Holy shit, has it been a week already? Damn. Sorry.
Here you go, though. Huey's interlude. Enjoy.
Alice in Jails - Prison Episode
Color Pages & Epilogue I
Chapter 1 Front
Chapter 1 Back
Chapter 2 Front
Chapter 2 Back
Chapter 3 Front
Chapter 3 Back
Chapter 4 Front
Chapter 4 Back
Chapter 5 Front & Back, Connecting Chapter, Remaining Chapter
Alice in Jails - Streets Episode
Peter Pan in Chains
Deep within Alcatraz Island was a place set aside for solitary confinement. The inmates called it the Hole.
Even the most hardened criminals, banished to Alcatraz as a last resort by normal prisons that could no longer keep them in line, shivered with dread when the Hole was mentioned.
It was located deep in the bowels of the prison, below the long hall that most of the inmates called home.
The rooms of the Hole were actually modified storage rooms, leftovers from when the prison had been a fortress. There were no electric lights down there; inmates who caused trouble were thrown into total darkness. The walls were made of brick, not concrete, and to prevent the inmates from attempting to tunnel through and escape, they were hobbled with iron chains during their stay.
In the years to come Warden Johnston would denounce the practice of chaining the prisoners as inhumane, and construct a new area called D Block to serve as the new solitary confinement zone. But that event was still far in the future; for now, the threat of the Hole was still a very real thing, always present in the minds of those inmates who got it into their heads to start trouble.
But below even the darkness of the Hole, in a place that wasn't in the blueprints at all...
In a separate cell furnished just for one person, he existed.
There were those who said that the room had originally been a secret storage area, or maybe a temporary hideaway for noncombatant VIPs, but nobody knew for certain.
It was too large to really be called a prison cell. More the size of a hotel room.
But though the room itself was large, it was furnished the same as any other cell in Alcatraz. A bed and a sink were the only fixtures, and just like the rest of the inmates, the man had been provided with only the barest necessities--a bar of soap, an aluminum cup, a shaving razor, and so on. The only reprieve was that unlike the rooms of the Hole, this particular cell was lit by a single electric bulb. At least the darkness wouldn't drive one mad, even if the isolation did.
And inside that secluded chamber, its very existence a secret even to most of the guards, the man spoke.
"What is the situation?"
Two men stood illuminated in the naked bulb's light.
"The other immortal, Isaac Dian, recognized him and caused a small commotion. After Dian was removed from the cafeteria, he had a short conversation with Ladd Russo, but was otherwise careful not to attract attention."
One of them sat inside the cell. The other stood outside it.
The one standing outside was a guard, his crisp uniform dimly illuminated by the light filtering out through the cell window. The door was closed, but his voice carried through the meal slot located below the bulletproof glass, easily reaching the man sitting on the bed against the far wall.
"And what of the three inmates who came with him?" Huey Laforet asked.
"We have almost no information on them. For now, though, none of them seem that suspicious."
"...No information? They fall outside even your network?"
"We know who they are, and what they've done to get here. We just haven't been able to produce any information on them that strikes us as out of the ordinary. The only thing of note that has happened recently is the fact that my bodies in D.C. and Chicago are being systematically erased. It happens while they're sleeping, or through chance accidents, leading me to believe that whoever is behind it knows and understands how Hilton and I operate."
The prisoner made a noncommittal noise and decided to end the conversation, dismissing his guard.
"Very well. Please continue your vigil and keep me up to date, Sham."
"Yes, Master Huey."
The guard nodded respectfully to his master and turned away, briskly heading toward the stairs that would take him back to the upper floors. Soon enough he disappeared from view, and only the fading echoes of his footsteps remained to prove that he had ever been there at all.
Huey listened to the footsteps fading away and gently shook the still form lying on the bed beside him.
"Liza. Liza, it is time to wake up."
The voice that answered him, still groggy with sleep, was that of a young girl.
She sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes. But strangely, when she opened her mouth a moment later, her voice was bright and chipper, as though she'd been awake all along.
"Good morning, Daddy!" she chirped, offering her father a sunny smile that seemed to light up the drab room.
Huey replied with a wan smile of his own and said, "Good morning, dear. How is the situation?"
"It's going really really well! I caught a lot, and I think Sham's doing good too! Oh, umm, but there's some weird ones, too."
"Umm, I can't talk about it much because the others are still looking into it, but... But don't worry, Daddy! If they're enemies, we can all get together and kill them, no problem!"
She had the voice and appearance of a child, but the words that passed her lips were anything but childlike.
Huey took it in stride, the calm smile never leaving his face as he thought it over, absently stroking his daughter's hair with his left hand.
"Very well. Please tell me if you find something."
"Okay, Daddy! I'll keep to the plan until then!"
The girl nodded and smiled, happy to do her father's bidding, and trundled off toward the corner.
"Ah," Huey said from behind her, a shadow passing briefly over his face. "Liza. One more thing. I don't expect he'll be able to interfere this time, but nonetheless... do try and watch out for Victor."
"Okay, Daddy!" The girl turned to him, emotions flashing across her face as she thought of the other immortal. "I'll be extra careful! I know that Victor's a big fat meanie!"
