Tomorrow he would talk to Julie, his night dispatcher. He was getting too old to change tires in the dark and the snow. Then a woman stood in his headlights and frantically waved her arms. She led him to a red Mazda Miata surrounded by vans and monster pickups at the far edge of the lot. He zipped up his jacket, put on his fur hat and got out. "What's wrong with it, lady?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the woman, smiling sweetly. "It won't start."
"Let me see your keys."
She held them but as he stretched out his hand, the keys fell. He stooped to pick them up when she said "Omar Tarin?" He looked up in surprise when four huge men with ski masks on jumped him, pummeling him in the stomach until he collapsed.
"Take my money, take the truck," he managed to gasp, but that made them hit him more. Completely helpless, they handcuffed him, gagged him, blindfolded him, earmuffed and put a bag over his head. They picked him up and threw him inside one of the vans. Then he was gloved, leg-cuffed and shackled.
He was terrified. They didn't take his wallet, watch or keys. They wanted him. He hoped he was only being kidnapped for ransom, but kidnappers would take his money. They had to be from the goat head of Satan itself, ISI or the Pakistani government's Inter-Services Intelligence. ISI was the biggest intelligence agency in the world. They were the monsters who had created the Taliban. But why would ISI want him?
Every time he began to sleep, they punched him and slammed him awake with distorted electric guitars. Frogs croaked words that he could barely understand and were so horrible he wished he didn't.
Fuck Your God
Holy mother for the whore she is
Fuck your God
Bible thumper preaching threats from
Fuck your god
His revival and the Ghost
Fuck your god
Only tell us what we need to know
Hours, days, he had no idea how long they transported him or in how many vehicles. Finally, they stopped. They carried him like a rag doll and tossed him on a table. He felt them cutting off his clothes. They dragged him and chained into a child-sized chair. When they removed the hood from his head, he saw he was in a big room lit by just one light bulb from high above.
The harshest faced women he had ever seen loomed above him. She wore a grey T-shirt but there was no mistaking that she was in charge. "Omar Perbez Tarin, you are now in detention Site Cobalt. You are now a prisoner of the United States of America," she said, banging her fist on the table. "You now have no rights."
"You're shitting me, I'm an American citizen."
"The US Government does not shit," she said. "You have been classified by the Justice Department as an enemy combatant."
"I own a tow truck company in South Bend, Indiana. I'm an American citizen. This isn't legal."
"It is legal now. Since 2012, the Justice Department can detain anyone they think has committed a belligerent act. We don't need a trial or a charge."
"I am not belligerent. I'm a Republican. Please, I just want to go home."
"Wouldn't you call the possession and transport of surface to air missiles belligerent?"
He nodded. "Very against the law."
A guard held the picture in front of his face. "What do you call that?"
"Welding gas tanks. See the flags."
A guard kicked him. "Liar. Those are safety flags on Chinese QianWei-2 missiles."
She punched him in the windpipe, making him gasp. "The Justice Department transferred you directly to Military custody. You will be lucky if you make it to Guantanamo if you don't start talking now."
"Just welding gas," he gasped. "We deliver for Praxair. We tow backhoes. We move construction materials."
An air horn blared in his ear, leaving it ringing.
"Our sources say different and our experts confirm it."
"You think I am so stupid I can't use a tarp?"
She snapped her fingers. They hooded him and dragged him away. They hung him up by a hook in the ceiling so he could barely touch the floor with his toes and slammed the door. The cell reeked of sweat, fear, and rot. Large fans blew. That same horrible music quaked but now it was accompanied by flashing lights focused in his eyes.
Fuck his commandments, and prophets left stranded to die
Not in my heart or my soul as I go through this life
Good book of bullshit lay dirty with vengeance and lies
Go fuck your Jesus and get the fuck out my sight
He tried to force himself to sleep, but whenever he dozed off, a guard punched him. Sleep meant pain. He forced himself not to sleep.
He hadn't eaten or drunk anything in what seemed like days. When the guards hit him, he begged for water. His throat burned with thirst.
