There was a light drizzle that morning. The dry lands of Jerusalem had finally gotten its share of moisture, bringing the scent of spring to the ancient city.
Harde exited the diner with a bag in his grip. It was his staple- sour pickles and a very dark and tough rye bread. The man crossed the street and entered Number 48, St. Cross Street.
The guards at the door greeted him and he returned a polite smile.
He walked past the lobby and entered a corridor. At the end of the walkway was a stone staircase. He ascended it and entered another corridor. The light was scarce in the confined space and the air was moist.
Both sides along the corridor were cell rooms that looked ancient. Some of the stone walls within were carved with Arabic words that praised their God. There were even strings of words that talked about finding freedom and love. From the content littered over the wall, this place had probably served as a holding cell for the prisoners of the Arab world during the Crusades.
Harde continued forward until he reached a door at the end of the corridor. Sturdy wood was used for the base of the door and the metal bars that provided it added security were immensely thick. On both sides of the door were braziers made of copper with the Crusaders’ emblem engraved on it. Despite that, the braziers were no longer in use. In place of them was a LED ceiling lamp. The cold white light that illuminated the space made everything particularly eerie.
Harde came to the door and unlocked it with a set of keys.
Behind the door was a cell of about twenty square metres. There was no bed. The closest thing that resembled one was a patch of dead weeds. On top of the pseudo bed was a man. His thin and ragged clothes veiled his malnourished body. The messy hair on top of his crown had grown past his waist. From the length of his hair, it was evident that it had been some time since he had arrived here. Perhaps it had been a few years or tens of years.
At a corner of the room was a wooden bucket filled with excretory products that emitted a foul stench. Despite everything, the long-haired male was soundly asleep. He wasn’t even bothered by Harde’s entry.
Harde tossed the food bag onto the bedding and kicked his thigh. He roughly exclaimed, “Hey, bastard! Your food is here. Come on, wake the fuck up and eat! You’ve got guests today.”
“Who?” The man finally cracked an eyelid open.
“Enough bullshit!” reprimanded Harde.
The man abruptly sat up from the weeds and threw a stomp towards Harde’s groin. When he laid among the weeds, he looked like a severely abused dog on the verge of death. However, when he attacked, his speed and accuracy were like a venomous snake that lurked between the grass. He was harmless when stationary but as soon as he leapt into action, he was a threat!
Harde frantically stepped back.
Clank! The man’s incoming limb was held back by metal chains, leaving only a gap of two centimetres between his toes and Harde’s groin. It was so close yet so far to land a hit. But this was the extent his shackles had allowed him to go.
Even so, Harde was shocked. Agitated, the man reached for his Desert Hawk. Harde pointed its muzzle in between the prisoner’s forehead. “Bastard! Do you think I won’t kill you?!”
The prisoner lifted his arm, swept his fringe away, finally revealing his face. It was a sharp and sunken face. His facial hair was long, adding age to his appearance. Despite that, the lack of wrinkles at the end of his eyes was an indication of his youth. He looked downright awful and yet, his eyes were sharper than a hawk.
There was a large cobra tattoo on his raised arm. Its green body, red eyes and tongue looked particularly maleficent.
“If you wanted to kill me, you wouldn’t have sent me food. You’re nothing but a lowly subordinate, quit acting like some bigshot.” The man finally spoke. His voice was hoarse and cold. Every word reeked of disdain.
Harde lunged forward and knocked the man’s head with the pistol.
The man silently stared at Harde.
It was then that Harde came to a realization, abruptly halting his attack and stepped back to safety. He scoffed and shook his head. “I won’t be fooled. The guy you killed three years ago. How long did it take you to agitate him?”
“Two years.” The long-haired man answered. “You’re smarter, but it’s all the same. One day, I’ll kill you. If I manage to escape this place, I’ll imprison your wife and children. I’ll feed them sour olives and rye bread every single day. I’m sure your wife would love the taste of my thick cock.”
Harde suppressed his rage. “Keep dreaming, you’re bound here for eternity. This is where you’ll end your life. I suggest that you spill everything you know before it’s too late. As long as you spit it out, you’ll be free of this torment. You can enjoy freedom in hell by then.”
