They that make a graven image are all of them vanity: and their delectable things shall not profit: and they are their own witnesses: they see not, nor know: that they may be ashamed.
All of the glory belongs to Elohim our Heavenly Father our Creator all of everything. He is our example of how to live. He is poignant eternal. In our time of trouble he won’t let you down he is there he will never go. How sweet it is to walk in his light. We may worship Elohim. God the Father is Jesus Christ’s gospel from the time he was born, Elohim is Jesus Christ’s blood.
Shooting out of the darkened madness, they come propelling with the smoke like a missile, bound toward an unknown fate. Prisoners of the immense pressure, strong enough it could soon rip them to shreds. No time to think only reactions from the soul was guiding him through. His arms tightly wrapped around the young woman, holding onto her as best he can, through the darkness. The sickening conflict flashes through his mind will or will she not survive.
McCloud was close enough to see that man throw something toward the guard at the gate then a loud pop, pop, pop. Then that same man at full speed ran past McCloud and the young woman. McCloud had instinctively clutched onto the young woman, started running with her, close in the tracks of that man.
In that second, a huge blast detonated as the truck exploded, the black plume carried them away.
Suddenly they smash into a wall, slide down it, hit the ground with a bang, and then roll over and over; as the force drags them alongside the wall. Trying to stand but he can not. They come to the edge of the wall; he desperately holds on to it while he unswervingly seeks refuge. Spotting a doorway around the edge, he struggles toward it, partly carrying, partly dragging the girl. There inside the door he finds stable air, now McCloud can stand. As Becka tries to join him and stand, the building begins shaking. Immediately, McCloud grabs onto Becka then starts running Becka’s feet barely touch the ground as he whizzes her along.
They can hear windows shattering, people screaming on the floors above them. Seeing another escape at the other end of the hallway, he hollers, "This way," to people emerging from the floors above, continuing to run, make no mistake, barely making it out as the building begins collapsing.
Others, trying to escape, follow close behind. Becka keeps attempting to run on her own accord, however, she can not. McCloud keeps a hold of her, while still leading the others. Looking back briefly, McCloud can see in the distance, the American Embassy effusion. Realizing they are still almost in that same moment speeds faster. McCloud not willing to be conquered so easily ensures both of their survival.
As he reaches a further distance away, he comes to an alleyway, goes into it, the smoke is waning and the buildings on either side will shield them from flying debris, for now, McCloud with Becka stops. They look at each other, and then around at the others who’ve escaped, trying to understand what happened. McCloud immediately attends to checking Becka from head to her foot for puncture wounds and breaks.
"I think I’m all right," Becka states. Those words he had been hoping to hear. McCloud now convinced. They slowly drift to the ground and except for the terrible state of shock, are for the most part, miraculously unscathed. McCloud giving thanks to the Lord above for her safety and at least for now, they seem to be ok.
McCloud was thankful indeed, he had known Becka since she was a little kid, and then there was that promise he made to her father before they went so far away, swearing to him he would safely bring her home. However, this, no one could have planned on this, all these things echoing through his mind without any answers coming back.
August 7, 1998 Nairobi, Kenya
They can hear the overwhelming screams of the devastation unfolding. While the moments tick by the only thing they can manage, remain still. Seemingly, an eternity passes. In reality, little time has elapsed. Huddling together not even realizing the vast agonizing horror, now binds them together. McCloud’s emotions splitting in different directions, struggling with the dominant conviction to take her far away from this, somewhere she will be safe.
Feeling blessed surviving; McCloud and Becka sit and listen to the sounds of escalating turmoil, of those that have not been so fortunate. They look back and forth at each other. They begin their debate of what should happen next, McCloud insistent on her return and stay at the hotel. He however can not convince her, and a part of him knows she will be safer with him, where he might better keep an eye on her. Both unanimously decide they must go to the scene. Not knowing what else could happen; only knowing they can not leave.
Walking slowly back towards the unbelievable tragedy, McCloud waits while Becka stops to tie her shoulder length hair up into a knot.
