Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 473
Bansiri’s home country, Syria, differed greatly in climate from north to south. Damascus was a desert climate with great temperature differences but the Caparuza valley in the north was a Mediterranean climate. It only saw a temperature greater than 30 degrees Celcius during summer. Other than that, it had a temperate climate.
The ANO, led by Bansiri, has been hiding in Ennedi for six months. However, the Sahara did not warm up to them easily. The sizzling Sahara. The real thing was worse than its notorious rumours. The midday sun heated the air above the plateau. Once one breathed in the hot and dry air, one could not help but gasp.
When one is exposed to the strong sun on the plateau for more than one hour, one starts to lose clarity and hallucinate. One would start shooting involuntarily when a monster or an armed enemy appeared before them. It was less frequent than before but many soldiers still fired mistakenly.
“Sir, it’s Iblis, the real thing. Our soldiers are stalling it but they would not hold out for long. Five indigenous soldiers were already sacrificed.”
Imad was anxious. He had cursed when he got a telegraph from the defence squad at the entrance of the valley. Gorillas did not have a varied habitat. They lived in the tropical rainforest in East Africa. So no one believed it when they appeared in the Sahara. Especially not after it stood unscathed after withstanding a concentrated attack.
“So it was not a mirage or an illusion.”
Bansiri deduced from his subordinate’s facial expression that it was not a simple situation.
“It was unharmed despite being hit by rifles and even a crossfire with Degtyaryov’s machine guns.”
“It was unharmed by 7.62-mm bullets? Could it be that thing?”
Bansiri’s face hardened. There had been someone who could withstand crossfires with machine guns. It was Dubaiburupa, the black demon, whom he was chasing now.
It had turned a 1,000-year-old holy ground of assassins, Aloadin, into a hell. It had also looted the war funds hidden underground. It had also jumped into God’s Bowels, their last hideout, and massacred the guards. Its crimson eyes were vivid in Bansiri’s mind. Its dark red whip was terror itself. Men, guns, or swords — nothing could harm it.
Bansiri sighed. Cold sweat formed on his entire body. He felt dizzy. It was a reflex that happened whenever he thought about the demon. The terror of that day still felt fresh, as if it happened today. The guards in its whip’s path were beheaded, dismembered, and had their waists cleaved.
Blades, swords, axes, and bayonets were drawn into the tornado and ground into pieces. Bansiri had slaughtered many lives himself but it was nothing compared to the demon’s massacre. He could still hear the desperate scream of his subordinates.
“Huh? So what exactly is it?”
“Gorillas? So it is not that bastard.”
Imad was confused. Bansiri did not seem to care if it were gorillas or chimpanzees. Imad became curious about who the bastard was for the gorillas to be considered good news.
“It’s nothing. What is the current situation?”
Bansiri was reassured to hear that the intruders were gorillas. Dubaiburupa’s external appearance was that of an Asian man. Iblis or djinns were no threat compared to it. Gunfire could easily subdue any other monsters.
“The defensive front of the guards is about to collapse. Shall we shell it?”
“We do not need to try too hard. The PPSh-41 should be sufficient.”
“Yes, I see.”
The subordinate strode out of the tent. Bansiri closed his eyes. The din of everything in sight collapsing and the flames engulfing the Caparuza valley. The vast cliff collapsed in slow-mo. He imagined all those disasters as a panorama. His trauma of explosions, formed after his trauma of whips, prevented him from ordering a shell strike. He feared that the cliff might collapse here too.
“I’m sorry, Jarkai. I have been tracing him up to here but I fear facing him, to be honest. Please forgive me for cowering before executing revenge.”
Bansiri covered his face with both hands and cried. His poor life was spared by Jarkai’s sacrifice along with his 678 soldiers sent by Allah. Jarkai, his subordinate, was impaled by Dubaiburupa’s whip while helping Bansiri escape. He could still see Jarkai vividly in his mind’s eye, who struggled like a fish caught by a fishhook.
