Chapter 6: The Chaplain
Xander sat in one of Havenville’s psychiatrist offices. He wasn’t sure if he’d be subjected to this kind of treatment since he had such a short stay in the penitentiary, but they did have the reputation of turning out fully functioning members of society to uphold. The room was sanitarily clean, which made it one of the very few places that Xander saw that was. He was on a soft couch restained to a rail with a padded wrist strap but was given enough space to be comfortable.
“I’m sorry about the restraints,” Doctor Dean said. He was a man in his fifties or so with a balding head and a thick gray beard. He held a leatherbound book in his hand and was typing furiously. Xander wondered what he cold be writing seeing as he hadn’t even said so much as a hello to the doctor. “I require privacy with my patients, and this is the only way the Warden would let me speak to the inmates without having an armed guard present.”
“It’s OK,” Xander said. He had one plan in mind for getting out of this unscaved: Be insubordinant and the doctor may give up. He realized it was a weak plan, but it was the only plan he had. If things took a turn for the worst he would have to think on his feet (or back since he didn’t have the ability to stand up at the moment).
“So tell me about your first few weeks in Havenville,” Doctor Dean said. “I see this is your first incarceration. It could be very intimidating.”
“It’s OK,” Xander said simply.
The doctor sighed. “You think I haven’t been through this before,” he said. “What are you afraid about opening up about, Mister Zane? This is a safe place. Nothing you can say to me will get back to anyone. Not the guards, not the other inmates, and not your cellmate.” The doctor shuffled through his notes. “So you’re cellmates with Wolfsky. That must be interesting.”
Xander’s mind perked up at that comment. So there was something about Wolfsky that piqued the doctor’s interest. “It’s OK,” Xander said. “He keeps to himself mostly.”
“He’s a very interesting specimen,” Doctor Dean said seemingly unaware that Xander had picked up on his use of the word ‘specimen’ to describe a human being. “Always buried in books and fictions when his own life is so colorful. See if you can’t get him to open up about it. He certianly won’t for me anyway.”
Xander didn’t speak. He didn’t have anything to say about Wolfsky or anything else for that matter. He was starting to wonder what the point of this exercise was really about.
“So no family and not many friends have come to visit you,” Doctor Dean said moving on from his fascination with Wolfsky. “Must be hard being all alone in this new place with little to no contact to your former life. How does that make you feel?”
“It sucks,” Xander said. Again he kept his answer short. He had no reason to make up some bullshit story about people that didn’t exist and didn’t feel the least bit compelled to.
“Your sentences are going to have to be more than two words long if you want a clean bill of mental health, mister Zane,” Doctor Dean said writing something down.
“It really sucks,” Xander said. Now Xander turned his gaze towards the window and watches the clouds floating over the fortress walls.
“Those walls are so intimidating,” Doctor Dean said. “Aren’t they? Your whole life is waiting for you out there.”
“I think we need to move onto something a little different here,” Doctor Dean said putting down his leather bound journal. He clicked a device on his desk and the room was filled with soft music that was barely over a whisper. The lights lowered and Doctor Dean put on a different pair of glasses.
Xander was prepared for this. He wasn’t sure what hypnosis techniques would be used, but he was sure that every inmate was put through this at somepoint. He learned different techniques to offset the effects of the hypnosis (mostly based in meditations). Xander could hear the soft music as if it were pulsating into his brain. He tried to focus his eyes, but he was sure there was something in the lights that was now messing with his perception as well. This was unlike anything he had trianed for, but he was determined to fight it.
“What do you say we start anew?” Doctor Dean asked.
“Yes,” Xander heard himself say. He was failing his fight against the hypnosis, but at least he was still conscious to what he was saying. He kept up his mental fight against the weight of the music and light.
“Would you like to help us?” Doctor Dean said scribbling on his pad once again.
“No,” Xander said fighting back. The word ‘yes’ almost spilled from his lips again, but he caught it at the last millisecond. He world started coming back into focus as his mind tried to put itself back together.
“No?” Doctor Dean asked a little offended. “I would hope that you’d be a model inmate, Mister Zane. Do you not want that?”
“I want…” Xander said with great struggle, “To leave.”
The doctor now paused and wrote furiously on his pad. He turned the page and wrote another sentence or two before continuing. “There is no need to be so rude,” he said. “We’re just here to help.” He turned the music off and turned the lights back on. Xander immediately felt the pressure ease in his head but knew he’d have a massive migraine in about five minutes.
