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[IC] Tonight there's gonna be a Jailbreak

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Tuesday, November 28th , 2017
Blackstone Federal Penitentiary
Cell Block B, Cell 254
4:26 AM




Live in Blackstone wasn’t all bad. Sure, there was little freedom and everywhere you went, somebody was likely watching you. Nobody really liked each other, and everything was scheduled down to a point. But at the very least sleeping tight wasn’t an issue. Getting woken up in the middle of the night was incredibly rare, the prison tried to avoid it whenever possible due to some bad experiences.



So when suddenly, somebody knocked at Prisoner SH-202, better known as Synth, ‘s cell, it was enough to get her attention, even at this point of the night. What came after did even more for that. The clicking of the lock, indicating the door had been unlocked, and the whisper, easily audible with Synth’s ears. It was in Swedish. [“Come with us.”]

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Synth slipped into wakefulness and onto her feet. She was in her natural state; pale, translucent, hairless, like snow and ice. Her blood vessels and even muscles could be seen faintly through her thin skin. Such it always was, when she slept. 


If somebody was talking in Swedish, it could only mean they were targeting her. Unless Gustavus the Great had managed to sneak into her cell block. Which was unlikely. Whilst Gustavus proclaimed to be the immortal kind of Sweden, the farther of modern warfare (and indeed did have a supernatural ability in military tactics) he was also clearly insane and besides which his Swedish was pretty terrible. 


"Very well" she answered. There was no clue as to who it might be. But whatever the origin, it could not be ignored...

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As a response, there was a moment of chatter outside. This part was in Spanish, surprisingly enough. Synth couldn’t quite make out what it means with her only passing knowledge of the language, but after a few seconds, the food exchange window opened, and through it slid some fabric, which turned out to be a prison guard uniform on closer inspection.

[“Wear it, and do your thing.”]


Once Synth moved to do just that, and had adapted to a form that looked more human, the door opened, revealing two men, both wearing the full uniform. They both were rather tall and muscular, both sporting military buzzcuts.


[“Follow us.]

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Without a word, Synth slipped on the guards uniform. 


Like any prisoner, or at least one with little waiting for them, the prospect of leaving Blackstone was both exciting and terrifying. At the back of her mind was the prospect that SHADOW had come to claim her. 


"What's going on? some kind of drill?" she asked the two men, in English, pretending complete ignorance. 


Who knew who these men were, or, more pertinently, who knew what men were behind these men. They looked military, but appearances could be deceiving...


As she demonstrated. Her flesh bubbled and flowed, and soon a generic grunt in a uniform, complete with buzz cut stood before them. 


She held her nerve for a second, before collapsing to the ground, doubled over. The agony was crippling. It was too much, too quickly...


"gnhhh..." she moaned. 


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The two of them didn’t answer. In fact, they seemed rather antsy to get going immediately. They looked around the room for just a moment. Every door was still closed. And then turned back towards Synth, who was by now not doing too well.

At first they waited, then, once Synth collapsed to the ground, they became more active. Either one grabbed one of her shoulders, and dragged her back onto her feet. [“We have to move.”]

They didn’t wait for Synth to recover, instead dragging her along, fairly carefully, towards the cell block’s entrance. The sterile light was bright, even more so to Synth’s unadjusted eyes, only adding to the agony. Still, the two kept moving onwards, one checking his wristwatch more than once within just a few seconds, and growing more and more visibly annoyed.

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Synth [as grunt]


The pain started to subside from crippling levels, but it still infused his body. The bones still flared from realignment and his skin was electricity. 


"Where are we going? Why are we going?" he grunted, his feet now half stumbling along, getting their coordination back. 


Damn that hurt...


But with her recovering head, it struck her that the second of the questions might be more pertinent than the first. Expediency might be the order of the day, but surely they would have time for more than a few brute commands. 


"I need to know...not safe...." she mumbled again. 

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[“This is not safe. Keep on moving.”]

He spoke almost under his breath, clearly all-but calm considering the current situation. His partner, meanwhile, remained quiet. As Synth was now able to walk again, the two didn’t carry her any longer, even if both did remain conspicuously close, within slightly more than an arm’s reach at best.

Walking through this corridor was nothing special to Synth. Being escorted through it was more rare, but it had happened before. But neither of those things had ever happened at night. If it even was night, it was hard to tell inside the subterranean prison.

