A peek into the past – Rameez:
I walk beside Scar.
The night is pitch black, the moon hidden behind thick clouds.
Venom’s words ring in my ears.
“Do only what you’re told. Nothing more, nothing less.”
My hands itch to snatch the gun holstered in the boot on Scar’s foot, but I know that now is not the right time.
I must be patient. I must wait for the right time. And when the opportunity shows itself, I must not miss it.
The darkness spreads throughout, enveloping everything, leaving nothing in sight.
“We don’t use flashlights. They’re traitors,” Scar had said when I asked.
“Night vision goggles,” he then added in a murmur.
I feel the long grass around my legs, hear the different sounds of various insects, and smell the pollution in the air, yet I remain unaware of my exact surroundings.
“Where are we going?” I had queried as we headed out.
“To collect your task,” replied Scar. “Now shut up.”
Neither of us spoke after that.
I hear it before I see it.
The distant whir of rotors, high up in the sky; dark as a grave.
“Down,” hisses Scar.
I drop instantly, my muscles tense, ready to obey commands as quick as lightning.
We crouch down low, the tall grass hiding us well.
Scar peers up, watching like a cheetah preparing for a kill.
A tiny blinking red dot moves in the sky above.
Scar’s walkie crackles to life.
“Venom to Scar. Subject 1 preparing to land. Do you read me? Over.”
“10-2 (Signal is good). Over,” replies Scar, his voice low yet crystal clear.
The buzz of static seems earsplitting in the silent night.
A few seconds pass before Venom’s voice comes through again.
“Proceed as planned. Over.”
“10-4 (Acknowledgement/Roger). Over and out.”
I listen in fascination to the brief, precise conversation.
“Let’s move. Stay low,” says Scar.
His voice is calm, collected, and only loud enough for me to hear.
Together we half crawl, half duck walk for what seems like forever.
Somewhere along the way, my hand lands on bug, crushing its hard exoskeleton with an audible crunch.
I almost cry out, scrunching my face in disgust, as I wipe my hand on my jeans.
Scar, who hadn’t stopped moving, turns slightly.
I mouth a sheepish ‘sorry’ before moving forward again.
Amused at my behaviour, he grins, stopping briefly for me to catch up.
“Man up, dude, or shit’s gonna hit the fan for you!” he says lightly.
Despite the fear mingled in my blood, flowing out of my heart and through my veins, reaching every part of my body, a small grin makes its way onto my face.
It doesn’t stay for long.
The helicopter lands shortly after we first see it.
Its lights switch off as soon as it touches ground, and for a moment it’s pitch black again.
“Don’t move. Don’t even f****** breathe,” says Scar
For a few seconds I do just that; I stay absolutely still, not even daring to breathe.
Adrenalin courses through my veins, my heart pounding thunderously against my rib cage, causing me to feel a mixture of pure amazement and excitement mixed with a rising anxiety and gripping fear.
The engine dies down, the rotors cease spinning speedily, and the door opens.
A thin ray of white light shines from the flashlight the man holds in his hand.
It’s not enough for me to see his face.
A second man steps out, a shoe box sized package in his hands.
He barks a gruff command to the first man, but unable to recognize the unfamiliar language, I don’t understand his words.
“Stay put,” orders Scar.
He crawls away from me, moving towards the men unnoticed.
Then, at the distance of a just a couple meters, he stands up, making his presence known as suddenly as the spark of a flame appears on a matchstick when struck.
“Escorpión,” he says loudly.
I don’t hear the sparse words passed between them thereafter, because I’m out of earshot; still crouching low next to the crumbling wall of the small abandoned building.
The meeting is brief.
And so is stillness of the night.
“Let’s go!” Scar yells above the thunderous noise of the helicopter, running towards me.
I don’t move, my body refusing to obey.
“Scar to Venom. Successful. 10-20 (Advise to location). Over,” Scar says into his walkie.
“Return to base 2. Over and out,” comes Venom’s reply.
“Come!” commands Scar, his voice urgent.
My body doesn’t move.
He stops in front of me, looks at me for a couple seconds and swears repeatedly.
“They got you?” he asks, a tinge of worry in his voice.
He swears again, coming closer, scanning my body.
“Where?? Dude, speak man, f***’s sake!”
I shake my head slowly.
“No?? They didn’t??” he asks.
“Wtf man??? Get the hell up then!! We need to move, asshole!” he yells, grabbing my hand and pulling me up roughly.
The helicopter is high above us now, flying off into the night sky.
But my mind is still reeling in shock.
The scene replays over and over again inside my head.
“You killed him!” I gasp finally.
Scar frowns, watching me in confusion.
And then he seems to realize.
“You ain’t seen a man’s brains being blown up before?” he asks, grinning in amusement.
I cringe at his choice of words.
“You killed him!” I repeat in shock, my voice a hoarse whisper. “Oh my god!”
He’s a killer. He has a gun. Get away!
Flight mode instantly overtakes my ability to think straight.
I stand up, stumbling slightly, my legs numb from sitting in one position for too long.
The pins and needles in my feet don’t seem to be as painful as usual as I turn around to make a run for it.
But Scar, is of course, faster.
He grabs my wrist.
“The f*** you doing?! We need to leave. Don’t you understand?!” he yells.
“Come on!” he says, tugging my wrist and beginning to walk.
I stumble forward a few feet before falling.
Scar swears impatiently.
“Here,” he says, reaching into his pocket. “Swallow this.”
I look up at him tiredly, the thrill I’d felt earlier long gone, now replaced with sheer terror and paralyzing shock.
The excitement of being in a ‘movie scene’ doesn’t feel so exciting anymore.
The darkness of the night doesn’t feel so peaceful anymore.
Walking beside Scar doesn’t seem so safe anymore.
Life… life doesn’t feel so great anymore.
I reach for the drug, aware that Scar is watching me intently.
Wordlessly, I slip it into my mouth.
Then, I get up and walk.
Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola.
Hope all you beautiful people are doing good.
I’m going to try and round up this part of Meez’s past in the next two posts. Let’s hope it works out, because I feel like there is still a lot to write about, but at the same time it’s kind of dragging. Opinions??
Let me know what you guys think Meez’s task is, and why.
Troubled Illusioner. ❤