Chapter 239: < Protect – Episode 229 – Wild Africa  >
Hi friends. This is Sylvia.
I have an extraordinary story for you today, so look forward to it. You know I’m in Kenya, right? My mom forced me to come and volunteer in Africa. It really sucks. I really want to become an adult soon.
It looked nice on TV, but in reality, Africa is a smelly place that I never want to come back too. There are lots of bugs, and all the black people are ugly. I heard French men are good in bed. I wish she sent me to Paris instead. ☹
Anyway, since I’m already here, I have to do my best to put my stories into essays. Ugh, just wait until I get to college. I’m not going to talk to my mom ever again! I keep getting off track. Sorry. I’ll get straight to the point. As you know, when it comes to the national volunteer programs, they don’t just accept anyone.
Oh, does that sound pompous?
Try to understand. I’m not in a good mood these days. I made a new friend in Kenya from the famous Eisenberg family. She was talking about Hollywood and whatnot, but she was so cocky about it. But… I also reflected.
I figured I must come off that way to you. So forgive me. Clara is such a bitch. I’m getting off track again. Sorry. I’ll try to stay focused.
So this is what happened.
Sylvia opened her eyes from her light nap in response to someone’s calling. She was still on the bus. She was sleeping and eating on the bus for days, so it was no wonder why she was so cranky.
Her voice was cracking because of the dry weather. She was surprised by how her own voice sounded. Her friend beside her pointed outside the window, and that was when Sylvia opened her eyes and looked at her friend’s face.
Her face looked nervous.
She then realized that the bus stopped. She saw the back of the diplomat’s head, who urged them that they had to go back to Nairobi as soon as possible. She didn’t know his name, but she didn’t like the way his face was stiff while he talked to the other men.
‘What’s going on?’
Since terror and kidnapping were common in Kenya, they were ordered to pull out and go back to their own countries. In contrast to the frowning diplomat, Sylvia cheered inside.
She could finally leave dirty Africa and go back to New York. The one thing she learned here was that it was hard living away from home. No matter how beautiful mother nature was, the awe didn’t last for long.
‘I want to go home already! I miss Kanu!’
She wanted to lie in her comfy bed, see her cat, and eat ice cream. There was ice cream in Africa as well, but she couldn’t trust the sanitation there.
“Okay! Attention, please.”
The person who came back onto the bus wasn’t the diplomat but the guide.
“We’re going to head toward Mombasa, not Nairobi.”
An impatient college student asked back. Thanks to the terror and kidnapping, their precious experience went to waste. And on top of that, they were going somewhere else other than Nairobi.
The guide sighed.
“Since you’re going to find out anyway, I’ll tell you. There was a bombing in Nairobi.”
“What? No way!”
“You’re kidding, right?”
Half of them screamed while the other half stared on with big eyes. They waited for the guide to say it was a joke, but that didn’t happen.
Instead, another volunteer on the bus yelled.
Africa’s communication network wasn’t half bad. Of course, it costed a lot of money. For Africans who couldn’t make a good living, cell phones and even landlines were a luxury.
The communication network in Africa was mainly used by foreigners. What was funny was that their objective was to look good for the foreign companies rather than to improve the standard of living for citizens. But it made sense. They needed investments to do anything for their citizens. Africa was only a land of opportunity as long as foreigners with capital were interested.
“Oh my god!”
The Nairobi bombing took over the media all around the world. And that was when the phones exploded. People wanted to know if they were okay.
“I’m fine, Mom. I’ll go back soon. Yeah. How’s Kanu? Yeah. I’m really okay. Yeah, I’ll call you back soon. Okay.”
The volunteers were all talking to their family, friends, and lovers, but as soon as the diplomat got onto the bus, they stopped.
“I’m sorry. This is my last stop. You heard about the situation, right?”
There was no answer.
“The Marines will pick you up in an alley on your way to Mombasa. So you don’t have to worry. Maybe today’s experience will remain as a precious memory later on.”
He tried to smile and make them feel reassured, but bomb fears were something that couldn’t be alleviated with a few words. The people wanted more information.
“Is it serious in Nairobi?”
“I won’t lie to you. Yes, it’s serious. But luckily, the embassy is far from where the bomb went off.”
“How many people died?”
“We don’t know that yet.”
The diplomat tried his best to calm down the people.
“What I can say for certain is that the bomb that went off in Nairobi was quite small. There’s no way anything will come this way, so don’t worry.”
“How can we not worry when Al Shabab is roaming around Kenya?”
“That’s why the Marines are coming to get you. The PMCs are skilled men who were hired to protect you.”
As soon as the diplomat got off the bus, they all went back on their phones again. As soon as Sylvia got off the bus for some air, the guard told her not to go far.
As soon as she got up a small hill, there was another guard watching. What reassured her was that it was a female guard that she had already met.
Kate smirked at Sylvia.
“Are you here to pee? Or for a smoke?”
Sylvia pulled down her pants and squatted. The grass covered her, but it still would have been shameless if they were close.
“Did you call your parents?”
“Yup. What about you?”
“My parents pretty much disowned me, so they don’t even know where I am.”
