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WITHOUT WARNING

Page 01-Dedication
Page 01-Prologue
Page 07-Chapter One-The Dragon Rising
Page 11-Chapter Two-The Ultimatum
Page 13-Chapter Three-In the Shadow of Armageddon
Page 18-Chapter Four-On the Doorstep of Destiny
Page 21-Chapter Five-In the Chaos of the Unknown
Page 38-Chapter Six-Into the Abyss of No Return
Page 53-Chapter Seven-The Belly of the Beast
Page 60-Chapter Eight-Innocent Lost
Page 85-Chapter Nine-Revenge to One-A Warning to Others
Page 94-Chapter Ten-The Aftermath

This book is dedicated to the generations of Americans

yet to come. May they have the wisdom to learn from

our carelessness, & misunderstandings of World Affairs.

May they never again view our world through the lens

of mindless optimism; but rather through one of

conditioned realism.

JAMES WILLIAM STANSELL-Saturday, June 15, 1996

Prologue

Time-The Near Future

LETTER TO THE EDITOR....
WASHINGTON POST-DISPATCH
WASHINGTON D.C.

Thursday, March 25

As a long time reader of the Dispatch and one who almost always

agrees with and looks forward to your comentary, I felt compelled to

write in response to

your editorial last week entitled "Ballistic Missile Defense-A Relic of a

time gone by."

I was shocked at the degree of negativity to which the article

commented about the efforts of President Wilson and House Majority

Leader Donalds Winston to pass legislation mandating a ballistic missile

defense for the UnitedStates.

At the time of this writing the future course of the United States, as well

as the world is at a crossroads. This editorial is in no way a type of anti-

nuclear weapons editorial. I believe they have a definite place in the

defense of our country and will continue to play a major role in that

defense into the foreseeable future.

With the break-up of the Soviet Union, along with the many Nuclear

Weapons Reduction treaties signed and implemented before and after

its break-up the world let out a collective sigh of relief as the

superpowers backed further and further away from WWIII, and indeed

they have.

However, while the chances of an all-out Nuclear war grow less and less

likely, almost unthinkable at this point, the chances of a limited Nuclear

exchange between the United States and a nation other than Russia are

higher than they have ever been before. A bitter irony for the post-cold

war world that having reduced substantially the chances of a major

Nuclear exchange, the chances of a limited Nuclear exchange may have

increased ten-fold.

The reasons for this substantial increase can be attributed to several

factors, some of which were born during the Cold War, many afterwards.

The end of the Cold War brought much relief to the people of the United

States. After living under the shadow of Soviet ICBMs for almost 45

years, the public could now relax. Having fought a long struggle against

Communism, it began to recede into the ashes of history. The long

awaited "Peace Dividend" was finally here. Shortly afterward, the public

slipped into a deep malaise, and carefree attitude about the dangers of

the post-cold war world.

It is this malaise that currently represents one of our most dynamic

enemies.

It has already spawned several events, that taken individually would

seem harmless, but placed together represents a collective danger that

already is paving the way to a nuclear exchange.

One of the key events that have already passed is the inability of the

American people to truly comprehend the need for extensive civil

defense, as well as Ballistic Missile Defense.

The birth of these beliefs can be traced back to the 1960's. An extensive

media distortion about the effects, numbers of nuclear weapons, as well

as the strategies of those in charge of nuclear policy, has lead to what is

perhaps an irreversible and highly dangerous attitude among the

people, that only one nuclear route is possible-total nuclear war, in

which case as the myth goes, there won't be anyone left anyway, so

don't worry about it. I pray that the country does not find out the hard

way that there is an infinite number of nuclear paths that can be taken

other than total nuclear exchange.

Changing these attitudes will be most difficult. It requires a prolonged

and most intensive counter-balance campaign. The likes of which may

not happen until it is to late.

Another event currently taking place as a result of the end of the

Cold-War is the proliferation of nuclear weapons technology to many

rouge states. Among them include Iraq, Iran, North Korea, India,

Pakistan, and China. With the last three already being declared nuclear

states, and a minor arms race already taking place among them. It is

interesting to note that the first three are already enemies of the U.S.

and the final three, while not enemies, are not on the best of speaking

terms with the U.S. The final one China, has already begun testing the

waters with the U.S. Most recently the future of Taiwan has been a

source of friction. With vague nuclear threats being made against the

United States before the Taiwan election. Most disturbing, considering

that China is currently the only one of the previously mentioned nations

that has the ability to deliver nuclear warheads, by land and sea, to any

point in the United States This should have been the wake up call for

the American public, however it would appear that it wasn't.

The third and most important event taking place is the rise of

nationalism in all of the countries previously mentioned.

These countries are well aware of the state of apathy that the American

public is currently in. Most vividly illustrated in the recent filibuster,

not once but three times of bills that would authorize the

implementation of Ballistic Missile Defence for the United States. They

all have rising nationalism, and three of them have nuclear weapons.

One of which, China, as stated before has the ability to deliver nuclear

warheads to the United States.

These events taken together make the probability of a limited nuclear

exchange more likely than ever before. The only solution is a three

pronged one that must be initiated immediately. First-An extensive

public-relations campaign must begin to educate the American public on

the types of nuclear weapons available and most importantly their

effects. If the public abandons the sickening belief that for some reason

if just one bomb goes off, that's the end of the world, so just kick back

and forget about it, it would go a long way towards ensuring that the

other two prongs are implemented. Two-The virtues of extensive and

well organized civil defense need to be explained.

Finally and what is most important, a ballistic missile defense system

must be deployed, immediately. The argument that it is to expensive

will vaporize with the first detonation.

We are at a crossroads, we could continue down the path we are

currently on.

I believe that would lead to a disaster the likes of which our country

has never witnessed. Or we could take a bold and decisive path. One

which would let this country take control of its destiny. Nuclear attacks

on our nation need not take the lives of millions, nor cause the damage

that it could.

The choice is ours-I sincerely hope that we make the right one.

A Concerned Citizen


Editors Response to "A Concerned Citizen"

While we appreciate you reading our newspaper and taking the time to

respond to our editorial, we must say that what you are proposing is

simply out of date. The Cold War is long over. What the American public

does not need is to be thrown back to the '50s having to worry about

the outbreak of nuclear war. They have gone through that experience

once and that was enough. The public has better things to worry about,

like putting food on the table, instead of worrying if some unknown

crazy is going to drop a nuclear bomb on their head.

While it appears that you have taken some time to study the issue, we

would suggest that the likelihood of someone wanting to have a nuclear

war is so low, almost improbable, that their is no justification for what

you propose.

Your program, if it was initiated would only strike uneeded fear into the

public. Fortunately, there aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass the

Presidents' bill.

However, we thank you for your letter and hope that you will continue

to read our paper.

Editor-Kennith Williams

Washington Post-Dispatch





Chapter One-The Dragon Rising

Monday, May 10
Atlanta 6:55 a.m. EST

"And we've got a rough commute this morning, starting with the 75/85

split just north of E. Cleveland. A six car accident has traffic backed up

all the way to Farmers Market on North bound I-75. Your best bet is to

take 285 up to the Route 23 exit and take 23 till the 42 spur where

you'll rejoin 75/85 at exit 89. It'll take longer but all things considered

it may save you time this morning. Taking a look at the beltway this

morning an accident on the entrance ramp of Spur 14 has traffic

moving, but very slow all the way to the Camp Creek Pkwy. Other than

that just allow yourself some extra time this Monday morning and you

should be alright. This is Tim Conwell back in 15."

"Thanks Tim, Tim Conwell with Atlanta Metro traffic. Now let's check in

with CNNs' White House correspondent Nathan Lawrence. Nathan, can

you tell us what we can expect today from the Wilson Campaign team?"

"Well, Nancy the President is in California for the next several days and

is expected to make a campaign stop in Los Angeles this afternoon

where he'll be meeting with members of LockHead Martin and the U.S.

Military Vendors Association. Of course, he'll not only be seeking

support from these groups in a second term as President, but he'll also

be seeking support to pass the increased defense spending bill now on

the floor of the Senate. As lobbyist, these groups have, in the past,

shown their strength which is what Wilson is hoping for today. It's been

hard for the President since the Democrat's have stagnated this years

defence budget in the Senate. We're told by the Wilson campaign that

they will be airing a graphic new commercial very soon, featuring

Seattle being destroyed by the accidental launch of an Indian SLBM.

Given the fact that India has yet to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban

Treaty, and the fact that they deployed their first nuclear armed

submarine last year, the ad takes on a very surreal feeling. The ad is

of course meant to build support for the Presidents' National Missile

Defense program. He is hoping that the new ad will turn public opinion

polls in his favor. The Democrats, on the other hand, have been

successful thus far at their attempt to block the bill. Majority leaders

say that it is because of the missile defense program contained in the

budget, but others claim it's a campaign strategy to tip the scales for

them. No matter which way the upcoming vote goes in the Senate, this

issue will remain a hot one, and will be a deciding factor on who the

Democrats nominate as their candidate. This is Nathan Lawrence

reporting live for CNN from the White House."

Monday, May 10
Bejing, China 8:00 PM CST

The cool mist hovered over Bejing enveloping it in an unusual calm

silence. Dimming the city's lively, dancing night lights the mist took on

an appearance as if it were a shroud of morning. For some, the natural

metaphor reinforced the fear of the change they knew was coming that

offered a questionable future for Chinas' government. Political leaders

watched silently, for years, as a anti-american faction took hold and

grew within their own political body. The old Chinese leaders began to

surmise that American influence on their country was counter-

revolutionary to their long held beliefs, and that Chinese containment

was not far behind.

None of the 20 million residents of Bejing, whose psyche were

engulfed in the unusual cool calm which arrived with the mist and that

penetrated every nook and cranny of the city, could hear or see the

sleek, arrow shaped objects that cut through the air above them

disturbing none of the silence around them. They flew undeterred to

their predesignated destination, the central district of Bejing.

With surgical precision the arrows met their targets causing a

tremendous multiple explosion. It rocked the very core of the city, with

an unearthly roar. The silence and calm the people had been lulled into

was shacken with a fierceness that unnerved them beyond repair.

Arrow after arrow hit their target. All governmental, commercial,

and financial buildings were destroyed within the first thirty seconds.

Fuel storage and distribution centers, utility substations, water

treatment plants, and communication sources were hit in the next

thirty seconds. Within one short minute Bejing was totally plunged into



utter dark, destructive chaos, sitting helplessly alone, cut off from the

world around them.

Monday, May 10
Atlanta 9:50AM EST

Bob Simon readied himself before the cameras. His mind tired from the

late night before. He couldn't wait to close his eyes and sleep. The floor

manager motioned his que and he was off.

"First, in this mornings sports we have two of the NBA's Eastern

Conference Playoffs. In Orlando last night after an extremely close

double over time game the Orlando Magics managed to inch ahead of

the New York Nicks beating them 112-110. The game went on for five

and a half hours." Bob paused then added. "Only the die-hard Magics or

Nicks fans would have stayed up to see that one." He smiled pleased

with his adlib and looked down at his papers.

"You're off sports!" a voice suddenly ordered Bob through his ear

piece. Bob looked up at the prompter and saw the news piece beginning

to appear as he heard the voice announcing a CNN special report.

"This just in," he began at his que as he pushed his ear piece

further into his ear, more for comfort than necessity, and slightly

cleared his voice asuming a more serious tone, "from the CNN Inter-

national News Desk." He paused calmly. "CNN International has just

received unconfirmed reports of a large explosion that has just taken

place in Chinas' capital Bejing." The words leaped out at him from the

teleprompter filling him with excitement. "We go now to CNNs' State

Department for a live report where CNNs' Kathy Bomen is standing by.

Kathy, what can you tell about this explosion?"

"Well Bob, it's not very clear exactly what is going on. Here at the

State Department there seams to be much confusion and speculation as

to what is really happening in Bejing. At first, reports issued from the

State Department moments ago, said that at 8:00 PM CST, that's Chinese

Standard Time, which is 7:00 AM EST, there had been an explosion of an

unknown origin, in an office building located in the central district of

Bejing. Fires resulting from the explosion have spread to several

surrounding buildings. Reports of damage and causalities have not been

issued. There have been some unsubstantiated reports, here among

press, saying that the fire has engulfed the hold of the Central District

which includes not only offices housing financial and commercial

business but alsovernment and military offices as well."

"Joining us," Bob said looking gravely serious into the camera

before him, "is CNN correspondent Norm Abrams at the Pentagon.

Norm, what can you tell us about what's happening in Bejing. Is this

explosion just what the State Department said one office building that

may haved ignited others or is it a massive fire engulfing government

and commercial buildings alike?"

"Well Bob, it's very unclear as to what is going on. I too, have

heard that there was one building that started it all, yet just before I

joined you a spokes person for the Pentagon stated that there were only

government and military buildings damaged which would lead one to

believe that it was some type of political attack instead of an

unfortunate disaster."

"We go now to the White House, Bob injected, "for a press

conference, where Nathan Lawrence is standing by, Nathan?"

"Thanks Bob, we are here at the White House where just a

moment ago, Press Secretary Anderson informed the press that at any

moment now Vice-President Blyth will address the press about the

situation in Bejing. President Wilson is apparently now aboard Air Force One

on his way back to Washington, having canceled his campaign tour of

Los Angeles where he had been trying to drum up support for his run

for reelection and for the passage of his missile defence bill in Congress."

The tall and handsome Vice President Andrew Blyth walked into

the press room and moved solidly toward the podium. A multitude of

camera shutters and flashes erupted at his first appearance and did not

stop. Following him into the room were the Secretary Of Defence and the

Air Force Chief Of Staff.

"Good morning," he said firmly, with a hard, business like face,

"I am sure you are all aware now of the situation which has and is still

taking place in Bejing, China. I would like take this moment to clarify

the issue as much as possible so as to avoid any type of unsubstaintiated

rumors from covering the actuality of the situation," he said emphasizing

his words. "From our sources in Asia we have been informed that there

has been a massive disaster in the Central District of Chinas' capital,

Bejing. We have also been informed that the disaster is military based.

Strategic targets have been bombed by, what we believe were air to

ground missiles that were fired from an unspecified number of

Mig-29's." He paused allowing his words to be digested by the shocked

crowd of correspondents and camerapersons. "At this moment President

Wilson is in contact with Russian President Lebedsian," he continued

firmly. "and an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security

Council as well as the National Security Council of the United States has

been called for latter this afternoon." With that Blyth turned quickly and

started from the podium. He disappeared from the room following

closely by the others leaving Press Secretary Anderson to move to the

stand alone.

"There will be no questions at this time. The White House will

inform you of any new information as it becomes available."

"That was short and to the point," Nathan said, his voice in

wonder, "yet I feel that the Vice President could have elaborated more

about who's Mig-29's did the firing and why?"

"He spoke about stopping rumors before they begin, do you think

he has just started one by not clarifying that?" Bob asked, feeling his

stomach begin to twist.

"Well, Bob, some would come to the conclusion that the Russians

had something to do with it, but then you must look at the fact that

there are many countries who have Mig-29's. Since the end of the cold

war and brake-up of the Soviet Union, we have several smaller

countries equipped with Communist made weapons."

"But are they able or willing for that matter to take on China?"

Bob asked. "Well, that's what I'd like to know. Who is the one? This is

Nathan Lawrence at the White House."

"Thank you Nathan," Bob said shuffling the papers before him.

"That was CNN correspondent Nathan Lawrence at the White House. CNN

will continue it's live coverge of the attack on Bejing after these

messages."

Tuesday, May 11
Bejing, China 7:25AM CST

The newly born eastern sun rose solemnly over the city of Bejing.

It's yellow white glow shown oddly against what was left of the ancient

city's Central District.

Nearly all of China's regular armed troops were called in from all

over China to guard what was left of the District leaving skeleton groups

behind to defend its' boarders.

Armored vehicles, affixed with communications equipment,

rumbled down the narrow side streets announcing attack to the public.

Monday, May 10
Atlanta 6:30PM EST

"This is CNNs' Bob Simon in Atlanta, with the evening news for Monday,

May 10. We begin tonight with our top story, the now confirmed coup

in China.

At this point , this is what we know. At approx. 8:00 p.m. local time

Monday, a political group made up of a substantial part of the Chinese

military, calling themselves People for a United China or P.U.C.

overthrew the current Chinese government. Other than top political

leaders, the death toll was very light. Official reports have more people

dying from the fires than the actual conflict. The total death count

stands at 371. A relatively small amount when looking back at other

coups. The," Bob paused as he began listenng to the voice of his producer

in his left ear."We are now being told that the leader of the new

government in China is about to make a statement to the world.

Chapter Two-The Ultimatum

Tuesday, May11
Beijing, China 8:05 a.m. BST

From a makeshift office, the new leader of the worlds most populace

nation began to speak.

"I am chairman, Zarain, head of the P.U.C. and ruler of China. Yesterday,

an action was taken to secure our countries' legitimate place in the

world.

The previous administration for too long neglected to nurture certain

elements of Chinas' society. For too long they did not take advantage of

opportunities that were handed them. Instead they looked for personal

gain over the betterment of the country. The world for to long has not

respected the people of China, and that was a most dangerous mistake.

Our immediate task will be to rid ourselves of an encroaching force that

has up to now prevented our country from achieving that which is

rightfully theirs. I, the head of the P.U.C. hereby call on the United States

to begin the process of immediate withdraw of military forces in the

Pacific Rim, namely those in South Korea and Japan. The positioning of

forces in these areas represents a direct insult at our people and their

country. How long did America expect the people of China to be slapped

in the face like this? This cannot and will not be continued. Our people

will not be treated like a child who is sent to his room!

Our people are being punished for crimes they did not commit! To the

rest of the world, like spectators watching a fight you do nothing to stop

it from continuing. The United States has 48 hours to begin the process

of withdraw or they will face the consequences of their deeds! That is

all.

Monday, May 10
Atlanta 7:05 p.m. EST

Bob, speaking in a bewildered tone, "Well, there you have it, our first

statement from the new government that apparently has been

successful in taking over China. He has issued a most stern demand

against the United States.

Saying that the U.S. military bases in South Korea and Japan represent

'A direct insult against the people of China.' The new president of China,

Chairman Zarain as he calls himself, has given the United States 48

hours to begin the process of withdraw or 'Face the consequences of

their deeds.' We want to go now to CNNs' Pentagon correspondent Kathy

Bomen.."

"Bob, this is Kathy here. The Pentagon will most definitely take a

statement like this very seriously. You can be sure that a lot of people

will be losing sleep over the next 48 hours. We're told the President has

issued a general statement saying that the United States has the right to

make treaties with other countries just as China does. Other than that

both the Pentagon and the White house are remaining silent about

responding to this statement from China.

Separately we're told that the United Nations has voted to put in place

economic sanctions against China if they make any provocative moves

towards the United States or any other country, or if they in any way

threaten the shipping routes in the far pacific. But for now it seems the

world will be watching the next two days very carefully. Bob, back to

you." Kathy answered.

"Kathy Bomen at the Pentagon, thank you. Well, the Asian Financial

Markets have opened already and we want to go now to CNNs' Asian

business corresspondent David Chow in Tokyo to get a read on how their

reacting to the situation in China. David..."

"Bob, David here. We are looking at a very intense sell-off. Already in

Tokyo we're getting fund liquidation which has send the Nikkei Index

down 17%! The Hang Sang index in Hong Kong is off 11%. And the bank

of Japan is reporting a major run on banks as people are pulling their

money out.

All this is helping gold which is up almost 6% here in Tokyo. It looks like

it will be a rough day in Europe when their markets open and in New

York when they open. Bob, back to you."David said.

"David Chow, in Tokyo, thanks. Alright we want to go now to an A.P.

report on the news wires which could be of great importance. We are

getting unconfirmed reports from local reporters in the area that U.S.

Nuclear Ballistic Submarines at King Bay, Georgia, Charleston, South

Carolina and in Bangor,Washington are being flushed out to sea. We're

not sure what this means, except to say that the situation in Beijing may

be much worse than anyone could imagine. Again these are unconfirmed

reports but it now appears that the entire U.S. Nuclear Ballistic

Submarine fleet is being sent to sea. We want to go now to one of our

local reporters in Kings Bay, Georgia. Janice, what can you tell us?" Bob

asked his mind now beginning to consider the unthinkable. "Bob we are

here in Kings Bay, about two miles south of the Navel Submarine Base.

The Navy has shut us out. Normally we can get onto the base to some

areas, but tonight we can't get within two miles of the base. About a half

an hour ago we tried to get on of our choppers in for an aerial view, to

see what is going on, and a Marine Helicopter nearly shot us out of the

sky.

We can not see if subs are actually leaving, however we can distinctly

see the wakes in the water which would resemble a submerged

submarine leaving dock. Also we have noticed at least 100 cars have

pulled onto the base, evidently sailors that we're on stand-by have been

called in. Similar reports are coming in from Bangor, Washington and

Charleston, South Carolina Those are the other two Ballistic Submarine

bases. I should let you know Bob, that I have also heard reports of

Bomber Bases around the country experiencing similar activity. If we

hear anything else we'll let you know, back to you Bob." Janice answered

with both excitement and fear of what this meant. "Janice thank-you.

Alright we want to go back to back to CNNs' Kathy Bomen at the

Pentagon. Kathy, What the hell is going on?" Bob asked, his mind now

drawing the same conclusion that millions around the world were also

coming to.

"Bob, as surreal as I know it sounds, the Pentagon is confirming that the

entire U.S. Nuclear Ballistic Submarine fleet is being sent to sea. They

are also confirming that U.S. B-1, B-2, and B-52 bases across the country

are are on maximum alert, known as Defcon-2 and that an undisclosed

number of bombers will be taking off and going to stationary orbits

within the hour. We are being told that the last time any segment of the

United States Nuclear Forces were at Defcon-2 was during the Cuban

Missile Crisis. Additionally I have just received new information that

all Minuteman and Peacekeeper missile bases across the country are at

Defcon-3 and could be going to Defcon-2 at any hour. O.K., Bob hold on

one second I've been given some more papers here. I want to see what

they say." Kathy answered, her mind not yet having a chance to digest

what she had just reported to the world. The few seconds of silence

were all that the world had to comprehind the magnitude of what was

happening.

Kathy returned after just a few seconds. "O.K. Bob, I'm back I have just

been told that all U.S. Aircraft Carrier battle groups at port will be sent

to sea in less than five hours, and we are being told that the President

has ordered four Carrier Battle Groups, the Independence, Ronald

Reagan, Washington, and the Nimitze to the South China Sea.

Bob, the official statement from the Pentagon is that the President has

ordered these moves as a precautionary measure due to the situation in

China. But, needless to say the Crisis in China must be far worst than we

are being lead to believe. However, we have just gotten word that the

President will be addressing the nation at 9:00 p.m. eastern time tonight

and will have further information on the situation in China.

One can only wonder what will happen next in this incredible and

unexpected turn of events in China. What began as just another Monday,

looks like it will go down in the history books as the beginning of

potentially a major historical event." Kathy explained.

"Kathy Bomen at the Pentagon, thank you. We want to go now to CNNs'

Kim Mathews in Moscow because it appears that some news of

importance is taking place there." Bob said.

"That's right Bob, similar events are playing out here in Russia where

President Lebedstain has just finished a press conference, where

he said that all land based ICBM bases of the Russian Strategic Rocket

Forces have been put on maximum alert and the full Russian Nuclear

Ballistic Submarine fleet is being sent to sea as we speak, also the

Russian Air Force has activated all Offensive Nuclear bomber bases and

like the Americans an undisclosed number of bombers will be going into

stationary orbits. President Lebedstain stresses that he has full faith

that the U.S. actions are in response to the situation in China and that

Russia will remain neutral in their dispute however, he has said, and I

quote "Any attack, nuclear or otherwise on Russia, intentional, or not by

the United States will have a most unwelcome effect on the people of

both countries." So it appears the stakes are just continuing to

be raised in this crisis. I guess all we can do now is hope that our worst

nightmares don't come true. That's all from here, back to you Bob."

Kim replied her voice almost resigned to the inevitable.

"Kim Mathews in Moscow, thanks. We have with us now John Lowdon

who was a former adviser on the National Security Council. John, how

significant are the moves the President is taking? I mean, are we talking

about doomsday here" Bob asked.

"Well, I would have to say that they are extremely significant. I don't

know if we are talking about doomsday, but I will say that you don't

put any segment of the U.S. Nuclear Forces on Defcon-2 just to see what

happens.

I think it represents a deep concern that the President has about the

situation." John replied.

"But do you think there could be a chance of overreaction here on our

part, I mean this group just came to power, we don't know how much

control they have, and here we and the Russians are putting vast

amounts of Nuclear Forces on high alert." Bob questioned in desperation,

as if he was trying to change the minds of the worlds' leaders.

"I must say that I don't think we are overreacting, I mean , we have

been given a 48 hour warning to perform an action that we cannot by

no means do, by a regime that apparently has control of the Chinese

military.

Just by the fact that we are not seeing the widespread confusion that

we normally see in a coup of this magnitude, I would have to say that

they have substantial control of the military and a high degree of

political backing. With regards to the actions being taken by the Russian

Government, I believe that they are very consistent with Nuclear

protocol. They can not just sit idly by while the United States puts its'

Nuclear Forces on high alert. They have to show some action, even if for

political reasons that they are ready for any event. In fact, I would

expect that we would be taking the same actions if we were in their

position. Our primary concern is the Chinese threat, not the Russians at

this point."

