© Copyright 2007 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission
Storycodes: M+/mf; mum; wrap; encase; entomb; prison; nc; X
When a modern day trial is completed, one of two things happen. If the defendant has been found innocent, then he or she is free to go, walking out of the courthouse in the clothes they came in. If the defendant is found guilty however…then their ordeal in the justice system is just beginning. They are taken from the courtroom into the basement and changed into their new outfits…orange one piece jumpsuits, along with their new jewelry, so to speak. That of course, being handcuffs and leg irons.
Samantha was in that situation now, with the last leg iron being clicked into place around her right ankle. Already her hands were locked into cuffs that were threaded through the thick leather belt around her waist that held the cuffs in front of her belly, and the orange jumpsuit was on, replacing the tailor made Italian suit that she had been wearing only hours ago, now on it's way to an auction somewhere to be sold to a new owner. When the cuff was locked on, the two guards supervising her waited while she slowly got to her feet and began to walk, going very slowly. Not only from the restrictive length of the chain between her ankles, but from the shock, the numbness that was enveloping her like a thick blanket.
Loosing one's freedom, becoming a prisoner, would do that to anyone. Especially when you had gotten the sentence that Samantha had received from the judge upstairs.
The holding cell block was quite big, not a surprise
considering the size of the court building and the number of cases that went
through there daily. They would need
many holding cells for prisoners en route to their destinations. Today it was fairly crowded meaning that instead
of the usual one prisoner in a cell, it was being doubled to two per cell, each
convict chained to opposite sides of the room to be safe. With one guard making sure she stayed still,
the other walked up to the first cell door and unlocked it, swinging the doors
wide open, revealing a bare, featureless cell inside.
Samantha was sweating bullets as they led her inside, then over to a bench, the only feature in the cell. She was instructed to sit down, to which she hesitantly complied, sitting down slowly, mind still not accepting that this was happening. It took only a few moments to chain her to the wall and ensuring that she wasn't going anywhere, nor was she going to be walking over to the other inmate in the cell and vice versa. Samantha wasn't moving as the guards left the cell, then closed the door and locked in, sealing her in. A quick tug to ensure that it was secure, then they were gone.
The tugging at the chains was brief, little more then an animal instinct to try and break free in the hopes of dashing to freedom. "This your first time in jail?" Her cell mate asked. "Only the newcomers do that." No answer from Samantha, only a quiet resignation. "Guess so. Don't worry, you get used to it after a while." He raised his cuffed hands as high as his own transport belt would allow. "After a while, you even stop noticing them." His cell mate still didn't talk. "What's your name?"
"I don't really feel like talking right now." She finally said.
"Oh. Okay." Lowering his hands, the man pressed up against the wall, eyes closed, body relaxing, something that Samantha couldn't do even if she tried.
The two stayed quiet for a long time...unusually long even. "Hmm...they usually aren't this slow." The man muttered. "Usually it goes really fast."
"How do you know?" He smiled.
"I used to work in a place like this. Whenever you enter law enforcement nowadays, you start at the bottom and work your way up. The bottom of the ladder happens to be guard duty at courthouses. I was one of the guys who took people in these cells, locked them up, then took 'em back out once the vans got here." He glanced out through the barred door. "Must be really busy today."
"How did you end up here?" Samantha's question was quiet, almost whispered. She was still sad, on her way to being broken, but was trying to find something, anything, to keep her distracted from that realization.
"Well, it's a long story. Basically, I tried to let loose a few state secrets that the public isn't supposed to know about. The kind where if I told you, I'd probably be executed or worse."
"There's nothing worse then death."
"I wouldn't say that." The man quietly whispered, voice heavy with memory. "So...what are you facing?" The question wasn't answered for several moments, not while Samantha tried hard not to break down. Finally, she whispered,
"Life?" Her cell mate looked horrified. "What did you do?"
"It doesn't matter now."
"I'm afraid it does lady. It matters. It really matters."
"What do you mean?"
"Look, remember what I told about how when you get into the justice system you have to work your way up?"
"Well, I got out of here and into a maximum security facility. Little more then fresh meat to replace the guards who couldn't take it anymore. I saw things there lady, horrible things. Things the public would be outraged about if they heard it."
"You really want to know?"
"If I'm going there..." Samantha whispered, trying to lean forward, feeling the chain holding her back. "Then it's probably best to know what I'm going up against."
