Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 310
“My existence is a force that satisfies the interests of both myself, as an individual, and the country. French officials know how to use people. Even I was surprised by the amount of money the French government betted on this operation. Novatopia is but a supplementary gift.”
Black Mamba paused to drink water from his bottle. The rush of memories, which he’d buried at the back of his mind, clogged his throat.
“The reason for their constant support isn’t that I’m pretty. Rather, it’s because I’m a special duck that lays golden eggs. They call me a national treasure. They’re providing this special duck called Dong-bang-bull-pae the highest service for the endless production of golden eggs. Countries and companies are operated by humans. An advanced country is a country that recognizes talents, treats them right, and utilizes them well. A country can’t advance if they don’t know how to appreciate a duck that can lay golden eggs. I truly envy their eye for talent, government, ethics, nationality, and pride.”
Loneliness settled on Black Mamba’s face like a field that had just experienced the coldness of fall. His thoughts had extended to the reality of Korea, a country that he loved but couldn’t like.
In 1978, a construction employee working on a road in the Philippines was kidnapped. The company had to pay a ransom of 200,000 dollars to the kidnapper, a Muslim guerrilla. In 1980, a fishing boat’s captain was kidnapped by a Polisario guerrilla in Africa. The company was robbed of 100,000 dollars in ransom.
While companies were all over the place trying to save the hostages, the government remained still. Back then, the Senegal consulate had been busy entertaining ministers of the diplomatic committee touring African countries. No one knew how many Koreans had been sacrificed overseas. That was because the government had paid no heed.
It was the worst precedent recorded in the history of international kidnapping. The government had neglected the citizens, and the companies had to pay large amounts of money in exchange for the hostages instead. Korea was a country that could only survive after entering the international market. The abducted citizens were sacrificed while those in power acted as though they were the good of the world. That was the country’s reality.
Of course, the Korean government had tried their best—to threaten the companies, that was. There were only disgusting articles published by the media that protected the government’s actions. Black Mamba knew the situation well from the DGSE’s documents. There weren’t relevant documents at all in the Korean consulate. His insides flipped several times at the country’s devastating reality, which he had come to learn of after receiving news from foreign countries’ intelligence departments.
“It is surprising news that those prideful French intelligence agents are treating Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa like a national treasure, even the president. We can walk around with dignity. I now understand why they’ve given you land and offered endless aid.”
“Hmph!” Black Mamba snorted at Mohammad’s shower of praises.
“Mohammad, you are a secret guard who took effort in protecting the Orthodox Christians. Who would you trust more, the Orthodox Christians or those who’re not?”
“Of course, the Orthodox Christians.”
“That’s right. The reason why you trust them more is that it is easier to punish or take revenge on them.”
“Wha-at?” Mohammad’s eyes grew wide at the unexpected words.
“Humans are existences who suspect and avenge. That is how they have evolved. Humans trust those they share a connection with, people they are more familiar with. That is because they know the person well. By well, I mean they can easily take revenge on them in case of betrayal. There are not many ways to take revenge on a person who you don’t even know is alive or dead. The reason why people trust those who go to the same school, work at the same company, share the same religion, live in the same region, and many more is that there is a connection.”
Black Mamba continued, “That kind of trust has revenge in its core. Revenge is easier when you know one’s personality, family relations, residential address, friends, and occupation. That gave one more means to punish another for betrayal. That is why organizations can’t betray one another since they are aware of those facts. That is also why factions are created.”
“Ah, granting Novatopia is France’s way of binding you to their government, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa!” Mohammad exclaimed.
“Correct. ‘We’re not strangers’ has the underlying meaning of ‘you know what will happen if you betray me.’ The French government promised me an incredible reward if I converted my nationality. I refused. I don’t know why I refused back then either. I only realized why later. I refused the dog leash because I’m a free man. The reason for this long-winded explanation is that I want you to learn that human connections are not romantic ideals. Keep this in mind when developing Novatopia. A good cat catches mice well. Give the good cat some delicious fish to keep it at home. An uncle’s snack is only well-received when it’s tasty.”
“Ah!” The five Syrians exclaimed together.
It was a critical and sensitive analysis. The advice about ill-intentioned human relations and tasty family snacks dug deep into their hearts. In other words, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, who willingly bought 540 snacks that were tasteless and inedible, was truly an ideal master.
