I felt the merc ship shake as it touched down on Helix 4X, Maximum Security Slam. I pretty much knew what to expect; Helix was a place to put the bad asses to forget about them. Right up there with Butcher Bay. The three mercs, who had been my "guides" on this little trip, walked past my little makeshift cell, whispering amongst themselves, looking over at me, cuffed and chained to the wall. What I wouldn't give to tell them off. Damn gag.

'Just wait Arc; you'll get your chance. Protocol here couldn't have changed too much.'

Two of the mercs come over to my cell while the other pushes a button to lower the hanger. There were voices outside as the lead guy leaves. Probably talking about money, greedy bastards. One merc in front of me holds a gun pointed at my head as the other unlocks the chains.

"Stand up girly." He orders. I stand calmly and the guy with the gun shifts uneasily. "Now walk. The better you act, the sooner you never have to see us again." He leads me out of the cell and down the ramp.

A guard meets us down on the ground and looks me over. "You were told to get rid of those." He states, pointing to the choke chain around my neck with a gold tag attached to it.

"The lock in the back needs a key. We tried to break it but it shocked us." A hand on my back shoves me forward into the main building and the metal door closes behind me.

The light was dim in the main room and security was tighter than it use to be.

'They wouldn't have doubled the guards just for me would they? I mean, my escape wasn't that big.'

Several guards circle me with shock sticks and guns as the lead merc takes out my gag. They move me over to a counter and take that little picture for that file of mine. The mercs seem overjoyed as they take the money and hand over the key to the rest of my chains. Without a second glance my way, they walk out.

"Arche De Katze, they finally caught you."

I let a smile appear on my face. I would know that voice anywhere. "I think I gave them a good run. What picture did you give to the news people?" I turn towards the voice. Josh Findley hadn't changed much. He was of Mexican origin from old Earth standing about five foot six. His short, once brown, hair was now bleached white. He walked up to me, calmer than the others but he wasn't stupid, he knew my crimes well.

"It was a decent one, before you dyed those blue streaks in your hair. Hold out your arms." I followed his instructions and he undid my chains. "Will you be staying longer then two days this time?" he asks jokingly.

"Are your people going to make the same mistakes?"

"Not this time."

"Then it could be while." Josh takes out his shock stick. God I hate those things. Bad enough I get fifty thousand volts when I try to take off the chain around my neck. "Is that really necessary Josh?"

"You know protocol. Come on." He walks beside me down a hall, five other guards following us.

"I don't remember walking this far last time."

"Law says for your crimes, you get to be in the "pound me in the ass" part of this facility. But because you should be in a Juvenal hall, we have to make sure you don't die the first hour."

"Joshy, I'm going to be eighteen in a few days."

"It doesn't matter. We take you to the bad side of this place and leave you there. After that you can leave that area and find an empty cell somewhere else."

I laugh and cross my arms, "What if I don't want to move? What if I like being one of the bad asses?"

Josh makes that annoying sighing sound; I hate it when he does that. "You're not the big bad here anymore."

"Aw, all these guards aren't for me?" My ears pick up familiar yelling up ahead. I can barely make out a door at the end of the hall. "So I guess I should make a good first impression first, huh?" I ask looking back at the guards following us. Josh grabs my arm before we enter the room making me turn toward him quickly. I instinctively let my bad side slip and he quickly lets go of me and steps back. What can I say; I don't like people who are sending me back to slam touching me.

I watch him gather himself before he starts talking, "Arc." He lowers his voice to a whisper. "Arc, the guards here don't care if you beat or even kill another inmate, that's how we get room, they kill each other off and we let them. They call it survival of the fittest. I call it murder but I'm the only one here with a conscious. If you attack a guard, they won't stand for it. They could kill you or leave you bleeding on the floor for the murderers and rapists."

"Or what I think could happen will."

One of the guards starts yelling at us. "Come on! We don't have all day!"

