Below is the result of Day One --
. . .
Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius.
(Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad)
(Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad)
Nola Klok glanced behind her and saw that the two burly, white-coated, hospital orderlies were gaining on her. Clad only in bra and panties, she gritted her teeth and put on a spurt of speed and slowly but surely drew ahead of the two pursuers.
The deep green grass of the front lawn that stretched from the main entrance of the Freeland Forest Detainment Facility For The Criminally Insane to the narrow paved roadway just beyond the surrounding wire fence was damp with patches of pale dew at this early morning hour beneath Nola's furiously sprinting feet. As she approached the high fence Nola's feet skidded out from under her as they slapped down upon a particularly slippery patch of that dew and even though she skillfully twisted to the side as she fell and rolled forward in a half somersault and sprang instantly back to an upright position poised to flee again, the slight pause was enough for the two men to overtake and grab her.
"Gotcha," said the larger of the two men.
"I got her feet," said the other.
Nola flung her body in frantic twists and turns in the air, helpless in the grip of her captors. "Bastards," she cried out, "let me go!"
"Don't let her get away," said the first orderly.
"Slippery dyke bitch," said the other, as he sought a better hold, this time grabbing with his big meaty paw a great handful of thinly robed pubic flesh.
Still struggling in their relentless grasp, Nola hawked up a gob of mucous and launched it squarely into the face of the nearest man, the largest of the two, and immediately spat another stream of saliva toward the face of the other.
"Ha," he said as he jerked his face away from the messy projectile just in time. "Just you wait till later, Missy," he said, "just you wait till tonight."
Nola said nothing but she did lessen her twisting and turning within their grip on her body. Resistance, it seemed, was futile. She would just have to give in for now, and wait for the next opportunity to escape.
# # #
Later, Nola lay atop the blankets of her narrow bed trying to figure out how the legendary Houdini had managed to escape from a strait jacket similar to the one that so tightly encased the upper half of her otherwise naked torso. Sweat soaked tendrils of her close cropped coal black hair clung to her wide brow and nestled against the corded muscles of her thick neck. Each noise from the other side of the cell's steel reinforced wooden door alerted her and gained her attention. They would come for her, as promised. An inmate did not spit in the face of an orderly and get away with it. Not at Freeland Forest they didn't.
Nola had learned that lesson during her first week in this hell hole, more than a month ago, just after she'd been sentenced to the place for psychiatric evaluation. To determine whether she was legally sane enough to face a sentence of either life imprisonment without parole or, more probably, execution by lethal injection. Yes, she had been taught the primary rule of the establishment's unwritten but universally known code: Don't rile the orderlies.
It hadn't been overt rape that first time, nor any of the many other nights, no actual penetration, not yet, but even the stupidest of animalistic men can subject a woman to unbelievably brutal and shameful acts that leave no physical scars to expose their actions, their despicable pettings and probings, their course caresses and prolonged tongue tastings, their side-by-side, naked, full body embraces. Not rape, no, merely acts of masculine domination, male superiority, showing the victim who's the boss.
But, as the night progressed, Nola began to hope that perhaps something had happened to delay or even totally negate the arrival of either one of both of the orderlies.
She lay there alone in the darkness, thinking, remembering, recalling her earlier years, those turbulent times of open rebellion, days of danger and nights of blessed but restless respite from possible recognition by the human rabble of who, or what, she really was, ever seeking, always looking for; but looking for what? That was the question.
A sudden scream from far off, somewhere in the distant dark, quashed Nola's reverie, brought her attention back to the present. But then she heard nothing more. All remained silent. All were sleeping somewhere in the darkness, in the pervading darkness of this laughingly labeled 'modern facility' for restraining the mentally impaired, this edifice that is actually a no more than a crudely carven cave for housing the dregs and remnants of an archaic race. Ignorant, growling, unaware cave people.
Nola allowed her thoughts wander.
What of Genna? What has happened to my soul mate? What has become of the beautiful Genna Greene? My true love, my precious Genna.
