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gulfnp > Eileen Reed - Ground Zero > Part 31
"I've already called him," Jefferson said. "We're going to let him have the opportunity to take the credit for your brilliant a.n.a.lysis. If he chooses to try and nail you for going around the chain of command, he's going to bounce so far on his a.s.s you'll see skid marks on the pavement. Now, get over here, Miss Lucy. We've got a Situation."

"I'm on my way," she said, and hung up the phone just as Mills stormed into the office.

"What's the meaning of all this?" he squealed, his face mottled with red and white.

"The meaning is that you were wrong and I was right," Lucy said. "But you can still get the credit if you want."

Mills stood there like a fish on a dock, his mouth opening and closing, as Lucy gathered her purse and closed down her computer and contemplated the donuts. Finally she shrugged, closed the donut box, and tucked it under her arm.

"We need to go," she said to Mills. "Plan your revenge later. We need to get to the Pentagon."

Lucy found she regretted that remark very much, later on.

Oklahoma.

"The bus is here," said Gwen. Major Stillwell came awake with a start. His left foot was asleep and started tingling when he moved in the hard plastic chair. He groaned.

"Oh, thank G.o.d," said Richard. He was sitting rigidly in the bus station's hard, brightly colored chair, his eyes locked on the big blue and white form of the bus. Three other sleepy pa.s.sengers stirred in the tiny waiting room of the gas station that served as a bus stop.

"What time is it?" Stillwell asked.

"Two o'clock," Richard said.

"I was almost willing to fly that Chinook out of that cornfield," Gwen said grimly.

"I thought about it," Richard said to her.

"You're a fruitcake," she said, which puzzled Stillwell.

The bus was mostly empty. Everyone on board seemed to be asleep. Stillwell felt sweaty and rank in the close confines of the bus, but he realized everyone else smelled that way too. He took a seat, and Gwen and Richard sat together on the seat across from him.

"See, we're safe now, you big baby," Gwen said as they pulled away from the station. "We'll be in Oklahoma City in a couple of hours and home by tomorrow night, I bet."

"I want a shower," Stillwell said. "And some sleep in a real bed."

"I'm just glad we made it out," Richard said. He did look better. The color was beginning to return to his face.

"What's the deal?" Stillwell said.

"Too many scary stories when he was a kid," Gwen said. Richard looked out the window as though he were annoyed, but Stillwell could see the beginnings of a grin.

"There was a movie called Children of the Corn, from a Stephen King story," Gwen said.

"Oh, yeah, I caught that on the late night a long time ago. It was pretty good," Stillwell said.

"I hate cornfields. Always have. I've always thought there was something in there, when I was growing up in Kansas. Then I saw this movie. So here we go, cras.h.i.+ng in a cornfield. Then we hav

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