Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 229
“Zaitun, greed is a homo sapiens’ instinct. Conflict and wars are human instincts. There is no Noah’s Ark in this world. Even at dawn, a dove won’t come with an olive branch. Peace or safety isn’t easily earned. Your peace and my peace is different. You couldn’t keep your peace because you were weaker than me. You who lost your name, and you who loved your country and mission, rest in peace. May greed, truth, and morals guide you to prajñā. May you reach nirvana, to the holy fire, come, come, come upward!”
The thick baritone voice echoed slowly across the empty mountain regions of northern Syria. Black Mamba truly mourned the death of the unknown American spy, Zaitun.
Knowing one’s worth was a condition of being human. Zaitun was someone who had exchanged his worth for death. Today, Zaitun was buried, but tomorrow, he could be rolling around the empty lands as a nameless skull. Everything that lived to fight would struggle with death.
Jamal felt warmth in his heart. He didn’t understand the language, but the honesty in the language reached his heart and shook his head. To think that the guy, who was like a monster, would bury his enemy and mourn their death. He’d thought that the guy wasn’t human, but Black Mamba was the most humanlike he’d ever witnessed. Confusion flickered across his conscience.
Exactly where did that thing come from? Is he an alien?
Jamal’s imagination went beyond the Earth.
His glow-in-the-dark needle pointed at 2:10 in the morning. For some reason, nothing went well during his missions. It was as though he was cursed. Zaitun’s irrationality had taken up most of his time. It was time to work. He turned towards the guy that he had captured.
He slapped his forehead. He’d been arrogant again. He was supposed to obtain information from that guy, but there was a language barrier. To add on, he’d sent Zaitun, who was born an Arab, to Allah’s side.
“Are you a member of Abu Nidal?”
The blue fire floating in the air turned towards Jamal.
Jamal felt his heart drop. He screamed unknowingly. The Azrael had reincarnated. It was said that Allah’s judgment would come when the world was dried up like crushed paper. It was time for the judgment of his actions. He was obviously going to go to hell.
“I…I am, that’s right, but no. I’m not saying that I’m not a member, but I couldn’t leave even if I wanted to. Yes. I am a member. I’ve done something I shouldn’t have. I’ve only done what the leaders told me to do.”
Those were incomprehensible words, but he felt relieved. He’d replied in French, which was something Black Mamba hadn’t expected.
“Bingo! What’s your name?”
“Azrael, please, for…forgive me.”
Jamal collapsed into a kneel.
“Dude, I’m asking for your name,” Black Mamba replied.
The sadness from sending Zaitun off turned into annoyance.
“I…I only did what I was told to do. If I resisted, I would have been executed for disobeying orders. I want to go home. Please, don’t bury my name, at least! Ahh!”
Jamal was frightened and desperate. Azrael was the angel of death. If the angel spoke his name, it would be wiped off the list. If a name was wiped off Azrael’s list, hell would immediately welcome the person.
Black Mamba raised his eyebrows. He hated whiny humans the most. He controlled the urge to bury the guy.
The prisoner’s blood pressure rose. His unstable brain waves were overworking his senses. The b*stard was consumed by his fear. Black Mamba didn’t want to kill someone who understood French. He had to use the b*stard as a guide to return.
“Dude, what the hell are you saying?”
Jamal’s eyes returned to its position after a strong slap.
“I’m as much of an Azrael as you are. Answer me.”
Jamal gave up entirely. There were countless people he had killed over the past several years. Including heathens, there had also been Sunni Muslims of the same faction. He killed whoever the leaders told him to kill.
He could hear the curse of a pregnant woman whom he’d burnt with oil to death. “You will receive Allah’s curse!” All the actions he’d taken as an ANO member went by like a panorama. He couldn’t go to Allah’s side.
“It’s Amud Jamal.”
“Jamal, I will be questioning you now. If you give me the wrong answer or reply slowly, I’ll pull out a finger. If we run out of fingers, I’ll pull out your toes. If you lie, I’ll pull out your arms.”
Jamal felt light-headed.
“Yes, yes, I’ll answer anything.”
“Is that place the ANO training center?”
“Yes, we call it the Aloadin’s Lodgings.”
“The European Crusaders referred to the Assassins’ leader as the Old Man of the Mountain. ‘Aloadin’ is its Syrian term.”