The three came up towards the guard post. One on each side of the door. Both, usually staffed by two people each, were empty. Just the safety glass, and the various cameras and switches behind them, the lights off.

[“Stay right here.”]

One of the two men, meanwhile, left and went to open the door towards the post.

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Synth [as Grunt]


The pain was subsiding faster than he hoped, but it was welcome all the same. He flexed his fingers alternatively, getting used to the new muscles, the new bones. 


This could be a trap. It could be a lot of things. 


He kept his mouth shut. At least for now. It was not safe to talk. But perhaps it was not safe, no matter what he did. 


Instead, he studied the men intently. Their look, their stride, their smell. They presumably knew who he was - hence the Swedish - and would be taken precautions against any clues to their origin. If they were intent on concealing it. But at least their scent might give clues. 


But for now, he nodded, kept quiet, and appeared placid. 



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The man moved inside, visible through the safety glass, as he went and pushed a few buttons. The door slowly slid open, something that Synth knew took a while. A built in safety precaution. Or perhaps, as he’d heard rumours, just old technology that they didn’t seem fit to update.


In the background, the various monitors. One of them showed the current area, where Synth and the second man were standing. Except that they weren’t there, the feed only showed the empty corridor. His other senses each revealed their own peculiarities, too.


Synth’s uniform was slightly different from the other ones. It was brand-new, as if it had never been worn before, judging by how well the fabric was holding up. And it may have been a slightly different fabric, too? It was hard to tell without directing any attention towards himself. As for the scent, there was salt. It was not entirely rare, Synth had smelled it before on new arrivals. A given, considering Blackstone’s location. But the guards usually stayed here long enough for it to disappear quickly.


By now the door had opened, revealing the common area behind it. Almost all of the lights were turned off, a stark contrast to the bright block. Still, there was enough to comfortable walk without stubbing one’s toes. The other man had joined back up, and the group continued moving onwards, the level of tension in the air clearly rising as Synth could spot the first sweat on their faces.

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Synth straightened up, feeling at home in this new brutish body. 


"[I can help, you know, if you tell me whats going on?]" he said, a touch of steel in his voice. He spoke in fluent Swedish. Not many people knew how to speak that; a level of covertness. 


He started just the most subtle of resistance. Nothing blatant, just a slight pressure against every push and guidance. Enough to insinuate that this was not going to go smoothly without answers or cooperation. 


"[I should not leave this facility. Its dangerous. I won't...]" he proclaimed firmly. This was a lie; to get out would be safer. But not if SHADOW were waiting outside...

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Whenever Synth fell back a bit, the men did their best to push him forward. It was, just like what he was doing, subtle stuff. The sort of thing one learned through psychology. But Synth, already cautious and with a good knowledge of these things, managed to spot it, and do his best to avoid it’s effects.


The man who’d done all the speaking so far seemed a bit more upset now. It was small signs that told it. A slightly lowered brow. Tense lips. Still, he did his best to remain calm in his speech. [“There is no need for you to get involved, the situation is under control. If you do not come with us you are in danger, so please keep up the pace. “]

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["Very well"] answered Synth, concerned. There clearly was something amiss, or dangerous. The man was not calm. This was not official, or at least if it was official there was extraordinary circumstance. A prison riot? and escape?


But why would they keep him in the dark?


He decided an alternative tactic. This time, he started pushing forward. Again, it was subtle - a pressure in the opposite direction. Would they resist, try to stop him charging on? would they keep pace?


Was the danger in front, or behind? from being too fast, or too slow?

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The two men gave each other a quick glance as Synth started to noticeable increase his pace. And then, they followed through, keeping up with him, always to his side, never falling too far ahead or behind. The common area was quite big, but thanks to the new pace, the three soon reached the part that Synth only saw on rare occasions, the exit, which led towards the rest of the prison.


The two men stopped, and looked at each other, one of them taking a quick glance at his watch. Then, he nodded, and turned towards Synth. [“Follow our lead and stay quiet. This is for your safety.”] With that, the second man went towards the panel, entered a keycode, and went through some of the further security precautions, including a retinal- and fingerprint scan, after which the door slowly opened, revealing the interior of Blackstone.


