I cannot put into words how happy and overjoyed I am to be back in the comfort of my own home … even if that does mean that mother is trying to plan my wedding to John for the millionth time. I do wish that she would accept that we are just friends; it gets harder to swallow the disappointment I see in her eyes every time I have to tell her no or I change the subject. I wonder how John is. Mother mentioned he had called around whilst I as ‘away in Europe’. I’ll have to get some rest and see if I can catch up with him over the next few days.
Now to try and catch up on my journal entries …
So where have I been? Gallivanting around Europe for Mr Frakes on official work business … ha, if only I could have been so lucky! Instead I was incarcerated in Rikers on suspicion of being an accomplice to murder with Jake
‘The Buffoon’ Spencer being held responsible for the murder itself. Actually no, it’s unfair to push annoyance towards Jake (this time) after all he isn’t the one char-grilling people in broad daylight and it was actually ‘the murder’ of the other ‘gentleman’ that was in question. Death by poison they had said … the only death by poison that Jake will ever know will be his own at the mercy of that darned hip-flask of his. Anyway it’s hard to hold contempt against Jake … when he didn’t seem to be recovering from that beating I had feared for the worst and there was a point where a part of my heart had felt like a rose that hard started to wilt, with petals slowly drifting away me thought that the worst may happen but thankfully that son of a bitch is on the mend.
I truly hope that I never have to experience prison again! I found solitary confinement daunting and tranquil in equal measures … maybe that says something about me. If nothing else it did give me the opportunity to reflect upon what we had witnessed down in the boiler room, the prison history and all the tales we had heard along the way. When we were released back into the prison population again we had to bring Jake up to speed and I took this time to share the conclusions and realisations I had come to whilst isolated away. It seemed that Pearl and Alisha had also come to similar conclusions and we all agreed that whilst we couldn’t be sure what part the warden had in Bobby’s demise it seemed apparent that he loved Shirley deeply and was unlikely to have had a hand in her death. I think we were lucky Jake was still recovering from his injuries, he didn’t appear overly impressed at our group heroics or pleased when learning Pearl had a potential future as a nimble pickpocket. In fact for an instant I thought he been spending his time practicing some twisted version of Pearl’s withering look … maybe his injuries weren’t helping.
I had agreed that I would try to speak with the warden again but whilst I was trying to figure out how I should approach the situation we were frogmarched to the visitation room and not so gently shoved in. There Henry Winkler awaited us with news that our trial would occur by month end, that he had no information on the state prosecutor and that he had heard the Judge Scharnhorst would be presiding over the case. At this point Winkler had looked down at the floor to avoid eye contact … he politely explained the relevance of the judge and the simple fact that this judge sentenced nothing less than harsh and excessive sentences. Great a judge that saw everyone as a martyr … just what we needed. Pearl and Jake were able to secure a phone call each however which at least meant that Winker had been able to do more than get dressed by himself this morning.
Pearl had made contact with the Cabal on Alisha’s behalf. Dean had been cryptic but it had been clear that something was seriously off-kilter there and that for all of the Cabal’s power a competent lawyer was not a part of their arsenal. A Trog would have appeared to have had a better chance of getting us out of the hole we were in. I wonder if Trogs have a cause for legal aids??
Alisha and the rest of us had become increasingly concerned at the mention of Dean with a broken left arm and broken right leg. We had no idea what could have been happening outside of the prison walls. Jake didn’t offer up any rays of sunshine either. His ol’ pal Jerry had given him a heads up that Willis from internal affairs was meddling in the case and that character statements had been less than forthcoming. Apparently this Willis character and Jake have some history … some kind of past transgression that Jake wasn’t willing to elaborate on … Jake the ever floundering peacekeeper to all.
Pearl seemed to be have been cracking … she seemed overly jittery ever since she had been released from solitary.
With the situation as it was it didn’t seem like there was much to lose by talking to the Warden so I took a deep breath and asked the nearest guard to pass a message on … to tell the warden that I DID have information for him. I remember as I walked over the threshold of the doorway and into the warden’s office that my throat had become dry and when I had tried to speak my voice had cracked … my words a mere whisper. I don’t think I can forget the look on the warden’s face. He wasn’t angry or pissed off per se and he defiantly wasn’t overjoyed to have me there either but he was courteous still … he looked like a man tortured by his past … a past that we had been so eager to meddle with. I told him everything; the file on Bobby, being attacked in the boiler room, the locket and the note … everything. I had asked him to make me a promise that he would not put me in isolation and ship me to the mental asylum but he wasn’t able or at least willing to agree to that. Nevertheless I explained to him the five w’s and waited in silence. He gave the impression that he wasn’t convinced Bobby was innocent and it was impossible to tell from under all of that hatred that he he carried for the man if he would ever hold any different view of him. The warden fetched an old blueprint of the boiler room and asked me to point out the location of the file. For more than a second or two I considered misleading him, pointing at another location but what would it prove other than once again I wasn’t to be trusted.
