24 Season Zero: Day of Reckoning

Chapter 10

ARIEL SHARON HIGH SCHOOL – SCIENCE LABS

Rachel took the lead this time as they went onto the second floor of the main part of the school building. Rough Arabic voices could be heard down the long hallway but none of the Hamas fighters could be seen. Rachel checked the schematics again and also the remaining battery life on her Sprint smartphone, showing a reading of 55%. She was certainly glad that she had just plugged it into the charger in her half-drunk daze the night before collapsing on her bed with Jack on the couch. Now if she had also forgot to set her alarm clock that would have made her, and Jack, both super lucky but the present is the present.

"We got the science classrooms down here on the left," Rachel whispered to Jack. "We can give them an unexpected surprise."

"I don't understand," Jack said.

"A good distraction in their hunt for the Lebanese Shiite dog," she remarked in mock sarcasm. What Jack pulled off was genius, going after the enemy while making Nakkash believe they were Shiite infiltrators from Lebanon trying to settle an Arab clan feud. They still had the element of surprise, the terrorists were off balance, so perhaps there was hope after all. Rachel knew it would take her a long time to recover from the trauma of the day, but as long as Jack was with her, it would be bearable. She didn't know how well Jack was really holding up and desperately hoped that the confidence on his face was genuine. She would need his strength to help her get through this day, and the weeks, months, and maybe even years beyond when she would look back and realize exactly what had happened on this day.

Rachel fired a few shots down the hallway even though there were no targets and Jack looked at her weird for a moment but followed her as she dashed into one of the science labs. "Heartbeat sensors still operational?" she asked.

Jack looked at his kit. "Yeah, okay we have four hostiles approaching from down the hall. Please tell me you have a plan." Rachel was tampering with the natural gas outlets, those things that were hooked up to Bunsen burners during high school chemistry labs. She also found some flammable, corrosive chemicals and solvents after breaking the glass to a science teacher's storage area. It was definitely weird thinking back to her high school science teacher rather than her non-combat focused military training but you gotta play with the cards you've been dealt.

"I thought you wanted to be an elementary school teacher, not high school science," Jack remarked, impressed at her resourcefulness.

"Right, but I still paid attention in all my classes, unlike you!"

"High school was just a bit more recent for you than for me" Jack quipped. "But you're right, I really was too cool for that. My dad practically forced UCLA to accept me and part of why I chose English Literature as my major was to spite that old bastard."

"Oh sure," she said. "But don't worry, I still love you. In fact that's always been part of your charm." Yes indeed, that desire to be his own person and not be boxed in by the expectations of society and family, especially coming from such an upper class background. "I do hope I can get you settled down just a teeny bit though, if you want me to keep you around."

Jack was glad she was trying to show as much levity as possible. Maybe trying to be her usual self kept her from going insane in the face of all this. Jack on the other hand felt like a completely person, like he was observing the whole thing, watching a movie even with himself and his girlfriend as the main characters.

Several of the Hamas men came into the darkened science lab. "He's getting careless, the Shiite dog. He could have ambushed us, maybe he tried to." One of the terrorists motioned for the others to sweep the lab and be careful. "What in the Prophet's name is that smell?" one of them asked. One of the other terrorists looked at the gas faucet that was turned on but it was too late. Rachel tossed some liquid in the direction then fired her gun several times, Jack doing the same.

A wall of flame shot forth from the lab bench, engulfing the terrorists in bright blue and orange gaseous flames. "Ahhh! Allah!" they screamed, flailing around. One of them dove out of the window while the others desperately ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, looking in vain for water.

Jack felt no sympathy for these animals though Rachel did look bothered, however she knew this had to happen for their distraction. The lives of the hostages mattered infinitely more than these pieces of human excrement, she rightfully decided. Another terrorist came in to check the commotion and Jack shot him down with a blast from his gun.

