On both sides of the abyss

On both sides of the abyss

Status: Finished

Genre: Action and Adventure

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Action and Adventure

Summary

"On both sides of the abyss" relates the trials of Amina Rifa'ee, a young Syrian woman that refused to marry her father business associate and was sent to study in London School of Economics. Her loneliness drives her to the arms of Murad the Libyan that introduces after a relationship of several months to Kenneth Collins the Beirut American embassy's press attaché. The latter takes her with him to Beirut to train her as secret agent, which would the Israeli Mossad in Damascus, without being aware to it. She's caught by the Syrian internal security service and agrees to become a double agent to atone for her treason instead of arrest, torture and death.

Summary

"On both sides of the abyss" relates the trials of Amina Rifa'ee, a young Syrian woman that refused to marry her father business associate and was sent to study in London School of Economics. Her loneliness drives her to the arms of Murad the Libyan that introduces after a relationship of several months to Kenneth Collins the Beirut American embassy's press attaché. The latter takes her with him to Beirut to train her as secret agent, which would the Israeli Mossad in Damascus, without being aware to it.
She's caught by the Syrian internal security service and agrees to become a double agent to atone for her treason instead of arrest, torture and death.

Chapter1 (v.1) - On both sides of the abyss

Author Chapter Note

"On both sides of the abyss" relates the trials of Amina Rifa'ee, a young Syrian woman that refused to marry her father business associate and was sent to study in London School of Economics. Her loneliness drives her to the arms of Murad the Libyan that introduces after a relationship of several months to Kenneth Collins the Beirut American embassy's press attaché. The latter takes her with him to Beirut to train her as secret agent, which would the Israeli Mossad in Damascus, without being aware to it.<br /> She's caught by the Syrian internal security service and agrees to become a double agent to atone for her treason instead of arrest, torture and death. <br />

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 17, 2013

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: December 17, 2013

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ON BOTH SIDES

OF THE ABYSS

 

HAIM KADMAN

 

 

The plot of this book "On both sides of the abyss" is a work of fiction, and is a product of the author's imagination. The protagonist's and the different characters' names, and the plot's background descriptions are fictitious; any resemblances to actual persons living or dead, events or places are coincidental.

 

Copyright © Haim Kadman December 2013 - all rights reserved

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

'Mabruc' (congratulations) said their department's head laconically, though the circumstances were fit to bestow his inferiors with praise.

He glanced at the rectangular transparent window pane, through which the interrogation chamber could be seen without being seen; and concentrated his gaze for a few seconds in the interrogator and his victim.

'Taieb (good) you did a good job up till now, although we’re just at the beginning, and sit down, back to your posts.' He added quite genially, without harassing his inferiors as he’s used to.

'Do update me with a few details before we’ll go in.'

The younger of the two interrogators, that up to their senior’s arrival followed with much interest the happenings in the interrogation chamber beyond the window, and has recorded every detail and word that took place over there, offered his seat to his esteemed department’s head.

'First of all, how did she get to London? She is engaged to be married to her relative or a family friend isn’t she?' the department’s head asked, as he sat down on the unoccupied chair.

'She was a beloved daughter…' The older one among his two inferiors opened up.

'A beloved daughter, but there’s the tradition… the family’s honor… maybe we should check up if the whole matter hasn’t started in her family?'

'Wallahi (by God) we haven’t even thought of such a possibility!' the older one remarked with much cajolery. 'We’ll check that possibility too ya side (sir). As for our subject matter, she refused to marry her father business associate; she threatened to commit suicide... Her father made much fuss but at the end he had to accept her refusal. The solution was to send her abroad, to study. They compensated her ex fiancé’, they aren’t short of money.'

'How was she recruited then by our enemies?' The department’s head kept on asking. The full details he would learn in her complementary interrogation, in his presence within a few more minutes; but he preferred to know beforehand the basic facts and verify it during the counter interrogation.

'In a disco club sir, on the first night that she was tempted to visit such a joint.'

'Is that so?' the department’s head wondered knitting his brows, 'and how did they manage to persuade her, but just the main points.'

'One of the students a friend of hers, an Algerian girl, dragged her to that place...'’

