The Innocent Chapter 11: Warden Greene

The Innocent

Chapter 11: Warden Greene

Susan brought the three mugs of coffee on a tray for her and her two night time guests. She wanted to find out why the FBI had come to her home, but felt obligated to put on a pot of coffee. It had been so long since she entertained for guests. In fact, she marveled that this was the first time she has had guests since relocating to Eden, North Carolina with her son Christian (now Jordan).

Her split with her husband Peter hadn’t been easy. As soon as he was gone she felt bad about what had happened between them, but he gave her no other choice. Time after time Peter chose work over family, and this time was no different. They were comfortable financially and had a good life, but Peter chose to go on a year and a half long undercover assignment that uprooted all their lives.

The truth was she had no intention on going back to Peter when his assignment was over, but now that the two agents from the FBI were in at her dining room table things had changed. She was putting on a brave face, but she knew why they would come all the way out there to talk. Something terrible has happened to her husband. She knew it. She may hate her husband for what he did to their family, but he was still Christian’s father, and she didn’t want her son growing up without a father.

More than ever she regretted her decision to leave things they way she had with her husband, and she hated him more for making her feel this way.

“Thank you,” Jodie said as she sipped her coffee. Her partner hadn’t said anything since he turned up at the door behind Jodie, and he remained silent as he sipped his coffee. “I’m sure you have your ideas as to why I’m here.”

“Yes,” Susan said not touching her own coffee. She made it more out of habit than anything else. “It’s Peter. Something happened, didn’t it?”

“No,” Jodie said. “Not yet. You are Wendy Frost, are you not?”

Susan looked perplexed. She didn’t really think of herself as Susan Summers, but she had no idea the FBI would be using her real name in any capacity. Something started to seem off about this visit.

“Why are you here?” Susan asked suddenly. “My name is Susan Summer. My son is Jordan Summers.”

The woman who called herself Jodie Slate smiled. She pulled her gun from her hip and pointed it at Susan’s chest. “Don’t move and don’t call out,” she said. Susan had a gun as well. Peter made her promise she’d keep it, but it was doing a lot of good in a locked box under her bed in a combination safe with a six-number code.

“What do you want from me?” Susan asked trying not to sound terrified. “I have no idea where they sent my husband. He wasn’t allowed to tell me.”

“I already know where he is,” Jodie sate said with a treacherous smile. “I only came by for a photo. That’s all.”

Susan tried to will herself not to look, but her eyes darted to the stairs. There was only one picture of Peter in the house, and it was in her son’s room.

“Look upstairs,” Jodie Slate said watching Susan’s eyes. “Start with the son’s room. Wake him and bring him down as well.”

“Please,” Susan said. “I’ll go get it. Please leave my son alone. I’ll give you the photo.”

“No,” Jodie Slate said. “Rockwell can get it. He’s a good boy. He won’t hurt your son. Not until I tell him to at least.”

The seconds ticked by like centuries. The clock in the hallway was nearly as loud as Susan’s heartbeats, which were now in her throat. She heard the double set of footsteps coming down the stairs and she looked in horror as her son was being led downstairs by the large man called Rockwell.

“What’s happening?” Jordan said coming down the stairs. A tear fell down Susan’s cheek.

“Did you get it?” Jodie Slate asked still staring at Susan.

“I got it,” Rockwell said in a gruff voice. “It was under his pillow.”

“Give it to me,” Jodie Slate said. Rockwell handed her the photo in the hand that wasn’t aiming a gun at Susan’s chest. A wider smile crept over her face as she put the photo into a pocket on her jacket. “We’re all done here. Take care of the kid.”

“NO!” Susan yelled getting up as Rockwell began to drag her son away. Before she could do anything Jodie Slate’s gun barked once and she was flung back in her chair. The last thing she saw as the world went black was the man called Rockwell putting a rope around her son’s neck.

*

Director Warner had called an emergency meeting with Agents Fredrickson and Munson. Glenn would have been involved too, but he was found dead in a hotel room days ago. They said it was poisoning, and their number one suspect was the now disappeared Jodie Slate. Those who didn’t trust her upon her mysterious return were right if she did in fact murder Edward Glenn. The surveillance footage they had of her going through Glenn’s office was very disconcerting as well.

“We have to talk about pulling Frost from Havenville,” Muson said suddenly. “I was just there a week ago. He’s on edge. He seems to have run into something major. Possibly something we weren’t sure of. He wasn’t able to tell me directly, and left me sitting there.”

“I agree,” Fredrickson said. “But for other reasons. The analysis of Glenn’s office is complete. The only files missing were the Black Agent files of Peter Frost.”

“Shit,” Warner said. “Start the protocols to get Frost out of there. You know the drill. We found evidence that Zane is innocent and he is to be released under our protection. The name Xander Zane wasn’t in those files, but they’ll find him in time. Have you contacted his family?”

