If he is God, then he must be able! If he isn't able, then he must not be God. KK Skipper

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The Fullness of Time
Soon to be released book by author Keith K. Skipper

With sweat dripping from his brow and his guts wrenching in pain, he dropped to his knees, face to the floor, to begin what would be his final season of prayer. He had trained for this moment for more months than he could remember. Any normalcy of life had given way to this pursuit. His wife, his children, his job had vanished as he planned his march into history.

A message was relayed to his wife from another operative to gather the children and meet him in a mosque located in the heart of Los Angeles. This would assure that his entrance into heaven would correlate to that of his family. The timer had been set and there would be no turning back from this decision.

Though he tried desperately to concentrate on his prayers, each beat of his heart exploded vociferously in his ears, muffling his thoughts and interrupting his petitions. Visions of his children running through a field of tall grass would give way to a flash of white light, and a crippling rush of wind.

He would see the smiling face of his lovely wife melt like wax and pour unhampered onto the burning ground below to vanish in the dirt. His greatest desire was for this hallucination to transform itself into visions of heaven welcoming them into the promise of paradise, of peace and assurance, the assurance that he had done the right thing. The moments ticked by and suddenly all dreams ended.

_________ ... _________ 

In a Houston Executive Airport just outside of the city proper, a multi-passenger Cessna taxied for take-off on runway B01 and headed for an appointment with history. The pilot was a dark-haired man of Middle Eastern descent who had placed a deadly package on the floor behind him.

He could see houses below entombed in a spiderweb of streets and dotted with vehicles. A sparse array of lakes dotted the city and if you looked hard enough, one could see swimming pools glimmering in the morning light. Cars navigated the roads and scurried about like cockroaches that scamper mindlessly across the kitchen floor when suddenly exposed to light. It was as if they knew what was about to take place.

In a matter of minutes, death would rain down on the infidels like a bath of hot, white light, robbing them of their insignificant lives, and extracting the pound of flesh that would serve to please Allah, and remedy the many blows and assaults that his own homeland had suffered.

The plane banked to the east to assume a path that would take them directly over the city, the target which would bear the significant impact of the explosion. In a matter of moments the city and much of the surrounding territory would vanish.

_________ ... _________ 

In the south end of Florida, east of Downtown Miami and just a short jaunt from the world famous South Beach, another misguided soul was fervently going about his task. Rashid untethered the ’96 Wipline seaplane which had been docked in Biscayne Bay the evening before. He was about to embark on a mission of revenge and retribution over the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area that would shock the world. The plane’s engine coughed and sputtered then finally sprang to life as this unseasoned pilot took the controls and headed into the bay for takeoff.

The process was more than a little rocky capturing the attention of numerous occupants of the marina. The plane lifted and dropped several times before finally pulling away from the calm waters to rise into the morning breeze. Rashid turned the nose of the plane northward and sought out the coordinates that had been predetermined and sent to him via text earlier this morning. The time since he entered the plane and began this journey seemed to pass slowly like the final act of a major play.

The air was salty and full of all the smells encountered in any bay. The sights and sounds energized and lifted his spirit allowing a slight diversion from the enormity of the task set forth. He had invested the early hours at the Marina Café in a pleasant breakfast as he sat quietly and read the Miami Herald. In his mind’s eye he could see the headlines of tomorrow’s paper. He further realized that neither his face nor his name would ever be known, but his accomplishments would live on into eternity. Or so he thought.

The attention of the entire world would soon be caught up in the melee and he imagined that millions of his fellow Islamists would applaud his accomplishment. Little came to mind but the promise of multitudes of virgins and the life of excess that had been assured him. Those who would lose their lives, Jews and Christians alike, were of little consequence at this point. Nine minutes later, his life’s purpose had been realized.

_________ ... _________ 

Maalik was thirty minutes behind schedule. For reasons unknown, every possible artery was blocked this particular morning. And though he had started off earlier than planned, earlier than had been estimated, the trip from his apartment in Brooklyn proved almost impossible.

Not making his appointment was not an option. The plan involved walking four blocks to the public parking garage, acquiring the delivery van that held the bomb, transporting it deep into Manhattan, parking the vehicle outside the appropriate location, and leaving the area. The streets were uncharacteristically busy with traffic. An accident with fatalities had stopped all traffic into the city. He would sit there for a while.

_________ ... _________ 

Maalik had consulted a map of New York City and chosen three different routes. The first was a direct shot—495 straight to Broadway, turn south to Wall Street. The second and third involved the alternates of I-678 or I-278, both longer, but doable. His final instruction was to park the vehicle, press the button, and then leave. He checked his watch and discovered that it was 10:31 a.m.; thirty-one minutes past his scheduled engagement.

Maalik was still a mile from his targeted location. He fully expected that time would permit him to depart the city and reach safety, but a secondary switch engaged and an instantaneous flash erased all thoughts and plans. His mind would remember nothing further. He was naive in more ways than anyone should be. He never had a chance to prepare. It was over before he even knew what had happened.

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