'I said just the main points and I mean it. ' his senior reminded him.

'...It’s a popular club and many of our kinsmen visit it too. Several men asked her to dance, a certain Libyan courted her with elegant determination, claimed that he has fallen in love with her at first sight; he offered her his ruby ring. She refused to accept it of course, but was very impressed it seems; later on he drove her and her friend back to the students’ dormitory, and she gave him her mobile number…'

‘So it was a procedure of step by step developments, that's how it worked out.'

'That's right sir that Libyan was her first one, and after a short time she moved to his place. That’s how it all started.'

'If she isn’t a virgin wallahi, we can have the time of our life on her account…' The younger one barged in enthusiastically.

'Ouskut ya jachs!' (Shut up young jackass) The department’s head exclaimed angrily.

The young interrogator lowered his eyes and coughed loudly several times, quite shocked; but the department’s head seemed to lose all his interest in him.

'To me she looks “tamam” (unscathed) just as new, “ya’ani” (which means) no need for harsh treatment. How was she tamed then? Yes I’m listening.' He turned again to the older one between the two.

'It was very easy sir. We’ve shown her a few old devices, which were left here from the time Faisel and the "Inglizi" (the Englishman = Laurence of Arabia) have beaten the Turks, and ended up with the Turkish Empire…' He broke out laughing seeing the broadening smile on his senior’s face. 'That was the opening stage and at nightfall we’ve organized a chorus of tortured victims' shrieks; and just before midnight she knocked with frenzy on her door, asking to meet the officer in charge – that is, she wished to see you ya sidi (sir).'

'Very well,' the department’s head nodded his head with approval and with a beaming smile on his face. 'We’ll treat her with kid gloves from now on, and if some idiot would dare to touch her, I’ll castrate him with my own hands!' He remarked raising his voice, turning his eyes towards the younger among the two. 'She’s raw material of the best quality, if things won’t work out as we wish, we can always transfer her to our Palestinian brothers; to atone for her treason as a "shahida" (saint) with an explosive belt and blow herself up among our mutual enemies. But we’ve to find out still, whether we can turn her into a double agent.' He made a short pause as if he was thinking it over. 'The ties with her operator might have been cut off for just a short while already; anyhow, we can always put up some cover story like let’s say, suspicion of false papers or some other trivial cause that brought to her detention; or devise a more sophisticated theory, which would persuade her operator that she has been hospitalized in a Beirut hospital.' He cleared his throat with much show of self importance, turning a reproachful look at the young interrogator. 'Tell Rashid that we’re going in.' He ordered and rose to his feet.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

'What’s your name ya habibti (my dear)?' The department’s head asked with much kindness the young and frightened woman,. He even introduced himself to her with some alias that he invented right on the spot, as soon as he sat opposite her.

The atmosphere has changed from one extreme to the other. The young woman watched him as if he was her savior, who would wake her up from the nightmare, in which she found herself without being able to cope with.

'Amina, Amina Rifa’yee sir…' She answered hesitantly, watching him with entreating eyes.

'Send for coffee and something to eat! Are you hungry Amina?' He turned to her but without waiting for her reply he ordered on: 'Pitahs (flat bread) with honey and move your butt!' He scolded the young interrogator, and the latter left running.

'Amina Rifa’yee, a native of Damascus, a daughter of a distinguished family…' The department’s head muttered feigning astonishment.

Meanwhile food and drinks were brought in, and up to the moment that everyone has completed to employ his jaws, neither the department's head nor his inferiors continued to frighten their victim.

While drinking coffee and mineral water, the department’s head asked Amina to sum up her adventures.

A short pause fell, the meaningless conversations that his inferiors led on purpose; as if it was some friendly meeting of some old acquaintances, were cut off instantly.

Amina opened up with bits and fragments, hardly audible, from the disputes at home, he flight to London, her first year of studies up to her fourth, the meeting with Murad at the disco club, and her transfer from the students’ dormitory at Grosvenor House to Murad’s apartment.

'What were you studying and where?' Abdul Karim the department’s head interrupted her incoherent monologue, with unreserved curiosity and with a well feigned sympathy too.

