The Midnight Sunrise
The sun shown down on my sheet sealing off my gateway into the world of blackness, which I longed to enter again. I sat up, shaking my head slowly to rid my mind of the memories of Amy Anderson otherwise known as my old partner within my division. Four years ago we were on an operation within Germany, chasing down a man named Blake Lilthan who was a terrorist with biological weapons. She sacrificed herself to see I survived, diving out the window taking Blake with her. I would never forget her sacrifice, I dreamed of her every night, not leaving my mind.
I woke up quickly as soon as my phone started to go off. Taking a peek down, I saw that the agency had yet another case for me, and Richard Wilkson was ready to tell me about it. I quickly put the phone to my head before it went to my voicemail.
“Hello, Michael Whitefield here”
“Hey Michael, its Richard. Mind coming by the office early today?”
“Sure thing, new case?” I asked
“Yes it is something you will take extreme interest in.”
“Ok then, I’ll come in about an hour Richard, thanks”
“Fine by me, no paperwork this time Michael, promise.” As the phone clicked I had to laugh a little, because that was a relief for me. Lately the government had been horrible to agents like me, no field works despite all the issues covering the world which we could get our nose into. It was all economic work, which in turn, meant paperwork for me and the thousands of other operatives. I quickly got ready with the typical routine: Clean teeth, shower, grab suit, put on suit, and slide the tie around my neck. It was a shame because I still couldn’t tie it perfectly, and without Amy around, it was very hard to find someone who would help me out. I used to have my apartment clerk down in the lobby fix it for me everyday. We ended up tied together by a tie relationship, until she got fired. What a shame I always thought. Then the new one came along, who just played it smart and bought me a book entitled ‘Simple Tasks for Dummies’. It worked well, so well in fact that the paper was now tapped to my door. After fixing tie and grabbing my wallet, badge, and gun, I walked out into the light of day.
I took my first right to my car, the good old federal SUV. Pitch black with silver wheels and a little orange light incase I was sent after a drug addict on a Sunday morning. I stepped inside and looked through my cup holders to find a few extra quarters for breakfast at McDonalds with a horrible cup of coffee to top it off. As soon as I found my two dollars, I pulled out and headed towards the office. Our office building was very simple for a federal building. It was a tower with fourteen stories, 200 agents, and a vending machine on every floor. Which I despised, because instead of making a drink simply $1.00, they had to price it at $1.05, just to tick you off on those days where you didn’t happen to have a nickel. I pulled up and placed my car in my parking spot, grabbing my McDonalds I headed to another day at work.
I entered through the main doors with my keycard. The second I walked in Richard was standing there with a file and a top-notch cappuccino.
“Morning Michael, how about trading your .50 coffee for something half decent?”
“Sure thing, thanks Richards.” I grabbed the cappuccino and gulped some down, it was fantastic.
“Ok so we have a new case for you, and I really think you will take interest in this one.” I reached for the file, and saw the title on the flap sticking form the folder ‘Darfur Conflict’. I tried to hold back my smile, but I couldn’t. I knew this meant field work, and I was pretty excited about it.
“Something fun happen lately? Or are you excited about the case without even taking a peek?”
“Sir, I really appreciate this.”
“Take it easy Michael, I want to go over it with you before you even try to accept, it’s not a tiny case, it’s massive.”
“Right, gotcha.” I said as I nodded, and followed him into the elevator taking another sip of my cappuccino.
I walked in and took my seat. It’s honestly funny how much I loved field work. It’s mainly because I was like a kid in a candy store when I picked up a field assignment. The one fact about me I forgot to mention was that I am a simple agent when my country doesn’t need me, but when it does. I get to work with some of the worlds best technology, people, and of course partners. Hence my ‘kid in a candy shop’ explanation. I am a member of the CIA’s G.R.T.A.F, otherwise Global Response Tactical Assault Force. I know what you are thinking, it’s quite a mouthful. I joined when I was twenty-two, and have been working in it for three years. I have done work all over the globe in just about every country. You name it, I have been there. Out of all the tools I work with, the elevator is the best. The thing is this elevator is the briefing room for agents like me. It has a holographic touch screen display in which my missions are passed down to me from.
“Greetings Michael Whitefield, please enter identification code.” Said the computer. I plugged in my code, 1849302 on the touch screen floating in front of me.
“Thank you, processing current missions within the globe.” Files flew around my head, circling above me as the AI went through the CIA case files.
“Case file located: Janjaweed militia in Darfur. Assigned officer: Michael Whitefield.” I grabbed the file and looked through it. In the CIA we had simple tasks laid out in order to keep our intelligence from falling into the wrong hands. Tasks were given in orders of two in my line of business, and my first was to locate Ainako Vilijo who was my partner on this mission.
“Can I get a file printout on the following please: Janjaweed militia, Darfur genocide, and Ainako Vilijo.” I asked the computer.
“Of course” the AI responded, printouts will arrive in main office. “Good Luck Agent Whitefield.”
Good luck, I would need that. This was indeed a tough assignment. My first order was to head to the airport, where I would be taken across to Africa and dropped in. Then I had to locate my partner from the African Government before getting my next set of orders. I waved at Richards as I left, picking up my file printouts from the copier. I ditched my empty coffee glass on the way out, and stepped into my SUV.
As I entered the airport, the military let me into the gated area behind the main terminal. There I met up with a few marines, who took me to the hanger where I was loaded onto a C-17. I never really understood why I was being transported in a plane meant for 1-2 Abrams class tanks, but that’s how they did it. I entered the cabin and waved to the pilot.
“Names Mitch, your gears and all in is the back. You know the typical drill.”
“Thanks, ill head back there then Mitch. Keep the ride smooth for me?”
“Of course,” he replied, “Also, there is my personal addition back there. Third seat on the left, I have a mini-fridge under it. It’s got a few drinks if you need something.” I nodded in reply, and turned around to face the rear.
As I entered the back, I saw my equipment. The second I saw the Hummer, I knew this was going to one heck of a mission. I took a peek at my armament lying on the table to my right as well. Let’s just say I felt that they went overboard. I had my typical pistol, but then on the table there were: Machine Guns and mounts for the Hummer, an S&W Magnum, and then a M3 Shotgun. Something was up, and I really was looking forward to my next few orders. I turned to the table, replacing my suit with the typical mercenary look to say undercover. Then I fitted on my kneepads and elbow pads, followed by my vest and camouflage baseball cap. I switched my dress shoes out for the boots, and then headed for the mini-fridge. Looking forward to a cold drink, I opened it to find cans of Dr. Pepper. As I grabbed one I smiled, “Don’t drink and fly, you’re a smart one Mitch.”
The rest of the plane trip was extremely boring; despise me bringing my I-pod for entertainment. After listing to a few hours of just about artist I could find, Mitch called me up.
“Two hours till we land, I would get your ride ready to go.” I nodded, and proceeded into the back as Mitch yelled after me yet again.
“By the way, your next orders are to meet Ainako Vilijo in the town of Kassallia, its 6 clicks south of your drop location.” I nodded yet again, and proceeded into the belly of the plane. I put all of my provided gear into my truck, trusting the CIA’s judgment and hopped into the driver’s seat.
I awoke to Mitch yelling, “Michael, get up NOW! We are under fire from the local militia!” I kick started at hearing the gunfire pinging off the hull of the plane.
“I’m putting you down and firing off a few shells. Head to Kassallia and find Ainako, then your next orders will be sent to your phone.”
“Thanks Mitch and you make sure you get out of here, im buying you a round when I get back.”
As he laughed he started his countdown, “3, 2, 1, bay opening, in 5 seconds punch out.” I held the locking level on the side of the hummer counting down the seconds. The longest five seconds it seemed. I then cut the lever, and was jerked back into the gunfire. I withdrew my pistol as I smacked into the dusty ground of Africa, slamming down the gas pedal. My eyes fanned over the new battlefield, spotting my six targets scattered in the rocky outcrop to my left. I pulled my vehicle to a stop and entered the first firefight of my mission.
I crouched behind the hummer, peeking around the front and squeezing my pistols trigger, letting off a shot and sending a militia solider to the ground. I turned around the pack, picking up my magnum and sprinting towards the outcrop. Dust kicked into my eyes as bullets crashed around me causing my body to pump up entirely too much adrenaline. I smacked into the rock and flew around the right side. As I went into the open, I pulled my trigger twice more, seeing two more men fall. I noticed the two sitting outside the hut shooting down on me, but where was the third? Then I got my answer. A fist hit me hard in the shoulder knocking my pistol out of my hand. I spun around and got nailed in the face by another one, but then my senses kicked in. The tall man swung another fist at my head, and I spun to my left, smacking my fist into his elbow. With a cry of pain the man stammered backwards. He rushed at me with his other arm, but I again spun around, kicking him square in the face. Finally he collapsed and fell down onto the dusty sands of Africa. Picking up my pistol I charged the final two, sending one down with a bullet and knocking the other out cold. Breathing heavily, I approached the hut with my pistol in my hand to find two girls curled up in the shack on a sheet. They fled back into the corner, tears streaming from their eyes.
“It’s alright, it’s alright, I am Michael, let me help you. Please let me help you.” The two girls got up slowly as I extended my hand towards them. They were both very skinny and beaten with cuts and wounds all over their legs. As the first of the girls grasped my hand I wrapped mine around hers, feeling all of her pain flow through me. I guided them slowly out of the makeshift shack and into the sunlight. I walked them quickly to my Hummer, were we all sat on the back and I gave them food and water. It was like they hadn’t eaten in days, devouring what I gave them quickly. I took two blankets from my survival kit and wrapped them around the girls, giving them another water bottle as well. I looked around me at the dead… Who did they think they were? Why did they do this to these two poor girls? I don’t think I would ever understand, and the thing which really makes break into tears is that those two girls were probably the best thing that happened to me in Darfur, because from this moment on it only got worse….
I woke up to the morning sunrise in the seat of my vehicle slowly opening my eyes to see the two girls still asleep in the back. I grabbed a military ration and opened it up to see: Steak and eggs, my favorite little breakfast in the field. As I took bites out of my morning meal, I saw the two girls looking over my shoulders. I took two more rations out of the glove box and handed them to the girls. As we all sat eating in the morning sunlight, I noticed a small shape on the horizon. As it came closer I noticed a car which was covered in militia. I flung myself to the wheel, pressing down hard on the gas. The two girls started to scream as I turned and sped south to the village of Kassallia to find my partner, and my next stack of orders.
After 5 clicks were down, I was relived to see the girls had calmed down again, and were just enjoying the ride so it seemed. Africa was truly beautiful when you didn’t see the war around you. The sand, trees, tall grass, and all of the wildlife made it a really amazing ride to Kassallia. As I saw the town up ahead I was very surprised no-one shot at me as I pulled into the main street and headed towards the marketplace to meet my contact. The city was covered with people, all around selling their good or buying some. As soon as I saw some men armed with AK-47s I covered my payload of weapons with a blanket from the back. The last thing I needed right now was a firefight in the middle of Kassallia. As I pulled into the market and parked my car, the two girls jumped out. I was surprised when they grabbed my hands and dragged me towards a house a few steps away. They knocked on the door shouting happily, “Ma! Ma! Oopmaak die deur!” I door creaked open and a young woman appeared. I watched as the girls ran up to their mother and burst into tears. Years pass by, and I still do not forget that moment. As I saw their faces smiling with water flowing from there childish eyes as their mother held onto them tight. I turned to walk away, and the woman approached me as I did so.
“I don’t know who you are, or why you did this, but thank you so much. I cannot tell you how long I thought I lost the only two gifts I cared about in my life. I prayed for days for them to return, and now my angel has brought them to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she whispered happily. I didn’t know what to say or what do, there was no way to say a simple, your welcome in this circumstance. I merely nodded to the woman and said, “You must be proud of your daughters, keep them close.” Suddenly she ran up and threw her arms around me whispering, “Dank jy my held, Dank jy.” When she let me go and returned to her doorstep, I burst into tears as I walked away. I had never been in anything like this, and I had never dreamed to be. She called me an angel, and a hero, and I would never forget that. I slowly climbed into my vehicle brushing the tears out of my eyes and pulled back into the street. It was time to get back to my official business.
I took the right up on the next street, following the crowd into the center of the city where the marketplace was located. As I walked around I noticed everyone taking a look at me as went by, it was a scary feeling. Like the everyone on the earth was watching you. As I slowly advanced forward I eventually had to park my hummer and head forward on foot. I grabbed my keys and money and headed for the marketplace. When I entered the center of the city I saw thousands of people trading fruits and vegetables, as well as baskets and sculptures full of radiant detail. I then started to realize the situation. Covering the rooftops were armed men all ready to unleash what they had down into the market if the need arose. A bit scared of the current overlay, I headed into Yulicuts Bar, where I was to meet the fabled Ainako Vilijo.
When I entered it was full of people all happy, cheerful, and full of drinks. I took a wooden chair and sat at the bar. I motioned for the bartender.
“Hello there, how can I help you?” the man said.
“Can I have a beer? Anything you got will work.” I replied. As he started to walk away to grab my bottle a female voice echoed through my ears.
“Ill take one as well, on him of course.” Before I turned to ask who the new company was, I got my answer.
“Ainako Vilijo, you are Michael Whitefield I presume?”
“That I am. I hope you have something to pay for that drink.” I smiled as I turned around to face her. Ainako looked beautiful. She had dark black hair running down over her shoulders along with a set of deep blue eyes. She wore a blue shirt along with some jeans, and topped it off with a set of boots. She had a tribal bracelet wrapped around her wrist, along with a necklace around her neck. She also knew how to respond to my pick-up line on the spot.
“I always come prepared Mr. Whitefield.” She said with a smile, and shoved an envelope into my hands. “I hope that will cover my drink?” I started to open the package; I liked my new partner already.
As I slid open the package I saw the new orders: Get out of the city tonight. Survive. It has been confirmed that the Janjaweed local militia is attempting an attack on Kassallia tonight. Stay hidden, don’t let them see you. Avoid capture. Their leader, Assimuni Utabilus will be preset: do not engage him, at any costs. We cannot attack and reveal United States involvement. I slammed my fist down onto the bar. I then looked at Ainako over my shoulder, “I don’t intend on letting this man escape.”
“I know Michael, and we won’t let him.”
Ainako, we cannot disobey an order from the United States government.” I stammered.
“Yes we can, we know the truth about this, and they will upon our return. We can stop a part of the Janjaweed, and I intend on doing so.”
“Alright, let’s go.”
I put down some money on the bar and finished off my drink to the sound of gunshots. Utabilus was here.
I turned around to look into the square as the people around Ainako and I fled in into the marketplace, where bullets rained and carved paths of death through the thousands in their wake. Screams echoed in my ears as I drew my pistol from its holster and kicked out the back door of the bar. Ainako and I ran down the alleyway, making it to the rooftops from the ladder in the back. My fury built up inside as I saw the militia men shooting without resentment from the rooftops. I motioned for Ainako to eliminate them men on the rooftops. She whistled to get the first mans attention, who turned to her only to get a round kick into the cheekbone, knocking him from the roof into the marketplace with a crack as he hit. The others turned to face us upon hearing there comrades scream, and opened fire. So began my walk into the valley of death, were I was to face my fate.
Bullets rained around me as I dove for the nearest chimney, firing off rounds as I went. Slamming into the wall I heard a sudden yell, “MICHAEL! GET OUT OF THERE NOW!” I vaulted to my left onto the stairwell as I rocket flew and impacted the chimney, reducing it to rubble and dust. I ran across the catwalk, shooting rounds at one of the men, who responded with a jump right onto the catwalk. He slammed into my side, knocking my gun from my hands as he did. I quickly ducked as his rifle-butt swung over my head. I threw force into an uppercut and hit him right under the chin knocking him backwards onto the catwalk with a massive blow. I picked up my gun and the mans rifle and continued across the catwalk. A few moments later one more dropped down, looking up as he landed. I aimed my pistol but before I took the shot I saw Ainako drop on top of him, wrapping her legs around his head. With a crack he was on the ground and she flipped onto the catwalk. She nodded and motioned for me to follow.
