I sat in the Warden’s new chair, signing the contracts I’d received in a packet from Yurika, among other things that arrived that morning. Most of the paperwork was for clearance and money transfers, as I now provided the majority of funding to Mythos Peak, and being that this was a private institution, I used certain loopholes to my best advantage.
There was also the pink slip for my father to sign, he would no longer be needed as CFO of the company, Yurika would suffice. The change of guard was swift, but the Warden wasn’t a problem, his loyalty and blind eye was easily paid for in cash money. I stuffed all the paperwork back in their respective folders and placed them in the hands of Saundra Dee for Mail, I took a deep breath and sat back in the chair to relax.
Four months had past since ‘The Fall’, and at present, we were deep into the month of June, as broiling heat couldn’t tell you that. What was worst of all, Hades was still out of control, the heat only exacerbating the situation causing the death toll to rise day by day.
I hadn’t meant for Cellblock A to descend into utter chaos, and hopefully Calypso was the man I knew he was, as he had earned the spoils of war. Escro and Hassan were still alive, I assume because I would have known if their bodies had been recovered, among the fifty or so men that had died so far.
There was so much death on my hands, they were permanently stained red, accompanied by the sharp knife of guilt to my gut. I shook the thoughts from my head and picked up the iPad mini I had the Warden provide me with, quickly checking through my emails, a few were from Yurika and one from the company supposed to fix the prisons ventilation system. They claimed a facility this old would need to be torn down and built over from scratch, so we were fucked.
I had already spent millions retrofitting this corner of hell, to be even remotely hospitable. While Hades was in disarray, B side was a literal blank canvas, to be tailored just for me. I’ve even had the Warden assign several of the inmates into a ‘Prisoner Rehabilitation Training(PRT)’ program, remodeling three cells into a single enclosed unit, I wanted the whole space for myself. I also had the B side Cafeteria remodeled and fully stocked to the hilt, and I had them procure my own personal chef to manage the kitchen. I was sure plenty of rumors had been spread about my future occupancy of Purgatory, words get around here quick, like the walls themselves talked.
I tucked a few locks of my long straight silken hair back behind my ear, grateful for the luxury of a weekly visit from my stylist. I even had him make a practical pair of shorts out of my prison wear, he was a bit riské with the length and form fit, but I felt no where near as exposed as Ramón often required. I wore the red colored garb of those housed in AdSeg, because now I was considered a liability, being that I own the place.
Yurika, and surprisingly the Warden, both insisted on me having a six man detail of trained guard, to shadow me during my stay in Purgatory. It took some convincing, but I finally gave in, not wanting to be blind to caution signs. Ti’Hatcha and Cerberus would be hand picking the best men for me, and Yurika drew up the discrepancy agreements and handled payment.
I wanted these men to be like furniture in a room, they don’t say anything, they don’t see anything, they don’t hear anything, they only had to they only had the suit their purpose. One I’d use as a personal assistant of sorts, and he’d get a bit extra for the trouble, I was a fair man, at least I liked to think so.
The Warden entered the room, followed by Cerberus and CO O’Connor, who I recalled was the correctional officer over Cellblock B. He was easy on the eyes and look better now than I remember him, with broad shoulders and full frame. He gave me a once over from head to toe, before his gaze came to my own, accompanied by arched eyebrow.
“Looks like someone found’a way to cool off, eh?” He said, with his second generation Irish accent, it was quite endearing and attractive.
“And I’ll need to order a few more just like them, because we’re totally shit out of luck for the whole summer, we’ve been rejected by another contractor. I see why father never invested much into the infrastructure of this place, it’s like a black hole, just sucking up all my goddamn money!” I said, standing up to go to the bar, on the left side of the room.
“Well you’ll get no complaints from those bastards in Purg’, they’ll be wanking off ter you fer weeks.” He mused, eyeing my body a bit, with an appreciative gaze.
“As long as they look and don’t touch, we won’t have a problem.” Warden Turner replied, with a laugh. “I can’t have those arseholes manhandling my new golden goose, now can I?”
“I’m flattered I mean so much to you Phillip.” I said sarcastically, giving him a bit of side eye, as I downed the double shot of whiskey I had poured.
“Aww come on now, don’t take that tone, beauty haha” He jest, giving me a playful pat on the butt.
“Cerberus, is the guard detail prepared for tomorrow’s transfer?” I asked, passing him and the other two a drink, hell, happy hour is starting somewhere.
