Chapter 7:

The Weapons Part 1

The Young Knight of the Desert

Kansai City, State of Japan. July 25, 2030; 0759 hours (Japan Standard Time)

“Good morning,” Tatev Mirzoyan said to Jake Crawley, Federico Díaz, and two other men as she joined them at a table in the Iron Dutchman’s old main deck that contained a dining room.

“Hi Tatev,” Crawley replied, as Tatev sat beside Díaz. “I saw you get up earlier than everyone else and go out. Why?”

“Oh, that… I… felt like exercising.”

“What for?”

“The waffles are ready!” a dark-skinned man with his black hair in a shape-up and dark brown eyes appeared, bringing a tray filled with six plates of waffles. Each waffle was filled with butter on top and that there was pancake syrup that ran across each waffle, mostly crossing the butter.

The dark-skinned man handed a plate of waffles to each individual at the table. Tatev’s consisted of only two stacks. Everyone else had three stacks on their plate. The dark-skinned man then found a pepper grinder and gave it to Tatev.

“Thank you, Mr. Moura,” Tatev replied.

“You should try having my food without pepper next time,” the dark-skinned man said before getting his plate of waffles and sitting beside Crawley.

“Itadakimasu!” Crawley proclaimed.

I wonder how Mr. Ganji is doing right now? Tatev pondered while she ate her waffles.


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters, Eurasian Tsardom. 0433 hours (Tehran Time)

That morning, in the headquarters of Vahid Farahani’s Brotherhood of Freedom cell, Armin approached the armory. However, he found Tarou Ganji, with his Sayf slung across his body, waiting for him.

“W… What are you doing here!?” Armin asked.

“I have a habit of waking up early when I feel too anxious to sleep,” Tarou answered. “Mind if I come in?”

“What for?”

“I want to maintain my weapons. I need something to ease my mind because I’m awake.”


Armin opened the door and proceeded inside, with Tarou following him.


Kansai City, State of Japan. 0906 hours (Japan Standard Time)

“By the way… ” Crawley said, just before chewing and swallowing his waffles. “Why did you go out to exercise?”

“I… wanted to ask Mr. Vos when he returns if I can join in future missions,” Tatev meekly answered.

“What on Earth for?” Moura asked.

“I know, it’s probably because of Señor Ganji,” Díaz deduced.

“It’s not like that!” Tatev denied with embarrassment evident in her tone.

“I see… ” Crawley replied with a grin on his face before hiding it. “Though Barto here has a point. You’re our information specialist, so having you out there will compromise a lot within this group.”

“I know that,” Tatev replied. “It’s just that… I feel useless when he’s gone. Then there’s how he normally talks with Miss Hoshikawa… ”

“Okay, I get it. How about we go somewhere on the outskirts of the city tomorrow? I can get you a gun to use.”

“Really?” Tatev excitedly asked while facing Crawley. “Thank you so much, Mr. Crawley!”


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters, Eurasian Empire. 0441 hours (Tehran Time)

The latter sat down and took apart his Sikiyn pistol to clean it up. Armin watched with amazement that a teenage boy knew how to maintain his weapon.

“I’m impressed you know how to maintain your weapon,” Armin remarked as he saw Tarou clean up the Sikiyn’s slide.

As he finished, Tarou faced Armin. “Mr. Vos taught me that.”

“He’s a good leader, I must say.”

“Thank you.”

Tarou continued on to the pistol’s frame. “And how long have you been with Iron Dutchman Services?” Armin asked.

“And how long have you been fighting with Commander Farahani?” Tarou asked in turn as he stopped cleaning his pistol’s frame with suspicion evident in his tone. “The way you maintain your weapons tells me that there’s more to you than being Commander Farahani’s second-in-command.”

“I can see why Mr. Vos took you with him on this mission. You must have seen your fair share of battles after the Tsarists conquered Iran.”

“It’s how I met Mr. Vos and the others,” Tarou said as an answered to Armin’s earlier question. “I wandered across the desert for five years, then I saw Mr. Vos and the other members of Iron Dutchman Services fighting a losing battle in what used to be Libya and I simply helped them. They offered me a place to stay in return for joining them so here I am.”

