April 2nd, 2014 08:36 AM, Herat, Afghanistan
“Shhh!” Mike said, pulling the doctor backward into the alley. “I am going to lift my hand from your mouth. Please don’t scream, okay?”
“Mmm hmmm,” Sally mumbled and nodded in understanding.
“Okay, here we go.” Mike lifted his hand from the doctor’s face and let her go. He reached down and clicked off his radio.
Cole walked cautiously down the street, visually verifying he was not being followed.
“Smoky?” Delinda’s voice appeared in Cole’s earpiece.
“Do you have visual on Reb? He’s gone night, night,” she said,
“No. He should be here in a few seconds. Ben should have made the drop,” Cole replied, a bit concerned.
“Ben confirmed the drop,” Delinda added.
“So, Reb has Medicine Woman, then. Okay, I’ll backtrack.”
“Are you working with Chris, then?” the doctor asked. “The man who saved me?”
“Yes, we’re private contractors hired by your family...we were sent here to rescue you,” Mike replied. Lie. “We have been looking for you for quite some time.”
Sally exhaled in relief. “I was worried. For a moment I thought you guys were with the CIA.”
“Why would that concern you, doc?” Mike asked, looking around nervously.
“Because, they’re the reason I ran...although I really didn’t want to get captured and sold as a damn sex slave to that asshole Kamran! Bad luck I suppose.”
“Speaking of that, shouldn’t we keep moving?” Sally asked nervously. Her eyes darted cautiously about, watching the people passing by in front of the far end of the shaded alleyway.
“I think we lost them. We just need to wait right here, now. Wait until the rest of my team catches up with us.”
“Oh, so we’re safe here?”
Mike felt for his pistol and began to ease it from where it rested in the small of his back. “What was that agent’s name?” he asked, pulling the hammer back on the pistol. “The CIA agent.”
“Oh, what was her name? She was very pretty, but damned evil...Moore. Annalisa Moore, if I remember correctly,” Sally replied.
“Damn, I wish you wouldn’t have said that,” Mike grumbled and produced his weapon.
“Don’t Mike!” Cole barked, emerging from around the corner. Confused, he stood behind Mike in the middle of the alleyway with a 9mm trained on his friend.
Mike lifted his pistol into the air as Sally backed away in fear.
“Don’t run, ma’am! I ain’t gonna hurt you and neither is he,” Cole said to the frightened woman.
Squawk! “What the hell is going on out there, Smoky!?!!” Delinda asked over Cole’s earpiece.
“Tryin’ to sort all that out right now, Xanadu,” Cole replied. “Hold tight.”
“Cole, my friend, it ain’t what it seems...” Mike said glancing back over his shoulder.
“Well, I know what it looks like, Mike. Especially, after I heard you went dark. Why’s your radio off, bud?” Cole asked, eyes narrowing.
“Must’ve gotten damaged somehow.”
“Right. Well, how about we head onto the rendezvous with Saint Nick and sort all this out with Aaron back at the safehouse?”
Mike began to lower his hands. “Yeah, yeah, sure. Let’s go.”
Cole read Mike’s body language and steadied his aim. “C’mon, you’re no match for me and you know it! Now, slowly put the pistol on the ground...do it!”
Sally pointed excitedly over Cole’s shoulder and shrieked.
“Wha...?” Cole began to turn his head and saw stars.