“Am I done?” Xander asked.
“Yes,” Doctor Dean said closing his book. “I suppose you are. For now.”
“You want the shrink’s book?” Leonard asked. He and Tajiri had come to Xander and Wolfsky’s cell to discuss Xander’s appointment with Doctor Dean and what their next step should be. None of them were shocked to hear that Xander’s request was the doctor’s notes.
“Yes,” Xander answered. He was right about his fight against the hypnosis giving him a massive headache. His head seemed to throb worse each time his heart beat.
“I’ve never attempted anything like that before,” Tajiri said. “If your file isn’t there…”
“Any file will do,” Xander interupted. “I just need to see what he’s looking for and what he’s getting out of these sessions. How soon do you think you can get one?
“Tonight,” Tajiri said definitively. “It doesn’t help to dwell on these things.”
“See if he has any restraints you can snag,” Leonard said. “I can use them for the harness we’ve been talking about. You can lower yourself down and pull up more cargo if your muscles are up for it.”
“Can we use it for what we we talked about?” Tajiri asked.
“Yes,” Leonard answered. It’s perfect.”
“Should I ask?” Xander said raising an eyebrow.
“You should,” Tajiri said. The serious look on his face never wavering. “It’ a long drop from the cieling into the Quarantine Wing. I plan on being able to break in within the next week or so.”
Xander was stunned and didn’t know what to say. He never imagined he’d be able to find out what exactly happened there. Most of the rumors revolved around some kind of sickness. The brass at the FBI thought the Warden had dispersed some kind of airborne virus or chemical to test it out before releasing it on the public. “What happened in there?” Xander asked to entertain his own curiousity.
“Don’t know,” Leonard said. “Nobody knows except the Warden Greene and maybe those crazy doctors.”
“Crazy doctors?” Wolfsky asked from his silent seat on his bunk. “You mean that crazy group of old white guys that died in the fire?”
“They didn’t die,” Leonard said. “Tajiri and I found out about it months before the incident in the Quarentine Wing. They were secretly moved to the Max Lockup building.”
“Why are they being held there?” Xander asked.
“They aren’t,” Leonard said. “They work there.”
Xander’s aching head swam with this new information. He remembered the group of doctors that were arrested and thrown into Havenville. They were going around performing all sorts of illegal operations on themselves and others. They were finally caught when they kidnapped a teenage boy and completly turned him into a woman. Working organs and everything. He read in the news that he recently became pregnant with twins.
“What the hell are they up to in there?” Xander said thinking aloud. Before he or anyone elsecould come up with an answer they were broken up by a tall black inmate with a cigarette tucked behind his ear. He was gangly looking and had sallow, sunken eyes. He walked right up to the cell and eyed everyone inside.
“Everything OK, Wolfsky?” the tall man asked.
“Fine,” Wolfsky answered with a nod.
“The Chaplain asked about you,” the tall man said searching the room with his eyes. He seemed to look at everyone in the small cell except Wolfsky. “He said he hasn’t seen you at mass in a while. Wonderin’ how you’ve been.”
“Aright,” Wolfsky said nodding again.
The tall man with the cigarette behind his ear left, and the three men turned to look at Wolfsky. They didn’t know what to make of the short conversation that just happened.
“Xander,” Wolfsky said brightening up a bit. “How would you like to meet The Chaplain?”
Xander walked beside Wolfsky towards the set of double doors that let to the outdoors area and the path that led to Havenville’s Church: Our Lady of Unforgotten Sorrows. Xander thought it was a little odd for a church name but everything seemed to be a little odder in Havenville.
Wolfsky was quiet which gave Xander the chance to put his mind back to Tajiri and his willingness to help. Xander understood his need to stay in Havenville when the mission was successfully completed, but he didn’t understand how he could be so willing to participate when he was so unwilling at the start. He also had nothing to gain from his involvement.
“Let Wolfsky speak to Chaplain Freeman,” Wolfsky said. “Do not address him until he addresses you. Wolfsky has to let him know that you’re cool.”
Xander’s had to stop his head from attempting to unravel what Wolfsky had just said. He had decided to stop trying to figure his cellmate out and just mentally compile the facts as they were presented. Besides, his head was still buzzing from his trip to Doctor Dean’s office. He added one more fact to the pile: The Chaplain was involved in whatever Wolfsky was inloved in.