Monday, May 10
Los Angeles, California 5:50 p.m. PST

Auther Williams pulled up the driveway of his upscale suburban home

in Laguna Hills, south of Los Angeles. His wife rushed out of the door to

meet him. They held each other in a long embrace.

"I've been worried sick about you." she exclaimed.

"I got back as soon as I could. The company is getting swamped with

calls from Asian Funds wanting out. No one wants a position in anything

in Asia.

We're getting deluged with calls from people wanting out when New

York opens, no one wants a position in anything! The company had to

use some of it's reserve fund for purchases, there just aren't buyers.

It's just a mess!" Auther exclaimed in exasperation.

But, at least we're together for whatever happens." Auther replied.

"Have you been listening, there sending all our subs out, bomber bases

are on alert and sending bombers into position, all our carriers are

heading out, CNN is talking about Nuclear attacks on the country, and

they may start evactuating cities tomorrow!" Alicia said franticly, trying

to inform her husband of the days events.

"Hey, hey just calm down. Everything is going to be alright." Auther

said, trying to convince himself as well as Alicia. "The President will be

speaking in a minute, I think we need to hear what he has to say."

Auther suggested.

They hurried inside to turn on the television, like millions of other

Americans and countless millions more across the world, hoping to hear

words of reassurance, hoping that the crisis somehow had been settled.

Monday, May 10
Washington D.C. 9:00 p.m. EST

Ladies and Gentleman , the President of the United States...

My fellow Americans, today an historical event took place in China. A

coup, backed by the Chinese military was initiated against the former

government in China. It was successful. A new government which is

extremely hostile towards the United States is now in place. This new

regime has demanded that we remove our military forces from South

Korea and Japan or face unspecified consequences. We cannot and will

not comply with this demand.

The people of Japan and South Korea are our allies and our friends. We

can no more comply with this demand as much as we could've complied

with a demand from the Soviet Union to remove our forces from

Germany, or England. I will not allow this country to be blackmailed, we

were not by the Soviets and we will not be by this regime. In response

to this demand and to clear up any ambiguity that this regime may

have about the position of the United States, I have ordered four carrier

battle groups to the region.

Furthermore, all remaining Carrier Groups at port will be leaving within

the next three hours. In the event that somehow this regime still does

not understand our position, I have let it be known publicly that I have

placed all of the U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces on extreme alert.

Our entire Nuclear Ballistic Submarine fleet has left our shores. Our

Minuteman and Peacekeeper ballistic missile bases across the country

are on maximum alert, as well as our B-1, B-2, and B-52 bases across

the country. In addition to these measures, I am also ordering the

deployment of an advanced version of the Patriot Missile Defense

Systems across the country. While it is not a complete defense, it has

shown to be highly effective in intercepting missiles for the area it is

protecting. These measures are a precaution, however we must be

prepared for any event that may take place.

If I feel the situation warrants, I will order the evacuation of our cities.

Tomorrow, residents of 400 "Risk Areas" across our country will be

receiving in their newspapers and by mail several documents titled

"Protection during the Nuclear Age" and another document detailing

instructions if the area you are in is ordered to evacuate. They will also

contain phone numbers and addresses of local Civil-Defense shelters

which I am ordering reactivated, there will be trained specialists there

who can help answer all your questions.

My friends, these are dangerous times we live in, while we all hope and

pray that the worst doesn't happen, being prepared can save lives.

Tonight our country faces a challenge that it will meet head on. We will

prevail over the threat of tyranny. We will continue to work and pray

for peace, God bless you, and God bless America.

Chapter Three-In the Shadow of Armageddon

Monday, May 10
Los Angeles, California 6:15 p.m. PST

Auther and his wife sat in silence after hearing the Presidents' address,

not knowing how to react. They grew up in the wanning years of the

Cold War, after it ended they thought for sure that something like this

would never happen. The Russians were working with us on all fronts,

and we had been reducing Nuclear weapons for years now. And then

this. It was like the '50s all over again.

Alicia stood up "Maybe we should leave the city, go to the vacation

house up in the mountains?" She asked.

"Darling, we've got to remain calm and try not to panic. We may not

even be on the high risk area list.We should at least stay until tomorrow

to see if we are."Auther replied.

"You know as well as I do that if Laguna Hills isn't, Los Angeles and San

Diego sure are. And I for one do not want to stick around to see if they

get hit!!" Alicia said, with a raising panic in her voice.

"Alright, alright. Call your mother and let her know what's going on, I'll

start packing, but we'll leave in the morning. Both of us have got to get

some sleep.

I'll set the clock a couple of hours early so we can beat the rush hour

traffic." Auther replied.

"O.K. I'll give her a call, and help you out in a couple of minutes." Alicia

responded.

Monday, May 10
Strategic Air Command Headquarters
Omaha, Nebraska 8:15 p.m. MST

An alarm goes off indicating ballistic missile launch from southern

China.

"Sir I think you better take a look at this." said one of the LT.s on duty

monitoring the Asian region, even more intently now with the crisis

going on.

"What is it LT.?" asked the commanding officer for the night shift.

"Well it appears to be about a dozen ballistic missile launches from

southern China. Only they all appear to be short range." explained the

LT. "What are the targets?" asked Commander Tucker.

"The targets all appear to be Hanoi, Vietnam. The first one has an E.T.I.

of three minutes. Sir." The Lt. answered, his voice quickening.

A second alarm goes of indicating another ballistic missile launch from

southern China.

"One second commander, we've got another launch. Same area, only this

time targets include Vientiane, Laos and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Estimated time of impact is four minutes 15 seconds."The LT. said with

a touch of excitement in his voice. This was the first time since he

started that there were any launches anywhere. Commander Tucker

knew better. He knew the capability of China and he did not like this

one bit.

"Alright, stay on it, keep me informed. Get me Gen. Riley at the Pentagon.

I want a threat assessment conference called for immediately."

Demanded Commander Tucker.

Tuesday, May 11
Hanoi, Vietnam 11:20 a.m. HST

The city was bustling with activity, the people going about their daily

business unaware of the events that were about to take place, unaware

of the magnitude of events that had already taken place. Most people

still got their information about the outside world from the newspapers,

and they were still controlled by the communist government, who was

down-playing the crisis between China and the United States, saying

only that there was an internal power struggle going on in China. No

word about the coup, or the events that had taken place afterward.

The Hanoi government was taking steps to appease China by not

arousing public sentiment against them, hoping to prevent the actions

which were now under way, and could not be turned back.

A loud noise from overhead could now be heard, in the distance dozens

of vapor trails could now be seen. As people along the streets began

looking up to determine what they were seeing it was too late. From

several directions across the city an intense and heavily localized

blinding light could now be seen, people, buildings, factories, all were

vaporized by the intense heat. Then the shock waves, buildings, and

anything else left standing from the heat, were scattered like dust to

the four winds. Where air once was, it was no more, several vacuums

across the city now sucked the remains of the city into where the air

had been just minutes ago.

The genie was now out of the bottle, and the familiar sight which had

frighten the world for so long, the mushroom cloud of death, could now

be seen by those who survived.

The images would be repeated again several more times before the

hour was out.

For the first time since 1945 Nuclear weapons had been used on

civilians, and like before the world would never be the same again.

Monday, May 10
Strategic Air Command Headquarters
Omaha, Nebraska 8:22 p.m. MST

"Sir, both N.O.R.A.D. and B.M.E.W.S. confirm that we have several Nuclear

Detonations that have taken place both in Hanoi, Vietnam and in

Vientiane, Laos. The detonations are relatively small, they're most likely

Tactical weapons. It appears that the attack consisted of both Tactical

Nuclear Weapons and conventional weapons. The missiles were

launched from the same area, the exact coordinates are in southern

China near the city of Nanning. Our intelligence shows that there are no

ICBM silos or underground bases there." explained the LT. , who himself

could now see the severity of the situation.

In a most stern voice the Commander spoke, "Gentlemen, I am moving

our alert status to Defcon-1, a nuclear event has taken place. Keep Gen.

Riley at the Pentagon on the line, and get me Gen. Milton at N.A.T.O

command in Brussels, and get me the President! I'm ordering a missile

attack conference called for immediately."
Washington D.C. 10:23 p.m. EST

"Mr President, we have a secure line for you, Commander Tucker at SAC

HQ has ordered a M.A.C. Gen. Milton in Brussels is on line two and Gen.

Riley is on line three." an aide said, in a very calm voice.

"Jesus Christ! Tucker, what's our status?" the President asked.

"Sir, we are at Defcon-1, approx. four minutes ago the Chinese launched

about a dozen tactical nuclear weapons against various targets in

Vietnam, and Laos. In combination with a conventional missile attack.

Currently, we have detected no launches against the United States.

However, we would recommend that you leave Washington

immediately.

As well as ordering nationwide evacuation now. Sir, we don't know

where their subs are right now, but we would also recommend that you

begin retargeting our subs in the Pacific against Chinese military targets."

Commander Tucker explained.

"God almighty." the President said under his breath. A long pause

followed. The President now realized that the unthinkable was fast

becoming thinkable.

"Alright, start transmitting the coordinates to the subs. I'll be signing

the Executive order for nationwide evac. in a minute. I'll be leaving

shortly thereafter. And Tucker,' the President said.

"Yes sir?" Tucker questioned.

"Good luck." the President said with hesitation in his voice.

"Yes sir." Tucker responded.

The Presidents' arm slowly set the phone down. Then proceeded to get

President Lebedstain on a secure line.

"Mr. Lebedstain, I'm sure you have been following the actions that I

have ordered. And I'm sure you are aware of events taking place in

Laos and Vietnam." The President asked.

"Yes, very much so." The Russian President answered.

"Good. My advisors believe that there is a high probability of a nuclear

attack on my country. I want to notify you that within minutes I will be

ordering a nationwide evacuation, and that a portion of our Pacific

Submarine Fleet will be retargeting their weapons against Chinese

military targets. I give you my word that we will make no provocative

moves against Russia. These are purely defensive moves that we will be

taking to counteract the Chinese threat. I would suggest that we remain

united in our solidarity against the Chinese. To show this, I would

recommend that you evacuate your cities also, and let your people know

that you are taking a pure defensive move in conjunction with the

United States to counteract the Chinese threat." The American President

explained, hoping that the Russian President would not complicate

matters.

"You are asking me to take a great leap of faith. However, I understand

both the tactical and political pressure you must be under. Our countries

have come too far to let this incident destroy our relationship and our

countries." President Lebedstain replied. A short pause followed. "I will

order the evacuation of our cities shortly after you make your

announcement. I will denounce the Chinese advancement and proclaim

that the United States and Russia are united against this common

enemy." President Lebdestain explained.

"Thank you, my friend. I will be delivering my proclamation to the

press in just a few minutes."President Wilson replied. Relived that for

now the Russians were not complicating matters.

Atlanta 10:41 p.m. EST

Lisa had been at work all day, the events in China, and the rest of Asia

were a world away, both literally and mentally, they wouldn't be for

much longer. She looked forward to taking a long hot shower to wine

down. As she took her clothes off she reached over to turn on the radio,

living alone the radio helped provide a voice of comfort during the

night.

"This is a CNN breaking news story..." "Bob Simon here in Atlanta, we

have just received a statement from the Federal Emergency

Management Agency in Washington D.C. We are told that the President

has left Washington along with the Cabinet and Joint Chief's Of Staff, and

are on their way to a remote, undisclosed location.

However the President has left orders, that National Emergency

Directive D be activated imediately. By order of the President, the

United States will begin evacuations of major cities effective

immediately. All leaves of U.S. military personal are hereby cancelled.

All reserve units are ordered activated. All units of the National Guard

are ordered activated. All members of the 1st Infantry Division(Mech)

are to report to Fort Riley, Kansas. All members of the 2nd Infantry

Division are to report to Fort Ord, California.

As she reached over to turn the shower on her hand slowly stopped,

and she cautiously stepped out of the shower to listen. "What in the

hell is this all about." She wondered.

Miami 10:51 p.m. EST

Coming back from the movies, John and Diania were now on their way

to a romantic dinner, and a night out on the town. This was one of the

first days in a long time that there jobs permitted them to be together.

He worked the night shift at an office downtown, she worked the day

shift at a local hospital.

"Why don't you check out the radio? 105 is usually good." John asked.

As Diania turned the radio on the errie announcement continued...

Fourth Infantry Division(Mech) Fort Carson, Colorado. Seventh Infantry

Division Fort Lewis,Washington. Twenty-fourth Infantry Division (Mech)

Fort Stewart, Georgia. 82nd Airborn Division Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

101st Airborn Division, Fort Campbell Kentucky,...

John and Diania looked at each other, not sure what they were hearing.

"I don't know what the hell this is, why don't you try 107. They should

have something good on." John asked.

"Sure." Diania reopened.

Her hand reached down to change the station, hoping to hear some

music to set the tone for the evening. The announcement continued.

III Corps, Sixth U.S. Army, Fort Hood, Texas. 1st Cavalry division, Fort

Hood, Texas. III Corps Artillery, Fort Sill Oklahoma. Forces Command,

Fort McPherson, Georgia. First U.S. Army Fort Mead, Maryland. Second

U.S. Army, Fort Gillem Georgia.

"I don't understand. What is this shit?" John asked.

Anchorage, Alaska 7:15 p.m. AST

On his way to pick up his son from night school, Tom Manning was

enjoying his night off. He was transferred to Anchorage three years ago

with the Air Force. The time he spent with his son was about the only

way to get his mind of the crisis in China. Knowing these could be his

last days with him he left his pager home.

He pulled up to the high school, almost a half-an-hour early to make

sure he got a parking spot. He tilted the seat back, turned the radio on

and started to contemplate the future.

"49th Armored division, Austin Texas. U.S. Army, Alaska Division, Ft.

Wainwright, Anchorage, Alaska. 11th Air Force, Elmendorf A.F.B.

Anchorage, Alaska. Pacific Air Forces Command, Honolulu, Hawaii. Air

Combat Command, Langley A.F.B. Hampton, Virginia....

He did not need to change the channel, he knew all to well what was

happening. He had left his pager at home, and felt like a blind man in

the dark. What had happened he wondered. Had we already been hit?

Did we make a preemptive strike? How did the Russians respond?

Suddenly the terror hit, he raced out of his car to get his son out of the

school before it was to late. Racing up the steps he bypassed the

principals' office and went straight to room 32, opening the door, he

interrupted the teacher.

"Josh, we've got to go now!" He shouted with panic in his voice.

"What is the meaning of this, where is your excuse note?" Mrs. Neelly

responded.

Running over to Josh, he grabed him by the arms and forced him out of

the chair.

"Josh you've got to trust me. I'll explain latter." He demanded

And with that he threw his books down and darted out the door with

his dad.

"Dad what's wrong? Why are we leaving?" Josh asked.

"Get in the car, put your seat belt on and lock the door!" Tom ordered.

The car spun out of the parking lot of what might be the last images of

West Anchorage High and all who were in it.

"Josh, Listen to me, and don't say a word. We may be at war, the country

may have already been hit, perhaps with nuclear weapons. Anchorage

could be hit at any minute. There's a shelter on base for personal and

family. They're calling everyone up, as soon as we get there you going

to the shelter. I'll have to find out if the squad has already been called

up.' "But dad," Josh interrupted...'Son I want you to do what I say, it's

for your own good.

They approached the gates, the runway was filled with fighter jets

fueling up, and taking off. The sky was filled with vapor trails. Tom

could feel his chests vibrating as huge C-130 cargo jets took off. The

ground moved like small earthquakes. This was no drill.

Los Angeles 8:45 p.m. PST

Auther and Alicia sat watching in dismay as the list continued...

1st Air Force, Tyndall A.F.B., Panama City Florida. 8th Air Force,

Barksdale A.F.B. Bossier City, Louisiana. 9th Air Force, Shaw A.F.B.

Sumter, South Carolina. 12th Air Force, Davis-Monthan A.F.B. Tucson,

Arizonia."

"What the hell are we going to do? We can't stay here, were gonna die!

Alicia exclaimed.

"What can we do? The freeways' 'ill be jammed. It's got to be a mad

house out there. I say we take our chances here. Find out what we need

to do, and make the best of it. Besides they're probably overreacting

anyway." Auther said.

They slowly sat down on the couch listening to the list, praying that the

worst wouldn't happen.

"Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington D.C. Report to Richmond,

Virginia. Atlantic Division, New York. Report to Trenton, New Jersey.

Until further notice all public schools throughout the country will be

closed, and will be used for shelters. Additionally all private colleges

and universities are ordered closed. Local units of the National Guard

will be arriving tonight to set up shelters. All air traffic into the country

is ordered cancelled effective immediately. All international U.S. Ports

are ordered closed, effective immediately.

All applications for passports into the country are being postponed until

further notice. All border checkpoint stations will not be accepting

entry into the country until further notice. All U.S. financial and

commodity markets as well as Banks, Credit Unions and Savings and

Loans are ordered closed. All mail delivery will cease effective

immediately. All Non-essential agencies of the Federal Government are

ordered closed effective immediately. All noncrisis-relocation air, train,

and public transportation movement is ordered to cease effective

immediately. In addition anyone retired or otherwise who has any

experience with civil defense report to your local shelter. All persons

in the private sector working for shipping firms should report to your

local office for further instructions.

All employees of the postal system should report to your local post

office, you will receive directions there. All state, and local government

employees should report to your local place of work, you will receive

assignments there.

Please listen to your local television and radio stations which are now

broadcasting Emergency Broadcast Messages giving detailed

instructions on Crisis Relocation and where and how you should

proceed to go to designated shelters in your area. This message will be

repeated on radio and television stations across the country every hour

throughout the night and into tomorrow.

Los Angeles, California 9:37 p.m. PST

Alicia and Auther sat watching their television in disbelief,

"This is an Emergency Broadcast Message ,the message you are hearing is an

Authentic Message. This is not a test. Repeat this is not a test. Residents in

Laguna Hills east of La Paz Road will use Laguna Elementary and Laguna

Middle School on Paseo de Valencia.

Residents west of La Paz Road and South of I-5 will use Laguna High School

on Mawson Dr. off of Alicia Pkwy."

The message continued to drone on lists and lists of schools, and who should

go there. Just a dead voice in the background.

Under the Pacific...
Time & Location Unknown

Aboard the U.S.S. Georgia, a Los Angeles class Nuclear Ballistic Submarine,

An alarm went off breaking the monotony, LT. Mike Carthy, jumped from his

seat to inform the Captain and the X.O.

"E.A.M., receiving flash traffic, Emergency Action Message, recommend alert

one, recommend alert one." Rushing over to the Captain "Permission to

authenticate."The LT. asked.

"Permission granted." Responded the Captain.

The Captain immediately noticed the message was absent the normal "This is

only a drill" at the top and bottom of the teletype.

After opening a safe, LT. Carthy began to compare code words on the message

with the code words in the safe.

"Bravo, Tango, Charlie, Delta, Williams."The LT. read.

"Message is authentic sir." He answered.

"I concur Sir." the X.O. replied.

"Alright, Let's read it." the Captain ordered.

"To the Captain and crew of the U.S.S. Georgia, raise alert status to Defcon-1.

A Nuclear event has taken place. Tactical nuclear assault, in combination with

conventional attack, initiated by Chinese on Laos, and Vietnam. Potential for

attacks on the United States, extremely high.

Ordering the retargeting of all missiles against Chinese military targets.

Evacuation has been ordered of all cities, which is under way. Support of

Russians has been pledged. Launch orders, could be imminent. Stand-by

for target termination order." The message informed.

All but the Captain stood looking at the paper in disbelief. Yesterday they

were on standard patrol, and now this.

The Captain reached over to a microphone and started to address the ship

over the intercom system.

"This is the Captain. We have been informed that the Chinese have launched

an attack on Laos and Vietnam, consisting of both conventional and tactical

nuclear weapons. The President has ordered nationwide evacuation,which is

underway as I speak. The President believes' that a nuclear attack on our

country could be imminent. Therefore we are moving our alert status to

Defcon-1, and by order of the President we are retargeting all missiles against

Chinese military targets, and are awaiting a target termination order.

Pressurize all launch tubes for potential launch. This is the Captain. That is

all." He informed.

"Alright, we've got our orders. Begin retargeting for new target package, and

stand-by for target termination order." The Captain ordered.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana....10:37 p.m. MST
Monday, May 10

The President along with his battle staff and several close friends we're just

setting shop up in their new residence, a bomb shelter nearly seven-hundred

feet underground, in the middle of nowhere. There was food for almost

three months, showers, televisions, most of which would be used to monitor

the destruction of cities around the world. From here the President would

address the nation, or what was left of it, and inform those who were left,

on the progress of the war, in case they were wondering.

Chapter Four-On the Doorstep of Destiny

Tuesday, May, 11 2:00 p.m. BST
Bejing, China

Under heavy military guard, the triumphed new leader was on his way to

address the legions of people who had come out to see the new ruler for the

first time.

Monday, May 10 10:00 p.m. PST
Los Angeles, California

Auther and Alicia had given up on trying to make it to their vacation home

in the San Bernardino mountains. The freeways were a crushing nightmare.

It seemed more like 8:00 a.m. instead of 10:00 p.m. Instead, they decided

to wait until tomorrow, hoping that the traffic would be lighter than it was

now. Like death row inmates, not knowing if this is the hour or not they sat

and waited. Like the inmate hoping to here word of a pardon from the

governor, they waited.

"Continuing coverage now of the Crisis in China we want to go now to CNNs'

Richard Bolen in Bejing for an update." Bob said, his eyes now bloodshot,

begging for sleep.

"This is Richard Bolen reporting from Bejing, where we've been told that

Chairman Zarain will be making an announcement shortly. The sky here is

filled with attack helicopters, and security is very tight on the ground with

guards everywhere, along with several light tanks along the perimeter where

people are gathering to see in person the new leader of China. Bob, one of the

helicopters is now landing on roof of one of the buildings here. Someone is

making their way out now and is heading for the podium."

Making his way out of the helicopter, the Chairman held his hands high to

the crowd.

"I am Chairman Zarain."he said.

The crowd erupted in cheers.

"Bob , can you hear this, the crowd is going nuts." Richard asked.

The Chairman continued his announcement...

"Today, China has begun to restore it's rightful place in the world. Today,

China is no longer laughed at. Today, China has RESPECT !"

The crowd forces Zarain to pause as they drown out his speech with

tremendous applause.

After nearly a minute, Zarain is able to continue.

"Today I can declare, that the countries of Laos and Vietnam are now

interrgrated into a United China. Because of this, the most powerful nation on

earth, hides in fear, unwilling to face us like true warriors. But, our mission is

not complete. We will continue to liberate the oppressed! We will continue to

unite our lost countrymen, who have forgotten their heritage! This is our task!

This is our destiny! Again, I call on the United States to remove their military

forces to relieve the oppression of our citizens. If not, we will, and we must

free them ourselves!! If we are to have any honor at all, we must help them!

Unlike previous administrations who dishonored themselves, I will not allow

our people and our country to be dishonored again!!!" Zarain shouted.

The crowd again forces Zarain to pause in his speech. As the outpouring of

national pride began to show, the crowd shouted "Zarain, Zarain, Zarain!"

Zarain raising his hand to the crowd, continued,

"Yes, Yes my friends. We shall be victorious!! The oppression shall continue no

more! I, call on the United Nations to remove the shackles from our people

and to revoke the illegitimate treaty of '53. This treaty is illegal, yet they

allow it to persist!! Like slaves our people are helpless to resist! No more!

I demand that the United Nations stop allowing themselves to be pawns of

the oppressors, and live up to its charter, and help the oppressed!!!

The crowd continued chanting "Zarain, Zarain, Zarain!!"

Zarain motioning to the crowd to allow him to continue.

"My friends, A United China is our destiny, and a United China will be our

future! A final warning to those who would interfere with our destiny. The

resolve of the Chinese people will not be deterred. We are prepared to

achieve our goals by whatever means necessary. We will not hesitate to use

the full nuclear capability of China against anyone, including allies, of those

who would continue to oppress our people!!" Zarain demanded as he raised his

arms out to the crowd.

Amid the crowd, bodies were being tossed about like boats on an angry ocean.

"Bob I'm turning the camera around so the people back home can see the

crowd here. He's got them really fired up." Richard said.

The camera turned to reveal a sea of humanity, so caught up in their leaders

charismatic speech that they were oblivious to the fact that their country

stood at the brink of nuclear holocaust.

"Well, Bob, Zarain continues to make his flamboyant demands of the

international community and of the United States in particular, apparently

undeterred by the show of force the United States is making. Conventional

and otherwise. One can only pray that a solution can be found before a true

catastrophe happens. That's all from here Bob, if anything else breaks we'll be

here." Richard explained.

