Pete told Mr. Butterfly that dinner was ready and to get Allen. So, Mr. Butterfly went to the back of the tent and called Allen who seemed to be sleeping. He shook him a bit and could not rouse him. “Allen!” He said firmly. “Wake up!” There was no response. He checked for breathing and it was shallow.
“Pete! Something is wrong with Allen! Come quick!”
Pete rushed to the back of the tent and said “What?”
“I cannot wake him up. His breathing is shallow.”
Pete checked Allen’s pulse at his neck, which was sluggish and looked into his eyes, saw the pinprick pupils and said “It is an overdose. Where you guys doing drugs?”
“I wasn’t. But I don’t know about him.”
“Go make coffee. I gotta get something outta my bag.”
Pete rushed to the front of the tent and then came back. He had a glass ampule and a syringe. He gently broke off the top of the ampule drew out a dose and gave Allen a shot in the arm. Then he proceeded to slap Allen’s face. By that time, Mr. Butterfly had come back.
“Narcan. It should bring him around if he took an opiate.”
Slowly, Allen began to come around. He said “Leave me alone!”, as he tried weakly to push Pete away.
“No way! Tell me where your junk is asshole!” Pete commanded.
“Fuck you Pete!”
Pete slapped Allen hard. “You fucktard! Tell me where it is or I will slap you silly! I will not run an illegal base camp!”
Allen began to sob and pointed to where his stash was. Pete said to Mr. Butterfly “Bring him some coffee now.” Pete went and got the heroin bags so that he could dump them in the river.
* * *
After a long struggle, Chuck and Oscar managed to untie each other. Oscar said “I will trail them without being detected. I can do that much. Then we will know where they are. You run to base camp and get Pete.”
Chuck said “Agreed.”
“We will rendezvous here in 48 hours time.”
Each man set off at a run in opposite directions.
* * *
We walked at a forced march for nearly three hours. Then we stopped. Iodized water was passed around. There seemed to be a plan afoot. The leader was to break off from the main group and take me to a safe place to be held in wait for pick up. The remainder of the group was to move on and arrange for the money drop. The discussion was all in Spanish, but that was what I was able to glean. So, I went with the leader in a direction that was lower in altitude. At least he spoke English. I began to relax a bit and decided to start a conversation after we had walked for an hour or so.
“Um, my name is Sue. What is yours?”
He looked at me with angry heated eyes that softened a bit when he saw my face. He said “Cristo. My name is Cristo.”
“Cristo. That is a religious name. You are named after Christ our Lord.”
“Si. That is so.”
But he continued to seem to be really angry.
“Why are you angry with me Cristo?”
“You are what we would call puta in Spanish if you sleep with two men at the same time. I’m sorry; I don’t know the English word for it.”
I knew what he meant, but didn’t want to tell him the word was slut. “Um, I don’t think you understand Cristo. We didn’t have any sex. I just get cold at night. I know it is probably difficult to believe, but we were sharing our body heat to keep me warm.”
“Right. And I am Mickey Mouse.”
Then he laughed. It always surprises me how well American humour travels worldwide. He must have watched some American television when he was a boy.
“You’ll see tonight when I am shivering uncontrollably.”, I replied wishing I had a wittier comeback.
He just continued to laugh.
* * *
At base camp, everyone was sound asleep when Chuck came running in at a full gallop to report that Sue had been kidnapped and was being held for a million dollars ransom by Columbian Guerrillas. Pete awoke immediately and got on his radio to call in
A plan of response was formulated quickly. Pete would depart immediately with the GPS to find the camp at 3200 meters north where he would rendezvous with Oscar at 48 hours. Chuck would stay at base camp to guard Mr. Butterfly and Allen and rest. As soon as they arrived at base camp the guys from the south camp and other non-military personnel would be sent to
Mr. Butterfly chimed in here.
“I will not be sent away while Sue is in captivity. She is my friend. I will not leave her in her time of need. I want to go and save her.”
“That’s great Mr. B, but you’ll get your ass shot off. I am in charge and I forbid it.”, replied Pete.
“May I at least stay at base camp?”
“Well, let’s wait and see how long it takes for the south group to get here and decide then. Okay?”
Fresh radios and machine guns were dispensed as needed to all ex-military personnel. Chuck was briefed on the situation at base camp. Pete began his mission to rendezvous with Oscar at 3200 meters north camp.
* * *
Pete thought to himself, I am just getting to fucking old for this shit, as he hurried up the mountain at a good trot. It was fortunate that he took the time to train at altitude. Now that preparation was paying off. The directions from Chuck were pretty straight forward. Chuck might not have his head on straight about women, but he gave bang up directions in the woods. Pete would need to head at this pace and bearing for 8 more hours and he would be there.
Pete could feel his old shrapnel injury acting up. He ignored it like a good Marine. He focused on the goal; finding and rescuing Sue. He peered through the underbrush to see his footing, so that he wouldn’t slip and fall. But this trail, made by a tapir was pretty good. It was guaranteed to get tougher later.
* * *
I began to shiver uncontrollably again. I had no sleeping bag, so I wasn’t surprised at all. We had walked an entire day, but Cristo found us a camp with a small hidden cave.
The entrance was behind densely hanging vines and could not be seen at all. There was a small spring for water also. He had a simple blanket that he folded in two to use for a sleeping bag, and I had nothing. We lay on the bare ground in the cave to sleep. The air was so humid and dank I felt as if I would never be dry and warm again.
“Cristo, I am very cold.”
He opened his eyes and looked at me. There was enough moonlight from the mouth of the cave for him to see that my lips were turning blue.
“You really weren’t kidding. Come here and sleep with me.” He opened his blanket so that I could get in. I was a bit afraid that he would take advantage of me, but not really. I got in and he was very warm. He held me close with one arm around my waist and his crotch was in my butt. I fully expected him to get an erection, but he didn’t. That made me wonder; could he possibly be gay?