The Adventures of Barb Wire Episode 1 The Bounty Hunter Story by L’Espion [email protected] Chapter 6 Retribution Sergeant Aliba made her way to the cell of the White Lioness, as His Excellency liked to call her. It was her duty to inspect the prisoner every night; although how anyone could escape through a solid steel door that was two centimeters thick was beyond her. She opened the peephole and peered inside. “What?” she gasped. “No she couldn’t have!” She pulled out her key, inserted it into the lock, and jerked the heavy door open. The White woman was hanging from the ceiling fixture in her cell. Somehow she had managed to rip the light fixture out of the ceiling and used the wires and strips of bedding to fashion a crude noose which was now tightly wrapped around her throat. “Oh no,” Aliba wailed. “His excellency will kill me for this.” There seemed no doubt the White woman was dead. Her tongue was sticking out of her mouth and her eyes bulged, wide, and sightless. Nevertheless, Aliba ran forward on the faint hope that it might not be too late. She got to within a meter of the dead woman when suddenly and miraculously the woman sprang to life and kicked Aliba square in the chest. The impact knocked her clear across the cell and out the door and as she lay there dazed Aliba saw what she should have seen before had she not been in such a panic, and that was that the White woman had actually been balancing on the edge of the bed so that only a fraction of her weight was supported by the noose. She tried to shout for help as the White woman removed the rope from her neck, but the breath had been knocked out of her and she could only gasp helplessly. Barb hurriedly disentangled herself from the noose. She hadn’t meant to kick Sergeant Aliba right out of the cell, just disable her. Now there was a chance that another guard might show up and give the alarm. She jumped down from the bed rushed into the corridor and gave the Sergeant a punishing blow to the jaw. The woman went limp and Barb quickly dragged her back into the cell. Once there she stripped the unconscious woman and tied and gagged her with strips of bedding. She and Aliba were not quite the same size, but they were close enough and Barb hurriedly dressed in the guard’s clothing and strapped on her weapons. Pretty good equipment, Barb thought as she released the safety on the Tec-9. The magazine was full and she had a spare if she needed it, which was a very strong possibility. Now to deal with that asshole. She had no intention of trying to escape from the palace. She wanted payback, and she was going to get it. Besides, it might be easier to escape if she could get hold of Mohomi than having to fight her way out through the dozens of guards and soldiers in and around the palace. As she started out, she suddenly came to a full stop. She was standing in front of a row of cells identical to hers. I wonder who else Mohomi has stashed away in here? She went to the cell closest to her and opened the peephole. Inside there was a dark-skinned prisoner clad in orange prison garb. She guessed he was about fifty years of age and appeared to be a native Rurutongan. He looked harmless enough, and she inserted a key into the lock and pulled the door open. Her appearance seemed to startle him and he jumped to his feet, speaking to her in his own language. “Sorry,” Barb answered. “I’m not from around here.” “Ah,” the man replied in accented English. “I can see that. You are English?” “American,” Barb replied. “My name is Barb Wire. And who might you be?” “Barb Wire? Like the fence?” the man asked. “Yes, like the fence, and I’m just as spikey. I asked you a question.” “I am Ndose Gombe. I was President of Rurutonga before I was toppled in a coup led by a treacherous general.” “You mean Mohomi,” Barb said. “Why did he decide to keep you alive?” Rurutonga is still a tribal society. “Keeping me and the others prisoner means he can use us as hostages.” “Other prisoners? Are they in the other cells?” “Yes,” Gombe replied. “And we are willing to fight for our freedom.” “All right,” Barb said, tossing him the keys. “Get them out. “I’ll see about getting a few more weapons.” She headed in the direction she had been going, moving cautiously so as to not alert any other guards. For the most part it seemed that there were very few guards posted this late at night, but peeking around a corner she spotted not one, but two female guards. They were parked in front of a set of doors and did not seem particularly alert, being more interested in chatting with one another than doing their job. “OK,” Barb muttered. “Here goes.” Barb covered the twenty feet between them in three strides. “The White Lioness,” one of them cried just as Barb reached them. At least that is what she thought she had probably said. She swung her fist catching the closest guard on the jaw and then followed through by kicking the second one in the chest. The impact slammed the guard into the wall and she turned back to the first, but she needn’t have worried, the guard was unconscious as was the second. “Now,” Barb muttered, “let’s see what they were guarding.” Not surprisingly, the door was locked, and while