The two vials of agony and certain death had originally arrived at …
… the Port of Los Angeles via the Republic of China. The consignment was shipped inside a container that was identified on the cargo manifest as computer hardware and software. It was addressed to the Saudi Arabian Mission.
The end recipient was Mohammed Ibrahim Najar, the mastermind and leader of a terrorist unit that planned to unleash a wave of fanatical horror commencing in the Southwest. Najar knew to strike during the daytime because his comprehensive surveillance had taught him that was when the most people would be at the medical center in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico. There were nearly four-hundred beds and a staff of over four-thousand. This included doctors, nurses, medical assistants, therapists, administrators, security and janitorial personnel. They worked in three shifts to keep the sprawling medical facility running in an efficient groove.
The EMS rescue chopper that Najar and his men had hijacked landed on the rooftop helipad of the newest and largest structure at the University of New Mexico Hospital complex. Najar finished checking the vials of bio-toxins and snapped the metal case shut. Two of his hooded underlings had their firearms trained on the pilot. A third got out and was lugging two cumbersome yellow cases bearing the familiar Radioactive Materials symbol. The extremist leader stepped out onto the roof, turned back to his men and barked orders at them in Arabic. Then he and the third man headed toward the door to the stairway. When the pair reached the door, Najar took out a remote device and pressed one of the buttons on it with his thumb.
At that instant, the high explosives concealed in a stolen FedEx van that was parked near the maintenance and ventilation systems building were detonated. The force released was powerful enough to demolish the structure and shake the entire university like it was hit by an earthquake measuring in the high sixes on the Richter scale.
The chaos resulting from the explosion and the ensuing burst of automatic weapons fire sent Nurse Lynne Daniels racing toward the entrance of the pediatric wing. She knew that it was filled to capacity, as was almost every other ward in the hospital.
Many workers were killed and dozens more were injured but the initial blast was merely the diversion in an expertly organized strike. Najar’s sixty-three member raiding party had already placed themselves in strategic positions in and around the complex, which enabled them to assume almost immediate control of the entire medical center. Any of the security guards that attempted to return fire were summarily mowed down. The rest surrendered. Najar was grateful to once again be on the prowl and in direct combat action as opposed to his former role in tactical planning.
Nurse Daniels reached the children’s ward at the same time as Najar and several of his men. When she tried to prevent them from entering the ward, Najar beat her mercilessly, screaming at her with each blow and leaving her unconscious, clinging tenuously to life.
Mohammed Najar’s hatred for Americans was initially provoked during the final years of the bloody and futile war in Iraq. When barely in his teens Najar watched panic stricken as his entire family was slaughtered when they were caught between the warring Shiite and Sunni factions in western Baghdad. Like many other young men in his situation he was irretrievably set on a path of hate and destruction. The Al Qaeda higher echelon took notice of the fact that he survived the deadly crossfire. They quickly attributed this to some kind of divine intervention and recruited him. However, Najar was spared the homicide bomber route and was sent to the Syrian Desert for advanced training.
Najar fully understood that the attacks on 9/11 reverberated in a series of devastating negative effects on the American way of life, from the economy to civil liberties. And although he knew that the main object of terrorism was to terrorize, his loathing of America and anyone or thing that was American drove him to his personal participation in multiple acts of violence that resulted in death and destruction. He was involved in the assaults on several embassies and bombings in five major cities including. Najar moved up in the ranks and was eventually put in charge of creating false terror plots against the United States to create fear and disruption. Due to his efforts, liquids were banned from passenger carry-on baggage, shoes had to be removed at all the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, embarrassing full body scans were instituted, and the airport lines became longer and the system much more difficult to navigate for the average citizen. But this was not satisfactory to Najar. He became obsessed with making sure that the nation which began the Iraq War and was in support of Israel would pay dearly in blood and treasure as well as fear and disruption. After planning and executing the highly politicized attack on the Benghazi Embassy in 2012, Najar decided to create his own splinter network and left the main organization.
In the lab at Ohio State, Dax Wolf was operating the advanced Titan Transmission Electron Microscope. He shoved a one-petabyte memory stick into the data-storage receiving slot and began focusing on the alien’s hair sample. Wolf was totally rocked when he saw the image that came up on the viewing screen. Did he actually see what he thought he was seeing? If so, then there was nothing else like it—certainly not on this Earth. Before he could thoroughly digest any visual input, Wolf shouted, “No. No. Please,” and began to shiver violently as he was once again inexplicably thrust into a freezing status. He flew out of his chair to check the room thermostat and found that it was properly set at 72 degrees. He raised it to its maximum and began pacing back and forth in an attempt to counter the extreme cold and then instinctively headed toward the area in back of the instrument array to seek some relief from the numbing chill. Fearing loss of control of his wildly convulsing body, he fell to his knees and crawled part way down the narrow space behind the giant microscope. Then Wolf ripped the wires from the auxiliary ventilation unit so as to allow the heat being generated by the Titan’s considerable circuitry to build up and provide him with additional warmth. At this point a new dread descended upon him. He suddenly felt as if his head was exploding and became aware that there was a liquid trickling over his earlobe and down his neck. When he raised his hand to the spot, dabbed at it and brought his hand in front of his eyes—his bloodstained fingers said it all. Dax Wolf crumpled to the floor and continued to drag himself, face down, further behind the console and began screaming, “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know who you are. Please … no more … no more …” Mercifully, he became oblivious as his mind faded to darkness and crimson rivulets of blood continued to flow out of his ears and track across his cheeks.
After securing the hospital compound, Najar assembled the doctors, hospital workers and whichever patients could be dragged, wheeled or rolled to the main quad. At first Najar had to discourage any interference with his operation and so to demonstrate his cold-bloodedness he demanded that the hospital administrator be brought to him. When she arrived, he ordered a video camera to be turned on and callously shot her through the head for the entire world to see.
An army of dust-tumbleweeds surrounded the unconscious Dax Wolf as he lay curled in a fetal position on the floor between the wall and the Titan. He was breathing heavily then coughed several times. He rubbed his cheek and felt the crusted blood which had dried in the heat that continued to pour from the back of the ultra high resolution imaging device. Suddenly, his entire body convulsed if jolted by a heart defibrillator. Being unable to focus his eyes, Wolf blindly reached out for some of the protruding metal struts at the rear of the apparatus and tugged himself upright. Trancelike and looking older and more haggard than before, he managed a few wobbly steps and using the console for support he worked his way to the side of the large machine. He staggered around to the front of the Titan and with a trembling, almost out-of-control hand, Wolf missed at several tries to pull the memory stick from its slot. On his fourth attempt he finally succeeded in tugging it free and raced out of the laboratory.