Another group of disorganized terrorists came into one of the adjacent rooms but Jack and Rachel were hidden in a storage area linking the two. When the first terrorist entered the storage area, his eyes fixated on his burning comrades, Jack jammed a dagger into his throat and grabbed his gun. Three more Arabs were in the adjacent room. Jack shot and killed the first one before he even knew his partner had been stabbed, then hurled the dagger into the left eye of another terrorist, pinning his skull to a wall

A hostile appeared at the door and Rachel quickly gunned him down. Jack took aim at the last terrorist and fired, the impact of the bullets also sending him flying out of the window into the courtyard below.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEPOT, DIMONA, ISRAEL

Built in the 1960s in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, the Dimona nuclear research facility was one of the open secrets in global military affairs, much like the officially nonexistent U.S. Delta Force. Israel does not officially have a declared nuclear weapons program, but everyone on the intelligence agency spectrum from the CIA to Russian and Chinese intelligence knew of its existence. One of the newer nuclear models to be developed at the constantly modernized facility in the Negev Desert of southern Israel was a series of low-yield nuclear missiles that could be easily transported on mobile missile launchers and deployed to the battlefield quickly.

While some of Israel's long-range nukes, like those designed to defend against more geographically distant threats like Iran were similar to the thermonuclear warheads developed in America during the Cold War, many were also of lower yield since Israel was a small country, and if battlefield conditions required its use in a neighboring country like Syria or Lebanon, they didn't want the nuclear fallout affecting Israel as well.

The watch commander at Dimona was taken by surprise at the orders coming in from Jerusalem despite the terrorist attacks of the day and the hourly escalation of tensions with Syria over the Golan Heights. Few had expected the Prime Minister to show signs of capitulation despite Nakkash's murderous actions at the high school. Yet the order originated from Chief of Staff Timur Sokolow himself, and was confirmed twice.

The loading process would take less than an hour. Sokolow had ordered the deployment of twelve of the mobile nuclear weapons to different areas – the Golan Heights, the West Bank toward Jordan, and a backup unit to head further south in case things heat up with Egypt. Israel's long-range nuclear warheads aimed at Iran were placed in the pre-activation stage, and attention was also directed toward Pakistan in case the events of the day gave inspiration to the radical jihadi elements in that nuclear-armed country. Israel had always lived on the verge of war, but this truly felt like things were about to get real.

HAMAS SAFE HOUSE, BEERSHEEBA, ISRAEL

"NATO, Israel, and the Arab League have all called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in response to the latest developments in the region. Tensions between Israel and Syria are at their highest since the two countries last went to war in 1973, as Syrian troops continue to advance toward the disputed Golan Heights following a deadly artillery barrage against UN peacekeepers stationed there. Meanwhile, Hamas extremists are still holding over one thousand Israeli and American teenagers hostage in Tel Aviv's Ariel Sharon High School….."

Mahmoud Al-Harazi barked orders at his men, telling them to turn down the TV which was tuned in to BBC as his cell phone rang. It was a blocked number but he knew exactly who it was. He had not seen his comrade Nakkash since they were both smuggled through that Hamas tunnel into Israel more than a month ago.

"Brother Timur, I was getting worried. Nakkash had told me to expect your call much earlier," Mahmoud said without any pleasantries.

"Salaam aleikum to you too, mujahid," Timur Sokolow said from his office. Sokolow glanced outside the glass windows separating his outer office from the hallway in the Defense Ministry building and saw nobody, but retreated into his inner office nonetheless and made sure the door was locked. "I'm sure you know from the news the treachery of Weinstein's government as well as the Americans."

"So it is true? The Americans were involved?"

"Yes, a team of Americans took part in the rescue attempt. They killed many of our men but Nakkash and our fellow mujahideen were able to repel this assault. Inshallah."

"So everything is still running as planned?" Mahmoud asked with intensity. Like Nakkash, Mahmoud had waited all his life for this day. This was the day he saw in his dreams every time he bowed his head toward Mecca.

"Of course, Mahmoud," Timur replied. The IDF Chief of Staff then opened up a special computer program and typed some codes in there. "Are you ready to receive on your laptop, Mahmoud?"

"Yes," Nakkash's second in command replied simply, taking out a PDA designed in Saudi Arabia with military specs.

"The download will take about fifteen minutes but this will definitely give you enough time. Make sure you destroy this transmission as soon as you receive the necessary data and start running the program on your own device."

"Maybe it's time for you to get out of there, Timur," Mahmoud said, "The Israelis will be on to you soon once we attack the convoy."

"I've always had things under control, Mahmoud," Timur said, "Just remember your training and take care of everything on your end."

"I will, shaheed."

Minutes later, Mahmoud checked his PDA again and smiled at the classified Israeli materials that had just been sent to him by the Hamas mole. "Everyone get ready!" he ordered and all the terrorists in the safe house immediately stood at attention with respect. "Everything is set. We are heading for the ambush point now."

