Then there were 10. There had been heavy fire on the military base in the heart of Chalbi desert. It was remote and the radio transmission was shaky, satellite communication was completely shut down. The 10 of them had survived the attack by sheer luck. Only two had military training the rest where roaming nomads caught up in the melee. There was heavy shelling outside the bunker. With every successive blast the bunker would tilt and creek whatever was attacking was drawing closer and was determined to exterminate all life in the area.

Another blast rocked the bunker and an unusual semi human groan was heard. One nomad screamed, “My camels!” as he ran for the trap door to open up to the hallway to find the room where his camels had been secured. He was tripped and blocked by one of the military men. He fell to the ground with his face close to the man’s sandy coloured boots. He looked up to a menacing face and a head shake of disapproval of the nomad’s action. The nomad was dragged by his feet across the room as the others looked on. The other military man, who he only heard being called a variation of Patrick, either Pato or Pat or Rick interchangeably, yanked him to his feet and then shoved him on a seat.

The nomad heard the sound of tape. The first military officer stretched a 30cm piece of silver masking tape as if to tease him with it. He plastered it on the nomads mouth as Pat tied his feet and hands then the other military officer added the masking tape on top of the rope. The nomad was now sweating looking side to side.

The nomad, tied, recalled stories he had heard of what had been happening in a secret place in the desert where men in uniform assaulted and killed numerous nomads for an unknown treasure. He knew that this was it. He threw a gaze at the other nomads who had now pressed themselves against the adjacent wall bug eyed in shock.  The bunker now reeked of sweat and dirty bodies. They had been in the bunker for 2 weeks and food supplies had been depleted, the destruction outside had affected water and electricity supply. The reserves had been destroyed, in a storage chamber area that was in the extreme end of the bunker, by whatever was preying on them.


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