she stood regretting not having her lock picks, Gombe showed up behind her. “Allow me,” he said, producing Aliba’s keys. While he fiddled with the lock, Barb studied the other prisoners. There were nine of them, ranging in age from their twenties to one that was older than Gombe. All of them were men except for one woman who appeared to be in her sixties. She wondered if any of them would be of any use in dealing with Mohomi. At that point, there was a triumphant word from Gombe. “Voila!” he said as he pulled the doors open. “Viola, indeed,” Barb echoed. A small room was revealed neatly lined with a number of assault rifles and shotguns. Barb guessed that it was there to supply the guards in that part of the palace with weapons in case of an assault or attempted jailbreak. “Anyone know how to use a gun?” she asked. Several of the younger men answered in the affirmative and surprisingly so did the lone women. She grinned as she hefted an assault rifle. “I am Sorella Mgabe. I fought against the French in the war of liberation,” she said in heavily accented English. “I can figure out how to use this.” “All right,” Barb said. “We deal with the prison garrison first. If we are lucky they will still be asleep.” No one questioned her authority. They loaded up on weapons and ammunition and followed her back the way she had come. Barb’s memory of the prison proved accurate. She led her crew back past the showers to a door she guessed led to the guards’ dormitory. She was helped by one of the older men who seemed to have an intimate knowledge of the palace’s layout. “I designed this place for the President,” he explained. “Before Mohomi toppled the government and took over.” Barb nodded. It seemed that Mohomi had imprisoned a number of Rurutonga’s most important citizens in his palace. She wondered if there were any more. “There were,” Gombe answered, “but Mohomi had most of them killed. He only imprisoned those he thought he might be able to use later as bargaining chips.” “All right,” Barb said. “Here we go.” She opened the door to the dormitory and dashed in, flicking on the lights and awakening a score of sleeping young women. Most of them were too dazed to react and the one or two that did found themselves staring down the barrels of ten rifles and shotguns. “Down,” Barb ordered, motioning with her machine pistol. It needed no translation and most of the guards hit the floor. Those that didn’t were quickly convinced to do to copy their companions when Gombe and the other ex-prisoners entered the room. “We should kill them,” one of the other escapees suggested. “That would not only be noisy,” Gombe replied, “but would make us no better than Mohomi.” They settled by tying up the guards using strips of cloth from their bedding. And then they jammed the door shut for good measure. Barb then led her motley crew toward Mohomi’s quarters, a route she knew well enough by now. It was surprisingly free of guards, perhaps because of the time of night, or perhaps because the palace security had grown complacent. Whatever the reason they encountered only four guards, all of whom were quickly overcome and tied up. Eventually they reached the elevator leading to Mohomi’s palatial residence. Here they finally encountered something approaching a bodyguard. Six exotically dressed women guards protected the doors. There was no way around them, and Barb was in no mood to wait. “Let’s go,” she shouted and darted out without waiting to see if anyone was following her. “Drop '‘em,” she yelled at the guards. Not surprisingly, none of them paid the slightest bit of attention to her. Their weapons came up and Barb opened fire. Her first burst took down two of them before they had a chance to shoot, but the others darted to cover, moving behind several large decorative urns, however, she didn’t stop, rushing toward their hiding places and watching for them to give her a target. One of the guards fired back without looking, raising her weapon to fire over the top of the urn. Her shots came close to hitting Barb, forcing her to duck for cover. However, at that moment several shots sounded from behind her and with a scream the guard who had fired the shots tumbled into view. At the same time someone shouted in Rurutongan. Barb had no idea what as said, but it seemed to work. Several weapons were tossed out in the open and the remaining guards came out with their hands up. It was but a matter of moments to secure them and tie them up as they had done with the others. Barb smiled at the lone woman member of her band. It turned out that Sorella was the only one who had backed her up in her rash charge. However, there was no time to waste. Almost certainly someone must have heard the shots, although there was a surprisingly lack of reaction so far. Was it possible that no one else had heard the disturbance? Unfortunately, there was only one way to find out. The elevator was the only way to get to Mohomi, and using a key that was found on one of the guards; they summoned it and opened the doors. “I’ll go,” Barb said. “There is no point in all of us getting killed if there is someone waiting for us.” “No,” the woman replied. “I’m going too. I’m