THE ANGRY DOVES
By Dorian Scott Cole
Copyright 1980, 1987, by Dorian Scott Cole
This book is copyright material, not public domain, and all rights are reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form, in any media. This book may not be sold or included in any collection. The reader may make a printed copy of this book for his personal use.
All characters in this book are a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental
William went directly to Ismail's home, finding him there instead of at his office. Ismail opened the door and immediately grew tense. Without a word Ismail led him to his study, warily keeping room furniture between them as they walked through each room. Ismail positioned himself behind his desk, while William stood in front of it.
"What are you offering this time, Duvall, an early Christmas gift?" Ismail asked.
"I have to be early to stay ahead of you," he replied matter of factly.
"What do you mean?"
"I think you know, but let's not waste time. I know all about your plan to overthrow the government, and either myself or another person will be in place tonight and tomorrow night to quietly prevent that from happening."
Ismail, glaring at him, said nothing for a moment, his anger growing. "Stay out of my - "
William interrupted, full of frustration that Ismail still would not listen, and knowing he was wrong.
"How do I make you see that this toy soldier army of yours, and these insane plans to overthrow the government aren't the answer? People are the answer! Look at Afghanistan: a poorly defended country overrun by a mighty army - yet the giant army can't tame the people! People must have the desire
to be self ruled in their hearts. Terrorists, guerrillas, foreign oppressors, none of these can stand in the face of a population that resists oppression. But if the people won't work for what they want, no one can help them and no terrorist campaign or government overthrow will make any difference."
William started to leave when another thought occurred. "Kenza and I both lived in Morocco. Nations have tried to rule them for thousands of years. The ancient Romans conquered them but ended up saying, 'These people can be captured, but not subdued.' In this century the French added them to their colonial empire, but the population rebelled against the French and now they are their own people again. It wasn't just one man trying to lead a terrorist campaign or overthrow the government, so think about that. If this country is to be free of oppressors again, then what the people need most is men like you, powerful, dedicated leaders. Lead the people or continue terrorism, it's up to you." He left before Ismail could reply.
William returned to the showroom to find a line of people outside to get their soil sample tested. A young Arab political activist was speaking to the line of Palestinians. When no one would engage in conversation, he spoke loudly to them, encouraging them to bear arms to get their land back. William went to him.
"Who put you up to this, the Russians or the PLO?" William asked. The man stared blankly back at him.
"No matter," William continued. He walked inside muttering, "It's a free country."
Ismail and Hadid arrived a few minutes later. They hurriedly left their car. Hadid stopped for a moment to straighten his robes to cover his sword.
"What do you suppose this is all about?" Ismail asked angrily, looking at
the line of people.
"No matter. I'll take the two of them out the back way, kill them, and we'll be gone before anyone realizes what happened. You just keep anyone from following."
Ismail stepped in front of Hadid, blocking him. "I'm going to see them die." After a moment, Hadid nodded. The two of them moved toward the building.
The activist began speaking loudly, "...rebel! Overthrow the repressive government. Arm yourselves. Organize and rid yourselves of the governments who take your land and kill your families. Rid yourselves of the oppressors so you can all share in the bounty of the land..."
Ismail moved slowly past the line of people, listening to the words of the activist. Then suddenly the people recognized him and were congratulating him for 'exposing those criminals in office.'
Ismail and Hadid continued erratically toward the door, as if unsure where they were going. The crowd began to clap, praising him for championing their cause in the papers. Finally he and Hadid reached the door and moved slowly inside. Looking around the room they saw William and Kenza were busy testing soil samples and selling fertilizer. William had a little six year old girl, who belonged to one of the Palestinians in the line, riding on his shoulders. Ismail and Hadid stared at them for a moment, looking disoriented.
"...take up your guns and fight..." came the voice from outside.
William noticed the two men. "Ismail! Hadid! Do you have some garden soil to test?"
Ismail stepped forward slowly two steps, a perplexed look on his face.
"...use terrorism, use anything to overthrow the oppressors..."
