There was a brusque and hurried knocking on the door. The Colonel looked like he would have liked to swear and answered it. The old man in the corner leaned forward, looking at her over his hands folded on the top of his walking stick. He was, the prisoner realised, at least as important as the Colonel.
“What is it?” The Colonel snapped at whoever was at the door.
“We’re under attack, sir!” The voice sounded young. “The enemy penetrated the outer and inner security perimeters before we were aware of them!”
“Take the prisoner back to the cells,” the Colonel ordered. “Ensure that she is not rescued.” He turned to look at the older man, “You had best make plans for your own safety, Ochi-san.”
“I will help make sure the prisoner reaches the cells.” The older man stood. “Out the door, girl,” he added to the prisoner and waved his stick, “I’m not too old to make you respect your elders.”
She looked daggers at him but stood and followed his orders. When she reached the door, the Colonel was already gone but his young subordinate, she thought the man was a lieutenant, was waiting for her. He grabbed her by the arm and hustled her along, away from what were now the obvious sounds of fighting. For a man using a walking stick, Ochi-san moved quickly and the lieutenant didn’t need to slow his pace to accommodate the older man.
Naturally it didn’t take as long as she would have liked to reach the cell block in the depths of the building.
“Sir!” The guard at the entrance seemed glad to see the lieutenant as he saluted. “The support squad hasn’t arrived and I can’t raise the guard room or operations!”
“Let’s get this prisoner locked away first,” answered the lieutenant.
“Yes, sir. The higher security protocol’s been activated, sir. Can you operate the second keypad?” The guard had moved into position to use the main pad.
“Of course.” The lieutenant moved to the keypad on the other side of the door and, after a glance at each other, the two men pressed buttons almost in unison. The door to the cell block swung open revealing both that the wall was a good two feet thick and a corridor of cell doors and frontages made of bars lay beyond it.
She heard an odd stereophonic whistling sound followed by two quiet but distinct thuds and both soldiers sprawled to the ground, each with an arrow in the back.
There was the sound of running and by the time she could turn around, the old man was gone and she was surrounded by four men wearing the battledress of samurai of the Empire of Greater New Satsuma, two of them carrying a bow and quiver as well as their swords and assault rifle. One of them was already searching the guard’s body as another made a short gesture of respect and greeted her, “Mistress.”
“I thought I said I was not to be rescued if I was taken?”
“I believe so.” He took the handcuff keys from his companion who’d been searching the guard as that man headed into the cell block, door keys in hand. “However, our orders are to release all the prisoners being held here.” He unlocked the cuffs behind her back and removed them. “It just so happens that you’re one of them. How fast can you move and who was the old man?”
Part 3 is here.font>