lone shaman with military connections must gather a force of unconventional
heroes to derail terrorist attacks. Although they may not realize their own
powers, each of his warriors are skilled in an unconventional form of warfare.
With a great deal of luck their leader may convince them the key to victory
rests not in the hands of their allies, but in their allies' paws and claws...
snipers, shape shifters, bikers and strippers make a formidable team.
Johnson had the big camera and a harness full of spare batteries that were the
tools of his trade. He stood alongside Karen Escadrile on a Potomac Park bike
path and looked bored. “Are you sure this is where we’re supposed to set
up?” He was thinking of the game he was missing while covering some rumor at a
homeless tent city.
Who knows... Maybe she got wind of some protesters showing up in the next hour
her shopping cart, Mrs. Walters stepped out from behind one of the overpass
columns. “Don’ you worry ‘bout it none, ya hear? I promised ya sumpin’
ya might be able to use and I can feel it comin’ closer every minute. You jes
sit tight there, with yer fancy camera an’ all, an you’ll see... yepper...
you’ll see...” She turned and looked back out at the passing traffic, still
muttering to herself.
two news professionals sat down on a low concrete wall, with the camera and
microphone gear next to them and decided to give her an hour.
hadn’t been sitting more than five minutes, when Mrs. Walters suddenly stood
up and stared at a fence. A raven was sitting and cawing loudly at them. She
turned to the reporters. “Get yer stuff. Come on now! Up with yer... Now ya
seen my secret, damnit! Ya might as well act on it.”
secret, Mrs. Walters? What are you talking about?”
black bird there!” She was pointing. “He’s the one, I tell ya. Watch
a raven. There are a lot of them around and they are sometimes kinda noisy. So
my secret. Every time that particular bird shows up, something weird happens.
And he’s been acting really shitty every day, ‘bout this time, fer the last
three days. If you follow him, he’ll show you something worth taking a picture
of and yer gonna owe me that steak.”
Walters... If you are trying to make a fool out of me...”
b’lieve me then, damn you. Wise-ass reporter know-it-all... I’m tellin’ ya,
ya better git yer asses in gear and follow that damn bird.”
young woman hesitated only a moment. “Oh well, I’m probably going to be a
laughing stock, but what the hell. Come on; follow me!” She headed down the
trail, through the pedestrian tunnel that stank of urine and worse, and followed
were both surprised when the bird didn’t just fly away but paused and egged
them on… leading them down to the waterfront park and to the island path, just
upstream from the bridge. It flew to the top of a tree and sat waiting.
reporter and the cameraman slowly turned a full circle, looking for anything
suppose you’re going to tell me that old lady… that Mrs. Walters ... is
really very reliable and you don’t know why she has us on this wild goose
chase… or should I say wild raven chase? After all, we could be sitting back
in the studio, watching the best video feeds from the concert.”
has given me more than a dozen good tips in the past and never asked for more
than fast food in return. If she’s willing to bet me such high stakes today,
I’m going to have to pay attention.” The reporter looked around and then
pointed towards the bridge. “As long as we’re here, let’s get some stock
shots of the island, bridge and average traffic. We can always use it later.”
the boss.” He flipped the camera on his shoulder and started to pan slowly,
starting at the Pentagon and back towards the bridge.
Will you look at that idiot with all those tires overloading the truck? Didn’t
you do a story on how unsafe that was a while—”
driver suddenly slammed on the truck’s brakes and skidded to a sideways stop,
blocking both lanes and causing at least three fender benders.
And I got that on tape.” The cameraman swatted the woman on the shoulder with
the back of his hand. “This is your chance for a great follow up story.
made sure her microphone was live, stepped in front of the camera and started to
and Gentlemen, we’ve just witnessed a multi-vehicle accident on the Fourteenth
Street Bridge. As you can see, at least four vehicles have been damaged and
we’re not sure of injuries, at this point. You can be sure we’re going to
keep you informed.” She paused and looked over her shoulder and Fred went to a
wide shot to include more of the accident scene. She continued. “As you can
see, overloading commercial vehicles is a growing problem…”
the viewfinder, he could see over her shoulder, the driver of the truck had
jumped out, put on a helmet and was climbing on the back of a motorcycle. He
stepped to one side and zoomed in on the escaping bike. She saw him step away.
are you doing? Come back to me and get the truck in the frame behind me,
zoomed back to a wide shot that included the reporter, the truck and several
cars with smoking radiators.
folks. Overloading commercial vehicles is a major traffic haz—”
was a bright flash of light and a deafening explosion as the bed of the truck
erupted. Burning tires were scattered in all directions and at least two people
were thrown off the bridge by the force of the explosion. The truck and the two
cars directly behind it were burning fiercely as flaming shreds of rubber and
other debris slammed into the other lanes of traffic.
squealed and there were sickening sounds of crumpling sheet metal as more cars
smashed into the burning pile of rubble.
crackling of the flames was further accented by agonized cries for help as
people were trapped in the first few cars. A screaming woman, her clothes and
hair on fire, dove over the side of the bridge to the chill waters below.
the professional, Fred zoomed back to get the whole scope of the destruction and
then zoomed in on as many of the individual scenes as he could find.
reporter stood there ashen-faced and watched the smoldering body of the woman,
unmoving, floating face down and drifting with the incoming tide, towards the
tidal basin. She dropped the microphone, lurched to the other side of the path
and was violently ill.
she looked up, she saw the raven squawk once and then fly incredibly fast,
towards the east.
did he know?” she wondered.