| Suitable for people aged 15 and over
ESCAPE BY MIND...
The Adjutant General, Vice Governor Blythe, should not have been in
our home. He had no reason to follow my mother home from the city-market,
where she had been shopping. He had no reason to use his authority to gain
entrance to a private home. He had no right to use his position to further
his intent to seduce a woman. He sure did not have the right to commit
rape. He had no right to brutally beat and forcibly rape my mother.
I know two wrongs do not make a right, so I know I had no right to take
his life in vengeance for what he had done. I shouldn't have killed him.
I guess I was temporarily insane. I went off the deep end and did a terrible
thing. I know what I did was wrong and
I know I made it look even worse the way I did it. You have to understand
I was out of my mind over what he had done to my mother.
I caught him leaving the house, I could hear my mother screaming and
crying inside the house. I went to her first, of course, but I was quick
enough to catch him before he could make it back to the governor's mansion.
I dragged him out of his land cruiser at the gate where even he had to
stop. I beat him unconscious, the guard shack is automated with no live
guards to help him and I had him and was gone before troops could respond.
I was not even trying to disguise myself; I didn't care about anything
but revenge at the time.
I dragged him to my cruiser and hauled him to the underground levels of
the city works department. I forced him clear down into the re-assimilation
unit. To put it bluntly,
I dragged him to the cess-pool and then I splashed water on his face until
he woke up.
I killed him by drowning him in liquefied human waste.
All right, I know I was wrong but he deserved it for what he had done
to my mother, and I ask you, do three wrongs make a right?
The governor acted as judge, due to the circumstances, as he put it.
He tried me as a traitor and murderer because it was "an assassination"
of a government official.
Tomorrow I will turn twenty-one years old, on the empire prison planet,
Thetus One, serving life without parole. My sentence is more or less one
hundred fifty four years, as the average life span is now considered to
be one hundred seventy five years. It could be even more, of course. I
will still be given any long life treatments, as they become available.
This means my lifetime could be extended, to last even longer, all in prison
I have no recourse; I must find a way to escape the inescapable. A prison
on a small planet, where only those are sent who are never to return. A
planet visited only when new prisoners are arriving, or in retaliation
raids from space, in heavily guarded and armed spacecraft. A planet with
no space craft of it's own and where all ships of space are interdicted.
A planet surrounded at a great enough distance, with warning buoys; as
to keep all ships away. This is a prison where even the administrative
personnel are prisoners.
The closest thing to release a prisoner can attain here, is to be confirmed
via Comm link from the guard stations in orbit, as a trustee administrator.
Otherwise it is serve the rest of your life in prison, whether at hard
labor or in perpetual boredom, is your own choice. At least working can
earn the few luxuries available, where refusing brings only boredom. There
is no coercion to work, and not many rewards for doing so. There is no
physical punishment for not working, just no benefits at all. No loaner
books, no stereotank time, no music disks, no nothing.
Food is served three times a day, with all the vitamins and necessities
for a healthy diet and all the taste of bland porridge. This meal is served
whether or not you choose to work. Your assigned bunk space/locker (without
locks, of course) are yours and a minimum linen exchange and hygiene articles
allotment are yours, also without working.
Your time is yours to do with pretty much as you please, with no where
to go and nothing to do for the rest of your life. Any attempt to improve
the planet with such things as homemade liquor, meeting houses, of any
kind, from churches to bawdy houses is forbidden. The latter are destroyed
from space, with casualties of no concern to the space guard stations in
The trustees take care of the rest and any rioting or major disobedience
to the trustees results in raids by heavily armed punishment squads from
the orbiting guard stations.
In case you haven't already figured it out, the whole place is sound
bugged and camera bugged in certain areas. Destroying the bugs results
in another lightning fast raid by heavily armed guards from the orbiting
Stories have it that a group of prisoners actually mobbed and overran
a guard squad by sheer numbers and got their weapons and ship. The ship
was destroyed from space and an entire military attack force landed planet
wide, to recover the weapons and the guards were just written off as casualties.
