In the last installment, we met the ambitious Secretary of State, Susan Martin Conway. She is actually not modeled on one particular person, although in today’s political climate, I could see that association being made. Now that we’ve met her and have discovered a bit about her plans, the action is going to ramp up as we move close to the conclusion. Please enjoy this next installment.
Road Kill Part 18
Ben and I stared at the screen in disbelief. There were blueprints, schematics, and a date. It all pointed to the date at an event in a major stadium. This couldn’t be good.
“It looks like the target is in Miami. That’s the stadium where the Dolphins play,” Ben said. “It’s not football season, so that must be a concert or something.”
I did some searching of events on or around the date that was mentioned and found it was much worse. I turned my screen toward Ben.
“Holy crap. Well I guess that makes sense. An attack on an event like that would unify United States allies against a common enemy.”
What Ben was referring to was a two-day festival involving the fast-growing sport of soccer. On this day in Miami, there would be two days of matches between the U.S. and Israeli soccer teams. Both countries were putting together all-star teams to play each other in a show of unity and cultural exchange. The matches were set for September 10th and 11th and would include a match each day with star-studded concerts each night.
“If an attack happened during this event, Israel would do anything to retaliate and the U.S. would have no choice but to assist. Do you really think our own government would perpetrate an attack like this?” Ben asked.
Unfortunately, in my intelligence career, I had seen a number of corrupt leaders. Saddam Hussein was known to throw his enemies into wood chippers. Dictators have long used their citizens as human shields against attack. This behavior had never been proven in the United States. Sure, the conspiracy theories ran rampant, but this was the first time that there appeared to be irrefutable proof. We were missing two things, however, the mode of attack and the exact timing.
An attack of this nature would be highly emotional. Israel might not exist if not for the help of the United States. The fact that it does exist is also the main sticking point in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and both friendly and unfriendly Arab countries.
We needed to figure out how to stop this attack without and we needed to tie the Secretary of State to the plan. Among the plans to the stadium and the schedule of events for the two days of the soccer matches, we found a number of spec sheets for men and women of Middle Eastern descent.
“Why the hell are these spec sheets in here?” Ben asked. “The pictures look like mug shots.”
That’s precisely what they were. Ben was right. They were very specific mugshots. I pointed to a field at the bottom of each sheet which had the designation GTMO.
“These are Guantanamo prisoners? Why the hell would they be included in here?” Ben asked.
There was one way to find out. It took a simple hack into the DOJ prisoner database. It was common practice for intelligence analysts in The Mothership to hack into DOJ to get dirt on people under investigation.
I cross-referenced a few of the numbers against the database and wasn’t very shocked by what I found. Each of the prisoners had been identified as members of ISIS or ISIL, whatever the acronym of the day was for this highly organized and flexible terrorist group. These prisoners had another unifying quality. They were being held off the books. It’s true that I was able to find them on the DOJ database, but they each had a designation of UNDOC or undocumented. They simply didn’t exist as documented prisoners.
The general public and many politicians would have a field day if they knew about these prisoners. They were held to provide information and leverage. Ever since 9-11 these types of prisoners had a way of finding themselves to GTMO and other facilities for ‘special interrogation’ procedures. Not even the president knew the extent of it. Part of keeping it from him was to provide plausible deniability and the other part was that he didn’t want to see how the sausage was made. He would take his intelligence in a neat little summarized briefing, not in a blow-by-blow account.
Ben jumped to the same conclusion I did.
“These prisoners are going to be used to carry out the attack, aren’t they?” Ben asked. “If they use legitimate terrorists, it gives the attack even more believability. I don’t like this; Not at all.”
The next thing that I came across was a set of color charts. They showed an outline of the stadium with a small red dot under one of the end-zone bleacher sections. There were concentric circles of different colors radiating out from the red dot. The circles went from orange, immediately surrounding the dot, to blue, yellow, and white as they got further from the dot.
“Those look like damage zones,” Ben said. “I’ve seen them used with explosions to measure the level of damage or killing power.”
That was my thought as well. By the look of the circles, whatever the explosive was, it looked pretty substantial. The smallest circle covered nearly a third of the stadium with the other three stretching beyond the barrier of the structure to the surrounding area. If the stadium was even half-full, the death and destruction would be devastating.
One thing was clear, this was a big event. It was also clear that Ben and I could do little good from a boat 50 miles off the coast of Florida. We needed to get to Donovan and figure out what to do next. Any solution to this situation would need manpower and coordination beyond what the two of us were capable of. I picked up the phone and dialed the three-digit extension Donovan had given us in case we needed anything. I explained to the woman that we needed to speak to Donovan and was met with silence at first.
“Mr. Donovan said that if you asked for him, he would have difficulty connecting with you so as to not arouse suspicion. He has arranged for an alternate contact. He should be arriving soon.”
An alternate contact. I didn’t like the sound of this. What was Donovan pulling on us?
“Donovan is passing us off to someone else?” Ben said as I filled him in. “He is facing one of the biggest secret dirty deals in U.S. history and he’s passing us off to a handler? That’s unbelievable.”
We soon heard the sound of a chopper as it approached the boat. We could see the Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk, the helicopter typically used by the Coast Guard preparing to land on the deck. It’s a versatile multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter used for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions. It was out of view as it landed on the deck and soon took off again after presumably letting off its passenger.
“That must be our handler coming in to pat us on the head and give us a cookie,” Ben said.
He was probably right. I was beginning to question my commitment to this mission. Donovan had built us up. He had played on my patriotism and asked me to risk my life for something important. Then he couldn’t bother to stay involved as we did our job.
The door to the room started to open. I was ready to unload on whoever entered. That is, until I saw who it was.