Episode 7: Operation Hydra
August 5th, 2010
The seventh episode in our series "Foreign and Domestic" began with the information that directly followed the conclusion of our last episode: the timer for the launching of a second anti-ship missile had expired as the Joint Taskforce was heading out of the basement of the Venezuelan F.A.R.C. compound. Jack Cooper (a PC and leader of the Taskforce) attempted to contact higher command but the dense vegetation made it impossible for him to find a signal. So, with the rest of the group in tow, Jack gave the command and the company headed out.
A few minutes into their trek back to the Colombian border Jack gave the command for Yasabi (a PC Mossad agent on loan to the Taskforce) to blow up the remaining missiles that he had wired with a redundant amount of semtex. The explosion shook the ground beneath the groups feet and Yasabi smiled a twisted grin of satisfaction.
The Taskforce then made its way into the jungles, arrived at the designated landing zone six torturous hours later, and were taken by Colombian military helicopters back to the capital Bogota.
Once in Bogota, the group was transported to the carrier group floating off the coast. While aboard the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush the captain told the group what has transpired earlier that morning.
A small ship, which was concealed to look like a fishing vessel, began to approach the carrier group. After being struck with one anti-ship missile recently, the closest destroyer fired a warning shot. When the captain aboard the destroyer noted that the small vessel was continuing its course towards the carrier group, he ordered his ship to fire. Within seconds the “fishing” vessel was sunk. Jack was relieved that the rogue anti-ship missiles were now all accounted for.
Less than two weeks later Jack Cooper received a phone-call from the Deputy Director of the F.B.I., Pistole. The Deputy Director informed Jack that a laptop was recently confiscated by the Israeli’s from an ancient Mosque in Gaza. (This was not true. Yasabi had found this laptop behind some crates on the Venezuelan mission, stole it, and gave it to his Mossad superiors without telling anyone on the taskforce.) On this laptop was a deluge of important information: financial records that show a link between the Lopez Cartel and Venezuela, emails that prove a link between the highest levels of the Venezuelan government and the terrorist group F.A.R.C., information relating to an upcoming terrorist attack in Dallas, Texas, and a voice recording of the terrorist mastermind Muhammad Abaza instructing his faithful to kidnap a software engineer from the Dallas Federal Reserve by the name of James Bertrand. Pistole told Jack to gather his group and to head to Dallas to see what was going on.
Six hours later the private jet landed on the runway of the Dallas Love Airport and the three agents (Agent Sarah Walker had been sent back to Columbia / Venezuela to follow-up on the Lopez Cartel leads) walked towards the black Suburban that was waiting for them. There they were met by Agent Troy Conway, head of the Dallas Branch of the F.B.I.
After initial introductions were awkwardly made Troy received two shocking phone calls within minutes. The first call alerted Troy to the fact that James Bertrand had been reported missing and that the Dallas Federal Reserve had been the victim of a cyber attack where over two-billion dollars had been stolen. Troy hustled the agents into his black suburban, turned on the rear window lights, and sped back to the Federal Reserve Bank.
When the black SUV screeched to a halt in front of the Federal Reserve Bank, Troy lead the group in. However, Jack Cooper noticed a younger dark-skinned man leaning up against a delivery van six car lengths down from the building’s entrance. Grabbing Lucy Castillo,(a PC) Jack reached into his holster, readied his weapon, and shouted for the man to lay down on the ground with his hands in the air.
At this point, the dark-skinned man looked up and saw the approaching agents. In a quick series of events, the man opened the side door to the van, tossed something electronic lying at his feet inside the van, slammed the door shut, and began to run around the rear of the vehicle to get to the driver’s seat. But, before the man made it around the corner of the van Jack dropped him with a round through his femoral artery. Fareed al Zeburia cried out in pain as Lucy attempted to staunch the blood squirting out of his leg. However, Fareed did not want any assistance and managed to raise himself up to his feet and attempt to hobble away while leaving a large blood trail in his wake.
Jack concerned that the van was wired with explosives and that Fareed might have the trigger to the bomb aimed his weapon and put a .40 round through his neck. Fareed slumped face first into the concrete sidewalk and was still. Lucy was speechless and Jack Cooper sprung into action yelling at her to go inside the building because he was going to check the van. Lucy regained her senses and ran inside of the Reserve Bank to tell Troy Conway what was going on while Jack yelled for everyone within shouting distance to run away because there was a bomb in the van.
