DOUBLE WAR

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Bottomline: The bullet he took was costly. His left arm had to be amputated for his own life to be saved.

“They are coming… Oh yes they are; With machetes, semi automatics, clobs, name it. They are coming soon before noon. Just like goons with uncouth mannerisms. They will come fetch him if you heed not to me; very early and not a minute late.”

I am outside the,Asaa city suburbs hearing this pointless lackluster kind of words from a village mad man common by the street’s echoes as Dilow Dio. Many refer to him as double ‘D’ , his nickname whenever sharing ideas with the mentally challenged brother.

The place has a scanty thicket with cricket sounds scattered all over the vegetation perimeters, even during the day.

It is almost noon I have already footed for 8 kilometers and counting since my journey began. I am looking for a man. In his mid fifties, grey haired 6 ft 9. Mercenary kind of height huh? The guy should be single according to my sources; of course from credible tip off points within this locale confirm he is armed and dangerously dangerous.

Fero Luiz alias ‘Ruta’ is in deep trouble. He was my mentor during my days as a lieutenant in the Rwandese Defence Forces. 4 years of contempt with obloquy spent together in Iraq when we had to handle living with the guilt of bombing a 23 feet room, presumed to accommodate terrorists.  Lui, is retired general. Still from Rwandese Defence Forces, Kigali base.

A mission they orchestrated in Kabul, Afghan’s capital has brought back dogs sniffing in search of their well – committed – to – memory bait. His scent (Fero’s scent). These dogs are searching every walk-able ground, every penetrable pavement they can land their paws on.

I need to save him for a lot of reasons. Countless reasons. I need somehow whisk him away from his safe-house in this shrubby vegetation.  Somehow or someway get him to an even safer place.

12 kilometers of labored trekking finally brings me in front of a brick – erected establishment that appears more or less as a tourists’ cottage exemplified by those in Ukunda’s Shelly and Diani sandy beaches back in South Coast of Kenya.

A man chopping wood outside the house, donning a whitish vest which has turned creamy thanks to the unfathomable toil under the sweltering afternoon sun. With rash execution and prompt keenness, my hawk eye vision enables me to spot a huge patch through his uncovered shoulders. I run towards him with some sentimental gist of affairs. The birthmark has made me identify Fero, he is my blood brother – my older and only brother.

“Hey buddy, why did you come here? Did you keep track of your back? Anyone might have followed your ass down here… I’m done with street life, I’m now here in search of my own decent life and a piece of mind. Only that brother, nothing more!” reiterates a much worn out Fero Luiz.

“Don’t worry buddy, I’m here to keep you safe, the terrorist group you had ambushed was affiliated to Al- Qaeda. They have the address to this place and probably might be on their way here. We need to leave Lui. Now!”, ushering him inside this cold resistant residential in the middle of some forlorn shrubby forest within Rwanda’s capital – Kigali.

“So tell me, what is your plan bro?” Asks my younger brother… “we need to dismantle our cell phones.” It is the only connection they could probably have to us. Then again, we ostensibly need to cover our tracks; the same shall entail bleaching all contact spaces that could more likely give our fingerprints away placing us on the scene jeopardizing our lives.

We are dealing with terrorists here; just like me you know how nasty such operations could unfold,” I reiterate in _Ye West kind of seriousness and a Danny Glover sort of pragmatism.
So after scrubbing all floor spaces, tiled kitchen walls, bathroom spaces and furniture not forgetting wine glasses we had just used plotting the vacation of this establishment. We head out downhill to the border point which wasn’t far from Luiz’s place.

Almost one kilometer off the border point, we notice a grey Mitsubishi pick-up van. Subtle hints of color seem to be playing on this grey vehicle’s chassis as if someone were waiting for us. Little do we know our end is almost imminent. Our death is only but knocking, if it were for a book; the words are done written and our back cover is speedily approaching.

“Take cover,” I shout to my brother as firearms are loaded in quick succession, in a split second Fero just got hit. We rushed to use this vehicle as shield as soon as we discovered we were outgunned. Already panicking I remain transfixed on the side of the van as bullets ricocheted for a whole hour, non-stop. I shoot thrice, neutralizing three guys; one bullet one body bag this was the perfect vendetta for my injured brother.

A shootout that lasted for close to 2 hours yielding several casualties, victims of evening gunfire that came as a surprise to both parties. It is like the terrorists knew our next move and waited for us here. They thought we devised another route, thus catching them unawares.

I am now in Mtwapa, Kenya where I stay in a 2 bedroom apartment with my disabled brother. The bullet he took was costly. His left arm had to be amputated for his own life to be saved.  He consented to the doctors advice thus taking this kind of tumultuous risk.

My life hasn’t been the sane again. Albeit his pursuers believing they completed the job, my brother has another chance to live. This makes me wear a smile each day, knowing I stood with courage enough to fight for another person’s life. To fight in his stead. For him, and with him. For I strongly don’t believe his company brought him all unpleasant luck, finally such grisly catastrophe.

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