Nightmare In Egypt…Part 10/ Feras Werr


Finding his private chambers was very easy as what was left of the sunset that seeped through the big windows lighted a portion of the stores. There were lights available but he didn't know where their switches were. As soon as he searched the wall on his right for the light switches he impulsively shook his hand as he felt something crawl on it. He brushed his denims and shirt to make sure that the bug didn't jump on them. Within seconds he turned on the light and gasped at the population of filthy big roaches that were walking on the walls and on all the furniture; sleeping was impossible. It was a five meter by five meter room with beige walls, a single bed, small round table in the middle and a small table with a small cooker on it at a far corner. One empty cupboard over the cooker was available. The bathroom was close by in another room and was occupied by its flying small tenants. These quarters were obviously uninhabited since a long time. "Why?" he wondered. There were at least five hundred tons of bulk sugar alone in the first level, the second level he would inspect shortly. 
Even if it was a hospitable room he would have to find a way accordingly to keep awake. This area was full of danger and anything could come up; theft, shootouts. As he stood at the entrance of the small room he spotted some coffee in a glass besides a coffee kettle on the small round table. It was cold but maintained a decent smell. He stirred it a little to make sure there were no pests inside then poured it in the kettle. He headed to the small cooker and within seconds the kettle was heating over the stove. 
He giggled at the idea of him drinking that coffee regardless of the roaches around it. If he hadn't enrolled in the Police Academy earlier on in his career and walked up his ladder of achievements, and taken those extensive police trainings, he would still be a wimp with a weak stomach unable to boil a glass of coffee to drink. "New York Police truly makes men." He thought. 
Soon the solution was dancing with heat in the kettle. He poured it back in the glass and took a sip. Suddenly the glass froze in his hand. Something caught his attention. It was a significant surge of cold air coming from the bathroom; it felt like a door or window that opened for a second's time then closed within the complete silence of the stores. The garage doors were firmly closed and the two wide windows in the stores shut for security reasons. The weather outside wasn't all that windy. What could it be? He walked up to the bathroom and looked around. The bathroom didn't have any windows although he was sure the current came from it. 
The Toilet facilities in front of him included a toilet seat, sink and a small square bathtub. After a moment and seeing that all was still, he decided that if it happened again he would check it out further. As he was about to turn his head he gasped with surprise. The bathtub was quivering at one of its ends up and down. "What on Earth!!!" he exclaimed. He approached it calmly and studied it. It resembled literally an unstable trap door. He lifted it on the loose side and smiled widely as a staircase was revealed. A series of lights adjacent to the staircase automatically came on as the bathtub was raised high. 
David pulled out his pistol that he kept underneath his socks at the side of his ankle, a small automatic gadget for emergencies designed especially to be hidden in small places, with an appetite for five eight millimeter steel bullets. He descended the stairs slowly, the steel steps releasing soft thuds underneath his heavy but careful footsteps. Thirty steps led him to a short corridor that had a wooden door swaying from a cool current at the end of it. He opened it. 
It led to a large circular room that was about fifty meters square. There was a long rectangular table in the center with two stools resting besides it. Two open bulk sacs filled with what seemed like sugar rested silently close to the stools. Empty transparent plastic sacks were lying carelessly on the floor. David approached the bulk sacks and checked them out. He sprinkled some of their contents on his tongue. It was cocaine. It wasn't hard to figure it out. He was in a packaging room for cocaine. 
There were at least eighty kilograms of cocaine in those sacs, enough evidence to place the general in the slammer for a life time. He was in need to reach a telephone but feared Ivan's return to the stores at any time. He could possibly wait till tomorrow and report his findings to headquarters but feared he might be tailed with spies on his way back. He was still a freshman amongst this group and will be under surveillance for a period of time. Even Tracy who moved into his apartment to avoid any suspicions around their undercover assignment wouldn't be able to move freely. The information could be sent via the codes but that wouldn't be deliverable till he met with the secret police liaison at Steak Lovers Restaurant in three days. 
