Taking the planet back from the radical Islamists.
April 30, 2008, All Rights Reserved.
When a very senior al-Qaeda operative made the serious mistake of transiting the small sliver of Chinese real estate abutting northern Pakistan in an attempt to smuggle a deadly Russian variant of VX nerve gas (R-33+) into neighboring Afghanistan, he obviously did not realize that his actions would set into motion a secretive program designed to target renegade scientists no matter where they resided. Apparently, he had simply concluded that the United States was far too compassionate and the United Nations far too impotent for anyone to carry out operations more intense than what the politically-correct world would allow.
As his vintage automobile roared down the equally decrepit dirt road his pride could not have imagined the Pilatus PC-12 Spectre aircraft operating high above under the guise of a Swiss corporate bird anymore than he could’ve understood the significance of the Gulfstream G-550 orbiting nearby over Pakistani airspace. That the former would observe his every move with its retractable sensor package and the latter would eventually knock out his vehicular electrical system with a short burst of electromagnetic pulse energy seemed beyond his care at the moment. The Chinese were always favorable to anyone with grievances towards the West and the thought that one of their own sympathetic to the Tibetan cause would squeal on his whereabouts was simply absurd.
The Muslim Russian merely wanted to excuse himself of the one-liter bottle secured away within his attaché case; itself containing a concentrated solution of the deadly V-agent liberated during the chaotic cleanup period following the ‘accidental’ fire which occurred on April 28, 1974 and consumed the wooden warehouse located on the premise of the Novocheboksarsk munitions loading facility. His charge was simply to showcase the quality of the product; that time had not diluted the potency of the chemical that came from the better part of fifty-five bombs ‘damaged’ during the inferno. Without quality, there would be no money and without money he could not retrieve the lifestyle that he had grown accustomed to when the mere word Soviet sent the hearts of the Western world trembling.
Even when his automobile’s engine conked out amidst a plume of bluish-white smoke, the only aggravation that he experienced was but that of another brief reminder on why capital was more important than faith or allegiance. He liked being spoiled and pampered; any momentary delay would simply inflate his asking price. While his driver finagled with the mechanics involved, he eased back into the rear seat and flushed out a local newspaper from beneath the passenger seat and set about reading what had already become ancient history. It was the last moment of relaxation that he experienced.
When the quintessential dilapidated tow truck arrived on scene, the delayed purveyor of harm didn’t give it a second thought. His arrogance blinded him to the expediency of the newcomer – he simply expected things to work along his schedule and the thought that perhaps, just perhaps, assistance arrived too conveniently wasn’t never considered. It was only when the tow truck crew pulled out submachine guns and quickly sprayed his driver with 9mm rounds did he understand his grave mistake. Terror gripped his soul as he made a mad dash for the door only to find himself facing another man brandishing an automatic weapon. Before he had a chance to react, the first assailant shoved a hypodermic deeply into his thigh, rendering him unconscious within seconds.
Subdued, the al-Qaeda thug was oblivious to the second Pilatus – which had been flying in close formation with the first – begin its approach towards landing on the desolate road. Before it had a chance to turn around for the takeoff, the special operations team had ‘Abdul’ and his attaché case out of the car and were dragging him over towards the large single-engine aircraft…
In the picturesque hills near Tuscany, a medieval castle stood poetically out of the early morning fog. The large estate, renovated consistently since the 1800’s, is owned by an American businessman possessing somewhat of a complicated past. He is a collector and maintains quite an assortment of icons, tapestries, furnishings, and…captured terrorists. That everything located above the lowest floor resembles something once featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous was not entirely a ruse. The owner simply did not acquire that which was not considered either creative or classical in nature. That the lowest rooms resembled more of what Hollywood would consider appropriate for the Spanish Inquisition most definitely wasn’t a ruse. Its form followed function.
