Editor-In-Chief: Charbel Baini

Nightmare In Egypt 2/ Feras Werr

The general watched with anticipation as the trap door in the ceiling opened and his female prisoner was lowered slowly downwards. He pleasured at her mercy cries and wobbling while the lever system brought her closer to him. "She will pay for the damage she intended to do. She will be very sorry in moments." he thought as the woman's feet finally touched the floor. "Stop" he commanded. The rope immediately ceased moving.  
"Mercy please! I beg you! Mercy, I did nothing wrong! Please mercy!"
He silently walked around studying her for a few minutes as she hung helplessly by her arms. A beautiful sexy woman with long blond hair, superb white complexion and dazzling figure. Her green eyes were dancing with the tears of fear as she looked straight back at him unaware of her sealed fate that rested below her feet. The general eyed the tears on the back of her red dress and the welts that showed through them. Ivan's whip was cruel but not enough to break her will of silence.   
"You have to believe me! I knew nothing about your secret operations or anything about the police raid on your operations last night! I have been a loyal person to you!"
"Silence Lieutenant Diana!"
The woman gasped impulsively at the spoken name. Her exhausted eyes opened wide with surprise as she stared at the general's hostile face. He caught her from her hair and shook her head violently making her release a scream. He stated in a bitter menacing voice, "For how long did you think you could hide your identity from us you bitch! I'm sure your colleagues are being torn apart by their conscience right now as they have realized that the sacks they seized from us by their raid were FULL OF SUGAR!!! You see your cover is blown and you failed your exam of loyalty with my group." 
The woman's face grew pale with horror at his threats. She shook her face sideways in disagreement as she screamed back, "I'm not Lieutenant Diana! I have proof of it! You have to let me go so I can prove to you that you have the wrong person! Please let me go!"
"No body knew of the operation's timing and the new stores the shipment would be moved to that evening but me, Ivan my bodyguard and you. Of course only Ivan and I knew what was to be moved around in our trucks. Now it's your job to tell me how did you know about my drug business and how you arranged the raid with the police."
The woman cried and answered, "I swear I didn't know anything. I only arranged for the trucks to move the shipment like you told me. And I'm not a police cop. My fingerprints will assure my identity. My ID and passport will verify that I’m Stacy White." 
The General raised his hand and gave her a smart slap across her face. The woman twisted in her place from the pain and released a frustrated yell. A small stream of blood flowed from the tip of her mouth, "Enough please, don't beat me again!"
"Shut up you Bitch. Had there been really valuables to me I would have lost millions out there." The general took out a piece of paper from the pocket of his black tuxedo and unfolded it. "This is a copy of your private police profile. Read it."
The woman stared unbelievingly at her photo on the profile that included a complete rank description and name, Lieutenant Diana Summers, NYSD, Office of Investigation for Drug Trafficking. 
"Isn't this your photo and name lieutenant?" The general asked mockingly. 
"This is a frame up please you have to believe me. Someone is framing me."
"I expected you to say this. But I'm sorry this is where you receive your handsome reward for betraying me."
"I have never ever even entered a police station in my life. I have never fired a gun in my life!"
The general looked around the spacious soundproof room he was in for a while then approached a table with a chair that rested nearby. He sat down and pressed a button that lied on top of the table. A huge sliding trap door opened revealing an excellent view of a spacious concrete room below. 
He commanded contently "Lower the rope into the dungeon!" The rope instantly began dropping the woman downwards through the trap door. The woman screamed and begged for mercy but the only response she found was a mocking laugh from the general. Eventually the woman stopped as her feet barely touched the grounds. She looked around the poorly lit concrete room terrorized as to the outcome of her presence in it. Very soon she heard the general announce mockingly, "They will welcome you dearly."
