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Direct Action
Andrew was shaken out of his nap an hour before drop. Sleep was always a valuable commodity for any soldier, and the back of an airplane was as good as a five star hotel when necessary. High Altitude High Opening meant forty-five minutes sucking on pure oxygen. The alternative was death by decompression sickness, hypoxia, or rapid deceleration when his unconscious body hit the ground. He’d take the oxygen.

If Andrew hadn’t been briefed on the mission, he might have shit himself when he woke up to the sight of seven Custody Vegas geared for war. Luckily for the airmen who would be cleaning the plane out, that wasn’t the case. The faceless black helmets and heavy armor plates that were Custody standard were all part of the plan.

He’d already read the file, and the finalized plan was simple: HAHO onto outskirts of Mecca, sneak up on the King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University and pretend they were going to take Mohamed Al-Hasan into Custody custody. It was a typical SUBGRU op. JSOC created its Subversion Group for one specific task: subvert Custody influence across the globe. That included inciting rebellion wherever possible, supporting and training militants, and asymmetrical war tactics Washington still unironically referred to as terrorism. Command called them PSY-OPs.

He stretched his limbs, trying to acquaint himself with the sluggish servos and motion enhancers that were standard Custody tech. They were still running second generation motion amplifiers for Christ’s sake, outdated shit that belonged in a fucking museum. When NATO dissolved they stole a lot of top level tech, but powered exoskeleton technology was still in its infancy at the time. The divergence was pronounced. Where the United States used slimmed down, stealthy models and MR fluids, he felt like he was in a medieval plate mail in the Custody suit. And it was powerful--even if he couldn't stand up to a full magazine from an AK-47, he felt like he could punch through a wall.

The whole point was to build a Custody public relations nightmare; hard to do while rocking the red white and blue. At least the suit was pressurized. If everything went as planned by the time the orange bastard reached Mecca the hajis might finish Andrew's job for him. He triple-checked his suit’s seal. A single breath of atmospheric air could kill him, and with all the chances he took on a daily basis, the unnecessary ones were best avoided. Ten minutes until jump time, and everyone was ready to go.

Aside from him, the entire team was fluent in Russian. Andrew understood the language but a Massachusetts accent isn't easily broken. He had his orders: stay quiet. Let everyone else do the talking. If absolutely necessary, he could still communicate on encrypted comms but his helmet speakers were to stay off. The ruse was too important to fuck up.

Mole was shouting orders at the top of his lungs. It was no mean feat to be heard over four turboprops, even in an XMC-130. Stealth didn’t mean quiet. “Line up! Gear check! Jump in five minutes!” He’d be damned if the only job requirement for being an NCO wasn’t a good shouting voice. The man was none too tall, but built like a defensive lineman. And of course there was the mole, now concealed by his Custody issued helmet.

They fell in, two lines of four men each. Custody ranks and badges replaced US insignia. Apparently Andrew qualified as a Sergeant. Mole was a Warrant Officer. Andrew was in third place, and checked the lines of his buddy in front of him. They were all linked in with integrated Land Warriors but Jordan had one of only two sat-comm units in the squad. If both guys somehow missed the drop the mission would go FUBAR quick. At least the dead man's switches in the suits wouldn't leave any evidence.

Every man in the squad was outfitted with the Custody's latest and greatest combat exoskeletons. The only non-Custody standard modification was the addition of a Land Warrior suite to the visor. Standard issue Custody rifles were strapped to everyone’s backs--AN-94’s, PP-2000’s, a VSS. Not American hardware, but the team had long since mastered their use.

Everybody's lines were good, and they had three minutes left on the clock.

Edited by Andrew Koehler, Feb 15 2014, 05:33 PM.
The sun had long set over the Red Sea by the time Hasan began to speak to the gathered crowd. It pained him to force the faithful to postpone their evening prayer almost as much as it troubled his stirring heart not to wait for a proper Jumu'ah sermon, noon at Friday, to issue his statement. But when Almighty God called through his people for guidance, it demanded swift and direct action in response.

The mosque at the medical city of King Saud bin Abdulaziz University was small but functional, with ample space within the prayer hall to fit most of the student body at one time. Simple green carpet lacking design covered the length and width of the bare room, aside from a square pulpit protruding from the northeast wall so a speaker could stand elevated and see the gathered faithful as they faced the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Technically, the medical city was now actually inside Mecca, though when it had been designed and built it had sat equidistant from the holiest city and the idylic port of Jeddah along the Red Sea.

