Carefully assembling her few meager supplies, she then strapped them under her clothes. It was important to leave her hands free to hold her mother’s shawl over her to help mask her heat signature from the infrared capable video drones. Friends, anxious for a successful escape, would help keep the confusion in the compound going long enough for the ruse to provide her a modest head start. Rain was predicted to begin shortly before sunset which was also in her favor. The higher humidity levels along with the thick vegetation would further mask her escape and dampen her heat signature. With a little luck some steam would be coming up from the forest floor.
Jovana smirked at her idealism and fatalistically murmured, “But, if it doesn’t, then let me die trying. One way or the other, I’m not coming back.”
Distant rumbling, along with increased wind gusts, announced the approaching storm, soon followed by stray rain drops here and there. Jovana nodded her head in resolve and cinching up her few travel items quietly moved out of the hovel into the compound. Using no sounds to alert the flying drones, she simply squeezed the shoulders of her two accomplices who would carry out the separate diversions. She briefly stared into their eyes and silently pled with them to come along, but each shook their heads in resignation to their fate. Clasping each of her friends in a promise to give it her best, she moved silently to the latrine for her hidden escape vector.
Wasting no motion, she quickly lowered herself into one of the toilets. She held on to wait for the signal before releasing herself into the chute that sent the human waste out of the compound and down to the river. Moments later the rain began with a thunderous pounding on the roof of the latrine, then she heard the first noises of the planned diversions. She almost laughed at their cover story of welcoming the Brazilian rain god with clanging and banging sounds heralding new growth and more water for electricity. She needed a quick chuckle to help her overcome the latrine stench.
With the noise reaching a peak crescendo, first of the four in the plan, she released her hands to slide down the chute and into the channel used to move waste out. The stench was horrific, but she chided herself for being so delicate which helped her overcome the gagging. Any unnecessary sounds now would surely register on the drone sensors. Her total being focused on getting out the chute, through the grate, and out to freedom.
True to her reckoning, there was a grate to keep the wild animals out and the wilder animals in. Ideally it was only necessary to gain enough wiggle room to get through, so she landed both feet solidly against the grate hoping one or more of the bolts holding it would break free. Infuriatingly the bolts held and for a brief moment she felt trapped. In panicked frustration she drug herself back up, then slid down again with all the momentum she could generate. The grate did not yield, but she felt it loosen on one side. Quickly retrieving her father’s treasured knife, she opened up the screwdriver and used it to take out the holding screw.
Water was now beginning to flow down the shoot and she knew that there wasn’t much time left. The cover of rain was needed for her to get as far away as possible undetected.
At last the second screw gave up, she bent the grate slightly outward enough to allow her to work back up and try to push it the remaining way to slide out. As if the rain gods had decided to help her achieve her goal, the water rushing down the shoot delivered a nice sized log that bent the grate for her. The water pushed her on out the shoot and she landed in a large but shallow pool of human waste. Increased thunder and relentless rain muffled the gagging and retching she could no longer suppress. Then she secured a foothold, exited the cesspool of waste, and she was running, just running toward freedom.
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