The Clarion Call (Episode 19)

Colonel Ahmed Salau, formerly of the fourth Batallion of the Nigerian Army, now leader of the fanatics sat on a field littered with bodies like the King of the dead as a cold compress was applied to his throbbing head. He was still a little groggy, but he was fast beginning to collect himself, the light returning to his eyes even brightly than ever. He looked even madder than before. Where he had been acting with the cool detachment of a professional before, anybody that looked at him could see that things had gotten personal. He groaned again as the pain wafted through his head, and the fanatic that had been pressing the cold bandage to his head quickly stepped back.

‘Don’t remove it, you idiot.’ The Colonel said, and the fanatic quickly complied. The fat man was seated in the quadrangle where the Corpers had been kneeling before, an evil look in his eyes as he looked at the remaining Corpers who were back on their knees again. Most of the bodies were Corpers, though some were merely unconscious or too wounded to kneel while the remaining few were fanatics who were mostly dead, and the sight of them made the Colonel even madder than he had already been. Where the weight of the numbers should have told on the part of the Corpers, they were not trained professionals as the fanatics were, and as such, while their superior numbers had matched them against the fanatics for a while, they had lost that advantage as several of them had been incapacitated by the trained soldiers. The fight had ended with the remaining Corpers surrendering and being herded like sheep back to their knees while the Colonel recovered and started giving others again. Now, there was a fanatic for every two Corpers, and no one seemed in the mood to be a martyr this time. The fight had gone out of them, and Bade wasn’t there to give the spark this time.

The fat man grinned evilly as he thought of the Corper who had defied him. Even now, his men were searching the compound for him, and he had no doubt they would turn him up in a few moments, and the things he would do to him would be too gory to be reported in the newspapers. He would tear out his liver and feed it down his throat while shoving a stick up his backside. And when he had swallowed his liver, he would feed him his kidneys too before cutting out his stomach and feeding him out too.

A shout brought him out of his reverie. He looked up as one of his men came running, throwing himself at the fat man’s feet.

‘Sir, we have looked everywhere. He isn’t in the compound.’

The fat man roared to his feet in frustration, the fanatic who had been tending hi quickly stepping back.

‘Where is he?’

‘We found tracks leaving the compound sir, he headed east away from the compound. And he wasn’t alone, there was someone else with him.

‘Then what are we waiting for? Let’s move out. They already have too much of a head start.’

‘Sir, what do we do with these ones?’ Another of the fanatics asked.

The Colonel looked at them, one after the other, meeting their eyes and letting them see the rage in his. They all looked at him in fear, and he smiled, taking it as his due.

‘Watch them. I’ll be back to deal with them personally. The rest of you, with me.’

The Colonel walked towards their vehicle, five of his men behind him.

He turned towards them as they entered. ‘The boy is mine. I have plans for him. You can do anything you want with the other one.’

The men nodded in agreement as the vehicle lurched into motion. Dark thoughts keeping the Colonel company. Never in all his military career had he been so humiliated, and by a novice at that, someone with little to no combat training whatsoever. There would be hell to pay.

The Colonel worked himself into a rage as the car sped into the night. They came into sight of the only habitation in the area twenty minutes later. And the Colonel sat up as he saw the two figures banging on the gate of the house.

And he smiled again.

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