We proceeded off the catwalk and into the streets of the city. Thousands of people brushed by as we scrambled for my car and the weapons. Gunshots rang out again, and people started to fall to the ground, covered in innocent blood. I grabbed onto the hummer and hoisted myself onto it, grabbing the M3 and throwing it to Ainako. I took the magnum and M-4 for myself, and jumped back onto the ground. I looked around, assessing the situation. The militia covered the rooftops with rifles and RPG’s and kept firing into the civilians like animals.
“Where is he?”
“My personal belief would be the chapel.”
“Let’s go then,” I said, loading my M-4…
As we moved along the street everything was quiet, well at least around us. The gunfire had stopped, but the screams echoed in the night, like millions of wolves howling in the darkness. I turned down the street on the left to see the church, falling to pieces from its horrible treatment. I noticed a man in the tower on my first look around the corner. Before I could turn around and tell Ainako, I heard screams.
“Die twee vyands are hier!”
As soon as he finished his yelling, militia men came pouring out of the chapel. This was defiantly the place. I knew if way stayed together we both wouldn’t make it, not with this many men around us. I did what I had to, turning to Ainako.
“Go around on the rooftops, Ill take these men on.”
“Alright Michael, but please be careful.” I nodded, and loaded my weapons once again. She ran around to the back again, and headed for the rooftops. I took a peek around, it was a small alleyway covered with militia from the ground to the rooftops. There was a sniper in the top right tower, along with a man holding the spotlight opposite him. I noticed a stash of weapons across the street hidden in the back of a truck and realized what was going on. I dashed across the open road to the truck through the darkness, hoping to avoid the spotlight. Knowing my luck however, I couldn’t manage. I was screen after about my first three steps. Bullets rained around me as a dove and slid into the safety of the wall. I looked into the truck, an RPG, perfect. With a jump I landed on the truck bed, continuing to get a hail of fire from my enemies. I crouched under the side of the truck until the fire ceased, and then grabbed the rocket. Turning around the back tire, I let off a rocket. I watched as it sped and smacked into the side of the church, knocking out the search-light and the militia along with the tower. The fire resumed right on queue, bullets coming in stampedes. I heard shots from above me and saw Ainako on the rooftop. She gave me the all clear after empting her sniper rifle and I sprinted forward.
The souls of the dead longed for revenge as they gathered around me; I could feel their pain and anguish reaching out towards my own soul. I slid my pistol and revolver from their holsters and dashed forward with the force of millions of lost souls backing me. My fury, rage, and anger unleashed within my first jump, straight through the chapels window covering a front wall. As I felt my body slam into the solid glass I had visions of the chapel. As if I had been in it before. Then I saw men, all dressed in militia uniform. My body was on a rampage and I couldn’t stop it. My mind was showing me where everything was inside the church, as if I was a psychic. I shot into the air as I went through the window, following my mind as a guide. I let my body do the work as my mind guided it. I rolled to the ground as I hit the floor inside. I turned my head quickly to see four men. I threw myself to a pillar firing my pistol as I went.
I heard screams as my body slammed into the wall. I turned the corner to see two little familiar faces crouching against the wall. The girls from the camp had been taken again. I flipped out of my corner, shooting the man to my left and throwing myself into the one on the right. As I hit the floor I punched him square in the face, knocking him out cold. The woman, who I had returned her daughters to merely this morning, lay dead on the floor. Her girls were sitting there next to her crying and shaking her, yelling for her to wake up. But I knew the truth, and didn’t have the willpower to tell them. As a tear fell from my eye, I told them to stay where they were. Nodding, the two girls crouched back up against the wall.
I took my way upstairs a bit more quietly, sliding my feet as I swept across the ground. The staircase curved around like one you would find in a library, leaving my mind impatient as I walked slowly to catch any guard or person I might find. I finally saw light ahead through the stairways exit to the roof and the leader of the militia. I peeked around the side of the door cautiously and saw what I had been praying for: Utabilus was standing, shaking hands with another man under a hooded robe. I loaded my pistol and ran out onto the rooftop. Utabilus and the hooded man turned to face me. I raised my pistol and started the interrogation.