Hasan had been visiting with researchers at the medical city when news of Amira's honor slaying had reached him. Naturally such a high profile act would demand a response. How could a just and righteous God allow such a thing to happen? It was enough for even a faithful man to lose heart. For there was no honor in killing unless demanded by the hand of God, and kinslaying for the sake of undoing a perceived family slight was a thing of vanity and pride. Hasan prayed that her cousins' actions had at least kept her pure in the eyes of God and that if her heart was willing she would not be judged too harshly. And that her cousins were motivated by love instead of pride, which might lighten the burden of their punishments and maybe avoid the worst of Jahannam.

The researchers had certainly made some progress in learning what they could about those Hasan had deemed touched by God, the afflicted who suffered the same ailments he'd been blessed to bear as a youth. The origin still lacked any medical explanation, but identification was becoming easier as more symptoms were documented and recognized for their specific characteristics. Hasan applauded their efforts and reminded them that God would see fit to reward their diligence and reveal the workings of His universe as he chose, blessing them with gifts of understanding and technology. Contrary to some perverted Western notions, reason, education and scientific progress existed at the very heart of Islam, a desire to greater understand the natural world as God created it. How else was one to submit to the will of God except through seeking greater understanding of his creation and fostering a desire to better comprehend what God willed of his faithful people?

Enough of those thoughts for later. They were waiting on his ruling. He was Muhammad al-Hasan al-Mahdi, chosen by God to be his humble instrument, and the Almighty's people were hungering to hear God's ruling.

He took to the pulpit and raised his hands. There were hundreds, maybe even a few thousand, packed inside the student mosque. Cameras stared their unblinking black cyclopean eyes in his direction. Allowed, though their presence was hardly proper for prayers. Perhaps forgiveable out of necessity, though.

He turned to his back to the audience and came to his knees, bowing his head to the floor. “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet,”
he began, the shuffling of garments filling his ears as the rest of the attendance joined him in praying the Shahadah. Hasan finished, cleared his mind and rose to turn back to the gathering. The gift of the Keramat glittered just beyond his vision, Allah's grace that remained ever present as long as he kept the faith.

The room fell silent again. “Allah forgive us for what we have become as a people, who profess our allegiance to God and his Prophet, but have grown weak and fail to put our trust in the all-loving and Merciful God and submit to His message and His will alone! We have lost a dear sister and daughter to this corruption. It is my ruling that the cousins of young Amira were corrupt of heart, and their actions, however moved by love of their kin as they may be, were corrupt as well. For Amira had not been judged to be guilty of murder, or of spreading mischief, or of transgressing God's law, but was only perhaps guilty of corruption of the heart that can from time to time befall all of God's creatures who are lured by false promises and false prophets.”

Murmurs rose from the crowd, but quieted quickly. Hasan took a breath, for he could see already the ramifications of his next pronouncements as they spread across the land. But it was only right and just to speak them. “It is our right and just punishment to bear these sins of our brothers when we have allowed ourselves to grow weak and seek safety and security when instead we should be seeking the love of Almighty God. This man who calls himself the Ascendancy is but a false prophet with equally false promises – and see how everything he touches he corrupts! And we have allowed this corruption into the very heart of the most holy places consecrated to God!

“Even now the faithless roam the streets of holy Mecca. How does God not find that offensive? How can we not expect to invite upon ourselves the wrath of God for allowing ourselves to fall this far and let our spirits be so misled by earthly promises? For Allah himself spoke to his messenger, 'the world does not belong to you, o Muhammad, rather you are here to realize Me.'
We risk the further disfavor of God if we do not stand strong against impurity and corruption from within and without.

“Do not follow the path of the impure. The infidel will invite you to be the aggressor, and if you fall to this trap you will invoke the disfavor of Allah. If Allah finds it favorable for us to entreat with the unbeliever, we shall do so in hope he will not harden his heart to the will of God. We must not attempt to cleanse our house with unclean hands and unclean garments or we shall surely fail. But we must not wait too long before we attempt to set our homes aright, for this will invite even greater separation from the will of God.”

