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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Griffin’s Heart

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The Morning Sun





Ive searched near and far; Ive followed a star


En route to the Morning Sun.


And you, too, my friend, had searched for an end;


Our journeys had just begun.





I searched the sky high; I yelled and I cried.


I looked for a heart of gold.


But you had the song I’d looked for so long


A ransom of treasures untold.





Of fire and light, a dream in the night,


A search for a love that is true.


An angel, a sign, a very fine wine;


I thanked God the day I met you.





With dreams made of gold and stories untold,


With speed and with sail unfurled.


A river so strong, a midnight song;


I pulled from the sea my pearl.





We laughed, we cried, we reached for the sky;


I built a world with my friend


Of castles and dreams, of romantic things,


And of heroes who win in the end.





My love is a rose, just like the poem goes,


And I’m but the water, you see.


I must be consumed for the blossom to bloom;


So part of its beauty I’ll be.











Prologue


U.S. Persian Gulf Carrier Battle Group


One hundred sixty-seven miles off the Iraqi coast





Moving silently through the cool night mist, the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt made its way across the Persian Gulf. Frothy waves beat against its torpedo-proof hull. The city of steel was the flagship of the Battle Group, surrounded by an armada of supporting ships including a half-dozen frigates and destroyers.


With the build-up of Iraqi armor near the American forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia the United States chose to brandish its sword by reinforcing the fleet. The battle group inched its way closer to Iraqi shores than any other American ships had ventured since Desert Storm, steaming quietly forward under a blanket of complete darkness.


Captain Neil Rainey stood on the bridge of the lead ship, Brittany Bay. This was his first command, but he felt right at home. Everything about it seemed to resemble him. Like his ship, he had a short compact frame. Even his light gray eyes seemed to match the color. He caressed the smooth surface of the metallic console, feeling the familiar vibrations of the huge gas turbine engines that propelled his ship. He knew every jostle and creak that emanated from its steel frame.


“Come on, girl,” he whispered. “Tell me what we’re after.”


“Con? This is sonar! I’ve got contact bearing three ten degrees at twenty thousand yards.”


That’s what he’d been waiting to hear. Rainey wheeled about to face his first officer, Dana Pitney. “You’ve got the bridge!”


It took only a moment for him to cover the few yards separating the bridge from Ops and approach the sonar operator’s station. “Let’s have it, Mr. Macmillan. “What are we seeing out there?”


Macmillan didn’t acknowledge the captain when he arrived. He sat motionless with one hand over the right ear of his head set. Though silent, his intensity spoke volumes. The sounds he listened to were echoing from miles away under water, sounds that only the most sophisticated microphones ever developed by humanity could hear.


Finally, Macmillan shook his head. “Sir, I’ve checked this signal three times, and I still don’t know what’s wrong!”


“What do you mean? Let’s have it!”


Macmillan held his earpiece again as if hearing something new, and then turned to the printer just as it began to print. After reading it, he turned back to the captain. “It’s confirmed, sir. The sub is a 150’s vintage North Korean fast-attack submarine... diesel-powered! It’s submerged and making for Iraq under full power.”


“Are you certain?”


“That’s affirmative, sir. Its signature has been on record for over twenty years.”


“What’s an antique Korean submarine doing here, twelve thousand miles from home?”


“I couldn’t begin to guess, sir.”


The captain turned away and looked toward a large map of the region on a sheet of plexi-glass. Almost twenty miles ahead of them was an outdated submarine half the world away from home. What interest could North Korea possibly have in the waters of the Persian Gulf? This development was certainly too significant to be ignored.


“I don’t know what’s going on here, and I don’t like it. All the same, let’s make the Roosevelt aware of this.”





The Ministry of Foreign Intelligence


London, Great Britain





As Jonathan Logan sat with the British and American agents in a windowless building at the center of London, he could not help being surprised at how the atmosphere of the meeting did not reflect the imminent danger the Iraqi buildup presented. The room they sat in was cramped, too small for the large round table they sat around. Moreover, the room’s ventilation was completely inadequate.


Smoke poured from the four British agents, filling the room. Disgustedly fanning the acrid smoke, the three agents from the American delegation seemed more interested in arguing over whether to allow smoking during the meeting than in discussing the statistical information that Logan had to show them.


After four long hours, Logan closed his folder. “We must conclude that an Iraqi aggression against Saudi Arabia and Kuwait is imminent. The United States and its allies should reinforce their divisions above their current level of readiness.”


The head American agent didn’t even seem to be aware of the fact that the presentation had ended. He was busily locked in a staredown with an overweight British agent who was puffing on an equally oversized cigar.


Logan glanced around the room and cleared his throat.


“Yes, yes.” The American agent rolled his eyes. “We’ve seen most of this information already, and our analysts have reviewed the data. You haven’t told us much that we don’t already know.”


Logan studied this balding man in his early forties. He had come to trust his intuition about people, and this man displayed the same overconfidence he had become used to seeing in the American military. The kind that makes a military overestimate its forces.


The American agent looked at Logan as if he were a math teacher trying to explain a simple problem to a dense student. “Look, over the past year, the United States has reinforced its presence by placing leading elements of the First and Second Armor Divisions in Saudi Arabia and a Marine Expeditionary Force in Kuwait. Saddam doesn’t have the guts to go head to head with us again. In addition, as to your intelligence information that Iraq is again producing SCUD missiles in northern Iraq... Well, I just don’t feel this information is conclusive.”


Then the overweight British agent leaned forward. “Your information concerning Iraqi acquisition of military equipment is undoubtedly quite accurate, but I agree with my American colleague. I should think the Iraqi military does not have the resolve to go against us again. But just to show our determination, we have positioned a British Expeditionary Force in Saudi Arabia to reinforce the U.S. Armor Divisions.”


Logan looked down at his cold cup of coffee. Just like everything and everybody else in this building, he thought to himself. Inadequate. “Let me say this, then. We, the nation of Israel, will not allow the balance of power to fall into the hands of a madman.”


“Now don’t start those threats again! Israel will take no, let me repeat, no aggressive action outside of its own borders!” The American agent slammed his fist onto the table.


“The United States has only oil to be concerned about. Israel, on the other hand, is faced with its very survival. You can start making demands on us when the United States is in the same shoes we’re in.”


“That’s a very old threat, and it’s not going to cut it with us. Now we’re telling you not to worry. We’ve got it covered, okay?” The American agent paused, then cocked his head and smiled. “If you had your way, what would you suggest we do?”


