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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
"Psst. Hey. Hey, neighbor. You awake?"
Firo heard a whisper coming from the cell beside him and propped himself up on his elbows, cocking his head toward the voice.
"You were on the boat that brought me over too, weren't you?"
Whoever it was, it didn't sound like he was talking directly through the wall. More likely he had his face to their bars of his cell, letting his voice carry over to Firo's cot.
Naturally, it was forbidden for the inmates to talk after lights out, but they could hold nighttime conversations as long as they didn't get too loud since there weren't any guards actually posted in the long hallway. And thanks to the way the halls conducted sound, the inmates could easily hear the ringing sound of an approaching guard's footsteps; as long as they stopped talking then and crawled back into their beds, the guards couldn't prove anything.
Let's see... The guy on the side of my cell with the bed was... the Asian guy with the tattoos, right?
"Hmm... Yeah, I think so," Firo replied cautiously, thinking back to what Misery had told him when he first arrived. He couldn't let down his guard around the three inmates who'd come with him, not when he didn't know what they were after. Still, as long as he was careful to keep on his toes...
"I noticed you got the special treatment when we got here. What gives?"
"...Eh, it was nothing. They asked me some questions about some people I knew on the outside. I think they think I'm from the mafia or something. Well, I let 'em think what they want."
"Heh. So, what're you in here for?"
"Huh? Oh, uh. I messed some people up bad."
Carrying on a conversation with someone he couldn't see was harder than he'd expected. Quite different from talking over the phone, that was for sure. And it certainly didn't help that the Asian man on the other side was a complete stranger.
Firo himself wasn't exactly an innocent civilian, but nevertheless he couldn't help but feel a bit nervous, knowing that his conversation partner was responsible for something that'd warranted an Alcatraz sentence. He wondered how he sounded to the other man, and how the Asian would react.
"That's not what I'm talking about, buddy," the man said, chuckling. "That's not it at all."
"What I mean is, what happened after that? You had to have done something after that to get yourself a ticket here."
He'd forgotten that nobody came to Alcatraz straight from the streets. Well, outside of special cases such as Huey Laforet or Firo himself, that was.
Wait, then what the hell did Isaac do to get himself shunted here?
The question bothered him, but he had more pressing matters at hand.
"Oh, uh. I messed some guards up bad, too."
"What, you don't believe me? You don't think I could do it?"
He'd been trying to gloss over the details, but perhaps he'd been a little too evasive.
Well, if he says I look like a kid who doesn't have it in him, I'll just give him a taste of what I can do tomorrow, I guess.
But the Asian man just sniggered and said, "Hah! You too, eh? Yeah, I get whatcha mean. You're in here for the same thing as me."
"Yup. Well, in my case, there was this guard who pissed me off, so I gave his neck a little chomp. You understand, right?"
Firo shivered a little as the scene sprang to life in his mind.
"Heheh! Hey, ever heard of odorigui? It's this way of eating the Japanese have--you bite down on your food while it's still alive and moving. The feeling of something live squirming against your tongue, against your teeth as you bite down... It just all comes together with the salty taste of blood and makes it so incredible!"
"Yeah, okay. I think I've heard enough."
"Whoa, whoa, hear me out here. I mean, I think about it right now and... Damn, that feeling! That tearing sensation as my teeth snag against skin! The taste of iron flooding into my mouth! The sound of the guard screaming and the pain of the clubs hitting my head making the perfect seasoning... Delicious! It was so great I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!"
The man on the other side ran roughshod over Firo's protests, chattering away to his now unwilling conversation partner.
"You're crazy," Firo said, frankly.
"You really think so? I dunno, isn't hunger a natural human instinct? I was just following the will of nature, you know..."
A moment later, a sharp clack came from over the wall, followed by another and then another, the steady staccato beat of teeth coming down on teeth forming a chilling melody that rang in Firo's ears.
What a freak. Almost sounds like he's got a mouth full of fangs and nothing el... huh.
Firo paused, his thoughts going to someone else altogether. He remembered a man with a mouth full of pointed teeth, and eyes stained bloody crimson. A man who looked like a monster.
I guess compared to him, this guy's not so bad... Wait, no, maybe not...
Firo thought it over for a moment and decided maybe it'd be a good idea to get a little closer to his cell neighbor, if only to learn more about him.
"Hey, what's your name?" he asked.
"Huh? Oh, yeah... Well, you can call me Dragon, after these tattoos on my arms. My real name's Ryujiro, but Americans can never get it right."