Ismail turned and looked at the crowd of people, poor people without land
or a home, full of hope that he would somehow help them. He looked at the small child on William's shoulders, a child he might drive from his land, but a child who would have no hope of an education and a good life without men like himself to secure her future. He looked at William and Kenza, two people finding a way to help these people without a country, two people willing to give up even their lives in the hope of finding peace.
"...arm yourselves. Kill the oppressors! Retake your land... "
Ismail moved forward to William. He extended his hand to William. "Yes," he said, a smile beginning to crease his face. "Yes," he said more strongly, "I think I may take up gardening. I believe you have a better way here."
Hadid drew his sword. He moved slowly forward, his face clouded with anger and frustration. Everyone froze, breathless. He moved steadily forward, his sword extended, until the sword tip was inches from the little girl. As compassion took over, he winked at the girl and smiled, teasing her with the sword.
"I always carry this for cutting weeds from the garden. I think I hear one outside now," Hadid said, and went out.
Afternoon of the second day following, Ismail invited William to his home to talk about future plans. The atmosphere of Ismail's study seemed much more friendly to William. Ismail seemed relaxed.
"My terrorist army is training in the desert again." Ismail said as he poured William a cup of mint tea. "That should keep them busy while I set a new course. If I don't keep them busy, they will leave me and join some other terrorist group."
"I understand," William replied. "What made you change your mind about letting us help you?"
Ismail poured himself tea and sat at his desk. "Every time there was something good happening for the people - that I was getting the credit for - you and Kenza were making it happen. You have shown me that I can accomplish more for everyone. I believe now, there is a chance we can gain enough support to keep the Syrians from taking over, and make the Israelis listen."
Ismail got up and looking out his window, pointed outside. "I'm starting a garden out there, just to relax and take my mind off war. Perhaps if I find some peaceful moments, I will think of more peaceful ways of doing things. Do you think Kenza would mind testing some soil for me?"
"I'm sure she would love to. Can we go look at your garden spot?"
Ismail seemed pleased and led him outside.
As they surveyed the garden space, William said, "I had another reason for wanting us outside. I believe your study is bugged."
"I am not surprised," Ismail replied. They walked toward the house and William examined the telephone wires leaving the study. Among them he found a rubber tube that separated from the rest and was routed into the ground.
"Who do you suppose did this?" Ismail asked, bending over examining the device.
"Again I am not surprised. He despises the so called moderates, and he will be trying to kill us now."
William considered that. Khaled would have much greater motivation now so the standoff might dissolve. Ismail was right. "We'll have to watch for him."
Ismail looked at him skeptically. "Khaled is a very dangerous man. If you toy with him and lose, we will lose all we have gained."
"Do we have a choice?"
"With Khaled here, there will never be peace." Ismail looked at his
garden spot and shrugged. "There is no time to think of peace, only time to make war. I guess it is with Khaled that we must start, like a merry-go-round." He grew angry. "A sadistic merry-go-round from some insane nightmare with creatures gone mad. People, like doves, wanting peace but not knowing how to get it, and so like angry doves we chase each other around on this merry-go-round, killing each other in the name of peace!"
William shook his head. Ismail had not learned what he had learned in the Middle East. "We needn't kill Khaled, he can be useful to us if we can control him. We can use him to keep pressure on others. What we must do is prove to him that working against us will destroy his own cause."
Ismail smiled broadly at William. "Perhaps there is hope after all. How would we make this work?"
William laughed. "I've made enough plans for a while. Why don't we relax and go fishing. The yacht isn't bugged, and we can talk about plans there if we like."
William knew he was going to need protection, but Gerald and Art were both out of the question. He would need someone he could trust with the other boat, and that excluded Ismail's men, half of whom were potential spies for Khaled. He needed a replacement for Gerald. Remembering an ex CIA agent, now living in Israel, he decided to hire him.
