Unknown Day, Unknown Time of Day, 2014 Somewhere in Afghanistan
Cole closed his eyes and lowered his head as the echoing screams stopped. He hoped that it was finally all over for Mike, regardless of what the man may have done. No one deserved anything like what must have been happening to the FBI agent to make him produce screams like that. “I’m sorry, Mike. I wish I could have stopped him.” Cole knew he was going to kill Dr. Nuristani...just...as...soon...as...
Sally looked up as she heard the metallic sound. “Was that you?”
Cole nodded affirmatively and lifted a bruised and bleeding wrist into the air. “I’ll have to get you to look at it later, alright doc?”
Sally nodded her head up and down emphatically. “I can get us out of here if you can get us free.”
“I’m counting on it,” Cole said. “Listen, I’ve got a plan. When the guards come in...”
A few minutes later, the door flew open and the two guards that accompanied the Physician earlier, entered the cell. One pointed an AK-47 at Cole; the other shouldered his rifle and produced a key to unlock Cole’s shackles. He bent down to unlock the metallic restraints.
Cole grabbed the guard by the front of his shirt with his free hand and pulled the off-balance man forward, slamming his head into the sandstone wall.
“Stop!” shouted the second guard as he lifted his weapon, leveling it with Cole’s head. He stepped forward to shoot, but before he could squeeze the trigger, Sally kicked the back of his left leg, just behind his knee. The man stumbled backward, losing his balance.
Cole managed to secure the rifle from the unconscious guard and fired twice, killing the second bodyguard before he hit the ground.
“We need to go!” Sally shouted. “Someone would have heard that!”
“I know,” Cole replied, quickly unlocking the second cuff. He scrambled to his feet and removed Sally’s shackles. The CIA agent pointed at the second AK-47 lying on the ground. “You might want to grab that one, too, just in case, doc!”
Cole eased the edge of his face around the large marble column to see what, if anything or anyone might be down the hall. He waved blindly behind him, indicating Sally should cross to the other side of the lavishly furnished room.
Sally did as told, followed immediately by her CIA savior. “Almost there,” she whispered.
Cole nodded in understanding. “Lead on, sister.” He clutched the rifle in his hands and whispered a silent prayer that he could get Sally out of this evil mansion alive.
Sally pointed in front of her as a trio of men unexpectedly rounded a corner.
One of them shouted something in Pashto, but the sentence was never finished, drowned out by the report of Cole’s rifle echoing through the cathedral like ceilings.
Cole and Sally stepped over the twitching bodies and continued through the cavernous home.
“Where are you going with my property, American?”
Placing his left hand in front of Sally, Cole pushed her behind him and slowly turned with the rifle in the other. “You would be wise to let us be, Doctor.”
“You can go, but not with her. She’s mine,” the Physician said pointing at Sally. He stood in the hallway wearing blood splattered surgical scrubs. “Just set your weapon down and go.”
Cole noted the man was a cliché of a thousand nightmares and horror movies. “No, I don’t think so. It’s over,” the Virginian replied, readying his trigger finger.
Cole cocked his head and glared at the smiling Dr. Nuristani. “Mike?”
Two men wheeled what appeared to be the remnants of a man strapped to a vertically positioned metal table. It appeared his flesh was cut methodically from varying places of his body. Blood dripped from several exposed muscles and organs splattering to the shiny marble floor. One of the men lifted a gun to the mutilated FBI agent’s head.
“Cole...help...me...please?” Mike begged weakly.
Tears rolled from Cole’s eyes. “Oh God, Mike...” Anger welled inside of the Virginian like a nuclear explosion and it begged to be released. Oh, how it wanted to be released. “I am going to kill you, you bastard!”
“Put it down!”
“Sally what are you doing?” The perplexed Cole asked, lifting his hands in the air as he felt the barrel of a rifle poke into the back of his head.
Dr. Nuristani began laughing as Cole lowered the AK-47 to the floor. “Oh, my pet. My lovely loyal pet...bring him to me.”
“Yes, Physician,” Sally said, and pushed Cole forward. “Go on!”