That day that I awoke alone on the pillar: I remember it. That day that my powers came to be: I remember that day. That day that I decided to use them for good: I remember that day. That day that I failed to rescue my beloved: I remember that day oh-so-painfully. That day when I defeated myself: I remember that day clearly. That day that the police decided to arrest me and put me in a maximum security prison: I remember that day and still live that day.

God, I hate these days.

New convicts go in and out as always. Some are Conduits, some not and I really couldn't give a damn less about it. Most of the Reapers had been rounded up with various charges varying on each and every one of them. But it was almost all the same: rape, theft, murder-you can rattle off the list and read their Miranda Rights off a hundred times more before you got finished. The Dust Men had their fights against the justice system and most weren't even sent here; just charged them with some bullshit call of temporary insanity due to the lack of love and compassion that they had as homeless rags. The First Sons, though; who knew what was going on there. I believed that the government went over some plans, talking about just demolishing the Historic District of Empire City entirely. But it's not like that it would hurt their causes any; they had the upper hand on me and they knew it. I couldn't get out of here-alive-and had no reason to yet. Nothing has emerged to alert me of any given priorities. The only priorities that I really need to worry about are living through this rotting hellhole and meeting up with Zeke on the outside.

There are just so many problems with my theory. I know they won't let some wildcard like me out on the streets again. God forbid they let some freak that actually helped their sorry asses out of this situation free of total obscurity. They need me to fade away to nothing. I mean, what would we do if another epidemic like this broke out? That wouldn't be good; no sir. It also doesn't really help that just to mess around with the guards I always drain the batteries on their walky-talkies as they go by. It's funnier than hell watching them try to break up a scuttle on their own. They throw a few punches here and there, trying to get the scum to back down with a couple jabs to the ribs. It's all false hope though. I don't think that they got the memo that over seventy-five percent of these degenerates here are Conduits; beings with supernatural powers. But oh boy, does the little man cry wolf once the burly creature comes out of hiding.

Today new convicts came in by the loads of ten on a chain. Of course, not all of them were put in the same cell because that would put everybody through some sort of unearthly yet so unholy torture. These prisoners varied from just local thugs to big time Dust Men. No First Sons, though, which was strange; usually some of them were so deranged that they would just give up their ambitions and turn themselves in, begging the police force for some psychiatric help. Of course, their help that they give comes in the form of a chair that could be wired to my body for use.

They gave some of the lesser criminals the choice of which cell they would want to stay in. Of course, none of them chose me. I just sat in the corner with my good old friend darkness by my side. We often shared a few memories with each other; me frying a few baddies here and there and saving a couple civilians at a time. Of course, usually I had to end our friendship a little early saying that I'm going to have and go turn on some lights. But once again, here I was, reunited with him. He caressed me in the corner I had chosen as my roost.

Everyone basked in my loneliness as they went by; everybody wanted to get away from me as fast as possible.

All except one. He had no choice.

I could hear the conversation coming down the hallway in all of its glory. More of an argument, but the force liked to refer to them as "unfriendly speaking" once all the cameras had hit. Yes, because such speaking including terms such as "motherfucker" and "dumbass" are ones that are only considered to be unfriendly.

"Oh c'mon, give an upstanding citizen a break!" The new inmate's voice was clear and mellifluous, speaking with the best of tones. His voice was a voice that you would hear only from movie stars.

"'Upstanding?' Maybe you don't understand the idea of having a permit for carrying a weapon!"

"So now I'm some kind of terrorist just because my rights have been branded clean of me? I have my concealed carrier license!"

"But why in the hell would you carry it through a Goddamn airport?" The officer was speaking with a very stark tone. Bill; big old black man who's my only friend on these side of the walls. He was used to sneaking me some extra rations in for the day and sending me secret messages from Zeke.

"Common sense is only for the common?" They reached my cell and the man shrugged. I could now get an idea of what kind of guy he was.

He was tall and stacked with muscles; about six feet or so. His messy brown hair only added to the handsome factor. I couldn't get an eye color in the dark, so I just figured that it must've been something just as dark as his backdrop. No clean shave in a while, eh? You'll be having a ZZ Top soon. He was a dirty kind of a dresser; good considering his clothes would be torn up soon anyway. My bet: he'll last six months on a good timeline.

Bill just shook his head at the new convict. "Just get your ass in there." He then opened the door to…my cell? Wait, why would they be throwing him in my cell? The last person that they sent in here got fried by me if I remember right. I forget if it was Richard or Earnest; I just keep a tally on my wall.