How much more should he temper the message? Hasan feared deeply that these words, however true and right they were, would invoke even further violence than had already been witnessed, and make the way of diplomacy impossible to achieve. If that is Your will, almighty and merciful God, then so let it be done. Please forgive the cowardice and presumption of your humble instrument.
He reached out and the gift of the Keramat flooded him, searing his very soul, as he sought peace and the courage to continue.

He prepared to speak again, but some sound -- barely perceptible but certainly foreign to the place -- distracted him for a moment. What was that?
The freezing night wind at 27,000 feet tore against his body armor, and he knew that in less than two hours he would be fighting for his life, but Andrew loved every second of it. In perfect formation, dark blue parachutes carried eight of the free world's greatest warriors to do what they did best. Who else got to see shit like that?

Mecca lay before him, like a whore about to get the ravaging of her life. It was done up like one, too. Even the most puritanical of Muslims didn't bat an eye when ancient historical sites were bulldozed and replaced with five star hotels. That was further east, though. Their target lay barely thirty miles inland--which was stretching the limits of a HAHO jump already.

Their target was a stretch of desert about three miles out from the edges of Mecca. SAD had already arranged for a couple civilian vehicles to be waiting for them at the site. A couple movements of the eye, and the blinking IR strobes shone clear as day. They were only a few miles out, and losing altitude quickly. It was going to be a perfect landing.

The ground rushed up before them, and with the kind of grace that can only be achieved by experience, each man landed in turn. They quickly piled their discarded parachutes and set to work checking their gear. There wasn't much time left, and they couldn't afford errors. Two vehicles were parked not too far from where they landed, covered by brown tarps; an old technical that had certainly seen better days, and the kind of van normally reserved for electricians and painters.

LT's voice came through on Andrew's comms. "Andrew, torch the chutes." To the outside world they weren't even looking at each other, but the sound-proofed and encrypted communications suite in their helmets meant they could chatter like, well, like Custody soldiers. How else would they have gotten the suits, after all?

Andrew clicked his comms once, the standard signal for yes, and seized the power. It didn't matter how many times he did it, the sense of utter invincibility was breathtaking. It was strange, in the Custody suit, though. He could make out every pixel on the visor's display, where normally he could see the tinest cracks in pavement; the muted buzzing of its highly tuned speakers replaced the heart beats of the men around him.

All the others saw was a muted flash of light, and then only evidence of their jump was a pile of ash quickly dissipated with a blast of air. Even if command wasn't sure it wanted to devote the resources to make its own Hogwarts, the squad had already adjusted. They piled into the cars.

Rat and Jordan were taking the technical. They had to infiltrate the main building, take out the security cameras and provide over watch from the roof. A good sniper could give Zeus a run for his money, and Rat was more than good.

Mole was driving the van, with Andrew, LT and the rest of them in the back. The second B team gave the all clear, they would go in and bring down an empire.

The battered technical pulled out first, and left A team to wait. Five minutes after the dust from B's passing settled, their van's engine rumbled to life and they were off. The streets of Mecca were deserted this close to the time of evening prayer, and the police presence was near nonexistent in this part of town. The middle east's CDPS was all too concerned with fortifying the city's center against Nikolai Brandon's arrival. Too bad; a heart is no good when the arteries are gaping ruins.

There was little doubt that the so-called Mahdi had his own eyes and ears throughout the city, and with thermals on they spotted no less than seven armed militants in windows along their route. It took about half an hour to reach the university.

They parked two hundred meters from a maintenance entrance to the mosque selected weeks before, turned off the engine, and waited. As expected, ten soon-dead men stood guard. They were clustered near the door, and three brand new black trucks were parked nearby.

"Salaam alaikum." After all the tension that had built up over the minutes of waiting, those words were like a dunk in ice water. Rat and Jordan would be perched on the roof of the university's main building, with fast ropes already hooked up. Quick in and out.

"Alaikum salaam." When LT sent the return call, everybody got in gear. Safeties off, rifles up, bodies out. All that stood in their way were ten untrained militants, who might as well have been wearing cardboard and armed with butter knives. LT switched to Russian, it was time to get in character. "Nachnite." Begin.

Andrew grabbed hold of the power, feeling indescribable power even as he fought against a force that could surely burn him to ash. Blades of solid air slammed through the night towards the men by the door, piercing both their arteries and their throats so they could not raise alarm. To anyone else, the guards just slumped over dead. Small pools of red formed around their crumpled figures; they died quickly.