“I’m going to hell anyway. I will take you with me.”
Bansiri gritted his teeth. He ended up in this place, chasing the bastard with Assad’s help. He reminisced about his rocky journey so far.
He snuck into France to restore his force but the situation was more severe than he had expected. The ANO, the RAF, and the Black September Organization, caught in the trawling anti-terrorism operations of the French authorities, dispersed chaotically. They were fleeing France. He made use of his emergency contacts to gather soldiers in Monaco but the result was abysmal.
He could only procure 25 ANO agents and 75 suicide bombers from the Black September Organization led by Samlin. Over 90 percent of the core strength of his organization had evaporated. The heads, Abudinal and Samlin, were missing as well.
His home country, Syria, was busy battling the Muslim Brotherhood backed by Turkey. Western Europe had declared war against terrorism which made it difficult to operate there. As he was chasing the traces of Dubaiburupa, he had discovered the Bachilkile valley and settled here with backing from Assad and Gaddafi.
The Ennedi plateau was barren and worthless land but was very suitable for hiding out and raising one’s army. This land was considered a backwater even in the Sahara. The world did not care about what happened here. There were military resources as well.
Ennedi was mostly barren land but still housed 4,000 to 5,000 indigenous people divided into tribes. No one would have batted an eye if they all vanished. Syrians were known to have many children but their plight was nothing compared to Africans. It was commonplace to have 10 and some even had 20 children per family. High infant mortality meant there were fewer boys and girls aged between 12 to 15 than he required. Yet he still managed to recruit 500 local child soldiers. They were squad soldiers that jumped in, holding bombs. If they survive past the age of 19, they have the opportunity to be an elite agent of the ANO.
Bansiri opened the map he had pushed away. He scrutinized the circled areas. Ounianga Kébir which was 200 kilometers away from the northwestern part of the Ennedi plateau and Jipoon Dari, the capital of Novatopia, were inside the circles.
During a recon mission on the plateau, Bansiri had seen surprising things. Waterways were made across the desert. Prefab buildings and tents spread across the land. Humans and equipment were bustling and giant construction sites appeared here and there.
When he learned that the 800-millimeter pipes buried underground were for transporting water, he was astonished. Such construction was underway across the desert.
On the perimeter of the residential area, hundreds of heavy equipment vehicles and thousands of humans were planting trees. It was a windbreak forest that was 300 meters wide. Hundreds of trucks transported wild jatrophas from Agbaya. The first step of the forestation of the desert was planting jatrophas. Excavators and bulk pulleys were working like a pack of dogs to plant fully grown jatrophas. It was quite a sight.
People installed two-meter lattice structures and planted trees like willows and poplars that were resistant to the desert climate. The dozens of square kilometers around Ounianga Kébir was no longer a desert.
“What kind of insane bastard would carry out this kind of thing?”
Bansiri was unbearably curious. He had already completely forgotten about Iblis. The Bachilkile valley could only house up to 1,000 people. Bansiri’s eyes, glaring at Ounianga Kébir, burned with greed. He could only think about conquering it when he had a larger army.
Rifle rounds kept pelting Gori’s body. The ANO soldiers hiding above the cliff and in trenches persistently targeted Gori’s head. Gori instinctively protected his eyes by raising his arm. The guards could not subdue the gorilla but the gorilla could not go further as well. It was a standstill.
The gray fur on Gori’s back stood up. Gori’s eyes, glaring at the humans holding iron rods that hurt him, burnt with rage. He did nothing to deserve such treatment. He only came here with his friends to drink some water.
From within the valley, a jeep brought a heavy machine gun mounted on its roof. It was a double DSHK-38 anti-aircraft machine gun that was renowned during World War II. It was originally developed against small warships. Its outstanding range and successive firing made it suitable for land and air use as well. Since it was a double machine gun, it weighed 92 kilograms and could fire 2,000 rounds per minute.
“Our monster is here!”
