A homegrown terrorist rallies several terrorist organizations and convinces them to carry out a meticulous plan. The goal is to rid the country of so-called evil by targeting specific people by location. Using the latest in powerful, military-grade explosives, they set off coordinated blasts at three of the nation’s crowded bus terminals. Hundreds are killed. Fear sweeps the nation. Through five lead characters we see how their lives are disrupted by the terror campaign. Their worlds merge and intersect because of this frightening experience.
It was too hot in the small San Francisco apartment, but the bomb maker hardly noticed. The months of training, planning and preparation were almost over. He had been looking forward to this day…when it would all come together. In his excitement, he waited too long to get started on the final preparations and he was going to have to rush completing his pipe bomb, but he was sure it would work. Building explosive devices was what he did best. He had gone through months of training with the organization on a remote vineyard far outside city limits just for that purpose.
The items on the table in front of him were all familiar. Soon, they would become a sophisticated piece of work that would blow plums of black smoke into the sky. The steel pipe, the lead wires, the fuse, and even the C-4 looked harmless enough. Properly assembled, the simple items would kill many. The numbers weren’t even as important as the exact targets. He wasn’t privy to the details within the plan but he knew if everything went as it was supposed to go, he would be moving up in the organization.
He picked up the long wooden rod and packed the plastique into the pipe. He had to make sure everything was tight and that no air pockets remained. He had already placed the timer and detonator inside and once the brass caps were in place on either end of the pipe, the bomb looked compact and professional. He had already succeeded. Now it was time to take the last step.
He turned the small bomb over in his hands, a light smile on his face. Things were going to work out according to the plan that had been handed down to them. He grabbed a canvas backpack and unzipped it next to the foot long pipe.
Inside were a few paperback books and pages from yesterday’s Examiner. He gently placed the bomb inside the bag, hiding it under the books and papers. If anyone caught a quick glance inside the bag, nothing would seem out of the ordinary.
Part of the plan was finished. Now, he had to complete the final step…getting the bomb to the target. He didn’t bother worrying about cleaning up the incriminating evidence he was leaving behind. He had worn gloves while he had worked on the bomb over the last few days and anything the authorities found would simply do them no good.
As he swung the bag onto his back, he began to say his prayers. He wasn’t even sure he believed in God anymore, but with a bomb strapped to his back, there was no reason not to pray.
He pushed open the flimsy wooden apartment door, letting it slam shut behind him. He then pulled his phone out of his pocket in a fluid motion and entered the text message code he had received along with his assignment. Now, the others would know he had completed his part of the plan.
The bomb was ready and so was he. It was time.
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