“They’ve all been brought up to speed and know their objective. There are six men on 12 hour shifts, we’ve made arrangements with a enterprise that specializes in combat and security, they were hand picked by your own HOS Ti’Hatcha.” He answered, with one of his charming smiles, that I couldn’t help but return. I’m sure his uncle, also one of my best of friends and confidants, picked men of the highest caliber. “They are a company of privately contracted men, whom are former navy seals that now make a living as contract mercs and security detail to high profile clients, they were highly decorated during their service and come with exemplary recommendations. So no worries, we’ve acquired the best of the best.”
“Unfortunately, we aven’t been able to keep yer incipient induction into Purg under wraps. The Titans ave got eyes and ears all around this place, they’ve been suspicious since the beginin’ of the remodel, I believe they have a heads up that yer headin into their territory.” O’Connor said, jumping into the conversation, as the Warden took a seat in his chair.
“And should I be worried? Aren’t the security detail enough to handle these so called Titans?” I asked, as I started walking over to where the Warden sat. “I single handedly brought down ‘O’Rei’, and he was one of the most savage of beasts in this motherfucker! Right now he sits in a cage, smaller than one I’d afford my most insignificant of pets. Hell, my goldfish has a bigger bowl..”
When I reached the man, I nudged him off the armrest, bogarting that portion of his chair as I sipped my triple jack on the rocks. O’Connor raised his eyebrow at the subliminal, but blatant, alpha move yet he didn’t say anything. Cerberus stifled a chuckle and Warden Turner just ignored it, as I knew he would, he only signaled silently for them to take the two available seats on the other side of the desk.
“While we do feel the security detail is adequate as a primary filter of interaction, the three men that have risen to control the inner workings and ‘culture’ of the cellblock are unpredictable loose cannons, they just recently took out the top Mexican gang in tandem without any cooperation. O’Connor has no more influence over them, than he did months ago, they run Purgatory.” Cerberus said, answering me bluntly.
“Aye, that’s not..”
“Sorry bro, I got to be real with’m.” The Samoan man said to his colleague apologetically, shrugging his shoulders, before the CO could protest.
“That’s not an accurate representation of the situation, dear friend.” He countered, looking to me. “I’ve got a reliable source that pinpoints the Asian as the territory’s Drug kingpin, and there’s suspicions he has two guards roped in with him, some kind of mafia extortion on the outside. A clever bastard, that one is, gets the product in and around though rats! Carrier pigeon style, it’s incredible, and we’ve been unable to shut his operation down. On the other hand, the black brethren have the numbers on their side, but the pack leader has a thin leash on his dogs, he IS in charge though, no doubt about that.” He broke eye contact with me and looked to Warden Turner. “Then there’s the Van Duyn boy..”
“I’ve heard of this one, the Warden has refused to elaborate on the subject.. seems he has many loyalties among many super powers, hmmmm, how Swedish of an Irishman.” I replied looking down at the man, my gaze heavy upon him, he squirmed slightly in the chair we shared. “He also has a talent for keeping all interests involved, quarantined from each other. A balancing act a circus performer would be envious of, I wonder sometimes how long it can last.”
When I had approached Turner about the ‘anonymous’ charitable donations he’s received prior to our present agreement, he adamantly refused to go into it. I took the L on that one as a show of good faith to our future partnership, I had Yurika try to dig up as much as she could on the Van Duyn family but came up with nothing, not an arrest, nor a record of a trial for a Van Duyn. It was crazy but not that crazy, These people literally had enough money to build a ship, fly to mars, live a few years, then come back, do a fly around for old time sake, and still return to sit among the wealthiest of men.
They could do anything, so why would one of them be in here though? Maybe a black sheep, one they had locked away to prevent dynasty disgrace or possibly something more, maybe even a contingency plan if I get out of hand again. Really, who knows with the people I was dealing with.
“What is the guy doing, and should I be worried, Mr O’Connor?”
“Call me Dylan in private company, lass.” He smiled flirtatiously at me, and I arched an eyebrow at him, I could see Cerberus Palm his face out the side of my eye. “Joker, as they like to call him, tends to play the Blacks and Asians against each other, leaving him standing to reap the spoils. They all hate each other, but all control integral commodities, each others people need to coexist.”
“I see how that can affect the dynamics of things. What’s the intel on these territorial occupations?”
“Like I mentioned, the Asians control the imports and exports of the cellblock, as well as the drugs, he’s like their emperor or something. The Black leader subsets to three others, one controls the sex trade, one sorts the Fish, and the other the gambling ring. They also ave control of the largest territory in the yard, but the Asians have a sizable chunk of their own, that’s where alot of the shit goes down. The Asians have been gainin’ ground, but there’s been little retaliation yet from the Blacks, who seem to be having a civil war of their own. You have more Blacks killing Black now, just like on the outside. Fightin’ when they should be working together to do better, please pardon my words if I speak out of tongue.” He said candidly, I took no offense at all, I was aware of how race relations fit into the fickle facade of prison politics, it eerily mirrors the outside world, in the most extreme ways.
“What exactly does the caucasoid control again?” I asked, feeling the Jack I was sipping.
“Haha, that’s it! He doesn’t control anything! He just sits back and relaxes while the other two groups try to kill each other, which both sides have proven to be quite skilled at. The Blacks are unmatched in the mobilization of their overwhelming numbers and have reputation for exploiting that fact, they’ve also had a hand in some of the most savage attacks in the last few months. The Asians are cunning and deceptively dangerous, many of them were and are, contract killers for their respective affiliations. So these are dangerous and diabolical beasts you’re playing with here..”
“Who said I was fucking playing.” I cut him off, setting the glass down on the table. “This is my life on the line, I don’t get another one, so I won’t lose this one! I’ll do WHATEVER it takes to not only survive, but to THRIVE!”
The phone rang at that moment, cutting into the tension, the Warden answered and quickly passed the phone to me, informing me it was Dr. Jhadav. She was the acting physician in mythos, formerly employed by my father, currently contracted by my largest company, Arkham industries.
In all actuality she was one of the world’s premier geneticists, most recently accredited with saving an entire village of orphans in India who were curiously susceptible to contracting polio, despite receiving vaccinations. She was the only person I’d trust with the task of figuring out what I was, what these powers were.. I didn’t even let Yurika know about this yet.
I couldn’t tell you why I didn’t tell her, but how could I explain without looking crazed and delusional like my grandmother. I didn’t have any idea what this was, so what could I really tell her? That’s why I needed the doctor, she was the key.
“This is me.” I said, answering the phone, shaking my glass at the Warden so he could top me off.
“Mr Ellis… I mean Jynx, I have the results you wanted but they are still inconclusive. I need another sample, one other than yours, preferably one non related to yourself to account for diversity of the genome.” She said, sounding a bit tired liked she’d worked through the night on into the day.
“Fuck my life.”
“Excuse me sir?”
“No, its nothing, and don’t worry, that won’t be a problem Karishma. I’ll handle it, you sound like you need to rest, get some sleep.” I told her, quickly saying bye and ending the call.
*shit!* I thought to myself, knowing I never wanted to lay eyes on that bastard, another day in my life.
I found a certain irony in the fact, I didn’t think I would ever need his lunatic ass for anything, but he could be vital to unlocking all this. Thanks to Peace, I kept him alive.
“Alright, I need everything set up and ready for tomorrow. Dylan, can I trust you to handle that?” Looking to him, my eyes showing I wouldn’t accept any failures.
“That’s affirmative, lass.” He replied, as he gave me a wicked smile, Cerberus and I simultaneously rolled our eyes.
“Warden..” I said, getting his attention. “I’m to be given full control of the kitchen and it’s detail. It may be my only card to play in all this, I control all food and canteen coming in the gate. Get it done, I don’t care what fancy fucking acronym you call it.”
“I’ll have Saundra handle the paperwork and I’ll have signed off on it by end of day.”
“Perfect, now I have further business to attend to, good evening gentleman.” I said getting up, making my way toward the exit.
Cerberus immediately stood to escort me, and I stroked O’Connors shoulder as I pass by, ever so slightly. I stopped when I reached the door and turned around, I walked over to the the Wardens bar. I grabbed an unopened pint of Hennessy, and looked to the Warden, as I went back to the door Cerberus held open.
“I’ll be needing this.” I said, holding up the bottle.
I asked Cerberus to take me outside, I knew I was pushing my boundaries, and risking both our livelihoods, but I needed him to take me outside the gate. Not far, just right outside, I promised I wouldn’t do anything crazy or try to run.
This aching part of me just wanted to have a drink outside of all this, I was ready to beg but he didn’t give me the chance. He snuck me down to the employee parking lot, through all the rows of cars till we reached a suped up Honda civic. It was loud and obnoxious, it looked like something from ‘fast and the furious’, but Vin and Paul were on acid.
The base paint was a bright lemon yellow, double glossed, with what looked like a tribal decal over the top in neon blue. It sat low to the ground and had a wing tipped rear end. The inside was ridiculously decked out as well, with an all white leather interior.
“I’m going to have to buy you a car, this.. this is just plain gaudy.” He looked shocked at my words, I wasn’t sure if it was that I was buying him a car or the insult to his baby, that caused it.