Racing at a rather high speed along the Italian countryside was a brown Bentley – just the type of auto that the local authorities would not consider stopping for routine matters of inquiry – and in the rear seat of the luxury automobile was a slumbering businessman. That he had been sleeping for many, many hours did not matter much to his fellow occupants. They simply wanted to transport their responsibility to the awaiting castle before the sleepy residents of the local community began to notice things. Once they pulled into the stone parking structure, they would be gone within moments – precisely the routine they had fashioned over the course of years of preparations; any pesky neighbors would simply see just another visitor arrive for any number of functions given by the owner of ‘the estate.’
Deep within the bowels of the castle all things ‘civilized’ ceased; the world was at war with the terrorists and some people knew that to win they would have to do that which most could not envision within their wildest nightmares. The fine line between brutality and civility was only broached because those orchestrating the interrogations sought to save lives – not end them as did the terrorists. In matters of efficiency, the only obstacle was the overly prying (and manipulating) souls of the media and here they rarely survived the encounter so no one remains to question the existence of this ‘private home’ in the green valleys of remote Italy…
The coral atoll sits rising out of the blue abyss of the South Pacific, hardly anything more than a sandy convergence of circling islets forming a ring not far from Papua New Guinea. Even in today’s age of the Internet, it takes a significant amount of time to locate a map showing the precise location of this tiny bit of dry earth in an otherwise unfathomable stretch of water. The Pacific holds other islands – lots of them – and this particular specimen attracts very little attention from the outside. Even the local tribesmen who occasionally beach their dugouts upon its shores to ask for fresh water or to fish its shoals pay much attention to the modern structures dotting the higher elevations. Even if they had toured the facilities, their primitive lifestyles could not comprehend the primitive nature of the research conducted at the location.
Its isolation was perfect to examine the R-33+ agent sent to the island; the buildings being nothing less than an advanced biological and chemical research center located hundreds of miles from prying eyes, transiting vessels, and over flying aircraft. Here, a small nuclear detonation could occur and the only people that would notice are those bored souls stuck within seismological laboratories around the planet. Yet, this facility is not interested in nuclear warfare; its concerns rest with the tiniest of chemical and biological specimens that, within the wrong hands, could unleash perhaps even greater tremors upon the unsuspecting world.
Herein the semblance to tropical paradise fades into ultramodern sterility. Lab technicians and scientists decked out in white dabble in the most heinous of nerve agents and toxins, including the infamous ‘Flash’ from Russia’s Soviet heyday – a chemical agent so powerful that the time between exposure and death is indescribably brief. The workers here understand the severity of their mission and most would not have it any other way. Their sacrifice in time away from loved ones cements their dedication to keep the most vicious instruments of death away from rogue nations and groups…
Traveling down a Midwestern Interstate in his blue Audi A8 W12, the ‘director’ received a phone call informing him that ‘Abdul’ was beginning to talk. The denial of senses efforts imposed upon him at ‘the estate’ were beginning to work. He did not inquire as to the methods used to get the Russian to talk; he just knew that they didn’t involve any physical torture. Mental intimidation was something that he was quite prepared to accept. The implications of failure were truly global and the protection of the peace-loving peoples of the planet was all that mattered. History might think ill of him but that history would never be allowed to mature.
The director had just left the confines of an otherwise unprepossessing office building first erected in the late 1960’s. Its function was purely administrative, though it sat near a pharmaceutical campus that toys with all sorts of unmentionables. Because of its own contracts with the federal government, this particular facility maintains an antiseptically clean track record. Everything located within the boundaries of the United States operates along similar guidelines.
When orders are given out – such as the disposing of ‘Abdul’ – the instructions are channeled through several secure networks maintaining the highest level of integrity. Of what happened to the arrogant al-Qaeda operative? We can only guess; but good riddance just the same. The world needs to dispose of terrorists once and for all even if it means incorporating several organizations which ignore international courtesy and boundaries. No civilized person should ever feel intimated to accord rogue terrorists the same level of respect that we grant honest criminals. Those who seek to destroy civilization should not be subject to civilization’s courtesies. They need to be removed from our midst and I, for one, will not lose any sleep over their demise
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