And Pindar Balzac? Our wise and powerful leader? Where is Pindar? Why has he not yet come to the rescue?
Time was running out. Nola knew that to be a fact. She did not fully understand how she knew. She just knew.
Where is Genna? Where is Pindar?
In the dark of the moonless night the moving figure Pindar knew only as the mark stumbled on the protruding lip of the single low step of the concrete porch and then fumbled with his key as he attempted to insert it in the front door's lock. Pindar Balzac, crouched low where he waited concealed behind a nearby fully-flowered lilac bush, raised the long barrel of his silencer equipped pistol and sighted in on the back of the mark's barely visible bald head.
The aroma of fragrant lilacs filled his nose and essayed to seep deeply into his sinus cavities. Pindar knew that in the future the scent of lilacs would always remind him of tonight's action. Yes, it should be a head shot. In this modern age of Super-Kevlar and other protective devices, Pindar knew, from vast experience, that such a target was always the surest choice for an unobstructed kill.
A muted "pop!" heralded the flat trajectory of the freshly fired slug of lead that leaped from the pistol's mouth and sped forth to swiftly find its target, which fell into a crumpled heap onto the hard surface of the porch, whereupon Pindar immediately moved in to peer down at the unmoving corpse of the fallen mark, whose skull had shattered in a wet explosion, leaving a puddle filled with gouts of thick dark crimson blood and torn gobbets of white and gray brain matter.
But, something was wrong. Pindar somehow knew it, knew that something was not right. This dead body lying at his feet was not the mark; it was not the man that should have been there. It was someone else. Although it looked exactly like the mark, it was not; it was some kind of twin. He just, somewhere within his mind, knew that something was terribly, terribly wrong.
There was only enough time for Pindar to swivel his head around at the sudden crack of a pistol shot from the corner of the house and then to reach up and swat away the dart that plunged into the muscles of his neck before he felt first effects of the injected drug. As consciousness seeped away, threatening to render him completely helpless, Pindar willed himself to resist. This was another of those strange abilities that he knew he had, had possessed for most of his adult life. Possessed but did not understand how it worked. And why it worked only some of the time, most of the time, but not all the time.
Dropping to one knee, Pindar forced his eyes to open wider. A figure was running toward him from out of the darkness. No. Two figures. No. Three. Or maybe four. He sprang to is feet and raised the pistol that was still gripped in his right hand. But his movements were slow, sluggish, way too slow. He felt both of his shoulders grabbed and held by two huge strong hands on his left and another set of vise-like hands on his right side, then the sting of another needle in his neck seemed to bring down a heavy black curtain that lowered slowly over his eyes and he knew that there was too much narcotic and too little power of will for him to overcome the effects this time.
Pindar Balzac slept.
# # #
When Pindar floated back up into awareness he discerned a hazy figure seated on a battered and scarred red stool, a very strange looking wooden stool with only three legs. The small details attending the curious piece of furniture seemed somehow, to Pindar's reckoning, to be of extreme importance, even more so than his slow but sure recognition of precisely who the wavering individual was that sat upon that most unusual stool.
"Hello, my friend," said the seated man. His voice was deep and gravelly, a big bass tuba with its throat filled and vibrating with a truckload of limestone pebbles.
Pindar coughed, cleared his throat, and said, "I told you the last time we had a run in, Sawyer, that you and I are not friends."
Special agent David Sawyer pursed his full, dark red lips and studied his captive, who lay on his right side on a narrow cot, secured by a soiled but quite effective strait jacket and whose feet were held tightly snared by two beige colored, heavy gauge plastic ties.
"Ah, yes," Sawyer said. "Your belligerence is monumental, Balzac."
"What's this all about? You know you have no authority over me. What's the big idea of bulldogging me and then hog tying me up like this?"
Agent Sawyer rocked slowly back and then forward again, back and forth, back and forth on the little red stool, saying nothing, seeming to relish the feel of his total power over the other. For a good five minutes he continued to contemplate his prisoner in silence.
Then . . .