He quickly began walking back towards the stairs while pondering the situation but stopped in his place. Something caught his attention. It was a big piece of paper lying peacefully on the ground underneath a transparent plastic sac. He picked it up and studied it underneath the lamp that hovered over the table. It was a map with encrypted ancient Egyptian writing. His eyes grew wide with astonishment as he read the English translation that was written underneath the carefully drawn 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." 
No wonder Ivan wanted man power, and no wonder he attempted to buy his loyalty. He needed people in great need of money to work at the future digs and keep silent. "So its not all about drugs General. What are you planning to dig out of the sands?" he asked as he studied the piece of paper. Something eerie was about to go down west of the Mediterranean Sea. Who knows if the general himself might head this operation? Headquarters and Chase had to be notified. There was no way of keeping from them something like this for a long time. 
The cool surge of air returned only this time it was at the bottom of the room and flowed around his ankles. It reminded him of what drove him to this underground chamber in the first place. This room wasn't completely closed after all. There seemed to be an outside entrance. "Its true curiosity killed the cat, but I'm one tough one," he thought as he folded the paper in half, placed it in his pocket and checked out the premises. 
The room was semi circularly shaped with jagged uneven perimeters. There were no doors apparent to the room except the entrance he came in through. However he followed the currents that were cooling his ankles till he found himself facing a wall of solid brown rock. The currents were coming from a small gap almost three meters in length directly at its bottom. "A portion of that wall must budge he thought." There was a secret passage behind it. He placed the gun back inside his socks and tried to push it out of its place. It didn't move an inch.
He walked towards the table and faced the wall. His hunch was the possible presence of a lever to activate it somewhere. His eyes roamed the entire wall area without finding anything. "It had to be somewhere?" he thought with frustration as he looked towards the top edge. Within seconds he was smiling with satisfaction. It glowed in front of his eyes like a jewel. It was a T shaped steel handle. But reaching it was totally impossible without a ladder. The ceiling of the room was high and it was at the top edge of the wall. 
The entire room was empty aside its few contents meaning that the mechanism used to reach the lever was taken away after it served its purpose. Obviously someone didn't want this door to be opened at all. "Well this was about to be changed," He thought as his mind raced with potential solutions. 
Within moments he concluded that the table was the only thing to assist him for the purpose. It was approximately two meter in length and would boost him up off the grounds after a long jump allowing him to reach it. He moved the table to the proper distance required while still keeping it off of a distance from the wall, then stood at the far end of it. "If this doesn't work, nothing will."
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. On the third step of the sprint he would jump. He would have to achieve at the climax of his jump a height of one meter to reach that lever. He could do it. He just had enough faith in his fitness and was sure it would work. After some concentration his feet moved, his mind counting carefully. At the third step he was exactly at the tip of the table. He sprinted in the air as powerfully as his knees could jump and reached out towards the lever. His hands gripped the lever as he collided into the wall with a noisy thud. His body shuddered with pain as he felt the solidity of the rocks against himself. Within seconds the weight of his body pulled the lever and he allowed himself to drop. He dropped towards the floor, feet hitting the earth first then his body. He sat for a couple of seconds shaken by the stunt he just pulled till he regained his senses. The wall began swinging upwards, the top tucking inwards like a garage door. David moved out of its way and watched with amazement till it completed its mechanical movement.   
The light of the packaging room lighted the contents of the secret room to a good extent. It was not more than twenty square meters in size. It was properly ventilated with an A/C unit, explaining the source of the draft from time to time. It contained three closed boxes and one that was open. David got up and approached the open box, his body shivering from the coolness of the drafts. He gasped as he saw its contents. The antique statue that lied silently in its place on the top of a mound of hay was exquisitely valuable. He picked it up and studied it. It was an ancient Roman bust of a leader. Nevertheless history wasn't his strong point and he couldn't guess what figure it reflected. 
