint taskforce has been set up to investigate this event and the alleged terrorist who is at yet unnamed. We'll keep you updated with any developments"

The scene changes from the caved in left wing of the Mall of America to a minimalist newsroom.

"Thanks Tammy, let's keep our fingers crossed."

The anchorman, a well-aged African American with dignified wings of grey in his hair, turns from the onscreen image of Tammy and towards a pale man in a dark blue business suit.

Blue business suit has a patrician look and a comb over, if one could say that of a few brave strands of hair holding the fort. His thin lips and grey eyes are pinched, as if to tell viewers that he is enraged with the attack but saddened at the single youth casualty. The total effect ends up making him look rather constipated.

The slightly curved cathode ray tube screen of the antique TV suddenly darkens, leaving an after-image of four-pointed brightness on a dark grey background.

"I suppose we have you to thank for that?" a male voice rumbles in a gravelly baritone.

"I suppose you do." an airy female voice replies.

Gravelly baritone turns from the television screen. He has olive skin, an inheritance from Mediterranean ancestors. Stocky, with an immaculately groomed look and hints of grey peppered in his glossy black hair and trimmed beard, he stands out from the other FBI agents in the room. There's a relaxed wariness in movements, a calm poise of assumed command and control.

He now gazes across the surface of sturdy leather-top writing desk stacked, somewhat haphazardly, with files and loose sheets. His eyes settle on the African child sitting behind it.

The girl's hair is close cut, like a boy's. Tiny silver stud earrings and a plastic Mickey Mouse watch are the only adornments she wears. Her eyes are her most arresting feature, large and dark liquid brown. Closer inspection reveals a slight scar on her lower lip, most likely from an old injury. She sits behind the desk as if she belongs there.

"My desk" he reminds himself, "she's just sitting behind it".

His hand unconsciously reaches out to straighten the plaque that bears his name - Bill Fontaine. His eyebrows crease as he pauses to gather his thoughts. He'd been in the Bureau for almost twenty years and he'd seen a lot of strange.

"This" he thought to himself, "is merely new strange."

"So Miss Boateng..."

"Call me Yaa".

She smiles, not at him, but to the blinds of the office towards which she now stares as if blind, eyes slightly glazed over. Her smile is not a mocking sort of smile, it's just a middling sort; amusement just on the edge of humor.

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