The two of them plunged in, Olivia began guiding herself along the ceiling once again, thinking the woman would follow, but she did not. She was paddling in an unconventional way, exerting much energy and getting nowhere fast. Olivia turned herself around and reached for the woman’s hand. She then kicked hard and pulled her forward. Olivia found the ridges in the ceiling and placed the sides of her boots against them, thrusting the both of them further into the hallway. She repeated this motion several times before her body’s strain for oxygen could no longer be ignored.
“We must be close.” She thought. “Only a little further.” Her head tilted back, forcing her eyes to focus, but it was only a haze, a light at the end of a tunnel with no discernable length. They might be 4 feet away from the end or 40. She kicked again and looked back at the woman, who seemed to be fighting her. The woman pulled her hand away from Olivia’s grip and grabbed at her face. She clenched her knees and elbows in and violently recoiled. Olivia waded through her flailing limbs, wrapped an arm around her torso, and swam as hard as she could. Every fiber in Olivia’s body cried out for oxygen. She clenched her teeth and thrust forward again. The woman went limp, bubbles exited her mouth and nose. Again, Olivia propelled the two of them forward… then she felt it, her feet knocked against the stairs. She struggled at first to get her footing, but secured the woman with both arms and stood up with the last ounce of strength left in her legs. She exhaled the carbon dioxide now occupying her lungs and inhaled fresh air, immediately losing her legs. Her head spinning, Olivia fell back, dropping the woman, and passed out.
It wasn’t until after the woman had been revived that Olivia woke up. Other members of her unit had seen her take off running. They weren’t sure what she was doing at first, but followed, and witnessed her diving into the water. They gathered on the steps of the bank and waited, debating on whether or not someone should go after her. When she finally resurfaced with an unconscious woman in her arms, they were there to catch them as she collapsed. They got the woman breathing again and called for a medic. Olivia was staring at the ceiling, being told to stay down when the medic arrived.
“Ok, who’s first?” As he rushed in.
“The Sergeant! Right here!”
“I’m fine!” Declared Olivia. “Go check on her.” And she waved toward the woman.
A moment later, the medic came back.
“She’s gonna be fine. We’ve got an ambulance coming.” He said, looking over Olivia.
“Good. We can get back to more important things.” Olivia said as she attempted to get to her feet.
“Whoa whoa!” The medic and other troops held her down. “You’re going with her. You just passed out from exhaustion, we’re not going to have you shoveling more sand.”
She rolled her eyes at the notion of needing a hospital stay for what had just occurred, but knew it wasn’t her call, and there would be no way of getting out of it.
The two were loaded up, their vitals were checked, and the woman was given oxygen. Olivia insisted she would be fine without it, forgoing a stretcher for a seat on the bench. The woman leaned her head back to get a look at Olivia.
“You saved my life… Thank you.” She whimpered.
“My pleasure. You just feel better, okay?”
The woman nodded as a tear fell from the corner of her eye.
“General, detonation will be ready in five minutes.”
“The perimeter has been secured as well, sir.”
“Where are the trucks with the filler material?” Asked the General.
“We’ve got twenty trucks loaded and standing by.”
“Twenty!?” He yelled.
“It was all we could spare, sir.”
The plan they had drawn up called for fifty. If the large chunks of concrete fell in such a way that they didn’t completely stop the water from flowing, they wanted enough material at the ready to shore up the dam.
“Get any units left in the area away from the blast.”
The team leader of the Special Forces group assigned to rig the Trump Tower for demolition was Sergeant Kendall. He wasn’t exactly thrilled to find out he was only given a few hours to do a task that usually required six weeks, but he and his team got straight to work. Normally, a building would be stripped down to its basic elements, floors, and load bearing pillars. All glass would be removed safely so that no shards take off flying in the implosion and land a mile away in a person's neck. In this case, Sergeant Kendall assigned men to go from floor to floor, kicking out as much glass as possible. He figured if they could get most of it on the ground, there’d be less of a chance for an accident. Another safety measure he would normally take would be to wrap the building with thick geotextile fabric and fencing around areas that would have detonations inside. This would keep debris contained within the implosion. With this mission being the strangest and most demanding demolition he had ever been a part of, Sergeant Kendall packed only TNT and C4. The finesse and precision it would normally take to pull off a successful building implosion was going out the window. The well-placed drill holes filled with detonating cord couldn’t be used, there was simply no time.
Instead, he rigged a few of the top floors of the tower to collapse one by one from the top down. This would cause the structure to become weak and cave in as it piled onto itself. From the bottom half, however, he would only place explosives on the side of the building closest to the river. His hope, and tablecloth calculations, was that the collapsing structure would then begin to fall to that side and the tons of concrete, drywall, and insulation would roll into the river. Sergeant Kendall knew it was a crazy plan, but he looked around at the sight of downtown Chicago having been evacuated because of an inexplicable flood overtaking the city, and told himself this was all crazy… so why shouldn’t it work?
“Ready to detonate, General. On your mark.”
Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing to watch the video feed fixed on Trump Tower. It was the same feed being broadcast across the nation; eyeballs from all over the world were watching.
“3… 2… 1… Mark”
Sergeant Kendall and his men had positioned themselves in a nearby underground parking garage. They found a spot behind a large slab of concrete that had a view of the tower. When he heard the order being given through his headset, Kendall flipped a switch to arm the explosives and firmly grasped the detonator with his finger and thumb.
“Fire in the hole.” He said, nonchalantly.
The first wave of explosions went off, and the top of the tower buckled. The structure was caving in on itself. A second later, round two of the detonations fired. Sergeant Kendall couldn’t help but note how it took only seconds to level a building, but it always feels like much longer. The debris was toppling over to one side, just as planned. Massive chunks of what, moments before, was an impressive tower were splashing into the water and cracking like thunder. It roared and shook the ground as if it was upsetting an evil beast. A wave rose up and spilled out over the levee, then rolled along downstream. The dust was far from dissipating, but Sergeant Kendall and everyone watching the video feed could tell the detonation had gone as planned. The water level inland from the new dam was dropping; the water that had seeped into the lower part of the city had begun to run off, back into the river. Cheers rang out for miles in every direction… except from the General.
“Tell FEMA to start doing their thing.” He ordered and turned to Major Dellucci. “We have to figure out what the hell just happened out there.”