Chapter Five-In the Chaos of the Unknown

Tuesday, May 11
Atlanta 2:05 a.m.EST

"Richard Bolen in Bejing, thanks. Well, for those of you who are just joining

us whether in the U.S. or around the world we want to update you on The

Crisis in China . Approx. three hours ago the new government in China, after

coming to power not even twenty-four hours ago, launched an attack,

consisting of both conventional and nuclear weapons against cities in Laos and

Vietnam. Saying that he is restoring the territorial integrity of China,

Chairman Zarain now proclaims that they have been reintegrated. Shortly

afterwards the United States began nationwide evacuations and a full scale

military call-up, the likes of which has not been seen since World War II.

Shortly after that the Russian government, saying that they are united with

the Americans began their own nationwide evacuations.

Earlier today in Brussels, NATO voted 19-0 to begin their own evacuations.

Of which includes Germany, England, France, Canada, and Italy among others.

Separately, NATO has voted again 19-0 to initiate a full scale military

mobilization.Virtually all of the industrial world is shutting down and waiting

for some type of a solution to be found in this crisis.

Earlier this morning in a sunrise vigil, the Pope said, 'That the darkest hour in

humanities' history has decended upon us'', and asked for people around the

world to pray for peace.

Shortly after that Chairman Zarain came out of hiding to address his people

and the world. He called again on the United States to remove its forces

from South Korea, and Japan. He also called the 1953 treaty that ended the

Korean War illegal, and said that the U.S. is an illegitimate occupying force

on the Korean Peninsula. And in his most daring statement to date he said

that china would use whatever means necessary to achieve its goals. Anyone

who interferes with their plans risks nuclear attack on themselves or their

allies. All of this has caused the biggest worldwide military mobilization since

World War II, and the ensuing worldwide evacuations.

So that is where we stand at this point." Bob explained, struggling to stay

awake.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana...12:20 a.m. MST

"Sir, if that isn't the confirmation you were wanting I don't know what is!

He is going to go after our troops in Korea." One of the Presidents advisors

said.

"May I suggest Mr. President, that we are in a pure reactive position, rather

than a proactive position, due to us not having a clear personality profile.

He is most definitely calling the shots at this point." Another advisor

answered.

"We have got to buy enough time to locate their subs. There are three of them

out there all of which have a range of 7,000 miles. We know they have twelve

launch tubes, and can hold up to twentyfour missiles. Each one has an

effective yield of one to fifteen megatons. We know where his land-based

ICBM forces are but if we don't take out the subs it'll be one hell of a mess.

Sir at a minimum it could be as little as 96 megatons, at a maximum we could

be talking 1,440 megatons."Gen. Riley responded.

"God almighty, what's the worst-case scenario for an attack of that

magnitude?" The President asked, a part of him not wanting to know the

answer.

"Well, Sir, depending on how much we're able to get evacuated, it could be as

high as 85-95 million casualties, with another 10-12 million from secondary

effects." The General answered, feeling like the doctor that has to inform his

patient that they have terminal cancer.

The room was silent, the President sat motionless. Trying to remain calm he

searched for a solution.

"What are the chances that the subs won't fire if we do a preemptive strike

on command-and-control facilities." Asked the President.

"Sir, we have to assume that the subs are on a fail-safe order to launch if

their homeland is attacked.'' General Riley answered.

"So we're nailed!!! Do nothing and he takes over Asia, then Europe, and who

knows what next. Attack, and the country gets hit with 90 or more megatons."

The President replied.

"That's why we have to find the subs. It's only a matter of time. Between our

forces and the rest of N.A.T.O.s'' forces we should find them relatively soon. In

the meantime, we have in combination with our NATO allies almost 4,200

A.S.W. Helicopters, along with our entire fleet of attack subs looking for them,

and dozens of reconisence satellites. Our entire A.S.W. helicopter fleet is

armed with their own tactical nuclear weapons, with standing orders to

destroy any sub that launches an unauthorized missile. If any are launched,

they should only be able to get a few off." General Riley answered."

"What's to stop them from hitting our own subs if we end up firing?" The

President asked.

"Sir, all of our pilots will know if there are any NATO subs in the location that

they're patroling. They will know if an unauthorized launch takes place, by

virtue of where it's coming from. They of course will be notified if any NATO

subs are ordered to launch and which ones." General Riley responded.

"Alright then, it would seem to me that we have got to stall this guy long

enough for us to locate the subs. However, I want contingency plans in place

in case he goes off the deep end. We have to consider that we may not find

any subs, and he launches a land based strike. We may also have to take our

chances with a preemptive strike and hope the subs don't go off, and that if

they do, they don't get much off. Now given our deadline, what do you think

our best course of action should be?" The President asked.

"I would recommend that we work out plans for a preemptive strike, while

attempting to stall him somehow.' General Riley answered.

"Alright then, get on it and get back to me A.S.A.P." President Wilson

demanded.

United Nations Bomb Shelter
Under Alberta...
Tuesday May, 11 11:45 p.m. MST

Representatives of the United Nations were just arriving at their new home

a massive two-story bomb shelter nearly three-hundred feet under the

Canadian Rockies.

Aides were hurrying about setting up the make-shift General Assembly room

for an emergency vote on the situation in China. Many representatives were

just now getting word of the attacks. The delegation from Vietnam and Laos

were furious to say the least.

An announcement came over the intercom system.. "Representatives should

meet in room 12-b. Voting on Resolution 922 introduced by the United States

will be taking place in 45 minutes."

Tuesday, May 11
Pyongyang, North Korea 4:50 p.m. KST

Walking into the main meeting room of the Presidential Palace, the North

Korean President held out his hand to welcome Chairman Zarain.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice. Under the circumstances I'm glad

you have decided to bless us with your presence.'' President Sun-Shoto said.

"Well I must say, that I am most pleased you have seen the light and the err

of your ways. You will be rewarded most handsomely for your assistance."

The Chairman responded.

"I must admit, I am most impressed with your unwavering courage against

the Americans. You have shown a willingness to stand up and take what is

yours. Something previous administrations were unwilling to do." President

Sun-Shoto answered.

"The Americans are weak, Mao was right they truly are Paper Tigers. They

will not risk their civilian populace in the defense of a foreign land. As we

speak they are hiding in fear, unwilling to fight like a true warrior. They call

up their military, but they will not risk a prolonged conflict in countries that

most of their people cannot find on a map!" Zarain replied.

"I would be careful not to underestimate they resolve of the Americans. Mao

was also right about another thing, if the populace supports an action they

will make a most formidable opponent. Therefore we must create a faultline

in that resolve." Sun-Shoto suggested.

Los Angeles, California
Monday, May 10 11:55 p.m. PST

A police car pulled into Paseo Fernando Ct. , with it's megaphone blaring

"This area has been ordered evacuated. All residents are to use the Laguna

Hills City Hall or the Laguna Middle School on..."

Auther slowly glanced out of the living room curtain, "Turn the TV and the

lights off!" He said franticly to Alicia.

She hurried around the house turning everything off but a night-light in the

kitchen. The remaining streetlights provided just enough light so as not to trip

over anything in the living room.

"What are we going to do?" Alicia asked, the fear now quite apparent in her

voice.

"We've got to hold out here until the morning, then we'll try to make a run for

it. We'll have to take the back roads through the canyon to get past the

checkpoints." Auther whispered.

Miami, Florida
Tuesday, May 11, 3:15 a.m. EST

Diania, and John had returned home, changing their plans for the evening

after the announcement began. They were unsure what to do. They had no

other home to go to. Their closest relatives were in Maryland, and the whole

east coast was on the high risk area list, not to mention in would take several

days to get there assuming they could make it past dozens of checkpoints.

Nor the fact that with gasoline now rationed they might not even be able to

get out of Florida.

Dianias' pager went off breaking the silence. They had turned off the

television hours ago, the news was just to depressing.

Diania slowly glanced down to read the message,

"Dear God!" Diania whispered under her breath.

"What, what is it?" John questioned.

"They need me at the hospital. Several people haven't shown up, and their

getting a lot of suicide calls." Diania said slowly. Realizing that she would be

seperated from her husband.

"Are you going to answer them?" John asked.

"You know I have to. Even if nothing happens, there's a lot of people that need

my help right now." Diania responded.

"Then I'm going with you!" John demanded.

"Dear God"; Diania mumbled. "They're only going to want authorized people

in the building. There's no way you'll be able to get in. Your gonna have to

go to the shelter. Take the cell-phone and I'll try to get a hold of you when

ever I get a chance.'' Diania said, trying to hold back the thoughts that this

was the last time they would see each other.

"I'm staying here! I'll stay in the basement "God, I love you!" John said, as

they embraced each other knowing that this is what had to be done.

Nanning, China
Tuesday, May 11, 3:20 p.m. BST

Several mobile missile launchers were beginning to raise their missiles

to the heavens, preparing for an act that would be anything but heavenly.

The countdown began, Ten, Nine, Eight,...

Tuesday, May 11
Strategic Air Command HeadQuarters
Omaha, Nebraska 12:21 a.m. MST

"God Almighty!" LT. Carther exclaimed. "Sir, you better get over here!" The LT.

demanded.

"What, do you have LT." Commander Tucker asked.

"Sir, I can't believe it. We're getting more launches from China. Location-

Nanning. Targets-Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and also Bangladesh almost

eighteen have been launched. The first of which has an E.T.I. of seven

minutes." LT. Carther explained.

"Alright, keep on it. I'm ordering another missile attack conference."

Commander Tucker answered.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana... 12:22 a.m. MST

A green phone started to ring, in the Presidents room. He knew exactly why

it was ringing. Reaching over to pick it up, he prayed that the worst had not

happened.

"This is the President." He said with a tinge of fear in his voice.

"Sir, we've got about eighteen more launches from China. Targets include

Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. The first should be hitting in

six minutes now.

It's unknown whether they are conventional or nuclear. But I would suspect

that since we're seeing no major troop movements that is most likely another

attack with tactical nuclear weapons. Do you have a response planned Sir?"

Asked Commander Tucker.

"We are developing a response. However it will be held off as long as possible,

as we are attempting to locate the Chinese subs. Keep me apprised of the

situation. But for now continue monitoring their activities. President Wilson

ordered.

"Yes sir, we will stay in a monitoring position until the situation warrants."

commander Tucker answered.

Untied Nations Bomb Shelter
Under Alberta... 12:30 a.m. MST

Representative Rushto-Bonto of India was addressing the General Assembly.

"If this council is unprepared to take action against China, my country is

prepared take unilateral action of our own!" The Indian representative

shouted as he pounded his fist against the podium.

"Zarain has violated our air-space by firing tactical nuclear weapons over no

fewer than three of our states. We cannot guarantee this assembly that

there will be restraint on our part if he attacks my country. I demand that

the Security Council vote on this resolution!" Representative Rushto-Bonto

demanded as he stormed off of the stage.

The Representative of Iran was beginning to take the stage, as he would be

the last speaker before the Security Council Vote.

"I am here to ask this Council to think very carefully about the decision you

will make tonight. The future of the world may very well depend on it. The

Republic of Iran is formally pledging our moral support to the New

Government in China, as anyone who is an enemy of the Great Satan is an allie

of Iran. May we walk with Allah tonight." The Iranian delegate responded

holding his arms to the sky.

Atlanta 3:35 a.m. EST
Tuesday, May, 11

Lisa, was hiding in a closet with only a flashlight and a pocket radio. Listening

to the news reports she could do nothing but cry. There were riots going on

just a few blocks away from her townhouse. She feared her home would be

hit at any moment. The sound of fire trucks along with sporadic gun shots

from the police and neighborhood looters filled the air of the normally quiet

subdivision. The world was descending into chaos and there was nothing she

could do about it.

"Bob Simon here in Atlanta with breaking news on the Crisis in China. We

have just learned that the United Nations Security Council has voted 15-0 in

favor of Resolution 922 introduced by the United States. The Resolution calls

for a full economic embargo to be initiated immediately, several Canadian

Frigates in the Java Sea are already on the way to begin enforcement. It also

calls for the removal of the current administration "By all necessary means".

This in responce to the attacks by China against Laos and Vietnam yesterday,

and now the attacks against Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.

All of these attacks consisted of both conventional and tactical nuclear

weapons. It's also in response to the very provocative statements made

against the United States and its allies.

The Pentagon estimates the death toll from these attacks, including first and

secondary effects, to be as high as 750,000. The Pentagon says that the body

count will go higher as in many cities fires are still burning out of control.

Whole sections of several cities are becoming burned out shells as the

housing construction is very conducive for fires.

Earlier this morning, what was left of the Vietnamise army along with about

twenty Mig-19s attacked the city of Pingxiang, which is just over the border

into China. Reports are that 13 of the 20 jets were destroyed, and the

Vietnamise ground forces took almost 3,200 casualties as they came under a

very intense air assault by the Chinese Air Force. Several fighter jets from the

Chinese Air Force perused the retreating Vietnamise ground forces

unhindered into Vietnamise air space and made several bombing runs over

the smoking ruins of Hanoi. Unofficial reports of Chinese deaths in the battle

are about 780.

Also this morning Thailand launched there own retaliatory attack against

China. For almost a half an hour the Thailand army shelled missiles, albeit,

conventional, against the Chinese city of Mengla, just over the border of Laos

into China. When the attack ended, nearly 8,200 civilians were dead. The city

was devastated.

The Chinese responded by launching tactical nuclear missiles against BangKok

and surrounding suburbs. Our own CNNs' BangKok bureau was destroyed

killing at least 45 of our own and an untold number of others in the area.

We are completely cut off. We're hoping to get reporters from our bureau in

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia into the area for a report. Perhaps as early as this

evening.

We can tell you that out of fear of reprisals by China, Cambodia and Laos have

not retaliated. However, it is unclear at this point how Myanmar and

Bangladesh will respond.

Also, we are getting unconfirmed reports that several divisions of the Indian

Army are moving into the state of Assam, perhaps in anticipation of a Chinese

attack on that eastern Indian state.

The regime in China has not responded to this yet, although Chairman Zarain

has scheduled a press conference in Pyongyang, North Korea. He says he will

have a most important announcement. One can only wonder what will happen

next in this fast changing crisis.

In a separate but still related story, we are getting reports of sporadic rioting

and looting across the country. Here in Atlanta the Nation Guard reports that

almost 35 people have been killed in the suburb of Norcross alone. Martial

Law has been declared in several cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles, and

Dallas. Sections of several cities are burning out of control. Firefighters from

as far away as Canada have been sent in to fight the fires. Similar reports

are coming in from around the globe, in Europe and Japan, especially where

they have taken similar actions as the United States. In Tokyo this morning,

fires set by rioters burned nearly two-and-a-half square blocks to the ground

before police and firefighters were able to get control of the situation.

We want to go now to CNNs' Richard Bolen who has moved his post to

Pyongyang, North Korea, where he is covering the Zarain press conference."

Bob explained.

"Bob, Richard here. Media from around the world are gathered here awaiting

for this announcement from Zarain. Speculation is mounting that there may

be some sort of alliance made between Zarain and President Sun-Shoto of

North Korea. We are,...there he is!" Richard exclaimed.

Under heavy military escort Chairman Zarain and President Sun-Shoto make

their way out of the corridor and into the press room walking side-by-side.

President Sun-Shoto took the podium first.

"I would like to thank all of you for arriving here to cover our announcement.

Almost two days ago a new government was installed in China. The leadership

of this government took bold action to secure Chinas' position in the world.

Action was also taken to secure the United States position and the position of

there allies. Seeing as how we agree on the future course of these countries,

North Korea today secedes its' sovereignty back to China where it rightfully

belongs. The result of these actions will of course mean that any attack on

soil that was formally North Korea, will be considered an attack on China.

So with that out of the way, I will now let Chairman Zarain speak. The former

North Korean President explained.

Chairman Zarain shook hands with the former president, then made his way

over to the podium.

"Today our tasks' are nearly complete. The Korean peninsula has now been

reintegrated into China. Along with several areas to the southwest of

former Chinese boundaries. Along with these territories, several bodies of

water have now been returned to China. Those include the Yellow Sea, whose

new name is now the Bay of Korea, the Gulf of Tonkin, whose new name is

now the Gulf of Hainan, and the Gulf of Thailand, whose new name is now

the South China Bay. I would suggest that all Non-Chinese vessels leave these

areas or they will be subject to consequences of violating the territorial

integrity of China. These bodies of water are now as much a part of China as

The Great Salt Lake is of the United States.

Separately, we will be setting up provincial governments in newly integrated

areas beginning tomorrow. I will be taking no questions. That is all." The

Chairman explained.

With that both President Sun-Shoto and Chairman Zarain, along with their

military escort made their way out of the press room and out of the building.

"Bob, that's all from here. Zarain said he would take no questions. So we were

unable to get his reaction to the Resolution passed by the United Nations. But

he is already talking as if he owns South Korea and several oceans he has

renamed. All of which he says are now territorial waters of China. So I guess

we'll just have to wait to see what the reaction is form the U.S. the U.N. and

N.A.T.O. Bob back to you." Richard said. Himself now realizing that the crisis

was escalating way out of control.

"Richard, thanks. That was CNNs' Richard Bolen reporting live from

Pyongyang, North Korea. Which is apparently now a province of China. We

want..."

The reports continued to drag on and on. All Lisa could do was listen and wait

for the world to end. Her attention to the report ended with a loud sound of

glass breaking. It was very close. Her mind raced to determine where it was

coming from. 'The living room!' Her home was being looted and she was

alone in a hallway closet. Gunshots rang out! She shivered in fear.

"Get him Kevin!" One of the loiters yelled. Several more gunshots rang out.

"Freeze!!" A Marine shouted from outside the house.

"Come out of the house with your hands where I can see them, or you will be

put down! This is your last warning!!" Another Marine shouted.

"Get those bastards!!" Kevin demanded. As he hid behind the living room

couch. Spraying bullets into the front yard, hoping to hit one of the Marines.

"Alright lets do it!!" One of the Marines ordered. With that they stormed the

house showering bullets into the couch where Kevin and his brother Tim were

hiding.

"Agh!!" Tim cried out as his chest was filled with lead.

"Tim no!" Kevin screamed.

Like Custard, he stood up in a futile attempt to hold back the Marines.

Taking several hits, his body went limp and fell over the arm of the couch.

Lisa was in the fetal position, scared like never before she passed out.

"Alright what do we have here?" The group leader asked.

"Appears to be two teenagers trying to rob the place. Sir, they've got almost

2,500 dollars on 'em. They've most likely hit somewhere else tonight."

"Alright, load 'em on to the truck. I'll call into Sector HeadQuarters, and let

them know."The Commander ordered.

Two Marines walked over to the truck placing the now limp bodies on the

bead.

"HeadQuarters, this is Peachtree, we've got two dead, with almost 2,500

dollars on 'em. We persued. A firefight followed, which ended with the two

put down. We've loaded 'em up. What's our next assignment?" The

Commander asked.

"Peachtree, this is HeadQuarters, be advised that your area contains a high

concentration of criminal activity. Head to Cater Blvd. police need assistance.

HeadQuarters out." They answered.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana... 1:15 a.m. MST

An aide walks over to the president with the latest satellite photos of eastern

India.

"Sir, I believe that a window of opportunity could be opening for us." The aide

said.

"Explain." President Wilson responded.

'Well the latest reconisence photos from eastern India show several divisions

of troops and tanks being positioned into the state of Assam. Along with

make-shift airfields being constructed in the region. They could be the first

real buffer zone to slow down the Chinese. It would help buy us time to locate the

subs." The aide explained.

"What's to stop Zarain from just using more nuclear weapons on the India

Army? The President asked.

"Well, Sir, we believe that Zarain is competent enough to understand that if

the Indian conventional forces take substantial losses that India will

physically be left with only one way to respond." Another aide answered.

"With a nuclear attack of their own?" The President interrupted.

"Yes Sir." The aide answered with resignation.

"Do you think that he is willing to risk that?" The President asked.

"Well Sir, we're unsure. However, we do believe that he believes India would

respond in that manner if it was their only means of response. Wether he is

willing to take a hit like that we don't know. He might be willing to. To show

his resolve." General Riley answered.

"I would recommend that we offer our support to the Indians. Hopefully they

can buy us some time." The General suggested.

"Make it happen." The President ordered.

"Yes Sir." General Riley responded.

Tuesday, May 11
Prime Ministers' Bomb shelter
Delhi, India 3:50 p.m.

"Sir, General Riley from the Pentagon is on line two." A secretary informed.

"Thank you. Put him through." The Prime Minister answered.

"This is the Prime Minister. To what do I owe the honor of speaking with such

a high military leader like yourself?" He asked. He already had an idea why

he was calling.

"I am calling to offer the support of the United States. We know you are pos-

itioning forces in the state of Assam. We have information that you might find

valuable on the location for much of the Chinese forces.This could be supplied

should the time come that it be needed." General Riley informed.

"And what must be done to receive this information." The Prime Minister ask-

ed.

"Nothing, we merely need you to buy us some time for us to locate the Chinese

missile subs. At which point we will initiate a preemptive strike against both

the subs and the Chinese land based missile forces. You may make decisions

as you see fit for the security of your country. Just distract him as long as

possible. We'll keep you informed on any military action that we may take

ahead of time." General Riley replied.

"Very well. I will contact you if the information becomes necessary." The

Prime Minister responded.

Tuesday, May 11 5:45 p.m. BST
Zarain Presidential Palace
Beijing, China

Zarain had summoned his top military advisors to assess the situation, and to

determine the next move.

The war room was quite crude. All were standing around a map of the world.

Occupied areas were highlighted along with the former North Korea. Arrows

had been drawn where their had been battles. Death and injury totals for all

areas, were displayed along the side of the map. The general location of U.S.

and other N.A.T.O. aircraft carriers was marked with circles.

"Your honor, this is where we are at now. The shock effect of our attacks on

Vietnam and Laos worked. Myanmar, and Bangladesh have put up no re-

sistence. Neither has Cambodia. Vietnam and Thailand have made minimal

incursions into the south. Some damage and casualties were taken. However,

it has amounted to nothing significant. A more worrisome development are

the troops and armaments that India continues to mass near the boarder in

the state of Assam. If we are to demand the eastern part of India north of

Bangladesh we will likely take heavy casualties. I would recommend that we

continue the use of tactical nuclear weapons along with a major assault by our

air forces against the Indian forces.

Also, at this point we are not in a position to defend the occupied oceans.

A direct attack against a N.A.T.O. vessel will bring a response from the United

States. There are already three Canadian Frigates from the Java Sea on the way now

to begin enforcement of the embargo.

If we are unable to take the eastern states of India I would move to take out

the Indian land based ICBM forces. This would remove the trump card from

their hand. With their ICBM forces out we would have free dominion over the

entire Indian Peninsula.

Nothing could stop us!!" General Ping-Chang said as his eyes began to gleam

when the thought of conquering the Continent of India entered his mind.

"I must protest these actions!! Zarain proclaims to be restoring our coun-

tries position in the world. You know as well I that he is taking us down

the road of ruin. The United States will not sit idly by and watch you kill

millions raining nuclear death across this continent. Do not fool yourself!!

You will bring about the end of our country. You can bet your life on it that

as we speak, our oceans are being filled with Nuclear Submarines from the

United States. They will respond in like fashion!! They will use you as an ex-

ample, just as Japan. Beijing will be erased from this earth! You will be placing

our people on the alter of warning to other countries!! I beg you to recon-

sider your plans! You should take what you have and forget the rest!" An

angry advisor pleaded, in a desperate attempt to change Zarains' mind.

"My dear friend, you are the one who is mad! Don't you realise that we have

the upper hand. They don't know where our subs are. If they did they would

have attacked by now. They haven't because they aren't willing to chance

it with our subs. We are in a strategic position! We must use it!!" Zarain shout-

ed.

As for you. You are the one who will be used as an example. An example of

what happens to traitors!

Guards take him away!! He'll be executed in one hour!!" Zarain demanded.

The anger very apparent as he pounded his fist against the table, scattering

the papers everywhere.

Two guards walked over to the advisor taking him by the arms.

"No! No! Do not be blind! Reconsider!" His voice fading away as they took him

down the corridor.

"Commander, you may go ahead with the attack as scheduled."Zarain ordered.

"Yes, Your Honor."General Ping-Chang answered.

Elmendorf Air Force Base
Anchorage, Alaska 12:55 a.m. AST

"We'll take good care of him sir." LT. Charles said.

"I know you will." Tim answered. "Josh I've got to go now. You need to stay

here. They got food, video games, a whole bunch of neat stuff. O.K." Tim said

trying to hold back the tears.

Josh was silent. They hugged each other for what might be the last time. Both

were quiet yet both knew what each were thinking.

Tim made his way over to his commanding officer not looking back at Josh.

He didn't want his last thoughts of Josh to be of him breaking down into tears.

Tim flew the KC-130. His job would be to insure that two F-16s' had enough

fuel to escort a B-52 into the heart of China, if they were given the order

to attack.

A voice came over the microphone in Tims ear. "Alright, listen up in there!

You've got two minutes till take-off. If Anchorage is hit Your first Recon-

stitution base will be Juneau International Airport, if it's hit Number Two

is Vancouver International Airport, if it's hit Number Three is Eugene

Municipal Airport, Eugene, Oregon. Number Four is Fresno Municipal Airport,

Fresno, California. Number Five is Bakersfield Municipal Airport, Bakersfield,

California. You will receive your new orders when you get there. If Bakers-

field is out, you are to land anywhere possible, weather in the U.S. or another

N.A.T.O. country. That is all. Good luck." The announcer informed.

