Chapter 13: Catalyst
Wolfsky waited for Leonard to make his move. The night before Tajiri snuck out of his cell and brought back four of the tear-gas canisters Leonard made, and they were going to make good use of them. Tajiri waited in the yard for the signal. Once it was clear he’d get into the chapel, take the box from the trap door, and start the fire.
Wolfsky felt bad about burning Our Lady of Forgotten Sorrows down, but he felt it was only fitting after what they did to The Chaplain. There was no doubt in Wolfsky’s mind that this was not a random act. Chaplain Freeman had been targeted for some time. Wolfsky had warned him he painted a target on his own back for attempting to take the power away from the guards, but Chaplain Freeman always insisted that it was something that needed to be done.
“We’re ready,” Leonard said coming up to Wolfsky’s side. He glanced sideways at Leonard and noticed he was nervous. He marveled at how long someone like Leonard could have been in Havenville as long as he had without breaking down.
“Set them off,” Wolfsky said. “Tajiri’s in place.”
“Got it,” Leonard said running off the opposite way.
Within seconds of Leonard’s departure, Wolfsky found himself surrounded by a group of men he didn’t know.
“What do we have here?” the man in front asked. He was tall with a handle-bar mustache. “You mourning from afar?”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about, friend,” Wolfsky said.
“We ain’t your friends,” the man said. “We’ve seen you staring at the chapel. You a friend of The Chaplain or something?”
“Wolfsky thinks it’s about time you were going,” Wolfsky said.
“Wolfsky thinks so, does he?” the man said. “You know what I think? I think that Chaplain got what he deserved.”
“Sure did, Chad,” a voice behind Wolfsky said.
Wolfsky stepped towards Chad, brutally aware of the other men surrounding him. He counted six without moving his eyes. He knew it was mistake and it was a trap, but he couldn’t stop his body from moving.
“That did it,” Chad said through his handlebar mustache said. “You know what he did before he died? He was trying to absolve me of my sins. He failed.”
Wolfsky’s body was about to move on its own accord when Leonard’s explosive canisters were set off.
There were four explosions; one after another. grey and purple smoke blew outwards from the walls of Havenville and debris fell to the ground. The six men attempting to surround and intimidate Wolfsky all turned to witness the blast. Wolfsky stayed perfectly still as if the rec yard was as silent as a cemetery.
In a fraction of a second Wolfsky’s demeanor changed. Most of the time he’d been in Havenville he’d been laying low. Killing in secret and behind closed doors. Underneath Wolfsky’s cool demeanor was a machine capable of dealing death like few alive were able. The instant the six men turned their attention away from him, they were dead.
As soon as Tajiri heard the rumble of Leonard’s diversion, he was moving towards the chapel. He didn’t look up at the turrets perched atop the fortress walls, but he knew the armed guards inside were focused on the explosion that shook Havenville and erupted Leonard’s own blend of tear gas. While everyone was in a panic over what had happened, Tajiri was able to sneak right into the front door.
Tajiri walked down the main aisle towards the altar in front. If Wofsky’s information was right, there would be a trap door concealed behind it and something inside. Wolfsky didn’t know what The Chaplain was trying to sneak into Havenville, but he would take anything that would help them before the guards could get their mitts on it.
“A whole todo about nothing,” someone said coming into the chapel. Tajiri instantly dove onto the floor behind a pew and sat motionless.
“Did you hear that blast?” another voice asked. The footsteps were coming closer towards Tajiri. In seconds he would be found.
“It was all smoke,” the first man said. “There’s no way anyone could get any real explosives off in here. If you ask me, somebody wants the guards distracted for a while?”
“Distracted for what?” the other man said nearly on Tajiri.
Tajiri decided to answer his question by leaping out from behind the pew and landing a kick to the guard’s temple. He went down as Tajiri swung his body and fluidly landed a kick to the head of the other before he could raise his stun gun. Both men were on the ground unconscious while Tajiri stood perfectly still listening for any more.
