Authors: G. Allen Mercer
WORST CASE SCENARIO
G. Allen Mercer
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
2015 G. Allen Mercer
Orb of Time Books
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, scanning, recording, or otherwise, except to quote on blogs or reviews without the expressed written permission of the author. Any unauthorized reproduction of this work is punishable by law. Permission can be requested at: www.GAllenMercer.com
Cover design and text by G. Allen Mercer
If the State knows what’s best for you, why would you have a reason to question it?
About the Author
In less than four days, American society had been brought to a screeching halt. What was normal became alien. What was obscene became the norm. Societal fabric, stitched together by decades of societal evolution was being shredded as desperate families searched for food, water and the chance to survive.
Overnight, America had become a third world country, with no power, no water, no transportation and a handicapped government. A majority of the stateside military was missing, or presumed dead after falling victim to the initial attack.
Hours after the EMP, the Chinese launched a second wave attack targeting America’s military bases. Using cruse missiles launched from cargo ships docked in American ports, they delivered thousands of rounds of deadly gas; thus knocking America’s military to its knees.
In the civilian world, children asked their parents, that is, if their parents were still alive, why life had changed so much? Why couldn’t they go to school? Why couldn’t they play with their friends? Why do you cry all of the time?
What most American’s didn’t know is that the Chinese could have controlled America through the leveraging of their debt. They could have demanded that the U.S. make good on all debt owed. It would have been clean, legal and would have collapsed the American financial system. But, the Chinese selected a more sinister path. They were not interested in bankrupting their largest customer they were interested in more.
The Chinese were already positioning themselves to be the dominant currency traded in the world. Their banks offered better rates than America, their laws were less cumbersome than America, and their motivation to dominate was far superior to the politically correct will of America. All ingredients that would normally make a rising superpower wait for the outcome, but China was different. They asked themselves why should they only rule financially, when they could rule financially
In short, China wanted America’s resources to feed its own growth. China was a monster, and monsters have great appetites. If they controlled America’s financial resources, and thus the world’s banking systems,
, they controlled the oil reserves that sat under the USA and Canada, they would have no equal.
This was about to be the age of the new China…the new dynasty of the people. The enlightened age that Mao dreamed of…the world dominance of China. The world dominance of the State!
But before this could happen, one man had to decide if he loved someone enough to stop the attack.
90 Minutes Before the Attack on America
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Harry Ming walked out of the Varsity, a greasy Atlanta iconic restaurant, across the interstate connector from Georgia Tech. He sipped on an FO, a frozen sweet drink that he had grown to enjoy as a master’s student at Tech. With one more glance back at his university, he pulled the straps of his backpack tight and headed for the North Avenue MARTA subway station. He was relatively sure that no one knew that he was carrying the radio detonator to a nuclear bomb in his backpack.
Ming had been in the US for 18 months under the guise of a student visa. Georgia Tech had welcomed him as a promising physics graduate from the University in Beijing.
In fact, Tech had welcomed a number of Chinese students into their advanced engineering and science programs from the Beijing school. For Tech, it showed their diversity by continuing to allow foreign students into the school. The caliber of students admitted from outside of the US, not just from China, was stellar. Only the brightest of the brightest made the cut to attend the South’s premier Engineering and Technical school; and Harry Ming, was unquestionably one of the brightest of the bright.
“Harry, you can’t study all of the time,” the dark haired American girl said, sitting on his bed in the house that Harry and eight other Chinese students rented.
Harry liked the girl, June. She was different from the girls that he knew from his homeland, but not so different that she was alien to him. He nodded his head and smiled into the class notes on his desk.
“Let’s go to the park,” she insisted, speaking the simplified version of Chinese.
One of the reasons that Harry liked her was for that reason. She was half Chinese, and actually spoke the language with an
neutral dialect. If anything, there was a hint of a Shanghai accent on her voice. Her mother had been from the Shandong Province, which explained the accent. It wasn’t Beijing, but he could live with that.
“I really have to prepare for this experiment,” Harry countered, weakly.
“But it’s spring, and everything is so pretty!” She put her chin in her hands and opened her eyes as wide as she could.
“You look like a puppy,” he said, looking back over his shoulder at her.
“Please…” she begged, adding a few long blinks.
“Yes, okay,” he relented. “If you insist.”
