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Postby Saxon Dog » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:30 pm

The First Mate watched intently as the first cargo containers swung away from the ship. The Captain, a seasoned sailor from South Africa, content that the unloading was proceeding as usual, nodded and returned to the bridge. He would only return later, to ensure that the load was taken off evenly, not all from one side, which might cause the remaining load to capsize his ship. The Mate, a Pakistani by birth, waited patiently for one certain container to be lifted from the 4000 his ship had hauled across the Pacific to this pier in California.

Inside that particular container was one weapon, and a man who had volunteered to press the switch which would detonate it. A radio control had been considered, but a true believer would set the device off with no possible chance of failure. No matter what happened, he would activate the bomb if anyone tried to open the container, wherever it was. Even if intercepted far out to sea, damage would be done to the American economy. The First Mate switched channels on his walkie talkie to that which the martyr was monitoring. "Are you ready?" he asked quietly. "Yes, I am ready" came back the reply. The Mate was surprised at the mans calm voice. After 8 days inside the container, he was not sure he himself could have stayed so composed. "Soon now, my friend. Allah is with us today."

The gantry crane worked smoothly, expertly. One aluminum box after another lifted gently away from the top of the stack, and glided down to a line of waiting trucks. Smaller cranes unloaded the containers into an enormous holding stack just beyond the area the trucks used as a street to access the dock. Later they would be reloaded onto other trucks, which would pass thru the Security Gates and their neutron detection equipment on their way to the thousands of stores and malls and factories where the contents would be unloaded. But not today. Today the target was the Port itself. Long Beach was the busiest port in America. A nuclear blast here would disrupt Americas economy as no other event had. As the yankees themselves liked to say, they would be hit where it hurt most.

Five miles down the coast, three men watched intently from the balconey of their top floor hotel room. The one in the middle, who was known only as "Paul", gripped a set of binoculars which he had purchased only the day before at a nearby sporting goods store. The man to his right steadied a camcorder. The entire world would soon witness the event, if it pleased Allah. The entire top layer of containers were off, and the crane operator began on the next layer, working from the port bow across and aft. The weapon and its switch were 3 rows back, on the port side. The Mate readied his radio.

The crane began to lift the container. He could easily see the cresent shape spray painted on the end. Paul whispered to his companions, "Cover your eyes". The First Mate pressed the key on his radio as the container lifted. When it was at its highest point, he quietly spoke, "Allah is Great, now my friend". The man inside the shipping container did not hesitate.

The flash was much brighter than expected, but disappointingly small. From the hotel balcony, the men could clearly see the fireball diminish, replaced by an angry red ball of flame, which rose quickly, darkened to a boiling grey and climbed skyward, dragging a column of smoke along into the familiar mushroom shape. The War against the Great Satan had started at exactly 8:15 in the morning, here on America's west coast.

Ali, the driver, was the first to speak. "Allah be praised, we have destroyed them."
"Remember the Martyrs" replied Hassan, who was the local contact, the man who had rented the hotel room and made the living arrangements.

The tallest of the three, a man known only as Paul, remained silent. He carefully analyzed the scene thru binoculars. Dense dark smoke shrouded the dock 5 miles away up the coast, and thick dust obscured the entire port facilty. Steam rose from the water of the channel and mixed with the smoke and dust. A gentle breeze from the ocean slowly pushed it all northeast, even as the mushroom cloud faltered and lost its definition, becoming just the upper portion of a pillar of smoke. The heaviest fallout has already begun to fall from the stem of the mushroom, Paul knew from his training. The worst of it wont even make it outside the Port perimeter security fence. But he knew enough would reach the city to cause panic and hysteria.

"Bring the car around to the side entrance, Ali." he ordered. "We must be driving before the media begin reporting this as an attack." He watched the cloud climb. The cap of the mushroom was already twisted into a mere wisp of lighter colored haze, the column leading back to the point of detonation grew darker as it neared the ground, as it was now fed by fires which had broken out among the wreckage. Poking thru the ground haze Paul could now see the tops of the tall gantry cranes. The blast hadnt even knocked them all over. Not surprising he thought, they have little surface area for a blast to push against. As if on cue, one crane closer to Pauls vantage began to crumble, one leg after another buckling, til the boxy section at the top slowly lowered towards the dock. Another victim, Paul thought with satisfaction. The collapse only appeared slow from this distance.