“How much have you learned since? Other than maintaining guns, that is.”

“Other than English, I learned a little Afrikaans from Mr. Vos because he’s from South Africa, some Spanish, some Portuguese, some Thai, and right now I’m currently stationed in Japan. I’m still having difficulty figuring out Japanese writing though.”


“Right now, this mission is a just earning additional money on the side. I can’t tell you the details but our current client is the New United Nations.”

“Explains why you had to come along with the shipment that came from the Middle Eastern League.”

“Speaking of which, I noticed two additional things about you other than how you main these weapons,” Tarou remarked with the suspicion being more evident. “You called Mr. al-Saqqaf ‘Nasr’. Then there’s how you simply handed over your AK to Dr. Hamilton because Mr. al-Saqqaf said she’s only known AKs.”

“You really are that sharp.”

“Who are you really?”

Armin had no answer, or rather, an answer that wouldn’t make things complicated within Farahani’s cell. Tarou then resumed cleaning up his pistol. “Let’s just say I have a history with Mr. al-Saqqaf before I joined Farahani’s cell,” Armin answered with reluctance evident in his tone. “That is all you need to know… for now.”

“I’ll leave it at that,” Tarou answered before he continued maintaining his Sikiyn.


0550 hours

Now working on his Sayf, Tarou applied lubricant around the rifle’s forward assist and used cloth to fill it with the lubricant. After that, he applied lubricant onto the Sayf’s bolt carrier group and used a cotton swab to polishing the bolt carrier group. Tarou then moved on to the receiver extension and after moving the scope further back, he spread the lubricant across the receiver extension and ultimately filled the inside of the stock with the lubricant by moving it back and forth.

Tarou proceeded to the sights of the Sayf by filling them with lubricant and spreading it with cloth. After that, he applied and spread the lubricant on the sling swivel followed by the portion of the barrel closest to the handguard. After that, Tarou returned the charging handle, then the bolt. After locking down the rifle, Tarou re-attached the M203 grenade launcher unto the handguard and the sling unto both swivels. Tarou then stood up and faced Armin.

“Thanks for all of this,” Tarou said.

“No problem,” Armin replied.

Tarou then left the armory. He suddenly paused as he saw Vahid Farahani himself waiting outside.

“Commander Farahani, I… ” Tarou said with his inability to come up with an excuse to explain why he was at the armory.

“It’s alright,” Farahani said. “Couldn’t sleep, huh?”

“Guilty as charged.”

“Why don’t we talk about it in my room?”


0631 hours

“So, what made you decide to maintain your weapons?” Farahani asked while he and Tarou were in the room of the former.

“Remember what I told you last night?” Tarou asked.

“About your happy exile in Japan?”

“What kept me awake is Maria. I honestly don’t know why?”

“You must be in love with her!”

“W… What makes you say that!?”

“Thinking about a girl at a time like this? I’ve experienced that before in the Foreign Legion.”

“I’ve never felt this way before. Maria should only be someone I should protect and yet, I’m doing that mission in a way I’ve never felt about past missions before.”

“Thank goodness Shireen isn’t here right now.”

“Shireen… is she even still alive?”

“We must have disappointed her a great deal seven years ago. Couldn’t be helped when it looked like we both died in Charmshahr… ”

“I still don’t know how I survived that… It’s the reason why I have to continue protecting Maria: so that I can figure out how I survived getting shot by thirty-millimeter rounds.”

“Listen… sorry for the way I talked about your mission in Japan,” Farahani said to change the subject.

“What’s there to apologize?” Tarou asked.

“It’s just that, I was a little jealous that you got to live a normal life despite it being a cover. I mean, you get to go to school, think about girls at your age, and… ”

“It’s only a month since I settled in Japan and I still find it alien to me.”

“How so?”

“I can’t use my pistol even if the situation calls for it.”

“Is Japan that strict when it comes to firearms possession?”

“It is.”

“Surely there’s some good coming out of your stay in Japan?”

