The cave is situated in the midst of barren ridges in rough, impassable mountain terrains in the wilderness bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. Four men stand guard, armed with their AK47 weapons.
Five men are seated inside the cave, discernible in their appearances with their long beards, their heads covered, and with rifles by their side. At the center sits their leader, a tall, aging man sporting a clean white turban and a beige robe. He gently stokes his beard as he speaks. It is past noon, and with prayers having been said, lunch is served. Their conversation is mostly in Arabic, occasionally drifting to Pashto.
“Kebab again?” he asks in disgust. “We had kebab for three days in a row! Get me some burgers from that McDonald’s in Islamabad!” he demands.
“But we blew up that place last month, sir,” the man to his right politely reminds him. “Along with other symbols associated with American Imperialism.”
“Aah yes,” he recalls. “Too bad though, I liked burgers and fries. And pizza, what about pizza?”
“As a matter of fact, they recently opened a pizza hut in the city, sir. I could bring a pizza for you tomorrow. “
“Yes, do that discreetly,” he says, gulping a bottle of coke from his cooler. “I’m tired of kebabs all the time.”
“Oh, also, I need some good earplugs tonight. I can’t sleep with all the bombs being dropped,” he remembers, and then scoffs. “Stupid Americans! They can’t find me, and keep dropping bombs everywhere else. I’ll probably die due to sleeplessness from all the noise more than anything else.”
He looks at the man to his left. “What is the status with our madrasas?”
“Four hundred and twenty nine new students, sir. Young boys aged eight to ten,” the man at his left replies. “Their parents were only too happy to send them to us for free food, clothing and accommodation. They will be fully trained in our ideologies and grow up to become fine young martyrs.”
“Has the school syllabus been updated?”
“Yes sir,” the man reports. “Three more countries have been added to our evil list.”
“And you’ve included Canada as well this time, haven’t you?”
“Yes sir, along with New Zealand and Iceland,” he replies.
“Good.” He then looks at the man to his far right. “How are the preparations for our latest mission?”
“As planned, by the grace of god, sir,” the man at the far right replies. “Eight men fully trained and ready to begin their journey tomorrow.”
“May Allah be with them,” he says, stoking his beard. “Tell them I wish them well, and that paradise with seventy two virgins awaits them.”
“Of course, sir.”
“Oh, and remind them that they should not be captured alive at any cost,” he continues. “One of those guys in the Mumbai attack was stupid enough to be caught alive and is embarrassing us. I don’t want to see that happening again.”
“All the funds in place?”
“Yes sir, we have enough funds by the grace of god, and thanks to the driving habits of Americans and their dependence on oil.”
“Good.” He looks at the man at his far left. “What is our media situation?”
“Your latest speech was aired in Al-Jazeera, CNN and BBC sir,” the man in the far left replies and pauses.
“Yes?” he inquires.
“Well, it’s just that people don’t seem to be taking your speeches seriously any more, sir,” he continues. “Your popularity ratings have dropped. Hardly anyone seemed to bother watching that threat video.”
His face reddens in anger as he listens.
“With all due respect, Muslims across the world are openly denouncing our path sir,” he continues. “Even in the middle east, the shoe-thrower has become more popular than you.”
His anger intensifies. “Enough!!” He roars as the other bow their heads. “We must do something! Our next attack will teach the world a lesson. Meanwhile, I’d like to send a message to the people that really scares the hell out of them when they read it. Any ideas?”
“Well, there is this website, sir,” the youngest and most studious of the group named Ahmed says. “It’s called Protagonize.com. It is a site for stories, and someone there recently issued a challenge, asking participants to name the most diabolical villain.”
“Hmmm..,” he muses. “Diabolical villain, you say? Does this site have mass readership?”
“Oh yes sir, there are several thousands of authors and readers from all over the world. And this challenge happens to be one of the most read stories in the site at the moment.”
“So, if I sent a message through this site, it would be received globally, would it not?” he asks, his interest piqued.
“Most certainly, sir.”
“So tell me, Ahmed,” he asks the young man, his face brightening. “What kind of villains are there?”
“Many interesting ones, but none that would match your capabilities sir,” he tells him the stories of the villains.
“I do that to my wives all the time, and none of them are perfect,” he says as he hears about the story of the perfect wife and her abusive husband. “Women! They will never be perfect!”
“No one dared to bully me when I was a kid,” he recalls his childhood as he hears stories about bullies. “There was one time when I was ten years old, and a fifteen year old boy dared to raise his hand at me,” he continues.
“What happened then, sir?”
“I still have that hand,” he smiles. “I keep it as a souvenir.”
He chuckles at the story of the banker. “No wonder these countries are in a depression,” he smiles contentedly. “By the grace of Allah, they will plunge deeper into misery.”
The story of the priest makes him laugh aloud. “Infidel priests! Hah! I knew it!”
He chuckles at the story of the psycho who runs amok the partying campers as if to say it serves them right.
“You know who the real devils are?” he says with an air of seriousness as he hears the story of the devil. “Americans! The Infidels!”
He appears satisfied. “I have decided,” he says. “You will write about me in this site. Remind them of the destruction I have caused. Make them relive those horrible memories and in fear of more attacks to come. The world shall once again tremble at the mention of Osama Bin Laden!”