Chapter 3: Initiation
The guard opened the door and Xander walked into the long room with plexiglass windows and old fashioned telephones. He assumed there were more technologically advanced options than this for communicating with visitors, but the Warden here at Havenville sure did enjoy the classics.
“Booth number two, Zane,” the guard said taking up his post once again.
Xander was ending his first week at Havenville, and it was very uneventful as far as his assignment went. He noted mentally about how slow things moved in prison earlier this week, and he had not been proven wrong. He was hoping to rely on his cellmate Wolfsky (who seemed not to have a last name at all) for information that would help him find Tajiri and Kelly, but he had been cold towards Xander ever since he spotted him talking to Nate (the man the other inmates called the ginger rapist).
Xander walked down the line of stools tables separated by small wooden partitions. Nothing he said would be private from anyone in the room, but that was the point of it. He found booth two and sat down in the stool and looked through the plexiglass to his contact Charles Munson. Charles was a short and portly man around the same age of Xander. He wore thick glasses and a blue suit that may have come out of a thrift shop and bought specifically for this mission. Xander Zane wouldn’t have been one to have wealthy friends who’s show up in an expensive suit.
The conversation between Charles and Xander was likely being overhead, so they had to speak in the code they developed months before Xander went inside.
“Charles!” Xander exclaimed as he sat down. “It’s so good to see you! How’s your mom?” Xander had to start with some kind of pleasantries since he knew Charles would get right down business otherwise, and Xander didn’t want to arrouse the guard’s suspicion.
“She’s doing good,” Charles said looking a little nervous. “How are you, Xander?” This was code for: How is your mission going?
“Not bad,” Xander said. “Could be better, I guess.” Not good. Making slow progress.
“That’s too bad,” Charles replied. “Do you get along with your cellmate?” How are things progressing with Wells?
“It’s hard to say,” Xander said. “My cellmate is a strange guy, but we’ve been getting along for the most part.” Something went wrong. Wells is not my cellmate. Xander wondered if they knew that Wells had been killed. He should have a fake set of emergency contacts much like Xander did.
“At least you’re getting along,” said Charles. “Have you made any other friends?” Have you made contact with Kelly or Tajiri?
“Not yet,” Xander said. “But I’ve got plenty of time to make friends.” No, but I plan on it soon.
“Good,” Charles said. “Your aunt and cousin moved into their new home. They’re settlig well.” Your wife and son have been sucessfully moved to their new home. They are safe.
“That’s good to hear,” Xander said.
“Well, it was nice seeing you,” Charles said. “I’ll let the guys know your’e doing alright in here.” Thanks for the report. I will pass the info to our superiors.
Xander nearly asked more his family and then stopped himself before the words coud spill from his mouth. He was still wrestling with the fact that it was Peter Frost’s family and not Xander Zane’s (who was unmarried and without kids). “Thank you for stopping by,” Xander said instead. “I hope you can come again soon.” Check back soon. I should make some progress shortly.
“I’ll stop by when I can,” Charles said, which was the first honest thing he had said since he sat down. The first check in was to occur after the end of week one, but after today Charles would stop in once a month or however often his bosses thought it permissible.
“Goodbye, Charles,” Xander said with a smile. “I’ll be seeing you around.”
“Bless you, Xander,” Charles said. “Best of luck to you in there.”
Xander watched as Charles left. He had argued for another contact, but the bureau thought Charles was the best man for it. The fact that their conversation was short and almost robotic made Xander worried that the guards would catch on to their conversation. The guards either acted like they didn’t notice or it was nothing new to them. Perhaps Xander wasn’t the only one speaking in code to someone from the outside.
Xander was let out of the visiting area and walked back towards C Block. He had a couple of hours before lunch and wanted to see if he could talk Wolfsky into helping him find Tajiri and Kelly. It would be an uphill battle, but it was risk he may have to take if he had any hopes of moving his investigation forward.
“Are they ready?” Wolfsky asked.
“Yeah,” Rohan replied. “Just waiting on you and Xander. Are you sure you want to go through with this?”
“It needs to be done,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky needs to see how he reacts. Wolfsky doesn’t know what to think after his talk with the ginger rapist. Wolfsky needs to know if Wolfsky should trust Xander. He’s hiding something. He doesn’t fight like no thug who’d be in here on an eighteen month stint for home invasion.”
“What’s he fight like?” Rohan asked.
Wolfsky sat deep in thought for a moment. “Someone who’s trained to inflict damage and do it quickly. Someone not unlike Wolfsky.”
“What about El Niño?” Rohan asked. “He still looking to buy your cellmate from you?”
“Wolfsky told that Chicano that Xander isn’t Wolfsky’s property,” Wolfsky said. “But I may just do it if it turns out I can’t trust Xander.”
“I don’t think Xander will take to kindly being some Chicano’s bitch,” Rohan said.
“That would be his problem,” Wolfsky said. “Head over to Lower A. Xander will be back soon.”
