Franklin Square is located in the northwest quadrant of downtown Washington, bordered by K and Thirteenth streets. It is home to many historic buildings, most notably the Franklin School, from which Alexander Graham Bell sent the worlds first wireless message in 1880.
High above the square, a fast-moving UH-60 helicopter approached from the west, having completed its journey from the National Cathedral in a matter of minutes. Plenty of time, Sato
thought, peering down at the square below. She knew it was critical that her men got into position undetected before their target arrived. He said he wouldnt be here for at least twenty minutes.
On Satos command, the pilot performed a touch-hover on the roof of the tallest building aroundthe renowned One Franklin Squarea towering and prestigious office building with two gold spires on top. The maneuver was illegal, of course, but the chopper was there only a few seconds, and its skids barely touched the gravel rooftop. Once everyone had jumped out, the pilot immediately lifted off, banking to the east, where he would climb to silent altitude and provide invisible support from above.
Sato waited as her field team collected their things and prepared Bellamy for his task. The Architect was still looking dazed from having seen the file on Satos secure laptop. As I said . . . an issue of national security. Bellamy had quickly understood Satos meaning and was now fully cooperative.
All set, maam, Agent Simkins said.
On Satos command, the agents ushered Bellamy across the rooftop and disappeared down a stairwell, heading for ground level to take up their positions.
Sato walked to the edge of the building and gazed down. The rectangular wooded park below filled the entire block. Plenty of cover. Satos team fully understood the importance of making an undetected intercept. If their target sensed a presence here and decided just to slip away . . . the director didnt even want to think about it.
The wind up here was gusty and cold. Sato wrapped her arms around herself, and planted her feet firmly to avoid getting blown over the edge. From this high vantage point, Franklin Square looked smaller than she recalled, with fewer buildings. She wondered which building was Eight Franklin Square. This was information she had requested from her analyst Nola, from whom she expected word at any moment.
Bellamy and the agents now appeared, looking like ants fanning out into the darkness of the wooded area. Simkins positioned Bellamy in a clearing near the center of the deserted park. Then Simkins and his team melted into the natural cover, disappearing from view. Within seconds, Bellamy was alone, pacing and shivering in the light of a streetlamp near the center of the park.
Sato felt no pity.
She lit a cigarette and took a long drag, savoring the warmth as it permeated her lungs. Satisfied that everything below was in order, she stepped back from the edge to await her two phone callsone from her analyst Nola and one from Agent Hartmann, whom she had sent to Kalorama Heights.