Over the screams of bystanders Jack opened the van’s sliding door with his left hand and pointed his Glock G23 inside. What he saw broke his heart. A police scanner was lying on the floor of the van; there was evidence of any type of bomb of explosive materials visible. Yasabi, the resident bomb expert had come out of the Federal Reserve Bank by now and inspected the van to ensure that there were no explosives or explosive materials inside of or around the van. There were none.
Crestfallen after accidentally killing again, Jack Cooper led his other operatives back inside the building and tried to get a handle on the situation. In the main lobby, Julia Yates (the girlfriend of the kidnapped James Bertrand) was being consoled by Willie Pummer (the best friend of James Bertrand). Agents were huddles around them and were attempting to politely question the two.The two had no real knowledge of what had happened to their friend but Lucy felt that something was not quite right with Willie. The group asked if Willie wouldn’t mind showing them his office. Willie reluctantly agreed.
When the group reached Willie’s office he was sweating and acting strangely. Jack Cooper sent him out of the room and the group came across a CD in his computer that was labeled “B B Dog Sec”, as well as $200,000 in traveler’s checks. After an intense interrogation Willie confessed to setting his friend up to be captured so that he could get the money to pay off his massive gambling debts and Julia. With the information flowing, the taskforce decided to then drive over to James Bertrand’s house to see what they could find.
While at James’ home, the story about Willie breaking into the home to steal the Blue Bulldog Security information checked out as the group found no evidence of forced entry and the Bertrand pit bull named Sandy cheerily munching on a steak. When some of Troy Conway’s men came and began to cordon off the building the group made their way to the S&G Convenience Store where James Bertrand disappeared.
When the taskforce pulled up to the station they noticed that James Bertrand’s red 2010 Mustang was still linked to the pump by a gas hose. When the group entered the station they were greeted by a sassy teenager by the name of Saddie Gibbons. She explained to the group that she had seen four suspicious “dark-skinned men” earlier in her store and that it was around that time that she had seen James Bertrand. She told the investigators that he had needed to use the restroom which was around back. After roughly thirty minutes she went to see what was wrong and that she had seen a blood trail. She said that she then high-tailed it back inside the store and immediately phone the Dallas PD.
When the group searched around back they found five sets of footprints, some blood and strewn debris. After an initial overview Lucy checked inside of a nearby dumpster to find a ripped and bloody shirt inside of a small cardboard box. After calling in for forensics Jack recklessly searched through the breast pockets of the bloody shirt. Out dropped a business card for the Cotton Gin apartments; the group now had a new lead.
Jack Cooper slammed hard on the brakes of the black suburban in front of the dilapidated and decrepit Cotton Gin Apartments approximately twenty-five minutes later. The entire city block seemed to be deserted; the only living bits of humanity that anyone could see were recent take-out bags blowing in the winds and catching on the rusted and hepatitis permeated fence.
Yasabi lead the way into the seemingly abandoned apartment complex. As they entered Jack reminded his Mossad friend that they were searching for room 419. Three flights of stairs later the group came to the antique-looking door with the numbers 419 stenciled on its outside. The door was cracked open and the sounds of a television could be heard in the hallway. The group stacked up behind Yasabi as he charged in.
The room was clean; almost sterile. Yasabi couldn’t believe what he was seeing. There was nothing out of place or order. The apartment was a bit Spartan, but, he fathoming that this clean of a space was located in the center of a section 8 ramshackle abode. For about two seconds of stunned disbelief Yasabi felt bad about tearing the room apart.
It was Lucy who found the note, the instructions to capture a certain David Ornoff. She found it being used as a bookmark to a violent passage within a golden embossed Koran. It had the apparent home address of a David Ornoff – Jack sniffed that something big was going on – and he didn’t like it. The group – and he felt that he personally – was one step behind whomever they were chasing. It was not a pleasant feeling.
Jack was behind the wheel of the black SUV again. When the party was a few block away from Ornoff’s suburban home they were passed by a large red dually truck speeding past them going in the opposite direction. Jack continued until he hit a stop sign. Something didn’t seem right. Shooting a U-turn on two wheels Jack searched for the huge truck – but to no avail.
A few minutes later the group pulled into the driveway of Ornoff’s home to see a woman clutching her young son on the family’s driveway. She was sobbing hysterically and her neighbors were leaving their home to approach her with concern and trepidation. The team flew out of their vehicle and asked what had happened to the woman. Through her uproarious crying Lucy was able to ascertain that “a black-skinned, an actual African man, had come into the family’s home during its dinner prayer and had taken her husband at gunpoint. Lucy asked the woman where the man had taken David and she tells them that he is taking her husband to a local construction site that David has been working at for the last month or so.
