The Cutting Edge Correctional Facility (CECF) was as decrepit as prison can get while still being functional, every pipe was rusty, every wooden plank suffered minor to sever water damage, despite being so far above sea level. The entire place was constantly afflicted by a large range of pungent aromas, from wet dog to death, and many forms of stench in between. Tristan found himself locked in the least disintegrated cell they could find, despite having a rich and vibrant black market most of the ‘regular’ citizens were unaffected by this, and thus the sheriff’s department left them alone, but Tristan had always been a trouble maker to this order. As a conman Tristan naturally targeted those who were most trusting, which usually meant the ‘regular’ citizens, but the youth seemed fond of him and thus the sheriff let him be, a constant thorn in their sides, they were very much glad to finally have a chance to rid the community of the last of the Bolt family plague. “Are you ready to die?” the deputy in charge of locking him up said with a grin. “Don’t be too sure, I may not be an angel, but you know very well I’m not stupid enough to go so far as to actually kill a girl.” Tristan said confidently, doing his best to stay calm and confident. “Don’t matter one bit, I don’t like you, and now you’re going to die, the firing squad has been sent for already, they’ll be here by the week’s end.” The deputy left him there all alone to contemplate his actions. Tristan sat there and thought to himself for a moment before picking the lock with the concealed kit from his sleeves.
“How do they think I’ve managed to survive as a con artist this long if I couldn’t even pick a lock?” Tristan said to himself as he snuck his way deeper into the prison, searching for the one man he knew could help him. It took him all of half an hour to find his uncle, Hal Bolt. “What! Have you found me a decent meal in this hell hole?” Hal said with a dark harshness only the Bolt family could manage.
“Why would you come here you fool, do you know what kind of trouble you’ll bring my way!?!” Hal whispered suddenly going quiet. “I’ll make this quick, I need to learn about a machine called palace being built by some guy calling himself Gear, he has a whole team.” Tristan said at regular volume. “Keep it down, or I’ll not help, I’ve an empire to run, can’t have you ruining it on a whim, even if you’re family.” Hal replied angrily with a voice like venom. “Fine, I’ll play nice for once and even stay away from the south point wear house for an entire year.” Tristan whispered with a confident grin. “Should’ve known it was another Bolt, I’m honestly glad we’re the only two left, as if the wire thieves weren’t enough.” Hal whispered calming down slightly. “I just need some help, I’m sorry about the trouble I’ve caused you, I guess I took after my dad.” Tristan whispered calming himself down for the first time in what felt like a life time but was actually thirty four hours. “The order of steal, and their leader Gear the Rebel king, are dangerous as it gets, but I doubt they’re the ones killing people, well they’ve been killing people for over a year now, but they’re way too careful to leave out a body like that, it can’t be them” Hal said thinking things over carefully. “It has to be them, when I went to meet Gale I saw Gear and that was around the place these people found her body.” Tristan said remaining in a zen like calm trying to evaluate all the facts rationally.
“I think it’s more likely Jimmy Axel, he’s been acting out of late, my associates are looking for him in connection with some missing stuff from the… Well you don’t need all the details; he’s just out of line and could be the killer.” Hal uttered in a rushed tone as if he was worried the guards would catch them. Tristan knew this was a sign he had little time left. “Just tell me everything you know about them, I’ll be looking into this personally,” Tristan reasoned with his uncle, trying his best not to sound like he was pleading. “Fine, there will be an envelope at the door of those friends’ of yours, tomorrow at around three, as earlier agreed we won’t enter their house or talk to them directly, this is the only visit to their neighborhood unless another deal is made.” Hal said turning away and walking back to his bed, signifying that no more words on the matter were to be made at that point. Tristan was pleased with his meeting, but was unsure how he would escape the prison, the jail cells may have been subpar but the guards were actually resourceful and did a very good job of keeping even hardened criminals behind bars, although his uncle stayed there by choice. He began by finding his way to the bottom level of CECF, and searching the supply closets for any spare uniforms, he found several janitor uniforms. “Perfect, they never give a second look at a janitor.” Tristan said aloud to himself.