“Yea,” she said, jumping off the bed. “What are you working on anyway?” she asked, now that she had successfully taken him away from his concentration.
“It’s a radiation experiment,” he simply said, moving to slide on his shoes.
“Do you get to work with the test reactor again?”
“Yes,” he said, standing up. “But, if we are going to the park, then we will not talk about my work.”
She nodded and reached for his hand as they left the room.
That had been ten months ago when their relationship was new and disposable. Now, he did not think the same way. He was conflicted; something that he had been trained to avoid. But his training was failing him. He was going to meet her one final time and see if she was really willing to leave with him; she was the only person that could possibly change his mind.
Ming had chosen the restaurant at the top of the Peachtree Plaza hotel; the restaurant rotated on the top floor of the 73-story glass and steel structure. The view from the restaurant was unequaled in the South’s crown jewel city. He had made a reservation for one of the window tables for two. In the hour that he had left, he thought that they would be able to see the entire city for one last time as their table moved past the windows and the millions of lives that were on the other side.
After taking his seat at the table, Ming looked over at the bar. The bar was the example of the excess that Americans expect. The women dressed in ways that would never be accepted by the State. The men acted in ways that would disgrace the State, and that’s when he saw her.
June was sitting at the bar. She looked comfortable and confident, attributes that she rarely revealed. She wore a casual skirt that stopped just above the knees. The skirt was covered in a black and white flower design. Her top was sheer white, and her black shiny hair was down, covering her shoulders like a shawl. She never wore her hair down. Harry bit his lip, she was stunning, and a hint of doubt churned in the pit of his stomach. He pushed the doubt down and tried to will her to look at him from across the room. His heart wanted her to run.
June studied the faces of the people at the bar; she had carefully watched the area fill up with people. She had watched them order drinks and even watched some of the couples move off to more private areas of the bar to talk in private. She had been on point with this particular meeting with Harry for the better part of two hours. Every person in the bar and restaurant was either FBI or CIA, and she was the field agent in charge.
For the last three hours she had received steady radio reports on Harry Ming’s activity. She knew he had just finished a chilidog and FO at the Varsity. She knew that agents had retrieved the discarded beverage cup from the trash receptacle at the MARTA station. She knew that Harry had SKYPED with his mother in China at 8:05 this morning. She knew that techies in DC were slicing the digital conversation apart looking for clues.
She thought she knew what this meeting was about, and thinking you know something and the certainty that you know something was the major difference.
The joint taskforce of FBI and CIA had been working for nearly 30 months on the risk of a Chinese attack. Earlier this week, most of the country’s shipping ports had been hacked. The hacker had such a high level of encryption that the computer geeks knew right off the bat that it was state sponsored terrorism. She allowed herself a small smile at the term, ‘computer geeks.’ She was as much a computer hack as her ‘real life’ boyfriend, who was one of the computer geek experts on the task force. She wished he could be here for the take down, but he had been sent on a field mission to work on the shipping port hack job.
At the end of the day, the threat level to the country was as high as it had been in years. The threat chatter had peaked at the same time of Ming’s SKYPE meeting with his mother. The working model was that America was about to be attacked with a series of dirty bombs.
The term dirty bomb was a catchall. A dirty bomb was usually a sizeable charge filled with radioactive material, but none of the teams working on the case had discovered the scope of the size of the actual bombs in question. They knew there were multiple bombs, but they had no idea of the amount of collateral damage they could inflict. The FBI had run hundreds of scenarios on the damage, and everything pointed to fact that China was planning something beyond the scope of reason…she hoped they were wrong.
Based on her assessment and the rise in threatening chatter, the brass in DC had decided that the threat to the country was too great, and they took their case directly to the President of the United States. The Commander and Chief had personally authorized her take down mission, as well as similar operations in Washington, New York and Chicago. She prayed that they would all be as successful as her mission was about to go.
“June, he’s set, and we are all a GO,” a voice whispered to her from an earpiece buried deep in her left ear. She always felt exposed with the two-way ‘wire,’ so, she opted to wear her hair down, helped to hide the device and calm her paranoia.
With an innocent pivot of her head, June met the hopeful gaze of Harry Ming, possibly the most dangerous terrorist to ever step foot on the soil of the United States of America.