not going to stay here to be recaptured.” Gombe agreed. “If you go we all go.” “All right then,” Barb said. Let’s go.” She headed into the elevator, the rest of the group following. She pushed the button leading to the main floor of the palace and held her breath. As the door opened, Barb burst through it hoping to catch any guards napping. She did, quite literally. Two guards flanked the elevator doors, but they were fast asleep. One of them was actually sprawled full length, a pillow under her head which she had apparently brought with her. Barb and her followers easily captured and tied up both of them. Before them stretched the magnificently furnished outer palace and it seemed completely deserted. Apparently, whoever, was in charge of security assumed that a skeleton crew was all that was needed at night. However, Barb proceeded cautiously. So far everything had gone well, and she didn’t want to fail now that she had gotten this far, so she moved carefully past the huge statues. A familiar smell just ahead of her brought her to a halt and she brought up a hand to signal the others. Slowly she moved forward and peeked around one of the statures. “Shit,” she mouthed. Sitting in an alcove were eight or nine guards. They were sitting in a circle and passing a hookah around. Quickly she dropped back and whispered to Gombe what she had seen. He translated to the others and between them they worked out a simple plan. Actually, simple was an understatement. Barb and the others quickly moved down the hall, weapons ready and caught the guards completely by surprise. Not surprisingly their reaction was slow. Only one of them went for her weapon, an action that got her a kick in the head from Barb. The other women merely looked at the weapons pointed at them and quickly surrendered. “Looks like most of Mohomi’s elite guard is either asleep or stoned,” Barb observed. “Yes, fortunately for us,” Gombe agreed. Let’s hope our luck holds. Beyond that door is the dragon’s lair.” They were now in front of the huge golden doors of the inner palace. They had no idea how heavily guarded the other side was but, they were not about to stop now. They opened one of the doors a crack and Barb slipped through followed by the others. Like the outer palace the room was fully lit and a quick survey showed it to be completely deserted. The staircase to Mohomi’s private quarters rose before them and they quickly climbed the stairs. Barb found herself wondering where Mohomi’s personal guard was. Surely Dayo, Amaka, Olabisi would be somewhere close by, but there seemed to be no sign of them. “Onward,” Barb said. She moved toward the doors and seizing the handles, pulled them wide. She found herself in a darkened room, but there was enough light coming in from the open door to make out a not-so-surprising scene. Lying in his vast bed was Mohomi with the naked bodies of his three personal bodyguards cuddled up next to him. They all awoke with a start, and unlike the other guards Barb had encountered, these went for their weapons. Arrêter mes enfants ! The shout came from behind Barb, and froze Dayo, Amaka, Olabisi in their place. Sorella pushed past Barb and spoke again. This time in her native language. Suddenly the three young women who had been guarding Mohomi were hugging Sorella and weeping unashamedly. “My grandchildren,” Sorella explained. She motioned toward the stunned Mohomi who had fled to the other side of the bed when Barb had burst into the room. “Forced to serve that monster by threatening my death.” Barb’s eyes swept to the bondage gear in the room and saw Uzoma. Mercifully she had been removed from the punishing dildo, but was still tied to the rack. She quickly moved across the room and released her from the restraints. The woman collapsed and Barb caught her, hauling her across to the bed. By this time the three other young women had separated themselves from Sorella and were glowering at the cringing Mohomi who had backed toward the windows of the room. Unfortunately, they were barred and that was as far as he could get. As the others in the room moved toward him he raised his hands in supplication. “Don’t shoot,” he begged. “I can make you all rich. I have millions at my disposal.” “Millions that you stole from the Rurutongan people,” Gombe said. “You deserve death and we will give it to you.” “Wait,” Barb intervened. “We can use him to get out of here.” “That is wise,” Sorella agreed. “He would make an excellent human shield.” “Let just make sure he doesn’t go anywhere,” Barb said. “Fortunately, he has provided us with plenty of restraints to make sure he stays well behaved.” “No,” Mohomi protested. “You can’t take me like this. At least let me get dressed.” “No,” Barb replied. “You’re going out just as you are. Let your people see you in all of your naked glory.” “That was well said,” Gombe observed. “Barb shrugged and grinned. “Stole it from a Chuck Heston film, but it has a nice ring to it.” Still protesting, Mohomi was trussed up using the heaviest shackles in his collection of bondage gear. Just as they were ready to leave Uzoma picked up one of the larger dildos. “I think this might be an appropriate addition,” she