Tim was thinking to himself 'God, it sounds like a list of where funerals are to

be held if the other ones get rained out.'

With that the plane took off into the unknown.

Atlanta 5:00 a.m. EST

"This is Bob Simon here in Atlanta. We want to go now to a breaking develop-

ment. We are getting reports that the 38th Infantry Division of the National

Guard out of Indianapolis, Indiana has been ordered to the Cicero section

of Chicago where a massive riot is being reported. It appears that hundreds

of people have stormed the Chicago suburb looting and burning everything in

sight. The A.P. is reporting that almost three-hundred fires are consuming the

area and that plume clouds can be seen for almost 15 miles.

The mayor of Chicago has asked that Martial Law be declared.

Reports are that it is literally a war zone with explosions going off continually.

A fire-storm is beginning to develop and the fire is starting to leap frog to

other sections of the city. Dozens have been killed from the fire and the local

fire department in the area is saying that it can't get to several apartment

buildings as their are gun battles going on between the loiters and the res-

idents of the area.

What started out as a a few people rebel-rousing at an Anti-Chinese rally a

few blocks away has turned into this. Dear God!" Bob said with a deepening

sadness in his voice. For the first time , the world knew that Bob wasn't a ro-

bot as he began to show the first signs of emotions since the crisis began.

Miami 5:20 a.m.

After gathering his most personal items, along with clothes for at least a

week, he was unaware that he would be unable to wash them, John made

his way out of the house. Walking down the sidewalk he turned to take one

last look. His mind started to drift. He had just finished putting on the new

porch last week. No more sitting outside watching the sunset. They'll be no

more early morning jogs. In a few days they'll be no more anything. The

sound of an explosion nearby snapped him out of it.

Turning away from his house he headed for the car. He pulled out of his court

hoping that there would be a court to return to.

The roads were deserted. Only Marine Personal Trucks were to be seen.

The air was thick with smoke from fires burning all over the city.

Like a late evening snow a light coating of soot was already beginning to fall

to the ground. A deadly thought ran through his mind, 'What if it's radio-

active' 'What if we've already been hit!' 'Maybe I should go back to the

house' 'No!' 'Stay on course!' 'Make it to the shelter!'

He felt as if he was already driving through a war zone. He now wished he

had fixed the radio last week like he wanted to. As he approached the inter-

cetion of 136 and 67th ave. The light was out. He noticed a nearby house had

been looted. The walls were still billowing smoke. It appeared as if it had

been put out recently. As he made his way through the empty intersection

a movement caught his eye. Stopping the car, he looked over his shoulder out

the back window. 'A body!' He put the car in reverse and raced over. Rushing

out of the car he froze seeing the person up close. His body was heavily

burned. His right arm looked as if it was about to fall off. He let out an

agonizing moan.

"What happened?"John asked.

"The mob." He whispered struggling to speak. "They came and took everything.

Tried to stop them. Too many." He paused trying to gather strength.

"How did you get burned? Where was the police?"John asked, glancing over

his shoulder to make sure no one was coming.

"Too much to handle. One was killed. His car was taken. They burned several

of us. Heading to shelter, they stopped car, many cars, pulled us out. Used gas-

oline." He explained as death drew closer.

"We've got'ta get you to a hospital. You need help. My wife, she's a nurse at...

John tried to explain as he was interrupted.

"Aghh! It's no use, there's nothing they can do for me now. Save yourself."He

pleaded knowing that he would not see the sunrise.

"God in Heaven, help us. Please, have we already been hit? There's fires every-

where. Why?" John questioned a part of him not wanting an answer.

"No. Loiters, riots, everywhere. You've got to go now, it's not..." With that his

body exhaled for the last time. His eyes open to the heavens.

"No! Wake-up! It's gonna be o.k. we'll make it." John cried out knowing inside

that it was to late.

He knelt by him. A cold silent body. Without a name. Dead because of mad-

ness. John was alone in the middle of hell. The early morning air was absent

of the cool sea breeze. A feeling of warmth punctuated the pre-dawn hour.

The aura of an approaching inferno outlined the horizon.

After several minutes of coming close to a nervous breakdown, John picked

the body up and placed him in the backseat. He was determined to make sure

he was remembered, not left for the wolves like a dead animal.

The raining soot was now impossible to ignore, as John had to use his wind-

shield wipers to clear it off. He continued with his original plans and turned

at 67th street to make his way to the Palmetto Expressway.

As he approached the entrance ramp he saw for the first time other humans.

There was an actual back-up, for what reason he was unsure. As the line slow-

ly moved forward he noticed a military checkpoint had been set up. Everyone

was being loaded up on military buses. An M.P. flagged him forward.

"You there, you'll have to leave your car here."The M.P. ordered as he walked

towards the car.

"What's going on? I'm trying to get to the shelter!" John questioned with exas-

peration.

"No civilian traffic is being permitted on the freeways. We'll be taking you to

the nearest shelter available. Now you can park the car over by that blue

van." The M.P. responded.

"How will I get my car back?" John demanded.

"Were taking an inventory. If it's damaged during or after an attack you may

request disaster assistance. Now lets move it!" He ordered, the agitation now

beginning to show.

John was dumbfounded. "Were on the brink of nuclear war and I'm worried

about getting my car back.'

As he got in line for the bus several Appachie helicopters raced across the

sky.

"Take a seat. We'll be leaving in one minute. We'll be heading for lower-risk

areas. Our destination and the two buses behind us is Orlando." The driver

informed.

As the bus begin to enter the freeway Johns' mind begin to race, 'Wait I can't

go!' 'Dianias' still in Miami!' 'I've gotta get off this bus!'

"Sir, I can't go! My wife is still in the city. I can't leave her! You got to stop

this bus!!'' John pleaded.

A guard made his way down the isle.

"Sir, you must sit down. You'll be much safer in Orlando." The guard answered

motioning to John to sit down.

"Look you don't understand, I can't leave her. She's pregnant!!" John shouted

as he got in the M.P.s' face.

The M.P. shook his head in disgust. His own wife was in a shelter on base.

He also had a daughter, only two months old. Everything seamed so secure

just a year ago. He hadn't thought twice about bringing a child into the

world.

"I'm sorry. There's nothing we can do for her now." He answered with a deep

frown.

John slowly sat back down. They were going through the city now. The free-

way was empty. The sounds of sirens could be heard everywhere. Just a

faint image of the sun could be seen through the smoke. It seamed as if it

was an eclipse, with rays of light peering through every so often.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana... 3:55 a.m. MST

The President and his Advisors were gathered in the war room for an update.

"Sir, about an hour ago the National Guard moved to secure Chicago. There are

reports of sporadic rioting across the country. Dallas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles

as well as Miami have reported intense localized rioting. However, Chicago is

by far the worst.

Our last report from about ten minutes ago has almost eight square blocks

burned to the ground, and the fire was still not yet under control." One of the

advisors explained.

"Jesus Christ!" The President mumbled to himself.

"Sir' I'm sorry, but their are more important matters at hand." General Riley

responded.

"There are several things developing that are both good and bad.'' General

Riley continued.

"Give me the good news first. We could all use some." The President request-

ed.

"Alright. About ten minutes ago one of our satellites over the southern Atlan-

tic detected the thermal signature that's identical to a Viper class Chinese

submarine, almost 300 miles due south of Rio, about 450 nautical miles off

the southern coast of Brazil. One of our attack subs The U.S.S. Richmond is al-

ready in route to intercept."General Riley explained.

"Excellent!!" The effect of the news on the President was obvious to all in the

room. "That's the best news we've had yet! I want you order our sub to take

it out if it so much as hears their hatch open." The President ordered.

"Yes Sir. However there are other events that you should be aware of. The

Chinese have engaged the Indian forces in Assam. At this point there have

been only a few tactical nuclear launches against the Indian forces. However,

we have detected that the Indians are fueling two Intermediate Range

Nuclear Missiles of the Indian Land based forces. Also, Zarain is fueling five

of his I.R.B.M.s'. We suspect that he may attempt to take out the entire Indian

land based nuclear forces. Furthermore, we have detected almost 20 divisions

of troops and armaments moving into North Korea. Along with almost five

hundred fighter jets that have taken stationary positions at North Korean air-

fields. We do believe that he is preparing to launch a major offensive against

South Korea." General Riley informed.

"What a day huh?" The President said sarcastically.

"Yes Sir.'' General Riley answered.

"Alright. I'm not getting us in the middle of Zarain and the Indians. Not until

we find those other two subs. And since Zarain isn't fueling any I.C.B.M.s' at

this point, I guess that means he doesn't want to play with the big boys. At

least not yet. So maintain current course. However I want a response design-

ed to slow Zarains' forces down incase he does invade. I want him to think he

is getting what he wants even if he has to pay a little for it. Do you under-

stand General?"The President asked.

"Yes Sir! I understand completely Sir. I'll get to work on it immediately.'' General

Riley responded.

"Good. Then if that's it, your dismissed." The President ordered.

Chapter Six-Into the Abyss of No Return

Presidential Palace
Beijing, China
Tuesday May 11 7:00 p.m. BST

Zarain stood at the eighth story window overlooking central Beijing, a mega-

polis far richer in history than even the oldest American city. Demolition

crews were still at work with the remaining buildings of the previous

administration. He wanted to leave no trace of the former govern-

ment standing. All across the city and country lower-rank officials who

refused to go along with Zarain were being sent to detention camps. They

were immediately replaced with officials who had already been preapproved

by Zarain before the coup.

Everything was falling into place. The coup was fast and efficient. There had

been almost no resistence from the public. The world was in shock at the

speed with which the southern peninsula of Asia had been taken. The In-

dians did not have proper warning to prepare for an attack. Although there

was the expected resistence being put up to the attacks in Assam, everything

was proceeding far faster then even Zarain had anticipated.

A guard knocking on the door broke his train of thought.

"Come in." Zarain answered with resignation.

"Sir, General Ping-Chang requests a meeting with you. He says it is urgent."

the guard replied.

"Send him in." Zarain answered ,unsure how urgent the meeting actually was.

The General walked in carrying several maps, and the weight of the world.

"Your honor, I feel I must inform you on the situation in Assam. We are taking

much greater losses than we anticipated, despite the use of four tactical nuc-

lear missiles against strategic targets of the Indian conventional forces.We lost

almost 1,900 men and almost 100 tanks and light personal carriers when the

Indians used their own tactical nuclear missiles to cause several mountains to

avalanche, cutting off two of the five major land routes into Assam. Our recon-

isence shows that the Indian forces are backing off, however this leads us to

believe that they will use the same strategy to cut off the remaining land

routes into Assam. Our forces will be pinned down and helpless. They will

either have to retreat or be picked off in a slow but deliberate counter-attack

by the Indians." General Ping-Chang explained with a sence of urgency.

"What do you recommend we do to counter this obstacle?" Zarain questioned,.

eager to hear the response.

"Well, seeing as how we haven't had enough time to build adequate airfields

in Bangladesh or Myanmar ,we're unable to launch a substantial air attack

against the back end of the Indian forces. Even if we could, the Indians would

be expecting an attack from behind and by now they're most likely building

up their defences. We could pull our own forces back from their current pos-

itions in preparation for another substantial tactical missile attack. However,

that would most likely prompt the Indians to begin escalating, even if we

contain the attacks to state of Assam. I believe the time has come for you to

make a decision on whether or not to launch a counter-force strike against the

land based nuclear forces.'' General Ping-Chang answered, himself knowing

the severity of the decisions that would were about to be made.

Zarain looked out the window. Taking a deep sigh he turned back to the Gen-

eral.

"What do you think the response would be from the United States?" Zarain

questioned. For the first time a sense of concern could be heard in his ques-

tioning.

"They have passed the resolution in the Security Council. It requires

your removal "By all necessary means." At some point there will be an in-

vasion. It is now just a question of when and on whose terms. Since India is

not a member of N.A.T.O. it's unlikely that it would bring about an immediate

nuclear response from the U.S. It would ,however cause the Indians to not

think twice about responding with the rest of their tactical nuclear weapons.

Which, if they were in Assam, everything west of Gulyang would be fair game.

We could take substantial losses." The General responded with resignation.

"Do you believe they would launch any of their I.R.B.M.s' before we would be

able to take them out?" Zarain questioned.

"I would have to say that there is a very likely chance that they would have a

several minute warning of incoming missiles. Even longer if the United States

warns them at launch. However, they wouldn't have enough time to fuel

their missiles, much less getting them launched. So it all depends on whether

or not they have pre-fueled any missiles. If they have, they would have time

to launch them, defeating the purpose of the pre-strike." General Ping-Chang

explained.

"Do you have any indication that they may have pre-fueled any missiles.?"

Zarain questioned.

"Our most recent reconisence is from the silos south of Jaipur. It's about eight

minutes old but their is no unusual activity. I would say that those are not

being fueled. The reconnaissance from the silos near Hubli is about 12 min-

utes old, but there was no activity at those fields either. Perhaps they feel no

need to take any action since they have been successful in stopping our ad-

vance into Assam. I would mention though, that they could be taking actions

now that we wouldn't know about for at least an hour." The General answered.

Zarain turned to look out the window. Saying nothing he stared aimlessly

looking at the city.

"Your honor?" The General asked.

There was no response from Zarain. Just silence.

After several minutes Zarain turned back to the General.

"Commander, what would be the necessary yield required to eliminate the

Indian threat?" Zarain questioned.

"For a total reduction, it could be accomplished with an attack equal to

roughly six megatons spread evenly oven the two missile fields. We already

have that amount fueled and ready to go. With a flight time of about 12-15

minutes." General Ping-Chang answered.

Zarain glanced at the map. The thought of a quick and decisive victory over

India was something to relish.

"My friend, today we will ride the chariot to a glorious victory!" Zarain shout-

ed, his arms reaching to the sky.

"You may proceed with the attack as soon as your ready. I will be moving my

office to the shelter as a precaution. I recommend that you do the same."

Zarain ordered.

"Yes, your honor." The General gathered his papers and hurried out the door.

Running down the stairs Zarains' order continued to ring over and over in his

mind. He knew that this route could be traveled, but there was a part of him

that was still in shock.

Los Angeles
Tuesday May 11 3:30 a.m. PST

The alarm went off waking Auther up instantly. He reached over to unplug

the clock. Alicia hadn't even budged. He rolled out of bed slowly so as not to

wake her . He headed downstairs to turn the T.V. on. He was curious as to

what was going on. 'Perhaps it's over and I can go back to bed' ,his mind won-

dered. Turning on CNN he noticed that Bob Simon had gone off the air. He was

already getting hoarse before he had gone to bed.

"....to go now to CNNs' Mark Richards, who is over Chicago in Chopper 7 for a

report on the situation there."

"Tim, Mark here. We're directly over Interstate 290. As you can see nearly

everything from Roosevelt Road south to Interstate 55 is gone. That's almost

22 square blocks. The wind has changed again and fire is heading west to-

wards Oak Park and River Forest. The area was evacuated earlier this even-

ing, so there's not many people left.

The National Guard is fighting this on three fronts. One, they moved in to sur-

press the riot. Almost forty people were killed this evening along with near-

ly 125 people being arrested. Two, they are fighting the fire both with water

from Lake Michigan and with fire suppression chemicals. And finally they are

beginning to construct a fire-break to slow the expansion of the storm.

A few minutes ago the first buildings to be demolished came down. They're

bringing buildings down from Melrose Park northeast to River Grove and then

east along Grand Avenue to Elmwood Park. All structures in that area...Wait!

Take a look at that! You can see what looks like an office park complex coming

down. Incredible! Well, we expect that to continue,most likely over the

next hour or so as the National Guard attempts to create a bare spot within the

nations' third largest city. Unbelievable!! Tim, we'll stay in position here over

Chicago to bring you any new developments if they break, but for now it

seems that if wind stays in the same direction this fire should burn itself out

when it hits the fire-break. We can only pray that the wind doesn't change

direction again. Tim I'll send it back to you." Mark responded with a sense of

resignation.

Auther rushed back upstairs to wake Alicia up. To his surprise she was

already awake as they bumped into each other in the hallway.

"God! You scared the hell out of me!" Auther shouted.

"Sorry! The television woke me up. What's going on? Is it over?" Alicia ques-

tioned. Although the look on Auther's face told her the answer.

"No. We've got to get out of here! Look, no one said we have to go to the shel-

ter. If we get stopped,we'll just tell the truth. We're going to our house in the

mountains. Besides they've got too much to worry about. There not gonna

waste their time with us." Auther answered, trying to convince himself as

well as Alicia.

They headed out the door. For all the good it would do they locked it behind

them. The morning sun had not yet risen. Up to this point Los Angeles had

been sparred the worst of the riots. Most unusual considering that L.A. nor-

mally received the worst of everything, whether it was riots or natural

disasters.

They headed for the freeway.

Datong, China
Tuesday May 11 7:40 p.m. BST

General Ping-Chang entered the elevator. Pushing the B-10 button he made

his way down to the launching center. A few minutes later the doors opened.

Several guards saluted the General.

"As you were." The General ordered.

As he made his way to the end of a long hallway, Commander Wu-Shan

greeted him.

"Welcome General." The Commander replied.

"No time for a welcome party. We're suffering far greater losses in India then

we anticipated. Zarain has ordered a preemptive strike against the Indian

landbased missile forces. Set for condition Yellow-Five." General Ping-Chang

ordered.

Alarms went off all over the building. At the surface, huge 200 foot wide con-

create doors began to open, revealing the missiles hidden below.

Back underground an errie recording could now be heard.

"WARNING...LAUNCH SEQUENCE HAS BEEN ACTIVATED...OVERRIDE

SEQUENCE HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF-LINE...TWO MINUTES AND FIVE

SECONDS UNTIL LAUNCH...WARNING... LAUNCH SEQUENCE HAS BEEN

ACTIVATED...OVERRIDE SEQUENCE HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF-LINE...

ONE MINUTE AND FIFTYFIVE SECONDS UNTIL LAUNCH...

There was no turning back. General Ping-Chang and the others stood watching

the monitors in silence. Waiting.

"WARNING...LAUNCH SEQUENCE HAS BEEN ACTIVATED...OVERIDE

SEQUENCE HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF-LINE...THRUSTER ACTIVATION IN

TEN SECONDS...FIFTEEN SECONDS UNTIL LAUNCH...''

Back above ground the night sky was lit up as the flames from the thrusters

began to fire. ''WARNING LAUNCH PROCEDURE IN PROGRESS...OVER-

RIDE SEQUENCE HAS BEEN TAKEN OFFLINE...LAUNCH SEQUENCE WILL

BE COMPLETED IN TWELVE SECONDS...''

The rockets slowly began to hover. Alongside of the rockets, giant elastic

cables started to snap away allowing the missiles to break free from their pro-

tective silos. Within seconds the missiles cleared the ground. The violent fire-

balls lead the way as the missiles raced towards their targets, leaving massive

vapor trails reaching into the night sky. Within seconds the night returned to

darkness as the fireballs faded away.

Back underground cheers and applause filled the control room. Many had

doubts that the missiles would work, having sat in the silos-in some cases

for ten years.

Strategic Air Command
Omaha, Nebraska 4:43 a.m. MST

Alarms began sounding all over the building. A computer voice could be

heard in the command room.

"WARNING...POTENTIAL MISSILE ATTACK AGAINST CONTINENTAL

UNITED STATES IS IN PROGRESS...STAND BY FOR TRAJECTORY CON-

FIRMATION...STAND BY...

Commander Tucker reached for the green telephone connected to the Presi-

dents' room in the bomb shelter.

This time a red light flashed instead of the normal green one. The President

did not need to be told why it was flashing. His stomach sank to the ground.

Reaching over he slowly picked up the phone. "Wilson here."

"Mr. President, I'm sure you know why I'm calling." Commander Tucker re-

sponded.

"How bad is it?" The President asked.

"Sir, we have detected six launches. Whether their M.I.R.V. or not we don't

know. We are also awaiting a trajectory confirmation. However, I need to

know whether or not to order the remaining bombers and supporting

tankers and fighters to take off." The Commander asked.

"Have the subs launched?" The President asked.

"No sir. At this point we have detected no sub launches. Only land based mis-

siles have been launched. However, although it's not a significant attack pat-

tern, it is consistent with a first-strike." Commander Tucker informed.

"Yes, I realize that." A long pause followed the Presidents' remark. "Alright,

go ahead and order the remaining bombers to take off and head to their fail-

safe points, and inform General Milton in Brussels. I'll inform President Yelt-

sin in Moscow of the situation."President Wilson ordered.

"Yes Sir. I'll be calling back as soon as we have a target list." Commander

Tucker replied.

Commander Tucker reached for the teletype to speak with bomber pilots

and Aircraft Carrier Captains around the globe.

In the cockpits of hundreds of jets and bombers and aboard N.A.T.O. Carriers

around the world, the orders came in.

"To all squadrons and their support crews. A possible nuclear missile attack

against the United States is under way. Your orders are ZULU.WILLIAMS.

TANGO.JUNO." The Commander informed.

All over the country B-52s', fuel tankers and hundreds of F-15, and F-16s'

began to taxi down runways, taking off into the early morning sun. Aboard

N.A.T.O. aircraft carriers around the planet F-14, F-18, Harrier Jump Jets, and

Mirage 2000s' , along with their own supporting fuel tankers began to take

off.

The combined military might of the world was converging on China for a

show-down that would determine the future course of humanity.

Under The Pacific...
Time & Location Unknown

Aboard the U.S.S. Georgia the E.A.M. light was beginning to flash. LT. Mike

Carthy held his breath as the teletype began to print the message out. Was

this the beginning of the end? Had a resolution been found? After authen-

ticating the message he ran over to the Captain.

"Sir, we have received an authentic message from Strategic Air Command."

LT. Carthy informed.

The Captain put his cap on. "Alright, let's read it." The Captain ordered.

"To the Captain and crew of the U.S.S. Georgia...Potential nuclear missile attack

against the continental United States is in progress. Remaining nuclear forces

have been activated. Awaiting trajectory confirmation. Stand-by for retaliatory

strike orders. End Message"

Strategic Air Command
Omaha, Nebraska 4:47 a.m. MST

The control room was frozen in time, as everyone waited for the target list.

What cities would vanish this morning? How many lives would end in the

next few minutes? All but the alarm and the voice of the computer could be

heard.

''WARNING...POTENTIAL MISSILE ATTACK AGAINST THE

CONTENINTAL UNITED STATES IS IN PROGRESS...STAND BY

FOR TRAJECTORY CONFIRMATION...STAND BY...

WARN...TRAJECTORY CONFIRMED...TARGETS INCLUDE THE

FOLLOWING...JAIPUR.INDIA...DETONATION IN NINE MIN-

UTES...HUBLI.INDIA...DETONATION IN TEN MINUTES...

TRAJECTORY CONFIRMED...TARGETS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING...

The computer continued to repeat the message. The glacier that time was

frozen in suddenly melted. Although it was not blatant, the relief among

those in the control room was apparent.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana.... 4:48 a.m. MST

The red light began to flash again. This time it was expected. However, it

didn't make it any easier to answer.

"Wilson Here." The President answered.

"Sir, we have received a trajectory confirmation." Commander Tucker infor-

med. The President felt like his had heart stopped. "The targets are in India.

The Chinese are definitely doing a premptive-first-strike against the Indian

land based missile forces." Commander Tucker informed.

"God in Heaven, have mercy." The President whispered under his breath.

"Sir do you have any response ready?" Commander Tucker asked.

"As I said earlier, a plan is being worked on for a preemptive strike on the

Chinese forces. However, we may have to deal with another matter, because

it looks very likely that Zarain is getting ready to cross the DMZ into South

Korea. We're having to work up a contingency plan for that. Continue

current posture, and keep me informed of any new developments." The

President ordered.

"Yes Sir." Commander Tucker answered.

Hubli Missile Base
Hubli, India 7:20 p.m. IST

Sleep was gaining ground on LT. Rashana. He was on his tenth hour of a

twelve hour shift. Reaching over for another cup of coffee, a blip on the

computer screen caught his attention. Thinking nothing of it, he wiped the

glass, thinking it was just dust or something. It didn't go away. Setting the

coffee down he noticed two more blips. His pulse began to quicken. He

pulled his chair closer to the desk to further analyze the green dots on his

screen, which were now picking up speed.

"No, No, No! " The LT. mumbled under his breath. "Set alarm for condition

Code-9 Defence Alert! Repeat we have a Code-9 Defence Alert!! Get me the

Prime Minister!" LT. Rashana shouted, the sweat starting to run down his

face.

Prime Ministers' Bomb Shelter
Delhi, India 7:22 p.m. IST

The yellow phone stared to ring. At this point ,all that was certain was that

the call was coming from the Hubli Missile Base.

"This is the Prime Minister speaking. What's our status?" The Prime Minister

asked thinking that something minor had happened.

"Sir, we have a Code-9 Defense Alert!! A Chinese Missile attack is in progress!

Their targeting both our base and the Missile base in Jaipur. The first one will

impact in 2 minutes 5 seconds. We must retaliate!!" The LT. demanded.

"That demon!! How many missiles are fueled?" The Minister asked.

