2010-07-29: So is She



Date: July 29, 2010


Escape! The light at the end of the tunnel!

"So is She"

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women

In the darkness, her fingers rub together, the sound being the only thing left to hear in her cell. She's alone; always alone. Anything greater would be far too much of a risk, considering the number of people she killed. Dozens for sure, and more that have been attributed to her. Mandy is a living legend.

She crawls off her cot and onto the floor, pushing the mattress up to remove the night's dinner. Old food clings to the metal, causing the thick scent of rot to briefly permeate the air. She dared not flush it during the day, but now that the jail is quiet, she makes her way over to the toilet, breaking the bread and mystery meat into small enough pieces to dispose of. This marks the third day in a row she's gone without food, but the first time she bit into a roll and experienced the familiar numb sensation that the Company drugs had subjected her to for years, Mandy knew what she had to do. It's so tempting to lick the rancid gravy off her fingers, and yet so ensures that every last morsel is thrown away.

Allowing herself a moment to breathe, she closes her eyes, licking her lips, biting the dry skin from them and choking back her disgust as she made a meal out of that, instead. It's something on her stomach which lacks any sort of nutrition or taste, but at least it makes the growling abate for just a little while. Eventually, she steps over to the sink, where she washes her hands. The single, dirty towel is eyed before she wipes her hands on her shirt. If she could have stolen a bite from one of the other inmates earlier tonight - just a little one - it would have made everything so much more tolerable.

The worst part is that she has to rely on others for her escape.

By the time she limps back to her cot and pulls the blanket over herself, she's looked toward her cell door half a dozen times. When she looks again, she sees very clearly the red ribbon that's been slid under it.

Now? Now?

Her energy suddenly renewed, she pads as silently as she can to the door, leaning down to pick up the ribbon. The light from the hall, which barely makes it past the gap under the heavy metal door, illuminates the red welts around her wrists where the chains held her during her visit with the detective, Maggie Powers. The taser caused her skin to burn wherever the metal touched, but her message had been delivered. It was worth it, just for that alone.

Mandy wasn't capable of feeling fear, but she did feel a good deal of trepidation. This was an amazing feat even for her, she had to admit. If she made it out of here alive, it would be a miracle. Unfortunately, none of the inmates or guards here were worthy to take her life; it would have to be Maggie. It had to be Maggie.

If this failed - if she was thrown back in her cell - there would be no second chance. The Company would know she hadn't been eating the drug-laced food. They would find a way to take her out of here, and then there would be no hope.

Right, then. Flipping over her mattress, she studies the layout of the prison she'd drawn there in charcoal. By now, she knew it by heart, but there was no harm in taking one last look. Circled were the locations of all the guards who thought they were going to come into vast sums of money by helping her escape. In reality, they were spaced apart just far enough where Mandy could easily kill them and forge a path toward her own freedom with none being the wiser. If all went according to plan, she'd be out of here within the hour.

She has no care for them. They're a means to an end.

Tying the ribbon into her hair, she places her hands against the heavy door. She's sure that the noise that the popping acid makes, the stench it makes, will bring someone running, but the woman just outside the door who's 'guarding' her cell will see to it that nothing interrupts this escape.

Many minutes pass before she's able to crawl through the sizable hole she's made in the door. Acid-corroded metal drips onto her as she slides under it, but it only stings a little. Standing, she gets her first look at the woman who's given up everything to help her escape. The guard's smile turns to horror, though, when Mandy places a hand over her mouth and snaps her neck, all in the same maneuver.

It won't be long now. The others will eventually see the dead guard.

Narrowing her eyes, Mandy pulls the woman back through the hole in the cell door. If only she could reliably get through the brick and stone that bound her here. It's so thick, though, it would take hours. She'd never make it all the way through before she was found. Again, she'd reach her end before her escape even began.

She crawls back out through the hole in the door and follows the planned path to the next partition. It's almost sad to see the woman there waiting for her, expectant, feeling as if she's bucking the whole system by letting this one dangerous criminal go.