Suddenly titanic waves of panic made her heart beats race wildly. Perspiration began soaking her as she looked around the room inquiring about what the general was talking about. Heavy shuffling sounds caught her attention a distances off at her left side. Shortly afterwards similar sounds began erupting from her right as well. The lights went on instantly revealing the room's horrific contents. The woman released a blood curdling "MARY MOTHER GOD!!!" as the kings roared and dashed towards her with supreme speeds. A surge of exquisite pain tore through her as the gigantic teeth dipped into the flesh of her left leg and tore it apart from her hips. Her anguished "AAAAYYYHHHSSS" "AAAAHHHHHSSSSS" thundered through the entire premises and echoed between it's spacious walls as she saw rivers of blood shower from her and splash the grounds underneath. The other beast fastened his iron jaws at her waist and yanked mercilessly his share away snapping her body in half. A frustrated petrifying scream erupted from the depths of her soul as she felt the tearing then the mercies of death within seconds relieved her from her torment and misery.
The general watched with glee as what was left of the woman's upper body that still had its arms intact released involuntary spasms from the scorching pain for a few moments then rested silently in its place. He smiled with amusement as the sounds of bone snapping and flesh tearing filled his ears. "I don't think the police department will dare send another undercover bitch or bastard after they see the fate of their personnel on the cinema film I just recorded." He thought. 
"Ivan!"
At once the Russian giant peaked from the ceiling's trap door and answered with a sharp crispy accent, "Yes General." 
"How was the filming?"
"Very good General."
"Process a copy for our friends at NYSD. Don't forget to write the lieutenant's name on the piece of paper and end it with the words "with love""
*****
The Browning mansion was calmly situated within the illustrious buildings of Madison Avenue. A beautiful masterpiece of architecture and an inheritance that the Browning family have kept for years, the mansion's limestone structure maintained a gothic medieval look on the outside satiating the viewer with a feeling of breathtaking majesty. The mansion was among the several estates owned by Senator Richard in Manhattan's Murray Hill and was used for recreation when ever he needed a break from his straining political duties in Washington DC. Several times a year it would light with social gatherings and its heavenly garden that lied in its back area would liven with the hearsay and voices of the influential in Manhattan's society.
A handsome assembly of doormen met the Mercedes Benz as it parked in front of the entrance. A tall man with a hospitable smile opened the door in greeting of the general, "Welcome sir. The Senator eagerly awaits your arrival."
The general stepped out of the car in a hurry replying, "Thank You. I will immediately join him." Another opened the door for him and escorted him through the large halls of the premises till they reached the outside grand garden where the social gathering was. A lively ambiance of elegance, chatting and laughter met him as he entered. Classical music was playing in the backgrounds by a live orchestra while the waiters shuffled between the guests that were divided into small groups offering the hospitalities of their hosts. The warm summer air was saturated with the exotic fragrances of fine cigars and sensual female perfumes as he circled looking for Senator Richard Browning. Leaving a message of such a type with the doorman meant that his tardiness caused inconvenience but nevertheless the business that delayed him was terribly important for his future and the future of the organization he was a member of. It was too lethal in their field to leave untied ends and secrecy was a must at all costs.   
He shook his head in greeting at a few familiar faces as he searched and scanned the multitude of socializing people. Looking for the senator was like attempting to find a needle in a haystack and the brisk movement of the waiters made it very tough to see clearly at times. Nevertheless he kept a look out till his eyes finally fell on him. He was busy talking to a couple at a far end of the garden. He walked up to them and greeted them. Barely smiling Richard answered the greeting coldly, "I'm sure a general's watch works very promptly." He looked at his watch and continued, "Our rendezvous was twenty minutest till nine and not past nine?"
The couple feeling the unusual tension in the senator's voice decided to retreat a couple of steps away and leave the gentlemen with some privacy. The general tolerated the remark very well and answered diplomatically, "Allow me to deeply apologize senator for the delay. I was kept back by a matter of grave importance that I also wish to discuss with you."
The senator excused himself from the couple and guided the general out of the garden. They moved down a long corridor and entered into a wide spacious living room full of exotic Arabian tent styled seating arrangements. Although a bit tense by the senator's ill temper towards his tardiness the breathtaking colorful canvasses with Bedouin designing that dominated the walls captivated his awareness. He literally felt he had just entered into a big nomad's world. 
