Eight

Kimiko couldn't remember ever being so miserable in her life. She was sitting on a mat, locked in a room with Piro and Erika. She had thought that the ride here was bad, bouncing around in the back of a dark truck, tied up so tight she could barely move. That was almost two weeks ago, and all they had done since then was rot in a cell. No one talked to them or asked them any questions, and other than the daily routines they did nothing.

For the first few days they talked amongst themselves, but soon they ran out of things to say. They couldn't openly discuss escape plans, because they knew they were being monitored. Piro had tried to keep their spirits up and minds active, but even he became subdued shortly after the first week. The only bright spot was when they exchanged stories of how they ended up in AJAT.

She actually laughed out loud when Piro told the story of how he and Largo got kicked out of some gaming convention. Largo was so upset that he got smashed and made a fool of himself in front of the whole convention; the next day, he couldn't even remember what he'd done. When Piro told him he didn't believe it until they found pictures and a story about it on the web. Largo was so mortified that he had embarrassed himself before the world's best game designers that he became determined to change his life. After several weeks of soul searching he decided to join the army, and Piro couldn't talk him out of it. Piro then sheepishly admitted that he was so passive back then that he enlisted because he didn't know what else to do.

Piro was much more sympathetic when she and Erika told their story. They told him how she became so depressed after she missed an interview for a voice acting job, that Erika felt it was necessary to go to extreme measures to boost her confidence. Erika set up an elaborate hoax with the help of Colonel Sonoda, then Inspector Sonoda, where Kimiko thought she was helping the police in a sting operation. She ended up performing so well in the fake sting, that the police offered her a job to do undercover work. Erika then confessed that, even though she denied it at the time, she really joined the police to keep an eye on Kimiko.

That one bright spot happened over a week ago, and now she was even more depressed than she had been when she missed that interview. She knew that both Piro and Erika cared about her in their own special ways, and that they both meant well when they tried to talk to her, but there was really nothing they could do. A month ago she would have been excited by the prospect of being locked in a room with Piro. There was definitely a spark there, but the bleakness of their situation had extinguished even that.

She knew what had happened; it was the helpless feeling this situation instilled. It was exactly how she felt back before she joined the Tokyo Police. Now that feeling brought back all the insecurities she thought she'd overcome. She knew what she needed to do; she just wondered if she had the strength to do it.

Kimiko didn't speak to Piro or Erika the rest of the day, and she went through the daily rituals in a robotic fashion. In fact, she didn't make a sound until the guards came to take them to the bathroom just before lights out. They lined up against the wall, where the surveillance camera could see them, when they heard the knock on the door. When Kimiko saw that one of the two guards that came in was Sancho, she hung her head and let out a soft muffled sob. Piro and Erika both looked at her in shock, but Sancho had a huge grin on his face.

He was the same guard that almost knocked her over right when they were captured. She knew that there were many horrible things that he wanted to do to her, but luckily the guards must have been forbidden from doing such things. Instead he tormented her in more subtle ways. The way he stared at her was very unsettling, and the comments he made wore on her over time, along with the 'accidental' jostles and bumps. The more time that passed the bolder he became. This recent sign of weakness was sure to increase his boldness.

Sancho looked right at Kimiko and said, "Vamos, chica." When she didn't move he said "Vamos," in a sterner voice. With her head hung, Kimiko walked towards them and made a few more muffled sobs. Sancho kept his gun on her while the other guard aimed his towards Piro and Erika. When they got Kimiko outside, Sancho tied her hands behind her back, then launched into a heated discussion with the other guard. The conversation was too fast for her to understand much, but she understood enough to get the gist of it. She knew Sancho won the argument when he gave the other guard some money and then led her off on his own.

She cried quietly as they walked, rarely making any audible sobs, but tears rolled down her face. Sancho said, "No worry chicka, Sancho good; Sancho muy good," as he laughed and led her away from the bathroom and towards another storage building. When they reached the building, Sancho gagged Kimiko, and then he opened the door and turned on the lights. After he guided her into the building, he shut the door and asked, "You like, chica?"

Kimiko saw the makeshift bed near the opposite wall, but she didn't move when he nudged her towards it. With an annoyed grunt, Sancho gave her a hefty shove towards the bed, which should have sent her sprawling to the ground. Instead of falling or staggering, Kimiko dove forward when he pushed her.

This was it; this was what she had been hoping for, planning for and dreading since she overheard some of the guards talking about Sancho's 'Love Shack.' This was her one chance and she took it. As she dove forward she tucked her head down so that she could roll forward. When her legs came over her head, she stretched her arms up and let her legs slide through them so that her hands were in front of her when she rolled up to her feet.

Back on her feet and still in a crouched position, she quickly pivoted to face a stunned Sancho, and without any hesitation she launched herself towards him. In the seconds it took to reach him, she cocked both arms to one side and swung at his head with all her might. Completely unprepared, he didn't even try to defend himself until it was too late. The blow connected square on the side of his head and sent him staggering backwards into the door. Wasting no time, Kimiko pinned him up against the door with her forearms, she then looked him in the eye and brought her knee up in-between his legs with tremendous force. His dazed look of pained disbelief only lasted a moment before he fell unconscious.

In less than fifteen seconds after they entered the building it was over. Kimiko stood trembling as the shock of what she did washed over her. No time for this now, she thought. Move girl, move. Quickly snapping back to action, she found Sancho's knife and freed herself. Next she removed his clothes; then she tied and gagged him.

With Sancho secured, she went about the task of making herself look like a guard. Luckily, this was her area of expertise. Sancho was only about an inch taller than she was, so that wasn't a problem, but he was quite a bit stockier. She used the knife to cut up the bedding, and used it to fill out her clothes. She tucked her hair into her hat, and got some dirt to darken any exposed skin. Once finished, she inspected herself in the blade of the knife. Not bad, she thought. I whish I had my makeup kit, but this should do.

After getting her disguise ready, she searched the building for anything she could use. Even though this building hadn't been cleaned out like her cell, there wasn't much in it. She did find a three-foot steel pipe that she decided would make an excellent club. She knew a gunshot would alert the whole compound, and didn't like the thought of getting close enough to use the knife. So she decided her weapon of choice would be the pipe.

With the pipe tucked into her pants and concealed under her jacket she headed back to her cell. The light in front of the building let her see the guard well before he could see her. When she got into view, she bent over and started staggering around. When the guard saw her he thought she was Sancho and asked, <Hey Sancho, what's wrong? Are you Ok?> In response Kimiko put her hands on her chest and started breathing heavy and gasping. When the guard came close enough, she took the pipe and rammed it into his abdomen. As he doubled over, she knocked him out with a blow to the head.

With the guard disabled, she quickly checked the monitor to make sure there were no guards in the building. Seeing none, she opened the door and said, "Piro, Erika, get out here and help me with this guard." When both stood there staring at her with disbelieving faces, she said, "Move it people, let's go!" Piro and Erika exchanged a quick, bewildered look, then dashed out with huge smiles on their faces.

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