It was time, Omar thought, and holstering his weapon he readied himself to go out and meet the three captives, intent on carrying out this deadly contrivance no matter what. He already had the others discreetly disposed of, and grinned with self-satisfaction at his efficiency. It was particularly cold he noticed at once, stepping out into the night. Every breath he took stung the insides of his lungs, and it was next to impossible to fill them completely. Damn that Deleany for making them chase him half way up a mountainside! The fire he’d ordered his men to build using all of the relic hunter’s gear that he wouldn’t find useful was nothing but a dying ember now, and he marched past it, coming up on the very last tent standing, besides his own.
As Omar walked across the crumbling snow towards the tent, he was startled to hear what sounded like a woman sobbing, thinking, that shouldn’t be... He had made a promise Rosa there would be no unnecessary emotional or physical suffering this time. His gait turned quickly from that of a slow walk into a brisk jog, and moments later burst past his sentries and into the tent.
"What’s going on in here?" The panicked Lt. immediately demanded of Aaron, who was bent over at Sydney’s bedside. He also noticed Nigel Bailey was missing. "Where’s the Englishman, and what is wrong with this woman?"
Aaron lifted his hate filled gaze to Omar’s. "Like you didn’t know..." Sydney started having another sharp pain and cried out, grabbing Aaron’s fore arm. "She needs him right now, and you’ve sent him to be shot!"
"What’s wrong with her?" Omar again repeated the demand, his Cimmerian eyes wide, thinking this must be a trick...it has to be.
"She’s miscarrying her baby Lieutenant! A most horrifying experience to begin with, and now she has to do it without the baby’s father, thanks to you!"
"You lie!" His eyes narrowed, unwilling to be fooled a second time.
Sydney glared at the man, wanting desperately for the pain to subside for just a few minutes... enough to choke the life out of him. "I’ll, I’ll...oooh...Nigel!"
Omar, reluctant to be taken in by another one of Aaron’s deceptions, cautiously approached the cot and a writhing, infuriated Sydney. She was half dressed, her clothing on the floor beside them. The moment Omar got close enough, his heart almost stopped...there lay a blood stained blanket and remnants of her clothing. She was fully involved in the stages of a miscarriage. So it was true...the American woman was pregnant! Rosa would be so ashamed of him, to have had a hand in the death of an innocent like this... He brought one hand up to his rough, unshaven face, nervously dragging his fingers across a stiffened jaw, contemplating what he should do. If he let them go he faced the wrath of his peers, but that is what Rosa would have expected of him, no less. Looking back to Sydney he sighed. Her eyes were still so beautiful, but now they were something else, and he didn’t like what that represented for him.
"I already told you," Nigel was becoming impatient, he knew why he was here and it wasn’t to answer questions about their discovery, "I have no idea where the Ark is now, except to say it’s deep in the bowels of the earth and probably in a million fragmented pieces!" What else could he say? His mind wasn’t concentrated on that anyway, he was worried sick about Sydney... His train of thought kept skipping back to the grief on her face and the unveiled emotion in her dusky, rust coloured eyes, haunting his thoughts, torturing him.
His hands were now bound behind his back and he sat in a chair with one of the rebels still standing guard over him. The other had left for some reason or another, and he half suspected him to return with some implement of torture. But then, nothing compared to the agony he was feeling about leaving Sydney back there like that, needing him so badly. Leaning his head back, Nigel prayed silently to himself...God... please, look after Sydney and the baby. Please don’t let them suffer like this!
Omar was, for once, speechless. He was a hardened soldier, had ties with a terrorist group and killed with the same ease one would throw out a gum wrapper. He was also a man of his word. He knew what would happen if he released them and his superiors found out, but he also knew what it would mean to break his word to his beloved wife. She would never have condoned many of his past actions, but this, killing an innocent child and its parents? That would be the greatest sin... "Go now...take her down the mountain before I change my mind...There is a hospital in Van... I will not have a hand in taking the lives of the unborn, even that of my sworn enemy."
Go to Part Thirty Two.