Sometime during the night Jack was wakened from the light doze he had finally slipped into. The seemingly endless afternoon had taken its toil on him. It was stifling hot in the airless cell. As the heat of the day baked the bricks, the radiated heat provided a sauna-like atmosphere for Jack. A pleasant way to spend an hour after a swim and a workout at the gym, but miserable for someone suffering from a massive headache. Especially so when locked in a small dirty cell with no way to replace fluids or quench a raging thirst.
Long before the evening shadows brought some relief, O’Neill found himself nearly panting as sweat poured down his face and off his chest and upper body. The heated atmosphere had provided unpleasant results with the community privy resting in the corner of the cell and before long Jack was taking short shallow breaths of air from his mouth as the entire room began to reek like an unkempt outhouse.
Finally, determining that there would be no room service any time soon, Jack ignored his body’s demands for food and water and stretched out on the hard wooden bench hoping to sleep away some of the miserable hours.
He awakened some time later, his head feeling slightly better for the rest, when one of the guards shoved a couple of small bowls into the cell and shut the door without a word.
Jack could barely force himself to wait until the guard walked away before he reached for the water. Ordering himself take small sips, when his body was demanding the entire contents, took all of his willpower. Finally, his thirst slightly mollified, he picked up the food. It was a mixture of beans and rice, a staple of the civilian population, he knew. Since the guard had neglected to leave utensils, he used his fingers and began to eat, trying his best to focus on the food and not on the massive amount of trouble he was in.
Right now the local law enforcement had him in custody, but he knew that the Sandinistas had the local police in their back pocket. It would be just a matter of time before the government got wind of the suspicious American who had been seen talking to Contra members. There would be no rescue from the CIA. The United States wouldn’t even acknowledge that they were in Nicaragua, much less providing aid to the Contras. He and Frank were on their own. They had known that before they had left base camp. ‘Mark’ had made it very clear. If captured, there would be no acknowledgement. So it was up to him and Frank to get out of this mess on their own. That is if Frank wasn’t already…
No dammit, that was so not an option. Frank was alive and they would get out of here together.
Stretching out again Jack let himself doze off. He had a bad feeling he was going to need all the rest he could get.
He awoke with a start as something brushed against his hand which was dangling off the narrow bunk and resting on the floor. In the dim light Jack could see a large dark shape nosing in the discarded bowl. Jerking his hand off the floor, Jack watched as the rat nibbled at a grain of rice.
With a shout, Jack clapped his hands. The hairy creature gave the human a beady-eyed look of contempt and then scurried through the bars and into the shadows. Jack couldn’t suppress the shudder of revulsion that rushed through him as he rubbed his hand back and forth on his pants leg hoping to eliminate the feeling of the rat’s whiskers as it had investigated his sleeping form.
Fearful that Mickey would return and perhaps bring his entire clan for a visit, Jack decided that sleep was not in his best interest at the moment. Drawing his long legs up off the floor, Jack wrapped his arms around his knees and rested his head against the wall of his prison.
It was difficult to come up with Plan A, B or C, when your options at the moment added up to zero.