Archive for the ‘Acid Rain’ Category
They stood with others solemnly by
saluting the fallen and the brave
risking life and limb to bring about a promised peace.
Listening to the strains of, “Amazing Grace,”
flag draped coffins are carried under a guarded sky
across cemetery lawns to their final resting place.
Eulogies and names; so many to honor, too short a time,
families of victims pray their loved one’s story lives to remain
a memory, not forgotten, and why they gather today
because of terror unleashed like the rampant spread of disease.
Eloquent words gracing memorial walls and stones
don’t bring closure nor adequately explain
to those suffering loss with unfathomable pain
why a tragedy of this kind strikes with evil intent,
leaving more unanswered questions that remain.
How can there be those who choose
to live with such prejudice, and hate
towards others whose lives they count not
worthy of grace, mercy and love,
but think it better they not live at all.
In a world broken, where strife and anger exists,
rising animosity and distrust is given to believe
there is no hope, and people succumb
to the chaos and confusion that rises up like an ugly fist.
Joyce E. Johnson 2017
Footnotes; The story above is fictional, but the situation is real every day, here and elsewhere. There will always be hate and evil that rears its ugly head, even as we think things will, or might improve. The increased anti-Semitism and hatred towards groups in our country and others continues, even while our president works to set in place measures to stop that. Two years ago I posted fictional stories under the title, “Acid Rain” about two brothers, both having the same mother but different fathers. One brother took the path of a terrorist, and the other an officer with the Israeli Defense Forces. You can find their stories here under the Acid Rain fiction heading in the menu on my site. The prequel to this story series began with Brothers Divided. Their stories are fictional, but the one of Isaac and Ishmael are not which I used as inspiration for the stories of Sam, and Gamal. The recent events of increased vandalism and terror threats to the Jewish Community centers in our country and increased anti-Semitism throughout the world prompted the poetic fictional story above.
Hagar approached Abraham’s tent, Ishmael following after his mother with little concern for what was coming. Abraham had no choice if he wanted to keep Sarah happy. Hagar and his first-born son, Ishmael would be cast out, homeless and destitute in the desert of Beersheba with no promise of a future, and certainly none of the coveted inheritance. It would come through Isaac, Abraham’s second son, born to Sarah. He would receive God’s covenant blessing and favor, and all future generations of the Jewish nation after him. But, the God of Abraham did not turn away from Hagar and Ishmael. He heard her cry, and saw her distress. He would spare them both, provide for them, and through Ismael many nations would be born. (Paraphrased; Genesis, chapter 21 in the Old Testament Bible NIV.)
The above story is true. When I read about Sarah, Abraham, Hagar, Ismael and Isaac I think about the division, hate, and turmoil in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians, and people and cultures of other Middle Eastern countries with the ongoing conflict. One might think that what was written centuries ago and recorded of stories like Abraham’s might be of little consequence to us today. But, what was written back then by those who lived and recorded their stories is relevant to our lives today. It comes back, bigger, more profound. The two most basic things we need most are love and acceptance. They can unite and bind us, but. if we have neither only divide and separate us. The characters in the story below are fictional, but their situation and circumstances could be real. It is not just their story, but one in places all over the world.
Tel Aviv, Israel – present day
“Why did you wait till now to tell me?”
“Gamal, your father deserted us. I never saw him again after that. I felt shamed, as if it was all my fault. So I left, moved closer to the settlements and just tried to blend in.”
“Like a Jew.”
“I had to find work, to support us…even though…” Sahar said, through her tears.
“Even though you were pregnant with a bastard’s son.”
Sahar shook her head, overcome with the emotion coursing through her like a hot iron.
“What about Sam’s father?”
“I was working in Jerusalem at a shop on Haifa Street when I met him. He was serving in the Israeli army then…At first I wanted nothing to do with him. He was Jewish. He came in often, was kind, and gentle…”
“And he married you.”
“Yes. We were married by a clergyman from another faith, because the Jews would not accept me, nor my people him.”
“So he captivates the pretty damsel, and off they ride into the sunset with her bastard son in tow.”
Sahar screamed at him. “Stop calling yourself that. You’re not! I never thought of you like that.”
“No? But, I was the curse that came with the shame of a sordid love affair with a man from Gaza…”
“We were a family. I tried to raise you both the same. I loved you. I never told Sam’s father anything…about your birth, or father. He accepted you and was willing to raise you as his own. He was not Orthodox so my past was not an issue with him. Then, one day…while on duty…with the military, rockets came. He was out there, trying to pull people from that carnage, but there were…Palestinians out there, shooting at them, and he was hit. He died, soon after.” Sahar’s shoulders shook, her cry intensified with every breath.
“And Sam? What does he know?”
“He only knows about his own father, how we met, how he died. Nothing about yours.”
