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brigadier
January 5, 2008, 09:18 PM
Hay guys. Noticed allot of you are in to crazy novels with relations to firearms so I am doing this post. I don't think anyone here knows this yet but I am an author. Yes, my grammar sucks but that's what an editor is for. I decided to share a couple chapters with you from some of my books. In order to stay out of the "advertising" arena, I am not giving out the titles of these books. This is for pure entertainment purposes.

This is the 4th chapter to a historical novel that I wrote. It takes place during a time (1400s) that most people imagine as a pre-powder time despite well documented history and artifacts. Note that the grenades mentioned are the old fuse bomb type, not modern hand grenades. I edited a little of the violence out. Let me know if any of it is too much for the board and I'll change it. I think we're on safe ground. This is one of the more mild chapters in the story.
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The night surrounding a Franciscan monk was illuminated by torchlight. He was clad heavily in armor. He wore his silvery hair long. His face was covered with a flowing beard. He was surrounded by highly trained soldiers as they sat around a campfire. Terror filled their eyes, knowing they may soon give their lives. Their consciences were torn between wondering whether their sacrifice would ultimately serve the Heavenly Father, or the cowardly nobles who had so long oppressed them.

In spite of this fear, the atmosphere was calm. The soldiers found peace and brotherhood fighting for their Heavenly cause. Their confidence in their commanders, as well as their faith in their spiritual leadership, served to give them a sense of inner peace. They were loved for once in their lives by forces of good, and their deaths would be rewarded with Heavenly peace and joy.

The Franciscan monk was certainly a strong blessing and influence to them, having proven that all of the wonderful things that they had heard about the living legend were true. His solid faith and confidence in God and purpose was highly contagious, especially at this deadly hour.

In a tone of intensity, as if shouldering the weight of the entire army and pleading for their wellbeing, Friar Giovanni, the Franciscan monk began to pray. "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory are Yours, now and forever and ever. Amen."

July 21, 1456

"The Turks are coming!" a loud voice yelled, followed by many others.

Clad in silvery armor, Janos Hunyadi approached a rampart in the upper levels of the fortified city to observe the situation. Across the Danube River, artillery fire began to pound the city, as if the Turks meant to raise Nandorfehervar to the ground. Seeing that the artillery appeared to be focused on blowing large access holes in the walls, it became obvious to Hunyadi that the Turks were intent on sending a full-scale assault force in to wipe out his army.

"Shall we return fire?" one officer inquired.

"Yes, but only sparingly." Janos Hunyadi replied. "They are going to charge the city. I want them to think we are weak and unprepared. Focus your artillery on the enemy's artillery and only fire enough to keep them nervous. Donít miss an opportunity to destroy any enemy cannons, but donít do anything to let them know that we are still strong."

"Friar Giovanni?" asked Janos.

"Yes?" Friar Giovanni replied, as he approached Janos Hunyadi.

"I need your commanders to rendezvous with me right away."

"It will be done." replied Giovanni as he departed into the ramparts to search out his officers.

Meanwhile, artillery from Nandorfehervar began to fire on the Ottoman Turk artillery stations just beyond the far banks of the Danube River. The commander who had spoken with Janos earlier paced among the artillery personnel warning them that the Ottoman Turks would launch a full-scale assault that day.

As news of the all-out assault reached the ears of the soldiers, any remaining sense of peace began to fade. They found themselves engulfed in the belief that they would die in vain. They knew they would be wiped out by the massive incoming army without making a dent in their forces. However, they remained hopeful and loyal to their duties.

Meanwhile, the last of Friar Giovanni's commanders finally arrived at Hunyadiís position.

"I want you to have your men search the city and find anything flammable that will float in water and line it up evenly at every wall adjacent to water." ordered Hunyadi. "Also, warn everyone to expect at least one-third of the assault to consist of Janissaries. They are highly skilled with both guns and blades, so they are best taken out from a distance with arrows or sharpshooters. Avoid close quarter combat with them at all cost."

Meanwhile, on the Turkish side, a bald young man with a Muslim turban entered Mehmed II's tent. He removed his turban and saluted the Sultan.

"Radu," said the young sultan. "I want you to send in a fourth of your men in two assault waves. Make sure the second half are cavalry. Do not go with them."

"Yes, Sultan," said Radu.