“I’ve been calling all morning,” Munson said. “Every number I have for Wendy – I mean Susan. No answer. I sent over a couple of agents to see if they can find her at home or at work. They have instructions to take her and her son to a safe house immediately.”

“Good,” Warner said. “As of now we are the only three that should know the full details of Frost’s mission. Slate should have the smallest of inclinations, but she would have Frost’s Family’s new address from those files. It’s imperative that we get to them first.”

Warner’s phone rang and he picked it up on the first ring. “Warner,” he said sternly into the phone. He was only to be contacted during this meeting in case of emergency, and the look on his face told the others he just got that call. “Thank you. Put him in Interrogation Room A. We’ll be right down.”

“It would seem we have a visitor,” Warner said leaving his office.

Warner met with the agents who had him called outside the interrogation room. Inside sat a man with a shaved head and both arms fully tattooed. “Who the hell is that?” Warner demanded.

“He said he had information on Havenville,” the agent said. “We were told to call you directly if anything came out of there. We drove him all way from Connecticut.”

“Hello?” the man on the other side of the glass called. He couldn’t see of hear anything. “Is anyone there?”

“What did he say?” Warner demanded.

“Wait,” Fredrickson said. “He wasn’t a former inmate, was he?”

“Yes,” the FBI agent said.

Warner’s eyes grew wide. “Get him the hell out of here!” he shouted, but it was too late.

In a flash of white the man in Interrogation Room A exploded. The blast shook the earth under the building and destroyed half of the FBI’s headquarters in an instant. Seventy people died in the initial blast including everyone that knew Peter Frost was in Havenville Penitentiary.

*

Warden Greene greeted his usual guests Kit Marshall and Dr. Harold Dean. They sat in the small dining area Greene had opposite his office. It was way past dinner, so all that was served was a large pot of tea. Greene sat down and folded his fingers. He had a smile on his face.

“What do we owe the pleasure,” Marshall asked breaking the silence. “We thought you’d be busy with the inmates from Quarantine Wing for quite some time.”

“I will be,” Greene said. “But something required my immediate attention.”

“Lockhart’s death?” Harold asked. He knew Greene meant to have Lockhart declared dead before the FBI realized who they had paired together and order him transferred.

“No,” Greene said. “But that will be soon. I have a photo I need you to look at. There’s an inmate in the general population, and I’m afraid I don’t recognize the face. I was wondering if one of you two can before I have to go through the current inmates of Havenville one by one.”

Greene slid the picture over to Marshall who looked at it intently. He then passed it to Dr. Dean with an odd look. The photo was of a smiling family. A boy, a woman, and a man. He knew who the man was with no doubt. 

“That’s Xander Zane,” Marshall said.

“Zane?” Greene said. “Why is that name familiar?”

“Kit and I were testing him,” Dr. Dean said. “We thought he’d be a great asset to you in Max Lockup. May I ask where you got this photo?”

“Ms. Slate brought it in,” Greene said. “As it turns out, Mr. Zane isn’t who he says he is at all.”

Kit and Dr. Dean looked at each other not knowing what to say next.

“Tell me about this Xander Zane,” Warden Greene said looking over his folder fingers with a smile.

*

Xander Zane lifted the barbell from the bench while Wolfsky spotted in the rec yard. It was more than that. Wolfsky wanted to see if anyone was watching Xander. It was days since his attack in the mess hall, and Wolfsky was sure something else was going to happen, he just didn’t know what or when that would be. The Ten of Clubs were leaving Xander alone, and weren’t even glancing in his direction. Wolfsky was right in his assumption that they wouldn’t act unless ordered to.

He was still sure that all this was just a test concocted by Kit Marshall and Dr. Dean, but he had no idea why. Still, Xander decided to trust Wolfsky’s instincts and let him watch around the yard while he lifted the weight. Once he did his tenth rep he sat up and rotated his shoulders.

“Anything?” Xander asked.

“Nothing,” Wolfsky said putting the barbell back onto the rack. “Oddly enough, nothing. It’s as if the attack never happened.”

“I’m not surprised,” Xander said. It was odd that there was no retaliation. Even with the death of three of the Ten of Clubs via the Neo-Nazi’s and the seven more that were in the medical wing with severe injuries. He supposed they wouldn’t remember who they were attacking or why. It was just one of the small nuances of Havenville.

On their way inside they were stopped by a guard. Xander noted everything since his stint in the mess hall, and committed the guards name badge to memory before he addressed him. “Can I help you, Mister Rockwell?” Xander asked.

“Come with me,” he said.

“Where’s he going?” Wolfsky asked stepping between Xander and guard Rockwell.

“None of your fucking business,” Rockwell said. “Now get back to your cell before I send you to the medical wing.”

“I’ll be OK,” Xander said more to settle his own nerves than Wolfsky’s. He knew this couldn’t be good, but there was no way out of this. In the end Wolfsky must have thought the same and backed away. He didn’t take his eyes off Xander until they were away from where he could see them.