ARIEL SHARON HIGH SCHOOL – THIRD FLOOR

The terrorist heard a banging sound above him as he walked down the hall with two comrades, searching for "Farad Zubaydah". They were in a panic because Nakkash was becoming increasingly off balance due to the occurrences. Yes, they were still in control of things and had repelled the American and Israeli rescue attempt but had suffered heavy losses. First there was the two soldiers who resisted, then the special forces team, and now one of their own betraying them.

"They are in the ventilation system!" the terrorist said excitedly to his comrades. One of the hajis pulled a pin off his grenade and darted over to a stairwell where there was an AC shaft. He tossed the grenade in, making sure it rolled down deep into the vent. The terrorists darted into a corner and cowered, covering their ears for the explosion. Pieces of plaster and ceiling tiles collapsed into the hallway as the grenade detonated and the terrorists looked down the hall.

"Check it!" one of the jihadis said. "Is Farad dead?"

Suddenly they heard someone whistling. Jack came up the stairs with a Uzi blazing, mowing all three of them down in a bloody heap before any of them even managed to get a single shot off. Jack motioned for Rachel to come forward and she also made sure there were no other hostiles in at the moment.

"Bauer, Friedman, check," Captain Henderson said into the cell phone Rachel had called them on all those hours ago.

"We're still here," Jack replied. "Another dozen or so hostiles neutralized."

"What is your position?" General Wasser asked.

"Southwest quadrant of the school now, sir," Rachel answered, "We're back on the third floor. Jack's ruse is working. They think Farad Zubaydah is still alive and that this really is a vendetta over his clan in Beirut."

"Good," Henderson said, "Keep up the good work but stay secure, that is your priority at this point."

"When is the next extract attempt?" Rachel asked. "The terrorists are growing desperate and are even more irrational and crazed than when they first took control."

"We're looking at all possible scenarios," Henderson assured him, "Stay on this line. How much battery power you got left?"

Jack looked at the battery symbol which didn't require a translation even though the rest of the text was in Hebrew. "49% now."

"Okay, you should be good. We're regrouping here at the staging area we'll let you know ASAP what the situation is. Once again, good work."

"Thank you sir," Jack replied, and Rachel said the same to her commander.

DEFENSE MINISTRY, JERUSALEM

Now was the time, Timur Sokolow knew as he checked the progress of the nuclear weapons transports gathered at the Dimona facility readying to disperse to their various destinations near the Syrian borders and the Golan Heights. The commander on the ground at Dimona had given him a timetable on when the mobile nukes would be ready to deploy and the Prime Minister's office was still trying their back channels with Syria to no avail. This was what Sokolow had been counting on. The Syrians had never given up their dreams of driving the Jews into the sea. Well, that will indeed happen one day, and the Mediterranean will not part the way the Red Sea did in the Bible, Sokolow thought with satisfaction. Yet this day was about far more than that. It was not just about Palestine, but about all of Islam and about the creation of the Muslim caliphate that so many of his brothers had dreamed of. Now their success was at hand if they could recover from the setbacks of the day.

Nakkash's menacing image appeared on the large screen once again.

"What do you want now?" Prime Minister Weinstein demanded, "We've begun the pullout from the Golan Heights as you have requested, and have begun to vacate the easternmost settlements."

"Mr. Bin Rahal," Ambassador Scott Cornett also spoke up angrily, "You will be held responsible for the two innocent young Americans you savagely murdered, one of whom was a child, that you savagely murdered, and if we find out the Palestinian Authority assisted or even gave moral support for your attack, they will also answer to us."

"There will be no victory for you!" Timur Sokolow yelled into the teleconference, "You think you've won, Nakkash? You know the State of Israel never takes this sitting down. Today's attacks will be avenged. We will annihilate Hamas."

Nakkash laughed. "You still think you have the upper hand? The liberation of Palestine is at hand. I know our Syrian brothers are on the move. Besides you have swore on your false God to destroy Hamas many times already, yet we are still here. We are like a rat that cannot be killed. We will be at your throats until the end of time."

"Mr. Bin Rahal," Ambassador Cornett said evenly, "As a sign of good faith, especially as we've indicated our willingness to discuss terms with you," he found it hard to believe these words were coming out of his mouth. "I would like to propose that you release the American hostages, as well as some of the younger children you are currently holding."

