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Monday, April 27, 2020

Short Story: The Terrorist

Short Story: The Terrorist

The air in the locker room was foul, heavy, like a weighted blanket on Mal’s chest that he couldn’t take off. The sun went down a few hours ago, the threat response team decided to wait until dark to take the terrorist cell.

“Mal,” the team-leader called out as he left the locker room. “Five minutes.” The door closed behind him, leaving Mal alone.

Malchus Falcon laced his tactical boots, pulled on his protective vest, and holstered his side arm. The Incident Response team was headed out with FBI to arrest a domestic terrorist, going by the moniker “Ye’Hoshua Ha’mashiach”, a radical mid-eastern religious fanatic who claimed to be bringing about an end to the UNAE. The briefing was unclear as to the exact nature of the threat; only that his cell was responsible for existential threats to the United North American Empire (UNAE).

The ride to the cell’s secret meeting place was uneventful, protestors had been squelched with the latest curfews, violators shot on sight without warning. Mal scrolled his news feed. The entire country had been talking about this new terrorist cell. Most cult-cells only took the attention of fringe elements of the society, but this leader captured the attention of the entire population. He was the number one trending topic on SocialStream, the UNAE’s Officially sanctioned and censored social sharing platform.

A long hallway snaked around the a hidden corner, the strike team followed Hudahye, a former leader from this cell who defected and reported the meeting location to the UNAE. The abandoned Olive Garden Restaurant, one of many buildings left as a holdover from old Capitalism, was being used as a meeting place.

Glass from the door’s otherwise aluminum frame shattered with one touch from the battering ram, which Mal noted was entirely unnecessary since the door had been unlocked. Everything was always an over-show of force with the UNAE. The smell of stale Olive Oil still permeated the walls, there were tag marks and broken glass but it had been swept aside into a pile. Someone had been cleaning up the place.

Clearing the side rooms and hallways, they used cameras to peak around into the main room, it was lit softly by a few large candles, which were contraband due to fire-risks. Another offense to add to his list.

A touch on his shoulder signaled Mal to step aside, making room for Hudahye to step forward and into the room, he kissed Ya’Hoshua on both cheeks, then bowed his head.

“Really?,” YaHoshua said. “A kiss, Hudahya?” The leaders eyes were sad, disappointed.

The former comrade averted his eyes in shame, and walked back a step. That was the cue, the strike team flooded the room, covering Hudaya’s hasty exit from the facility.

“UNAE! Hands where we can see them,” the team-leader demanded.

The rest of the response team flanked the team-leader and his henchmen, cutting off the exits. Mal, second in command, was nearest the middle, face to face with Yeshua and his right-hand disruptor, Kefa. Ye’Hoshua’s eyes were disarming. He smiled gently, hands causally in front of him, palms up. His associates wore a range of expressions from angry to terrified.

Agitation filled the room, but nobody said anything. The strike team had been expecting a shootout, so when the band of misfits made no moves, the team hesitated.

“Who are you here for?” Ye’Hoshua asked, breaking the thick silence.

The team leader demanded, “Ya’Hoshua Ha’mashiach, leader of the Natzerets.”

“I am he,” Ye’Hoshua said. And a wave of dizziness hit Mal, his eyes felt heavy like the nighttime end of a long road trip, on the last miles to home, and his vision went dark. A moment later, he found himself on the ground, head laying on his team leader’s leg. He shook blinked, breathed deeply, felt his brain rebooting. Looking around, his entire squad was laid out on the floor. The terrorists team remained standing, but docile, behind him.

The strike team took a moment to recover, but they stood, though less menacingly than before.

“Who are you here for?” Ye’Hoshua asked again, more firmly.

The team leader spoke again, though less firmly than Mal expected. “Ya’Hoshua Ha’mashiach, leader of the Natzerets.”

“I am,” He answered. “Since you have me, you will let my people go.” There was a fire in the terrorists eye’s that gave Mal a chill.

The team leader nodded affirmation. Mal walked slowly toward him, pulling out the handcuffs.

“NO!” Mal heard, and he caught a glimpse of Kefa coming at him with a large Bowie Knife. Reflexifly, Mal raised his hands in defense, but Kefa caught him off guard, and the knife glanced off his gloved hand and a searing heat spread across face on the right side.

A loud ringing pierced his right side, and he put his hands to his ears. When he pulled his hand away from his face, it was covered in blood. His right ear laying in his hand, he grew dizzy, nauseous, and fell to one knee.

“Kefa!” He heard from his good ear, “Put that away, now!”

Ye’Hoshua stepped forward, and kneeled, placing his hand under Mal’s hand. Mal felt strength return. The terrorist grabbed the ear gently from his hand, and placed it back on his head. A wave of warmth, like a bubble bath after a long day, washed over him. The ringing stopped.

One of the crew gasped, “It’s back on…” his voice trailed off.

Ye’Hoshua helped Mal stand, then turned to Kefa. “This is my cup, and I will drink it.” Kefa nodded, and stepped back, eyes terrified.

Taking the handcuffs from the ground, Ye’Hoshua placed them on himself, and held out his newly cuffed hands to Mal to lead him away.

The team quietly marched out of the room. Glancing over his shoulders, he noticed the remaining Natzerets running out the back door through an emergency exit. Nobody made a move to follow them.

The arrest was, nearly, injury free…

Mal sat in his room at the boarding house above the strike team locker rooms, disinterested in his news feed. Pondering… What had they done? The man in the holding cell downstairs, being interrogated… who was he really? Had the UNAE lied, as usual, about the nature of this man’s threat? Surely, a man like this was a threat to the UNAE… but Mal wondered it that was a bad thing…

***The End....?***


The Pharisees and the leading priests had given Judas a large detachment of Roman soldiers and temple police to seize Jesus. Judas guided them to the garden, all of them carrying torches and lanterns and armed with swords and spears . Jesus, knowing full well what was about to happen, went out to the garden entrance to meet them. Stepping forward, he asked, “Who are you looking for?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. (Now Judas, the traitor, was among them.) He replied, “I am he.” And the moment Jesus spoke the words, “I am he,” the mob fell backward to the ground! So once more, Jesus asked them, “Who are you looking for?” As they stood up, they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I told you that I am the one you’re looking for, so if you want me, let these men go home.”

Yeshua, who knew everything that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Whom do you want?” “Yeshua from Natzeret,” they answered. He said to them, “I AM.” Also standing with them was Y’hudah, the one who was betraying him. When he said, “I AM,” they went backward from him and fell to the ground. So he inquired of them once more, “Whom do you want?” and they said, “Yeshua from Natzeret.”


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