I was on the phone to Marcy giving her an update that she could announce to the employees there to settle nerves and to post on our security web site.
All the media was in overdrive; one of the liberal media was posting social media musings as news and they were running with all the Facebook and twitter video they could find. The cell phone videos were getting front page air time. One site was even broadcasting that the causalities were in the hundreds.
Len Zimmerman and Sherman were standing in front of me when I ended the call.
“Eric is waiting on a call from you, he is airborne on his way,” Len said.
“He is next on my list. You are the senior Fed on site; as soon as you get command control established of the site, I am turning the site over to you. In an hour all my out of town people are packing up their toys and going home; the Bombardier is on its way to pick them up,” I said.
“Bradberry of East Coast will pick up all the scanners tomorrow. They will be here at 8AM,” I said.
“I am sure Eric wants a news conference with you,” Len replied.
“Oh joy. There should be plenty of time for that before I leave,” I replied.
Just then the guards at the East entrance requested a supervisor, “The mayor is here demanding unlimited access.”
“I’m on my way,” I replied as Len, Sherman and I walked that way.
When we got to the stopped vehicles at the gate a very angry mayor got in my face.
“I’m the Mayor and I demand access to the grounds.”
“The grounds have not been deemed safe yet; we are trying to get people out of here, not let more people in to be in the way. You will have to wait,” I replied.
In a much louder voice, almost a scream, “I’m Mayor Daharr and I demand!”
I had my feet set expecting it to get ugly and promptly threw him over the hood of his official car like a bag of trash.
I leaped over the hood after him; when he stopped rolling, I was there.
Andy and Len stopped his two guards, “You do not want any part of that,” Andy told them.
I picked him up by the collar of his fancy jacket and slammed him face down on the hood of his car NCIS style as hard as I could, bending the hood and leaving blood. Then I handcuffed him in not too gentle fashion.
With that done I yanked him upright and pointed him in the direction, “Your son Diya brought those two suicide bombers here and let them out. He did the same thing with two on the other side of the building.”
Turning him in the direction of the still burning cars, “Diya was back there with those suicide car bombers when they made their run for the building.”
“Diya tried to make a run for it after all of that. I guess he only sends people to their deaths and is not the martyr type. Diya was in that SUV over there; he may be dead by now,” I said.
As I walked him around the front of the car towards Len, “I suspect the federal charges against you are going to be terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, financial aid to a terrorist group and a harboring a terrorist.”
“Meet Len Zimmerman DHS,” as I shoved him at Len. “Get him out of my sight before I slit his throat and watch him bleed out just for shits and giggles.”
Ching Lee and I walked towards the rear of the field house to see what damage had been done there. It was a lot better than I thought it would be. There was some surface damage to the block work but no completely missing sections.
I saw no reason the building could not continue to be used. But I was sure a structural engineer would be needed to make that decision. Obviously the basketball tournament was over for today. I assumed there would be a lot of things for the officials to sort out before it was rescheduled.
All the people who still had usable cars – that could get to them – were leaving. We walked towards the mass of fire equipment that was starting to get control of the mess. They had given up on water and were now using heavy foam to put out the burning rubber and plastic.
It looked like there were over a hundred cars that had either burned out or were burning. If either of those SUVs had hit the building it would have been catastrophic. I did not even want to think about it if both had hit the building; it probably would have brought most of the building down.
We had been lucky that it was in-between games; if they had been able to stay on plan and hit the building during one of the two final games, the numbers would have been worse than 9-11.
Sherman had said in one of the brain storming sessions that over 10,000 tickets had been sold for the tournaments.
Ching Lee and I left the fire fighting to the professionals and went back to the security office, only to run into a fire storm and the two men in there were overwhelmed.
All those people who had lost cars or had damaged cars – and there were plenty that had debris damage – were looking for someone to pay. JBG was not responsible and we had that in writing as part of our contract.
I was sure the college was going to say they were not responsible. In other words, call your insurance company.
The firefighters had gained the upper hand and were finding bodies in some of the burned out cars. The foam was doing the trick and they were inspecting what was left of the cars. The body count was at seventeen, with a lot of cars to go.
People who were just parking and still in their cars, those who had gotten out of their cars to walk to the field house, those who were waiting in their cars between games and in the blast area were likely all dead.
How far body parts were blown was anybodies guess. How many could have been blown under cars that were soon to be driven away?
“Andy, Sherman, Len – find me the person who is in command of all the firefighters here; I want to talk to him now!” I said into the mike as I was walking towards the mass of fire equipment.
“The command vehicle is parked by the tower truck; he should be in it. Ronald Smith is the name I remember,” Andy replied.
Ching Lee and I walked to the command vehicle to find Smith. It was a million dollar conversion to a million dollar truck; an over-grown rescue truck.
I opened the door without knocking and walked in, “I’m looking for the man in charge.”
“That would be me, I’m Fire Chief Ronald Smith. How may I help you?”
“I’m Roberta Jones, president of JBG, and this is Ching Lee Jones, executive vice-president in charge of college security.”
They had the area on a wide flat screen; the tower they had in the air had cameras as well as flood lights.
“I believe by looking at the blast area and the fact that you are now picking up bodies, that there may be body parts blown into the surrounding cars that were not damaged. Can you have your men inspect on and under those cars, looking for body parts?”
“People want to get to those cars and leave but if body parts are found, they are going to have to wait on a forensics team to release the cars. I don’t have people qualified or available to do that now,” I said.
“I have manpower now that the fires are nearly out. I will get some teams started on that; as they find things, they will use warning tape barricading the area,” he replied.
“By the way, we know who you are Ambassador Jones.” He pushed a button and the screen began playing the episode with the Mayor with audio; there had been a TV crew with the Mayor that I had chosen to ignore, when it finished he asked.
“You didn’t really have anything to cut his throat and let that piece of shit mayor bleed out, did you?”
I opened my jacket – left side first – to expose my Glock then the other side and pulled my combat knife that I always carried from the sheath.
“Hey Rob, you win the pool, don’t none of you guys get dumb and piss this woman off,” he said and then started giving orders.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.