Chapter II: Cone Denim Entertainment Center

"We got the results back on the chemical analysis of the explosives," Captain Hinson said as Chief Scott walked into the conference room where Hinson and several other police officers were seated.

"So what was it?" Chief Scott asked.

"Potassium nitrate," Hinson answered.

"Any idea where the bomber might have got it from?" Scott asked.

"Could have been any hardware store or lawn and garden center," Hinson answered. "It's the main ingredient in stump rot."

"Oh great," Scott complained, "so we're looking for one of those types who can make bombs out of the stuff you find under anyone's kitchen sink."

"Looks like he might have planted the bombs months ago too," Hinson added. "They were hidden behind the electrical outlets."

"Anything on the videos?" Scott asked.

"We went back 30 days, as far as the videos go and didn't find a thing," Hinson answered.

"Great, just great," Scott complained. "Well let me know when you find something.


Fifty-five year old Rocky Scarfone had come a long ways since starting out on the streets of New York. His grandfather, Rocky Sr had been a cop and had a promising career as a boxer until he got caught fixing fights for the mob. Rocky had followed in his grandfather's footsteps, throwing fights, selling cocaine and in his early years working as a dancer in the Chippendales all-male revue until the night detectives from the Metropolitan Organized Crime Intelligence Unit removed him from a stage one night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on charges of fraud, racketeering and making threats in Florida and North Carolina along with his mother and father who were also arrested.

Most people who know Rocky think that was when Rocky decided he'd be better off controlling the clubs and what goes on stage instead of appearing on stage.

Rocky owned seedy clubs, bars, strip clubs and restaurants all over the South. He even owned half of the winery that NASCAR team owner Richard Childress had founded. He booked shows in the 22,000 seat Greensboro Coliseum, the second largest indoor arena in the United States, and ran the southeast operations for Live Nation, the largest ticket booking service in the world. He got what he wanted by paying people to break the rules and leaning hard on those who hesitated to take his money.

Tonight he was having a drink in his office at the Cone Denim Entertainment Center on Elm Street in downtown Greensboro looking out a one way mirror at the crowd drinking and dancing below. His girlfriend of the week was passed out on the couch. At first he thought one of the ventilation fans must be malfunctioning as the smoke filled room seemed smokier than usual then he saw the plumes of black smoke pouring into the room from electrical outlets and light fixtures all over the room. The next thing he knew his office was being filled with thick black smoke from every direction.

The fire alarms started blasting and the emergency lighting came on but the smoke was so thick no one could see anything. Hundreds of people were screaming and trampling all over one another as they ran in every direction in search of exits. Others, succumb to the smoke and fell to the floor only to be trampled by the rest. Rocky Scarfone, the big tough gangster, ran three steps towards his private exit, down the fire escape, jumped into his car and sped away... Alone.


Hours later, City of Greensboro Interim Fire Chief Bobby Nugent stood in front of the International Civil Rights Center And Museum across the street from the Cone Denim Entertainment Center as fire inspectors finished up their investigation. "All that smoke and no fire," he heard a man's voice say. He turned to see Police Chief Wayne Scott walking up behind him.

"I guess it's been a long night for you too," Nugent said.

"Sure has," Scott agreed, "your guys find out anything yet."

"Smoke bombs," Nugent answered. "They're telling me the building was full of remote controlled smoke bombs from the bottom to the top."

"You mean to tell me we had almost ninety people injured because of smoke bombs?" Chief Scott asked. "Who would do such a thing?"

"The who is what you're going to have to figure out," Nugent said, "We firemen just figure out the how."

"Well have you figured out how he controls these devices?" Chief Scott asked.

"Well," Nugent answered, "most of these things are controlled by cell phones but my guys are saying they don't think that's how this thing works. They think this guy is controlling his devices via the Internet. And we don't have anyone who knows how to figure these things out."

"The Internet," Scott mumbled reaching for his phone, "Hold on while I make a call. Get me Detective Mark Steed, tell him to put all his cases on hold and call me at this number ASAP."

Please continue reading Chapter III, Center Pointe