The guards were overjoyed. The machine gun’s great power and successive firing were used as anti-aircraft artillery and it had also been installed on a small recon ship. Its 12.7-millimeter rounds, which could penetrate the 20-millimeter thick hull of a ship, could surely decimate a mere gorilla.
The gun fired. Rounds larger than fingers followed one after another. Gori, feeling an uncommon risk, covered himself by placing a rock as big as a car in front of himself. The rounds chipped away at the rock one fistful of sandstone at a time. Gori’s low-frequency roar echoed in the Bachilkile valley. Gori charged, using the rock as a shield. Bullets rained down but they could not deter the silverback’s charge.
When the giant monster charged in, the terrorized child soldiers screamed. Any human would have been surprised if a 300-kilogram gorilla charged in like a hurricane, holding a giant rock.
A child soldier trampled on by Gori became a paste that clung to the ground. Another kicked by Gori was cut in half at his waist.
Child soldiers, who were resisting their fear, dropped their weapons and ran away. The ones who were trained for suicide attacks also panicked.
“Shoot! Shoot it!”
A trainer threw a dagger toward a new recruit who was running away. When the dagger hit his back, he tumbled to the ground. He still ran away on all fours.
There was a flash of light. A blade slashed the boy’s neck. It was the squad leader’s.
“Those who run are those who betray Allah. All will be beheaded.”
The leader, still holding the bloody blade, shouted. It was hell. An invincible monster soaked in human blood was charging while someone was beheading children who ran away just to survive. Gunfire and clamoring were a mixed cacophony. This was hell. Nowhere else was.
Gori’s booming roar drowned out the squad leader’s shouting. The rock flew from the gorilla’s hand and towards the machine gun nested 50 meters away.
Everyone in the nest stared at the rock, not even thinking to run away. The red rock reflected in their eyes grew bigger.
The rock struck the machine gun nest. The bunker sturdily built with rock and clay could not withstand the momentum of a five-ton rock. The rock demolished the nest and the men.
The double heavy machine gun was also destroyed. Everyone in the nest became kneaded pieces of meat. The leader of the guards, Al Saudi, who escaped such a fate, drooled.
Gori roared in triumph. When he entered monkey territory before, the weak things threw fruits, stones, and branches at him. This was just the same. It was a bit frustrating but was not any kind of real threat.
The stones the humans threw made unpleasant sounds unlike the stones thrown by the monkeys. Some loud ones tore his flesh and removed his fur. It was not a risk to his life but it hurt a lot. It was a strong opponent but Gori still won. Aware of his power, Gori pounded on his chest.
From within the valley, a pillar of red flame charged. Gori laughed. He had already experienced the stones thrown by the humans. It might hurt but it was nothing.
The RPG shell struck Gori’s chest as he was about to jump. Gori let out a scream. The anti-tank high-explosive was not comparable to mere 12.7-millimeter rounds. Gori, wounded in the explosion, shot up to the sky like a firework. Flames appeared in a ten meters radius and Gori was covered in shrapnel.
“Yeah! Take another.”
The veteran ANO member wielding the RPG had a lot of experience. When it was time to subdue an enemy, they had to do it properly. He fired another at the burning beast thrashing on the ground.
It sent Gori flying into a crack between rocks. 20 pairs of shocked eyes looked at the explosion site. A gust of wind removed the flame and smoke.
The terrorists, looking at the gorilla, screamed at once as if they were victims of a terrorist attack. The gorilla, motionless, had some of its fur charred off but was intact otherwise. Two shells of RPG would have demolished a lightweight tank. It was a monster but it was still a living organism. There was no way it could withstand two direct strikes by an RPG.
“It was indeed Iblis!”
The marksman reloaded another shell of RPG.
“Wait, Abudil, wait a second.”
His colleague pointed at the entrance of the valley. Another gorilla had appeared.
“There is no way this is happening.”
Abudil, targeting the new gorilla, puffed out.
The gorilla approached them in large strides, holding a white flag. A short, thin Black man was walking in its wake..