“Then why tell me now, mother, after thirty years, making me believe I was Jewish, instead of…the son of a Palestinian?”
“Because your ties with Israel’s enemies affect your relationship with Sam, and his position in the army. You are brothers for God’s sake.”
“For God’s sake?” He laughed, sarcastically. “Your God does not care about us.”
“Gamal! What are you saying? The God of Abraham and Isaac is our God! We have no other. He is God to all.”
“We come from different people, mother. Or have you forgotten that?”
“I don’t serve Allah!”
“But, I do!” He said, his eyes glaring at her, cold and dark. “Goodbye, mother.”
“Gamal!“ She yelled after him, but he did not listen. He was gone, slamming the door behind him, shutting himself off from her, Sam, and all that he knew.
Joyce E. Johnson © 2016
Footnotes: Last year I posted short fictional stories under the title, Acid Rain, the first one under the title of Brothers Divided where Sam, a Jewish Israeli defense officer comes against those in the Arab nations set on destroying the Jewish people and the country of Israel. You can find those stories here. The above story is fiction also, and the prequel to Acid Rain.
The plan to neutralize Israel generated by Middle Eastern countries, Europe and the U.S. inside Goliath’s network had worked, their propaganda spreading hate and distrust throughout the world. Israel’s allies and friends pulled their support, creating boycotts, unrealistic tariffs and embargoes, cancelled tours, conferences and events scheduled, all of it designed to decimate Israel’s economy. They hacked Israel’s communication and broadcast systems by creating a cyber-wall preventing all communications inside Israel from contacting those they counted on for military support.
IDF ground forces positioned themselves along the perimeters of all its borders facing their neighbors to the north, south, west and east of Israel creating barricades. Their central command center monitored all activity, militarily and otherwise in and out of the country using their own inside secure system of communication that was set in place after their recognition of statehood in 1948. The Israeli air force were forced to engage themselves in defensive skirmishes over their territorial air space. Their navy still patrolled the waters to the west on the Mediterranean Sea.
Sam’s unit made their way across Iraq, and into Iran, under deep cover and a dark, night sky with no more than a sliver of light from the moon. It had to be a precise hit, the coordinates exact, no margin for error. When they located the bunker using the Intel they’d received from their sources inside Iran they regrouped and prepared to move in.
With the stealth of a predatory cat Sam moved with his team as if a part of a perfectly orchestrated and choreographed practiced ballet number during rehearsal.
A hand signal and the repeated gesture moved down the line as they approached, wary but prepared for any surprise attack or ambush that would jeopardize the mission. They had only one chance to gain access by taking out all those guarding Goliath’s network inside the heavily protected bunker. With the swiftness of an angry nest of pythons they lunged at their targets taking everyone down by knife or silencer. When they’d secured the outside leaving some of their unit to cover their flanks the rest moved in with quick precision and timing overtaking all those sitting at a command center or watching video feeds on computer screens. When all targets were down the unit commander and techs quickly accessed the Intel on the screens, hacked into the system, then transferred all onto flash drives. Once done they disabled all monitors and computers with their weapons as if at target practice. They left as hurriedly and as quietly as they’d come and once back into Iraq were quickly airlifted out on a military helicopter under the disguise of an Iraqi transport.
The Intel on the flash drives was rushed to Israeli commanders and the PM to be analyzed. It revealed the plan for ‘Israel’s annihilation.’ Iran would never be given the chance to carry it out.
At precisely 5:00 a.m. Israeli time, the Israeli’s launched the first of their own missile attacks on the country who wanted to, ‘wipe them off the face of the earth’ as once quoted. When Iran quickly struck back launching their biggest and most effective nuclear warheads with a range of over 200 kilometers, the ‘Magic Wand’, aka, ‘David’s Sling’ was launched intercepting Iran’s nuclear strike. Israel struck back with their own, ‘David’s stone,’ taking out all of Iran’s capabilities, the uranium enrichment plants, command centers, all military operations, their air force, airports, and bases housing, manufacturing and maintaining all.
The Intel received included a list of all the countries, governments, political or influential names of presidents, kings and prime ministers in Goliath’s network supporting Israel’s complete annihilation, and the plan to carry it out. Those included were the countries of Iran, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, and many others Israel was not surprised to find. What was a surprise was finding one listed near the top; that of the current U.S. president.
Footnotes: This has been a work of fiction throughout. This is the concluding part. Fiction though it be, prophetic it may certainly be one day if those who don’t stand with Israel as a friend will fall with those who don’t support her, and her right to defend her nation and people. All the previous parts to this story can be found under the heading of Acid Rain with each part posted separately and found in my archives. “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 (NIV)
Thank you for reading and following. Comments and feedback are always welcome.
