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Short Story: "Incident on Concourse B"

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"What do you suppose the president is going to do?"

Frannie took a deep breath. "I know what the rumors say."

"Martial Law?"

"Bush's old Presidential Directive's been burning a hole in his pocket. He's been itching for an excuse."

"That's all we need." Len indicated the laptop. "Your big email in yet?"

She took a closer look. "Seems so. I don't recognize the sender, though."

"It'll have to wait. President's on air."

They'd already gotten comfortable on the couch by the time he was ready to speak.

"Good evening. Earlier today, the facial recognition system that monitors security video at the nation's airports alerted agents of the Transportation Security Administration at Cincinnati International Airport to matches in the Department of Homeland Security's terror suspect database. Following established protocol, TSA attempted to detain these individuals in order to confirm the match. As you may have heard, the suspects bolted, and Homeland Security snipers were forced to fire at them."

Len looked a question at Frannie. "Forced? The suspects had weapons?"

"It is believed that the terrorists killed this morning in Cincinnati were part of a cell that intended to conduct an attack on that airport, as part of a coordinated plan to cripple the nation's transportation system. In order to safeguard the safety of all citizens, I have therefore declared all commercial airports to be essential federal facilities. This enables the Department of Homeland Security to extend complete control over this critical part of our national infrastructure. Furthermore, as of nine o'clock eastern time tonight, I am imposing Martial Law across the country. This state will continue until all of the terrorists involved in this scheme to take over the airspace over the US have been caught or killed. In the meantime, the White House, in accordance with National Security Directive 51, will take control of all government affairs. Members of congress are encouraged to use ground transport to return to their home states, and to use this time to help their constituents through this time of national peril."

Len snorted. "I'm glad you asked me to pick up some canned goods. There's no telling how long this might last. So now what?"

"Looks like we'll be here for a while, so I might as well see what that message was." She got the laptop, then returned to her seat and plugged it back in. "Hmmm. It's video mail. Forwarded from my cell phone account. Nice of them to have that option. Only thing is, I don't recognize the sender."

"Well, let's have a look-see."

Frannie turned the laptop so they could both see the screen, and opened the attached video.

A young man looked out from the small window, an arm's-length view from a camera-phone. "Hi Ned. It's Larry. I hope I remembered your cell number correctly."

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Ever since I learned to speak binary on a DIGIAC 3080 training computer, I've been involved with tech in one way or another, but there was always another part of me off exploring ideas and writing about them. Halfway to a BS in Space Technology at (more...)
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