Sometimes you have to risk your life to get a story. Is this one of those times?
AKA The Mud Run
“No, you don’t have to participate in the Run for your Life competition.” Inmate Administrator Bomon sat behind a big desk in his very messy office. Sitting across from Bomon sat Jannine. She had an inmate uniform on.
“It’s best that you do though.” Bomon had an open folder in his hands. He continued flipping through it as they talked.
Jannine was looking down. Her head popped up when he said that. “Why did you say that? I’m not even supposed to be here.”
“That’s why you need to do it. I’m the only one who knows the real reason why you are here. I don’t know how the other inmates found out about you. But they did.”
“What do they know about me?” Jannine asked.
“They know you are an Insider. Other than that I’m not sure what they know.”
“I have the information that I came in here for. Why can’t I just leave.”
“You can’t do that. If I just let you leave, then the inmates will know that I knew about you. Then my life will be the one in danger.”
“That’s not the only reason - is it?” Jannine asked.
Bomon didn’t say anything for several minute. He just kept mumbling as he read the papers in that folder in his hands. Finally, he spoke. “There’s bad weather headed this way. No one is leaving here for the next few days.”
“Then how can you have the Run for your life competition?” Jannine asked.
“You are a News Hound – aren’t you. You’re right though. We can’t have the competition until after the bad weather get past us.”
“What are you going to do with me? It’s your responsibility to keep me alive until I can get out of here.”
“That’s why you have to participate in this year’s competition. It’s the only way for you to get out of here alive without the inmates finding out about me being involved in all of this.”
“I still don’t understand why I have to participate. All you have to do is place me in a Private Cell until the bad weather passes. Then you let me escape. I’ll have plenty of time in the PC to figure out how to do that.?
“You know I can’t just let you escape. The only way for you to get out of here alive is to join the competition.”
“Every year the prisons on Yeth have a competition like this one. It gives the inmates an opportunity to legally escape their sentences. All they have to do is get through the one-mile wide, and deep, swamp mud pit alive. Out of several thousand inmates each year that try to do it only about fifty survive.”
“It sounds like you’re not a big fan of the Run for your Life competition. That’s why you’re here - aren’t you?”
“I’m not any kind of a fan at all. I think it’s barbaric. The only reason we have them is to cut down on the prison population. It’s also a deterrent from those breaking the law.”
“I don’t like doing it either, but I have to do it. If I don’t I lose my job, and they just get someone else to take my place.”
“You’re right. I am here to see how the inmates feel about this chance for freedom. I’ve been going to all the prisons on Yeth just before their competition to talk to the inmates.”
“You haven’t gotten very fall doing it that way. That’s why you became an insider on this one.”
“Actually, this is the thirteenth prison I have been to this year.” Bomon and Jannine continued to talk like that for about another half hour. Then Jannine got escorted back to General Population. On the way there she attacked her escort. Which got her put into a Private Cell.
About an hour after Jannine left the bad weather began. Bomon reached up to the Data Monitor on his desk – and adjusted the knobs under it. The static still covered the screen. There were one or two individuals on that monitor. But they couldn’t be seen because of the static.
Bomon was talking to whoever appeared on that monitor. Sometimes they sounded male. But every so often the voice sounded female. “Have you handled the problem yet?” The male voice asked.
“It’s all been taken care of. As soon as the bad weather is over with Jannine will be dead. I convinced her the only way to get out of here alive was to accept the annual competition.”
“How can you be so sure she will be killed during it?” The female sounding voice said.
“I also told her that I can arrange for her to get across safely. Then I told her that I couldn’t help her to escape. But I could help her survive the competition without the other inmates finding out about me and her.”
“You had better hope that it works. If it doesn’t you will be as dead as she will be.” The female voice said.
“There’s only a couple of weeks before she testifies against us for the death of that Regional Leader. She can’t be allowed to do that.” The male voice said.
The dead body of Jannine got pulled out of the mud pit by two big strong Rescuer. She almost made it all the way across – before she sank beneath the mud. Jannine wasn’t completely submerged more than a few seconds before she got rescued. But it’s long enough to kill her.
When they removed her from the mud she had no shoes on. They were both found under the mud in the pit that surrounded that prison. Jannine was cover in mud. There was no part of her that didn’t have mud on or in it. When they did an examination on her they even found mud – instead of blood in her veins.