82 - Chained Below

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I passed by a restaurant, two hotels, a pharmacy, an evangelical college (Colegio Evangélico Guido Oswaldo Swanson) before taking a turn towards Calle España. I tapped my steering as I sped down the small street which joined Calle España. Fortunately, that street barely had any debris. Once I joined Calle España, I drove past an ambulance, a hotel, and a few destroyed houses until I reached an open field where all the reinforcements were stationed.

"Sir," said Pablo, giving me a salute after running towards me when I got down from my car amid the downpour. "We caught two criminals who had escaped when the station walls in Roboré collapsed. They were trying to sneak out of this city, probably en route to Brazil."

"Are they the only ones?"

"Yes, sir. I checked the lists. We have all the prisoners under custody. We'll send these two to Las Taperas when the armored van comes back."

Claire Dakota

I woke up amid a pile of books. The last thing I remembered was falling off the bed when I went to bed a few hours before. I went to a local night club the previous day and returned only at 2 a.m. The club owners urged everyone to leave because the Brazilian Meteorological Department had predicted an epic storm over Bolivia. They herded the people out of place. By 1:30 a.m., I reached my hotel room near Calle Junin. I heated some french fries and cheese and wolfed them down before hitting the bed.

When I woke up, I was lying on the floor. My room's window was shattered. Shards of glass were over my head and on the floor. The bookshelf had fallen just next to my hand, dumping its contents all over me. What in the world happened? I thought, getting up. Did someone break-in? I checked my clothes to see if they were intact. Phew! Nothing to fear. I carefully tiptoed to the bathroom and quickly swung the door open. No one here! I went to the entrance, and It's locked. What in the world happened? How did the glass break? How did everything fall on the floor? And most importantly - how did I get on the floor.

I changed my clothes. Then I opened the door and saw a bunch of people getting down the stairs. The lifts weren't working. Some of the people had dislocated their shoulders; others were bleeding. Most of the people there were Bolivians. There was no American or European there.

"What happened?" I asked a lady who was in the long line to go down the stairs.

"Don't you know? There was an earthquake! And the storm has already hit us hard!" she said.

"What?"

"Here! Look at this!" She showed me a screenshot of a news article on her dilapidated, Samsung smartphone. "Fortunately, our hotel building didn't collapse," she added.

"Thank you," I said.

I pulled out my phone.

Dook! The power went out. What in the world?

Everyone was groping in the dark to find their way out. I turned on the flashlight on my phone. My battery was draining. An unread notification on my phone from the Noticias Bolivia application popped up. There was an article that I had left unread. I read it. "Idiots! Serves those [Explict]s right!" I muttered. The article reported that a narcoterrorist gang (the exact one which ambushed the bus) attacked a police convoy, led by Bernardo Valenciano, which was heading towards Santa Cruz De La Sierra. The fleet was so well-armed that when the Police counterattacked, not even one gangster left alive. All of them were killed.

Hernanda Wilkinson

Timothy brooded on and on about Shifaly; he was grieved over her death, which he witnessed. His grief made him forget the fact that we were in a pit that was filling up with mud and water, which could kill us.

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