Previous Paradise Lost
So, this is what hell looks like. Once they told me that I would be placed in general population, my heart sank. I and several other inmates were admitted at the same time, and to make things seem even more dire, as we were entering, we saw someone in a body bag exiting. The guy behind me said, “We’re taking bets as to who of us will go first, and you’re winning.”
After some basic rules and our thorough cleaning, we did our walk down the main aisle to our cells. The cat calls calling out from among the population were loud and unwelcome. When I attempted to view the situation astrally, it made me not want to – the range of emotions were varied, from terrified to insane. There were a few others of my kind here, and some of them knew of my presence, and others did not.
When I was introduced to my new cellmate, I knew things weren’t going to go well. He was huge, with a shaved head and tattoos; just the kind of guys that would hang around the Vox Populi when I was a kid. When he saw me, he said, “Well at least your not a Dandelion Eater”. He then said he has the top. I hope he was referring to the top bunk, which he was. When he asked me what I was in for, I said murder. He seemed impressed, but when he learned that I hadn’t been to trial yet, and that I had apparently beat a man to death, he laughed. He said he killed his mother with his bare hands when she didn’t pass the salt fast enough, and I believed him. His name was Ice. That was about the entirety of our conversation.
When it was free time, I took one of the guards advice, and went to the library, rather than the yard, which he called the killing fields. So, the library it is, really a second home for me. Though I would have liked to travel about astrally, at least within the confines of the prison, I wouldn’t dare leave my body unattended. The library was the old fashioned kind, with actual paper books, just like what I liked. There were a few other people in there, mostly other poindexters like myself, and some old guys and some loners. There were also a few younger kids there, trying to learn something. I exchanged a few words with some of the guys there, whoever would listen, and learned a few helpful tips. I was able to catch up on the local news and selected Crime and Punishment to sit down and read. I wasn’t allowed to bring it out of the library though.
Next was feeding time, which was the worst experience yet. Let’s just say it was me and a few others that had a slight resemblance to me sitting around the garbage can, conveniently next to a guard.
A couple of days passed, and it seemed very routine. Then one day, I was in the library and I decided to help teach some of these kids who wanted to learn. There was one orkish youth there that I could tell was trying to read a periodical from 2009, but was struggling. The old teacher in me came out and asked him if he wanted help. He said no initially, but later asked me for help. The next couple of days, we met there and his reading gradually improved.
About the third day into it, or about my sixth day there total, I was in there, when I heard a somewhat familiar voice – Ice, saying some racist remarks about the kid I was tutoring. We tried to ignore him, but he didn’t back down. He kept up the insults and I finally had enough. I said “At least he’s trying to improve himself you slack jawed behemoth.” Ice charged at me and punched me in the head, that nearly knocked me out." He then said “you shouldn’t have insulted me you tusker lover.” and gave a nod. The kid I was tutoring ran off. Another guy appeared and picked me up and grabbed me from behind pinning my arms behind me. That’s when the “real fun” started as Ice landed punch after punch on me. I tried to kick him, and one time he grabbed my leg and began to rotate it outward. The pain was immense. Just about when he would have completely snapped it off, I heard a voice say He’s had enough; drop him. The guy behind me dropped me, and he and Ice went to work over the new guy instead. The new guy quickly picked up Ice by the throat and was squeezing hard. I wheezed “release him before you regret it.” There was a flicker in his eye, and he dropped him to the ground. It was only then that the guards intervened and carried me and Ice off to the infirmary.
The next few hours flew by as the nursing staff worked on me. They said that I should be fine and one of them mentioned something about me having a visitor every day I had been there that couldn’t see me. They also mentioned that though my wounds were bad, they would not keep me out of gen pop. Later that evening, I met my new roommate, who said “he had top” and wasn’t referring to the bunk….
The next day, now day 7, I hobbled on back to the library. I got some pitiful looks from some of the people there. The kid I was tutoring was gone, but the guy who stopped Ice was there. He was one of those guys who had been in the library as a loner and until yesterday hadn’t said a thing to me. I sat down across from him and said “Thanks.” He said “I should’ve intervened earlier.” I said “I am glad that you intervened when you did. Aren’t you scared that they will get retribution on you.” He said “No, I can handle myself.” I put a hand forward and introduced myself as Doc, he extended his and his name is Hawk. Looking over him with my good eye, I could tell that he had quite a few cybernetic enhancements, though some of them had been destroyed. We talked for a little while and when that other goon came in the library looking for trouble, he told me to stay here, he would protect me.
Over the next several days, I spent as much time as I could talking to him. He had been in here for a good six months already after he was convicted on some trumped up charges that he wasn’t even around for. He was definitely set up. He told me that yes he did have an attorney, but it was the public defender’s office, and the guy was perpetually drunk. He had been in the library doing a letter writing campaign for months to have his case appealed. I looked at his letters and made a few changes to them to make them sound more professional.
During the course of my internment there, I got a chance to meet with my attorney several times and we had discussed my case. I know I wasn’t completely guilty of the charges against me, but I could not deny I had a part and besides that I wasn’t going to abandon my friends. I agreed to a plea on lesser charges. On February 12th, my attorney, Mr. Taylor, of Tyler and Johnson, said that I had a message. It was from Pariah and it said that Byk had apparently jumped ship. When my lawyer asked me if it changed things, I mulled it over, and said No.