"Eighty kilogram of Cocaine, a secret room full of valuables, a map of some anonymous ancient site that the mafia was about to exploit, I must be in some sort of treasure adventure legend. This is just too much," he thought. The general their number one suspect might be planning a trip abroad. Action has to be taken. He moved out of the room and moved the table exactly underneath the tip of the open wall. He climbed on top and jumped grabbing the edges of the wall. It moved easily downwards with his grasp and closed. He stepped down and stormed towards the long staircase. Soon he was returning the bathtub to its place. He headed towards one of the store garage doors and unlocked the heavy lock that firmed it in its place. He raised it up and met the outside warm fresh air. 
His watch read midnight exactly. The skies were clear and its stars that surrounded the dominant full moon were shining brilliantly. A loud silence prevailed along the neighborhood he was in interrupted only with light musical echoes of a night club probably in an adjacent neighborhood. But not to his surprise of course. The midnights here were for the mafia, their connections and harlotry. People know too much to stroll the streets here after nine. Any family errands must be run before that in ample time or the chances of its owners returning hope safely would be greatly diminished.
Soon he spotted a telephone booth that was lying a small distance away with a figure in it. He hurried towards it to find a woman in a sexy revealing red dress storming out of it cursing. 
"No luck?" he asked with a big smile. She was quite an attractive lady at a height of about five feet and a half, with blond hair and a white complexion. Her black eyes widened with want as she watched him study her superb femininity that was radiating from her sexy apparel. He felt involuntarily aroused at the full cleavage line of her ample breasts as it showed underneath her slip like dress that she wore. 
The woman shot an over all glance at David's towering height. Suddenly her frown turned into a hospitable smile while her red lips moved, "Nothing public works here honey." 
David gestured her to let him pass and asked, "Mind if I try?" 
The lady moved with a sexy swagger that sent whip like stings all over David's soul as she answered, "I would have liked you to try something else."
David replied, "Some other time perhaps." As he placed some change in the telephone he heard the tick tocks of her high heels fade away. He attempted to dial the number of NYSD while regretfully thinking, "Dam that was one sexy harlot," 
The number didn't connect. The only safest means of communications messed up. Just his luck! He walked out of the booth and kicked it in frustration while a police car was passing by. It parked instantly by the pole and its officers, a male and female, stepped out of the car pulling out their weapons. "NYSD Freeze!"
"Calm down! Please! I can explain everything!"
"Keep silent and turn around!"
David did as he was told while pleading, "Don't do this; you are messing up my job as an undercover agent for NYSD!"
The woman kept her gun pointed at him while the man cuffed him, "Are you high on drugs? You will be doing time for destruction of public property and drugs if you're high. You have the right to remain silent…"
The general was passing by with two of his security cars when they spotted the arrest. All hell broke loose within seconds as the cars parked a small distance away from the police car and his security guards stepped out. They shielded themselves with the open doors of their Fords and pointed their machine guns at the cops whom did the same. David ran away from the shooting scenes towards the stores and looked as the shoot outs broke out. The air filled magnificently with wild fire power as the general's security guards showered the police car and the cops with their heavy machine guns. Fiery sparks covered the car and tore through it's doors as the cops danced from the vicious Kalashnikov bullets then dropped down dead. Rivers of blood tainted the asphalt as David stood looking with his heart pumping quickly from panic at the messy scene. Not a single soul was peeking from his balcony or apartment window despite the scene. Nothing was moving around and nothing was heard but the heavy thuds of the squad of death as it marched towards the stores. 
Suddenly a voice called in the distance. "Bring the young man to me!"
David marched back silently with his escort without saying a word towards the Mercedes Benz. The window of the back seat opened. "What were the cops doing besides my stores?"
David almost released a gasp as his eyes widened with surprise. He expected to see Ivan rather than the top authority of the mafia he was after. He was looking straight at the number one suspect in the world of mafia in the year 1960 in the US, and only thirty meters away rested criminal evidence enough to hurl him in the slammer for at least two hundred years, but to no use. 
