Sin City (Klendathu)
a Roughnecks fanfic by Kai


Later, when trying to explain this particular part to SICON officials, Radek always had a hard time. He could tell them he remembered watching quite a few men in strange powersuits running down the left corridor towards him, he could remember the gun in his face, but he didn't know exactly who it was who had hit him upside the head. There was an exploiding light behind his eyes, he could fill his knees buckle, and then black closed in around him like an old 50's television screen. From there, there were waking moments of being dragged, once in the bunker, and twice in underground tunnels, but as for anything else it was a blank until he woke up bound and once again gagged in a chair flat on his back laying on the ground. He tried seeing through the obscure light, and realized he was breathing air. His suit was gone, and he was in a small metal room with bright neon lights glaring down at him. He tried looking about him, but even his head was strapped to the chair.

Suddenly a face popped up over his knees and stared down at him with one of the biggest smiles he had ever seen. This was the first woman he had seen since being on Big K. Her forest green t-shirt seemed to stick out from her charcoal colored BDU pants. "Finally, you're awake, I almost thought you'd never open those big blues you've got there," her short brown hair fell into her eyes, and it only seemed to make her smile bigger, "my name's Kaela, I'm your represenative, but more importantly your tour guide. I'm glad you didn't die, sometimes they can be a bit overzealous when dealing with prisoners, and besides, you're my bonus, so I'm going to take good care of you."

Her presence almost made him forget he was tied to a chair, but when he tried to talk he almost cried from the pain. A similar bit that he had had in his mouth for nearly three weeks was once again in his mouth, and sitting uncomfortably in the old sores. She winced when he tried, and she carefully unlocked it and pulled it out. She showed him the inside of her cheek where a large scar sat. "You see, the problem is I like to talk, and they don't like to listen to me. I don't talk as often as I used to, but as you can see, I'm still accustomed to it."

She poured some foul liquor into his mouth, and he spit it all over himself when it seemed to bite the sours. She laughed, "I did the same thing, but it'll help prevent infection, trust me, the last place you want an infection is in your mouth."

The door opened, and an angry Carl Jenkins walked in with a five o'clock shadow. "I thought I told you to call me when he woke up."

"I never have to, you're so paranoid that I knew you'd be monitoring me like you always do. I really hate..."

"Psys, yes, I know, I know. Get him cleaned up and ready for questioning."

Kaela's big grin brightened, "Can I clean him up, you know I love messing with these cretins."

Jenkins snarled at her, "No, the crew is outside waiting, I wouldn't want you giving him any 'special' features, if you know what I mean."

He turned to walk out and Kaela made a obscene gesture at him, when he turned around to look at her, she gave him a childish grin of mischief. He shook his head and walked out, and the crew walked in. They were composed of five very large men. Radek couldn't help but notice how they backed away from her as she went outside to wait. They untied him, two held him up while the other three comenced with stripping him of his underneath body glove for the powersuit. Their idea of cleaning him up was dressing him like them, with a tank top and BDU pants, but their tanktops were black and his white, and he didn't get the novelty of shoes. They used ice cool wet towels to cool him down, but within about five minutes they were finished. They made him swish the liquor, and he had to do it three times before they were satisfied. They took him outside where Kaela waited, whistling some strange tune, all the while looking like an innocent child, but everyone who passed her in the metal corridor kept clear of her. To the left as they came out of the room was what looked like the beginning of a maze of corridors and rooms. To the right, the metal corridor ended abruptly into rock which opened up into a large chamber which must have been cleared out by the bugs when they still inhabited the planet. Kaela walked over to him with a smile that Radek felt must have been glued on, no one should be that happy he thought.

He was forced to walk on his own considering the crew left him with her, and she led him onto scaffolding which had been permanently anchored onto the wall. It circled the whole room leading to other tunnel entrances, dropping in elevation here and there when a tunnel opened up a little lower than the others. Stairs led down to scaffolding lower along the chamber walls from time to time, and he was somewhat in awe at the improvements made to it. Lights hung from the ceiling, and many had been embedded into the sides of the chamber wall. He could see huge fans in front of ventilation shafts on all four "sides" of the chamber, and down at the very bottom were cages that a few of the prisoners were being held in. The prisoners donned grey t-shirts with grey pull string pants. Several workers in white coats with e-clipboards were taking notes, and Radek could feel this was all well beyond him-no wonder the other two agents had disappeared. Weakly he followed her around the scaffolding, down several levels to a tunnel on the other side and he became increasingly worried as most everyone avoided her as best they could. He even watched one guy go down two levels, then later go back up when she had passed.

He followed her down the rather straight corridor and then into a room on his left. Going inside he felt like a dwarf. There were several marble columns holding the cavernous ceiling. He wondered what kind of operation was going on here that would allow them things like marble. There was even carpet under his feet, and as he wandered in the room, he saw a heavily fortified glass window which split the room in half. The side he was in looked quite ornately human, but on the other side of the glass looked quite T'Phettian. Swirls of yellow and slight orange could be seen drifting about them, and Radek figured it must be nice not to be trapped in the suits. There were three T'Phettians sitting in carved chairs which made them look like royalty. T'Olis was amongst them. On his side with the humans, Jenkins sat off to one side while three humans sat in fine hand made wooden chairs with plush velvet on the seats, the back, and the arm rests. Kaela pointed to the chair by the glass, and he slowly made his way over to sit down. Kaela walked in the middle to address everyone, "This is Leif Anwar Radek or so Jenkins says. Jenkins believes he is yet another agent and wishes the council to do something other than rehabilitate him if this is the truth, because SICON will continue sending more and more agents until we are finally exposed. Now that I've done my part, he is my bonus, and I would wish to remind the council of my many years of service, and to consider my request greatly at this council hearing."

