August 9, 2020 – LAX Airport, Los Angeles, California
As it turned out, the first hours after the plane touched down were not as much of a shit-show as Major Green predicted. At least not in Hawaii. The same could not be said about LAX International Airport where the flight was originally scheduled to land.
Thousands of members of the media, basketball fans, mass-murder fans and the police were waiting for the most watched shooting in human history to touch down. It was the OJ Simpson-in-the-white-Bronco scene all over again, times eight. Except there was no Juice. No one knew Flight 9 8 7 had landed thousands of miles away.
NORAD was suddenly unable to connect with the FAA database to inform controllers of the new landing location of the plane. Without specific guidance from the Western Air Defense Sector, all other scheduled inbound flights to LAX were rerouted to other area airports so that security could be put in place for Flight 9 8 7.
Outbound flights were canceled as well. At least those flights on the tower's schedule. By seven in the morning over fifty unauthorized and privately piloted drones were hovering the tarmac hoping to get a glimpse of Flight November 9 8 7. There would be no glimpse but there were five mid-air collisions watched by thousands.
"Yay!" all the adoring spectators screamed when one of the drones crashed into another.
As shit-shows go, the made-for-television and the internet mess occurring in Los Angeles was like watching a mouse squeeze out the tiniest of turds. The cinematic epic that would be August 9, 2020, was starting to play in theaters everywhere and it was a hot, steaming, giant pile of elephant excrement.
August 9th, 2020 – Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Maryland
"Wire transfer complete. $2 million. Bank of Haiti. Operation Thunderbolt is a go for August, 26th, 7pm EDT," read the WhatsApp text on Colonel Maretta "Buff" Sowers' phone.
"Thousands of Haitian kids thank you for your kind and generous donation. Your receipt for tax purposes is attached. Now go fuck yourself," the colonel texted back. Not a nice way to talk to such a benevolent donor but nice to include a receipt.
Colonel Sowers had no intentions of waiting until August 26th for the commencement of Operation Thunderbolt. She was already at her base and was so for hours, prepping for her mission. Final inspections of the landing gear, weapons systems, navigational instruments and other things. She climbed into the cockpit of an A-10 Thunderbolt, fired up the twin turbofans and taxied to the end of the runway.
The A-10 Thunderbolt as it is officially called is a killer of aircraft in every way imaginable. Bombs, missiles, rockets and a 30mm cannon rivaled by no other. The pilots that flew the aircraft preferred to call it by its nickname, the Warthog. Thick, mean and able to bring incredible lethality from either high altitude bombings or low altitude cannon strafing. The plane is as ugly as it is lethal and earned the nickname of the ghastly animal accordingly.
In the case of Colonel Buff Sowers, she matched the temperament and physical characteristics of the airplane perfectly. Ornery, powerfully strong and facial features as hideous as the African savanna pig itself.
Sowers' cantankerous personality developed over decades of being told all the things she couldn't do and then having to prove people wrong. Her strength was the by-product of her championship-level weight lifting career. And her face, at least the left side, was sculpted by flaming aviation fuel from a helicopter crash in 2004. The combat injury left her badly scarred with permanently damaged muscles along her jawline.
August 12th, 2020 – Waffle House, College Park, Georgia near Hartsfield International Airport
"Let's have some breakfast first and then we'll take care of business." Ronan said as the waitress approached.
"Fair enough, I'll have two eggs scrambled, ham and I want my hash browns, smothered, covered and chunked."
"I'll have the same."
Just as they were getting their breakfasts delivered and Hicks was about to take his first bite, Jayden walked in and added 'splattered' to the man's plate. With two quick shots from a 9mm Glock to the back of his head, exploding gray and red matter exited from the front. The disgusting glob of fried potatoes, cheese, onions, brains and blood looked remarkably similar to the what the startled patron sitting in the booth next to them was eating. The old woman pushed her food away in only mild disgust.
Jayden grabbed a stack of hundreds from Ronan's bag, handed it to the waitress and apologized for the mess. Ronan, Jayden and Sara all calmly walked out. They got into the car with Baetzel and Buff waiting and headed back to the airport.
"What the fuck Jayden? I thought Buff was going to do the shooting. Now the whole world knows it's you."
"Sorry, but I wasn't going to let her have all the fun. She got to kill the guys in Maryland. It was my turn."
CNN and other local Atlanta news stations were live at the Waffle House reporting the shooting within twenty minutes. The CNN news feed at the bottom of the TV screen scrolled with the headline, "Beloved local minister gunned down by the world's best basketball player while dining with the world's second best basketball player. Whereabouts unknown."
"That's bullshit," said Ronan. "Everyone knows I was MVP this year."
August 9th, 2020 - St. Louis Country Club - Ladue, Missouri
The bus stopped immediately in front of the entrance to the club. The fat driver exited first with his legs already churning at full speed when he hit the ground. Heyward, seconds earlier told him that when they park, he should leave the keys, get the heck out of there and "Oh, by the way, God Bless you."
