The Galactic Trade Center rose over Washington DC like a glittering finger. Reaching two miles in the air, it shone with golden light. Viewable from many klicks away, it was the center of financial activities for the entire Alliance. A beacon of hope and stability, its very existence lead people to have confidence in their government.
Built with lots of glass and metal, it glittered day and night. Sitting on the banks of the Anacostia River, it was the crown jewel in the Alliance’s capital. A complex of seven buildings, five smaller buildings were built around the twin towers. Surrounding the twin towers in a circle, the entire complex took up nearly a square klick of real estate.
The twin towers were the truly magnificent spectacle of them all. Reaching up into the very clouds themselves, they spoke of affluence and power. When people thought of the economic power of the Alliance, the twin towers were what came to mind. It was too bad they only had hours left to live.
Six of them approached the complex on foot. Clad in all black, they blended into the surroundings. Leading the way was Team Leader. Beneath the black clothing and hood, was a blonde haired woman. Intelligent to a fault, she knew that men found her sexually attractive, and she used that to her advantage. In her line of work, she reflected, if a man was busy looking you over, he wasn’t prepared to prevent you from killing him.
She felt the explosives tapping against her hip as she moved. Harmless without the detonator implanted, they gave her a sense of security to her mission. If all else failed, she was to use it to avoid capture. There was no way; she told herself, that the truth of this mission could ever emerge.
They slipped down an empty ally between several buildings. Behind her, the rest of the team followed in a line. Each of them had been armed with their explosives, a silenced machine gun and their knife. Everything was to be by the numbers; get in, get out and don’t get caught.
Licking her lips, she contemplated the honor she felt in being selected to lead the mission. She alone, from all the people that Johansson had to choose from, had been good enough to lead the team. For her, it was something that was a dream come true, but she would never tell anyone that.
From the very first time she had heard of the movement, she had been hooked. Sent by Reyes to infiltrate it, she had instead become a follower. However, knowing her original mission still existed, she had fed the former Chief false information about their movements.
Fortunately for her, he had never caught on before his retirement.
Which was a good thing for me, she thought, or he would have had me killed for treason!
Many of the things that Carver spoke of she agreed with. Yes, it had been too long since Earth had received her fair share of respect. All of mankind had been created here, yet as he had colonized, man had forgotten that fact. Decentralizing their power, and creating individual governments, they had watered down Earth’s power and that had to stop.
The need for “pure bred” earth citizens to rule the galaxy had come, Carver had said. A need for a pure citizenship, one that was one with the Earth and its life force was needed. However, the Alliance had become a vehicle for ruining the pure citizen. By taking away the authority of Earth, it had relegated the citizens to a lack of living room.
Stopping at the end of the ally, she held her hand up. A ground car appeared, the couple inside oblivious to the black-clad team as it passed. Smiling under her hood, Team Leader fought the urge to chuckle. Nothing could stop them from their mission, she thought, and they would finish it!
After she looked for another ground car, she led them across the street. Sprinting into the darkness across the street, the disappeared into the grass surrounding the buildings. She stopped her team and peered at the buildings for several seconds. It was time to take care of what they came to do, she told herself.
“Alpha team,” she said. “You will take buildings one and two. Beta team, buildings three and four are yours. I will take five with my wingman. Once we’re done with that, Alpha and Beta, you will plant your charges in building six. I will take building seven. Let’s do this by the numbers, people, and we will all get home in one piece, understand?”
A chorus of “Yes, sirs!” answered her. Turning her back to her team, she headed for her target. There most certainly would be security in the buildings, she mused, and they would be dead before the attack. Everything depended on razor-sharp timing and there were no opportunities for a second chance. Either it went right this time, or they died trying.
None of that was bothering Team Leader as she stepped into the light. Before her, the fifth building of the complex beckoned. Standing half a mile high, it was dwarfed by the main towers. However, taking it down was just as important to the plan. There couldn’t be one building left standing at the end of tomorrow morning for Carver’s plan to work.
She pulled her rifle off her shoulder and stepped through the revolving doors. An ornate lobby greeted her, marble tiled floors stretching off to the lifts. A gold chandelier hung over her head, making a part of her feel regret for destroying such a finely designed building.
Crushing the guilt down, she reminded herself of all the abuses Earth had endured. Being made the Capital of the Alliance still didn’t give it enough power. Having only three votes in the Senate, it was capable of being overridden anytime a vote came up. To her, that was unacceptable! If Earth was to continue as the cradle of humanity, it needed to be the center of all power.
She approached the lift, knowing that it was the only way she could reach the floor necessary. There would be only a handful of guards in the entire building, she reminded herself. The number might be as small as three, and no one was at the front desk, which meant they were all doing rounds.
Nodding to her wingman, they pulled their combat knives out. With a press of a finger, they waited for the lift to arrive. If luck were on their side, she thought, then there wouldn’t be a guard onboard. However, if there was…then it was going to be the end of his life.
The lift came to a stop, and she raised her knife to the ready. As the doors slid aside, she caught the glimpse of a guard inside. He saw her and his mouth dropped in surprise before he reached for his pistol.
That momentary lack of movement saved her life, and doomed his. Moving with the speed of a cheetah, she slammed into him. Her wingman stepped in, and shut the door.
She slammed the unprepared guard against the wall, a hand covering his mouth. With a brutal jab, she stabbed him in the back. The blade of her knife penetrated his kidney, killing him instantly. Feeling his body slump against hers, she cursed, her breath coming in pants.
“There’s a storage closet on our floor,” she said. “We can stash the body there.”
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