The monorail connecting it all, spiralling up- and downwards. The entrances to the cell-blocks. And all the other facilities. And somewhere, all the way at the top, was the part that connected Blackstone to the outside world.

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So...fast it is....


Synth slowed his pace just a fraction, to their beginning pace. The fact that retinal scans and finger print scans gave a hint this was sanctioned. But, he supposed, any system could be defeated with skill and will in tandem. 


The thought of the outside world after months incarcerated was tantalising. The yearning was there. But it was also mixed with a soup of other, more complex emotions. He felt wiser and older. But how would freedom affect him, now?


No. No room for thinking about freedom. Not at the moment. Focus on the present. 


["Are you taking me out?"] he asked, a fever creeping into his voice. 



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The door had fully opened by now, and the man who hadn’t really spoken so far already stepped through, while the other one stayed back for just a moment to address Synth’s most recent question. He didn’t say much and looked even more serious than before, brows low and a frown on his face.  [“We will bring you somewhere safer. No further talking now, move along quietly.”]


As one would expect, there wasn’t a lot of activity happening this late at night. A few guards were sitting in various checkpoints all around the platforms and hallways connecting the different sections, and a larger force was stationed at the Monorail, where the two men seemed to be heading, still making sure that Synth was always tagging along.

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Synth [As grunt]


"[No!]" he answered, resisting now. This had gone far enough. 


["I don't know who you are. Or where you are taking me. If this was official, we wouldn't be moving fast, or silent...."] she said, a little softer but still urgent. Still defiant. 


["I would love to get out of here. I shouldn't be here in the first place. But I am NOT marching into the hands of SHADOW. I would rather rot in prison. I would rather die...!"] she said, a trace of fury now. 


["So give me some answers. Or you will have to knock me out and drag me. Or at least, you will have to try...."]

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The men stopped, and certainly didn’t look happy at the new revelation. Especially since by now, they were essentially standing in the open, for everybody to see. So far they hadn’t raised any suspicion, as far as a quick glance around the room could tell.


While one of them moved, slowly, to seemingly get behind Synth, the other one, who’d done all the talking so far, continued to do so. He was whispering more than talking, turned to face Synth head on. He didn’t really move beyond that, his arms resting in a natural position on his belt.


[“We have reasons to believe there is a threat to you coming from inside. Not a prisoner, but an employee, with ties to SHADOW. We are here to bring you to a safe location, a covert action known only to high-level staff in order to not attract unwanted attention.”]

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Synth [As grunt]


It was a fair enough explanation. That didn't mean they were telling the truth, but it was totally coherent in Synths' eyes. He could only believe them. 


["Sure. I understand. Let us be swift about it then!"]


At least they had not cuffed him. Or pumped him full of drugs. That was, he imagined, a positive sign. And if they spoke the truth, he must be alert. SHADOW had long and strong arms. It was unlikely, but plausible, they could infiltrate Blackstone. And they would not even have to break him - although surely that would be there ideal. Just a few samples would be a gain for them. 


Reassured but alert, he pressed on. 

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The current issue resolved, at least for the moment, the three moved onwards, the man who hadn’t spoken so far leading the way again. They took the most direct path towards the monorail station, in the centre of the entire structure. Walking down took some time, but due to nothing happening, it passed reasonably quickly, even if the tension in the air was contagious.


They arrived at the station, where a guard outpost was, as far as Synth was aware, staffed at all times, like in so many places around the facility. The guard seemed reasonably distracted, and one of the men showing his badge was enough to get him to open up the gates to the station, the monorail already on it’s way downwards. Another patrol of two guards soon joined them, also waiting for the monorail.


It arrived and everybody got inside. After a few seconds, much to the obvious annoyance of the man who’d been talking so far, who had his back turned towards them, they began to talk. “Haven’t seen you around here before, you some of the guys who recently transferred, or are you just new to the shift?”


 He signalled for Synth to be quiet, before turning around to face them.

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"[New here?]" said Synth, his suspicions aroused. He did not whisper, but he spoke softly, slowly. There was no need to jump people up with spluttered, electric words that could light a fuse to an already tense situation. 


But if the guards were new, this was worrisome. Or they weren't guards. Perhaps AEGIS, or something else. After all, AEGIS had put her in here, and it would not be unreasonable for AEGIS to pull her out. Where they investigating SHADOW? had they a tip off?


