The Bodyguard Reloaded – Episode 17
© Tisa Phiri
Hello Sir, I answered my phone immediately I got into the car.. a car was sent to pick me up from home that evening at 20 30 hours.. I was scheduled to arrive before morning the following day..
Am on board Sir , l responded when the general in charge asked how far I was.. Just starting off from Chingola and must be in before morning I added , before cutting the call..
I fastened my seat belt as we left the town of Chingola.. The poster welcome to Chingola flashing in the side mirrow before me.. I sighed and relaxed , knowing the density of the scenario at hand I understood we would be probably going at a great speed , thankfully there were few vehicles on the road..
Music? The driver asked me giving me a quick glance and focusing back on the road..
Loud I answered without turning.. I needed something to distract me from thinking about my family back home… I was actually feeling sad. I could not get myself promise Paula of my return , of all the jobs I had pulled out for the government , that one was the most risky of all..
We were told of stories how mercenaries operate.. They were highly trained former military forces that where hired by high profiled people or even the government to carry out attacks and dangerous missions for great monetary rewards..
I could not really figure out how they where hired to take down our current President but from the briefing. It was probably done by some opposition members and even members of the rulling party who intended to take over power..
Oh God save us, I sighed sitting my mind as the loud music from the stereo played covering the deep silence that was in the car.. The driver seemed to be focused on the road doing his thing.. I was glad he was not the talkative type as I had no mood to chat whatsoever ..
I watched him hold the steering tight as he negotiated a corner , the car meter maintained at 180km/hr … my hand moved up and back down as the vehicle passed on some high ground..
I recalled the time we went to some rescue in the thick forests of western province where one of the top guys was being held prio to some disputes between the chiefs and the government.. It wasn’t so much of a challenge as the only resistance we had faced was just a few village men hired as guards for the royal families..
The two of us with a guy from Airforce who was also the pilot of the chopper we used managed to take them down and rescue the minister just before they murdered him. Their intention was to kill him and later on plot an accident after he confessed where and who was sighning against them…
I really wished at that moment that the current issue was as simple , then I could have confidently promised my woman return.. Thoughts of her filled my mind and I felt a grip in my throat.. I knew it wouldn’t be easy for her.. Paula was a good and strong woman with sorting out things for example at work and creating harmony around my life and family , but I knew from deep down my heart she was terribly scared of losing me..
Her fear was mine.. Only that I sometimes shielded myself like I was not so desparate , losing her easpecially to death would really take the best of me that I knew , but if asked who should survive between the two of us.. I would definately volunteer to die in her place.. I felt she deserved to live more than I did.. After all she could take great care of my son’s and I had done quite some bad things , it doesn’t really matter whether I was forced or not.. Sometimes no wonder I pushed myself so had to work for my country.. It felt great to have to save someone’s life or even protect my country , it was some kind of retribution for me.. I felt less on the budden I felt and the guilty..
I was lost in thoughts and didn’t even realise we were approaching Kapiri.. Hey turn here I just want to check on my mother before we go on I ordered the driver who I had come to learn was a sergeant from the Zambia Army who was assigned to take me to Lusaka..
Yes sir, he answered indicating to turn as I showed him the exact point to turn on…
We found the farm house very quite.. I looked at my watch it was 30 minutes passed 22 hours.. My mom is probabaly sleeping i thought to myself as i opened the vehicle door and walked to the front..
Ackim, I heard mom call out as she opened the door..
Mom you still awake? I asked surprised she came to open before I could even knock… She wore her night gown and wrapped a chitenge material on top…
I was almost sleeping but the sound of the vehicle woke me up before I could close my eyes , she answered opening to let me in.. I just saw from the window that it was you she added turning on the switch to light the sitting room..
Is everything okay sonny? She asked sitting down.. what are you doing here at this time of the night and where is your family ? Everyone okay? She asked one question after the other..
Mom, come on everything is fine and my family is at home in Chingola.. I just thought of coming to see you as am on my way to Lusaka , how are you here ? I asked still standing..
We are okey my son.. your sister was planning on coming to your place tomorrow , shes asleep..
