Chapter 8: The Great Escape

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 19

8. The Great Escape!

“Bastard!” Hooman almost shouted. “I could’ve killed that man!”

Simin giggled. “That’s no way of getting revenge!” she said after her burst of laughter somewhat receded. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth! That’s all we can do!  Nothing more!”

“I know, darling,” Hooman said, sounding embarrassed, “I’m sorry that I used a dirty name. But, that fool is really getting on my nerves! He has hurt everyone so frequently that my friends have nicknamed him ‘Eichmann’! That’s why I sometimes lose control of my nerves when I think about him!”

“I understand that fully, Hooman, dear,” Simin said, “I’d probably become just as outraged if I were in your place. Serving in that disgusting military joint under such a horrific commander for so long without having a chance to visit anybody! It really is disgusting! But…”

“I know what you’re goingo say, Simin, honey,” interrupted Hooman. “But I’ll have to resolve this dilemma sooner rather than later if…!”

“Patience!” interrupted Simin this time “If you keep cool for a while, the solution will appear to you much faster. Killing the guy will only make the situation more complicated! Just assume for a second that we have killed the bastard and come home. What are we to do next? Go into hiding, or run away from the country…?”

“I know! You’re absolutely right,” murmured Hooman. “But we have to solve this problem somehow before it gets out of hand.”

“Apart from murdering the guy,” said Simin, “I’m ready to go along with any plan you may have thought of, no matter how hard or hazardous it might be!”

She, then, gently rose to her feet. “Let me go fetch you some coffee or something,” she muttered thoughtfully, “Then, maybe, we can put our heads together and decide what could be done under the present circumstances!”

She strolled away and disappeared in the kitchen.

 

Hooman was now looking around tensely. “Should I or…shouldn’t I,” he kept mumbling to himself. His heart was whacking on his ribs.

Soon , however, Simin returned wearing a far and wide smile on her lips “Could you…think of something different…while I was gone?” she asked as she put a tray of coffee and pastry on a small side table next to Hooman.

“Well,” answered Hooman after a minute, “What I was thinking of …may sound rather weird…or even crazy to you…”

“It’s okay,” cut in Simin. “Tell me anything that comes to your head no matter how illogical it may sound to you yourself. We can work on the idea together to find and resolve its shortcomings….”

“Well, what came to my mind,” explained Hooman, “was… the most straight forward way out of this situation, that is, going into hiding!”

“Huh,” said Simin after a minute’s thinking. “Why do you think so? Isn’t there any other way out of this situation at all?”

“Well,” Hooman began to explain, “As I’ve told you, the bastard, who happens to be the commander of our Company, has come to the conclusion that there is an informer…in our barracks. For some reason, he has begun thinking of me…as his only suspect….My friend Hossein told me, a few days ago, that the guy had told one of his colleagues that he was going to get a horrible revenge…!”

“But,” mumbled Simin quite confused, “Why should you decide to run away for…a thing like this?  Why should he suspect you, and why should he want to get a revenge at all…!?”I don’t quite…understand!”

“Well,” explained Hooman, “For two reasons! First, that the guy has sworn to get a very tough revenge by making me his own prisoner for the rest of my military service period, which means wasting a big chunk of my life!” He stopped, shook his head and made a grimace, but didn’t continue.

“And second?” mumbled Simin, watching him with probing eyes.

 “And second that,” started Hooman again, “I will, in that case, lose all my chances to take part in our fight against the tyrannical regime which is ruling our country!” He stopped again, took a long breath before he added firmly, “Since, to do that, I would have to go into hiding sooner or later, anyway, I thought, I might as well do it sooner…rather than later…!”

“I see,” mumbled Simin after a long pause. “What about us, then?” she asked. “I had begun to feel that…I was going to have a sort of… place…in your future…”

“Well, you do, in a way,” mumbled Hooman. “Since my life is not going to be a routine one, however, our life together will not be all that routine, either.” 

“Huh!” the girl said before she rose to her feet!

 She picked up the tray containing the empty coffee cups, and sluggishly walked towards the kitchen.

The apartment grew dead silent for some time before Simin came back carrying a tray with a bottle and two wine glasses. “I think this is what we probably need right now!” she mumbled wearing a smile.

Hooman glanced at what she was carrying and smiled.