“Well, there is Riku Todoh. He’s the younger brother of Maria’s closest classmate, Misa Todoh. Riku studies a lot about military matters, including Walgears. Also, you can eat pork because Japan isn’t that strict about religion.”

“Other than in school, how are things with the rest of Iron Dutchman Services?”

“I hardly talk to most of them when there isn’t a mission. Though there is Tatev… ”


“Tatev Mirzoyan. If I remember correctly, she’s from Armenia and that she’s Iron Dutchman Services’ information specialist. I met her a year ago where we saved her from human traffickers and like me, she was taken in.”

“And you live together?”

“Before this mission, yes. Nowadays, I operate in an apartment that is a two-hour walk away from Nishi High School. Makes it easier for me to blend in.”

“Does Maria know about your relationship with Mirzoyan?”

“What relationship? I don’t look at Tatev that way.”

“And yet you call her ‘Tatev’.”

“I don’t know why. I guess not having an actual family makes it hard to determine your relationships with individuals, more so with girls.”

“I’m glad Shireen isn’t here. Who knows what would happen if she heard you’ve been dealing with other girls.”

“What makes you say that?”

“She did follow you all the way from that Baloch refugee camp and joined Muhadow’s unit like we did.”

“You seem to know a lot about dealing with women.”

“While training in France, I met this girl named Isabelle. We were the same age and while she didn’t know it, I was in love with her. I hoped to confess my real feelings to her, even if it took five years of waiting. When that time came, I found out that Isabelle found someone else.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I guess you’re probably assuming that I came back here not to free Iran, but rather, to die fighting as a way to end my suffering. If you assumed that, you could be correct… ”

“I really don’t know what to say… ”

“You don’t have to. Though I guess saying something would help… ”

“I guess all I could say is… try again?”

“You know… that could be it. Of course that can wait.”


“Come on, we have to oversee today’s training-”

“About that, if it’s okay with you, mind if I accompany Mr. Vos and Mr. al-Saqqaf in getting that new shipment of weapons coming in later?”

“Why don’t we ask them above?”

“Fair enough.”


Tehran. 0829 hours

Vladimir Mirov arrived at the office of his uncle, General-Gubernator Aleksandr Mirov. Both men saluted each other.

“You called for me, General-Gubernator?” Mirov asked.

“I did,” Aleksandr answered. “I’ve received a report from our GRU station here in Iran concerning the Brotherhood of Freedom.”

“What might it be?”

“It’s proven that the Brotherhood now have Shagokhods. Here are the photos made from the images the drone made.”

Aleksandr handed over photographs to his nephew. The latter widened his eyes upon looking at the photographs, then he gave them back to the former.

“Did you plan out anything at this point?” Mirov asked.

“Right now, I assigned our drones to fly around Banak to pick up anything else,” Aleksandr answered. “Once we pick up something today, we can attack that Brotherhood cell’s headquarters.”

“With all due respect, General-Gubernator, I don’t think we should attack so hastily.”

“Why not?”

“If we do, we’ll just simply get those mercenaries killed. I know my orders are to capture them but I feel like they’ll never divulge where that experimental Shagokhod when we interrogate them about it.”

“Then what is it that you propose to do?”

“We wait until your informant says something. Then we attack based on that information, forcing those mercenaries to call in that Shagokhod.”

“Tempting idea… Very well. I’ll update you tomorrow at the earliest on what I hear from GRU.”

“Spasibo, Dyádya Alik.”


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. 0829 hours

“You want to come with me and al-Saqqaf?” Wouter Vos asked as Tarou Ganji and Vahid Farahani approached him and Yusuf al-Saqqaf.

“Yes,” Tarou answered.

“Fine with me but… ” Vos replied before turning to al-Saqqaf. “What about you?”

“Same with me,” al-Saqqaf answered.

“Then it’s settled?” Farahani asked.

“Sure,” Vos answered to Farahani. “Ganji comes with us.”

“And when will that shipment be arriving?”

“0900 hours,” al-Saqqaf answered. “We best leave now so that we can receive the shipment and return here before Eurasian patrols catch on to us.”

