Anyone order a huge serving of angst with a double side of torture and criminal intent, topped with a generous helping of depression and suicidal thoughts for dessert? =P
But seriously, I have a feeling people are going to start questioning my sanity after reading this chapter. It's pretty dark. So warning
: please don't read if you can't handle the not so subtle implications of depressing/suicidal thoughts, torture, rape abuse, etc. I kind of took all the horrible things and shoved them into this chapter. And it's a long one, too. Sorry >__< It's the final hurdle though, good luck.
----------------Chapter Eight: Advent
Niigaki Risa. Age 19. A university student double-majoring in philosophy and psychology. She wasn't too terribly brilliant, but what she lacked in intelligence, she more than made up for with her go-to attitude. During the several hours she dedicated to the various odd-jobs she worked, Risa would happily go about doing what she was paid to do while memorizing the words of Kant and Freud. When she waited tables, she engaged in awkward conversations about the id and ego to her customers, who often came back another day to continue their intellectual banter. While she washed dishes, she would read her lecture notes taped up to the walls above the sink. As she walked home in the dead of night, she would pop in her earphones and listen to the day's lectures she recorded on her phone. Indeed this was a woman that worked hard in all aspects of her life, with the strongest of will and self-discipline.
But why would a young university student allow all her time to be preoccupied by such serious matters? Youth should be spent having fun with friends and engaged in hours of mindless self-indulgence, right?
After work, Risa would usually be off well after hospital visiting hours. Thankfully, the medical staff took pity on the girl and let her break a few rules to come visit her terminally ill mother. Years of smoking finally took its toll on the maternal Niigaki, and she was suffering from stage 3 lung cancer. The chemotherapy and preventive surgeries were incredibly expensive, and Risa was having the hardest time just paying the apartment bills. Her mother's leave of absence from work forced the girl to pick up the slack, but apartment and hospital bills and tuition costs were piling up, and it was getting more and more difficult as the cancer progressed closer and closer to the serious stage 4.
It would have been all too easy to drop out of school to work full-time to support her mother, but to earn a university degree was the only thing the woman ever asked of her. Even at the ungodly hours of three in the morning, Risa would share her thoughts on those philosophical or psychological matters that held no real meaning to her mother, but just seeing the woman smile so proudly as she talked was comforting.
However, the time came when grades slipped. Her tiring work hours prevented her from keeping up with the demanding course load and sleep would often win the battle over self-discipline for her studies. Sometimes she'd slack off work unintentionally, and her managers would often scold her and threaten to fire her if she didn't get it together. At university, her friends and professors were growing concerned over the increasing amounts of absent days. At home, she would have to answer to a screaming landlady for all the grace periods she let fly by without paying a damn cent off their rent. The time had come to drop out of school. With that gone, she would be able to work more, and at least pay rent. At nights when she came home from work, Risa would share whatever she had read from the few philosophy textbooks she kept, to at least leave her mother with the reassuring impression that she was still hard at work on her college degree. That smile was all that kept her going.
The period of semi-smooth sailing drew to a close Risa had been excused from the restaurant that provided her with most of her funds. The other jobs she worked did not pay her nearly enough, and unfortunately no businesses in the area were hiring. As Risa drunkenly complained about her financial situation over dinner to her former university friends, the boyfriend of one of her companions had pulled her aside after the get-together and offered her a solution to her problems. Now sober, she processed his proposal with some doubt. It had surprised her entirely to think of this man as a thief, but that's what he was. Nothing too major, just the occasional breaking and entering, avoiding all those houses with dogs of course. How else could he afford his girlfriend's high maintenance tastes?
But times were growing tougher and her mother was getting weaker without the necessary chemotherapy to combat her illness. It was a small price she had to pay, but it was for her mother. It was always for her mother.
The first few times were difficult, but Risa eventually slipped into her sleuth role with ease. Before she knew it, she had more than enough money to pay the hospital bills and even go back to university. However, one night she and her partner got sloppy. Caught off guard by the sudden emergence of the homeowner and his pistol, both of them had gotten caught and arrested. After several nights of interrogation, Risa had unfortunately been discovered as being responsible for the various break-ins recently reported around the area. Though it was hardly a severe case or crime, the only facility willing to take her in was the all-female penitentiary in Yokohama, known for housing high profile female criminals.
When it was time to be shipped off to the penitentiary, Risa was surprised to be joined by another female in the police car. Her light brown hair was unruly, as though she had just come from a brief scuffle with a cop, and through her bangs were a pair of wild, misshaped eyes. The woman was smaller in stature but carried her chained up self with notable pride. Their eyes met briefly when the woman finally came to acknowledge her.
