Chapter 27: Chapter 5, Episode 4: The Surreal Black Mamba
The god-level sniper, Black Mamba, had appeared on the Sahel. He stared, expressionless, at the devastating battlefield with the Dragunov slung over his shoulder. The captain stared at Black Mamba with a blank expression as did the others.
Sergeant Paul had been selected as Team Ratels leader from Camp Djiboutis 13th regiment of Legion Etranger. He had heard about Black Mamba from his colonel and Pief several times but had always doubted their stories.
“‘Hes not human!”
He shook his head slowly. Even Colonel Philip and Captain Pief had a hard time understanding Black Mambas abilities.
His teammates faces had gone slack and they started to smile. They were instructed to kill or be killed; death was merely passing scenery. Haphazard democracy was nothing but indulgence. They could have compassion for the dead enemy, but they could not feel guilt.
They could be the heroes or beasts, but no mercenary wished to be a coward. Black Mamba, covered in blood, was their comrade and the pride of their team. Being with Black Mamba meant that they had a spare lifeline.
“Captain!” Burimer called for Paul.
“This guy is Musta.”
Burimer rolled the body and lay it straight. Red fluid poured out of his head that had exploded in half.
“The bastard whos called the Kanma of the Sahel”
“Yes. Black Mamba had killed him rather brutally, but he is definitely Musta.”
Burimer pointed at the plate on his shoulder with his gun barrel.
“Hes the Lieutenant Colonel.”
It was time for the captain to be satisfied with the unexpected outcome. Ombuti checked his body and started to tremble.
“Oh, Allah! This is the sergeant of the Habib army, Musta. This bastard raped my daughter and killed my family.”
Ombutis tears streamed down his face as he kicked the body in a crazed rage.
“Look, Allah does not forgive those who sinned, those who are swine. He had sent Gods warrior to bestow judgment upon you.”
Ombuti, who had been wailing, turned and kneeled before Black Mamba.
“Thank you. A desert warrior does not forgive their grudges but also doesnt forgive their debts. I will return this debt.”
“I only killed him because he was our enemy. There is no reason for you to talk about debt.” Black Mamba cut off Ombutis words rather harshly.
“No. I am indeed in your debt. I only have one request.”
“With your permission, I want to cut off his head. He does not deserve reincarnation.”
Black Mamba remembered his old self where he had swung the ax to cleave the white priests neck. How unjust and angered was he back then!
“Fine. Do what you want.”
Ombuti took out his shamshir and swung down on Mustas neck. He was unable to cut off the head in one blow and had to swing down several times. It was an act that damaged the corpse, but no one attempted to stop Ombuti.
“Ha, its not a great sight, but since someone with a call name allowed it, I cant even stop him. I suppose a Kanma isnt enough to go against the Black Mamba.”
The captain exclaimed as if he was lamenting.
Ombuti placed Mustas head on top of the red rock and threw gasoline on it to burn it. With that, Musta was doomed to rot in hell for eternity.
Ombuti sat down on the sand and cried and choked. He had finally sent one of his enemies to hell. He had been hell-bent on revenge ever since he lost his wife and daughter to the FROLINAT and had thrown his life and wealth into the fight. The enemy was strong, but his strength had not been strong enough.
He became the symbol of revenge. He swore to sacrifice his soul for the sake of revenge, but his enemy was too strong, and the path to revenge was too long. Allah had sent Gods warrior when he was on the brink of giving up.
Ombuti looked at the Asian warrior who was standing as firm as an iron tower. Black Mamba, on their first meeting, had first shot a bullet at him when he was hiding underground. The same person had given him his revenge. The remaining hostility towards him disappeared like the morning dew.
After finishing his ritual, Ombuti placed a kiss on the back of Black Mambas hand and shouted towards the sky.
“Allah hu akbarhl (Allah is amazing), Allah hu akbarhl. My wakil!”
The gratitude of the Immoharen of the Tuareg tribe was immense. Ombuti swore to give what he had, including his life, to Black Mamba. In the Islamic world, everyone was equal.
A traditional Muslim didnt lower their heads or kneel towards those in power or even to those they respected. Only Allah was superior, and all humans were equal. Even the prophet Muhammad was a human as equal as they were.
The conflict between their religion and the Christian religion was bound to happen. From the Islamic view, Jesus was a prophet who could be respected but not held up as a spiritual being.
Ombuti, instead of calling Black Mamba a higher being, decided to call him Wakil (owner).
“Why is this old man attacking me Has he gone mad”
Black Mamba, who didnt know a single thing, stared at Ombuti helplessly.
Sergeant Mark and private Emil dragged over the captured and injured captives.
“Theyre the drivers of the armored vehicle.”
The captives conditions were rather good. Most of them had injuries on their left femurs. There were wrinkles in their dark, burnt faces. They looked well over their forties.
“Was there anyone else in the vehicles cabin” the captain asked Mark.
“No. They wouldnt have wanted to become fried eggs in that can, after all.”
Guerrillas were also human. When the midday temperature went over 30 degrees Celsius, the inside of the vehicle heated up to over 40 degrees. It was impossible to remain inside.
Surprisingly, the old Arab driver was calm. He was expressionless, and his eyes didnt waver. Mike pressed down on the old Arabs neck to get him to kneel. He pushed even more strength into his injured right leg to resist kneeling.
“This damned bastard!”
Mike kicked the old guerrillas right shin.
“Agh, you swine!”
The old guerrilla fell to the ground without resisting and released an ear-splitting shout. Mike, who was surprised by the shout, in turn, glanced at Black Mamba. He hadnt forgotten the threatening warning about how his arms and legs would be broken if he used violence recklessly. He sighed in relief. Black Mambas eyes were still fixed on the devastation of the battlefield.