said. “No,” Mohomi whimpered, his eyes rolling. But Uzoma quickly showed him that she could and she did. The installation of the dildo was accompanied by a considerable amount of squealing and begging on the part of the captured dictator, but no one in the party of rebels objected. In fact Dayo, Amaka, Olabisi happily assisted. “How do you like that?” Olabisi jeered. “Now you know what it was like to have your bull’s cock shoved into us.” Mohomi grunted in pain as Barb pushed him into line. No doubt walking had become quite painful for him, but she had little sympathy. “Walk,” she ordered, “and if you try anything foolish you’ll have more than a piece of plastic up your ass.” Mohomi groaned but moved forward as Barb grabbed him by the collar and pushed him ahead of her. With the captured dictator leading the way it proved surprisingly easy to get through the palace until they reached the palace grounds. In one direction lay the airstrip where the jet that had brought Barb to the palace had landed. “I’m going to leave you here,” Barb said. “I would add very little to your revolt and it would only lead to accusations by Mohomi’s supporters of American involvement.” “You are right,” Gombe said. “Much as your fighting prowess would help us this is not your fight. Thank you and good luck.” Barb didn’t wait around to exchange pleasantries. Even with Mohomi in their power she knew it wouldn’t take long for his former supporters to find a new leader. If she was going to get out of Rurutonga she had to do it now. She jogged toward the airport until she reached the gate closing it off. Without her lock picking equipment she resort to her athleticism and clambered over the top, snagging herself briefly on the barbed wire at the top before she dropped to the ground. Despite the kerfuffle in the palace caused by Mohomi’s capture, the airport seemed quiet. Or perhaps it was because the guards had been drawn off by that same kerfuffle. Whatever the case she intended to take advantage of it. She noted that the sleek private jet was still there. All she needed was a pilot and she happened to know that there was one close by. She moved around the edge of the airstrip until she spotted a guard. Like the others she was female, but that didn’t matter to Barb. She came at her from behind and a few seconds later she was standing over the terrified guard. “Norton,” she demanded. “Where?” The woman may or may not have understood English, but she understood ‘Norton.’ However, Barb could not understand her answer so she dragged her to her feet. “Show me,” she ordered. The woman led her to a building just a few hundred feet away. It turned out to be a residence set aside for civilian employees of Mohomi’s entourage. Barb pushed open the door and found herself in a luxuriously appointed lobby. There were several unarmed men and women there who were probably servants. Some of the women were strikingly beautiful and from the way they were dressed it was not hard to guess what sort of service they supplied. But Barb wanted only one thing. “Norton,” she demanded, displaying her assault rifle for emphasis. It got the desired result. One of the women pointed upstairs and Barb pointed her weapon at her and motioned that she show the way. There was a staircase leading to the second floor and Barb followed her up. They then moved down a hallway and stopped before a door. The woman indicated that what Barb wanted was inside. Barb didn’t bother to check the lock. She opened to door with her foot and found the man she was looking for sprawled on a couch with two women. “On your feet, asshole,” she shouted. “You’re coming with me.” “What do you want me for?” Norton protested. Barb let loose a short burst of rifle fire over Norton’s head, an action that had him on the floor with his hands over his head. “Any questions need asking, I will ask them,” Barb replied. “Get on your feet and get out the door. We’re leaving Noovoh Versales.” Fifteen minutes later they were off the ground with Norton piloting and Barb in the co-pilot’s seat. Except for his hands and feet Norton couldn’t move. Barb had expertly tied him into the pilot’s seat in such a way that he could not move or reach the knots. Once airborne she moved to the passenger section of the plane and treated herself to a decent meal from the aircraft’s well- stocked pantry. While she ate she turned on the large-screen TV. By chance it happened to be on FUX News. “Breaking news, Breaking news,” flashed on the screen. “This just in,” the blonde bimbo behind the desk announced. “Beyonce reveals her magical pregnancy diet.” But Barb had stopped listening. She was reading the scroll across the bottom of the screen. Rurutonga coup d’etat. Emperor Mohomi toppled. Story at 08:00. “Hmmpp!” Barb muttered. She turned off the set and took a nap. She awoke refreshed and found that Norton was still in place despite his obvious struggles. Under her watchful eye she let him out of the pilot’s seat to visit the washroom and have something to eat and drink. Then she tied him back in place while she took the opportunity to have a shower and change into some fresh clothing. The clothing didn’t quite fit, but it was