Whatever the case, the stakes were rising. 


He half regretted her words, but they were out now and there was no rewind button. Let the dice fall where they may...


She gave a terse look at the guards - all of them - waiting for the responses....

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His response was swift. He suddenly was talking with perfect English, not even the slightest accent in it. Which was surprising in that he also sounded like a native Swedish speaker.


“Yeah, the three of us all are fairly new. I was active down in Texas. The other two used to work in Minnesota. All of us are part of the recent hiring spree, always rising up the ladder, you know?”


“Well, if you wanna call it that. Night-shifts. When nothing happens, and on the off case something happens, it’s bad. Promotion’s a strong word to use, but if that’s what you want to use, then go ahead. Speaking of which, anything happen on your patrol so far? “


“Nothing that’s worth mentioning, nah. A few prisoners weren’t asleep and causing a bit of noise, but other than that it’s been pretty quiet. Especially with these two. “ A quick laugh from him, with the other guard joining in, their respective partners just looking at them.


The smalltalk continued for a bit, until the monorail arrived at the topmost station, where everybody got off and went on their way, Synth and the two men taking a route towards the exit section. So far, so good. But from what Synth could tell (he’d never been up here before), the tightest security in the entire prison was, understandably, located up here.

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Synth [as Grunt]


Synth reached up to scratch his stubble, an unconscious gesture. Perhaps the seething memories were bubbling over into his cortex. Stress could do that, and this was, no doubt, a high stress situation. 


He said no more. This was a time for alertness rather than words. He studied the prison as much as possible; for whatever happened, whatever legitimacy this operation had, he would rather be free than incarcerated. 


What of the guard? Swedish? English? This was someone highly trained. Or more. 


And if nothing else, the exit to Blackstone would be where the answers lay, for better or worse. 

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While they continued moving forwards, the man leaned in to just give Synth a quick update. [“Though the checkpoints, up the elevator and we will be out. “]


They continued to move, everybody slightly calmer now, even if the checkpoints looked quite tough to crack. The men gave each other a few glances, but they continued to move forwards uninterrupted.


Then, the three were only some 100 ft. away from the checkpoints, and thus the elevators behind them, when suddenly, the portable radios each of them were carrying as part of their uniform turned on. It was frantic yelling.




It only took seconds for everything to spring into action. A red light began to flash throughout the entire cavern the prison was in, and every door shut tight. Sirens began to ring, as all around the cavern, security staff stopped what they were doing.


The two people accompanying Synth reacted their own way. One of them pulled something from underneath his jacket, some sort of metal disk, and threw it onto the ground. While a strange translucent light-blue sphere formed around them, both the men got out assault rifles. Not the ones the guards were using. That much was easy to tell, considering they had just extended in size, and also the fact one of them had an underslung grenade launcher.


The man yelled a few things, while taking a knee and aiming down the hall. He was yelling in English.


“Plan B, then! Stay down, move when we do!“

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Staying down was no problem. Synth dropped to the floor. Synthetic flesh was tough, but he would still bleed. And bullets hurt. 


["What's going on?"] he asked, not really expecting a reply. For whatever reason, the two men were silent. Need to know, maybe. Or maybe something else. Whatever...he couldn't get any answers from them. 


But the guns? Surely they weren't going to shoot the prison guards? That was beyond the remit of any rescue operation. 


["What are you going to do? You can't shoot the guards!"] he demanded of the two men. Those automatic rifles looked very advanced and very effective. He could only hope they shot non-lethal ammunition. 

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Everything had descended into chaos quite quickly. Synth could hear orders being shouted from all around the cavern, about converging on the location, about a breakout, about securing the perimeter. And he could hear the first gun safeties being turned off, the sounds of people running.


Directly where he was, in the meantime, it was a bit more calm. The man who’d not spoken to him directly so far had too knelt down, but instead of aiming his gun, he was using some sort of device shaped like a wristwatch, and speaking in German.


“Aktion 3!”


And then, suddenly it got loud. The two guards that had also been on the monorail had moved up, and taken a position close to the station. And as soon as they’d come into view, the man started unloading his rifle. A few well-aimed shots, even if so far he hadn’t hit anything. Meanwhile, the returned fire just seemed to get absorbed by the sphere surrounding them, the bullets falling to the ground after bouncing off of it.

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