“Agreed,” Vos replied.

“Wait,” Farahani interjected. “Can Saman come with you? I want him to report about this shipment if in the event something goes wrong.”

“Fine,” al-Saqqaf conceded. “But we better hurry.”


Banak. 0909 hours

Vos, al-Saqqaf, Tarou and Saman returned to Banak Beach Park, where they arrived two days before. They saw the MS Arabia with its stern-quarter ramp lowered.

“We need someone to keep an eye out for Eurasian patrols,” Vos said as he, at the truck’s steering wheel, stopped the truck.

Someone knocked the door of the right side of the tractor mirror. Vos and al-Saqqaf turned to find Tarou knocking with al-Saqqaf opening the window. “I’ll do it,” Tarou said as he volunteered to patrol for Eurasian patrols.

“Good luck, Ganji.”

Vos then proceeded ahead to the Arabia. Inside the Arabia, the additional supplies meant for Farahani’s cell were being loaded. After that, Vos moved the truck backward but stopped again as he needed to contact Tarou to hear from him about Eurasian patrols.

Using his smartphone’s Military Communicator application, Vos accessed Tarou’s frequency 140.10. “Ganji, do you read me?” Vos asked. “Ganji, respond!”

“This is Ganji,” Tarou responded from the other end of the smartphone.

“Thank goodness you responded. Any Eurasians coming in?”

“No. Have you gotten the supplies yet?”

“Yes, but we’re-”

“Hold on, I’m seeing something.”

“What is it?”

“A Walgear.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“I’m not lying. It’s a Lance II.”

“Get out of there now! We leave as soon we board the truck, so run as fast as you can.”

“But what about the Arabia?” al-Saqqaf asked he interrupted Vos. “If that Walgear catches it, leave… ”

“I get it! I get it!” Vos replied to al-Saqqaf.

Both Vos and al-Saqqaf were interrupted by Tarou knocking on the right window of the tractor. al-Saqqaf opened the window with Vos moving his body rightward to see Tarou.

“You made it,” al-Saqqaf remarked.

“Has that ship left yet?” Tarou asked.

“No,” Vos answered.

“I think I have an idea on what to do with that approaching Walgear,” Tarou said.

“You do?” al-Saqqaf asked.


0938 hours

The pilot of the SH-6 Tarou spotted saw the truck. The male pilot used his Walgear’s communicator and type in a certain frequency.

“This is Lipec-2-3,” the Walgear pilot said, using the communicator. “I’ve spotted a suspicious truck in my way. Permission to stop and investigate?”

“Permission granted, 2-3,” a male voice replied over the communicator.

The pilot stopped his SH-6. After opening his cockpit, the pilot grabbed his rifle and got off the Walgear. He then reached the truck, going to the tractor first. However, he found no one inside.

He then went to the trailer and, to his surprise, he found the crates. Surprising the pilot further was that there was a crowbar laying around, causing him to put down his rifle while keeping it slung across his body. Before using the crowbar, however, the man untied a group of crates then used the crowbar to open the topmost box. As he opened the box, his mouth was agape with what he found—rocket-propelled grenades.

“I… I have to-” the pilot said before he was grabbed from the back by Tarou Ganji.

The pilot struggled to free himself. However, Tarou had the stronger grip on the neck of the former with his right hand. As the pilot increased the speed of his struggle, Tarou forced the neck further to its right, killing the pilot.

Tarou then drooped the corpse onto the ground. Vos, al-Saqqaf, and Saman came out from underneath the truck to look at the dead pilot’s body.

“This was your plan?” al-Saqqaf asked as he faced Tarou. “What do we do now?”

“First, we-” Tarou said.

“2-3, come in!” the male voice the Walgear pilot talked to earlier shouted from the communicator of the perfectly intact SH-6.

Vos then walked up the cockpit of the empty Walgear. “2-3, what did you-” the male voice asked before Vos turned off the communicator.

“Now what do we do with this Walgear?” Vos asked Tarou as he, al-Saqqaf, and Saman joined him.

“We take it with us,” Tarou answered. “I’m sure Commander Farahani would appreciate the gift.”