The human in the middle of the other two grabbed his forehead in irritation, "The council once again reminds you that this hearing is to decide the fate of Radek, not Kaela! Your hearing is not for another week, and I am also reminding you that Radek is not your bonus unless we choose to rehabilitate him which we may not. You are dismissed."

This was the first time Radek saw Kaela frown, and he watched her left eye twitch a few times, "I would also like to state that my parole is soon up, and in two weeks you'll have no control over me anyway, I want to see some more decisiveness in this council."

The human waved for the two guards at the door to escort her out, but when they went to grab her she clenched her eyes and pursed her lips. The guards hesitated, and Radek noticed the T'Phettians start to shift in their chairs. Everyone seemed nervous except for Jenkins and the lead human, "Kaela, I will not tolerate this childish behavior in this room, you have been heard, and the council has noted your requests but can not get to them at this time, now please leave."

She was smiling once more, and the tension in the room disappated as she did so. The guards grabbed her elbows, and were quite gentle in taking her out, but she shouted good luck to Radek as the door closed on her.

Radek wasn't sure all that was discussed, most of it was talk of policy with rebuttles about his danger to them from Jenkins in intervals. It seemed there was something else pressing them, troubling their minds, and even if they had wanted to come to a conclusion they wouldn't have been able to. Apparently from what he could gather, they had bigger fish to fry.

Jenkins was kind enough to escort him out and he led him back to the large chamber, down towards the cages. Radek was rubbing his cheeks, the pain numbing the rest of his body to any other sensation. He did manage to spit out his curiosity about Kaela, and Jenkins gave him more information than he thought he would have gotten, "She's quite insane. We set this place up to experiment different theories about rehabilitation of prisoners. We are actually a branch of Intel, but very hush hush, need to know basis only. Some brilliant Intel officer, probably fresh green out of training decided to use all of the prisoners about two years ago, we were only using a small test group. Of course about 200 prisoners or so just suddenly disappearing started your branch's worried suspicions. When they started sending you guys down, we figured Intel would do the dirty work, explain it somehow, or even just deny you guys access to come here and figure it out, but they didn't, so now we have to clean up. The problem is that since you guys started scanning the atmosphere for any unusual activity, the only way to get here was on prisoner transports and supply ships. Once you stopped sending the supply ships, we haven't been able to get off of the planet very easily if you can imagine. I came as a prisoner to help them figure out a solution to all of this, I wasn't even supposed to ever come here, and it troubles me that it's gotten to this point."

To Radek's surprise they walked past the cages down another corridor, "Why are you telling me this?"

"Because like it or not, you're going to have to forget everything you see here, and they might even promote you just to help you forget. Those other two agents who were 'rehabilitated' are now high up in our ranks, but Intel wasn't smart enough to send them back with a cover story, so we have to keep promoting agents who come down on missions, and it makes quite a mess. You see, the T'Phettians are involved in all of this because Intel thought it would be a brilliant idea to test them as well. Everything we do here is watched, mainly because of the strain it's putting on T'Phettian and Terran relations. They insisted on getting 'council' positions, and between you and me the council is just a waste of time and resources. You saw the way that room was all puffed up and quite elaborate, nothing Intel does is that pretty. Some of our experiments have been successful, they've even been introduced back into society with new identities, but others went south, and Kaela's one of them. We don't get a lot of females here as you can see, and as you know Terran's policy, most criminals receive death. Many have been finding loop holes though, and so our job is to make them functioning members of society once again. Tactics are a little brutal for my taste however.

"Anyway, every once in a while we get a prisoner who doesn't take, who actually gets worse. Kaela's telekinetic, one of the very few. She lost control of her 'gift' and a few people died. At the time she was just a child, and so they sent her here. She ages physically, I believe she's about twenty-three or so, but mentally, she's still only fifteen. Sometimes I think she even reverts to a younger mind frame, throws temper tantrums. Most everyone here is afraid of her, and you can only imagine why. Kaela's been a special project of mine for a few years, but like she said, her parole is up in just two weeks. Of course we'll keep her here, she's still a danger, but we won't be able to keep her under control as we have been lately. She's agreed to keep her ability out of sight for now, but if we try to do anything to her after her parole, who knows what she can actually do."

Radek was trying to keep in his mind the amount of turns that they made, left, right, left, left, right, but after a while it became too confusing, "What did she mean about me being her bonus?"

"Oh, that. For the prisoners who do lose the hamster on the wheel, we use them to help out. Usually they take the prisoner to the council, the council asks the prisoner a few questions to decide which test group they belong to, and then they take them to the cages to ascertain how agressive they are. From there they're put into different security zones. Each test group has a represenative, these represenatives are our mental deficient prisoners. Usually the crew is pretty good about guessing which group a prisoner is going to, and so they call the represenative to take care of them while they're being transported. This is mainly a ruse just to get them to do something, but every ten prisoners they get a bonus. The bonus is a special request to the council, whether it be writing utensils, or longer fednet priviledges, they get to ask for something. Sometimes they're turned down, but most of the time their requests are granted. Kaela just gets upset when she has to wait for too long."

"Do you know what her request was?"

"No, probably something rather trivial."

They stopped in front of a small door with a serial number on it, and Jenkins opened the door for him. They both walked in to small living quarters compiled of a bed, a small metal locker, and a desk with a standard steel chair. "This will be where you'll stay until we can figure out what to do with you. When you go out of your room, straight down to your left is the mess, and straight down to your right is the public washrooms. I would memorize the serial number on your door if for some reason you wander off and get lost. I'll probably see you later on today, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Sin City."

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