Thursday, January 17, 2013

Revenge for my wife

                                Revenge for my wife

          The lights were dim and giving off a yellowish glow to the room. The odor of flowers was over powering and one could smell them the minute one opened the main entrance door. William Picket sat on the first row, while family and friends stopped in front of him to pay their respects. Today he was not his normal self, the happy, vibrant and over energetic man, whom everyone loved; today he was just a shell of himself.  He was not aware of who stood in front of him, and had not really acknowledged everyone who had stopped by. The last four days had been a fog or like a bad dream he couldn't wake up from. He stared at the casket and knew he had made the right choice, for it to remain close. Having everyone see her lifeless body was not even an option for him; remembering her as the woman he had fallen in love with, is how he wanted to commemorate her.
          Scott Blacksmith arrived home to find the front door unlock and slightly ajar. He found this strange but didn't give it much thought; he walked in and closed it behind himself. After a minute of calling around the house for his wife he got no answer. He walked past the living and into the kitchen finding both rooms empty; he headed for the stairs and up to the second floor. He walked into his room and froze for a second, before stepping quickly and falling to his knees in front of his wife. He reached for her neck which confirmed what he already suspected. His head fell to her chest and he began to sob uncontrollably. He wiped back the hair from her face and stroked her cheeks; they were already cold and he knew it had been hours since the assailant had taken her life.
          Larry Taylor was in the garage working on his vintage 54 Chevy pickup that he was close to finishing when he heard the gun shot. At first he thought he was hearing things, but the second shot was undeniable. He dropped the wrench and ran into the house yelling his mother’s name. He reached the hall closet pulled the door open. While keeping his eyes down the hall, he extended his arm and retrieved it with a Glock in hand. Still not hearing a sound coming from anywhere in the house, he headed first for the kitchen knowing that his mother spent most of her time there. The kitchen was empty so he rounded the corner and peeked into the living room, no sign of mother. He dared a quick glance down the long hallway that lead to the bedrooms, empty and quiet. Keeping his back tight to the wall, the gun in his right hand and straight ahead of himself, he moved slowly using not only his eyes but also his nose. The smell that lingered in the air was strangely familiar, but at the moment he couldn’t place it and staying focus was this minute’s priority. The bathroom to his right was clear and so was his bedroom. He reached his mother’s room, turned and stepped inside to see his mother lying on the floor and the window fully opened. He ran across the room staying low till he stood next to the open window and peered out the upper pane. A dark Suburban came to a halt, a man dressed in a black suit jumped in and the vehicle sped off and vanished. Larry turned and squatted down by his mother side that seemed to be laboring to breath. He ran to her bathroom and returned with a towel and pressed it to her chest to slow the bleeding. Less than ten minutes after calling emergency services, his mother was stabilized and on her way to surgery. 
          William answered the door to find two men in full army attire standing at parade rest. After asking his name they handed him an envelope marked Classified, stood at attention, saluted him and did an about face and walked back to their army issue vehicle and left. William went back to his living room took a seat on the couch and started to read through the contents in the package. His blood started to boil and the more he read, the more furious he became; but also heartbroken to know that others were suffering just like him for these were men he served with and counted as friends. He learned from this package that one other had also lost his wife and another had his mother barely hanging on to her life. He found a one way ticket to his old base in the package. He got off the couch and went to pack his bags. For the first time in a month he had a purpose and knew the face of his enemy.
          Operation Sand Shadow had been a bust, the mark had eluded them and his wife had paid with her life. The man had left his wife and daughters behind knowing that it wasn’t them that the U.S. Government was seeking to arrest or kill if he resisted. The following day he received the news that his enemies had shot his wife dead through the heart.  Two years later, he had brought the information for one million U.S. dollars and now knew the name of every man on the eight man Ranger team that had been at that raid. He swore not to rest till each one had suffered an equal loss. Three now knew the pain and the rest would too, in due time. Fleeing from the Big Satan was not an option but a must at the moment. He felt that he had compromised himself on his last mission and couldn’t afford the risk of being caught on enemy soil. Turkey was the safest place to lay low and go undetected for a short time till the heat wore off and he could resume his revenge.
          William arrived at Fort Bragg in North Carolina less than twenty four hours after receiving the classified packet at his home. The Private first class at the gate saluted him after clearing him with his former commanding officer and William was officially back on base. It was over three years since he had left and had swore never to return, he knew better then to swear these days. He had become a Christian eight years ago, five years before retiring from the army and swearing just wasn’t something William did. After knocking on the door, he turned the knob and walked in. The other seven team members where already assembled in the office along with his commanding officer. Five of the men were in their DCU’s and were still active service men. The other two Blacksmith and Taylor had each retired one year apart after he had done so. Commander Gray was the first to speak when William entered the room, it’s good to see you again Lieutenant Picket. William just nodded and proceeded to shake hands with everyone in the room. The other men including his commander extended their condolences for his loss and he did the same for Scott Blacksmith who had suffered a loss as well.
