Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 219
“Yes, it is the very organization formed by Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt. It’s been half a century since its creation. It has long surpassed the level of a terrorist organization and has transformed into a political organization. They’re growing their voices by installing bases in the Middle East.”
“I know. It is an evil organization where the higher group involves themselves in politics, and the lower group commits terrorism. Their base should be in Syria too, I suppose?”
“Assad destroyed the Aleppo base, but they’re not the kind of people to step back, either. Although they’re hiding from the Mukhabarat’s eyes, they’re still active. The workforce supply is infinite, after all.”
The Sunni faction, which accounted for 80 percent of Syria’s citizens, was working for the Muslim Brotherhood. Luring 10 percent of the Sunnis into the terrorist organization’s propaganda could simply turn Syria into hell.
“Bakri, you may have already noticed, but I’m on a separate secret mission. There isn’t much time. Do you know the location of their active base?”
Bakri stared at Black Mamba with questioning eyes. Why was he looking for such a dirty organization? Assad would be the only one skinned if they’re erased. Bakri let go of his doubts immediately. The apostle was a holy being. The act of questioning him, itself, was wrong.
“Even if I’ve been accused as an insider for the Muslim Brotherhood, I still don’t know where they’re located. My cousin, Mohammad, works as an information broker with several other brothers in Sharran. They’re acting as fundamentalists for the Sunni faction. They might know their whereabouts.”
Black Mamba began to think. The DGSE hated Assad’s government for protecting the ANO. He felt the same. Syria’s military strength could go against Israel’s. Even the Mukhabarat, who was told to have 100 to 200,000 members, were well-organized.
Going against them would only tire him out more. He couldn’t simply kill them all like Ocelot, either. There was no bait like the Muslim Brotherhood to divert Assad’s attention.
Bakri, whom he had coincidentally met in Syria, could become a huge connection lead for him. He could gain the information that he didn’t know. The mission period was 10 days. He had barely used 24 hours. There was enough time.
“I’m sorry for interrupting you. So, what happened then?”
“The Mukhabarat asked me for a list of Muslim Brotherhood followers who participated in the anti-government protests and activities. I didn’t know the Muslim Brotherhood and told them no one in my region acted against the government.”
“Ah, I see it now. They were aiming for something else?”
“Yes. The Mukhabarat, who were in league with the Shabiha, was aiming for the followers’ wealth. They knew I was innocent too. They forced me to choose between getting shot by several bullets or the list of names. I remained stubborn and told them that I couldn’t sell my religion. On the second day, my eldest son, Ahmad, appeared before my eyes. Ahmad was barely nine years old. They threatened to kill my son if I didn’t hand them the list. I withstood the threats and told them to kill me instead. The next day, the officer handed me a wooden box with a smile. Both of Ahmad’s wrists were in the box. There was an opal ring, which I had gifted him on his birthday, on the left thumb of the black burnt hands. I knew they were horrible people, but I didn’t know they would really kill my son. I can still see the officer’s rotten, yellow teeth! Cough!”
Bakri held back the tears that were about to escape his eyes.
Black Mamba’s eyes flashed. He was frequently told of the terrorists’ cruelty, but they were part of the government. Those who were government officials had committed an act of terrorism. They were no different from the FAP of the Sahel. He could tell why the Syrian people were scared witless.
“What else could a father feel after receiving his young son’s hands? They threatened to kill my second and third child.”
“Those f****** dogs, it must have been hard to withstand that.”
“I am a leader of a religion, sir. I couldn’t destroy another person’s happiness to avoid my misfortune.”
Black Mamba was truly impressed. Bakri was a faithful follower. How could sacrificing oneself be as easy as it sounded! He would have broken down, fearing for his family’s lives.
“They continued to torture me while I was half out of my mind.”
Bakri lifted his shirt, revealing the upper half of his body. There were several torn scars found, indicating the imprint of heated metal.
