He was vaguely aware that they had stopped moving. He had not eaten in days. Nor had he drank more than the condensation that dripped through the cracks in the trunk. He was not in his right mind, but he was not in his wrong one, either. He was in a new mind. A dark, cold place that he had never known existed. Until she'd been killed.
Fire. Supernova. Pain. The bandana over his eyes had become a torture. Still, after being yanked out of the trunk, he found himself, eyes open, blinded by the desert sun. He closed his eyes, and it was still too bright. He covered his face in his hands and they laughed, said something in a language he did not understand. He was beginning to hate the sound of it.
He knew that they weren't going to kill him. If they wanted him dead, it would have been easy and they wouldn't have risked driving with a man in the trunk of their car. He knew what they wanted.
His eyes adjusted slowly, they still hurt. Every part of him hurt. The car did not have good suspension, the road had been hard, the trunk was not large. He felt a weary silliness come over him and the next thing he knew, he was sitting at a table, facing a large man in a military uniform that looked like a Halloween costume. They were alone in the room, but he could hear guards shuffling outside.
"Are you ready now, or do you need more hunger?"
He gulped, eyes darting, mouth aching with dryness.
"And you are thirsty. You must be careful. Hunger is something. Thirst will kill you. You don't want to die. Just tell us."
"Tell you what?! I don't know what the fuck is going on! I work at the goddamn DMV! I don't know anything you would want to know. I don't even know who you are."
"This is shame. We want to help you, but you do not want to help yourself."
The man sighed, ran his hands through the tangle that sat atop his head.
"I'll talk. But I've been in a trunk for a long time. Please let me walk. Pace. Please. I'll tell you everything."
The man in the uniform smiled. The pacing began. He was so weary that he couldn't walk a straight line and kept bumping the chair, the desk. The man in the uniform smirked.
"The government knows what you are doing. They have known for years. My name is John William Jackson. I am known in the underworld as Bayou. I know what you want to know. You want to know about the installations. The satellites. The other operatives in your country, yes?"
"Yes, good, keep going."
The man in the uniform put his feet on the desk, shiny black boots, no wear on the soles. The pacing stopped and a dirty arm pointed out the window. The uniformed eyes followed.
"That's North. Correct me if I'm wrong. There are strongholds all around here. There are caves and mountains and subterranean offices. Most of the effort, however is focused -"
A slight flit of the uniformed eyes. It was enough. He dove over the desk, driving the fountain pen into the man's throat, covering his mouth with one hand. Too loud. He snapped the neck and fell behind the desk. With all his might, he shoved the desk across the room - the heavy mahogany stopped the door from opening. It was a heavy desk, but he knew he did not have much time.
The 'general' had not been wearing a gun, but there had to be one. He checked the drawers, finding nothing. Then, he saw it, leaning against the wall with an umbrella and a cane. You've gotta be kidding me.
He snatched the Kalashnikov and sat in the chair. The top part of the door exploded and two men came through the dust. They were dead before they hit the floor. He sprayed the hallway with bullets. He knew that the deaths would cause chaos, the men were probably running ... they wouldn't get far. Already, he could hear shouts. Commands. Chopper blades. None of them would survive.
Two years setting it up, risking, betting they wouldn't kill the bait. Now, it was done. He would take some time off. Go fishing. He had more money than he needed. The Americans were clueless, and he was tired of trying to sound like he was from the midwest. He imagined himself as a kind of Robin Hood. A stagecoach robber.
On a very big stage.