Jake, Mallory and Kevin sat quietly inside of the old abandoned mine. A solitary candle broke diminutively through the thick darkness. After destroying the second Apache gunship, the three remaining rebels fled deep into the unending mountain forest. Mallory firmly believed that God had protected them from the legions of pursuing aircraft that occupied the skies overhead. It was deathly quiet inside of the group’s living quarters. The stale granola bars the three downtrodden and depressed rebels chewed on were barely edible. Kevin held his head in anguish. Calvin had been the only relative he knew that was still alive.
“I told my brother that I’d watch out for him. Keep him safe from harm.” Kevin was at the point of breaking down in tears. “Guess I failed miserably there.”
Mallory patted Kevin’s shoulder.
“Kevin, don’t be so hard on yourself. There is no way any of us could have anticipated the outcome of that attack.” Mallory could not shake the images of Sarah Jane lying on the ground. She was unsure as to whether her best friend was dead or had been captured by government forces. “I shudder to think what happened to Sarah Jane. If she was taken alive, I can only imagine the things that will be done to her.”
“It’s tough to say,” Jake stated. “She definitely will be interrogated. Those bastards will want to know the exact location of our base. Even though Sarah Jane is a very intelligent young lady, she doesn’t function particularly well under pressure. Rest assured, they will resort to any means, including torture, to extract the information they want. You have to remember. There is no rule of law anymore. No Geneva Convention, no constitution in either Canada or the United States to prevent such abuses from happening.”
“I’m concerned about that as well, Jake,” Kevin said. “It isn’t that I believe Sarah Jane will intentionally sell us out. But she’s likely to crack under duress.”
The drab blue jumpsuit was too big for her small frame. She reeked of the delousing powder a group of heckling guards had poured all over her wet, naked body. Sarah Jane quivered with fright and uneasiness as two guards escorted her into H Block. Stanford was posted inside of the pod that controlled access to the unit was well as each individual cell. A cell door opened following a buzzing sound.
“Bridgette, your new cellmate has arrived,” One of the officers stated.
Sarah Jane was ushered inside. The cell was small. A bit cramped. A pretty, plain-faced woman in her early thirties sat on the top bunk reading the Bible. Sarah Jane felt as though she was a visitor from another planet. Bridgette got down off of the bunk. The cell door was slammed shut.
“Hi, my name is Bridgette. And you are—
“When were you arrested? Are you from around here?”
Sarah Jane sat down on the bottom bunk.
“I’m from Vancouver. I just moved here to go to law school,” she explained. “My friend and I have been living in the mountains since the end of April. We were part of a group.”
“My previous cellmate was taken out of here about a week ago. Her name was Nicole.”
“Clare. You probably wouldn’t—
Sarah Jane’s eyes went wide with excitement.
“I have never met Nicole personally but I know her fiancé.”
“Jake Scribner?” Bridgette was shocked.
Sarah Jane nodded.
“You’re part of the resistance!” A smile lit up Bridgette’s face.
“That’s correct. Do you know where Nicole is now?”
“She works for the district administrator’s office,” Bridgette explained. “In case you didn’t already know, his name is Frank Carragher. He likes to use some of the female inmates for sexual pleasure.”
“Doesn’t surprise me.”
“Sarah Jane, I’m going to tell you something. It’s terrifying, but you must be informed.” Bridgette sighed. “That head guard, the butch-looking officer there.”
“You’re referring to Paynter. She’s nuts.”
“She certainly is. Anyway, Paynter and about a dozen other guards operate a sex trafficking ring inside of the facility. They sell women to everybody from high federal government Officials right down to those NAP thugs. Make a small fortune from it too. I realize that you’re traumatized, but I just want you to know what’s been happening in this place.”
“Thanks for the heads up. I guess I will have to stand my guard against her.”
“Sarah Jane, where is Jake Scribner right now?”
“Hopefully not dead. Early this morning, we ambushed an armored patrol using a culvert bomb. Little did we know that there were two Apache helicopters waiting to spring a counter-ambush upon us,” Sarah Jane elucidated. “My two friends Calvin and Neil were cut down in a hail of bullets. Jake and Kevin as well as my best friend Mallory, whom I met in law school, fled into the mountains. That’s the last thing I remember. It’s all a blur after that.”