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The Flames of Anger


VigilantWatcher
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[u][b]Oklahoma City
08:20am[/b][/u]

The Gulf Federation Rail Service from New Orleans to Oklahoma City trundled slowly towards its final stop. On board were four individuals. Their names were Michael Franks who was from New Orleans, Harry Edwards who was Michael Franks' best friend and also from New Orleans, Luke Prichard who was from Little Rock and Francis Gates who was from Jackson. They hid a secret which they were hiding from the other three hundred passengers who were on board the train.

"Michael where are we going?" asked Harry Edwards. Franks ruffled his black hair before replying "We are heading to a hotel to discuss further what we discussed in New Orleans." The rest of the journey passed in silence as finally the service arrived at Oklahoma City's Sante Fe Station at 08:28am, fifty minutes behind schedule. The friends made their way to the Courtyard Hotel opposite the Station to begin their meeting.

Their appearance did not mark them out as potential terror plotters. Michael Franks was the leader of the group, a committed nationalist, and his outward appearance of Black Hair, Green Eyes and a firm gaze showed him to fit the role. Harry Edwards was like Michael Franks a committed nationalist and had Blonde Hair, Brown Eyes and a fanatical thirst for the cause. Luke Prichard who had Brown Hair and Grey-Blue Eyes, was also committed to their cause. Francis Gates who had been recently recruited into the group, was learning the methods of the group and had shown to be a keen air enthusiast.

The conversation turned to their plan. They would target the major cities of the Federation in an attempt to broadcast their view that the Gulf Federation should take a stand against the established powers in the world. The details were yet to be discussed, but their plan was slowly taking shape.

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The plotters had began to begin to forward their plans. Michael Franks and Harry Edwards had been designated the heads of the plot, although Michael Franks was the overall leader with Harry Edwards helping with running the operation. Their plan was to use bombs as well as a hijacked aircraft to cause as much mayhem as possible. As of yet no specific targets had been laid out, although they had surmised that the transport system and government buildings would be the targets that would cause the most chaos.

They would now bring together more people to create teams, mainly for transporting and planting the devices, plus a team to take over the target aircraft. They estimated it would be nine months to a year before they were ready.

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As the five plotters continued to plan their operation, they were now beginning to accumulate the funds needed for their operations. Their methods of accumulating the cash were through selling their respective businesses and private deals.

They had now formed the Liberty Resistance Army (LRA) a Nationalist Organisation who would begin to bring like minded recruits to their cause. They set up an ad hoc training camp north-east of the town of Sheridian, twenty eight miles south of Little Rock in Mississippi.

They would begin training the recruits using privately owned AK-47 Assault Rifles and various Pistols. They would also receive nationalist propaganda, which would sway them to the group's cause.

The Gulf Federation Government would dismiss this new group as "irrelevant".

Edited by Curristan
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  • 2 weeks later...

[u][b]Three Months later[/b][/u]

The group were now well into their preparations. They began having several important meetings and began to list targets and how they would attack them:

Chase Tower (Oklahoma City)
Santa Fe Station (Oklahoma City)
One Shell Square (New Orleans)
Canal Street Ferry (New Orleans)
Albuquerque Plaza (Albuquerque)

These primary targets were to be struck by a variety of tactics. They had planned that five of the targets would be targeted by car borne explosive devices while Chase Tower would be attacked by an aircraft which they would hijack. The team who would hijack the aircraft would need muscle hijackers to overwhelm the crew before the aircraft could be taken.

Michael Franks had ordered that Luke Prichard would help Francis Gates, who would be the leader of the aircraft hijack team and the pilot who would fly the aircraft to the target. Meanwhile the accumulation of the explosives and weapons needed continued.

Edited by Curristan
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[u][b]Day before planned attacks[/b][/u]

The final preparations were complete. Tomorrow they would carry out their planned slaughter. However they knew that the backlash from the Gulf Federation government would be swift. They would have a hard time keeping one step ahead of the security services in the aftermath of the strikes. As the day drew on, the groups who would hijack the aircraft checked into a hotel close to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport where they would catch Air Gulf Federation Flight 4 to Topeka which was their target.

Meanwhile the teams who would drive the bomb laden cars would drive them to the targets and then detonate them. They would kill themselves in the explosion as the devices had implosion triggers. Michael Franks and Harry Edwards would stay in New Orleans until the morning and then take a rented car to their hideout near Little Rock. Michael Franks had a pre-recorded message that he would send to the Gulf Federation News Network once the attacks were under way, claiming responsibility.

The soon to be murderers waited for dawn....