"Haha... Yes, I suppose he is," Huey replied absently, thinking back to a conversation from the past.
He remembered the talk he'd had with Victor before he'd been consigned to his underground prison.
"Time for you to weep with joy and throw yourself at my feet, Huey. I've got a special suite ready in Alcatraz, just for you."
"Oh, dear. Are you planning to cut me up and experiment on my body? Or perhaps it will be torture. I do not suppose that anyone will hear my screams on such a lonely island, nor that any information about me will ever make it across the bay to reach anyone's ears."
"Make up more bullshit, why don'cha. Some of the higher ups in the government'd probably like nothing more than to do exactly that, and I think the bastards over at Nebula are dying to ask you some questions too, but relax. And despair. If you've got any time left over after that, you can use it to thank me, 'cause where I'm taking you, nobody's gonna lay a finger on you."
"Listen up, asshole. You're an idiot who can't understand other people's feelings and the pain you cause, but you're still a genius and dangerous and crazy and too goddamn handsome for your own good, so whatever you do you always turn heads. You're a master actor and you'd die every day for 364 days out of a year without turning a hair if you knew it'd get you results on just one of your experiments on the 365th damn day. And you've got a gift for using people, too."
"Imagine what'd happen if I let someone like you loose on a buncha politicians and scientists. You'd have them brainwashed in three days flat. First you'd whisper your promises into their ears, getting them interested, and before they knew it they'd be eating your of your goddamn hand. One of those scientists'd say, 'Hey, this Huey fella, I think he's a really swell guy. We should talk to him and see what sort of information he might share with us'. And you can bet your ass by that point his brain'd already be dribbling out his ears. Then oh, look, a strap on your straightjacket came loose, and oh, the next day they walk in and find out everyone in the lab is dead, and oh, Huey fucking Laforet is nowhere to be fucking seen! Oh no oh what ever shall we fucking do Mr. Talbot please do something even though you told us this exact thing was going to happen and we ignored you like the fucking idiots we are... and then they'll try and get me to find you, but you know what? I'll say no! Lemme say that again! No! Once more for good measure! Read my lips! Enn! Oh! No!"
"You overestimate me. Your boundless imagination never fails to amaze."
"Hah! No way I'm smart enough to understand the things you do! I bet nobody can! That's right, I bet even you can't think of a single person in the whole world who's got a perfect read on you!"
"Well, Elmer, for one. And Denkuro, too..."
"You're not supposed to take me up on that bet, dumbass! Do you have any idea how stupid you're making me look? You must really hate me to humiliate me so much, eh?"
"I do not hate you, Victor. And I must insist that I cannot deceive people as easily as you seem to think."
"Wanna bet? Look, Huey. Us immortals, we're like poison to normal people. We hurt them just by being around them. I stoppered myself in a bottle of my own accord, but you, you're fucking flammable and contagious and how the hell do you expect me to leave you be like that?"
"Then why have you not devoured me?"
"'Cause knowing you, you've probably installed traps in your memories or something. Imagine if one of your memories was actually a kind of hypnotism, and it made me think I was you. I'd let my guard down for a moment and then bam, I'd lose everything. Your memories would be preserved perfectly inside me already, so it'd just be a matter of changing who's controlling the body. Damn, you're a sneaky one."
"What? Speechless? I was right, wasn't I?"
"No, I was merely marveling at your ingenuity. I had not considered that possibility at all. Victor, I do think that you might have some talent as a playwright, a teller of stories. Truly, interesting."
"Yeah, whatever. Think it over in your cell."
"I must admit, I was hoping to have a somewhat more logical conversation."
"Keep hoping, then. I know you can talk circles around me when it comes to logic. Good thing for me that I caught you, so I don't have to convince you of anything. I don't want to hear anything from you, either. In other words I'm refusing to talk with you at all and imprisoning you without fair trial."
"Brash and one-sided as ever, I see."
"Well, I'll be honest. You're not gonna be seeing the sun for a while, and I have to admit I pity you for that. But don't worry. I don't know how many years it'll take, but... once we've taken care of Nebula, I'll let you out."
Huey stared absently at the walls, remembering the proud look on Victor's face. Slowly, thoughtfully, he continued the conversation, though Victor was not there to reply.
"It does not pain me so much, not being able to see the sun..."
He spoke the words alone, and they went unheard.
"But... I do find myself missing the starry night sky."
The man chuckled and slowly rose to his feet.
"So I think I shall be taking my leave of this place, Victor.
"Liza," he said, turning to the girl who'd been sitting beside him on the bed, swinging her legs back and forth over the edge. His voice took on a purposeful air. "Please pass the word on to all of the Twins."
"What is it, Daddy?" the girl asked eagerly, practically leaping off the bed to stand beside him.
"As of this moment, the following areas and individuals are to be designated my specimens."
He did not say it with relish, or with sadness. There was no note of grim determination in his voice.
Calmly, quietly, he gave his orders, as though to him, such things were merely part of a day's work.
It went without saying, of course, that the wishes of his future specimens were not something he considered at all.
Interlude I End
Chapter 3 Front