Logan looked around the table. Everyone was watching him closely. “The current UN resolution would allow for the United States to move its military up into Iraqi territory for security reasons.”


Audible groans and head shaking appeared almost simultaneously around the table.


“Why do you insist on making a mountain out of a molehill? Our joint chiefs are convinced that nothing more is necessary.”


Logan remained silent. They just didn’t get it.


“Look, we don’t feel that any more action on our part is warranted at the present time. Now, is there anything else, or can we conclude this meeting?”


Logan looked down at his briefcase and hesitated for a moment. Then he reached down into it and pulled out a piece of paper covered with rows of numbers. “Our agents lifted this from an Iraqi courier.”


“What is it?”


“It appears to be a code key.”


The British agent grabbed the paper, studied it briefly, and then waved it in the air. “Just where did your agents come across this?”


Since Israeli covert operations were forbidden by the British government from taking place inside their borders, Logan had to lie. “In Damascus.”


“So it is a copy of the original?”


Logan lied again. “Yes.”


Actually, the courier had died in a rather questionable traffic accident with another undercover Israeli agent that very morning. The car in which the courier died exploded into flames, destroying everything but a briefcase. The contents of briefcase had been given to Logan to return to Israel with him the next day.


“Have you tested it yet to see if it’s a fake?”


“No, but...”


The Brit slammed the paper down onto the table. “Then all you actually have is a sheet of numbers which, in fact, could be the answer sheet for a student’s math homework.”


“No, I can assure...”


What do you propose to do with it?


We believe...” Logan paused to observe the faces in the room. He had their attention. Now he had to try to get a buy-in to his plan. “I believe that the U.S. and Britain have operatives in Iraq.”


“For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re right. Then what?”


“Your people could use these keys to check Iraqi military status and plans.”


The British agent tapped his fingers on the table. “It’s a damn silly thing to do... If we had operatives in the Iraqi military, do you expect us to expose them on your whim?”


The American agent was no longer friendly either. “You want our countries to tie up our computer resources for weeks trying to verify your key? For all we know, the Iraqis have been feeding you false information through that key. Maybe that’s how you came up with such a completely different strategic picture.”


Logan groaned inwardly and tossed the paper back into his briefcase. This was a mistake, he told himself. And a waste of time. His arguments were falling on deaf ears. He’d been foolish to believe they would listen to anything contradictive to their own intelligence assessments.


Before he had a chance to say anything more, the American and British agents were leaving the room. The meeting was over, and once again the cold hand of bureaucracy had triumphed. He packed away his files and prepared to leave. His one consoling thought was that tomorrow he would be on his way home aboard the Concorde.








Day One


Lecture “Gray Matter”


Oxford University, Great Britain





Rob Anderson looked over the skeptical crowd sitting in front of him. The gathering of European professors at Oxford University had been anything but cordial. Rob was a brilliant technologist whose theories about the solving complex problems had shaken the accepted concepts of higher learning and the teachings of current scholars. His theories had caused an unending debate among scholars because their understanding of problem solving was threatened with obsolescence. He was not surprised that he was met with suspicion. He had faced similar groups before who sought not to understand his theories but to disprove them.


A handsome man in his mid-thirties, he was not used to speaking before crowds. He grew up on a small country farm in southern Michigan and became a building contractor like his father. Nevertheless, in the changing course of his life, he decided to educate himself by getting a college degree. By the time he was thirty, he was programming computers. However, his construction background left him in excellent physical shape as well.


His creative nature, along with a passion for problem solving, led him to his remarkable theory. He was in constant demand to explain the concepts. Even so, he couldn’t help but feel inferior to the men gathered in this room. He was more than a little intimidated. He had not had the luxury of attending the most prestigious schools or the finest universities. He was the son of a humble carpenter and, like his father, had worked hard to provide for his family.


He looked at the clock on the wall. He had been there for three hours, and because of the constant barrage of questions, he had still not finished his presentation.


“It’s getting late, gentlemen, so, to conclude, I’m going to sum up what I’ve already covered. The treatise I presented to Stanford University is called Gray Matter. I call it that because the set of theories put forth in that paper provides the principles that may someday help computers to simulate the reasoning capabilities of the human mind. The theories present ideas about how the human mind solves complex problems.”


He turned to the chalkboard and started writing. “Here is a list of my theories.”


Natural Progression


Abstract Logic


Insequential Evaluation


Defractional Logic


Principle Randomization


Differential Paradigming


Uniform Integrity


Subtle Recursion


Iterative Development


Transposition of Type


Evaluated Linear Simplification


He turned back to the group. “My purpose is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the brain’s logical and intuitive nature. In essence, the human brain has the ability to solve problems that seem unsolvable by intuition. What do I mean when I say ‘unsolvable complex problems’? I’m describing a problem that is in its simplest form, one that can’t be broken down into smaller parts. I’m describing a problem that is so complex that it cannot be solved by conventional means. I’m describing a problem comparable to a complex number in math a number that cannot be plotted precisely as a dot on a number line. It can only be observed as an equation. My ideas describe how to breakdown these problems into many -- and frankly, quite possibly a substantial number of -- unrelated solutions.


So, of what benefit is all this? I’ll try to explain this in layman’s terms. Take, for example, a virus like AIDS. The AIDS DNA is incredibly complex, but if we had computers that understood how humans go about solving the dilemma of attacking this virus we could find a cure for it in minutes instead of decades! On the other hand, projects like developing sophisticated space travel could be accomplished in days. The list of practical applications goes on and on.”


One of the younger men in the crowd stood. “How do you see your Gray Matter model fitting into the world of processors we use today?”


“It doesn’t. Current processors function sequentially. Data enters at this point and exit at this point.” He motioned with his hands from top to bottom. “Now, imagine a processor that makes use of my theories. Imagine an object with thousands of sides. Information can be absorbed from many different sides, and each side examines it differently. Imagine an operating system that is nothing more than a virus which completely consumes all resources. Information isn’t just processed, it’s consumed.”


“Have you worked out any of the details for the system you are describing?”


“I’m currently working with several companies to take advantage of my theories.”


He was about to continue when an old professor, who had until then remained silent, stood to his feet. Something about this man’s demeanor demanded his attention. He yielded the floor to the man.


“I’ve studied your treatise carefully, and I must say that it is outstanding. Your arguments are insightful, and your position very well taken. There seems to be, however,... There is something missing. I have worked through your math carefully and find it difficult to believe that you could have arrived at your conclusions without... without some sort of key. Something that knits these fundamental concepts into a unified body. Something similar to a decryption algorithm.”