"Heh, good to know I'm not the only one being sent to this hell-hole."
The woman smirked and extended her handcuffed hands forward, jutting one hand forward over the other for a shake. "Tanaka Reina. Master thief. Who are you?"
Risa maneuvered her own cuffed wrists to accept the shake. "Niigaki Risa."
The smaller woman sank back into her seat, cuffed hands behind her head as the car began to speed off to its destination. "So what'chu get caught for?"
"Ha! How long have you been at it?"
"Less than a month."
Risa blushed as Reina laughed a little more loudly than necessary, warranting a stern glare from the driving officer through the rearview mirror. Reina flashed 6 fingers. "I've been at it since 6. Started off by literally stealing candy from babies. After I dropped out from high school, I ran away from home and lived in abandoned factory houses and stole my way through life. The only reason I got caught was 'cuz I was stupid enough to take some idiot on as a partner. That dumbass is the reason why I'm here. I'd probably still be out and sleeping in warehouses otherwise, ya know, living the high life. That's why you should never trust anyone besides yourself to get the job done."
The duo had arrived at the penitentiary in due time. Before they crossed through the gated entrance, they were met by a strict-looking woman. Her lips were tightly pursed and her eyes condescending through her dirty blond fringe. The rest of her hair had been bound in a simple ponytail that hung limply behind her head. Her raspy voice introduced her as the head of the guards at the penitentiary, Nakazawa Yuko. All while she had been directing the two of their daily schedules and duties (with Risa placed in cleaning services while Reina was in the factory mill making highway road signs), the duo had followed in silent awe as they took the rundown facility in. Not once did they meet the warden.
Before long the two girls had been stripped of what they wore and were hosed down to be cleaned. After tossing them their uniforms, the head of the guards had the girls parade through their wing stark naked, with the rest of the female inmates watching them as they marched solemnly to their cells. Catcalls and raunchy propositions for sex in the shower stalls were shouted, but the two marched on by. That evening, the inmates had put on quite a show with the taunting words they whispered into the night. "You won't make it here. You'll die in here. We're gonna get ya. They'll feed ya to the dogs."
Being new additions at the penitentiary was not easy. They were often referred to as "fresh meat" by the other inmates, who took turns ganging up on the both of them, separated or together. And often, the two had put on a good fight, but were beaten into submission, and it was not until they were bleeding thoroughly that the head of the guards would come to the rescue and beat the other inmates to match. Because of these daily confrontations, the two girls had no choice but to turn to one another as a shoulder to lean on, their personal pillar of support. An odd friendship bloomed in the battlefield for their lives.
It had stayed this way for a good year. The one inmate nicknamed Mikitty often cornered one of them in the shower stalls, and her croonies would surround her while she did more than cop a feel. The one inmate the officers called Johnson was often too high off whatever she got her hands on to be much of a threat, but her murderer companion Abe Natsumi was anything but friendly. Yasuda Kei was the loner arms thief that the duo only ever saw during recreational hours, usually off in her own corner creating makeshift knives with the pieces of scrap metal she horded from the same factory facilities she worked at with Reina. The Ishikawa, Yoshizawa, Makoto trio did not seem to want much trouble with the duo, but they did not make their time in prison any easier. It wasn't until an intervention by the penitentiary's beloved comedian swindler Yaguchi Mari that most of the inmates treated the new duo with some type of respect, though sexual advances from Mikitty were painfully unavoidable, regardless of how valiantly they resisted.
And it had taken another 2 years before the duo had been welcomed into the motley crew's inner circle, once again thanks to Mari. The older women had shared their plans of escape. It had been well-thought out and various aspects of the escape were already completed and primed for the prison break. Time was the only thing they waited for.
"Notice how chief is knocked up? We'll wait 'til she delivers. Then she'll be too tired and hospitalized to do anything about it," Nacchi noted, stabbing the vegetables on her tray with her chopsticks.
The duo conversed between themselves during their recreational period one day, paying careful attention of the head of the guards as she walked around the grounds with her bloated belly. Reina had mentioned something about being excited to get out here, despite not having much to return to once she was free. Niigaki, on the other hand, had more pressing matters to attend to. Though she was allowed to contact her mother through letters filled with fabrications of supposed university life, the responses had stopped coming recently and it worried her to no end.
"We'll get out of here, Risa, just you wait. Then you'll see your mama, just watch!" Reina said with a triumphant smile.
Risa heaved a sigh and smiled in response. She was glad to have met Reina, and only wished the circumstances from which they met had been different. "I hope you're right, Tanakacchi."
The little thief patted her on the back and flashed her a rare toothy smile. "I know I'm right. Just wait. And besides, if anyone's gonna get out of here alive, it's the two of us. Helluva lot faster than those old hags, right? I got your back if you got mine."
