dust2 novel part 2
One of the men scratches his trimmed beard and withdraws a packet of cigarettes from his chest pocket. The comrade to his right ignites the tobacco with a storm lighter before being handed a cigarette of his own. After a deep inhale of poisonous smoke and nicotine the bearded man leans his head back with his eyes closed. As the smoke tumbles out from his nose he glances to his brethren and nods. He puts the cigarette in the corner of his mouth and picks up two AK-47 rifles from a satchel before tossing one to his fellow soldier.
“Shukran.” thanks a man whose face is completely concealed by a beige scarf. “Where do you need us?” He proceeds and checks the magazine before smacking it into the rifle again. Their leader glances at him above the brink of his shades. “I need you and Aiman towards A. I and Said will go for B. Emran?”
He pauses and gazes towards the fifth man of the group. His mouth and nose is obscured by a scarf and his eyes rest behind a pair of sunglasses. The man looks up to his leader while checking the magazine for his dual Beretta’s. “Yes?” he responds and holsters his weapons.
“You will have to go alone down the middle path and take the short way to the A-site, teaming up with Muhammed and Aiman as soon as possible, okay?” Their leader continues and puts a reassuring hand on his brother’s shoulder. Emran’s sudden hesitation is concealed behind his smoked visors but nods in agreement. He receives a firm pat on his arm before he is slowly left alone by his advancing team. Emran gazes down the middle path leading to a pair of large wooden doors. He holsters both of his pistols and grabs the ledge in front of him to help himself to lower ground. “This is suicide.” He murmurs to himself and grabs a scoped rifle from his back.
“Men, do you hear me?” a voice crackles through the cheap walkie-talkie strapped to his shoulder. Emran leans in to his shoulder while pushing down the talk button. “Clear as the sky, brother.” He responds while walking cautiously through the narrow alley. His leader chuckles lightly over the line while his men one by one confirm their statuses. Every sector seems to be clear – for now. As Emran is about to report that the middle path is clear he catches a brief shimmer between the wooden doors. Reacting on instinct rather than intellect he quickly darts to his right. Dust flies up in the air as a high velocity bullet smacks into the ground where he was standing only a moment ago. Now taking cover behind a pair of barrels he fumbles with the radio.
“Status!? Anyone hurt!?” a voice hisses through it. Emran reassures his worried comrade and informs them about a potential sniper threat in the exact center of A and B. Another bullet buries itself in the thick metal with a sharp bang. Emran flinches and accidentally drops the radio half a meter away from his feet. It disappears without a trace before he has any chance to retrieve it, accompanied with the familiar sound of the same sniper rifle. Having counted the gap between previous shots he takes the risk of jumping out of cover, firing a blind bullet towards the doors. A man clad in olive disappears swiftly from Emran’s view.
Without hesitating, the terrorist runs as fast as he can along the wall to his right, praying silently to himself not to be punished for his stupidity. He finds cover next to a minor set of steps and catches his breath, realizing that he is now alone without any contact whatsoever to his brethren. As he closes his eyes his ears pick up a sound – The sound of boots stomping towards his position.
Written by Emil ”Nobelix” Sommer