A peaceful river runs through the middle of Ohio, it is brown, slow, and serene. For most of it's length the bank is tree lined, dense, and a little wild. For five miles, though, it meanders through a "restricted area." A heavily guarded, double fenced, secretive place that is almost invisible. If anybody knew it was there they didn't know what it was. It was a black hole to the surrounding communities, who were a little afraid of what they thought was hidden behind the trees and walls and fences.
In a building on the north end of the compound a man picked up a telephone. He typed in an elaborate series of letters and numbers, and held his thumb on a special pad on the handset. His efforts were rewarded with a congratulatory "Lieutenant Baldwin, access approved" on the screen in front of him.
After listening for a few minutes he said, "roger, sir, systems are go." And then he hung up. He looked toward the heavens, thought a silent apology, moved his seat forward and pressed a button on a console. Nothing happened in the room.
Outside, though, a group of attack helicopters ground to life. Huge blades moving in slow circles, a soft whisper, growing in speed, and volume, faster, louder, until the noise and dust and wind were overpowering.
One jumped thirty feet in the air, settled slowly, then another, until all seven of them had bounced, landed and prepped, like giant dragon flies, flitting, and settling. Dragon flies with missile pods, and machine guns. Real dragon flies, breathing fire, and demanding payment.
Then they rose, turned south, the sun glaring balefully, leaving long, monstrous shadows as they gathered speed, and flew vengefully, purposefully, and with amazing precision. Clearly, they meant business, they had a mission, and somebody was not going to be sorry when they arrived. Somebody would be very sorry.
On the fourth floor of The Life Explained building the firing had stopped, it may have been to reload, it might have been spontaneous, unanimous remorse. Whatever the cause the silence was deafening.
Zach stood up and said, "look, this has gotten a little out of hand. I'm sorry I pushed you down, Bill. And I didn't really just wash this shirt, it has been a couple of days, and I really hate this shirt."
He smiled, awkwardly, holding his hands by his head by his head. He turned his head from side to side in an effort to smile awkwardly at everybody to show his sincerity.
Elaine, from indoor sales, jumped up from behind the hallway couch, her brown eyes blazing furiously, her hands shaking with rage, her voice broke with agony when she hissed, "I gave you that shirt when we were dating, you son of a bi*&h." She pulled a grenade from her purse and threw it at Zach.
Fortunately she threw it too hard and it rolled out the window, exploding in the vacant street, shredding the "Now Hiring" banner hanging over the arches leading to the building.
In the office on the 13th floor, at the very top of the building Dr. Dawg looked out the window, saw the fires, and destruction, read the email that said helicopter gunships were inbound, looked at the camera feed from the customer service department on the 4th floor and whispered to himself, and his assistant, "oh no, not again."
To be continued.