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Old 02-13-2015, 09:26 PM
Matt Wiser Matt Wiser is offline
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Location: Auberry, CA
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The next part...


Later:


Kelly had dozed off for a while, how long, she had no idea, but a renewed series of screams woke her up with a start. At first, she didn't realize where she was, but the neck rope, and her arms trussed behind her, brought her back to reality. She had no idea who it was that was screaming, but knew that Nathan and Haley were still there, somewhere. And Pat? Was he still alive? She had no idea, and wasn't about to ask.

When the guards had left her the last time, they had turned off the light, so Kelly was left in the dark. Then the door opened, and someone turned the light switch. A guard with a bucket of water came to her, and asked, “Aqua?”

She nodded, “Please...”

The guard helped her drink, with a dipper. Was this the same one who'd helped her drink how long ago? Since she had been blindfolded at the time, she had no way to tell. She took several swallows, and actually felt a little refreshed. Then the guard dipped a cloth rag in the water, and wiped her face. She nodded her thanks, and the guard actually smiled. Since she didn't know if this guy was doing this on his own, or it was just his job, Kelly knew best not to ask, and be grateful for the favor. And to her surprise, he wiped her breasts and belly with the cloth, but always looked furtively towards the door. And she simply nodded. When he was finished, he let her drink some more, then got up and left, closing the door behind him.


Later on, the door just plain flew open, and the interrogator was back, with two guards. He strode over to her, grabbed her hair and pulled her head back. “Are you going to submit?”

Kelly was panting hard, but she took a couple of deep breaths, then glared at him. “NO.”

SMACK! He slapped her again, open palm, back of the hand. “YANKEE BITCH! YOU WILL SUBMIT!”

Kelly thought about spitting in his face, but thought that wasn't a good idea right then...after all, she was sitting on the floor, her legs in irons and a rope around her neck tied to the leg irons; her hands bound behind her, and pulled up, leaving her hunched over. Not a good idea to do something like that. So she just sat there and said nothing.

He leered at her. “One of the others did submit. Follow that person's example.”

Kelly just shook her head no.

The interrogator grabbed a broom handle and used it on her back again, twelve times. Though she screamed, one thing went through her mind: don't let him see you cry. When he was finished, he went over and released the rope holding her tied arms behind her.

When that happened, the pain that had been going through her shoulders stopped. But then, she felt rope around her elbows. Here we go again with the ropes, she knew. Then he retied the rope that had held the tied arms, and pulled again, hoisting her arms up, almost completely horizontal, and she was once again hunched over. And the pain...it felt like they were tearing her arms off. It didn't take long for her to start screaming.

While it seemed like forever, it only lasted maybe a half hour, before he removed the rope holding her arms, and they fell back down. Then he came over and stared down at Kelly, his face full of contempt. “Submit, Bitch,” he said in a calm voice.

Though she was panting heavily, Kelly looked up at him. “No..”

SMACK! He slapped her again, and then said something in Spanish to a guard. To her surprise, the guard removed the neck rope, but then two guards took her out of the room, half dragging and half carrying her, to a walled courtyard. As they were dragging her, she managed to glance at a guard's watch. It said 10:30. When the third guard opened the door, bright sunshine came in. How many days had she been in the interrogation room?

They took Kelly into the courtyard, forced her onto her knees, and then blindfolded her. Then they left. The sun treatment-almost like in a World War II movie, she thought. As it turned out, she spent the whole rest of the day there, kneeling in the hot sun. When they dragged her back at sunset, Kelly was sunburned all over. And the interrogator was waiting again, sitting at the desk, she saw, peering from under the blindfold.

“WILL YOU SUBMIT?” He yelled.

I've got enough for one more round with this guy, she thought. Though weak, she still had some fire in her. First she shook her head, then Kelly said it, as loud as she could. “NO.”

“BITCH! YOU WILL!” He then kicked her down to the floor, and had the guards sit her back up, and once again, trussed her into the ropes-hoisting her tied arms behind her. After the rope was tied off, and she was hunched over, he began beating her sunburned back and buttocks. Under the blindfold, she started crying. This time, she knew, it was just about over.

Kelly stopped crying once the beating stopped. Her whole back felt like it was on fire. That, and the pain in her arms and shoulders, made her decide that it was time. But she made a silent vow right then and there, on the floor of the torture room. One day, I'm going to watch as they strap you into the Electric Chair, or put a noose around your neck. And before they put that hood over your head, my face is going to be the last thing you ever see. She took a couple of deep breaths, then just shreiked, “ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT! I'll do what you want.”

The interrogator pulled off the blindfold. “So, you will submit?”

Kelly simply nodded, yes.

“SAY IT!” he screamed in her face.

“I....I...submit,” she said, weakly.

The ropes were swiftly untied, and the leg irons came off. Kelly was very weak, and a guard simply shoved her onto the stool in front of the desk. The interrogator opened his folder.

“What base were you flying from?”

Kelly remembered her briefing: the Cubans likely knew which squadrons were flying from Homestead, but she could lie about being in which squadron. “Homestead.”

“Your Wing and squadron?”

Here, she could lie. “308th TFS, 31st TFW,” she said.

“What type of aircraft were you flying?”

“F-4D.” No sense in lying about that: the Cubans no doubt had the wrecked airplane.

He leered at her. “So, they put the women in Phantoms? Not in the F-16?”

She could still be defiant, though she knew not to press her luck. “I volunteered for F-4s.”

