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It’s dark, cold, and silent. The silence is loud. Too loud, except for occasional rustling of leaves here and there. It is funny how during the day, the wind will be fighting and chasing leaves all over, almost breaking the tree branches. Yet here at night, they seem to co-exist well, almost lovingly. Reminds me of our pretentious Kenyan politicians, who will fight in broad daylight, pitting us against each other, only for them to get together and laugh at our stupidity in secret. Don’t you just hate that?
I try to calm my heart to match the forest mood to no avail. The silence only adds to my fear. How can these trees stand so tall as if nothing is happening right in front of their eyes? Or maybe they have seen a lot in their many years that a bunch of guys crouching behind them doesn’t count as something new, or worth any attention.
Its been 10 minutes since we got into our positions, but it feels like ages. There are 5 of us, (Nancy, Marc, Tom, Bellamy and I) waiting for the order to attack. Everyone seems okay, focused on the task ahead. Our eyes are on the house below us. It is good that the darkness covers us so well. At least no one can see me shaking. I’m beginning to question my decision to join Nancy and Marc in this operation. I have no training, no courage like the lady dragon, just a big head that wanted to prove a point.
“Guys. Our time has come. Now listen up, this mission is very delicate. Thousands of people will die if we don’t succeed in getting hold of that device.”
Nancy’s voice is slow yet very clear.
“You all know what each person has to do. Now we move. All the best guys.”
Slowly and silently, we approach the house. It’s not a house really, it’s more of a shelter. Inside are about 10 young ladies and an old woman who acts as their mentor. They are here under the guise of preparing for a ritual. Most of them have no idea of what the device does, or even of its existence. But good for them, we have no grudge with them, we are the peacemakers, we only want the device.
This proves to be way too easy than I expected. Everyone is asleep in the shelter. Nancy knows exactly where the device is. She and Bellamy break the safe and get it as Tom turns off the alarms. Marc and I man the area, ensuring that our intrusion is not realized. Working with Marc is kinda cool. He is well trained, and strong. I don’t feel afraid anymore, at least not for myself.
“Intruders in the room! Somebody help!”
The perfect silence is broken by a shrill voice. All over sudden, the entire compound is lit with such a bright light that we are temporarily left blind. Screams and shouts fill the compound. Its pure madness. Strong men spring up from nowhere, making the whole thing even crazier. Most of them walk around brandishing their swords, a gunshot confirms that others have guns.
Nancy had warned us that things may not go as planned, and if that happened, everyone has to save him or herself. I turn around and I cannot see Marc, who moments ago, was by my side. I have no idea how to get past the dangerous looking men without falling by their sword, worse still, I do not know which direction to take. These men, are not the kind of people who seem like they’d sit down for a chitchat. My only hope is Nancy coming for me. But even as I think like that, I get a feeling that she is long gone. That I am all alone. Defenseless, helpless, and in the company of men who are ready to tear me apart. Their angry growls help me confirm that the device is already gone. At least that’s some good news. You have no idea the kind of destruction such a tool can do in the hands of the wrong people.
One man, looking around, sees me hiding behind the tank, he snorts and starts walking towards me, brandishing his sword as he does so. Never in my lifetime did I think that I would die in such a manner, or so soon. Having nowhere to go, I close my eyes and await my fate. Strong unmanly arms pull me up, one covering my mouth to stop me from screaming as the other hand drags me away. I know I should fight but I have no strength or the will to do it.
After what seems like forever, the old lady finally stops dragging me. I open my eyes only to find myself facing a long, dome-like glass structure. She punches some codes on the door and it swings open. Without giving me a chance to say anything, she pushes me inside and locks the door. She turns to walk away then hesitates. She turns back and opens a small window.
“You chose the wrong battle to involve yourself in small girl.”
Her words penetrate my heart like a knife, I want to scream at her, lash out, or beat her up and earn my escape. However, for some reason, my body doesn’t seem to cooperate. So I just stare at her.
“You see, what makes a great warrior is ability to choose. Every war out there is not for you to fight. You came here because you wanted to prove to your sister that you are a warrior too. And indeed you are. But you are a silly one. No training, no courage, no wisdom to choose when and what to fight. Warrior is a title you earn little girl. And until you are able to earn it for yourself, you’ll stay locked up. Maybe even die here!”
She looks at me one last time, closes the window and leaves. Her words have melted my anger. Has someone every told you the truth you’ve been fighting to hide, even from yourself? I try to sit up, only to realize that the place is heating up. And very fast…