This was the easiest one to convince. She'd been living near poverty for years because of severe credit card debt. The sum Mandy promised her would take care of all that, and them some. For just a moment, the killer feels guilty, just before she covers the woman's mouth and burns directly through her neck. Because she's paranoid, she grabs the poor corpse's firearm. She's not unfamiliar with how a gun fires.

There's nowhere to hide this one, and so she has to work faster. The security systems watch for the use of keys for all the doors in the prison. You can't open a partition without someone knowing; of course, no one expects an inmate to go right through a door without opening it. Mandy presses her weight against this new obstacle; her stockinged feet push against the body of the guard to give her more leverage. It seems to take forever before she makes it through this barrier, too.

The next obstacle is the prison itself. Made up of a series of twisting and turning hallways, it's hard for someone with no knowledge of it to escape. Thankfully, she'd drawn the map several weeks before when her only obsession became escape. Despite that, she still made a few wrong turns. One in particular nearly cost her everything.

Not all the guards in the prison tonight were on the take. All together, Mandy was able to gather four of them. Getting their schedules to coincide was the hard part, and out of Mandy's hands. Getting them assigned to certain areas where she could easily use them to escape was even harder, and also out of Mandy's hands. The escape relied on perfection. Timing.

Not running into the wrong guard.

It's down one of the many twists and turns within the jail itself that she runs into one such sentry who would like nothing better than to put a bullet between her eyes. Add to that the terror of coming face to face with a quickly-convicted murderess and Mandy has a recipe for disaster on her hands. The gun is drawn and fired before she even has a chance to register that the guard isn't one of her guards. For the first time that night, Mandy uses her voice to utter a quiet curse under her breath, as she turns and runs in the other direction.

The prison is alerted now. There's no way she's going to make this a quiet escape, but she knows that whatever wrong turn she made has to be close to her planned exit. She doesn't run blindly; she knows where she's going. And if she can get there before they form a human blockade, she might actually be able to make it out of this alive.

She hears the shouting of the prison guards behind her. This mingles with the encouragements - and jeers - of the other prisoners, some of whom would love to see Mandy escape, thus proving that there is a way out of this hell-hole. The others would like to see her dead.

There's no time to pay attention to all that now. Throwing herself against the last partition - she hopes - she pulls the stolen firearm out of the pocket of her prison garb and checks the chamber. Satisfied that it has at least a handful of charges in it, she points it behind her, just in time for the guard who initially saw her to locate her again. The bullet ricochets off the metal partition she's trying to burn through, leaving a ringing sound in her ear, and then deafness. Thankfully, Mandy's aim is much better, and the guard goes down.

She wills the acid to work faster. It's already burned through her jumpsuit, leaving one side of her body almost completely exposed. Her skin is now in direct contact with the metal; the hissing, popping sound of the corroded steel is happening too slowly. There's sure to be someone else coming around that corner any moment now, and her weapon doesn't have an infinite supply of ammunition. As she worries over this, she realises that they don't know she has this power. They think she's trapped against the partition.

They're probably patting themselves on the back for the capture right now.

Eventually, she manages to get through the door.

Inside… It isn't what she expected. She's sure for a moment that she must have taken a wrong turn, but the room matches the shape of the one on her map. It's the only one besides the twisting hallways that isn't roughly square. Within is a whole host of computer equipment, monitoring software, computer screens showing all the security camera feeds in the prison. For just one moment too long, she stares at them…

Two shots ring out, both burying themselves in Mandy's stomach. The look of surprise on her face lasts only a moment before she falls, dead, the the security room floor.

"They were my friends."

Of course, Mandy doesn't hear it now. She's gone. The guard standing over her with the pistol wipes a sleeve over her eyes. That was for the others Mandy just murdered. For the others that she destroyed without a second thought. They had families. They had friends. They were all people - immoral, perhaps, in a lot of ways, but still people.

Now they are gone.

And so is she.

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