'I've studied international relations at LSE.'

'El what, what’s the full name of that academic institute?' Abdul Karim wondered.

'London school of economics,' she answered immediately but with a hint of dismay, as if it was some information that could incriminate her.

'Oh I see,’ he muttered and turned a meaning glace at Rashid, which meant "you’ll have to clarify it to me later…" 'But what caused you to move to his apartment? You a devoted daughter betrothed to another?'

'He swore that I was his entire world, and that’s how he behaved in the first three months that I've shared with him, and I was so lonely…' Tears filled her eyes and she lowered her head. 'He behaved with chivalry he didn’t push his hands, and up to the moment that I let him he didn’t touch me. I was sure I’ve found the man of my life.'

'You fell into the hands of a pro.' Abdul Karim remarked with a hint of reproof.

Rashid who is the department’s deputy and the most experienced interrogator and his two aids, sat as if they were tied up in their seats, the moment the sexual experiences of their victim were told by her.

'Oh yes, I couldn’t grasp what he was really after, I thought that he’s a pimp after a while, despite the fact that he’s a devout Muslim and he wasn’t short of means.'

These certain details the department's head had no reason to probe into, there was no need to verify that sort of evidence after Amina’s detailed confession.

'He didn’t threaten you or ill-treated you? He didn’t change his behavior towards you?'

'No, he didn’t threaten me and whenever he brought up the matter from time to time and I opposed it, he didn’t react with anger or threats. I didn’t have to leave him and I studied on freely.'

'And how did he define that matter?'

Amina didn’t hasten to reply to that particular question. A nervous tick gripped her chin and it seemed as if she is about to faint.

'Don’t be afraid we won’t harm you, we want to pull you out of that complicated mishap.' Abdul Karim promised her, pulling out of his repertoire one of his most convincing miens.

'To contribute my share to replace the dictatorial Syrian regime…' She mumbled and burst out into hysterical sobs.

Once again a pause ensued, simply to let her calm down and regain some sort of self composure. A minute passed and Rashid handed her a paper handkerchief to wipe her tears; and right afterwards the moderated interrogation was resumed.

'Alright you feel much better now I hope,' remarked Abdul Karim. 'But what made you change your mind and make all the way to Beirut?' It was clear to him that all these details were recorded during her first interrogation in his absence, but he preferred to hear it from her mouth once more, and compare it with the recorded version.

'He introduced me his American friend, while we had lunch at a restaurant in Chelsea.' She broke off suddenly as if she expected some more questions, and after a short pause she went on. 'It was on a Sunday on the restaurant's first floor, which wasn’t crowded as the ground floor. All of a sudden that friend of his popped up. I do understand now that it was planned beforehand and wasn’t a coincidence. Murad didn’t waste time and explained to me that his friend is a senior agent in some American intelligence agency; and that he’s going to be my operator in Beirut.'

'There must be something above and beyond that superficial tale, something much more serious…' The department's head declared his dissatisfaction.

'He’s a charming man, I don’t know how to explain it… Maybe it was my hope to return to Damscus even with a fake identity and to keep seeing this man…'

'And how long were you supposed to stay in Beirut both of you, before your return to Damascus?'

‘A year and a half,' she replied with a heaving bossom, releasing the air caught in her lungs with broadening nostrils.

'At least you know now that they tried to exploit you, that they tried to compel you to betray your own couintry…' He watched her with a penetrating stare, letting her grasp the full meaning of his last sentence; and the fact that he offers her the chance of her life, the exemption from punishment, from death at the Al Maza jail, or handing her over to her ex fiance’ relatives who would cut her throat or strangle her to death…

'You shall meet your American operator, but from now on you shall serve devotedly your motherland!' He stated emphasizing each syllable.

Amina lowered her eyes and fell into an emotional spasm again.

'We’ll protect you, we’ll take care of you Amina from now on.' The department’s head summed the matter up while giving a clear sign that the interrogation is over.

The jailors were summoned and the department’s head and his aids took leave of Amina, as if she was one of the department’s regular agents.