“That’s kind of cool.”
“No, it’s not. Be good to your family, you punk. Huu.”
If she was a strict permanent soldier, smoking on top of a hill would have been unheard of. Kate passed Sylvia a cigarette.
“Your words and actions are conflicting.”
She didn’t refuse the cigarette though.
“Huu. Much better.”
“Why did you come to Africa to volunteer anyway?”
“I told you. I wasn’t the one who applied.”
This African volunteering program was made for college and high school students. It was okay for guardians to come along for underage volunteers, but most of them refused because they wanted to be adults. A leader was going to look after them anyway.
The parents would have been worried if it was run by a civilian, but since it was run by the government, they weren’t so worried. Sylvia complained about it being smelly, but she was happy to get away from her parents. So she wanted to grow up even more.
“Once you grow up, you’ll miss the days when you went to school.”
Female guards were rare, but they weren’t nonexistent. But female mercenaries were very rare. It was only recently that a female soldier in the united states became a general.
War and combat were still dominated by men.
“You’re together again. If Tillerson sees this, he’ll get mad.”
A man with a long beard saw Kate and Sylvia and smirked. Most people mistook him for a Muslim, but Kate knew that this monkey was a Muslim killer. There were even rumors that he killed hundreds of Arabians in Iraq.
The man, who went by that nickname, gave the two women some water. Kate accepted it but scolded him.
“If you show any interest in the young girl, I’ll arrest you!”
“Not that again.”
“Young girls catch on quick these days.”
Hulk smiled awkwardly at Sylvia while Kate looked at them suspiciously.
“Anyway, what did they say?”
“It’s chaos. They can’t come up with a decision.”
“Aren’t we going to Mombasa?”
“It’s not that easy. What about supplies?”
“You’re right. What about the network?”
The mercenaries had their own communication network.
“I can’t get in touch with a lot of them because of the bombing. Some of them even got their repeaters taken away.”
“Doesn’t that mean that there is a full-out war?”
If the Kenyan government started to fight back, it would be difficult for Al Shabab to get out of Kenyan land. That might have been why they preferred to kidnap foreigners. If they had hostages, it was harder for them to attack.
‘What a trickster.’
Not all African black people were stupid.
As soon as the squad commander’s channel opened, Hulk excused himself.
“What is it?”
“A filming crew for National Geographic is getting together. I think…”
“That punk sucked up again, huh?”
The one in charge of the US department was new in Africa, but he must have been a pretty skilled diplomat in the States. If Kate was American, she would have praised him for taking care of Americans, but she wasn’t.
“Why? Is there a problem?”
Sylvia grew curious.
“If there are more people, we’ll stand out. And since Al Shabab are all about the foreigners, they’ll pounce if they see us.”
It was difficult to obtain information regarding where Al Shabab was at the moment.
“Here they come.”
They saw two cars that were racing in with dust all around them. There were probably only a few people there, a hunger, a guide, and a few people carrying the luggage.
That was how African tours were usually done.
It was the volunteer group that was especially sensitive to bring around mercenaries everywhere they went. In the end, it was the small groups that were better off.
It was sad, but what could one do? Results were everything in this world. And the small groups reeled in people who needed help.
It was blunt courage.
“Talk them out of it, Kate.”
“Me? Even Tillerson surrendered.”
“He seems interested in you.”
Kate gave Hulk the middle finger.
“Let’s go down.”
She was going down the hill with Sylvia’s arm in her hand when they stopped at the sight of a speeding car.
The car rammed into a bus. And then a gunfight began. Kate, Sylvia, and Hulk got down to the ground and looked around.
Bang, bang, bang, bang- Bang, bang-
The car was quickly controlled, but a cloud of dust surrounded the area. And then guns went off. They heard Tillerson’s voice from the walkie-talkie.
Be on alert!
“Two Technical! No! Four, five, seven, technical!”
An armed car appeared from nearby.
“Thirty! No! Oh my god! Fourty! Fourty shooter!”
There were over 40 snipers. And from within the group of the allied cars, an SUV raced out at a high speed.
“What’s that car doing, Tillerson?”
You bastard! Come back! Hey, you motherfucker!
Tillerson was swearing through his walkie-talkie, and as soon as they zoomed in with binoculars, a familiar face could be seen. The one in charge, as well as a bunch of bureaucrats, were running away.
“Those crazy bastards!”
As soon as things got bad, they ran off to save themselves. And that wasn’t all. The bus raced off as well.
“What are they doing? Damn it!”
The SUV was fast enough to escape, but the bus was 100% going to get caught. As soon as a sniper shot at the bus, the bus rolled on the ground.
If she hadn’t left the bus, she would have been rolling on the ground with them. She sank to the ground, but Kate and Hulk were too busy to care. A full-on gunfight began, and a car could be seen approaching the bus.
Hulk! Do you see the bus?
How does it look?
“I see some movements… but our enemies are approaching.”
People could be seen crawling out of the bus. The problem was that they were too far to shoot at their enemies.
Those damned bureaucrats! Just you wait! I’m going to kill you myself!
As soon as a dangerous situation occurred, they took off immediately.