David paused for a couple of seconds before he answered with a blank face and a stuttering tone of voice, "I can assure you…things are otherwise…They were attempting to arrest me."
"I have no room for incompetence young man within my employees."
"Ivan your executive assistance employed me only today sir." He took in a deep breath trying to press down the shots of panic that were still in control of him and continued, "I heard some shuffling outside the stores. I opened the garage to check out the perimeter when I saw a few young men tampering with the public phone. I scared them off and ran after them but one of them swore at me. I hurled a rock at him but I failed to aim correctly and ended up damaging the phone. This is when the police stopped and arrested me. I tried to explain to them sir but…"
Suddenly multiple police sirens sounded in the distances, "Get in my friend, we have a lot of talking to do. Sergei! Remove the man's handcuffs." One of the men picked up a small needle gadget from his pockets and grabbed his hands. Within seconds his hands were free. David hurried to the stores and closed its open door. He hurried back and hopped in the Benz. Within seconds the cars moved swiftly out of the area leaving behind the tormented police cars with its massacred victims on the asphalt. 
David looked at the general's face that read absolutely nothing. No feedback was apparent to even give him a hint that he bought his story or not. It was obvious to him that he was seated besides a man with unfathomable depths and character, an unpredictable human being from his steel disposition that he was in. He wasn't even moved a single bit by the fact that his men just slaughter two human lives. David gulped hard as the coming minutes will truly buy him loyalty or be his end. 
After a fifteen minute pause the General finally broke the silence and spoke, "Unfortunately Ivan suffered a fatal accident. You see David…"
David jumped in his place and gave his host a look of surprise whose face was glowing and darkening repeatedly from the neon lights that lighted the streets, "You know me then."
"Ivan gave me a telephone call a while ago and told me he employed a new store keeper and informed me of your name. He also informed me that you seemed like a trustworthy man…But…well…"
David's heart skipped a beat at the last spoken words, "But…well…" 
His heart beats raced once again wildly as the pictures of the police cops dancing from the impact of the machine gun bullets sparked in his mind. "Dear God help me," he thought.
The general resumed within seconds, "Well a very sorrowful accident happened with him and he lost his life." 
David released a sigh of relief as the general continued explaining, "You see some time ago I received a very dear friend to me. He was a high ranking general in the British army and we both go back a long way's time. We fought simultaneously in World War two. From time to time General Edward Banks practices his hobby of hunting deer and at times wild beasts within the breathtaking wilderness of Africa. Admiring my love for wildlife myself, along he comes to visit me home and brings with him two beautiful small lions. I appreciated his gift and kept them ever since. They grew up in my hospitality over the years and I just grew very fond of them…and so did Ivan. However it seems when he was dropping them their food as usual he must have fallen with the meat and the accident happened."
David shuddered involuntarily at the piece of news. "I'm very sorry for the accident sir."
The general gave David a gracious smile and replied, "Call me general."
"What about the cops your men just shot down?” 
"I’m afraid they aren’t alive to tell anyone of what went on? Our stores are closed and none of our men were ever here in the lower east side at midnight." The general gave David a very sharp look and asked, "Understood David."
David gulped hard at the shrewd tactics of the General and assured instantly, "I never saw anything General. Before Ivan sorrowfully died I gave him a promise to be faithful to my job and duties. I'm still at my word…he also said…I mean to say…" David grew hesitant and stopped speaking. 
The general noticing answered back, "Speak with no shame David."
"Well he said...I don't want you to understand me wrongly but…you see I have some financial commitments towards someone I owe money…and if I don't pay off…my wife will dump me and I will lose my home…I will extremely appreciate it if you allow me to keep my job, if not at the stores anywhere."
The general looked at David with a smile and replied, "Ivan was never totally faithful to me. You see as much as you think you are shrewd and try to double cross people, you will fall at one point and your cunningness will be disclosed." 
David gave the general a perplexed look. "I don't understand."
