September 6, 2017
2.06 am, Cancun, Mexico
The dungeon's earthy aroma awakens the sleeping Quake. His eyes open to the barren stone ceiling of the prison. He regains his senses, now aware of the handcuffs around his wrists.
"About time." Spectrum says as helps Quake stand even with his own handcuffs on.
"I really jinxed us this time." Quake says groggily.
"Right now we are underground." Aviator says, "Take it easy, we are being watched."
"Is that why your handcuffs are still behind you?" Quake asks.
Aviator smiles, "You've still got jokes."
"I count 8 guards." Spectrum starts explaining while pointing, "There's one exit at the end of the hall but that's controlled from a room at our end."
"The girls are probably being held in another prison." Aviator adds.
"Prison?" Quake asks.
"Yes." A voice interrupts, "Please save us."
Quake looks past his teammates to find 4 other men in the jail. 2 older than 30 years, 1 probably 20 years, and the one who spoke up looks 14 years old.
"We'll try, Alejandro." Aviator says.
"But first we need a way to escape." Spectrum adds.
"Americans!" The oldest man says, "You no have guns. You handcuffs. Por favor, no trouble."
"Forget Eduardo." The youngest man says, "If you can save us, please do."
"Does this look like the kinda face to abandon people?" Quake asks, "Why are you guys here? What is here?"
"They are migrants." Aviator answers, "This entire prison is filled with migrants."
"We have Juan, Alejandro, Javier, and Eduardo." Spectrum says, "Javier can't speak English."
Quake looks around then asks, "Where's the Chief?"
Silence... Spectrum sighs.
"We believe he is on a lower level." Aviator says.
"And in trouble." Spectrum adds.
"Well, just our luck that the only one who can speak Spanish is the Chief." Quake remarks.
"Alejandro over here has been our translator." Aviator says, "Go on, tell him about yourself."
"I'm 14 years old. I learned English in school and online. My Mom and I fled El Salvador because gangs tried to recruit me." Alejandro says, "But we got captured in a caravan ambush."
"A caravan ambush?" Quake asks.
"Yes. Many men with guns surrounded us. Anyone who tried to escape was killed." Juan says through subdued tears, "My father was killed right in front of my eyes."
Quake pauses, sighs then says, "I am so sorry."
"Keep your sorrys." Eduardo shouts with a thick accent, "19-year-old boy lost father. I lost wife and daughter. All because American guns."
"What do you mean because of American guns?" Quake asks.
"America, biggest arms dealer in world! Your government arm gangs. Make everyone unsafe." Eduardo says through gritted teeth, "I fled Columbia for family but American guns still kill them."
Quake couldn't refute Eduardo's points. After all, America's history during the Cold War in Latin America was a bloody one. It's not unbelievable that anti-American sentiments would grow across destabilized regions. Cause and effect. But he had to focus on the matter at hand.
"I 40 years old. I too old to get new family." Eduardo says.
"We are not our government." Aviator says, "Right now, we are what you've. So believe in us."
"What about Javier?" Quake asks, trying to diffuse away the tense atmosphere.
"He's 30 years old. Going to America to work because of his pregnant wife." Alejandro answers.
"That's something to look forward to." Spectrum says.
Javier speaks in fast Spanish.
"He says that the guards said that an American man was taken to the floor below to be..." Alejandro translates then stops in shock.
"To be what?" Spectrum asks.
"Burned alive." Juan completes the translation in horror.
The room freezes.
"We need a plan now." Aviator says as he maneuvers his handcuffs from his back to his front.
Suddenly, alarms go off and flashing lights come on. A few guards start running towards the door while shouting in Spanish.
"What's going on?" Quake asks.
"They are saying that there is a fire alarm at the women's prison." Alejandro answers, "Oh no! I hope my Mom is okay."
"Only one way to find out." Spectrum says.
"Remember Pyongyang?" Aviator asks.
"Yeah." Quake asks, "Who's bait?"
Aviator and Spectrum stare at Quake.
"Why even ask." Quake mumbles, "Where's Shade to unlock handcuffs when you need her?!"
YOU ARE READING
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