At Nandorfehervar, loud voices yelled, "HERE THEY COME!" Spread out formations at the Turk's side of the Danube began charging towards the river and piling into small boats.

"Focus on the incoming vessels, but do not increase your rate of fire. It is critical at this time." ordered Hunyadi.

The Turkish vessels approached at such a rapid pace that the surface of the water was nearly covered by incoming Turkish vessels. In some places, they were so packed that pontoons formed makeshift bridges between the shores of the Danube River and the entry points that had been made at the walls of Nandorfehervar.

The Turkish assault made no effort to scale the walls, but focused on entering Nandorfehervar through the openings made by their artillery. They were intent upon wreaking havoc once inside.

Janos was persistent in making sure that the soldiers at the walls were tightly protected by the incoming assault and made sure his soldiers used arrows as much as possible and used guns and swords only as a last resort.

By this time, the fighting had become unorganized enough that Janos and Giovanni, along with their officers, were only able to maintain control of smaller fighting groups. Janos insisted that Friar Giovanni stay with him for safety. However, Giovanni was insistent about being in close contact with his men. So, Janos asked him to oversee the defense of the walls at the waterways. Janos would fall back to the upper levels of Nandorfehervar to oversee the fighting and to keep that tactical stronghold from falling into Turkish hands.

As he retreated to the upper fortress, the first wave of Turkish cavalry broke through, cutting straight through Hunyadiís and Giovanniís troops. They advanced directly toward the upper fortress before gunfire and grenades halted their advance.

On the far side of the river, observing the damage on Nandorfehervar and the absence of artillery, Mehmed II said, "Radu?"

"Yes, Sultan?"

"Cease further advancements of your troops." Then, turning to the nearby Aga the Sultan said, "Send in the Janissaries."

Back at Nandorfehervar, Friar Giovanni, who seemed to be taking advantage of his role as a Franciscan monk, or perhaps being seen as a chaplain with no further duties, found himself summoned to the walls to observe the incoming assault. The sight before his eyes stunned him. Screaming at the top of his lungs, he yelled, "Itís the Janissaries! They are sending in the entire legion!"

Upper fortress of Belgrade, 1:00AM. July 22, 1456

Hearing this, one officer charged to Janos' position, giving him the devastating news. Janos was perhaps the only person to take this as good news and immediately moved for the walls.

By this time, the Janissaries had broken in and were cutting through Giovanniís and Hunyadiís troops like grass. Seeing that the defenders were attempting to engage them at distance, they attempted to merge with Janos' troops, forcing them to cease-fire or risk friendly fire.

As Janos moved towards the walls, he spread word for his troops to allow the Janissaries to push them outward making more room for the pouring in Janissary reinforcements. The invaders would be so engrossed in the perceived rout, they would be unable to see the tactical move being made against them.

Janos was able to break through the fighting in order to observe the invaders, as well as the number of troops already inside the walls. He then ordered the troops at the walls to start dropping all of the flammable refuse into the water.

Across the river, the Sultan saw that something odd was happening at the walls. Looking through his spyglass, the scene playing out before his eyes shocked him. In stunned disbelief, he knew that Janos had outmaneuvered him.

He shouted to his signalers, "Cease the attack immediately! Withdraw all of the troops! They are about to be slaughtered!"

The word spread fast and reform began to take place among marching battalions preparing to deploy but it did not reach the forces crossing the Danube fast enough. With still charging reinforcements pouring into Nandorfehervar, Janos gave the order, "Set the water aflame!"

Seconds later, torches flew over the walls, instantly igniting the water's surface beneath Nandorfehervar. The Sultan's advancing troops were engulfed in a massive series of flames. Janos then gave another glorious order to the artillery personnel at the wall. "Give them everything you have!"

The main artillery officer, overwhelmed in joy, said, "Yes my lord!"

Seconds later, all of the artillery fire that Hunyadi's troops had been suppressing, was being dumped relentlessly on the retreating Turkish army. Inside the walls, the Janissary were being massacred by unerring fire from the upper levels. As the numbers of the Janissary in the center of the fighting were being reduced, grenadiers began to move their focus on engaging Janissary with archers and sharpshooters. This strategic resource had been reserved ,in numbers, for multiple shots at the Janissary for this very occasion.

At the final stage, many of the Janissary attempted to retreat ,only to find their escape route cut-off. This left them vulnerable to Hunyadi's troops. As the last of the Janissary remaining within the walls were wiped out, the pheasant soldiers fighting them began to fall apart in agony. The battlefield was suddenly quiet.

