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“Let’s cut to the chase,” he said. “Your information has proven very useful. While we have yet to apprehend Alec Moore, we have managed to shut down the website he’s been using to communicate to the various terrorist cells.

“It has also been determined you should be exonerated for the tragic events that took place in Seattle. While we do not have a solid confirmation, we actually believe that the order to terminate you came from a . . . compromised individual.”

Jack raised his hand. “What does that mean? A gun to his head?”

“In a sense. Alec Moore, we’ve gathered, has some form of mind control. We don’t know the details. He’s used this many times to get past guards, to convince people he’s on their side, or even that he’s their superior. Ms. Parsons, I believe he convinced you that you were in school together.”

She nodded, embarrassed that she’d fallen for it.

“We believe that it was either him on the radio giving the order, or it was someone he had influenced. Either way, he is conclusively linked to the terror cell that destroyed the Space Needle.”

Aubrey spoke, her voice quiet. “Does that mean that we’re free to go?”

The colonel sighed. “I wish I could say that the answer was yes. The terror cells are now disorganized and making mistakes, and our boys are ferreting them out—with the continued help of Lambdas like yourselves. This phase of the war is coming to a close.”

Aubrey looked at Jack. He spoke first. “This phase.”

“I’m afraid to report that this has all been a prelude. The terrorists stretched our forces thin, destroyed our infrastructure and our ability and will to fight. And, as of this morning, Russia has invaded Alaska.”