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[u][b]Day of Attacks
08:30am[/b][/u]

The day began was normal as any day would. People went to work as they had every day of their lives. Trains ran on time, the morning rush hour began with motorists making the commute to work. The sun was shining, with the morning news showing no hint of what was to come. The morning seemed to herald a perfect day.


[u][b]08:40am[/b][/u]

The movement of the car borne devices to the targets began. These would be detonated with the occupant still inside the car as was decided by the people who volunteered to do it. At the same time the hijack team walked to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport where they had decided they would catch the 09:30 Air Gulf Federation Flight 4 to Topeka. They arrived at eight fifty am and would wait for check in which began just before nine am. The one thousand five hundred and four kilometre journey was expected to take a little over three hours with the flight near enough full.


[u][b]09:10am[/b][/u]

The first bomb laden car arrived at the Canal Street Ferry in New Orleans. It boarded on the West Bank, One Gulf Dollar fare for the journey to the East Bank. The driver then waited for the ferry to depart, which it did at quarter past nine. The first few seconds of the journey went as normal, when suddenly the driver of the bomb laden vehicle fiddled with a plunger sat beside him, setting off the device.

The Ammonium-nitrate bomb exploded, sending a massive fireball into the air, plus a concussion wave which destroyed the vehicles around it and turning them into lethal debris. Several were killed with many maimed or seriously injured as the vehicles were either swallowed up by the fireball or compacted by the blast wave.

The vessel then began to list sharply to port, smoke pouring into the sky. First news reports of the blast blamed an accidental explosion as the cause of the tragedy, with one source saying it was a fuel leak. Little did they know what was to come....

Edited by Curristan
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[u][b]09:20am
Albuquerque Plaza[/b][/u]

With news of the bombing of the ferry now beamed around the country, the public were now distracted from the real threats that were now about to come into view. In Albuquerque, the Bank of Albuquerque Tower was working normally. Then at just after 9:20am, the car bomb that was aimed at the structure approached. However, the driver could not reach the building due to the tight security. So in a panic, he accelerated towards the plaza area, but an alert police officer managed to shoot him.

However though badly wounded, he pushes the detonator. The blast kills the brave police officer, plus sixteen others as the explosion tears through the plaza. Many are maimed as the debris scatters in all directions. Several windows of the Bank of Albuquerque Tower on the bottom five floors are blown in, with smoke and blast damage being inflicted on the surrounding area. Fire and ambulance crews rush to the scene, arriving as the people in the vicinity were trying to help the injured.


[u][b]09:47am[/b][/u]

The 09:30 Air Gulf Federation Flight 4 to Topeka takes off and begins to head north-east. On board were Luke Prichard and Francis Gates plus seven others who formed the hijack team. The flight had been slightly delayed due to queuing for a take off slot, but it was now airborne and well on its way.


[u][b]09:59am
New Orleans[/b][/u]

One Shell Square was in the process of being evacuated when the car carrying its deadly cargo sped into the area. It parked near the intersection next to the building and the driver pressed the detonator. The blast ripped into the south-east corner of the building, killing and maiming the people rushing past. The Intercontinental New Orleans Hotel which is on the other side of the road suffers some damage and a doorman is killed as pieces of the car slam into him by the force of the blast.


[u][b]10:00am[/b][/u]

Almost at the same time, the driver of the car bomb aimed at the Santa Fe Railway Station explodes his device, killing many and causes severe injuries to many bystanders. The station is luckily not that full due a train leaving just moments before. New Orleans Emergency Services are overwhelmed by the simultaneous explosions, having to deal with three disaster zones at once.


[u][b]10:10am[/b][/u]

Michael Franks and Harry Edwards arrive at their hideout near Little Rock. They monitor the news and find out that four out of the five attacks had taken place. They text the four successes to the hijack crew and they get a response "About to storm cockpit. Wish us luck."

On board Flight 4, the hijackers prepare to take over the aircraft....

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[u][b]10:12am
At Twenty Thousand Feet
Thirty Miles South West of Jackson, Mississippi[/b][/u]

The hijack of Air Gulf Federation Flight 4 began. Luke Prichard moved first, holding a female flight attendant hostage using a ceramic knife to her throat while the four muscle hijackers sprayed pepper spray and mace to force the passengers away from the cockpit. They then force a stewardess to open the cockpit door, allowing entrance into the cockpit.

A struggle erupts, with the aircraft plunging to eight thousand feet before the Captain and First Officer plus the engineer are overwhelmed, losing their lives. Francis Gates takes the controls, amid frantic calls from air traffic control due to the sound of the struggle being broadcast over the frequency. Luke Prichard sits in the co-pilots chair and makes the following announcement over the intercom: "Ladies and Gentlemen. Please remain where you are and do not do anything stupid."