“A week later, their attitudes suddenly changed. I was released after signing a non-disclosure agreement. I was released, just like how I was taken in without reason. I was also fired from the professor’s position at Aleppo University due to the incident. Later, I found out that Assad had ordered the release of all confined Orthodox followers to get on the Orthodox Church’s good side.”
“You’ve successfully endured the horrible situation.”
Black Mamba was truly impressed. There were many smart and knowledgeable people in the world. However, it was rare to find loyal and steadfast people with a great soul in this world. He wanted to help Bakri.
“No. I am a coward. I may have withstood the torture with my faith, but I became more afraid after being released. I was terrified by the thought of having my skin torn and flesh burnt again. I feared that my family would be harmed, which was why I moved here and hid quietly. I couldn’t build up the courage to avenge my son, either. I swore revenge on them in my heart daily and stabbed those b*stards’chests in my mind, but I was too busy hiding like a rat. I am a coward, sir!”
Bakri finally burst into tears.
“Hm, you must have suffered from the pain of having your intestines removed.”
“Yes. I’m but a normal man. What could a person who majored in history do against them? All I know are some shooting techniques that I picked up from the military. The Mukhabarat’s eyes are everywhere. It is hard to possess any gun.”
“Hoo, I thought you acted similarly to Ombuti, but both of you went through an identical incident where a rabid dog bit you in the past.”
“What? I don’t understand, sir.”
“Ah, it’s nothing. There was a reason why they had accused you, wasn’t there?”
“Yes. I studied history at France’s Paris Three University. I wanted to know about the different ethnicities and religions and understand the reason why we’ve been fighting each other for 1,000s of years. I criticized the war between Islam and Christians several times during my lessons. It’s as you said, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, there is no fault in having different religions and ethnicities. I thought that we needed to understand and accommodate one another.”
“So, there was an inside reporter.”
“Yes. A brother who serves our God reported me as a heathen.”
“That is a common situation in countries that control their citizens through violence and surveillance. What happened to the person who reported you?”
“He received an award from the government. He now operates a large farm west of Maydanki Lake.”
“Do you want to take revenge?”
Anger flashed across Bakri’s eyes.
“Ddu-bai-buru-pa, sir, I don’t mind the injuries that I’ve gained. I lost my son while trying to protect my religion. However, the very religion I had protected with my son’s sacrifice had abandoned us. My wristless son visits me every night in my dreams. What should I do?”
Black Mamba’s heart twinged. The Arab locals believed that a damaged corpse was sent to hell. Between a father who died leaving behind his young son, and a father who lost his young son to death, which would be more painful?
He was itching to interfere again. His rationality held it back.
No, I’ve got too many things to do. Mu Ssang, you b*stard, are you trying to solve everyone’s problems?
“Bakri, were you able to understand the reasons behind genocides and holocausts from studying history and religion?”
Bakri shook his head.
“I was wrong. I realized something after losing Ahmad. Genocides and holocausts weren’t due to religious and ethnic problems, but it happened because of the greediness associated with those factors. Ethnicity and religion are nothing but a cover to hide greed.”
“I think so too. In the first place, separating ethnicities and debating over religion was due to greed. Greed is the foundation of all conflicts and fights. Those who harmed Ahmad—harmed a young soul because of their greed. It wasn’t due to a political belief or religious suppression.”
Black Mamba drank the fruit juice that Oom Bakri had served and took deep breaths. His head was shouting at him to hold back his instincts, but his heart was boiling up. In the end, his mouth had betrayed his head.
“Bakri, you are a father before a religious leader. Young Ahmad can only escape hell after those b*stards are placed in hell. Revenge is sweet. You need to take revenge if you want to escape the pain that digs down to your bones and sprays salt over your wounds.”
Black Mamba wanted to hit his own mouth. He had just told Bakri, who believed that he was an apostle of God, to take revenge. Hence, setting off the course of fate.
“Oh, Ddu-bai-buru-pa, sir, you’ve spoken. Those who are bound to go to hell—I, Bakri—will raise the blade of Khanjar from this day henceforth.”
