AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm not married to this beginning, as it may well prove obsolete or prescient before I complete my tale; but I felt that a bit of a beginning, even if temporary, would help me tell the rest of the tale, or at least the next bit.
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A number of years previouslyÖ
Gulf War III and its related conflicts were the most destructive events due to man in written history.
It began with Iranís declaration that it had succeeded in creating nuclear weapons, and was working on perfecting mounting them as warheads on their proven missile arsenal. Iranís president completed this statement by reiterating his intention of the destruction of Israel. Israel felt it had no choice but to attempt the destruction of all Iranian nuclear facilities with all conventional means available to her. The U.S. president, acting on available intelligence, believed the job that Israel had begun had failed to destroy all of Iranís nuclear facilities, and ordered American forces to finish the job, and to disable all Iranian military installations as well.
Iran responded by unleashing en masse the forces of terror at its disposal, as well as an onslaught with its surviving conventional military force, surprisingly strong in the aftermath of the pre-emptive attack against it. Oil prices quadrupled overnight as many tankers were unable or unwilling to fill under war conditions, and scores of tankers departing port with full loads were targeted.
In a scene reminiscent of some Biblical scene of fire and brimstone, immense areas of the Strait of Hormuz were ablaze with scalding flame as a dense and pungent black smoke poured from the roiling thick black surface. Scores of seasoned seamen, never dreaming of such a sight, leapt from steel ships glowing red from the heat into thick roiling flaming black pudding. A flash of orange, sometimes accompanied by a brief scream, marked each such occasion.
So it began.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
- Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like. And I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins