The Game Changer – Episode 2

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© Tisa Phiri

Walking out of the prison was easy, i simply passed through the main gate lost in thoughts. I almost lost it at some point when some guard tried to stop me.

” excuse me sir,” he stopped me trotting to where i stood and i placed my hand on my back ready to react.

” you left this” he extended his hand giving me the folder i had carried earlier containing the fake documents.

” Thank you sergeant, have a good night work” i responded in my fake voice trying so hard to mimick the owner of the uniform i had on.

” Thank you sir, so will you, sir” he saluted and walked back as i walked through the already opened gate.

I matched for some few minutes to the point i had my boys waiting going through the story Makasa just told me. I couldn’t believe the hunger for power drove my trusted friends to betray me. They had plotted my death and if what Makasa said which i knew was part to a bigger truth, it means the guys had something to do with the failed coup of the government which was in power 4 years back.

Wondering who i am ? Well, am a highly trained commando who worked for half my life for the government of Zambia. Unlike other people in the force, i always wanted to serve my country with honour and diligence. My promise to protect and defend my nation was done with sincerity.

My parents died years ago when i was still a child and i mostly don’t give a damn about them. They bore me and left me to be raised by my cruel aunty, which somehow made me so pissed about them. I never grow old enough to know them, my aunty told me my mother died giving birth to me, i bet the woman couldn’t take the power of a boy child emerging from her. My father died 2 years later from some cancer caused by excessive drinking of alcohol.

So i was taken in as a baby by my aunty the woman i only knew as my mother until i was 8 years old. I had wondered why i was treated different from other kids in the house and when one of her sons spat in my face telling me i wasn’t his brother, i then realised how much of a burden i had been.

I however never took insults from my so called brothers without a fight, i cared less whether the guy was older or younger than me, anyone messes with me i deal with them, has always been my sloggan. I developed the defence technique to help me cage my childhood fears.

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Being treated badly all the time created some negative impact inside of me which led me to become so pissed with almost everything around me.

I was mad at my parents for deserting me, i was mad at myself for making my mother die after giving birth to me. I was mad at my aunty for treating me bad. I was basically so mad ar everything the rage was so deep i couldn’t contain it, hence the fights and rudness.

By the time i completed my secondary school all i wanted was to become a combat man. I felt i could help serve my country to attorney for all the bad staff i had done growing up.

My passion to have that power of holding a gun and commanding respect even pushed me further in my persue for the combat job.

My aunty and her husband tried to force me to do some other courses but i was not to be turned down.

Within months after school i was recruited in the army and i was one of the best trained soldiers. My vigour to be outstanding got me to the top and i was glad to have a command on my fellow soldiers as Captain within 6 years in service.

One of the results of being the kind of person i was was that we were mostly used for covert missions as special ops.

One of which i and four of other highly trained militants like myself where sent to in the borders of the neighbouring countries.we were told our country was under threat by the mercenaries and we were to uncover their hide out.

Among the soldiers on the mission was a guy, highly trained too and with some deep experience with lebels from the neighbouring country. We were told the guy was a bad ass commando who survived among the 20 zambian soldiers who were captured. He was to lead us into the mission, though i felt pissed the commander had put t me under the command of somone outside our crew, i was so proud of the guy and his skills. I actually felt inspired by him.

Recalling my first time i met him. He was clad in his combat standing menacingly ordering us as we got to land from the chopper somewhere in Luangwa.

” i want this to work soldiers, i will work to see that we all go back home safe and sound. Our women and children are waiting for us. Our country needs us and our tentacles are bulged with strength ready to giveus the satisfaction of that which er trained so hard for.” He added with a smile.

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” so lets stick together, make your country proud!” He yelled raising his hand.

” hey soldier whats your name?” He called me to attention.

” Steven Banda sir!” I shouted back giving him the respect as he was a higher rank than mine even though he was my age mate.

” wrong answer soldier, you are in the jungle and giving your true name is forbidden. I will find a suitable name for you” He looked at us all seriously.

” yes sir!” I responded liking his atitude. He was my kind of guy.

” You are in charge of the group heading west soldier. Him, him and him!” He pointed at my friend’s( ofcourse he didnt know that), Jacob, Makasa and Mberere Jose who we mostly addressed with his last name.

” are going with you” he said and he put another guy to my group too. He gave us prio instructions and we dispersed.

Everything went on well until he succesfully led us all out of the bushes rsiking his own life to save the president from a planned assassination and the government from a coup.

However, a month later we were sent back to Mozambique to collect evidence to use against the perpetrators. Thats when things went sour, we were ambushed by unknown men gunning down 2 soldiers from my crew.

What puzzled me the most was that i was left behind in a burning cabin without being helped out by my trusted friends. I survived with a lot of burns my whole body. I was barely alive when a humble farmer and his daughter picked me up and nursed my wounds for months.

With his herbs i healed and my skin tone went back to normal. I had it in mind that my friends had probably perished in the furnace too but to my shock, when i found my way back to my country, i discovered all of them where alive and evidently doing so well fully incorporated in the government and Jocob who was one of us running for president.

My investigations into the matter made me believe the attack in the woods was meant to eliminate me and the other two soldiers. Here i am now trying to get to the root of all. The story from Makasa was not adding up but i left the guy alive for obvious reasons, he was to be out in a couple of months and i meant to dig all i needed from him and get closer to Jacob. His elevation made seeing him impossible i needed a strategy and so far the only other personi could easily reach was the now retired General Ackim. I had it in mind he knew something and so i had to dig him out.

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Makasa told me he settled on the copper belt and now i had another trail to follow.

“We are here boss” one of my boys spoke snapping me out of my deep thoughts.

” boss? Are you okey?” He asked again seeing i wasn’t making any move.

” yeah i heard you the first time dammit! Get out of my truck now and leave me alone ” i shouted back making the guy react faster jumping out of the Ford Ranger.

I moved to the steering and reversed screeching the tires as i drove out of the yard.

I had some money saved up from all the covert operations and now all i had to do for the time being is enjoy it. I deliberately bought a flat which was to be my home for a little while.

I didn’t feel like sleeping my brain was trying to process multiple things at once. I really nreded something to calm my nerves.

” hey can i have double that portion” i called to street boy who usually sold me dope.

” you are the boss man . You are the best!” He smiled making a dance as he waited for me to hand him the cash.

I sniffed some of the contents of the small portion i was given closing my eyes feeling its effect as the inhaled the white substance as it touched my inside.

” dammit you fools will pay for this!” I cursed feeling drowsy and staying put letting it cover my entire system.

” am not sleeping. I have to see you Ackim. I atleast trusted you to stand for me. You told me never leave a fellow soldier behind but you defiled your own law. How dare you! ” i whispered to myself turning the vehicle into the main road before speeding away like a mad man. I looked at my watch and sat up, fastening the seat belt. It was quarter to 4am, i made a note to touch down Chingola before 9am.

…to be continued

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