Paul scanned the beach below the hotel. People were calmly gathering in small groups, pointing and looking to the northwest, trying to understand what the flash and mushroom cloud could have come from. Just then the sound of explosion reached them. A low hollow boom, as if someone had struck a large drum in the next room. Rather anticlimactic, Paul thought to himself, and wished for a moment he could have put on a better show for the beachgoers.

"It really wasnt very big, was it, Sir?" asked Hassan. "Did it not work?"

"It worked perfectly. The martyrs aboard the freighter detonated it exactly when we planned. The gantry had lifted the container as high as it was going to be when it went off. Maybe 25 or 30 meters above the water." Paul continued to scan the devastated area around the dock, looking for indications of damage. "But sadly, the bomb was only an old Soviet artillery shell. Only 1 kiloton. The Hiroshima bomb was 20 times larger. We would have been watching from much farther back if it had been one of those. Are you disappointed?"

"If I could I would cover the whole city with fire. Destroy them all. Let them all feel the pain our people have felt for so many years."

Paul scowled, "Your people are from a town in Lebanon, north of Beirut, untouched by any of the fighting. Your father sells cars. You have lived in Los Angeles since you started college here. Your people have not felt pain." Before Hassan could argue, Paul continued, his eyes still peering thru the binoculars. "You have assured me that this room has been paid thru the week." Hassan nodded. "Very well, you will remain here for 2 days at the least, 4 days if possible. Speak to no one. Do not leave the room. Watch the Television news. You will know when our remaining attacks have occured. Only when we have completed our attacks may you leave this place. Otherwise you might be caught and interrogated."

"I would die before I would tell them anything Sir!" Hassan insisted.

"You dont know anything, Hassan. Nothing important enough to jeopardize this operation, we've been very careful to make sure of that. Otherwise I would kill you myself right now. But you may have accidently overheard something, and you can identify my face. If they have a picture of me from some random traffic camera it could prove to be a problem. And they are very clever, dont deny them that. You wouldnt know you were helping them even if you led them right to me." The smoke was thick and roiling black over the docks. The Container Port of Long Beach was in flames at dozens of spots. Mostly burning diesel from the thousands of semi trucks parked there waiting to haul the shipping containers away. And the flammable cargos from tens of thousands of ruptured containers. Paul could now make out the bridge of the container ship which had delivered the deadly cargo. The front half of the ship was completely gone. Probably not vaporized like the gantry crane, but blasted down into the muddy bottom of the harbor. The stern of the ship was slipping slowly into the water, and a few containers floated nearby. Another ship which had been unloading farther down the wharf seemed practically untouched, but broken loose from the dock and drifting a bit.

"It will take them hours to even understand we have used a nuclear weapon on them, and that this wasnt a mere industrial accident. By the time they react I will be well on my way to the East Coast. Remain here til you are certain we have used the other devices. Then go out and find an opportunity to martyr yourself, as we will have done. If nothing else, crash your car into a crowd at one of their temples, or some of their police. The Strength of the Prophet is with us. I must go now." The smoke from the truck fires obscured the damage to the dock area, so waiting here was of no further use. He would see more by watching the televised coverage on his laptop from the car. He had two days to reach a vantage point for the next attack, and flying was now out of the question. At least he could sleep in the limo for the next two days, he hadnt gotten any rest at all in the prior 3 days, worried that one of the other weapons would be compromised.

The long black limouisine pulled away from the hotel without drawing attention, and within minutes was on the Interstate heading east. By now several helicopters circled the base of the billowing oily black smoke coming from the container dock. The traffic reporters had their cameras trained on the burning trucks. Occaisionally a human figure would briefly appear below the smoke, then as quickly become shrouded. The flashing lites of dozens of police and ambulances began to converge on the site. People could be seen on hundreds on apartment balconies, peering into the smoke which drifted lazily over their area.

Office of Gen Swaggart, Chief of Staff - United States Air Force - Pentagon Bldg - Washington DC

The General sat behind a huge mahogany desk, his feet up on a large leather hassock. His jacket hung on a tree near the door. He was calmly chewing a sandwich. "Sit or stand Major, I'm briefing the Secretary of State in 10 minutes downstairs, I havent had time to take a **** today, so only new info, no disclaimers, you have 5 minutes while I eat dinner. Go."