"Sir, we'll only be able to get one off, it's a 21/2 megaton warhead, and we'll

be cutting it very close.

It'll be clearing the ground about five seconds before the first missile hits."

The LT. explained as he tried to catch his breath.

"Can we hit any of their remaining missile fields?" The Prime Minister asked.

"No sir. They are out of range. The only military targets available are the

Chinese forces that are pinned down in Assam." The LT. answered.

"Go ahead and target the missile for the Chinese forces in Assam and initiate

the launch procedure. NOW!!" Prime Minister Rushto Bunto ordered.

"Yes Sir!" The LT. responded knowing that he had just 85 seconds left.

"Target missile number 57-S for the Chinese forces in Assam. Coordinates are

94.5 East Latitude and 29.2 North Longitude, and began launch procedure!!"

LT. Rashana ordered.

All sat in slience hoping the missile would clear the ground before the Chinese

warheads incinerated the complex. The remote computer voice was all that

could be heard.

WARNING...A MISSILE THREAT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED...IMPACT IN

TWENTY FIVE SECONDS...WARNING LAUNCH PROTOCOLS HAVE BEEN

ACTIVATED FOR MISSILE NUMBER 57-S...LAUNCH WILL BEGAN IN

EIGHTEEN SECONDS...WARNING A MISSILE THREAT HAS BEEN IDEN-

TIFIED...IMPACT IN NINETEEN SECONDS...LAUNCH PROTOCOLS FOR

MISSILE NUMBER 57-S HAVE BEEN ACTIVATED...LAUNCH WILL

BEGIN IN SEVEN SECONDS...

Above ground the flames from the rocket began to ignite. Smoke began to

billow out as the missile started to hover. Through the darkness of night

the fireballs of the incoming missiles could now be seen. Their vapor trails

illuminated by the intense heat.

The Indian rocket began to pick up considerable speed as it cleared the

ground, racing towards the unsuspecting Chinese forces. It passed the

Chinese missiles only four seconds into flight.

At 7:24:22 the night ended. The darkness was forced to recede to the artificial

sun that was rising in the east. In the city of Panaji 95 miles away, the night

gave way to a brief dawn, at the same moment the citys' electrical grid went

off line. Cars, watches, pocket radios, all stopped functioning as the E.M. Pulse

passed through the city.

World War Three had begun.

In Hubli, the missile complex and all those in it had disappeared, vaporized by

the intense heat. The shock wave allowed nothing to stop it. In the blink of an

eye 145,000 lives ended.

The familiar mushroom cloud was beginning to rise several miles high

now as it sucked everything that remained into the vacuum. In several sec-

onds the sight would be repeated again in Jaipur.

In the lower atmosphere, missile 57-S was speeding towards the Chinese

troops. As it raced away from the detonation, it couldn't escape the reach of

the E.M. Pulse. The missile swayed off course. Having been disconnected from

it's G.P.S. satellite it's internal guidance system was now unaware of where

the missile was located or where it was headed.

Atlanta
Tuesday, May 11 6:56 a.m. EST

"This is Tim Donalds here in Atlanta ,where we are just getting an unconfirm-

ed report from the Associated Press that there has been several massive

Nuclear Detonations in the cities of Hubli and Jaipur, India. We are attempt-

ing to get in contact with our bureau in Bombay however, we are having

severe electrical problems with our equipment. One of our reporters from our

bureau in Colombo, Sir Lanka will be flying over the area in about four hours

for a report. Also, within the hour we should be getting a report from CNNs'

Chris Sanders on the situation in Bangkok, Thailand, which was hit by a small-

er nuclear attack by the Chinese in response to the Thailand Armys' attack on

the Chinese boarder city of Mengala.

We want to go now to CNNs' Kathy Bomen who is reporting from the Pentagon

Bomb Shelter somewhere under Montana." Tim Donalds explained, the fear

apparent in his voice.

"Tim, Kathy here. We've been informed that General Riley will be making a

brief statement on the Chinese situation in just a second. Right now your

guess is as good as mine as to what's going on." Kathy answered. Wondering

if she would ever see her parents again. Feeling guilty that she was in the

shelter and they weren't. Wondering if she would ever see daylight again.

Atlanta 7:00 a.m. EST

Lisa slowly drifted out of her minor coma. Despite the trauma, she was well

aware of the reason why she found herself in the closet with a pocket radio.

Trying to gather her thoughts she staggered out into the living room. The

window had been shattered. The lamps had been smashed. On the

couch were blood stains, with a trail leading outside. Expended bullet shells

were littered all over the front yard. Stepping outside, sun beams broke

through the soot and smoke that was filling the air. Horrified at the thought

that it could be radioactive, she ran back into the house, grabbing the radio

and headed straight for the closet. Dozens of thoughts crossed her mind. "Had

we been hit?' 'How bad was it?' 'Was anybody left?' She turned the radio to a

local station that was broadcasting CNN, hoping it would still be on the air.

Unfortunately, it was just the end of the beginning.

Pentagon Bomb Shelter
Under Montana 5:02 a.m. MST

With a pointer in his hand General Riley made his way to a map of Asia.

"I'm here to make a brief statement to the press. There will be no questions

afterward. Approximately twenty minutes ago the Chinese launched a premp-

tive nuclear strike against the Indian land-based missile forces. The attack

consisted of six missiles, each of which had an effective yield of 1 Megaton of

TNT. The missiles were launched from the city of Datong, China. The attack

pattern consisted of three missiles hitting each of the cities where the Indian

missile forces were located. Basically there were three megatons of TNT ex-

pended on each target. Those cities were Hubli, which was in southern India,

and Jaipu, which was in northern India. Initial death estimates are around

455,000 total in India, with severe damage to the surrounding infrastructure.

Shortly before the Chinese missiles hit their targets the Indians were able to

launch one of their missiles. It was launched from Hubli, we are unsure of it's

intended target, however we believe that it didn't hit . The missile hit

the remote Chinese city of Qamdo, in the Ningjing Mountains. It consisted of a

21/2 megaton warhead. Initial death estimates there are around 70,000.

That is all the information we will discuss at this point. We'll be having an-

other press conference at the appropriate time. Thank You." General Riley

as he walked off the stage.

Congressional Bomb Shelter
Under New Mexico 5:15 a.m. MST

Representative Nick Samson sat in slience. His body was cold. He was truly

alone in the world now. The unthinkable was happening and he was leading

the charge making sure the U.S. had no defence against it. Any minute

now countless millions could die and it would be his fault.

Majority Leader Donald Winston was taking the stand.

"My fellow Americans, in the last half-hour almost three-quarters of a million

people have died at the hands of the Chinese! In the last half-hour nearly as

many people have died as have died in all the wars that our country has

fought since its' birth! Including the revolution! I need not remind this body

that the Chinese have threatened our country as well!! As we sit here our

cities are burning, our people are frightened, our economy wrecked!! All this

and the first missile hasn't even hit yet!! Why?" The Majority Leader quest-

ioned. His anger apparent to all in the chamber.

After a brief pause, the Majority Leader continued his address, the rage even

more intense. "It is because of people like Mr. Samson ,who continue to

wallow in their denial! It is because of people like Mr. Samson ,who continue

to believe that because the Soviet Union is no more ,that everything is just

dandy! Well I got news for you it's not!!

For too long this country has not invested in adequate civil-defence, our people

sit bewildered in fear, with no plan in place! We did not maintain the shelters

that we did build! Why? Because it cost to much? Well ,let me tell you now;

nothing is more costly than losing the lives of 30-40 million of our people!!

All because this Congress and others before it did not want to spend the

money! No! Instead you vote yourselves a raise! Shame on you! Shame on you

all!!

I could almost go with the idea that it cost to much, but worst of all, the most

egregious atrocity is leaving this country without an adequate missile defence

system. Something that is blatantly un-constitutional!! My friend Reagan was

right, it doesn't have to be an all out war with the Soviet Union, it doesn't

even have to be the Soviet Union!

As it is now, we have very little chance of stopping just one missile, even if it

was launched accidentally! All because this body wanted to save money! How

much are a million lives worth? This crisis should be the wake up call. Unfo-

rtunately it may now be to late! It's bad enough to try to get it passed and

just not have enough votes, but to have the votes and the bill be filibustered

by Mr. Samson is outrageous!! I'd bring him up on treason charges if I could!!!

My fellow Americans I urge you to vote yes on Resolution 567-which states

that the United States Congress Shall Declare War on China-effective immed-

iately.

And for what it's worth I urge you to vote yes on House Resolution 522-which

calls for the immediate implementation of the SkyShield Defence Initiative.

Finally, I would plead with this body to vote yes on the Senate bill122-which

calls for the immediate withdrawal of the 1972 A.B.M. Treaty, it has kept our

hands tied for long!! Mr. Samson-may God have mercy on your soul!!"

Majority Leader Winston shouted as he stormed off the stage, the rage app-

arent to all in the Chamber.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana...5:30 a.m. MST

The President was alone in his quarters, the future of humanity weighed on

his mind, like a gigantic boulder pressing on his conscience. A knock on the

door brought him back to the shelter.

"Enter" The President responded.

The Secretary of Defense entered the room. "Sir, sorry to bother you, but I

need to update you on the status of "Operation NightHawk". Our forces from

Sector "G" have been launched and are on route to their fail-safe points. They

should arrive within three hours. The U.S.S. Georgia, Virginia & Atlanta will

be in position within the hour. All report that they have received their target

coordinates, and have reset their missiles. The U.S.S. Richmond has not been

located by the Chinese submarine off Brazil, and is in position now to engage

them if necessary. However, the location of the other two Chinese Missile Subs

is still not known." The Secretary explained.

"So far, so good. Now, we just have to hope that nothing happens in the next

few hours." The President answered.

"Sir, It should be noted that once "Operation NightHawk" has been imple-

mented it will take our forces at least 1 1/2 hours to reach their targets."

The Secretary answered.

"What is our status on "Operation Temporary Exit" ?" The President asked.

"Sir, General Daniell, Head of Joint U.S./South Korean Defence forces reports

that they are ready and in position. The U.S.S. Baltimore reports that they

will be in position within the hour, and are awaiting coordinates of the Chinese

forces in North Korea, and of the transport routes, once the Chinese begin

their advance." The Secretary responded.

"What about the Russians, have they made any questionable military

movements at this point." President Wilson asked.

"Sir, There have been no questionable military movements by the Russians

at this point, other than the increased alert status of their Nuclear Forces,

which has already been made public. There have been no movements of

conventional Russian forces towards Europe/China or anywhere at this point.

They are maintaining stationary positions. It should also be noted that Zarain

has entered a pause in the advance on India. There have not been any more

missiles fired, at least up to now. Zarains conventional troops are also moving

back into China, despite having taken out the Indian forces in

Assam." Secretary Christopher answered.

"Why do think there has been a pause? He's in control right now, and he

knows it. He should be expected to play the advantage while he's got it? Could

there be any sign of weakness in the background going on? If we are to assume

that he will continue, why isn't he doing it now? This is the best chance he's

got. For some reason he has lost some of his confidence, despite having taken

over all of southeast Asia, and de-fact-to taken over India, all without any

major resistence. Why?" The President asked, his curiosity now stirred, hoping

that there could now be a tactical advantage to exploit.

"It's hard to tell ,Sir. Right now his trump cards are the subs. As long as their

positions remain unknown he has the advantage, as least tactically speaking.

The only possibility is that he has lost contact with one or all of the subs, and

is unaware of their location. However, I would caution that it is impossible

for us to know if he's lost contact with any of the subs when we don't even

know where their at, other than the one off Brazil, which we are monitoring.

It could be just a general pause. However, I tend to agree with you that he

must know that this will be as good as it's going to get. If he's going to do

anything else now would be the time." Secretary Christopher commented.

"Keep me informed." The President ordered.

"Yes Sir!" The secretary answered, as he made his way out of the Presidents'

office.

Over The Pacific...
Time & Location Unknown

The E.A.M. teletype was beginning to flash in the cockpit of Tom Mannings'

plane. The message began to print out. His copilot was confirming the

command.

"What's it say? What's it say?" Tom asked with impatience.

"It's authentic, it says Diamond.Roses.Eagle.Freedom." His copilot answered.

"Well what the hell does that mean?" Tom demanded.

Mike flipped through the command manual to see what the orders where.

After stopping on page 27 his eyes began to drift aimlessly out the window.

"Mike, get with it! What the hell does it mean?" Tom ordered.

"We're with the initial-strike force. Code name "Operation NightHawk". We're

to proceed to fail-safe point over Osaka, Japan. Upon implementation of "Oper-

ation NightHawk" we are to follow F-16s from Squadron K, along with their

supporting Stealth-Bomber into China for Strategic Nuclear Bombing of the

Chinese Missile fields in Datong. Jesus Christ!" Mike answered still in shock.

"Alright, Alright, stay calm. We're gonna go to our fail-safe point, and wait

for further orders. If we have to go, we are going in there and we're not

looking back! You got that!?" Tom asked with the tension in his voice be-

ginning to show.

"Yeah, I got it." Mike replied sarcastically.

Fifty miles South of Orlando, Florida
Tuesday, May 11 8:05 a.m. EST

Johns' mind kept drifting towards Diania, hoping that she would be alright.

All was quiet on the bus. With the news of the attack on India coming over

the radio, most of the passengers had resigned themselves to the idea of be-

ing vaporized or dying by radiation sickness shortly afterward. Needless to

say it was a very somber mood on the ride to the shelter. The normally

heavy traveled Interstate 4 was all but deserted, they were headed to Disney-

world, a symbol of eternal hope to children and adults around the world,

that hope was in short supply this morning, as China headed full speed on a

collision course with oblivion.

Presidential Palace Bomb Shelter
Beijing, China 9:10 p.m. BST

Zarain was alone in his quarters, awaiting the response of the United States,

or lack of one. In a matter of hours he had done what neither Hitler or any

other warrior before him had been able to do;conquered more than 2/5s of the

worlds population, and what the Soviet Union had been unwilling to do

throughout its entire existence-stare the United States of America in the

eye without blinking. All that remained was Europe and the United States.

He was sure that NATO, despite having stared down the Soviet Union, would

collapse once an actual nuclear attack took place. He was certain that the U.S.

would not risk Miami for London.

A knock on the door broke his train of thought.

"Enter" Zarain commanded.

General Ping-Chang entered the office.

"My Lord, please forgive my disturbing you. I feel I should inform

you of our progress with the attack on India." The General answered, hoping

that the good news with India would get Zarain back into a better mood.

"Go ahead." Zarain answered.

" My Lord. Our satellite reconnaaissance of the target sites confirm that it was

a complete success. Both missile fields were destroyed. The entire Indian land

-based ICBM forces have been eliminated. You should be aware

that the Indians were able to get one missile off before ours hit. It is safe to

say that it went off course, probably being confused by the E.M. Pulse when

ours detonated. It hit near the city of Qamdo. Our best estimates are that it

had a yield of approximately 2 1/2 megatons. The city is gone. Rough esti-

mates of casualties are around 80,000 with another 15,000 dead by

secondary effects. They died with honor, My Lord." General Ping-Chang

explained, himself knowing that it was going to get much worse.

"Yes, I know-for the Greater China. Is there anything else that I should know

about?" Zarain questioned, unphased by the report.

"If it's any consolation, the Indian death toll is at least 500,000. Their govern-

ment is in complete disarray, they have pulled their forces out of Assam, back

into interior India, despite having several dozen tactical nuclear weapons left.

Most likely they are afraid of the potential response if they use them. Shortly

before our attack on the Indian missile fields, our troops in Assam were re-

treating. Currently, they are stationary after having pulled back about 31

miles. Would you like me to order them back into Assam?" General Ping-

Chang asked.

"Not at this point. I want to wait until we get a formal surrender agreement

signed by the Prime Minister himself. I want them to maintain their current

position. I want you to get in contact with the Prime Minister or his rep-

resentative, you inform him that as a condition of the surrender, there will

be no further nuclear strikes on the Indian people, in exchange for a complete

disarmament of all conventional Indian forces, I also want our troops to have

free passage into Delhi, any attacks on our troops will invite further nuclear

attacks on India. You tell them they have 24 hours to decide. If there is no

response we will assume that they do not want to surrender, at which point

any target in India will then be susceptible to further nuclear strikes. You

may invite one of their representatives to meet with you in Zigong to work

out the details of the surrender, the final version of which must meet my

approval. Is that understood?" Zarain questioned, hoping to wrap India up

as quick as possible.

"Yes, My Lord. I will get in contact with the Indian representative as soon as

possible. I would like to discuss one other matter before I do." The General

answered.

"Go ahead." Zarain responded.

"My Lord, it is safe to assume that the Americans are well aware of the loca-

tion of our missile fields in Datong and in Baotou, and it is safe to assume that

at some point they will attempt to launch a preemptive strike. I suggest that

while we may not be able to stop them, it may be possible to provide us with

a much needed delay in their plans." General Ping-Chang suggested.

Zarains eyes lit up. It seemed that nothing could satisfy his thirst for power

more than humiliating the Americans. He was eager to hear the Generals plan.

"You may proceed." Zarain ordered.

" My Lord, as you know ,the streets of Beijing are full of American re-

porters eager to bring the story home to the bloodthirsty audience." The

General was interrupted by Zarain.

"If you are suggesting that we take some of these reporters hostage, I think

it will get us nowhere." Zarain responded.

"I am suggesting that we do just that, only we make it a little interesting. We

need to sear a most horrifying image into the minds of the American public."

The General explained.

"And how do you suggest we do that?" Zarain questioned.

"You know as well as I do how influential television can be. I'm suggesting

that we take several media crews hostage and confine them to the outside of

our missile base in Datong, and we will broadcast it live to the world. It will

not stop them from attacking but it will give their president something to

think about before he pulls the trigger." General Ping-Chang answered.

"Very interesting, I like it. Have one of the Security Units detain

some of the media crews. Bring them to me before you take them to Da-

tong." Zarain ordered, with a sadistic grin on his face.

Chapter Seven-The Belly of the Beast

Los Angeles, California
Tuesday, May 11 5:20 a.m. PST

It was another California sunrise, the one that entices so many to move to

the state that sits atop a fault-line. It was a sunrise to reflect upon, the keep-

er of life. How ironic that it might now be the taker of life.

Auther and Alicia were just making it out of the Cleveland National Forest.

To their surprise, they encountered no guards. The trip had been, up to this

point , uneventful. They had been sheltered from the riots, and general chaos

that had now consumed the world. They were headed for their vacation

home in the San Bernardino Mountains, normally a 2 1/2-3 hour drive, how-

ever this morning was different. They avoided the freeways for fear of being

stopped at a checkpoint. Today it would take perhaps twice as long.

"Did you bring everything?" Alicia asked, knowing full well that if anything

was forgotten they were not turning back.

Auther looked sarcastically at Alicia, "I forgot the checkbook."

Alicia had no response, for once she hoped that the mortgage company would

be around next month to harass her about their bill.

"Of course I've got everything. Extra gas, at least two weeks worth of food,

and we've got another two weeks of food left in the mountains. Radios, extra

batteries, extra cash, about a weeks worth of water, and we've got enough

milk jugs in the house that we can fill up to equal another week maybe two.

The only thing we're missing is a geigercounter, but don't worry about it. We'll

stay in the basement. First thing we do when we get there is move all the

food and water along with the furniture down there.We've got the extra bath-

room so we should be alright." Auther answered placing his arm around

Alicia trying to comfort her.
Miami General Hospital
Miami, Florida 8:30 a.m. EST

Sleep was gaining ground on Diania. After spending hours trying to counsel

dozens of people out of suicide and help them remember who they were, she

was emotionally exhausted. She prayed John was unharmed. Having seen the

riots on television, and with no answer at the car phone, she feared the worst.

The voice on CNN droned on in the background. It was now her shift to stand-

by watching the news. They were having mock drills all night shifting the en-

tire hospital into the basement. Their best time yet was eight and a half min-

utes. If news of an attack came on the television she would hit a yellow

button on the wall, about two feet from where she was sitting. All over the

hospital a siren louder than a rock concert would go off. Once everyone was in

the basement, the door would slam shut, at which point a red button would

be pushed informing a supervisor with the Federal Emergency Management

Agency, watching a central computer with a map of the United States of who

made it safely to shelters and where they were located.

Beijing, China 10:00 p.m. BST

Richard Bolen and his camera crew were pumped with adrenalin. The world

was in the midst of World War III, and they were going to make sure that

whoever was left would see it first on CNN. The tension was unbelievable.

Richard knew that history was in the making. This was going to be bigger

than Pearl Harbor. His palms were drenched with sweat, so much so that

his hands continued to slip along the steering wheal. He was looking for signs,

troop movements, people being evacuated, anything that might indicate an

imminent U.S. attack. After crossing a freeway overpass a loud noise rang out,

breaking the tense silence. Almost immediately thereafter he lost control of the

wheel, "Hang on everybody!" Richard shouted out as he attempted to steer

the car into the side ditch.

Atop a local hotel, Wu-Chan, a trained sharpshooter in the Peoples' Army of

China was satisfied. Picking up his cell-phone he called into headquarters,

"This is Wu-Chan, suspects have been disabled, move into position to acquire.

Wu-Chan out."

"Is everybody okay, no broken bones?" Richard asked as he looked at their

left tire. He knew all to well that they weren't. The tire was in shreads, this

was a planned accident.

"We've got to get out of here, there's going to be troops or the Beijing police

coming along any minute. Pick up anything you can and let's get the hell out

of here. I'm calling into Atlanta to file a report." Richard exclaimed.

Reaching in his pocket for his cell-phone he called into Atlanta for what might

be his last report.

"CNN Asian division, this is Mike, how can I help you?''

"Listen carefully, and do not hang up!! This is Richard Bolen in Beijing, there's

a major development going on here. We have taken gun-fire. Our car has been

taken out, get on the horn and interrupt Tim Donalds, if we don't make it in-

form the Pentagon that we think Zarain is looking for hostages, we don't know

what he's planning. We'll be set up for satellite backup in two minutes,

Richard out."

Tim Donalds was interviewing Indian Civil Defense officials on the extent of

the damage in Jaipur when he heard Mikes' voice in his ear, "Tim ,we'll be

interrupting you in 65 seconds, Richard Bolen has a major report coming in."

Tim broke into the Indian official, "Thank-You sir, but we have a major

story coming in from Beijing. This is a CNN breaking event...Tim Donalds here

in Atlanta, continuing our coverage on The Crisis in China we will be cutting

into Richard Bolen in three, two ,one....."

"Richard Bolen here in Beijing, where just minutes ago our car was shot at

with a high powered weapon, forcing us off the road. We believe this to be

the work of Zarain. We have reason to believe that he wants to take hostages.

For what reason we don't know..."

Seconds later sporadic gun-fire rang out, Richards' camera man was shot in

the legs.

To the viewers around the world, all that could be seen was the ground, all

that could be heard was a panic-strickened Richard.

"If anyone can hear me, we are under attack, I can't see from where. Aghhh!"

Richard fell to the ground, having taken hits in both his left leg and shoulder.

"Richard, are you there, Richard," Tim asked hoping the worst hadn't happen-
ed.

Richard lay motionless, unable to move. The camera was still on, all the world

could see now was a military boot. Wu-Chan walked up to Richard, "How do

you feel now, brave reporter? Your really bringing the story home now ,aren't

you?" Wu-Chan asked with a malicious grin on his face. With that he stepped

on the camera, smashing it into pieces.

Tim was silent.Trying to speak, "We, uh, apparently have lost contact with

Richard Bolen in Beijing." Tim tried to regain his composure "We uh, have

some other developments that we are following and need to let you know

about. CNN has just learned that about 45 minutes ago, meeting in a special

emergency session the Congress has officially declared war on China, saying

that "The new administration represents a threat to peace not seen since

Hitler"-the declaration calls for-"The immediate removal of the Chinese

government and the destruction of every aspect of the Chinese military,

nuclear and conventional, by all necessary means, as soon as possible. We are

told that President Wilson will be addressing the nation shortly, however, we

are unaware of the exact time." Tim explained, the images of Richard still

replaying in his mind.

Datong Missile Base
Datong China 11:10 p.m. BST

"What are you going to do with us?" Richard asked trying to create the illusion

that he wasn't afraid.

Zarain stared. Minutes passed. "You will be my insurance. You will

broadcast your pain to the world." Zarain answered.

"If you think for a minute that the U.S. won't attack this place just because I'm

here, your full of shit! Their going to nuke this place. They'll drop more bombs

on this place than you've got in your entire arsenal!! Your going to fry!!"Rich-

ard replied, menace in his voice.

An evil smile enveloped Zarain. "You petty fool. All I have to do is stall your

President long enough for me to get my subs launched. "

"You are the one who is the fool. Don't you realize that we have enough war-

heads to survive an attack ten times your entire force.Why do you think we

have so many subs? You can't win!! China will cease to exist as a nation!!!"

Richard shouted, hoping to reach some part of Zarain that was sane-if there

was any.

There wasn't any.

"Take him away, I'll make the announcement shortly." Zarain demanded.

Tuesday, May 11
Atlanta 10:15 a.m. EST

"This is Tim Donalds here in Atlanta, we have just received word that Zarain

will be addressing the world, in particular the United States. Lets go now to

Zarain..."