Later all of us bar Jake were taken into the warden’s office. On the table we could see the file’s paperwork and Bobby’s letter, the locket was nowhere to be seen … maybe he has secured it in a safe place. The warden clasped his hands in front of him and rested them on his desk. He then listed off our transgressions and made it clear he had not been impressed that we had broken the promise of exemplary behaviour … unbeknownst to any of us at the time of course. What kind of warden would ever expect his prisoners to be exemplary anyway? It was only later that we found out about the money changing hands … no wonder he made sure we were ‘safe’ in there.
I remember that being the first night where we all slept well. None of us experienced any nightmares. I think we’d done what we had being trying to … we had stopped the haunting and brought peace back to the place – well as much peace as one can expect in a prison.
Baio. Baio. Baio … I wish I could hug that man to death. A very dapper, 30 something, competent lawyer. Apparently the warden had requested his service as he had come to believe that we did not belong in prison. It’s hard to confirm if the warden’s motive was genuine or not … he could have easily have been honest with Baio upon seeking his services or he could have simply wanted us out of his hair and for things to return back to normal. Baio had confirmed that there had been no tox report and that all evidence presented was circumstantial at best. Jake being Jake, had been tactless in asking if Baio was a competent lawyer and had even had the cheek to proclaim that he thought a competent lawyer was a myth. I wonder how Jake’s ribs are faring after Pearl had given him that warning jab. Ah Jake, will you ever learn?
It was Baio who had told us about Mr Frakes and his donations to Rikers and a few other local prisons. Like I said no wonder the warden was trying to keep us safe.
We were released from prison about a day and a half after Baio had first visited us. We made payment to Baio ($200) happy in the knowledge that the case had been thrown out and we could get on with our lives once more.
We all boarded the public transport and parted ways thereafter. I came straight home, I believe Alisha was heading to the Cabal and Jake had convinced Pearl to join him for a drink or two. He was still bitter about the fact he had lost a full clip of ammo … hmmm I wonder why the guards wouldn’t hand a loaded weapon to a man who was wrongly imprisoned and moreover one that had gotten beaten to within an inch of his life?!
I need to rest, I have an awful headache and my movement feels stiffened; prison beds aren’t overly comfy.
I still find it hard to believe how much trouble seems to gravitate towards my new friends. No matter where they are or to whom they are with it’s there lurking … waiting for that opportune moment to pounce. Maybe I should get out of all of this mess now whilst I still can … but is there really any chance of me going back to my old boring life? Would I really want to?
So whilst I was resting fairly peacefully last night it seems things were far more interesting for the others. Alisha had indeed gone to the Cabal. Things were much worse than we could have ever imagined. Men in black trench coats had stormed the Cabal building, Maria had been knocked out during the barrage and Dean had been unable to cause the intruders any damage with his fireball attacks. The twins had been captured and a ransom note had been left. Jacob & Sarah had left in response to the note and they’ve not been seen since. This had all happened around 5 days ago, a day before Duo and Chris had returned. The house protection seemed to have failed and Chris was concerned that it may relate to the talisman we had found previously. The talisman held the mark of The Seeker; some old order of Templars. Alisha advised that Chris had put it in a special lock-box that should stop it from being scribed again.
There was apparently some hoo-hah in relation to Dean not wanting to show Chris the note … the less I know the better I think. Alisha made it clear that I had to go get the file I had stashed with John and that I shouldn’t dillydally either. I guess that’s what I’ll go do once I’ve finished this entry and checked in on Mother.
Jake seems to have become isolated from his old cop buddies and there is some strange young guy looking for him. The young guy is apparently around my age with dark hair and described as being earnest. I think Jake said he heard he was around 5”9, slender yet athletic in build. Jake doesn’t seem to have any idea who this guy is or what his motives could be towards him. The only dots that he can possibly connect is that this guy seemed to make an appearance the same time that Baio did. Coincidental or not? Jake seems to think not but then Jake may just be being paranoid about this.
Pearl had left Jake nursing a drink and had found that the office had been broken into. Someone had tampered with the office door and then rifled around the office. Pearl had flashed her sword and smiled whilst informing us that it hadn’t been taken. Pearl and Jake believe that someone was looking for something specific and from what Pearl had said it did not appear like anything was missing but with Jake’s filing system they’d be unlikely to know for sure for some time.
After hearing all of this I had felt exhausted again. I was just about to leave when Pearl said that there was more. She showed us an English newspaper article. I was perplexed to where this was going to lead. It reported the recent death, an accident in Liverpool harbour … “Dock Worker Dies in Mysterious Circumstances” … “violent death” … “mutilation” … I had to sit back down. I was just starting to ask who this guy was when Pearl interjected and said he was the person who had helped her escape. I wanted to ask more but Pearl had that look in her eyes … the look of do not push your luck … the look of if you ask another stupid question I WILL crush you. I sat back in my seat and stared at the newspaper article on the table unsure of what to do or say.
I must go look for John, I hope I can find him and put any concerns and questions he has to bed.
Frakes, what am I going to do about Frakes? Frakes has done so much for me of late … he called around to the house to speak with Mother personally about my ‘travels’ and he helped out in the best way he could when I was in prison. I can’t decide if I am indebted to him for his kind, supportive actions or if this makes us equal for whatever affliction I am suffering from?