I’m a bit late, but that can’t be helped. At least I don’t have to worry about waiting for anybody.
After the third checkpoint IDs me and scans me into the system, I finally make it into the prison.
There is a large crowd waiting outside the prison, carrying either a microphone or news camera depending on their status as a reporter or cameraman.
At the front of the crowd is Chief Officer Treves, the man in charge of Blackguard Prison. Two prison officers flank him.
I bring their files up on my HUD and take in the gist of their service. Treves’ has a good record even he does have a disdain for superhumans. One of the reasons he wanted to work at Blackguard it seems. The officer on his left side has a rather bland record.
The officer on Treves’ right is a different matter. Glenn Bateson is one of the few superhuman guards at Blackguard and to say he has a less than stellar record would be an understatement.
Officer Bateson is Class 3 superhuman with some pretty strong magnetism and darkness generation abilities. In fact, the only reason he hasn’t been kicked off the force is due to the fact he is one of the rare people with superpowers.
I’m not actually sure how someone like Bateson was assign to guard Blackguard. Perhaps he volunteered or it was some sort of punishment. Either way, Bateson bears watching.
“Ah Sentinel,” says Treves as he spots me, “How nice of you to finally join us.”
“Sorry I’m a couple minutes late,” I apologise, “I had some personal business to take care of.”
Frankly, I care a lot more about Judy than I do about the press. I know which ones I would rather annoy.
“We have been waiting at least ten minutes,” disagrees Treves as I reach the group.
“ Then you all got here early because we only supposed to get started two, now three minutes ago,” I retort, “Speaking of that, we should get started.”
Treves snorts before he starts speaking to the gathered press.
“Welcome to Blackguard Prison,” says Treves, “The country’s superhuman and equivalent containment facility. Today we will be giving you a live tour on the behalf of Prime Minister Allan Morse so prove how we are able to keep our country safe from superhuman threats.”
He pauses for dramatic effect before continuing.
“We will show you and your viewers the different facilities, explain our procedures and answer any questions,” continues Treves, “We also have the Sentinel from the League of Heroes to provide his perspective on matters. Now, let’s get started.”
As much as Treves seems to dislike me and I distrust Bateson, I do have to admit I am intrigued at the idea of going on a tour around Blackguard Prison. To be honest, this is actually my first time here.
Thanks to efforts of my granddad as he was the one that created Blackguard in the first place, Blackguard is the third most secure superhuman prison in the world.
I am also pleased to note that Blackguard also has second highest successful rehabilitation rate in the world with one in seven of its prisoners being productive members of society.
The tour goes well for the first twenty minutes or so as Treves shows us the different security systems and procedures. I do have to admit they are pretty good. Nothing short of an inside job and a full scale break in or out could overwhelm the prison security.
“Hey Sentinel,” says Bateson to me as we both hang back, “Nice to meet you.”
Something about him just rubs me the wrong way, especially given his record. Don’t judge me, but this isn’t a comic book and folks like Bateson don’t end up as a jerk with a heart of gold.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Bateson ends up inside one of Blackguard’s cells instead of just guarding them.
“Hello to you too,” I reply in a pleasant voice that completely disguises my true feelings about him.
Yeah, I’m an excellent liar and deceiver and while there might been considered a bad trait for superhero by many out there, it is also absolutely necessary for someone with a secret identity.
“This must seem pretty boring with all the stuff you usually do,” says Bateson casually.
“Not for me,” I reply, “For some of the other Leaguers sure, but I enjoy learning things like this. Finding out more about Blackguard in person was actually one of the main reasons I volunteered to do this.”
“You'll like this next part then,” says Bateson with a grin that puts me on edge.
Why do I get the feeling that means more than what it sounds like?
Treves leads the group into the prisoner recreational room.
“This is the room is where our inmates are allowed to relax at certain periods depending on their behaviour,” says Treves.
Even for a prison recreational room, the place seems pretty barren. But I’ll bet you ten quid that someone will complain about it being too much in three, two, one...
“Should these dangerous people really be allowed these luxuries?” demands one of the reporters.
Once again, the reporters have lived up to my low standards of them. Time to step in.
“Actually,” I begin, “A common misconception is that all of the criminals here are the worst of the worst. In reality, only a minority of these prisoners would be in maximum security. Many of them would be normal prison if it wasn’t for the fact their abilities made it possible too danger-”
I am cut off mid-speech as something large and heavy flies into me.