The dark blue eyes of Ibrahim Assetiyeh scanned the concrete walled preparation room, it resembled a high-school change-room

The dark blue eyes of Ibrahim Assetiyeh scanned the concrete walled preparation room; it resembled a high-school change-room. Steel-doored green lockers lined the walls and in the centre were two wood-panel benches. His team was in the midst of preparing their uniforms, a turban and robe, standard clothing for the stereotypical Muslim. Though none of his team believed in Allah or the prophet Mohammed, they were all Muslim- Americans who worked for a splinter group, non-existent in any term, but yet ever present. They were the forward arm, the "blame thrower", Ibrahim and his team committed acts of violence, taking the roles of different organizations or countries in order to shift the blame on to that group. But this also served to let them carry out missions like assassinations and document retrievals without being identified. Ibrahim's men were all prepared to die, and in all likelihood they would on this day, the mission was complete suicide, his men all knew that, but yet none backed down. All knew the risks, and accepted them wholeheartedly; they would do their jobs with pride and honor, accepting death at its time.

Ibrahim was already kitted up, his turban wound into place and his robe the way he liked it. His rifle, the newest of the AK series, the 74S, was slung over his shoulder, a browning 9mm automatic on his hip. He surveyed the preparations with a weary eye as he had not slept in over eighteen hours, he needed rest, there was still an hour to kill, so he decided to make do with the time he had.

'Zaeed.' His second in command looked up from his now reassembled rifle.

'Yes Ibrahim?'

'I'm going to catch some shut eye before we leave, it is for the best, wake me in forty five minutes.' Zaeed nodded and continued cleaning his already polished rifle as Ibrahim made his way into the adjoining room, which was filled with blueprints and maps of the insertion and mission area. He took the seat next to the table and slumped tiredly into it, the feeling of the soft cushion behind his back lulling him to sleep quickly where he welcomed a blissful moment's rest.

It felt like only minutes but as Ibrahim was shaken awake he realized that the time for their mission was close. He got up and was fully awake within moments, he checked all of their equipment and his own, then setting about pouring diesel fuel over the room to wipe away any evidence of planning. His team walked out of the small block and walked towards a truck, the likes of which a delivery truck would stand by, all-piling into the back, they were ready. Ibrahim lit the diesel and hopped into the back with the rest of his men, he could feel the readiness and the tension thick in the air. He saw the last view of the fire licking out of the door, the tongues of flame sweeping backwards and forwards almost hypnotically, and then the back door was closed. He looked at each mans face singularly, all of them were dispassionate, loyal and ready, this was good, for what they were expected to do they could not afford to hesitate, for it may be the moment of time between life and death. The mission rested on his men's ability to follow orders and carry them out to the T.

The mission area laid ten minutes drive away as they did not want to remain close to the target for fear of being spotted as suspicious. As the truck bounced along the dirt road towards their destiny, Ibrahim thought of the ethicality of what they were about to attempt. Is this right? Do we have the right to take so many lives for the good of the cause? Do I have the courage to do what is asked of me? Will I falter when the act is upon me? He drove himself to stop this kind of thinking, it was that train of thought that led to a mission failure, and he could not afford to fail.

The truck stopped at a red light and Ibrahim allowed himself to calm down, he needed to focus, to live the moment, otherwise he would crack. After several equally challenging missions in Afghanistan, Ibrahim was certain that one day he would break down, at many moments during his tour, he had felt like curling up and not doing anything again, but the operative in him kept him going, kept him in the game. He thought of his late wife, her charred remains lying in that ditch in the side of the road after the bombings in Pakistan. While they were visiting the war-ravaged countries back when they were in their early twenties, they had come across a small child crying on the side of a dirt road in Pakistan, a sheet pulled over her. A second before his wife reached down to comfort the child and offer assistance, the girl had jumped up, strapped to her waist was a large pack of semtex, plastic explosive. Before Ibrahim could do anything or his wife could run away, the girl set off the charges, his wife lost her arm, the one she was offering to the girl, her charred remains thrown to the other side of the road. Ibrahim felt the scars across his chest, left from the shrapnel from the blast, three days after that disaster, he was back in the United States and asked to join the marines, and from there he was selected by the group to lead their operations team.

The truck pulled up at their exit point, 500 scant meters to the outer fence of the target building, though they had to wait another ten minutes, their target would not be in view until then. The men knew their jobs, knew where they had to go and what they had to do. This was to be a day of reckoning for those people who would choose to stand in their path.