Chapter 7Mature

"Close twenty one! Cut on the water! Alright boys go ahead and shower!" shouted a correctional officer. Cell number twenty one closed.

The royal prison was somewhat of a dream for some of the criminal living in it. After all, being locked up was a much better situation than to be executed. In fact, most of the time, almost every crime in this city was punishable by death. For the fortunate few that resided here life was pretty good. Three meals a day, a hot shower and a place to live were just some of the advantages of being sentenced to stay here. There were few that deserved a head chopping as far as the law was concerned. Most times, the only people who were executed were realtors, murderers or traitors. 

Every cell or what appeared to be a cell was actually more like a college dorm room. There were televisions, dvd players, a personal shower, and a small refrigerator. Criminals here were treated like royalty. The treatment of the convicted was a source of controversy.

As far as the emperor was concerned every prisoner deserved to be treated like this. After all, the emperor wasn't always the emperor. He too was locked up. The difference between these inmates and the supreme ruler was timing and policy. When he was put away in a cell the prisons of Apalia were disgusting. Now? Some people would commit lesser crimes just to try to get locked up here. Where else could one find such affordable health care? It was free.

"One hour shower and then sleep time. Lights out at nine."

That was the words of another correctional officer walking around looking in cell doors. He made his announcement with a bullhorn. His voice was fairly loud. That only made sense. He was apart of the royal army. The knights had a division dedicated specifically to corrections. Most of the time the knights that were assigned here didn't have the qualities needed to be infantry or something intense.

Corrections was the laughing stock of the army. The officers did hardly anything at all. Cell doors could be opened at the push of a button. Prisoners were rarely aggressive or tried to escape. Why would anyone try to escape heaven? Not to mention that while it was the easiest job in the army it also gave any knight serving as a correctional officer the same benefits that any other knight got. Less work with the same pay meant that the prison was overflowing with officers.

An hour passed. Most were already asleep. Even in the world of realtors and sponsored there was nothing worth watching on television. All except for one man turned in for the night. All the inmates knew that staying up past nine was against prison policy and that they could be punished. But punishment for some wasn't an option. The only reason why this prison stayed in operation was because some of the prisoners helped the correctional officers maintain control. One such prisoner remained awake even though he knew the penalty for doing so.

One of the rookie guards came to room number twenty one which was dubbed "the special room." This room was utilized for the prisoners that were special cases. The occupant inside of the cell was definitely a special case. The royal armor gleamed with the shining of light from a plasma screen television that bore the evening news.

The guard tapped on the cell bars with his knight stick.

"Prisoner, turn off the television and go to sleep. It's nine o'clock."

Silence was all the correctional officer received. He couldn't see who the man was sitting in the room. He didn't even know who the man was. This was the guard's first day on the job. There was no way he could have known all the prisoners by heart. The knight didn't care who it was. He proved this by tapping on the bars again.

"Did you hear me? I said turn off the television. I can just turn it off at the control station but I won't do that. Not for anybody. When I tell you to do something you do it. Do you understand me, inmate?" It was clear what he was trying to do. New guards had to prove themselves to everybody locked up here. The last thing any officer wanted was the label of being soft. Prisoners would walk all over soft guards.

His instructions went ignored yet again. Instead of just going down to the control station and turning off the power he pulled out a set of keys, opened the air lock cell door and walked into the cell. He quickly approved the television and turned it off. That made the inmate stand up from his bed, turn his head and look at the guard.

"Didn't you hear me? You slow or something? You will follow the rules or suffer the consequences."

That didn't sit too well with the prisoner who only stared at the man trying to make him go to sleep. The guard pulled out a flashlight and flashed it in the man's face. It was then that the officer understood just who it was he was talking to.

"Uh, yeah, like I said, uh, go, to...sleep?" he asked in a very timid voice.

Still the man didn't comply with any instruction the guard gave him.

"I want to see who's gonna make me. Son, I killed more men then you have fingered little school girls. Give me an order? I was giving orders when mama had to give you suppositories to clean out your ass so she'd have a need for diapers. The day I let a grunt. Wait, what's your rank?" He stoped and felt on the knight's shoulders to feel for the rank insignia. He felt a single arrowhead. This man was a private. "A private?! Ha! The day I let a piss ass private order me around is the day I'll assfuck a chicken. Eat shit and die; private."

As far as the guard was concerned he didn't even want to respond. He lowered his head and his flashlight. Nobody even told him that this man was in this cell or he would have just avoided this cell. In his mind he was cursing out his superior officers for not giving him a warning. There were some here with special priviledges and special treatment. This profane inmate was one of those people.

The prisoner calmed down. "Do you know who I am son?" he asked.

A slow response from the knight angered the man again. "I believe I asked you a fucking question you shit ass private! I asked do you know who I am?"

Slowly the guard nodded his head. "General Brunson; sir. You were kicked out of the royal army for refusing to give the order to burn down a nursery filled with nurses who were falses. Your reason was that there were babies inside of the nursery. Most of your men and women protested against the emperor's decision to have you locked away here. Your knights were executed for treason. You were not executed because the emperor believed that you could be changed from your compassionate ways. He has waited over three hundred years for you to change your mind and you have not."

One other thing that could said about Brunson was his fluxation in emotion. He went back to a smiling face. It was if he was bi-polar. In fact, a lot of his knights thought he had a mental disorder. One minute he would take any man's life and the next minute he was refusing direct orders from the emperor.

"You do realize I could break out of this place anytime I wanted to, right?" the former knight asked.

"Yeah, that's what everybody says. But everybody says you won't. I was always curious to know the reason why you wouldn't."

"That's simple. I gave my word that I wouldn't. I accepted my punishment even though this joke of a prison is hardly a punishment. If I wasn't sponsored I would've died five hundred something years ago of old age. They said I had to serve ten life sentences knowing fully well I'll live forever if they don't kill me. Then again, they need me to come back to the royal army, take command from the weak and pathetic General Johanis and defeat the realtors yet again."

"I don't get it though. If you could just leave why not just leave? Yeah, this place is pretty nice but I'm sure you had family on the outside. Perhaps even..."

"Perhaps what?"

"Well, you don't like the emperor. You said you'd kill him if you laid eyes on him again. Didn't you give your word on that as well? Why not escape and carry out the deed? I mean, I wouldn't want you to do that and I'd do everything in my power to stop you. Still, it doesn't make much sense. With all due respect you're a very confused man."

Brunson laughed. At least this knight had courage enough to speak his mind and to dare say to the general what others wouldn't.

"You're right. Took me a few lifetimes to see that. But to answer your question, yes, I will escape one day. I'm just waiting on the signal thus the reason why I need to watch the television tonight. I got a feeling the signal is coming. Then, I'll waltz out of here."

"Right, uh, yeah, well, if it's all the same to you I have a job to do. So, sir, while I respect you I am appealing to your sense of fairness. Legend or not I think you can understand when it is time to be fair to everybody else. If one has to follow a rule then all have to."

"I understand. You are a good knight. You stuck your ground and insisted on me following a policy. I respect that. I'd gladly serve with you if I ever get back in the game again. But don't ever let someone intimidate you. You're just as good of a man as any other swinging dick."

He reached out and patted the knight on the shoulder, turned and laid down upon his bed. That prompted the guard to leave the room, close the cell door, and say, "Goodnight sir." He left. That allowed Brunson to think about what he saw on the news. The sign was the uprising of realtors. Brunson himself stopped the first rebellion. Now? He was on the side of the realtors in hopes of changing the empire for what he believed to be the greater good.

The End

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