She was almost too weak to move the desk that was blocking the door, but she moved it just enough that Nathan could squeeze inside. He leaped over the desk and they found each other in the dark. He took her in his arms, then kissed her gently.
“I knew you would say that, but it’s terribly risky,” Aaron said. “The government has been tracking a Chicago gang leader named Brix who has been operating in that part of the city, and it appears his followers are already looting stores and burning buildings near where Marie is. We’re really worried it could turn into a civil war there within days.”
Despite everything people heard on the news, Utah was actually one of the least affected areas in the nation. Dragon’s failure to complete his mission—combined with the fact that people had been warned against traveling there—had kept the Black Flu to a minimum in the state. However, that didn’t stop the rumor mill from operating at full strength.
Aaron typed in the GPS password to see where Brix was that morning. His skin crawled as he saw Brix’s location—inside a vehicle driving down the Magnificent Mile.
“That’s just too close for comfort,” Aaron whispered, feeling completely helpless concerning his daughter. “Heavenly Father, please watch over my sweet Marie.”
Dragon moved from the window and pondered the direction his life had taken. As a young man he had excelled in his studies and had been given the chance to attend college in the United States. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in the early 1990s, he returned to China and worked his way through the political ranks.
He joined her and Denise in front of the TV and watched as a skyscraper became engulfed in flames. The report soon switched to footage from a helicopter that clearly showed where a fault line had opened up, creating a deep gash across the landscape. Homes were tumbling into the void, and roads disappeared into it.
“How big was the quake?” Nathan asked.
“They’re saying it was a 7.6 . . .”