“That’s not a bad idea, but what do we do about additional ammunition?” Saman asked. “I’m sure this Walgear’s weapon needs ammunition.”

“We can worry about that later,” Vos answered. “Let’s get that truck moving.”

“And I’ll tell the Arabia they’re clear to leave now,” al-Saqqaf added.

“Now what do we do with him?” Vos asked as he pointed at the dead Eurasian pilot.

“Take everything but the uniform and leave the corpse for his fellow invaders to find,” Saman answered.

“Agreed,” al-Saqqaf replied.


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. 1059 hours

“You mean to tell me you risked out supplies and the identity of our suppliers so that we can steal an enemy Walgear?” Farahani asked with Ghasem beside him after Tarou, Vos, al-Saqqaf, and Saman returned with the truck filled with supplies from the Arabia and the SH-6.

“Pretty much,” Vos answered.

Farahani laughed. As it got louder, everyone from Wattana to the recruits gathered, curious as to why their leader was laughing.

Farahani then stopped laughing but didn’t get rid of his smile. “You never cease to amaze me,” Farahani remarked. “Job well done. You can rest up for now.”


Shiraz. 1111 hours

At the Imperial Eurasian Army’s training school for Walgear pilots in Shiraz, two SH-6s fought yet the rifle they carried fired orange-colored rounds that made a mess of the asphalt once they didn’t hit a target. One SH-6 was colored beige whereas one SH-6 was colored purple.

As the beige-colored SH-6 fired, the purple-colored SH-6 evaded. When the latter fired in kind, the former evaded.

He’s good, Vladimir Mirov, the pilot of the purple SH-6, thought.

This repeated until Mirov that he ran out of ammunition. He then saw the beige SH-6 stopping. “What are you doing?” Mirov questioned. “You can’t stop here.” No response followed. “You’ll regret this.”

Mirov charged toward the beige SH-6. However, as Mirov used his the Strike Knuckle on his Walgear’s right arm and charged against the beige Walgear, the latter evaded the former as it got close and Mirov threw the punch.

With only its right hand, the beige-colored Walgear shot the purple-colored Walgear with its rifle. The orange-colored shot hit the head of Mirov’s SH-6.

“Nicely done,” Mirov said, using the communicator of his SH-6. “You passed.”

Both Walgears got out of the road filled with orange shots. Once parked beside each other, the respective cockpits of both SH-6s opened as they knelt. Once they got off their respective SH-6s, Mirov and the pilot of the beige-colored SH-6, a girl with long black hair, light skin, and blue eyes shook hands.

“Again, nicely done, Kursant Tuleshova,” Mirov said.

“Spasibo, Leytenant Mirov,” the girl named Tuleshova replied.

“Leytenant, sorry to interrupt, but Kapitan Nazarov is asking for you in his office,” Nadezhda Aslanova interrupted as she was behind Mirov and saluted.

“Spasibo, Mladshiy Leytenant Aslanova,” Mirov replied as he turned and saluted Aslanova in return.


1128 hours

Mirov appeared at the office of Tigran Pavlovich Nazarov. As the latter stood up, he and the former saluted each other.

“You called for me, Kapitan?” Mirov asked.

“I did,” Nazarov answered. “The General-Gubernator requests your presence. Though he added that you can leave after you’ve had your lunch.”

“Spasibo, Kapitan.”


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. 1406 hours

The recruits gathered in the village with Vos, Tarou, Wattana, Farahani, and al-Saqqaf watching. Armin opened a crate and brought out an empty RPG-7 launcher and gave it to Ghasem. Farahani looked on with amazement that the very weapon he wielded seven years ago was to be used again.

“This here is an RPG-7,” Ghasem explained to the recruits. “It is widely used across the world and we will learn how to use it today.”

Ghasem then pointed to two targets that everyone can only see faintly. “Today, we will test out the usage of the RPG-7. One will carry and fire the RPG, while the other will provide a spare rocket. Who wishes to volunteer?”

“I do,” Kamran Ghorbani said as he volunteered. He had light intermediate skin, short black hair, and dark brown eyes.

