The night seemed quiet as I prepared for an evening stroll around the usually busy streets of London. The only sound heard are raindrops touching the ground and buildings. I grabbed my hat and went walking in the rainy night, not knowing that soon my world will turn upside down. As I strolled down the sidewalk, I heard a car engine starting up in the distance.
I started to cross the seemingly vacant street. But when I did, a car pulled up beside me and parked. A tall, older man quickly got out and grabbed me. He pressed me hard against the car, pinning me against the side glass window. I tried to break his grip, but he conked me on the head with the handle of a handgun. I was dazed as the man pocketed his weapon, opened the back door and placed me on the back seat. He got into the front passenger seat and the car started off just as I blacked out.
When I came to I saw a woman in an airline stewardess uniform, holding a semi-automatic machine gun in her hands. She was standing in front of me, almost like she was a guard. Hearing a roaring engine, I realized that I was on a plane, heading to an unknown location. I heard shouting as one of the men brought out the pilot with his hands held behind his back. He was cursing and demanded an explanation. They stopped in front of me. I met the pilot’s eyes; knowing that he was just as confused of what is happening, as I was. “There’s your explanation, captain.” Said the man who was holding the pilot; a little younger than the man who conked me. “Now move!” he pressed the pilot on into the back room. I tried to move to help the pilot, but a strong hand prevented me from leaving the seat. Then I felt a needle piercing my arm. I looked over to see the older man with a syringe; filled with a clear liquid. He pumped the clear drug into my arm, then removed the syringe as I succumbed to the drug, passing out.
I kept drifting in and out of consciousness for a while. When I started waking up from the injection, I was fully aware of my surroundings but unable to move. Hearing one of the men and the stewardess talking, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation. They talked about their upcoming pay and someone known only as The Colonel. “Speaking of the boss,” asked the stewardess with some European accent. “What does he want with this American?”
“He may have important information valuable to the Colonel and his plans, Michelle.” Replied the older man. “What could an American tourist have that would be valuable information?”
“Tourist? No, he’s an agent Michelle.” She felt silent after that. “Our orders are for him to get to the Colonel, alive. That’s all.” I had a suspicion of what they wanted from me, but I know I have to protect my government’s secret. “What about the pilot?” she asked. “We’ll deal with him when we are done with the American.” The pilot’s all right, I thought. But he’s a prisoner, like me. I started feeling the effects of the drug wearing off, I was able to move. Seeing me stir the man made for the syringe, drugging me again.
When I came to the third time, I heard that three days had passed and I found myself in some old room with no windows and only an overhead gave the room its light. Looking down, I realized that they had strapped my wrists to the arms of the chair, preventing me from escaping. The two men who kidnapped me were there along with the stewardess named Michelle. She had a camera in her hands. With a smile, she took my photograph. The flash momentarily blinded me. When I regained my sight, a man of great stature came inside. Turning around slightly, I recognized his face from a photo the CIA (Central Intelligent Agency) showed me before my mission in London. The Colonel is none other than bureaucrat and conman Fredrick Nixon.
Nixon walked up to me, bent over to look me straight in the eyes. I stayed calm as he began asking me questions. “Mr. Forest,” he said in his native Russian accent. “You carried a letter containing valuable information about America. I want to know where it is.” I knew it, I thought to myself. I just shook my head without a single word. “I know you still have it, we’ve been keeping a close eye on you. Now, where is the letter?” I was unwilling to give up the letter, so I stayed silent. “We do have other means of extracting the location from you…” I stayed calm as he tried to coax and persuade me to cooperate with him. I still refused to talk.
He continued to interrogate me throughout the rest of the day, but I still kept silent and unwilling to negotiate with a conman like Nixon. “All right Mr. Forest, we’ll continue this tomorrow; by then, you may change your mind. Kyle!” the man that stood beside me, the same one who held the pilot on the plane, walked towards Nixon. He whispered a command to Kyle; then he gestured for the other two to leave with him. Kyle waited by the door for them to leave, then closed the door behind them. He turned his attention back to me. “The Colonel is unhappy with your silent responses,” he said in a thick British accent, rolling up his sleeves. He walked passed me as he continued to talk. “Keeping silent will not help you.”
“I will not portray my country!”
“Ah, so you can talk. Good.”
“Your country will be affected as well if Nixon’s plans are successful.” I heard him chuckling. “So what? England is an excuse of a country. Besides, you should worry about yourself at this point.” He chuckled again, grinning down at me. “Giving you one last chance before you’re unable to talk.”
“I won’t do it!” I replied, trying to stay calm. He placed a hand on my shoulder. “Suit yourself, agent. You’ll regret it.” Without warning he took his other hand and in a fist he punched me in the chest, knocking the wind out of me. I gasped for breath as my chest began to sore. “Should have taken the Colonel’s proposals. Now you’ll beg for mercy and reveal the location of the letter.” Breathless, I just shook my head which he responded with another fist punch. This one hit my gut, breaking a lower rib.
