By Major James Fairfax
Illustrated by: Endymion Hill
Lara climbed aboard the Swiss-built Turbo-Porter, a high-winged plane with a huge wing span, a powerful engine and a sturdy landing gear to get in and out of rugged mountain landing sites.
"How long you been a pilot Mr. Benson?"
"Call me Nick. Did Dr. Schmidt give you a map?”
Lara handed him a crumpled piece of brown paper with a circle drawn on it.
Nick studies it. "Yes, that's the place you mentioned on the phone, and there is an airstrip there, but..."
"Well, there's been some fighting in that region. I wonder why Dr. Schmidt specified that airstrip."
"Do you know Dr. Schmidt?"
“So, what's an American doing here in Bolivia? You like it here?" Lara asked.
"I used to be a bush pilot in Alaska. It doesn't snow as much here. Also, I have a daughter back there, I’m divorced."
"Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry."
The turbine engine roared to life, and further conversation was impractical. Lara spent the time watching Nick pilot the plane. In a rough sort of way, he was an attractive man.
An hour later, Nick made a tight turn over looking a village, dropped down and landing in the field of grass. He turned the plane around and taxied to the edge of the jungle. He shut off the engine and glanced at his watch. "We are half an hour ahead of schedule."
"Thanks.” Lara said climbing out of the plane her camera swinging from her neck. “I’ll use Dr. Schmidt’s radio to call you when to come back for me."
She picked up her backpack and stepped back, as Nick gunned the engine and taxied to the end of the field and turned again for the take-off. She watched the plane rise casting off sun flashed as it soared into the clouds then blink out of site. She shouldered her backpack and started walking toward the village.
Up ahead she could just make out the outline of the village. Suddenly she was surrounded by soldiers with automatic rifles dressed in camouflage. They took her backpack and camera.
An officer stepped up. "Give me your passport." he said in fairly good English. "Why are you here?"
"I'm Lara Campbell. I am a free lance reporter with the Southern Discovery Network. I am on assignment to do article about the medical missionaries and what they are doing to help the native people in this region."
"You are under arrest." He said withdrawing handcuffs from his belt. Soldiers stepped up and held her arms while the officer cuffed her wrists behind her back. Then they blindfolded her. Lara saw no way to escape as they led her down the road. She stumbled from time to time. At last they stopped. She felt one of them fondle her breasts. "Stop that, you bastard!" she screamed.
They only laughed at her. Now more hands were on her, on her hips , probing , squeezing, pinching. Lara squirmed fighting back tears. At last one of them removed the blindfold.
She was standing in the inner courtyard of a huge stone fortress. The huge Spanish style doors were closed. She shuttered to think what lay without. The soldiers led her into a makeshift office to the left of the gate and removed the handcuffs. She rubbed her wrist. "You can't just arrest me for no reason. What's the charge?"
The officer left her standing and sat behind a desk and lit a cigar. "Oh, espionage will do, and assisting the communist rebels. Those missionaries are in rebel territory. And slandering the government.” He paused and stared at her. “We knew you were coming. We also know you write for Amnesty International. Mrs. Campbell, we know your assignment was to report on 'human rights abuses and the use of torture by the government forces. You will, of course, learn a great deal about torture while you are here I think.” He smiled. “None of which will ever be published.” A soldier came and dropped the backpack and smashed camera on the floor with the butt of his rifle.
"You will now take off your clothes." The officer said.
"I most certainly will not!" Lara said.
The officer nodded and the soldier stepped behind her pulling her elbows behind her.
She saw that the officer had withdrawn his bayonet and pressed the tip against her
"Okay! Okay! Just don't hurt me."
The soldiers released her and the officer stepped back.
Lara leaned against the wall and clumsily untied her hiking boots and pulled them off, then her socks. She pulled her T-shirt over her head, revealing her bra, then she fumbled with the button at the waist of her jeans. Her bra, chosen for comfort in the tropics, was a thin mesh, front-closure affair; her nipples were visible through the fabric. She undid the fastenings and shrugged it off.
At 36, her figure wasn't quite what it used to be, but she was still a size 14, and a good looking woman. She weighed 110 pounds. Her limbs were slim and she still had a flat tummy. She undid her belt and dropped the baggy, khaki trousers she had bought from the Mountain End catalog, which had called them safari pants.
She stood there in her white cotton panties, suddenly conscious of her belly, her slightly padded hips and tapered thighs.
The officer nodded at Lara. She blushed as she removed her last bit of covering, and stood there naked before them. It had been years since a man had seen her naked, and never two men at once. The soldier busied himself searching her pockets and even tearing them in case it should conceal paraphernalia.
A middle-aged woman in a nurse's uniform entered the room and looked over the prisoner. She applied a stethoscope to Lara’s chest and back, instructing her to breath deeply. She said something in Spanish, which Lara understood to mean the prisoner was healthy enough to withstand interrogation. Lara shivered with fear.