They come to a bus flickering in flames and are taken aback because of the mass devastation; neither one has ever seen such dreadfulness. Their eyes begin stinging from the fumes that emanates from the bus, spewing uncontrollably into the sky. Dread suddenly overwhelms McCloud as he realizes it could explode any second. McCloud insists on taking Becka to a safer distance immediately, this time she does not protest, he then goes closer. McCloud embarks upon a tense search looking for something to extinguish the flames; it is in vain. There are people attempting to rescue the panic-stricken victims trying to escape their escalating dire situation. The passengers that had been able to escape lay helpless on the ground, suffering, McCloud quickly aides, saving those that can be, moves them to a safer distance.
Impossible to continue as the flames begin licking at their foreheads, the rescue effort halts. Then McCloud seeks Becka, hurriedly moving her even farther away from danger. All that could be done, was, the remains now left to burn uncontrollably. The crushing feeling of being unable to do more, watching, agonizingly grieving for those still left; so overwhelming they collapse down to the ground. Sitting there, Becka covers her eyes at the shocking tragedy then starts to weep.
They can hear the sounds of alert approaching, sirens wailing, coming towards the catastrophe where so many are wounded, and they themselves barely escaped death. Now almost in shock McCloud and Becka stand, walking together, slowly drift throughout.
Everything lay in shambles; at times, they can barely breathe with the smoke and dust arising from the rubble as they wander throughout. Flames shooting into the sky threatening those still trapped inside the buildings. Bodies scattered among the debris. Some people are looking for someone they know, or someone they had worked with calling names out, with little response. You can hear the additional service vehicles arriving with their sirens blaring, their tires screech as they come to a sudden stop, unaware of the massive undertaking unfolding. They watch as the workers scramble to load as many as they can, then speed away sirens still blaring.
The jagged, unstable mounds of rubble, huge pieces of concrete, shredded pieces of metal shift and move as they walk on top of the piles. McCloud and Becka come to a halt hearing pleadings for help directly underneath; they desperately begin digging by hand and with whatever else they can find close by. McCloud stops to carefully wrap their hands with pieces torn from the jacket he was wearing. This better enables them as they continue desperate piece-by-piece digging. The groaning they can hear prompts McCloud and Becka to begin speaking encouragingly as they dig to the man, not to give up that they are going to get him out. He responds. After an endless amount of the time, they uncover him, only to find there is an enormous object pinning him. They try with every effort still unable to uncover what pinned him under. Becka kneels down reassuring him help is on the way while McCloud stands dramatically whistling so loud it suddenly catches the attention of many who stop long enough to watch him motion for additional people, two men quickly come to aid.
The man horribly torn so Becka leaves in search of a stretcher. In and out of all the horror, though she does not want to she has to pass by people who lay on the ground unable to move. As she continues her search she sees people all around, some scared running to nowhere, then some bloody and torn, some unable to stop screaming and those who are silent.
Becka arrives where the medical supplies are set up only to find the stretchers already full, with more injured masses waiting nearby, on the ground. Therefore, she has to return without one, so McCloud and the two men as gently as they can, carefully lift the man from the earth, then slowly carry him to where the wounded lie, place him gently down to wait his turn. Perhaps he would be next the three men reassure him repeatedly as they were walking.
Then McCloud and the two men return to Becka. They discover she has already begun digging through the debris to get to someone else. Together they finish uncovering the next person, this time a woman. They carry her as well to the front laying her next to the man. Then they return for another person then another. Not sure where it is safe to stand from time to time, as it was still smoldering in some places, and they are afraid of standing right on top of another victim.
Listening for some sign of life, they keep searching the debris. Their task force has grown into a small group of people coming to aid in the struggle of digging through the fragments. The next person they recover they hopelessly try to cover his wounds with the few supplies they have. Some of the men carry him to the front. Still in hopes of finding others, they keep digging through the piles of wreckage. Coming next to another person, feeling the same invigoration they had with each person they have found. This time the discovery turning into despair when instead it is only human remains some of those helping begin to gasp. McCloud stops for a minute posing a question to those around him, "Who would do this?" No one responds. He repeats himself, no one could or would answer him, they just watch him silently as he stands atop the rubble, a wail from the bottom of his being cries out, "Who would do this,” his fury, rage, and might are hurled against the bitter breeze. Standing there devastated, McCloud spins around, realizing the gravity. Just then women in their heartbreaking search for someone pass by asking him, "Have you seen," one of the women holds up a picture, then they keep going right on by not even expecting a reply. Their remaining words left dangling behind as the bitter breeze carries them away.