"Yes sir" Major McCaffery opened his notebook, adjusted his glasses, and began speaking as he aligned himself onto a red leather chair. "We've had time to look closely at the kids video from down the beach. Epicenter was clearly the container being lifted. Ground Zero is far too hot to go near, but we've gotten good shots from the helicopter footage taken before we closed the airspace. We're certain the fireball was less than 100 yards in diameter. The dock is barely cratered. That makes the yield less than 2 kiloton, most probably 1 kiloton, which is smaller than most Russian backpack or demolition warheads. Best guess is it was an ex-Soviet artillery shell, 152 or 203 millimeter. Probably stolen during the collapse." The Major took a long breath, turned a page and continued. The general was almost finished with his sandwich. "3 Islamic splinter groups have taken credit already, all 3 are wanna-bees or financial front groups, none have the savvy to pull something of this scale off. Thats the technical opinion, you may have better intel in that regard." The General popped the last bite into his mouth and glared at the Major. "Casualties were fairly low considering, " the Major swiftly continued. "The crane operators, several hundred drivers and longshoremen working the container yard, obviously the crew of the freighter, some of who may have been involved... " Another page turn. "Fallout damage may be minimal. Early readings show the hottest area is around the crater, and the area to the northeast, mostly inside the Port Facility proper, and much of what landed outside fell on parking lots, streets and freeways. Fortunately due to the heavy smoke, not many police or EMTs entered the hot zone before we were able to seal the area off. The downwind area was evacuated fairly quickly, less than two hours. A lot of cars drove thru the heavy fallout area, but none lingered in the area for more than a minute, so total radiation exposure dosages will be low. Basically, except for a few dozen unlucky bystanders who were outside watching the cloud as it went over them, we wont lose a significant number of civilians to radiation. Almost all the victims will have been killed by the blast and resulting dockyard fires."
The Major closed his notebook as the General rose and strode to his jacket. "Counting radiation deaths in the next year or so, and the dockworkers, total deaths likely between 1000 and 1500. All civilian. Perhaps another hundred from heart attacks and accidents caused by the evacuation."

The General slipped into his coat, "And we're sure the fallout missed the hospital?"
"Yes sir," the Major answered. "By less than two blocks. But we have people taking continual readings, and we are very sure the hospital is safe."

"Anything from the lab yet on the bomb material?" the General asked as he straightened his tie and walked towards the doorway.

"We should be able by noon tomorrow to tell you what year the weapon was made and in which Russian factory." the Major stated flatly.

"That still wont tell us who brought it here.That will be the million dollar question."
Without another word or look back the General was gone, without a dismissal.

"Who brought it here?" the Major thought to himself. "Who would be willing to bring down the sort of wrath we will surely drop on their heads? No one is that crazy."
Saxon Dog
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: the Rugged West


Postby Saxon Dog » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:16 pm


Stopping only for gas and rest room breaks, and switching drivers and limos 3 times, Paul arrived at his vantage point in New Jersey an hour before the next scheduled attack. Traffic jams in St Louis, construction in Ohio and Pennsylvannia, and a slow speed hiway jamming protest in Arizona had added 6 hours to the trip. The police had stopped their car once outside Oklahoma City, when he had allowed the driver to exceed the speed limit to make up time. They'd been let off with a warning.

"Let me out near the river, with the camera." Paul instructed the driver. "Then you find us something to eat. Anything except burgers or burritos. Then get back here so you can see the fireworks go off."

The camcorder was ready to tape, and Paul set it on a park bench, aimed across the river at Lower Manhatten. Liberty State Park was empty save for a man doing some sort of weed trimming along a fence a fair distance off. He'd planned on sitting quietly, enjoying the fine weather and trying to look nonchalant, but the long hours in the car had made him restless, and he paced along the seawall fence. He was careful not to walk in front of the camera. Off to his right was Ellis Island. Farther off was the Statue of Liberty. What an easy target that would have been, he thought. But not enough casualties. The Press here loves body counts. And the fallout would land in the water mostly.

