Cairo, Egypt – Abandoned Warehouse on the Outskirts of Town
It had been weeks since the Egyptian Islamic Jihad captured Maggie. During that time she was beaten when she refused to answer questions and in the last few days raped. Her once golden blonde hair was matted with blood and hid her face. She sat in the corner of the small room, with no windows her captors constructed in the middle of the warehouse. If she managed to escape the makeshift prison, she would not make it very far before they would restrain her, beat her, and have their way with her again.
One tear escaped her bloodshot eye in the darkness where she sat with her legs pulled to her chest. There was no sense wishing that she had refused Kent’s offer to come with him to Cairo. That thought was useless to her. Her life was worthless to these captors. She couldn’t tell them what they wanted to know. MI6 would not rescue her. She was sure they gave up on her. There was only one thought she focused on; that thought was staying alive. Kent would pay for all of this. She rested her chin on her knees as she began to think about the ways she could manipulate her captors so that someday shortly she could escape them.
It was the middle of the night when Maggie’s eyes closed. Sleep was elusive during the interrogation that lasted days. Her body ached from the beatings. Her head throbbed. She was thirsty, hot, dirty, and yet strong. Tonight was different from the other nights. The old warehouse was quiet. There were no lights illuminated. Just as she was about to enter deep sleep, automatic rifle-fire broke the silence. Maggie shuttered, startled by the loud, continual rat-tit-tat-tat. Return fire from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad members began as the sound of bullets riddling the aluminum-sided building and breaking the glass of the doors and windows. Maggie laid flat on the ground, shaking and hoping no stray bullet found her. Soon the attackers were inside the warehouse, and she heard the final cry of dying men. Maggie heard orders being shouted by both sides, each trying to gain the upper hand. The attack continued for a few minutes until Maggie heard the familiar voice of her captor’s leader instructing those alive to flee the building. Lights pierced the darkness and revealed the bullet-ridden bodies of the men killed in the raid. More shouting as Mustafa’s men killed the injured and anyone who was not fast enough to escape the now illuminated warehouse. An occasional gun burst ended the lives of any wounded EIJ member.
Maggie checked herself for any gunshot wounds. There was no additional pain. She almost couldn’t believe it. She sat up, crawled to the corner of her cell and pulled her legs to her chest again. She knew she was not safe. Mustafa’s men could swing open the door to the cell and fire without bothering to look first. Maggie’s eyes darted from side to side as she listened. The voices were getting further away. Mustafa’s men were leaving. Then the strangest thing happened. The door to her cell was unlocked, but not opened. A man called to the person who just unlocked the cell door, who yelled back to him. Maggie could hear the man’s heavy footsteps walking away from her. The lights in the warehouse were shut off, and she heard the creaky door close. Maggie didn’t move until she could no longer hear the engines of the vehicles as they drove away from the warehouse.
Maggie stood up in the darkness and walked along the wall to the door of her cell. She cautiously opened the door, her eyes finally adjusting to the darkness again. She heard nothing, and she could see the bodies of her now dead captors littering the blood-soaked, dirty floor. She walked to the first dead body, pried his handgun from his dead grasp and checked it to determine if there were any bullets left. She found another magazine in the man’s belt. She took it from him placing it in her pocket. She tucked the gun in her pants at the small of her back. She then searched each man for money. She found very little, but it would be enough for now. The rest she would steal. She cautiously walked out of the warehouse and headed down the street, not at all sure where she was going. She brushed her hair from her face, noticing the blood mats for the first time. She needed to find a place where she could clean up, perhaps find some clean clothes. She wondered if the hotel room she shared with Kent was still available to her. She decided she needed to find out. With each step from the warehouse toward town, Maggie felt free. She breathed in the air, tried to calm her emotions, and increased the speed of her steps as she walked toward the lights in the distance.