Richard closed the door and headed to his bar while pointing to a series of mattresses for the general to make himself comfortable on. He asked with a dry tone of voice, "Bourbon on the rocks as usual general?"
"Are you kidding me? We need Arak and a couple of belly dancers for the occasion." The general prayed that his remark would break the icy atmosphere a little bit. To his surprise it worked and Richard giggled at his Comment, "I haven't had this drink not ever since the weapon's deal with the sheikh in Sinai. I have a bottle just right here." 
He took out a cup and placed some ice in it. The strong transparent solution crackled as it hit the ice and turned into its' famous white color. 
He walked back with the drinks and handed the general his cup regrouping his seriousness and stated, "If its' about the police raid last night, I watched the news and I'm not happy with what's going on. You know well the police are keeping an open eye on things lately especially with the death of the archeologist and her husband."
"Let me explain Senator what is going on…"
"All five called me yesterday when they heard the news and were very concerned." His eyebrows suddenly tied a knot and his eyes shot bitter swords of madness, "I swear if you fall and bring our names to the interrogation table we will find plenty of ways to make you pay general so don't screw up."
The general began to perspire greatly as he listened to the senator's warnings. The other five members of the organizations were big investors that had grave influences in the senate and New York economy. They will do anything to take care of their image and welfare. If he should ever fall it would bring about an unstoppable domino effect angering every one of them. He replied reasoning, "Senator I can assure you the police are the last of our worries. Have they ever caught or even neutralized any of our operations? They don't have a single clue about what we even deal with and when we sell it and as to whom our contacts are."    
He studied the senator as he took a good gulp of his drink unaffected by its strength. His blank expressionless face made him rage with tension as he was bewildered if he was convinced by his words and explanations or not. He knew very well that the senator was a really strong businessman with powerful insight into things. His average height of only five feet and a half contrasted greatly with his vast business mentality which was capable of running the entire economy of the US. His group of companies was the most successful in New York with strong rumors of a new comer that saw the light only months ago. It's supposedly a business venture with an Arabian sheikh involving the commercial trade of cars to the Gulf; but the general knew too well that if such a company existed it was probably a cover up for their other trades that took form in the shadows. At least this stylish d├ęcor they were in announces a lot of things that support what he was hearing.    
The bright side of Richard that society saw was an elegant fellow at forty years of age with normal Caucasian features maintaining blond hair and a miraculous pair of blue eyes. His entire disposition radiated serenity and smartness making his circle of friends and business contacts at comfort in dealing with him. His gentleman's attitude that told of his excellent education and background never failed to impress any person at his hospitality. Married to a very rich attractive lady originating from an influential family that helped him a lot to advance in his career he was invincible in Senate and the world of finance; and also as head of their organization. 
The general knew well the other dark sinister side of the coin; his secret bank accounts that had just jumped past two billion US dollars and which was impossible to achieve via his group's profits; the drug and ancient artifacts trade that he smuggles in the US from different parts of the world and the black markets that he sells his possessions to; his swift decision to kill traitors that even think about obstructing his plans; and above all his untraditional sexual preferences with his secret Egyptian mistress. If his wife was to know about his activities in his personal yacht during her trips it would be a powerful blow to their marriage and possibly his political career. 
The general feared his insatiable greed for power and money and always assured him of his loyalty with gifts and by sticking to the fifty-fifty policy in their business deals. He always reasoned that it's better to walk with the strong than to oppose him especially if he has a share in your bread. 
"Your assurances are not enough." His host solemnly stated. "We are thinking of keeping a low profile on things for a while till the homicide case cools up a bit. Of course in a couple of weeks we will slowly pick up but for now let's stick to what the majority of our organization wants. If I hear that you moved as much as a gram of cocaine or stirred any of our artifacts from their place you will be history in seconds. Do you understand general?"
"I promise you have nothing to worry about. All that the police caught was sugar and that solidly proves my companies decent commerce in sugar export to them."
"But why where they on the lookout for you? You must have done something stupid to draw attention general."  
