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Awakenings Chapter 7: Collisions, Page 11

Sandra shook her head.  “We can only do the best we can.  Don’t forget, we are still in a war against terrorists.  These people in Oakland are merely criminals.  I am not cleared to let you know what is going on, but in the eyes of Headquarters, the reason that our resources were pulled is that the terrorist groups are getting ready to fight their equivalent of the Battle of the Bulge.”

Derek took a deep breath and then a sip of coffee.  “Sandra, it is even worse than what Alvarez told you.  I have not been cleared to share the specific information with you, but what Alvarez told you seems to be coordinated with some other significant terrorist actions planned around the world.  The National security agency tells us that the communications chatter has reached an all time high.  We are truly entering into a battle where the bad guys, for the moment at least, have the high ground.”

Alex just looked at them with a dazed expression.

Sandra leaned forward in her chair.  “Alex, is there anyway that you can spend more time with Volo in the next 20 hours?  We may need you to detain them.”

Alex got a far away look.  He wasn’t sure if he could handle being with the sex vampires any time soon.  He still felt emotionally and physically drained.  Even unclean.  “I will do whatever you need me to do.  It would help if you had something that I could bring to Volo that I could use as bait and to keep him occupied.  I really don’t want any more intimate contact with his women any time soon if I can help it.”

Sandra developed a faint smile and looked over at Derek.  “I think we can fabricate something that Volo would consider to be plausible and very interesting.  When you go there, you will have your cell phone.  The code word for taking decisive action will be ‘Einstein’.”


Joe and Elise arrived at Jack London Square tense from the Saturday afternoon traffic.  Neither were used to driving in the city.  Joe pulled up to a security guard.  “I have a table at the wine festival this afternoon.  Where can I park to unload?”

The guard looked at his watch and then pulled out a map. “What winery are you with?”

“Gambaro Winery.”

“If you can unload in the next ½ hour, you can still drive over to your table.”  The guard handed Joe a map and pointed. “Over there.”

“Thank you very much.” Joe idled slowly down the mostly empty isle down to the table.  The rumbling and burble of the twin exhausts made lots of heads turn, much to Joe’s delight.  Joe then stopped at a canopied table with a sign “Gambaro” on it.  The table was located directly across from the marina area, where numerous luxury boats were tied into slips.  The whole area was festooned with balloons and banners celebrating the wine festival.  At the far end of the square was a large roofed canopy like structure with a banner stating “Wine Seminars”.  There were several areas with full kitchens preparing all manner of gourmet food.  Not far from the Gambaro Winery table, a stage was being set up complete with large speakers.  New age music was already being broadcast across the square.

Elise stepped out.  “Wow, the weather is wonderful, I don’t think I will need a coat this evening.  This is most unusual for Oakland.”

Joe walked around back and opened the cargo doors. “This warm weather on a Saturday afternoon and evening will draw a lot of people.  I hope we brought enough wine.”

Once Joe and Elise finished unloading El Zin, Joe drove it back out to the exhibitors’ parking area.   He found his guess about the attendance to be correct.  People were already lining up at the ticket booth.