As the silence fell over the battlefield, Janos paused for a moment. Walking about, he tried to see through the dust and gunsmoke that clouded the dark night. He came upon one of his soldiers cradling the body of a young, dead Janissary. He was covered in blood. His stomach had been sliced open by shrapnel from a grenade. The older man was in tears. A feeling of ultimate agony and despair permeated the air around the soldier. Janos was not immune to this man's obvious grief and nearly fell into tears, himself. The soldier noticed that Janos was looking at him. Making eye contact with Janos, he said, weeping, "He looks like me. I believe he is my son."

Noticing Janos' facial expression, he turned his grieving heart back to his son. Being a father himself, Janos was sharing the older soldier's agony. As he observed the battle area, he found many of his troops weeping for the Janissary, realizing that they had just massacred their own children. The Ottoman Turks had taken their sons from them years earlier, and had trained them as their elite force.

Friar Giovanni, who was now weeping in agony as well, wasted no time in offering Last Rites for the fallen on both sides. Hunyadi asked his surgeons to help care for the wounded.
Moments later, an Ottoman horn was heard from across the Danube River. Janos charged to the wall to see a white flag being held up. It was illuminated by surrounding torch fire.

Then, as Janos watched from the wall, a single soldier got into a rowboat and approached the wall. He then entered through one of the many holes made by the Sultan's artillery barrage. A minute later, Janos was approached by one of his officers, saying that a soldier wished to speak with him. Janos was assured that he was unarmed. Janos ordered him brought before him.

Bowing before Janos, the soldier said, "Lord Janos, I represent the will of the Sultan Mehmed II. He wishes to negotiate a stand-down so that we may collect our dead and bury them with our own Muslim death rites. During the agreed upon time, we will cease any and all hostilities against you and your men. This will remain so for as long as you honor it."

Janos agreed and the man returned to the Turkish side of the Danube. Moments later, Turkish soldiers poured into Nandorfehervar, but they did not conduct any hostile actions. They collected their dead and carried them back across the Danube to the Turkish side.

It was very difficult for Hunyadi's men to see their own dead children being hauled off by the enemy to be buried under foreign religion death rites. Some began to stray towards the Turkish convoy while others became inraged and had to be held back by their comrades. All in all, the defenders managed to restrain themselves and each other, and Janos was not blind to their grief.

As this was happening, the Ottomans remained in very tight formation along closely guarded routes. Their actions were carefully observed so that no assassins might infiltrate Janos' lines during the process. Once they were gone, a commander warned Janos of the plague that was in Nandorfehervar. He urged Janos and Friar Giovanni to get some rest so that their strength and health might be maintained. Both agreed and retired to heavily guarded positions for the remainder of the night.
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brigadier
January 5, 2008, 09:19 PM
This one is still being worked on and probably won't be published for another year. It's my only fiction story on the roster though there is one undecided one. This is a realistic story about the worst parts of the bible. It takes place in the near future at an undisclosed time. Because of this stories stage of development, the grammar isn't any better then my forum posts. The wording is also not as well refined. This chapter has some minor cussing in it but I edited it out. Let me know if I missed something.

