Disclaimer and Notes: All Mack Bolan characters are property of Gold Eagle. Written in honor of a true Terrible Tuesday in America: September 11, 2001.
by Raine Wynd
Standing in the Mission Control room of Stony Man Farm, Barbara Price looked at the screens of data flashing across the monitors, and could only remind herself to channel her frustration into some form of action. There was nothing she or her teams could do at the moment but monitor the situation. At the time of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Stony Man's commando teams, Phoenix Force and Able Team, had been already committed on missions elsewhere; it would be hours before they were rerouted back to the Farm. She had no idea where Mack Bolan was, but she'd left word on the voicemail Mack's brother maintained for contact with the Farm. It wasn't the only number she had to reach Mack, but there'd been no response to the primary contact numbers she had for him.
She'd heard the President's speeches in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Moreover, she had the orders in her hand to find the bastards responsible. Already, the cybernetic squad of Stony Man was hard at work, collecting and analyzing information. To all outward appearances, she had the situation under control; she could relax and let her teams do the work.
"You're allowed to be angry," Katz noted quietly as he approached her.
Turning slightly to face the Israeli commando who served as the Farm's strategic operations officer, she smiled humorlessly. "We have the most sophisticated intelligence gathering capability in the world right here in this room. We constantly monitor and analyze situations. We have the talent to prevent this kind of tragedy, to stop it, and still all we can do is react. I'm not angry. I'm pissed off."
Katz looked at the stunningly beautiful blonde. It was rare for Barbara to lose her composure; seeing her like this made him glad that he had some news to give her. "I made some calls," he told her. A soldier since his early teens and an officer in Mossad before being recruited for Stony Man, Katz had connections in some interesting places. "I know exactly where the bastards like to hide, and where he's hiding now."
Now the mission controller smiled. "Get Phoenix Force on the line and send them there. We'll send Able on the hunt for the cell commanders."
Barbara shot the older man a look. "Planning on taking over my job?" she asked dryly.
"Did that, before you came along," he reminded her gently. "You can have it." With his non-prosthetic hand, he clasped her shoulder briefly, then walked past her to his office.
For a moment, Barbara stared at him. Then she remembered how her predecessor had died, and how the Farm must've tried to cope without a mission controller. She glanced back at the huge wall monitor that was showing the CNN broadcast of the events. Taking a deep breath, she started to move. Time was wasting, and she had a job to do.
***finis 9.12.01 ***