A dirty bomb in Texas signalled the start of something big – it was followed by several suicide bombs in State Capitals. It was strange – half of them were claimed by the Radical Islamic Crusade or RISK, and the rest were being claimed by Angry White Everyman, or AWE, in retaliation. Troops had been mobilized where enough people had been killed, and they were sanctioned to do whatever was necessary to lock an area down and restore the appropriate command structure.
There was a lot of buzz around The Watchlist; Red Flags going up all over the place. They were getting all their ducks in a row to move on these people. Every single agent in the field was put on active status and ordered to go weapons hot in what was now a possible kill-zone.
Carson was in charge of rounding everyone up if possible, but he knew that he had this pressure bearing down upon him – that no loose ends were to be left. They were going to start wrapping everything up.
Carson was running his finger down the No-Fly List, comparing it to The Watchlist.
‘Daly, how many of these guys we do we have recent actionable intel on?’
‘About twenty percent of the list.’
‘What? You have to be kidding me – how can we have so little intel on people who are so high on the risk list?’
‘They scaled back the surveillance ops on people who hadn’t been seen to be active in 3 months.’
‘That was the cut-off? Jesus, and who signed off on that?’
‘The Deputy Director of The Agency.’
‘Christ, no wonder they call him The Accountant. Who is he trying to impress?’
‘Who do you think? The President, of course. All they talk about is budget cuts, and if there is anything The Accountant can do to ease his way into a senior position he’ll do it.’
‘Shimmying up a greasy pole.’
‘If that’s how you want to put it.’
‘So how many people have we currently managed to detain?’
‘None of them as yet.’
‘This gets worse and worse.’
‘It does – the rhetoric that preceded this action ramped up activity to unprecedented levels, and then we didn’t move quickly enough.’
‘The thing I don’t understand is that the White Supremacists and the Radical Islam adherents are spinning up at the same time – they usually cycle; it’s a weird break in the routine.’
‘Sure, like someone is coordinating this.’
‘Some agent provocateur; some black ops bullshit.’
‘You can’t talk with your friend and find out?’
‘Sure. First though – let’s try and get at least one person on this list into a cell. Sleep deprive some of their friends at the primo black sites if you have to, but we can’t let this go much further without some success.’
Carson’s phone rang.
‘You are persons of interest – you two; not us.’
And then something was triggered.