Code Name: Mizar
Chapter One: Alesia
I peered out of a darkened window into the dark street below. There was no time for missteps or mistakes. I had a mission and lives were in my hand. Finally I decided that it was time. I donned a dark jacket and stuffed my long brown hair up in a tight cap. From a distance no one would be able to tell that I was a girl. I slung a dark sling over my back and slipped a knife and other equipment in my pocket. A few seconds later and I was standing on the sidewalk in the street below. I flattened myself as a police car drove by scanning the neighborhood. They slowed as they passed the apartment where I lived. I made a note to myself and moved on. The apartment was no longer safe. But I would worry about that later. There was nothing there for them to find, anyway. All my documents were burned, every trace erased and there was no way that the authorities would be able to trace all of the countless Jews that I had contact with. I part walked, part ran, out of Jerusalem. Then I settled in for a long walk.
Five miles later I slowed my pace and scanned the barbed wire up ahead. Lights flashed on the compound. I spent a few minutes in surveillance then crept up to the fence. A small bundle lay wrapped in a dark cloth just inside the fence. I got out my wire cutters and cut a small hole just big enough for the bundle. I grabbed it and pulled it. Carefully I unwrapped it and wrapped it again carefully in my sling. I buried the cloth they had used and fixed the hole then dashed off into the darkness just before a light swept the area. Thirty seconds. Whew! That was close. I held the bundle carefully in my arms and continued walking. Two miles down the road I stopped at what appeared to be an abandoned barn. I tapped a few times on the door. Then I stepped inside and felt my way with one arm to the trap door. I pushed on the hidden leaver and a trap door swung open. I descended quietly and carefully. the door swung shut behind me. A group of people were assembled in the basement. They all wore black, four of them. They waited silently as I sat down and unwrapped my bundle. An older woman, code name Mara, took out a jar of milk and set it on the small stove that heated the room. My bundle was moving now. Slowly the baby awakened from its drugged sleep and stirred in my arms. Once the milk was heated the woman poured some into a bottle and gave it to me. the baby began to eat. It was a little girl, thin and weak from hunger. She greedily sucked on the bottle. Our leader, code name Amos, smiled at me. "Another one out."
I nodded and grinned. "Works like clockwork, every time. But the police are really cracking down. I think my apartment's busted."
Another man, code name Matt, a Korean, nodded. "And its' getting harder and harder to get food to all the prisoners. I can't imagine what goes on behind that barbed wire." He shuddered.
"And just think!" Mara popped up, "We could get put in there too, just for helping the Jews! Concentration Camps!"
"But we do it anyway." Amos said, slowly shaking his head."I'm always amazed that God's love is so big He cannot only forgive me but give me a love for the persecuted."
I nodded. "And just like this little one, we've been given new life, a second chance. Let us use it wisely and not waste our time here keeping ourselves safe, but offering refuge for those who need it." I laughed. "I think we are just a little bit like the Danes-getting all those Jews out of Denmark during World War II."
Matt shook his head. "But unlike them, these Jews have no where to go. And it's going to get worse. soon we'll be found."
Don't say that!" Amos chimed in. "When God is for us, who can be against us?"
"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear" I began.
"The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?"
"When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,"
"When my enemies and my foes attack me,"
"They will stumble and fall."
"Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear."
"Though war break out against me, even then I will be confident."
"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek."
"That I may dwell in the house of the LORD"
"All the days of my life,"
There was a moment of silence. I could feel a tear dripping down my cheek as I prayed silently, "Why, O LORD? How long will You hide Your face from this land? How long will our enemies triumph over us? This baby? The Jews? Gentile believers? Where will it end? Save us, Oh LORD! You are the God of Israel! The God Who Sees! Come and save us from our foes!"
Mara pipped up again. "So what's the plan for tonight? Who's taking the baby? And where is Mizar (That's my code name) going to stay now that her apartment is done for?"
We all looked at Amos. "Well, first tings first. Elaina called in and said that she can't possibly take another refugee, so we are going to have to find another contact to store the fugitives."
Matt piped up. "But our supply of prisoners coming out wont stop because we have no contact with them."
"So, I said, "We have to find a place to store them and me until we find a place."
There was a moment of silence as we all stared at each other in silence, thinking. Ezer, Amos's son, said slowly, "The tunnels."
Amos looked up quickly.
He lowered his voice. "For some reason the captain in charge of the lower city likes me so he got me a job as janitor for the headquarters. You all know this." I nodded impatiently. "Well, I can get supplies to you there."
I thought for a minute. "I suppose so. That's what they're built for."
"Let's do it." Amos said. "Ezer, you and Mizar will go back to the city tonight and figure things out. Ezer will report back here next morning. Let's go." Everyone stood up to leave.
"Captain!" I said, "Aren't we forgetting something?"
"Oh yes," he said hurriedly and sat back down. "What shall be her name?" He said, looking at the baby. I held her up and kisses her red cheek.
"She is so beautiful. And so strong. Her mother must have sacrificed much to have her daughter so healthy. Perhaps she will never see her daughter again, and so we must find a name worthy of this little one. she is bright," I murmured, "She is a star! Star! That's it! We'll call her Esther-which means star!"
Amos nodded gravely and raised his hand in blessing, "And so it is. You shall be called Esther. May you ever be a light to the nations and may you bear your name well. May you be like Esther of old who was courageous and went before the king at the risk of her own life to save her people. May The LORD ever guard you and watch over all of your ways, both your coming forth and your going out, both now and forevermore. Amen." Esther coed with delight at the attention and I laughed. So much beauty in a time of such pain! God is good!
"Amen." we all echoed.
Mare handed me the jar of leftover milk. I carefully wrapped Esther in my sling and placed her gently on my back. Hopefully, with a full stomach and a little movement she would fall asleep. I tucked an extra container of baby formula in my pack. Never had to take it before! The babies always went the other way, not back with me! Mara handed me some other supplies, and the only thing left was to apply some charcoal to Ezer and I before we left. Matt took out the tin and applied some to our faces, making sure to put a cross on our foreheads. Then we slipped out and headed back to Jerusalem. Ezer crept about ten yards ahead and I followed. Our ear transmitters were on in case something happened. Within a few minutes Esther was asleep.
I was bone weary by the time we had covered seven miles. "Mizar! Up here!" I crept up till I was by him, peering over the bushes. "Come on!" he disappeared into a hole in the ground. Our secret way into and out of Jerusalem. Back in the days of Jerusalem's fall theses tunnels had hidden many a fugitive. Now only a few knew of them. The secrets had been handed down from generation to generation until it came to one, Isaiah, who had no son. He was dying from a wound he received during the touch-and-go in the city back in 2012. so he took into his confidence the only one who was there he could trust. My Dad. He was an archaeologist in Israel at the time, only a kid of twenty, and got stuck in the city. Isaiah warned my Dad that the secret must be kept under all circumstances. The authorities must never find them. Isaiah died in my dad's arms, but not before he had told of the secret entrances. Later, when the fighting had simmered down, dad explored them. It was a virtual maze of tunnels and rooms holding documents and treasures woven under the city. Later Dad came home to the States, told his parent's he was moving permanently to Israel, and said his goodbyes, taking my mom, whom he'd married three months earlier, with him. He moved to Israel to guard the treasure. Now only three people knew of the entrance. Me, Amos and Ezer.
I slipped into the passage, warmed by thoughts of my dad. Esther moved slightly on my back as I closed the entrance. We got out our flashlights and headed down the old stone stairs.
Hoped you liked! =D