Now that Joe has finally shown his true colours, it's about time for events to speed up a little, don't you think? Ready, steady, go...
"Sir? I checked back- the watch is positive about it, West and Su were definitely not in one of the vehicles that were sighted driving into Al Simhara"
"So... shouldn't we go inside the tomb to see... if.."
"Yes. We should do that"
"Yes. We should do that"
Dear God I hope we didn' t take to great a risk here... what if they killed them and disposed of the bodies somewhere in the Desert, on the way back?
"Splendid, Ahmed, you actually made the way back to the Ritz with less than four detours. I am impressed... now would you care to stop and let me get off, eventually?"
"And then, straight to the warehouse, remember?"
"Fine. Very well. I will call you tomorrow, then"
"And then, straight to the warehouse, remember?"
"Fine. Very well. I will call you tomorrow, then"
And while Joe is returning to his air conditioned luxury retreat...
... Ahmed dutifully drives on to do as he was told and supervise the storing of the loot at the dubious warehouse he has been renting for solely this purpose"Ahmed? You know... you can count on my any day when it comes to some nice clean theft or robbery... but... leaving those two out there in the desert... that's murder, my man..."
"Nope, as soon as I have returned the Jeep to the excavation site, say, day after tomorrow, it's just another one of those tragic accidents that happen to dumb hobby archeologists all the time"
And from day after day after tomorrow, I'll never talk or even think about this crappy business ever again...
Curse the day I ever met that academic asshole
The sun is blindingly blazing down on an uncaring world, not a single breeze toying with the palm leaves
I can't stop staring at the sky
I can't stop thinking of them, trapped out there in the wastelands
My eyes start to water
I blink repeatedly
"What now!? "
I know that growl in his voice
I know I shut really better shut up
"Mert... about those people... you know, the two..."
"Hell with them, you heard what the boss said, didn't you?! Now how about you help me some with those boxes, you retard? "
"Yanno, just shut the hell up, yeah?"
He turns around to face the new arrivals
"Look who's finally here. Hey Ahmed!
"Mert. What is this, are trying to bullshit me? Why's all that stuff still up on the pickup?"
Ahmed frowning scares me shitless
"`Cause you left me here with that retarded twig to do all the work, that's why! Kid 's to weak to lift a transport box on his own, so t'was all up to me!"
Ahmed raises an eyebrow
Ahmed raising an eyebrow is no better
"Really. Well we are here now, are we not? Sayeed, anything you want to say?"
I flinch again
"Fine. - What are you waiting for? Unload the cargo, everyone!"
All start to drag boxes off the pickup truck
All laugh at me
All scare me
I am scared all the time
We keep carrying stuff inside
Must be noon by now
It's so hot
My eyes keep wandering off to the sky, the desert
I can not think of anything else
All I see are their faces
How they sit out there in the desert sun
Staring up at the Doctor
Ahmed is on the phone
Ahmed it trying to call the Doctor
Ahmed is cursing sinfully because the Doctor does not pick up, once again
Ahmed is on the phone while they are dieing out there in the desert
"What you're staring at?"
"I am looking for the little creep. He keeps sneaking off when there is work ahead, didn't you notice? Sayeed!! Sayeed, where are you?!"
"SAYEED! Get your sorry ass back over here!"
I stop dead
Aziz is not as bad as the others
Aziz is family
Aziz rarely hits me
I slowly turn around to face him
"What are you doing, creep? Get back to work!"
"I... I'll be right back... the sun... is so hot..."
Aziz rolls his eyes up
"You're such a cissy, cousin... alright, five minutes"
"Thank you Aziz..."
Aziz is going to kill me if he finds out
But I don't care
I don't matter anyway
Slowly, I turn my back on him again and take out my mobile
I dial the number
I draw a deep breath when the lady answers the phone
The lady sounds like a nice lady
"Uh, hello... this is me... Sayeed... are you the police? There are two people in the desert, they have no car! Please, you must go there and..."
"Freeze, everybody- you are under arrest..."
"I knew it! I just knew it - that freaking Doctor!!!!"
Ah, right, the Doctor with a capital D...
what about him?
Ah finally... this heat is unbearable, I can hardly wait to slip into that whirlpool
With a relieved sigh I walk into the nice and refreshing cool of the entrance hall
Wait. Something is wrong here
Karim is avoiding me, looking everywhere but my direction? What's going on here?!
Dear friends, I smell a rat. No idea what's the matter, but I better...