Black Mamba was aware of the legend of the 12th-century Crusades’ leader of Assassins, the Old Man of the Mountain.
“The leaders told us to say [I, the son of prince Aloadin, order you in the name of Abu Nidal. You will kill all heathens. You will kill all betrayers of Islam. An angel shall guide you to heaven even if you sacrifice your body for a mission.]”
“Hm, they’re the traditional Oecophylla smaragdina. They’ve brainwashed suicide terror into a holy crusade.”
Islam considered suicide as a sin. Black Mamba understood the ANO’s destructive methods and suicidal terrorist methods. At the same time, he could guess the relationship they had with Assad. The Abu Nidal b*stard was someone who mimicked the role of the Old Man on the Mountain. The Assassins were the current Alawites. Assad was from the Alawite faction.
He couldn’t tell whether the head of ANO, Abu Nidal, was a Sunni or an Alawite, but he was Assad’s partner. It was as Zaitun had said. The ANO was Assad’s hidden knife. Zaitun’s misunderstanding was reasonable.
Here, the Old Man on the Mountain was something that required explanation. The history of the terrorist organizations’ ideals had been engraved deeply within Syria, after all.
In the 13th century, a French clergy member, William, had called the Order of Assassins, the Muliech. Muliech was a misspelling of the Arab word Mulhid in its past tense, Malahidah. It meant deviant. It represented the Order of Assassins, which was completely different from the previous Islam.
The Aloadin had constructed the most beautiful castle in the world, the Alamut. It was a castle decorated with gold and silver. It was also filled with precious fruits accompanied by a river of milk, honey, and wine flowing down the waterways. It was a place with countless beauties and feasts and a place that had every imaginable entertainment. That was the Alamut Castle.
Aloadin had brought talented teenage boys to his castle and drowned them with such delights before brainwashing them with drugs. The young men had believed that Aloadin was Muhammad’s reincarnation and willingly threw their lives away. By Aloadin’s order, they had thrown themselves off a cliff towards the endless depths without any hesitation.
Aloadin often told this to young men who were selected as assassins:
This is the order of prophet Aloadin. You must kill so-and-so. If you return, angels will lead you to heaven. Even if you die, I will send an angel to lead you to heaven.
That was the message. Aloadin had fooled them into believing that assassination was a holy religious duty. The Arab terrorist organizations were the ones who had used Aloadin’s rationality of violence as an ideology, and Assad had also adopted it as his governing ideology. Assad and the terrorist organizations had no choice but to be aligned.
It was said that the Assassin faction’s most prominent headquarters was in Aleppo. If the legend of the Old Man on the Mountain was true, there was a high possibility that it was located in Kaparja Valley.
The place where a human’s dignity fell, the place where young blood was spilled from lies, and the place where the Oecophylla smaragdina had been born—it was the Aloadin.
Did history repeat itself? A disgusting b*stard called Abu Nidal was in a soiled place, waiting to be crushed.
“Hehe, that’s a good name. Did honey and wine flow in the Aloadin Lodgings?”
“Not at all. There’s nothing except for mosquitoes and poisonous insects,” Jamal answered in a far more relaxed tone compared to his prior nervousness.
“How many members are there in the training center?”
“Aloadin’s Lodgings is Abu Nidal’s headquarters and training center. There are 350 warriors and 250 officers and trainees. There are 60 special forces members called the security personnel. Their roles are to monitor and get rid of betrayers within the organization.”
Jamal even told him things that he didn’t need to know. Black Mamba’s face creased into a frown. That meant there were 660 members. It wasn’t something to be taken lightly.
Bonipas, that damn b*stard!
He swore inwardly. Bonipas had said that there were 400 members at most, so did those 400 members procreate or something?
“There were 1,000 members at most. A few days ago, 40 members had entered France by a rowing boat.”
That was important information.
“If the higher-ups haven’t changed their target, it should be the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and the Opéra Bastille.”
Their targets were public facilities. Abu Nidal was planning to make it grand this time. They were probably ordered by Assad or advised by the U.S. His mouth turned sour like it had been sautéd.
Black Mamba took out his encrypted compression satellite communications device. In other words, it was a device that coded normal speech before a marked recipient could receive it.
There was a risk of having his signal intercepted, but he couldn’t ignore the threat it imposed on innocent people. He had no choice but to trust the device.