"Squat", said the nurse, and Lara squatted on the floor. The nurse pulled on a latex glove and slipped a finger into Lara, sweeping it around. "No contraband," she reported. "I think she has had a hysterectomy." It was true, a treatment for fibroids. Lara had a sub-dermal implant to provide estrogen replacement. She didn't mind that she could never again get pregnant, and she was glad she no longer had her monthly periods. Her sex life should have been better, except – what sex life? She wanted a long-term commitment, and that was difficult when one traveled a lot.
The nurse then inserted her finger into her bottom. Lara groaned. The nurse withdrew her finger and helped Lara to her feet and nodded to the officer.
The officer smiled. "Before we continue with the in-processing, shall we call it, have you anything to say?"
"Fuck you!" hissed Lara.
"I'll take that under advisement," He said smiling, "though I'm sure you will be the one who is fucked first."
"I am totally innocent," said Lara. "I don't know anything about rebels and communists."
"By your own admission, you are here to visit them and to write propaganda in their favor."
"It's not true."
"You will confess soon enough."
"Confess to what?"
"Anything we want. Perhaps we'll have you make a televised statement that you are a spy in the employ of your CIA. I'm sure you could convince viewers that you ware a mule, carrying illegal drugs."
"But none of that's true!"
"Whatever we decide is true, you will say it is so. Whatever your will power, we can break you."
"All right. Suppose I confess. Then
"If you are very lucky, you will be exchanged for some of our people, held by your
country. If you are not so lucky, we may keep you around for our amusement. The troops are so isolated here. They don't get to visit their wives and girl friends. You can be their puta."
Lara gasped at the thought.
"If you are not cooperative enough, you will simply disappear. You doubt that? We have only to take you on a one-way plane ride, over the jungle or the ocean." The officer laughed. "I don't have to negotiate with you. You are mine, to do with as I please. Let us enjoy your company for a while, a few days, at least. Time enough for confessions then." He gestured to the soldiers, who knew what to do, from long practice, perhaps.
Lara fought back tears as they marched her naked across the sunny patio and into what was a former stable, perhaps, dimly lit by light through high, slit-like windows in the wall. The room had been outfitted to look like a torture chamber, with stocks and a pillory and various apparatus Lara did not recognize. Over a drain in the cobblestone floor was a wooden frame. Lara was terrified as she gazed around the room at the terrible implements of torture, worst of all was the ropes and chains hanging down from ceiling rafters.
The nurse said something to the officer in Spanish. He turned to Lara and said, "I am advised that our initial efforts should not leave visible marks, as you may have to appear on television. That is fortunate for you, but be advised. If you do not cooperate fully, we can use stronger measures."
The Officer continued. "Amnesty International reported that we douched female prisoners with boiling oil and subjected their breasts to terrible tortures.” The laughed. Guess what? It's all true! Soon you may find out for yourself."
The nurse stepped forward and wrapped gray duct tape around Lara's wrists binding together in front of her. Then the officer wrapped nylon straps over the protecting tape, and attached the straps to the hook at the end on the chain hanging down from the ceiling. At a nod, Lara was hauled aloft, hanging from her upraised arms with her feet several feet off the floor.
"It's all right,” she told herself. “I'm not a child. I'm
tough. Whatever these ass holes do, I'll survive."
One of the soldiers brought a black bag, like a doctor's satchel. The officer took something from the bag and with his other hand he pulled on Lara’s left nipple, which was about even with his chin. He put a spring clamp on it, not a little one, like the nipple clamps in adult toy stores. This one resembled the clamps on the end of battery jumper cables, and Lara yowled in pain. He applied a clamp to the other nipple.
Lara gritted her teeth and tried to breath deeply, willing not to scream. The beast obviously enjoyed inflicting pain. She wanted to deny him the satisfaction. Perhaps it was the release of endorphins in her brain, or a numbness from the restriction in blood supply, but it seemed to Lara as if the pain in her nipples was decreasing.
The officer made a noose of stranded copper wire and slid it over Lara's left breast, pushing it as afar as it would go toward her rib cage. Lara could imagine what would happen if he tightened that noose; it could slice her breast off!
The nurse said something and the officer looked annoyed. He removed the copper wire and substituted a loop of rubber strap, which he fitted around the base of Lara's breast and then pulled tight.
The constricting strap almost pinched off her breast, making it swell into a globe, which began to turn pink. Veins which had been invisible swelled under the thin, pale skin, and the pain in her nipple intensified until Lara could not help screaming.
Lara was still screaming as the officer repeated the process on her other breast. Her beautiful breasts were being deformed and stretched before her eyes. "Jesus Fucking Christ it hurts!" She screamed and squirmed as much as her taut suspension would allow. Moments later she hung limp and quiet, her head laying on her breasts.
“Enough!” The nurse said and removed the nipple clamps and the rubber bindings from her breasts.
Lara awoke with a gasp. Then realized they had thrown a bucket of water on her. Faintly she heard the water gurgling down the drain. The nurse grabbed her chin and gently lifted it. Their eyes met. “It hurt for a while, as the blood flow is restored”
Lara didn’t believe her. Why should she. She was the enemy! Until she noticed her breasts seemed to be assuming their normal shape she realized they didn't seem to be permanently injured.
