8 . 21 P.M.
A large rodent peeked its head through the metal bars of the cell before finally hopping in. Emily looked at the black rat with indignation. She pulled off her shoes and struck the rat with the heels, blood splattered over the floor of the dirty and murky cell. The place had numerous cells and prisoners, even across from her, a haggard lady was scraping off the mortar around hinges of the metal bar. She looked familiar but Emily couldn’t really place where she knew her from. She had to work out something.
She examined the plaster on the inside of her cell. It was so thick, almost made with concrete and there was no single crack on it. Distantly, she could hear the distant sounds of other inmates, it was eerie. There were being tortured.
“D–n Adams!” She muttered, “so much for accepting to help out”.
She had been on a rescue mission and here she was sitting in a dark and uncomfortable cell, doing nothing.
She looked at her gold quartz wrist watch, time was no longer on her side. She jerked up as she saw a soldier pass by. This was her only chance.
She moved to the cell metal bar and signaled him.
“A glass of water, please!” She implored. He shot her an angry look and walked away.
A couple of minutes later, he arrived with a ceramic cup. He tried to fit it through the metal bars but he couldn’t. He cursed and searched for the cell’s key in a huge bunch on his belt. He unlocked it and handed the cup over to her. A shocked expression crossed his face. Before he could recover, she picked up her stiletto heeled shoe and banged the heel on his head. He slumped to the floor, a surprised look still on his face as he fell unconscious. She ransacked him and pulled out a shot gun. Thankfully, it had a silencer.
A co-warder had heard the commotion and was walking stealthily to the open cell; the world turned upside down as his face was smashed with the butt of a gun. He received another bang on his head and immediately lost consciousness. Emily dragged his body to where his colleague’s body was, in a corner at the far end of the cell.
The second warder seemed to be about her size and she changed over to his fatigues and took the heavy bunch of keys, from the floor where it had fallen.
They sure made a big mistake by not hand-cuffing her; probably they thought she was harmless. That’s where they got it totally wrong.
As she stepped out of the pungent cell, she walked a few meters before arriving at an adjoining cell. She saw the man who had stood in for the Pope, bent over his knees. She was surprised how they discovered that it was all a ruse; someone, maybe an insider must have given them away.
Who would have ever thought that in her whole life, Emily would ever encounter the Malibu? Not even in her wildest nightmares. The activities of the Malibu had been nefarious in recent years, from winning assassination contracts, high profile kidnaps, plane hijacks, and drug dealings to bombing public places and at one time or the other, aiding ambitious politicians get what they wanted without asking any questions. No one knew their location, nor their leader for that matter. They had been a thorn in the flesh of various security agencies, and they seemed to have graduated to an international terrorist organization. If they pulled off this show with the Vatican, the Malibu would be the most feared mafia in history, think of taking down a whole country.
She always had a lucky star, and hopefully, it would shine today. She might get out of this in one piece after all.
She checked his cell number: 21
And she began searching for it through the bunch of keys, glancing behind to ensure that she was alone. The noise of the rattling keys woke the Italian prisoner up. He stood up and walked to the metal barred door of the cell.
Emily threw the door open and man just couldn’t help hugging her.
“It’s alright Signore, we need to make an escape. Can you handle this?” She asked shoving a gun to him.
“Of course yes! I was once a Swiss Guard”, he replied. Emily was surprised at his near-perfect English.
“Here is the plan. You change over to that uniform in the other cell. I attacked those two warders over there, strip the other one off and changed over. Then you go over to the west side of the compound’s cage fence. I found out there’s little security there. You can tackle the guards from a hideout. The gun’s got a silencer”. “I can see that”. A female voice said from behind. Emily and Porteliuz looked back instantly. She recognized her, it was the woman from the cell opposite hers.
“Becky Kelvin, nice to meet you”, she said proffering her hand for a handshake. Emily studied her; her untidy hair was roughly packed and tied up with a rubber band, her face was filled with scars and she appeared dirty, but she spoke and walked so gracefully that Emily couldn’t help admiring her. She wondered if she could trust her.
“Emily Bradley”, she said, shaking hands with her.
“I’ve been here for a very long time, and have seen most of the place. I can help out, if you’ll let me in”
Emily looked at Porteluiz. The old man shrugged.
“As you wish”, he said.
“You both should take the outside, Porteluiz knows how to get the CTAN”, she said.
“I get it”, Becky said.