No one seems to know what is happening to wreak this havoc. Newspaper people start arriving along with TV crew members who have their cameras rolling; all grappling with the words to say. As McCloud and the men approach carrying another person they have rescued, some of the news people come rushing toward them to speak with them. McCloud waits only briefly as one or two of the men start giving their eyewitness account, before going back to his work he overhears the news women say that only minutes apart in another town another American Embassy had been attacked.
As McCloud listens and looks about, he concludes out loud they had been too unprepared to deal with such a massive explosion, as singed pieces of clothing caught by the breeze leave for their unknown destination.
As time wears on, the scene becomes a graveyard. Backhoes arrive on the scene. Floodlights are set up in order to continue the rescue operation through out the night. McCloud and Becka continue on with them through the night.
By morning, the cries for help were very few, replaced by vague, random whimpering. Church bells began tolling. Teams with rescue dogs begin arriving to aid in the rescue.
McCloud and Becka continue with them throughout the day. As dusk approaches, McCloud looks at Becka. Walking across the mayhem he says to her, "We are going to leave, we’ll give them room." Becka nods as if she knew already, and leaves with him. They exit out of the jaggy edges of the disaster now enveloped with more people and supplies arriving hoping to help. Making their way to the street they head toward the hotel McCloud speaks reminding her of something they both had forgotten, "We need to make a call," glancing over at her. Her face clouds obviously troubled she had not remembered.
Their bloodied torn cloths clinging onto them, tells their sad story as they trudge to their destination. McCloud and Becka walk through the streets, and the onslaught of people. Some of the people they pass give both of them looks of comfort. There are others who stop them, then ask, "Are you two ok?" Not an easy day, therefore both just nod in reply to their overwhelming outpouring.
Reaching their hotel, they grasp the door handles and the moment they walk through, the clerk seeing them, instantaneously makes an outcry of relief and astonishment that spills out as he says aloud, "Oh Mr. McCloud Oh Mr. McCloud," raising both of his hands first in the air, then on his chest as he speaks, "So happy to see you’re both all right.” Suddenly, as if he had forgotten something dire he says, "There has been a Gentlemen calling and calling." He hesitates before confessing, "I had to tell him that you both left for the Embassy yesterday morning and what happened and all and that neither of you had returned yet.” He clamored on after taking a deep breath, "He’s so very upset Mr. McCloud. We were praying you was coming back, we wondered with such a catastrophe and all," handing McCloud the keys. McCloud nods with gratitude and manages a partial smile as he takes the keys and messages.
They leave the lobby walking slowly towards their rooms. After unlocking the door, they both go into McCloud’s room expecting things to be different but everything looks just the same as when they left. However, it did not feel the same to either one of them. It now feels as if they had collapsed into a time tunnel and everything changed somehow.
McCloud pulls out the satellite phone case, and begins setting everything up, his passport had fallen off to the side and without hesitation he slides it back into the slot he had made for it. Becka flinches as she watches him with his passport.
After setting up the satellite receiver, McCloud makes his call. Someone answers McCloud speaks to whom it is, "Yes sir, well, it is hard to say sir, unmistakably tried: yes, she is right here."
"Major wants to speak with you," McCloud states, his expression warning her as he was handing the telephone over to her.
"Yes, I’m fine; it is all so unbearably horrible she answers," just hearing his voice made her cry, "Yes," she answers. "Dad," she says, then hesitates before continuing, not so sure of his reaction, she slowly speaks, “I can’t leave Father, I don’t have my passport," silently listening, her sporadic tears weave their way through the soot, then after the longest time quietly says as if she is accepting the responsibility for the whole mess she got them in to, "I don’t know that’s why we went there."