          “We all know the reason why we are here today, operation Sand Shadow was a total failure and has now come back to bite us in the hide.” The commander’s gruff voice went on to say, “Omar Samadi has been a high level suspect for the past eight years and has eluded our government. He has been link to numerous terror activities since we last try to capture him. We have very good Intel that he has entered our borders and we also have eyes on him as we speak. He has resurfaced in Turkey and is heavily guarded and armed. Now our government is not going to sanction or risk fallout like it did four years ago when we failed to bring Omar down. But what he has done to this unit for his self righteous revenge cannot and will not go unpunished. What we as a unit decided here today can never leave this room, understood?” All the men present replied, “Yes sir” in one accord. “Well Lieutenant Picket, the ball is in your court and once again you will be point in this operation if you so choose to be a part.” Without hesitation and with a strong conviction, William replied, “I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t going to be part of finding the man who killed my Jackie.” The room went silent for a minute and the commander spoke the last words, “good, then you men make the plans and anything you need from weapons to transport have it on my desk by 0900 tomorrow, and I will authorize even if it cost me these bars and strips.” 
          It was four years since his last night jump and William was glad to be on the ground. The team was now huddled about two klicks from their target and waiting till 0300 to make their move. Two team members had gone on ahead to setup surveillance, do some recon and report back to William. They had about five hours before they would all rendezvous for their attack. Four of the men took power naps while one stood watch. They did this in one hour increments. William laid there but could not close his eyes without seeing the lifeless body of his wife in his mind’s eye. He prayed that God would give him the wisdom to do what was right and honorable in His eyes. He knew that revenge and anger could destroy a man’s soul, yet he couldn’t bring himself to forgive the man who had killed his wife. In many ways he also understood how Omar felt and why he had exacted out his revenge on the men who had in his mind, murdered his loved one. William knew that he had not personally killed the man’s wife, but in a way he felt responsible as the leader of this unit. Four years ago Sergeant Miller had been a corporal and a new member of his team and William knew that the man was not ready for such a mission. At that time, one of his men had taken ill and he had made the decision that today, had them back peddling to correct what had happen that night long ago.  Corporal Miller had been one of the first to enter the home of Omar Samadi that night and in a minute of quick decisions he had mistaken a stick for a rifle and shot Omar’s wife through the heart. The incident was ruled accidental and a casualty of war, but to Omar it was plain cold murder and he had taken it out on Jackie and two other innocent women. William was also worried about his old friend and once his number two in charge. Taylor has not spoken a word since they left Fort Bragg and had the look of a man, on a one man mission. William was afraid that Taylor would not give Omar the chance to turn himself in, and that he would just shoot him on sight.
          Every man had taken at least a two hour power nap and was fresh and ready to complete the mission ahead. The unit reached the AO where the two men on recon were hunkered down and settled in for last minute instructions. After looking over the house where Omar was camped out, William divided his unit in two teams. William ordered the two recon men who were also a sniper and spotter team, and always worked well together, to keep an eye on the team.  William took two men and headed to the north side of the house. Taylor and two other men headed south to enter through the rear, and prevent Omar from escaping. When the sniper gave the all clear, the house was immediately lit-up with stun and flash grenades. The four men standing watch had been disarmed and rendered useless in under a minute before the fire party even started. The power to the house had been disabled and every man wore their NVG’s so the six men in Omar’s band were quickly at a disadvantage. The all clear came over the com as William entered the room where Omar slept and was now being held on his knees by Taylor and two other men from the unit. The first words William heard was that of Corporal Miller, “we’re here to arrest him sir, not to murder anyone.” Taylor turned his attention directly at Miller; “Shut up” was the reply that came from Taylor which held lots of anger with it. William walked into the room and immediately said; trying not to speak to anyone in particular, “Stand down soldiers.” With his assault rifle still pointed at Omar’s chest Taylor replied, “You are not my commanding officer and this man murdered my wife.” The words pierced William as though he had spoken them himself and to himself, he knew then that he was walking a fine line whether to let Taylor finish the deed. “You’re right, I’m not your commanding officer, but I’m your friend and I don’t think you really want to do this or you would have done it already. Every one of us has taken more than his share of lives, but I don’t believe for a minute that any of us is capable of cold blooded murder.” Taylor replied with even more anger and William was wondering if he had lost control of this situation, “he killed my wife in cold blood and he should die the same way.” Every time Taylor mentioned the word wife, William wanted to walk out of the room and let Taylor have his revenge for the two of them, but he couldn’t. “I think you’re forgetting that my wife was also murdered by this butcher; and believe me I’ve thought hard and long about this moment, how and what I would do, but right now I know that murder is not an option. Now my friend, do the honor and cuff him, gag him and blind fold him then let’s take him back to our soil and let him fester in our prison, in the land he hates the most. This way he will remember for the rest of his miserable life that the men whose wife he killed were the ones who put him there.” Taylor stepped forward and kicked Omar across the left side of his face so hard that it caused him to land on his face. He flung his rifle over his shoulder and did as William had asked him to do. The team with their prisoner evacuated the house and forty five minutes later were on a chopper and headed home. Omar sat across from William and for the first two hours he said nothing and just stared at him. Finally he couldn’t help himself and asked, “Why did you not let your comrade kill me, and you could have both had your revenge?” William studied the man and contemplated not answering at first, but after a few minutes he thought about his answer and replied, “Because I serve the one true God and he already got his revenge; and as for me, it’s not about revenge, but about redemption.” 

written by Tbone / atw Jah

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
 Romans 12:19

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