This is a scene I wrote, but I was completely unable to use this! I knew I needed (withheld… you gotta wait and see!) in the beginning of the second book. I was caught in a debate between terrorists trying to make a last, final strike to punctuate the end of their cause – and just having the Antagonist in my books simply push the button. This is raw text, as it came from my fingers, without any revision. It’s not even rough draft status, because you tighten up a little and work on the flow before you cal it rough draft.
I ended up opting for the second. If you get the books once they’re published, you’ll be able to see where this would have fit in. The other half of it will be next Thursday.
Gilliard drove through Los Angeles, thinking very carefully. He remembered what Carpenter had said about disappearing, but he was just not seeing the need to disappear as rapidly as Carpenter and the others did. He figured he still had a year, so why disappear now?
Last night’s dream was still bothering him. He had a disturbing dream he’d missed his chance. He dreamed that Carpenter had told him, “Today was your last chance… If you don’t get out of town as soon as you wake up, you’re going to die.”
Gilliard had woken up in a panic, and tried to calm himself. He had a home, a good job, a family… He believed, but what it really boiled down to was he had it good, and he was reluctant to give that up. They would leave right after Christmas, he decided. He picked up his cell phone, and dialed his wife.
The man loaded his van. He had an apartment as close to the center of Los Angeles as he could get.And the plan they’d all arrived on before this was to simply set the device up in the center of the city, set the timer, and leave. But this bothered him. He decided to deviate from the plan. He was almost two miles from the center of town, and they were going to punish the West for their Peace Treaty. But how could you punish if the news would undoubtably record that the Los Angeles device was too far from the heart of the town to do the kind of devastation they’d planned on? He called to his compatriot and told him what he was thinking. There was argument, but who was going to argue? The man’s name was Tariq Almasi. He had a reputation of seeing through difficult assignments. He’d killed, easily, without remorse. There was no arguing with him. He had his mind made up.
“The plan calls for us to set off the device by timer, and escape.” His compatriot argued. “Do not change the plan!”
Tariq was not listening. “And how will it strike terror in the heart of the West if we destroy the wrong part of Los Angeles?” He asked with some heat. “If you are afraid to be a martyr, then help me get it in the van, and leave. Call my phone when you are out of the city, and I will set off the device on schedule in the heart of the city. I will choose a parking garage and make my getaway by taxi if I have to.”
The other man finally stopped arguing. “What’s going to happen, my friend, is that you are going to sacrifice your life.”
“I am willing.” he answered shortly. “help me, and I will wait until you are out of the city.”
Gilliard was inching along in the traffic, as his wife answered the phone. “I”ve been thinking.” he said. “I think Carpenter’s right. We should have left weeks ago like they did.” His wife smiled, She’d been telling her husband exactly that for at least a month. She’d had the uneasy feeling which had grown stronger and stronger. “Where are you?” he asked.
“I”m entering the city now. When we get home, we’ll contact the others in the warehouse district and see if we can stay with them for a couple of weeks, while we decide where to go.”Amanda Gilliard answered.
Tariq slammed the doors of the van. The device looked like a water heater, which went well with the plumber’s logo on the side of the van. Tariq climbed into the driver’s seat of the van, and checked his watch. 7:30… They were getting close. The device was set to go off at 8:30, right when most people would be surging into the heart of the city to go to work. “Take care, my friend.” his friend wished him. “Do not take any chances. Palestine needs you.”
Tariq started the van. “It will take me twenty minutes to drive into the city, and get into a parking garage. I will still have forty minutes to make my escape before the device goes off. Trust me, I could walk out of the city in that time.”
His friend got into his car, and started it, watching Tariq drive off. This was not going according to plan, and he didn’t like it.
Lynch got into his plane, preparing to head to Rome. He had a funny feeling that he was forgetting something. He turned around and looked, and almost went back. But he saw the Controller walk into the concourse. “All ready?” Controller asked him. Lynch shrugged, and turned. They walked out and into a car, which took them to the private plane. Lynch kept turning around, and looking behind him.
“Anything wrong?” Controller asked him. Lynch shook his head. But something was bothering him. He didn’t know what, he just knew something was bothering him. His mind was beginning to race.
They boarded the Gulfstream, and took their place. “You can take off anytime.” Controller told the pilot. They taxied into place. Lynch looked uncomfortable.
“What’s wrong?” Controller asked. Lynch was staring out the window.
“I’ve missed something.” Lynch answered. “I don’t know what, but something’s been nagging at me.”
“Where? Who does it concern?” Controller asked. Lynch drummed his fingers as the plane began moving forward. Lynch picked up his phone and dialed a number. “It’s Lynch. Something’s bothering me.” he said into the phone.
Controller could hear some talk, and Lynch was getting more agitated. He hung up, looking more restless. “We’ve missed something. I’m seeing all the indicators that something has happened outside our control.” He told Controller.
“CIA reports telephone interceptions of intel is slowing down. Why would telephone reports slow down?”
“Interceptions of whom?” Controller steepled his fingers.
“Do we have an operation going, an event I’m not privy to?” Lynch asked.
Controller stared. “No. If I’m privy to anything, so are you.”
Lynch thought rapidly. “Russia is bankrupt. The aborted attack into Israel demolished them. Saudi Arabia lost billions on that… And they stand to not recoup that money thanks to the peace treaty. Is that it?”
Controller looked at a report. The plane was caught in that maddening pace of move, stop, wait, move, stop wait…
“No. We’ve got that handled.”
“Who did we forget about?” Lynch asked. It was the wrong thing to ask, because the peace treaty was part of Controller’s job. He’d been as thorough as possible.
“We didn’t forget anyone.” Controller answered. He took no offense. He’d learned when Lynch got a suspicion, to listen to it.
“Did you take care of Iran?”