Saint Paul, Minnesota
05 February 1021
Burnt gunpowder and incense whirled through the remains of the stained glass windows, seeking escape from the violent tableau inside. Saint Agnes Church was still standing but badly damaged, wounded in her soul. Bobby Kurtz lay flat against the cold floor—unwilling to budge from his spot as he scanned the church for any sign of movement. His head snug against the tile, Bobby listened for the inevitable thud of the Saint Paul Police Department SWAT team spilling into the blood-stained sanctuary. He passed the time plucking shards of stained glass from his face and hands as the seconds ticked by in the frigid air. He took in the broken church and marveled that it wasn’t filled with more corpses after the last few minutes.
To his left lay one of the priests—bloodied, a bit disoriented, but alive. What kind of sadist sends a team of terrorists, including a suicide bomber, to a congregation of innocent people during Mass? Bobby shook off the nausea and adrenaline that came with every gun battle. He’d won. Only one dead parishioner traded for six dead terrorists. Good numbers but only by God’s grace. It was time to prepare for the cops. "Father, stay put. A maelstrom is going to break loose when SWAT comes in here; they’ll play rough if you even twitch."