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Chapter Twenty-Two

March 25th, 2014 CIA Safehouse, Herat, Afghanistan

“Kamran, time to wake up, you piece of shit!” Nick shouted, dumping a bucket of water over the warlord.

“Wha...!?!! Where am I?”

“Hell,” the CIA agent replied, placing a chair across from Kamran. Nick leaned over and snatched the wet black cloth from the warlord’s head.

Kamran sneered at Nick and spat. “May Allah curse you, American filth!”

Nick sat, wiping the spittle from his face with his scarf. “You are going to regret that, my friend.”

“I am not your friend!”

“You can be...if you tell me what I want to know,” the large CIA operative retorted and then produced a picture from his hunting vest’s pocket. He jammed the object in Kamran’s face. “Where is this woman? We know she was in your possession at one time.”

“I tell you nothing, pig!” Kamran exclaimed. “I...”

Nick brought his hand across the warlord’s face. “This is how I treat people that are not my friends. Now, I’ll ask again. Where is she?”

Kamran leaned forward, blood dripping from his mouth; the drops pooling on the dusty floor. He turned a pair of angry eyes up at the man known as Saint Nick. “The Taliban, they would kill me for cooperating with America.”

“Don’t know if you noticed or not, but my friends don’t die. You only need to co...”

“Why do you want this one girl?” Kamran interrupted. “Why is she so special? Now, I do realize that she is a physician, but it appears she is something more, no?”

“That’s none of your concern. Now, this is the last time I am going to ask...nicely. The next person I question will be your son. I’m sure he may be a bit more pliable.”

“Ha, you lie. He is far from here; away at university in Switzerland,” Kamran remarked. “The Swiss are not in the habit of handing over people to the American CIA; even criminals. My son has done no wrong.”

Nick retrieved a smartphone from another pocket and swept a pudgy finger over its surface. He flipped it around. “You need to keep in touch with your darling angel a bit more. You know, it’s strange...I noticed your precious snowflake likes his ladies a few years older than his good ol’ dad. In fact, it seems he’s been vacationing in the wonderful U S of A with a gaggle of bikini-clad spring-breakers. Man, I love Daytona Beach.” Nick laughed aloud, sliding through a few more pictures. He smiled as he found the one he was looking for. “That is, up until yesterday when my friends from the FBI picked him up on terrorism charges. Apparently, he’s been trying to recruit those half-naked infidel females. Have a look...”

“That is ridiculous. He wouldn’t do that, Saheed is no terrorist!”

“Regardless of the validity of that claim, old man, I can hold him indefinitely. I heard Guantanamo is lovely this time of year.”

Kamran struggled against his restraints. “Fine! I’ll give you what you want, just let him be!”

“Alright, but you tell me right now. No more games...where is the doctor?”

The Afghan warlord pursed his lips and exhaled. “I want American protection and citizenship for my son and me!”

“Done. Now, spill it!” Nick commanded and sat back in his chair.

Kamran produced a bloody, victorious smile. “Very well, Saint Nick, I traded her for a more ‘youthful model’. My son had become too enamored with the doctor and I didn’t want her around when he returned home. I imagine when he finds out what I have done he will probably be most angry with me...”

“Traded her to?”

“Dr. Feda Nuristani.”

Nick felt for his pistol. He was going to kill this piece of shit. ”The Surgeon? That psychopath? Goddammit! Why would you do something like that...?”

“Wait!” The door flew open, interrupting Nick’s question, and Cole stormed in. He jammed a piece of paper in the warlord’s face. “What does this mean? Why was the MSS agent at your camp?”

“Hang on a goddamn minute, son, this is my interrogation!” Saint Nick said angrily.

“I know, but this is real important, Nick. Real important. It’s somethin’ that might affect my family,” Cole exclaimed.

Nick cocked his head. “Alright, I’ll give you two minutes, but you are gonna be answering questions from me when you are done. So, go on...ask away,” the large man said, standing from his seat.

Cole returned his eyes to Kamran. “What does this mean?” he inquired, tapping a finger to the paper. “What’s going on in Virginia?”

The old man squinted. “I don’t know about this, um...Ver...gin...E...uh.”

“Wrong answer. Try again!” Cole shouted.

“I’m sorry, American. I truthfully do not know.”

Cole pulled his arm back, coiling his fingers into a fist.

“It’s some weapon the Chinese MSS wants! That’s all I know!!!” Kamran closed his eyes and winced, but nothing happened. When he opened them, he found the room was still and quiet minus the closing of the rusty door.

Saint Nick emerged from a dark corner, producing his pistol. “Tell Satan hello for me...”

“Wait! No! What about our deal!?!!”

“I lied...”

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