~ Ten Months Later ~
Some people find religion behind bars. Some see the error of their ways and vow to reform. Some are made more violent. The Redressers had been awaiting trial in jail for fifteen months and Carl had a sudden burst of insight.
“Man, jail sucks!”
Mia, Kathryn, and Frankenstein glanced at him and settled back into their own interior monologues, which were immediately interrupted by Carl again.
“Seriously! This place is the worst.”
“Prison is worse,” Mia said. “When we’re found guilty and sent there, this is gonna seem like a vacation. From what I hear, the gangs are a lot more dangerous.”
“The lockup gangs may not be violent,” Frankenstein said, “but they’re so incredibly irritating! They’re either having episodes because they stopped taking their meds or they’re just sloppy drunks.”
Kathryn rolled over on her bed, threw up, and fell over the side into the vomit. She sat up, barely noticing the filth. “D’you say drunks? ‘Sthe Toilet Winos comin’? Those guys’re great.” She fell sideways, back into the land of blacked out slumber.
“She’s gotten worse,” Carl said. “She swears she’s just investigating the Toilet Winos undercover, but jeez.”
Mia sighed. “This wasn’t the plan. We were supposed to network with the minor league gangs here to get intel on the guards so we could expose the institutional abuse. We may be stuck waiting for our trial, but we can do some good in the meantime. But our spokeswoman is just–” Kathryn farted in her sleep. “Yeah.”
“I still think one of us could do it,” Frankenstein said.
“Oh, come on. The public won’t take the charges seriously coming from a Latina, let alone a blue guy or a corpse quilt, no offense. We need a white lady, and ours has John Bonhamed out.”
“In her defense,” Carl said, “have you tried the toilet wine? It’s only kind of terrible.”
“Our trial starts soon,” Mia said. “We’re running out of time. We need a plan.”
~ ~ ~
“All rise,” announced the bailiff. “The honorable Judge Natliss Yebajuge presiding.”
“Be seated,” the judge said. “I’ve got a fundraising dinner to get to, so let’s try to hurry this along, okay? Prosecution, start your engines.”
“Thank you, your honor,” said District Attorney Gary Dean Stanton, no relation. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have here a pretty straightforward case of four people wrecking a store so the owner could file a false insurance claim and walk away a rich man, and then attempting to break the owner out of jail, causing quite a lot of public property damage and getting caught red-handed in the act. Okay, so it’s not that straightforward, but it is a solid case. We have security camera footage and sworn testimony from the jail personnel, as well as the testimony of the owner, who was more than happy to rat out his friends in order to cop a plea bargain.”
“What?!?,” Frankenstein cried, slamming his massive hands on the table.
The judge banged the gavel again. “I’ll have order! Go on, Mr. District Attorney.”
It didn’t get much better after that.
~ ~ ~
That evening, they were put back in their cell. Mia started off the panicking session. “This sucks so bad! I can’t believe I stuck with you idiots! Now I’m gonna go to prison and my career is toast, not that it ever started off to begin with, and I’m gonna end up in some stupid gang explaining to everyone how tasers work or something. Ugh! I hate all of you!”
After a moment of awkward silence, Carl spoke up. “Heh, isn’t it weird that they put us all in one cell? They didn’t even separate the men and women.”
The others stared at him.
“It’s just weird. Heh.”
“L’you plizz step tlkng?” Kathryn felt like a steamroller was crushing her head and all of the gloppy chunks were splattering into her bowels. “‘M ne’er drinkin’ toilet wine ag’n. Mean it dis time.”
“Shall we attempt an escape?” Frankenstein offered. “I bet if we put out heads together we could figure out a good plan.”
“I appreciate the thought, Frankenstein,” Mia said, “but I wouldn’t suggest putting people’s body parts together if I were you. Just saying.”
The Redressers looked at each other.
They raced to the window, which took like a quarter of a second because it’s a jail cell. Outside, they could barely make out a figure waving in the dark.
“Guys,” the figure said in a stage whisper. “It’s me, Dwayne! Where are you?”
“Over here!” called Carl.
Dwayne ran up to the window and pressed his face to the bars. “You’re all clear, kid! Now let’s blow this thing and go home!” He waited for a reaction. It didn’t come. “Get it? Like Han? It doesn’t matter. Just stand back, okay?”
Dwayne took a few steps back and pulled a small bomb out of his jacket pocket. He hurled it at the jail cell and it exploded in flames. The flames began to spread across the cheap paint that the jail was coated in, but the actual bricks weren’t harmed.
“Huh,” Dwayne said. He scratched his head. “Any ideas?”
Frankenstein pushed on the wall. It collapsed outwards, creating a giant hole. The others stared at him, mouths agape.
“What? We needed a hole. Come on.”
The alarms blared as they ran out of the cell and into the open air. Dwayne was watching the fire spread over the jail. It was getting near the government center now.
“Should we tell someone?” Dwayne asked.
“Sorry,” Mia said. “I left my phone in the evidence locker.”
They ran a few blocks before taking a rest. Mia stuck her pointer finger in Frankenstein’s face.
“You could have done that at any time?”
“Why didn’t…I’m so…This team sucks so bad!”
Kathryn knelt down and threw up. “Ohhhhh, tha’s better.” She spat and stood up on her wobbly legs. “Okay, lez go.”
They ran off into the night. They stopped six times to convince Kathryn that running away was still a better idea than taking a nap at a bus stop.
When they arrived at Dwayne’s one-bedroom apartment, they got to work planning their next steps.
“So what, we’re outlaw vigilantes now?” Carl asked.
“I guess so,” Dwayne said.
Mia put her head in her hands. “All I had to do was serve coffee and apply for jobs.”