Okay, folks, this is MY bit of ...vent about the WTC/Pentagon tragedy and one way to express how I feel about it. It's not canon, really, it's a reality I wish I was just dreaming, especially to see it TWICE in one life - I was in OKC for the Murrah Bombing, and how I feel now really isn't that different from how I felt then.

To all the families of the New York City and the families of the Pentagon missing. Our hearts are with you all now and in the future. And, also, to Oklahoma City - those of us who saw, lived through and tried to aid with the Murrah disaster are surely having deja vu - I know *I* prayed to never see this again, ever...




Tracey Claybon


Usual disclaimers - I don't own the characters of Witchblade, TNT, Top Cow/Marc Silvestri and Image do.

*No* disrespect is intended to the victims of this unfathomably horrible tragedy, this is just to express my abject sorrow at the senselessness of the event, and the events depicted here are not meant to depict any particular event that has recently happened.

This is also dedicated to the other major heroes of the WTC/Pentagon tragedy - the firemen, paramedics and police officers who worked to help the victims and fight day in and day out to keep us all safe and healthy in all of our cities.

Thanks to all of you.

* - phone conversation
:: - thoughts

Tuesday Morning, 10.30am

Sara was awakened from a cold, cramped sleep on her loft's beaten up couch by the ringing of her cell phone.

*Hello, Sara.*

Sara, exhausted from working on a particularly tough set of cases this week, was not happy to hear from anyone having anything to do with Kenneth Irons today- not even his sometimes helpful henchman.

"Nottingham? Why are you calling me at 10:30am in the morning on my day off?"

*Turn on your TV, Sara, and you'll know why I called.* Nottingham's voice lacked the usual sarcasm and humor she'd come to associate with his phone calls. The normally cool, unflappable, seen-it-all assassin actually sounded ... rattled. *Please, Sara, for once, no banter. Just turn on your TV.*

:: He said ... "Please." _Nottingham_ said "please". WHAT'S GOING ON?!::

Sara turned on her TV.

The first thing she saw on screen was the famous Manhattan skyline, but something wasn't there. There was smoke where there hadn't been any before. After a moment, she realized what wasn't there any more...

::Gone. Oh, my God, the WTC is GONE. What the Hell happened?::

* I know you're shocked, right now, Sara, so am I, but you're needed at the site of the disaster. I'm driving a car to the site, I have some medical training and will try to help, also - they need all that can right now.*

"What about your boss, Kenneth Irons?"

*He is donating all of Vorschlag's resources to try to help with this situation. He's no one's angel, but even he wouldn't commit an act such as this, and he loves this city after his own fashion and wishes to aid in this situation.*.

*Hurry, time is precious. Dress, quickly. Bring a flashlight, sunglasses, bottled water if you have it and a bandanna, it's dusty and dark out here.*

Sara shrugged off her exhaustion and quickly pulled on sturdy jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt, then grabbed a backpack from the floor of her kitchen. Thinking quickly, she grabbed the items Ian had suggested, along with a few power bars, a black and a blue sharpie, a note pad of paper, and her badge. She also made a point of wolfing down the remains of a cold breakfast that had been hot when she conked out, and cold coffee that she'd made to go with that hot breakfast. Who knew when she'd get to eat anything again - or possibly, want to?

She dashed out of her apartment, down to the street, where a slightly pale Ian waited in an idling dark blue BMW at the curb.

Ian said, " Mr. Irons wanted me to tell you that 'for once, there *is* no conflict between us. We _New Yorkers_ and Americans need to work together in common cause. This tragedy didn't recognize differences in race, creed or religion here. White, African-American, Hispanic-Americans, and Asians, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pagans, men and women, foreign and domestic - we all lost here. I want to do what I can to help the situation, and maybe later, go after the monster or monsters who committed this act.'

It took them about 4 hours to make a drive that normally took 45 minutes at the most. Sara was struck most by two things - the silence, and the expressions of shock, fear, and confusion on the faces of the people she saw on the way to the spot where the World Trade Center once stood.

They passed through 3 checkpoints on the way there - each time, Sara showed her badge, and Ian produced (obviously) legitimate medical credentials. Ian cautioned Sara to pull the bandanna she'd brought with her over her face for a mask. When they stopped at the site, they got out of the blue car, and Sara just stopped a moment and stared.

Where a pair of towers of glass and steel once challenged the sky, there was now just a pile of rubble you could see the afternoon sunlight over. It was ....surreal, like a waking dream. Already aiding with the effort to save the individuals trapped here, she saw Captain Dante, Jake, and many,. many others, covered in gray dust, doing what they could to rescue people. She saw a familiar looking older man with blond hair in a fireman's uniform, helping with evacuations in one of the surrounding buildings. She even saw Danny for a moment, comforting a indistinct shape that she knew was an individual who had just passed on.

Sara abruptly just started to cry... Ian walked over, quickly embracing her in a hug; she could feel him hugging her hard and shaking, himself. But, after a moment or two, they knew they had to get on with the business of helping to retrieve anyone who might have lived from the remains of the once-great building. Ian dried her tears, and his own, and they pulled themselves together, turning to start what was certainly going to be a long, hard battle for the lives of diverse New Yorkers- that, for once, had nothing to do with the Witchblade.