“Now who wishes to assist with loading the rockets?”

“I’ll assist,” Tarou said as he raised his hand.

After receiving the RPG-7’s launcher and receiving the spare rockets, respectively, Ghorbani and Tarou proceeded to the firing range. Seeing the targets, Ghorbani aimed the RPG-7 at the first target he and Tarou saw, but the latter gave a disapproving look as Ghorbani used his left hand for the pistol grip and the right hand for the vertical foregrip behind it.

“No, no, no!” Tarou argued. “You’re using it wrong. Let me show you how but please give me your launcher first.”

Without saying a word, Ghorbani handed over the launcher with his right hand while Tarou offered a rocket-propelled grenade in exchange. After he received the launcher, Tarou gave the other rocket-propelled grenade to Ghorbani.

“Now look carefully at how to properly wield the launcher,” Tarou instructed as he used his right hand to hold the launcher at its pistol grip and its index finger at the trigger with the left hand holding the vertical foregrip.

“You observing well?” Tarou asked, without looking at Ghorbani.

“Baleh,” Ghorbani answered.

“Now are you ready to fire while holding it properly?”

“I am.”

Both Tarou and Ghorbani did a reverse of the exchange they had a few minutes before; Ghorbani giving Tarou the launcher while the latter gave the rocket-propelled grenades, one at a time, to the former. Ghorbani then wielded the launcher again, but this time, he remembered how Tarou held it.

“Good, you’re holding it well,” Tarou complimented. “Now, are you ready to fire?”

“Baleh,” Ghorbani replied.

“Then I’ll load you a rocket-propelled grenade into that launcher.”

Tarou came up in front of Ghorbani and loaded one of the two rocket-propelled grenades onto the launcher Ghorbani was wielding. The former stepped away from Ghorbani as he knew what came after an RPG-7 was fired.

“Hold on, I have to remove the safety cap,” Tarou said.

Stopping beside Ghorbani, Tarou used his right hand to remove the safety cap covering the fuze of the RPG-7’s warhead. Only after doing so does he resume staying away from the RPG launcher once Ghorbani fires.

“Are you ready to fire?” Tarou asked to Ghorbani.

“I am,” Ghorbani answered.

“Then pull the trigger on the count of… Three… ”

Ghorbani focused on aiming at the target using the RPG-7 launcher’s iron sights.

“Two,” Tarou added before closing his ears.

Ghorbani slowly moved his right index finger toward the trigger. Seeing what was happening, Farahani, Vos, Wattana, and the other Brotherhood of Freedom members covered their eyes. “One!” Tarou shouted.

At that instant, Ghorbani pulled the trigger. The rocket-propelled grenade immediately left the launcher and flew toward the target. The projectile then hit the target and while it still stood, the blast damaged the target.

Everyone but Ghorbani uncovered their ears. “Nicely done,” Ghasem said to Tarou and Ghorbani. “Now move on to the next target. You’ll only finish once you hit the other target.”

“Yes, Sergeant,” Tarou and Ghorbani replied in unison before moving to the next target.


Tehran. 1459 hours

Vladimir Mirov returned to the office of his uncle, General-Gubernator Aleksandr Mirov. Both men saluted each other.

“Please sit down,” Aleksandr said.

Mirov noticed a chair in front of him and did as his uncle asked. “GRU picked this up.”

Aleksandr handed over photographs to his nephew. The latter saw a photograph of a ship near the shore of a ruined city with a rectangle near the ship with the name “Banak” in both Cyrillic and its Romanization at the upper left of the photograph colored black.

“This happened near Banak?” Mirov asked.

“Da,” Aleksandr answered. “I’ve also heard one Shagokhod pilot tried to investigate a truck, presumably the one near that ship, but we lost contact with him until we found his corpse and everything he had stolen, his Shagokhod missing, and the truck gone.”

“It must have been Iron Dutchman Services!”

“Won’t this be a good idea to move in against them and the rebels they’re working with?”

“Not yet. Not until you hear from your informant.”

“I suppose that is fair.”