"Alright, Dragon. Nice to meet you. My name's-"
Firo paused. He'd been on the verge of offering a fake name when he remembered that immortals like him were forbidden from lying about their identities.
Thankfully, Dragon neatly solved his dilemma for him. "Yeah, I know already. Firo, right? That's what the idiot back in the cafeteria called you."
"Man, that dumbass was still talking while the guards dragged him away, wasn't he? Hey, did you know him? Were you cellmates or something in the last jail you were in?"
"...Uh, yeah, sorta. It's a long story."
Firo floundered for a moment, wondering how he'd go about explaining his friendship with Isaac. A sudden noise from outside, though, broke into his thoughts and scattered them to the four winds.
It was a sound that instantly set him on edge, one that he knew well.
"Huh? Yeah, sounds like it."
More sharp reports tore the night, dry cracks rending the silence asunder. Firo frowned, a sudden sense of unease overtaking him.
The voice from the cell next to him, though, seemed to have no such misgivings.
"Maybe someone tried to escape. Tried. Heh. Or maybe your friend the numbskull made one last mistake. Hee hee."
"Oh, the rifles? You hear 'em every night. Don't pay too much attention to it. I've seen guys go crazy obsessing over them."
"Really? What's it all about?"
It was the morning of Firo's second day at Alcatraz, and the first thing he'd done upon sitting down across from Ladd in the cafeteria was to ask the more experienced inmate about the mysterious gunshots from the night before.
But Ladd hadn't seemed surprised at all, waving Firo's concerns away with a careless flick of the spoon in his right hand.
"It's just the guards doing target practice, making sure they can shoot escapees or invaders during the night."
"Huh, yeah, guess that makes sense... Wait. Invaders?"
"Think about it. They've got a lot of powerful men locked up here. Who's to say some Family or another won't decide to launch an attack to free their boss?"
"Hope it never comes to that," Firo commented briefly, looking to end the conversation. But Ladd had already stopped eating, and instead looked thoughtfully around at the guards.
"You know, I respect these guys. They're really something."
"The guards? Why?"
"You can tell they're always ready. They're ready to kill or be killed."
A smile crept onto Ladd's face, the same feral predator's grin that he'd shown Firo the day before.
"These men working in this prison are ready to kill the inmates if try to escape," he said calmly, "but it's not just that. They're not just prepared to kill, they're prepared to die, too. They're not taking this lightly. People like that really interest me. It almost feels like we're friends, me and these guards. Me and you, too."
"Yeah. The first time I saw you yesterday, you were looking around the cafeteria like someone'd try and murder you at any moment. You had this look on your face saying that to you, everyone was an enemy."
Was it that obvious?
If so, then maybe the other inmates had noticed the tension in his body as well. Or, even worse, perhaps Huey himself had taken note.
Firo frowned, worried by the unwelcome possibility, but Ladd seemed to pay it no heed as he kept talking.
"And you know what I hate? I hate people who don't really live. You know, those guys you see who just exist, who go on with their lives with this look that tells you they're thinking they'll never die. I hate 'em so much, it almost drives me crazy... Get what I mean?"
"And finally, what I like is taking people like that and waking them up. I like to teach them how their entire existence is always hanging from a thread, and then carve that knowledge into their bodies and their souls and their whole lives. Well. That's what landed me here."
I get it. This guy's some kinda assassin, then? He does feel a bit like Claire.
Firo sat back, remembering his childhood friend from New York.
The man who'd been sitting next to him finally finished his meal and took advantage of the sudden silence to launch himself headlong into the conversation, rubbing his fully belly with no small amount of satisfaction as he offered his thoughts.
"Phew! That was delicious! My complements to the chef! Hey, Firo, did you know that you can ask for seconds here, and even thirds? It's amazing. I thought the pay here was a little on the low side, but it turns out they make up for it by covering the meals!" Isaac exclaimed, grinning widely. Apparently prison hadn't changed him at all.
Firo heaved an exasperated sigh, but he couldn't keep the bemused smile from his face.
Hard to believe he spent the night in solitary...
"Did you sleep alright, Isaac?"
"Hmm? Oh, they scolded me a lot and locked me up and put chains on my feet, but I'm used to it by now!"
"Used to it?"
Ladd chuckled and shook his head, offering some explanation.
"Your friend the genius gets dragged off to the Hole all the time for stuff like what he pulled yesterday. Shouting in the cafeteria, making a commotion, that sort of thing. It's never anything serious, so he's back out in no time, but... Still, most people quiet down after their first visit to the Hole."
