Nadeem left the building in his car and drove all the way to his home in Mohandessin, another busy and crowded area, which always got him to think why he isn’t working next to his home rather than having to cross all Giza and into Cairo just to get to work but he knew that it was not just matter of him wanting but what the job he had demanded.
He finally reached his building after almost a two-hour drive but this time he was unusually calm , even Galal the doorman ran as soon as he noticed his car drive into the building’s garage just to make sure his spot isn’t taken and waiting to hear the usual rant about the drivers in Egypt and to his bad luck he found that there was a car parked in the place of Nadim’s car..Galal thought to himself “I am screwed!”
Nadim noticed the minivan for one of the carpet cleaning companies parked in his place and just turned off the car’s engine as he picked up his briefcase and coat and left the car and passed on the keys to Galal “Park the car in its place as soon as this minivan leaves Galal” Nadim said.. Galal was in shock that has never happened now he was sure that something was wrong with Nadim, for he could have never imagined that the day would come where Nadim would just speak to him in such a calm manner!
Nadim went to the elevator and took it all the way up the 8th floor where he left the elevator and went to his apartment he felt so odd that day, how could this encounter just twist him, where he thought that it was all over or at least this what he liked to convince himself.
He walked into the living room throwing his coat and briefcase on the couch as he walked to the balcony silently and whispered to himself “What the hell is going on?”
Nadim loosened his tie and threw it aside walking to the fridge and grabbing a bottle of water as he then walked to his answer machine to check on the messages, there were three messages..He listened to the messages as he drank the water trying to clear his mind, the messages had the same old messages he’d usually get, his mother, advertisers..But then on the third message the voice caught his attention he almost spit out all the water he had in his mouth..”We need to meet” the voice came from the machine..
Nadim couldn’t figure out how did she manage to get his number, he’s changed his home number at least twice in the past fifteen years since he’s been moving around!
Nadim was taken in his thoughts when the doorbell rang..He was instantly pulled by the sound and went towards the door and opened it to find two men in overalls and caps standing in front of him “Yes, Can I help you?” Nadim asked.
The first one asked “Are you Mr. Nadim Mohamed Sharaf ? CEO of PerformTech ? ” Nadim nodded his head and replied yes?
The second man raised a spray can and sprayed Nadim in the face who was completely surprised by the action and moved backwards and didn’t know what was sprayed on him, he tried to close the door but everything slowly began to get blurry and dark..
“Who are you? What do you want?” Nadim shouted, as he was moving groggily within his apartment and tried to head to his kitchen to grab a knife..The men meanwhile walked in calmly and closed the door.. “I don’t have any money here or anything to steal!” Nadim shouted again.. But he was losing his control over his body at faster pace..
A few minutes later Nadim fell completely unconscious at the floor of his kitchen. The men looked at one another and quickly hurried to his living room and began to move the centered table moving it to the side, one of them headed towards the kitchen and hauled Nadim’s body on his shoulder and walked into the living room where he placed Nadim on the carpet.. They began to roll the carpet having Nadim inside, they both carried the carpet and headed out of the apartment..
The y took the elevator down to the garage area where they headed to the minivan which was parked, Galal walked towards them quickly shouting at them “I told you to leave earlier!! I was lucky this time that Mr. Nadim didn’t shout at me! Now get out of here so I can put his car in its place”
The first once answered “We’re sorry but the customer on the fifth floor really had a problem with this carpet and we had to check it out carefully before taking it. We’ll be on our way”
They placed the carpet in the back of the minivan and rode at the front and took off..
The minivan drove off out of the building and made its way to the Cairo – Alexandria desert road, where they passed through the main car repair agencies lied and went through to an abandoned warehouse..
They entered the warehouse and parked the car , and both took the carpet and carried it up to a second level office which was lit with only one bulb..
A man dressed in a suit was sitting behind an old and dusty desk that looks to be more useful for perhaps anything else except a desk..
He asked “Is that him?”
They both nodded..They unwrapped the carpet and got a chair and carried Nadim placing him in a seated position on the chair..
The man behind the desk instructed them to wake him up.. One of the men picked out a bottle of ammonia opened it and began to slide it across Nadim’s nose, whom slowly began to regain his senses but felt his head was heavy..
Nadim still couldn’t feel he was in full control of himself but he was slowly getting there and slowly noticed the dim lighten single bulb that lit the room and began to look around slowly , he could see both men.. “You !! Who are you?? What do you want from me?” he shouted
The man behind the desk replied “They don’t want from you anything Mr. Nadim, but I do..” he calmly said it as he picked up a cigarette and lit it before taking a puff and passing it on to Nadim.. “A smoke Mr. Nadim?”
Nadim noticed the man’s calm voice but he was filled with both rage and fear, he didn’t know where he was or who are these people and he’s all alone “So you drugged me and brought me here just to offer me a smoke!” Nadim said.
“No, not quite Mr. Nadim, not quite..But we do want something from you that’s for sure” the man replied and took out his walled from the inside pocket of his suite, picking a card out of it and handing it to Nadim. Nadim carefully took the card and read it slowly “Ashraf Dergham, military intelligence”
Nadim carefully examined the card and asked “So you are a military intelligence agent? Ashraf?”, Ashraf replied “Yes..I serve the military intelligence and this is why I am sitting with you here”
Nadim couldn’t still understand “Ok so what do you want from me? I am CEO for a tech company I have nothing to do with foreign affairs or politics and all my work is legitimate” he added
Ashraf replied “We know that but that’s not why we wanted to meet you Mr. Nadim” he then added “The woman you met today Heidi” , Nadim’s facial expressions now became more and more confused and he asked “What about her? What did she do?”
Ashraf replied “We know you two had a past Mr. Nadim, however we want you to hire her”, Nadim was overrun by a sense of sarcasm “Is this some sort of job recommendation!! Couldn’t a phone call do!! And why does military intelligence have to do with a small tech company hiring people or not have to do with anything! You’re not telling me everything Mr. Ashraf, what exactly is going on!”
Ashraf slowly added “Heidi is an ex-operative in the agency and she holds precious data, we want you to help us get it back, this is not an easy task, she is a highly trained and deadly” Nadim’s eye brows rose at that moment “Heidi!”
“Mr. Nadim, we need your full co-operation for the good of the country you are involved in a high priority operation that touches the very core of Egypt’s national security!” Ashraf said, he continued “what you are about to do is to follow our instructions and follow them to the word anything you say or do against what we instruct you to do can result in danger to yourself and the result can be devastating in other areas of security that does not concern yourself as a citizen but also the whole country , Do you understand Mr. Nadim?”
Nadim felt confused and lost, he was unable to grasp this entire situation, being dragged into a warehouse, and being let in on things he never thought could anywhere beyond watching a James Bond or an American or European action movie! Now it’s happening and it’s for real, no movies, no special effects, he’s in the real world..
“Mr. Nadim do you understand?” Ashraf’s voice came again..
Ashraf’s voice pulled Nadim out of his distraction before he replied “yes, yes, I understand.. I guess”
“There’s no guessing on this one Mr. Nadim, you will follow our instructions..To the word , and here’s what you will do.” And Ashraf continued the conversation with Nadim.