Across the Hudson River, Sargeant Reece of the NYPD was waving one last car thru the intersection of Broadway and Chambers as he dragged the sawhorse barrier out into the flow of traffic. Another VIP motorcade was coming thru and everyone travelling south on Broadway was being shunted west. Long time New Yorkers shrugged off such inconvieniances but there were plenty of tourists who always felt singled out. After the attack in California 2 days ago they should be happy we're letting any traffic move this far south at all. After 9-11 the whole Financial District was shut down tight as a tick. Glad they arent over-reacting this time, he thought. He waved another car onto Chambers. Anyone heading to City Hall was just out of luck today.

Traffic on Broadway was held up by the confusion. Reece let the cross traffic clear and waved the southbound cars ahead. One truck in the right hand lane was stopped. It was a white panel van, the kind that makes deliveries to the resturaunts that dotted Manhatten. Something about the truck struck Reece as odd. He started across the intersection to check out the situation. Instinctively he reached for his shoulder mic to call it in. Cars were passing around the panel van. Halfway across the intersection, Reece slipped between the slow moving flow with practiced agility. He made eye contact with the driver. Dark hair, bearded. Eyes large, frightened. He checked the passenger. The same. Middle Eastern, frightened. Both staring right at him. An instant of dread realization came over him as he watched the inside of the truck flash bright blue.

If you divide a second into a thousand parts, you have a millisecond. If you are fast, you can blink your eye in 300 milliseconds. A honeybee flaps its wings in 5. 100 milliseconds is human reaction time. A tenth of a second.

In the first millisecond the core of uranium reaches 100 million degrees. Gamma rays penetrate the bombs walls and begin to ionize the air around the detonation. A thick ball of smog, mostly ozone and nitrous oxide, opaque to visible light, envelopes the terrorists truck.

Massive amounts of x-rays are produced in the intense heat of the fireball. As it expands it cools rapidly. X-rays strike atoms and are absorbed, and quickly re-emitted at lower intensity in random directions, as many back into the center as outwards. Within 5 milliseconds a ball of ionized gas called the iso-thermal sphere surrounds the warhead. At approximatly 50 million degrees, it is a trillion times brighter than the surface of the sun, but still invisible inside the gamma smog layer.

At around 12 milliseconds, a shock wave forms at the surface of the fireball, which is now about 10 feet in diameter. This shock wave now expands faster than the fireball, and masks the wavelengths of thermal energy inside it. Initially moving at Mach 100, the shock wave cools rapidly to 5000 degrees.

Sargeant Reece, standing 90 feet from the epicenter of the blast, already dying of a massive gamma and x-ray exposure, would not have had time to understand or even feel what was happening as the shock wave struck him. All that remained of him was a mist of hot steam when the fireball reached the intersection.

Contained between two of Manhattens large buildings, the blast was directed mostly north and south on Broadway. The walls facing the blast were vaporized and thrown by the shock wave thru the buildings themselves, along with interior walls, desks and occupants. The far sides of those buildings were blasted outwards, crashing into the buildings on the next blocks, which suffered major damage but did not collapse. Hundreds of unwary pedestrians on those streets were crushed before they could turn their heads.

The fireball took on an odd shape. The ground below the blast absorbed much of the heat, instantly melted, and began to swirl upwards into the hot radioactive cloud that quickly formed over the street. The heavy structure of the nearest buildings did much the same, the fireball and blast wave were only unconstrained along the axis of the street, and directly upwards. Those protected by the buildings east and west of the detonation were lucky, many people only 2 blocks away were unhurt. But many up to half a mile away on Broadway were killed as the blast became focused between the tall buildings. Up and down the street for blocks, buildings had the wall facing Broadway sheered off, as if by an earthquake. Hundreds were killed by falling bricks, concrete and broken glass.

People up to half a mile away were killed directly by the blast, and some even farther away by debris. A few relatively lucky folks received 2nd degree burns from the flash of the explosion and somehow managed not to be badly injured by the blast itself. Several hundred were however not so lucky, and received high doses of radiation directly from the flash. Scientists determined the 500 REM line was nearly 1200 yards up and down Broadway, so some fortunate enough to have survived the blast but not protected by their cars or street signs died horribly in the next month.

