The Backup Plan

As we worked loading the trunk, none of us looked directly at the electrocar parked one block away with the two men in the front seat. By 9:00 am we had a full trunk and started on our way. The ruse was a simple one, with Elizabeth’s handwriting all over it, and based on the fixation of the watchers with our Storage Facility just blocks away.

As we passed the parked electrovan, the surveillance coordinator inside would have guessed we were going to work on filling our unit. He told the following car that, if we turned into the Storage Facility, to drive past the entrance, make a u-turn and park on the opposite side of the road, ready to pick us up if we were headed back to the safehouse.

The entrance on the other side of the yard opened onto a street with the only nearby traffic light across a main thoroughfare. If we drove away from the Storage Unit, after exiting the facility, we would have to turn and cross at that traffic light. So the coordinator called for a back up car at the other entrance of the Storage Facility pointing toward the traffic light to pick us up if we weren’t headed back. Both cars would then alternate the surveillance between them as long as we were still out and on the streets.

Since we would need to unlock our unit, raise the overhead door, place all the junk we brought into storage, spend some time fiddling it into where we wanted it, and then close and lock the door again, the coordinator told car number two not to speed to excess or break the law and keep a lowered profile from the North Chicago police. The second car could easily be in place well before we had finished.

But we didn’t do any of that. Inside the Storage Facility no one outside the fence had a direct line of sight to our Storage Unit’s door. So we simply drove in one entrance, past our unit, out the other, and turned left toward the traffic light, which obligingly turned green just before we got there. We turned left once again onto the main thoroughfare and were off to Midway airport, by way of a scenic detour through North Chicago’s Haversham park to make sure we weren’t followed. The second GLCCA car arrived at the Storage Facility just seconds after we went through the traffic light.

We heard the massive explosion as we were entering the park. And then the many sirens converging on it which followed.

Elizabeth looked at Lady Chief in the back seat and said just three words, “GLCIS backup plan?” In the mirror I saw Lady Chief nod and the three of us all had the same picture in our minds: a bomb inside the storage unit in case the plan to attach one to the electrocar at the grocery store on Thursday failed. For the entire week, the Truth Team were monitoring GLCCA’s radio frequency from their own electrovan, and when they heard that all three of us were in the car and heading to the Storage Unit, the newly trained bomber leading the Team got greedy and decided to kill all of us as we worked.

The bomber also guessed at the timeline of our unlocking and opening the unit door, opening the trunk, and putting the items in the unit. When he was sure that we must be out of the car and in or near the Unit, he detonated the bomb by remote control. He also misjudged how much explosive to use. Our unit and its contents were totally destroyed. So were the units immediately on both sides and in back of our unit. Not only that, four more units surrounding these took tremendous damage.

The bomber had not only used too much explosive, and he also put a layer of totally unnecessary ten penny nail shrapnel around the bomb. About 30 of the nails tore through the doors of the five storage units across from our unit. Had we stopped at the unit as we were expected to, we not only would be dead, our bodies would have been horribly mangled.

All of that, except for the pointless shrapnel, we were able to guess immediately and it was confirmed by the story in the Portland Journal the following morning. But matters were worse, much worse, and we didn’t know how much worse. The passenger seat agent of the second GLCCA car became antsy that no one had a line of sight on us, so since both exits were covered, he got out of the car and walked into the facility to confirm where we were. His first peek around the corner was devastating: no car, no people, and a closed unit door. He walked toward the unit slowly and with gun drawn, fearing an ambush since GLCIS had stated that we were armed.

Just as he reached the front of the unit and started to report the situation to the surveillance coordinator, the bomb detonated, killing and mangling him instantly. This was the beginning of the end of GLCIS.

The outrage within GLCCA about the death of a fellow officer at the hands of an inept GLCIS Truth Team was enormous and immediate. The three highest ranking officers in all of GLCCA, the Chief himself and two commanders, including our old friend Violet, went into a closed door meeting as soon as they heard the news. While there, they called the Chicago Tribune and invited senior reporters to a “deep background briefing” about the bombing. When the two Tribune reporters arrived at GLCCA, they were discreetly ushered into one of the small side conference rooms where the Chief and his Commanders were seated at the table.

After pleasantries, the officers got immediately to the point. They opened up the entire affair, including the existence of secret GLCIS Truth Team killers, the decision by the new Chief of GLCIS to have his predecessor murdered along with her ex-GLICIS roommates as “security risks”, and the fact that he had told GLCCA nothing substantive to justify doing this.

They described in detail the original plan, with GLCCA surveillance, which was a Truth Team car bomb and forced entry assassination with a backup bomb placed in the storage unit for a second attempt if the first attempt failed. That second bomb was ineptly detonated by the GLCIS Truth Team without confirming the location of the targets, and caused the pointless death of a fine officer who was trying to do just that. All this was given to the reporters “not for attribution” to either GLCCA or the three senior officers, who came together in a body to meet with the reporters to erase any doubt that what they were being told was true.

The comprehensive revelations of the existence and function of the Truth Teams, the full plot, it’s target, and it’s ignominious results were all in the Electric Chicago Tribune that appeared the next morning. The firestorm of outrage that followed the next six weeks among the public and both GLC legislative houses, along with the coverage by worldwide media finally forced the President to act.

He called an emergency meeting of the Ministry Cabinet, summarily ordered the new Chief of GLCIS to attend that meeting and fired him on the spot. After the meeting, the President ordered the dismantling of the spy agency and it’s replacement by a new one with a new charter. The President, Prime Minister, and Chief of Staff then gave an emergency briefing to the combined permanent intelligence committees of both legislative houses. After that came the joint press conference.

In the interim, the President appointed his Chief of Staff to take over GLCIS for six months, superintend it’s closure, separate the active agents and agent runners from the rest of the agency bureaucracy, and oversee the correct transfer of GLCIS records and current intelligence assets to the agency-to-be. His first official act was to order the disbanding of the Truth Teams, the release of the thugs to their outstanding warrants, and the arrest by GLCCA of the Truth Team bomber and all GLCIS killers. His second official act was to order the complete separation of the agent runners and the agents in place from the other agency functions so they could, in the future, be seamlessly integrated into the new agency.

His third official act was to order all Light Cover agents to return to Chicago and downsize the activities of runners and their agents to the minimum number of long term spying operations. Because GLCIS decided to kill us for no reason except the possibility we might become dangerous, and because the President approved it, a large number of these Light Cover agents didn’t return for many long years

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