The room fell deafeningly quiet. Apparently, this man demanded considerable respect among his peers. Rob knew that he was close to the truth.


“Have you studied the work of Sy VanCopeland?”


Rob swallowed hard. “Well, yes. He’s a rather brilliant mathematician. I believe his works are well-known and respected by everyone.”


“Yes, yes. Rather brilliant, I must agree, but his work is not all that unrelated to your own. In fact...” The old man shook his index finger in the air as he scanned the crowd. “In fact, it complements your treatise quiet nicely.”


Rob shifted uneasily. “Well, I guess I never thought about it. I guess in some respects it could have some significance, but...”


“Come, come now, dear boy. You must admit that his theory of Infinite Reductions would answer the questions surrounding your treatise as to how the transposition into simplified parts could be modeled. You must see the significance of that?”


“I’m sorry to end this lecture before we have dealt with all the fundamentals, but...”


“Pity. I came a long way to find the answers to these questions. It seems that the mention of Sy VanCopeland always produces fear, and I can understand why you may want to disassociate yourself from his work. Why, his theory may someday negate all encryption algorithms. But can’t we at least explore the matter a little further?”


Rob shook his head as he picked up his notebook. “I’m sorry. This is really off the subject, and any similarities are purely coincidental. Now, if you don’t mind, I really must go.”


“Are you leaving or running away?”


Rob looked again at the perceptive old man and put down his notebook. “A long time ago, I read a story. There was a very gifted scientist who had invented the ultimate weapon, a weapon that could destroy the world. A weapon that could destroy all of mankind. Well, it just so happened that this scientist had a son who was severely retarded.


“One day, a journalist came to visit the scientist and tried to reason with him all afternoon to convince him not to give this weapon to the world. The world wasn’t ready for a weapon of such magnitude. The scientist justified himself by saying that it wasn’t his responsibility to decide if he should or shouldn’t give this weapon to mankind. Mankind was responsible for its own actions.


“The journalist finally gave up and decided to leave, but first he asked the scientist if he could see his son. The journalist went in and visited the boy for a few minutes before leaving. A short time later, the scientist began to wonder why he wanted to see his son. So he went into the room where his son was playing. He gasped when he saw that the boy was playing with a loaded gun. The scientist grabbed the weapon away, thinking, ‘What idiot would place a loaded weapon into the hands of an imbecile?’”


Rob picked up his notebook again, preparing to leave.


Nevertheless, the old man wasn’t about to let him off so easily. “So either you view society as imbecilic or VanCopeland as an idiot... Perhaps both?”


Rob walked toward the side of the stage and heard the old man say as he stepped behind the curtains. “Truth, my dear fellow, always lends itself to exposure. Do not try to hide the obvious.”


He stood backstage and leaned against the wall, shaking. The old man had guessed what he had so carefully tried to conceal. The world wasn’t ready, and he did not intend to put a loaded gun into the hands of fools.


He left the Great Hall through the rear exit being careful not to run into the men he had lectured. Being in such a prestigious place as Oxford was more than just a little intimidating. Back home at McDonald’s, on his own turf, he could take on any of them! But here, he was just a little fish in a big pond.


Rob found his wife, Marie, and their three children waiting for him in the garden at Oxford’s center square. Even now, after ten wonderful years of marriage, looking at her still took his breath away and made him wonder how he could possibly deserve so many blessings.


His wife was a former beauty queen, but there was more to her than met the eye. Exceptionally intelligent, she possessed a much-coveted photographic memory. She, like Rob, was a computer programmer, though she had eventually settled quite comfortably into her long-desired present role as mother and homemaker.


Their oldest child, six-year-old David, was chasing his four-year-old brother, Michael, around and througr the thick rows of bushes surrounding the garden. Not far behind them, ponytail flopping, bounced the petite form of two-year-old Rebekah, Daddy’s little girl. His heart melted at the very thought of her. No other children could have been more dear to him.


If the truth ever came out, would he be able to protect them?


Marie sauntered flirtatiously toward her husband, interrupting his reverie. “Tell me, honey, just how did your lecture go? Jolly well?”


“Oh, shush!” Rob scoffed, trying to give his most perturbed look, but the brilliant smile on her face forced a much resisted smile to pass over his. She leaned over and kissed him.


Rob glanced furtively about the garden, preoccupied. “They’re going to figure it out, you know.” He turned to Marie, an urgent look on his face. “Sy. Sy VanCopeland! One of the men there asked me about him.”


The stillness of the garden was interrupted by his daughter’s piercing shriek as she came running toward them followed by her older brothers. “Michael pull hair!”


“Michael,” Marie scolded, “did you pull her hair?”


“No, I pulled a snake!”


“Not snake,” Rebekah corrected him sternly. “My hair!”


“All right, you guys.” Rob interceded, winking at Marie. “See that bush? I want to know how many leaves are on it. Can any of you count them?”


“I can,” David volunteered.


“Me, too,” Michael clapped his hands excitedly, and the three of them rushed off to count leaves under their parents’ watchful eyes.


Rob took Marie’s hand and wondered at its softness. “You were about to say?”


“No one can prove anything. Don’t worry about it. There are lots of theories out there, and all of them are in some way or another based on someone else’s work. Even Einstein’s work was based on work other men had done.”


“I know. You’re right, of course, but what if someone puts the two together? What if they find the links?”


“They won’t! We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that will never happen. Now stop fretting. Let’s go and enjoy the trip.”


Having left their home in Dallas the week before, they were now on the final leg of their vacation journey to Israel. For many years, Marie had been longing to visit the Holy Land. This trip was going to be perfect. They were going in style -- nothing but the best first class on the best flights, the best hotels, no expense spared. They had even been lucky enough to book seats aboard a chartered Concorde.


They were celebrating Rob’s computer innovation. His patent royalties had made comfortable living possible, and, for the first time in their lives, they actually had the means to take a real vacation and enjoy themselves.


Sensitive to her husband’s concern, Marie embraced him and captured his attention with her eyes. “Hey, look at me, not the garden!”


He closed his eyes and smiled. He knew she was right. When he opened them again, he was staring directly into her smile.


“I know Sy. And let me tell you, his theory isn’t his best part!”


Rob’s smile turned to laughter, and he gave her a tight appreciative squeeze. “Oh, yeah? Are you sure?”