"Let's go. WASP season is open!" said Heyward, referring to the acronym for 'White, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant'. Heyward exited the bus with the same sense of urgency as the driver but with a destination.
He grabbed the four large bags from underneath the bus and with the help of others unloaded twenty five AK-47 assault rifles, ten CZ Zen automatic sub machine guns, an assortment of handguns, a dozen Russian-made F1 hand grenades, Molotov Cocktails and a GoPro 7, head-mounted video recorder for himself. He donned the GoPro and pressed record.
The first people to see the horde dressed in all white coming at the front doors were three young men working as valets. The look on their faces was that of absolute terror. As soon as the marauders passed the young men, they dropped the keys to the members' cars and ran like hell. They passed the gasping bus driver at the 200-yard mark.
Once inside, Heyward spotted an armed security guard standing near the foyer of the restaurant. The retired cop instinctively drew toward his holstered side-arm. Heyward, even with his mostly masked face, gave the guard the same look a father gives his son seconds before the kid is about to do something incredibly stupid.
That look that says, "Really? Are you really going to do this?" The guard understood the look. He had a dad. He also understood Heyward's cock of his head backwards that said, "Leave now." The guard obliged. He caught up to and passed the panting bus driver at the 400-yard mark but never came near the young valets.
The murderous group broke into smaller squads and made their way through and around the country club as if they knew exactly where to go. The Men and Women locker rooms and the pool area where moms and kids enjoyed the last days of summer came under full, lethal assault. Mothers attempted in vain to protect their children by shielding them as they got dressed or while in the pool. Their shields didn't work.
The tennis area, where smartly dressed couples played mixed doubles had no way out of the fenced in courts and made for easy targets. And lastly in the club's lounge and restaurant area, the esteemed members froze in such disbelief of what was occurring, they remained seated and accepted being murdered, scores at a time. "Bloody Mary's and Bloody Marty's for everyone," one of the terrorists declared as he entered the bar shooting.
One squad of men, only three in size, aimed their instruments of terror not at victims but at walls, doorways and ornate paintings of former members. They didn't carry sub-machine guns. Their weapons were cans of black spray paint. Throughout the posh club, they sprayed the letters, Crna Ruka. A calling card of the organization responsible for this day.
Calvin Heyward didn't personally kill anyone. He devised a special assignment for himself. As he doled out the weapons, he strapped a tool belt around his waist with two tools. A small hatchet and a hammer. In the belt's pocket was a box of nails.
As he stumbled around dead members, he used the hatchet to lop off as many right hands of the victims as he could, given the time allowed. He nailed each of twenty five bloody hands to the foyer wall where the photos of club board members hung moments before.
Heyward couldn't take credit for the gruesome idea. He got it after watching season three, episode three of the Game of Thrones titled "Walk of Punishment". He then told the men with the spray paint, "Paint them all black and make sure you write Wall of Punishment above them.
The bells on the front door of Madic's Bosnian Café in St. Louis rang announcing a visitor. "A lunch customer?" Hamza Madic asked himself. "Impossible. I have a wedding to attend." As he walked to the front door, he instantly recognized the gigantic shadow being cast on the floor.
"Davud! My nephew, how are you? It's your big day. Please tell me you have brought your gold medal. I need to see it. I want to wear it."
"I'm great Ujak (Uncle). Of course I brought it. May I put it on you as I received it in Tokyo?"
"Please, nothing would make me happier. I can't believe I will wear the gold medal."
Novak pulled the medal from his pocket. He replaced the traditional Olympic lanyard with a heavy, 14-karat gold chain as thick as a dog collar. Madic loved it. He lowered his head, bent over forward and with his nephew standing in front of him. He loved the feel of the heavy gold chain as Novak placed it around his skinny neck.
"Sing Ujak, sing your national anthem as I congratulate you on your Olympic triumph."
"Oh say can you see, by...Davud! Davud! I can't breathe. What are you doing?" Madic was turning blue. His six-foot, ten-inch nephew was lifting the tiny man off his feet by pulling on the gold chain with every ounce of energy he had. Novak was strangling the life out of him.
"I said sing your national anthem, not mine. You know the words Ujak. God of Justice; Thou who saved us, when in deepest bondage cast...," Novak was singing the Serbian National Anthem.
"How many have you cast into their deepest bondage my dear Ujak?"
Madic was losing consciousness but he could still squeeze out a few more words from his dying lips.
"Davud, why? We are both Bosniaks, both Americans."
"No, you are a fucking slave trader, a murderer and a Serb. You are not Bosniak and you are not American," was Novak's final words to his uncle. The human trafficker and arms dealer was dead and would never again see, 'the dawn's early light.'