TITLE: Accidental Victim EPISODE: 31
There was a brief silence on the line. The General was still
waiting for response from the soldier at the other end of
the line. Suddenly he heard some sounds in the
‘Enemy intrusion! Enemy intrusion!!’, the General heard a
voice say on the phone. Some seconds later, he heard a
sound… BOOM!!! Then silence…..
The General was stunned. The tent went quiet. He looked
around at the faces of the soldiers. They understood. The
sentry post leading to the military camp had just been
attacked. He had no idea the scope of the attack and if the
terrorist had gained passage. If they had, there was no
time. They had to be prepared.
He began barking out orders to the soldiers. He gave an
order to one of his commanders to take some soldiers for
an assessment of the blast site.
Everything happened so fast. The General was angry. The
soldiers were angrier. He kept barking out orders at them,
preparing them for an invasion of the Taliban camp.
Damien watched as the entire camp was thrown into a
frenzy. He was confused. He had no idea what to do, but
he knew he just had to be there during the invasion else
Funmi might just be collateral damage. He couldn’t allow
that. She had suffered so much for her not to survive the
Damien left where he stood with Mustapha and began
walking towards the tent where the General was.
‘And where do you think you are going to?’, Mustapha
“I need to speak with the General.”
“We need to be there with them when the attack occurs.”
“Did you say ‘we’?”
“Yes we. Meaning both of us.”
“Dude, you are kidding, right?”
“I’m not. Think about it this way: When they attack, the
tide might go either ways. Irrespective of which way it
goes, Funmi’s life would be in danger. We are practically
the only persons in the world right now who care about
her enough to want to protect her.”
‘Dude! You are in love with her already!’, Mustapha said
looking into his eyes, ‘I can’t freaking believe this!’
Damien looked away briefly, then he looked back at him.
‘Are you in or out?’, he asked Mustapha. Mustapha stared
into the sky for several seconds, looked back at Damien
and then sighed.
‘You wouldn’t rest till you get me killed, right?’, Mustapha
‘No one is going to die here, at least not us’, Damien
countered.You seem so sure.”
“We’ve been there, and we survived. We would certainly
survive one last and final stint’, Damien said.
“That of course is if we are allowed to join the soldiers.”
“That was what I was about going to talk to the General
“I really doubt if that would work.”
“Apart from risking the General bombarding you with
military gibberish about you being a bloody civilian and
jeopardizing their attack, we just might get sent out of this
camp. After all, we are not soldiers, and we have no
previous affiliation with the man at the helm of affairs.”
“But we were there. We know the routes and vulnerable
“Bullshiit. You and I know they would never consider
information from a bloody civilian like you valid.”
“That’s ridiculous. They stand a better chance with us in
“Of course I know that. But do they?”
“How would they know if we don’t tell them?”
“What if you tell them and we eventually get thrown out?
What then happens to Funmi? Would you be comfortable
committing her fate into the hands of these blood thirsty
“Yeah, I know. It’s a very effed up situation.”
“So what do we do now?”
“If we are to be successful with this mission, we do must
do this my way.”
“We still have our weapons, right?”
“We don’t need to inform anyone we are joining them. We
just do, but we remain at the rear and then we sneak in
and go for Funmi. That’s strictly our mission. Let the
soldiers worry about the Talibans.”
“Just like that?”
“Yeah, just like that.”
A smile broke on Damien’s face. ‘That’s not a bad plan’,
he said, ‘but there are a few loopholes to be covered.’
‘And they are?’, Mustapha asked.
“Firstly, we don’t have uniforms. We would be easily
identified in these fatigues we are putting on.”
“Did you look around the tent we slept in?”
“And what did you find?”
“I didn’t find what I was looking out for. What was I
supposed to find?”
“Uniforms. There are a couple of them on the hangers. If
we are fortunate, they could be our sizes.”
“And what if the owners come back?”
“From the dead, you mean?”
“Jeez!! How are you so sure they are dead?”
“Dude, look around you. Is there anyone without their
Damien looked around him. All the soldiers he saw were in
their uniforms. ‘But the uniforms could belong to the
soldiers who already left’, he retorted.
“Dude, I don’t see that as an issue. Your first loophole in
the plan has been resolved. What’s the next one?”
“What if we get separated during the chaos that’s certain
“Hmm. That’s a point. We’ll just make sure we don’t. And
even if we do, the mission takes priority. We locate Funmi
and rescue her…”
Damien and Mustapha watched as the General and two
other soldiers came outside the tent and walked passed
“You still think we shouldn’t talk to him about our plans?”,
“Let’s go. We’ve got to make preparations if we are to
Damien and Mustapha both went back to the hut and
began making their own preparations. Damien tried on one
of the uniforms he found in the rack, but the trousers were
a little bit shorter than his legs. Mustapha laughed at him
as his was perfectly his size, like it was made for him.
Damien sat on the cot contemplating what he could do
about the uniform when two soldiers walked into the tent.
Mustapha and Damien looked up at the soldiers.
“The General wants to see you right now”, one of the
“Me?”, Damien and Mustapha asked simultaneously. “Both
of you”, the second soldier respond.
They both looked at themselves with quizzed expressions
on their faces. Mustapha shrugged and got up. Damien
got up after him and they both went out of the tent with
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