In a cold, dark, room somewhere abroad a small group of naked, tired, hungry, and defeated captives are huddled in the corner.
They’ve lost count of the hours, days, weeks, and years since they've experienced anything close to a normal life.
One night, in the middle of a monsoon, an explosion sends a wooden door, now shattered to pieces, across the room. Light floods the room in the form of half a dozen headlamps. Over the ringing of damaged eardrums, the captives hear shouted commands and see choreographed responses. In the blink of an eye, a row of uniformed men approach the huddled captives, shouting something familiar, but forgotten.
The soldiers are shouting, but the captives don’t budge.
“We’re here to save you,” the soldiers scream in as many languages as they can muster.
Still no response.
Maybe it was the shell-shock. Maybe it was miscommunication.
Or maybe, as another prisoner of war once recounted, these captives have been tricked before. Others have come, claiming to rescue them. Most of them have been defeated. Some of them were nefarious; disguising themselves as Navy Seals before beating their captives senseless for attempting to leave with the enemy.
Time is running out, but the captives have been down this road before, fooled by a would-be savior, and this time, they don't budge.