Once in the air, Zack had finely been able to calm down and quickly fell asleep, resting his head against the window of the aircraft. Hozo, who sat next to him had also fallen asleep with his head rested against his elbow. Lauren however was still quite restless, enjoying what would be the final stage of his one opportunity in life to enjoy the beauty of the world as seen from the sky. Lauren sensed this and began to shed light tears as he stared at the beauty of the world through the window of the airliner. Then he turned his gaze to his brother to think about the fact that had Hozo not succeeded in talking him in to this mission, Zack would never again have the opportunity to enjoy the worlds beauty or take part in it. Then he began to think about Zack's personality in a positive perspective. Zack was a hot head and arrogant. He did many bad things and would not likely change, but he also had a sense of conviction and desire to do good. He would never abuse women or children but was quite protective of them on the contrary. He hated racism, theft, and greed. All in all, Zack, especially in this time, had plenty of potential to do much more good for the world then bad, even if he never change his ways. Then Lauren began to see his own dark side. He knew from the beginning that Zack had not committed the crime that he was accused of and still he wanted to leave him to rot in a foreign prison. It was then that he began to really think hard about the bombing of a couple years ago and what it must have done to him. For these two years, his mind and heart were troubled with the horrific memories. What must have gone through his mind as he cradled the mangled body of a dead child, a child who's life was hard enough as it was, and murdered in cold blood by Lauren's enemies. The turmoil in his mind created a tornado of mixed emotions of the utmost intensity and drew obvious tears in his eyes. He thought for only a couple seconds about sleeping it off before realizing that trying to sleep would do no good. Lauren, even as young as he was, had already spent far too many years growing use to a life of having to face constant problems without relief. This had imprinted in him a mentality that ignoring these things would only make them worse. His mind suddenly returned to the subject to face it head on. It seamed to him that the constant experience of the hate, murder and persecution that he witnessed and all too often suffered at the hands of had taken a hold of him, and now he was beginning to grow cold and empty. Turning his gaze to the window of the aircraft, he sought the reflection of his face in the window. Staring deep in to his own eyes, he thought deeply about what he really was. His thoughts shifted to the men he had killed and the sight of their bodies lying where they fell. Men had died at his hands yet he still lived. It was now that he first questioned whether or not he deserved to live. He killed many men, and then wanted to leave his own flesh and blood brother to rot in a foreign prison for a crime he never committed. A slight humor then occurred to him. As bad as Zack was, one thing he never did was kill anyone. At least, not that Lauren knew of. Then it occurred to Lauren. Every single man he ever killed was a rapist and/or a murderer. He never once killed a man who was even questionably good and he never killed for any reason but in defense of another. In fact, he never even killed in his own defense. It was always in defense of someone else. This finely left Lauren to ease. Returning his attention to his reflection in the window, he looked in to his eyes, studied his gaze and thought to himself; "I am not a murderer. I am a good man. I have only made the world a better place." finely able to relax, he attempted to get in a comfortable resting position when he noticed that a middle aged Arabic man had been watching him the whole time. Now establishing eye contact with the man, he studied the Arabic mans gaze as he did his own, which revealed a man who had apparently seen some rough times and had the sort of experience in life that allowed him to really understand what sort of things Lauren must have been thinking and going through. Lauren studied the man's surroundings. Next to him, nearest to the window was a woman in a veil resting her head against the window and an adolescent girl resting on her. The man was holding in his arms little girl who looked five or six years old. Her head rested against his chest and her mouth was open and slightly drooling on her fathers shirt. Behind them was an adolescent boy and a young man who appeared to be of the same family, both awake but quiet and seemingly ignorant of the environment around them.
Lauren quickly returned to eye contact with the Arabic man, noticing the man seamed to be feeling comfortable about him but very uneasy about everything else. Lauren then began to feel very uneasy, apparently picking up on the Arabic mans sense. Lauren began to wonder if people on the plane were feeling scared of the Arabic man and Lauren began to start thinking defensively, and his nature to bring happiness kicked in but without action. In stead, Lauren just went to sleep.
