Agent X

He lay shivering on the cold floor. The floor of the cell was damp and the pit-pat of tiny feet could be heard from somewhere in the darkness. Dizzy from blood loss and the powerful stench, he attempts to sit up, only to fall back in exhaustion. Dancing in and out of consciousness, he finally drops off to a long dreamless sleep. He wakes up feeling feverish. Sunlight was pouring in through the tiny window and provided a respite from the cold. After soaking in it for a while, he sits up, feeling very weak from the gnawing hunger and the ache in every part of his body. A metallic clang behind him tells him that his lunch is here. He drags himself to the bowl placed near the prison door and gulps down the watery soup along with all the chunks floating in it. Dropping the bowl in place, he drags himself to a spot in the cell where he could get maximum sunlight and props himself up against the wall, only to have his legs buckle away under him. A quiet rage builds up in him and cursing himself, he rises on his feet by the force of sheer willpower. Taking a few shaky steps, he swears to himself not to be weak. If they thought they could break him, they are stupid. After walking up and down the cell a few times, he sits down on the floor and reflects on the events of the past week.

He should’ve known it was a trap. Now it seemed glaringly obvious to him but then he had been distracted, so there is no point in blaming himself. Now he was paying for his carelessness in full. Left to die in a rotting cell, the only reminders of civilization are the meals and the occasional beating from the prison guard. Oh, the cruel look in the guard’s eyes as his rifle butt slammed into him – someone was going to die very soon, he tells himself. He knew he wouldn’t be here for long. He would get out. It was just a matter of time. If only he could subdue the guard and escape. He had no idea where this prison was or how heavily guarded it was, but he was sure he could make his way out. He only had to regain his strength somehow. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the prison door opening behind him. It’s that coward of a guard returning to take a few cheap shots at his legendary prisoner. Closing his eyes, he waits for the blow to fall, a blow that never comes. The sound of the door closing tells him that his torturer has left. Puzzled, he turns around to find the bowl placed near the door with fruits in it. Skeptical, he approaches it and turns the bowl upside down to find a note within, as he had hoped. Eagerly, he opens the note and read it. It read ‘1300′. Unable to make anything of it, he throws it out the window. He gazes out the window at the mighty ocean as it lashed against the rocks beneath the window. There is every chance that this is an island, he tells himself. Then, remembering the fruits, he approaches them cautiously and picks one. Sniffing it for a while, he ventures to take a tiny bite from one of them. He rolls around the chunk in his mouth for a while, his trained tongue searching for any traces of drugs or poisons. Reasonably satisfied that it was clean, he devours it along with the rest of the fruit. In a matter of minutes, the bowl stands empty again.

Once more, his mind returns to the strange note he found in it. He had expected some note of assurance from his contacts that he knew would help him escape, but all he got was a stupid note with a four-digit number on it. 1300. Thirteen hundred what? Suddenly it struck him. That could be the time of the day written in military time. Since no date was specified, it must imply that the rescue would be today. He peers out of the window and by the position of the sun, estimates it to be just past mid-day. So that could mean that the hour is at hand. He turns around to look at the door in anticipation of something happening. His heart leaps when he sees that the door hasn’t been locked. Calming his racing heart, he slowly sneaks up to the door and opens it a crack. As far as he could see through the crack, the corridor was empty. He slowly pushes it open and steps out ready to defend himself in case this was a trap, but the corridor remained empty.

Puzzled, he slowly creeps down the hall, bracing himself for the inevitable rush of uniforms and loaded weapons, an onslaught that never comes. Finally he reaches the entrance. Cautiously, he pushes open the gates. His jaw drops down as the sight that greets him is beyond his wildest imaginations.