“Those are the words of Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa. Thank you for your teachings. Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa is truly a kind master. You’ve saved us all because you found unrelated humans pitiful. You gave us the land that you’ve earned with your blood without conditions and is still suffering. I will devote my life to creating a country that serves justice, a country of romance with no discrimination. Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa, you’re an eternal master of kindness.” Mohammad kneeled on the air runway’s asphalt floor.
“These are Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa’s words! We are kind servants serving a kind master. Bismillah!”
The five Syrians raised their arms high and shouted.
“We are a family who shares the same goals. Stop calling me master or yourselves as servants. I’m going to collect taxes once the living situation stabilizes, so be prepared.”
Black Mamba glanced at Professor Orifice and Professor Shernion in embarrassment. Fortunately, it seemed as though they didn’t mind. The conversation between Black Mamba and the five Syrians was later spread across Africa and referred to as the “Teachings of Ennedi.” Since then, all kinds of “romantic” ideals such as romantic servants, romantic masters, romantic assassins, and romantic companies became trendy.
The Ennedi Plateau was a unique sandstone plateau that emerged from the dunes. The sandstone plateau remained a pile of mass after the surrounding ground eroded into the wetlands. That had occurred 400,000,000 to 500,000,000 years ago. The altitude above sea level in the low north-east was 500 meters, and the region near Sudan’s border was almost 1,450 meters.
There were barely 1,000 residents. The Teda tribe who raised camels lived around the region where there were water geysers. Yearly water levels differed greatly depending on the region. While some regions experienced 200-millimeters rainfall from July to August, some regions experienced 800-millimeters rainfall. Porous sandstone plateaus couldn’t retain rainwater, which made it hard for people to live on. The rainwater that seeped into the surface later exited through the underground lakes and water basins. A prime example would be the Fada oasis.
The Sahara desert appeared up north of Fada. An endless view of the rocky desert appeared with small and large rocks scattered around like a bean threshing yard. The Jeep continued to mindlessly roll and pitch as it traveled up north.
It was 250 to 300 kilometers from Fada to Navar. The desert didn’t have roads, making it an off-road trip. Distances varied depending on the route. The two Jeeps, which escaped the runway, rushed through the Ennedi Plateau and sent brown dust flying. Professor Orifice and Professor Shernion resented the Jeep’s roofless structure and hunched as much as they could. Professor Orifice was too busy blaming himself for not bringing a windbreaker. Furthermore, he had been looking forward to enjoying the desert’s scenery.
Professor Orifice’s torment didn’t end there. His head bounced back and forth several times on the dashboard. He was also almost thrown out of the vehicle because of the intense bouncing on the car seat. Professor Orifice and Professor Shernion’s faces grew rapidly yellow.
At dawn, Black Mamba nudged the hunching Professor Orifice until he woke.
“Orifice, the group of camels with ringing bells you wanted to see are heading this way.”
“Ohlala, pas de tout?” Professor Orifice, who seemed exhausted moments ago, jumped up.
He soon began to complain after tilting his ears here and there to listen.
“Dong-bang-bull-pae, the desert genie will come and kidnap you if you lie in the desert.”
“Haha, just wait another five minutes. 10 camels should pass by.”
“Although I am a botanist, I am not ignorant to the point that I believe in the saying that human ears are more sensitive than a Brittany’s.” Professor Orifice smiled mockingly.
The Jeep was moving at 40 kilometers per hour. Five minutes meant that they were 3,000 meters away. How could a human hear the sound of bells from three kilometers away with the sand whining and blowing by their ears? It had to be a joke.
“Professor, Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa always speaks the truth,” Jamal said as he tapped the windshield with his large Barrett.
That was his way of expressing dissatisfaction.
“Ho, so you aren’t Don Quixote but a cult leader,” Professor Orifice joked around.
“Professor, do you want to bet 100 francs?”
“Very well, a game between a lovely lady and an old man would make the travel romantic. If a camel appears, 100 francs, and if the number is accurate, 200 francs,” Professor Orifice boldly raised the stakes at Aishe’s provocation.
Aishe snorted inwardly. If Sir Ddu-bai-buru-pa said so, it was so. It was great that she could earn some money since the journey was getting boring anyway.
“Sergeant, move 15 degrees to the left and proceed.”
