“What happened to the town?”

“The same thing that happened to Paris, I think. Twice.”

Jean-Luc looks across at me. “You were in Paris, weren’t you? This is what they did to our capital city?”

“The blast radius looks the same. There aren’t many bombs that can do that much damage. It looks like the one to the east hit second.”

“But why destroy this town? There’s no heavy industry, no military base.” The question came from Georges, one of our younger volunteers.

Jean-Luc pointed down the river to the road bridge. “Probably because of that. They wanted to be sure there was no resistance when their group crossed the river.”

“The last time I heard of them doing something like that they sent another B2 to destroy the bridge once the squad was across so they couldn’t be followed. Perhaps your air force got the second wave.” I offered.

Jean-Luc made a very French dismissive sound. “They got the wrong ones. It is something, though, to get any.”

“Stealth bombers aren’t as undetectable as they’d like you to believe.” We’d seen an example of a development in stealth detection not long before. Army trucks with arrays of directional microphones mounted on the bed. The microphones swept the sky, listening for planes. It was practically a nineteenth century technology, albeit with a bus full of electronics to analyze it and aim guns based upon the data collected.

“Why don’t we just drop a nuclear bomb on Washington?” Georges Asked.

“Because then they would drop nuclear bombs on us. They haven’t hit us with any nuclear weapons yet because they know French submarines have to be sat off their coast ready to destroy some of their cities. So far whoever is in charge of their nukes has had the sense not to start the end of the world.”

“There are still fires burning down there.” I didn’t want to think about apocalypse, so I brought the subject back to the present situation. “It can’t have happened that long ago.”

“There may still be people to rescue from the ruins.” Jean-Luc didn’t sound that convinced of what he said, “We should go and offer our help.”