"So what did you have in mind?"
"The locks on the Chicago River. Now that they've made collecting rain illegal, nothing's free. Look, I can sabotage the locks remotely, freeze them open, but we're not sure what would happen then. Ferd said you'd know."
"I do. That's because it's already happened. Building those locks unleashed ecological havoc on both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basin. What arrogance! When the Army Corps of Engineers reversed the Chicago River and made it flow into the Des Plaines instead of Lake Michigan, those idiots connected two watersheds that should have remained isolated from one another. Invasive species flooded through in both directions, and it took the better part of a century to sort it all out. No. Please. That's a terrible idea."
Eshana felt broken. "But we've got to do something!" she pleaded.
"Absolutely," he said, the bile rising in his voice. "We do. Just not that."
He was quiet for a moment. When he spoke it was as if he'd just had an epiphany. "I'll tell you what then: shut down the Daley Transshipment Center."
"The Daley Center?" Simon J asked. "Why that?"
"Because it's a key to their power. Have you read much about military history? The Bosphorus?" With some help from the soldiers, he explained that because the Istanbul Strait was a choke point in the trade routes between Europe and Asia, it was of immense strategic and economic importance. Wars were fought over it. The Roman Emperor Constantine built his capital city there. In modern terminology, it was a profit center, a big one, because whoever owned it could charge a toll, just like the Basel banking consortium that owned the Daley Center did. "If we shut that down," he said, "we'll damn well have their attention."
"Sure, " Eshana said, "and then they'll swat us like flies."
"They'll never get the chance," Quince said calmly, "not if that's just the opening salvo in the war."
"What war?" Ferd said.
"The one were about to start. Tell me something," Eshana, "how much of the tech that keeps us all slaves to Basel and the governments they control is automated?"
"Just about all of it. Why?"
"And whose job is it to make sure all of the equipment operates correctly?"
"Wage-slaves like me. Sys-admins. Techs of various kinds."