The boy stared fascinated at the raging inferno which had just engulfed his mother and the people surrounding her. His remote controlled newly acquired plane lay broken on the sidewalk. His eyes were twin images of his mother’s burning funeral pyre. He could barely hear the whirlwind of activity around him. The cacophony of anguished screams, the stench of burning flesh  and the whine of distant sirens floated in the corner of his mind.

Unnoticed by the crowd he finally started to run towards the place where his mother had been standing last. Fallen debris and flotsam and jetsam surrounded the writhing bodies. He mouthed his mother’s name…he cried out and fell to his knees.

“Mama, I’m sorry I never meant to play with the plane!”

“Mama? Where are you?”

Suddenly a car rounded the corner at full speed and a man clothed in black and white robes alighted. He ran to the fallen boy, snatched him up and furtively looking around ran back to the car. The boy was whisked away.

Far away a lone reporter had filmed the entire sequence as had several others. After all it was a senator’s electoral address that had just been blown out of the sky. But this reporter had filmed the boy and had noticed how the bomb went off right after the boy activated the remote. He looked thoughtfully at the pictures and video he had taken. He watched the boy running towards the mayhem crying for his mother and suddenly it all made sense!

He was going to be a millionaire when he sold this story!

A black armoured car whizzed past him. An arm whipped out and a knife embedded itself in his throat. Blood spurted over his photographs. The camera flew out of his hands. The car stopped picked it up and sped away.

A lone picture lay on the ground;the boy’s anguished face stared out through the blood. His mark burned on his throat.

Khan had been born.


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