The moment they were left alone in the interrogation chamber, Abdul Karim turned to Rashid: 'She didn’t tell the Libyan if he’s a Libyan at all, nor to the one who stole her heart about her annulled betrothal, did she?'

'That’s right sir, she’s hidden that fact from both of them.'

'Well, thus her ex fiance’s brother had identified her in Beirut, by sheer coincindence, during his last business trip.' The department’s head remarked with a beaming smile. 'That significant detail failed them and saved her life, the poor devil that she is.'

 

 

Chapter 3

 

'Taieb,' (good) the department's head said. 'Take good care of her Rashid I count on you, see that she'll get the same food that the prison staff gets; and stay in your office this afternoon and evening, I may call you in a few hours with new instructions.'

'Aioua ya sidi.' (Yes sir) Rashid answered him and stood up and his two colleagues followed suit, waiting patiently till the department's head will leave.

Abdul Karim did not lose precious time and went immediately to his boss office, the head of the Syrian internal security service. He entered the ante room and told the secretary to ask His Highness whether he may see him due to an urgent matter. He was sure that His Highness Nizar Faras would accept him without delay, for His Highness wished to be updated about the interrogation's results of the caught spy.

The secretary turned to His Highness through the intercom, and the answer was positive and was heard loud and clear in the narrow space of the small ante room. Abdul Karim went over to the door, opened it up and entered to his boss spacious office.

'Do sit down Abdul; I understand that the interrogation is over?'

'Yes sir and the results are very encouraging.'

'She's a Rifa'yee so how can you define the results as encouraging?

'I know sir and may I remind you sir that she was abducted yesterday in Beirut without the knowledge of her American operator after he took her to the Lebanese Capital.' Abdul Karim made a short pause afraid he might have offended his boss. 'With your permission I wish to add some more reasons.'

'Go ahead Abdul I'm listening.'

'She wasn't trained yet sir; she's supposed to pass a training period of eighteen months in Beirut, and she'll beguile the American and serve us as a double agent.'

'What about the relative of her ex fiancé that spotted her in Beirut, he might spread the rumor?'

'We'll thank him effusively for his efforts and tell him that she isn't his brother's ex fiancée she just looks like her, and that she's clean and was released.

'Something should be done to her features, not us of course but the American will surely take care of it. What's his name and what do we know about him by the way?'

That's why this wise man was chosen to be the organization's head, Abdul Karim realized with sudden insight, worried by his own carelessness in this certain case.

'It was a very mild preliminary interrogation sir. We'd to persuade her that she's safe with us, but while preparing her for her mission we'll know all the needed details for handling her sir.'

'You've my permission to employ her Abdul, but do it fast and meticulously. I want to know who the American is, and who's the man who introduced her to the American.'

We'll do our best sir, but it's a difficult task sir; I mean to find out the details of the Libyan that passed her over to the American. She knows just his first name, and she never had a chance to check his papers so naïve she is. She was studying five days a week sir at the LSE in London at that time, and during the weekends he took her to the country. He never told her anything about his past, family or how he could afford the high standard of living that he enjoyes.'

'The Libyan details' aren't exactly our problem but we'll have to inform our colleagues at the Idarat al Amn (the external intelligence agency) the details that we've on these two subject matters, the Libyan and the American; they could be Mossad agents, and we'll have to try to bump off the Libyan.' His Highness coughed slightly. 'So I expect you Abdul to pump out all the details she knows and remembers of her first lover, and with the American you'll have to deal very carefully.'

'I and my department's personnel will do our best sir.'

'I'm glad to hear it Abdul and I do rely on your men and your efforts, a cigarette?'

'Thank you very much sir!' Abdul Karim hastened to thank his boss for the unexpected gesture of trust his boss endowed him with, and pulled a cigarette out of the pack in his boss extended hand. He pulled out his gold lighter and bending forward lighted his boss cigarette, and then his own.

They smoked a few seconds in silence, and His Highness had a few more words to add.

'Although that episode seems as if to ensure that our country is clean of Mossad agents, we must be very cautious; for this case could be a diversion to keep us busy, while our enemies will sneak their agents into our country… So you'll have to deal with this Rifa'yee case all by yourself Abdul, and send all your men all over our beloved Capital in a state of alert.'