The general ordered the chauffeur, "Go to Arabian Evenings please. I think I'm in some mood to celebrate."
He looked at David and asked, "Are you in the mood for Arabic cuisine David?"
"I never mind food General."
"David, Ivan was my right hand in a lot of things. The least of his responsibilities were supervising the sugar shipment's arrival from the port to our stores. My work is much more sensitive than sugar shipments and I used to enjoy his acuteness and management skills. But Ivan was never aware he had a weak point. You see I graciously gave him quarters in my own villa. However he didn't know that he spoke during his sleep. I first noticed this six months ago when I walked in to wake him up during an early outing. He was yapping about how he was going to meet my partner at a rendezvous point. That was when I tailed him with one of my men to see what was this all about. I discovered a lot of things from then on. I'm at good terms with my partner but what I didn't appreciate about him was that he bought one of my men with his money to have news about me. A senator in parliament married to the daughter of an economical giant and I found a thousand ways to make his life miserable. I more or less researched an Egyptian mistress of his." 
The General released a victorious laugh and continued calmly, "As for Ivan, I still had a purpose for him but I was going to find a solution that would have quieted him down for good. I know you are probably asking yourself as to why I'm telling you all this."
David looked with an inquisitive face at the general and commented, "It crossed my mind that you have invested within our brief companionship dearly General…but I can assure you that I'm at your service and the information will be dealt with discreetly."
"David you speak like a well educated man. Your outside appearance and mean scars on your body speak otherwise."
David stuttered and cursed his mistake within himself. He replied cautiously, "I never said I'm without education. I have a college degree in fine arts. But my mother died at my early childhood years suffering from a weak heart. I grew up with my father and a stepmother. However my father owned an import & export company and supplied the US army with material from time to time. He was at Pearl Harbor in a meeting with a high ranking officer when the Japanese attacked. He died. With my father's death my stepmother soon took control of his company and bank accounts, but found no reason for me to be with her. She disowned me. I took the streets at twenty years of age and the streets raised my will as a man. Very soon I made a friend who transported dough for an Italian group. I made some money but the group soon was torn down by the NYSD's secret agents. Soon I got addicted to gambling and the casinos were a way of living to me. But things soon changed when I fell in love with Cindy my present wife. She did her best to straighten me out and she even talked to a friend that worked in one of the flower companies to find a job. It worked out for a while and I worked as a delivery man but gambling just doesn't want to leave me. I resisted the tables for two months but soon I was back. I lost all my money and furniture to games. I'm still in debt worth two hundered dollars general."

The general answered back with interest, "I will make a deal with you David. Since gambling is your life I will let you play the game of your life."
David's face beamed with interest as he asked, "How is that?"
"I need a new assistant to help out with some of the chores that Ivan used to do. I need a loyal keen minded person to help me arrange a trip to Jordan. Since you have a college degree you are the best qualified person for the job. I have reason to believe that there is an ancient Egyptian treasure buried underneath the red sands of Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan. The stakes are an even fifty fifty. Either there is something valuable down there or our financial expenses will be spent for nothing. Our adversary is fate."
The general looked inquisitively at David waiting for his answer. David knew no Gambler could beat down such an offer. It was an indirect trap. If he was to refuse, the General will know that he was lying to him. David smiled back with satisfaction and answered, "Let us play our cards and arrange for the trip. By the time we dig out the desert sands, Fate will play his deck of cards and we shall see General."
The general reached out towards his pocket and pulled out a thick bundle of greens banded together. "Here are four thousand dollars, two thousand to settle your debt problems, and two to begin covering expenses for our campaign. By the day after tomorrow I will expect you to have arranged for everything."
David took the money surprised and answered, "Yes General. I shall begin to arrange things immediately."
"By the way, dinner is on me David."
David was content at all that the general brought his story and that he was again able to sell himself to the services of the mafia. Two days from now, he will give a full report to his liaison at the restaurant then take off with the General to Jordan and to meet what lies waiting for them there.

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