“Won’t work mister.” A voice familiar called to him from the shadowy corner of the room. Thirteen the lady from the order of steal, stepped out from the darkness. “Hello miss, don’t believe we’ve met, I’m Tristan wonderful to meet you I’m sure, but you see I’ve got some important escaping jail things to do, chat another time though.” Tristan said as he continued searching the storage space. “Don’t you want to know what really happened to your older brother?” Thirteen inquired with a menacing smile, which in Tristan’s opinion was only menacing because of how crooked her teeth were. “I don’t have time for your games, you order of the steel folks are liars, and my brother died trying to steal from the wrong criminal, which is why I only coned the innocent, though I’m giving serious consideration to breaking that rule, just the once.” Tristan replied in the coldest and darkest of voices he could muster. Thirteen laughed at him. “You’re such a child, being stabbed does not always spell death,“ She said once her laughter finally subsided. Tristan looked at her, his eyes tearing up, and pleading for help, “I wish you could see what I saw, feel what I felt, know what I’ve always known.” Tristan said sorrowfully as he slumped over. Thirteen suddenly filled with sympathy for the troubled youth actually walked over to hug him. Only to find herself quickly handcuffed to a metal shelf. “You fool, I don’t care what happened to my brother, he said he would stop crime and we’d be a proper family, he betrayed me and forced me to fend for myself, I was only seven, you don’t do that to a seven year old.” Tristan said with his usual air of false confidence as he marched out the door sneaking past all the guards his face hidden by a mop his street clothes beneath the uniform of a janitor, he was completely invisible to them.
“Why can’t we go help him?” Asked Lisa for what must have been somewhere between the fifteenth and the thirty first time. “There’s no point arguing with him, Lisa, let’s just head home, maybe we can convince him in the morning.” Kaylie said with a yawn. Lisa disagreed, but Kaylie simply lifted her sister up and carried her away from the dark forest and back to their home. When they arrived they noticed lights on and the smell of freshly cooked food. “Mom’s home, I thought she said she would be off at a friend’s house” Kaylie asked confused. “Who cares about that we have to save Tristan right now, do you know what it’s like in those prisons?” Lisa asked angrily. “Not really, but neither do you” Kaylie replied as she opened their front door and dragged her sister with her to the dining room. “Hey guys, your mom said I can have dinner at your place tonight.” Tristan said with a grin. “You no good thief,” Kaylie said playfully.
“Did you guys know he’d break out?” Lisa demanded sternly, well an attempt at stern that was all but countered by her high-pitched voice. “Of course they did, what kind of con artist doesn’t know how to pick a few locks talk to his uncle chain up one of his enemies then sneak past a few guards unnoticed?” Tristan asked giggling with joy. “must you insist upon having such wild adventures without us?” Kaylie asked before chewing on a potato. “Yes, I’d hate to have you two get involved, though to be honest, I’m not entirely sure that these people were even behind it, my uncle seems to think it was this Axel bloke, he’s been making waves in the underworld, I’ll go look him up in the morning, but make sure no one is in the front of the house tomorrow at around three, I’m getting some info dropped off here, as I can’t return to my place and there’s no way he’s finding out where Blue lives.” Tristan explained before drinking some apple juice. He truly seemed happy, his life would be fixed and he didn’t even have to take on an entire army of lunatics worshiping some masked murder, that’s always good news. Kaylie and Lisa exchanged uneasy looks as they pondered the probable implications of informing their friend what they had been told by Rich earlier that day. Ultimately they decided to wait until after the meal and not ruin an otherwise good end to a day that began so horribly.
“He fell for it, twenty three; just liked our lord said he would.” Hal said speaking to a fat man dressed as a guard bringing him his food. “Of course he did, our lord is never wrong, number two, our lord is never wrong.” Replied the fat man with a devilish grin.
- Beyond the Cutting Edge: Chapter three (trueecho22.wordpress.com)