Formerly, McCloud had mistakenly thought Becka would always be Daddy’s little girl. Although he had always treated her with care and kindness because of her father, McCloud had silently harbored, he thought her to be fragile and thought of her as a person who always had to have her own way. Yesterday though when he realized they might lose her, it shook him. Now coming to the realization in that tragedy he saw a new element of her he never saw before. Complicating matters, he might have held onto her longer than necessary.
Becka sits listening for the longest time without saying a word, then comments, "If you were here you would completely understand there aren’t enough medical personnel or supplies.” She listens for another little while, and then asks, “How is Yonas. Then after she receives her reply she says to McCloud, "He would like to talk with you again," smiles as she hands the phone back to McCloud.
"Why there and where were they going, how were you able to find out?" questions McCloud. Becka reaches over McCloud he moves a little as she gets his attention although he does not stop listening attentively, he just watches her. Becka turns the speaker on and the volume up, demanding to be a party to the conversation. As she does, McCloud knows Major heard the speaker go on because he had stopped talking simultaneously. This had become Major and McCloud’s behavior if their conversations involved any topic interlacing the terribleness of the world, as it really exists, any time Becka was within hearing distance.
Becka stands there wide-eyed, her jumbled hair sporting the collapsing knot she carefully tied before, every inch of her covered with debris dust, dried blood, toxins and her hands still wrapped in strips of cloth.
Both men accepting her unchangeable involvement, however, without saying a word to her, resume their conversation with McCloud turning his head back toward the equipment.
Major’s voice booms loudly through the speaker as he continues, "They took credit for it they say, even before it happened. These people, if you want to call them that, have no conscious; they have zero mercy, motivated by hate, and greed. Their largest weapon is fear."
So enthralled and still unable to believe the entire ordeal, McCloud then concluded, "Looks as if they’ve en masse created what they were aiming for."
"A London telephone call identified a party," Major says.
McCloud interrupts asking, "The what, who are they and why would they do this."
Major continues with additional information, "A call was made to Cairo newspaper’s office. Also, earlier both France and Qatar were notified of the same thing and an Arabic newspaper." Major’s voice vibrates as he continues speaking, "However the State Department is washing it untrue that, The Islamic Armies for the Liberation of Holy Places are the ones responsible. Although the word on the street is that an entity sent a fax to the media accepting responsibility."
"What do you know," McCloud states.
"I know a little, and things are not always as they appear." Major responds.
"You are someone that would know," McCloud, observes.
"Well, it is more than likely the same reasons the 1993 World Trade Bombings took place. You two almost just missed me. Everything is loaded and the jet is waiting to fire up," Major continues speaking in detail of the storm he would be passing through on his way.
"You don’t need to come over here, it’s over and we are ok, I will keep you informed of developing conditions," McCloud states firmly his signal. "I’m wholeheartedly concerned with what is going on back home in the USA and that sounds like a magnitude storm," McCloud responds to what the Major has said then continues to listen to every word. Becka was too.
"It affected, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia," Majors voice trails off.
McCloud then resumes the questioning concerning the embassies, "And how are Americans reacting to this," McCloud questions.
Major’s voice becomes quiet as he speaks, "Except for a few, they are solely interested in the Clinton, Monica scandal. They are easily lied to, receiving them with open arms."
McCloud says, "Consider me in, for one. Then there is a reason the State Department is playing down the obvious."
Major says, "Correct McCloud, a very long road leading back to them."
"So they must have known or at least suspected," McCloud said.
"To make a very long story short for the time being; their well-trained warrior used to be our best friend. There has been a lid for profit kept on their secrets for years," the tones in his voice kept rising sharply.
"Looks like, they’ve just had the lid blown off," McCloud responds.
"Well, we’ll see what it takes," the Major’s voice confident. The moments tick by in silence, Major grappling to explain especially with the uncertainty of the event looming over, chooses his words carefully as he tries, "Oil, has equally taunted the beggar and the rich man in his dreams. Robbing him of all else, replacing what was there with an everlasting gripping passion; one and all it seems cannot help risk it all. Men’s blood valued less by them in wars that never cease, for the must have black rush that runs beneath their rugged terrain. The Great Game, updated with many additional players."
McCloud a historical buff understands completely.
Becka says, "Convinced no one is ever going to stop them.”