The fallout from this small warhead was worse than from the Long Beach bomb. Detonated near ground level, the fireball sucked the melted pavement and building materials up, and the streets acted as chimneys, funneling air to the many fires that once again broke out. The column of radioactive smoke rose quickly, and carried lazily to the Northwest. In spite of having watched two days of network coverage, many people in New York were still unaware of the dangers the fallout held, and hesitated to evacuate the Island. Many thought the smoke would be no worse than that they had breathed after the 9-11 attacks. The death toll from all causes, blast, thermal radiation, energetic radiation, fallout and secondary fires eventually reached 20,000. And the bomb was only a 1 kiloton model. A larger warhead would have caused far greater destruction.

Across the Hudson, Paul cursed quietly. as his limo sped away from the riverside park, he played back the footage he'd shot of the event. The fools had set the device off almost 20 minutes too early. He was fortunate he had started the camera as soon as they'd arrived, just in case of some mistake such as this. And it seemed from the smoke column, the explosion had occured far north of the intended target, the center of the Financial District. Now I'll have to watch the network coverage to see what I've accomplished, he thought bitterly. Worst of all, a large overweight woman pushing a baby carraige had blocked the camera just at the moment of detonation. Her timing could not have been worse, he couldnt see any glimmer of the flash. Only the bright ball of smoke as it topped the skyline after she slowly passed his vantage. Stupid Cow, he thought, I could have recorded one of the most important moments in history.

As the driver sped up the ramp onto the Interstate, Paul asked him to tune the cars radio to one of the major news networks. He had a small television that he channel surfed as well, waiting for the tragedy to make the airwaves. The first sound from the radio however was music. The Rolling Stones. Paul listened for a few seconds. A familiar tune. "Leave it there for a moment" he instructed. " The ironic lyrics of Mick Jagger fit the moment perfectly. I Cant Get No. Satisfaction. If only we'd been able to purchase larger warheads. So much more we could have accomplished. At least we dont need to hurry to make it to the third demonstration. Tomorrow I can sleep late and eat at a decent resturaunt, and watch the coverage in a decent room.

200 Miles South of Iceland

Captain Gottson dismissed the Officers from the hastily called Staff Meeting. His Exec stayed behind as usual for any additional requests. Gottson waited for the room to clear before speaking. "Frankly I would have hoped for more discussion."

"Everyone is pissed off, Captain, some more than others. Doctor Williams has a daughter studying at Columbia University, about a block from Ground Zero 2. Im not sure yet how many of the crew have families in New York or close in to the city. There could be friends visiting there or working."

"You'll let me know if there's any problems, naturally. I have a lot of faith in their dedication, and in your ability to handle anything that might crop up." the Captain stated confidently. "I'll be relying on you to make sure the crew is 100 % committed. Anything less simply will not be sufficient."

"Dont worry Captain. If anything, we're behind you 110 %"

"Thanks Jerry" the Captain said quietly. "Hopefully the folks in Washington will manage to pull something out of their hat. But until we have some word on their intentions, I want you working on that list. Get me something preliminary by midnight, we'll go over it in the morning and you can tweak the numbers tomorrow with your boys. And send Jonesy in when you see him, quietly."

A minute later a seaman entered the Captains cabin. "The Exec said you wanted to see me, Sir?"

"Sit down Jonesy." the Captain waved the man to a padded chair across the room. As he settled onto the seat, Captain Gottson leaned forward in his chair, elbows on the chairs arms, interlaced the fingers of his hands. The sailor was nervous. "Dont worry, son. You arent in trouble." He thought deeply for a long second, and added "...yet."

The Captain smiled a bit. The nature of his job worked at odds against his sense of humor. "Do you remember that little talk we had at the beginning of our last cruise, Jonesy?" he asked.

"Yes Sir, I sure do, Sir." the sailor replied quickly, nervously. "And I can assure you sir, I havent said anything like that to anyone ever since. I know how important that sort of thing is now."

"Relax. This wont be an ass-chewing. I just need to ask you one question, and son, its very very important that you give a completely honest and accurate answer."

"Yes Sir, what is it Sir?" Jonesy was totally baffled now, but relieved he hadnt somehow been caught again.

"Son, can you really do what you said you could do, when you were bragging in that bar?"

Jones blinked. Can I do it? He couldnt believe the Captain would ask, or that the Captain didnt already know.
"Sir, I can do it. And I'd be damn glad to do it for you, if thats what you're really asking."