Firo nodded, then asked the next question that occurred to him.
"Have you been there too?"
"My longest was ten days. It's a real bad place to be, make no mistake. It's pitch black in there, so you can't even tell what time is, and they even skipped some of my meals. Only found out I'd been down there for ten whole days once I got out and asked someone else. And it's deep underground, so you can't even hear anything. Not even those gunshots we were talking about earlier."
Ladd paused, thought it over for a moment.
"That actually makes it harder. Think about it, you're tied up in the darkness. You can't move, you can't see, you can't hear. Just a minute down there'd be enough to bore you out of your mind. I hear there was another guy who went in around the same time I did, only he got to stay for two weeks straight. He came out raving and muttering, tearing himself up. They sent him to the hospital and he still hasn't come back."
Firo swallowed hard, Ladd's harsh description bringing the Hole to life inside his mind. He turned to Isaac and patted him on the shoulder.
"Isaac... I gotta say, I didn't think you had it in you to make it through something like that. Even if it was just for one night."
"Huh? It wasn't so bad."
"Whatever you say, buddy. In my book that's still something."
"Well, if you say so. The fairy kept me company last night, so it wasn't even all that boring."
Firo paused with his mouth open, taking a moment to process the word. Then he shut his eyes and sighed, shaking his head.
"...Here we go again."
"No, I'm serious! I heard a little girl's voice yesterday and we talked all night long!"
"Poor Isaac... All that time away from Miria finally got to you, huh..."
"Well, I can't deny that not being able to see Miria makes me lonelier than anything... but that voice was real! She asked me all sorts of questions from the darkness. I bet she must've been Tinker Bell, come to visit me all the way from Neverland."
"...I'm serious, Isaac, that's enough," Firo sighed, trying to cut off his friend's raving before it got out of hand.
"She asked me all sorts of questions, you know. Like how I knew you, and if I'd drunk the liquor too... Not very Tinker Bell-ish at all, now that I think of it."
The question about liquor would've meant nothing to someone like Isaac, who didn't know a thing, but to Firo it meant a lot.
Was she talking about the Grand Panacea...?
If so, that meant that Isaac's fairy really did exist. After all, it wasn't like Isaac knew about the elixir of immortality, and even if he did, there was no reason for him to lie about it.
Maybe this fairy is someone working for Huey...?
It bothered him a lot, he had to admit, but it wasn't exactly like he could start asking Isaac questions with Ladd eating right in front of them.
He resolved to ask later when he had the chance, and for now to try and brush off Isaac's flights of fancy as always.
"Alright, alright, whatever."
"You don't believe me, do you?! You know what they say happens to people who don't believe in fairies!"
"I don't, actually."
"What?!" Isaac cried, then quieted down, staring thoughtfully up at the ceiling.
"Well, you know... They say... err. Hmm. What do they say? Firo, any opinions?"
"What're you asking me for?" Firo retorted, looking to end the conversation, but Ladd took up his slack and kept it going.
"Well, we're talking about fairies here," he said. "Wouldn't they just make people happy, even if you didn't believe in them?"
"Hmm! I think you're right! Good news, Firo! You're not in danger after all!"
"Quiet down already!"
"Shut up and eat."
A blanket of hushed silence fell over the cafeteria, the last scraps of conversation fading to nothing as the guards gave their warning.
Firo hunched over his empty soup bowl and made a show of eating, trying not to attract attention. Making sure that the guards weren't looking his way, he glanced over at Ladd and hissed, "Hey, come to think of it, isn't Isaac the kinda guy you said you hate? The kind who think they'll never die."
Ladd only grinned.
"Nah. I've been keeping my eye on him for a few weeks now, and... Well, let's be honest here. There's something wrong with the guy's head. Getting mad at him'd be like getting mad at a puppy. He honestly doesn't have enough brains to know any better."
The news eased Firo's worries, and he even relaxed enough to joke around a little back at Ladd.
"...Yeah, I guess you're right."
"What? What's that about my head?" Isaac whispered from beside them.
Firo couldn't help but smirk and tap his friend on the head with his spoon.
"We're saying there's nothing in it that'd make Ladd here angry."
"What's that supposed to mean? Oh! Oh, I get it! You're saying you're willing to forgive me? Thank you, sir! You're a fine fellow!"
It was a little off the mark, but close enough that Ladd and Firo shrugged and let it go.