“Well,” she said as she put down the try on a small table in front of Hooman and sat down. “I gave it a little thought,” she mumbled, “I’ve decided to…go along with you!  That is, if we actually come to the conclusion that it is sensible enough for us to go into hiding right now!”

“Okay!” said Hooman wearing a grin. “I think that is a great idea, especially since I was away from the country for so long and….”

“Wonderful!” cut in Simin. “Now,” she added after a pause, “The first thing for us to do is to make sure that…the proper time to go into hiding is…now rather than some time in the future.” She took a sip at her drink before she continued, “Would you explain to me the reason why you could not wait for another two months…to finish your military training…before you go underground?”

“Well,” replied Hooman, “The main reason is that it is too risky!” He cleared his throat, nodded a few times before he added, “You see, someone has heard the commander say that he is planning on asking the army to assign me to serve at his own house. You know that the officers here have the right to have a sort of military orderly in their houses. The orderly has to spend his military service period working in the officer’s house as a domestic servant.”

“Yes, I know all about that,” said Simin nodding her head. “My own Uncle Colonel used to have a military orderly all the time.”

“Okay,” said Hooman softly before he continued, “You see, since I have a background of serving a jail term as a political prisoner, when our military training is over, they will most probably make me a private second class instead of a lieutenant! In that case, this man can have the army assign me to work in his house as his orderly. Because he’s planning to retaliate, he will most probably lock me up and put me under great pressure. What I’m afraid of is that I may get so infuriated that I end up killing him before running away!”

“What if…,”mumbled Simin, “they don’t make you a private…considering the fact that you have a number of high ranking officers in your family -- like your ‘Uncle General’, for example?

“Well,” said Hooman after a minute, “Judging by what happened while I was in prison, I should say that…they either can’t do anything, or they don’t want to!  So we shouldn’t count on them at all.”

“What if,” muttered Simin then, “we spend the next two months working, firstly, on preventing them from making you a private, and, secondly, on making a thorough plan for our going into hiding in case they did?” She paused to clear her throat before she added, “That way, there will be enough time for us to establish a safe hiding place and to fix a proper sham identity for you under which you can do your political work…”

“Huh,” mumbled Hooman after a minute’s thinking. “For all I can say, it may be a pretty good idea. The only shortcoming of your plan is that… if they make me a private and I don’t get a chance to escape, I’ll most probably become that bastard’s orderly…and have to bear all its consequences!”

“Well, you’re right!” said Simin firmly. “We must, therefore, make a very comprehensive plan…for your escape …!”

“All right!” muttered Hooman. “In the meantime, I can talk to my friend Hossein at the garrison to work out a supplementary plan to help me run away ... just in case…”

“Excellent!” exclaimed Simin with a far and wide smile on her lips. “I’m going to call my cousin, Ali, who used to work for the security forces, and get him to help us in working out our plan of action. If you remember, he’s the one who tried to help us the last time we had a difficulty with that so-called informer!”  

She nodded as she rose to her feet, with a wide smile on her lips. “I think that’s enough for today,” she whispered, “Let’s forget about what may or may not take place in the future for now. All right?”

“Why not!?” said Hooman as he gently rose to his feet. “Let’s!”

**

As he entered the barracks, he began looking around for his friend, Hossein. The man, however, was nowhere to be found because he was actually lying down on the top section of their common bunk bed!

“Silly!” exclaimed Hooman. “I looked for you all over the place! How come you’re in bed this time of the day?”

“Well,” Hossain said wearing a smile. “I was a kind of hiding! I didn’t want that goofy fellow to see me!”

“I see,” said Hooman looking at him sideways shaking his head.  “So you haven’t seen Eichmann today, huh?” he then asked.

“Yes, I have!” Hossein said nodding his head. “When I came in, he was outside the barracks…looking around. That’s why I came up here and hid myself.  I didn’t want to be interrogated. I think he was searching everywhere for you…to sting you somehow!”

Hooman smiled. “It’s possible,” he murmured. “Fortunately, he failed,” he added as he placed his sack in a corner. “Did you get to…chat with our pals about me?” he then asked.

“A little bit,” said Hossein as he moved his torso nearer to the edge of the bed so he could see Hooman better. “I’m glad you have decided to hit back!” he said firmly. “Since you called me this morning, I have talked to four of our guys. We are thinking of…making a comprehensive plan…for your escape.”