A gesture from the LT, and they advanced. Despite their almost casual gait, each man had dominion over his own overlapping field of fire. ZARS would have been hard pressed to sneak up on them; a haji with his grandfather's rifle didn't have a chance. The door wasn't even locked.

Now came the real test. They'd all heard the rumors about Al-Hasan, even if they didn't talk about it. It was going to be seriously awkward if he jammed some lightning bolts up their asses. Andrew held onto the power like a vice, and felt something strange resonating from where Al-Hasan would be standing. He needed to be ready to kill this motherfucker.

There were three doors into the hall on their side of the building. Thermals told them that Al-Hasan's only bodyguards were stupidly standing to either side of the room, next to the doors. Lucas took right, Jung took left. LT, Andrew, Mole and Stevey were going in the middle.

What followed were some of the most beautiful few seconds of Andrew's life. They could've done fucking ballet. Three doors crashed down at the same instant, and LT and Mole covered their sides while their buddies took out the guards. It wasn't a fair fight from the start; the Custody's muscle enhancers made it possible to carry three hundred pounds of hardware five miles in the desert without breaking a sweat. Putting down a would-be terrorist was child's play.

Stevey had about as much trouble with Al-Hasan, and Andrew stood a few feet back and to the side with his rifle scanning the crowd for more enemies. The power boiled inside him, reminding him of the odd urge to jump off the edge of a tall cliff. He wanted to do something.

In short order, three Jihadis were face first on the ground with boots on their backs and rifle barrels poking into their skulls, daring them to resist.

Threats subdued, LT walked over and sat on his heels next to Al-Hasan. He lowered his rifle and mockingly waved, with his left hand. "Allo! The Ascendancy has a warrant for you arrest, mudak. Let's keep things peaceful, yes?" Andrew had to admit, the guy played the Russian sociopath well. But that crowd did not look happy. The mission was going perfectly.

Edited by Andrew Koehler, Feb 6 2014, 09:08 PM.
Almost as soon as Hasan heard the strange noise, he felt the presence: a surging, pulsing feeling of power that shoved its place in his mind alongside the raw presence of the Keramat like a molten nail driven through a wooden board. Something unexpected was about to happen, perhaps wonderful, perhaps terrible.

Hasan looked over his faithful. "Be still, may merciful God protect us--"

That was as far as he got, for the doors flew in with a crash -- the main entrance to the prayer hall opposite him and the two doors to his side. He drank in the power and held it, hesitating as he tried to assess the situation around him. Should he lash out and risk harming the crowd?

The hesitation cost Hasan the opportunity to react because the next awareness he had was being pressed against the carpeted floor, pressure on his back. The shock of the impact threatened to tear God's gift from his grasp. He reached out and clawed control of the power back by a fingernail, till it surged within him, ready to do God's will. His field of vision was limited to his guard Salamir held down with a boot to his back and a rifle pointed at his skull. The guard had a uniform that marked him as CCD.

Rage at the insult threatened to boil over. These men defiled this house of prayer with violence and tried to take him captive? And then they further insulted him by placing him underfoot? He who says the instrument of God is beneath him claims that God is likewise beneath him. It is an insult to almighty God himself!

With an act of will, Hasan quieted the feelings of anger and insult. Something was amiss and Hasan needed more information to process. Surely the CCD would know it would be offensive to take a holy man in a house of worship. It was a certainty someone was recording this, and it was probably already making its way around the world. If the CCD was aiming for peace, this would achieve the opposite.

Hasan made up his mind not to act unless he learned more. He would go peacefully and trust in God, sparing the faithful any potential harm from these vile dogs.

All this raced through Hasan's head in the moments the man spoke to him with the Russian accent. That was when Hasan noticed the tall man who was watching the speaker. Something rolled off the man -- a feeling like the edge of a sharp blade held against the neck. Power and darkness. He fought a flinch against the presence of the menacing power. Surely this man was a jinn of some sort cloaked in human flesh, a minion of Shaytan. Hasan realized he could feel the devil's strength and found it laughably weak. How could it not be against the power of Almighty God?

It was better to die in the struggle against this demon and his insult to God than to let him go about his business unchallenged. It was better for every single one of his faithful here to die, even if they failed to stop the beast. God would reward them with paradise should they give their last few moments on earth to Him by trying to stop this creature which insulted God by its mere existence.