"To the American people. A short time ago actions were taken to restore the

territorial boarders of China. These actions are nearly complete. We have de-

manded specific actions to be performed by your government, and yet despite

having not fired one shot at the United States your government declares war

on China, and through their own actions has brought the world to the edge of

nuclear holocaust! This is unacceptable! We know that if an attack comes

by your country that our missile base in Datong will be hit, I am here to tell

you that we have taken several of your news reporters hostage, and if your

President orders an attack on Datong that he will be committing the murders

of not only innocent Chinese, but also the murders of several helpless Amer-

icans. In cold blood he will order their executions. Only you can apply the pro-

per political pressure on your President to change his mind. It is up to you."

Zarain ended his speech with a sweep of Richard and his camera crew.

Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana 8:20 a.m. MST

"Jesus Christ!! That low down.." The President was interrupted by General

Riley. "Sir you must not let this affect your judgement, he is merely trying to

do this to get to your emotions, of which he has none. You must remain

focused. I realize it doesn't make it any easier, but those lives may have to be

sacrificed for the greater good of the country.'' A momentary pause followed

the Generals' remarks. "Do you have your speech ready?" The General

asked.

"I'll have it ready shortly" President Wilson answered. The President had a

new found purpose. Zarain was no longer some abstract figure in a foreign

land. The sheepskin had come off and Zarains' true nature had been shown to

the world, for all to see.

Under the Atlantic...
Exact Position-Unknown

The submarine rested at the bottom of a cavern, it's engine turned off. It was

rigged for ultra-quiet. It sat motionless awaiting an order from Zarain. The

crew remained in their stations not moving.

The slightest sound could give away their location to an American Sub waiting

to send them to the bottom of the ocean. Captain Wa-Shen and Commander

Di-Chen were alone in the Captains quarters, they had managed to tap into

one of CNNs' satellites orbiting over Brazil. They were well aware of the situ-

ation, the attacks on India, the ultimatum and threats to the U.S., the massing

of troops in North Korea, everything.

"Is it really possible? Could it somehow be a trick? Some elaborate ploy by the

Americans?" Commander Di-Chen asked.

"The chances are highly unlikely my friend. The United States would gain

nothing by spreading rumors that their nuclear forces were being put on high

alert. Not only that, if they were just rumors the media would have found out

by now.

It would be quite easy for them to find out that nothing was going on. No. I'm

afraid that Zarain has underestimated the resolve of the Americans. Like a

gambler he should have stopped when he was ahead. Zarain is taking us to the

edge of the Nuclear Abyss. He has practically leaped over it with the attacks

on India.

You know as well as I do that a response from the Americans is not far off.

It's up to us to save our country and prevent the Americans from attacking."

Captain Wa-Shen answered.

"But how?" Commander Di-Chen responded.

"As much as I hate to say it, my loyalty lies with China, not with Zarain. My

friend, I must ask you where your loyalty lies?" The Captain asked.

"I agree with you, my allegiance lies with China. There can be no greatness

gained by provoking the Americans into a nuclear war. We must stop Zarain."

Di-Chen answered without giving it a second thought.

"Alright then. We need to devise a plan, and quick. Any false move could

mean the end of China as we know it." Captain Wa-Shen responded.

Tuesday, May 11
Orlando, Florida 11:20 a.m. EST

The military transport was entering the city limits of Orlando, Johns' new

home, and perhaps his last. The city was relatively quiet. His mind continued

to drift to Diania, hoping she was alive. He knew the hospital had a shelter,

but it wouldn't be able to take direct hit, especially with a high yield weapon.

The thought of his cell-phone sitting on the dash of his car continued to haunt

him. If he hadn't forgot it, he'd at least be able to hear Diana's voice. As it was

he was stuck alone with a bus load of strangers, being taken off to be buried

underground while the world disintegrated.

The bus drivers voice on the intercom broke Johns' train-of-thought.

"All passengers please listen. We will be arriving at the shelter in just a few

minutes. Upon arrival we will be handing out a questioneer that we need you

to fill out.

The questions are relatively simple. In case of a serious attack we'll need to

know what type of education you have had, where you've had jobs, general

things like that. The shelter directors will assign you to certain areas, and in-

form you of the rules of conduct, and what will be expected of you. They will

be able to answer any questions you might have. Please exit the bus in an

orderly fashion once we have parked. Thank you."

San Bernardino Mountains, California
Tuesday, May 11 8:30 a.m. PST

Auther & Alicia had made it successfully out of Los Angeles, they were now

just a few minutes away from their vacation home. The mountains managed

to retain their usual solitude. In normal times they offered a peaceful refuge

from the madness of the city. How ironic that today they would offer refuge

from the end or at least the substantial disruption of the world.

Auther looked at Alicia with somewhat relief that they had made it. Both

were silent. Alicia was worried about her mom and Auther was worried about

Alicia. Everyone seemed to just want to get it over with, whatever was going

to happen. Auther reached down to turn the radio on, the only station coming

in was an AM station from Bakersfield.

"We go now live to President Wilson who is broadcasting from somewhere

under Montana.

"My fellow Americans, in the past 36 hours we have seen how unpredictable

our world can be. Just two days ago, our nation was at peace and content to

argue over who would win the NBA playoffs. Today our nation stands tall and

united over eliminating an evil tyrannical monster who is threatening all the

peace-loving countries of the world, but especially, he is threatening the United

States. Earlier in our history , this nation rose up and defeated the forces of

evil the were raining disaster on Europe and the Pacific. Today I am here to

tell you that the United States and our N.A.T.O. allies are determined to stand

together and we're determined to take action!! We're not going to tolerate

these attacks by out-law states. We will not cave in!! To Zarain...Our demands

are simple...You must begin the process of removing all military forces from

India, Loas and North Korea...You must also remove yourself from power and

restore the former government of China...and finally...You must release all

hostages...Or face your own demise!! Along with the demise off China and

countless millions who are innocent. The choice is yours to make. You have

12 hours to comply with our demands, or face the consequences. To the

families of the hostages being held in Datong. I want you to know that our

deepest sorrow goes out to you today, and while we pray for a peaceful

solution, I have a duty to ensure the safety and well being of the remaining

people back home. Therefore, as much as it pains me, if the time comes, I will

not hesitate to order the bombing of Datong. I am truly sorry that it has to be

this way. Let us all pray for the safe return home of our fellow Americans

held hostage, and for a peaceful ending to this crisis. Thank You and God Bless

America!"

Auther and Alicia looked at each other, both had a sickening feeling through-

out their bodies. This was truly it. It was bottom of the ninth and two outs.

The next twelve hours would determine the future course of the world.

Datong Missile Base, Datong, China
Wednesday, May 12 12:35 a.m

For the first time in Zarains' life he was truly perplexed. He was convinced

that the sight of innocent Americas being held hostage would cause at least

some pause with the President. Instead it had backfired miserably, it had

apparently strengthened the American Presidents' resolve. So much so that

he was now faced with a deadline for action that was sooner then he expected.

At all costs' he was determined to continue being the one who was writing the

terms of the crisis. He looked at General Ping-Chang, the normally apparent

confidence was absent, "General, time is of the essence, I need answers."

"My Lord, I am here to serve. What questions do you seek answers to?" The

General asked.

"Do you think the Americans are bluffing, and if they aren't why haven't they

taken out our subs? Why fool around with a pretty speech?" Zarain asked,

anxious to here the Generals' answers.

"My Lord, I would have to say that is more likely that they are unaware of

our subs. Perhaps they believe that their cities have been evacuated, to such

an extent that they are now willing to risk an all-out attack. I must say that

I can not think of a reason to dance around with pretty speeches if they knew

where our subs are. They would have taken them out by now." The General

answered. A part of himself now knowing that the hours were running out on

his life.

"So what do you think the U.S. response would be if we upped the ante and

moved our forces into South Korea for a preemptive strike." Zarain questioned

the decision having already been made in his mind.

"My Lord, seeings how we haven't detected any additional reinforcements

moving into South Korea. I would say that they are, at least at this point in the

conflict content to lose the area. Although I must add that we can expect them

to attempt to regain the area at a later point." General Ping-Chang responded.

"How soon can our forces in North Korea be ready for an offensive attack into

the south?" Zarain asked.

"We have assembled a force of nearly 1.1 million. They are ready to attack

as soon as the order is given, My Lord." General Ping-Chang informed.

Determined to stay in control of the crisis, and hoping that such a decisive

victory in the south would cause the American public to turn against the war,

he gave the order. "General, inform the ground commander in North Korea that

he is to begin the invasion of South Korea immediately, and that I want a sit-

uation report every half hour by him personally." Zarain demanded.

"Yes My Lord." General Ping-Chang answered, knowing that the fate of China

was now sealed.

Atlanta
Tuesday, May 11 12:05 p.m. EST

Less than 12 hours to go and the tension in the control room was now opp-

ressive. Everyone was on death watch, as they sat and waited for the 11:30

deadline to arrive. The likelihood that a nuclear exchange would take place

between the United States and another nation had far exceeded even the Cuban

Missile Crisis. How ironic that Russia was now on our side, and that China was

now the aggressor.

"Tim Donalds here in Atlanta, with just 11 hours and 10 minutes to go

before tonights deadline, we have a report just released by the Federal Re-

serve saying that the effects of the worldwide evacuations, and for all pract-

ical purposes the shutting down of the world, will lead to a worldwide deppre-

sion, assuming we make it through the crisis. The report states that the G.D.P.

of the world is contracting by almost 10 billion dollars a day, even worse, the

report states that the rate of contraction can be expected to increase, if the

crisis drags on for a prolonged period. 'Although no one in the control room,

and around the world for that matter, expected that to happen.'

Tuesday, May 11
FEMA Bomb Shelter
Orlando, Florida 12:15 p.m. EST

John had decided it was beyond his control. He was now making the best of it

on bunk bed 245. Like prisoners awaiting a mass execution, they sat and

watched the clock now. The shelter held almost 400 people. John was now a

number-245. It was getting close to lunch time, but no one, including the shel-

ter directors was in the mood.

Everyone was huddled in groups around 20 T.V..s' that were scattered about

the different rooms. Some chose not to watch, and just slept in their beds, but

for the most part everything was quite calm. No rioting, no fighting. Perhaps

everyone was just resigned to the inevitable.

Chapter Eight-Innocence Lost

Wednesday, May 12 1:20 a.m. KST
DMZ South Korean Side

The still of the night was broken by air raid sirens going off along the entire

length of the DMZ. A massive missile attack was underway. The sky was filled

with vapor trails. Seconds latter a new sound could be heard-that of Patriot

Missile Batteries firing. Brilliant explosions lit the night sky. However, it was a

game of attrition, and the Patriots were losing. Seconds latter dozens of F-15s

and F-16s took off from air bases in Pusan and Taegu, in route for intercept

with the incoming forces of Zarain. From the AirCraft Carrier Independence in

the East China Sea F-14s and F-18s would soon join the battle. To the north in

the Sea of Japan Mirage-2000s from the French AirCraft Carrier Charles

DeGule were just minutes behind their American counterparts. Their job would

not be to stop the incoming forces of Zarain. Theirs' would be to lay a trap

while the U.S. and South Korean Ground Forces fell back to the southern coast

and regrouped in Pusan.

Tuesday, May 11 10:25 a.m. MST
Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana...

Attempting to get just a few minutes sleep, the president was awaken by the

sound of the phone ringing. "This is the Wilson, what's our status?" The

President asked.

"Sir, this is General Riley. General Daniell of Joint U.S. South Korean Forces has

informed me that Zarain is invading the south, and that "Operation Temporary

Exit" has begun. We are awaiting a final report from General Daniell on the ex-

act location of both Zarains forces and of our forces. At which time will need

your authorization for the Baltimore to launch." General Riley explained.

"I understand. Keep me informed, and let me know when our forces are in

safe position." President Wilson ordered.

"Yes Sir!" General Riley responded.

Wednesday, May 12 1:35 a.m. JST
Over Osaka, Japan...

Tom Manning and his Co-pilot had just arrived to their fail-safe point and

were now entering a stationary orbit, when the tele-type began to print.

Printed at the top of the message in bold letters was-"Priority Message" they

were convinced that this was it. Neither said a word, as they waited for the

message to finish printing. It seamed to last an eternity.

"To all participants in "Operation NightHawk"-Zarains' forces have attacked

South Korea. "Operation Temporary Exit" has begun. The final stage is set to

begin soon. The response by Zarain is difficult to anticipate. Standby for im-

ediate authorization for "Operation NightHawk"."

With that, the message ended. Tom was determined to keep his cool. This was

what he had trained for his entire life. Although he wouldn't be directly

involved in the bombing-a part of him still worried about the implications

tonights' actions would have on his son and the rest of the world.

Atlanta
Tuesday, May 11 12:45 p.m. EST

"Tim Donalds here in Atlanta, with 10 hours and 45 minutes to go until

tonights deadline, we have just learned that a massive invasion by Zarains'

forces is taking place against U.S. forces in South Korea. The Pentagon is re-

porting that U.S. and South Korean ground forces are being completely over-

run by the incoming wave of Chinese troops.

Pentagon estimates place the incoming force at almost 1 and 1/4 million

ground troops, along with over 650 fighter jets. The Defence department has

informed us that total U.S. and South Korean troop levels are only 210 thou-

sand. With just a little over one hour past since the invasion began, U.S./S.K.

forces are in a full-fledged retreat. Fighter aircraft from the US.S. Indepen-

dence and the French aircraft carrier Charles DeGule are providing cover for

the retreating ground forces.

Needless to say this defeat does not strengthen the U.S. and N.A.T.O.s' hand in

the ongoing crisis. If fact most analysts are saying that it weakens their posi-

tion. It is most certainly giving Zarain both a tactical and an emotional boost."

Tim Donalds explained.

Tuesday, May 11 10:55 a.m. MST
Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana...

The President and his advisors were watching the battle take place as it

happened. A dozen monitors displayed all the necessary information. The posi-

tion of U.S. forces. The locations of all NATO submarines and Carrier battle

groups in the area, and what was probably the most important information-

the location of Zarains' forces. Just one final step was needed before the first

release of nuclear weapons by the United States since 1945-a confirmation

by General Daniell or his next in command, that U.S./S.K. ground forces had

made it safely to Pusan.

Watching the monitors, the minutes seamed like decades. Satellite photos

showed the troops making it into Pusan, but still no confirmation. As the Pre-

sident pondered why General Daniell had not called in, a secretary walked up

to the President. "Sir, we have General Daniell on a secure line for you. You can

pick it up on line two."

Glad that the troops were safe, yet resigned to the turn of events, President

Wilson picked up the phone. "General, we were getting a little worried about

you over here. Is everyone in position?" The President asked.

Trying to be brief the General answered, "Yes Sir.We are at Condition Receding

Darkness...Repeat we are at Condition Receding Darkness...Daniell out"

The President slowly set the phone down. After a slight pause to gather his

thoughts the President turned to General Riley and spoke. "Very well. Lets do

it. Where are the codes?" The General was carrying a black briefcase, the

contents of which contained the keys to unlock the most destructive force man

has ever known. The President searched for the appropriate set of codes for

the attack pattern selected.

Under the East China Sea
Exact Location...Unknown

Aboard the U.S.S. Baltimore, a Los Angeles class cruise missile submarine, the

Captain was anticipating the Emergency Action Message that was already be-

ing verified. Having been informed of the invasion by Zarain into South Korea,

he knew that it was only a matter of time before the crew of the Baltimore

would be called upon. It was decided earlier in the planning stages of "Oper-

ation Temporary Exit" that with little time to bring reinforcements into South

Korea, if Zarain choose to invade, there would be minimal resistance put up

by U.S. forces. Instead, Zarains' forces would be lead to believe that he could

have the south. With virtually all of Seoul evacuated or in bomb shelters, it

was also decided that when Zarains' troops made their way into the deserted

Seoul, it would be sacrificed in exchange for a substantial reduction of Za-

rains' ground troops.

LT. Timothy Sims made his way to the Captain. "Sir we have a properly for-

matted Emergency Action Message. Permission to authenticate." The LT. asked.

"Permission granted." The Captain responded.

The code words on the message matched code words that were in a safe on

the submarine. "Sir, message is authentic." LT. Sims answered. "I concur sir"

The X.O. answered.

"Very well, lets read it." The Captain responded.

The X.O. started to read the message, "To the Captain and crew of the U.S.S.

Baltimore...Zarains' forces have invaded South Korea & are approaching Seoul.

U.S./S.K. ground forces have successfully made it to Pusan. Supporting aircraft

are returning to designated aircraft carriers. The use of nuclear weapons has

been authorized. Set for condition 1-SQ. Spin up missiles 1 through 12 for

launch in 20 minutes at designated targets. End message."

Like a well-oiled machine the Captain reached for the microphone, "Weapons,

this is Con. We have received a properly formatted emergency action message.

The use of nuclear weapons has been authorized. This is not a drill. I repeat

this is not a drill. Set for condition 1-SQ. Spin up missiles 1-12. Set clock for

launch in twenty minutes, at designated targets." The Captain handed the mi-

crophone to the X.O. " Weapons, this is the X.O. We have received a properly

formatted emergency action message. The use of nuclear weapons has been

authorized. This is not a drill. I repeat this is not a drill. Set for condition 1-SQ.

Spin up missiles 1-12. Set clock for launch in 20 minutes, at designated tar-

gets." The Captain and the X.O. waited for a response from weapons.

"Con, this is weapons. We are now at condition 1-SQ. Missiles 1-12 have been

spun up. Launch in 19 minutes 55 seconds. Repeat...Con, this is weapons. We

are now at condition 1-SQ. Missiles 1-12 have been spun up. Launch in 19

minutes 50 seconds." LT. Commander Chris Bander answered.

The gun was now loaded and the hammer was cocked. All that remained was ]

to keep the submarine alive for another 19 minutes.

Tuesday, May 11 11:02 a.m. MST
Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana....

General Riley approached the President, who was now intently monitoring sev-

eral television screens. "Sir, the Baltimore reports that they are now at condi-

tion 1-SQ, and the launch clock is now at 18 minutes."

"Very well. Inform NATO Supreme Command as well as the French President.

I'll notify the Russian President." President Wilson responded.

President Wilson headed for his private quarters where he would inform the

Russian President of the impending release of U.S. nuclear weapons.

When the red light began to flash, the Russian President knew exactly why he

was being contacted. "Greetings Mr. Wilson." He answered with resignation.

"My friend, I am sure you know why I am calling, so let me get straight to the

point. In approximately 17 minutes one of our cruise missile subs will release

12 nuclear missiles targeted at Zarains forces, both in Seoul and across the

border in North Korea. Each has a yield of 1 kiloton. Each will be an airburst

at 500 feet. So that you may properly monitor the launch, it will take place

from the East China Sea. This is all the information that I am able to provide,

however I suggest that we continue to remain united against this common

enemy." President Wilson explained.

"I thank you for this information. I see no reason for this to be false. We will

ofcourse monitor the launch. I can pledge to you that our Strategic Rocket

Forces will remain neutral in this matter, unless and until there is an attack

on our country." The Russian President answered.

"I can assure you that if there is it will not come from the United States or

NATO. I must go now, I need to discuss the situation with my battle staff. I

will kept in contact, and I ask that you do the same." President Wilson replied.

"I will, let us hope the heavens do not weep for us in the coming days." The

Russian President replied.

Tuesday, May 11 1:07 p.m EST
Atlanta

"Tim Donalds, here in Atlanta, where it would appear that the U.S. and NATO

have suffered a most humiliating defeat in South Korea. Just minutes ago,

Zarain finished addressing the Chinese public and proclaimed that South Korea

has fallen. Troops are pouring into the capital, Seoul ,by the tens of thousands.

This is all being confirmed by the Pentagon-which reports that ten out of the

twelve Patriot Missile Defences batteries stationed on the DMZ have been des-

troyed. Three F-14s have been lost, with the pilots unaccounted for. One

French Mirage-2000 was destroyed, and the pilot is confirmed dead. U.S./S.K.

ground force casualties are not precisely known at this time, but Pentagon

estimates are at least 350, with 200 dead.

Unable to hold back the wave of Chinese forces NATO ground troops have re-

treated to the port city of Pusan in the south. We are told they are being

evacuated and will be taken to U.S. bases in Japan to regroup.

This is of course a most dramatic turn of events for the U.S. and the world.

Many analysts now expect this quick and decisive victory to boost Zarains

confidence, and it is expected now that he will not give in to the U.S. demands

of withdrawal. In fact many analysts now expect Zarain to issue further de-

mands of the U.S. In a related story Iran has publicly endorsed the actions by

Zarain, and is holding out the offer of an alliance with Zarain, who in his add-

ress to China is said to be highly interested in an alliance with the Muslim

nation." Tim explained trying to remain calm and collected.

FEMA Bomb Shelter
Orlando, Florida 1:12 p.m. EST

A dark cloud of despair descended over John as well as the rest of the nation.

It was all true. Zarain had called our bluff, and now was occupying South

Korea.

All the commentators were predicting a bloodbath as our troops tried to

retreat in humiliation, and all were predicting that Zarain would remain in

control of SouthEast Asia and perhaps India if they surrendered, which now

looked guaranteed. Throw in an alliance with Iran and Zarain now seemed

unstoppable.

Worried about Diania, and unable to continue watching John went back to his

bunk bed, to try to forget about the world, if only for a few minutes.

As the news continued to disseminate around the globe, the worlds

inhabitants, Zarain excluded, slipped into a collective state of despair.

Under the East China Sea
Exact Time & Location Unknown....

The silence of the sea, kept hidden the messenger of death below.

Beneath the surface a dark image could now be seen as it made its way to-

wards the air above. Suddenly the image halted and lay motionless just below

the surface. Seconds later the response that Zarain was not anticipating was on

its way.

Tuesday, May 11 11:21 a.m. MST
Presidential Bomb Shelter
Under Montana....

The control room was now bustling with activity. General Riley made his way

to the President. "Sir, Strategic Air Command confirms that all missiles were

launched on schedule. The first of which will hit its target in 250 seconds. The

Baltimore also reports that they did not encounter resistance, and have re-

sumed their original course. They will remain within range to target mainland

China, should that be necessary. It should also be noted that the Virginia,

Georgia, and Atlanta are now in position for immediate high-yield nuclear strike

against the mainland, should that be necessary. Also, we have confirmed that

all B-2s are now in position for "Operation NightHawk", if it's implemented."

"Very well. All we can do now is wait." President Wilson replied, as he

watched the map of the Korean Peninsula with 12 corresponding circles

indicating impact sites getting progressively smaller. The T.T.D. (Time till

detonatetion) clock was at 200 seconds and counting backwards.

Wednesday, May 12 2:23 a.m. BST
Dantog Missile Base
Datong, China

Zarain continued to monitor the information pouring in from South Korea. He

was immersed in his ego. Every aspect of his life had in some way contributed

to todays events. As he sat quietly pondering the future, General Ping-Chang

approached him. "Congratulations My Lord. I must admit I thought the Ameri-

cans would retreat, however I was certain that they would regroup in Pusan.

I was sure that they wouldn't leave the country, but every report we're

getting is that they are retreating to Japan. The small amount of air cover we

encountered was not an attack force. It was barely providing cover for the re-

treating ground troops. Now the Dragon flies high over Seoul, as it will over

the rest of Asia." The General explained as he noticed that Zarains' mind was

drifting. "My Lord, What troubles you? We are victorious. Now is the time for

celebration." The General questioned.

"I agree with you completely, it's just" Zarain was abruptly interrupted by LT.

Kim Sam. "My Lord, forgive my interrupting, but we have detected a total of

12 incoming missiles headed directly for our troops in North & South Korea,

including Seoul!!" The LT. explained franticly. Zarain turned towards General

Ping-Chang giving him a stare that nearly knocked him over. He

now knew why Zarain was not eager to celebrate. Trying to remain calm,

Zarain looked back towards the LT. "Conventional or Nuclear?" Zarain asked.

"My Lord, we are unable to determine that. All that is known is that the first

one should impact in 45 seconds, and that all of the missiles originated from

under the East China Sea." LT. Kim Sam explained, well aware of the rage that

was building up in Zarain.

"It has to have been an American submarine!! It was a trap!! It was all plan-

ned!! They knew we would fall for it!!" Zarain shouted, as he searched his

mind for an appropriate response. "Monitor the situation. I want a status re-

port immediately after the last missile hits." Zarain demanded.

"Yes, My Lord!" LT. Kim Sam answered.

Wednesday, May 12 2:27 a.m. KST
Seoul, South Korea

At 2:27:44 a.m. KST the first nuclear weapons to be used by the United States

since 1945 detonated over Seoul. The world city which had hosted the 1988

summer olympics was devastated by choice. Shortly afterward Pyongyang,

North Korea was the recipient of its own tactical nuclear detonations. All over

the DMZ Zarains' massive army was massacred, as still more bombs rained

down from overhead. The port city of Chongjin, North Korea became the next

casualty as the missile landed directly in the heart of the city, stopping just

short of China proper.

Across the peninsula the once mighty army stood in ruin. A testament to their

leaders own selfishness.