At that moment, Bakri looked like he would pick up his sword and cut off those b*stards’ heads.
“Bakri, calm down. Anger won’t help you take revenge. You must remain calm even when you stab the knife through your enemy’s chest. You may have lost Ahmad, but don’t forget that you still have your daughters and son.”
Bakri collapsed and cried rivers of tears. That was it. That was what it meant to be a father. A father who was willing to take revenge but his other children’s well being had hindered his decision. It was the dilemma of a good father.
“Don’t rush. It is said that 10 years isn’t too late for a good man’s revenge. I’ll help you.”
The apostle had spoken. Bakri’s mouth fell open. Taking revenge against the Mukhabarat and Shabiha was near impossible, no matter how much he had struggled. However, the Ddu-bai-buru-pa had just said that he would help. His heart was filled with glee.
“Ahmad, Ahmad, God has sent Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa to us because he finds you unfortunate. Finally, you will go to our Lord’s lands,” Bakri murmured as though he’d lost his mind.
A human’s consciousness could easily lose stability after going through extreme emotions.
“Where’s God’s heaven? If there is a heaven, the bird who crosses the sky will reach it first. If it’s in the sea, the fishes who live in the sea will reach it first. If it’s on earth, the moles will reach it first. God’s heaven is within me. If I know myself, that knowledge will be God’s heaven. If I don’t know myself, God’s heaven will not exist anywhere.”
His strong baritone voice drummed on Bakri’s heart. Bakri’s consciousness returned. The apostle had spoken an adaptation of a passage from the Gospel of Thomas that he was familiar with. However, Black Mamba had conveyed an entirely different meaning.
Ah, this man is truly the apostle sent by God. He is enlightening me from my foolishness. God has sent an amazing soul, here and now, to save my unfortunate soul.
Bakri’s boiling heart started to calm down.
“Excuse me, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, do you desire anything, despite who you are?” Bakri asked out of nowhere.
Do great souls have greed? He was truly curious.
“Of course. I am very greedy. I want a large family. I want to build a big home. I want to set delicious food and wine on the table and talk with my family as we eat. My fatigue after a day’s work will probably disappear if 30 family members or so rush out of the house to greet me. I want the people around me to be happy together. I want to offer food to those who are hungry and provide a family to those who are lonely. I want to lend strength to those who were taken advantage of because they were powerless. I want to feed 100,000, no, 1,000,000 people to their fill. I want to give joy. I want to give them comfort. Have you ever seen such a greedy man like me?”
Bakri, who listened to his speech in awe, leaped to his feet and kneeled before Black Mamba, putting his hands together in a prayer. His forehead landed on the rug loudly.
“Bakri Jadir, son of Alli Jadir and descendant of the Bishop of Antioch, wishes to share the desires of Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa. I am your servant. Please, use me as you will.”
Black Mamba’s face darkened. What kind of situation was this? A human who had studied in the Western hemisphere calling himself a slave? What kind of foolery was this?
“What do you mean, that’s impossible! We only met two hours ago. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me.”
Bakri banged his head on the floor once more. The impact was stronger.
It must hurt. Black Mamba flinched.
“Love happens instantly. You can’t believe love only exists between a man and a woman, right?”
Bakri stopped talking and gazed intensely at Black Mamba.
S***. Why is he looking at me like that? I heard there were a lot of Arabian gays. Maybe I got caught by one?
Suddenly, Black Mamba felt goosebumps rise all over his body.
“There are people whose true intentions are felt in the instant of a firefly’s light, and there are people who remain as guests until the olive tree bears fruits. Wael’s heart was closed off after her body suffered from discomfort. She was a child who didn’t talk to anyone but her family. My girl opened her heart as soon as she met you, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa. A child’s eyes free from greed is the mirror to all humans’ hearts. You couldn’t leave a whining child be. You made a toy for her and went through the trouble to fix her illness. And—”