Raindrops fell like Chinese water torture on the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. In little drops, the water emerged from the clouds and lightly pounded the roof of one of the buildings in slow, painful beats. But the occupants of the command center experienced no such weather phenomenon. The Internet modem continued. The passing storm had nothing to do with its functioning. The DNA machine hooked up to the computer terminal did not stop. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Dagen Cawl looked at her monitor. Her dark brown skin and green-gray eyes relaxed and appeared laserlike, respectively. She sipped Columbia’s best roast. The acidity danced on her tongue and the caffeine boosted her productivity.
“There’s the house?” she said pointing at the screen.
“We are sure that that’s the house, ma’am,” Captain Herbo Ton said. He possessed a high and tight haircut with light brown skin.
The computer systems including cellphones and tablets all consisted of DNA terminals and screens that could submit blood samples, serums, saliva tests and yes, viruses. Not traditional computing viruses but actual, biological diseases. Ton had pinpointed the one house that had issued the virus from the start.
“From home, ma’am,” said Major Janetta Heyer.
“What’s that, Major?”
“The suspect Kalila Bowers is doing all of this from home. It’s a shotgun shack in Dewey Beach, Delaware. The thirty-five-year-old woman is well educated. Delaware Institute of Technology, a doctorate from New Sweden University by the age of 29. She worked for CommaTech, the online publishing platform for fun. She made her fortune when she sold her tech company DataCryer. She made a few billion dollars and then disappeared. We were able to track her down with a tip from an anonymous source,” Janetta said.
“Anonymous….” Dagen repeated.
A spray of mist then pervaded the room from the terminals.
“Get those masks!” Ton yelled.
“Aye, sir,” Staff Sergeant Zang Ames said.
The staff sergeant passed out the masks.
Once everyone had donned the masks, the vapor in the air remained on surfaces.
“Holy shit,” Ton said.
“We are all now infected. We will not experience symptoms from the coronavirus until a few hours from now.”
“Goddamnit,” Dagen said. “We have to coordinate with the FBI and local police in Dewey we have to—”
“Wait, look at the monitor ma’am,” Janetta said.
A 500 inch screen showed the emoticon of a laughing face with tears spurting out of it. “That was a test. Just water. But in three hours, I will unleash this thing on everyone connected to a mobile device, computer, or any other electronic device with the DNA terminal, which is virtually every device used by the nine billion people with an Internet connection worldwide. Good luck, suckers.” The screen went as black as asphalt.
“She will end this evil,” Ton said.
“We will end this.”
“The FBI and local law enforcement have been contacted,” Janetta said. “Bowers seems like she is letting us borrow time. But she could unleash the virus at any time. We must strike her house with federal and local forces.”
“Call back the FBI and cops,” Dagen said.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, what?”
“We’re going to do what you just said. ‘Strike her.’ Particularly with the force of a drone.”
Janetta smirked a bit.
“What is it, Major?” Dagen asked with a bit of edge.
“Collateral damage in an American city….”
“With this hit, the building is secluded, yes?”
“And there isn’t a resident or business within five miles?”
“Get that drone down to Dewey.”
Janetta journeyed over to Ton.
“Captain, get that drone in the air.”
It took a matter of minutes for the flying weapon to reach Dewey from Dover.
The drone whistled through the wind. When it reached Kalila’s house, the bomb exploded, killing her instantly.
The command center viewed the destruction and erupted in celebration.
“We’ve got her,” Ton said.
“It’s about time,” Janetta said.
The lieutenant general looked at a few test kits on a nearby table. “Let’s make sure that she was kidding...”