As she reached an outer neighborhood of Cairo, she caught a glimpse of herself in the glass of a shop. She gasped. Her blood stained clothes, matted, knotted and uncombed hair kept anyone from approaching her. She looked around the square for a place that she could attend to her appearance. A woman, similar in build was entering a ground floor apartment just a few yards from her. Maggie moved toward her, quickening her steps as she saw the door opening. Maggie pushed the woman inside, shut the door and drew her gun. She motioned with her gun for the woman, who was about to scream, to sit in the chair. Maggie placed her index finger to her mouth instructing the woman to be quiet. Maggie grabbed a scarf that was hanging by the door and gagged the woman. As Maggie began to tie the woman to the chair, she said, “I won’t hurt you if you cooperate.” Maggie looked at the frightened and simpering woman. “Shhhh…” Maggie said, again with her finger to her lips.
Maggie looked around and found the kitchen sink. She walked over to it and turned on the water. She stuck her head under the faucet and began to rinse the blood from her face. As the water began to wet her hair, she ran her fingers through it, freeing each strand. As best she could, she combed it back with her fingers. She moved to her victim’s clothes closet where she took what she needed to move around Cairo without attention. She was hoping that the hotel room still contained her passport, clothes, and money. When finished dressing, she slowly walked over to the woman she had tied to a chair. She took out her gun and hit the woman with the butt of it rendering her unconscious. Maggie quickly left the apartment, catching a bus to the hotel and the room she had shared with Kent weeks ago.
When she arrived, she walked into the hotel with no one paying her any attention. She boarded the elevator. When she arrived at the room, she picked the lock. The room was empty. She began to look around. There was nothing there. Their suitcases were gone. Her clothes and passports were not there. The room was ready for its next visitors. Maggie locked the door and bolted it. She quickly walked to the bathroom to take a shower. She began to feel human again. After her long shower, she winced as she dried herself. She took inventory of her injuries in the mirror. Bruises were all over her body. There was a deep cut in her lower lip. Another deep cut was above her right eye. Their scabs removed by the shower, both were now bleeding. She held tissues, applying pressure, but it was clear they were not going to stop bleeding without some intervention. Dark purple bruises encircled her eyes. She wrapped her long hair in a towel and began to look for needle and thread to painfully stitch up her wounds. Above the minibar was a small accessory filled cabinet. She opened it, found a small sewing kit and some antibiotic cream. She grabbed both and headed back to the bathroom. After multiple tries, she finally managed to steady her hand enough to thread the needle. She washed both the needle and thread in hot water. Then she decided to check the minibar for alcohol. She had no luck. She returned to the bathroom. She picked up the needle and thread. She looked in the mirror. Her hands were shaking so much; she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She began to sob. They had broken her. She screamed at her weakness. She crumbled to the floor, grabbing two hand towels as she dropped. She held the towels over the wounds as she tried to calm herself. After fifteen minutes, she stood up, noticed that a delicate scab had formed over each wound. She gently applied antibiotic cream-dabbing lightly at both. She dried her hair and dressed again in the clothes she stole from the woman. She had to get out of Egypt. But how?
She returned to the minibar, grabbing some food and bottled water from it. She ate and drank until she was satisfied. Then she remembered the safe in the closet where she and Kent stored their passport and money. Was it untouched? She quickly moved to it to find it open and empty. Would the front desk have it? Was it worth the risk to ask? She walked back over to the bed. She looked at the phone. She could make one phone call for an emergency extraction. MI6 would tell her where to go to be picked up. All of her problems would be solved. She would be on the way back to the United Kingdom. But that wasn’t what Maggie wanted.
Maggie left the hotel room after she formulated her plan. She had no idea where Kent was, but she knew where she was going. Her options were limited, but she knew what she had to do. She walked around town until she found some tourists. She followed them to their hotel. After they checked in and then left for a bite to eat, she broke into their hotel room, stole the woman’s passport, money, and some jewelry from their room safe. She broke into other rooms, securing more money from their wall safe. She had enough now to rent a room, buy some clothes, doctor the passport and fly to Paris. There she would catch a train to Puy l’Eveque to lay in wait for Kent to return.