Wednesday, May 12 2:35 a.m. BST
Datong Missile Base
Datong, China

LT. Kim Sam sat in disbelief as the reports from satellite intelligence came

in. Speechless, he watched in horror as the death toll mounted. However, sym-

bolic the bombings of Seoul and Pyongyang, this was definitely a counter-

force strike against military targets all over the peninsula. One by one the re-

ports came in. Airfields, transportation routes, weapons depos, naval bases, all

were targeted.

After a few minutes, he gathered the strength and compiled a report for Za-

rain.

"My Lord, I have a status report on the American attack prepared for you."

The Lt. explained.

"Summary, I want a summary. What is left?" Zarain asked.

As sweat started to run down his face the Lt. answered. "My Lord, to the

best of our knowledge the attack consisted of 12 tactical nuclear missiles. We

estimate the yield to be 1-1 1/2 kilotons each. Both Seoul and Pyongyang we'

re targeted. All port and naval bases in North Korea have been taken out.

Escape routes we're targeted, trapping what troops we have left on the South

Korean side. All air fields in North Korea have been taken out. Army barracks

on both sides of the DMZ were hit. Finally two oil refineries near Hamhung,

North Korea were hit. Death toll right now is estimated to be at least 355,000.

However, secondary effects from both firestorms, and fallout should kill an-

other 100,000. Also it can be expected that another 50,000 will die due to lack

of properly treated food and water. Sir." Lt. Kim Sam explained, hoping Zarain

would not take his rage out on him right there.

General Ping-Chang was completely slient, as he was the one who advised Za-

rain on the benefits of the invasion.

As for Zarain, he remained quiet. Too quiet.

Zarain began to pace up and down the hallway nearby. Their own interests at

heart, the General & the Lt. thought it would be best if they left him alone.

Tuesday, May 11 10:55 a.m.
San Bernardino Mountains, California

Having brought all the food and water along with extra batteries downstairs,

Auther proceeded to lock the basement door. The sound of the door shutting

sounded more like the cover of a coffin being shut to Auther & Alicia.

As they cuddled each other on the couch, Auther turned the t.v. on. Listening

to CNN, they hugged each other tight, waiting for the end.

"This is Kathy Bomen, with CNN live from the Pentagon Bomb Shelter.

With just under 10 1/2 hours to go until tonights deadline for Zarain to begin

withdrawing troops from occupied areas in East Asia, we are getting conflict-

ing reports that the United States has just used nuclear weapons on Zarains'

forces, in North Korea as well as South Korea. You'll recall that shortly ago

U.S. and South Korean Ground troops had evacuated the Korean Peninsula,

and we're regrouping in Japan. This was confirmed by the Pentagon. So per-

haps what we thought was a humiliating retreat, now looks like it could have

been a well laid trap for Zarain. We want to hear what General Riley has to

say about all this. He is making his way to the podium now." Kathy explained

as the General pulled down an enlarged map of the Korean Peninsula.

"I'm here with a brief statement and I'll be taking no questions afterward.

First on behalf of the President I would like to express my outrage at the un-

provoked devastation and brutality that has been subjected on the people of

Asia since Zarain came to power some just two days ago. That having been

said, this administration tried every non-violent means available to convince

Zarain to leave the areas that he had occupied. However, given the lack of

time, because of the demands of Zarain, there was little chance of a non-

violent solution being found. Finally, once the invasion into South Korea began

we felt that we had to act to put an end to this brutal and unprovoked aggres-

sion. Therefore, once Zarains' forces began invading the South, "Operation Tem-

porary Exit" began. It was a very simple plan involving two stages. Stage

One-The Orderly Retreat of U.S./S.K. ground forces off the peninsula and to

Japan. That was accomplished with light casualties. Stage Two-After the U.S./

S.K. ground forces had been evacuated, we waited for Zarains' ground troops

to push further into South Korea, and at the appropriate time the launch of

12 Nuclear Armed Cruise Missiles from the U.S.S. Baltimore was ordered by

the President. Each missile contained a 1 kiloton warhead. All hit their targets

successfully." Drawing several circles on the map the General Continued.

The targets included the following...Seoul-1 warhead. Pyongyang-1 warhead.

Seven warheads were delivered to five airfields in North Korea. One warhead

was delivered to two oil refineries in HamHung, North Korea. The remaining

two warheads were targeted at ground troops along the DMZ. While the Pre-

sident regrets having to take these actions he felt that it was absolutely ness-

esary. On a closing note, I would just like to remind Zarain that he now has

just over 10 hours left with which to comply with our demands that he re-

move all forces from the occupied areas of East Asia as well as step down from

power and allow the former government of China to return. Or he will face

a situation worst than what he is dealing with now. Thank You, and God Bless

America." The General finished. Walking of the stage, he headed back to the

war-room. The reporters, along with the world had been shell-shocked yet

again. Throughout all of the Cold War the superpowers kept their nuclear

weapons slient. Although coming close during the Cuban Missile Crisis-not

once did the superpowers engage in a nuclear conflict. How ironic that without

a superpower conflict to constrain the world, it looked more and more likely

that it was sliding down the slope into the nuclear abyss.

Under the Atlantic...
Exact & Time Location Unknown....

Aboard the U.S.S. Richmond a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine, the

Captain had been summoned to the bridge.

"Captain's on the bridge" The X.O. called out.

" Report, what's going on.?" The Captain asked.

Handing him a report the X.O. explained. "Sir, about one minute ago Sonar de-

tected the Chinese sub beginning to hover. About 5 seconds ago, they stopped

at 50 feet. That is the maximum launch depth for all of the Chinese Ballistic

Submarines."

Reaching for the microphone the Captain called out to the crew "This is the

Captain, Red Alert! I repeat Red Alert! This is not a drill. Rig sub for ultra-

quiet, the Chinese sub could be getting ready to launch. Sonar-monitor for a

hatch opening-inform me as soon as you have it confirmed. Weapons-lock on

to the Chinese sub and ready torpedoes 1 thru 3 for immediate launch. This is

not a drill!"

After an initial minute of activity the Richmond was now slient as it waited

and listened for the sound which would send the Chinese sub to the bottom

of the ocean floor.

Sonar was now fixed on the sub. Waiting and sorting its way through the doz-

ens of other sounds that were normal to the ocean. Waiting to here the one

sound that was foreign to the ocean.

Having noticed a blip on the sonar graph, he immediately cross-checked it

with the main computer database containing the records of tens of thousands

of sounds. If their hatch was opening the computer would know. Listening to

the playback from the computer the Head of Sonar alerted the Captain. "Con-

this is Sonar we have a priority one alert, repeat we have a priorty one alert,

we have just confirmed the Chinese sub is opening the launch hatch, repeat

the Chinese sub is opening the launch hatch." Having rehearsed the part over

dozens of times before, the Captain reached for the microphone. "Weapons-

this is Con, we have confirmed the Chinese sub is opening the launch hatch,

target torpedoes and prepare to fire on my command." "Con-this is weapons,

we are locked on, repeat we are locked on" Weapons answered.

"Weapons-this is Con-FIRE!!"

With that the three SUBROCK nuclear armed torpedoes left the hull of the

Richmond. Breaking the surface several seconds later they proceeded towards

the target, some fifteen miles away. As they approached the sub about one

mile out, they resubmerged to race thru the water. Just seconds before the

torpedoes hit, the CCS-3 Class Chinese submarine was able to release its mess-

enger of death. It was to late, the missile cleared the water some 300 miles

of the coast of the Falkland Islands, it was now on its way to the U.S.

"Con-this is Weapons, we have three direct hits, repeat we have three direct

hits." "Con-this is Sonar, we sugest you inform Strategic Air Command that

there may have been a launch, just prior to impact of the torpedoes. The noise

of the explosions muffled the sound, so I an unable to get a confirmation on

it."

"Weapons, Sonar-this is Con. Your statements are acknowledged" The Captain

replied.

Tuesday, May 11
Strategic Air Command HeadQuarters
Omaha, Nebraska 12:25 p.m. MST

The command center was organized chaos. There was no turning back, World

War III was now under way.

Lt. Carther rushed over to Commander Tucker trying to keep all of the situa-

tion reports together. "Sir, we have a report from the Richmond that there

has been an enemy kill. They sank one of the Chinese subs. Satellite reconnais-

sance confirms that there was three small nuclear detonations off the Falkland

islands consistent with characteristics of the SUBROCK torpedo approx. 55 sec-

onds ago. What do you..." The Lt. was interrupted by the alarm going off all

over the building. "What the hell is going on?!" Commander Tucker demanded.

Lt. Carther quickly got back to his consol. "Jesus Christ!!" Lt. Carther mumbled

under his breath. "What, what is it?" The Commander questioned. "Uh, Sir, I

think you better take a look at this." The Lt. responded. Walking over to the

consol, the Commander began to read the situation report that was being

printed out. Whispering under his breath the Commander began to read it.

WARNING...A POTENTIAL MISSILE ATTACK AGAINST THE CONTIN-

ENTAL UNITED STATES...AS WELL AS MAINLAND EUROPE HAS BEEN

IDENTIFIED...STAND BY FOR TRAJECTORY CONFIRMATION...STAND

BY...ATTACK PATTERN CONSISTS OF ONE SLBM...LAUNCHED

APPROXIMATELY 300 MILES EAST OF THE FALKLAND ISLANDS...AS

WELL AS ONE ICBM...LAUNCHED FROM THE DATONG MISSILE BASE

IN DATONG CHINA...PROBABILITY OF MISSILES BEING MIRV...75%

STAND BY FOR TRAJECTORY CONFIRMATION...STAND BY...

Commander Tucker rushed to the phone to inform the President. "This is

Wilson." The President answered. "Sir, Zarain has responded to our attack in

South Korea." Commander Tucker responded. "Explain." President Wilson

answered, fearful of what the answer would be. "Sir, we have identified two

ballistic missiles that have been launched. One is a ICBM the other an SLBM.

The SLBM is headed for the Continental United States, the ICBM is on its way

to mainland Europe. The exact locations for each won't be known for another

two minutes, however, we are certain that they are headed for the U.S. and

Europe. Also, the computer puts the probability of them being MIRV at 75%.

Which might explain why there have only been two launches. The good news

is that the we have also confirmed that the Richmond has sunk one of the

Chinese subs. Infact it was the one that launched the SLBM. What are your

orders Sir?" Commander Tucker asked.

"Unbelievable. If there are no other launches, the first thing we're going

to do is alert the local FEMA shelters and other facilities in the target areas

that there is an attack underway. As for the target sites in Europe, I'll inform

NATO Command in Brussels as soon as we know. Their local agencies will

have to follow their own procedures. Beyond that I want the B-2s from "Oper-

ation NightHawk" to be sent in immediately, I want the sub launches timed so

they detonate after the B-2s' have made in to safety. It's time to get this over

with, I've had about all I can take of this bastard. Other than that, I want to

know as soon as you get a target package." The President ordered with a mix

of exasperation and despair in his voice.

"Yes Sir. If you'll stay on the line a second, we are getting another print-out so

we should know what the targets are." Commander Tucker answered. Reach-

ing over to the tele-type he pulled the latest report off the printer. Glancing

down he read it before he got back to the President.

TRAJECTORY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED...TARGETS INCLUDE THE FOLLOW-

ING...MUNICH.GERMANY...THE ICBM FROM DATONG MISSILE BASE...

IMPACT IN 31 MINUTES...ORLANDO.FLORIDA.THE SLBM OFF THE

FALKLAND ISLANDS...IMPACT IN 30 MINUTES...TRAJECTORY

CONFIRMED...

Commander Tucker reached for the phone to inform the President. "Sir, we

have just received a target confirmation." "Alright, what is it" President Wilson

answered, knowing that in the next half-hour tens of thousands of Americans

would die. "Sir, the targets include, Munich Germany, as well as Orlando

Florida. At this point it would appear that neither one is MIRV, however, I

should point out that if they were, we wouldn't know until the final minutes

of flight. Also, I would recommend that we inform all FEMA shelters in Flor-

ida. The Chinese SLBMs' are not known for their accuracy.

The slightest adjustment in its course and Miami could be hit, Sir." Comm-

ander Tucker responded. "I agree. Have FEMA inform all shelters in Florida

that a nuclear attack is under way. Alert the Red Cross and I want N.A.R.T.

(Nuclear Attack Response Teams) standing by to be sent in as soon as possible.

Inform the press, but I want it stressed that as of now it is a limited attack.

We're going to ride this one out for now. Is that understood?" The President

asked.

"Yes Sir." Commander Tucker answered. As he looked at the T.T.D. (Time Till

Detonation) clock now at 28:55 for Orlando and 29:55 for Munich and count-

ing backwards.

FEMA Bomb Shelter
Orlando, Florida 2:32 p.m. EST

John was drifting into that mystery world, just before one falls asleep, when

he was jolted back to reality by a siren and a bright red light flashing through-

out the shelter. Everyone was now wide awake and confusion soon prevailed.

They had the television on but there was no new reports. What did it

mean?

Knowing all to well what it meant, the shelter director, along with several

aides headed for the private office. Glancing down, the incoming fax read

like an obituary-"TO ALL FEMA SHELTERS IN FLORIDA-A NUCLEAR ATTACK

IS CURRENTLY UNDER WAY-THE SUSPECTED TARGET AT THIS POINT IS-,time

froze as they waited for the next sentence to start printing-ORLANDO FLOR-

IDA-IMPACT IN 26 MINUTES-DUE TO THE INACCURACY OF THE CHINESE SLBM

THE TARGET COULD CHANGE AT ANY MINUTE-N.A.R.T. CREWS ARE STANDING

BY-AND WILL BE SENT IN IMMEDIATELY AFTER DETONATION-THE NATIONAL

GUARD HAS BEEN NOTIFIED-INTERSTATES 95-75-&10 WILL BE CLOSED-AS

WELL AS ALL SECONDARY ROUTES INTO THE STATE-EXECPT FOR AUTHORIZED

PERSONAL ONLY-IT IS ADVISED THAT ALL BLAST DOORS SHOULD BE SHUT

IMMEDIATELY-IT IS ALSO ADVISED THAT A TELEVISION-RADIO-AS WELL

AS BACK-UP GENERATORS BE SHIELDED IMMEDIATELY TO PROTECT FROM E.M.

PULSE-BE PREPARED TO BE WITHOUT HELP FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF

TIME-REMAINING CALM CAN SAVE LIVES-TRY TO DO SO-STAND-BY FOR

FURTHER UP-DATES...........

At that moment the innocence of a nation was shattered, unparalleled to any

other single event in the history of America. No longer we're we immune, no

longer did the guillotine of nuclear war reside in the movies, it was here.

After regaining some resemblance of sanity, the shelter directors proceeded

to inform the occupants.

"Listen up everybody!!!" Don Jenson, the head of the shelter shouted.

Curiosity, having been sparked, the chatter soon died down.

"Thank You." Don responded. A brief pause followed. "It pains me to have to

say this, but we all knew that however unlikely, this time could come. We

have just been notified by FEMA, from their alternate headquarters under

Montana,' John could hear it coming. 'That a nuclear attack against the

United States is underway.' Walls of illusions came crashing down around

everyone in the shelter. Don continued 'Right now there is only one missile on

the way. Currently it is believed that the intended target is Orlando.' As if hit

with its' own nuclear weapon, the rubble that just seconds ago was a wall of

perceived safety was vaporized. Don continued to explain 'It should impact in

24 minutes. However it is also believed that the target could change at any

minute due to the inaccuracy of the Chinese SLBM. Nevertheless we need to

begin to move all essential electrical equipment into the shielding room. We

will also be closing all blast doors imedately. If there are any questions

they will be answered as soon as the necessary work is finished. We have

only 23 minutes." Don explained trying to play his part in the script of

madness.

Under the Pacific.....
785 miles West of Lima, Peru

Aboard the Eclipsed Shadow-a Chinese CC-3 class nuclear ballistic submarine,

Captain Wa-Shen had convened a ship wide announcement. After gaining the

support of his second-in-command along with his battle staff, he now had the

confidence to address the crew.

"My fellow shipmates, Time is not on our side, so I will be as brief as possible.

We were sent out here to protect our great nation of China. We must continue

to provide that protection. However, in order to provide that protection we

must alter our direction. Today I ask for you to continue to trust me as I have

trusted you. There can be only one way to stop the Americans from destroy-

ing our nation-and they will, completely and totally,-if we do not take bold

action. After long consideration I have decided that my loyalty lies with China

and not with Zarain. Therefore it is the decision of myself, my second-in-com-

mand, as well as my battle staff that we surrender our vessel as well as in-

form the Americans of the location of our sister vessel. This must be done-Zar-

ain has already launched one missile at Florida and one against Germany.

There will be no future for China if we engage the United States in a nuclear

war. We are Zarains' trump cards. For the sake of your families as well as our

nation this must be done. If we surrender there is a high likelihood that the

Americans will not fire. We must surrender before the first missile hits in 20

minutes. That is all." The Captain explained.

A sigh of relief was felt all over the ship. Nearly everyone aboard did not

support Zarain, but was afraid to speak out against him for fear of the conse-

quences. Now that the Captain, along with the other commanding officers had

spoken out, everyone was more than willing to help out.

Miami General Hospital
Miami, Florida 2:39 p.m EST

The sirens were continuing to sound out. Confusion was rampant, as people

were jamming the elevators and stairways. Already several people had jump-

ed from their windows. The remnants of bodies laid scattered around the

parking lot. Nothing could be done. There was no time to bother with them.

Diana continued to ran franticly along several floors spot-checking to make

sure no one had been left behind. One by one the floors begin to empty.

Everything had been left right where it was. Peoples' drinks, televisions were

still turned to various channels, all of which were reporting the final minutes

of civilization, clothes and other personal belongings were left in closets, in

some cases the showers were still running. It was as if the hand of God had

reached out and plucked the people right out of the building.

Aboard the U.S.S. Louisiana
825 miles West of Lima, Peru

Aboard the U.S.S. Louisiana, the U.S. Navys' newest nuclear powered aircraft

carrier tension was high. World War III was under way and there was still

two Chinese submarines floating somewhere in the ocean. At any minute,

dozens of cities could be sent to the gallows. A full complement of A.S.W. heli-

copters were busy searching the oceans, dragging their sonar buoys, as well as

deploying dozens of additional buoys. In an attempt to create a far reaching

web, with which to listen for the Chinese subs. Supporting attack subs were

also busy searching for the Chinese. A massive effort was under way, but still

the Chinese subs remained elusive.

Captain Timothy Wells was in the Control room along with his X.O. trying to

make order out of chaos. While reviewing the latest report of what areas had

been mapped and when, the Communications Officer approached the Captain.

"Sir, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I have information that my be of importance."

"Go ahead." The Captain requested, eager to hear the news.

"We've detected a distress call on VHF Channel 8, about 40 miles to the

east of us. They proclaim to be one of the Chinese submarines. They wish to

surrender." The Communications officer replied.

"Have you been able to confirm this?" The Captain answered.

"Sir, at first we thought it was a hoax, but to prove themselves they are

willing to give us the location of the other Chinese submarine. However, there

are two conditions for this. One-That we keep this private. They are certain

that if Zarain finds out about their surrender, that he will order the other sub

to fire everything." Officer Scott explained.

"That makes sense. What is the other condition?" Captain questioned.

"Condition number two-is that we hold off our attack on the mainland until

we have made contact with, and destroyed the other sub. Again they believe

that if Zarain finds out that we know where the other sub is, he will order the

release of their entire complement. What do you suggest we do Sir?" Officer

Scott replied.

"Alright, Officer Scott ,open a channel to the U.S.S. Utah and inform them of the

location of the Chinese submarine. Order them to follow the Chinese sub at a

distance of one mile. Inform them they are not to fire unless a hatch-opening

is detected. I want you to then open a channel to the Chinese submarine and

inform them that one of our attack subs is on the way, and that they will not

fire unless they detect a hatch-opening. Inform them that the attack will be

held off until the location of the other sub is confirmed, unless a launch is de-

tected by either sub. Is that understood?" Captain Timothy Wells questioned.

"Yes Sir." Officer Scott replied.

The Captain headed for his private quarters to contact Strategic Air Command

to inform them of the situation.

Strategic Air Command HeadQuarters
Omaha, Nebraska 1:52 p.m. MST

With just eight minutes to go until the destruction of Orlando, Lt. Carther app-

roached Commander Tucker. "Sir, we have Captain Wells of the Louisiana on a

secure line for you."

"I'll take it." The Commander answered, wondering what could be going on.

Reaching for the phone he noticed the T.T.D. clock-Orlando-7:49 Munich-8:49

"This is Tucker?"

"This is Wells, we have just received a notice of surrender from one of the Chi-

nese submarines located about 39 miles east of us. To prove that they do not

have ulterior motives, they have given us the coordinates of the remaining

Chinese submarine. We have dispatched the Utah to monitor the surrendering

vessel, and we have dispatched the Seattle, as well as several A.S.W. helicopt-

ers to the location of the other sub. We'll know if it is there within the next

10-12 minutes. However, it should be noted that the surrendering vessel be-

lieves that if Zarain finds out that we know the location of the other sub or

that the other sub is surrendering he will order the launch of his remaining

missiles. In order to not arouse Zarains' suspicion, the surrendering vessel

has asked that we hold off firing until the other sub is destroyed. I have in-

formed them that we will hold off until the other sub is destroyed." Captain

Timothy explained.

"I understand. This is the best news we've had yet. I'll inform the President

immediately. Tucker out" The Commander answered, with a tinge of excite-

ment and hope in his voice.

FEMA Bomb Shelter
Orlando, Florida 2:56 p.m. EST

The final grains of sand were slipping away. Everything that could be done,

had been. John along with the rest of the shelters residents were now huddled

around four televisions. Watching their executions.

"This is Ronald Mavren filing my last report for CNN. We are just under four

minutes to go here in Orlando. I am here reporting from a very deserted

Orlando International Airport. Where just three days ago this city, as well as

the nation and the world, were busy carrying out the day to day functions of

modern society. Now, one can only wonder if a few hours from now there will

be a world that remotely resembles that of three days ago.

There is not much else to say. I'm unsure what else could be said here today.

For my final thoughts, I can only hope and pray that the cities of Munich and

Orlando will go down in history as the last cities to suffer a nuclear attack, of

any size.

Oh my God, Tom, this is Ronald, we are at now at 25 seconds and I'm able to

see a faint whitish vapor trail. It's very high up, but it is getting closer. I'm

certain that this is it. There is a bright red glow, behind the missile, it's

beginning to plunge now, it's headed straight for us. Looks as if it's going to

hit just outside the city limits. It's...." A brief and undistinguishable cry for

help followed.

In an instant more American lives vanished than died in Vietnam.

In the shelter the lights went out instantly. Shelves and bunk-beds came cras-

hing down when the shock-wave hit. Dozens were killed in the darkness from

falling debris. John was holding on to the legs of a bunk-bed, which was bolt-

ted to the wall. It was shaking like a violent earthquake. Cries of fear and

pain filled the blackened room. John tried to concentrate on Diana as the en-

tire building started to sway. The walls were starting to buckle. A horrifying

sound could now be heard. Like a hundred hurricanes, it shouted just above.

Seconds later, the building, already about to cave in, began to sway and buck-

le in the opposite direction, as the lap-back from the main shock wave float-

ed back towards ground-zero. Several water-pipes busted. Now water was

spraying everywhere, in pitch black darkness.

When the building stopped shaking after the secondary shock-wave, John

knew they had survived. But, survived to live in what kind of a world? John

laid there in the debris, the water, and the dead bodies, clutching the bed-

post.

CNN HeadQuarters
Atlanta, Georgia 3:15 p.m. EST

Back-up generators were now running. The lights were on, but very dim.

"This is Tom Donalds, here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. We are running on

back-up power. We are starting to get reports in, and we can tell you that a

wide portion of the south-east power grid has been taken off-line. We are be-

ing told that a four state area is now without power. Those states are Florida,

Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. With sporadic reports of lost power in a

few other states. Reaching as far north as Virginia, and as far west as Louisi-

ana. The National Guard has sealed off entrance into Florida-except for emerg-

ency personal. Our first report from the Pentagon is saying that the missile

went off-course, and that ground-zero was the town of Bithlo, about 17 miles

from downtown Orlando. The Pentagon is estimating that the effective yield

was 5 1/2 megatons. Also, the reports from Germany are nearly identical. The

yield there is estimated to be 5 megatons. With total disruption of commun-

cations and basic infrastructure. Defence Department sources are telling us

that there was likely 65,000 people killed in each attack. With another 5,000-

8,000 expected to die within the next 5 days, in each bomb site, due to secon-

dary effects from radiation. The only news we have on the effort to locate the

Chinese submarines is that there has been one kill. It has been confirmed that

a short while ago, the U.S.S. Richmond destroyed a Chinese Ballistic missile

sub, about 300 miles east of the Falkland Islands. That still leaves two more

subs left, that are out there, somewhere, hidden in the oceans.

We are also hearing rumors that the U.S. & NATO have not yet responded to

these attacks. Perhaps some type of a deal has been reached that we do not

yet know about, that would end the war. We can only pray.

The only positive news to report, if it can be called that is that the wind patt-

erns in Florida are carrying the fall-out east over the Atlantic Ocean. The only

land areas that are expected to receive any fall-out are those areas directly

east of Orlando. The most notable of which is Cape Canaveral and the surr-

ounding communities.

