A/N: I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against Arabs, Jews, Muslims, Africans, Irish, Asians, Latin Americans, or any other ethnic group. In this story, many of the 'bad guys'- the terrorists- are from one or more of these groups. This was done to enhance the story, not to anger anyone. Please don't flame me over it.

Anyway, it's my first attempt at fiction, so let me know what you think.

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Cold.It was very cold.

So cold, in fact, that Goshen had let the guards bring blankets to their watch posts tonight. Abdul checked his watch. 5:30, Half an hour left, then a hot breakfast, then sleep. The very thought warmed him.

It wasn't as if they had anything to worry about. Most of the Americans were in Iabul, fighting his brothers entrenched in the city. Abdul so wished to be there, fighting for God, instead of holed up on this cursed mountain, freezing in the night air.

Limo, this is Romeo Two, two guards, two caves, unknown hostiles inside.

It was all for a purpose, however. Tomorrow, they would leave the cold behind, and cross the border to the south into Pakistan for the flight to Turkey, then to Italy, and on to Spain, and then Mexico. Once there, they would meet with Goshen's contacts. They would smuggle Abduls group across the border into America.

Romeo, this is Limo One-Six, coming in from the south side.

Abdul looked over at his fellow guard, Mustafa. The cold night air was getting to him."Mustafa, don't fall asleep. Our watch last only another half hour."

Mustafa started. "Oh, I'm sorry, friend."

Abdul smiled. "I, too, will be happy when we leave this place behind."

Romeo, this is Limo Two-Six, in position to the north.

In his cave, Goshen woke with a start. The sweat from his sleep was freezing to his body. The contents of his dream were gone already, but he knew they had not been pleasant. He stepped outside to stretch. There were Abdul and Mustafa. All was quiet. All was safe.

Limo, this is Romeo Two, movement in the north cave, looks like Subject Charlie just woke up.

Limo, this is Romeo Lead. Time check 0532. We are go on your count.

Copy that.

Abdul looked up to see his commander. Goshen smiled at him. He opened his mouth to speak, but that was all he had time for. There was a sound to the right. Abdul swung his head aro…

Goshen found himself slammed into the dirt and snow sludge on the ground. The pain didn't register yet. His mind hadn't even registered to be surprised. He was vaguely aware of a boot on his back, and some whispering in English. Wait! A boot? English? Like a slow motion playback, Goshen saw the heads of Mustafa and Abdul exploding in his mind.

He was wrenched to his feet, and his head was covered by a cloth. He moved to remove it but… When had he become handcuffed? What's going on?

There was a sound, like a low hum. Then there was wind, and Goshen hit the floor hard. Floor? What floor? There was a dizzying sensation, and then all Goshen could hear was a roar of a helicopter.

His face was starting to hurt now, and he could taste blood. He became aware of voices speaking and English. One nearby sounded…British?

It was a long half hour on the helicopter for Goshen, and an even longer eleven hours on the C-130 that brought him to his new home… an underground bunker below a safe house in San Marco, Honduras.

What Goshen didn't yet know was that he and his terrorist cell had just fallen prey to the newest and best fighting force in the world, Spartans.

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1700 hours, January 5, 2005

Goshen sat in his cell, eating his sandwich. The food was good, considering that it was a prison and he was a prisoner. It had been waiting for him when he arrived there, fifteen minutes ago, and they had finally removed the cloth from his eyes.

There was a noise at the door.

An American walked in. Goshen knew him to be an American because only Americans can walk with such arrogance. He set his plate aside. Most of the sandwich was gone anyway.

The American motioned to the food. "Don't let me stop you, finish it if you want."

Goshen sneered. "You think you are so powerful. You have no idea how many of my kind there are. You will be punished by God for this."

"Well, there were fifteen of you on that mountain. You're the only one left. As for God, well, I'll take my chances. But now, what about you?"

"Kill me. God will reward me."

The American grinned. "Okay, I'll make you a deal. Tell me what I want to know, and I'll kill you. No problem."

Goshen laughed. He was actually in a good mood, despite the circumstances. "You are funny, American. But I will not tell you anything."

"Sure you will. You know, it really wasn't that hard to take you down. I had come to expect so much more than that from dedicated freedom fighters."

"My men were the best! And you killed them all!" Anger now.

"Your men were the best, huh? I bet mine are better. After all, we got you. It was my plan, by the way. You don't know much about security, do you?"

"I know more than you think!"

"I'll bet you couldn't even get into the U.S. if you tried."

"I was going to!"

"Oh yeah, how?"

"Tomorrow, I am going to meet a man named Pedro Guermancho, in Mexico City. He has a way of smuggling my men across the border."

"To do what?" The American almost spat the words.

"We will hold a school hostage, and make you release all of our brothers in…" Goshen stopped, when he realized what he was saying. His head spun. "What are you doing to me?"

"Me? Nothing. You enjoy that sandwich." The American walked out of the door, locking it behind him.

Goshen sat, in tears now.

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"Good one, Matt."

Sgt. Matt Walker shook his head. "Easy one, Mike."

Lieutenant Mike Loo smiled, and waved Matt over to the television set that gave a view of Goshen's cell from the camera mounted in the door. "Look at this. He's still eating the sandwich." Despite his years in the company of Americans, Loo still had remnants of his British accent.

Matt laughed. "I guess he hasn't figured it out yet, huh?"

"That we drugged him? No, apparently not."

"Oh well. Mission tomorrow."

"Yes. Pedro Guermancho, Mexico City. You will have to pay Goshen another visit tonight, to get the details."

"And you'll be up all night planning the mission."

"Tell Sgt. Evens to come down and watch the camera. I have to go talk to the Captain. You chaps have fun with our friend."

It would be fun. All of their missions were fun. They were born for this.

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The only sound one could hear in this area of the Pentagon was the tapping of shoes on the floor. Major Bright knocked on the door labeled MAJ. GENERAL Paul Dukeman.

"Enter."

Bright came to attention and saluted. "Sparta Project mission reports for you, sir."

Dukeman looked up from his desk at the man before him. "Thanks. How'd it go?"

"We got Goshen, no friendly casualties. It looks like we might have another mission tomorrow sir."

"That's fast."

"Not for the Spartans, sir."

"You guys scare me, I'll be honest with you. Adopted at birth, tested and trained from the age of six to be killers. And you ENJOY it."

"It's a game sir."

"Not to me it isn't. Just make sure you remember that this game has rules."

"That's why you get all our mission reports, sir."

"I suppose. Tell Colonel Dumont 'good work.' Dismissed." General Dukeman shook his head as the Major walked out the door. Then he called the President.

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In Mexico City, Pedro Guermancho was settling into bed, having met with his contacts to prepare to meet Goshen's men tomorrow morning.

In San Marco, the Spartans were making plans, and Goshen was having nightmares.

To Be Continued...