“I wouldn’t have all these children if I weren’t!”


Rob’s attention turned as he watched their children coming back to tug on his slacks. “We got up to a hundred, but there are just too many leaves to count, Daddy.” David said seriously. Such a little man. “Can we go eat now?”


“We want hamburgers!” Michael piped in.


“Hangleburs!” Rebekah squeaked with glee.


“We’re tired of Yoo-peen food,” David added.


Rob picked Michael up. “I guess it’s no more Yoo-peen food for us, then! Let’s see if we can find a McDonald’s around here.”


They left the garden to find a cab to the airport. The Concorde would be leaving in just a few hours.


The cab driver proved to be less than friendly as he grudgingly took the “Yanks” through a McDonald’s on the way to the airport. Rob wasn’t sure if the driver’s rudeness was a result of true abrasiveness or his own imagination. What he knew for certain was that he was more than happy to step into the airport terminal.


As they approached their assigned gate, Marie touched his elbow. “I’m taking the children to the restroom before we board, okay?”


He looked down at Michael holding his pants. If they were at their country home in Dallas, he probably would have found a tree already. “Go ahead. I’ll be here.”


As she walked off with the children in tow, he sat down by two businessmen pouring over their laptops. He didn’t want to be intrusive, but he couldn’t control his curiosity. He cleared his throat.


The man closest to him looked up, distracted.


“Pentium?”


“Nothing less.”


Rob smiled. Finally, someone with whom he could communicate. He held out his hand. “Rob Anderson from Dallas.”


“Really? I’m Sonny Grant, and this is my partner, Jason Katz. We’re from Chicago... North Chicago.”


“Traveling on business?”


“Got that right! We’ve a small communications business and we’re looking to set up a branch in Israel. How ‘bout yourself? You a techy?”


Rob smiled as he thought about the work he recently published. “Well, let’s just say that when I get cut, I bleed silicone.”


Both Grant and Katz laughed. Grant cast an inquisitive eye over his new friend. “I’m an electrical engineer, and my partner is a communications specialist. How ‘bout yourself?”


“Me? Oh, I just listen to her.” He tilted his head toward Marie as she approached with the children.


Katz nudged Grant. “I’d listen to her, too!”


Rob pretended not to notice the comment as Marie stopped in front of him. “Hold your daughter while I take the boys to get something to drink.”


“Aye, Captain.” He mock saluted her in mock pirate fashion, dissolving the children into giggles. Then he set his daughter on his lap before turning to the men again. “Katz. That’s Jewish, isn’t it?”


Katz closed his laptop and leaned forward. “Yeah, but believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve ever been to Israel.”


“Oh, I can believe that.”


Just then, a group of young men sat down in the seats across from him. They were carrying two large cameras and talking loudly.


Rob waved them down. “Hey, I didn’t know they were making a movie on this flight.”


The man across from him gave him a quick glance. “Travel in the Fast Lane.”


Rob cocked his head, brows furrowed. “Pardon?”


“Travel in the Fast Lane. That’s the name of the film. It’s just an advertisement flick the airline’s paying for. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll see yourself in a commercial.”


“You sound American.”


“I am. Philip Rogers.” He shook Rob’s hand. “This is Lonnie Douglas, my head cameraman.”


Lonnie smiled at the little girl on Rob’s lap and waved. She buried her head in Rob’s chest, then looked back out of the corner of her eye.


“You do many of these?”


“Actually, this is my first flick since I got out of college. So you’ll understand what I mean when I say it has to be perfect.”


Rob knew only too well how hard it is to get started. “I’ve been down that road, too.”


He cuddled his daughter. He was looking forward to spending some hard-earned quality time with his family. This trip was going to be perfect.





London International Airport


London, Great Britain





Kalven threw the bag over the airport fence at the remote east side before punching in as usual for his baggage handler job. Once inside, he made his way to the east fence to collect his bag, then returned to work. Since the flight was not scheduled to leave until mid-morning, he had several hours to work and think about what he was doing. He agonized. He was about to lose everything he loved. It took all his effort to fight off the powerful urge to call his wife and spill his heart. She deserved to know. But he couldn’t risk it.


Fifteen minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave, he changed clothes and entered the Concorde’s jetwalk. At the end of the tunnel, an emergency exit spiraled to the ground. Through that exit, he entered the airplane.


It’s too easy, he thought, as the flight attendant greeted him with a friendly smile. “Thank you, sir. Enjoy your flight.”


He walked into the cabin, noting that it was mostly filled. He recognized the large Arab who sat near the back, but neither acknowledged the other. He put his bag into the overhead cabinet directly above the Arab’s seat and said nothing.


Kalven had grown up hating Israel. Like most Palestinians, he believed that the land of Israel belonged to his people, not the Jews. Because his father had been an important businessman, he had lived and been educated in Great Britain. He vowed as a teenager that someday he would do his part to help his people, so he joined the PLO when he was seventeen years old.


Because of his education and ability to speak fluent English, he had been selected by the PLO for a special operation in which people prepositioned in countries around the world could be called upon if needed. He was able to blend into the British society without notice. Giving him an identity was no problem since he already had British citizenship. Giving him a job background so he could work at an airport proved to be the only challenge.


As the years passed, he married and had children. He lived in a lovely house in the suburbs and had developed a circle of close friends. His old life as a PLO member was just a distant memory, a part of his past about which not even his wife was aware. He had hoped it would remain that way. But that hope was short-lived.


An unexpected visitor made it clear to him that he was still expected to finish what he had started. There would be no turning back now.





Gate , London International Airport


London, Great Britain





Logan set his overnight bag down beside the telephone as he stood in the terminal beside the gate. He looked very much the part of a tourist blue jeans, tennis shoes, and a casual shirt all helped him play the part of an average person waiting for his flight. He looked more European than Israeli, making him the perfect candidate for an envoy, a job that he was coming to loathe. His slender medium build and obvious lack of exercise helped him blend into the crowd.


He glanced around as he pulled his wallet from his pocket. Still nobody following him. He grimaced as he realized his tendency to live his life in a state of semi-paranoia. This would be the last time he’d check his messages before he was home in Israel.


As he pulled the calling card from his wallet and dialed the number, he half-noticed a small group of Arabs boarding his flight, but since this was a flight to Israel, that was neither suspicious nor unusual. The tall one did seem familiar, he thought, but his attention quickly turned as his secretary answered the phone.


“Mr. Logan?” It was the voice of his secretary, Amanda.


“It’s me! The sky is blue over London,” he said. His statement would not have sounded the least bit unusual to anyone near, but to Amanda, it was her signal that it was really him.


“I’m very pleased to hear that, and I’m very glad you called. We have reason to believe that Cheetah is on your flight.”


Logan felt his strength leave him momentarily, and he had a sudden urge to sit down. Cheetah was the code name given to the unknown terrorist believed to be responsible for over a dozen bombings and at least a dozen murders of top-ranking Israeli government and military leaders. In each of the bombings and murders, the only clue left at the site were the initials CTA, usually written in the blood of one of the victims. Both American and Israeli computers had pounded away unsuccessfully at different possibilities. So finally they had given the initials a code name CheeTAh. If the Cheetah was near, so was the target.


“Mr. Logan? Are you still there?”


“Yes, I’m sorry, Amanda. You just took me by surprise.”


“We’d like you to take a different flight, just in case.”


“Don’t be ridiculous! If Cheetah’s on this flight, then I have a chance to discover him. I just saw some familiar Arabs get on. Do you know which of our officials are also flying?”


“Just you.”


Logan felt the hair rise on the back of his neck. He had not even considered the possibility that he might be the target. He never viewed himself as being important enough for the likes of the Cheetah! Should he change his flight? Though his training had covered some field procedures, he certainly did not possess the training that would be required to go up against a man of this caliber.


“No, I think I’ll stay on the flight.”


“We can’t get agents there in time to join you for the flight, but we will have them on the ground waiting for you when you arrive.”


Logan hung up the phone and glanced toward the gate. He thought he caught a glimpse of a swarthy, middle-eastern man enter through the jetwalk’s emergency exit. Sweat broke out across his forehead and palms. He might have just imagined it, but regardless, he was going to have to get ahold of himself. Maybe he should reconsider his decision to take this flight.


He picked up his overnight bag and proceeded down the jetwalk to the airplane. Once inside, he moved slowly down the aisle, searching the eyes of the different passengers. Everyone seemed to be staring at him, and the cabin seemed unusually quiet. Toward the back, the group of Arabs he’d noticed earlier were sitting partially spread out. The tall one was familiar. Maybe he was the Cheetah.


As Logan placed his bag in the overhead compartment, he recognized the man sitting across from him as being the one he thought he saw enter through the emergency exit. “I believe you have my seat.”


The man pulled out his ticket and showed him the seat assignment. It all looked in order.


Logan pulled out his ticket to look at it again. “Oh, my mistake.” He smiled and sat down.


His name was Kalven, and he tried to burn that name and face into his mind. He tried not to look that way again. Where had he seen that tall Arab in the back before?





Concorde Flight 140


London, Great Britain to Tel Aviv, Israel





Having left London, the Concorde quickly climbed to sixty thousand feet. It was hard to imagine just how fast a thousand miles per hour is. You could cross a quarter of a mile in under a second!


Rob sat next to Marie holding Rebekah, who had been sleeping since they left the ground an hour ago. David sat by the window so he could see out, while Michael, seated between his brother and mother, was asleep also.


Rob smiled at Marie and lifted his diet soda into the air. She smiled back and lifted her juice up to toast with him. “So tell me, just what are we toasting?”


“The theory, of course.”


“Oh, yes, the little theory.”


“The little theory? I’ll have you know that my little theory is what made all this possible.”


“Yes, yes, honey. I was just teasing. I didn’t know I was going to hit a tender spot with you. You must be feeling better about things, then.”


“Well, like you said, there’s no point in worrying. I want us to enjoy this vacation.”


“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear.” She leaned over and kissed him.


He smiled again. “Now where is my little diskette?”


Marie patted her purse. “Right here by my heart. Don’t worry, love. Your secrets are safe with me.”


The flight attendants had finished serving lunch and were now gathered into a front cabin where those passengers closest could hear them giggling about something. Rob looked around at the rest of the passengers some businessmen with their laptops, a couple of rabbis, a television news crew, a group of young girls, several American and British couples, a few Israeli army officers, and many other Jewish and Arab passengers. Just the standard crowd, he concluded as he got up to go to the restroom.


As he stood, he handed Rebekah to his wife, hoping that she wouldn’t awaken. It was going to be interesting to see how their children would hold up on this trip.


“We are now passing over the Mediterranean,” the captain’s voice boomed over the intercom. “We are on schedule and should be landing in one hour.”


Rob made his way to a small compartment in the front of the plane through which the restroom was located. Inside the compartment were two flight attendants busily talking about the dates they had been on the night before. He crossed the cabin, being careful to not interrupt their conversation, and placed his hand on the latch to the bathroom.


Suddenly, a loud, thickly-accented voice roared from the passenger cabin. “Everyone sit down! We are seizing this airplane!”


Rob glanced around quickly to find someplace to hide. The flight attendant’s head turned toward the door, displaying both fear and surprise. The restroom, he realized, would be the first place they would come to look, but opposite him in the corner was a door. A closet, perhaps? He rushed past the flight attendants and jerked the door open. It was full of blankets and pillows, so he forced himself in, closing the door behind him.


As the door closed, he noticed one of the flight attendants watching him as she hurried toward the passenger cabin. He closed the door, being careful not to latch it, and squeezed under the fabric. He didn’t know what he hoped he could accomplish by hiding, but he knew he had more of a chance to do something if the need arose than the others would.





Nancy Moore fit easily into her stereotypical role as lead flight attendant. Her sinewy African-American body and long legs turned many heads when she walked by. Recently divorced following twelve years of marriage, she found herself thinking of her six-year-old son. He had been living with his father since her flight schedule took her away from home for days at a time.


She had loved only one man, and she married him -- her high school sweetheart. He chose to pursue a career in law while she became a flight attendant. Over the years, they grew more distant and apart. Her husband had made a life of his own that left no room for her.


Having had had hijack training, she knew that the best thing to do in a situation like this is to cooperate. For now, she knew she needed to keep the other flight attendants calm. It would not be too difficult to feel protective toward them. Despite how hard she tried to fit in on the same level with the younger single attendants, she always felt fake. She would laugh and listen to them talk about their dates, even make up dates of her own, but it always seemed so hollow. She needed her husband and child back to feel whole again. But since this would never happen, she had to find her motherly fulfillment and sense of necessity from her work, from this flight, and from these people.


She hesitated for just a moment when she saw a man enter the linen closet, but for some reason, she decided to let him go.