The landing party and the space station monitor's know each other personally
and the code has to be given in front of cabin wide cameras in the ship
or it will not answer controls and blast back into space. The whole punitive
landing operation is always watched from the stations in space. The prisoners
who boarded the shuttle never had a chance of raising ship. The whole idea
is to make this an escape proof prison, anyone silly enough to try to take
a bribe, winds up down here with us if caught and I have never heard of
anyone not being caught.
Be all this as it may, I intend to find a way, I must escape, physically
or through death,
I cannot stand the thought of spending the rest of my life in this living
I admit I have seriously considered it, suicide is not the way for me
though, as I still want to live. I must find a way out of here, a way to
get out alive and undiscovered.
Thetus is unlike most regular prisons. There are no separate facilities
for women here and no attempt is made to keep them separate either. Cohabitation
is much as on the free planets. If you can win a woman's affection, you
can live with her. There are even prisoner preachers who will marry you.
It makes no difference as to legality as no one ever leaves here anyway.
Children have been born here, and here they will die.
There is one famous author here. A child raised with nothing but time
to study and learn, he started writing stories. His work was sent, via
Comm, to the stations overhead and since it was not actually a sentenced
prisoner, it was forwarded to Almach IV where it was accepted by a large
publishing house. After that many more were to follow and the author is
quite well known.
No monies are ever allowed to be paid on this planet, of course, so
essentially, he writes his stories for free. He has been allowed, however,
to select various charities on several different planets and certain amounts
have been paid to these charities.
It was this co-habitation which brought on my worst troubles since arriving
here. One of the women prisoners is a young gal named Julie. I noticed
her one day when she was in the dining hall at the same time I was. She
is very pretty, being about five feet four in height and around a hundred
and ten pounds, with auburn hair and brown flecked green eyes. She has
one of those peaches and cream complexions I had heard of but never paid
much attention to, until I saw Julie. I guess you could say it was love
at first sight and she seemed to notice me as well. She gave me one of
those enigmatic smiles a guy never really knows how to take.
After that, I looked for her every time I got the chance and before
long we were speaking and not long after were friends. It was a mutual
feeling and we were falling in love, I guess, only we had a rather large
problem. His name is Hugo, no less, and he is just short of a giant, as
far as I am concerned. Hugo stands about six feet four inches and weighs
out at about two hundred forty pounds. He is an ex prize fighter turned
collector for the wrong kind of people. His collecting got a little rough,
fatally so, which is how he wound up here in the first place, and it looks
as though my scalp is what he wants to collect next.
Me, I am a whopping five feet ten and a hundred seventy. I have never
taken any serious training for self-defense, much less, fighting. Sure,
I killed vice governor asshole but that was different, he was wrong and
he knew it so he was scared. I was so angry I wasn't even in my right mind.
Believe me it is a lot different from deliberately taking on the Hulk.
I have tried to reason with him but he thinks he has to have Julie for
himself and she has nothing to say about it, much less my having anything
"Look," I told him, "we have few enough privileges here
and the right to make up our own mind is one of the precious few."
"That's right, squirt" he agreed, "only that just means
I have the right to choose Julie, my minds made up, end of story."
"What about her, you should give her the opportunity to make up her
own mind," I said. To which he replied, "I would rather drink
turpentine and piss on a brushfire."
"This is not getting us anywhere," I said, "there has
to be some way I can make you understand. Julie wants to be with me and
I want to be with Julie." "Too bad for you," he said, "I
am going to be with Julie and if I catch you anywhere near her, you are
going to be dead."
Well, this planet is not a very large one, there is no means of modern
transportation, in fact it is restricted to foot travel. Therefore, there
is no place we could go, where he could not follow. All he would have to
do is ask about us and no one would dare lie to him.
This left me with either fighting him, sheer suicide in my humble opinion,
or plotting his murder. I have no large qualms about the latter. It is
question of means rather than motive. This boy is large, strong, and
no dummy and is mean clear through. Opportunity is going to have a lot
to do with this as well. Punishment for the crime, if it is one here, is
non-existent as dog eat dog is a way of life here rather than a euphemism.