"I'm not sure you'd want to know."
"Look..." Tears coming down her eyes, Samantha glared at the man. "I know I'm going away for life. I know my life's over. But I need to know what I'm going up against. Please...if you know anything, tell me. I'd rather know then go into the unknown scared and terrified."
Her cell mate looked at her. For a few moments he seemed torn between telling her some terrible story or secret, or leaving her without knowing what was coming. But it was the look in Samantha's eyes, that pleading, that got through to him. "All right..." he sighed. "But you're not going to like it."
"I don't think I'm going to like anything I hear anymore." Samantha admitted." Cuffs and chains clinking, the man leaned forward as far as he could go and peered out the door, looking for guards. Samantha did the same, mimicking his movements. When it was clear, the man learned forward again towards Samantha, voice barely a whisper.
"Have you ever heard of Red Casket?"
"I think so...read about it online once. Some super-secret project with that code name."
"You know anything about it?" Samantha shook her head.
"Only that it's rumored to be a new procedure at secret prisons or something like that."
"Well...it does exist. It's real. I've seen it."
"Yeah...except it's worse then anyone on the outside could dream about. I'm talking real horrible things."
"Torture?" Sweat was beginning to come down Samantha's forehead.
"Not physical...mental. The worst kind."
"How?" Samantha's voice was very quiet now.
"Well...yYou know what I heard what happens to lifers? How they're kept?"
"In a jail cell?"
"That's what happened in the past. But not anymore. You see, the government doesn't tell the public that overcrowding got so bad years ago that they had to take the most extreme measures to house everyone who came in. The normal ones, the one years, the ten years, the fifty or sixty years, they were kept in cells like everyone else. But then something happened...a program was quietly put into place and given the code name, 'Red Casket'. Super secret stuff, stuff the public is never going to find out about."
"Then how do you know?"
"I'm getting to that." The man said. Then, lowering his voice, he continued. "After I got out of working at a courthouse, I was reassigned to a maximum security prison, the place that got the worst of the worst, the lifers and such. It wasn't pretty there, never was supposed to be anyway. I went along, did my job, kept order, that sort of thing. But then one day a guy in a black suit showed up, went to the supervisors office. Handed him a little folder that was taken out of a locked briefcase. It's read, put back in, the guy leaves."
"The next day, I'm called in with ten other guards. We had been chosen to oversee a new policy taking place at the prison having to do with inmates who had life sentences. We were going to be overseeing a new method of confinement that they were going to be put in. There were the standard non-discolsure forms we had to sign, but there was a new one saying that if we told anyone what happened, we were risking a life sentence ourselves. This was something the government wanted to keep under guard at all times. Being the naieve individual I was, I signed the forms and came in the next day."
Samantha, leaning forward as far as her restraints would allow, listened.
"Well, we're taken below into the basement and find, of all things, a hundred metal boxes that really look more like coffins, all of them colored a shiny metallic red. We have no idea what those are for, but we're quickly briefed. Due to the overcrowding of our prisons, the government decided that they needed a better way to store prisoners. They eventually decided that keeping them stored in boxes and stacking them one on top of another was the most space efficent way. Before it could be done with all inmates though, it was going to be tested on the undesirables, the inmates nobody would miss. Enter the lifers."
"The first inmate comes on. He's going to be the first person in the world to try this out. He's in cuffs and wearing a jumpsuit, but then he's stripped naked, injected with some sort of drug and laid out on a table. Some of the government guys walk up and open a case, pull out miles of what look like electrical bandages. But first they instruct the medical guy on our team to hook up enemas, feeding and watering tubes, which they do. And then, right before our eyes...they wrap the guy up in those electrical bandages. They're a dark red color, wound around and around the guy, going over his enemas and tubes and everything. And all that time, he's just lying there, not doing a thing...except his eyes. They're spinning around, trying to see what's going on. And those eyes of his...they were big and terrified, like knowing that that somethings happening that you have no power to stop, no way to get out...knowing that you're just a hunk of meat that can't defend itself. Turns out that the drug they hit him with was instant paralysis. You can't move, can't talk. You can think. You can look around, you can breathe...but you can't move."
