‘Not daring to argue, I meekly take my seat in front of the video camera.
A man with a checkered scarf and a Kalashnikov slaps pages into my hand. ‘Smile!’ he orders.
I bare my teeth an inch.
‘You smile more!’
My smile becomes large enough to stick in a coat hanger.
I squint at the page and gasp. ‘Sir!’ I look up at him in horror. ‘I can’t say these words.’
He looks at me with hooded eyes. ‘What …did ….you …say?’
‘Sir please, I’m…I’m a soldier in the United States Army. If I say these words, if I give this speech, Sir, I will be thrown in prison. Please!’
Nazim, the a**hole who threatened to slit my throat before, pauses with his air alphabets or whatever the f*k he’s doing with his unsheathed sword to terrorize me. For a moment he stares at a spot on the ceiling.
Suddenly he rushes at me, sword first. I scream and cower. He grabs me by the hair and yanks my head back and before he can even lodge his sword against my throat, my wind-pipe involuntarily constricts.
‘I’ll do it! I’ll do it!’ I gurgle. ‘I’ll do it! Please! Please!’
Slowly, he releases my hair, his lips twitching with unspoken threats.
Shaking, I struggle to compose myself for the camera. I have to give the speech. F**ked if I do and f**ked if I don’t.
‘My fellow …’ I clear my throat. ‘My fellow Americans, I have chosen to join the holy Jihad against America. From now on, I am no longer an American soldier. I am a solider in Allah’s war and my name is Zarina. America is committing …’
When I’m done, Nizam claps slowly then blows me a kiss. I look away, repulsed by the mere sight of him.
Whey finally leave the room, I exhale loudly. I’ve crossed more than a boundary with that speech and before it gets worse, I need to escape. Today!’
Sargent Megan Saunders, 27, is fighting in Iraq, when her convoy is ambushed by Islamic militants. The only survivor, she is held as a slave in one of Saddam’s bunkers, forced to deliver inflammatory speeches against the US and has to play nurse to injured militants fighting coalition forces.
Her primary mission is to escape and it is during one of these failed attempts, she is raped.
When she learns she is pregnant from the rape, she is stunned more than devastated, for various reasons. Her rapist Reed, insists she proceeds with the pregnancy, even though she’s already married, and even though, due to her inflammatory speeches against the US, she is now regarded as a terrorist and is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
Having no choice but to do as he says, she is forced to rely on her dark and brooding rapist to help her with the baby and the pregnancy. They make a deal – she will have the baby and he will raise it. As time goes by, and the more time they spend together, she finds herself drawn to Reed and before long, they enter into a relationship which is far beyond sexual. For Reed, the attraction he feels towards Megan is a staggering betrayal towards his people.
The moment her baby is born, Megan’s freedom no longer appeals to her as it means leaving behind both her lover and her baby.
When the militants holding her captive threaten to take away her baby for ‘safekeeping’, she is forced to make a decision which leads to a series of painful and tragic events.