However in Germany, it is expected that fall-out could reach as far west as

Vienna, Austria. People are being urged to remain inside, until they can be

flown or driven out of the fall-out zones. Reports from Europe are saying that

almost eight million people are without power. Power is blacked out as far

south as Milan, Italy and as far north as Frankfurt. We are trying to make

contact with our bureau in Frankfurt, for more information, until then we will

have to deal with the sporadic reports that we're receiving

Pacific Ocean
790 miles West of Lima, Peru

With the attack submarine U.S.S. Utah, as well as several Anti-Submarine-Hel-

icopters keeping a watchful eye, the crew of the Eclipsed Shadow, now surfac-

ed, was beginning to evacuate their vessel. With a crew of almost 170, nearly

115 were now floating on life rafts, dozens more had jumped from the boat

with life preservers and were bouncing amid the waves. With a make-shift

white flag having now been raised, they waited to be picked up by the Amer-

icans.

Wednesday, May 12 4:25 a.m. BST
Datong Missile Base
Datong, China

Amid the computers and monitors, Zarain was pacing nervously. He had tried

to contact the Eclipsed Shadow several times, but still no response.

"Try to contact the Rising Viper, if a channel is opened, order them to contact

the Eclipsed Shadow. Tell them to have the Eclipsed Shadow, contact us on

very low frequency. Inform the Rising Viper, that I want a status report,

within 5 minutes. Is that clear?" Zarain questioned, the frustration apparent

in his voice.

"Yes, My Lord." The Communications Officer responded.

Dozens of unanswered questions were going through Zarains' mind. 'Why

hadn't the U.S. responded? 'Why was there no response from the other NATO

countries?' 'Why was he unable to contact the Eclipsed Shadow?' Unable to

find a link, Zarain continued to wonder, and wait to hear from the Rising

Viper.

Several minutes later the head of communications, approached Zarain.

"My Lord, I have established contact with the Rising Viper. They have been

trying to contact the Eclipsed Shadow for almost 20 minutes now. Their trans-

mission is being received, however there is no response form the Shadow.

The only explanation they have is that their relay antenna was damaged

somehow. However they aren't sure how that could've happened since the

Shadow has not engaged any NATO forces yet. What should I tell the Viper

My Lord?" The officer asked.

Zarain was silent. Thinking, concentrating. Suddenly, as if he had experienced

a type of spiritual vision, the puzzle came together.Whispering under his

breath, he put the pieces in their proper place. "The silent Americans, no

response, NATO countries silent, no response from the Shadow, transmission

getting through, no engagement between NATO and the Shadow." A long pause

followed before the link was made. With a rage that had not yet been seen by

even his closest advisors Zarain explained the situation. "Those traitors!!

Deceivers!!!" "What is the matter, My lord?" the officer questioned, as he back-

ed away from Zarain. "Don't you get it yet!! You fools!!! The Shadow hasn't re-

sponded because there is no one there to respond!!! Those deceptive traditors

have surrendered to the Americans!!!"

Everyone in the control room fell silent. If there was one thing Zarain did not

have tolerance for, it was traitors. Especially the surrender of chess pieces as

valuable as the missile submarines.

"My Lord, even if this is true, we still have the Viper, which is still a valuable

bargaining chip. It can still cause tremendous damage to the Americans." The

officer responded, in a timid voice.

"You incompetent fool!!!!" Zarain shouted as we pushed the officer into the

wall. "Don't you realize that if the Shadow has surrendered, they have most

likely given away the location of the Viper. The Americans could be in route

now as I speak!!! My only leverage could be destroyed any minute!!! Damn-it!!"

Zarain shouted, as he nearly broke the officers' neck. "Open a direct channel to

the Viper!!" Zarain demanded as he threw the officer into the computer.

After a few seconds of franticly trying to reestablish contact, a link was made.

"This is Commander Wan-Shawn. Your identification has been established.

What is our orders?" The commander asked.

"Commander, this is Zarain. We have determined that the Shadow has surrend-

ered. Your position could be in jeopardy. U.S. attack subs could be in route to

your location. Your orders are to target all of your missiles for the United

States and fire as many as possible. There is no need to be target specific, just

don't hit the same place twice!! Is that understood?!!" Zarain questioned angri-

ly.

"Your orders are acknowledged. We'll begin firing sequence in 20 seconds.

Wa-Shawn out." The Commander replied.

Under the Pacific....
840 miles West of Lima, Peru

The U.S.S. Seattle was desperately racing towards the Viper.

"Con-this is Sonar. We have identifyed the enemy sub! We are detecting

multiple hatch openings!! Repeat-Con-this is Sonar we are detecting multiple

hatch openings!! Weapons are not yet in range!! E.T.A.-45 seconds!!" Sonar

exclaimed. "Sonar-this is Con-your statements are acknowledged. Continue

tracking and do not lose contact. Weapons-this is Con-Arm torpedoes 1-5 and

stand-by to target. Fire on my command in 27 seconds." The Captain ordered.

Every second was now worth millions of lives. Any delay and vast sections of

the country would be vaporized.

"Con-this is Weapons-torpedoes 1-5 are armed and ready to launch. We are

locked on, but still 15 seconds until we're in range." "Con-this is Sonar-we

have confirmed at least two launches. Repeat we have confirmed at least two

launches, with a third in progress!!!

"Weapons-this is Con-Stay focused. Prepare to fire in 3-2-1-FIRE!!!" The Capt-

ain ordered hoping the torpedoes would reach their target before any other

missiles could be launched.

Above the surface an A.S.W. Helicopter was witnessing the missiles break the

water. Racing ahead it moved into position to hit the missiles, should there be

any more.

Having suffered through now four missile launches, and being able to do noth-

ing about it. They were now in position.

Back under the surface the crew of the Seattle held their breath and waited.

"Con-this is Sonar-we have five direct hits. Repeat we have five direct hits.

We also confirmed a fifth launch took place just before the first torpedo hit."

Sonar shouted. Knowing that the crisis was now over.

Above the surface the fifth missile started to break the water. Just seconds in-

to flight, an air-to-ground missile made contact. Shattering it in a violent ex-

plosion.

Aboard the Louisiana the Communications officer was informing the Captain.

"Sir, the Seattle confirms that the final Chinese sub has been destroyed. An

A.S.W. Helicopter in the area also confirms that there were four successful

launches before they were able to engage, and that they made contact with a

fifth missile and it was destroyed." The Officer explained.

"Very Well." Captain Wells responded. He was glad that the sub was destroyed

but at the same time he was despondent over knowing that four launches

were able to take place on his watch.

Strategic Air Command HeadQuarters
Omaha, Nebraska 1:40 p.m. MST

The all to familiar sound of the launch siren began again. Everyone sat and

waited for the tele-type to print the obituary.

WARNING...MULTIPLE BALLISTIC MISSILE LAUNCHES HAVE TAKEN

PLACE...MOST LIKELY TARGET IS THE CONTINENTAL UNITED

STATES...STAND-BY FOR TRAJECTORY CONFIRMATION...STAND-BY...

Commander Tucker immediately informed the President. "Sir, we have

multiple missile launches in progress. The Captain of the Louisiana confirms

that the final Chinese sub has been eliminated. He also confirms that four

successful launches took place before the sub was taken out. A fifth missile

was destroyed in flight. The other Chinese sub has been secured. What are

your orders, Sir."

Since the crisis began the President had thought long and hard about his dec-

ision.

"Go ahead, Implement "Operation NightHawk" immediately. I want to know as

soon as you have a target list confirmed. I'll be addressing the nation shortly

thereafter. I'll inform NATO Command in Europe of the situation." President

Wilson responded, hoping that today would go down in history as the last day

that nuclear weapons were used.

"Yes, Sir."Commander Tucker responded as he prepared to transmit the

attack orders to U.S. Ballistic Submarines and B-2 bombers waiting just off the

Chinese coast.

Chapter Nine-Revenge to One-A Warning to Others

Under The Yellow Sea....
Position-Directly off the Chinese Coast....

Aboard the U.S.S. Georgia the incoming Emergency Action Message was being

confirmed.

The X.O. approached the Captain, "Sir, he have an authentic Emergency Action

Message."

"Alright, lets go ahead and read it." The Captain replied.

"To the Captain and crew of the U.S.S. Georgia...Remaining Chinese subs have

been eliminated. Four SLBMs' were able to launch before the the remaining

sub was engaged. B-2s' have been sent in for limited nuclear bombing of

Datong Missile Base. You are authorized to launch at predesignated targets. Set

launch clock for three minutes. End Message."

The Captain did not hesitate, reaching for the microphone, he informed the

crew. "This is the Captain. The use of strategic nuclear weapons has been auth-

orized. Set for condition 1-SQ. Weapons-this is Con-spin up missiles 1-15 and

pressurize launch tubes. Set launch clock for three minutes. This is not a drill.

I repeat this is not a drill." The X.O. began to repeat the message. "This is the

X.O. The use of strategic nuclear weapons has been authorized. Set for con-

dition 1-SQ. Weapons-this is the X.O.-spin up missiles 1-15 and pressurize

launch tubes. Set launch clock for three minutes. This is not a drill. I repeat

this is not a drill." The X.O. and the Captain waited for the response from wea-

pons. "Con-this is weapons-we are now at condition 1-SQ. Missiles 1-15 have

been spun up. All launch tubes have been pressurized. Launch clock is now at

2:55."

The deed was nearly complete. The scene would be repeated again on the

Atlanta & Virginia. In three minutes more fire-power would be released

against China, than had been released in every war combined since the dawn

of time.

Strategic Air Command HeadQuarters
Omaha, Nebraska 1:45 p.m. MST

With the President on the line, Commander Tucker was waiting for the target

list to finish printing. "Sir, the orders have been relayed to the subs, as well

as the B-2s'. The B-2s' bombs should be detonating in six minutes. We have

not detected any ICBMs' being launched. So I would assume that Zarain has

not detected them. The missiles from the subs have been timed to detonate

after the B-2s' are in a safe position. The B-2s' will merely confuse him until

the big guns go off"

"Very good. Have you got a target list yet?" The President asked.

"Yes Sir. It just finished printing." Commander Tucker scand the list before

reading it to the President, to see which cities would disappear.

TRAJECTORY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED...TARGETS INCLUDE THE FOLLOW-

ING...DALLAS.TEXAS....IMPACT IN 31 MINUTES...NEW ORLEANS.

LOUISIANA...IMPACT IN 31 MINUTES....RICHMOND.VIRGINIA...

IMPACT IN 33 MINUTES...PITTSBURG.PENNSYLVANIA...IMPACT IN

34 MINUTES...TRAJECTORY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED...

Commander Tucker read the message to the President.

"How well have these places been evacuated?" President Wilson asked.

"Sir, from what we know, we would be lucky if it's 40%." The Commander

explained regretfully.

"What kind of casualties are we looking at?" The President asked ,not really

wanting to know.

"Sir, we could be looking at 3 million easily. With another half-million dead

from secondary effects." Commander Tucker explained, trying to stay focused

on the issue at hand.

"Jesus Christ!!" The President exploded. The emotion now starting to come

through the cool exterior.

"Sir, please stay on the line a minute. We're getting another print-out. Some-

things happening." Commander Tucker asked, fearing that his worst fears

could be coming true. If the missiles were MIRV the attack could be ten times

as worse.

STAND-BY...ADDITIONAL PROJECTILES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFYED...

STAND-BY FOR IDENTIFICATION....STAND-BY...

Commander Tuckers mind ran rampant with fear that the additional warheads

were starting to separate. Instead of 4 cities being hit, there might now be 40

targets. Instead of 3-4 million deaths, there might now be 40 million or more.

Everyone in the control room stopped what they were doing, and waited for

the next report.

PROJECTILES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFYED AS TWO ADDITIONAL WAR-

HEADS...STAND-BY FOR TARGET CONFIRMATION...STAND-BY...

"Sir, we have identifyed two additional warheads. It could have been a lot

worse. There could have been an additional 40 warheads. I know that doesn't

make it any better. I'm sorry." Commander Tucked said as he informed the

President. "We should have the targets identified in a second Sir."

TRAJECTORY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED...TARGETS INCLUDE THE FOLLOW-

ING...PALM BEACH.CALIFORNIA...IMPACT IN 29 MINUTES...DOVER.

DELAWARE...IMPACT IN 32 MINUTES...TRAJECTORY HAS BEEN CON-

FIRMED...

Commander Tucker read the report to the President.

"Thank you very much for your service, Commander. You've been a true fri-

end." Trying to regain his composure the President continued. "I'll be address-

ing the nation in five minutes. Keep me updated on the status of our attack."

"Yes Sir." Commander Tucker responded.

Wednesday, May 12 4:50 a.m. BST
Datong Missile Base
Datong, China

Zarain was now aware that the Viper had been destroyed. What he did not

know was that five B-2 Stealth Bombers each armed with a 1/2 megaton

nuclear warhead were living up to their reputation. They had slipped into

Chinese airspace and were well on their way to Datong.

Zarain continued to pace franticly. All of his trump cards had been destroyed,

yet the Americans had not retaliated. Why? Having given up on General Ping-

Changs advice, he was debating in his mind whether or not to launch his ICBM

force as a last ditch effort. Or should he just threaten to do so. Perhaps he

could pull out of India, in exchange for control of southeast asia. Maybe he

could just offer to do so, and he might be able to get something out of it.

He could not have imagined that himself, along with his empire was about

to crumble, worst than Rome ever did.

As he continued to pace, one of the officers in charge of Zarains' Missile Early

Warning Station approached him.

"My Lord, we have detected five missiles that appear to be heading right for

us. They were not launched by a submarine. They just appeared out of no

where. One minute the screen was blank, the next there were missiles well in-

to our airspace."

"Could it be a malfunction? A falling meteor, or something?" Zarain questioned

grasping for salvation.

"Perhaps, My Lord. However we won't know until the projected impact, which

is in 8 seconds" The Officer answered hoping that it was a malfunction. There

was no other reason that could explain it. The next eight seconds lasted for

decades as all watched the T.T.D. clock. 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1......

Right on time the missiles detonated. The power was instantly cut-off. The

building began to shake like a minor earthquake. Zarain and the General were

thrown to the floor. However, the structural integrity of the building was not

damaged.

Above ground the B-2s' had 20 seconds left to get as far away from Datong

as possible. They were being pushed to the limits as they gained altitude and

distance. They knew what was on the way, and there was no time for sight-

seeing.

The back-up power brought the lights and computers back on.

"Report!!" Zarain demanded.

"My Lord, the monitors show that there was five nuclear detonations, direct-

ly above us. They also have detected almost 50 missiles that have breached

our air-space. Ten of which are headed this way, impact in 12 seconds." The

officer hopelessly explained.

"Are we able to launch anything is there any time?!!!" Zarain shouted as he

put his fist into one of the computers.

"My Lord, we don't have.............."

With that, the final chain-reaction necessary took place. The greatest power in

the universe was released. An enormous amount of energy-not seen on earth

since its' creation-exploded with the fury of an angry God. Datong, and all its'

missiles, disappeared. The fireball started to expand. Nothing stood in its' way.

Not cities, not mountains. Earthquakes all through interior China were tri-

ggered. Nearly five minutes later the fireball climaxed at some 90 miles

across. In Japan, Tokyo and the rest of the nation were in the dark as the E.M.

pulse passed over the island.

For China and its' residents the horror was to be repeated again and again.

For the nation that had the longest recorded history on earth, some 7,000

years, it would exist no more. The last pages written by a madman.

Tuesday, May 11 12:55 p.m. PST
San Bernardino Mountains, California

Auther & Alicia were holding each other tight as they listened to the reports

from Orlando. The death, the devastation, it was but a precursor of the things

to come. It was the beginning of the end. Alicia had tried to reach her mom

in New Mexico, but the phones were jammed. Auther was silent, what do you

say to someone at the end of the world?

"Ladies & Gentlemen-the President of the United States."

"My fellow Americans. As most of you are all aware of by now, a horrific act

of terror and cowardice was committed against our country about one hour

ago. This act was committed my a man who sought nothing but absolute pow-

er. The expression of how far he was willing to go to attain this power was the

destruction of Orlando, Florida by a 5 megaton nuclear weapon.

Shortly after the missile was launched that destroyed Orlando, a Chinese

submarine surrendered to U.S. forces off the coast of Peru. These patriots

supplied us with information that led to the elimination of the third and final

Chinese submarine.

However, it pains me to say, that in a final act of desperation, Zarain ordered

the final submarine to launch its' missiles at the United States. Before it was

taken out, four missiles, with a total of six warheads were launched.

It saddens my soul to say this, but I felt I could not keep the information

hidden from the public any longer. In 15 minutes the following cities will be

subjected to nuclear attack. Dallas, Texas-New Orleans, Louisiana-Pittsburg,

Pennsylvania-Richmond, Virginia-Dover, Delaware and Palm Springs, Calif-

ornia. It can be expected that there will be at least 5 million deaths. It can be

expected that there will be close to $4 trillion of property damage.

While this is a terrible and devastating lost, I would like to look at it as 285

million lives being saved. Our country has suffered great tests before in our

history. The Civil War took almost as many lives, and at a time when our pop-

ulation was considerably smaller than it is today. Yet we rose from the ashes

like the Phoenix. We rose from those ashes to become the greatest military

and industrial superpower mankind has every know. We will rise from these

ashes, to be greater and stronger than we have ever been before.

NART crews, all chapters of the Red Cross, all divisions of FEMA, as well as

all branches of the Armed Forces-including all Reserve Units-and all National

Guard Units will be standing by to provide shelter, food relief, financial aid,

and all other aspects of recovery assistance. I am authorizing the full-sale of

the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to help lower prices during the recovery per-

iod. I am also authorizing the sale of a significant portion of the United States

Gold Reserve, to help provide financial assistance. Final I am also authorizing

the complete sale of the United States Grain, Soybean, Wheat, and Corn res-

erves, to provide food for those who need it, and to help lower prices during

the recovery period. I am also pleased to announce that Canada, and the

European Union, have pledged their support in any way possible.

It is my hope that the restrictions on air, land and other means of travel will

be lifted soon. We hope to have all of our ports reopened immediately. We will

make it thru this together.

On a final note, I would like to comment on our response to Zarain. Today we

have done what we had to do. Zarain was counting on America to be passive-

he counted wrong. Today the nation of China no longer exists. A number of

targets were hit. Including the Datong Missile Base, as well as all conventional

military centers-no matter how insignificant. Finally all centers of Political

Importance were targeted. I will let General Riley explain the attack in detail

later, but let me close on why this attack was carried out. One- To eliminate all

Strategic Military Assets of China-whether nuclear or conventional.Two- In

retaliation to the unprovoked attack upon our country by Zarain. Finally- to

serve as a vivid warning to others who may consider such an attack on this

country in the future.

Thank You and may God continue to bless this nation as he has in the past."

Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport
Dallas, Texas 1:08 p.m. MST

Time was running out. The giant airport had been emptyed. An updated ver-

sion of the Patriot Missile Defence System, the Patriot-E2, was the cities only

hope. With just two minutes left until missile impact, the crew was concen-

trating on the incoming missile. At the appropriate time they would fire a

missile of their own. Armed with a 1 kiloton tactical nuclear missile, they

merely needed to get close to the incoming warhead.

A crowd of thousands had gathered in the downtown streets. Unlike other

cities that were not going to be hit, there was not any rioting in Dallas. Why

riot and loot if your going to be vaporized in a few minutes.

Instead the crowd, knowing their time was near, collectively gazed to the sky.

Seconds later the sound of an explosion broke their unity, as some looked

around to see what it was. Gazing back to the sky, the crowd noticed a vapor

trail heading up into the heavens. It was closing in on another vapor trail that

was headed for city hall.

Seconds later a small fireball erupted in the upper atmosphere, high above

the clouds.

Nearly a minute went by and the crowd was still alive. But still silent, they

continued to watch the sky above.

At three minutes later, several police helicopters began to circle the city, with

their megaphones at maximum volume. "The is the Dallas Police Department,

the United States Army is confirming that the missile targeted at Dallas, has

been destroyed. Repeat, the missile targeted at Dallas, has been destroyed."

The crowd erupted in cheers. Neighbors, unknown to each other, embraced

in hugs. Passersby, who would never talk to anyone they didn't know, em-

braced, not saying a word. They didn't need to-for that one moment-however-

brief-only one thing was on everyone's mind.

Others would not be so lucky.

San Bernardino Mountains, California 11:10 a.m. PST

The long and agonizing wait was nearly over. Knowing that they were at a

safe distance, Auther & Alicia had made their way to their front porch. From

their viewpoint, high in the mountains, they could see almost anywhere in

the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. They would be able to witness the

explosion, reassured in the knowledge that they would survive.

Auther placed his arm around Alicia to comfort her. He knew it would be al-

right, but yet at the same time, he knew, that no matter how much people re-

built, things were never going to be the same again.

Looking out over the desert paradise, the light, although not blinding, was

very intense. A huge fireball began to rise above the city. A pillar of smoke

was extending into the clouds, and was now beginning to form the all to

familiar mushroom shaped cloud.

Placing her head on Authers' shoulder, a warm wind carressed Alicias' face.

She said nothing. Standing there overlooking the destruction both were

reflecting on the events of the last two days. How unaware they were that

such an event could take place. They had never given it a thought. Caught

up in the routine of day to day living, it was never given any consideration.

Whether by chance, or an act of God, they were one of the lucky ones. Never

again would they argue over insignificant things. If there was but one thing

each learned from this experience, it is that so many things which could pro-

foundly effect them, were beyond their control, and that we are always teet-

ering on a thin line between life and death.

Chapter Ten-The Aftermath

In the days after the third world war, the United Nations, under pressure

from the United States and other NATO countries, passed the Security Council

Resolution 1215. This led to the partition of China. Under the agreement-the

United States, having suffered the brunt of the damage from Zarain, would

control almost 2/3s of the country. All areas east of 100 Longitude would

fall under the authority of the United States. This included the former North

Korea, which had granted its' sovereignty to Zarain during the conflict.

A peace agreement was immediately reached with South Korea. Shortly after-

ward the United States negotiated and supervised the reunification of the

Korean Peninsula. The capital was moved to Kaesong, just north of the form-

er DMZ.

The remaining 1/3 would go to Germany, as they were the only other country

to have suffered considerable civilian deaths at the hands of Zarain. Most of

what they received was uninhabited areas of the Himalayan mountains.

However, it was the symbolism that mattered.

As for the areas that were occupied by Zarain, they were all returned to the

rightful countries. Under another United Nations Security Council resolution,

it was mandated that a trust fund would be set up, to be funded by a 5% nat-

ional sales tax, to be paid by residents of both the German & American sides

of the former China. It was mandated that this tax would remain in effect for

at least the next 100 years. At which time it would be reviewed and voted on

by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The money would be divided up equally and paid directly to the nations that

were attacked by Zarain. It would stand as a silent reminder of one of human-

ities darkess hours.

As for the damage suffered by the United States. The missile that was tar-

geted at Palm Springs hit the remote city of Joshua Tree, almost 25 miles

off course.

Another missile that was targeted at Dover, Delaware detonated in the

Atlantic Ocean, almost 500 miles off course.

Not all areas were spared. New Orleans-Richmond-Pittsburg-and-Orlando

were all the recipients of a nuclear warhead.

Reconstruction began immediately. Monuments the size of skyscrapers were

built in each city. Written upon them were the names of every person who

died on that horrific day. Along with a tribute and a warning to future gener-

ations.

When the final numbers were all totaled, history would write that close to

3 1/2 million Americans lost their lives. There was almost 4 1/4 trillion

dollars worth of property damage.

In Germany, almost 550,000 lost their lives in the attack on Munich. A monu-

ment similar to the ones in America was erected there also. Close to 1 trillion

dollars of property damage was caused.

In the Asian region were Zarain had first begun his rain of terror, 2 million

people were killed. Nearly 1 1/2 trillion dollars of property damage was sus-

tained.

In the United States, the November elections were held on schedule. Presi-

dent Wilson ran unopposed and swept all 50 states. The House Bills author-

izing implementation of Ballistic Missile Defence were passed with no opposing

votes, and were promptly signed by President Wilson. The United States then,

along with Russia, cancelled the 1972 Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty. Both

signed a new treaty which called for the construction of a global missile

defense system to protect almost all of the world. All but the most dangerous

states were not included, namely Iran, Iraq, Lybia and Pakistain.

The new era of cooperation and security also led to further reductions of

nuclear weapons held by Russia and the United States.

India, which had its' nuclear arsenal destroyed by Zarain, pledged not to re-

build it, since they were now under protection of the Global Missile Defense

System.

Auther & Alicia remained in California and two years later were blessed with

a healthy baby girl. Tom Manning remained in the Air Force. He moved with

his son to Colorado, where he was transferred. Diania was a member of the

Nuclear Attack Response Team who went into Orlando, shortly after the

attack. She was part of the crew who unearthed John and the others from the

FEMA shelter. She went into premature labor two days later, nevertheless, she

gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

They were all joined by the most horrific event in mankinds' history. A scar

that would remain on the minds of the world for centuries. All would ask the

same question......Why???

JAMES WILLIAM STANSELL -JUNE 1996