Allah, your will be done.

The weave sprang into existence and expanded outward from him, a sphere of air and blinding light that created a mighty BOOM and threw the man atop him backwards, where he struck the wall of the prayer hall with enough force to snap bone. Hasan stood at the center of the sphere and with raised arms willed Fire into existence, setting aflame the two men who held down his bodyguards.

"In the name of almighty God and his prophet Muhammad, I deny your power, Devil!"
he roared. "Fight in the name of God those who transgress!"
He stuck out his hands toward the jinn and called on God to send lightning at the creature.
The odd emanation from Al-Hasan was nearly paralyzing in such close proximity. Well fuck.
That was all Andrew had the chance to think before instinct took over. Stevey was flying through the air, Lucas and Jung were on fire, and the replacement Bin Laden was psychokinetic. And to top off their shit sundae, Andrew was about to get a lightning bolt jammed up his ass.

It wasn't conscious thought that saved him. Whatever Andrew did, some wiring of fire and air, the bolt veered off course and blasted through the wall, dismembering Lucas' former hostage and narrowly missing Lucas himself. Everything seemed to stand still for a moment; the Americans digesting the fact that - holy shit - magic is a thing we have to fight, and the Arabs realizing that their great prophet was about to be murdered right in their holiest city. Of course, put two groups whose objectives involve killing the hell out of each other in a room and things don't stay quiet for long.

LT had retreated from Al-Hasan the second things started going south, Mole laying down covering fire all the while. LT raised his rifle just as Stevey's vitals blinked out. Damn.
They'd all accepted the risk, but it wasn't a happy thought that one of his best friends wouldn't be coming back from this one. Not even in a bag. An indicator replaced Andrew's fallen comrade's icon on his visor; a count down before Stevey's dead man's switch blew. One minute.

Mole tried to shoot Al-Hasan, but the bullets were stopped by the yellow strands of air encasing him in a cylinder. All he saw were bullets bouncing off of nothing. He quickly switched to the advancing mob, which was shambling forwards to tear them apart like some kind of zombie movie. The war cries would have been deafening if not for their helmets' smart sound dampeners.

LT was all business, even in the face of hundreds of angry Muslims and a pissed off prophet who had actually been granted powers by God. "Fighting retreat. Andrew, kill Al-Hasan." As if it were the simplest thing in the world. The crazy bastard had managed to get back on his feet, and he was walking towards them even as stray rounds plinked off his shield of air.

Lucas and Jung were back in the fight, although flames were still licking at the edges of their gear. Jung's hostage lay face down, sans skull. 7.62 millimeter bullets slammed through the crowd from four different rifles, sometimes piercing two bodies with a single shot. Andrew had never seen that kind of blood lust; unarmed civvies crawling over the corpses of their friends and family to kill and die for their faith. The fact that they were solely accomplishing the latter didn't seem to faze them.

Jung and Lucas were backing up towards their buddies at the main door, each step punctuated by the recoil of their rifles creating new corpses one shot at a time. Andrew was focusing solely on how to kill the bastard in front of him; his rifle acting more like a stress ball than a weapon.

He decided to copy Al-Hasan's trick with the fire. Command wanted maximum casualties, after all. He drunk in the power, filling every fiber of his being with that inner war even as the exterior one threatened to take his head off. Strands of fire and air coiled together, and a rolling wall of flame billowed out in front of him to wash over Al-Hasan and the advancing crowd. The helmet cams quickly dimmed the image to preserve visibility, but even so everyone stopped shooting. That wasn't an everyday sight, after all.

Then the so-called prophet pulled some real bullshit. He kept walking through the wall of fire, and Andrew's weave parted around him. An instant later and it was gone, with only some minor burns on the most overzealous crazies to show it had even been there.

The shooting started again instantly, but even with the dead slowly beginning to outnumber the living LT had seen enough to realize the battle was lost. "It's done. We're out of here." Stevey's dead man's switch was about to blow, and they were out of time. An icon blinked on Andrew's visor; he was too far forwards. He barely had three seconds to back out before several grenades were thrown into the crowd. Everyone else was already in the main doorway.

Andrew waved one last goodbye to Stevey as he crossed the threshold, and the incendiary charge went off at the same time as smaller explosions ripped through the crowd. If it weren't for the speakers, Andrew was pretty sure he would have been deaf. As it was, a wall of flame segregated the hallway from the rest of the building.

