Chapter 64: Fallout
“Was it Enrique,” Jacob asked as we left the restaurant.
“Link ONLY,” Craig commanded. We were close enough for him to reach the Pack. “Attention everyone, there has been an attack on the President. We don’t know who or how, but we have to assume the worst. I want everyone to remain inside except armed patrols. Open the safe room and keep the pregnant women and children close by, make sure the supplies are ready to go.”
“Already in motion, Alpha,” Rose replied. “We are monitoring the situation here in the security room. So far no unusual activity, we are on lockdown protocol. I have ordered patrols to be doubled, and all of the visiting cat shifters are being brought to the house. We have video links to the houses we have the humans staying at, no unusual activity, and no communications in or out.”
“Good job. We are fifteen minutes out. Pack meeting in the living room when we arrive for all over ten years old. And Rose, if any of our people out on jobs contact us, have them return home immediately.” I didn’t have anything else to add, I was happy our Pack responded so well. If this attack was going to be an excuse for someone to try and take us out, we would be ready.
I turned the radio on. ”…are sketchy, but it appears miniature drones were involved in the attacks. Video shows five drones in a simultaneous attack, going for the foreheads of the victims. In one still we have seen, the damaged drone can be seen on the ground next to where the President was standing. Reporters stated that there were small explosions on contact, and the four victims had severe head wounds, apparently killed instantly. As of now, no word on the condition of President Kemper; Secret Service was seen dragging him inside, and an ambulance left minutes later; we have reporters on their way to the hospital. Reports from the press conference are that Attorney General Bradley Smallridge, Homeland Security Chief General Louis LaGrange, Senator Howard Mendes and Drug Enforcement Senior Agent Nomar Mendico were killed instantly; the bodies remained on the scene, covered in sheets, as the reporters were herded out of the Rose Garden.”
“Fuck me,” Craig said, “I know Lisa and Enrique were working on something, but I never expected this.”
“I know, but it has to be them. The four killed were all on the list.”
“Pentagon officials have stated the military is at DEFCON TWO, the highest condition short of war, based on standing orders for an attack on the Commander in Chief. We also have reports that Capitol Police are establishing a blockade on a ten-block area around the White House, apparently hoping to trap those responsible inside. All Federal buildings have been placed on lockdown protocol, and Metro trains and buses have been stopped in the DC Metro area.”
“Alpha, just to be safe,” Melanie said as she reached into the hidden compartment in the door and removed two pistols with extra magazines and handed them back. “No threat yet, but a lot of people are standing around, crowds gathering.”
“Probably in shock,” I said. “You are right, can’t be too careful. Don’t stop for anyone, Jacob, get us home.”
We were all relieved when we sped through the gates of our home, they immediately closed behind us. We pulled into the garage and waited until the door closed before we got out, having stowed the firearms back in the hidden compartments. Rose was at the door to the house. “No changes to status, adults are watching the coverage in the living room, the younger children and the cat shifters not in the Pack yet are in the theater room watching a movie,” she said. “Patrols and electronic surveillance show no threats.”
“Good job,” I told her as I pulled her into a hug.
“Mabel is overseeing the children downstairs, her and everyone on guard duty Carl said he will link to with what is said. They are ready for you.” The five of us went through the kitchen, each grabbing a bottle of water from the table as we passed. The television was muted as soon as we walked in, Fox News live coverage on the screen. Craig and I walked in front of the screen as the others took seats; teens on the floor, and it looked like every chair in the house was packed into the room.
“Let us know if something important happens on the coverage as we talk,” Craig said and the Pack members all nodded. “What I say here goes no farther than this room, it is Pack business only. Understood?” All of them responded with “Yes, Alpha.”
“First off,” I said, “The events in Washington today. We don’t know for sure who is responsible, but the people killed were not good people. The President has helped us in the past, and we should all be praying for him to be safe.”
“There is bound to be a reaction to this, one the Cartel might seek to exploit,” Craig continued. “Blaming Werewolves for the attack is easy, and we have found there are groups of people that are waiting for an excuse to hurt us. I have ordered the lockdown because of this danger, not because we have done anything wrong. I have no idea how long it will be in effect, and I know how much you have been restricted already. Your safety is more important than your fun.”