Out in the small compartment, Rob heard the door of the restroom open. “Where did he go?”


“Check over there. Kern, you and Opar go and secure the flight crew.”


So there must be at least four of them, Rob thought. He heard the door of his closet open, and someone pushed on the covers. Then the door slammed. A pillow or blanket must have caught in the door because the door did not latch. It swung back open about an inch and a half. By moving just slightly to his right, he could see into the small cabin through a crack between the pillows.


A large muscular Arab was giving direction. “Get the bombs out and set them for forty-five minutes. I want them to detonate directly over Tel Aviv. We will be in Allah’s arms tonight. You’ll see your family soon.” He walked back into the passenger cabin. “No one will be hurt as long as you cooperate. Euraphas, bring the Israeli officers to me in here.”


Now, Rob thought, that makes at least five. He heard someone being pushed, a thud and moan. He could see through the cracked door the two Israeli Army officers being pushed into the small cabin and lined up against the wall opposite the closet where he hid. The officers seemed to know that they were about to die, but they showed no fear.


A terrorist with what looked like an Uzi sub machine gun stood in front of them. He grabbed the tie of the senior officer and muttered something. The officer pushed the terrorist away and spit in his face. With that, the machine gun erupted in two short bursts, and both officers fell to the floor. Rob gasped and closed his eyes, trying not to breathe. He was afraid that his gasp had been heard.


“These men were criminals! You see this is no game to us! We will kill you, all of you, if necessary. Remain seated and silent, and no harm will come to you.”





Logan finally recognized the leader of these terrorists and hoped that he would not be recognized himself. Though he was an officer in the Israeli military, he had very little experience in actual combat. He often traveled in suit and tie or casual clothes, and, because of the nature of the information he was privy to, he often went under an assumed name. This was one situation where that practice could possibly save his life.


His small stature was not intimidating. He could only hope to be mistaken for American. But what was the name of this large terrorist? Servon. Yes, that was it, Servon.


Servon was tall, nearly seven feet, and massive in size, an intimidating presence. Across his left cheek, he had an unmistakable shrapnel scar. His heartless raids against Israeli civilians were legendary, and Israel had posted a fifty thousand dollar bounty on his capture or death.


Logan reflected on the meeting with American and British officials he had just left. The arrogant officials refused to accept the obvious. If their intelligence had not found the information, then it didn’t exist! His documents proved that Iraq’s new military buildup was more than just an exercise they had invasion plans. This time, Iraq was going to avoid the American presence in Kuwait and invade Saudi Arabia, surrounding and cutting off American forces. Could this be prelude to the new war? he wondered.





Over the next half hour, Rob stood in the closet trying not to move. He could see only the dead officers. How were his wife and children doing? It was so quiet in the passenger cabin. What would they do to him if they found him? Should he give himself up?


The terrorists seemed preoccupied arguing amongst themselves. Two of them did not seem to know that their leader intended to murder everyone on board, including himself. Maybe that could help us eventually, thought Rob. Maybe that’s why they never checked the passenger manifest to make sure all the passengers were accounted for. Then again, he thought sarcastically, perhaps this is just their first suicide/murder mission.


If bombs really were set, then Rob knew he had to do something. No one else knew about the bombs, and the only soldiers on the flight were dead. The other passengers were probably too frightened to think and were just hoping that everything would be okay. Then he noticed an argument in the little cabin just a few feet away from his door.


“I told you. No!” It was the voice of the leader. “We need them to fly the plane. They must die with the rest of us.”


“But they know something is wrong. They refuse to fly over Tel Aviv. They say they avoid population centers when we get to the mainland.”


“Okay, then. We’re over water now, so we are still on course. Tell them to put the airplane on autopilot because I want to talk with them both. When they do that, kill them.”





God, no! Rob thought. But what could he do? They wanted to kill the flight crew to burn their bridges and make sure there is no way out. He pushed the door open a little and looked into the cabin. It was empty. Then he heard the repetition of automatic gunfire. As he stepped into the small cabin he could feel his legs shaking. Fear had taken his strength. What do you think you’re going to do? Rob asked himself.


Suddenly, on the other side of the cabin, a door opened. A short, hairy terrorist with blood splattered over his face and body stepped into the small cabin. He didn’t seem to notice Rob at first, so Rob jumped at him, taking him by surprise. He didn’t react fast enough as Rob pulled the weapon from his hands and fell back onto the floor. The terrorist caught himself from falling and started to regain his balance. Rob wrapped his finger around the trigger and pointed the gun at the terrorist. For an instant, he wondered if the gun was empty. As the terrorist leaped toward him, he closed his eyes and squeezed the trigger so tightly he thought he would break the gun. It jumped in his hand.


When he opened his eyes again, the terrorist was on the floor next to him. Shredded blood-stained cloth lay upon his chest. I had no choice, he thought. If these men were willing to commit suicide, surrender would be out of the question. He realized as he looked at the slumped body that this was the one who wanted to go to Allah to be with his family. Well, looks like he got his wish a little earlier than planned, he thought as he turned toward the passenger cabin.


The gun he was holding was empty now, and the others would be coming for sure. He pushed himself to his feet just as the big, muscular terrorist leader stepped into the door.


The terrorist’s eyes fell on his comrade’s body. He just stood in the door and slowly turned his face until he was looking squarely at his comrade’s killer.


Move! Rob screamed at himself and threw the empty machine gun at Servon’s face. As the terrorist raised his hand to deflect the gun, Rob lunged at him and swung his fist as hard as he could into the only soft spot he could think of... the neck. Rob could feel the Adam’s apple smash under his knuckles and saw him grab for his throat in pain. Servon remained on his feet, allowing Rob to notice the semi-automatic pistol sticking out of his opponent’s pants. Was it a six, nine, or fifteen shot gun, or was it empty? he wondered. It’s incredible some of the things that pass through your mind during emergencies, Rob thought.


Rob grabbed the gun and stepped back to fire two shots into the man’s chest, throwing him backward into another armed terrorist. The gun must have been high caliber because it hurt his wrist when it fired. The other terrorist quickly regained his balance and pushed away the body of his fallen friend. But before he could raise his gun again, Rob had his gun ready. The terrorist was looking directly into Rob’s eyes as Rob pulled the trigger. The man’s head exploded, throwing blood and bones all over Rob and the passengers nearest him. Rob’s stomach wretched. He had just killed a woman.


