Hours later, in the darkness of a cold spring’s night, Daniel Iancu led his three charges towards the provincial border with the Northern Cape. It hadn’t been easy, walking 15-20 kilometers every night, and even worse, putting up with the complaints of Martin Wolmarans’s wife while trying not to miss anymore caches. Everybody was stiff and sore, with ankles the source of countless agonies, but it turned out Sarah’s idea of comfortable and sturdy shoes was a pair of city shoes with broad 5 centimeter heels, which did absolutely nothing for her ability to walk through bushes and over ploughed land. He’d been tempted to do what Joe did in American Ninja, that is rip off the damned heels himself and make her walk like that, but it happened on its own towards the end of the second night’s walk, which pissed off Martin’s wife big time. It took her ex-husband’s hand over her mouth and a growled order to shut the fuck up before somebody heard them that prevented Dan, who was by now just short of a nuclear meltdown, from bundling his jacket to muffle the pistol and then put a bullet in her head. The woman just didn’t let up. She moaned from sunset to sunrise, proving a serious distraction as well as a drain on everyone’s emotional reserves, and the damned pink jacket she wore was a bullet magnet. Dan was on point as always, looking at the terrain, trying to keep them from being silhouetted against the sky or anything else and watching the road over a kilometer to their left. Sarah was in one of her moaning periods again and Dan was doing his best to ignore her while he paid attention to what was around. Still, she distracted him sufficiently that he didn’t see it at first. Over two kilometers away was a little spark of light. It was steady and static, so that meant it was electrical. Both good and bad, Dan thought. He said “heads up! Light ahead about two kilometers to our slightly left. It’s on the road, pointed our way right now. We’re going to walk parallel to the road and keep our distance, then I’ll take a closer look when we get perpendicular to it.”

 

They walked for another half an hour, when he realized it was to their left, so he quietly called a halt, then pulled out his binoculars. They were cheapies for bird watching, nothing to write home about, but even 10x25s had their uses. He told everybody to get down, then stretched out facing the car and looked at the scene. “Motherfucker”, Dan said quietly after a minute. Martin said “what’s up?” Dan replied “army road block. Four soldiers, two manning the road block, the others in a car behind them with the lights shining down the road at incoming traffic.” Worried, Martin said “let’s keep going”. Dan disagreed. He said “look, man. What do you think this means? I’ll tell you. It means whites have been getting out and the government is trying to catch them. We haven’t seen any traffic in a while, and that’s got me worried, but I can’t care about the whole damned country because I can barely look after you three. If there’s a road block manned by troops, it stands to reason there will be more. Now, all we’ve got is two pistols. We go around this one, but what happens when we walk into one later? We need more weapons and ammo, because I know those fuckers, they can’t shoot for shit and we’ll have better odds of survival if we can keep the next patrol at engagement ranges beyond 100 meters. We need those guns man, and whatever kit they’ve got besides. I’m gonna hit ‘em, but I need you by my side because I can definitely take two, maybe a third if I push it, but the fourth will very likely kill me. I don’t say this lightly, but it’s time to step up, bro. Now let’s drop our packs and move in as quietly as we can. There’s some bush between us and them, and we ought to make for the one which is just behind the vehicle. Once we get there, you take the fuckers in the vehicle with head shots if you can, and I’ll go for those two idiots on the road block. They’re fucking stupid, the car lights wrecked their night vision, so they won’t see us coming. Now come on, let’s get going.”

 

Whoa! Martin’s wife and kid didn’t like that one bit and tried to talk them out of it. Over her snot and tears, Dan growled “listen up! Keep your mouth shut before you give away our position. You and the kid stay here. Find some thicker cover and watch the road. Once we hit those fuckers, we’ll switch the lights on and off three times, then two. Once that happens, you walk to us with all the backpacks and then we’ll get the fuck out of there with the car. At least we won’t be walking for a while and that should be a bonus round about now, shouldn’t it? Okay, take our packs and scoot for cover, Marty and I got this. Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.” With that, Marty and Dan walked slowly and quietly towards the road block, trying to keep as much of the scant cover between them and the soldiers. After 600 meters or so, they went on their bellies, crawling slowly. It wasn’t fun and made them tired. They stopped around 100 meters away from the final bush that blocked the car’s view of them and caught their breath for a few minutes. When ready, they alternatively crawled and walked bent over, guns aimed forward. They finally got to the bush and stood there for a minute, trying to look and listen at what the troops were doing. The dumb fucks not only had lights on, but the windows were up, the vehicle was running and the guys outside even played music while all of them talked loudly. They were gonna pay for their carelessness. Some kids were about to become orphans, but that was tough cookies as far as Dan was concerned.

