2010-09-08: The Enemy Of My Enemy




September 8, 2010


Supermax — Colorado, USA


We have met the enemy and he is us. — Walt Kelly

72 Hours Ago…


Z-Unit Cell 4

Bwooop Bwoop Bwoop

A pair of hazel eyes glance over to the slit in the cement walls of the cell, her only view of the outside. The dim light inside flickers for a moment before it goes out completely, leaving her in the darkness, save that one sliver of light pouring through into a pie shape on the floor.

Being used to quiet and calm, the sudden noise has Vasha on edge. Slowly, she stands from her seat at the desk and makes her way toward the barred inner cell doors that block her view of the hallway. It's daylight outside the walls of the prison, by the amount of light inside, it would be a good guess to say that it's mid afternoon. Too soon for a change of guard.

Gunshots and noise echo in from the end of the concrete corridor, alerting her to the presence of others. The cells are being unlocked, one by one and shots fired. The South African's mind draws only one conclusion, execution. Quickly, she scours the room for a place to hide. Finding none, she climbs the bars to the ceiling of her cell and braces herself against the narrow walls, waiting.

Interview Cell 3B

Bwooop Bwoop Bwoop

In the control room, the warden and the two guards who were watching the basketball game can do nothing but watch helplessly as a few more guards drop to the floor. The rifles are liberated from the corpses by newly freed inmates and one by one, as they pass by the cameras, the screens go black.

Inside the room, shots can be heard from various directions. The sound reverberating off the walls and echoing loudly into the ears of the two agents, the two guards, and the smirking inmate. "It seems, as though we are at a stalemate." Is'haaq says calmly, placing his hands on the table. "If you wish to leave this place alive, I would suggest you unlock my chains. Otherwise, you will not see the morning." His smile is directed at Rivka. Then, he turns his head toward Olivia and the guards and yanks hard on one of the cuffs causing a small bang.

The reach of Allah might be far, but the reach of Is'haaq is not.


For three days Rivka's been separated from Olivia, the other guards, and Is'haaq, though the last one isn't much of a loss. On the first day of the standoff, the two guards were gunned down as the quintet tried to move into a safer location. About 20 minutes after that, Is'haaq met his maker and the Mossad agent didn't feel the slightest bit guilty. Yesterday, she and Olivia got separated while crawling through the ventilation system.

For more than 24 hours, she's been alone in one of the most hostile environments known to mankind.

A hostile environment? Yes. Perhaps a different one then the desert that she'd been forced to learn how to survive in, but most certainly a hostile environment. Her progress has been slow. When one of the guards went down, she relieved him of his weapon, lacking one of her own, but then the bullets had run out. A mop, abandoned by someone on maintenance duty, had its head removed to be used as a staff, and later when it broke, a pair of clubbing sticks. She abandoned those once she'd made it to the cafeteria and relieved it of a kitchen knife, which she has now tucked away securely in her boot. The plethora of guard's bodies have offered a replenishment of weapons - a taser and a hand gun, but in order to stay ahead of some of the worst prisoners that this country - no this world, has to offer, she has to keep moving.

She's thought about why no one has seemed to secure prison or come in from the outside. She's thought about why they haven't just strafed the place from the air. But she has no answers, only questions. It's a lot of watching and waiting and only moving when she knows the coast is clear. She's narrowed her goals down to two: get to the main control room and secure it, and somehow, either before or after that, find Olivia.

There's never been a man that Vasha Kruger has regretted killing, the past three days haven't included any more. Of the 490 prisoners kept within the walls, more than a dozen have died to her bare hands and even more than that to guns she's pilfered. During the few days that she's been out of her cell, she's been ducking between the vents and offices, looking for a way to communicate with the outside world. It hasn't occurred to her that there is only one means and that is controlled completely by a group of men that wish her dead.

The second day out, she managed to slip through the cafeteria where she found Joseph Lakwena's body strung up by the neck. There was never any love lost between her and the Mozambican man, but his demise only spelled one thing for her. Her only ally among her countrymen is dead. Now, she is alone.

The quiet slink of her body through the ventillation shafts would alert anyone inside to her presence, not so to the outside where the din of the general populace keeps it muffled.
Whenever possible, Rivka has attempted to make sure that she had control over the exits wherever she's managed to settle. Even if she couldn't blockade them, if she could simply arrange things to be at the tactical advantage if an encounter was iminent, then she'd made the best effort to do so. After that one time in the cell warden's office she was glad she'd done so. It turned out worth the risk, since he'd had those water bottles in his desk.

Rivka had managed to make her way to yet another small office, made sure the door was secure, and is now taking the time to hydrate. Vasha's efforts at least initially won't be noticed, but should she get close enough to this particular vent - well, Rivka's keeping an eye on it, trusting her instincts that led her to blockade the door, at least for now. The only way out and in at the moment is that vent, so that's what she's got her eyes on as she gulps water.

