Sunday, December 21
Hakeem Qasim is sitting in deep contemplation. He’s at his cover job, but all he’s thinking about is the tape he recorded the night before. Using gloves before opening the mini DVD-R to leave no traces of fingerprints, he sat with a lamp behind him, leaving his face covered in darkness as he spoke.
Hakeem talks about fighting for The Cause, which is comprised of warriors from across the Muslim world, some fighting for honor, some for revenge, some for Allah and ideology. Qasim says The Cause was formed when the Great Satan struck first, stealing Arab lands for oil and attacking innocent people. He says that now, with this most recent attack (Which hasn’t happened yet), nowhere is safe in America. Anybody could have a bomb strapped to his chest, and he wants America to stew in that fear.
Hakeem’s anxious since he wants his hammer blow to fall immediately, but plan doesn’t happen for another eight days. It’s been fifteen years of planning, though, so a little over a week shouldn’t be too much to wait for.
Sunday, December 21
CTD North Central Division Headquarters
Jim Hicks and Scott Ross are going over the confession that was “extracted” from Abdel al-Hasani, while Jim, ever the professional, offers Scott some Baileys for his coffee. Scott’s a bit of a recovering alcoholic, so he declines, yet he keeps longingly looking at the bottle.
The two deduce that since Abdel spoke of Hakeem looking to target the West, and then specifically mentioning America, that Hakeem had probably been based in Europe for some time before moving to the states. Ross and Hicks figure if Hakeem was a regular dude, he could have moved to the US at any time, but since it was only a short time ago, he must have a particular set of skills that kept him in Europe (Throat punching Armenians?). Scott calls up Tara Walsh back in St. Louis and tells her to put together a team to investigate business men or doctors that have moved from Europe to the United States in the past five years. Of course, that’s totally ridiculous and stupid, so Scott tells her to highlight any dudes of potential Middle Eastern or Arabic descent.
“Hakeem’s body was where his superiors expected him to be, but his mind was far from his job.” – THIS IS ME, EVERY DAY AT WORK.
“If you’re right, then we’re looking for some sort of businessman or professional, like a doctro or maybe an IT guy.” – In the Counter-Terrorism Division, Arabs can be doctors or computer dudes, exclusively.
Sunday, December 21
Golden West Stadium
Chaplain Washburne calls for “praying in the showers” which is a practice that I believe originated at Penn State. He calls upon GOD (You know, the real, Christian one) to protect the players, especially from those rowdy Bay City Bandit fans. He ends the prayer and the players head back to the locker room to continue their mental preparations for the upcoming game. Some of the defensive players pass around an ammonia strip to wake them up (Ah, the wonders of modern science. Back when Bronko Nagurski was playing, he had to huff a piss-soaked sock to get hyped for game time). The offensive line is trying to remain inconspicuous, except for the center, Chris Gorkowski, who is violently horking up the contents of his stomach due to nerves.
Coach Burton gets the team to huddle up, then the Mustangs run onto the field and are instantly drowned in a chorus of boos. The jeers quickly turn to cheers as soon as the first Bandit players steps onto the turf as AC/DC’s “Back in Black” welcomes the home team (So Fox News and Bon Scott are fair game for inclusion, but Broncos and Raiders are off limits? WHATEVER, ELAM). The Mustangs captains, quarterback Randy Meyer, defensive end Micah Pittman, and Riley head to midfield for the coin toss, which gives Riley the chance to briefly catch up with his old Air Force buddy and Bandits cornerback, Alex McNeil. The Bandits win the toss and elect to receive, which means Covington and the rest of the Mustangs defense will be taking the field first.
However, before the scintillating football action can begin, a brief history lesson. The Bandits are currently 0-14, which means they are close to a winless season, with only the expansion Tampa Bay Tarpons achieving that dubious distinction. This means the Bandits are going to be playing with the intensity of a methed-out Bandit Nation fan before the heated Bay City versus Colorado rivalry is even brought into consideration. Nobody really knows when the rivalry started, though scholars believe former Bandits coach-turned announcer Jim Madison has something to do with it (BAM, STRONG WORKIN’ LOTRIMIN!), or maybe everyone just hates the creepy old Bandits owner, Arthur Drake (Some say he time traveled from the future to buy a PFL franchise with his great-grandfather Nathan’s treasure fortune). Whatever the reason, nobody likes anybody (Except Riley and McNeil, I guess?), so expect a lot of injuries!
The game doesn’t start well for the Mustangs, as the Bandits make good use of their hurry-up offense to get Colorado reeling. Riley misses three tackles in a row because HE AIN’T GOT THAT SEC SPEED, PAAAAAWWWWLL! The Bandits get the ball to the Mustangs 10-yard line, and it’s 3rd and 5. Covington drops back into pass coverage, reads the QB’s eyes and makes his move. Unfortunately, it’s too little, too late, as Riley drops to the ground as Bandit Nation roars in approval for the touchdown. Despite his tremendous failure on at least four plays, Riley isn’t the player getting chewed out on the sidelines. That honor goes to defensive end LeMonjello (Le-MAHN-jel-lo) “Jiggly” Fredericks, who rips out the coach phone and throws it in the trash.
I’ll get back to the action, but I seriously want to point out that Elam named one of the characters after that terrible, racist joke “Lemon Jello and Orange Jello”. Let that sink in, friends. LEMONJELLO, YOU GET YOUR OWN PARAGRAPH BECAUSE DESPITE TANK ABBOTT TALKING ABOUT “BORDER BROTHERS”, THIS SEEMS A MILLION TIMES MORE RACIST. SHEESH BO-BEESH.
The Mustangs go on offense after the kick off, but the crowd is so loud that Sal Ricci has to focus on Gorkowski’s hands instead of Randy Meyer’s snap count. Sal heads down field, uses the umpire as a pick to separate from the linebacker covering him, and catches a pass from Meyer. After juking past one Bandit defender, Sal heads down field (RACK UP DAT YAC, SON, WHAT?!), eventually getting stopped by two Bandits, taking a Samoan Spike during the pile up on the turf.
On the very next play, Ricci blows a block on a running play, resulting in his linebacker obliterating the halfback behind the line of scrimmage. Somehow, the Mustangs are a better team, yet the Bandits are just dominating. Ricci heads to the sideline to get an earful from both coach Burton and his position coach. Luckily for Sal, the Mustangs manage to move the ball down field enough to warrant him getting back in the game. Ricci lines up, runs his route, and turns to catch Meyer’s pass. Unfortunately, his terrible Italian hands fail him, the ball bounces off his chest, and into the waiting arms of a Bandits cornerback, who streaks down field for a pick-six.
The Mustangs have tightened things up on both ends, as the score is 14-10, with just three minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Bandits have the ball, it’s third and seven, and one more first down will ice the game. At the snap, Riley blitzes the quarterback, then realizes that a screen to the fullback is looming. Covington starts backpedaling, and just barely manages to get his finger tips on the pass, deflecting it away from the Bay City fullback, and right into safety Danie Colson’s hands. Colson zips to the end zone for a pick six and starts in on his “hoodaman” dance (Who is the man, indeed?)
“So give them the courage of David, the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Samson, and the integrity of Daniel.” – Chaplain Washburne, you are f*cking terrible at summoning SHAZAM.
“I told you. Just be patient and they’ll make a mistake. They’re the Bandits; that’s what they do.” – Hey, Coach Burton, your team was making mistakes left and right in the first quarter, don’t act like the Mustangs are awesome. Also, unwittingly, Elam combined a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff with a Mark Henry reference years before those were things to reference. Dude’s streets ahead.