Abdul Karim nodded his head obediently, and crushed his cigarette butt in the ashtray

'You may go now Abdul with Allah's blessings.'

Abdul Karim thanked his boss again with a bowed head and asked out of politeness his permission to leave.

He went straight to his office, and entered it without paying attention to his secretary that stood up and greeted him humbly with a bowed head; in his office he went over to his desk and opened up the left upper drawer in it. He took out a pair of keys, it were the keys to a hideout apartment in Tal Kurdi Street at the Adra district. He phoned Rashid to meet him immediately in his office, as he was short of time. He had to prepare Amina in no more than one hour, and drive her back to Beirut.

Rashid reached his office right away, and Abdul Karim instructed him while Rashid was standing and ready to leave. to prepare a patrolling plan that would cover every district of the city; and then to summon all the department's personnel all those who were available, and divide them into groups; a task that would surely take several hours, while he will return at the late afternoon hours or at the evening to check the plan his deputy will prepare and to brief his men.

'I want you to work on that plan, and afterwards to summon every one of them at the big convention hall downstairs no matter what they're doing, is everything clear Rashid?'

'Yes sir and you can rely on me sir.'

'Fine I'll be back at about six pm plus minus and I expect to meet all my men under your supervision. You may go now Rashid.'

 

 

Chapter 4

 

Abdul Karim next stop was at the Al Maza prison He had to act fast if he wishes the American to fall blindly into his trap.

On his way to the prison he called the prison commander and ordered him to return to Amina her clothes and her belongings, and release her and have her waiting for him in the latter's office.

'Is it that urgent?' The astounded Al Maza prison commander asked.

'Yes and very much and I want to meet her as soon as I'll reach your office, so do it!'

When Abdul Karim reached the prison commander's office Amina was not ready yet, and he had to sit and wait for her on a cup of coffee with the prison commander.

As Amina reached at last the office with her handbag and adorned with her jewelry, Abdul Karim told her to veil her face with a black niqab that he handed her. He took his leave from the prison commander and took her out to his waiting car. He sat with her on the rear seat and his driver drove them to the hideout apartment, where Abdul Karim planned to brief her before sending her back to Beirut.

Amina was terribly excited tears dripped down her cheeks, at the first turn the car took she fell slightly towards Abdul Karim and rested her head on his shoulder.

Abdul Karim was terribly embarrassed and told her immediately in a whisper to straighten up, wipe her tears and stop crying. His driver must have surely noticed it, and Abdul Karim was very aware to his own dignity and status, he could not afford to let his driver see him in such an embarrassing situation.

Amina straightened up in her seat without a word. She stopped crying and sat quietly beside him up to the end of the ride.

As soon as they reached the hideout apartment Abdul Karim instructed his driver to refuel the car, have supper in a restaurant or at home, and come back to that very spot, and wait for him at six pm sharp.

The driver rushed out to open the rear door for his boss and Amina, and as soon as they got off and he saw them entering the building, he returned to his seat and set off to carry out his boss instructions.

The time was three twenty five when Abdul Karim closed the hideout apartment door and turned around to face Amina. She fell into his arms burying her face in his chest, and kept mumbling her thanks in a low and shaky voice for having rescued her from a terrible fate and unbearable humiliation.

The situation was completely different this time, and Amina is pretty and young. She has a lovely face and a well shaped body; while making love to her would deepen her dependence on him that was what he thought, and how he justified what happened a few seconds later.

They did it with hardly taking off their clothes, when it was all over and he was still holding her in his arms with her back pushed to the wall; he looked in her eyes worried, but she said that she took the pill as soon as she received her handbag back in her cell, before she met him at the prison commander's office.

For truth sake if she was just another suspect that had to be interrogated he would not have minded if she will become pregnant or not, but Amina was under his direct command and responsibility, and he had to brief her and drive her back to Beirut this very evening.

'Let's sit down Amina,' he said after they soothed their clothes as if nothing happened between them, and walked over to the lone desk and he sat behind it; while Amina settled on a seat opposite him.

He opened the drawer and pulled out a pad and a pen.

