After the apparent murder of seven NBA All-Stars on the return flight from the 2020 Summer Olympics, a small clandestine team as diverse as America, must save the country from itself. On August 9th, 2020, the world is celebrating the close of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo Japan. The date of the closing ceremonies was chosen to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. But a domestic terrorism group calling itself the Crna Ruka (Bosnian for The Black Hand), chose the date August 9th to attack America to commemorate a different date in history. The sixth anniversary of the Ferguson, Missouri riots.
The group chose the name the Crna Ruka for its legacy of success in causing international chaos. For it was the same name selected by a group of Bosnian Serbs in 1914 responsible for the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand that led to the outbreak of World War I and the loss of over 20 million lives. But unlike the group in 1914 who supported a vision of unification, the Crna Ruka of 2020 want to divide. They seek personal and financial gain by taking advantage of America’s increased tensions and divisiveness around social inequities and race.
The story of August 9th, 2020 is told through the lens of a presidential briefing exactly one year later on August 9th, 2021. The “8/9 Commission” provides a narrated and interactive account of the people, places and social dynamics behind the attacks. Sara Gujic, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist in St. Louis, leads the 8/9 Commission.
Gujic, a survivor of the Bosnian Wars of the mid-90’s, presents a compelling chronicle as members of Congress, the National Security and the directors of all seventeen intelligence agencies listen. Gujic is not only the story teller, she is one of the key characters. And she is also a member of the Black Hand.
Three iconic American cities play outsized roles as the backdrop for this compelling story set in the very near future. Its oldest, its most powerful and its most deadly. St. Augustine, Florida, Washington, DC and St. Louis, Missouri.
The team of American heroes assigned to eliminate the leaders of the Crna Ruka has no collective experience in counter-terrorism operations. However, the second in charge is the deputy director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency located outside of St. Louis. He has access to intelligence and experience that can lead his team to success. He and his best friend, also a combat veteran but with a tragic past, form this hodgepodge of a team based solely on the histories and destinies of their two families.
In the end, The Black Hand, first and foremost is a story about language; interpretations, misinterpretations, titles, honorifics, code names, nicknames and slurs. Even a single solitary word and that word’s legacy and currency are vital in determining the future of the country. Thankfully it’s a word that all of America can live with. The Black Hand is a near-future, commercial thriller of 103,000 words.