As Vasha nears the office, her jumpsuit snags on a bit of turned out metal and lets out a loud rip. She freezes and curses almost inaudibly for alerting anyone to her presence. Laying the rifle in her hands down, she shrugs her arms and torso out of the orange one piece and ties it off around her waist. She's sweaty and it's been four days since her last shower. Lucky Rivka, the next blast of air conditioned breeze will carry the unadulterated scent of South African Princess.

Slowly, she picks up the rifle and keeps moving forward. There's only a few ways to go and Vasha needs to find a place to hole up and catch a few much needed hours of sleep.

As she rounds the corner, she spots the vent to the office and breathes a long sigh, it's been a couple days since her last visit to this particular area but she remembers the layout well and it has enough places to hide should anyone try to make a spot check. Fortunately, they haven't been doing that particular task for a while now. As a warlord, the woman is mentally lashing them for their folly.

Yes, the rip does definitely echo, and even if it hadn't, truth be told, if someone's not listening for sounds in unexpected places, movement through the vents is likely ignored. But Rivka's paying attention, see - and at the sound of forward movement, the Mossad agent takes a few moments to prepare. She presses against the wall that the vent comes out of, just next to it so that whomever comes out will not be initially able to see what may be waiting for them. Especially if it's the business end of a gun. Rivka is silent, and she waits.

The rifle is placed down by her side and a set of long thin fingers loop through the grate of the vent, lifting it up silently. These aren't fingers that belong to a man and Rivka knows very well that there are only two women in the facility. A set of long tanned arms, make very careful work of lowering the cover silently to the floor. It's quite evident that this woman doesn't want to be found either. This can mean only one thing… the enemy of Rivka's enemy is right within her grasp. Hopefully, it's Olivia.

From the first site of the bare foot and orange fabric of the jumpsuit leg, the agent knows… It's not Olivia it's the other one.

Coming out feet first isn't necessarily smart, but Rivka is prepared. Gun raised, she waits until Vasha's torso and head appear, mindful of the fact that if she can't see the woman's hands, it's certainly possible that she's armed.

"Kruger." the name is offered sharply, meant to startle. "Keeping coming out slowly. If I so much as see gun-metal, I will shoot you." It's not surprising that Vasha's loose, nor is it surprising that she'd be trying to move about undetected. After all, the number of women in this place can be counted on one hand, and none of those wish to encounter one of the now free-roaming gangs in the hallways.

Coming out feet first isn't always stupid either, it saves a shot to the head.

At the summons, Vasha silently curses to herself in Afrikaans while vaulting out of the duct and onto the floor. The rifle is left within reach as she turns to face and narrows her eyes at the woman in front of her. Her lip curls as she fails to recognize the counter-terrorist, her opposite. "And who might you be?"

The South African woman has no compunctions about how the other woman knows her name, she's the only female inmate and she's dressed in her prisoner's garb. Her eyes sweep the room and the Agent identifying any small weakness in stance or bearing… if she has any.

"Someone who knows who you are." Rivka leaves it at that. "Step back from the vent and you can be grateful I didn't shoot you outright and I'll be grateful I don't have to deal with anyone coming running at the sound of the shot, shall we?" The accent is Mediterranean, the stance is professional, and the eyes are like a hawk's.

"Have a seat." She gestures with the muzzle of her gun toward one of the office chairs. "And you can tell me how things went down on your end that you've ended up scurrying through the vent system like a rat." Not that she hasn't been one herself, and if Vasha volleys back with that, she'll admit as much. "And where it is you think you can hope to go, or who you hope to reach."

"How things went on my end? Well…" The smooth purr of Vasha's voice isn't accompanied by any motion. She stands otherwise still even with the gun pointed at her, a battle of cunning and wits and even though she's on the short end of the stick, she doesn't have much to lose by getting shot. Except her life. Which might be forfeit anyway due to the circumstances inside the prison.

"It would seem that one of the factions inside the prison is vying for control. They may or may not have some of the guards on their side, my guess would waver toward the may." The South African's arms come down to clasp her hands together in front of her and she stares down the agent with narrowed eyes. "And you? It is rather unusual to see a foreigner running amok … a foreigner that isn't wearing a prison uniform."

Rivka is not fooled by those hands. There are techniques designed to take a gun from someone by offering the appearance of submission in just the way that Vasha has placed her hands right now. "I'm just a visitor. Step away from the vent." She takes a step back. "The problem with the inmates taking over the asylum is that the asylum lacks readily accessible exits. It's been three days, and presumably, no one has come. No one's even strafed the place. That suggests either no one's gotten word out, or the government doesn't care. And there's only one way to get the word out."

Vasha's head drops to the side as she lazily regards the other woman, still, there's no movement from her feet to take a seat. From under closed lips, Vasha's tongue runs over one of her canine teeth, giving her a rather sly and calculating disposition. "If you were planning to shoot me, you would have done it within the first minute of my arrival." The prisoner's calm demeanor is rather unsettling, but her logic when it comes to war and murder are practically infallible. She was born and raised to be a brutal mercenary, all dossiers and intel on her point toward that one fact.