In his sleep, his dreams were abstract in appearance, just colors and thoughts running wiled. Bits and pieces of conversations and randum thoughts shifted through his mind when a feeling of joy overcame him and the voice of a young lady saying: "Excuse me", then wanting to kindly greet her. The voice again said: "excuse me" and a physical feeling with it. Then the rough voice of Hozo came in: "Hay, Lauren, wake your butt up." Lauren was now aware that he was dreaming and trying to come out of the dream state. Suddenly, he was wide awake with a great deal of energy shifting around his spine. Hozo was looking straight at him and said: "There we go." Then a hand gently rested on his shoulder and he looked up to see a pretty young stewardess looking at him and then she said: "I am sorry to bother you. There has been an emergency and I have been asked to wake you for an announcement from the pilot." She then moved on leaving Lauren to focus on Hozo. Hozo then said: "don't worry, the plane doesn't seam to be in any trouble."
That line caused Lauren to remember the Arabic family and then looked at them. They had not moved but they were all awake and nervously looking around, the father looking like he was about to faint. All waited nervously. Any emergency would get most people uneasy, but these people were in an airliner high above the ground so the uneasiness among the passengers was only to be expected. Lauren was getting frustrated, just wanting to hear the news and it be over with, but his frustration was overpowered by his rationality and understanding of these things and the fact that this wait was necessary. After a few minutes the pilot finely came on: "Good day passengers. I hope you have enjoyed your flight. I also hope that the news has not been too much inconvenience for you. I must first let you know that you are safe and the aircraft is in good condition and we will be landing soon. However, I have been informed that there has been a national emergency and the president of the United States has ordered that all aircraft be grounded. When we land, please remain in your seats. Some government officials will be boarding the plane to talk with you about what has happened. Thank you for listening and again, we're sorry for the inconvenience."
While fear of danger had passed, the passengers were now highly worried about what must have happened. The president of the United States ordering all planes be grounded meant that something serious had happened. It was pretty clear that the passengers feared that another 9/11 had happened. Looking at Zack, he seamed both nervous and mad. Perhaps Lauren and Hozo were the only people among the passengers who were open minded about it. The only thing that seamed clear or obvious to either of them is that there was a national emergency. The rest was just speculation and would remain that way until they be informed of what happened. Both were still as nervous as everyone else. Another 9/11 or not, a national emergency is still a national emergency, and they wouldn't be grounding all aircraft if it didn't involve some sort of evidence of deliberate mass violence.
As the aircraft touched down, everyones nervousness intensified to numbness. The time had come and people seamed helpless, having to face a reality that could never be reversed. Something horrible had happened and there was nothing anyone could do to change that.
The aircraft slowed down and began to taxi towards the buildings. As the buildings came in view of the passengers, everyone became very nervous by the presence of many HUMVs, armored cars, soldiers standing around with M-14 and M-16 rifles on their shoulders and all kinds of people in various uniforms not normally seen at airports. Whatever happened, it must have been worse then 9/11 for this amount of commotion. As the airliner came to a stop, Lauren looked nervously at the other passengers to try and ease the burden of waiting for the bad news. A stewardess came on the speaker and announced: "Please remain seated until further notice." No one dared defy that suggestion. The passengers just remained stationary, nervously awaiting what would happen next. After a couple minutes, the exit door opened and in stepped a half a dozen men in military uniforms with helmets on their heads, flack jackets and Beretta M-9 pistols in holsters. Some of them had pens and paperwork in hand. One of them spoke in a raised voice: "Hello. I am Sargent Jerry Evans of the United States National Guard. There has been a national emergency and all aircraft have been ordered grounded until further notice. FEMA will try to find living arrangements for you until aircraft resume operation." Then a young lady asked Sargent Evans; "Excuse me, what happened?" Sargent Evans replied; "I am not at liberty to say. Once you have left the aircraft and have been cleared, you will have the opportunity to watch the news. The president will be addressing the nation about what happened. That is all I can tell you for now." Then returning focus on the passengers as a whole, he said; "If there is anyone here who lives in New York city or has loved ones who live there, please raise your hand." A half a dozen people raised their hands. Then one of the soldiers with pen and paper said: "Those of you who raised their hands, please follow me. They stood up and followed him off of the aircraft in to the terminal. Then Sergent Evens said: "If there is anyone here from an Arabic nation, please raise your hand." The father of the Arabic family, nearly in tears and hysteria, quickly raised his hand as did all of his family members. Then another soldier with pen and paper said: "I need to get some information from you. Don't worry, you are not in any trouble, I just need to get some information. Please follow me." The family quickly gathered their belongings and were on their feet, nervously walking behind the soldier as he escorted them off of the aircraft.