[u][b]10:19am[/b][/u]

Flight 4 then suddenly veers to the north west just outside Jackson on the air traffic control screens. It gains altitude before levelling off at thirty five thousand feet.


[u][b]10:25am
New Orleans[/b][/u]

The bombed Canal Street Ferry finally sinks in a shallow area of the Mississippi River, seventy five minutes after the explosion. Part of the upper deck remains above the waterline, twisted by the blast.

Edited by Curristan
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[u][b]10:45am[/b][/u]

Flight 4 is picked up over Lake Chicot in Arkansas still heading north west. Gulf Federation Military orders the scrambling of aircraft to intercept, with Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma and Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana being brought to readiness.


[u][b]10:50am[/b][/u]

A F-60A Avenger Stealth Fighter of the First Wing, Two Fighter Squadron armed with six AIM-9X Sidewinder Short Range Air to Air Missile takes off from Altus Air Force Base and proceeds south east. At almost the same time, a E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post Aircraft of One Airborne Command and Control Squadron takes off.

The E-4B carrying the Minister of Defence Kerry Eckhart and some High Command Personnel, had been ordered by President Johnson to monitor the air operations. It would fly a set course to monitor the interception which was expected to take place. Any shoot down would need to be authorised before it could take place.


[u][b]11:05am[/b][/u]

The F-60A Avenger Stealth Fighter passes into Arkansas over the city of Fort Smith at Mach Three, travelling at twenty thousand feet. Flight 4 was now two hundred miles to the south east, flying higher at twenty five thousand feet. Francis Gates and Luke Prichard continued to keep a steady course, now debating on how to approach Oklahoma Airspace. They decide to turn north, which they do at ten past eleven. For twenty minutes the change in direction is not noticed by Air Traffic Control.

Meanwhile Flight 4 and the F-60A Avenger Stealth Fighter had passed each other by a mere eighty miles between them on either side of Little Rock, with the fighter still heading south east. Finally at five past twelve Air Traffic Control realise what has happened, directing the fighter northwards to intercept.


[u][b]11:40am[/b][/u]

Flight 4 had by now turned west, just east of Greer Ferry Lake. It had continued west to a point two hundred and fifty miles NNE of Oklahoma City. The F-60A Avenger Stealth Fighter was still heading north, again passing close just thirty miles to the south east. Air Traffic Control again fails to notice the change until ten to twelve, where the fighter is redirected
back west, now fifty miles east Flight 4.


[u][b]12:00pm[/b][/u]

Flight 4 had now crossed into Oklahoma and was around One Hundred and Seventy Miles away from Oklahoma City. The F-60A Avenger Stealth Fighter had been now joined by a identically armed JAS 39D Gripen Multi-role Fighter of Third Wing, Thirty Fighter Squadron who had raced from Barksdale Air Force Base. They were around fifty miles behind but were closing fast.


[u][b]12:24pm[/b][/u]

Flight 4 comes into view of both fighters. They slow down and begin to arm their weapon systems, ready for a possible shoot down. With Flight 4 now just One Hundred and Fifty Miles away from Oklahoma City, a decision would need to be made. A call is put to President Johnson telling him that the fighters were in a position to shoot the aircraft down. He replies "I am sorry to do it but to save lives i have to say yes. Do it. I hope that the people understand why i have decided to give the order my consent."

At twelve sixteen a reply comes back: "Presidential Authorisation Granted. Use air to air missiles as instructed." Both aircraft manoeuvre into position. A minute later two missiles are launched from both aircraft towards Flight 4 at two miles range. They streak towards the aircraft at Mach 2.5........

Edited by Curristan
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[u][b]12:25pm[/b][/u]

The two missiles strike Flight 4 dead on. One hits the Columbia Aeronautic 115-100 Short Haul Airliner's port wing, while the second impacts on the starboard side near the tail. The aircraft begins to bank to the left, streaming a long trail of black smoke, air pouring out of the hole in the damaged fuselage. Francis Gates and Luke Prichard battle to keep the stricken aircraft airborne, which was now plummeting through twenty thousand feet.

The aircraft struggles on for two more minutes, tracked by the two fighters. Finally the port wing tears off under the centrifugal pressure and Flight 4 goes into a wild spin. This tears the tail section off the aircraft and the crippled aircraft goes into a final dive. At five thousand feet Flight 4 finally breaks up as the excess speed rips the aircraft apart at eight hundred miles and hour. Everyone on board is already dead from the loss of cabin pressure. Flight 4's destruction is reported back to the President who solemnly nodded. "God rest their souls."

News of the attacks had by now been broadcast all over the world, with the entire country now locked down. All flights were now grounded for foreseeable future until tougher airport security laws could be passed. Travel would now be restricted to the roads and railways for the time being.

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