"Put the gun away, we have a better chance of survival together than you have alone. You do not know these men, you cannot hope to hunt almost a hundred and twenty of them with only… what… Five bullets?" She smiles then and narrows her eyes. "I will not harm you in any way, you have my word." Something that the warlord has never gone back on.

"Step away from the vent and I'll lower the gun. There's still a lot you can do without harming me, and even if you're known for not going back on your word, that doesn't mean I don't trust you not to have brought something with you that you left in the vent. You're a resourceful woman. I find it hard to believe you've gotten this far and haven't appropriated a weapon." Rivka's smile includes a flash of teeth. Two lionesses, one water-hole. "Step away, take a seat, and I'll sit down and we can talk about how resolve this," another vague gesture, "Situation."

Still there's no movement, though Vasha does concede with a nod. "I have one rifle in the vent, more hidden in other locations. My ammunition is short so I have been resorting to killing with my hands. Fair enough?" One eyebrow is lofted high to the ceiling as she puckers her lips outward in a thoughtful expression. She's still considering the other woman, how effective she actually is. The fact that she's lasted this long points toward a good instinct for survival, otherwise she would have fallen to the enemy days ago.

"As for your demands. I would move from the vent, but it is not advantageous for me to do so. You will be required to trust me at some point, it might as well be now. Otherwise, you might as well fire and check to see for yourself." There's a twitch at the corner of Vasha's lips and she takes one step to the side, not a large one, but it's a gesture that she's at least willing to barter.

The step to the side is enough. Rivka lowers, but doesn't put the gun away. "There is only one means to communicate with the outside world from this facility. "The central control room. It is my intention to scout it to see if it has been overrun, and if not, take it. If it has…" Rivka trails off. One woman army crap is just that. Crap. "Find a way to take it. It may require a trip to the guard armory depending on the situation." She peers. "I'm guessing you've not allied with one of the prisoner factions in order to avoid being regulated to someone's pet? It's surprising you didn't gain a little gang of your own. You have that way about you."

Once the gun is lowered, Vasha points to the duct with one hand and raises her eyebrows. "The rifle is right there, you may fetch it if you wish, I am fatigued." Like royalty, she saunters to one of the chairs and sits down rather heavily, confirming her statement. It's obvious that she knows that the agent isn't going to harm her in any way because she closes her eyes and leans back in the chair. A moment of respite in days of tension.

"I do not ally myself with any of the animals in here because I am above them. I have not made a move to lead any of them because they are untrained and undisciplined. They are murderers, thieves, terrorist, and the like with no loyalty to anyone but themselves." One of her eyes opens to regard the other woman for a moment before it closes again and she continues with a tired sigh in her voice. "As to why I did not train a faction of my own… I have been kept in solitary confinement. For twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, I stay in my cell alone. I do not speak with the adjacent animals, I do not try to communicate with anyone but my lawyer."

"So what you're saying is the Americans aren't entirely idiotic in their management. That's comforting." says the Israeli with sarcasm guns a-blaze. They are after all, sitting in the best American run prison money can buy, and it's gone to hell in a handbasket. Rivka elects to leave the rifle where it is, unwilling for the moment to turn her back on Vasha. But she too takes a seat, gun still in hand, but lawyered. "The vents are safer, but harder to recon from, is the problem. But the first order of business is to ascertain the status of the comm room."

"It has been overrun, the guards within have been taken hostage and are on the lower levels." Vasha's voice is bored, tired, as though she is rehashing everything for the thousandth time in interrogation but there is none of that here. "The leader of one of the gangs, Joseph Lakwena has been killed and is hanging in the middle of the court as an example to others." Her eyes open lazily and she purses her lips as she regards the other woman. "You are familiar with him, yes? He was the man who sent over two hundred children to their death while trying to raid a United Nations facility in Mozambique during their war."

A deep breath is taken and she tips her head forward while crossing her arms over her chest, a clear indication that she's ready for sleep. "The Americans are not so foolish. Eventually every man in this place will die, they simply have to wait along the outside and make certain that no one comes out. Do you think they give a shit about the lives of a few men who are on the payroll of the Italian Mafia?"

"What I'm wondering is, why wait so long to strafe it? If they don't want anyone to come out, they should be trying to do so sooner rather than later." She shakes her head, and after a moment's thought rises, moves to the desk, and rifles through it one-handed until she finds a pen and paper. She begins to sketch out a map with her off hand carefully. "If they may or may not hold the comm room, then. We," her voice is slightly dry as I becomes we, "Need to scout it and determine if we can seize it."

"Because the Americans are at best a country of paradox. Little men with big guns that balk at doing what is necessary." Vasha actually sits up to lean over, examining the diagram that the agent is creating. The small hum of thought emits from the other woman and she taps at a certain point a little off the sketch. "The air ducts would be the easiest route, though they do not provide any cover. The moment they hear something coming through they will fire at the walls and ceiling." The woman sounds as though she speaks from experience.

"If you are not opposed… It is my suggestion that we try to escape."