Sargent Evans continued: "We are going to make a quick search of your luggage and then let you go." The soldiers then called passengers, one by one to them and briefly went through their luggage before sending them to walk in to the terminal.
Once inside, the three could hear the voices of women screaming in some enclosed rooms where the New York residents had apparently been taken. There was no doubt that something horribly tragic had taken place in New York. The 3 wasted no time at getting in front of a TV screen. Sure enough, there was nothing but talk about a tragedy in new York city. Oddly enough, despite all of the talk, they did not show any footage at all of the carnage of whatever happened. Only Lauren and Hozo seamed to notice this as an indicant of something far out of the ordinary. The rest of the people only seamed frustrated that no one would let them see what happened, and talk of what happened seamed vague. This would soon change. The news man talking announced: "I am told that we just made radio contact with the captain of a cargo ship that is now 20 miles south of Manhattan. Here he is now. Sir, you are on the air. Can you tell us what you saw?" The captain, heard on the radio, replied: "It was just a sudden flash of light off in the distance and then a horrendous bang that sounded like thunder." The news man replied: "So, I assume your ship will not be returning to New York." The captain responded; "No, the company asked us to stay off-shore for a bit and we will be redirected soon. I don't think anyone dares go anywhere near New York." The news man asked; "Do any of you live in New York, how are you taking this and do any of you who live there intend to return home ever?" The Captain replied: "Well, I am in shock, this has been my home for many years, many of my crew live there and we have worked there all our lives. We grew up in New York, we helped make it the greatest city in the world, and now, in an instant, it's all gone forever."
Hearing this made everyone in the terminal ill. What on earth happened? Lauren and Hozo had put the pieces together as did many others but the whole of the people remained somewhat ignorant of anything other then that New York city had apparently been destroyed.
The news went on and on for a great deal of time though Lauren and Hozo didn't seam to care, that is, until the president of the United States came on to address the nation: "My fellow Americans. I come before you today in great sadness, to announce the worst tragedy in the history of our nation. This morning, at approximately 9:22 AM, a massive explosion took place in downtown Manhattan. We have learned that the explosion was created by a Nuclear missile, possibly one made by the Soviet Union. We are also now aware that this attack on American property and American lives had been long planned and executed by Muslim Jihad extremist groups from the middle east and possibly supported by one or more middle eastern country. The damage caused by this attack has been of the utmost extreme. All of Manhattan has been completley destroyed and the devastation has reached deep in to other parts of New York. In addition to the many buildings destroyed by the blast, the trauma has caused well over a hundred other buildings to fall throughout the city limits. A large portion of the county is also contaminated by nuclear fall out. In addition to the massive destruction of American property, it brings me great agony to announce that the loss of American lives is catastrophic. It will be a long time before we know the exact death toll but it is estimated that at least a half a million Americans have perished in the disaster."
Although the president would continue a long speech, this was all most people listened to, and that was certainly true about Lauren. The inevitable claims the president would make about war against Jihad just didn't sound realistic and he was in no mood to be thinking about military matters.
Since they didn't have much to begin with, the 3 slept in the terminal, only protecting their money and plane tickets, and spent their days helping people who were stranded in San Francisco. Before long, the 3 had grown comfortable with their living conditions and were starting to feel at home when the announcement was made that aircraft would resume operations and get people to their destinations. Lauren managed to call Mark Horner and let him know that they were coming and try to meet them at the terminal so they could get away fast and avoid all of the commotion.
Early the next morning, they boarded an aircraft and took flight, finely on their way home. As the aircraft ascended, Lauren could hear an elderly lady behind him talking on her cell phone with a relative in San Francisco who she apparently stayed with for the 10 day period that the aircraft were grounded. Lauren paid no real attention. It was just a normal phone call, that is, until something got Laurens undivided attention. The lady suddenly asked: "What, there's an earthquake?" as she turned her head towards the window, apparently trying to look at the part of town that the person she was speaking with was located. Lauren quickly came to his senses and decided to just mind his own business when the lady suddenly screamed: OH' MY GOD!! OH' MY GOD! Everyone suddenly turned at her to quickly see through the window that several large building in San Francisco were crumbling. Lauren immediately began to wonder if there was any connection between this and the nuclear strike on New York City. Now, all 3 were in shock and disbelief and the rest of the passengers were experiencing hysteria.