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
Tel Aviv, Israel
A loud roar echoed through the dark, narrow passageway deep beneath the floor they’d just descended, the reverberations of missile attacks pitching them against the walls. Sam threw himself over Eli shielding him from what sounded like explosions of incoming missile attacks. Walls shook. The floor above them cracked, split in places weakening the ceiling structure. The sound of windows breaking and furniture knocked about could be heard as volleys of shells were heard exploding in the skies.
“It is what I feared.” Eli said, his voice muffled under Sam’s weight as he tried to regain voice and composure.
“I had a premonition…of something coming, from a dream I had. This is just a forewarning.”
“Yes. God wants to prepare us for the onslaught that is coming. It is time for Israel to ready, ‘David’s sling.’”
“What do you know about, ‘David’s Sling?’” Sam said.
Eli smiled. “I have my sources, Sam. I may be a retired IDF general, but am still in the ‘know’. The U.S. president could save himself another embarrassing calamity if he would stop declaring accolades to come out of this lame deal of his. He can’t expect to slow or stop Iran’s uranium enrichment production.”
They donned gas masks and made their way up the steps into the interior to assess the damage of Eli’s home. A part of the roof was blown off. Clouds of black smoke hung like an angry pall over Tel Aviv. The time froze on a grandfather clock, its pendulum stilled at 3:48 p.m., the eve of Shabbat. Lights flickered, then went dark. Glass shards from broken windows, lamps and vases lay scattered through the house from the impact.
When they’d made their way through the mess to the outside they saw traffic lights knocked out, dangling from poles where cars crashed or careened into other vehicles, people or objects. Drivers were slumped over their seats from the impact, doors flung open. Fires erupted. Gas and oil tanks exploded spewing contents released by the blasts. People scurried for cover, pulling gas masks free from bags or totes carried, as common as a jogger with his water bottle.
“Those missiles came from the east.” Sam said, looking at the tails of white plume.
Eli nodded. “Iran. To think those puppets sat around a conference table trying to appease the world’s superpowers when Iran and the Ayatollah had already decided our fate.”
Sam pulled out his cell phone, and tried calling his commander. There was no signal. He checked messages. “They’ve blown out our cell towers, and communication satellites.”
Eli tried unsuccessfully to reach emergency military operations on a command communication device.
“Internet service, power and wireless; all of it, knocked out. They’re trying to isolate us. I’ve got to get back to my unit.”
“I’m coming with you. I’m re-enlisting myself, voluntarily.”
As they made their way through blocked and crowded streets they saw the injured, the dead and the destruction so great Eli knew where he was needed most.
“Sam, go ahead. I am going to stay here, and help with the injured and the…diseased. Go. God speed. Be the soldier Israel has trained you to be.”
They embraced, each with their own thoughts, not wanting to express aloud their concerns.
This is a continued story, part 4 of 5 parts. Comments and feedback are always welcome. Parts 1-3 can be found under the heading of, Acid Rain., Acid Rain, Part 2, and Acid Rain, Part 3
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
Tel Aviv, Israel
After the hijacking of the Chinese freighter, Black Dragon security modifications were made on freighter and cargo lines. Swat teams and undercover agents were posted to every ship, cargo and cruise line for all scheduled crossings. The impact was felt in the once friendly skies of air travel, too. Ticket sales were down. Airlines reduced their fares significantly to entice travelers with bargain deals, but people were afraid to fly. Trains were routinely checked and swept for devices, bags, even trash disposed while on board. Railway and Amtrak routes were routinely checked for bombs or devices hidden under or near tracks.
There was no exact number to determine how many active terrorists’ cells were in the U.S., Middle East and Europe, but estimated to be in the thousands, all trained, committed, and devoted to their mandate; to kill any and all not converted or sympathetic to Islam, whether Jew or Gentile, American or otherwise. Educated and highly skilled in chemical, biological and nuclear explosives, experts were brought in to train teams sent out to places wherever opportunity existed, all under the command and ‘head’ of one, known as ‘Goliath’.
They infiltrated themselves into society, many involving themselves in civic or charity organizations, churches, or synagogues. On the surface they were Christian or Jew, purporting to be patriots of their resident country. But, to the soul they were fanatical, committed Islamic jihadists. They spoke fluent English or were fluent in the dialect of their assigned location with no prior foreign accent. Those in the U.S. were in fact born and raised in the U.S. They would martyr themselves for Allah.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Sam entered the home of his old friend and mentor, Eli. Eli was a retired army commander with the IDF. He shook hands with Eli’s bodyguard and was escorted into his study.
“Samuel, it is good to see you my friend.” Eli embraced Sam, greeting him with the traditional Hebrew kiss on each cheek. “You look good, except for the lines of stress around your eyes. I suspect this is not just a social visit, is it? I see it in your eyes. You have something on your mind.”
Sam smiled. “You know me too well, Eli.”
“Sit down. Let’s talk. I sense your current mission has not been going well. I assume your unit is working with the U.S. teams on this stream of recent attacks?”