Can you do it? We can’t help you!
Kate! Help him!
Hulk ran over. Kate took out her scope from her backpack. It wasn’t a telescope, but she was able to shoot from 400 to 500 meters away.
“Two technical… Nine, ten shooters.”
Kate informed him of his surroundings. The armed car unloaded snipers 100 meters away from the bus. They stayed low and approached, but they were unable to see Hulk.
He was lucky.
“Another one’s coming. There are too many of them. Get out of there, Hulk.”
Another car joined for a total of 3 cars. He was 200 meters away from the fight. It was possible that he could get ambushed.
The driver is dead… and many are injured. They can’t move.
“To your left!”
As soon as she saw a head poke out, she pulled the trigger. It went through that person’s head. A
gunfight began. Machine guns aimed at the bus.
If the surroundings pounced, there would be no answer. There was no way he could move faster than bullets. She soon realized that there were snipers and pulled out his gun.
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang-
She didn’t know exactly where they were, but she shot at them anyway. Was it possible to shoot accurately in a real battle? If she was a veteran, that would have been possible, but most just looked at where their targets were headed. It was a hit-or-miss.
The marksmen had an upper hand over everyone else. Even if they were a child soldier, as long as they had a gun, they could kill.
As soon as the bus was seized, Hulk gave up. If he was alone, he would have fought back, but on the ground were civilians and underaged kids. Hulk dropped his weapon and surrendered while Kate contemplated on whether to pull the trigger or not.
“Tillerson! Turn off the squad commander’s channel.”
Are you caught?
“Yes, Sir. I surrendered because of the civilians.”
Tsk! Okay, pull out.
“No, I’ll stay here.”
If you were detected, we can’t help you.
Fine. If you can’t do it, signal us first.
Kate bit her lip at the last sentence.
It was possible that it was better for her to kill Hulk than to let him get killed by a Muslim whom he loathes. She didn’t like either option. Luckily, she didn’t kill Hulk.
They put him and the civilians in the car and headed to the main force. They stopped 100 meters away. An assailant came out with a loudspeaker.
“Surrender! If you don’t, we’ll execute the hostages!”
It was shabby English, but it was possible to comprehend. The first one to be dragged out was a black luggage carrier from Nairobi. He was trembling but was hit over the head and rolled on the ground.
As soon as he started counting, the black man got up and ran. It was a sudden action, and he got shot before he could go further.
Tillerson expressed his rage on the walkie-talkie.
The next to be dragged out was a teacher who was looking after the underaged volunteers. She was 50 and divorced. Her face was so pale that she already looked faint. Sylvia often chatted with the teacher, and although Kate didn’t like her much, she still felt sad.
The teacher didn’t struggle like the black man. She put her hands together and prayed.
She fell to the ground.
Tillerson couldn’t make a decision. Surrender? There was no winning. As soon as Hulk got dragged out, she knitted her brows. Was there any way? As soon as she tightened her finger on the trigger, she felt a hand on her mouth.
She held her breath in response.
“I’m on your side. So don’t be nervous. Oh, and you can just wait quietly right there. Or use the internet. There’s probably public WIFI. You see, I’m a human WIFI.”
Sylvia was frozen still.
“Wait for my cue.”
‘Wait for what cue?’ As soon as the hand came off her mouth, Kate quickly turned around, but no one was there. It must have been a ghost. If Sylvia wasn’t there, it really would have seemed that way.
‘Wait for what cue?’
She then remembered Hulk. She put her eyes on the scope and realized what cue he was talking about. It was a signal that anyone with a brain could recognize.
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang- Bang, bang, bang-
The cars and assailants blew up. The whole area was sucked up by the countless explosions. Kate sniped an assailant going after Hulk.
She held her breath and kept shooting. As long as she stayed calm, she could shoot down all of them near the car. Once she confirmed her colleague’s safety, she turned to the bus. She was so surprised by what she saw that she started breathing again.
A rifle vs. a pistol
A machine gun vs. a pistol
This was something that could only be seen in a war movie. Not just a war movie, but that with B-rate actors.
But what was this?
How could a pistol take down a car? Kate was certain that he wasn’t a terrorist. That was because after killing the last assailant, he gave Kate a thumbs up.
“Oh! I know who that is!”
Kate flinched at Sylvia’s sudden calling.
“How do you know him?”
Sylvia showed her an Instagram photo on her phone. An Asian man linking arms with Lila. Kate was a mercenary, but she still knew the princess of pop.
“Soo Ho! That was his name.”
She was unfamiliar with Asian names. But she remembered.
“Soo Ho? Oh my god!”
She suddenly remembered the myths she heard about him. She just thought it was all a bluff, but after seeing it in person, it was more than the truth.
Ahn Soo Ho was on his way back when he spotted Al Shabab.
They ran toward their death.
They didn’t realize it themselves, but he smelled Ultra on some of the Al Shabab terrorists. The worry that Ahn Soo Ho had in Sao Paolo began to surface. A war very different from what everyone imagined was drawing near.
All common sense was falling apart.
‘A crazy world is coming.’
< Protect – Episode 229 – Wild Africa  > The end.