82 - Chained Below

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Felipe Altamirano Alvarez Espadachín

Men and women donning the livery of the Red Cross walked up and down the streets. On stretchers, they were carrying bodies towards vans emblazoned in colors similar to those of their uniforms. One group of medics were taking the corpse of a pregnant woman who died after a boulder fell on her womb, smashing her along with her unborn child. I could see the embryo hanging off the cadaver like an appendix. The medics tried their best to hide the gruesome sight with a cloth, but they failed in doing so. Twice and thrice, they tried to cover the body but couldn't do so. "Don't worry about that! We have a lot of people to help! Just bring the body to the van!" yelled the medics' superior, who ran to the stretcher carrying the cadaver of the dead pregnant women to offer a helping hand.

Even though it was morning, daylight was severely filtered by the thick blanket of grey clouds that enveloped the skies above.

My team and I were on full alert in Roboré. We had to help the fire brigade rescue people trapped under debris after the earthquake. The issues in Roboré forced me to recall many officers from their posts in the jungles. The winds were still blowing tempestuously. And, the rain continued to pour. Despite having a raincoat, I was thoroughly drenched.

Besides helping medics and firefighters, we were tasked with ensuring that no despicable criminal took advantage of the sufferings. Five pickpockets and three regular burglars were caught already trying to steal from the house of an old woman who died because of the earthquake.

Taking a survey of Roboré, I noticed that the city looked like it was besieged. Debris were strewn across roads. Smoke and dust rose from the ground to the air. The eastern part of Roboré had caught fire, and the fire brigade was toiling to subdue the blazing inferno while the police assisted them in their quick, risky dashes into the blaze to rescue children.

My radio crackled to life. "Captain the reinforcements from Santa Ana De Chiquitos and El Carmen Rivero Tórrez have arrived. They are all stationed in Calle Libertador Simon Bolivar. The Teniente of the reinforcements wants to talk with you."

"I'm on my way," I said, walking up to my car. I opened the door, got in, and ignited the engine. Pausing for a moment, I looked at all the debris and destroyed buildings once again. It was a sad sight to behold. My secondary headquarters in Roboré was damaged. We had to transport all of the criminals who had been held in that headquarters to Las Taperas.

I carefully looked around as I drove my car through the damaged streets of Roboré. Amid the debris of broken power lines, shattered windows, and charred remains of what were restaurants, I had to be sure not to get my car jammed in a pile of junk. Navigating was a challenge. Calle Picana was the most damaged in all of Roboré. I could tell that because I had to drive through that road on my way to Carmel Rivero Tórrez.

A speeding car nearly crashed into me from the side when I went past a junction with a broken traffic light.

"¡[Explicit] Idiota!" the driver of the car yelled at me.

Ignoring his insults, I continued straight to Calle Warnes. I was glad that my route was reasonably straight. I didn't have to take any turns but simply drive straight. Nevertheless, as I said earlier, the straight path I was traveling on was littered with damaged cars, broken glasses, and collapsed buildings. I passed by Hotel La Casona De Luisina. One of my teams who had been investigating the case of the 22 supposedly dead Wolfgang Children had discovered that that hotel was the one where they stayed for a few hours after arriving at Roboré before boarding, what the hotel staff said to be, a fleet of jeeps. There was good news for the owner of the hotel. The building appeared intact. Nevertheless, he must get some engineers to examine the foundation and intricate structures of the building to confirm if things are how they seem to be with the building, I thought.

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