They descended like a swarm. Before the rubble had even finished settling into the earth, the city was ringed with checkpoints. By the time the fires had gone out, the queues for the subway were miles long; each passenger being searched, ID’d and bomb-sniffed before admittance. The city of Portland struggled to move as the Department tightened its grip; neighbour watched neighbour, barking dogs became acts of terror, double-parking became sedition, jaywalking… jaywalking made you disappear. For two weeks, the citizens held their breath, until finally the news came: Chicago was burning.
Portland had struck.
The checkpoints were gone that afternoon.