“Trying to. But, their American president is none too happy with the way we do things here. It has not been determined for certain who carried out the San Francisco attack and hijacking of the Black Dragon. They cannot find those responsible. Their disappearing act was flawless, no trace, but it stinks of Hamas’s hands all over this. I am not so sure we will have the U.S. support and cooperation much longer with the animosity their president feels toward our PM and Israel. The U.S. administration wants to cut a deal with Iran too.”
“Yes. I know.”
They talked for another couple hours. When it was time for Sam to leave, Eli said. “Don’t go out the front, the way you came in. Let me take you out through another exit from my home. Where did you park your SUV?”
“Six blocks down and two streets over from here. I was careful, Eli. I don’t think anyone was tailing me.”
“Nevertheless, let me lead you out the back way. Then you can switch back, and get back to your car from there.”
To be continued…
This is a work of fiction and a continued story with parts 1 & 2 previously posted under the same title, Acid Rain Feedback and comments are always welcome.
Joyce E.Johnson (2015)
Present day – San Francisco, Ca., U.S.A.
Boom! Bang! Swoosh!
People watched, their eyes fixed on the skies, waiting and expectant for each explosion of color that mushroomed in the sky. Huge spheres of dazzling light fell like ribbons cascading to the ground. They cheered, clapped and celebrated. Short minutes later small rockets became chemical weapons exploding after launch emptying their contents on victims as they succumbed to their fate. Not until the first victims went down did anyone suspect something had gone terribly wrong. The ground turned white, smoldering from the burning hot ash. Those closer to the impact lay writhing, screaming from the pain. Their flesh and hair burned from the falling ash raining from the smoke-filled skies. Victims with their eyes shrinking back into red swollen sockets, stinging with pain stumbled as they tried running from the horror. Shrapnel embedded into skin and scalp became deadly darts of death as the poison imploded.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Sam laid in bed, asleep as the images swirled about in his head. Subconsciously his hand went to his sweating brow, eyelids twitching. His eyes snapped open. He laid, staring up at the ceiling fan’s blades turning quietly, above him. But, he could still see the images. Because they never went away.
Now qualified for special op missions, he served with a recon team, given the name, DAVID, for Defensive Arms Validating Israel’s Directives by their Orthodox Jewish general who believed David from Old Testament times was empowered by God. Under David’s rule as commander, and king of Israel they won wars with enemies twice the size or strength of the Israelites. Most memorable was their victory over the Philistine army giant, Goliath that came against Israel when David was a mere shepherd boy. But, theirs was a new kind of army, today; one that counted on the stockpiled arsenal they’d built up, but held back from using. Until now.
“Sam! Grab some coffee and bagels, and take a copy of the brief. We’ve got a lot to cover. You look washed out. Get enough sleep?”
“Yeah. Sure. I’m on adrenalin overload, you know?” His team members laughed.
“OK, let’s get started. Here’s what we’ve got so far.” Jon, their team leader briefed them for the next two hours as they went over all the latest intelligence reports concerning their unit and their mission.
When rocket fire erupted again over Israel the Jewish state responded swiftly with a more aggressive counter strike to the Palestinians’ refusal to disarm and honor a cease-fire agreement.
There was little empathy for Israel when they destroyed much of the West Bank in Gaza. Anti-Semitism was on the rise, everywhere. But, the U.S. administration promised to remain supportive.
Many of the old Hamas would not agree to any peace negotiations. They wanted only the destruction and annihilation of Israel altogether, much like Iran, so Hamas joined their larger, more organized terrorists’ cells active in Europe, the Middle East, even the U.S. They recruited pro-Islamic and pro-Palestinian fighters from all over. Although many countries, including the U.S. waged their own war against ISIS it was only a part of a much larger terrorist organization now operating under one, known as, ‘Goliath.’ The smaller factions under Goliath competed for control in their own regions.
Sam served with the task force in Israel who hunted for, ‘Goliath’s Head.’ With the increased terrorism globally the U.S. and Israel would now come together as one, against Iran where they believed ‘Goliath’ operated.
“The U.S. teams have confirmed the recent rocket attacks in the U.S. are related, and the result of the shipment of arms or bombs that were on the, Black Dragon. None of that shipment has yet been found, located, nor the ones involved, apprehended. The U.S. team believes they wanted to hit the U.S. because of their support for us.” Jon said.
To be continued…
This story is only a work of fiction. Part 1 of Acid Rain was previously posted. 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 finds a home and lurks about in the lives of those who invite it in, and when that happens there is death, destruction and chaos. But, if we turn our eyes and hearts to God in these times and ask that He give us strength, courage and wisdom in all things and show us how to love others, and those whom He blesses He will bless us. “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3 (NIV)
Joyce E. Johnson (2015)
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)