better than her stolen army fatigues. After that she joined Norton once again and watched as Steel Harbor came into view. “All right you bastard’s Barb muttered. “It’s payback time.” Carl Vanderlee lounged on the deck of Leonard Salmon’s luxury estate. He’d been staying there as Salon’s guest ever since that bitch of a bounty hunter had been sent off into oblivion. From time to time he wondered how she was enjoying her life as a whore, but not too often. He had better things to think about as part of Salmon’s team. He’d used his money laundering skills to help out Salmon’s burgeoning drug trade, finding ways to hide the steady flow of wealth into the gangster’s coffers. Just now he was studying a prospectus for a Zimbabwean mining company. At that moment Salmon wandered through the door. “God,” he said, “that bitch has lips that could suck a cantaloupe through a straw. And when she wrapped those legs around me I thought she was going to break my back.” “Sounds like you’ve been having a fun time,” Vanderlee observed. “That I have,” Salmon agreed. He slumped down into another lounger. “She’s definitely worth keeping.” He leaned over to look at what Vanderlee was working on, but quickly lost interest. “Where is that cunt?” he asked. “She’s supposed to be bringing me a beer. “Babe,” he yelled. “Babe, where the fuck are you?” “I said don’t call me babe.” Salmon’s eyes goggled. “What the hell,” he started. “You…, you can’t be he…,” “But I am here,” Barb said. She pushed Norton onto the pool deck ahead of her. She was wearing a very expensive pair of black leather pants, a tight-fitting white blouse, and boots to match the pants. “I hope you don’t mind. I borrowed these from your doxy. She was quite happy to give them to me.” “How the hell did you get in here? The guards…,” “The guards are indisposed,” Barb said. “But not as indisposed as you are going to be.” “This is a criminal action,” Salmon blustered. “Breaking and entering, assault…,” “Cut the spiel, you bastard,” Barb interrupted. “This is a citizen’s arrest. I think the authorities are going to be very interested in that drug haul you’ve got stashed in your basement.” “How did…?” “Let’s just say that your pal Norton here told me a lot about you while he was flying me over here. He’s quite the talker when his own skin is on the line. You really shouldn’t trust your subordinates with privileged information.” “You bitch,” Salmon spat. He reached for the underside of the table next to him. “I was hoping you’d do that,” Barb said. She was moving as she spoke and her boot made strong contact with Salmon’s wrist. The pistol he had reached for went flying into the pool. A few seconds later several of his teeth splattered onto the concrete as she followed up with her fist. Vanderlee made a break for it, jumping out of his chair. “Oh no you don’t,” Barb said. She tripped him up and sent him splashing into the pool. A second later Salmon followed him in. “You two stay there and keep your cool. I’ve already phoned the police.” She turned to Norton. “You’ve got a fifteen minute head start, just as we agreed. Now scoot before I change my mind.” Epilogue Barb scanned her latest bank statement. Not bad. She’d gotten a fifty-thousand dollar reward for bringing Vanderlee in and another ten-thousand under Steel Harbor’s Turn in a Pusher program. But that was nothing compared to the little gift she’d been given by the new government of Rurutonga. She’d gotten a surprise invitation to the Rurutongan Embassy and upon arriving there had been escorted to the ambassador’s suite by none other than Uzoma. “I never got a chance to thank you from freeing me from that monster,” the dark-skinned beauty smiled. Slightly embarrassed, Barb had simply shrugged. “I would have done it for anyone,” she said. “Nevertheless,” Uzoma replied, “you did it for me and I am grateful.” With that she opened the door to the ambassador’s suite. Inside she was greeted by a smiling Sorella. “I have much to do,” the older woman said. “But I knew that my first duty in Washington was to pass on the thanks of my country, and that includes this.” She handed Barb a small wooden box. It’s Rurutongan ebony, carved by a master craftsman. I think you will find it quite appropriate.” Barb didn’t know whether to be annoyed or flattered. She accepted the box and shared tea and cakes with Sorella before departing the embassy. She didn’t ask about Mohomi. She’d heard he’d had a rather bad end. After that she’d left the embassy and taken a plane back to Steel Harbor. Now she sat in her living room turning the box over in her hands. “I suppose I should be proud of this,” she muttered. “But it came at a cost. Guess I’ll put it in the trophy case with my shooting medals.” She got up and walked over to the trophy case. Now, where best to display it. She held it up to the light and then noticed a small irregularity in the carving, almost as if the artist has made a mistake. That’s odd. She pushed it with her finger and was surprised when there was a sharp ‘click.’ A small drawer suddenly popped out and there lying on a velvet pad and gleaming brilliantly in the light of the display case were a dozen perfectly cut white diamonds.