A game nobody has ever won
“It has just won itself a new player!" McCloud exclaimed.
Major suddenly changes the conversation by saying, "I think it would be better if you both skip your racing intentions and come back home immediately."
McCloud’s brow begins crinkling before he speaks, "If our racing plans have or have not been affected by all this, we have to be here until we get everything straightened out."
"I can’t imagine why you both would be proceeding," Major’s powerful voice fills the room as he speaks.
Without answering McCloud readies to end the conversation turns the speaker off as he remains listening. He answers Major, "Yes Sir, thank you, I know Sir, yes I will, I’ll see to that," he says, then disconnects the phone. McCloud looks at Becka.
Becka knew her Father and McCloud were bound together by common principals, they were almost identical. She sighs a little before saying, "I have to go clean up," walking toward the door. McCloud lightly touching her arm stops her, insists on receiving her spare key, his concern for her apparent.
"I’ll be all right, I’m just in the next room," she reassures him. "And I will holler or bang on the wall should I need anything," she says giving a slight smile at McCloud.
McCloud touches her once auburn hair picking up a few of the horribly matted sooty loose strands, then lets them fall back with the rest of her hair sympathetically states, "It’s going to take you all night to comb that tangled mess." They walk to the door and McCloud props it open with his foot. Becka walks past out the door and towards her room. McCloud waits halfway out in the hallway; several people brush past him before she is safely inside her room.
Going back inside, McCloud sits in the chair by the table, gazing out the window. As morning begins streaming through the faded sunflowers on the cotton curtains, he is still there, pondering all the things that had happened. Perhaps he dozed off a time or two during the night perhaps not. He just could not shake things. The only ostensible change belonged to the tablecloth. The once white cloth, now completely covered in soot from the strips his hands were wrapped in and he had picked at.
McCloud cheers up when Becka knocks lightly. She comes in looking better than ever; no-doubt motivated by the tolling bells. “Let me explain,” then she starts discussing what she thinks they should be doing. McCloud finally joins the conversation; together they decide to find a Church close-by.
McCloud emerges after getting ready, he begins making small talk about the racecar that should arrive today and how eager they had been to check out the different sites that would be great for a racetrack. At least that had been the plan when they arrived. The conversations with that topic had always been infinite ones. How different things seem now, making it a lifeless subject and it shifts back to current events.
McCloud insistent on going to the lobby to pick up one or two Sunday papers, to find out what is in the news. Becka, who did not go, grows restless waiting for him to return, and is overly relieved when he returns. Yet, instead of saying anything to her, McCloud walks over lays one of the papers gently down, anticipating she will probably start to cry all over again after reading just the headlines, which she does. McCloud reads aloud the second paper’s headlines, "Terrorist Twin Bomb Blasts," he finishes reading quietly. It had quickly taken on international concern with help that was supposed to arrive. Before he puts the paper down, Becka had collected her composure. They decide to leave, arm in arm walking down the hallway, continuing that way as they exit the lobby’s main door.
A torrent of clamoring news people were outdoors, trying to get every emerging detail, capturing the word on the street from scores of people still in shock. Discussing and questioning back and forth who would even think of attacking blatantly and openly a threshold, an American Embassy?
The bittersweet knowledge of people still trapped throbs immensely compelling McCloud and Becka to return to the scene. Church would have to wait. Upon arriving, they are impressed with the people and heavy equipment now dotting the landscape. "If they only knew," McCloud states aloud. Becka exchanges looks with him as he does. Looking about and seeing the situation remaining dire, again they can not leave.
The day full of anguish and torment wore on with too many grisly discoveries unearthed. As evening grew near, frayed and worn, they left in search of a church.
The word preached from the pulpit that evening, forgiveness and mercy. There is a casket situated along the front. People already there and more enter dressed in black. It is a wake. They begin feeling unity, accepting the piercing feelings, the words streaming through giving them hope. For the first time believing they will survive this; without having their inner cores meltdown and dissolve into thin air. The sermon now complimented by the maze of colorful stained glass. The beauty of the surroundings, breathtaking, bizarre they could not grasp the solitude when they first came in. Afterward, they went to Uhuru Park where people were congregating, they joined in.