He opened the trunk and pulled out a blanket, and I open the back seat to lay down, he covered and camouflaged me, then hopped in the driver seat. He started the car and off we went, I felt when we got stopped at the gate, but it was only momentary. Cerberus said he was going out for something eat before the next half of his shift, they didn’t bat an eyelash.
We drove a bit but when I sat up and looked, we didn’t go far, but I didn’t care, I could breath. Not in the literal sense, but it was something about being behind those walls, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so cut off. Now in this moment I felt like I could reach the entire world, touch every star in the sky, even fly up there and join them. I shook such childish whims from my mind and thought of what lay before me.
Cerberus parked, and we both got out, he spread the blanket down on the ground. I looked at our surroundings and notice we were on the hill right next to the penitentiary. I could see the whole grounds, the light from the buildings the only artificial source of it for miles. They were easily dwarfed by the display beheld in the night sky. The sun had just finished being eclipsed by the horizon, but the the orange and purples still stained that part of the sky, up above I could make out the many constellations and the edge of the center Milky Way peaking out.
It was one of the best views of the night sky I had ever gotten and I was humbled by it. I sat down and Cerberus joined me, I held up the bottle in offering, but he shook his head no. I frowned at him, I didn’t want to be fucked up all alone. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a bag of some dank smelling loud and some cigars, holding them up to me, I nodded my head in an earnest yes, and we broke out into laughter.
He didn’t ask me what plans I had or what business I was supposed to tend to, he just let me sit, and I was thankful for that. I cracked the bottle, taking a quick swig, grimacing at the burn in my throat. It made my chest warm and my head light, most of all it helped me think, think about the things I’ve had to do, and would still have to do, to survive in this place.
I found it hard to keep any moral integrity in an environment void of the notion of ‘morals’. Only the weak had them, and the weak don’t survive long in a place like this. It’s all a grey area, we’d all like to believe there was a an actual ‘line’ to cross, maybe there is one.. but you’d never know when you crossed it till it was too late.
We sat there maybe two hours or so, me the solo drinker, but both of us indulging in the Mary. I had downed, a little more than half of the bottle by that point, so I was feeling myself big time, almost like another person. I stood up to my unstable feet and told Cerberus it was time to go, I didn’t even wait for him, I just opened the car door and threw myself down on the back seat. I wasn’t black out drunk, but I was feeling lit, Cerberus just laughed when he saw me there cradling the bottle and threw the blanket over me.
The ride seemed faster this time, and when we got to the gate he shushed me, we got pass again undiscovered. Cerberus parked his vehicle and we started to make our way to the lowly pits of Hell.
We stood outside the cell door, for a few minutes, while swigged some more liquid courage. I pulled my hair out of my face, as it was hotter in this building more than any other, It was the oldest part of the facility as well. I looked at Cerberus and nodded for him to open the door to the cell, and he unlocked the bolts, to slide it open.
The lights were out and it was dark inside, the light from the door didn’t enter all the way into the room enough for me to see. I went to take a step inside and chided myself on my stupidity, I still had the bottle in my hand, when the bastard inside could turn anything into a weapon. I tossed it behind me haphazardly and Cerberus barely caught it with his left hand, I didn’t look back at him, only mentioning to close the door behind me. This was between me and the monster within, I knew I had to attack this with a light hand, or things could take a deadly turn.
When the door slammed behind me the lights came on but one was half dead and the other just flickered annoyingly, I finally saw the man. He appeared to be asleep on the single floor mattress, it was basically flattened already, losing all it’s support long ago. I took a long look at him, his enticing muscular form on display, I could see his chest and abs were more defined. A tell tale sign, that showed he’d done nothing but crunches and push-ups to kill time and relive stress, in such a small space. His hair had grown out a few inches and I was slightly frightened to notice, he looked more attractive and alive in this dark cell, than he did within the walls of Hades.
It was unnerving that a beast such as him could thrive in such an environment, and I felt a bit of my nerve break. I turned to knock for Cerberus to let me out, but I was quickly snatched into an embrace, of thickly muscled arms. His face went into my neck and he grabbed a fist full of my ass and brought a hand full of my hair to his nose for a sniff.
I tried to wrestle away from him and went to scream, only to have my mouth stifled by his lips and filled with his tongue. He crashed our groins together and I couldn’t stop my dick from hardening against his, the sensation, the heat, the hardness of his body, the roughness of his touch.. it ignited a NEED and a desire deep within, that burned fiercely, it literally felt like starvation pangs. When he finally released my lips, my head was light, and my heart beat fast.
I could finally exhale.
“vocé voltou para mim de novo, meu amor.” He whispered against my lips.