Wolfsky nodded abscently to the guards who nodded back. Xander added another mental notes about that as well. Just how deep does Wolfsky’s involvement with Havenville go? he wondered. Not for the first time Xander wondered if he had made a mistake trusting Wolfsky. It still seemed better than the alternative of being on Wolfsky’s bad side. He briefly thought of the man he had killed in order to gain Wolfsky’s trust and fought back a shiver.
“Wolfsky!” a large black man in a white robe bellowed holding his hands up in the air. He had a bushy beart of gray and a little black. His afro was the same color and just as bushy. Xander watched in amazement as the two hugged hello. There was no doubt that this was Chaplain Freeman. “And how have you been, my friend?” Chaplain Freeman asked.
“Very well,” Wolfsky answered with a smile. “And yourself?”
“Very well,” Chaplain Freeman answered returning the smile. “Are you going to introduce me to your friend here?”
“Yes,” Wolfsky said a little embarassed. It seemed he had momentarily forgot he let Xander tag along. “This is my cellmate Xander Zane.”
“Xander,” The Chaplain said shaking Xander’s outstretched hand with both of his own large hands. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Xander said feeling as if his arm was about to ripped from his shoulder.
“Xander is on our side,” Wolfsky said. Xander’s mind immediately made another note. It was something to think about later.
“Is he?” The Chaplain said getting serious and dropping Xander’s hand. “How much does he understand?”
“Nothing yet,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky was unsure whether or not to bring him here, but your messenger came while we were discussing Xander’s plans, and Wolfsky saw it as a sign that you two should be introduced.”
“Plans?” The Chaplain said turning back to Xander and staring into his eyes with his piercing green eyes. “What plans does our new friend here have?”
Xander was shocked at the amount of information Wolfsky was willing to pass to Chaplain Freeman. They sat in the small office behind the barred confessionals where Xander listen to Wolfsky spill his guts about everything Xander had just told told them in the washer room the other day. He watched The Chaplain’s face intently looking for any sign of reaction but saw none.
“I’m not surprised,” The Chaplain finally said removing his folded hands from under his chin. “If Greene thinks he could’ve gotten away with what he’s doing for this long his ego must be bigger than Havenville itself.”
“Can you elaborate on what he’s been doing?” Xander asked.
“I was only sent as a guide,” Chaplain Freeman said. “The Good Lord helps those who help themselves, Xander.”
Xander sighed. He was hoping he would get a little more than what he got. “So what’s your cause?” Xander asked hoping to leave with something.
“Distribution,” The Chaplain said simply.
“I don’t understand,” Xander said.
“Show him, Wolfsky,” The Chaplain said. Wolfsky got up and left the room. “There are certain things you cannot get while inside the walls of Havenville,” The Chaplain continued. “Certain guards can get your smokes and others can get you drugs. There are even those who smugge in smut and other pornographic materials. To what end, Xander? Why would someone put their jobs and their lives on the line for so little in return?”
Xander thought briefly. “Money could be going to the guards from the outside,” Xander said.
“That’s not what I mean,” The Chaplain said. “It’s power. With men like these it’s always power. Do you know who owns the Ten of Clubs?”
“No,” Xander said not revealing that he knew they somehow worked for The Warden.
“Sure you do,” The Chaplain said. “They work for the Agents of the Warden. I am sure by now Kitt Marshall has reached out to you.”
Xander was taken aback again. He hadn’t even told Wolfsky of Kit Marshall. “He has,” Xander said not daring to lie to The Chaplain again.
“He reaches out to all of new inmates that pique his interest,” The Chaplain said looking very serious. “You better watch your back when it comes to Marshall. He’s very smart and very cunning. By now he may be divising a test for you.”
“What kind of a test?” Xander asked nervously.
“The kind where he can find out whether or not you’d be suitable for something bigger,” The Chaplain said.
“Bigger?” Xander asked. “You mean like some kind of a recruitment? For what?”
Before Xander could get his answer Wolfsky came back in the room. “Wolfsky’s ready,” he said before disapearing ouf of the door again.
“I believe you’re strong enough to face the challenges ahead of you,” The Chaplain said evidently dropping whatever confusing conversation he was holding with Xander. “But let us end here for now and I’ll show you what we’ve been up to.”
Xander was led back into the main area of the chapel where Wolfsky was standing behind the altar. He had serious look on his face. “Ready?” he asked The Chaplain.
“Show him,” The Chaplain said. Wolfsky bend down and opened a trap door Xander woudn’t have reckoginzed otherwise.
“What’s this?” Xander said peering inside. There was an empty opening and what appeared to be a smal track that led towards the back of the chapel in the directions of the fortress walls and the surround forest.