The general's spine chilled from his host's angry questions. He didn't have the courage to tell him that he was behind the murders that probably motivated the police to plant a spy within his staff. He gulped hard on his cup of Arak as he thought of what the senator would do if he found about the relic he also had kept from him for a while. He hadn't intended to do so in the first place but when things got complicated when he murdered the archeologist and her husband he waited to unearth a careful explanation for his boss. It all started when he got used to stopping by the bar the archeologist's husband owned to have a drink after his strenuous business agendas. On one January evening things got a bit friendly between them and the bar owner told him of the map that was discovered in Pharaoh's Ramses's tomb in Egypt and how it was sent to the university his wife worked in for studying and sampling. It was given to his wife as she was the best person to supervise the operation in her faculty. The news aroused his attention as he felt it would greatly please the Senator. Checking it out wouldn't do anyone harm especially with his powerful contacts in Egypt. However everything broke loose shortly afterwards. Despite the hellish stormy weather on one cold night one week later two of his best personnel broke into the archeologist's office at campus and carefully searched for the relic but were unable to discover its whereabouts. They immediately moved to her two story house and ravaged her entire office there in their pursuit till they discovered it carefully preserved in one of her files. As they were about to leave they were surprised by her husband that awoke from the storm's restless thundering. A quick battle took place and resulted in the tearing of the sensitive papyrus in two halves. His wife awoke startled from the vicious sounds of the brawl that was taking place and called the police immediately. She quickly picked up a gun her husband kept in their room and descended down towards the scene. His personnel panicked as they saw her with the gun and shot a couple of inaccurate rounds at her while fleeing away with their moderate prize. 
A big investigation was opened afterwards but was unsuccessful in achieving any progress. His personnel that wore full disguise left no traces behind and the rounds that were fired were from illegal shotguns imported from sources outside the US. But however the police now knew that there was somebody out there that was in pursuit of the ancient map and that would kill anyone that would stand in his way. Torn apart by anticipation on one end and the panic the failure of the search attempts caused on the other end he increased pressure on the archeologist counting on the fact that she would bend to his will and surrender the other half of the map to him. He kidnapped her and had his men perform a painful interrogation upon which she promised to give him his request. A date and time was appointed one week later at a coffee shop near her husband's bar in Lower Manhattan but when his men showed up they didn't notice the well disguised police force that waited to arrest them red handed nor did the police notice the camouflaged mafia personnel and their snipers that were dispersed in different areas around the coffee shop. All hell broke loose one minute before rendezvous was to take place. The general had two of his personnel wait at a nearby table to guard his man that was supposed to receive the package from the archeologist. One of them was friends with a waiter that worked there and that was supposed to be on duty at midday. Not seeing him at work he asked about him and the replacing waiter, whom was in reality a disguised cop, naively stated that he was off to visit his ill mother. At that moment the archeologist had just entered into the coffee shop and was headed towards a table. Stunned by the news as the waiter's mother had passed away years ago the mafia personnel withdrew their guns and dashed towards the archeologist taking her captive. The hiding cops that surrounded the entire area broke loose from their places and surrounded the mafia with their hostage. The customers of the coffee shop and pedestrians in the street ran madly to safety spots in the surrounding shops and corners while the police showered warnings at the mafia to put down their weapons and release the hostage. A huge shootout took place when the mafia snipers shot down a couple of the cops forcing the remaining to hide and retaliate behind any natural barrier they were able to shield themselves with. Within seconds a black bullet proof van that was parked off of a short distance from the coffee shop stormed through the shoot out area and stopped besides the mafia in the coffee shop. Fiery sparks engulfed its fortified body as the police showered it with bullets but in no time its owners fired back forcing the police to retreat their fire. The archeologist's captivators that were hiding with her inside the restaurant behind the counters, snatched the package from her hand, ran to the van and left the area leaving the police dumbfounded at the well organized contingency plan their enemy had planned in advance. The police that raided the buildings the snipers were shooting from never found them or their weapons. All they found were empty flats, open windows and their countering bullets twisted into the surrounding walls. The general vowed vengeance especially when the package turned out to contain nothing. Upon hearing from his men that the archeologist's husband closed down his shop and rumors were that they were moving to another state he had his men break into their house again and shoot them. A second search of the study failed to yield anything of value and his men returned once again empty handed. 
