Holy cow, friends, it’s been a while! Sorry for the big gap in updates on the goings on of Riley Covington, Scott Ross, Abdel al-Hasani, and the rest of the gang in Jason Elam’s debut novel, Monday Night Jihad. If you’ve forgotten what’s happened (And I wouldn’t blame you), terrorists have terror-attacked the Mall of America and shit is going CRAZY. For a more in-depth look at what’s gone down, check out Part One and Part Two at those handy links.
If you’d like a break from reading recaps about terrible people jamming knives into faces, take a peep at the With Leather twitter family! I’m @LegKickTKO, our fearless editor-in-chief is @MrBrandonStroud, there’s the ultra-awesome @MayorBurnsy, our intrepid Impact Best and Worster, Danielle “@ProGrapsLady” Mattheson and of course, @WithLeather itself. We probably won’t stab knives into your face, probably.
Saturday, December 20
CTD North Central Division Headquarters
Heavily bandaged, Abdel al-Hasani is in the CTD’s interrogation (TORTURE) room, chained to a desk that, like Abdel’s chair, is bolted to the floor. Jim Hicks walks in, places his murderin’ knife on the table, just out of Abdel’s reach and starts questioning him. Hicks points out that Aamir, Abdel’s dead brother, was an idiot for believing the lies that Allah wants innocent people to be murdered to further The Cause. Jim keeps pressing on Abdel’s reluctance to believe in The Cause until Abdel finally breaks down and offers up one name as the name responsible: Hakeem (Oh dip).
Saturday, December 20
Hakeem Qasim (OH DIP!) sits in a dark hotel room, fingers rubbing a brass medallion. It says “honor” in seven different languages along the edge, with three daggers in the center. Of course, it wasn’t always a medallion, but was once a 7.62 x 39 mm bullet given to him by his dearly departed Uncle Ali. Hakeem is staring at a muted TV screen as CNN replayed the limited information about the Mall of America attack. Hakeem seethes at the disaster the beginning of his grand revenge ended up as.
After his immediate family was murdered by the Great Satan’s bombs, young Hakeem was taken in by his uncle Ibrahim, in Ramadi. Ibrahim is Hakeem’s mother’s brother, but due to his connection with the Cause, an Iraq-based terrorist group with plans to take down the decadent West, Ibrahim wasn’t allowed around the family very often. Ibrahim sent Hakeem to al-‘Aqran, the Scorpion, to mold him into a long-term sleeper agent. For two years, Hakeem studied under al-‘Aqran, learning both bomb making and the languages and cultures of western Europe and the imperialistic United States. Following his training and indoctrination, the Scorpion left 12-year old Hakeem at the gates of a monastery to begin his new life. Hakeem remained alone for fourteen years, until ten months ago when he was contacted. Al-‘Aqran was ready for Hakeem to take his revenge. Now, there are just ten more days of Hakeem leading his double life. Ten more days until he can drop his facade and become Hakeem Qasim, the Cheetah again. Until then, though, Hakeem is left to stew over the failures of his soldiers in completing their mission.
Key Lines: “My mind was created by Allah and for Allah.” – I have a really awesome FABA track jacket.
But now, in this orphaned boy, Ibrahim had seen an opportunity to create a weapon potentially more powerful than anything the Cause had stashed in its secret arsenals in the southern al-Hajarah desert.
– The biggest weapon the Cause has hidden away in the desert is a Light Grenade. Very dangerous.
“Satan’s great puppet, Bush of America, took your family, your future, and your honor.” – I always KNEW that Jeff Dunham was essentially a demonic force for evil.
Sunday, December 21
San Francisco, California
Riley Covington wakes up in his hotel room in San Francisco and stares out across the foggy landscape, looking at the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Prison. He thinks it might be nice to one day tour the California coast, maybe on his honeymoon, but that kind of necessitates having a girlfriend first, and Riley’s never been a smooth operator when it comes to the ladies (Not enough wholesome cheerleaders, I bet).
Riley watches FOX NEWS, learning that two police officers were killed during the attack, and grumbles about Pasto Tim being wrong about having pity for the terrorists for being misguided. Riley turns off the TV, takes a quick shower, and then heads down to the conference room for team chapel services. The chaplain, Walter Washburne, talks about how misguided the terrorists are for believing in killing for a cause. He also mentions something that’s hard for the players to stomach: the concept of putting others ahead of themselves (I guess that’s expected out of quarterbacks and DIVA RECEIVAS, but what offensive guards are me-first players?).
After the sermon, the team heads off for a buffet to load up on calories before the game. There’s pastas and steaks and all sorts of wonderful treats, but all Riley goes for is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After breakfast, the team heads to several buses to make the trip across the bay into Oakland. The ride is quiet as there’s a strict “no talking” rule, allowing to further contemplate the terrorists’ actions.
As the Mustangs get closer and closer to Golden West Stadium, the number of fans decked out in black and silver, with spikes and skull masks and pirate gear, all flipping off the team, grows and grows. The buses finally reach the stadium, and everyone piles out and makes a beeline straight for the visiting locker room. The players start their unique pre-game preparations, with some watching the early Boston versus Florida game (I’m thinking MILITIA MEN versus MANATEES, what about y’all?). Riley gets his ankles taped up, puts his football pants on (Technically they are football capris), and then heads onto the field to check the conditions of the turf.
A small group of fans is waiting in the stands to scream insults at the Mustangs, and another gaggle behind the uprights, yelling at Mustangs kicker Tory Girchwood. Covington makes his way to Girchwood, who expresses a desire to take a shot back, to just maybe get the fans to shut up for once. Tory, showing off how suave and badass kickers are, punts a ball into the stands, drilling a guy in the chest, knocking him on his ass and spilling his Bud Light. This instantly gets the Bandit fans cheering and chanting Girchwood’s name because kickers are f*cking awesome, bro. After Girchwood’s epic pwning of the Bandits fans, Riley heads back in to the locker room to put on his shoulder pads and jersey, and then get ready for the full team warm-up.
His fame, his odd schedule of PFL and off-season air force reserves, and his general ineptitude with women all combined to make his chances of ever having a meaningful relationship with a young lady about equivalent to the Detroit Wildcats’ chances of ever having a meaningful relationship with the PFL Cup.
– I seriously love how lazy Elam is in renaming the teams. “Aww, jeez, can’t use Lions, uh, what’s close? Panthers? No, that’s a thing already, too. I’VE GOT IT!” Also, THE WILDCATS!
“They believed the Koran tells them to kill those who don’t agree with them. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t – I’m not an expert in the Koran or in Islam.” – BUT I AM AN EXPERT IN KNOWING THEY ARE WRONG AND GROSS!