The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security took the cold cup of coffee off his desk and took a long sip.
The past twenty-four hours had been hell. And there were still decisions to be made. Decisions that would change lives forever.
"Alright Carl, give me an update. Hell, just recap the last damn twenty-four hours for me."
"Yes sir, Mr. Johnston." his assistant replied as he turned the pages on his clipboard. He seemed to find the one he wanted and began reading.
"At approximately 2:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, the California Space Anomaly - referred to by the survivors as the 'FAYZ' - disappeared for reasons not yet known. National Guard forces quickly swarmed the area and evacuated survivors to a nearby base. There the children were interviewed by the - until recently - former scientists of Evanston Air National Guard base." He threw down a folder onto the Secretary's desk that read TOP SECRET - PROJECT CASSANDRA. "Some of the children appear to have developed powers, seemingly as a result of a nuclear accident a couple years back." He threw down an old folded-up newspaper with the headline PERDIDO BEACH NUCLEAR POWER HIT BY METORITE, ENGINEER KILLED. "Now the only question left is 'What do we do with these children?' A question you will need to answer, sir."
Clint Johnston let out a sigh as he began to absentmindedly flip through the pages of the PROJECT CASSANDRA folder. "So what are my options Carl?" he asked blankly. "Well sir, while in the end the decision is up to you, ultimately you have three options. One, you can let these children loose on society, which I would highly not recommend due to their threat to National Security. Two, you lock them away in a high-security prison for rest of their lives. Or three, you can accept the offers of Black Mesa and Aperture Science to take these children in."
Clint turned to the end of the folder, where the interviews of what the media was calling "The FAYZ Kids" were. He picked up one particular file. "This autistic kid – Pete Ellison –"
"Seemingly the most powerful one in the bunch," Carl commented, "So powerful some of the scientists think he might have caused the FAYZ."
Clint gave a weak smile. "That name's really caught on, hasn't it?"
There was silence between the two men for several minutes until Clint finally leaned back in his chair and spoke up. "Okay Carl, here's what we're gonna do. Send the Pete kid to Black Mesa, that way if anything happens at least he's isolated. The rest of the mutated kids go to Aperture Science, a couple of nut-jobs for the nut-jobs. All the normals go home to their parents. And put the HECU on high-alert, last thing we need around here is another disaster."
"What should we tell the media, sir?" Carl asked as he took out a pen and began writing on his clipboard.
"I don't know, tell 'em the mutants are contaminated, and need to be sterilized before they can be returned to society, or somethin' like that." he said, the gravity of what he was doing beginning to sink in.
Carl finished writing on his clipboard and looked up. "Anything else, sir?" he asked with a slight quiver in his voice.
Clint shook his head gravely. "That will be all, Carl. May God forgive me."