“Dyádya Alik, I have an idea: why don’t conduct reconnaissance around Banak? That way, we can find where those mercenaries are operating.”

“We already lost one Shagokhod. What makes you think-”

“Don’t worry, all I need to do is scare the rebels into being carless when they attempt to hide from us. At the least, we have something to work with before we hear from Šap.”

“That’s… actually a good idea. I’ll send in Kz-28s to Shiraz tomorrow.”

“Spasibo, General-Gubernator.”


Brotherhood of Freedom Cell Headquarters. 2048 hours

“So have we now decided how this cell will be divided?” Vahid Farahani asked in his room to Wouter Vos, Tarou Ganji, Sunan Wattana, Anita Hamilton, Saman, Armin, Yusuf al-Saqqaf, and Ghasem Madani.

“Now that we have the additional weapon, we have,” al-Saqqaf answered. “Commander Farahani will personally command a group consisting of himself and four others.”

“Ghasem, Armin, think I can have you with me in my group?” Farahani asked to both Ghasem and Armin.

“Yes, Commander,” Ghasem and Armin answered in unison.

“Now who else ought to be under my command?”

“Mind if I join your group?”al-Saqqaf asked as he raised his hand. “Although I think you know why I’m asking.”

Everyone became silent as they knew al-Saqqaf as it was his job as an FIA agent to keep an eye on Farahani. “Very well, Mr. al-Saqqaf, you’ll be under my command,” Farahani replied.


“Anyone else?”

“Wattana, Ganji, can I have you both under Commander Farahani?” Vos asked as he faced Wattana and Tarou.

“Yes, sir,” Wattana and Tarou replied to Vos in unison.

“Now we need to come up with the structure for Group A,” Farahani announced. “Someone needs to take command of that group.”

“Can I?” Vos asked as he raised his hand.

“Are you sure about this?” Farahani asked as he faced Vos.

“I’m sure,” Vos answered.

“Then you’ll be given the rank of Lieutenant. Now all you need is a Sergeant, a Senior Volunteer, and four Junior Volunteers.”

“So it’s up to me who I place within my unit?”

“That’s right,” Farahani answered before turning to Saman. “Saman, I need you to command Group B.”

“Commander, are you sure?” Saman answered.

“I’m sure.”

“I’m honored by this.”

“Yeah, about that… ” Vos interjected. “Can Saman and I hold off who ought to be in our respective groups until tomorrow evening?”

“Why?” Farahani asked coldly.

“We need to see who’s deserving to be in our respective groups. It’s for the sake of who can fulfill what duty when needed.”

“I agree with M- I mean, Lieutenant Vos,” Saman said.

“… Fine,” Farahani replied. “We can hold off assignments until tomorrow. Anything else?”

“Yes, there is,” Saman answered. “Tomorrow’s a Friday. Commander, you know what that means, right?”

“… I do,” Farahani answered. “We’ll have to delay the tests for another day.”

“It’s going to be boring tomorrow,” Vos remarked.

“And I know you’re not the type to respect what we do on Fridays,” Farahani replied to Vos. “And neither am I.”

“Wait, I have an idea,” Tarou added.

“What might that be?” Farahani asked as he turned to Tarou.

“A reconnaissance mission.”

“Where and what for?”

“Banak. After what happened today, those Eurasians are bound to investigate that area. We need to plan out something if in the event they get close to finding us.”

“I agree with Mr. Ganji,” Saman said.

Everyone else in the room gave variations of the same response. “Very well,” Farahani said, before turning to Ghasem. “Ghasem, please notify the recruits and everyone else that they’re to gather at the village tomorrow morning, same time. We’ll tell them about the reconnaissance mission.”

“Yes, Commander,” Ghasem replied.

Farahani then turned to Vos. “Lieutenant Vos, I need you and your men to conduct this reconnaissance mission,” Farahani ordered.

“Yes, Commander,” Vos replied.

“Anything else?” Farahani asked as he looked away from Vos.

“No,” everyone in the room replied in unison.

“Then you’re all dismissed. Good night.”


Kursant – Russian for “cadet”. Cyrillic: Курсант