MISSION

propane

Stay invisible, avoid. Attract no undue attention. Terrorists on a mission faced with an unexpected challenge.

From my recently released novel, GROUND EFFECT:

Ghali tried hard to keep the old truck from rolling onto its side and scatter them and the propane tanks into the ditch. The noise of the screaming tires mixed with the music of the bottles of explosive gas bashing into each other as the truck rocked back onto its wheels and went across the road pointed eastbound.

This was the first big thing Ghali had ever driven. A Mercedes van had been the only other commercial sized vehicle and that was just for a short run from Rabat into the deserts of Morocco to deliver it to the training camp. And the Mercedes had power steering and stability control. He’d been selected for this task because of his language abilities not his driving skill and it almost cost them an early defeat. But now he had the brake lights of the police car in his rear view mirror and they would have to deal with it before the sixty-seven pounds of Semtex was discovered in the backpacks nestled between the propane tanks.

“Get ready, the police are turning after us,” Ghali said between gasps of air. Walid spun in the seat and tried to look out of the back window and between the tanks. Even though the sun was coming up now he could still see the headlights of the patrol car center up on the road and come after them. They were supposed to drive at the speed limit and stop at all the stop signs to avoid drawing attention to themselves. The plans for dealing with the police had been minimal. Stay invisible. Avoid. The mission is primary, evasion and escape secondary. Walid did not intend to martyr himself today. That was for the dirt Arabs with nothing but angry dreams in their heads.

The big heavy wrench clipped to the inside of the driver door was meant to twist open reluctant valves but was the only weapon they had. Ghali jerked it free from its metal clasps and handed it across to Walid.

“They are stopping us,” Ghali said as the overhead flashers lit up. “As we have trained.”

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