Without Warning Prologue
Disputed lands – Fifteen Years Earlier The young boy looked into the lifeless eyes of his father; he would never forget that sight nor the putrid smell of his beloved parents’ now-emptied bowels. He had held his father’s hand as the final signs of life had ebbed away unable to stem the bleeding caused by the shrapnel which had ripped through his body. It didn’t seem right that the man who had brought him to life, had fed him and cared for their family should have spent his last few minutes on earth wracked in pain and laying in the dirt stained with his own urine and faeces.
He looked across at where his older sister and mother lay. The whole family had been working in their small field trying to scrape some sort of a life from the hard unforgiving land. There had been no warning, no indication that the lives of his immediate family would so suddenly and violently be cut short.
On that fateful day, their incessant toiling had been made that much harder by the hot morning sun beating down. They had been working together for a couple of hours before his father had instructed him to go to the village well and bring back two goat skin pouches full of cold refreshing water. As he had walked back up the small path, up the steep incline back to the plot of land they called their own, he had seen wisps of vapour trail in the azure sky. He had stopped, shielding his eyes to get a better look at these miracles in the air. It was always a great source of amazement to him, a poorly educated boy, how these planes ever managed to stay in the sky. He often wondered what it might be like to fly. Where were they from and where were they going? This was one of his favourite guessing games to play silently in his head.
The noise had been deafening as the high explosive bombs had gone off a quarter of a mile away from where he stood. The earth had shook and he had immediately thrown himself to the ground in a mixture of fright and pure shock. As he had hit the hard-baked dried earth he knew at once that the bomb, or bombs, would have landed close to where his family had been working.
Picking himself up off the floor, he had left the now- forgotten water sacks behind him as he had raced up the slope towards where his family should have been waiting for him.
At 20,000 ft no one in the American B52 bomber had felt the shock waves from the explosions from far below and the crew had carried on happily chatting away. They had been given their coordinates and done their job little knowing that they had inadvertently dropped their payload in the wrong place. Not only had they killed several, totally innocent noncombatants, but they had also spawned a radical of the worst sort. No home, no family, no great cause; this young man had nothing left to lose and had just inherited a lifelong desire to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible on those that had destroyed all that had mattered to him.
He had made a vow at the very moment of his father’s passing that his own life was forfeit and that all he should focus on henceforth was to bring death and destruction to the people that had come unwanted into his land. The uninvited foreigners hadn’t come to grant the indigenous tribes freedom but to help keep them oppressed. Well, he would make sure that the three ‘superpowers’ which made up the bulk of the coalition forces would never forget this day.