When he asked me a third time, I still refused to tell him where the letter's hidden. But before he could bring down another blow to my weakened body, the door opened and Michelle stepped inside. “Kyle,” she said, ignoring me. “The Colonel has requested your presence, now.” He nodded and followed her out of the room, locking me inside. I was alone in an abandoned building, beaten and weak, but I was determined. I gathered all of my willingness and strength to discover a way to escape.
Remembering extensive escape training, I was ready to put it to the test with releasing my hands. I looked around the room for a sharp tool to use in cutting the leather straps. Seeing one on the table, I slowly but surely moved the chair towards the table. Once I was close enough, I grabbed the sharp item with the tips of my fingers. Gently, I started cutting the straps. Success! I freed my other hand; and grabbing my hat and scarf from the table, I made my way to the door. Knowing that the door was locked, I fumbled through my jacket pockets to find my lock pick. When I did, I used it to open the door. With some effort, the lock clicked. I opened the door and quietly left the room.
I ran down the stairs, trying to find a way out of the building. Turning a corner and through a broken door, I found myself in some sort of recording/stage room filled with recording equipment, typewriters, videotapes and more. I picked up one of the videotapes with a person’s name and date on it. It read Cpt. Markus Gibson, 8/14/51. That was yesterday’s date, I thought to myself. Just then, I heard footsteps from behind. I turned around to find Nixon and another man I did not recognize standing in the doorway. Before they had a chance to call for backup, I was able to escape through a back door and into a hallway.
I made my way down another flight of stairs with Kyle and the older man at my heels. Realizing how close they were, I ducked into an open room and hid behind the door. I heard footsteps pounding as the men ran passed the room and faded down the hallway. Looking around the room, I noticed that it was barely lit, but I was able to make out something by the far wall. I heard a faint moan as I turned on a switch; it was the pilot. I raced to his side and started untying his bonds. “Leave me agent,” he said in a whisper. “You need to… get out of here.”
“Not without you, Captain.” I replied, helping him to his feet. We left the room and hurried through the building, trying to find an exit. We were able to and quickly raced across town, far from the building. “There’s a British baker living two blocks from here.” Said Cpt. Gibson, directing me to the house. We were able to make it without trouble. I knocked on the door; a tall man answered the door. He immediately recognized the pilot. “Markus! My dear man…”
“George,” he said, interrupting the man. “We need sanctuary, can you help?” the man named George nodded and helped me guide Cpt. Gibson into the house. We laid him on the couch as a woman entered the room. “Mary, Markus is hurt, we need the first aid. Hurry love!” she raced back down the small hallway. A few minutes later, Mary came back with towels and a first-aid box. The two treated the captain’s painful injuries while I stayed by the window on guard for the men after us.
A half an hour passed and the streets were quiet and still. Cpt. Gibson rested on the couch as the homeowners made tea for everyone. “Come sit down lad,” said George. “I don’t believe that the people after you will be coming anytime soon.” Taking his advice, I took a seat in the chair nearest the window. Sitting down was painful as the fractured rib reacted to the gesture. I didn’t let it show. The lady named Mary came around and gave everyone tea. “Why are you being followed?”
“They’re after me, I’m afraid.”
“Why?” I shrugged my shoulders. “He’s an American agent, George. Don’t look worried, agent, you can trust old George. He’s a retired British Intelligence Agent.” George nodded with a smirk. I nodded; assured that I can trust this man, but not completely. I told the retired agent a brief summary of the events that took place. When I finished, George nodded and suggested that we all turn in for the night. I waited for the others to be asleep so I could leave. If I stayed, the pilot and his friends might be put in harm’s way. I left the house and continued my journey through the streets.
Now knowing where I am, which was Vienna, I was able to find the airport and boarded a late flight. The flight back to England was long but comfortable. When the plane touched down, I took a deep breath, knowing that I was not quite out of the woods yet. As I walked to my London home, I kept on worrying and thinking that Nixon and his men might have purposely let me escape to lead them to the letter. But what they don’t know is that I was carrying the letter the whole time.
I was on my way to meet with a British Secret Agent the night they captured me. I passed my London flat and continued to where I was to meet the agent. Twenty minutes passed and I arrived at Barkley’s Café by a pleasant public park. I took a seat by the main windows and waited. Casually, a man in a black suit with a wide-brimmed fedora took the seat across from me. “I was beginning to think that you were not who you said you were,” he said, looking me over. “But judging by your rough appearance and tired expression, you are an agent who went through hell.” I just nodded. “A pleasure seeing you again, Turner.” I replied with a faint smile. He bowed his head slightly as a sign of his pleasure in seeing me as well. “Do you have it?” I nodded. Under the noses of my captures for four days, the letter was safely hidden inside the top wall of my hat; which I casually moved to the inside pocket of my jacket while onboard the plane. I handed him the letter, shook his hand and left the café towards home. Turner left a few minutes behind me.
Walking down the sidewalk, I noticed a pair of eyes watching me from the road; it was Nixon. He seemed disappointed and mad; surely he must have known and seen me give the letter to agent Turner; and knowing agent Turner, Nixon was no match for him. He slightly tipped his hat at me, then turned on his heels towards the opposite direction. I walked home with a battered, beaten body, but also with a proud look on my face.