By this time, passengers were screaming. To his left, a film crew holding cameras and lights were filming the entire episode. Some passengers were on their feet while others were trying to crawl under their seats. His distraction ended as the crack of several shots swished past his head and thudded behind him. At the opposite end of the passenger cabin, two more terrorists stood. One was trying to aim his pistol at Rob, while the other was coming out of a rear cabin.


Rob dropped and crouched, pointing his gun in the direction of the terrorist, but his eye stopped to focus on one of the passengers in front of him. Just six inches from the line of fire and midway back through the cabin sat his wife. Six inches to her right and thirty feet behind her was the terrorist, aiming his gun back at Rob. Then Rob saw a puff of smoke, and the arms of the terrorist raised as a bullet was fired and thudded behind him. The screams and shouts from the passengers around him prevented him from hearing the shot.


He should have taken time to aim, Rob thought. I will. “Please don’t move, Marie,” Rob whispered as he pulled the trigger. A patch of red erupted outward from the terrorist’s chest as the bullet impacted and forced him against the wall.


Rob pointed the gun in the direction of the other terrorist as he laid on the aisle floor. Quickly, he looked back and forth, but the terrorist was gone. He fought hard the urge to look around at all the people, the shouting, the screaming. He wanted desperately to yell at them to shut up, but he couldn’t afford to lose his focus. He slowly stood to his feet with the gun outstretched, moving slowly from side to side.


“Please, please,” an old rabbi said to the other passengers. “We must be quiet. Everyone must please sit down and be quiet.” Somehow, his words seemed to affect the other passengers.


How long has it been? Rob wondered. Is our time about up? Should I go after the last terrorist or go for the bombs? But was that indeed the last terrorist? He burst into sweat at the thought that there could be one behind him in the restroom. Or perhaps in the flight cabin.


He turned quickly and swung the gun toward the flight cabin, but there was no one there. “Blast,” he said out loud and swung back around. But there he stood, in the rear of the passenger cabin aiming his gun directly at Rob. He jumped to his right just as Kalven fired and squeezed the trigger of his gun. Kalven’s bullet swished past him, but his hit Kalven in the side.


Kalven dropped to his knees and held his side as Rob fell onto the two businessmen. They eagerly pushed Rob off and away from them as he pointed his gun again at the last terrorist. Kalven already had his gun pointing at Rob but was not firing. Rob quickly pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Again he fired. Click. Click.


His gun was empty!


Rob stood there for a moment frozen trying to think of where the terrorist behind had dropped his gun. He realized there was no place to go, so he dropped his pistol and waited for the shot. The shot never came.


Kalven knelt, bleeding badly but still pointing his gun at Rob. “You must pull the blue wires from the cap.”


Rob was stunned. Not only was this terrorist trying to save them, but he was speaking perfect English.


“You must pull the blue wire from the cap!”


“The bombs?”


“Yes, yes, of course the bombs! Pull the blue wires from the igniters. And do not think of being a hero or... or... I will shoot her.” He pointed his gun at one of the young girls.


“I don’t know where the bombs are.”


“They are up there under the sink.” Kalven waved his gun toward the small cabin. “Go! Go now! You must be quick about it, there are less than five minutes left.”


Never mind why this terrorist had an apparent change of heart. Rob raced into the small cabin and opened the door under the sink. Just as he was told, there were two bombs. Each consisted of an eight-stick bundle of dynamite with a blasting cap in the center that was attached to a timer and two batteries. He was right, there were less than two minutes left, so he had to be quick.


“Great.” There was a red, a blue, and a green wire. “I sure hope he isn’t color blind.”


Two quick pulls, and both blue wires were removed from the blasting caps. “Should I remove the batteries, too?”


“No, a small battery will detonate the device if you attempt to remove power or take it apart.”


We’ll know shortly if he’s telling the truth, Rob thought. There was now less than a minute left on the timer.


Nancy was still standing. “Please, please. We must be quiet and settle down. Things are... are difficult, I realize that. But we all need to do the only thing that we can all do that will help stay calm and quiet. Everything will be okay. It will be. I promise you.”


Her words took effect almost miraculously. It immediately became silent as everyone looked at her.


There was absolute quiet as Rob waited. Click, click. The timers expired, but there were no explosions. Then came a deep sigh as he got to his feet slowly, but what now would this terrorist want? Why did he want to stop the bombs from going off? Also, if the timers went off, then the flight must now be over Tel Aviv! But how are we going to land, and how long can we stay in the air without pilots?


He looked around the small cabin for a weapon. Nothing. Well, he told himself, I could try beating him to death with a pillow. There was no place to go but back out, and nothing to do but to take whatever the terrorist had in mind.


He stepped out into the passenger cabin. The terrorist was still kneeling, holding his side with one hand and the gun with the other. A pool of blood was growing beneath him. He would not last much longer.


“What do you want?”


He didn’t move.


“What do you...”


“I heard you the first time. You don’t have to repeat yourself, you know. You may have killed me, but I’m not deaf. You have killed me. You can see I am dying.” Kalven was looking directly at Rob. “You are good. You are very good, you know. At killing, I mean. You’ve done a very good job of it. You killed us all, and for that, I can only thank you.”


There was a short pause as he stared at Rob, apparently sizing him up and trying to decide what to do.


“Let’s get it over with.”


“Over? Oh, no... no, no, no. It is not over, and it will not be over until I am home, on my soil, in my country, and there... there I will die, and then it will be over! Not before.”


“Well that’s not likely to happen now, is it? You killed the only people on this flight who could have landed this plane.” There were gasps as Rob realized that the other passengers were unaware that the flight crew was dead.


“Nooo... That is not true, you... Yes, you can land this plane.”


“You’re crazy!” Rob knew the insanity of his remark almost before he uttered it. Of course he was crazy! He was going to blow himself up over Israel! “I can’t fly, much less land, a plane!”


“Nooo...” Kalven waved his gun at Rob. “Nooo... That is not true. You are obviously Special Forces. You can do things like this!”


“No!!! I’m not Special Forces or anything! I’m a programmer! A computer programmer! Do you understand?”


“No! You can and will fly this airplane to my home in Baghdad and land there. You will do this or...” He pointed the gun around the cabin. “Or I will start shooting people. Go now. Go now and take me home. It makes no difference to me. I can shoot you or I can shoot the others, and we can all die. It makes no difference to me.”