Nakkash smirked nastily then exploded like the unhinged manic he was. "You think you are in a position to make any offers?" He waved his gun around and the men gathered in the room noticed that he had several more hostages lined up. He pointed the gun at the head of a teenage Israeli girl. "You will provoke me? Or maybe I should find one of the Americans and execute them! I will kill this bitch now! You will watch me, you know what I can do! I know you are stalling for time. I know the pullback has not even begun in the Ramallah region."

"Sir, we urge you to accept this offer as a gesture of goodwill," Weinstein said into the phone, "The fact that I am speaking to you one on one shows that you have achieved a victory today. You do not need to kill any more innocent children. Your victory will be hollow in the eyes of the world if this continues."

Nakkash paused for a long time, then shoved the teenage girl to the ground, the girl sobbing in fear even as Nakkash withdrew the pistol from her head. His face was twisted in rage and hate as he glared as the girl before turning back toward the camera. "I am willing to make an exchange," he said, the menacing tone still there. "Given that you continue your withdraw from the West Bank, I am willing to release the freshmen, in exchange for one man, someone whom you will not want to give up."

"And who in blazes will that be?" Defense Minister Doron spat out.

"The war criminal, the butcher of Beirut, your Chief of Staff Timur Sokolow."

Sokolow looked at Nakkash, speechless for a moment. "This is insane, Nakkash. You cannot be serious. I am the highest ranking officer in the Israeli Defense Forces. You are out of your fucking mind!"

"You will be held accountable for your crimes against Palestine," Nakkash said. "We will see if the brave, courageous Timur Sokolow, the great Zionist legend, who so bravely slaughtered my freedom fighter brothers, will sacrifice himself for the sake of these children."

"We went into Lebanon because the Palestinians there were launching cross border attacks on our civilians," Sokolow pointed out, pretending to plea with Nakkash. "Your claim to be a soldier. Perhaps you should act like one."

"Nothing is off limits in our holy war!" Nakkash screamed. "Timur, I will give you five minutes to agree to surrender yourself to us, or this deal is off. Let me remind you that our previous agreement was not just for you to start withdrawing. There is a timetable that you are not meeting. We have already selected the next hostages to executive, five Israelis and one American."

The mood around the room was more grim than ever. "I will come to you," Sokolow said. "Though the entire world will know whatever judgment you make of me will be a sick joke."

"We shall see, Timur," Nakkash said with a smile, "I must admit I am impressed. You are demonstrating more courage than I had expected from a man who gives orders from his comfortable office in the Defense Ministry and sends bombs and missiles flying into our homes. Now this is how it is going to work. You will fly alone by helicopter and land on the main rooftop of the school. My men will release the freshmen class once we have you in possession and confirm it is you." The video clicks off.

"Are you sure about this?" Ambassador Cornett asked in shock. "They'll execute you on site, and that won't guarantee they'll release any of the hostages. Nakkash Bin Rahal is a psychopathic lunatic. You can't possibly trust his word!"

"We don't have a choice right now," Sokolow replied. "If anything, let the world see this. Let the world see that we value the lives of our children, that despite what the American and European liberals believe, we are morally superior to our enemies in every way possible. In addition, this may be a window of opportunity to put an end to this."

"How?" Prime Minister Weinstein asked. "They have us cornered. The Syrians will be within striking distance of most of northern Israel before the UN even meets in New York. And even when they do, the Muslim nations on the security council will never sympathize with us, no matter what their Palestinian brothers do."

"There must be some way to use this exchange as a cover for another rescue. They will not expect another attempt so soon. We still have thirty minutes before the exchange and our forces are concentrated in Tel Aviv."

"Coordinate with General Wasser and Captain Henderson," Defense Minister Doron ordered, "I want whatever plan you come up with approved before we move out. And on the record I am not in agreement with something that could result in the IDF's chief of staff being tortured and beheaded live on Al-Jazeera. We will crush our enemies the way we have always done. We cannot submit to their insanity!"

"With all due respect, Mr. Defense Minister, it is my life, my decision. And it's already been made."

HERLIZYA NEIGHBORHOOD, TEL AVIV / ARIEL SHARON HIGH SCHOOL

Christopher Henderson had been growing increasingly restless and aggravated, watching his wounded men being taken away in military ambulances while the dead soldiers were taken away in body bags. One of the wounded Americans had succumbed to his wounds and a flag draped coffin was arriving from the U.S. Embassy to take him away. So it still happened, Henderson thought to himself. All those battles fought in the godforsaken corners of the Middle East, and radical Islam had only grown stronger, not weaker. He also worried about his man inside the school.