They lowered him. His ankles had swollen to twice their size. Every step was agony. They sprayed salt water down his throat. Then they wrapped him in a tarp and poured ice water and ice cubes on him and punched him for hours. He screamed and cried like a woman having a baby. He was so ashamed, but he screamed anyway.
Finally, they dragged him away and chained him to a wall. When they ripped the hood off, he was back in front of the interrogator. "Please," he said. "I will sign anything. Anything." He would say anything, sign anything, to stop the pain.
"Where are the missiles?"
"New Jersey," he heard his mouth say. "They are in New Jersey." He tried to sound convincing.
"Where in New Jersey?"
"Atlantic City," he cried. "They are in Atlantic City."
"Where in Atlantic City?"
"The Trump Casino."
"Trump Plaza or Trump Taj Mahal?"
"I … it's the Trump Taj Mahal. It's the Indians. Their missiles."
A guard whispered something to the interrogator. She roared, "You're lying. You think we are fools? The Trump Taj Mahal went bankrupt two years ago."
"I meant the other one."
"They closed four years ago." She turned to the guards. "Step up the enhanced interrogation."
They hooded him and took him away. They shackled him to a table. When they tilted his feet higher than his head, he knew what was coming. They poured cold water through his mask into his nose and mouth. He contracted his throat to keep the air in his lungs, but he couldn't hold it for more than a few minutes. He felt like he was dying. His whole body shook. He saw the tunnel of light people spoke of when they die and come back. He welcomed it, and his mind ran toward the light. Then the guards eased up on the water and punched him in the stomach to force the water out so they could start over again.
He lost count of how many times he saw the tunnel of light. It was square, not round like they said. The tunnel was like a reversed star field where little dark stars would shoot behind him. He saw the tunnel's end and each time it grew closer and closer before they brought him back. He prayed the light would take him but instead they put a dry hood on him and hauled him away.
They leaned him against a wall and tied his arms up, but this time at a height so he couldn't sit down or stand up. Then they tied his feet down and his abdomen against the wall. They took the hood off and brought in three snarling, barking, growling dogs. They were so loud they made his chest drum. They would lunge at him and barely miss, so close he could feel their hot breath. His knees and back screamed. He burst into tears.
One set of dog handlers led their dogs away. Another set of three replaced them.
Finally, they took him to the interrogator again. Being chained to that tiny seat was a relief. For a few minutes, the torture stopped.
The interrogator spoke with a bored tone. "Attorney General Holder ruled that the AUMF or Authorization to Use Military Force act isn't limited to persons captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Individuals who provide substantial support to al Qaida forces in other parts of the world may properly be deemed part of al Qaida itself." She looked at Omar with despair. "Because you transported surface to air missiles for al Qaida within the United States of America, we have the authority to execute you and your co-conspirators without any charges or a trial."
"Kill me. Please kill me."
"That includes the authority to take your wife into custody as your material co-conspirator."
"You can't. She doesn't know anything."
"If you are sure that she doesn't know anything, you do."
A guard grabbed him by the neck, choking him. "You know how we break women? We put them on the water table and then we gang bang them. We go at them again and again until they talk."
"She stays at home and takes care of the children. She doesn't know bombs or missiles. Please, in the name of God, please. I will sign anything."
"The Attorney General and the President won't wait any longer. Only you can save her."
"You have been on our radar for over a year. You send money to suspects in Pakistan."
"For my mother. I send money to my sister."
They put the hood on him and tossed him back on the table. When they poured cold water through his mask, he didn't have the will or the strength to struggle. His chest and left arm exploded in pain. Water vomited from his mouth. The light came closer and closer. Far away, a part of him heard "Pulse down to 50 beats a minute. He's skipping heartbeats. Blood pressure is crashing."
"Take him off. Get him clear of the water."
"This isn't good. Pulse now 40. Request permission to call the medics."
"Denied. No log entries the Red Cross or Congress can hold against us."
Then he was in a beautiful field, bright and wonderfully warm. He saw two trees and a stream. People were running to him. He jumped over the little stream and hugged his father close as his grandmother and grandfather ran to him.
The guards administered CPR. "He's gone," one finally said. "Shit."
"What about his body?"
"Get the thermite. Turn him to dust."
Written by DrBobSmith