"To make a long story short, they finish wrapping him head to toe, turning him into what looks like an Egyptian mummy. There's no skin showing on him, only the tubes that are coming out from under the wrappings. Then they wrap him again, then again, then again, doing him four times. By that time I think the chemicals were wearing off because he was starting to wiggle in that cocoon of his. Maybe screaming, maybe pleading, couldn't tell. All I heard was muffled somethings coming from his wrapped up head. Then they pick him up and carry him over to one of the boxes. They put him up, hook up the tubes, take some built in straps and strap him down so he really can't move. Can't even wiggle. "
Samantha's eyes were wide now...as wide as the prisoner the man was talking about.
"The feds make sure everything's all connected and in place. And then the lid went on. The guy inside was screaming now, I had no doubt about that. He was still trying to wiggle underneath the straps and the wrappin when the lid was closed and sealed in place. The coffin, the feds explained, was specially designed for the purpose of long term confinement. Everything the human body gave out would be recyled and fed back to him or her indefinitly, including air. A little self-contained environment from which a person could live for upwards of eighty, maybe even ninety years. The red shiny outside of the coffin was meerly insulating material to keep the coffin cool in the summer, warm in the winter. Then the coffin was placed on a conveyor belt and wheeled away down a hole towards a specially constructed underground storage facility. I never went down there, but I heard from some of the other guards that it could store up to a million people."
The man gulped, paused to catch his breath. The memories were taxing on him, judging by the sweat. "Anyway...that was the first day. We learned over the next few months how to wrap a human being, how to ensure that they couldn't move, how to hook everything up and how to tie them down. I must say that for the first year or so, I got a big kick out of it. Watching all the lifers be marched down into the basement one at a time, maybe even ten if the warden wanted them to get a glimpse of what was going to happen to them, watching them stand and wait. I got turned on wrapping up the female prisoners. Nobody objected to jiggling of breasts. When nobody was watching, we'd even fucked her while she was lying there. I mean, we figured, if she was going to be entombed for life, who was going to notice? And watching them wiggle in their wrappings when they were being strapped down and sealed in...I loved my job because I was horny all the time. I LOVED wrapping people up and sealing them away..."
Then the man's face began to soften into regret.
"But then things began to change."
"Well, after a year of doing it...some of the thrill, some of the eroticism began to fade away. I started feeling more and more sorry for the people who I was wrapping up and putting into storage. Watching them struggle, hearing them scream as they were sealed inside those coffins...I began to wonder if what we were doing was really justice. I mean, they were lifers because they had done some really awful things, but...was entombing them alive for life really justice? Or was it just cruelty? The more and more we went on the more I began to feel bad...even guilty about what I did."
"The one big turning point came when a couple was buried. They were fairly young, seemed like newlyweds even. I don't know what they did, but they came down into our basement one day, shaved and naked, held apart by the guards. Orders came down from the warden to wrap them at the same time, but not together. We did it, wrapping the man and the woman up. But even though they couldn't speak due to the drugs, I noticed that their eyes never left each other. They just looked at each other the entire time both of them were being mummified. They were still looking at each other when their eyes were covered up. And when I moved the guy into his coffin, I could swear I could hear him crying under the wrappings. A lot of the inmates did, but this was different...it sounded like someone who was so full of grief that they would rather die. I never did feel the same after the two coffins were carted away."
"Didn't you try to get out of it?"
"Well, yes, but it turns out that those forms we signed had some tiny print we wern't told about. Because this was super secret stuff, the government wasn't taking any risks. Once we signed that contract, the tiny print said, we were agreeing to take the job for life with no possibility of leaving. Our medical guy found out about it first when he tried to leave. I think he was the other guy who felt guilty about what he was doing, couldn't stand that instead of helping others, he was condemning them to a fate worse then death. So he tried to leave, then was told to look at his contract. He saw the small print, his face turned white. Then he tried to escape one night. Move out of the country, just anywhere to get away." With a choke, the man paused briefly. "When we next saw him, he was brought in naked like all the other inmates. We were forced to wrap him up and prepare him for life internment like everyone else. That really shook all of us to our core. But we had no choice. We had to do it. So we wrapped him up, all while his eyes looked at us in terror, sheer, sheer terror. Perhaps he was asking us to make a mistake so he could die. But eventually he was wrapped, placed into his own coffin and carted away." The man paused again, took a deep breath. "After that, I decided that I had to expose this whole thing no matter what it took. Watching one of my friends be entombed like that showed me how evil this whole Red Casket fiasco is. Knowing that he's still alive, still down there five years later gets to me."
"What happened after that?"
