November 1, 2002
110 Stories: New York Writes after September 11th
This eerie chapter of Owen’s (cancelled) 3rd novel was written in April, 2001.
Draft 1. written April, 2001
Special Agent Trista Delgado’s hip buzzed with electricity when she turned the corner of the running path in front of the Holocaust Museum in Battery Park City. She thought a Bumble Bee had flown into her running shorts. Trista was allergic to bee stings. She yelped, dropped her walkman, and swiped at the waist band of her shorts, considering a jump into the Hudson River as she convulsed. Her hand found the offending intruder—the Motorola pager the FBI required her to wear even during a workout—and she giggled with relief. She unclipped the pager and sat on the seawall reading the message. Her stomach roiled for the second time. She knew the call-in procedure for an “All Call” message but she had never actually seen one. She read it again, hoping that she had somehow memorized the phonetic code words incorrectly.
ALL CALL—ALL CALL—ALL CALL: fbi eyes only. Do not break contain. suitcase November whiskey enroute to manhattan. Delivery vehicle unknown, driver arab male. Package likely 250 lbs. Delta foxtrot authorized with confirmation. Move immediately to assist nypd at likely entrances and targets.
Her gun was locked in a safe in her apartment, two miles away. It would do any good against a November Whiskey—a nuclear weapon—but she would need it to stop the driver. Deadly force was authorized. Trista sprinted north along the esplanade toward the World Financial Center, cognizant of the families and strollers and bikes she passed. She thought of her own family.