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3. Once Imprisoned, Twice Shy

April 2008

Melissa looked around the small room she found herself in. She was feeling pretty grumpy; they'd shot her and Jay out of the sky, then grabbed her, thrown her in a truck, and now she was locked up here, somewhere in the depths of this weird building in the middle of the lake. She examined the room from where she sat on a narrow bunk.

The room was high; high enough that she couldn't reach the air vents set near the top of the wall, even standing on the bunk and jumping. It was narrow enough that there was only just room to walk beside the narrow bunk, and long enough for a toilet and sink at the end of the bunk, and not much else. It felt a lot like a prison cell; she guessed that was kind of the point.

She tried pacing a little, but the cell was too small, so she gave up after a while, and lay down on the bunk. She allowed herself to doze a little; it helped take the edge off of her boredom.

She tried sitting up for a while. She stood up and tried jumping at the air vents again. She lay down on the bunk with her head towards the feet end and her legs up in the air. She kicked against the walls for a while.

She got off the bunk and looked underneath. There was nothing there – but then, she hadn't really expected there to be. She crawled underneath and enjoyed the dark for a while, but after a while the floor was feeling a bit cold and hard, so she crawled out and got back up on the bunk.

She used the toilet – having a good look for cameras first, and laying her jacket across her lap while she went. She washed her hands, then used the lukewarm tap-water to wash her face. She sat back on the bunk.

She stood up on it again and did some stretching, and tried out a couple of yoga poses. She was holding 'down-facing dog' when the door hissed open. She dropped down onto the bunk, then spun herself to sitting, feet on the floor. A guard came in with a tray, a sandwich and a polystyrene cup on it. She waited until he went to hand it to her, then she hit it up towards his face, following the tray with a side kick to his gut. He went down with the sound and composure of a sack of flour.

As he dropped she grabbed the tray and threw it at the guard she could see through the doorway. He reached up to fend it off, then realised his mistake as Melissa took the opportunity to wrench his submachine gun from his hands. She cracked him in the side of the neck with the butt of the gun, and he fell much like his companion, sliding down the corridor wall.

Melissa looked left – dead end – and started running down the corridor to the right. She climbed up a few steps to a raised level, and continued down the corridor. She was just passing a closed door on her left when she heard voices from the corridor ahead.

“…so I said, look, it's not as if I have any particular problem with monkeys…” said the voice.

“I know – you wouldn't be here otherwise, right?” said another voice.

“Exactly – although… those ones downstairs are something else really.” The voices were coming closer. Two guards stepped around the corner, saw Melissa, and went for their guns. She was quicker; her gun was already up.

“Don't move!” she yelled at them. They lowered their hands, held them out to the sides.

“Take your guns out and put them on the floor, slowly,” she said. The first lowered his gun, while the other watched her warily. She saw his eyes dart to her left, and she heard the door open beside her.

She spun around, but she was too slow; the man who'd just come out of the door darted inside her reach and grabbed her hands. Slowly, but giving her no chance to resist, he twisted the gun from her grip. She punched at his torso, but only made him grunt a little; he didn't even flinch. He dropped the gun on the floor and grabbed her arms, pinning them behind her.

“Now miss, back to your cell, I think,” he said. She looked up. Man, was he an ugly fellow, and a big brute at that. He grinned. “Something wrong, miss?”

“Just that you're incredibly ugly,” Melissa said.

“Oh, my, I didn't realise I was still in primary school,” the man said. “Come on.” He pushed her back down the corridor, towards her cell. He pushed her onto her bunk, then picked up the groaning, white-faced guard from the floor. He pulled the guard out of the cell, and the door hissed shut, leaving her alone once again.


The guards came back with more food, an hour or so later. This time there were three of them, all alert, and two of them stayed in the corridor with guns raised and fingers on triggers. They looked pretty nervous; Melissa didn't really feel like risking a shooting, so she stayed put on her bunk.

Melissa gave up for a while. She wasn't going to be getting anywhere on her own; she may as well, she thought, just wait until something happens. As long as she was ready when it did, it'd be no real loss to hang about for a bit.

She settled down for a nap.