Mealtime in Alcatraz wasn't that long, but there was still enough time for the inmates to chat a little after they were finished eating.
"Huh, so you two're from New York."
"I've traveled all over the country! It'd be better to say that I come from America!"
Ladd smiled a little wistfully, a faraway look entering his eyes at the mention of the Big Apple.
"Heheh... New York, huh. I know someone who lives over there. He's a crazy guy, but I still think of him sort of like a little brother. He's a little strange in the head too, goes practically insane unless he takes something apart every day. There was this one time he used this wrench as long as my arm to dismantle a car, and you know what? He had that thing down to nuts and bolts by the time I was finished beating up the driver."
"Sounds like a weirdo, alright... Wait, what was that?"
"What's wrong, Firo? Aha, I get it. You're afraid that our friend here might beat up Ennis, since she can drive too? Don't worry! He's a good man, I promise!"
"Wha?! Wait. Never mind. Ladd, this guy you know, does he wear blue work clothes? And by blue I mean really blue, not like this dark stuff we're wearing."
Isaac clapped his hands together as though Firo's description had jogged his own memory.
"Oh, I think Miria and I've seen someone like that before! And I've seen him talking with Jacuzzi too!"
"Whoa, whoa, hold on a second here. You guys're telling me you know Graham?"
"Yeah... I heard he tried to butt in on the Runoratas' turf a while ago and now he's on the run," Firo said.
Ladd leaned back and looked absently at the walls, for once uncharacteristically serious.
"...Graham's in trouble, huh," he murmured, more to himself than to Firo and Isaac. "Then maybe I'll go help him out a little once I'm out of here. Yeah, I think I'll go do that. Maybe visit my fiancée too while I'm at it..."
"Your fiancée?" Firo blurted, looking aghast at Ladd. "You have a fiancée and you did something that'd get you in here? What the hell were you thinking?"
"I told you. I have something I want to do."
"Huh? Oh, so that's what you meant... You want to get out of here and meet here again? Yeah, that sounds nice."
"I'm going to see Miria again, too!" Isaac cried, utterly failing to read the mood as he butted in again. The thought of his partner seemed to have unduly excited him, his voice easily rose above the quiet chatter in the rest of the cafeteria and attracted the attention of the nearby guards.
"I thought I told you clowns to shut up and eat," the guard closest to them growled, drawing his club and advancing menacingly toward Firo and Isaac as they hurriedly ducked their heads.
And that was when it happened.
"You think I'm funny, shrimp?"
There was a raucous clatter as utensils and metal trays fell to the floor, instantly shattering the subdued atmosphere that had previously dominated the room. Everyone, guard and inmate alike, turned to see what had caused the commotion.
What they saw was a thin Caucasian man kicking and struggling as a huge black man lifted him up into the air with one hand. He gasped and picked feebly at the hamlike hand locked around his throat as it effortlessly raised him higher and higher, finally stopping at a prodigious height of almost seven feet in the air.
"Gaah... Guh... Ack..."
Wheezing and coughing, the man clawed at the hand around his neck and tried his best to escape, but the viselike grip didn't weaken in the slightest even as the man's nails carved slender furrows in the skin of his assailant's arm.
"Hey, those two're..."
Firo recognized them the moment he caught sight of their faces. They were the other two inmates who'd made the trip to Alcatraz along with Dragon and himself.
"You don't think I heard you muttering at me in the boat yesterday, you little asshole? You don't think I saw you snorting at me just now? These scars look funny to you? Huh?"
"I-I-I didn't la, ack, laugh at- grrk..."
The black man paid his target no heed, slowly tightening his grip.
"Jesus, Gig. Calm down, man!"
The other blacks who'd been sitting with the scarred giant tried to get him to calm down, but he ignored them as well, his thumb pressing slowly and surely down onto the smaller man's carotid artery.
"Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing?!"
The guards rushed over, hastily drawing their clubs, the tense expressions on their faces a complete turnaround from the almost comedic air of the day before, when they'd carted Isaac out of the cafeteria. Everyone in the room, Firo included, could only hold their breath and watch the drama unfold.
Everyone, that was, except for one man.
"Ah, looks like today's my lucky day. What do you think, Firo?"
"What?" Firo blurted, turning away from the spectacle to look at Ladd. The other man was slowly getting to his feet, unnoticed amidst the commotion at the center of the cafeteria.
