August 11, 2016

Horrific Hypothetical: a guest post by Brent Coffey, author of "ISIS in North Korea"

When twenty-two-year-old Bae Ji-woo is promoted from interrogating prisoners at Ryongdam, a concentration camp, to protecting the Outstanding Leader, Kim Jong-un, she achieves the pinnacle of success in the Hermit Kingdom. But her luck is short-lived. The day that she joins Jong-un’s security detail, Ji-woo is forced to arrest her mother on national television, dooming the elderly woman to penal labor at Ryongdam. Hours later, ISIS abducts the Outstanding Leader and holds him hostage, demanding North Korea’s plutonium-239 warheads in exchange for his safe release. 

Now, armed only with a stolen smartphone, Ji-woo is held at gunpoint by two ISIS fighters. After she and Jong-un are pummeled in the same room, Ji-woo learns firsthand that he isn’t a demigod. And she learns that paradise isn’t worth more than her mother’s love. 

With time running out, Ji-woo must stop the Outstanding Leader from surrendering his nuclear arsenal to the Islamic State, while trying to rescue her mother from a concentration camp. 

A Guest Post by Brent Coffey

Think you know ISIS? Think again! Oh, sure, we’ve all seen the predictably bearded jihadists on TV, decked out in black attire and sporting severed heads like they’re hairy bowling balls. The group calls to mind an angry version of the Amish: unsophisticated in technology, and drab in appearance. Or perhaps a chatty version of Jeffrey Dahmer. That is, if he joined a bowling league and made low-quality home movies.
But what if ISIS wasn’t just some guy who’s loony as Fruit Loops and willing to drive a truck through a crowd of partygoers in Nice, France? Or merely a few gunmen shooting up a concert at the Bataclan on Voltaire Boulevard? What if ISIS, and this is rather terrifying, but stick with me, what if the Nero’s of the desert succeeded in acquiring nuclear weapons? It’d be like injecting a swarm of mosquitos with the Bubonic Plague and turning the winged demons loose in Time Square. What had previously been an annoyance would become the death knell of posterity. Entire people groups would be obliterated. The ecosystem as we know it would be forever gone. And whole cities would be left empty, making it difficult to distinguish between the spread of Sharia law and the abandonment of modern technology. One thing’s for sure, if ISIS’ head honcho ever presses the big red button, our species (or what’s left of it) will see the second coming of the Stone Age.
Whew! Pretty scary, huh? It’s a good thing that North Korea’s plutonium-239 warheads are safe from ISIS’ clutches. And it’s a damned good thing that Kim Jong-un, the current cult leader of the Hermit Kingdom, isn’t willing to sell his nuclear secrets to terrorists. And since that’s that, we can all rest assured that the warheads at Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center are safely out of reach from the suicidal grasp of religious Kamikazes.
… Only, what if, and this is just a possibility, a mere suggestion, that’s all, so think nothing of it… But what if ISIS got clever? Say, really clever, even for people who don’t believe in funding higher education.
Clever, as in, sharp.
It was a handful of box cutters that took down the World Trade Center. Five, maybe six blades, each no longer than the tip of your thumb. Hard to believe that they leveled the skyline of New York City, but it’s true.
And it was an equally small blade, a lens in a camera, but a lens with a razor-sharp edge, that was smuggled into Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, for an interview with Kim Jong-un. When the journalist from Afghanistan moved in for a close-up, Mr. Kim smiled and said, “Why, of course! My office is your office! Move about as you like.” And when the journalist twisted the camera’s glass eye, pretending to adjust the camera’s focus, but actually retrieving the circular blade that he’d put to Mr. Kim’s throat, the leader of North Korea sat frozen behind a look of concentration. Patiently waiting. Hands on his chair’s armrests. With smug assurance that the two reporters from Afghanistan only had a camera, that’s all.
Hhhmmm… that’s gonna be a problem, because ISIS ain’t just mosquitos from now on.
Guess you’ll have to check out my thriller, ISIS in North Korea, for the rest of the story.

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