“Thanks,” mumbled Hooman. “What did you tell…our buddies about…this …?”

“Not much,” cut in Hossein. “There is no need for them to know such a lot! I just said that we may want to get someone out of the compound on the day we’ll receive our officer ranks. I think they probably guessed who I had in mind. Almost everybody knows about Eichmann’s vicious scheme for you.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” said Hooman nodding his head. “What sort of a plan…did you have in mind, though?” he asked. 

“Well,” began to explain Hossein, “I’m not exactly sure, yet! But I think we will set up phony clashes two or three times during the next few weeks. Then, on the day of our operation, we will have the third fight, perhaps involving a few more people, to deviate the attention of the guys in charge of the ceremonies so that your aids or our other men can get you out of the compound. If your people are ready outside the garrison to take over from there, our escape plan has almost a hundred per cent chance of success.”

“Huh!” mumbled Hooman. “What about the sentries on…the towers?”

“We will have to make sure that…they will be off guard,” replied Hossein wearing a smile. “My pals have already made a few suggestions. We’re going to prepare a comprehensive plan in our next session. The guys are very excited about this. They say it sounds like taking part in an action movie…!”

“Who knows!” muttered Hooman wearing a smile. “Maybe someone will make a motion picture out of this, some day! It can be a thriller!”

“Someday, when this regime is dead and gone,” said Hossein, I’m going to make a movie out of this myself.” He suddenly began to laugh. “I think,” he continued as he chuckled, “I’ll choose you as its leading actor, to play your own role!”

They both began to cackle.


“What’s so funny, fellows?” a harsh voice said a minute later from somewhere nearby. “You sound like you’ve heard a hilarious dirty joke, or something, huh!?”

“Yes, sir! It is very funny,” Hooman said as he turned half way around.

The Commander was standing not very far away. He was pretending like he had been strolling around checking the barracks and had just happened to notice them.

“We were talking about a funny movie, sir,” said Hossain as he jumped off the top bed and stood at attention.

“Relax, soldier,” said the commander. “I was just taking a look around…to make sure that…everything was in order...”

“How much longer, sir,” said Hossein wearing a grin, “are we going to be …soldiers, sir?”

The man looked at him askance for some seconds before he replied, nodding his head. “Some of you…will never be officers,” he said with an angry snort. “The rest, of-course, will become second and third lieutenants…eventually!” he mumbled as he moved away.

Hossein began to laugh. “He sure sounds like he wants us to know what he’s planning to do!” he said. “He probably came here just to remind you of that, so you would start grieving sooner…”
 

“Yeah,” mumbled Hooman, “I’m sure of that!” He shook his head for some seconds before he continued, “I just hope that he will not succeed in carrying out his vicious scheme because in that case I may end up strangling him with my own hands!”

Hossein laughed. “There’ll be no need for that kind of a thing,” he mumbled as he chuckled. “I’m sure our plan is going to work and you’ll be out of here safe and sound,” he added as he climbed up to the top of the bunk bed. He lay down and made himself comfortable before he added, “I just hope that he wasn’t eavesdropping earlier when we were talking about our plan…!

***

His heart was thumping. The Colonel, commander of the garrison, was giving a speech which would, like always, be clear-cut and short. He would then step aside and give his place to their company Commander who would probably brag about his own work for some minutes before he wished everybody luck. They would, then, call on the army cadets, one by one, to step forward and receive their military ranks. Those who were not going to be commissioned, of-course, would be left alone until the very end.

“Don’t worry darling,” Simin’s voice rang in his ears. “Our group is…well prepared! We have already fixed a secure hiding place for you and we have made the necessary official papers to give you your new identity. What’s more, my cousin, Al, has faked the necessary order form for your sham arrest. All we have to do is to enter your military compound when your friends are causing distraction, show our documents to the people in charge, and take you out of the place before anybody gets a chance to further examine  the phony documents.”

“What about entering the compound?” he heard himself ask. “How are they…going to…manage that?”

“Don’t worry about that either,” Simin said. “Our guys will send the garrison commander a ‘top-secret’ letter saying that the SAVAK agents will come on that very day to arrest an ex-political prisoner who is carrying out covert activities against the state.” She took a long breath before she added, “Even if your friends in there can’t do anything to cause distraction, we still have a big chance of getting you out of the crummy place!”