brigadier
January 5, 2008, 09:21 PM
Same chapter continued:

Mark Horner was waiting patiently at the terminal when he found the 3 walking to him in a daze. Mark too was nervous, having heard a sudden burst of commotion at the terminal while waiting for the 3 but hadn't been paying attention. Once met, he asked them what's wrong and Lauren responded: "Mark, lets just go home. I'll tell you about it later." Mark gave him a funny look and said: "Yeah, I think we probably should." Turning around, they walked out of the terminal and in to the parking lot. Mark began talking about how he once again managed to park in a place without any commotion in spite of what all was going on and began to show them to his car. As he approached, all 4 of them immediately noticed a dozen men had followed them in to this abandoned area and were wondering if they were about to be mugged. Still walking, Lauren said: "What do you want?" No one replied but as they neared a corner of a building, two men moved out from behind it and stopped in front of the four. Lauren gave Hozo a look indicating that it's time to break free of them and turned towards one of the men behind him, swinging for his jacket when one of the men who had come out from behind the building said: "HALT. We don't want to hurt you." By the time he finished saying that, Lauren had slammed the man on the ground the man reaching for a taser and Lauren moving to turn it against him when the man who spoke before yelled: "Don't!" and the man grabbed his taser but when Lauren reached for it, he could feel that the man was using his strength to keep the taser stationary, proving that he was responding to orders to stand down, so Lauren let go, gently patted the man on the shoulder once as a sign of good faith and returned to his feet, surprised to see Hozo holding a .357 Magnum Taurus Tracker to the head of one of the other men that had been following them. Lauren wondered how Hozo managed to get a hold of it at the time. The man who ordered the stand down said: "We are looking for Lauren Springheart and Hozo Espawn. Are any of you them?" Hozo asked; "Who wants to know?" The man responded. "We are federal agents." Hozo responded: "And how am I suppose to know that?" Lauren interrupted; "Because the only logical explanation for a bunch preppy men, armed with tasers is that the feds have business with us." Then Lauren turned his attention to the man and asked: "But, why would the feds be bothering with us at a time like this." as he walked casually towards the agent. After a short pause, Lauren asked: "So, what is it?" The man replied: "Honestly, I don't know, but I have been asked to escort you to base." Then one of the men handed Lauren a cell phone. "Hello?" The man on the phone replied: "Lauren, this is Joel, your old boss." Lauren replied: "Since when are you contracting mercenary work out to the feds." Joel replied: "Lauren, they are offering you this one for a reason, hear them out." Lauren replied: "And what about mark." Joel replied: "Haven't you taken him on a few assignments with you?" Lauren replied: "Yes, I have." Joel replied: "Hang on." and the phone conversation ended. All stood still for a few minutes before the phone rang again. "Lauren." "Lauren speaking" "OK, I talked it over and it is decided that Mark should Join you." Mark heard this and said: "HELL NO." Joel said: "Lauren, let me talk to Mark for a minute."
Lauren handed the cell phone to mark. Mark said: "Yo." Joel replied: "Hay Mark, did I hear correctly that you are all fascinated with Area 51?" Mark responded: "Yeah, why?" Joel replied: "Good, because that's where you're going!"

