IC: Paul Weller Summerton High School, Summerton, VA August 17, 2010 6:00PM The phone continued to ring...three, four, five times without a response. Paul was pacing now, self-consciously pressing the phone closer to his ear, hoping that the simple action may somehow have an effect on the other end and Kate would eventually answer. She never did. Muttering a string of curses under his breath that would land any one of his students in detention, Paul switched off the phone and ran a hand through his dark hair. He was now left with two disturbing possibilities - either Kate was hurt and lying helpless somewhere out there or whoever had erected that wall had also managed to shut down all methods of communication to all outlying areas. He was still milling over that last part when he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Swallowing hard to collect his bearings, Paul turned and found himself standing face to face with the town deputy, Marty Rivers, and his son. He offered a slight nod in greeting, but his thoughts continued to stray elsewhere - to Kate and the fate of the town. "I am bringing Devon home. Please excuse us," Rivers informed him coolly. He didn't know what it was, but something irked him about that. Was it the fact that Rivers was stepping on his own turf and pulling the rug out from under him or was it a suspicion that he may be hiding something simply because he wore a badge? Paul soon found his answer as the deputy continued. "This is not a terrorist attack." Paul suddenly found himself standing very still as he stared at the other man, his gaze hardening. He had uttered those very words moments ago and it was as if the other man had been reading his mind. "The government is controlling this little shindig, and I doubt we are getting out soon." "What 'shindig'?" Paul interjected darkly. "What the hell are they doing out there? Where are the rest of your men in all of this?!" He was starting to slowly lose his composure and judging from the looks straying in their direction, his voice was starting to carry as well. The last thing he wanted was to get more people upset. Clearing his throat, he angled his head toward the ground and fell silent as Rivers went on to explain the incident at the hospital and the attack on the sheriff. "And what are you doing about it?" he challenged after Rivers had finished. But the deputy never gave him a response. He simply left. "Rotten son of a--" "Can I call my mother?" a young girl asked with a tear-streaked face. Paul held his tongue and forced himself to look away from the retreating back of the deputy. Right now, the students and their safety were more important. Kneeling, he lowered himself to be more on her level and offered her a weak smile. "We're doing our best," he started to explain, his mind still obviously elsewhere. "We're going to have someone call your parents, either myself or Mrs. Katherine, and let them know what's going on. We'll have them come pick you up soon enough." He trailed off, knowing he could do better and the look in the girl's face told him as much. With a sigh, he reached for his phone and held it out to her. "But if you want to get a head start, I wouldn't mind. Maybe you'll have better luck than I have." After the girl had gone, Paul remained where he was, stooped over and watching the proceedings with sad eyes. He didn't know what to think of the situation any longer, especially with Kate missing and the police providing cryptic answers about everything. Nothing was making sense. It was in this vulnerable position that Grace found him once more. "The students are getting restless, Paul," she pointed out with worry in her voice. "What should we do? Do you think one of us should go to the City Hall and find out what is happening?" "Marty Rivers was here," he revealed distantly, refusing to look at her as he pressed his lips into a thin line. "He said the government is behind it and no one's getting out. No explanation...no nothing.