Ward OhmI couldn’t let them go, could I?

I woke up from dozing to the sounds of a struggle, and a cry of, “Let go!” An officer, who had been walking through the cells every hour or two was standing outside the far cell, and pulling back against something. I stood up, and tried to see. I could see the one of the men in the cell and reached out and grabbed him, and was pulling him closer to the bars. I frowned, watching quietly.

Other prisoners were not as quiet. Voices picked up, crying, “Get him!” or, “Knock it off, man!” Most of the prisoners seemed to be on the side of the ones currently molesting the officer, though. Perhaps it was just a vocal minority.

The second man in the cell looped something around the officer’s neck, as soon as he was pulled close enough, and the two men pulled on it, trapping the officer, and strangling him.

I didn’t know why I was in here, or exactly where I was. I did know that strangling a police officer was wrong, and I said, “Hey! Stop that.” A voice from the cell on my far side, my friend Bill from earlier, advised quietly, “Stay out of it, Stripes. You don’t want to be involved.” I looked over, and he was watching, quietly.

I sat down, nervously. Why wouldn’t I get involved?

The officer slowed, and stopped moving. One of the men reached through the bars and got his keys, and they let themselves out. They pulled the officer in to the cell and one took his clothes. He said, “C’mon, let’s go.” Voices demanded release, and the escaped men laughed at them. They started towards the door, the one in the stolen uniform following the other, who had the keys.

I couldn’t watch them escape. That would be wrong.

I stood up and stepped to the wall of my cell, and called to them, “Excuse me? I don’t think you should do that. You aren’t supposed to leave.”

This was met with laughter. The escaped prisoner with the keys snorted at me, and the one with the officer’s clothes pulled out his newly acquired gun, and said, “You shut up, all right?”

I shook my head no, and said, “I can’t let you do that.” Everyone was watching, and I was nervous, but I couldn’t stand by and do nothing. It would be wrong.

The two escaping men ignored me. When the one with the keys started to try keys in the door, I knew they wouldn’t listen, and I said, “I’m really sorry to have to do this.” and moved my hands out past the bars, so the metal wouldn’t interfere. The one with the gun shouted, “Shut UP!” at me, and brandished his pistol.

That’s when I shot the one who was trying the door. Double bolts of electricity left him shuddering, and unable to move for a moment. I fired off a single-handed shot at the one with the gun, who staggered a bit with the electric bolts. He cursed at me, and said, “Take that, asshole!” and shot at me. He missed.

The convict at the door had dropped his keys, and he bent to recover them. A single bolt from me left him passed out on the floor. My double-bolt missed the one with the gun, who shot me. He hit me in the shoulder this time, which hurt. My next bolts left him unconscious, though.

The room was silent, as the other criminals stared at me in shock. I pulled my hands back in to the bars, and went and sat on the bunk again. My shoulder hurt, but I knew it would be all right soon enough.

About this time, a crowd of officers came bursting in, and nearly tripped over the two unconscious men. An authority figure among them snapped out, “What happened here?” and glared at all the prisoners.

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