"To make a long story short, I tried the same thing he did. Break away in the dead of night, try to get out of the country. But I did the really bad thing to. I sent out incriminating letters to all the major newspapers. Well, when they caught me the feds were REALLY pissed off. So I was given a secret trial, and now here I am." He raised his handcuffs, shaking them slightly. "About to be shipped off somewhere, never to be seen again. That's the story of my life."
Samantha was now as white as a ghost. "So...it's still happening?"
"Yes. I don't know if the FBI got their hands on those letters, but I'm hoping the news stations are going to get the word out, let people know. But until then..." The man looked at Samantha. "I'm afraid that you...." He couldn't finish his words, not upon seeing Samantha's look of sheer terror.
"So...am I...." She whimpered. The man didn't answer that question. The answer was obvious. "Oh god...oh god oh god no, that' can't be true...that's inhumane. It's cruel, they wouldn't do that..." Samantha's voice was, understandably, shaking.
"Try telling the government that. We've got thousands of people all buried where I worked, no doubt thousands, maybe millions more around the country. Millions of lifers, just vanishing, never, ever to be seen again. All of them wrapped up like mummies, stored together." Samantha was crying now, tears dropping to the floor, realizing that everything her cell mate had described was to be her fate. It was only a matter of time before she too joined the many entombed away from the public eye.
"What is it like?" She sobbed through her tears.
"What is it like, being wrapped up?"
"I don't know. I've never been wrapped myself."
"Does it hurt?"
"No. No, it doesn't." He told her. "It doesn't hurt at all."
"Yes. Being wrapped doesn't hurt. The bandages may be high tech, but they're soft. You'll be wrapped up multiple times, but it won't hurt."
"What...what about the casket?" She asked, still weeping.
"Well..." the man said quietly. "...it's hard and it will hurt. Your bandages will provide some cushioning, but it's still going to be hard and stiff. The straps will keep you from moving, so you'll have to try and wiggle frequently to keep from getting sores."
"What can I do?" Samantha wept, not really asking anyone in paticular. "What am I going to do?" The man looked at her. He felt sorry for her, sorry for what she was going to go through. If this was a year ago, she simply would have been another lifer who was going to be turned into a living mummy to be sealed away in a casket and buried for life. Now though...now it was different. She was a human just like him...vulnerable...open and full of fear...just like him.
"Just try to take it one day at a time." He said quietly to the woman with the life sentence. "Try to just focus on what's with you instead of the future. Try to focus only on the present. I don't know if loosing your mind would help, but it may." Samantha didn't answer, only kept crying. "Do you like BDSM?" The question was random enough to jolt Samantha into noticing him.
"Do you like BDSM?" She sniffed.
"Well...maybe you could try to get turned on and see how many times you can...well...you know..."
"I don't think that's going to help much." Samantha sobbed. "It won't help!" More tears flowed.
"Well...the only other thing I can think of is holding onto the hope that those letters got out, that the news is going to look into this, and that you'll be released someday."
For a moment Samantha seemed torn between answering and continuing to cry...but before she could give any reply, there was the sound of footsteps coming up to the cell door. The guards had returned and they were looking at her. "Time to go."
The door was unlocked and swung open, the guards walking inside. One stood in front of Samantha while the other went behind her and unlocked the chains bolting her to the wall. Now, more then ever, Samantha looked like she was about to die of fright, maybe of shock. Hands took her shoulders and pushed, trying to get her to walk. She did, but stumbling more then before. Legs trembled as their owner contemplated running, almost did, forgetting the cuffs locked around her ankles. As she was slowly marched off, Samantha managed a glance back at the man, face full of fear, pleading for help, any help, that he could give her.
But he couldn't help her. Couldn't help her avoid her fate. All he could manage was a quiet, sorrow filled, "Good luck." They were not nearly enough for Samantha, who was marched out of the room and down the hallway, out of sight. The sound of her footsteps grew quiet and then vanished as she was gone. With her gone, the remaining guard closed the cell door and locked it, leaving the man alone inside once again. "Sit tight. Your van is going to be here in a few minutes." Turning, the guard walked away, no doubt off to move some other prisoner.
The man in the cell stared at the hallway. He thought he heard a distant sob, but the noise from the other holding cells muted it. Chains and cuffs clinking, he sat back against the wall, grimly realizing that there was nothing left to do now but wait for the van that would take him away to arrive.
He wondered if he was going to break down when he was going to be carried to his own red casket.