When he was satisfied that there were no others in the chapel, Tajiri quickly made his way towards the altar. In all his years in Havenville, he never attacked one of the guards, but they had given him no other choice. It was easier than answering why he was in the chapel and spending time in The Hole to loosen his lips. He was sure they hadn’t seen his face, but he would deal with that if it came to be.
Tajiri went behind the altar no longer opting to move in secrecy. If anyone else was around, they would have heard the commotion when Tajiri knocked the guards out. He moved a section of rug and found the trap door underneath. He opened it to find the track Wolfsky described with the box on top. He opened the box and found what Wolfsky suspected was inside. He removed the package and placed it in his jumpsuit.
Once the trap door was back in place, Tajiri removed four small metal cylinders from his jumpsuit. They were devices of Leonard’s design that would burn red-hot and disperse some chemicals that would spread the fire quickly and widely. All Tajiri had to do was break the metal tab in the middle, throw one toward each corner of the chapel, and run like hell.
Tajiri took one last note of the two unconscious guards laying in the center aisle of the chapel. “It can’t be helped,” he said to himself as he broke the first tab.
Leonard ran away from the gray and purple smoke. He timed the fuses perfectly, and he was now blended in with the rush of inmates running away from the blasts. If was already safe and tucked into his cell when the blasts went off there would be too much suspicion on him. Besides, he couldn’t just let them sit too long. He’d run the risk of some idiot coming across them and moving them around. If someone was holding the device when it went off they’d likely lose both of their arms or more. Leonard had a sick vision of the physical damage done to people during the Hartford incident.
While Leonard’s mind wandered to the incident that landed him in Havenville, he was suddenly grabbed and dragged down an unfamiliar hallway by two sets of arms. He tried to struggle free, but it was useless. Whoever wanted to get Leonard away from the crowd really wanted him. He was thrown unceremoniously to the ground and realized where he was. He was in the Lower C block showers.
“You remember this place don’t you?” a voice said. Leonard’s stomach turned. He knew that voice. It belonged to Nate; the inmate the others simply called The Ginger Rapist. “Isn’t this where we first met?”
Leonard thought back to that time when he first entered Havenville. His worst fears came to pass in the form of the rat-tailed Ginger rapist in the showers. Leonard was trying to shower quickly and not draw attention to himself when he was shoved from behind. He fell hard to the wet floor and turned suddenly to see Nate with his two buddies called Child and Rat standing on either side of him. “Well well well,” Nate said. “I think the fresh meat is offering boys. Hold him down.”
Leonard had felt like dying ever since his last (and only) visit from Penelope, but he felt this was a million times worse. Child and Rat each grabbed an arm and held Leonard while he struggled and tried to get free. He tried to scream, but a hand covered his mouth. “Go ahead and bite down,” Child said. “As hard as you can. I want you to taste my blood.”
Leonard felt Nate’s filthy nails trail down his back and towards his anus. They were wet and slippery as Nate massaged him where he would hoped to never have been massaged. “Nice and tight,” Nate said with a lustful sigh. “You got second, Child. You can get what’s left, Rat.”
Leonard let loose a muffled scream as Nate entered him and began to thrust. He tried hard not to bite down on Child’s hand. The last thing he needed was a mouthful of blood on top of what was going on at the other end. Suddenly there was a heavy pain in his rectum and he heard a loud slap from where Nate hit the floor.
“Let him go,” a voice Leonard barely recognized said. He craned his neck to see his cellmate (whom he had barely ever spoken two words to), Kai Tajiri, standing there as naked as the rest of them over Nate who was holding his bleeding nose.
“What the fuck!” Nate shouted. “Kick his ass!”
Leonard fell to the floor as Child and Rat dropped him and charged Tajiri. Leonard didn’t see much of the fight with the soapy water in his eyes, but it was quick. Before he could register what blur was who, Tajiri was standing over the three would-be rapists and holding a hand out to help Leonard up from the wet floor.
“If you ever mess with him again, I’ll kill you,” Tajiri said before leaving. Leonard followed suit.
