Jesse & Khudavand travel to the foothills of the Himalayas in an attempt to rescue Jesse's father, a missionary recently taken hostage by Muslim extremists. Soon into the story, however, Jesse wonders if the kidnapping is truly a matter of politics, or something more personal? Arson, assault rifles, mysterious companions, and even a tiger keep them on their toes as they confront "Allah's Avenging Arm."
220 pages, $8.95 Plus $1.50 shipping/handling
from Masterbuilder Ministries
580 Humboldt Ave, St, Paul, MN 55107
(not included in first edition)
An excerpt from Jesse Ohara and Allah's Avenging Arm
Their eyes slowly adjusted to the glare, and the lights of their own rocking vehicle shone briefly upon a Maruti wagon ahead of them in the road. At least two men stood outside of it, semi-automatic rifles to their shoulders. At first they seemed to be stunned by the wild careening of the Tata Sumo, for they did not fire immediately. Perhaps they thought the driver was hit, and were merely waiting to see the outcome.
But now they pulled the triggers of their assault rifles and began firing in earnest. Heavy plunks were heard as the bullets tore up one side of the vehicle.
"Everybody down!" cried Jesse, crouched in the front seat, his eyes peering over the dash.
Dinesh, who had been fast asleep in the rear, struggled in vain with his seat belt, and then groaned as hot lead passed through the body of the van and into his side. Chand sat frozen beside him, eyes wide open in a state of shock, unable to move. The rest found their way to the floorboards.
David, taking a chance, swung the four-by-four off the road as they neared the Maruti, not knowing in the darkness whether the ditch was shallow or deep, or how close the trees were. The vehicle sank sharply on the left side as he did so, but, by God’s grace, managed to keep from rolling over. They flashed by their adversaries, who continued to riddle the side of the truck with automatic weapon fire.
Whole chunks of the light metal body had flown off by now, or were hanging in shreds to the framework of the small truck. Many of the shots had passed entirely through the relatively thin walls, but it was impossible to know if the occupants were seriously hurt. There was no time for conversation and the din of the guns made talk impossible. Jesse heard a few grunts and shouts behind him, but could not tell if they indicated pain or simply surprise and exclamation.
Suddenly the firing stopped as the terrorists leaped into their car to pursue them. David attempted to get the Tata back up on the road, but seemed to be having serious control problems.
"I think we’ve got two flat tires on that side, man!" he said to Jesse as he struggled with the steering wheel.
"Just do your best, brother," Jesse replied. "If you can get it up on the road—"
The firing started again, and both men in the front seat resumed their crouched positions. There had been no sound from the rear of the vehicle, though they heard at least one of their comrades shift positions during the lull.
Everybody, front and rear, was now covered in shattered glass. The situation looked very grim indeed. None of the band had guns with which to return fire—in any case, they wouldn’t have be able to match the sophisticated weaponry of their foes. Islamic terrorist groups with connections had their choice from a huge stockpile of American weapons left over from the Afghani/Soviet conflict of the Eighties, plus the support of several Mid-eastern nations whose policy it is to underwrite such organizations around the world.
David managed to get the Tata back on the road, but his assessment of the tires was correct. They made a great flopping noise on the right side of the truck that could be heard above the gunfire, and caused the vehicle to lurch unsteadily along the road. The Maruti was gaining on them rapidly, and the bullets were coming closer to the mark.
Ahead of them the road turned to the left, and as David swung the Sumo into the curve he realized he had outrun his luck. The top-heavy utility vehicle threw its weight over on the flattened tires, and with just the slightest hesitation tumbled into the ditch, which was some fifteen feet deep at this point. It rolled completely over two times before coming to a stop with the wheels up and the now crushed roof buried in the dirt.
Jesse Ohara hung upside down in the front seat, suspended by his seat belt. David, slumped upside-down at the wheel, appeared to be unconscious. Someone groaned behind him—it sounded like Buddy. The odor of gasoline permeated the inside of his father’s once beautiful sports-utility vehicle.
Up on the road, the Maruti wagon pulled over to the side. Abdullah and two swarthy companions jumped out of it and surveyed the wreckage below them. Once again they put their weapons to their shoulders and opened fire.
Suddenly there was an explosion and the Tata burst into flames. One man, his shirt afire, separated himself from the inferno and ran a few yards, screaming in Punjabi. It was Promod Chand. Abdullah calmly aimed his rifle and gunned him down. The rest of the men were apparently still inside the burning truck.
The leader of the terrorists turned to his men and barked, "Let’s get out of here before somebody else comes along. Our work is finished."