The sun was beginning to set and Jack had to use the strong headlights of the suburban as they approached the construction site. Parked in the driveway of one of the un-built homes was the missing red dually truck. Jack killed the engine and the group cautiously approached the truck. Jack opened the driver’s side door to reveal that the key was still in the ignition and that it was attached to a large key ring with dozens of keys. Jack tossed the key ring into Suburban and made sure that he didn’t lock the doors so that his SUV wouldn’t make its loud beeping noise.
Yasabi went by himself around the west side of the house while Jack and Lucy went around the east. Peeking his head around the corner of the home he saw the Somali Mourid Barakat talking on his cell phone while holding a gun towards the kneeling body of a praying David Ornoff.
From across the partially constructed home, Jack, using hand signals, instructed Yasabi to assault the terrorist and to capture him. Being as stealthy as he possibly could, Yasabi advanced over the newly churned dirt at the construction site and made his way towards Mourid who was now screaming into his cell phone. Unfortunately, when Yasabi leapt towards Mourid his right foot had sunk into the mud without his knowledge, and he came up about three feet short. While Yasabi struggled to his knees Mourid turned in shock and put two rounds from his 9mm into his chest. Yasabi was propelled backwards into the mud; his chest sucking in air with his blood exiting his body by the apparent gallon.
Looking upon this abhorrent spectacle with disgust, Jack began to run forward while he raised his weapon and fired, hitting Mourid in the back. Lucy followed Jack’s lead and pulled off three rounds, but her specialty was long barreled weapons, and she missed all three times.
Mourid, knowing that his part in the master plan was over pointed his 9mm at the kneeling David Ornoff and put two rounds into his chest. Then, with the cry of “Allah akbar,” Mourid placed the gun against the side of his head and pulled the trigger.
Jack rushed to his friend’s bloody side and Lucy checked on Ornoff. Jack could tell that Yasabi was in trouble but he would make it with quick medical attention. Lucy on the other hand, knew that David Ornoff should be dead, and that he would be in a few seconds. Lucy asked David why he was taken, all that David could utter in reply was “…truck…floorboards…three different buildings. Don’t let it happen…”
Jack told Lucy to call in for help while he assisted Yasabi. After she had made the call to Troy Conway she went to their SUV and took the key ring that they had found over to the red truck. Underneath the passenger’s seat was a long rectangular box. Lucy took it out, set it on the seat, and began trying all of the different keys on the ring. Moments later she had opened the box and removed three different sets of commercial schematics. They were listed as being the blueprints for Museum Tower, Patriot Tower, and the Dallas Federal Reserve. A few minutes later, dozens of F.B.I. agents. Dallas police and E.M.T. personnel were swarming over the partially built construction site. Yasabi was informed that he needed immediate medical attention but he fought off the started EMT and told Jack that he was going to finish what they had started. Jack smiled, and told Troy Conway that they were headed to David Ornoff’s work to see if they could get some answers.
The party arrived right at closing time at The Fred Masterson Construction Company. The group was met at the door by none other than the owner/operator Fred Masterson. He informed the group that David Ornoff was under investigation about trying to purchase 25lbs of explosives using the company credit card. He also informed the taskforce that recently 20lbs of explosives had gone missing from the warehouse. Fred was polite but seemingly naïve and Jack asked if he could speak to the warehouse workers. As he did that Fred pointed out that one of the warehouse workers was outside and apparently running for his truck.
Yasabi stood back out of the way as Jack and Lucy left the building in a footrace with FMCC employee Travis Mims. Jack sprinted as fast as he could but Travis not only reached his truck first but he also turned it on, threw it in drive, and floored the pedal. Jack was tired, upset, and a bit shaken from Yasabi’s earlier wound – he was in no mood for this. Jack Cooper pulled his Glock from its holster and fired a round through the rear window of the truck. Travis immediately hit the brakes when he heard the explosion of glass behind him. Jack was thrown violently into the rear part of the cab of the truck, but he kept his weapon trained on Mims and told him to exit the truck and then lie down on the payment with his hands laced behind his head.