He had always been tough on Jack Bauer, perhaps even tougher than on some of the others, because he believed in Jack and saw the potential in this hot headed, restless young man who desperately sought to escape the influence and control of his wealthy father. At first he thought Jack would just wash out quickly and go back to his daddy's estate in one of America's wealthiest zip codes but his mind quickly changed during basic training. He would definitely qualify for special operations if he set his mind to it. Henderson also knew there was something between Jack and Rachel. Aside from that being the only explanation why he would be in the school the same day she was scheduled to be there, and Jack referring to her by her first name, he did have some of his men tail them a couple times. So it was a youthful fling, Henderson thought, but the only thing that mattered now was that it put Jack and Rachel in a unique position inside the building when the terrorists struck. And now, after hearing the new updates from General Wasser, he knew his assets were needed even more.

Henderson dialed Rachel's phone which vibrated and Jack quickly responded.

"Bauer, another rescue is happening in the next thirty minutes," he began.

"Already, sir? We've thinned down their ranks but….."

"Just listen carefully, Bauer. I know this was rushed on us quickly but we've been trained to respond, that's the point of our unit, remember? Lightning quick responses to changing situations. The IDF Chief of Staff, Timur Sokolow has decided to surrender himself to Bin Rahal in exchange for the release of the freshman hostages. Sokolow will be arriving in an Israeli military helicopter landing on the room of the school. Between you and Private Friedman running interference and the exchange taking place we believe we can perform an aerial insertion."

"Acknowledge, Captain," Jack replied, "What orders do you have for us?"

"Bauer, the moment Nakkash realizes there is another rescue taking place, he will likely give the order to his men to detonate the explosives among the hostages. We need you and Private Friedman to access the areas where the hostages are being held and give us exact intel on their manpower, what kind of firepower we'll be dealing with along with the detonators. If we can get a visual we might be able to hack into their systems and disable them temporarily while our rescue teams secure the building. Son, I know this is a lot, but you're ready for this. I know it."

ARIEL SHARON HIGH SCHOOL

"Thirty minutes?" Rachel repeated to Jack, shocked.

"Less than that," Jack said grimly. Rachel had also heard the conversation and a million things were running through her head. How could Sokolow agree to something like that? How were they going to get in position quickly especially since the auditorium and gymnasium were not adjacent to each other. Rachel forced some more confidence into herself. We've gotten this far, she told herself. If God was real, he was certainly on their side. There was no way God would let Nakkash and his terrorist triumph on this day. There was a reason she and Jack hadn't been killed already.

"Let me double check the schematics," Rachel said, using her fingers to zoom in on the central part of the high school building. "You won't like this, Jack, and neither do I, but we're going to have to split up if we're to do this in the time that we have."

"We can't," Jack said, shaking his head adamantly. "There's no way I'm letting you out of my sight. Stick together, get through it alive, that's always been the plan."

Rachel was scared by the thought of Jack not being next to her but understood what the stakes are. "Jack, the terrorists are in control of the timetable. I'm not a tactical expert like you are and I'm improvising but the strike team has a limited window. Sokolow is already preparing to depart Jerusalem by helicopter and he'll be here in less than twenty five minutes. The truth is, Jack, we're running out of time."

"Dammit!" Jack cursed, shaking his fist. He wanted to slam it into the wall of the teachers lounge they are currently in but remembered at the last moment that it might attract the attention of some terrorists.

"We have to act while we still have the element of surprise. Once the next rescue team reaches the building or if they find out who we really are, that's going to change everything." Rachel pointed to the map on her phone. "The quickest way there is from the first floor and then back up to avoid the courtyard area. We can stick together all the way through the kitchen and the cafeteria but beyond this point right there, one of us will have to get into the gym and the other will have to go for the auditorium."

Jack was still hesitant. Inside the frustration and desperation built up. He hated this decision, hated splitting up but he realized she was right. Rachel didn't seem to be thinking about her own odds of getting out of here, Jack noticed. It was all about the innocent children of the school. Her courage and dedication shouldn't have surprised Jack, but it did. He loved her now at this moment more than ever.

"I'll take the auditorium and the catwalks above the backstage area. That's where they're broadcasting their executions from, the hostiles will be more concentrated there. You can access the top of the gym, up by the lights above the basketball court, from back on the second floor, through this small maintenance corridor."

