Today I have a surprise for my facebook and website friends.Â The following is the prologue to HEROES.Â It tells of the dilemma that Hawk Jameson is about to face, and of the fear, the frustration that has been forced upon him by the invasion of Kuwait, and Husseinâ€™s obsession to possess the oil enriched country.
Â August 2, 1990 is burned in my memory. I had gone back to the office after a dinner meeting and had worked until well after midnight. It was late, so I decided to bunk on the sofa in my office. Shortly after two a.m., I heard what I thought at first were firecrackers. Groggy with sleep, I got up and looked out my office window.
Tanks! Iraqi tanks! Everywhere! They rolled down the street. It was a divided four lane road. There were dozens, on both sides of the road. My building started to shake. The next thing I knew the complex next door exploded while I watched. I froze. My brain wouldnâ€™t function. So I stood there, mesmerized by what I saw. The sky lit up. I could see for miles. At least it seemed like miles. A nightclub down the street was being ripped apart by huge fireballs. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope. Glass and bricks andâ€¦ Oh, my GODâ€¦people! There were people, flying in all directions.
I heard screams, and then another explosion shook the building like an earthquake. I lost my footing. I grabbed for something to break my fall. A chair was in the way; I stumbled, and my head struck the edge of the desk. It was enough to jolt me back to reality. I pulled myself into my chair and reached for the phone. Miracle of miracles, there was a dial tone. With shaking fingers, I called the police station.
â€œGet out of the business district, Hawk,â€œ the police chief told me. â€œThe Iraqi Army crossed the Kuwaiti border at two a.m. Theyâ€™re cominâ€™ dead ahead toward the city with thousands of soldiers and well over 300 tanks.â€
â€œTheyâ€™re already here chief,â€ I said
â€œDamn Hussein! Damn, that dirty bastard!â€
â€œWhat about the airport?â€
â€œSorry, Hawk, jets and helicopter gunships took it apart first thing; the runways are gone. I doubt you got a plane left. The focus of the attack seems to be the heart of the city as well as roads and airstrips. Right now, the safest place is your apartment, which is beyond the city limits. Go home. Iâ€™ll try to keep in touch.
What choice did I have? I took his advice and headed toward home. It took awhile to get there because I drove without lights. The sky was lit up, so at first it was easy, but the farther away from the city, the darker it got; still, I didnâ€™t dare turn on my headlights. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I pulled into the garage.
Inside my flat, it seemed like any other night; quiet and dark. I leaned against the wall for a moment to let my eyes adjust to the blackness. I closed them, and what I saw outside my office window came rolling back to me in waves of horror. At that moment I knew what hell must look like. I could see the people, human beings, on fire, begging for mercy, the glass and mortar melting into a lava-like substance, sidewalks giving way, cars disappearing.
My eyes snapped open. I went to the refrigerator and got a bottle of water. My throat was dry, like cotton. Why hadnâ€™t I left last week as scheduled? The question whirled through my mind. It wouldnâ€™t stop. I drained the bottle and tossed it in the sink. I had to let my family know I was alive. I knew my parents always watched Ted Koppelâ€™s show, Nightline. From what the chief of police told me, the citizens of the United States first heard about the invasion as they watched Koppel.
I picked up the receiver and dialed the number in the United States. Nothing happened. It didnâ€™t ring. I tried again. Once more, I dialed; this time a local operator answered and told me that all international phone lines had been severed.
â€œOkay, Hawk Jameson, now what?â€ I asked myself. Razor sharp realization hit me. I was cut off from the outside world.
Itâ€™s my hope, after reading the prologue that youâ€™ll want to know more about Hawk.
How did he finally escape the country? Who helped him?Â How did he get across the desert?Â Read HEROES, find out!