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Othello awakened in the middle of the night. The view of the moon reflecting off the ocean was magnificent but could not sooth the pain from his heavy heart. Part of him wished he was dead. He felt helpless. Only a fraction of a man. He was once strength personified, with no longer a way to express it.

With tears in his eyes he prayed, "O Jesus, why did you leave me like this? What have I done to deserve this? I tried to live a life that was right, and you leave me like this? You could have brought me home. What do you want from me?" he wailed, feeling like a lost and turned-out runaway.

In desperation, he wanted to see the status of President Cotton and the country he once called home. They were once friends and coworkers. He hoped there had been a drastic change from what he had witnessed earlier.

"Ahmed," he called out.

"Yes, Mr. Greene," the computer responded.

"Could you replay recent news from the United States?"

"Sorry, Mr. Greene. You are not authorized to use this system. Please hold while I obtain authorization."

"No . . . no," he tried to stop the computer, but he was interrupted.

"Authorization granted," it quickly responded. "Retrieving requested information. Please hold." The television reemerged from the ceiling. "Playing video."

He watched a myriad of news reports in utter disbelief. America as he knew it was fading. He knew it would never be the same. He realized they didn't have a clue who they were dealing with and were way over their heads. Although the country he loved had turned its back on him, he felt an overwhelming need to protect it. In his current condition, he felt worthless. Every second, death became more appealing, and his mind began to yearn for it. Depression became his master.

Sheik Barawi and Alfredi Khan slowly walked the forest paths on the secluded island. The early morning air carried the scent of rare exotic plants, which enhanced the beauty and splendor of this earthly paradise.


"Yes, Sheik?"

"Come. Come. Look at this spider in its web," he said, motioning for Khan to take a close look at the large indigenous spider closing in on its prey. "This beautiful butterfly woke up this morning and didn't have a clue his day was going to turn out like this."

"Yes, it is true Sheik. But Allah has blessed the butterfly, because now we can save it."

"By no means will we do such a thing. Does not Allah provide for all things?"

"Yes, Sheik. Of course He does."

"Then today, He provided this spider with a meal of this butterfly."

"Yes, Sheik," Khan responded with a smile.

"Akhi, when you told me that you needed to see me, I felt the disturbance in your voice. So I decided that we would meet out here, in the peacefulness and serenity of this island. Whatever it is you have to tell me, don't let it bother your spirit so much. Simply know that it is the Qadr of Allah and it is already written," Sheik Barawi spoke in a soft reassuring tone.

"Yes, Sheik."

"What has happened?" he asked.

"As Shaitan has struck again. He poisoned the Las Vegas water supply, killing almost a half million people. He sent a message to every nation that his ultimate goal is world domination," Khan spoke gravely.

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