the sheared SUV. “She don’t look so good,” one of them commented. “Are you sure you want to be moving her?”
    “We don’t have a choice,” replied Marcy. “If we don’t get her to help soon, she’s going to die.”
    “You’re the boss,” said the other man as he waved his buddy to the rear of the litter while he grabbed the handles near Amanda’s head.
    “Gently now, fellas,” said Fiore. “On three. Ready? One. Two. Three.”
    The men delicately lifted the litter as Tim and Marcy took up security positions on either side.
    Looking down again at the young woman who lay unconscious on the litter, one of the men remarked, “Hey, is this who I think it is?”
    Marcy was about to respond, when there came the sound of groaning metal followed by cries of terror. The group turned to see the number seven subway train on the upper deck behind them teetering on the edge of an enormous blast hole that revealed the river below and sky above.
    A moment later, there was the horrible sound of metal scraping on metal as subway cars tumbled one after the other through the hole on the upper deck, straight down through the hole on the vehicle level and then plunged toward the East River below. It was one of the most horrific sights any of them had ever seen.
    As if that wasn’t bad enough, suddenly, the bridge beneath their feet began to shake violently. Large pieces of metal buckled and yawed as the structure prepared to meet its watery death.
    Not a man to mince words, Tim Fiore looked at his group and yelled, “Run!”

    T his is a real bad time to be asking me for favors,” Stan Caldwell, the exhausted forty-two-year-old deputy director of the FBI, said into the phone.
    “Who’s asking for favors?” replied Gary Lawlor, who had been both Caldwell’s mentor and his predecessor before moving over to DHS and the Office of International Investigative Assistance to head its covert counterterrorism initiative known as the Apex Project. “I’m asking you to do your job.”
    “I am doing my job, and I’m up to my eyebrows in shit right now. Do you have any idea what the preliminary death toll is coming out of New York City?”
    “It’s not good. I know. I’ve been getting the same reports you have.”
    “You’re goddamn right it’s not good.”
    “Stan, I’m not trying to make more work for you,” he said from his office across town, “but there are a couple of things here that don’t make sense, and I need you or somebody in your office to get to the bottom of it for me right now.”
    “There’s nothing to get to the bottom of. Whoever your guy talked to at the JTTF office in New York is wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    “Don’t bullshit me, Stan. We’ve got too much history together. I want to know what the DIA’s role is in all of this. Why were they posing as JTTF agents for Sayed Jamal’s handoff?”
    “Gary, I’m going to tell you one more time, and then I’ve gotta get back to my desk in the SIOC. The men your agent worked with in upstate New York are JTTF, plain and simple. Whoever pegged them as DIA is wrong. Tell your man that if he wants to help out in Manhattan, I suggest he grab a hard hat, attach himself to a search-and-rescue team, and start digging.” With that, Caldwell hung up the phone.
    “Did he buy it?” asked FBI Director Martin Sorce.
    “I don’t think so. Especially since he had to leave four messages over here before I called him back.”
    Sorce turned to the other man in the room and said, “What should we do now?”
    From behind his frameless glasses, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s chief of staff, Timothy Bedford, fixed the two FBI men with a steady gaze and replied, “Nothing. We’ll handle it from here.”
    As Bedford stood up to leave he added, “And, gentlemen, please remember the national security implications of this issue. As far as anyone is concerned, our meeting never took place.”
    Once Bedford had left the

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