Jason's eyes gradually realised that a cold, grey light was seeping into the rundown prison. Daylight. Rowan was curled up on the broken bunk next to him with her head on his lap.
"Rowan? Rowan it's morning. We have to move and find a way out of here."
"I was hoping I'd wake up in my own bed." Rowan sat up and rubbed her aching back.
"With your head in my groin?" Jason smirked and Rowan gave him a dirty look.
The first thing they did was backtrack to the office area. The barred gate was still securely locked and there was no sign of the van, nor had they passed any other turn-offs.
"So who the bloody hell's locked us in here?" Jason shouted, booting the gate savagely. "Hell I'm hungry."
"How can you think of your stomach at a time like this?" Rowan rolled her eyes and set off back down the corridor. They passed their cell and made a point of looking in the other cells too incase any offered a turn-off or a way out. The place was like a maze! Occasionally they'd come across a dusty or rusted sign with the Block and Corridor number on it, but that helped little.
"We're not lost." Jason scowled, looking up and down yet another row of derelict cells.
"Just a bit misplaced." Rowan picked up a handful of rubble and rubbish off the floor and piled it against the door of one of the cells, keeping it on place by a rusted metal bar.
"We'll do that every twenty cells or so." Jason nodded. "But I don't think we've been here before. That cell's door's closed." He walked over and tugged on the bars. "This one's been made into a sort of office." A rotten desk and a collapsed filing cabinet on it's side were inside. There was also a glassless window frame in the opposite wall.
"If that's a staff area then it won't be as secure as this bit of it." Rowan suggested. Jason agreed and began shaking the barred door. Dust and rubble began falling from the wall above it. "Careful. The lot'll fall in on you. The hinge side, Jason. Pull the hinge side." Jason strained with all his strength at the gate and Rowan went to pick up the metal bar she'd used to weight her marker down with. "J ... Jason?" Rowan looked into the cell infront of her. Two plastic boxes were on the bunk in there alongside two cartons of orange juice.
"What the hell?" Jason was standing behind her. "OK this is so fucking unfunny!" He bellowed. "Where are you? You arseholes! What the hell do you want?" His roars echoed around the deserted corridors. "Stay here." Jason ordered and set off running in the only visable direction open, the one they'd came from.
"Jason! Crap." Rowan watched him charging up the corridor. "Smooth move, dickhead." She growled and picked up her metal bar to prise at the hinges with. An eight inch gap was all Rowan needed to squeeze into the converted cell, but the time it took her to lever out this gap was long enough for Jason to have ran back to the locked main office and back ten times over. "You bloody moron." Rowan said out loud. Common sense told her to stay put. All the rows and blocks of cells they'd passed to get here had been identical so at least this area was recognisable. Rowan squeezed back out and retrieved the two packed lunches just incase they vanished into thin air while her back was turned.
"You wanted a split to test their individual resourcefulness and now you have it." Patrick Adams had undergone a complete clothes change and makeover during the 'quiet time' his stars were sleeping. "I must congratulate the audience on it's observation skills! You quite rightly picked up on Jenkinson's firy temperament and his predictable reaction to fight above thought. Thought, ladies and gentlemen. Our historical thinkers are predominately male, but how many of those males could have applied their mental ponderings under those conditions?" He pointed at the giant screen. "Could it be that our real thinkers should have been women? Are women logical thinkers, though? Or is a female brain as beautifully romantic as typified by Jane Austin, Emily Bronte and their literary sisters? Imagination is a wonderful thing, but could it also be a curse when left to run riot?"
Rowan piled as much junk and rubble in visible places as she could find. She kicked the rotten desk apart and poked the legs out of the window frame as a marker, as well as tranferring the packed sandwiches into one box so she could stand the other outside the cell gate. Where was he? He had to be lost, there was no other explanation. How dense was he? Charging off like the bloody cavalry! Rowan snorted and idly began glancing over a few dirty, tattered papers that had spilled from the filing cabinet. Slateskill! Rowan blinked a few times at the headed notepaper in her hand. She thought the place had been demolished years ago! They'd been kidnapped and brought to Slateskill?! Why?! Her shock slowly started to fade and horror started to replace it as she read what files she could decipher. Not only had Slateskill housed the worst of the worst but it had also taken measures to punish these monsters with terrifying barbarity. Electro-Convulsion seemed to have been a routine procedure for everyone, and Rowan seriously doubted it was for medical reasons, seeing as no anaesthetics at all were mentioned. Cold water jets for hours and hours on end were also used, as was extreme heat and humidity. Solitary confinement lasted for a minimum of a month and there didn't seem to be a maximum. The longest one Rowan found was seven years. Solitary really was solitary too, in complete darkness in a six foot cube. A shocking 30% of long term solitary inmates suffered total blindness as a result of it and that seemed like a 'job accomplished' seal for Slateskill. Sickening negative reinforcement therapy was also used as routine. Months and months of electric shocks and beatings until the 'correct' behaviour was instilled. The mentally deranged were 'cured' by flooding, even to the extent of inducing epileptic fits continuously in people with epilepsy. Violent schizophrenics were hammered into psychosis so the 'violent streak' could be accessed and 'treated'. Rowan couldn't remember the eventual closure of Slateskill, but Governor Stevens at F1 had pointed out a few 'long timers' that had been transferred to F1 from Slateskill, all incurable insane. She also recalled the actual number of prisoners needing rehoused being only a very small fraction of what must have been a huge number. Slateskill was a fortress.
Rowan went to look up and down the corridor outside. Her fear and apprehension was mounting by the second. There wasn't a soul in sight. She went back into the office and thought about what to do next. Going in search of Jason wouldn't be wise at all. Rowan jumped a foot in the air and let out a hysterical sob when a mechanical hum started up suddenly. Lights could be seen flickering through the window frame in the back wall.
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