Agent Troy Sanders burst from his chair, sending it careening backward, ricocheting off the desk behind his. “Holy shit,” he blurted. Eyes wide, mind struggling to comprehend what he’d just read. Waiting for the email to finish printing. Feet pattering, swaying around like a little boy doing the pee dance. “Come on, come on,” snapping his fingers. Rushing the inanimate object when the document finished. “Thank you,” snatching it from the printer tray.

Agent Sanders shoved the still warm paper into a manilla envelope. He needed to alert his bosses and fast. Throwing open the office doors, sliding into a long tiled hallway, breaking into a sprint.

Rounding a corner at full speed, crashing hard into the adjacent wall, driving his left shoulder into the drywall, caving it in before bouncing off it. Wining, rubbing his shoulder, as he ran, making sure the envelope was still in hand.

Seeing another corner fast approaching, suit jacket fluttering behind as he raced down the empty corridor. Agent Sanders pumped the brakes pulling up in an attempt to slow himself. Not wanting a repeat of the corner, he took at this speed. But his worn dress shoes caused him to skid around the bend, just tapping the wall. Pushing off, course correcting, he barreled into an unsuspecting janitor, cleaning the floor knocking him to the ground.

“Sorry.” Agent Sanders shouted back at the startled man who was glowering at him as he pawed for his glasses. There was no time to help him up.

The Secretary needed to hear this information. Turning the last of the hallways. Screeching to halt outside of the Secretary’s office. Agent Sanders could tell there was someone still inside through the frosted glass. There was light on inside. The Secretary was his bosses, bosses, boss. However, he was the only high-ranking official still in the building, thankfully.

Henry Smith, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Agent Sanders fixed his jacket and hair before knocking.

“Enter,” came a gravelly voice. Agent Sanders timidly opened the door peeking inside. “Well, enter.” The man behind the desk gave off an intimidating vibe. A veteran of multiple wars and recipient of two Distinguished Service Crosses. He had only just been appointed Secretary of DHS three weeks prior.

“Sir, I…I”

“Son, collect your breath,” seeing that the young agent was clearly out of breath. “Who are you?”

“Agent Sanders, Troy Sanders, sir,” he said, calming himself as he approached the desk. “I know I am breaking the chain of command here.” Bringing up the folder for Secretary Smith to see.

“Well then, that must be might important, right,” Secretary Smith responded, indicating the file. “Hand it over then.” Agent Sanders handed the folder of documents over. “What exactly am I looking at here, son?” Taking out a pair of glasses from his shirt pocket.

“Well, sir. I believe that there is a terrorist attack coming, eminently.”

“Coming where?”


Secretary Smith looked up from the documents. Face suggesting a mixture of disbelief and concern.

“What makes you say that, son?”

“That top page,” pointing out the email he’d printed. “That is directly from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, stating they believe there is a high probability that a terrorist cell may have entered their country last week.”

“How does that lead to a terrorist attack on US soil?”

“Turn to page three,” the agent insisted. “The CIA has been monitoring several terrorist organizations. One of which has been making some noise in Yemen. With some of the chatter suggesting they have been planning something big. Real big, like 9/11 big, sir.”

Secretary Smith skimmed the documents. “When is this happening?”

“Not sure, sir, but my guess is soon, and with July fourth approaching, I would say we’re looking at real soon.”

Giving the documents in his hand and the deliverer of them a long and silent gaze. Leaving Agent Sanders slightly uncomfortable as the silence dragged on. “Ok, we’re going to need to verify and re-verify all of this and ASAP,” handing the folder back to a relieved Agent Sanders before picking up a phone. “Then we need to get this out to all the law enforcement agencies. Start with the FBI field offices in the northern states and work down from there.”

“Yes, sir.” Taking the folder back and heading for the door.

“Oh, and Sanders, call everyone in now.” His tone suggesting he believed the intel was solid enough that his concern far outweighed his prior disbelieving look.

“I am on it.”