 

He signaled for Marty to remain there and attack the car from behind while he took the two idiots by the road block fence five meters away, then very quietly made his way to the other side of the bush. He turned to Marty, who by then had his Glock trained on the pickup truck’s rear window (turned out it wasn’t a car) and put up three fingers, then lowered one and finally, dropped the other and turned on the soldiers four meters away who still hadn’t seen them. Marty fired first. Dan opened up on the two soldiers in front of him, catching the first one in the neck. As he fell, the other was exposed while he turned to the rear, and Dan fired again, but he missed. The next round caught the soldier in his right side, going past his shoulder into the chest. He dropped too. Dan then moved to the left and forward two meters, then aimed his pistol at the vehicle, whose driver seemed to be trying to start the engine. Marty had hit the passenger and cracks in the windshield told Dan he’d missed the other guy. Dan drew a bead on the pickup’s right side and fired three rounds into the windshield. Suddenly, everything was quiet, so Dan yelled “Marty! You come to the side between the bush and bakkie, I’ll give you cover from this side. Don’t fire my way, God damn it! Just come slowly and shoot these motherfuckers when you get to the window. Let’s not have any more surprises tonight!”

 

Marty came to the passenger window as Dan had told him, then fired two slow shots into the heads of the soldiers inside the vehicle. The dipshits hadn’t worn body armor or helmets, although the soldiers at the road block did. Those inside the pickup were a sergeant and a corporal. Typical. Idiots get rank and think inconvenient procedures don’t apply to them, even if that’s what can save their lives. Oh, well. “Guess who won, motherfuckers? Yeehaa!!” yelled an exhilarated Marty. Dan was glad his buddy hadn’t frozen on his first kill, and a double at that. It turned out the screw-up with the driver wasn’t a screw-up after all, because there was a radio inside and it was probably why the fuckers were talking in the first place, making a report when Marty hit the passenger side. Shit, all’s well that ends well, Dan thought and then said “Marty, let’s pull these fuckers out and point the bakkie at your wife and kid, then give them the signal. While they come to us, we’ll strip these fuckers of what they’ve got and get ready to move”. With that, they each grabbed a soldier and pulled their dead weight out of the vehicle, then Marty moved the pickup to face where his wife and kid had taken cover and flashed the lights three times, then two more.

 

After that, he turned the vehicle left and both of them began to take jackets and boots off the dead black soldiers, and loaded battle jackets and rifles in the vehicle. It was a pretty good haul. Four pairs of military boots, two bloodstained jackets because the others were riddled with bullets, three R4 rifles with three clips each and a LMG along with ration packs, 20 fragmentation grenades, dixies (compact eating pots with foldable handles), ground sheets and sleeping bags, 5 liters’ worth of water canteens per man, almost full. Dan unloaded the LMG and put the ammo belt in the vehicle, then stuck the huge squad rifle’s barrel under the car’s front wheel and bent the barrel, after which he dumped it in the bush, reckoning there was no sense in carrying that 10 kilogram (22 pounds) monster too. Hell, the rifles were bad enough at around 5.3 kilos each (11.66 pounds) when loaded, especially for civilians, but however risky it had been, the raid was clearly worth it.

 

Just before the peanut gallery arrived, Dan washed most of the blood off the jackets and when Sarah and Dylan got there, he threw them at both with the words “put them on now”. Sarah looked at hers and smelled it, then she said “but it smells like a kaffir! I’m not putting this on!” Dan replied “I’m sorry your majesty, but it wasn’t Miss Universe and three midgets on the way to the Free State bi-annual fuck fest Marty and I just killed. Yes, Martin took out the fuckers in the bakkie while I got the others, so he’s a killer now and I’m proud of how he acquitted himself. You will put these on and you will fucking like it, first because I tell you, and second, because it may save your life in at least two ways. It’s warm and camouflaged. Maybe it’ll create enough uncertainty in the next fuckers we run into, or help hide you better than that pink nightmare you’re wearing, which has been giving me the shits ever since I saw you. On the other hand, if there’s a patrol in the bush, that jacket may help to disguise your scent and buy you enough time to shoot the motherfucker before he gets ya. Now get in the back. There are four pairs of boots. Try them on too, and pick whichever works best, but don’t throw out the rest- leave that to me for later. You’re gonna wear the boots too, or I’ll put a bullet in your cock hole next time you bitch about your fucked up shoes, hear me? Go on, git in the back, and no more talking unless you wanna leave Dylan without his mother. Marty, get in the passenger side, I’ll drive. Fuck, I hope we’re not gonna crash again…” Once more, Dan ripped off the license plates, bashed the radio to pieces, broke every brake light and indicator, leaving only the headlights, then drove slowly towards the Northern Cape.

 

End of Part 13. To be continued…

Mircea Negres

Port Elizabeth

South Africa