“Where are you taking me?” Xander asked.

“Warden Greene wants to see you,” Rockwell said.

 *

Xander sat in the large chair unrestrained with the large guard Rockwell standing behind him. Warden’s large desk was empty and cluttered. He noticed a piece of paper on the desk, and leaned forward to examine it. He had just glanced it when Rockwell cleared his throat behind him. It was the death certificate for James Lockhart. A cold sweat enveloped Xander and he once again tried to think who would think it was a good idea to send Lockhart to this prison. Now that he was declared dead he was give free reign to do whatever it was that Warden Greene wanted him to.

The door opened and the Warden of Havenville walked in. “I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Mr. Zane,” Warden Greene said. He sat behind his desk and puled the paper towards him. He stashed it in a drawer not caring if it was seen. It was almost as if he wanted Xander to see it.

“I wanted to meet you, Mr. Zane,” Warden Greene said. “I heard about you from Dr. Dean and Kit Marshall and was intrigued.”

Xander sat and said nothing. He knew just a fight in the mess hall wasn’t enough to warrant a sit down meeting with the Warden. He didn’t want to say anything to give himself away.

“The quiet type,” Warden Greene said. “That’s not what I’ve heard. You’ve gotten yourself quite the little clique there in the general population.”

Xander stayed silent again. He was implicating Wolfsky, Leonard, and Tajiri. Did he know what they were doing? Did he know it was them in the Quarantine Wing?

“You can say something,” Warden Greene said folding his hands in front of him. “Consider this a safe place. There’s some real monsters out there, you know.”

Xander looked at him questionably. He was trying to elude at something, but he couldn’t pinpoint what.

“Let me tell you what I know, Mr. Zane,” Warden Greene said. “I know your cellmate took you under his wing. I know you killed a man in cold blood to earn his trust. I have a witness that puts you there. So what are we going to do about this?”

Xander sat shocked. He had tried to push the death of the pedophile he killed at Wolfsky’s order out of his head, but now here it was glaring at him in the face. He still had nothing to say to Greene.

“I really wish you’d talk to me,” The Warden said. “I can’t help you if you don’t talk.”

Xander started into the Warden’s cold eyes still not speaking. He was dealing with a madman, and the less he said the better.

Warden Greene sighed. “Well here’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “I’m adding twenty years to your sentence for the man’s death. I won’t add any for the men in the mess hall because as far as I can tell that was in self defense. If I catch you wielding a pipe again, though, I will personally make sure you end up in Max Lockup. Am I clear.”

Xander’s heart was still. Twenty years? The Warden was trying to flush out some information. He wanted him to beg and plead, but the Warden didn’t know about the protocols put in place to have him pulled out of Havenville if his mission went the wrong way.

“I can see going from an eighteen month sentence to a twenty one and a half year sentence has no effect on you,” Warden Green said. “So I’m putting you in The Hole for twenty days as well. Maybe you’ll see how dire your situation is and reconsider.”

Guard Rockwell put a hand and Xander’s shoulder and Xander got up to be led, he presumed, to The Hole.

“One second,” Warden Green said getting up. He reached in his desk drawer and pulled up a newspaper. He reached across his desk and handed it to Xander. “Does this mean anything to you?”

Xander reluctantly took the paper and read the headline. “South Caroline mother and son slain,” it read. Underneath was an article about a woman and her son that were murdered in their home. There was a picture at the bottom of Susan Summer and her son Jordan, but Xander was able to recognize his own wife and son. He was shocked and horrified, but tried hard to put it out of his mind so that The Warden woudn’t notice. 

“No,” Xander said trying to make his voice steady even though his lips felt miles away from his mind. “Nothing.”

“Turn it over,” The Warden said smiling.

Xander turned it over to see another headline. This one said “Boston FBI Headquarters bombed. Over eighty dead”.

“This one mean anything to you?”

“No,” Xander repeated handing the paper back to Greene.

“Very well,” Warden Greene said. “Take him to The Hole, Rockwell.”

*

The steel door opened revealing the small rectangular room. There was only a cot on the left side, and only about five feet to the other end. Rockwell shoved Xander in and he landed in a heap on the ground next to the cot. Xander turned around wanting to throttle Rockwell and beat him within an inch of his life, but he restrained himself. 

“You’re going to do something, Frost?” Rockwell asked.

Xander’s heart stopped again. Even after everything Greene showed him hearing his real last name still froze him solid.

“I was there,” Rockwell said smiling a toothy grin. “Your wife went trying save your son. I did him myself. The little shit screamed and squirmed the whole time.”

Xander got up to really kill Rockwell this time, but the door slammed shut and Xander hit it with a thud. He felt as if he broke every bone in his body. He slunk down on the floor as he heard Rockwell walking away guffawing to himself.

Xander curled up in a ball with his head between his knees, and for the first time since he entered Havenville, he allowed himself to cry.

 

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  1. Pingback: Table of Contents | budgiebigelow's Blog

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