"I can't see," I say without difficulty. A man's hand grabs my face at the cheeks and pushes while twisting slightly to one side. There is a click just in front of my ears, and when the hand moves, I can see that my face looks perfectly normal now. I don't have any hair, but the face is a normal face. I am wearing a nondescript white, collarless, long-sleeved shirt and black pants.
The man, the Maker, who adjusted my face comes up behind me again with a curved piece of hard plastic that's vaguely pinky-peach colored. He puts one hand on my forehead and with the other hand he snaps the plastic over the back of my head.
"There," he says, stepping back. "You're done."
I don't feel anything. Not happy or relieved or anything. I just am. There are other men in the house, all wearing turbans on their heads. The turbans mean nothing. They are a disguise. The men have guns and mill around, occasionally looking out the windows. Nothing can be seen outside but dark, but the men all seem very nervous.
The house suddenly goes dark and the Maker says "Get down!" I crouch down with my back to a wall next to the back door. I hold the doorknob still, in case someone wants to enter. The door has a window in it with a sheer curtain. Since the light is now coming from the outside in, we can see the silhouette of a person at the back door. The person tries the knob, but since I'm holding it still, the door doesn't open. The shadow disappears and the Maker gestures to one of the men near the front door. The door opened slowly and a man stepped inside, holding a gun in front of himself. The man near the door shot the intruder, who fell into the room. Another of the men put a flashlight in the dead man's face.
No one said anything, but this is a man who belongs to a group with whom my group is at war. If he knew where we were, others knew and we had to leave right then. The problem is that we have about six men (the Maker and me and four locals) and one rickety old jeep with almost no gas in it. To escape, we need to make it to the airstrip, but even that doesn't solve our problems. The Maker is a foreigner and therefore has a passport. I am a product and can be shipped, but the other four men don't have passports or papers. They will be killed for helping us, but they come anyway.
The jeep is lurching down the road, which is deeply pitted where landmines have gone off. The Maker is worrying out loud about what we're going to do about the other four guys, and whether we're going to have enough gas to get us to the airstrip. If we don't have enough gas, we will be found and the men will be killed. I don't know what will happen to me.
One of the men tells us to pull over. The Maker pulls over and the man gets out. He pulls two half-liter plastic bottles from his long coat pockets. The bottles are full of gas and it is enough to get us to the airstrip.
"If they catch me, they will kill me," the man said, pulling a gun from his pocket. "And we have no way of getting out of this place. I can't take this uncertainty anymore." And the man shot himself in the head.
The Maker hung his head for a minute, but herded the rest of us back into the car. We can't stop. Our enemies are still behind us.
As we drive down the road, I am sitting in the back of the jeep, staring at the body of the man lying in the road, and it begins to rain.