Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Through The Godless Hours (6)

Anath’s fear of the army officer might have been based purely upon instinct, but it was nevertheless justified. In fact, he had done well to avoid taking the bait and rising to the jibes this cruel aggressor had tossed his way. For Captain Farid Azasti was a heartless character, sent straight from central casting. He was the boxer whose unflinching stare won the fight before the first bell had been rung: the merciless assassin who pulled the trigger of the gun rammed into his victim’s mouth, ignoring all pleas for clemency. And as a young cadet, Farid had also been the volunteer from his company who crushed life from the nestling in his fist, before wiping the gore on his uniformed leg, grinning all the time. It was not easy to connect with this cold impostor of humanity, who at the deepest level was driven by confusion, self-loathing and a monstrous rage that only jealousy could know. Seated opposite him in Sate Blora’s cavernous dining hall, the Captain’s father had already taken worrying note of his elder son’s increasingly hostile attitude. He was aware that there was something very wrong with his troubled heir, but so far had not found a way to address the issue – whatever it was. Inwardly, the General chastised himself for not seeing some kind of problem coming: especially when his other son was accelerated through the ranks, ahead of his time. Significantly, Yudi’s military career was developing at a much faster pace than that of his elder brother. The General understandably sought to protect his first son from criticism, refusing to talk openly about a problem that had become obvious to all around him. Essentially in denial, he would not even discuss the matter on those occasions it was quietly aired by one or other of the senior figures from within the extended family. But while he had yet to find a solution, or decide how he was going to deal with what he knew he eventually must, he was also unaware of the extent of the problem his elder son had engineered for himself. For Captain Farid Azasti was in deep, deep trouble. In a bind so tight it would later become clear that it had only ever been a matter of time before he self-destructed. This cruel abuser of privilege was up to his neck, in fact, in illicit arms dealing.

It was in the quiet seaside resort of Parangtritis that the Captain first met the Colombians. Ostensibly the backdrop to a reunifying, second honeymoon with his barren wife of ten years, this relaxed and unfashionable locale provided a perfect cover for the trade he intended to commence. He had even reminded ’Bu Mira, as she was known, not to pack any green clothes, lest Nyai Loro Kidul came in the night to claim one – or both – of them. The stuff of folklore, this mythical ‘Queen of the South Sea’ was unable to resist the allure of her favourite colour. Over the centuries, innumerable drownings off the south coast of Java had erroneously been attributed to her avarice, as Farid now teased his wife. But such romantic small-talk was intended only to create a diversion from the real purpose of their excursion to this coastal backwater. It offered, essentially, a form of camouflage. To him, the scheme was beautifully simple and – better still – of vile ambition: the drug wars of Central America fought out with stolen guns from the Orient, and a handsome payout for the facilitator. Fifty percent up front, the balance on completion. US dollars, cash. Used notes. Effortless. All he now had to do was arrange for the weapons to be ‘uninventorised’ – stolen – and then deliver them to a vessel lying at anchor at the rendezvous point. It sounded risky, but for an officer with his terrifying reputation – and sudden liquidity – the arrangements would be relatively easy to make, and orders carried out without question.

Like so many with his mindset – reinforced by the narrow teachings that served to reaffirm his elevated status in some man made spiritual hierarchy – Captain Farid was able to convince himself that if he failed to make full use of this opportunity, then God might look down upon him less kindly. It would be as if he had spurned a once-in-a-lifetime offer from the Lord himself. But perhaps he felt also that his manhood might be disputed if his courage failed to act upon what his mind now told him he could – and should – do. That this would somehow suggest he had backed out of a challenge, revealing an inherent flaw, or fear-induced paralysis at some vital moment, coming at a time when assertive action was most required. But whatever false grounds the Captain wished to invent for his own, cosmetic reasons, in truth the real motivation for putting his career – and maybe even his life – on the line was that he craved desperately to be noticed. Was driven to achieve something that totally outflanked the accomplishments of his clever young brother who was of senior rank, and who already had two sons to his name. But, most of all, was the kid who had always been the apple of his Daddy’s eye.

And if this meant he gained notoriety in the process, then so be it.

The first weapons drop was planned to perfection and executed without a hitch. And although at no time did he personally handle the guns, the thrill he felt at the mission’s conclusion was like the buzz he experienced after his first ‘official’ kill. When he had ruthlessly carried out the order to evict a peasant family from government land. An instruction he had followed with pitiless indifference…

posted by Kirk at 10:15 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

    Comment by AndrewBoldman — June 4, 2009 @ 8:31 am

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