Over the course of a rather “rough” interrogation Travis Mims told the group that he had stolen the explosives and dropped them off at the rear entrance of the Palm Tree Apartment Complex. He had been paid handsomely but had done nothing else wrong. He pleaded with the group not to turn him in but Fred Masterson made it known that he wanted no part in having a felon who had stolen explosives and given them to terrorists to not only work for him, but that he would personally bring charges against Mims.
The moon was out as the clock struck 9:30. The group informed Conway that they were going to follow up another lead as they turned off the black Suburban in front of the Palm Tree Apartment Complex. The taskforce was met by the owner of the complex (Albert Handley) and they demanded that he take them up to the room that was occupied by the men that Travis Mims had told them about. He complied immediately and led the group up the stairs.
There was a faint light flickering underneath the door as the group walked up the stairs. Yasabi told Jack that he would cover them from the stairs as he didn’t feel that he had enough energy to be first in. Jack simply nodded and told the complex owner Hadley to bang on the door and tell the men to come out so he could talk to them. Albert complied and banged on the door. There was no response. He banged harder this time and yelled that there was a noise complaint about them and that he needed to speak with them. There was no reply.
Albert hollered that he was coming in and opened the door. Before the door was fully open Albert was struck with a ten round burst of AK fire to his chest and face. He was thrown back against the wall and streaked blood down the wall as he slumped to the floor. Jack immediately stuck his head and gun around the door and fired. He briefly saw movement and shoot. A man yelled and went down. As fast as he had turned around the doorway Jack jerked himself back as more AK rounds blasted through the wall opposite him.
As bullets snapped past him, Lucy leaned around the corner, found a target, and plugged a double tap into his head. The man, who was dead on his feet, was flung backwards thru the large rectangular window and tripped back onto the fire escape. Lucy Castillo was scanning for another target when she took a barrage of AK rounds to the side of her skull. Her gun clattered on the ground and she collapsed to the floor, dead.
Jack Cooper looked in terror at the corpse of Lucy – but he had no time to mourn. He backed up to the stairwell where Yasabi had his weapon out and asked him if he if they call and wait for backup. Even though he had been shot twice before, just hours ago, seeing the body of a dear friend lying, bleeding in the doorway of a flea infested apartment had brought his hatred of Islamist terrorists to a boil. Yasabi simply said that he was going in and he was off.
Yasabi Bad Haiven, a Jewish Yemeni refugee and high level operative in the Israeli Mossad, brought his Sig Sauer in front of him and strode towards the doorway of room 308 of the Palm Beach Apartment Complex. As he was just a few steps from the doorway one of the terrorists came out of the door wielding his AK with its collapsible stock. Yasabi fired and the man danced as though controlled by a puppeteer. However, the Islamist turned towards Yasabi and fired. The first rounds simply blew holes in the cheap carpet covering the cheap floor. But, as the terrorist continued to hold in his trigger the guns natural tendency to climb did just that and rounds stitched Yasabi’s chest and he dropped to the ground. Jack Cooper raised his gun and fired. The terrorist and his AK both lay still on the cheap carpet.
Jack Cooper was overcome with rage and anger. He ran up the remaining stairs and burst into the apartment room. In front of him was a small circular table with a stack of automatic weapons and ammunition. Standing at the table attempting to insert a magazine into an Uzi (their hypocrisy knew no bounds) was another terrorist. Without a seconds hesitation the Jihadist had two rounds enter his brain and one entered his chest.
There was no time to wait however as Jack saw a flash of metal coming up towards him from his right. Ulam Olaman, the ringleader of the Dallas terror attacks, had hid in the bathroom until now. At this moment he was raising his over and under shotgun and fired the top barrel. The slug bore into Jack’s shoulder – but he was not out of the fight. He raised his weapon and fired. Olaman was hit in the shoulder. However, his Jihadist zeal was on coursing through his vein and he pulled back hard on the second trigger. When the smoke cleared, Jack Cooper, former F.B.I. special agent, CIA operative, and now freelance taskforce leader, was dead. Terror leader Ulam Olaman dropped the shotgun onto the ground and fled out of the fire escape.
Two hours later, Ulam Olaman had strapped himself into a cargo van filled with 25lbs of commercial grade explosives, and rammed it into the Dallas Federal Reserve. It would take three full weeks to clear the wreckage. Americans were stunned as they watched in horror as another one of their financial buildings was destroyed by Islamist militants. But, unknown to the American populace, deep in the recess of the Pentagon, a plan was already being put into action to avenge Americas' loss. And the hope was that it would be bloody retribution.