"Well you have been keeping us waiting, Doctor! Almost thought you would not make it... good afternoon to you"
"... Doctor Giovanni Carella, I arrest you on suspicion of aggravated robbery, grave-robbing and of attempted murder. You have the right to remain silent..."
No. No, no, pretty pretty please
"Well, Denim. How about adding some personal touch to this arrest?"
"I'd love to, Major Polat. May I?"
"Uh- oh, you're not gonna like that one, buddy..."
"You don't even remember me, do you? But JOEY, I remember you all to well! Twelve years ago, you framed my uncle, alongside with that petty little thieve West. Houssam al Nomiri? Name rings a bell? Shop owner? You practically came to our house every day! You even courted my cousin Mira!"
Crap! Denim, Houssam's little niece?!
"Eh, uh, well, yes, I..."
"Good! You remember, eh? You know, I have a little message for you!"
"Take that one from my family - with LOVE!"
"My uncle hung himself in prison, Joey Carella. I am not a religious person, but I think I will pray tonight. Pray to the gods of justice that you will be sentenced for life!"
"Are you done, sergeant?"
"Yes M'am. Please remove that piece of crap now, before I give in to temptation and beat him to pulp"
"You go ahead..."
"Found 'em, Sir! And they are alright, too!"
"And about time, officers, if I may say so"
"Jep, we were starting to worry a bit here..."
"Sorry we kept you waiting, the whole operation took a little longer than originally expected"
"I don't know what to say. Without your help, all this would not have been possible... and it's not like you owed the Al Simhara Police Department a thing in the world"
"Well, yeah, depends on how you look at it... no hard feelings, officer. I am just glad this is all over now"
"So I understand that all went as you planned it today?"
"Fortunately yes, Miss Su. Deputy, how about we take this fine citizens back to their hotel now? I think the formalities can wait until tomorrow"
"Sure Sir, with pleasure. If you would follow me?"
"I am sorry to say, we will not be able to return the Jeep to you straight away. It's considered a piece of evidence and will have to be examined more closely..."
"Not a problem, officer. I don't think we will need it during what remains of our stay here... but please inform Mr. Foladi, will you? I would not want to be charged for the overtime"
"That will be taken care of Miss Su, don't worry"
She´s so beautiful...
"Hey Nick, don't dawdle- or do you want to stay a bit longer?"
How much longer will I have the chance to look at her, anyway?
"Naw, not really... I was just... thinking..."
She knits her brows in that unique way...
"About what, exactly?"
How long will this last?
"Nevermind. Let's go, eh?"
The sun has long set as the police car finally reaches the outskirts of Al Simhara, the stars sparkling brightly in the desert night´s sky
"I am sorry, we should have brought some blankets, it´s getting really cold... should be about ten more minutes until we reach the Oriental."
|Ten more minutes... I can hardly believe that we actually made it out of this in one piece. I never thought that things would turn out that... crazy|
I had this uneasy feeling of being watched
As it turned out, I was right. One of the police officers was obviously following us around
I recall how the anger started to rise in me
How dare he?!
But this feeling ebbed away as soon as I realized how uncomfortable he looked
He kept shifting his weight like a schoolboy who had messed up and did not know how to confess
What to do? Nick had been so upset after that encounter at the café... then again, he was engaged in a vivid conversation with the shop owner
I decided to take the chance and went outside to secretly talk to Omairat
I thought he would try to interrogate me, but oh boy was I mistaken. I hardly managed to greet him as he already blurted out what felt like a telephone book of apologies, explanations, and whatnot
He was so nervous that it was quiet hard to understand what he was talking about, as the speed he was talking in actually affected his simlish badly
But after some confusion, I finally grasped what he wanted
He wanted our help.
In fact, he was begging me for it.
Apparently, officer Omairat had been having second thoughts about Nick´s arrest back in the day and had never really let go of his suspicions... he had been investigating further long time after the case had been officially closed, and come up with more and more evidence that Joe had been in the whole thing, too... and that maybe, just maybe Nick had not been lieing about having been framed.
