Episode 57: A.A.O.: Acronyms Are Ordered

The chaos around Isabelle did the impossible and became even more chaotic. There were clearly underlying patterns and structures, but they were hard to determine just by watching. One of the few things that she could work out was that the people in charge were up on the observation level with her; they were the ones giving the orders.

"C.D.F. deploy by plan: Districts One through Seven, Nine, and Ten to Plan R, Eight to reinforce Island Gate One; Eleven and Thirteen to close their borders with Twelve, Twelve to close their inner border."

The Civilian Defense Force, or "C.D.F.," Isabelle understood because she was a former member. The members were ordinary citizens trained in the use of simple weapons by the Watch and dispatched in cases of extreme need. For security reasons, the volunteers had never been told where they might be deployed, so the orders referencing Plan R were beyond her; all she knew was that the Watch District containing the gate under assault was being cordoned off and the gate on the far side was being reinforced.

"Something's tunneling through our inner transport barrier; they must have gotten a device inside."

The tapestry rewove itself again and another "BREACH" warning appeared, this time under "Inner Barrier."

"CAPTRANS confirms and reports all friendly devices locked down."

"Authorize CAPTRANS to take extreme measures. Find out where the breach exited."

"Distress signal from T.O.C."

"Order T.O.C. to destroy all data and surrender."

"T.O.C.'s gone dark and is not acknowledging order."

"Assume they're captured or dead. Data may be compromised. Options?"

Several people responded to the loss of the Tactical Operations Center with comments and suggestions. After a few seconds, one of the older tacticians cleared his throat to quiet the others and said, "I move that we destroy Causeway Two."