Xander made his way back towards his cell thinking of how to ask Wolfsky for help. He was sure at this point his Haitian cellmate hadn’t trusted him since his first day. The next week confirmed this as Wolfsky distanced himself from Xander by not answering his questions and refusing to show him the ropes. He may have to do something to prove to Wolfsky that he should trust him. But what?
Xander got back to his cell to find Wolfsky sitting with his friend Rohan. “Good morning,” Wolfsky said.
“I’ll see you there,” Rohan said addressing Wolfsky. He left the cell intentionally knocking into Xander on his way out.
“What’s that about?” Xander asked.
“Don’t worry about him,” Wolfsky said.
“Look, Wolfsky,” Xander said. “I know we’ve only known each other a week, but I have a favor to ask.”
“No favors,” Wolfsky said. “Not yet. Not until you and Wolfsky take care of a bit of business first.”
Xander was taken aback but not surprised. This is just what he had mentally planned for. “What kind of business?” he asked.
Wolfsky got up and walked to the cell entrance and looked around. “You come with me, Xander,” Wolfsky said. “Do as Wolfsky says, and if Wolfsky thinks you did well then Wolfsky’ll will consider your favor. Agreed?”
Xander thought on it for a moment and decided he had no choice. If he wanted to move forward he would need Wolfsky’s help. As much as he feared what Wolfsky had in store he knew he would follow. “Alright,” Xander said. “I’ll go.”
“Good,” Wolfsky said. “Follow Wolfsky.”
Xander walked beside Wolfsky as they made their way through Havenville towards wherever Wolfsky planned on bringing him. They had walked in silence since they had left the cell and Xander had a sinking feeling in his gut about what his cellmate had planned. They walked past the multiple exits to the rec yards towards the A block of cells. Xander was once again amazed at the amount of freedom the inmates were given to move around when lockdown wasn’t in effect.
“Are you ready for what’s coming?” Wolfsky asked as they walked down the right hand side of Lower A.
“How can I be?” Xander asked.
“Good answer,” Wolfsky said approaching Rohan who was leaning against a cell wall. “Is he ready?”
“Yeah,” Rohan answered. “Is your boy ready?”
“We’ll see,” Wolfsky said entering the cell. There was a small fat man sitting on his bunk looking more worried than Xander felt. “Get up,” Wolfsky told the man who got up promptly and stood in the opposite corner by the steel toilet and sink. Wolfsky lifted up the man’s mattress and began shuffling through the papers and contraband hidden underneath. Wolfsky found what he was looking for and held it up for the man to see.
“That’s not mine!” the man said. Xander leaned closer to get a closer look.
“It was under your mattress, Sam,” Wolfsky said.
“I got it from the Chicanos!” the man named Sam said nearly in tears. Xander could finally see what it was. It was a children’s clothing ad opened to a page with young boys posing in summer clothes.
“Are we clear?” Wolfsky asked staring the man in the eyes.
“Perfectly,” Rohan said from outside the cell not looking in.
Wolfsky reached in the back of his jumpsuit and pulled out a shiv that looked like it was made out of an old screwdriver with a piece of rubber wrapped around the blade. He pulled down the rubber strip revealing a filed down blade and handed it handle first to Xander. The man started to scream, and Wolfsky turned him quickly and covered his mouth with his huge hand. The man still screamed, but they were muffled.
“We still good,” Rohan said without being prompted.
With his other hand Wolfsky held out the shiv handle first to Xander once again. “Do it,” he said.
Xander looked at the shiv in a daze and took it from Wolfsky’s hand. “You can’t be serious,” he said.
“You need a favor from Wolfsky?” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky needs to see where you lie. This man is a boy toucher and raper. Wolfsky doesn’t tolerate his kind to live.”
Xander looked at the shiv in his hand anxiously. He had killed before but always in the line of duty and mostly by pulling a trigger from a distance. Never in cold blood like this. This wasn’t self defense or upholding justice. This was straight up murder. He looked at the pale man’s face with Wolfsky’s big hand over his mouth. Xander could see in his eyes that he was silently pleading for his life.
“What are you waiting for?” Wolfsky asked. “Do it.”
Two things passed through Xander’s mind. The first was the thought of his own son and what he would do to anyone who would target him sexually. The second was that he needed to do this in order to earn Wolfsky’s trust and move forward. He knew Wolfsky wasn’t a snitch. He’d be in as much trouble as Xander would be for this.
Without further thought to cast doubt on his decision, Xander brought the blade forward and sliced the man’s throat open. Blood flowed down the front of his orange jumpsuit and pooled on the cell floor. Once Sam’s struggling ended Wolfsky let the body fall to the floor with a wet slap of the hard concrete floor.
“Give that to Rohan,” Wolfsky said regarding the shiv Xander was holding in his surprisingly steady hand. He handed it to Rohan who hid it in his shirt and walked away quickly. He took one more looked around and signaled Wolfsky to do the same.
Xander left the cell next to Wolfsky who waited to get out of the cell block to talk again. “Go out to the rec yard,” he said. “It’s best if you’re not seen talking to Wolfsky until lights out.” With that Wolfsky went in the opposite direction of the rec yard and Xander made his way under the watchful gaze of the guards who seemed to be completely oblivious to what he had just done.
