- Shoot! - yelled Idi, running out of the building.
Soldiers stood with a puzzled look, not understanding what was happening.
- Idiots, the plane! Don't let it take off!
Dictator rushed to one of soldiers, snatched out the gun and fired a burst into vibrating humming propeller. Bullets softly entered the skin, leaving precise black holes. The plane was already turning slowly when soldiers standing nearby all together started to shoot at wings and cockpit. Splashes of blood coloured the window and the buzz of engines died down.
Idi lowered the gun, his chest was raising heavily, drops of sweat glittered on his face, wide opened eyes sticked to the plane.
- Find this traitor and bring him to me!
He said frowning and went back to the building.
His personal guards and a couple of soldiers bursted into the cabin clearing their way with legs and gun muzzles. Tired and horrified people drown close to walls in panic covered their heads with hands, trying to escape fists of Amins ruffians. Somebody was screaming loudly, children cried.
Nicholas' heart jumped up, did the trippled somersault and seemed to stop as his eyes met Masangas eyes. A triumphant smile lit up Masanga's face, slowly, enjoying every single moment he was approaching his victim which he was really hoping to torture.
- Noooooo, - croaked Nicholas, with all his strength clutching the chair as violent hands grabbed his shoulders.
- Son of a bitch, you'll be really sorry you didn't die earlier, - hissed Masanga to his ear, grasping Nicholas's hair and dragging him along the dirty floor.
Soldiers made the noise of approval and followed them.
Bright sparkles flickered in Garrigans eyes as his exhausted body was striking against somebody's legs and the pain with the power of exploding grenade tore him into pieces. Nobody sitting in the plane said a word, all stayed silent, scared of the same lot.
Masanga uplifted the doctor holding his collar and threw out of the plane. Nicholas fell down and moaned, blood from the torn lip washed boots of the soldiers surrounding him. He tried to get up and quiet crunch warned him about the broken rib.
"Or a couple of ribs", thought Nicholas and fell down with fatigue.
- Take him to the boss, - Masanga shouted out to soldiers mocking at the doctor's attempt to get up who looked like a big crinkly worm rather than a man.
Two guys lifted Nicholas and carried him to Idi's office.
Dictator seemed not to pay attention to the body lying on the clean white marble floor in the puddle of blood. He was examining his hands very carefully, bending and unbending his fingers as if surprised that they move the way he wants. Then he looked at the motionless doctor and nodded his head like the father displeased with his son's prank. Amin opened the medicine chest standing on the chair and found liquid ammonia. He came up to the body, squatted down, opened the bottle and brought it to doctor's face.
Groan. Garrigan hardly opened swollen eye, instead of the second one there was crimson-purple hill. Idi sat cross-legged on the floor and with slightly bended head started to watch the doctor.
Gradually Nicholas eyes got conscious, when he saw Amin he startled and tried to crawl as far as possible, but his body wouldn't obey him.
- You are pitiful Nicholas. Pitiful and stupid. You tried to fool me! To poison and then to escape! Escape from me! Have you forgotten who I am, Nicholas? - Amin bended down and almost touched his face.
Grimace of rage and disgust distorted Garrigan's face.
- You are tyrant! Murderer, sucking blood out of this country! - He said hardly pronouncing the words.
Amin recoiled from him, his lower lip bulged in defiance, his nostrils dilating with anger.
- I see that my lesson were just the waste of time for you, Nicholas. You were my brother, my son, my friend, but you decided that you are better than me. And it's after all things I did for you?
- Yeah, you did a hell a lot, especially lately, - Garrigan tried to smile, but swollen face covered with coagulated blood turned into immovable mask.
Suddenly his body curved with convulsion and he said in a husky voice.
- Let's finish it right now.
Idi said nothing, but his eyes gave away how close he was to this dicision.
Somebody knocked the door. Masanga not waiting for the permission entered the room - and it meant that something really important had happened. He rushed to Amin and whispered a couple of words into his ear. Dictator frowned, then the wrinkles on his forehead smoothed away as if he made his mind.
- Masanga, take care of Nicholas, but I want him alive when I come back, I have some plans in terms of him.
Amin set the collar of his shirt, wiped sweat and after last thoughtful glimpse at the doctor he left the room.
When Amin shut the door at last, Masanga came up to his table, gave the polished surface a gentle stroke and then with one sharp move threw off desk set and papers which flew about the room.
- Let's prepare our love-nest. Do you like the missionary position, Garrigan?
The guard laughed. He sat himself heavily in the chair and took the pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
- Want one, Garrigan? Or your mug is so swollen that the cigarette won't fit into your fucken mouth?
Nicholas stayed silent. He desperately tried to work out some plan of escape.
"I need to get to my medicine chest, there I'll find something for me and for my lovely friend..." To get to the chest was his main target, he didn't care about afterwards - how was he going to sneak out of the building surrounded by hundreds of soldiers even if he managed to get up. He just needed something for his fevered brain to think about before the pain would drive him absolutely crazy.
Finally Masanga stood up and came up to Nicholas. The tip of the cigarette was still smoldering, the guard brought it close to his face, looked at it with screwed up eyes, then lowered his hand abruptly and pressed the cigarette to doctor's neck. Faint sizzling and a smell of burning skin. Garrigan sobbed and tried to cover the burn.
- Are you ready to the adventure, Garrigan?
Masanga embraced and uplifted Nicholas and doctor felt as his broken ribs plunged into lungs. The guard moved to the table and put the blood-stained body on it, wiped his hands and looked around. Adrenalin was bouncing in his veins, the heart was jumping in his chest. To break all his fingers for a start? Too easy... Suddenly the medical chest struke his eyes and they glowed with excitement.
- You know, Garrigan, when I was a boy I wanted to be a surgeon, - said Masanga opening the chest and laying out the contents, - but they didn't want me because of cruelty. The owner of that stupid dog complained to my parents. I just wanted to practise a bit. Today is my lucky day.
"Good Lord, let this just be a bad dream..." thought Garrigan and closed his eyes.
The plane looking like a big steel bird flew above white cottony clouds. Pale haggard doctor's face leaned against the window twitched with emotion - he had a nightmare.