Rob looked around the cabin. He was right. It really didn’t make any difference. What’s the worst that could happen? We all die? No matter how he looked at it, the results were the same. Even if the terrorist did not want it, someone had to at least try to fly the airplane. “Does anyone here have flying experience?”


“Is the flight crew really dead?” one of the businessmen asked.


“I’m afraid so.”


“We’re all going to die, then. Aren’t we.”


“Look, I’m not your captain. I’m just a passenger like you.”


Everyone began to talk. Some were crying.


“Look! We can all sit here and complain, or we can at least try something. I don’t know what, but something anyhow.”


There was a long pause as Rob looked at each blank face.


“I flew in Korea,” the rabbi said.


“Do you think you can fly this thing?”


“Look closely at me.”


Rob scanned the rabbi and shrugged.


The rabbi shook his head. “No. Look at these.” He lifted up his arms. They were only stumps. “Korea. That is where I lost them.”


“Can you help me do it, then?”


“I don’t know. It has been so long, and so many things have changed.”


“Would you at least try? If we can’t figure out how to land this thing, we’ll all die.”


“Would that be so bad?”


“Maybe not for you, but what of them?” Rob pointed at his children sitting directly across from the rabbi.


The old man stared at the children for a long while, then he stood and looked at Rob. “For them. Yes.”


The old rabbi followed Rob to the flight cabin where a grim sight met them. The flight crew lay on the floor just outside the flight cabin, their eyes and mouths still open. Rob turned into the small cabin and threw up into the sink.


“You’ve never seen the face of death before.”


“I can’t do this.”


“You can’t? Or you won’t? I’ve seen these faces many times. Never does one get used to the sight.”


“How is it that a Jewish rabbi fought in Korea, anyway?”


“Just because I’m Jewish doesn’t mean I can’t be American.” He smiled. “Yes, I fought in the Philippines with MacArthur. I’m very old, you see. I fought in Israel’s War of Independence, too. Now, you be strong. These people need a strong leader, and so does your family.”


There is something very strange about this rabbi, thought Rob. He seems able to look right through me.





Nancy slowly walked toward the terrorist. He was breathing heavy, too weak to hold his gun in an upright position, but he did notice her approaching. Why he chose not to respond made no difference to her, for he was an injured and dying man who needed aid.


“You’re bleeding very badly.” Nancy knelt near him. But the terrorist seemed in a different world.


“You see those children there?”


“Yes.”


“I have children the same age. I... I will never see them again.” His body shook. “I want you to know that I am not a terrorist. I am not a murderer. Not anymore.”


“Then why are you involved with these people?”


“If I didn’t cooperate, my family would be killed. I didn’t want to do this, I had to. Please, will you get a message to my family?”


“I don’t know where to look for...”


“No, not in Baghdad. My family lives in London. My wife and children are British. My name is Kalven. Tell my wife that I tried to stop them from blowing up the plane. Tell her I am not PLO. Tell her that I am sorry about what I’ve had to do. And tell her that I’m sorry I could not tell her the truth. Please tell her I killed no one and that I tried to help. Please!”


“Why Baghdad? Why not land in Israel where we’re scheduled to land?”


Kalven wheezed, struggling with each breath. “I will die a free man. In Baghdad... I will be a hero.”


She reached out to catch him as he fell forward onto the floor. His body went limp. Perhaps now he has found peace, she thought.





Rob moved the bodies away from the entrance of the flight cabin, and it began to dawn on him what he had done. Try as he may, he couldn’t get the looks on the faces of the people he had killed today out of his mind. It was like a movie constantly replaying in his mind. He winced at the memory of each facial expression of agony as they died. He closed his eyes, trying to block the memory.


The rabbi was watching him. “Those faces. You’ll see them the rest of your life.”


Rob stopped and put down the body of the last of the flight crew in the small cabin. “How did you know what I was thinking?”


“Oh, we rabbis have our sources.” He glanced upward. “We have our ways.”


Rob and the rabbi sat down in the pilot seats and strapped the seatbelts. “Uh-oh.”


“Yes?”


“How long do you think it has been since I disarmed the bombs?”


“Maybe forty or forty-five minutes.”


“We’ve probably not only overflown Israel but Jordan, too.”


“Then that would make us over Iraq?”


“That’s right.”


“Then that explains who that is.”


Rob looked at the rabbi and followed his gaze. “Why am I not surprised?”


Two Russian-made MIG fighters with Iraqi markings were pulling up alongside them.


“They’ve probably been trying to call us. How do you turn on the radio?”


The rabbi nodded toward the headsets. “You probably have to wear those.”


“Of course! They could have been yelling through the speakers, and I never would have heard it.”


Just then, a flight attendant burst in. “Did you see those fighters out there?”


“Yes. How are the passengers holding up? Hello, this is Flight... uh... What’s our flight number?”


“140, and they’re doing fine.”


“This is Flight 140, and this is a mayday. Repeat, this is a mayday, over. How do you turn this on?” Rob flipped a switch.


“...or we will shoot you down. I repeat, American or British flight, lower your landing gear. Slow to three five zero knots and turn left at heading zero-eight-seven degrees, or we will shoot you down. Over.”


Rob pressed another button, causing the speakers to cut out. Sure hope this is transmit, he thought.


“Does anybody read me, over.” Rob spoke into the microphone while putting the headset on.


“American or British flight, I do read you. Will you yield to my instructions?”


“Yes, of course we will. We have a problem. Terrorists have killed our flight crew and forced us into your airspace.”


“Let me talk to one of these terrorists.”


Rob looked at the flight attendant. “Can you get...”


“He’s dead.”


“The terrorists are dead,” Rob said into the microphone and grimaced.


“How did they die?”


Rob held his breath and looked first at the rabbi, then at the flight attendant. They both were looking just as blank as he felt.


“They were shot by... They were shot... by... some Israeli officers who were on this flight. And the officers were also killed.”


The rabbi nodded approvingly.


Again a long moment of silence passed. Rob and the rabbi kept busy trying to understand what all the equipment was for. They figured out how to drop and lock the landing gear, correct the air speed, and alter their course. The airplane was remarkably easy to fly.


“Consider something. We currently have no pilot.”


“Yeah...”


“There is no one for the Iraqis to answer to for us. Or to represent us to them. In a situation like this, they have no reason not to split us up and dispose of us as they will. Do you understand what I am trying not to say?”


“I... think... so... Are you saying that if there were a pilot, the IraPlease note that this sample paper on The Griffin’s Heart is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on The Griffin’s Heart, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college papers on The Griffin’s Heart will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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