Gates, a slow man with a milk toast personality, had been with the CIA for ten years before deciding it wasn't his type of work. But he took orders well and was dependable, doing no more or less than he was told. William called him and found he had little work in security in Israel, and was eager to help with what he considered a "noble effort."
* * *
They left their ports together, William's vessel from Beirut, and Gates
from thirty miles south near Sidon. Their course would bring them within fifteen miles of each other, where they would maintain radio contact. Gates was by himself, and William had Ismail and Kenza aboard.
After releasing the mooring ropes, William took the wheel from Kenza and piloted them into the calm sea. When they reached their spot, they contacted Gates on the radio. He wasn't within visual range, but was probably about fifteen miles away. William killed the engine and they set up their fishing gear. It was a pleasant afternoon with balmy winds and bright sunshine, with a lazy powder puff sky as a backdrop. They each relaxed from the stresses and strains and began to enjoy the fishing, Kenza pulling in a three pound bass only minutes after dropping her line. By mid afternoon, they had all but forgotten the problems of the Middle East.
At three o'clock, William spotted a small plane headed their direction. It came close, lost altitude, and circled. Kenza waved to them. William was suspicious, but said nothing. The plane made another low pass, and William watched for any signs it might fire on them, and then the plane flew back toward the land.
William picked up the transceiver. "Gates." He waited a moment for an answer, and then tried again, more loudly. Still nothing. The others gave him a nervous glance. Climbing onto the cabin, William looked in the direction of Gates boat through binoculars. He was not in sight. Taking advantage of the cabins height, he tried the transceiver again. Silence. He broke the squelch and turned up the volume and tried again. No response.
"Damn! I suppose that fool has drifted away from us," William said, jumping onto the deck. "We'll have to move closer to him." William tried to start the engine. The battery turned it over begrudgingly a couple of times, and then ground to a halt.
"What's going on, William?" Ismail asked.
"It's beginning to look like we've been sabotaged. I'll have a look at the battery. Kenza, you climb onto the cabin and watch for anything coming."
William examined the battery. The cables were tight and the water level was correct. He opened the engine compartment and examined the engine. Checking the points, plugs, and magneto, he found nothing. He climbed back onto the deck
"Something's coming from land," Kenza said in worried tones. William climbed onto the cabin and tried the radio again. Nothing. Taking the binoculars from Kenza, he examined the boat approaching them, but it was too far away to identify. He returned to the deck and tried the engine again. It groaned, but would not turn over.
"We're dead in the water," William said to them.
"If that boat coming is going to attack us, are we going to the bottom?" Kenza asked.
"We're not defenseless, just vulnerable. The problem is, I really need to be able to maneuver the yacht. If they try to ram us, they'll get so close I can't stop them without taking us down with them."
"What else might they do?" Ismail asked.
"They may fire on us, or toss explosives at us. In that case, I'll defend us, but you will be safest in the water. Check your life vests."
William checked the approaching vessel again. "It's a garbage skow. Solidly built, but slow. It's riding high in the water - empty." He continued to look for Gates and try to contact him, while they all looked at each other nervously. The skow altered its direction, coming dead on. "We could easily outmaneuver that slow skow if we could get the engine started... " he said in frustration. "They must have known our battery would be down." He climbed
back down into the engine compartment and examined the wires. "There it is, they unplugged the alternator cable so the battery would not recharge." He plugged the cable back in, knowing it was useless effort. He returned to the deck and tried the engine. No change. He looked at the approaching skow. He could see a man at the bow rail with a gun.
"Get down into the cabin and lay on the floor. You'll be safer there, until I tell you to get in the water."
The skow's course told the story of their coming fate. It was going to ram them, and everyone knew it. Soon! They had two minutes at the most. William jumped to the battery, his brain frantic for an answer. Perhaps if he shook it. No, he had an answer.
"Kenza, do you have any aspirin?" he asked.
"It's no time for jokes," she replied angrily.
"No joke. Get me the aspirin, quickly." Hurriedly she got aspirin from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. He returned to the battery and tore the caps from each cell. He crushed six aspirin with pliars and dumped the powder into the cells. He shook the battery vigorously, but taking care not to slosh the acid out, then returned to the controls. He glanced at the skow. It was within firing range, but the man on the bow could see they were not moving.