“What if…,” Hooman mumbled, “the commander contacts someone at the SAVAK agency and…”

“It’s extremely unlikely!” answered Simim “The commander has very little time to think about that because he will receive the memo right before the beginning of the ceremonies. What’s more, since the document is stamped ‘top secret’, there aren’t very many people whom he can contact.”

 “Such a lot of complications!” he muttered disconcertedly. “I could’ve gone into hiding much more easily two months ago!” 

“But remember!” responded Simin, “At that time, we had made no preparations for any of this! So, if you had escaped then, you would have already been caught, and you would, most probably, be locked up in a jail cell right now!”

“Well, this is the sort of a risk we all have to take in our political struggle,” he heard himself mumble. “The risk you have taken to tell me all this while I’m using  a public phone placed in the middle of a military base isn’t any less! For all we know, someone might be listening to our conversation right now, and…”

“Yes, yes! You’re right!” said Simin anxiously. “We’d better cut off! Good luck!” she added before she hung up.

 

He turned his face and took a look at the podium where the commanding Colonel was standing, now summing up his speech. He soon stepped back and stood aside waiting for the company commander to begin calling the cadets forward to the platform to receive their officer ranks. 

Hooman closed his eyes and began listening carefully to the names called and the clapping and the hurrah sounds that followed after every cadet received his rank. “If they are not going to give me an officer rank,” he mumbled to himself, “they won’t call me until the whole ninety some odd cadets have received theirs!” The only hope he now had was to hear the sound of someone knocking on the outside gate of the garrison and come in with the fake order for his sham arrest. “It really is like playing in a silly movie,” he murmured to himself. “I should’ve escaped when I had the best opportunity to do it two months ago!”

Ages passed before he dared to open his eyes.  The place was not as crowded as before now.  Those who had received their officer ranks had left the line and were standing aside forming an assemblage of their own. He took a quick look around. Fortunately, Hossein was still among the people who had not been called. “What if…someone orders you to leave the place…after you receive your officer rank?” he had asked Hossein the day before.

“I’ll raise hell!” Hossein had replied. “I’ll tell them that I want to watch the rest of the ceremony and I will not go anywhere! That may become another excuse to make noise and distraction and offer your friends coming from outside a good chance to take you away without too much hassle.” 

 

“It all sounded pretty logical at the time,” he mumbled to himself. “But nothing seems to be working…now that we are putting that lousy theory into practice!”

He took a quick look around. More cadets had now received their ranks and joined the other group watching the ceremony. The commanding Colonel seemed to be tired and somewhat nervous. The company commander, in contrast, looked quite cheerful and energetic. Ten or twelve more people and there would be no one left but him! “I may be the only person…who will not receive an officer rank! A private second class!  God!” he mumbled to himself. “No wonder the dupe is so cheerful!” 

He took another quick look around. There were no signs of Simin’s group; and Hossein was moving about nervously, obviously getting impatient. “Silly game!” he murmured to himself. “The poor guy may get into a whole lot of trouble trying to carry out our silly plan! The whole thing was doomed right from the start!” 

He suddenly heard someone knocking on the garrison gate, and a few seconds later the bell of the building near where they were standing began to ring.  Then he heard, Hossein and another cadet begin shouting and calling each other names at the top of their voices as they grabbed each other’s necks and began pulling and pushing each other.  A number of other cadets rushed forward, pretending to be trying to separate them.

“Hey you, guys!” yelled the company Commander. “Behave yourselves if you don’t want to end up in jail!”

More cadets, however, were now rushing towards the place were the two were fighting, ignoring their Captain.

The Commander was soon yelling at the top of his voice but at the same time staring at a small group of people who had just moved into the compound. “Who the hell are they?” the Captain shouted as he stood near the place where the two cadets were fist fighting.

“They have an order from SAVAK, sir, the sergeant walking ahead of the group declared loudly. “They have come to…arrest a man.”

“What!?” the Commander shouted. “What do you mean!?”

“That’s okay, Captain,” the Colonel interfered. “Let them come forward!”

“Who are…they?” the company commander yelled again looking at a young officer and an elderly man who were following the group.