Josh opens the door and holds it open for me. 'It's as dark as hell down there.' There are a few dim lights leading halfway down but the light doesn't travel far and is swallowed by the darkness of the cells. I absent-mindedly put my hand on Josh's shoulder and feel him tense. Keeping my eyes on the abyss I whisper to him, "Don't come in after me." My fingers close around the shock stick, pulling it unnoticed from its holder on Josh's leg. 'I still got it. Ok Arc, you've killed before, this isn't different.'

I walk into the hall, the screams and cries instantly dying down to whispers and snickers. Looking up I find out that there are more cells on the floor above me and I can barely make out the dark figures standing behind the railing watching me. My eyes travel from one dark cell to the next. None of them had doors and the hinges they might have once held were broken and rusted.

'Why were they just standing there watching? If they don't do what I think they will, then this plan won't work.' I slow my pace as we reach the last light. 'Why are they still pushing me?' Every one of the alarms in my head is screaming and I start panicking. 'No, panic is bad. Panic is bad. Panic is ba...' "Ah!" Pain floods my body, spreading like fingers from the middle of my back. I fall to my knees as the guard removes his shock stick. His foot hits my side knocking me to the ground.

"Get up kid." He kicks me again. "I said get up!"

'Ok, new plan.' I lunge at the guard, tackling him and knocking the shock stick away. I ball up my fist and begin beating the guy, blood from his nose and mouth covering my hand. Cheering erupts from everywhere, but it stops as I hear a buzzing. My body gives a quick twitch and I'm on my back with another shock stick being pressed into my gut. The new guard standing over me smiles evilly and hits me across the face again and again with the shock stick. He jams it into my neck, waking up the parts of my brain that were failing. I grab the hidden shock stick I took from Josh and push it hard into the guard's eye. He falls back on to the ground, screaming in pain and clawing at his eye socket. Taking shaky breaths there is a strong taste of copper in my mouth. I spit a little blood out and look around. Random prisoners had left their cells and were attacking the guards. I am pretty much in the dark now, past where the lights ended. I lean against the metal bars of a cell near the doorframe and wipe the blood from my mouth.

"Did you have fun?" a rough voice in the cell behind me asks.

The question makes me smirk, despite the small drop of blood running down my right cheek from a cut the guard who hit me. "Yeah." There was a hint of laughter in my voice that I had failed to hide. I stay sitting, still leaning against the cell despite the guy behind me. 'I'm bleeding from several places; I'm too tired to care about safety.' Turning my head slightly I feel another twinge of pain. I reach my hand to the skin on my neck around the chain and pull away feeling the sting of charred flesh. "Fuck." I whisper to myself. I haven't had a burn that bad in a while.

"Where'd that bitch go?" The voice makes me turn fast, despite the pain. Somehow the guards have regained control. Only two are still in one piece while the other three are bleeding and limping to the door. One guy pulls out his gun. "Find the whore and kill her!"

"Oh, Fuck." I struggle to stand but my legs wont work. They check every cell, getting closer. 'Any closer and not even the shadows will help.' I struggle to move but a strong arm wraps itself around my waist and pulls me into the darkness of the cell behind me. A hand comes down over my mouth as weight settles on top of me. The arm leaves my waist and pins my wrists in an iron grip against my chest. The guy onto of me bends down so I can feel his warm breath on my neck, so close to my ear. The knees on either side of me tighten, making me squirm, trying to get away from this pervert.

The husky voice from before whispers in my ear, "Quit moving kid." I stop and hear the guards coming close. The guy nuzzles my neck, inhaling right above the burn, causing my breath to catch in my chest. A flashlight clicks on somewhere nearby in the hall. The hand moves off my mouth to the back of my head, the fingers tangling in my hair, just as the guard walks to the cell. The beam of light scans over me and the guy, the shadow from his body hiding my face from the guard. A low growl sounds from the guy's chest causing me to shiver and the guard to move the flashlight away and walk back down the hall.

"Come on Jake, she's probably gone by now." The footsteps get fainter until finally the door clanks, signaling that the guards were gone.