William tried the engine. Struggling to turn over, the engine ground slowly, each cycle seeming to take an eternity. Suddenly the revolutions became faster and the engine fired into life. "Kenza," William shouted, moving the throttle full forward, intending to give Kenza the wheel. "Come here," he called, glancing back at the skow. It was going to be close. As the yacht lurched powerfully forward, William saw the man at the rail aim an Uzi at them.
William dove for the cabin, pulling Kenza onto the floor so the walls would protect them. He heard the Uzi fire, and the bullets tearing at the wood and fiberglass in the hull.
The yacht rolled wildly as the wake from the skow tossed the lighter yacht. The yacht's course was away from the side of the skow, and the skow had passed them. William fought his way to the deck, opened a compartment and withdrew a bazooka he had hidden there. He loaded an antitank round, aimed, and fired at the skow. The stern of the vessel disappeared, and so did the man with the Uzi. Returning to the controls, he slowed the engine, and they watched a safe distance away as the vessel sank. The Captain remained on board in the bridge, never trying to escape the doomed craft.
Minutes later they located Gates.
"What's happening?" Gates asked with a smile.
"The party's over," William replied, a disgusted look on his face. "We called and called, but you didn't answer."
"Maybe I was too far away. Drifted. These radios are line of sight, you know." He looked at the transceiver. "Maybe the radio is bad." He threw it into the water. "It won't happen again."
William looked at Gates, suspicious, but able to prove nothing. "Go home," he ordered. He dropped the other radio into the water and steered the yacht for port.
About half way back the plane circled them again.
"Uh, oh," William said.
"What's the matter," Kenza asked.
"From the plane?" she asked, her voice trembling.
William shook his head. "No, but soon."
They dropped Ismail at his home, and when they reached their apartment, they saw it had begun. The apartment and showroom had been bombed and was totally destroyed
"This is going to be a difficult battle," William said. "Khaled is not going to be easily persuaded."
Kenza turned to him and began to sob.
"Oh, they won't find us," he tried to comfort her.
"Our pictures were in there! My family, and our holidays in Morocco," she cried.
They returned to Ismail's home, parking their car down the block in case Khaled's terrorists had arrived. Leaving Kenza in the car, William approached the house on foot, checking through the windows before entering. Ismail was in his study, and let William into his home, William explaining hurriedly what had happened, and that they must get out of Lebanon for a few days to prevent Khaled from killing them before they had a chance to negotiate with him. They would take the yacht across the Med. to Greece. Ismail packed hurriedly, and then returning to the car they saw they were being followed by another car.
They ran for their car, reaching it just as the other car screeched to a halt. Seeing what was happening, Kenza got behind the wheel, started the engine and had the car moving as William and Ismail arrived and jumped in. The men jumped from the other car, but were too late. William directed Kenza's route, turning right at the first corner, and then left into an alley, and then beside a building. The other car not been visible during the last two turns.
William exchanged places with Kenza and headed toward the dock. He chose back streets until they were near the dock, and there had been no sign of the other car. At the dock, they ran down the pier toward the berth with their yacht.
They heard a car screech to a stop when they were half way down the pier. William glanced back, seeing the terrorists had found them. At the yacht, telling Kenza to start the engines and full throttle forward, William began
untying the front and rear mooring ropes. As he undid the front mooring, the yacht strained against the rear. He could just make the jump if the boat didn't move too far. The terrorists were almost on him, their guns coming to the ready.
"Get in the cabin," he yelled at them. The yacht strained full throttle against the pier. He untied the rope and jumped toward the craft. Midair a terrorist struck him full body, knocking him into the water, but he still held onto the mooring rope. The craft dragged him through the water, but the terrorist had grabbed hold of the rope somehow above him. The terrorist swung the butt of his gun down on William's head. William lost consciousness.
Next: Chapter 20