“They have a letter from the War Ministry, sir,” the sergeant retorted. “It is for the commander-in-chief of the base!”

“I thought you said they’ve come from…SAVAK, you fool!” shouted the Captain.

“It’s all right,” the Colonel said crossly. “Let them come forward, I said! Didn’t you hear that?”

The whole place went dead silent all of a sudden. Even Hossein and his opponent were standing aside holding up their fists watching instead of punching each other.

The sergeant ordered the group to halt near the place where the Colonel was standing and took the order form from the SAVAK group.

“Who’s the person…you are to arrest?” the Colonel asked while examining the order document.

“We have the name and the photo, sir,” the SAVAK agent said looking around.

“Why didn’t you let me know…ahead of time?” the Colonel exclaimed, obviously annoyed. 

“They did, sir,” the man standing in the front said loudly. “They sent you a note…this morning!”

“Huh!” mumbled the Colonel. “What note?” he then asked irritably, looking up at the man.

“The note…we sent…to you…this morning…sir,” muffled the man somewhat taken aback. “You mean…you haven’t…seen it?”

“No, I haven’t!” answered the Colonel sternly, wearing a frown. “I came here directly,” he then said. “I didn’t go…to my office!”

There was a rather long pause before the Colonel asked, “Why didn’t you…give me a ring, or something?”

“Why don’t you, sir,” said one of the people in the group, loudly, “have them bring you the letter from your office now…if you have…doubts, sir?”

“Huh!” mumbled the Colonel staring at the Captain. “How many more cadets are there…left?” he asked.

“Nine, sir,” the Captain answered. “Eight are to receiving ranks. The ninth…is not getting…and officer rank.”

“Okay,” muttered the Colonel, “You can go on, then! Let’s finish the ceremony first…before seeing to what these agents want.”

“But, sir,” said an elderly man stepping out from behind the group of newcomers, “I…have something for you…too, sir!”

 He was now standing a few feet away from the Colonel, stretching out his hand.

The colonel stared at the man’s face, smiled, shook his head confusedly and sluggishly moved forward to take the envelope. He then opened the letter disinterestedly, nodded his head as he read it before he rose his head and almost shouted, “Who is  Hooman Davenport?”

“It’s I, sir,” Hooman stepped forward standing at attention saluting the Colonel.”

“Huh!” the Colonel said. “It looks like…your family have bought your military service for you,” he added. “You must go to the base office, get your clearance papers, take off your uniform, and go! You’re no longer a military man…as of this minute.”

“There must be a mistake, sir!” almost shouted the Captain rushing forward. “He has not received a rank, sir!” he added. “He is a private second class, now. I’ve taken all the necessary measures…They’re going to send him to my house…as my orderly, sir.”

The Colonel looked at him askance, examined the letter a little more carefully, frowned, made a grimace and yelled, this time far more loudly, “Hooman Davenport !?”

“Yes, Colonel, sir,” almost shouted Hooman still standing at attention.

“You don’t need to change your clothes, boy,” the Colonel said commandingly. “You can go home as you are, right now! But remember! You must come and get your clearance papers, soon. Understand!”

Hooman nodded his head before he saluted with his hand. “Yes, sir!” he almost shouted. “I understand quite well, sir!” he practically screamed.

He then waved to Hossein and his friends who were gently walking away from the scene, and made a U-turn to say hello to his Dad….and his brother, Babak waiting for him.

When the Captain was calling on the next cadet to step forward and receive his officer rank, the guardsmen opened the gate for Hooman and his family to leave the base. Hooman, then,gently turned his head to take a pick and see what had become of the phony SAVAK agents who had come to rescue him. They were nowhere to be found out there, however, because they were walking right behind Hooman’s brother and his Dad, sneaking out of the compound! 

“What a really great escape!” he mumbled to himself, smiling. “Slipping out of a horrible jail without even causing a single drop of blood drip off anybody’s nose!”

 

 

 


 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: January 05, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Herman Azadi. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Action and Adventure Books

Boosted Content from Other Authors

Short Story / Literary Fiction

Book / Mystery and Crime

Book / Romance

Short Story / Mystery and Crime

Other Content by Herman Azadi

Short Story / Action and Adventure

Short Story / Action and Adventure

Short Story / Action and Adventure