Chapter 2: An Early Escape

"See him, he's right there. He's the one strutting around not doing anything." "Who? That tall, lanky fellow with the graying hair?" "Yes, that's the one." "We could just take him out now, couldn't we Akhmad?" "And what purpose would that serve Umar?" "We would be taking out their leader. We would seriously cripple them." "What, you think Vladamir Kherzakhov is the worst the Russians have to offer? You shoot him down, they'll bring in a new one, one that's even more ruthless than this one."

I sighed, and then continued on with my duty. Akhmad and I were sent to monitor (and only monitor, much to my dismay) the movement of the Russians. We had been traveled nearly two hundred miles away from our own base to find them. Once we did, we set camp (as far away from the Russians as possible) and had sent the messenger who had come with us back to our own camp to deliver the message to Rahim and the others. Knowing that it would take, at best, another week before the messenger came back with orders, Akhmad and I continued to monitor the Russians.

They had taken shelter in an old fort the day before, and were now in the process of making it suitable to live in. Vladamir Kherzakhov, the leader of the Russians ( in the fight against us) was with his fellow soliders. He was a mean, ruthless man. He was rather infamous in Chechnya for his numerous war crimes. But since there was no "proof" that he had commited those crimes (even though the proof of a wailing mother is more than enough in my opinion) no foreign power ever went after him. It was common among our rebel group to talk about what we'd do to Vlad if we ever got our hands on him. "I'd tie him to a wall, and keep him alive by making him eat his own s--t and urine," I remebered one young solider saying. For some reason, I decided to say this out loud.

"If I I got my hands on Vlad," I said, turning to Akhmad, "I'd tie him to a wall and make him eat his own s--t and urine for the rest of his life." Akhmad shook his head. "That is the last thing I would ever recommend." I knew better than to get Akhmad going, but it was getting boring just watching a bunch of fat, sweaty, Russian guys, so I decided to continue to conversation.

"Why wouldn't want revenge on the person who has killed and raped so many of your brothers and sisters? If it were your own son or daughter, don't tell me, you would just let him go." Akhmad, who had been laying on his stomach, watching the Russians, sat up and faced me. "If he were some nameless solider, I'd track him down and chop his head off. But this is a major general. A true war criminal. Do you realize how much sympathy we would garner if we could capture him and put him on trial? The whole world would leanr our story. And they'd know that it was true. If we kill him the first chance we get, the world will see us as nothing but glorifed terorists. He'll die anyway- so who cares if it is now or a few years from now, after he goes on trial when the war ends, which it will, Insh'Allah." He looked down at his watch. "Maghrib," he said and got up. "Hurry back," I called after him, "Or I'll miss my salat". "Why wouldn't we pray together?" he asked me as he sat down to perform wudu. "What if the Russians come here? At least one of us have got to watch, I mean, we do have to be safe." Akhmad smirked but said nothing until after he finished his ablution. "Come now, you must have that much faith in Allah. He went send our enemies to us when we are followin His orders." I nervously glanced back over at the Russian camp. There was no way they knew we were here. And they wouldn't venture out this far, they had no need to."Fine," I said as I jumped up and went over to perform ablution. "But if we're struck down in the middle of salat, there is no way I'm talking to you in heaven." He grinned a little, and then softly called out athan.

We continued to surveil the Russians for over a week. By the tenth day, we began to worry about why the messenger had not come back yet. To pass the time, we continued to talk about our freedom efforts. "Remind me, who's joined us since we began to war," I said to him on the evening of the tenth day. We were sitting, eating a part of a red deer we had caught and slaughtered two days ago. "Well," he began, "When we started, a few of our Muslim brothers overseas officialy declared that the sympathized with our movement. But..." "That basically means that they are emotionally behind us, but are too afraid to actually send an army," I interrupted. "You could say that," he said, before continuing. "But, since then, I think we've made a lot of progress. Firstly, there is no Muslim majority nation that has not officialy delcared their sympathies for us. Secondly, a few of them have even officialy made diplomatic ties with us. In fact, I met with ambassadors with Turkey and Iran shortly before we left for this mission." "Really?" I asked, as this was the first I heard of this. "Why didn't I know that?" "Oh, well, we had to keep it secret. It is one thing to have diplomatic ties, it is another to actually send ambassadors to a warring nation." He paused for a moment, and then seemed to remeber something. "And I musn't forget the mujahadeen," he added, "They will be arriving anyday now. True mujahadeen, pure mujahadeen, not corrupt, power hungry men," he put in after seeing my reaction to the fact that they were coming.

"But we musn't forget the others," he said after another short pause. "We must realize that we Muslim are not the only people on this Earth. It would be severly unfair of me to not speak kindly of the west. Though they are neutral, they defintely do sympathize with us. Plus, I think I'm close to a major breakthrough." "What?" I aksed him. He didn't answer, he just grinned. "No," I said in disbelief. "The Americans?" He nodded. I had to restrain myself from shouting the takbir. We finished our meal in good spirit and then rturned to our surveilance. At first, neither of us noticed anyhting. But then, Akhmad's grin slowly began to disappear.

TO ADD: Mini-Russian raid, Messenger comes, they head back, decided to push towards Russians.

The End

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