"Til the end?"
"Til the end."
On the night of the escape, everything had gone as planned. All Reina and Risa were instructed to do was to run, "run like the fuckin' wind" as Johnson put it. Kei had everyone in the circle armed and ready with her makeshift knives. Though they seemed ineffective in comparison to the guns the guards wielded, once the lights were out, the difference was hardly distinguishable.
And she was right. Once the lights were off and the locks of all cells magically popped open (as to how, neither of the girls were told in detail), out they ran with knives in hand. The few guards that scattered the interior were quickly taken care of and the members of the inner circle had managed to navigate their way to the exit gates of the penitentiary with ease.
What they failed to prepare for was meeting Nakazawa at the gate with her battalion of guards. Everyone was under the impression that she would be absent for the remainder of the month after having delivered her baby, but here she was in the flesh, armed with a gun in each hand. All she had to do was open fire, and the rest of the guards followed her lead.
One by one, the inmates that had gotten this far were falling to the ground in the barrage of fire. Risa and Reina did what they could to run the opposite direction to the other gate. It would be a tougher wall to climb, but it was better than getting shot down with the rest of them. They jumped over dead bodies, dodged bullets blindly, and cried out whenever the body of one of their own fell from peripheral view.
Before she knew it though, a white light flashed before Risa's eyes and the last thing she saw was Reina falling right on top of her.
Without any indication of time in this isolated cell of total darkness, Risa had no idea of the hour, day, month, or even year. All she knew was that about every hour or so, Nakazawa Yuko would enter her solitary confinement cell and beat the living shit out of her, just enough to make her bleed, open up old scars and make some new ones. Another hour would pass and this time a group of men would be the ones paying her a visit. And for an entirely different reason.
Yuko was nowhere in sight and her desperate cries seemed to be absorbed by the cold walls of her confined cell. Sometimes it was one by one, other times more than that, but still Risa hated getting visits from these men the most. In the darkness, she couldn't see their faces. She could only hear their voices and feel their filthy hands as they touched her, not even undressing her in their haste. None of them had been gentle, but some were more abusive than necessary. "Stop that crying, bitch. I'll make it hurt. You smell like shit, bet you look like it too. Dumbass broad, what would you do if I killed you right now?"
She lost track of time, lost track of the beatings and the rape. Before long, it had been just routine. Eventually the crying and the pleas stopped, but the abuse unfortunately did not. Yuko had stopped visiting, and as time drew slowly onward, Risa was only entertained by her unwanted male visitors. She had been subjected to this torment for a year. Risa had been broken.
One day, the slide slit opening on the door let in some light from the outside world, fanning itself into the darkness to reveal the shallow eyes of a broken inmate. The opening slid to a close, and the door opened soon after. The sheer amount of sunlight that spilled through was enough to overwhelm her eyes, and naturally Risa covered her face and scooted to the darker corner of her box-like space. As her eyes acclimated to unnatural sunlight, Risa could see a posh-dressed man standing before her. She wondered if it was time to undress herself again.
But instead the man came forth and unlocked the chains that bound her. "I'm the warden at this penitentiary, Niigaki-san. Tsunku."
When the inmate did not respond, he continued.
"I read over your files, Niigaki-san, and I stumbled upon some information. You seem to have a mother at the hospital right now, and in critical condition no less. It must be tough for you not being able to support her, hmm? Might I offer you a proposition? You'd be wise to accept it."
"What would that be?" her voice croaked, a harsh memory of what it used to be.
"I will be more than happy to help you cover your mother's medical fees, and then some... on the condition that work for me as the head officer at Project Morning. Due to your time in confinement, many things have eluded you. For one thing, since that foolish escape plot your fellow inmates pulled, the penitentiary has been under heavy scrutiny by government officials. They also, for what ever reason suspect fowl play. As they should.
"What you do not realize is that I have a business on the line here, Niigaki-san, a sideline expenditure that allows me to reel in excess profits simply because I can. And luckily for you, it was only now that you had to suffer the consequences of your actions and my business. Successful trafficking is particularly hard to come by, regardless of how many desperate girls are on the loose in Japan. More often than not, they cannot handle what they get themselves into and run amok, costing their employers their careers and business ventures because they themselves lack the will and discipline to overcome the pressures of the real world.
"Thankfully at this penitentiary, I have various women at my disposal. Wretched women that have done horrible things, so why would the government care if I do what I do to them? However, the government doesn't seem to agree with my views on this, so things need to change around here. Which is why I'm approaching you with this offer. You will no longer be subjected to the kind of abuse as your fellow inmates, and only the inmates deserving of punishment will have to suffer the consequences of their actions by partaking in my business. If you suspect any abuse from the guards, you are free to dispose of them as you please. We don't need horny bastards like those working within these walls and earning us suspicious glances from government officials.
