Traveler- 31

Last Mission Part 2


"This is the best of the best," I said as General Fahd Jassem al-Freij, searched my face. I was sweating bullets, completely unprofessional and unintended, but I was nervous. I couldn't help it in that moment.

The hour and half ride through a desert that was littered with rebel army members, was not a walk in the park. And having a bomb go off just a few feet to the side of our armored car set me so far on edge that it was becoming a little hard to breathe. I was sure these guys were going to see right through us and that was going to be it. They were bound to take us out back and execute us.

That was my worst fear, a shot to the back of my head while Bella and my kids were back home.

"We'll just see about that," he commented in an eerie accent that sent a shiver down my spine. I normally didn't let their fear tactics unsettle me, but I wasn't prepared for this meeting and that was throwing me off of my game. "You have to understand that we need our best to try this out first Mr.—" General Fahd Jassem al-Freij said.

"Mr. Masen," I told him firmly, with a forced smile. He was still examining me with the utmost scrutiny; I could tell he believed I was lying to him in some way. My lack of research was killing me here. I needed something to cement my loyalty to him, something that would show him I meant no harm, but it was hard that to do when I knew so little about the subject.

He clapped his hands and one of the armed guards manned the massive computer set up that was just a step away from us. I looked to Liam, letting him know it was his time to shine. I silently prayed he would be able to save our asses.

In his language he informed the guard to bring up the missiles as he wanted to test it. I understood that need.

The guard, who must've also been some kind of technical foot soldier, too, began loading the program on to the computer and clicking away. I tried to stay out of the way while Liam guided him through the process. Liam knew his shit. This was his place, besides that, he looked calm, cool and collected compared to me.

The General seemed pleased when it was finished. I was too, because if they had some sort of detection on board, our program had clearly passed the first test, just as it was designed to do.

I had to admit, I didn't envy Liam's position. I always hated having to help with the program. I felt like I was helping the enemy. But either way, our goal was one step closer. And a glance at my phone told me the government's tracking software was already seeping its way into the computer. This one would not only be tracking their weapons, but also collecting information on what kinds of artillery they were keeping and just exactly who had clearance to light them off.

"Very good, now, Mr. Masen, Mr. Hubbard, let's see what this program can do, shall we?" the General questioned, looking overjoyed with the fact that it had finished being installed.

One look over at Muhammad, the Prime Minister and Farouk, the Vice President, told me that everyone was awaiting a show. One that wasn't unexpected. This was typical. If the country was dropping a heavy payload on some software it was only natural they wanted to see it perform. And perform well. Besides the money, it was their livelihood, their army, and their country that was depending on this software to work as it was advertised.

So, that was what I did. After I looked at Liam, I walked over to the computer and hit a few keys signaling for some missiles to be sent rocketing off into the sky. They would later land in the outskirts of the desert, where there were no inhabitants.

The notification blinked on the screen confirming the launch, and then I switched it to the tracking software that they were supposed to see. Everyone's eyes intently watched the missile travel across the screen right to its destined location.

"It seems to be working, but Mr. Masen, what really is the benefit of having this? I understand there are many more bells and whistles that come with this program?" the General enquired, drawing out his words, making me hot under the collar.

"Yes sir, one of the main reasons for showing it to you was that it's meant for tight confined areas as well as open areas like your expansive desert, where much of the rebel army is located."

He nodded, looking less than impressed.

"It's also useful if you want to change the direction of a missile that's already been launched."

His eyebrow raised in interest as did Muhammad's; I could tell both of them seemed to like this feature.

"We have that already, don't we?" Farouk asked.

The technical solider explained that it was not like the one we would be providing. And that ours was highly sophisticated compared to the system they were currently using.

"Ah," Farouk murmured, trying to decipher what was on the screen. I could tell that he didn't work as closely with all of technology as some of his soldiers.

Big mistake if you asked me but that was just my opinion.

"So we could see something we've targeted more precisely?" Muhammad asked.

I cringed inwardly and I could tell that Liam wasn't comfortable with his question either. It was my job to keep everyone cool; I was the senior member on this trip. I needed to show Liam how he needed to act.

"Sure," I coughed out.

"Oh yes? I'm thinking somewhere near the border, there is a tight-knit city there. It was recently taken over by the rebel army and one missile may be enough to shake them up."

"That sounds…lovely," Farouk replied.

"Absolutely perfect," the General finally added.

"Great," I told them before signaling to Liam. He needed to access the program and instruct the soldier how to use it. The job sucked, but we knew full-well that this was a possibility going in.

The missile launched and I watched as three sets of eyes lit up as they watched the screen. We confirmed the missile flying across the sky until it made it to its location. I sighed heavily knowing that there was nothing we could do about it now, but I did feel relieved to know we would have the power to stop or divert artillery later on. Once Liam and I were safely out of the country.

Liam packed up as I made small talk with Farouk.

I didn't particularly want to, but there was no way I could avoid it. Our meeting had gone well and Liam had really made the sale. We were finally done and now it was just a walk out of the building, and then the horrifying drive back to the hotel before an excruciatingly long plane ride home.

I was okay with it though, because after that was over, I was done. That meant I never had to put myself in danger again. And I would forever be safe at home with Bella and my children.

The technical solider kept the General busy, they were delving deeper and deeper into the program, while the Prime Minister and Vice President walked us out. We were three steps from home free. Our sleek, black, armored SUV had just pulled up in front of us, and as I was shaking hands with Farouk when I heard the shouting, the yelling. The language I couldn't understand, but instantly I knew something was not right.

Call it a feeling, but when the soldier made his appearance I grabbed Liam's arm and tried to make it to the truck. Footsteps barreled toward us and I didn't even hesitate. This was my mission. My hand reached for the handle on the door without even thinking. I looked up to see fifteen soldiers all armed. They were ready to fire. And then just as my eyes met the General's he gave the word. I practically threw Liam inside when I felt the searing pain rush through my flesh.

Instantly, my hand went to cover the pain, but then as I tried to scramble into the vehicle, two more fiery pieces of metal cut through me.

Liam pulled me into the truck before managing to get the door closed, while I writhed in pain. Blood oozed all over the seat as our driver took off with shots being fired at us on our way out.

The bullet-proof glass held though, we were safe; well, if you could call being shot and bleeding profusely, safe.

There's the 2nd part of the mission.

What'd you think?