By CHIKA VICTOR ONYENEZI (Nigeria)
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This work is fiction and should be regarded as such.
– The die is cast. The field is open. Carrions are sharpening their teeth. Everything will suffer – Including our lives. A dreaded terrorist is pointing at us – Coming after them in our land. The beast of war has been set free. He is roaming in our country. He is about to destroy us. Should we fold our arms and watch?
This fiction is a fast moving one. Enjoy the locust invasion –
CHIKA VICTOR ONYENEZI
The carrions are here
They bare their teeth on the silos of our soil
On the basket of our riches
Our pots of oil…
(Locusts by Femi Osofisan)
BEIRUT AIRPORT, LEBANON
[08:00, November 2010]
It has been snowing since morning in Beirut; the Capital of Lebanon. The flakes fill the main Road. British Airways to Lagos will be leaving at nine ‘o’ clock. Mohammed Amar and Sadiq Amar his brother sit on the long bench inside the airport. The events of the previous day had been hot for the Arab world; the attack of Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, all in the name of counter- terrorism. The Islamic world has been turned into a place of struggle. Sadiq raises his hand gently and places it on his brother’s shoulder. Looking into his eyes, he says:
“Have faith in Allah, Arabs will have victory.”
“I believe you brother.”
Sadiq kisses his face.
“Good luck brother.”
A chill silence runs through Mohammed’s spin. It is as if his body is divided into two; the one with fear and the brave one. But he will not let fear overshadow truth (the truth is that Arabs needs a liberator) .This is not his first mission. He has been working for the Mountains, a strong terrorist group in Lebanon. He was a member of the British royal navy. He had retired and joined the game and since then he has been operating under the name “Drunken Marine”. He has executed many missions for Mountains. Lately, he has noticed that Arabic rich men budget more for terrorism, making it a juicy business. His main purpose is to liberate Arabs from westerners first, but also to make a fortune.
He first received the mission briefing for this particular mission while he was in France six months ago. He had flown to Lebanon to hear from his brother, who organized for him to go. Now he is leaving for Nigeria, the mission area. He had taught himself to be a ghost after quitting the navy. He learnt all about CIA and their operating system in Saudi Arabia; when he was with Al Qaeda. Today, he appears as a treat to world security system especially the CIA. The Mountains want him to attack American interests in Africa sixty per cent of which are in Nigeria for the sulphur free crude oil makes already market. Their selling of crude oil to America during Arab embargo on United States in 1973 placed them in position of oil ties with United States. They want the oil installations down. He read the lines of anger all over Patton’s face when he briefed him in France on the importance of this mission coded “Locust Invasion.” They wanted him to pass through U.S interests just like locusts pass through a farm, and “to make sure that no plant survives this invasion,” Patton had stressed.
Some things kept making this mission look strange, CIA, I know, KGB I know, M16 I know, Chinese Intelligence I know, what type of security system this Nigeria operates, I know not. This always bothered him since he had received the briefing.
From the briefing, the agreed that Supply will come by airdrop or through the water. He is not afraid, neither is he confident. Operating in an African nation seems strange to him, that leaves him with many outcomes but he cannot falter, he must throw the brick at the glass. Sadiq had told him about Nigeria, that it is a country where everything is possible.
He used his index fingers to scratch his bushy, tattered moustache. He is not used to growing it, but he is learning. Sadiq takes a look at his watch. “Brother," he says. “If you have any problem contact me first, men are there to pick you up” he looks into his brothers eyes once more. “You be back before the sun shies away, be steadfast, take any escape route if anything changes.” Sadiq says, still staring into his eyes. Sadiq has this stern look since their childhood that says do it.
That look in Sadiq’s eye was always there anytime he is serious His eyes would be still, his eyeballs not moving. It was there when he advised him to join British Royal Navy. It was there when he told him to help Egypt make a coup plan. It was there when he pushed him into Al Qaeda, a terrorist group that built his abilities and sponsored all his special training. It was there when he signed him up to work for the Mountains. Today that look is there, he is going to make another step for his brother’s sake and that of Arabia, but after this mission, he will not bother to look into those firm planted eyes. He barely knows his people, having spent his childhood in England while Sadiq schooled in Saudi Arabia. When their parents died, he joined the force at his brother’s advice. His dream remained to settle down in England on the street he used to play in Trafalgar Square. Stop thinking about mission, live normal life, yet he wants Arabs to win in this political warfare, he wants to see America kneel and beg the Arab world, he wants to see their influence over Middle East tarnished. First, he thought himself as a man; a man requires freedom, liberty, and sovereignty. This his people lack. His inspiration comes from the day American influence over Middle East will fall, the day their super power title is shaken. The day their economy will fumble .America thinks they know every road to power; he wants to see those roads famished.
“One day a system greater than capitalism will rise,” Amar says, always proclaims his faith.
“Flight 116 is leaving for Lagos in 15 minutes time. Passengers make sure you have checked in your luggage,” the airport authorities announced.
He has no luggage, only the hand luggage. Everything for the operation is in the background. He clinches his fist, Taps his foot. Time is moving and if time was a man, nothing could stop that man time. Drunken marine is time, moves with time, operates with time, times his return. Sadiq stands up, once again giving his brother that look that means do it, placed his hand on his shoulders; Amar places his hand on his shoulder too and they knocked heads together; showing brotherhood. The serious moment turns a lighthearted one of laughter.