“Can we still use the pool at least,” one of the kids asked.
“Yes, we will schedule times and guards to that can happen. The landscaping hides the area, so that is also where you are free to shift. Any place visible from outside our territory, you must be in human form, two-person teams and visibly armed,” Craig said.
“What about supplies?”
“Four-man armed escorts, we’ll keep those to a minimum. Search protocols for deliveries continue as we established after the bombing, nothing gets past the gate without inspection. I want trucks parked just inside the gate to prevent a car from ramming through. Also, I need everyone to be careful about what they do in their communications outside the Pack. I won’t censor, but refrain from discussing anything related to the attack on the President, our security measures, the people who are here or the Cartels. As you know, anything on the phone or over the computer can be intercepted. If you have questions, contact Josh.”
All of the sudden the room erupted in cheers and yells. I turned, the television showed President Kemper walking out of an ambulance, giving a thumbs-up to the cameras being held well back. He had a bandage over his right eye and blood on his face, but he was able to walk to the waiting wheelchair on his own power. “Thank Luna,” I said along with many others.
When the room calmed down, it was time to move on to the next topic. “As you know, we received word yesterday that in about two weeks, our island in Panama will be cleared for our return. Al and Marge left this morning, they will be starting the preparations for our return.” There were claps and cheers at this. “We will not be leaving this house, though. We knew this day would be coming, and we also knew we had an Alpha pair waiting to have their own Pack. Rose and Gunny will be staying here, creating their own Pack, and so each family must choose. We will not place any restrictions on your choice, we want you to go where you are most comfortable living and the Pack members you want as your family.”
“We will remain closely allied, welcomed on each other’s lands, and we will keep the same allies here such as the Gila, Johnson and El Paso packs,” Rose said. “Face it, things are starting to get a little crowded around here as more of us get pregnant,” she said to laughs. “We have already decided that we will all get together at each other’s Packs once a year. This location will host a gathering during Spring Break.”
“And we will have everyone who wants to come down to the island over Christmas Vacation, even if people have to stay in tents this year,” I said. “The Johnson Pack is hosting over the Fourth of July, the Gila Pack claimed Memorial Day weekend, and El Paso is taking Labor Day weekend. We decided to do this because it helps build the strong ties with the Packs, plus it gives the unmated a chance to meet others. If your mate isn’t in one of these Packs, you can still attend Wolfstock over the summer. We want all of you to be able to see your friends and family.”
“You have until tomorrow at dinner to make your choices if you are an adult, children go with their parents obviously. For those who do not already have passports, we will organize photos and get them expedited. We will organize a charter flight into Panama City, from there a smaller plane will have to shuttle us to the island. The need to organize all this is the reason why the timing is so short.”
“What about school,” Tina Harris asked.
“If you are staying here, homeschooling will continue until we are convinced returning to public schools is safe again,” I said. “At the island, we will establish our own school.”
“Now, those going to the island are not going to be able to bring much with them, just two suitcases and a carry-on,” I said. “Of course, with the weather down there you don’t need much more than summer things. Shipping to the island is expensive, so it makes more sense to buy down there. We will organize a shipping container, anything you want to send can be packed into that and it should make it to the island in a few months.”
“Will this change our plans with buying houses, with expanding our Pack boundaries,” Jacob asked.
“I don’t think so,” Rose said. “We’re going to expand, even with the split we will need more housing in a few years due to people joining and younger people coming of age. I still want to expand the wild areas under our control for Pack runs, and I’d like to own this neighborhood, so we can secure multiple houses instead of just this one. Our finances are good, even after the split, so we have the money to continue thanks to Josh, Carl and Enrique.” There were laughs at that, we all knew that we had more money than we could shake a stick at. None of us would want for anything.
“One question then,” Josh said. “If the Belden Pack stays with Alphas Craig and Ella, what does the Pack here get named?”
I smirked, knowing what was coming as Rose opened her mouth. “What else could it be, other than the Guns and Roses pack?” The room exploded in laughter and the meeting ended.