“Code serpent, ANO 40 in. Target is Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and the Opéra Bastille. Over.”
Black Mamba immediately turned off his communications device. That wasn’t an all man’s land like the Sahel. It was the Middle East where spies from every country participated in the playing field. If he wasn’t careful, he could be tricked.
“Jamal, what’s the reason behind telling me such important information?”
“I made the wrong decision. Like every other organization, the ANO lost its purpose of maintaining tradition and turned into a monster. It turned into an organization filled with madmen thirsty for blood. I don’t want to have any more nightmares. I want to live the rest of my life forgiving those who’ve sinned and start cultivating some land.”
Black Mamba stared at Jamal. His blood flow and brain waves were stable. At the very least, it wasn’t a lie.
“I will believe you for now. Explain the Ruman, no, Aloadin Lodgings.”
“There are four wings in the headquarters where the previous members lived and trained in. It’s located to the lodgings’ east. There are seven trainee camps, and they’re inside the valley. The shooting fields are in the north and south, while the respective officers remain in the center. The rotation officers are—”
Jamal explained to the best of his abilities by drawing on the ground. It was quality information that Black Mamba hadn’t been expecting.
“There are weapons storage rooms and ammunition storage rooms in the caves, which were made by drilling through the cliff. Their locations are close to each of the officer’s quarters. There’s a large natural cave inside the valley. No one is allowed to approach that place aside from the leaders. Sometimes, outsiders and the leaders come and go. Oh, there’s electricity flowing through the fence outside at night.”
“How, when they’re so deep inside the mountains?”
“There’s a water-powered generator inside the valley, sir.”
“Those human butchers are living in a utopia.”
Black Mamba snorted. The ANO wasn’t any simple terrorist organization. They were b*stards who would turn into a military organization with time. It could have been the creation of Aloadin in the modern world.
Black Mamba raised his night vision goggles. Even if he had superior night vision, he couldn’t rely on just starlight to tell apart objects that were two kilometers away. He adjusted his binoculars to amplify the vision.
The intake tower and watchtowers came into his sight first. There was an endless stretch of iron fences. The Aloadin Lodgings were massive in size. The iron fences before him were 700 meters. That meant the lodgings were over 160,000 pyungs. He could see 10 buildings, although he couldn’t tell whether it was made of bricks or stone.
The 65 kilograms of C-4 he had on him wouldn’t be enough. He’d done well to bring grenades.
The crescent moon leaned towards the west. His glowing watch pointed at 02:40 in the morning. It was the darkest hour of the night. He’d confirmed Aleppo’s sunrise at 06:19, which meant that he only had four hours left.
“Jamal, thank you for the honest information. The ANO is an evil organization that should not exist. I will erase Aloadin’s lodgings today. Are you coming with me?”
Jamal was hesitant to reply. He truly hated the organization, but he’d been in it for decades. Could he shoot someone who was his comrade just hours ago? If he decided against going, Azrael’s wrath would befall him. Black Mamba read Jamal’s thoughts.
“You don’t need to participate in this battle.”
“I’ll follow you. What should I call you?”
“I’ll follow you, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa.”
“Damn, even this b*stard’s calling me Ddu-bai-buru-pa,” Black Mamba complained in Korean as he returned Jamal’s gun.
Jamal’s eyes widened. Did he hand me back my weapon?
Black Mamba smiled at Jamal’s expression.
“If you have the confidence and skills to shoot me, you can.”
Jamal’s face turned yellow. It was as expected of the Azrael. Jamal was tired of Black Mamba’s all-knowingness from reading his thoughts.
Black Mamba took out a Dragunov from his backpack and placed it to the left of his bag before setting up the MP5SD3 to the bag’s right. The MP5SD3’s testing results were satisfactory. There wasn’t any recoil from the barrel during his double-tap snipings, which had often occurred with the Pamus. Its sequence attacks had improved. The silencer had also been enhanced. It was an effective weapon for close combat.
He confirmed that all 20 of his darts were in the lower compartment of his backpack alongside the Gorgon. He placed another 100 in his side bag. He checked for the Kukri in his left holster and the Glock on his ankle.
He took out 10 grenades from his backpack and placed it in his suspended pouch. He finished arming himself by storing 10 MP5 magazines with 30 rounds each and five Dragunov magazines with 20 rounds each.
 The Syrian term for “the Old Man of the Mountain.”