Wait just a minute here, what in hells name am I thinking of anyway. Here
I am making all these plans, how to murder Hugo, shacking up with Julie,
for obvious reasons, and none of it is even a start on how to break the
hell out of here. I can't stay here for the rest of my life, not even for
Julie. I tried to go back to spending all my time thinking about escape.
I have read nearly everything I can get my hands on including the fictional
works, looking for a clue as to how to escape.
So far the only idea I had come up with, was as far fetched as trying
to bribe a guard on one of the stations up there. I would have to offer
something I didn't have and for which he would place himself in dire jeopardy
of being put down here with me. This crazy idea
I had gotten from a science fiction book I was reading. The hero in this
book could teleport himself where ever he wanted to go. If anyone ever
figures out how to do this it is going to put places like this one out
As it turned out, to kill or not to kill, to fight or not to fight,
was a decision I did not have to make after all, Hugo made it for me.Hugo
was waiting for me in the shower room two days later and he had the same
idea, basically. Why wait for me to cause trouble, or for Julie to run
off with me. Just kill me and get me out of his hair. Hugo didn't need
a weapon and caught by surprise, I didn't have one. I mean I am not used
to even having to think about a weapon I can take in the shower with me.
Hugo jumped me by surprise and I am here to tell you, wet and naked
is not the best way to defend yourself. I was hoping Hugo just intended
to rough me up some to scare me off but no such luck. He made it obvious
he intended to beat me to death. I felt a hell of a blow on my head, then
it seemed the whole world exploded inside my head. It felt like a lightning
bolt had somehow struck through my left eye. A blinding light and pain
engulfed me and I remember thinking, this is what it is like to die.
I was back with the body of the vice governor, I could smell the shit
I had drowned him in. I opened my eyes to find myself lying naked in a
field with my face only inches from what appeared to be a pile of horse
shit. There is just one problem with this I thought, there are no horses
When I tried to move I couldn't help letting out a little scream. My
right arm is broken,
I remembered Hugo breaking it as soon as I tried to push up on it. I managed
to work up the juice to try again using my other arm and kind of scooting
my legs up till I was able to get to my knees and then my feet. I couldn't
see too well yet, until I wiped the blood out of my eyes. I must be bleeding
pretty good from where Hugo smashed my head into the shower faucets.
When I could see, I couldn't believe my eyes. Where in the hell am I,
I thought out loud, this is not Thetus. The sun is yellow instead of dull
orange. The trees, bushes and grass are really green instead of bluish
green. The sky is near-earth blue, not dark violet blue.
Hell, that is a farm over there, there aren't any farms on Thetus, none
at all. Everything on Thetus is supplied by the Federation. This can't
be, was all I could think as the lights seemed to dim and the last thing
I remember was landing face first in the pile of horse shit I had missed
the first time by inches.
When I awoke this time I was in a bed, a real bed. I mean an old fashioned
feather bed. Looking around, I could tell I was in a room of what must
have been the farm I had seen when I woke the first time. Had these been
more sophisticated or more suspicious people, I probably would have had
the proctors swarming all over me, which would have resulted in fingerprint
and retina identification and a fast trip back to Thetus. Once there I
would probably have had some serious explaining to do on just how I had
managed to wind up on Almach IV.
While there are fair sized cities scattered around Almach IV, it is
mostly an agricultural planet with simple, peaceful farmers. I managed
to give the impression of not being real smart and a partial amnesia victim
after being struck by lightning in a storm they had that same morning.
I soon managed to get to one of the smaller towns in some borrowed clothes.
Before long I had a low paying job and a place to stay. I have started
a so far unquestioned new life, with a new ID and name, albeit with a short
As soon as I feel safe, I will start gradually working my way up into
a good job with a future and a comfortable life.
I can't explain how I got here, though I know I must have teleported
in an instant of fear of imminent death. I can't explain why I did it when
others seem to just die. I won't even try, all I know is I am free of Thetus.
Copyright 1998 George H. Lafferty
Escape By Mind
by: George H. Lafferty
George, I hope this helps your career. If you
should make millions from someone noticing you on the site, don't forget
who your friends are!!! Regards Peter.