Prologue

Thomas found a picture in his dresser from a year before. It was battered and worn, one of the corners had been torn off when he took it off the wall without any regard for the tape, but the image was still intact. In vivid color the photograph depicted the horror of a terrorist attack. (You know, people running and screaming and pointing and whatnot.) He could remember the incident well.

They had been called from school early. No one really knew why—of course there were plenty of rumors—until they all got to their own homes. Terrorists had attacked the capitol, killing thousands. The President had avoided harm, but the Vice President and many visitors to the White House had been killed. They had been sent home because the government feared another large city would be attacked. And they, ever so conveniently, happened to live in one labeled as such.

For weeks, the country was in chaos. People everywhere were concerned if there would be any more attacks. Stores were closed. Memorials were held. School didn't start back up for another week.

They never really found out who did it—all they could do was blame it on terrorists. That word was a broad term by then. Your neighbor could be one. Your brother—your sister. The whole world was a bunch of terrorists waiting to drop a bomb on an unsuspecting foe.

There was something about that picture—so full of sorrow and misfortune. It told a story much different than destruction or devastation.

Or, at least, it would.