Class One: The inmate possesses meta-abilitie(s) that may set them apart from the normal human prison population, but does not offer any undue challenges to correctional officers or the local penal administration. Incarceration at Adder Island will not be acceptable.
Class Two: The inmate possesses meta-abilitie(s) that provide a serious challenge to correctional officers or the local penal administration. If incarceration within the general population of a standard prison is not be feasible, incarceration at Adder Island will be deemed conditionally acceptable (Level 2 Inmate Acceptance is conditional that the inmate’s abilities cannot be feasibly and voluntarily restrained in any way that does not place undue burden on the parent state)
Class Three: The inmate possesses meta-abilitie(s) that provide a severe challenge to correctional officers, the local penal administration, and the population of the prison as a whole. Incarceration at a standard prison would not be possible due to these concerns. Incarceration at Adder Island is acceptable for all Class three inmates.
Class Four: The inmate possess meta-abilitie(s) that make them a threat to regional or global security. These abilities make it either impossible or incredibly dangerous to incarcerate them among the general population of Adder Island, and must be held in the high security ward at Adder Island South.
Journal of Stacey Grey:
The first thing I learned about Sarah was that she doesn’t talk much. Which I guess is good because I want her to keep that mind of hers busy rooting out anyone who might want to harass us. That said, I kind of feel like I should have hired the werewolf instead; he may not be any more dangerous, but he looks more dangerous. In this place that counts for a lot, and two seemingly unarmed and attractive women wandering around a city-sized prison encourages a lot of bad attention. We seem to have gained a pair of white knight protectors as well; I have yet to decide whether that was a good thing.
Adder Island is a lot of things to a lot of people. To supporters it is a pragmatic solution to an unfortunate problem. For detractors it is enclave of segregation and inhuman treatment in the modern world. For those incarcerated inside, it is simply home sweet home.
I am now writing this from within the A.I.R operated Halcyclon Heights Hotel. The acronym stands for Adder Island Republic. This place is no more of a republic then this cinderblock tower is a hotel, but I am finding that more and more of the culture here is built on imagined nuances, and I have no wish to challenge the ruling perception. Considering my relative safety, I now have more time to elaborate on Adder Island’s unique past as well as the events that transpired yesterday.
The Adder Islands are a small archipelago of cold rocks off the tip of South America just west of the Falklands (Note: or the Malvinas, whatever; I aught to find the less offensive term before I print this). The islands were only recently discovered in the 1980’s and are thought to be the product of recent volcanic eruptions sometime in the 3rd century.
However that term may not be entirely fair. Many of the inmates at Adder Island are standard thugs, embezzlers, wife beaters, and drug smugglers; if anything the spandex clad maniacs are the exception, not the rule. Of those I have met so far, the two I have become most familiar with are the Luis and Peter. Peter I have only met recently, Luis was one of the men who greeted me at Northgate.
I entered the Adder Island air space in a large military helicopter with a pack of other prisoners shackled to the seats next to me. The orange jumpsuit I am still wearing merely had the number 2-4526 and the name ‘Bales’ written across the lapel. Olivia Bales, that was my code name. No one in charge of access to the island would ever allow an investigative reporter access that was ever more than a glimpse, a light and mirrors show. I was here to see the real prison, even if it meant becoming a prisoner.
The woman next to me was a legitimate meta-human, though not a legitimate convict. Sarah was professional bodyguard out of Khazan’s Lowtown district. She was also a psychic of some degree. The prison classified her as a class 3 meta criminal. We had been introduced through a mutual acquaintance, and after cutting down the list of possible bodyguard hires, I chose her because her mental abilities had the added ability of allowing me to fake having my own powers once inside.
The helicopter landed just outside the prison, and a few squads of armor-clad guards surrounded us immediately. I don’t know why no one in our group tried to attack them. Maybe they succeeded in looking menacing with those black face masks and assault weapons. But really I think some of the criminals wouldn’t mind a little gunfire, particularly the man with a body of solid oak (not a metaphor, a literal body of oak). But even if they had attacked the guards, what would they do next, swim?
The walls of the prison opened slowly into a large chamber and we were marched inside. The guards didn’t follow us all the way in and the wall closed back behind us. We were locked inside the actual wall of the prison until the entrance gate opened. I suppose they never left both doors open at the same time.
The entrance gate opened. I wouldn’t have been so quick out the door if not for the fact that the wall behind us began to encouragingly shove us out towards the opening like a cow-catcher. Once the way behind me was gone, I stepped into the prison proper. Buildings were torn to wrecks, smoke thickened the air, and nothing grew from the earth.
As I looked over our fellow prisoners, I realized that Sarah and I were not the only females in the group. There was one small-framed Thai woman with curling, black tattoos racing up her spine and shoulders. The rest were men of all ethnicities. Their age spread between those who were slightly more than boys and a few grey streaked men of a certain age. One man had no apparent ethnicity, as his body was made entirely from solid wood. Another had a second pair of oversized arms, but otherwise appeared to be of Slavic descent and roughly fifty years old. I was barely able to get my bearings before Jacob and Luis arrived, however I shall give you my first impressions of the area known as Northgate.
Adder Island is not uniform in development. Northgate was in a no man’s land between the A.I.R. and Commonwealth territory, so building was sparser then almost anywhere else. The first thing I saw was the tall black tower in the center of the island. You could always see the guard tower, and it could always see you.
Nearby there was a lone tenement shack that had been blown to smithereens on a nearby corner, but little else was even visible. In the distance, I could see smoke rising over the junk wall to the east and a cluster of cement rectangle buildings to the west, bespeckled with a few glimmering lights. Luis and Jacob came from the west.
