Secure Worship Part II – Brunei
by D.I. Telbat
Quin “Toad” LuDao lay on his belly on the church roof. He was perspiring in the humid night air of Brunei. Suddenly, he started to slide down the pitched tin roof. Once a Special Forces soldier in China, Toad tried not to panic, though the fall to the ground could break his leg, or worse.
A firm hand reached out, grabbed Toad’s collar, and pulled as Toad scrambled back up to the pinnacle. It was Jesse “Milk” Patters, a preacher’s son from Ohio and Toad’s partner on this Commission of International Laborers mission.
“What’s wrong with you?” Milk whispered. “We’re supposed to watch for aggressors, not fall off the roof on them!”
Toad stifled a laugh and clung more carefully to the tin. The two field agents didn’t often work separately from the rest of their COIL team, but Toad was thankful for the recent assignments with the milky-complexioned man. It gave the two of them a chance to fellowship together, even if on rooftops in dangerous countries.
“I think I see someone.” Milk adjusted a night vision scope over his right eye. “Scratch that. There are three bogies closing on our position.”
“I see them.” Toad glanced up at the security equipment they had installed on top of the church. Though this was a legally registered church, it had been firebombed four times in the past months. “You’re certain you crossed the red wire with the blue wire this time?”
“Wait! There was a blue wire?”
The two men somehow found a way to joke even in the face of danger. As veterans of dozens of risky operations, they knew that remaining lighthearted throughout was the only recipe against paralyzing fear. That, and faith that their God would preserve them for yet another operation.
They watched as three civilians, likely Muslim extremists, crouched and crept closer to the building. Two of the men had Molotov cocktails. The third fumbled with a lighter to light the cloth wicks.
Suddenly, a floodlight from the security apparatus atop the church illuminated the trio. The arsonists grimaced and shielded their eyes from the bright light.
A recorded voice boomed on a loudspeaker in Malay, Brunei’s official language. Toad didn’t speak Malay, but he remembered the message: “Stop what you are doing! Your actions against a government-approved facility have been filmed for legal prosecution!”
The message began to play for a second time, but the three criminals had heard enough. They scattered in the night, their mischief foiled.
Sixty seconds later, the floodlight clicked off and the night was quiet again.
“Do you think it was loud enough?” Milk asked with a chuckle.
“If it’s any louder, you won’t scare the bad guys away, you’ll just cause deafness.” Toad tapped his ringing ear. “The question isn’t if your system works. I want to know how we’re going to walk away without tripping off the alarm.”
“Oh, ye of little faith.” Milk held up a device similar to a hand control for a car alarm. The roof apparatus chirped twice. “If we miss our plane back to the States, my wife will make that alarm seem like a whisper.”
“See you on the ground.”
Toad let go of the roof and controlled his slide toward the edge. After installing a half-dozen church security systems around the world, they were due for some R&R. But the forces of darkness wouldn’t let them rest for long . . .
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