Progress and DiscoveryMature

It had been a long journey through the sewer for Nizar and his soldiers but according to Wahab they were now less than one block away from being directly beneath their target.  Giving the signal, he made the order for his team to shut off their jet skis.  One by one the engines went dead until the only noise surrounding them was the rush of running water.

 The jet skis had been smuggled into the pipes under the cities streets months ago by Wahab and his men.  They had been essential to getting them to this point.  The 12 member force were paired up on them, driving them two by two against the rushing current for what seemed like miles.  It would have been impossible to fight the torrent otherwise.

 The six roaring vehicles were part of a contingency that had been specifically designed for these kinds’ conditions.  Every type of weather from drought to flooding had been explored during the planning.  Should the route they were traveling during the mission have been completely devoid of water, Wahab had stashed four wheelers and a skid for the bomb in a dry location further down the network.

 As it was, Nizar preferred the rush of the water.  It had been difficult coming in from the bay but he found that the noise from the driving current served as good camouflage against the sound that their engines had created.  He doubted very seriously that anyone would have heard them from the street or buildings above but the presence of the cacophony brought on from the splashing waters around them made him feel greater at ease.     

 Now however, they required absolute silence in their movements.  Subterfuge would be the practice going forward.  The sound of the rain might be deafening but their engines had been louder.  No matter how hard it would be to physically pull the heavy device for the remaining distance, Nizar couldn’t risk that someone might overhear the beating drum of their motors.

 Climbing onto a catwalk lining the edges of the sewer Nizar watched as his team began to tie off their conveyance onto its rails.  The device they were carrying drifted back and forth in the waters at the rear having been harnessed onto the back of one of the jet skis with series of inflatables secured around it.  Two men worked their way to the edges of the pipe bringing up ropes so that it could be manually towed the rest of the way in.

 The pipe itself was about a dozen feet in diameter with a walkway running on either side of it.  Conditions here were impossibly dark and dirty Nizar thought to himself as he observed the lights playing along the edges of its surface.  Each time the beam from one of them splashed across a wall it revealed a tapestry of spray paint scrawled onto the wet moldy bricks.  He wondered why individuals would willingly come to such a place to make this artwork.

 “People live down here.”  Wahab said coming to his side and reading the question that was written on his face.  “They have little societies and cities.”

 “Why?”  Nizar replied, disgust lining his voice.

 “This is the greatest city on Earth.”  Wahab answered bitterly.  “They build skyscrapers up into the heavens and yet their poor and untouchables are forced to live underground.”

 Nizar eyed the graffiti. “Well, I trust that none of them will be getting in our way.”  He said pulling out an AK-47 that had been strapped to his back and cocking a shell into the chamber.

 Wahab smiled.  “They tend to avoid this area of the sewer.”  He answered.  “Not much further up there is a vast network of thermal sensors and alarms.  If my men had not already disarmed them we would be facing an army of security personnel within seconds of making our next fateful steps.”

 Nizar nodded and as his men each extracted and armed their weapons they began making their way forward.  They were prepared for anything.

 *    *    *    *    *

 In the belly of the UN, Abraham Tabor and Abdul Karam were arguing with a member of the buildings security personnel.  The man was much older than they were but exceedingly fit for his age.  He was red faced from the heat of their dialogue and grey haired, but he still cut an imposing figure as he stood before them straddling a manhole cover on the basement floor. 

 “I told both of you jokers that we monitor the sewers!”  He said thumping a hook that was to be used pulling up the grate on the concrete as he finished.  “I showed you all our systems and they’re fine!  No one’s down there!”

 Tabor turned to the Arab.  “Is this the kind of behavior you were expecting my friend?”

 Karam nodded grimly. 

 The Palestinian had, in fact received the brunt of this discussion once before.  When he’d been directed to make a sweep of the building on behalf of his President, Karam had considered the sewers running beneath it to be its weakest point.  He’d even gone so far as to request an examination of them just as the Israeli was doing now but the Arab had been told by the staff that it would not be granted.

 Palestine was not yet a member nation of the UN General Assembly and therefore Karam was here as a guest.  Any special arrangements that he required regarding the placement of his team or roaming inspections had been at the whim of the head of the buildings security and most were summarily denied.  That was part of the reason that he’d directed most of his personnel to shadow the Jews. 

 Karam had found it necessary to follow in the footsteps of the Israelis due to the restrictions that had been imposed on him and his men.  If the Jews were walking in one of the corridors then it stood to reason that UN staff would have had a harder time ejecting members of his team from the same area.  It was fortunate in a way that Tabor had confronted him out in the parking garage.  He disliked the man immensely but at least his country had the weight to make demands around here.

 “Look.”  The Jew said crossing his arms as he addressed the UN staffer.  “You may think that the Palestinian security team are the most lowly bunch of scum ever to walk upon the face of the Earth.  You may see them as I do, like retarded farm animals but you have to admit that my Arab friend here was not being unreasonable when he mentioned to me that we should at least check what runs beneath this structure.”

 The older man’s eyes narrowed as he regarded them both bitterly.  “We had to disarm every single one of our underground sensor units just so I can open this up and give you two jackasses a peak inside.  Do you know what that opens this building up to?”

 Karam answered.  “Someone sneaking in from below.”  He growled.

 The man nodded.  “Your Goddamned right it does!”  He said banging the hook on the ground once again the tip of it erupting with sparks.

 “Good!”  Tabor smiled.  “Then you admit that it’s a threat!  We should check it just to be sure don’t you think?”

 Giving a heavy sigh the man shook his head.  Without further debate they watched as he inserted the rod and jerked the metal disk up from the floor.  As it rattled and clanged coming to a rest on the concrete beside them the old man bent to his knees and shined a flashlight down into the darkness.  “What the hell?”  Was the only thing that he had time to say before bullet holes filled his body from below.

The End

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