'Do you remember Murad's address in London?'

'Why, why is it needed at all?' She asked surprised.

'I'm asking the questions Amina and you must answer my questions, do you understand?'

'Yes I do understand sir.' She hastened to answer him alarmed. 'It's fourteen Kenton Road in the borough of Harrow, apartment seven on the third floor sir.'

'That's much better Amina, can you describe how he looks like? What's his stature, what's the color of his hair, eyes? Does he have scars or anything else that differentiates him from other people?'

'He's about five feet eight and the color of his hair is black and of his eyes is dark brown. He has a knife scare on his left upper cheek, a small one hardly visible. He's thin almost emaciated…'

'Fine that will do for Murad, now then what about your American operator, are you in love with him?'

Amina coughed loudly and cleared her throat several times; she was on the brink of losing her self control again.

'Do calm down Amina and please do remember that even if this man is charming and charismatic and even if he swears that he loves you… He's in fact your enemy and he exploits you, he expects you to betray your own country.' Abdul Karim made a short pause to check whether Amina realizes what he wants her to fathom. 'He won't do a thing if you'll be caught and tortured to death…' He added without pathos and rather calmly, but the mention of torture did it.

'I see,' she said after a few seconds of silence. 'I'll be loyal to my country I swear.' She added with tears in her eyes.

'I believe you and I do trust you dear Amina, and we'll take care of your safety.' He had to make a second short pause to ensure that she got over her emotional wave, which his last words must have caused her.

'We'll drive to Beirut in about half an hour from now, and you'll be with him during the next eighteen months, in which he plans to train you. It means that we'll meet again when he will send you to Damascus…'

'What shall I tell him where I've been for almost thirty six hours?'

'We've prepared a cover story for you Amina. You'll tell him that you were kidnapped by two men pretending that you fainted and they said that they're carrying you to the nearest hospital, they drugged you in their car with some liquid or a syringe stab and held you in some cellar; but there was a police raid and you were rescued. You'll tell him that you were unconscious most of the time, and the police told you that you were kidnapped for ransom.' As he saw the skeptic expression that her face radiated, he hastened to add. 'It's our responsibility to make him believe you; you don't have to worry at all.' He realized that she was not persuaded yet, nevertheless he was not perturbed; he knew he'll have all the time needed to persuade her on the way to Beirut.

'There's one more thing that we've to know and it's the place where you stayed in Beirut. He didn't stay twenty four hours with you; he came from time to time, right?'

'That's right sir, he said he'll visit me twice or three times a week up to the beginning of my training, which is next Monday.'

'That's what I thought, and where exactly is that place of yours in Beirut?'

'It's nine Bekfaya Road near the Gilgamesh restaurant.

'You went down to eat the night before yesterday just before you were kidnapped to Damascus, right?'

'Yes I was afraid to leave the apartment, but I was terribly hungry,' she answered him with a short laugh, which expressed her efforts to please him. .

She's fine at last, he thought relieved. 'Okay Amina veil your face with the niquab and let's go.'

 

 

Chapter 5

 

The American embassy press attaché in Beirut Kenneth Collins or Ken as Amina knew him was very worried, after he visited at nine pm this very night Amina's hideout apartment and did not find her there. He sat waiting for her up to ten thirty pm and returned to his place very perturbed. He was sure that she is involved in some accident or worse that she was kidnapped by some local hoodlums. He did not believe that she left him and returned to her family in Damascus, for apart from being madly in love with him she told him that they'll kill her for having dishonored her family. There was nothing he could do but wait.

The next day when he reached the embassy at one pm and sat in his office restless and nervous for a short while; he decided after hardly ten minutes to go out and have lunch in the Gilgamesh restaurant in the vicinity of the hideout apartment, and listen to people talk for he spoke fluent Arabic.

There was no one he could consult with except the ambassador, but the ambassador was on leave; while only he was responsible for that top secret project, the project Nour coordinated with the Israeli Mossad.

He hailed a cab and rode to the Gilgamesh restaurant that was very close to the hideout apartment, which he hired for Amina, and in thea apartment he was supposed to train her.