"Senator I can assure you that I'm doing nothing to withdraw any attention to us. As you said those people with the murders have come over suspicious of everything because they were unable to find anything about the murder."
Richard's face suddenly grew bitter again as he looked at the general. He placed down the cup of Arak and stood up. The general's face grew pale with fear as he stood up surprised at Richard. 
"And how would you be so sure of such a thing? Are you in any way involved with this case? Tell me, or else why would you be keeping track of its details."
The general snapped back in a panicking tone of voice defending, "This is the word on the street…I mean, from where would I find out except from my well informed men…"
"If you have a couple of snoopers around I can understand. But you know well I don't enjoy my people to hide anything from me. Now General; what did you wish to discuss with me."
The senator's last sentences made him boil uncontrollably. Something was dreadfully out of place making his mind race wildly for solutions. Would the incomplete map he had be the only way to buy time for him? He just had to try. He suddenly decided and stated, "Some of my men have discovered an old relic recently that I took the time to investigate thoroughly before presenting to you." The senator's eyes opened with interest as the general's hands searched in his jacket's pocket and came out with a small paper. "The original is a super sensitive papyrus discovered by coincidence in an antique Egyptian vase in our position. As it might break by accident at the slightest mishandling, I had someone draw a careful copy of the original. The original is basically a map of something lying under the sands in the Transjordan desert in Jordan." 
The senator studied the copy carefully. It was a well outlined map of Jordan marking the Mediterranean Sea by a series of waves then heading east marking the sands of the Transjordan plains. It read in Hieroglyphics "Death lies underneath the boiling red sands of the deserts that our god Seti conquered with his armies, his son Ramses buried what would quench the thirst of the greedy for power."        
"I need to see the original first and then we will see if it's at all feasible to search for this so called buried prize."
"I'm willing to organize a prolonged search party to search every inch of that desert. I have the money to finance the biggest search projects and the means."
"And what will you tell the Jordanian government that you are doing at their barren deserts overturning its' red sands general. I thought you were wiser than this impulsive behavior."
The general hesitated for a few seconds but then regrouped his courage and asked, "I was counting on your political contacts in Jordan to cover me up while I do the search there. It will take time but if there is anyone that can cover me up you can."
The senator had expected such a request from the general. It was a risky adventure especially that no guarantee was present that the treasure existed at all. However being that the general will sponsor the whole expedition from his private pocket he would only be a profit collector burdening no troubles but a couple of phone calls. The whole idea sounded worth a try at the end. 
He managed a smile when he spoke and granted the general his request, "Then it’s the fife zero five zero policy. Other than that I'm afraid you're on your own general." 
"Then it's business as usual. Thank You. "
"I will expect you to update me on your travel arrangements…"
"Yes of course?" The general gulped down what remained of the drink in his cup and eyed the senator head towards the entrance of the living room. But before he departed he turned around and warned, "No mistakes General. Let the success of your up coming distinguished campaign plead for you and erase away the inconvenience you caused to the big five concerning the police raid on your sugar shipment. If all goes well I will talk to them personally for you so don't fail me."
The general wasn't a fool and felt that the Senator didn't buy a single word of his assurances to him. The senator knew what was going on. He was in a huge life threatening predicament with the most lethal mafia in New York about to liquidate him from life. It's a good thing he gave him the map bait to buy some time to sort out the mess he gotten himself into. But coming back to New York was like walking into the gas chamber. No and never. His route was New York, Jordan then Cairo. His life long friend there would help him; and he would live one filthy rich life with the loot from Jordan. His guts boiled with anticipation at what wealth could be buried underneath the red sands of the infamous Wadi Rum desert. Buried treasure; golden antiques his mind raged with the millions he would make from this expedition; and possibly all would be sold in no time and the money deposited into his own private bank accounts. "Its true you are a smart senator but nobody knows war tactics like a general does especially when it’s a life and death situation." He thought. 

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