Friday, November 23, 2012


One hour later, Jason was sitting in the passenger seat of a black van with Rani at the wheel. They were in a poor neighborhood in south Damascus. They and a team of men with assault weapons and night-vision goggles had arrived in two vans, headlights off. Jason was watching them surround the house. Peter was among them. There was no hesitation as most of them suddenly entered the house simultaneously, kicking in doors and smashing windows without warning. They waited to see what would happen next.

Within half a minute, the radio crackled. Peter said, "Rani, come on in."

Rani looked at Jason as he opened his door. "Take the wheel and get ready to drive as soon as we are loaded." He ran into the house.

Jason was incredulous. Apparently they hadn't expected to need one of their drivers in the house. Had they found her? He hadn't heard any shots fired. What was happening? He climbed into the driver's seat and tried to prepare himself for anything.

After the longest two minutes of Jason's life, Peter emerged alone and came around the van to speak with him. "She's not here," he said. "But we think she mighta been."

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