San Francisco Bay – 2:00 a.m., present day
The fog in San Francisco can always be counted on to hide things in its hanging mist. Tonight it hung over a freighter in the bay’s recessed pier. But it did not hide all in its shadows.
A guard standing watch at the pier’s receiving station noted its arrival. Moisture clouded the lenses on his binoculars, making it difficult to read the name and markings on the freighter.
He checked the vessel schedule, then lifted his phone to his ear, but never spoke a word. When he turned to a sound behind him a black shape emerged from out of the dark. A small canister thrown at his feet spewed its contents into the room. Before he could get off a shot, the black shape disappeared as fast as it had come.
He raced towards the alarm, but his body felt the heat and sting of the combustible discharge emitted. He stumbled. His face contorted, red and blistered. Tears welled up in his burning eyes. Blood dripped from his nose. His throat and tongue swelled up as if he would choke. Smoke filled the terminal. He had to get out. He couldn’t see anything past the fog like fumes. His lungs felt as if on fire stinging with every breath. Collapsing to the floor, he knew he had only minutes to live.
The killer reappeared on the freighter minutes later.
Unmarked trucks backed up to the receiving dock on pier #94. Men on the freighter wasted no time. They worked methodically making little noise. Gaping doors opened to the empty trucks and loading began. “Speed it up. We’re running behind. I want those trucks gone when we pull out.”
“Sims? It’s Captain Treadwell from Bay Breeze nine. Do you show a freighter due in tonight? Any ships making late night deliveries?”
“Not that I know of, but wait a second. I’ll look. What’s her name?”
“I can’t find one. Can’t see her markings. Can’t raise a response over the radio either. Seems to have evaded our detection. The guard on duty is not answering his phone.” Captain Treadwell waited.
“Captain? I checked this week’s arrivals and departures. All are accounted for except one.”
“It’s registered to China’s, Sea Serpent Lines under the name, Black Dragon.”
“Have you made contact with China’s ports about their ship’s delay?” asked Treadwell.
“That’s the weird part about it, captain.”
“Well sir, when we contacted China’s port authority to ask about their ship they said they had no knowledge, or contact. They said it left their port on schedule.”
“OK. Check all incoming deliveries and shipments in the last twenty-four hours. Nothing is to be allowed in or out of port until further investigation. Whatever this freighter was carrying, its been unloaded because it has turned around and headed out to bay. Alert the Coast Guard, DHS, Navy and port authorities. Find out what was on that ship and where it’s been taken. And send your ‘welcome committee’ over to that ship, now!”
“Yes, sir. I’m on it.”
A Coast Guard cutter was dispatched, but it was too late. The freighter exploded sending shrapnel and twisted hunks of steel into the sky. The sounds of sirens wailed and the port came alive as the terror rained down over the skies of San Francisco Bay.
To be continued.
This is part 1 with upcoming continued parts. All future and continuing parts will be under the heading and category of, Acid Rain. This story is only a work of fiction. My purpose in writing this story is not intended to frighten, be prophetic or factual. It is only a story to bring to light what does exist. The terrorist threats to our country, the U.S., to Israel and to others as well. Wishing that every country and its people could be at peace, prosper, get along with the rest of the world without hate, and live in harmony would be a wonderful thing. But, that just does not happen and will not happen as long as evil lurks about in the lives of those who invite it in, and when that happens there is death, destruction and chaos. But, we can turn our eyes and hearts to God in these times and ask that He give us strength, courage and wisdom in all things and to learn how to love others, respect their faith, their culture and all that He blesses.
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)