“Havenville delivery system,” Wolfsky said.
“The only way to get anything in and out of Havenville without The Agents of the Warden getting wind of it,” The Chaplain said smiling.
“You can get weapons?” Xander asked excitedly.
“Oh no,” The Chaplain said. “Nothing like that. If a guard found a gun on you what would likely happen? We only bring in stuff that can be destroyed or explained away easily. Cigarettes, magazines, etcetera.”
“Why?” Xander said confused. “I don’t understand what the end game would be?”
“I told you before,” The Chaplain said. “Power. Take away the guards power over the inmates and they lose a little bit more of their control. The deck is stacked against us on the inside. Any small victory is still a victory. Besides, who says the Agents of the Warden aren’t lacing the cigarettes with anything?”
“It’s about control,” Wolfsky said. “Order. Severing the guard’s ties. The story you told Leonard, Tajiri, and Wolfsky confirms our beiefs that The Warden is using us for something. We still don’t know what, but with you here we are one step closer.”
“Closer to what?” Xander asked.
“The endgame,” Wolfsky said with a smirk. “The assassination of Warden Greene.”
Xander walked with Wolfsky back towards the main area of Havenville with more questions in his head than before Wolfsky took him to see The Chaplain. He was no closer to understanding who The Chaplain was and why he would be assisting Wolfsky (in a roundabout way) to assassinate Warden Greene. He also didn’t get an answer as to why Wolfsky was assassinating Greene or who Greene was to Wolfsky. His mind spun (it was still fuzzy from his fight against the hypnosis) and they entered the main hall from the rec yard to very happy looking El Niño.
“Good afternoon, Woflsky,” El Niño said in his spanish accent. He was wearing his shirt pulled down with the white tank top out. “How does the day find you?”
“Excellent,” Wolfsky said not stopping.
“Have you given any thought to what I proposed?” El Niño asked running to catch up.
“Wolfsky already told you,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky does not sell what Wolfsky does not own.”
El Niño shot a sideways glance towards Xander that made him nervous. “I don’t give up that easily you know,” he said losing a little too much of his smile.
“Wolfsky knows,” Wolfksy said. “You’re on your own, though. I’m not interested in dealing.”
“Is that so,” El Niño said with a bit of his smile returning. “I’m on my own. That’s OK, amigo. I think I’ll manage. See you around, Xander.” El Niño winked at a very confused Xander and walked off in the opposite direction to meet back up with the small group of Chicanos waiting for him.
“What was that about?” Xander asked once he was sure El Niño was out of hearing range.
Wolfsky chuckled a bit under his breath. “El Niño wants you to be his bitch,” he said.
“What?” Xander said a little too loud. A guard turned to watch the pair walk back towards C Block.
“He tried to buy you from Wolfsky,” Wolfsky said evidently very amused by himself. “Wolfsky told him no, obviously.”
“Good,” Xander said relieved. “So he’ll back off now?”
“Wolfsky didn’t say that,” Wolfsky said. “Just that I told him no. He’ll still persue you on his own though. You better watch that ass of yours. I hear El Niño can be quite persuasive.”
Xander said nothing and went back to his cell with something else to worry about.
Wolfsky caught up with Leonard and Tajiri as soon as dinner was over and told them that Xander wasn’t feeling well and was going to sleep off the effects of the hypnosis he fought off earlier that day. Wolfsky then left then to meet up with his friend Rohan and few other guys who were starting up a game of Spades in the game room.
“You still up for this?” Leonard asked as the lights went out shortly after.
“Yes,” Tajiri said. “I vowed to help Xander, and I am a man of my word.”
“I get it,” Leonard said. “I’ve seen enough Kung Fu movies to know all about you Japanese and your honor.”
“Kung Fu is Chinese,” Tajiri set looking out of the bars to see if the coast was clear. “What I do is Tai Jitsu.”
“Same difference,” Leonard said as Tajiri decided it was clear. He began to strip off his orange jumpsuit and put on his black spandex outfit. He put on his hood so only his eyes were visible. He slipped the soft bottomed shoes that muffled his footsteps.
“They’re going to kill you when they find you like that,” Leonard said.
“I know,” Tajiri said with the air of someone who’s death was only the next step.
“You Japanese and your noble deaths,” Leonard said sighing. “THe way of the samurai and all that?”
“That one you got right,” Tajiri said, and with a soft click the false bar of the cell was loosened and Tajiri had gone.