“First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons“
I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.
It was supposed to be a good day.
Kris poured his creamer into his second cup of coffee. He heard feet pounding down the hallway. “It must be an accident.”
“But it’s such a clear morning. How did the pilot lose visibility?”
He hurried after his coworkers to the Counterterrorism Center, CTC, housed deep inside Langley. CTC looked like a Vegas sports bar: monitors spanned one giant wall with video feeds showing live TV, news, surveillance from a dozen overseas operations, status of forces deployed around the world, and more. In a pit before the monitors, lines of workstations stretched in rows. One wall was packed with racks of communication equipment. Radios, satellite phones on charging stands, humming servers that communicated with CIA stations around the world.
Everyone’s eyes were fixed on the wall of monitors.
Every screen showed the same thing.
New York City. Lower Manhattan. Smoke rising from the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
56% of 583
But everything came to a screeching halt with one word, vacuumed up over a war-ravaged Pakistan province infested with al-Qaeda and Taliban warlords in the heart of a brittle no-man’s-land of terrorism and virulent anti-Western hatred.
The flash cable came in from Langley: al-Qaeda intercepts in Waziristan Province had captured the phone conversation of two senior commanders debating the Islamic merits of using nuclear devices. The original intercept, translated Arabic, was beneath the summary. Kris read it four times.
The truth is complicated.
On September 11th, 2001, Kris Caldera was a junior member of the CIA’s Alec Station, the unit dedicated to finding and stopping Osama Bin Laden.
Ten days later, he was on the ground in Afghanistan with a Special Forces team, driven to avenge the ghosts that haunted him and the nation he’d let down. On the battlefield, he meets Special Forces Sergeant David Haddad. David – Arab American, Muslim, and gay – becomes the man Kris loves, the man he lives for, and the man he kills for, through the long years of the raging wars.
David Haddad thought he’d be an outsider his whole life. Too American for the Middle East, too Arab for America, and too gay to be Muslim. It took Kris to bring the parts of himself together, to make him the man he’d always wanted to be. But the War on Terror wreaks havoc on David’s soul, threatening to shatter the fragile peace he’s finally found with Kris.
When a botched mission rips David from Kris’s life, Kris’s world falls into ruin and ash. A shell of the man who once loved with the strength to shake both the CIA and the world, he marks time on the edges of his life. The days bleed together, meaningless after losing the love of his life.
After being captured, tortured to the edge of his life, and left for dead by his comrades, David doesn’t know how much of himself is left. He vanished one day in the tribal belt of Pakistan, and the man who walks out almost a decade later is someone new: Al Dakhil Al-Khorasani.
But strange rumblings are whispering through the CIA. Intelligence from multiple sources overseas points to something new. Something deadly, and moving to strike the United States. Intercepts say an army from Khorasan, the land of the dead where the Apocalypse of Islam will rise, is coming.
And, at the head of this army, a shadowy figure the US hasn’t seen before: Al Dakhil Al-Khorasani.
David is coming home.
What first lines grabbed your attention this week?