“Acting Director Thorton’s office,” answered the young woman as she picked up the phone, “Laura Kidwell speaking.”
“Miss Kidwell,” said the voice on the line with a pleasant tone, “I’m glad Special Agent Thorton was smart enough to keep you. I hope you are doing well.”
“Secretary Lehrer,” said Laura surprised. “It’s an honor, sir. Things have been hectic around here but we’re managing. I’ve been working in the field more especially after that big mess on the east side. Preacher thinks I have a good instinct and has recommended me for a transfer to the E-specs.”
Daniel laughed heartily in the phone. “I’m happy for you and glad that the JTF is finding new talent in our mundane staff. Is Special Agent Thorton in my old office?”
“He’s just returned from the trial, sir. Let me transfer you.”
“Thank you, Laura for all your hard work and dedication to the JTF.”
Laura smiled as she pressed the transfer button.
* * *
“Director Thorton,” Agent Thorton said annoyed that someone was calling just as he sat down. He was tired after a long day in court and the obligatory interviews with the media. He expected all the major media outlets would cover Michael Larson’s trial, but the amount of reporters present surprised him. The entire city was riveted by every detail of the murder and Michael’s role in the fight with the Southside gang.
“A little presumptuous, aren’t we Special Agent?” Daniel asked.
Guy Thorton paused as he looked around the room. Technically he was not the Director, only acting in Daniel Lehrer’s absence until a new Directory could be approved by Congress. Daniel was extremely popular among the JTF staff and the population after the arrest of Michael Larson and the destruction of the Southside gang. The JTF drafted the sequence of events that blamed all the damage and deaths on the gang. They also tied Michael Larson to the mundane death in the alleyway. From there, the media tied Michael Larson to the battle and speculated that he lead the attack to overthrow the JTF. Everything wrapped up nicely.
“Never, Mister Secretary,” Agent Thorton responded. “I’m simply here to finish what you started.”
Daniel laughed over the phone. “Good answer, Thorton. But don’t worry, the job is yours. The committee chair in the Senate has already agreed that the JTF needs continuity and I wanted you. Plus I knew you’d be a on-board with the Department of Defense and our new initiative.”
“Thank you, sir,” Agent Thorton responded barely holding back his excitement. “Of course the JTF is ready to aid the DoD in any way possible.”
“Good,” Daniel said,”because I’ve already sent the first unit to Indianapolis for the initial tests.”
“Sir?” Thorton asked confused.
“The Pentagon thinks it’s time to train our military in more hands-on anti-Enhanced warfare. Since we can’t just engage the Caliphate directly, we are going to start small-scale, on the streets of Indianapolis and move from there. There are plenty of criminal Enhanced and non-registered scurrying around the city to provide excellent live fire training.”
“Soldiers will be wearing the Harris suits against Enhanced? What about Posse Comitatus? The media will freak if they learn the military is running missions on U.S. soil.”
“Don’t worry, the media will only report what we tell them. Remember that bill the last President passed after some of the Enhanced decided they would not go along with the Enhanced Public Safety Act? There is language in the bill that allows the President to deploy the military on U.S. soil for anti-Enhanced missions.”
“That’s great, sir, but what about the mundanes with them? The Enhanced criminals that have survived this long are not stupid. They always have mundanes ready to pull the trigger for the guy paying them.”
“The Attorney General believes that the courts will side with us if it ever becomes an issue. Besides, we can always claim that we acted within the spirit of the law. Any lawsuit will take years to reach the Supreme Court and by then, we’ll be facing the Caliphate in Europe and won’t need these missions anymore. It’s for the good of the nation.”
Agent Thorton nodded to himself. “I agree, sir. Just putting all the possible roadblocks out there. You have the full support of the JTF. I’ll make sure Bravo company is geared up and ready to go.”
“We’re going to need one of the Enhanced to work with the group. Can you release Justice from his regular duties so he’ll be available?”
“I don’t think that is a good idea, sir. Justice has not been a team player since the attack. He’s constantly late to work and interviews, if he even goes to them. The reporters are ready to crucify me. And Jury is driving me crazy with her requests for updates about her son and Mister Larson.”
“Let me handle, Elizabeth,” Daniel replied. “She is not someone you want to upset and she has her own motives for every move she makes.”
“Understood, Mister Secretary. I’ll let Scimitar know that he’s being reassigned to a special operation. He’s been eager to serve in a leadership role and I think this might be the perfect opportunity for him.”
“Make it happen. Thank you, Director Thorton. Your country is counting on your leadership to protect it.”