Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sneak (05/12/16)
By Holly Westefeld
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"You know how crucial your role is to this mission," Roger reminded them. "We would never attempt this without your dedication on this end."
The hatch sealed, the Philadelphia's engines emitted a kittenish purr as it launched. The women stared after the well-camouflaged submersible for several minutes after it was visible beneath the full moon. They dispersed to their vehicles without a word, pulling away one at a time, lights off.
Roger rubbed his eyes and glared at the selection of protein bars and MREs. "I never adequately appreciated Cook."
"Me neither," James mumbled around his coconut almond bar. "This stuff is all starting to taste alike."
Nathan looked up from the monitors and controls. "Complaining isn't going to get this mission accomplished," he snapped. "Finish up and start arming the missiles."
"Yes sir," the others chimed in unison.
"Sarcasm isn't going to advance our cause either."
"Sorry, Nathan. I'd forgotten how cross weeks at sea could make me," Roger admitted. "Or perhaps I thought that this voyage would be different, as close as we are, and considering the potential game-changer accomplishing this goal can be."
"No hard feelings. I've just been channeling my cabin fever in to reviewing our instructions. Do hurry, though. We're entering the mouth of the Taedong river, and will be at the port of Nampo shortly."
James, Roger, and their fellow crew set about their task. They triple-checked the coordinates for the missiles, some targeted at Nampo itself, but most destined for Pyongyang several miles upriver.
"All is ready, Nathan."
Nathan brought the Philadelphia to the surface slowly. Once he was satisfied with its precise position under the moonless sky, he gave the order. "Fire!"
Missiles launched, stealth was sacrificed for speed, as Nathan dropped the craft below the surface, and sped toward the yellow sea.
Shortly after dawn, Hyon wheeled a trash can in to Kim Il-Sung Square. Not that he was expecting any litter, as it was almost unheard of in the DPRK, but he would not dishonor his family, or risk hard labor, by allowing the least scrap of trash to remain.
He stopped short when he spotted a small book on the ground. Picking it up, he dropped it in the can as though it burned his fingers. Who would have dared drop a Bible here? As he glanced back up, the improving light revealed them dotting the square. He began scooping them in to the can as fast as he could, wondering if he should take the time to report the attack, or just remove the subversive books as quickly as possible and inform his superior afterword. He opted for the latter.
Nearly finished, Hyon's curiosity got the better of him. Instead of dropping the next one in the can, he slipped it in to his pocket. Then another one. If he was careful, he might be able to get a good price for them...
Despite the uproar that rippled upward from the beautification office, the decision was returned down the chain of command that the festival would go on as scheduled, so no awkward explanations need be given for canceling it. Hyon, however, slipped away in the crowd, back to his apartment. Curtains closed, he began to read.
The wives of the Philadelphia crew gathered at James' home, Liz welcoming them warmly as they were seated around the dining room table, the aroma of the dinner Liz had prepared making it `difficult not to just dig in.
"If all has gone as planned, we should hear from them in a few days." Liz bowed her head. "Heavenly Father, we continue to lift the men of God you have given us to your care. Help us not to be anxious as we await word. In the hope that the Bibles have been launched, we ask that they reach receptive hands and hearts, trusting that your Word never returns void. May this be the beginning of revival in North Korea, the subversion of godlessness. Amen."
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