For the previous chapters of Daniel Grant Newton's free time traveling book, Don't Shoot the Messenger, click below:
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11
At night in the desert, the temperatures sometimes reached chilling point, and it was too dark to see very well, so most people stayed in doors. Two figures however were out, stumbling through the village.
Irene struggled to break out of Jude's grip, but he held her firm and pulled her along.
“You can't kill Yēšûă,” she screamed, hitting him in the face and chest with the arm he wasn't holding. “Turn back and abort this mission. You know it is not right to kill him.”
“Shut up,” he said firmly. “If you know what's best for you, you'll do as I say.”
“You are a robot, dead to the world,” she screamed. “I had you wrong. You are nothing more than a machine.”
She tried punching him in the face, but he grappled with her and put her in a lock.
“I need you with me so it doesn’t raise suspicion with Maria,” Jude said in a calm, hushed voice. “There has been a slight spanner in the works, but hopefully this will all be over very soon and you can get back to your life in the 21st Century.”
“Let go,” she said, her voice quivering. “I will not do this. You'll have to kill me and drag my bullet ridden corpse to Maria.”
“You do not understand,” he said, pulling her into him as she tried to push away. “There is more to this than meets the eye.
“If you cooperate, you can live a safe, long life with your work, half-finished movies and long-distance family, and forget any of this happened. But if you don't, let’s just say it won't be good for you.”
“What's that suppose to mean?”
“It means if you don't shut up, you might wind up dead.”
“Are you threatening me?” she asked, her nostrils flaring.
“I would never threaten you. I'm warning you,” said Jude, his jaw twitching. “Until we're in there with Yēšûă they'll be watching our every step.” He paused and gave a small nod to the rooftops around the street. “We have been trained to ensure the mission is a success no matter what we think is right, or at what cost.”
She spat on his face.
“Now play along, Doctor Hadar, like the good little Hebrew girl from the 1st Century you are meant to be,” he said, taking a heavy, silver pistol from underneath his cloak and placing it against her spine. “I am doing this for your safety. I have no desire to hurt you. My intentions are quite the opposite. In fact, I am looking forward to struggling through your next periodical article. I would even get a subscription to the magazines if I had an actual address.”
“Screw you. The way you cowboys work there won’t be any history to write about,” she snapped.
Jude opened the wooden door to the carpenter's workshop and closed it behind him.
The room was empty except for Maria. She signalled for them not to speak, before pointing out the windows to indicate people are listening. She then signalled for them to follow her.
They followed into a back room, where she then fell on her knees and guided her hand over the smooth stone flooring. When she found a groove in the floor, she pulled at it, and revealed an entry to an underground tunnel.
Jude and Irene followed Maria through a series of tight twists and turns in pitch darkness, before finally coming into a small chamber lit by lanterns.
In the middle of the room sat Yēšûă on a cushion, surrounded by a few men.
He beamed at them as he had done that afternoon to the people in the crowd, and signalled for them to sit by his side.
The light of the lanterns danced upon his face and beard, giving him an ethereal feel. He spoke to them in Aramaic, using slow gestures.
“What is he saying?” asked Jude, scrutinising the dark hallways leading into the chamber.
“Why should I tell you?” snarled Irene. "I'm going to tell him why we've come."
Yēšûă cocked his head to the side and creased his brow. He tried to soothe the young doctor.
“You're right, I don't need to know what he is saying. I just need to do what I came down here to do.” Said Jude, pulling out his pistol into the open. “Ask him which tunnel leads to the temple?”
“What?” Irene blurted.
“Ask him. We have less than a minute.”
“Before Spider and the team come into this tunnel and kill us all.”
“If I were Spider, I wouldn't be confident that I was going to kill Yēšûă, so I'd send the team down to ensure the job gets done,” said Jude, bowing his head down into an entry and looking up. “And if we haven't killed Yēšûă, which I never had the intention of doing, then I'd kill the both of us too. I'm guessing that he is thinking like that since he had two of the team shadow us right up until we came into the tunnels.”
“You don't have any intention of killing Yēšûă?”
“No.” Jude said simply, peering into Irene's deep brown eyes. “Ask him the question, Irene.”
She translated the question, and explained the situation.
Maria and the other followers heads turned from one entry to the next, their eyes alert. They pulled daggers from their robes.
Yēšûă pointed to the exit for Jude, before addressing his followers. He spoke softly and rhythmically.
Slowly the followers put away their daggers.
“He told them that they should have no fear for they are children of God,” Irene said. “And that those with faith will find shelter and protection in their darkest hours.”
Jude aimed his pistol at the roof of the tunnel heading up to the temple and fired a number of shots.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
The followers of Yēšûă gasped, and one spoke as he looked on with wide eyes.
The dark rocks and mud collapsed, blocking the entry.
Jude then reloaded his pistol and repeated this with the tunnel leading back to the carpenter's workshop.
“Ask Maria if there is anywhere safe for Yēšûă and his followers to stay for the night. Somewhere with a fair amount of space around it for me to set booby traps and to monitor approaching soldiers. We will move tomorrow in the daytime, and use the crowd to mask our movements.”
“If I wasn't scared I'd catch something nasty, I'd kiss you again right now,” sighed Irene. "You had me going. Don't ever do that again."
“I can't make any promises, doctor,” the soldier chuckled, peering down the various entry tunnels and checking for life signals on an electric tablet.
“We need to move,” ordered Jude. "They're closing in on us."
“Do we have a chance?” she asked.
“We have one advantage,” he responded, giving Irene his pistol and pulling out a submachine gun from under his cloak.
“They've only been here two days, but you've studied places like this your whole life,” he said.
“I see, so we'll be able to use my knowledge of the terrain against them.”
“Yeah, you're quickly becoming a military tactician, Doctor Hadar.”
“I've read Sun Tzu's The Art of War,” she shrugged. “And played World of Warcraft many a lonely night.”
Yēšûă raised a hand and spoke.
“He said walk in faith and the path will be lit by God,” translated Irene. “Or something to that effect anyway.”
“Believe me, I'm throwing a Hail Mary here,” Jude muttered.Irene translated Jude's earlier orders for finding a safe-house, and Maria nodded. She began scampering up a tunnel, and gesturing for everyone to follow her.
Click here to read Chapter 13 of the greatest book since The Last King of Shambhala, now available at any good online book store ...
Hey, by the way, don't know whether you got this message already, but here's what I was hoping you could do for me if you like this book. I am giving away Don't Shoot the Messenger for free because I think it is a great story (bias I know!) that some people out there would love. Thing is, I am not sure who they are - well, there's you, my mum and David Hasselhoff, but that's all I know for sure. So, if you know anyone who would like this book, please send them the trailer or the first chapter. After all, a great story is only great when it is read. Thanks. :-)