The captain smiled. "Yeah, I think thats exactly what I was asking. Tell you what, figure out what you'd need, and anyone you'd need to assist. Let me know tomorrow morning, make a list. How long do you think it'd take?"

"Not more than an hour, Sir, and I already have a pretty good idea of what it'll take. Anything that isnt right there in the Comm Room I can borrow from my Watch."

The Captain nodded. He wasnt sure what bothered him more. The ease or Jonesy's willingness. "Just plan it for now, Jonesy. Keep everything up here.. "he tapped his right temple, "don't write anything down til we talk with the Exec tomorrow. That's all for now."

The cabin was finally quiet. Time to think. 110%. The enormity of his job, his whole career, summed up in a trite number. It would all come down to that. It all comes down to the unthinkable.
Saxon Dog
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: the Rugged West


Postby Saxon Dog » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:48 pm

Day 6

This time everything went perfectly. The timing, placement, the camera shot, even the wind was a brisk offshore. Paul could only be pleased. Grim satisfaction was all he felt as the cloud of radioactive steam drifted into the City of Boston. "One of my better ideas" he allowed himself. Detonated on a small fishing boat that had been allowed to sink an hour before, the weight of the water at 50 foot depth helped compress the detonation. A huge mass of water flash boiled and the resulting steam explosion was far more impressive than the puny 1 kt shots he'd seen up til now. It reminded him of the footage he'd studied of the Bikini Test Shots the U.S. Navy had conducted just after World War II. A huge column of water had shot up above the explosion. Far larger than the miniscule effect of the 1 kiloton ground bursts, he had to admit. Now he had only to wait, hoping the American Press would let him know quickly whether his planned collateral damage had been realized. They had gone to great lengths to sink the small fishing boat directly over the Tip O'Neill Tunnel, one of the costly links in the so-called "Big Dig" project. If that was destroyed by the force of the blast above, or even badly damaged, the economic damage to the city would be multiplied.

The steam cloud held together nicely as it reached shore, and began to cling to the many buildings around the harbor. Paul could only imagine the panic this burst would have, once the pig eating people of this town began to realize the cloud was far more lethal than anything he'd concocted up til now. He wondered which of their shrines to Capitalism would be soaked in hot radiation. The North Church? The USS Constitution? The statue of Sam Adams? Hopefully after the next demonstration, the men he would soon be meeting would slather him with donations for this level of results.

He had worried before the operation that his resolve would fade as news came to him of the damage he caused. But instead his hatred only grew, fed by contempt at these weak-willed sheep. They were too contemptably corrupt to even defend themselves. God had showered them with wealth and power, and they had squandered it on alcohol and pornography. Their deaths will serve to unify His True Followers, and I shall lead them, he thought.

Office of Gen Swaggart, Chief of Staff - United States Air Force - Pentagon Bldg - Washington DC

Major McCaffery entered the room for the 9th time today. "Sir, analysts results finally arrived. Its definitley old Soviet artillery nukes. The Russian Embassy finally passed along confirmation as well, once we already had the answer. They are ZBV3 shells, 152 MM, assembled in the mid-70s. One kiloton nominal yield, blast radius roughly 500 yards. We think the New York shell only detonated at 80% of designed strength. Frankly, its something of a surprise that they went off at all."

General Swaggart paced behind his desk. "That dreaded Soviet reliability. They build stuff that works. What about the other two?"

McCaffery checked his sheet, "Too early to tell on the Boston bomb. But it looks like the placement was expertly handled. The road tunnels were collapsed and flooded, probably too hot down there for a year or two even to do recovery work. The radioactive steam cloud drifted over a densly populated section of Boston. Too early to tell what the casualties there will be, but they hospitals that remain open are already swamped and reporting acute symptoms. That steam from a submarine shot is just hot as hell. The best we can hope for is a rain storm in the next day or two to wash as much of it down as possible."

"I've had time this morning, unfortunately, to watch the news." the General nodded to his computer terminal. "I could show you the clip of the Russian Ambassador at the UN admitting the bombs were Russian made. But everything else out of his mouth was deny, deny, deny. It'd make you sick. The say they lost track of those nukes during the Breakup. Like everyone in Russia went on vacation for two years and fergot to lock the garage. Such complete and utter bullshit."

"Have we gotten any word on who's responsible yet? asked the Major.

