Chapter 8

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“Ava is not here, Martin,” Rachel told him, while looking out through the window. She didn’t know whether he had noticed that she had been run over.

“Do you think she survived?” he asked. Rachel pondered on the speed that vehicle had used and the explosion. A suicide bomber must have been in it with an explosive device. It was a miracle that she and Martin had survived with very minor injuries, almost unscathed. But then the car had exploded farther from them compared to Ava. The car had gone direct towards Ava before exploding. It almost seemed like she had been targeted and Rachel and Martin were collateral damage. She did not understand the rationale behind suicide bombing in general. Why some people thought you would get rewarded in the afterlife for blowing yourself and other people into smithereens.

“I don’t know,” Rachel wanted to continue by saying she would be alive if he hadn’t broken the rules but figured that would be way too harsh.

“I hope she is okay,” Martin mumbled.

“Maybe they were able to save her.” Rachel said, just to keep him from worrying. His questions might make her spill the truth which would shatter his heart. Not that she cared after he had flirted with her, playing with her when he had a girlfriend. Thankfully, she had not let the nonsense get into her head.

The driver said something in a Somali language, or was it Arabic. Rachel was not yet very familiar with the tongues as she had not worked in the civilian department of the hospital. 

“Shut up,” The man next to them retorted. He was wearing a pink tee shirt with a black cat drawn on the front. It didn't seem like a shirt a bomb blasting criminal should have been wearing.

Rachel was happy to comply if it meant not answering Martin’s questions. Besides, she did not want to nudge these people on the wrong side.

“How can I shut up when you just kidnapped us?” Martin yelled.

Rachel held her breath and looked at the man to see his reaction. For a moment, she thought he would hit Martin’s head. The man remained silent. She cast a look at Martin and when she saw his sad expression, turned away. It didn’t suit him. He looked better as a confident and flirtatious doctor.

They were now speeding through the desert. The scarce shrubs welcomed them into the beautiful desert which was famous for criminal activity. Occasionally, they would stop and the men got out. By now, Martin was like a graveyard, silent, probably wondering is Ava was okay.

Rachel had studied the men’s behavior and was satisfied that they were not part of the al Shabaab organization. The al Shabaab militants were highly trained and not sloppy unlike these ones. They looked to be trained but their skill level was low, probably a small criminal gang that kidnapped people for ransom.

A white doctor was good prey since it was likely he worked for a big organization like the UN. They hoped to get a lot of money as ransom. If that was the case, it wouldn’t be so bad. It was rare for them to kill their victims unless you did not want to pay ransom or launched an attack which ended up in a fight.

A few years back, an American woman called Jessica Buchanan had been kidnaped with a coworker and stayed in the desert for sixty days. She had been a civilian. Rachel as soldier, was at a high risk of being killed because she might cause problems. She decided that for a while she would stay calm until a perfect opportunity arose. If you acted on emotions, the result would be putting everyone in danger. A soldier needed to use their mind, study the situation, and come up with a plan before attacking. Then she wouldn’t get shot.
It was dusk by the time the car stopped again. The hot was being replaced by cold wind. Martin shivered as the armed men got out.

Rachel wanted to scoot closer and put an arm around the shaking doctor but. Poor man. In one day, he had lost the one he loved and was uncertain of his survival. She felt like giving him her extra scarf but then was also dying of the cold.

“Out,” the man in pink said.

“Will you be able to stand?” Rachel asked Martin.

He nodded and stepped out.

“Hands up,” the man continued issuing orders.

They both did as told. Rachel looked out for Martin who was slow in steadying himself up.

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