Luis was talking in rapid Spanish. Neither he nor Jacob were still wearing the Adder Island orange. Luis was wearing a leather jacket that never kept a consistently brown color and looked rough to the touch. His hair was far more feathery then should be allowed in a correctional facility, and his jaw was strong and covered in sandy stubble. The eyepatch didn’t hurt his appearance much either. What can I say, it added a bit of roguish charm.
Jacob was from one of the many African signatories to the Adder Island Protocol, (Note: is it racist to start with that?). He was taller then Luis by at least four inches, not an incredible task, but remained as lean as a light post. He was shirtless and in loose, worn, jeans. Three silvery piercings dotted above his brow, and a black diamond tattoo was planted across his cheek. He seemed to silently tolerate Luis and his ramblings out of habit.
There were roughly seven of us waiting there. Luis waved at us all and plastered a wide smile to his face.
“Hola, hello, bonjour, ni hao,”.
I had expected a slightly less pleasant hello, considering that this was in fact a prison. He stared at all of us with some great intensity, and at the time I had no idea what he was doing. I later had Luis explain it to me, which had I known earlier, would have cleared up a great deal about what he would do next.
He pointed out five of us and gestured us to come near. We had no reason to trust either of them, but the alternative was to simply run blindly into the city. Something exploded far off in the East, but no one but me seemed to notice.
When Luis’s one-eyed gaze passed across me I could see him shake his head, and mouth the words “puta madre”. He tapped Jacob in the ribs and whispered something. Jacob laughed with a deep boom.
Jacob and Luis then went through a process where they spoke to each of the five new prisoners they were interested in. I didn’t know what they were saying, and often couldn’t be sure what language it was being said in. They began with the Slavic quadropod (note: word?), who caused them a lot of trouble. I heard sputterings of English with intermittant Spanish from Luis. When that didn’t work, Jacob tried French, but the man merely shot back in what I assume was Russian as well as a mess of four armed gesticulations. Eventually a younger prisoner from our group(not one of the five so called ‘chosen ones’), approached them. He tried to interject himself into the conversation, but was shoved aside by Jacob. When he stood back I approached him.
“What’s going on?”
“They want him to join the A.I.R.” he said in Russian accented English, “But neither of them speak his language. I could translate, but they don’t trust me.”
“They said ‘we don’t need any more *vulgarity*ing empaths’.”
The Slavic man with the four bulging arms was getting more irritated as Luis attempted to communicate through very slow gestures, a response that the man took as patronizing. The young empath then directly approached the man and spoke in quick Russian; things went easily from there on out, and Luis and Jacob begrudgingly accepted their original target as well as the empath. Then he gestured towards me.
Well, not just me, but me, Sarah, and the tattooed Thai woman all at once. Sarah placed herself in front of me as we cautiously approached. The Thai woman spoke as soon as she reached them.
“You guys are from the Republic?”
“Of course chica.” Luis sings out. Her English was a lot better than his, but again, that wasn’t a huge accomplishment.
“I’ve got someone waiting for me in the Amazons,” She says
“Amazons?” Luis says, “Chica, they sleep on rocks and dirt. The Republic knows how to treat women right.”
“I’ve got someone waiting for me,” she repeats, “if I go missing, they’ll know.”
Luis was about to retort when Jacob elbows him and shakes his head.
“We’ll take you as far as the wall,” Jacob replies in English, “after that you’re on your own.”
His English was almost as good as hers but still better than Luis’s. He then looks to Sarah and me.
“And what of you two?”
“We’re telepaths,” Sarah says, “I’m a level three, she’s a two. I’m Sarah, she’s Olivia.”
“Bullshit,” Luis responds, “You’re a level three, she’s a level zero, and her name is Stacey.”
I wasn’t sure how it would go after this. I wasn’t prepared for my cover to be blown so soon, and these two did not seem to be interested in the value of reporting. Still they didn’t make any obviously violent moves, and my bodyguard wouldn’t strike first.
“What do you want?” Jacob asked in an imperious boom. Sarah was not shaken.
“We’re just here to observe, we’re not going to start trouble.”
“Trouble, chica?” Luis says, “You are already in trouble else you wouldn’t be here; but we can protect you from trouble. You’re just lucky somebody else didn’t get to you first. Those Putas in the CW, aye Chica, you’re lucky we aren’t them. Or the Savages. Ooooh, you were very lucky chica. Me llamo Luis, and this is Jacob. We take good care of you.”
Sarah doesn’t see to lighten up. The Thai woman turns to her.
“You can relax. The A.I.R. Force would never kill any women, they can’t afford to lose the assets.”
We reluctantly agreed to follow them, but Sarah still kept her eyes locked on Luis’s oily smile.
The seventh prisoner had scattered soon after it was clear Luis and Jacob had no interest in him, and only the man of oak was left behind us. Luis and Jacob approached him and spoke. A few sentences were exchanged and then they just stopped. It was the only time so far I had observed Luis not speaking. He backed away and Jacob placed his palm against the tree-man.
There were sparks of light, violent lightning snapped from his hand, and struck the man. The wooden man soared back into a far wall and snapped into splinters. More blaring lightning rippled from Jacob’s palm, charring the man into the ground. Then it stops, the air is silent as the wind blows oaky cinders into nothingness.
Luis and Jacob both turned to return to their little gang. Luis was rolling off more Spanish again and Jacob ignored him as usual. They did not seem to be talking about what they had just done. I turned towards the Thai woman and asked what happened.
“He must have said no.”