He chose a table near a group of half a dozen elderly locals that stopped chattering as soon as he crossed the restaurant's threshold. He did not have to carry a copy of the Al Nabad, Beirut's English language newspaper, his face and his tall figure gave him up as a Farangie (foreigner, derived from the word French). He ordered in English and avoided the suspicious looks of the locals sitting next to him. They resumed their excited chatter right afterwards.

He knew that if some crime took place in the restaurant's vicinity, the waiters will notice it and tell its details or whatever they knew to the guests, and it would turn into an endless loud and excited discussion. But the old timers that sat next to him were discussing local politics, Hezbollah armed gangs, the government's weakness, the Christians' minority and so on and so forth.  

The food was not bad at all, but his stay there was a waist of time; and he could not visit the hideout apartment in broad daylight at this stage to check if Nour, which was Amina 'Nom de Guerre' has returned. After all he had installed her in that apartment at one am a week ago, and came to visit her regularly before midnight. He hired the apartment through a third party, but he knew after two or three weeks' time he'll have to visit her at day time openly to start her training, for all he cared whoever will notice his visits may conclude that she is his mistress; and she is in fact his mistress and he enjoyed very much her submissive company, and making love to her…

While driving back to the embassy on the cab's rear seat, he kept thinking of her and hoped he did not lose her.

I'll visit the place tonight again to see if she's returned, or check the place for some clue. Why didn't I check her place last night? He scolded himself with wonder. I'll wait up to the weekend, he decided after he recovered from his fit of anger; and if she won't return I'll fix a meeting in Ankara with Jack of the Israeli embassy, and I'll tell him the bad news.

 

The drive from Damascus to Beirut takes about one hour, without taking into account the border check points, but border check points for a personality like Abdul Karim just slowed down the car's speed up to a rather short stop, a quick check of ten seconds at the most; whether it's a Syrian check point or a Lebanese one. Thus a ride to Beirut for Abdul Karim meant spending one hour thirty minutes plus minus on the road.

At the first filling station at the outskirts of town, he ordered the driver to stop and get off and fetch them something to eat and drink; pitas filled with shawarma (sliced meat) and Cola or some juice, he was hungry and he was sure that Amina was hungry too. He knew very well what kind of food she had for lunch in the prison before he freed her.

They drove on as soon as his driver retuned with the food and drinks, and they ate while driving, as Abdul Karim wished to get to Beirut before eight pm. He was sure that the American would look for her on this very night, and Amina told him that Ken the American used to visit her between nine pm to midnight.

While he was munching he wrecked his head to find a suitable cover name for Amina. Hani which is a male's name would be fine he thought at first, but no if the American will address her as 'honey', things can get risky. Well Hanan would fit her better, but I'll have to tell her that it's a code not a name; otherwise she might confuse it with the cover the American would surely give her. 

'Listen Amina I'm going to stab your left shoulder with a syringe…'

'Why what for,' Amina whispered to him alarmed

'Oh just a superficial stab and I'll bandage it right away, so you'll able to show it to your American operator that by this way the kidnappers subdued your resistance.' He stabbed her shoulder slightly through her shirt sleeve before ending his explanation, and pulled up her sleeve and wiped and cleaned the stabbed area to disinfect it, and bandaged her upper left arm.

'Did it hurt you Amina?'

'No but it hurts a bit now.'

'You'll get over it before we'll reach Beirut and I treated it to look as if it was done two days ago.' He added while putting the syringe and the rest of the equipment back in his attaché case. 'Now then you'll have a visit tomorrow at eleven forty five, a short while before you'll go down to have lunch. A technician will visit you, he will knock on your door three times in a quick cadence and two more slow knocks. When you'll open the door he'll say softly 'Hanan'; and you'll let him in to do what he has to do. It's for your safety, he won't harass you or bother you by any way, and in about five minutes or less he'll leave.'

'I see sir, so five knocks all in all, three quick ones plus two slow ones, okay I'll remember it sir.'

'I'll get off near the Syrian embassy and my driver will take you up to your place, as if you reached it with a cab from the hospital; After you've been supposedly interrogated there by the police that rescued you, you were unconscious most of the time and you don't know of course a thing about it.'


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