The mercenary sergeant turned the handle. As Black Mamba assured, the sound of tinkling bells traveled along with the cold air.
“Professor, it seems like you’re losing 100 francs for now.” Aishe smiled in satisfaction.
“No, it can’t be 10 camels too?”
Professor Orifice’s hope ended quickly. A line of camels appeared with the night sky as their backdrop. The silhouette of the camels at dawn as they descended the dunes brought about a unique sense of serenity. There were exactly 10 in number.
“Good, this is a scenery worth 200 francs.”
Professor Orifice immediately pulled out his camera and adjusted the angle of the lens. Professor Shernion smiled. He could see Professor Orifice’s working habits taking over, whereby he tried to record everything.
“Ddu-bai-buru-pa, how did you know?”
“The desert provides you with sounds you want to hear and the scenery you want to see. If you close your eyes and open your ears, the stories of the desert will accumulate in your heart.”
“Whoa, I see. You aren’t Don Quixote but a poet.” Professor Orifice laughed heartily.
Once a person reached their mid-50s, they became capable of restraining their curiosities.
“Jamal, the camel owner is injured. Go check.”
“Yes, sir. Stop!”
Jamal jumped off the Jeep.
The front camel snorted at the appearance of an unfamiliar person.
“Brother, do you need help?”
The man, who was collapsed on a camel’s back, struggled to raise his body.
“I met robbers with guns. I had to flee and didn’t have the time to stop the bleeding. Save me, please,” the man gurgled as he begged.
“Ahmad, spread the tarp.”
Ahmad swept away the rocks on the ground and spread the tarp. Jamal supported the man and laid him down on the tarp. He checked the man’s condition with his lantern and clicked his tongue.
“He was hit once under the clavicle, and his chest collapsed from the weapon’s second blow. What should we do?”
“There are medics at the search team’s camp. We need to move him to Navar.”
Black Mamba shook his head at the driver’s words.
“There are signs of cyanosis. He’ll die within 10 minutes. We’ll have to administer first aid. Aishe, inject atropine and morphine into him. We’ll have to raise the ribs that are compressing his lungs first.”
There wasn’t enough time. Black Mamba placed his hand on the man’s collapsed ribs and gathered his concentration. The patient’s condition was depicted clearly in his mind with dimensional sight. The third and fourth ribs were pressing down on the lungs, and they were on the brink of perforation. Pneumothorax occurred with perforation. It meant a 100 percent death on the field.
“Ahmad, make a small fire.”
There wasn’t enough time to boil water. Black Mamba shoved both of his hands into the fire in haste.
“Urk! You, what are you doing?” Professor Shernion asked, frightened.
“Shh!” Ahmad grabbed Professor Shernion, who almost pulled Black Mamba back with his hands.
“He’s disinfecting his hands.”
Professor Orifice’s jaw dropped open. That had to be one of those peculiar fantasy-like situations he had never heard of. He had never seen or read stories about humans sanitizing their hands in a fire. Black Mamba’s hand couldn’t be fine after being shoved into a fire. However, blacky had said that the billion’s water armor could withstand heat up to 1,000 degrees Celsius. Although he could feel the burn, it was bearable.
“Do you have chitosan-based adhesives?”
“I couldn’t prepare any.”
“Damn, that’s unfortunate!”
Black Mamba clicked his tongue. It took 10 to 20 minutes for blood that was exposed to air to coagulate. Blood poured out of the patient’s wound endlessly.
A biocompatible hydrogel adhesive like chitosan, once drenched in blood, served as a glue to seal broken veins. It was a necessity in field operations. Still, he couldn’t fault Aishe either. An adhesive like chitosan was an item unfamiliar to the majority unless they were a professional field medic.
“Hand me zeolite powder!”
Aishe handed him a pack the size of two fingers, which she had already prepared. Zeolite powder absorbed the plasma in the blood, allowing a concentration of solid components. It was a supplement that sped up the process of blood coagulation. Black Mamba scattered the zeolite powder over the man’s wound.
“It’s fortunate that this man does not have complex injuries.”
He could sense not only the broken ribs with his dimensional sight but even the capillaries. Since Black Mamba had already finished disinfecting his hands, he clawed the man’s chest open with his nails.
 Oh, really?
 A dog breed.