Ramon herded the Nusra fighters around the collapsed building.  The Quds Force fighters had been beaten back for the time being and had retreated back to Syrian Army positions elsewhere in the city.  A couple of civilians who were busy looting abandoned homes had told them where they had seen the white men go; into a building just before an artillery strike hammered it.

The building was flattened with the outer walls all but collapsed, and the concrete slabs that had made up the three-story building rested one on top of the other.  All three of the Liquid Sky men had to be dead, Ramon figured.  He didn’t much care about Rick or The Operator, but he was still trying to wrap his mind around the sell out by Deckard.  He had turned traitor without any indication of why.  Be that as it may, Bill was offering a huge reward for his head and he’d be damned if he wouldn’t have the Nusra fighters pick through the debris until they found him.

Soon, the jihadists located a basement window and began shining a flashlight inside.  The yellow beam of light seemed to reflect back as it caught on sparkles of dust in the air.  The window was narrow, maybe only one foot high by two feet wide.  The Nusra terrorists continued to take turns poking their heads inside while others climbed up on top of the remains of the building.  Then, they heard footsteps inside followed by someone coughing.

Hands covered in white chalk dust reached up for the window.  The Nusra fighters grabbed on and heaved the survivor up and through the small window.  He was completely covered in dust and grime from the collapsed building.

“Watch out,” the survivor said in Arabic.  “The traitor is somewhere behind me.”

By now Ramon was jogging over to see who they pulled out of the basement.  With the survivor covered in dust, he couldn’t tell if the Nusra fighters were talking to Rick or The Operator.

Suddenly, the survivor tore the AK-47 from the hands of the nearest Nusra gunmen and all hell broke loose.  Gunfire sprayed into the Nusra fighters, dropping two of them instantly.  A third and fourth tried to run.  The survivor, covered in white dust, looked like a ghost as he shot them both in the back.  Catching sight of Ramon, the survivor then turned his newly acquired rifle on the Liquid Sky mercenary.

Ramon cursed as he ducked behind the rubble while 7.62 rounds chiseled away at his cover.