Beneath The Darkness (SciFi Fiction : Part One of Two)
Everything was ready. Planned down to the second. Guards bought off. Tools sharpened to weapons. The rebellion was afoot. There was only one thing left to do.
“To freedom!” Cooper whispered, waving a cup of moonshine around and laughing.
“May it ripple through the galaxy,” replied his cell mate, and best friend Rez, toasting him with a smaller glass of the toxic concoction.
“May it ripple through the galaxy!” Cooper mocked him, “have you been practicing your victory speech?”
“Might as well aim high, don’t want to end up stuck with the likes of you,” Rez smiled and returned fire.
Both stifling their giggles, Cooper poured them another drink. Being the last night they would spend here they, “might as well finish it off”, had been his reasoning. It had not taken Rez much to be convinced.
Although it felt a lot longer the two had met in the mining camp just six weeks prior, and since about a week into the incarceration had discussed little other than escape. Rez was stuck in this hideous place after falling out with a well-connected neighbour, Cooper a drunken bar fight. Both got life, a sentence increasingly handed out by the courts. The two friends suspected that this had less to do with justice, and more with the resources needed for the seemingly endless wars that raged on.
With nothing to lose the two cellmates had decided, along with a select number of the other prisoners, to escape, or die trying. Preferably the former, but as Cooper had pointed out on many occasions, they’d only get one chance. His fellow conspirators, although not as enthusiastic as him, saw the logic. If they got caught trying to escape they would be shot. If they stayed here their fate would be the same, just slower.
For now though they kept up the weekly tradition that kept them sane. Moonshine after midnight. If they didn’t the guards would be suspicious. The mine’s paid employees weren’t exactly in a great position themselves, and for a generous share of the liquor they ignored the goings on.
Cooper reached back and, after fiddling around for a few seconds, pulled out a two-inch-long piece of metal. A scrap of fabric wrapped around one end made it easier to hold, while the other end had been sharped to razor on prison stone over the previous week.
“Not long now,” Cooper smiled, “we’ll see how quickly this place falls apart when it’s warden no longer has a head!”
“If you think you can remove the warden’s head with that, then you’re even more delusional than I feared,” Rez leant forward and took the shank from his friend, “but it’ll do the job.”
Cooper roared with laughter and knocked back the rest of his glass. Pouring them both a another, Rez noticed something he’d never before seen in his cellmate. Behind the bravado, the confidence, was something Cooper didn’t want him to see. Fear.
The prisoners woke to the unbearable clang that was the warden's baton banging along the bars. This was how he chose to wake them every morning. The grin on his face was a perfectly sickening summation of the sadistic pleasure he took in the way he treated what he called “his guests”.
“Morning my friends!” he bellowed. “I see you all look a little groggy this morning?”
Cooper shot Rez a look, this was out of the ordinary.
“Yes, yes, I am quite aware of last night's shenanigans. A weekly affair too apparently?! Well, I think an investigation is in order. Can’t have the guests of this fine establishment poisoned by booze touting miscreants now can we?”
He swaggered down the aisle between the cells, clearly intoxicated himself.
“Now. You all know I hate to see the many punished for the deeds of the few.”
The warden pulled a flask from his pocket and took a huge gulp. He paused for a moment, a smile crossed his face.
“Ah, that’s the good stuff! Now, down to business.”
His demeaner changed as he stood still in the middle of the aisle. Looking around, snarling at anyone who caught his eye.
“The first man to step forward and give up information on the organisers of lasts nights party will be given amnesty. Everyone else suffers the consequences.”
He turned back the way he came, heading towards the cell blocks entrance.
“Hell, I might even share a little of the real stuff with them?” he slurred slightly as he waved the flask mockingly.
Nobody moved. The captives automatically assumed everything the warden said disingenuous.
“Very well my friends. You know I hate to do this but......”
A loud rattling stunned the room. The warden turned, a curious look on his face, to see who had been foolish enough to agree to his terms. It was Cooper.
Rez watched as his friend was escorted from their cell. As Cooper left he flashed a smile at him.
“You know warden, I knew this would happen one day. Although, this is a little earlier than I’d planned.”
He winked at Rez. “A little earlier”, Rez knew what that meant. His cellmate was impulsive, but this was crazy. He checked the hiding place at the back of the cell and sure enough, as he had suspected, the blade was gone.
Thanks for reading! First time I've posted something in two parts, the ending will be up soon.
Update : Part Two Now Here!