Note* Gozlerin cok guzell means: Your eyes are very beautiful.
They were not guerrilla rebels and they definitely werenít friends of Aaronís. Their jeep crawled to an excruciating stop, brakes squealing ever so slightly as one of the militiamen approached the driverís side of the vehicle. For the moment his gun was held slack, pointing at the ground. He could not have been more than seventeen or eighteen, Sydney guessed, with a light dusting of stubble across his chin and suspicion deeply set in his hardened, coffee coloured eyes.
"Who are you, and where are you headed?" He asked in perfect English, startling Nigel and Sydney both.
"Weíre on our way to Gizre to help with a small archaeological dig just inside the town." Aaron reached over to the glove box and pulled some papers from it. "These are our documents."
Nigel was astounded. Aaron lied with such amazing ease, and if the young Englishman didnít know any better would have believed every word his host had uttered. Somehow Mister Deleany had the time to have false documents made up under phoney names, stating pure mendacity! His stomach was miserably churning as the baby-faced soldier scanned their papers for inaccuracies all to slowly for his liking.
"Wait here." He ordered, and took their papers with him to another soldier, who in turn ran towards a truck hidden in the trees just ahead of them.
"What do you think is happening?" Nigel fearfully asked Aaron, who sat there, uncharacteristically silent.
"Well..." He turned to Sydney and Nigel, not really looking forward to telling them. "If Iím right, I think we just got caught." He avoided their stunned faces. "I am really hoping and praying to God that kidís commanding officer isnít here!"
"What happens if he is?" Sydney didnít really want an answer to that. And glancing out the windshield, she got one.
"Oh shit..." All of the colour left Aaronís face when he spotted him.
Lt. Omar Muhammed could not have been more pleased. The raid on the aircraft had been a total sham, a trick. He knew if he allowed Deleany to go he would eventually deliver the American and Englishman right into his hands. It was pure fantasy that he also acquired the bane of his existence as well... Patience was indeed, a virtue. After he informed his superiors and executed them, his days of babysitting would finally be over.
Sydney watched as the much older, Middle Eastern man walked slowly towards them. He was obviously in charge, and from the look on his face, extremely pleased with something. "Nigel, remember when I told you to be ready for anything?"
He turned back and furrowed his brows, not liking where this was going at all. "I do, but Syd, if we so much as sneeze these men will shoot at us until there isnít anything left!"
"Heís right Sydney... I know this man, and you donít want to screw with him. Even Satan would think twice. If weíre lucky he wonít kill us right away. That could give us a chance to escape a little later, when we donít have seven semi-automatics pointed right at us."
"Why does this man hate you so much?" She had to know. If she was going to die because Aaron pissed this guy off, she deserved to know!
"Letís just say weíve crossed each otherís paths a few times, and he was not always victorious. I hate to admit it but I havenít always been on the up and up with some of the relics I recovered." That was all Aaron could say. Four armed guards immediately dropped into position on both sides of the jeep, their guns intently trained on its occupants.
"Ah, Deleany, I am so happy to see you old friend!" Omar sounded like such a kindly old grandfather, but the three relic hunters knew far better. "Please, get out of your vehicle, and do it very slowly."
They immediately obeyed his instruction, and once they were all out the old soldier signalled for his footmen to search their prisoners. Two soldiers were on each of them. Nigel couldnít see Aaron any more, having been brutally knocked to his knees and told to lie flat in the dirt. Sydney was not afforded any less roughing up as she too was forced to the ground, her legs kicked apart and then her body patted down most rudely. She could taste the dirt and dust as it flew all over, up into her nose, eyes and mouth... She was relieved of her knife, then forced onto her knees. Nigel was already in the position, having received a small cut just above his eye in the scuffle with his hands now tightly secured behind his back. They exchanged disbelieving looks but remained silent, neither one could find their tongues. Everything was happening so fast.
"Should we kill them sir?" One of the young soldiers asked, and nudged his gun into the back of Nigelís head, most anxious for the order to shoot the man. He hated westerners, and didnít have any problem displaying his contempt.
Nigelís panicked eyes locked with Sydneyís and held her gaze there. He was terrified, but he wasnít about to let anyone but Sydney know... He wanted her face to be the last thing he would ever see.
Sydney just screamed. She wasnít going to have a baby, because she was having kittens right then and there! "NO!"
"Silence you!" Mohammed ordered, and a self-satisfying smile stretched across his hardened face. "No, not yet. I have plans for them later." He walked over to Sydney, noticing the moisture that had collected in her frustrated eyes. "Ahh... Gozlerin cok guzell..." He uttered, and caressed the skin along her cheek. "Soon my dear, there will be no more tears for you."
Go to Part Fifteen.