The door shut behind my new cellmate and we heard the solid click of the lock. He took the protestor's stand at the front of the cell, grabbing onto the bars. "Was it a bad guess?! C'mon, can't I have a lifeline or an ask the audience card?" This was one sarcastically wisecracking motherfucker.

I don't like him.

He gave up in eventual (and inevitable) defeat and just sat on the bench held up by a couple of chains. I could hear a soft and sound why does this always happen to me from him and he ran his hands through his thick, short hair. We just sat in silence; I doubt that he even knew I was there. It was about five minutes before one of us spoke up.

"So what's your crime?" I was surprised that he acknowledged me and that he even had those kinds of perception skills.

"Saving a city."

He laughed up a bit. I decided to try one on him. "You?"

"Carrying a completely legal weapon through airport security."

I snorted. "I can tell that I'm not going to like you."

"If you come out of that corner and let me get a good look at you, then I would probably be able to say the same."

"Oh, no; you wouldn't want to see me. I'm a menace to all of normal society and would burn out the public's eye sockets if someone saw me." I just threw my hands up a bit.

"Christ, at this point aren't we all demons if you've ever been in a prison?"

I hate it whenever these new guys make good points. They always tend to be guys that I like and then I'll eventually kill in the end. It took me a few moments to decide, but I went with it and told my friend of darkness goodbye and entered the light.

He pursed his lips a bit, making a weird noise and just nodding as he studied my character. This new guy really didn't have anything to say about me as he put his head down. "Well," he began. "Nice scar."

"Yeah, it really distracts everyone from the shaven head." I rolled my eyes.

A chuckle came from him. "I never really thought that I would end up in a prison like this."

I sat back down and waited a few moments. When that deep shroud of silence just didn't seem like it would pass, I said "Alright, I'll bite: what do you mean?"

"Well, this is small-town maximum security, right? I saw snipers, but only two. I counted only fifteen guards running a straight up-and-down hallway shift with only a few replacements at the side to hold a passage for them. There wasn't barb wire, but some old chicken wire. To compensate for it, they decided to go ahead and electrocute it with a small zero point eight kilovolt charger. It's a not very advanced prison, but it gets the job done for what the government around here wants."

I just sat back in shock. "So you've been in prison before, huh?"

"Oh yeah." He just blew air from his lungs in the form of some rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. This guy was strange; he was only a few years older than me. Hell, he may even be my age. If he clocks at about thirty, then what the hell has he been doing?

"What for?" I asked him.


"What've you been in prison for?" I specified.

"Ugh, I hate it when people ask me this question. Theft, breaking and entering, murder, assault, assault and battery-"

I stopped him. "Wait, what? How could that be right?"


"With so many things you've been charged with, you must be looking pretty damn well for an eternity-year-old."

"I'm a professional thief. I get by."

Well, that answers things. "So this is just a minor demeanor for you?"

"You bet your ass." We started watching the TV that Bill had gotten for me. I also threatened the entire prison a little, saying if I didn't get what I wanted I would kill everyone within a fifty mile radius with an electric shock. I flipped through the channels and finally after getting through some God-awful Keeping up with the Kardashians, I got onto Comedy Central and we watched the politically comedic styles of Jon Stewart.

"Nice little set-up you got here." He told me.

"I know a few guys."

"Better than what they've got in those prisons in France."

I couldn't believe my ears. "What about France? You've been arrested in France?"

He just shook it off. "I get around. Like I said, I'm a-"

"A professional thief, I got it."

"No, I don't really like that term. I prefer artifact claimer as a better term." He sounded so matter-of-fact about it.

"How about a term known as your name?"

"Drake. Nathan Drake. My friends call me Nate, and my enemies call me Drake."

"Ok, Drake."

He laughed a little. "Oh come on, that's not fair, is it?"

I smiled a bit. "Alright, Nate. My name's Cole." I put out my hand in the air. "Cole MacGrath."

We shook hands. For once, the first kind of physical contact with a human being inside this cell isn't a punch to the face.

I sat back and we both just sat as Jon Stewart shifted to Stephen Colbert, giving out the Republican views of who-gives-a-shit-about-this-dying-government. Bill came by on his rounds and dropped me in two beers.

I went to pick them up. "That's strange; he usually only drops me one in."

Nate laughed. "Just shut up and give me a damn beer."

My arm was getting a little rusty, but I threw it his way. Of course, catching didn't seem to be problem with this man.

Nathan took a long drink, and as the bottle leaved his mouth, words replaced it. "So how are we going to do it?"

I just opened my bottle of Busch. "Do what?"

"Break out of here."