It was after that day that Leonard began making weapons to protect him from any other rapists in case his cellmate wasn’t around to protect him. Once Tajiri saw what he was up to he offered his help. Once Tajiri was able to sneak out of their cell at night it was much easier to obtain certain items and make more weapons. His plan to keep the rapists at bay worked too.
“Tajiri will kill you if you try it,” Leonard said. “The Neo-Nazi’s too!”
“I don’t think your cellmate will be a problem,” Nate said. “And those Nazi fucks won’t be bothering me either. You’re not the only one that can trade for protection.”
Leonard understood before Nate’s statement was fully uttered. This was set up. Someone had put Nate and his crew up to this, and offered to protect them. The only thing they needed was for Leonard to be separated from Tajiri, who was now in the chapel trying to find Wolfsky’s package. There was no way to get a message to anyone that owed him protection either. Even if he did the whole area was in a panic over his diversion. Leonard gave Nate and his crew the perfect opportunity. The irony disgusted him.
“I believe you know how this works,” Nate said rubbing his crotch. “Hold him, boys. I’ve been waiting a long time to finish your ass, Kelly.”
Wolfsky’s fist flew forward on a course with Chad’s nose. His big fist struck as Chad was turning back towards Wolfsky. Wolfsky heard the unmistakable sound of breaking sinew as Chad’s nose broke. He began to fall to the ground when Wolfsky turned on the others.
He swung his fist in a downwards and turned it to his the man to his right in the ribs. The man buckled sideways, and Wolfsky grabbed his head with both of his hands. In a violent jerk he twisted the man’s head. He fell to the ground after a crack.
The man to his immediate right was beginning to turn back towards Wolfsky when he was met with a kick to his kneecap making him stagger. Wolfsky quickly pulled the small knife from his wrist-sheath and thrusted it into the man’s neck. He turned quickly with the bloody knife and threw it into the neck of the man furthest away.
Wolfsky reached with his arm and wrapped it around the neck of the man charging him. He struggled for breath while Wolfsky’s bicep cut off his air supply. Another man came to his rescue holding a shiv, but Wolfsky reached out with his hand and grabbed his neck. With a jerking motion he ripped his throat out. He jerked his other arm as the man stopped struggling and let him fall to the ground as well.
This just left Chad, who was beginning to crawl away with his broken nose pouring blood on the sandy ground. Wolfsky could’ve interrogated Chad and found out who put them up to the attack on him and murder of Chaplain Freeman, but he already knew the answer. Instead he reached into his right sleeve and pulled out the garrote that Leonard had given him. He crouched behind the crawling Chad put the wire around his neck. He pulled so hard he nearly lifted Chad off the ground. He ended it quickly by twisting the garrote. The pool of blood got bigger as Wolfsky let the body of Chad dropped. He backed away from the six corpses, and walked back into Havenville as the smoke began to rise from Our Lady of Forgotten Sorrows.
He knew they’d been targeted. He knew there’d be someone after Tajiri and Leonard as well, so he went looking for Leonard. He had faith in Tajiri that he’d be able to defend himself, but he worried about Leonard. He quickened his step as he walked through the halls of Havenville in search of Leonard.
Tajiri began to walk towards the doors of the chapel as small wisps of smoke began to rise for the four corners of the chapel when the doors burst open. Four inmates walked in. Tajiri recognized them immediately as member of the Ten of Clubs. Tajiri dove back behind one of the pews and hid silently. The two guards were easy to take out with a surprise attack, but Tajiri counted at least eight before he went out of sight, and knew he couldn’t take on that many on his own.
“I saw that Kung Fu mother fucker sneak in here,” one of them said.
“I’m going to cut off his ear like my great grandfather did to the gooks back in Vietnam,” another said.
“In what?” another said as a few of them chuckled.
“How stupid are you?” the first asked. “The Vietnam War? Ever read a fucking book, nigga?”
“Nigga, you know I don’t know how!”
“Shut your goddam mouths!” the leader said in a harsh whisper. “That sneaky little fucker is in here somewhere. Spread out and flush his ass out.”