"How does a guy know that it's his lucky day? It's a pretty iffy thing, don'cha think? I mean, a man's luck changes every day, according to his physical condition, the weather, his mood, the presence or absence of his close friends, of his hated enemies, of the weak who have to die and the strong who have to be obeyed. And then be killed anyway. So when a guy says, amidst all those changing conditions, that it's truly his best time, his really lucky day, I think that means something. I think that's something worth putting your life on the line for... right?"
Firo had only known Ladd for a day, but he still knew enough to tell that the other man wasn't normally so talkative. He felt a sudden chill run down his spine, though he couldn't say why.
"Well, then. See you later."
"Hey, Ladd, wait. Where're you..."
"Going? A good place. Just following the road ahead of me, toward the two I need to kill more than anyone else: that red monster, and Huey Laforet."
"Huey? Wait, Huey Laforet?!"
That was certainly a name he hadn't been expecting.
If Ladd noticed Firo's surprise he didn't show it. Instead he smiled fiercely, directing his gaze toward the hulking black man, the one they'd called Gig. He cracked his neck from side to side, looking as though he was about to have the time of his life.
"Something about the fairy your pal mentioned got my attention," he said, absently. "And I can't think of a better way to let off some stress and get myself a trip to the Hole all in one. Two birds with one stone, yeah?"
He left Firo and Isaac sitting at the table without a backward glance, stalking toward the center of the room.
"This really is my lucky day," Ladd mused as he went, leaving behind nothing but a lingering feeling of cold malice that made Firo shiver.
The guards had their clubs drawn and ready as they surrounded the huge black man in a loose ring, and there was a rush of footsteps from behind the firing holes in the walls as more armed guards hurriedly fell into position.
Some of the inmates stared raptly at the drama unfolding in the center of the room, while others looked pensively up at the small vents that had been installed in the ceiling. The ceiling vents were made to expel knockout gas in the event of a riot, but word among the inmates was that they had nerve gas in stock at Alcatraz as well.
"What? I ain't moving," Gig said, smiling easily. "Oh, wait. You must mean him."
His grip tightened around the white man's throat even more, cutting off his airway completely.
"You heard the man. Don't move."
All the Caucasian could manage was a choked rattle as his face turned blue, the feeble movement of his limbs growing weaker and weaker. It was only a matter of time before he died, though whether it would be of asphyxiation or a broken neck, nobody could say for certain.
The guards tightened their grips on their clubs, steeling themselves as they prepared to intervene.
But before they could act, a shadow flitted through their ranks, penetrating the loose ring of prison personnel. The guards couldn't afford to take their eyes off of Gig, but they glanced at the shadow as it passed and saw its eager smile.
It was the smile of something that had found its prey, but it was not that of a hunter.
Nor was it the smile that Firo had seen before, the predator's smirk.
It was not an expression senseless delight.
It was not one of mindless rage.
It was a twisted thing, driven not by instinct but by vicious intelligence...
The cruel grin of a murderer.
Gig grunted, looking down at the strangely gleeful voice that had butted in on his rampage. He managed to catch a short glimpse of a man who barely reached up to his shoulder.
Before his eyes could track up to the man's face, though, a shock ran through his abdomen and he felt something inside him creak in protest.
He'd been prepared for the pain of clubs against his skin. It couldn't be all that bad compared to what he'd been through before.
But the tremor that ran up through his body, rising up from the bottom of his ribcage, was far beyond anything he'd ever experienced.
Gig's fist went slack, sending the white man crashing to the floor as he instinctively doubled up on himself. His side went numb; all he could feel was pain and something hot spreading across his belly.
For a moment, he thought he'd been shot. He'd thought himself safe, surrounded by too many people to afford the guards at the firing holes a clear shot, but apparently he'd been wrong.
But the impact that shook his body hadn't been caused by a bullet.
Through the red haze of pain he could dimly make out someone talking to him.
"Now we can see eye to eye," the unknown voice said casually, speaking to him as though he was an old friend.
"Makes it easier to get a clean hit on you."
Gig raised his head a little, taking in the man's left hand hanging limply at his side. It was an unwieldy and inelegant thing made of iron, only a little more advanced than Captain Hook's iconic weapon. Gritting his teeth, Gig raised his gaze higher, determined to at least see the face of the man who'd put him in such pain.
What he saw was the back of a man's head, his upper body twisted around so far that Gig couldn't see the man's face at all.
"I think I'll explain a little more. It makes it child's play. Like taking candy from a baby. Couldn't get any easier than this. The way you are right now, it's incredibly, ridiculously, unbelievably..."