"We will take on the guise of religion to add to our validity as a reformatory. God seems to be a universal crutch for these sorts of things, after all. And if any government officials were to come knocking at our door, what better excuse than the bible to dispel any suspicions? The justifications are written plainly in a book as old as time! But even if they are not convinced, all you would have to do is your business and deny any and all allegations that come your way. And in exchange, you are granted financial support for your mother's hospital care. If you agree, I will have her transfered to the best medical facilities in the world, with only the best doctors at her disposal and round the clock medical coverage from the entire hospital staff. Doesn't that sound splendid?"
"...And if I disagree?" her voice cracked again, from the several hours she had gone parched without the proper kinds of fluid to quench her thirst.
The warden tapped his chin thoughtfully. "I could very well kill you right here and now, but what a waste your body would be. My clientèle has grown quite fond of you, after all. No no, I'd keep you here, alive. We can play this game for as long as you'd like. Then perhaps after some time, I will come visit you and tell you how I personally went to visit your mother and had her killed."
Risa's generally unfeeling eyes finally filled with life after hearing the threat, standing up to her feet ready to strike if further instigated. "But why me? What happened to Nakazawa-san?"
------------When you lack the nerve to rise above, to fight the wrongs so plainly set in front of you...When the law becomes a lie, what's left to believe in?
In slid one bullet, followed by another, and another before she was forced to rotate the cylinder to fill in the remaining empty slots of her personal revolver. After satisfactorily leaving not a single slot unfilled, the head of the guards spun the cylinder to a close, locking it safely into place with a click of the hammer. She wordlessly stood from her seat, and using her free hand, dragged the wooden chair she sat upon to the center of her office.
Then, ever so slowly, she padded over to the far east side of her office where a wooden crib leaned against the wall. Inside lay her son, no older than 5 months, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he awoke. He peered up through his wooden cage, through the bar crevices that kept him safe and sound, to smile at his mother. It was a smile so kind, so innocent and unaware. Naturally it brought a tear to his mother's eyes.
This boy was the bastard son she birthed for that wretched man who raped her after she discovered the truth. Her disgusting scarlet letter reminder of how weak she was, how afraid she was to expose him. He was a five month burden, the single life that lived in lieu of those countless lives she took. All for the sake of the man who was too afraid to get caught and lose everything he supposedly worked for.
"Kill them all," he said. "Don't let a damn woman free."
She watched as the little boy reached his pudgy arms up into the air, goo's and gaga's filling the quiet room as he urged his mother to carry him in her arms. But before the cries elevated into something more distressing, the woman shot five rounds. Five rounds for her selfish satisfaction of ridding the world of the single life that man cherished beyond his own. Five bullets for the guilt that stole the sleep from her wearied mind and guilty soul at night. Five holes bore into the innocent mound of flesh that she could never honestly love, that she wanted to hopelessly save from the living in such a horrific world.
The woman then walked back to where she left her chair at the center of her office. Above her was a sturdy oak beam foundation that held a portion of the ceiling in place. Hanging around the beam was a thick piece of rope, looped loosely at its dangling end. Steady hands tugged against the rope to make sure it was held firmly in place. After deeming it so, the woman pulled the chair to rest directly beneath the rope. She climbed the chair, stood to face the rope, and slipped her head through the noose.
Carefully scooting her feet to rest a step short from slipping completely off the chair, the woman took the revolver to her mouth. There was still the 6th round.
Bang. And only the chair tipped over to the floor.
"...A premature termination of her contract. She has regrettably departed from this penitentiary...permanently -" Tsunku paused to lament, or at least give the convict that impression. "Now, what do you say?"
"...Is Reina still alive?"
"Oh yes, the rambunctious one," he said with a smirk and tinge of amusement in his tone. "She was captured and placed in solitary confinement as well. Barely hanging on these days..."
"Will you kill her if I agree?"
"Oh heavens no," he chuckled to himself as he turned to make his exit. "That's for you to decide, commanding officer Niigaki."
Happiness is gonna cost you extra lol
I scare myself sometimes with the things I write. But seriously, this is it for the torture and devastation. If I haven't scared you away completely, all the chapters from now on are more of a mind game than blatant evil. I promise. I swear. DON'T GOOOO~ COME BACK~~~ THE HEAVY IS OVER, I PROMISEEEEE!!!! ;__;
That said, I think I'll be taking a break from this fic for a while. The heavy is taking its toll on my well-being