Her side aching, tears stinging her eyes, Andrea was led down the long, half-deserted corridors of the base. It had the air of a battleship cleared for action. She could hear the hum of generators, the rattling of weapons, as black-robed men hurried down the base's corridors, sub-machine guns in their hands.
At last, she was brought to the great bronze doors of the control room, which swung open to reveal a vast screen, depicting the United States, concentric circles emanating from the marked fault lines, red lights all over it. Above this was a large LED display displaying a countdown. This stood at fifteen minutes. Andrea's heart leapt into her mouth.
Fifteen minutes for a miracle!
"Andrea!" Ms. Madison, looking very chilly in her swimsuit, cried out at the appearance of the redhead. Handcuffed to a computer bank, she strained on her bonds, despite the pain this caused her. "Where is he?"
"Stopped a bullet." Her tones were grim.
Ms. Madison said nothing, but Andrea saw the look of pain in the blonde's eyes. She turned to the man with the gold on his robes, anger in her eyes.
"Why are you doing this?" she demanded.
"For enlightenment and to bless the world," the leader replied, his eyes burning with strange fire.
"After Cain killed Abel, he built the first city. It was his children who taught the world how to work iron, to make machines - to make war! When Judas betrayed Jesus, he brought salvation to the world! By destroying the United States, we shall make the world a better place!
"The United States is too powerful, the only superpower! If it is destroyed, the world will return to the striving of nations which produed the massive scientific development of the Nineteenth century!" His voice rose to a scream, the same scream that had once split the air at Nuremberg. "And the Order of Cain will guide that development!"
Andrea started towards the leader of the order, only to have the butt of a rifle smash into the back of her head. She fell to the ground, quite insensible. The leader of the Order laughed even harder.
"That was uncalled for!" Ms. Madison stared angrily at the leader of the Order. Above them, the clock turned to five minutes.
"Closing all hatches..." a technician announced. "Switching to internal air supply..."
The leader of the Order stepped back, looking at the map.
"The Green Man is dead!" the leader of the Order of Cain laughed, throwing back his head. "The Order of Cain will triumph!" His laugh rose to a scream of triumph, and his words echoed through the base:
"Nothing in the world can stop me now!"