"I realize you are uncomfortable, but you are in no danger, for the moment.” Said the nurse. “The captain will return to play his little games with you, but probably not before morning. So, rest if you can. I will check on you as a good nurse should, from time to time." The nurse then left and Lara was alone.
He's doing this for his own pleasure, she thought, tears rolling down her face. He doesn't care if I confess or not. He just enjoys Hurting women.
Somehow she knew she would get through this.
Time dragged. Light from the windows faded, leaving her in darkness. Sometime during the night she was visited by the nurse. She carried a kerosene lantern. She held the lantern up to Lara’s face, saw that she was awake and nodded. As she was leaving, she turned and put her hand on Lara's thigh. "I might get in trouble for this but I think this may help you to sleep." She lowered Lara until her feet touched the ground. Then let the chain down a little more. Then she turned and left.
At daylight, the officer came back. "Oh," he said, "such a nice ass, with that pale Gringa skin so pale, just waiting for some decoration". He laughed.
By now Lara was used to his sick sadistic laugh.
She watched him selected a thin bamboo cane from the wall. Then he walked behind her and swung the cane across her butt leaving an ugly red welt. He stopped on the seventh blow when the nurse came in. He glared at her, and she said nothing, just watched, as he dealt the last three blows. Both the officer and nurse seemed to enjoy Lara’s screams and dance of pain.
The officer dropped the cane, walked over and puller Lara’s head back by her hair. "Gringas are so proud. Did that pretty much break your spirit? Not so proud now, eh?”
Lara did not reply. She caught a slight odor of alcohol on his breath.
He rubbed her breasts with a smelly, menthol goo. They became shiny and a bit pinker. "Oh,
in case you're wondering, that's a heat-rub, like they apply to sore muscles. Her breasts felt like they were on fire.” Lara bit her lip and remained quiet. Strangely, Lara found it sexually stimulating, even as it hurt. Had he continued rubbing her breasts, she might have come.
The nurse insisted the chain be lowered. The officer snarled something to her in Spanish but did as she requested. But insisted her hands be tied. But this time he allowed them to be tied in front of her.
When he had gone, the nurse brought juice and a toast with of jam. She then brought a plastic air mattress, so Lara could rest a bit. With their bottoms sore from the caning and her breasts very tender, the only way to rest was on her side. Somehow she managed to sleep a little bit.
Too soon, the officer was back. He yanked the mattress from underneath her, dumping her on the cobble floor cursing in Spanish. "Get up! You have no time for sleep. It's time to sign your confessions." He held out a clip board with a typed statement on it, in Spanish and English. "Sign both copies."
With new-found courage, she said, "No."
He smiled, and walked to the wall and selected a long, single tailed whip. He snapped it twice in the air then cracked it across her breasts.
She jerked backward and screamed at the same time.
CRACK! He marked her again.
She curled up in the fetal position on the floor,
hugging her breasts for protection. Undaunted, the officer lacerated each butt cheek. "Sign it."
Even if Lara had wanted to answer him. She couldn’t. Nothing else mattered but the pain.
"You know I can cut you to ribbons with this whip, and I'd enjoy doing it, now sign the confessions.”
"OK, I'll sign." Lara gasped and scratched her name on the paper.
"Oh one last thing, My men had a puta, but she died." He showed her a photograph of a naked Indian girl. Her lips were pulled back in a grimace of pain. Lara’s noted scars on her breasts, like the whip marks on her. "I show you this, " he said, "to remind you that resistance is futile." He released the chains from the frame and pointed to the door. "Go."
Lara stumbled slowly toward the door, the ankle chains clinking on the cobble stone floor. She stepped outside, half blinded by the bright sunlight. Soldiers took her arms and led her toward the center of the patio. There a saw horse had been set up. The officer directed the soldiers, as they used the ankle and wrist straps to fasten her down.
Lara watched helplessly as her wrists were fastened to the legs of the horse, as her ankles were. Her heart pounded as she was watched the soldiers line up behind her by rank. The officer gestured to the first soldier. Lara was bent over and looking between her spread legs. She could see each rapist, standing there behind her. She watched in horror as the first man stroked himself a few times.
Somehow, she sensed that he couldn't get an erection.
Vaguely she heard a stutter of firecrackers. Then a crushing weight fell on her back. Blood soaked her hair and ran down her cheek.
The fireworks continued as did the noise and confusion. Lara raised her head and looked around. The soldiers were scattering as half-naked Indios with painted faces swarmed through the patio and finished off wounded soldiers with their machetes.
The battle seemed to last an eternity. Then silence.
The weight of the dead officer was lifted from her, and she looked up to see Nick.
"It's OK. It's over," he said as he released her wrists and ankles and helped her to her feet and hugged her to him. Then he draped a blanket around her.
"It's OK. You'll be all right now." She twisted so she could see who has spoken. It was an older man in campesino dress who had a rifle slung over his shoulder. "I am Dr. Schmidt," said the man. "I am sorry we have to meet under such circumstances, but I must thank you for helping us.
Thanks to you, we caught the garrison with their pants down."