The captive glared at Mike. His eyes were filled with fury, not fear.
“Dalkis al quadiruh, kunta jabanan! (Dirty heretics, cowardly bastard!)”
“What the hell is this guy saying Im going to rip out your eyeballs.”
Mike finally exploded and cracked his Famas hard on the captives skull. There was a sound, and the captives skull broke.
“Mike, calm down. We need to get information out of him.”
While trying to stop him, Burimers gazed harshly at Mike. Mike was a talented guy but with the wrong personality. He had been unable to get rid of his cruel habits even after being punished violently by Black Mamba. He was not trustworthy because he couldnt overcome his madness.
“Where is Black Mamba” Chartres looked for him.
The captain pointed with his chin to the cliff about 50 meters from the battlefield. Chartres followed the direction in which the captain pointed.
Black Mamba was sitting at the edge of the cliff with his head between his legs. His shoulders were shaking.
“The hero of Deuxieme Rep is crying like a girl.”
The captain was ridiculing him, but his heart was sympathetic. He was monstrous but yet a man barely over 20. Blood had flown like a creek in his first battle, and brain matter had poured out from most of his shots. If he had not been shaken, he would have been mistaken as a devil in a mans skin. No, he had already awakened as a devil on the battlefield.
“Agh, fcking sht, what the hell!”
“Father, is it my turn to follow you”
Black Mamba cried as if to bleed out his vocal cords. His pain wasnt from killing all those people. It came from the torture that he had not become the man his father had expected him to become with the name that he was given at birth. Instead, he had become a grim reaper.
“Hae Young, Hae Young!”
It was torturous. His life had drifted far from normal. Regrets poked around his head, and the reality that he couldnt reach for Hae Young with his bloodstained hands made him despair even more.
“Uwa— Father, Im sorry!”
The sorrowful cries of a Paranthropus rang across the Uldi Hamarl. The captain and the team members stared at Black Mamba in a daze. No one understood Korean, but the cries of sorrow made their hearts shake.
The captain recalled his first kill. The target had been an officer of the Algerian broadcasting station. The two had run into each other coincidentally and had fought with their knives and pistols. He had vomited for the entire week after walking out of the exchange covered in blood.
He figured that the name Black Mamba was calling out had to be his mothers name or his lovers name. On the one hand, he was relieved. The guy was also human. He wasnt going to succumb to the exhilaration of killing.
“Hes a rookie, despite how he acts.” Mike mocked him and smiled.
“Mike, watch your words. Black is our hero,” Burimer said in anger.
The team members didnt look pleased, either.
“Mike, gather the team and clean up the battlefield.” The captain stepped forward to get Mike out of the way.
Chartres and Emil headed towards Black Mamba. The captain stopped them with a shake of his head.
“Leave him. It is one of the many obstacles in the path to becoming a man and a mercenary.”
The captain was right.
A comrade who is incapable of killing the enemy on the battlefield was worse than the enemy. It was a presence that was useless as an ally. Such a person was bound to weaken everyones resolve and break up their teamwork.
Since he had chosen to become a mercenary, he had to be a mercenary. This was the time in which a rookie stood over his pain and shock to become a true warrior. The two, who understood the captains intentions, returned.
Their eyes, which had momentarily been stolen by Black Mamba, returned to the captive. The old guerrilla acted as if he had already forfeited his life. Ombuti began to translate Burimers questions.
“Are any of your comrades around”
“I have no reason to answer you.”
At the captives answer, Burimer laughed.
“Dirty bastard, looks like youve done dirty work as long as youve been alive.”
The captive revealed his black teeth and laughed at Burimer.
“Ha, you dirty heretics, dont talk with your foul mouth on the historic lands of Allah. Do you know the taste of raping a young girl How would you know the feeling of shoving your sex into a small hole”
Burimer, who heard the translation, flew into anger.
“Ombuti, did you translate this right”
“To the word.”
Burimer pulled on his Beretta slider and aimed for the captives head. Ombuti immediately pressed down on Burimers arm.
Dust rose between the captives legs.
“Calm down. Hes trying to make you angry so that he wont have to be tortured. Hes scared of being tortured. Leave the rest to me.”
Sergeant Burimer, feeling rather awkward after hearing Ombutis words, fell back.
“Ugh, those tempers.”
The captain had been watching and clicked his tongue. Ombuti glared at the old guerrilla. His gums, where he was missing his front three teeth, were loose. When Ombutis wife had been raped, she had smashed a rock into Habibs face. This persons front teeth could have fallen out the same way while raping a woman. As Sergeant Burimer had said, this person must have done dirty deeds all his life.
Ombuto pulled out his knife from his waistband and sliced off the captives thumb without hesitation.
The captives shout tore through the dark. Ombuti stopped the blood flow and let him be. The captives body shook in pain and his shouts decreased. Ombuti spoke to him coldly.
“This is but a demonstration. From now on, I will take away your body parts one by one. The ripped off parts will be burned and the ashes scattered, but, if you cooperate, I will bury you whole.”
“You are Allahs servant, and you dare to side with the whites to commit sins like those heretics!”
The guerrilla shot back, his face pale. In the Islamic religion, the body was a place that the soul would return to. When burned, the soul was lost and wandered without its house, and the soul without a house was bound to roam hell. Moreover, when the body was ripped apart and burned, it was irreparable even with Allahs grace.
“I will return exactly what you have done. I will burn your head and shred your body for the hyenas to feed on.”