"...easy to hit you."
Then the man's body whipped around like a tightly coiled spring, his right fist drawing a keen arc through the air and smashing into Gig's face before he could even see the man's face.
Gig lost consciousness before his body registered the impact, his huge body lifting briefly off the ground and dragging a guard and a table with him as it crashed to the floor.
The thud seemed unbearably loud in the ensuing silence, an almost unnatural hush falling over the cafeteria.
The next instant, the black iron barrels peeking through the firing holes in the walls swiveled to point at Ladd. Reinforcements burst in through the doors a moment later, their clubs held ready as they locked down the room completely.
"You again?" one of the guards said, frowning, and Ladd just answered with a grin and a shrug.
"Hey, hey, what's with the dirty look? I was just defending myself against a dangerous criminal. You guys should be thanking me, and maybe chopping a good half year off my sentence while you're at it."
The guards just glanced at each other, nonplussed, and slowly closed in on Ladd. Perhaps they'd had some trouble with him in the past, for they didn't rush him all at once like they normally should have. Instead, they advanced cautiously, treating him as though he was holding a live firearm.
Ladd seemed to pay their caution no heed and instead pointed at the Caucasian man sprawled at his feet, still shivering and gasping for breath.
"The big lunk was about to throw this guy at me. Would've killed me for sure. Can you really blame me for protecting myself? I was scared out of my mind! Whew. You know, if I'd acted just a second later you guys would probably be carting my dead body out of here right now."
"...You honestly expect us to believe that?"
"Nah. I don't believe for an instant that you guys are anywhere near dumb enough for that excuse to work. And besides, the last time I tried it you chained me up hand and foot and dragged me down to the Hole. Don't worry! I believe in you guys! I know you all put your lives on the line every day you work here, and it's thanks to you and your resolve that I can subdue and control these emotions bubbling up inside of me... and focus them on just one person."
Ladd grinned widely and ignored the grim glares directed his way, instead looking over to Isaac and Firo and offering them a nod.
"Take care, New Yorkers. See you again sometime. If we're all still alive then, that is."
"Wow," Isaac exclaimed as he watched the guards escort Ladd out of the cafeteria. "So that's what happened! I didn't even know that big guy was trying to kill Ladd! Someone could have gotten hur-rrmph."
"Sssh. Quiet down," Firo hissed, holding a hand over Isaac's mouth. With hooded eyes he watched Ladd go, studying the face of the man with whom he'd been chatting amicably just a few moments ago.
What the hell is he thinking?
Firo had already realized that Ladd was quite possibly insane the moment he saw him going off to start trouble based on nothing but Isaac's flight of fancy. But the way he'd moved, and the impossibly powerful blow he'd delivered with nothing but his bare hands... These told Firo that the man he was watching was far from a mere maniac.
Suddenly, he remembered where he was.
I'm in Alcatraz.
It was a place where the most volatile criminals imaginable were gathered from all over the country, the absolute worst of the worst. Firo felt a cold sweat break out on his forehead as the true weight of his mission finally sank in.
"Isaac... Seriously, how the hell did you end up on this island?"
True, he thought his robber friend was something of a simpleton, but he didn't think Isaac was crazy, and he certainly didn't think that Isaac Dian was dangerous enough to warrant an Alcatraz sentence.
But Isaac merely looked oddly at him, as though curious what had taken Firo so long to ask, and began to explain as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
"Hmm? They just told me that I couldn't go to a normal prison, so they'd put me here in exchange for shortening my sentence. Can you believe it? They took it all the way down to just fifty days!"
"Fifty what...? That's it? Who told you that? Who's 'they'?"
"Hmm. He looked like he was someone very important. I think he said his name was Victor."
Firo gave a resigned sigh and nodded; he'd been half-expecting that answer. Victor's bespectacled features rose up in his mind's eye, already calling up strong feelings of resentment within him.
I guess Isaac was his Plan B in case Ennis wasn't enough to persuade me, huh.
Perhaps Victor had been planning it all along in case Firo didn't follow his orders, plotting to take Isaac hostage in order to capture Ennis, and then holding her hostage in turn in order to control him.
Firo balled his hands into fists as he deduced Victor's plans, his face twisting with anger. So tightly were they clenched that small droplets of blood dripped down his legs. A moment later, though, the droplets ran up his body and disappeared back into his fists without a trace.
Goddamn police asshole...
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