|Tor closed his eyes rolling a stylus between his fingers. He forced his attention back to the display still showing live footage from a field helmet cam. "Numbers?" A voice called out.
"Sir, 35 confirmed missing 200 injured, 70 critical, and 125 dead or black carded," came the answer. "It wasn't the generator, either. Data is still coming in. It appears to have been a small nuclear device. Ground zero was most likely the underground computer core. The dome contained the explosion but collapsed. We've begun to evacuate the primary area and have tested down wind. Right now the problem appears isolated." A red suited glove took a data sheet handed to him. The cam swept across the scene.
Ash danced down from the sky while smoke still rose from the University's Hyperspace Testing lab. Once an emerald jewel on the campus grounds, the dome of the facility now was mangled and melted around a crater of rubble. Disaster Response Teams in their yellow containment suits swarmed the area. Some sprayed foam, while others scrambled across the debris field taking readings. On the edges of the chaos people were being treated by medics and evacuated to hospitals. Further in, nothing moved but the smoke and ash until rays of light cut through the turmoil.
Tor could almost feel the ripples of hope that went through the searchers as the first pod emerged from the crater. The Pod touched down and two orange suited persons riding on the side stepped off. "We stumbled on her inside what was left of the field generator. The shielding appears to have protected her from the worse of the explosion."
The other added, "She is the only one we found still alive." He placed his hand on one side of the pod. "It's...there's not much left down there, you'll need a recovery team." he added in a hard voice. Tor watched as the medics rushed to the pod housing the survivor.
"It's hot," said the first signaling for a decontamination team.
"She's fried," said one of the orange suited rescuers. The medic was talking as the pod sped away. "How in the hell did she survive the blast?"
The two rescuers shrugged their shoulders. "Luckiest damn person ever if she lives."
Tor paused the live feed. His eyes skimmed his data pad's text: "Uniting and Strengthening Earth by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Acts." With a flourish he signed his name across the screen. His pen stopped but he didn't lift it to enter his signature. Tor wet his lips and looked up at the people gathered before his desk, "To those who would scare peace loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics aid terrorists for they erode our unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends." President Tor's eyes swept across his advisors lingering here and there. He lifted his pen and the document transmitted.
Attribution note: "To those who would scare peace loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics aid terrorists for they erode our unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends." Attorney General John Ashcroft 2001 Bush Administration.
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