“Go,” she responded, her lips hardly moved. Her face evolved into a beautiful college student smile.
Harry watched her walk across the room. She was clumsy in the manner of which she walked and bumped into at least one person. He could see that she was wearing high heels, something that he had never seen her wear. With a hand to her mouth, she apologized to the man, who was not phased by the young Asian girl’s awkwardness.
Harry Ming stood once she reached the table and moved to pull the chair out for her to take a seat.
“June, you look beautiful,” he said, his voice scratchy.
“Thanks, but, Harry, we can’t eat here,” she said, she looked around as if to take the experience in and remember every detail of Atlanta’s highest elevated restaurant.
Harry took his seat and watched her look around. He allowed himself a second to look around also. He then glanced at his watch, noting that he didn’t have much time, and he needed to make a decision.
“Today, we can,” he said softly. He reached to take a sip of water from a glass on the table and fought to stop his hand from shaking. Putting the glass down, he clanked the small vase of flowers in the middle of the table.
“Harry, are you okay?” she asked, leaning across the table. She reached out to put her hand on his. The touch had its desired effect, and he tried to stop the shaking. But he couldn’t, and pulled his hand back into his lap and straightened his back to center himself. Out of concern, he let the same hand drop to the backpack that was securely between his feet under the table.
“He’s reaching for something under the table,” a voice whispered in June’s ear.
June opened her mouth to say something, and then he pulled his hand back up to the table and checked his watch. He didn’t have much time left. He took a deep breath, checked his watch again and knew that there was no turning back; his time window was now open and he had less than 10 minutes to follow his orders. He needed to convince her to leave with him. He needed to convince her to run away. He looked around at the restaurant. It had been a stupid idea to suggest the restaurant, he had nowhere to run except down.
“Do you remember when we had the discussion about leaving the world behind?” his voice shook as much as his hands. He swallowed hard to keep his chilidog down.
June nodded. “Of course,” she said. “I will finish school and you will finish your degree and we can pick a country that could use your help and move there. No more State, no more USA government,” her voice dropped to a whisper when she said
She had played her part as a disgruntled, idealistic student for the last several months; all music to the ears of Harry Ming. She met his eyes, something that she had been avoiding, letting him think that he was the dominant one in the relationship.
Ming nodded, and wiped his arm across his forehead. June could see that he was sweating.
“Would you be willing to go?” Ming’s voice dropped, but he escalated his intensity. “To go now. Away with me. To run away, forever.” He produced his phone and thumbed to an app.
“He’s getting agitated, we’re moving in,” the voice in her ear said. She glanced up from what Ming was doing as if to say, ‘no,’ to the voice in her ear.
Harry found the app and then held the phone out so that she could see what he had done. It was a digital boarding pass for a Delta flight to Bogota, Columbia.
June thought for a second. Ming was exposing a weakness in following through with his plan. She could play to the weakness. She didn’t need authorization; her team would take him down before he left the country, she just needed to learn where the bomb was hidden.
“Increase 20%,” the voice in her ear said. The order was for the takedown team to close the space between where they were stationed around the restaurant, and their target by 20% of the distance.
June saw one of the ‘patrons’ move a few feet into the dining area, and away from the bar. A waiter set a tray down on a table a few feet behind Ming and pretended to check his order book. She needed her team to back off.
“I don’t know, Harry. Now?” She stalled. Her eyes left his for an instant of a faction. She was drawn to how close two of the agents were getting. She didn’t need them to hover. Like a smoldering fire, the last thing they needed to do was to limit the amount of air the fire needs to grow.
Ming was not stupid, and already had a healthy dose of paranoia registering with what he was about to do. He already knew that his biggest mistake was to make the reservations for the flight on line. His handlers had to have known about it, but it was a risk that he was willing to take. After all, he was the only one that could activate and detonate the atomic weapon. He pocketed the phone and notice June’s eyes look beyond him with a tinge of concern.
June caught his look, and then watched as he turned to look at where she was looking. It was at that point that he noticed that the waiter she had been looking at had let his coat fall open, revealing the side arm strapped to his chest.
Ming reacted before June could stop him. He jumped up, sending the chair flying backwards and the small table for two into June’s lap. In the same motion, he grabbed the backpack and slung it onto his shoulders as quickly as a college student that does it everyday.