Okay mother that’s good.. am glad you are okay.. I wanted to say hi before going.. God willing I will pass through on my way back i told her touching her shoulder as I stood besides her..
Ackim, sit down she ordered calmly.. Tell me what is bothering you my son.. No matter what you have never come here alone since you got with Pauala and you just married I
Know something isn’t right , tell me what is going on Ackim she said indicating me to sit down..
Mom don’t worry..I told her , it’s nothing to worry about am just going for a job I was called to do in Lusaka am needed there urgently and the issue couldn’t wait ,I explained..
She insisted I told her the job but I assured her it was nothing to worry about..
Listen mom, am okey and I just needed to see you.. I have to go now I told her standing from the sofa I sat on..
She saw me to the vehicle and greeted the driver. Safe journey sonny she added as the car moved away..
I felt great seeing her, though l couldn’t get to tell her about my job it was a relief knowing she was praying for me like she had told me that night..
I called Paula as we approached Lusaka and she answered almost immediately.. Indicating that she had not really slept..
What are you still doing up My love ? I asked her..
I can’t sleep babe , she said her voice sounding asleep.. I miss you already and I am sleeping with the boys tonight she said softly her voice reaching me and making me wanna go back to her.. She sounded so calm I could tell she was laying down in bed..
I miss you more love, I told her . Listen I called to let you know we are almost in Lusaka and that my phone will be probably of , but not to worry everytime I get a chance I will communicate..
Yeah I understand you told me about going dark she answered , just take care of yourself okey?
Yeah sure my woman, I will do just that.. Remember our discussion . I don’t want to find you all pale and thin because of worrying I told her..
I heard her chuckle… It’s hard not to but I will work on it she told me..
We talked all the way till we drove to the point l was to meet up other guys on the mission..
Hey commando ! The general called me out as I approached the room.. He stood near the door , l could tell everyone was waiting for me to arrive.. The moment l paid my compliments to the general and another high ranked officer seated inside.. The general introduced me to the other 8 people in the room..
This is colonel Ackim, special forces agent , worked as a commando in ndola and is the one surviver of the Congo captive he added , he’s been assigned to work for the special operations and he’s highly trained too.. His experience with the mafia minds will be of great benefit to this mission..
You are welcome sir, the other officers already in combat answered when the general was done with the introductions…
We sat around a wide wodden table , a map displayed on the white board in front.. The deep silence that surrounded the room leaving the voice of the general who went on giving us details of the operation and the way to go, ringing loudly in our ears , we discussed the full details of the attack and by the time we were done it was almost dawn..
Take 2 hours rest soldiers and make sure you are ready at exactly 5 am the general ordered.. Everyone walked to the rooms given for us to take the rest from but I was called back..
Colonel , the general started when I stood my hands at the back waiting for him to tell me why I was stopped..
I want you to know that I have read your profile and am proud of what l have seen.. You of all these men have been exposed to lots of trials and life threatening missions.. I expect you to work with your mind alert and help to save not only the president but also these soldiers you are going to be with.. I can tell their baldness isn’t as great as yours .. They are afraid , lead them and bring them back home he added patting my back..
Thank you sir , I responded.. I will do my best and I pray I succeed..
May God help us all he added dismissing me..
I lay down in the bed dressed in my full combat.. I was ready to go and taking rest wasn’t going to be possible as the alertness of my mind couldn’t allow me.
Taking my phone I watched the photos of Paula and the twins.. I missed them and deep inside l wished for God to save my life that I returned home safely..
Before 5 am I was already in the chopper taking us to the other destination.. The other guys joined In a few minutes later..
Breakfast sir, one of the soldiers said handing me a packet of wrapped food and water.. Thank you I told him grabbing the enveloped pack and a bottle of water..
We are 2 minutes out ! The pilot informed us.. Prepare to land he added shouting on top of the noise from the chopper..
We fastened our head covers and immediately the ground was a few meters down from the chopper , we all jumped out quickly running to the bushes.. Our deep green camouflage matching well with the thick bushes and trees..
We were ten in total. My mind turned to suit the conditions of the environment, l got to it giving directions on our next target , my militally instincts fully activated…
To be continued
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