The long-haired man stared at the food bag on the floor. A flash of hatred whizzed through his eyes and he stomped on it hard.
The bag broke apart, the rye bread flattened by the force. The sour olives were not spared.
Harde scoffed. “Stop doing unnecessary things like this. You know better. All the food you destroy, you will still eat. This is all you have for a day. This portion is only enough for one meal. You’re hungry all the time. I bet you’ll eat a dead rat if there was one, let alone this trash combination of a meal.”
“Fuck off.” The long-haired man returned to his weed stash, no longer sparing Harde attention.
At this moment, the door was pushed open. Among the three that entered the cell, there was only one familiar face to Harde. The man quickly straightened his posture and saluted the man.
The only familiar person was a tall man named Kerns. The man seemed to be about forty years old. Kerns was a high-ranking intelligence officer that served Israel’s Mossad. His position was second only to Ibola, the head of the Israel Intelligence and Special Mission Agency, who was also the leader of Mossad.
The two other presence alongside Kerns was Yan Fo and Augustan.
“Harde, please excuse yourself.” Kerns order was stern.
“Understood.” And with that, Harde left.
Kerns waited a few moments after Harde’s departure before he introduced the prisoner, “This is him. He’s got no name so we call him the hyena. He spent five years in Guantanamo Bay and five years with us. But neither the Americans nor us could make him speak.”
“So he’s the one who found the AE capsule?” questioned Yan Fo.
Kerns nodded. “Yes. But still this day, we have no idea where he found it from or how he had come to learn about its existence. He killed everyone who had the knowledge. He’s the only one who knew the truth but he wouldn’t relent.”
“I think I know just the way to make him speak,” said Yan Fo.
Still lying on the patch of weed, the long-haired man opened his eyes. He turned around and spared Yan Fo a glance, a lofty smile manifesting on his lips.
If the wardens of the Guantanamo prison nor the Mossad agents could make him talk, what gave this bastard the confidence?
Yan Fo locked eyes with the man, a cold smirk playing on his lips as well. “I know that the Americans and Mossad couldn’t get you to speak. But I got to tell you that I’m not one of them. Have you heard of the FA Organization? I’m specialized in interrogation. Please, enjoy.”
The man abruptly stood and reached for Yan Fo’s neck. His fingernails were long, like wolf paws made of engineered plastic.
Yan Fo was unfazed, letting Augustan punch the man.
Bam! Augustan’s fist attacked his palm like a missile. Following the muted thud, the long-haired man was sent flying. His back smashed against the rock wall harshly. The moment his right arm had slid down, Augustan’s punch was directed to his right palm. The sound of bone cracking rang out from within his body.
As the chief instructor of the FA Organization who had trained skilled assassins like Dark Mona and Sirita along with countless disciples, his capabilities were evident.
The long-haired man stared at Augustan with amazement. “Who are you?”
Augustan’s reply was calm. “You’re just a man on the verge of dying. What’s the point of knowing my name? What you need is freedom, not irrelevant answers like this.”
The long-haired man uttered, “FA Organization, huh? I know of your existence. But I’m not going to tell you anything you wish to know. Quit dreaming already.”
“Guess we gotta try.” Yan Fo said with utmost confidence. The eerie surge of confidence reeked trouble. His odd demeanour had only lasted for a second before Yan Fo regained his composure.
Kerns complained, “We really racked our brains for this guy. When do you plan to start?”
“We’re still waiting for Mister Williams’ instructions.” Yan Fo uttered, “He’s probably going to lend us one of the American military bases here. We’ll be executing this in an area under his control.”
Kerns scowled. “This wasn’t what we agreed to. The secrets this man holds is very important to us. Are you trying to keep the knowledge to yourself?”
“No. Anything I obtained, the Mossad would obtain too. I’m sure you know how the relationship between America and Israel is like, yes?”
Kerns pondered for a moment. “But I insist on overseeing it myself.”
Yan Fo replied, “That is not an issue. When can we bring him away?”
“I would need to report this to Mister Ibola first. We’ll inform you with a confirmed time soon,” answered Kerns.
Yan Fo and Augustan exchanged looks and nodded.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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