The sun had created a false dawn and the Nevada desert responded with brilliant colors and shades, constantly shifting, changing, creating new landscapes from the old as sunlight began to peek over the horizon.
Suddenly, the sky exploded, lighting up with all the colors of the spectrum, billowing up and out, boiling and bubbling and turning the desert into a vast canvas of colorful turmoil. Then the sound wave hit, and all in attendance fl inched. Soon, it was over and the desert once again became quiet.
Three generals, all in uniform with their caps held under their arms, stood side by side in the small bunker, buried two stories beneath the Nevada desert. Behind them, a diminutive man in c ivilian clothes sat perched on a stool against the back wall, his small hands folded across his knees as if he were there to watch a recital.
Four scientists in white lab coats sat at computer stations in front of the generals. All were watching through a Plexiglas blast shield, tinted slightly green.
The three generals had donned dark glasses against the blast, though they had been assured it would not be as overpoweringly bright as an atomic explosion, nor would there be any radiation. The generals decide d to err on the side of prudence. The little man in the back of the room eschewed the dark glasses, and concentrated his black eyes on the scene through the blast shield.
For several moments, no one spoke, the scientists busy with their computer programs, and the generals seemingly stunned. Only the little man in the back of the room seemed nonplussed by the events. The only reaction he showed was his dark eyes getting wider as he continued to stare out into the desert.
One of the scientists spoke as he stu died his computer screen. "Direct hit," he said without looking around. "The target drone was intercepted at thirty thousand feet and has been..." he turned to look up at them, "...vaporized."
The generals stared straight ahead. The senior of the three was the first to speak.
"Gentlemen," he said, turning and nodding to the little man in the back, "we need to talk."
He marched out of the room, followed by the generals and the dark little man, who scurried along behind them.
The lead scientist looked at the others and shrugged. "Well, what the hell," he said, turning back to his computer.
Six Months Later...
Saturday, December 29
8:00 EM. EST
"You can smell the power in this town," M . Spencer Howell, the pres ident-