“And your target?”

“Troop staging area near Mariel.” No sense lying about this one.

“What kind of bombs were you carrying?” He demanded.

Fortunately, she wasn't carrying CBUs on this strike, and the Communists had hollered bloody murder about CBU use in Vietnam, as well as earlier in this war. “Mark-82 five-hundred-pound bombs.”

“How were you shot down?”

“No idea.” Another lie. She didn't want to admit that AAA had shot down her Phantom.

The interrogator then opened a desk drawer and brought out a sheet of paper. “Sign at the bottom,” he said, handing her a pen.

Kelly looked at the paper. It was an appeal to the U.S. Government to accept the “generous” peace terms the Soviets were offering. She already knew that the President and the Congressional leadership had already rejected them out of hand, thanks to CNN. Kelly picked up the pen and scrawled her signature, but it was barely legible. Her hands were still very numb from the long periods in the ropes.

“That won't do.” the interrogator said. He said something in Spanish to the guards, and both of them picked her up and dragged Kelly to another part of the facility, where they threw her into a holding cell.

Weak from the torture, Kelly climbed onto the wooden bunk. Again, it was just out of the diorama in SERE that depicted a prison cell in North Vietnam, with a wooden pallet on a pair of sawhorses for the bunk. With no blanket or mat, she simply lay on the bunk and closed her eyes. Mercifully, she quickly fell into a deep sleep.


9 May 1986, Ministry of Defense Interrogation Center, Havana, Cuba.


The cell door opened, accompanied by shouting in Spanish. Kelly opened her eyes, and was confronted by two guards, who grabbed her by the arms and dragged her out of the cell. Both took her to a shower, where another guard threw her a bar of soap. “Wash,” he ordered.

Kelly took the soap and for the first time was able to see what her arms looked like. Both arms had rope burns on the wrists and elbows, and she could also see where the torture cuffs had been on-and those marks went down deep. Kelly washed herself off the best she could, and when she was finished, the guard handed her a towel. Had he been there the whole time, watching? I wouldn't doubt it for a minute, she thought. After she dried herself off, he just grabbed the towel, and the same two guards who'd brought her to the shower came and dragged her to the interrogation room. As they did so, she saw other guards leering at her and laughing. The guards hadn't brought her any clothes at all, and Kelly thought, was it deliberate? More humiliation? The instructors in SERE hinted that the women could expect more humiliation, more degradation, than the men, and this seemed to bear that out.

The door to the interrogation room opened, and the interrogator was there, waiting. On the desk was a folded pair of prison pajamas, and in front of the desk, sat the familiar stool. After the guards sat her down, he leered at her. “No modesty?”

Kelly said nothing. She was still weak from the torture, and wasn't in much of a mood to do anything.

He held out a pen. “Sign the paper,” he ordered.

She was in no shape to resist again. So she took the pen and signed the paper where he wanted her to. After she did so, he shoved the set of prison pajamas at her. “Get dressed,” he ordered.

Kelly put the pajamas on and then stood in front of the desk. The interrogator took out an English-language edition of a Cuban state newspaper and shoved it into her hands. Though the cover story mentioned the failure of the initial American counterattack, she was more interested in the date. May 9? Three and a half days I held out. I'll do better next time, if there is a next time, she promised.

“You see? That counterattack of yours failed. That means that final victory is only a matter of time,” the interrogator gloated.

No, it doesn't, she thought. But she knew the penalty of saying that out loud. Instead, she said nothing.

The interrogator motioned to the guards, and they took her out of the room and back to the holding cell. When she got back into the cell, on the bunk was another pair of pajamas, a blanket, sleeping mat, cup, and mosquito net. Obviously, her prison gear. Then she heard tapping on the wall.

Kelly went to the wall, and recognized the sound right away. It was the tap code. And she tapped her initials, and got HC back. Haley!

They tapped messages of encouragement back and forth, until they heard footsteps. A guard remained in the corridor for a while, and the two prisoners knew not to make any noise. When he left, they tried talking under their cell doors. Both shared what had happened, and Haley was actually relieved. Just talking about the ordeal made her feel better. When Kelly mentioned that she had been assaulted, Haley began to cry, though. She'd never felt so humiliated in her life. But Kelly asked if that had made her break, and Haley replied, “No.”

“Good. Don't let them break you with that.” Kelly said.

“What about that...that.”

“That collaborator? When we get out of here, that's another offense they can nail her on. And one day, you and me are going to be there when she's being strapped into the Chair.” Kelly promised.

“The only thing I'll be asking is 'regular or extra crispy?'” Haley said. “And that goes for that interrogator, too.”

“The guy who bragged about being in Hanoi?” Kelly asked.

“That's him.” Haley said, fire coming into her voice. “I want him dead.”

“Join the club. But there's thirty or so guys in line ahead of us at least. We'll have to take a number.”

In her cell, Haley nodded. Then she asked, “What now?”

“Take it one day at a time. And just remember that they messed with the wrong country. Just hang in there, and someday, the Marines are going to take Havana, and we'll be here when they come.” Kelly said. “And one other thing.”

“What?” Haley asked.

“Bounce back. As soon as you can. Make them break you again. Remember that in SERE?”

“Yeah. Right now, though....if they asked me to do whatever they want, I'm in no shape to say no.”

“So am I,” Kelly said. “Just pull yourself together, and bounce back.”
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Treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect, but always have a plan to kill them.

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