Somebody knows but they arent talking to my pay grade yet. the General replied gruffly. "All you have to do is follow the money from the oil companys to the sheiks to the offshore banks and then figure out which Commie General that just retired to a villa in Switzerland sold those particular nukes to which bunch of terrorists. The fukkin President says we can't act hastily until all the facts are in and we know who was responsible. Come here and look at this." He motioned the Major around to see what he had on his computer screen. "Someone's already gotten a clip onto the internet showing the "celebration" demonstrations from all over the world. Its pretty clever how he's spliced all the network footage together"

The screen showed a mob demonstrating in front of the American Embassy in Cairo. There were fists waving, and the usual signs, "Death to America". A red star appeared in the middle of the screen, and the crowd picture shrank into a picture-in-picture frame superimposed on a map that showed Egypt. Soon the map panned back to show the Middle East, while the demonstration now fit nicely into the shape of Egypt. Then another demostration in front of another Embassy, this one in Syria. This one showed a burning American flag. That clip shrank and superimposed into the map, covering Syria's borders.

Demonstration after demonstration, riot after riot, soon all of North Africa, the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, were shown with tiny clips of riots over their map outline. The Gulf States had their clips out over the Gulf, since their miniscule size didnt show up.
"The police in a few countries have cracked down on the celebrations" the General noted. "Turkey and Indonesia. Bahrain. Even the Iraqis have gotten enough people together for a respectable Yankee Go Home riot."

"Thats gratitude for you. I heard that Israel are on top alert now." Major McCaffery stated. "The Heads of all our NATO allies are pretty much waiting to see what our response will be."

"What do you think we'll do, McCaffery? the General asked.

"Frankly Sir, I dont see where we can do much of anything useful." the Major observed. "We could invade some little country again if it turns out that these particular terrorists were based there, or got their training from them. But that wont do a thing about the overall situation, and it'll just run the country deeper into the hole financially." the Major shrugged, "we cant bomb em into loving us. Basically a fourth of the planet is fed up with their own sorry state, and theres no one to blame except us."

"I cant see what options the politicians will be willing to settle on." the General said dryly. "Unless we get a clear cut target, they're likely as not to do nothing. All they're really going to look at is how their reaction affects their chances of re-election."
The clip on the monitor ended. Little riots covered nearly every Muslim country. "Dammit Mac, I dont think we're going to actually DO anything. Maybe a couple air strikes on some training camps in Yemen or Somalia again. Nothing useful, just some showy crap for the Media. Hell, I hate to say it, but we've turned into such a bunch of wimps, we deserve getting our asses kicked."

220 Miles Southwest of Iceland

The Ships Doctor and XO looked up as the Captain entered the wardroom. "I dont know whether to be relieved or annoyed" he told them. "The crew is completely in agreement." The two officers exchanged relieved glances and smiled finally. "I questioned every crew menber individually. From bulkhead to tail, every one of them wants to do this. Frankly I am a bit put out that not one of them questioned the morality of the situation or their training. But there wasnt any macho crap either. They are simply all in favor of taking action."

"Then you'll be glad to hear the news, Sir, Jonesy and Screech have the Codes." the Exec stated flatly. "The software was even older than Jonesy thought, and he had to get Screech to help. He said it was like hacking into an old Donkey Kong game on a Nintendo."

The Doctor shook his head in agreement. "Never any money in the budget for the big stuff. Besides, locks only really keep out honest people."

The Exec continued, "And Koenig came up after we got the numbers and said he could verify them in 20 minutes if we'd have asked. I guess there are all sorts of ways around the system.

"How was he going to do it?" the Captain seemed troubled by the news.

"Claims he could take apart Number 17 and run a hack into it from the bottom, pretty much the same way Jonesy did from the Launch Console. Except right at the Canister Interface."