“Someone knocked out a couple of guards!” another voice said as Tajiri snuck backwards away from the group of Ten of Clubs. “He’s definitely in here.”
“Uh, Roy,” a deep voice said. “What’s all that smoke?”
“What the fuck -” They were cut off by the first of Leonard’s canisters going off. Flames shot in every direction as they all turned to look. The second went off from the opposite corner and they turned again. “Get the fuck out of here!” the leader shouted. They ran to the door and tried to rip it open, but it wouldn’t budge. The last two canisters went off, and the flames spread through the whole chapel. On the opposite side of the doors (which was now barricaded with a wood and metal crucifix), Tajiri walked briskly to join the crowds evacuating the gassed section of Havenville.
He didn’t even flinch when he heard the screams coming from the chapel.
“Back off,” Leonard said in a defiant voice that didn’t seem like his own. “I’m not the same guy I was last time.” He reached into his sleeve and pulled out a small blade. He brandished it in front of him wishing he had something bigger on him; like his nail gun.
Nate laughed in a raspy way that sent chills down Leonard’s spine. He knew the small knife wouldn’t do much against three men, but he would hope they would give him enough room to run. “What are you gonna do with that?” Nate asked. “You gonna cut me a carrot?”
“I’ll cut the balls off the first one of you that tries anything!” Leonard said in the same defiant voice that didn’t feel like it belonged to him. “Try it!”
Child made a move to Leonard, and he surprised himself by lashing out with the knife. Child leapt back in time, but not until there was a gash under his left eye. Blood ran down his face and shirt. A long tongue flicked form his mouth and licked at this blood. A large smile spread across his face. Leonard was beginning to understand how he earned his nickname.
The next thing Leonard knew, both his arms were held like they were the last time he met this trio in the showers. He felt as if they would separate his shoulder if they pulled any harder. He heard the knife hit the floor without even realized he dropped it.
“Now this is just where I wanted you,” Nate said undoing his pants. “Turn the twink around.”
Leonard was turned as the terror was bubbling to the surface again. Rat undid his jumpsuit and pants with practiced precision and his pants and shorts fell to his ankles. He knew what would come next. That sharp pain on the outside followed by burning pain on the inside followed by the humiliation that would last weeks if not months. Last time he was lucky enough not to get infected by anything Nate, but Nate didn’t look as healthy as he did last time. Leonard knew that meant something he caught from a raping had gotten the better of him.
Leonard braced himself for the worse, but it never came. Instead he fell to the ground as he heard a ruckus erupting behind him. He struggled to find his glasses and jammed them back onto his face. He turned in time to see Nate’s body on the ground in a pool of blood and Wolfsky nearly twisting Rat’s head off of his body. Once Inked Mike limp corpse was on the shower floor, Wolfsky grabbed Child by the throat and threw him into shower wall. Child tried to raise himself up, but was met by Wolfksy’s boot to the side of the head. Leonard could tell by the blood pouring from his nose and mouth that he was dead as well.
Wolfsky turned to Leonard who was still sitting on the floor. “Put your pants back on and let’s get the hell out of here,” he said.
Xander stared at the ceiling from his cot in The Hole. He was sure at this point twenty days had passed, and he was happy he wasn’t completely nuts. At least he thought he hadn’t gone nuts. How could he tell when he only had the voice in his head to talk to?
Thoughts of revenge circled through his head as he counted the seconds until the door would open and he’d be let back out into the halls of Havenville. He knew his death of imminent. The Warden wouldn’t let him live now that he knew who Xander was. But The Warden had made a fatal mistake.
Xander had nothing to lose. Even his own life seemed like a commodity he no longer needed. If Greene wanted to play a game of cat and mouse, let him. If Greene keeps on toying with this mouse he’ll have to learn his lesson the hard way.
There’s just some mice you can’t fuck with.
The door to The Hole opened, and the light stung Xander’s eyes. There was a guard standing on the other side of the door he didn’t recognize. He was hoping it would be Rockwell so he could attack and rip his throat out with his teeth.
“Time’s up, Zane,” the guard said.