Test Site. Section 4. Nellis Air Range, Nevada

Hozo, Lauren and Mark sat nervously in a small white room with a simple layout. It was reasonable temperature and had places to rest. Mark, staring at the floor in disbelief said: "I never thought in my life I would ever step foot on Area 51, and here I am, sitting in a little room dieing with boredom." Hozo interrupted: "Mark, Area 51 was shut down years ago, this is just a small installation that use to be connected to it. There was never anything terribly spectacular about any of it anyway." Lauren added: "Some of the countries deepest and darkest secrets are some of the most boring and uninteresting things." Mark replied: "Oh, come on! What about all the Alien Space craft?" Lauren responded: "You seriously don't think all these generals and business men are sitting around with little gray men working deals do you?" Hozo responded: "It depends on which politicians and bankers we're talking about." All 3 laughed and continued a silly conversation for a while before the door was unlocked and a man in BDUs and a beret opened the door and asked for Lauren and Hozo to follow him. They exited the room to find several other men in matching outfits standing around. They escorted Hozo and Lauren to a room with an oval shaped table, a mixture of people in suits and military dress seated at it and standing around, many notebook computers on the table and all kinds of maps and charts on the walls.
Hozo and Lauren were quietly asked to be seated and they did as instructed. Then one of the escorts whispered in a mans ear and the man announced: "Gentlemen, I would like you to meet Lauren Springheart and Hozo Espawn who are now seated with us. Lauren and Hozo were silent. A man, who appeared to be a general asked: "Do you have any idea why we asked you to come?" Lauren responded: "Well, my guess is that it has something to do with an event in New York city and San Francisco." The general replied: "There is no evidence that what happened yesterday in San Francisco was anything but a natural disaster but yes, this DOES have something to do with what happened in New York."
Hozo said: "What? you want us to go around and pick up nuclear fragments or something?." The general replied; "Don't be such a smart alic Hozo. You are a civilian as is Lauren." Hozo became confused. Lauren said: "Hozo, I have been a mercenary for years. The government won't contract mercenaries out unless something weird is going on." The General said: "Are you at all familiar with what is going on?" Lauren replied: "To be serious, I have been spending all of my time with other matters. As you said, I am a civilian." A man in a baggy white shirt said: "Look, lets just cut through the nonense. The president of the United States got congressional approval to clean house all over the entire middle east. A declaration of war on all Muslims over there who embrace the Jihad principal." Lauren interrupted: "They are insane, how do you wage war against that?" The man replied; "I never said I agree, but that's what's happening. While you guys were trapped in Frisco, the Muslim extremists made a move that will make it much more practical to wage war against them." Hozo interrupted: "Oh really?" The man continued: Thousands of them have taken advantage of what they believe to be a moment of opportunity and have united in to an invasion force and invaded Israel. They are moving towards Jerusalem, apparently trying to seize the city. The United States military is plotting to engage them at Jezriel in only 3 days." Lauren asked; "So what does any of this have to do with us?" The man replied: "Reports are that the people in Jezriel are fleeing to safety at Petra and other safe havens throughout the area. This means that once the Muslims reach Jezriel, the only inhabitants will be enemy forces, so our military is under orders to wipe them out." Lauren interrupted: "Let me guess, they have hostages and you want us to go in and get em." The man said, WOW! That's exactly correct." Hozo said: "But why do you need civilians to do that?" Lauren replied: "It's a political trick that allows them to take credit for the rescue if successful or deny any part of it if it fails" Then Hozo became angry and said: "If these hostages are so important to you, then why don't you creaps go in and get them yourselves?!" Then a familiar voice said: "Because they are more important to you." Standing behind them was Laurens partner Jean, who had been listening to the whole thing. "These men are good people and they follow your principals. It was I who recommended you. Look, a bloodbath is about to happen and I know that you, Lauren have been pressed to accomplish something productive. This is a good opportunity for you, not to mention establishing relations with influencing people who have the good principals you share."
Lauren said: "OK, but I want to know more about this crazy assault you are planning. What is the basic outline? "The general said: Basically, there will be a missal attack from our cruisers and then several waves of air strikes from bombers out of Iraq and aircraft from the USS Enterprise, Nimitz, Stennis, Reagan and Lincoln." Lauren interrupted: "Wow, 5 nuclear aircraft carriers. You guys really are insane." The general continued: Then ground forces will move in while F-117 and B-2 stealth bombers will strike the enemy headquarters that are already set up in the Megiddo mountains. The headquarters are the primary target." Lauren asked: "And what are our so-called allies saying about this?" The man in the white shirt replied: "They don't like it." Lauren replied: "Are there any UN forces in the area?" The man replied: "Uhh...yes, what's new." Lauren replied: "I guess it's none of our business what they are doing there so long as they stay out of ours but I have a bad feeling that they intend to butt in." The man replied: "It wouldn't be rational for them to do that." Lauren replied: "Since when was the U.N. known for being very rational?"
The General butted in: "Look, we don't have all day for this. If you go in, we will give you all the supplies you need, you can take a team of your choosing and the mission pays 7 million dollars to be spread out among you and your crew when you get back. If you don't go in, those hostages have no chance of survival. That's when Lauren remembered his thoughts from a couple weeks earlier on the airliner and how he wished to not make his mistake again. Lauren gasped, sat back and looked at Hozo. Even if Lauren wanted to do this, he had to take in to account of the interests of those he would be leading in to this dangerous rescue mission. Hozo said: "If Lauren goes, I go, if Lauren stays, I stay." Lauren took a deep breath, looked at the map on the wall and then the general and said: "Yeah, we'll take the mission. You're right Jean. This is something we need to be doing." The people in the room started quietly talking among each other. Lauren said: "Plus, I don't know about Hozo but this is something I have to see with my own eyes." The rest of the room seamed to not be paying attention but Jean became incensed and said: "Lauren, is it just my imagination or do you know something the rest of us don't?" This line got the entire rooms undivided attention and there was a short pause. Lauren replied: "Well, maybe." The General said: "If you know something of importance, you better tell us." Lauren replied: "Well, I really think you are not taking the UN seriously enough. I'd bet allot that they are going to engage U.S. forces during the assault." The general became frustrated and said: "I thought we already had this conversation." Jean interrupted: "Lauren, is that all?" Lauren replied: "Well, there is one other thing. It may just be coincidence, but I am really uneasy about the fact that this whole operation is centered at these headquarters in the Megiddo Mountains." The man in the white shirt replied: "What does that have to do with anything?" Hozo became incensed and lifted his eyes towards the man. Lauren intensively replied: "The old Greek word for the Mountains of Megiddo is: Armageddon!"

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