The remainder of the day was eventless for Xander except for the moral turmoil in his head. He had gone out to the rec yard as Wolfsky instructed, but ended up sitting on a bench and staring up into the sky. He tried to find some kind of inner peace with what he did, but he found none. A pedophile was someone he despised deeply. Time after time he would see his fellow FBI agents work tirelessly to get these guys behind bars just to have them freed a year or two later and then they’d be right back at it.
There was blood on his hands. Even though it was the blood of someone who likely deserved what he got, it didn’t make Xander feel better. He had slit a man’s throat who was unable to defend himself in any way. Xander always knew he would have to get his hands dirty while in Havenville, but he had no idea how dirty.
Xander ate very little in the mess hall that night (actively avoiding the stares of Nate the ginger rapist) and went to bed early. He spent the final moments of daylight staring up at the ceiling. He pushed the thought of the man he killed and left to bleed out of his mind in and let his mind unravel Wolfsky for him. Part of his job was profiling individuals (even though it wasn’t exactly his forte), and it was about time he tried to understand his cellmate.
On the night Xander was admitted into Havenville and put into the cell with Wolfsky he had threatened his life no less than three times. The following morning it seemed that Wolfsky intended to take Xander under his wing until he had been seen talking to that rat-tailed pervert during breakfast. After that, Wolfsky turned cold. Xander wondered how he would be now that Xander had killed at his request.
Wolfsky was cold. Wolfsky was calculating. Wolfsky was patient. Worst of all Wolfsky was deadly on multiple levels.
On the other hand Wolfsky was smart. Wolfsky was loyal. Wolfsky could keep a secret. It was a hard decision Xander had to make whether or not to put his life in the hands of a convict. A man he had known for only a week.
Not to his surprise Wolfsky entered their cell in silence a few minutes before lights out and began reading one of his hand written books. This one was a green notebook with a worn down cover. Xander made a mental note to ask Wolfsky about the books, but he had to be careful. Xander only had one favor from Wolfsky from his kill earlier in the day and he needed it to find out about Leonard Kelly and Tajiri.
Xander supposed he could find Kit Marshall and try to get some information from him, but that posed more problems than it would solve. Wolfsky could get word of it and think Xander was trying to kite himself out (as he put it) to find a new living arrangement. Even worse, Wolfsky might think Xander turned snitch and would attempt to pin the murder completely on Wolfsky. On the flip side of that coin, Xander didn’t know if Wolfsky would try and get Xander with a murder rap if Xander was wrong about him.
Xander’s mind continued to work. At most times what doesn’t happen tells a more intriguing story than what did happen. This is where Xander focused. Xander noticed the entire time they were in the cell with Rohan waiting outside there was absoluetly no sign of guard activity. There also seemed to be absolutley no interference from the other inmates. The only conclusion (other than a massive coincidence, which Xander didn’t believe in) is that the guards had not only known about Wolfsky’s intentions but had given him the space to do his work as well. The same woud be said for the inmates in Lower A block, but this was easier to swallow. It was also extremely possible that the guards had tipped Wolfsky off to have one less pedophile in the world. This last thought disturbed Xander most of all.
“You awake?” Wolfsky asked. The lights had long since gone out and Wolfsky was reading using the light of a candle he had somehow mounted to the wall behind his head.
“Yeah,” Xander replied.
“You did good today, Xander,” Wolfsky said. “You understand Wolfsky had to know he could trust you.”
Xander said nothing. As fucked up as the situation was ,he was still coming to grips to how he’d live with himself after murdering that man earlier in the day. In the end it would have to be a necessary evil.
“Wolfsky owes you that favor now,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky is a man of his word, Xander.”
Xander thought on this. He needed to make contact with Leonard Kelly and Tajiri and soon. Otherwise he’d be wasting more time in Havenville much like he did most of his first week. One of the readings he got from Wolfsky was that he was at least honest. If he wanted to move forward he’d have to take a risk. Xander just wondered how big of risk it would end up being.
“I need to find two men,” Xander said. “Leonard Kelly and Kai Tajiri. They’re cellmates. I don’t know where to start looking.”
Wolfsky sat in silence for a moment before responding. “Wolfsky doesn’t suppose you’d tell him what you need with those two,” he said.
“I just want to talk to them,” Xander said. “That’s all.”
Wolfsky sighed. “Wolfsky doesn’t want to pry,” he said. “But Wolfsky wished you’d come clean with him on why you’re here. Some house robber don’t just waltz in here fighting like you do and sizing this place up like you have been without some other motive. The fact that you’re looking for those two is mighty suspiscious.”
Xander almost laughed. It would seem Wolfsky had been onto Xander for quite some time. It explained some of the behavior at least.
“You can trust Wolfsky,” Wolfsky said.
“Can I?” Xander said. “I don’t think I have much of a choice now.”
Wolfsky laughed and blew out the candle. “It’s cool,” he said in his Haitian accent. “You’re going to need Wolfsky more than you think.”