She nodded as she placed a final magazine into her Uzi.

"You take care of yourself, you hear?" Jack said, kissing her gently on the cheek.

"Shouldn't have no problem with that," Rachel replied.

NEGEV DESERT, 30 MILES EAST OF BEERSHEBA, ISRAEL

Mahmoud Al-Harazi thanked Allah for the night vision binoculars provided by Timur Sokolow and delivered by Israeli Arabs sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. Mahmoud and several jihadists from around the world were crouched or hidden in a grove of date palms next to a bridge spanning a narrow canyon. He saw his radio sounding. It was one of his men whom he had deployed to a more forward position.

The jihadist on the other end, an Iranian named Arya, was several clicks away, on a low ridge by the dry riverbed that ran through the narrow canyon. Arya and his team all wore dark combat fatigues and were well camouflaged into the desert night. Arya motioned for silence as he silenced and heard the rumble of truck engines approaching. "Mahmoud, I think the target is coming! They are ahead of schedule!"

Mahmoud zoomed in on the highway to the west, coming from the direction of Dimona. Sure enough, he saw the distant outline of a military convoy with several tarped trucks along with escort vehicles. He cursed in Arabic and redialed the number for Timur Sokolow. The timed estimates the mole had given them were off, and while his men were certainly in position for the attack, Timur obviously is still airborne on his way from Jerusalem to the high school, not yet safe with their Hamas brothers yet.

"Arya, hold on, give me one moment."

"This is our only window, Mahmoud!" Arya said frantically into the phone. "My men are in position. The time is now."

Mahmoud cursed again. "Where in blazes are you, Timur?" A feeling of worry and pain welled up inside Mahmoud. Timur was the one who made this day possible. The rare Zionist who discovered the truth of the Koran and took on the cause of jihad. And it was not only him, but Nakkash, whom Mahmoud called next.

"Yes, brother Mahmoud?" Nakkash said simply. The stress was evident in the terrorist commander's voice. His was also looking at an iPad showing footage of the Israeli helicopter carrying Timur Sokolow flying through the night sky toward Tel Aviv.

"The convoy is already in position and we also haven't been able to reach Timur! We did not have a source inside Dimona, they must have changed their protocols and managed to get the nukes into transport more quickly than before," Mahmoud said.

Nakkash frowned and cursed but he knew what the decision had to be. His men would do everything for Timur, but Timur was expendable, just like every one in this operation, including Nakkash himself, was expendable. Each and every man who died for the glory of Allah would be rewarded in paradise. Timur understood this. "It's a go," Nakkash finally said.

A few minutes later, the front of the convoy entered the half-mile long bridge spanning the desert gorge. Traffic was light and there were only a few other vehicles on the roadway. It wasn't that late at night, but most Israelis were staying home during this day of extreme crisis. Arya and Mahmoud continued to observe the convoy through their night vision binoculars.

"Wait until I give the order," the Iranian terrorist told his men since he could see their trigger fingers were itchy. "Wait until the entire convoy is on the bridge!" He himself breathed rapidly as the correct moment approached. "Now!"

"Allah akbar!" he and several of his men chanted as they pressed their fingers down on two different detonators. Demolition charges placed at the base supports of the bridge detonated immediately, two large balls of flame appearing in the canyon. There was a loud metallic creaking noise as the bridge supports gave way and the entire middle section of the bridge, including the convoy and several civilian vehicles, fell three hundred feet. More explosions rocked the dry riverbed as the gas tanks in the vehicles ruptured and blew. Not a single soldier on the convoy survived the impact of the drop. Arya and his men quickly boarded a Jeep hidden in a drove of desert palms and raced along the canyon floor toward the demolished convoy as Mahmoud and his team remained on the lookout.

Mahmoud finished placing an IED by the highway to greet the first IDF responders on the highway as he and his team started making their way to the canyon floor using some mountain climbing equipment. Several suicide jihadists stayed behind to hold off the Israeli troops who would be arriving on the scene shortly. Arya reached the wreckage of the convoy and saw that the portable nukes were intact as he had been told. They were secure and would not detonate under specifically programmed to do so and were designed to survive impacts much harder than falling 300 feet to the bottom of a desert ravine. They went past the mangled and burned bodies of the soldiers and quickly loaded five of the mobile nuclear warheads into their jeeps and raced away from the scene. Now they would attack their ultimate target: the United States of America.


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