The Phoenix Affair


SYNOPSIS


The Phoenix Affair, an eye-opening excursion into the world of terrorism and political conspiracy. This exciting page-turner will leave you breathless as the FBI searches for the terrorists and the reason that they destroyed the Federal building in Phoenix. The pathway to the books end and the events along the way are shocking, the ending itself is one that will leave the reader breathless.
Readers will thoroughly enjoy this fast-paced thriller about events that are current and an ending that may be in the future may be possible.











CHAPTER ONE


Death is my neighbor now ...
Edith Evans

THE BLAST - AUGUST 2008

At seven-fifty-five a white delivery van parked in front of the James Morrow Federal Building on one of the busiest intersections in downtown Phoenix. At that hour the volume of traffic was at its peak, and the cloying August heat added to the frenetic activity. The monsoon clouds had begun gathering days before, and the level of heat and humidity would only intensify before the drenching rains finally arrived, filling the washes and creating havoc with flooding problems all over the Valley of the Sun. Until that happened, however, the heat would be like a heavy blanket making life outside unbearable.
On the downtown streets, people hurried from the parking garages toward the protection of their air conditioned offices, and the early birds were already settling down at their desks. The sidewalk kiosks carried on a booming business, as the coffee lovers clutched their latte or espresso for the trip to their offices.
Seconds later a white hot blast ripped through the eight-story Federal Building, rattling windows three miles away at the state capitol building. The destructive hurricane of heat and pressure tore through surrounding structures. The multi-level parking garage immediately to the east was instantly flattened, and hundreds of gas tanks exploded in billowing black smoke, fueling the monsters heat. The pressure blew out windows in the Maricopa County Court House and hurtled glass shards at bullet-like speed, shredding everything in their path. Crucial building supports, gas lines, and walls were simultaneously destroyed, and the heat of the detonation ignited everything it touched. All oxygen was sucked from the air in a microsecond, killing any living thing that might have somehow survived the explosion, making downtown Phoenix look like Ground Zero after the World Trade Center disaster.
The Federal Building was instantly a labyrinth of rubble, smoke, fire, and death. On the corner of 2nd Street and Van Buren, the explosion severed the thirty-story Bank One building just above the fifteenth floor, demolishing the glass facade and blowing away the top fifteen stories.
Six blocks away the Motorola transmitters on top of the Westward Ho Hotel were incinerated, cutting off all police communications. City Bank and Wells Fargo, both in the downtown area, were reduced to rubble. Bodies were blown in all directions, and jewelry and other belongings were scattered as much as a half-mile away. The resultant heat and pressure were nearly as powerful as a nuclear blast. The fiery fury vented its wrath in only seconds, but its claws ripped and tore as it sped blindly and indiscriminately through the city.
Now the parasites of the blast, smoke and fire, would do the killing as the City of Phoenix sank to its knees.
FBI Agent Brad Stevens sat in a sterile FBI office in Los Angeles, watching the tragedy in Phoenix unfold. God, what a mess, he said to his protégé, Philip Zachary, a black agent, who had trained under Stevens at the academy in Quantico. Only minutes before they had been discussing a drug and possible terrorist bust in South LA and how they would plan the raid, and now not only would their day change dramatically but also the weeks to come would be intimately involved with this new disaster.
I bet you'll get ordered there, said Phil. The office in Phoenix is real short on anti-terrorist people, and it would be a natural for you.
Currently Stevens was stationed in the LA anti-terrorism section. His title was assistant head, but for all intents and purposes, he ran the operation. If I go, Ill take you with me, Phil.
In 1990 Stevens had gone through the Bureaus anti-terrorism course in Quantico and later attended the Delta Force counter-terrorism school. The two schools were different in that the FBIs approach was toward domestic investigation with back-up utilization of force, whereas the other focused on deadly-force solutions. He had also sat in on the CIAs foreign CT training and learned about foreign surveillance of training facilities and following the money trail. All three schools had offered excellent training, and the Bureau continued to groom him as one of their top anti-terrorism specialists.
Phil and Brad had become friends almost five years earlier when Brad was teaching Investigative Techniques at the academy in Quantico. The two young men were from strikingly different backgrounds: Zachary was a product of the Detroit ghetto; and Brad, a middle-class California boy, but they had immediately hit it off, and since that time had been fortunate to be on assignment together.
Now they both sat and stared at the TV news that covered the Phoenix disaster in finite details. This is going to be a no-holds-barred investigation, Brad finally said. I wouldn't be surprised to see a major task force put together on this one. We might as well get busy checking out known terrorist suspects in our area, and he picked up the phone to set up a meeting with the section heads.
General Arthur Conway, Chief-of-Staff US Army, sat at the sunny breakfast table in his quarters at Ft. Myers, Virginia enjoying his second cup of coffee after putting away a small glass of fresh orange juice and his favorite breakfast of toast and peanut butter. His wife, Betty, chided him constantly about his love of the ultimate artery stopper, something about a second childhood, but he had long ago ceased to listen to her badgering and decided he would continue to indulge his craving and just jog a little farther each morning.
Suddenly he stopped reading the Post and threw it down in disgust. The goddamn country is in a mess, and there's no leadership. I cant imagine where it will all end.
Betty, who was used to her husband ranting answered, You're absolutely right, Art, but what can you do about it? Living here on the post really insulates us from the rest of the country. She knew this had been troubling him for some time. The other flag and general officers talked of nothing else at the military social events they attended.
I don't know, honey. I just keep thinking of my oath as an officer ... you know, defend against all enemies of the Constitution foreign and domestic.
Oh Art ... she replied. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she reached across the table to cover his hand with her own. This meant so much to him, and she wished there was something she could do to relieve his pain.
After a moment, he shook his head and once again began to read his newspaper. No good will come of what's going on in the government right now, and I have the feeling that the time of reckoning is coming soon.

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