"That is most disconcerting." the Captain sighed. "I guess we shouldnt blame the Ruskies for having such a leaky system, ours frankly isnt as good as we thought either." He sat down heavily and looked at the clock. "All we need now is good weather over the Med. Thats all we need to wait for. Almost all the Embassies are being evacuated because of the rioting. Essential Staff only and some not even that. Mitch says tomorrow afternoon, 1500 Zulu, the winds will be optimal. Unless something happens in the meantime, We get started at 1400."
Saxon Dog
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:28 pm
Location: the Rugged West


Postby Saxon Dog » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:28 pm

Day 7

190 Miles South of Iceland

Captain Gottson drank 2 full cups of coffee in the 42 minutes it took his XO to enter the targeting information into the computer, and transfer the coordinates to the missiles. The work was precise and methodical. Every digit was checked before entry. Once the data was uploaded, Koenig began verifying that the missiles on-board computers had accepted the input correctly. Once this was verified, Captain Gottson had Koenig re-verify. There was no hurry. Gottson looked around the Control Room. The mood was alert, focused. There was no chatter. Everyone on board felt a solumn professional clarity.

"We'll authorize at 1459." Gottson commanded. "Give us a 10 second countdown, and we launch at exactly 1500 Zulu." The XO nodded. "Subsequent launches at 5 minute intervals. That gives the radio guys some time to verify." The Exec glanced around the room, heads were nodding. He knew the proceedure. The Captain was stating events for the benefit of the rest of the crew. Most had already caught the plan from the grapevine. He fingered the launch key hanging from the chain around his neck. Soon we'll be sons of bitches. Eight minutes to wait.

Gottson thought the time passed more quickly than he'd anticipated. He'd wondered if doubts would creep in. But a the clock steadily counted up to the hour he only felt building excitement, a sense of urgency to finish the task at hand. He spent the time studying the faces of the crew.

At exactly 1459, the Captain moved to the Launch Station. He glanced at his Exec, who stood waiting, holding the envelope that contained his launch codes. The Captain merely spoke his name, "Mr Long?" and the XO nodded and moved to his own console at the far end of the compartment. Both men tore open their envelopes. Each typed their code. The Captain then ordered "Please enter the Authentication." Jonesy's hacked codes were typed in. "Authentication verified." the Exec stated flatly.

"Prepare to turn keys." the Captain contined slowly. The two men had to turn their keys nearly simultaneously. Long fumbled slightly as his key slid in. "Turn" the Captain ordered. As the two keys unlocked the curcuits, the Launch Control Console lit up with dozens of green lights. Everyone in the room quickly glanced and absorbed the meaning of the glowing lights. The process had taken less than 30 seconds. The missiles were now hot and ready to launch. "Outer door on Number 11 open Sir" the Launch Officer reported. "Standby" ordered Gottson.

Chicago, Illinois - 1500 Zulu

Too excited to sleep, Paul was awake early, and watching the media coverage of the results of his attacks.

Panic had swept the Americans. People were fleeing the cities in anticipation of another attack. The Governments plees for calm went unheeded. Services were breaking down as people hurriedly left their jobs. There wasnt enough gasoline in the smaller towns to accomodate the long lines of cars, food distribution was in chaos. Nothing was where it should be, and nobody was taking charge of things. The White House seemed overwhelmed by the situation, the Presidents speeches asking for calm sounded more and more like the desperate pleas of a man losing control. Washington DC was practically empty, the Congressmen and Senators were naturally among the first to evacuate. An empty man in an empty city. Im so glad I didnt waste a warhead on that town, Paul thought glibly to himself. I've done more damage to their will by leaving it intact.

Tonite Paul looked forward to the meeting with his sponsors representatives. Strange how much more I now look forward to that than I did the actual attacks, he thought. Now he would be given his just reward for bring the Great Satan to its knees. He would be showered with Praise, and the money he needed to continue his work would pour onto him like sweet cool water. The old bastards who controlled the wealth of his people would compete to be the most generous. And in return, they would share in the knowlege of the location of the next attack. How well he would play their desire to feel control, he thought. Give them a bit of advanced warning, let them feel like insiders, and they will open their purses like willing recruits. Not so much warning that they would become security risks naturally. Not one of those old cowards would hesitate a second to betray the Faith if they thought they would profit.

Paul sipped orange juice and looked over the balconey at the city below. The news anchors were becoming repetative, they had yesterdays footage and experts who had no clue. This fancy hotel penthouse room had been remarkably easy to book. No one was eager to stay in downtown high rise hotels this week. It amused Paul greatly to consider that he was the only person in America who felt safe.

195 Miles South of Iceland

"Launch on the mark."

The Executive Officer recited the countdown. "Ten"










Saxon Dog
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