So when he learned about Carella´s renewed expedition plans and the fact that we were travelling to Simhara as well, he finally saw a chance to make it up
But he could not count on the help of his fellow officers in Al Simhara. He had to contact his superior authority-
and he needed us to cooperate
I told him I would consider it
The day we discovered the tomb was when I knew this plan might actually work- if only Nick would be willing to take the risk
So I filled him in on Omairat´s idea and our part in his scheme
I did not really expect him to be all for it, but Nick surprised me once again
"Yanno... a month ago, maybe... I would have... but screw that. I know back home I told you I don´t give a shit about Joe and all that, but who am I kidding? It´s just not true. If you guys think we can kick his sorry ass hard- I am in"
So we kept the PD updated all the time, and while Carrella´s minions were watching us, they were under surveillance all the time themselves
Dear god, who could have guessed that he would be pychotic enough to want us dead?! I am so glad we took Omairats advice and hid some supplies at the tomb...
not that this would have done us any good if he had decided to kill us on the spot
The thought makes me shiver even more than the cold night
"So, this is it, for today... we will still need your testimony about the gang´s attack at the excavation site, though"
"Well thank you very much for the lift, officer! Naturally we will visit you at the watchhouse tomorrow! Do we have to be there at a particular time?"
"Oh no, any hour will do. Stop by whenever you rested enough!"
"As long as it´s before 4 pm, that would be the end of our shift, please?"
"Should be manageable..."
"I think so, too. Good night to you, officers!"
"And off they go..."
"Nick, are you good?"
"Seriously? I´ve been better... going back to that place is not really something I am to hot about, Le. Are you coming, too?"
"Of course I am! There is positively no way that I will let you go there on your own"
"Ok so let´s do this"
"So... this is the very place where you..."
"Yes. Over there, that´s the cell block. Offices to the left, reception to the right... come on Le, I´d rather be out of here again as soon as possible"
Oh my god... of all people...
"Good day to you, officer"
"West. I heard about that little charade Omairat and you have been playing behind my back- nice one! I bet you are seriously expecting me to apologize to you now, don´t you?"
"For calling me a liar on top of thieve, robber, and more? Nope.... guess that would be to much to ask, right"
"Listen, shouldn´t we simply leave the past in the past- and deal with the matters at hand now? Officer Al Hibri?"
"I don´t ..."
"She is right, officer. Can´t we just move on? I am so sick and tired of the past... can´t you just try to give the present a chance, too?"
"I guess I could try... ah let´s go. My collegue is already waiting for you and your friend. Follow me"
"Imad, West and Su are here for the testimony!"
"Thank you Mounia. I am finished with this one, would you please return him to the cell while I speak to our friends?"
"With pleasure. You! Get up and over here!"
"Now there´s a good boy- move it, now!!
"Now where does that leave us now... first of all, thank you for coming. I took the liberty to prepare the testimony forms already, based on what you told me yesterday..."
I can not help but smile- he wants to get rid of us just as much as Nick wants to get away from here, no doubt about it
"Aw officer, how helpful of you! Please let me read it, so we can sign... and please hand me the simharish version, too, just for formality's sake, of course... "
Soon enough, we are done with the formalities and it is time to say goodbye
"So, Mr. West, let me thank you once again for your cooperation. You helped the Al Simhara PD take down quiet a few of the most annoying criminals roaming the desert, alongside with... your... old companion... ahem. Anyway, if you should come to our beautiful country again, feel free to visit..."
"What? Hell no- eh, I mean, thanks for the invite, but come on. We´ll both be leading happier lifes if we never meet again, right?"
"Good bye, Omairat!"
"Farewell to you, West..."
Farewell... shit, I will be faring so much better leaving this place once again, this time for good. Walking out of hell, again... and this time I won´t take it with me in my dreams
Have fun, Joey.
Have a lot of fun here.
Just like I did
"Good morining, Ladies! ALL STAND BACK RIGHT NOW!"
"What do you want now? Didn´t we do all you want us? You never satisfied- M´am?"
"Cheeky, are we today? It might come as a surprise to you, but this time I am not here for you"
"This is about you, Sayeed. Rise and shine!"
"Yes, Sayeed. The court decided that you are to be transferred to a youth correction institution. Seems like the judge thinks there is still hope for you... now get up and moving!"
Wide- eyed and disbelieving, Sayeed gets up from the floor and hesitantly starts towards the exit... but this is no cruel joke, it´s for real
He will get away from the gang
Officer Al Hibri´s gaze falls on another inmate just as she is about the leave the cell
She is a little surprised, normally this one would throw a tantrum whenever she or one of her collegues shows up
She wonders if he has finally realized that he will be staying a VERY long time...
After a second or two, she moves on
Yes, it´s Joe sitting there on that smelly matrass near the cell door... most likely the very same matrass Nick has been using many years ago
He has learned a great deal about dealing with other people lately
Most important lesson learned? Hm, good question really... "what goes up, must come down", maybe?
"Time to play, Doctor"