“Utabilus, tell me what you know about Amy Anderson right now!”
“Michael Whitefield, it really is you. I never thought my friend here was right all this time, but I guess I have lost yet another bet. As for Amy Anderson, I think my friend here might be able to shed a little bit of light on the situation.”
My gaze slowly switched to the hooded man, who raised his hands to pull it back. The second the hood and robes fell, I recognized the person who I had developed the most hatred for in my life.
“Why hello their Michael, surprised to see such a lost face back in your life, or should I say two lost faces?” My arch enemy, Blake Lithan stood before me, with my partner, and the only person I cared about, Amy Anderson in shackles by his side.
“No words? I’m ashamed; I would have considered this a little family reunion. I’m really sorry you couldn’t be here to see the new world here in Darfur. We have such great plans for it. I guess that the three of us will leave you now. You had a chance a long time ago to hold true to yourself, and you failed. Farewell.”
Tears streaming from my eyes I fired at Utabilis hitting him square in the shoulder. Blake grabbed Amy and threw her in front of him as his body shield. I watched as he walked slowly off the edge to the helicopter waiting on the other side of the roof. I looked into Amy’s eyes, full of fear and confusion. I couldn’t shoot, not with the risk of hitting her. I gazed into our past, thinking of our first meeting and our life together. I had sat in wait for four years, thinking her dead. Now I was going to let her go? I couldn’t risk loosing her again. I saw the others I had seen in Kassallia in my mind, crying and holding there loved ones dead or alive in their arms. Thousands died every day, the militia ripping apart families and towns, threatening the balance of peace within the area of Darfur. All because men like Blake Lithan, this happened. I couldn’t let him get away; he had to feel the pain of millions of lost souls from his doings over the years. I looked strait into Amy’s face. For what felt like years I waited for the look from her, and when I saw her nod from under her robes and shackles, I aimed and fired. Blake slammed into the ground dropping Amy down as well. I sprinted forward and grabbed her.
Four lost years attached back into my soul. Tears of joy and sadness flew through my head. Here we stood, on top of a chapel in the city of Kassallia. The sunrise erupted over the horizon and bound itself over the rooftops of Darfur. Midnight shown around us through the dead innocents who fell to hatred and disbelief. The anguish had been stopped and setback, but not forgotten. Genocide still survived, and now I realized hoe horrible and evil it really was. I sat there in the midnight sunrise, and promised myself to stop all that I could. I stood in silence with Amy in my arms, passing the sadness and sorrow which enveloped me. Then the silence was suddenly broken by a gunshot…
I felt cold erupt through my body, like falling into the icy waters of the Artic. I felt my blood falling across my hands as I slid to my knees. I looked into the midnight sunrise to see the souls of the fallen people of Kassallia, dragging me into the sky with them. I looked over into the blackness to see Amy over me shedding tears as I lost my breath. I gathered all my remaining strength to see who had ended my life, I had to see. With Amy over me, I saw a tribal necklace surrounded by black hair. I stared into the deep blue eyes of a trusted friend and called out my last word, “Why you?”
Epilogue: Michael Whitefield and Amy Anderson were found by a Marines Squad dispatched by the United States president after not hearing from Michael on his mission. Ainako Vilijo was found by the African government in the nearby city of Cassandra in Darfur and arrested on suspected murder of Michael Whitefield, as well as charges of conspiracy. Kassallia is now a peaceful city with Blake stopped, surrounded by the Peacekeepers funded by the United States. The two girls whom Michael rescued grew up to be Amy Anderson’s children, and now live in Washington D.C. with her. After being found, Michael was sent to a military base and put under intensive care. He was barely hanging onto life upon his arrival. After a year of medical care he was sent to the United States. Then in Washington D.C. on August 15th, 2011 Michael Whitefield walked out of the hospital and back to his apartment. He woke up the following morning to his newfound wife, Amy Whitefield, and his two girls, Alice and Kaylee passing a cup of McDonald’s coffee to him as he awoke.