DAY 622 - NOVEMBER 22, 2012


American journalist James Foley is just the latest in a string of non-combatant kidnappings, including Austin Tice and Mohamed Al Saeed, that have occurred in Syria within the last six months. Both rebel and regime soldiers are guilty of the abductions. The Syrian opposition has cut off many supply routes for government forces. Furthermore, the FSA has started receiving anti-aircraft weapons from anonymous sources. Though unchecked, many think Qatar is supplying the rebels with the heavy weapons. In addition Syrian opposition leaders meet in Doha to unite different anti-government militias under a moderate cleric, Mouaz Al Khatib, from Damascus. The violence in Syria is beginning to spill into Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan as random spats of gunfire proliferate many of the border crossings surrounding the conflicted nation.

The Syrian Electronic Army has resurfaced in your life after taking down the social media website LinkedIn and the Twitter account of Reuters news agency. Both targets, of Western origin, draw immense international traffic and the hacks catapult SEA to internet superstardom. You are both jealous of their accomplishments yet also appreciative of their attacks on foreigners. You feel like the latter is seemingly enough to put aside your differences. Despite your own internet fame and hardlined stances, you (falsely) convince SEA that your political and religious ideologies are quickly changing and that you want to work with Assad in order to take down the spread of extremism that's happening in Syria. You also stress that, if you worked together, you could help take down bigger Western news outlets, faster and more often. Consequently they agree you could be a valuable intelligence asset for them. And you, conversely, think the same thing about them. Outside of your virtual presence, however, your quality of life is drastically diminishing. With little income, you have been unable to compete with the skyrocketing price of bread in Aleppo. This until Sheik Yousef hires a young Al Nusra runner named Jalal Al Din to deliver rations to your apartment twice a week. It is becoming clear that you play a vital role in the success of the good Sheikh's movement. Apparently you are more important than the life of this runner. However, on his latest supply delivery, Jalal relays something peculiar to you. He says that after Al Nusra, Al Tawhid and other opposition militias stormed Hanano--a military base in the northeastern portion of the city, rebel forces freed several hundred FSA detainees. He tells you they were being held in an underground prison and one of them, after intense interrogation, seems to be a man named Ibrahim. This man says he's your father...