Edited by Andrew Koehler, Feb 9 2014, 02:24 AM.
Hasan passed through the flames that licked around him, but protected as he was by the gift of God's almighty power it could not touch him. He found he could see the demon's own weaves much like his own as they emanated from him. With eyes set on the devil, he strode forward as he sent out weaves of his own. Air and water, a twist on the shielding that protected him, and sent them at the fire. Nothing was so powerful that it could withstand the righteous power of Allah.

The roar of God was in his ears, threatening to strip his soul bare and crush his skull, so fierce in its pure might that Hasan barely noticed the muffled explosions as the flames winked out. The devil and his henchmen were fleeing, it seemed, the last pair of them turning to leave -- the devil holding the door as the other raised a hand to throw one final grenade. Was the devil waving to him as if to mock God's power?

"Witness the awesome power of God, you pitiful demon!"
Hasan reached out with mighty fists of Air, gripped the grenade thrower's head in the weave, and crushed the man's skull.

The grenade fell, spoon flying, and bounced back toward the crowd. That forced Hasan to break his gaze from the jinn as he sought to track its movement before it blew. But before Hasan could reach out with another weave of Air to trap the blast, one of the faithful jumped on it. The device exploded, reducing his midsection to a spray of blood and ground flesh -- but preventing the blast and shrapnel from wreaking even more carnage in the confined prayer hall. Hasan cursed the demons and muttered a prayer for the man, that God would grant his entrance to Paradise for his sacrifice, however unnecessary it had been.

Hasan stepped toward the doors to pursue the jinn and his lackeys. It was then that he became aware of the screams of the injured and the dying. The once-fine simple green rug was smoking and stained dark red with splattered blood. He looked around. Dozens, maybe hundreds dead and injured. The hall had been packed before the attack. Just by his foot a young man with brown hair and a bloody face cried out for help. Burns down the side of his body and blood spurting from his shoulder, he fought consciousness as he gripped what was left of his son's leg in an attempt to staunch the bleeding from where shrapnel had taken it off at the knee. The effort would be futile; the child would still bleed out even if he was the first to be seen at the emergency department right across the street, and the father was sacrificing what precious few minutes he had before he himself was too far gone in the attempt to buy his son enough time.

And it just occurred to Hasan that most of the Medical City
. Students, faculty, doctors, paramedics...all among the dead and wounded. How much time will it take to get an organized emergency response together?
Curse those devils!

Hasan knelt and asked God to bestow His mercy on the two. He stretched out his hands and pulled the man's hands away from the child. "Be still,"
he said to the father as the man cried in anguish. "Almighty God shows his everlasting mercy to those who trust in him."
He gripped the child's head in both hands and felt the Keramat work through his body and flow into the child. The now-familiar weaves, Air, Water and the very essence of the spirit, flowed into the child. It was beyond Hasan to restore the missing limb -- he'd tried to do so before, for whatever reason Allah did not allow his gift to work that way -- but when he removed his hands the stump ended not in ragged bone and torn muscle and sinew but in smooth, unbroken skin.

The child's father stared, mouth agape in wordless wonder. Hasan touched the man's face and stopped his bleeding as well. "You will both need to rest, and eat shortly,"
he said.

Hasan stood and turned without waiting for an answer. The two might still die. It seemed from Hasan's experience that healing took a great deal of strength, as if God required something to be given from the recipient. That was proper, no gift from God should be accepted without a pure and open offering of the self. The same was true of Hasan and his gifts. It took a great deal of strength to effect such miracles. Hasan already could feel the weariness seep into his bones.

Another fireball erupted, this time from the dead henchman. If there was any doubt these creatures were of Shaytan, that ended any speculation. These creatures' lackeys burned in fire on their death! Such was the price for any who followed the devil, eternal fire upon their body and souls. And even in death they sought to wreak more havoc. Hasan reached out with the Keramat to quench the flames. The cries, oh...the horrid screams for mercy continued!

"Any doctors, nurses or parmedics not injured come over here..."
Hasan began to bring order to the chaos. Pursuit would have to wait. His little remaining strength was needed to help those who still could still be helped but would not last until a medical response team could be put together. They'd earned it.
Continued in Angels and Demons

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