Shar-Kattori was a maximum-security prison located off the coast and in the vicinity of the Wellington Super City. It was considered the Alcatraz of the 21st century, the largest man made prison facility ever built in the Southern Hemisphere and home to some of the countries most dangerous mages. It was also the second maximum-security prison in the world to be granted full sanitation laws by the Collective and the only prison that did not use humans. If you managed to land yourself in Shar-Kattori then you were considered something very special. It was the pride of the country and rivalled many other prisons, both in size and the teams that were stationed there.
The Chief Warden of Shar-Kattori watched the monitor as the Weavers submerged the catatonic body of prisoner Randolph Quentin into the holding tank that would become his cell for the next 58 years. Randolph, a class 4 mage and notorious child rapist would never see the light of day until he was one hundred and one years old, his sentence also carrying with it, a sanitation order twenty four hours after revival. It didn’t really matter whether his body lived out the sentence; he was a dead man anyway. The two Weavers lowered and sealed the tank, then turned to the watchman on duty and nodded, who was monitoring Quentin’s vital signs making sure they were all green, he then turned and faced the camera.
“The tank is secure Chief Warden.”
“And his vitals?”
“All signs are stable sir.”
“Well done everyone. Continue on.”
The Warden nodded then turned away and walked to the opposite end of his office and stood in front of the window that over looked the ocean. Today the Cook Strait was calm and the sky clear and you could just make out the dark silhouette of land off in the distance. It was days like this that Chief Warden Shamus Adwin knew he had made the right decision when he accepted the job as master and executioner of Shar-Kattori prison. His thoughts were interrupted by a buzzing sound. Sighing, he walked to his desk, sat down, and pushed the flashing button.
“Chief Warden, you have a incoming conference call from the Collective Administration. Madame Secretary also said to inform you that representatives from The Hive and the Ops Division of Wellington Metro Police Department will also be attending.”
“Thank you Lily. Is there anything else? “
“Yes Chief Warden. Madame Secretary would also like Arc Sentinels Gabriele and Zephon present and that you should perhaps have some refreshments brought to your office. She says its going to be a long conference.”
Groaning out loud, the Chief Warden pinched the bridge of his nose and frowned.
“Sir? Would you like me to have the kitchen prepare a lunch for you and have it brought up?”
Squeezing the bridge of his nose as hard as he could, he felt the onset of a dull ache forming behind his left eye. Shutting his eyes and sighing loudly he answered the voice that belonged to his secretary.
“Yes please Lily, that would be great. And get someone to bring Gabriele and Zephon to my office please.”
“Yes sir. Putting Madame Secretary through now sir.”
“Thank you Lily.”
Standing up behind his desk with his hands clasped behind his back, the monitor he was viewing before blinked into life along with four others. Modern technology had come a long way, but it could still do with some vast improvements, he thought. He stood in silence, waiting for all the parties involved in this conference to connect.
“Ah, Chief Warden”
“Madame Secretary. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I’m not so sure a pleasure is quite the word Chief Warden. It’s a pity when we connect with Shar-Kattori that it is never on pleasant circumstances. But then again, there really isn’t anything at all pleasant about Shar-Kattori now is there?”
“We are a prison facility Madame Secretary not a creche.”
“Indeed Chief Warden and a damn good one. I must warn you Shamus; Superintendent Loren York of the Ops Division will also be attending conference. Which is why I asked for the Arcs’ to be present, not so much Zephon but Gabriele. I’d rather Gabriele knew from the start who she was going to be working with for the next few weeks rather than find out later on.”
Chief Warden Shamus frowned and stepped out from behind his desk and walked a little closer to the screen. It was common knowledge among those at Shar-Kattori that Arc Sentinel Gabriele and the now Superintendent Loren York had a history together, one that saw a jealous lover try with sheer determination to kill his Arc. But what he was most concerned with, was the Collectives choice to appoint her to Superintendent and if he was correct with the assumption he had quietly came too in his mind, involve his Arc in what would surely be a manhunt with the woman who tried to kill her.
“I’m not so sure I want Gabriele to be present Madam Secretary let alone a part of whatever it is you would like my team to be a part of. Superintendent York tried to kill her out of jealousy, I hardly think. .”
“What you think Shamus, unfortunately has no sway with how things will proceed. Arc Sentinel Gabriele will be a part of the operation I am about to brief you on and as far as the Collective is concerned, she will be the Arcs’ liaison between us and OPD. I’m sorry Shamus but the Collective have all agreed that she is the right choice and the agreement has been sanctioned anyway. Besides, you and I both know that Superintendent York never stood a chance against Gabriele.”
Drawing himself to full height and wiping his face of any expression the Chief Warden conceded to the Madame Secretaries wishes.
“Very well Madame Secretary, you have our full cooperation. Shar-Kattori is at your disposal.”
“Thank you Shamus and I am sorry it had to be this way.”
Without replying, he watched the rest of the screens connect and four faces appear. He began his play of pleasantries as they waited for the Arcs’ to arrive. As he was greeting the last of the Ministers the door to his office opened and closed and he felt the bristling power of both Arcs pressing in against him as they took up their positions behind him. He allowed himself a brief smile, raising his head, as pride washed over him. It felt good to have two of the most powerful beings in the world standing in the same room as him and he knew it was the same for every Chief Warden across the globe. The Arcs were every Wardens pride and joy.
“Now that everyone is here, shall we begin.”
It was the House Minister of the Hive that spoke first and started off a briefing that in the end would lead them on journey that could very well, destroy them all.
“As of three hours ago, we received information that Hive Minister Madison Tate, a political representative of the Porirua district and active CEO of Trans InterIsland, has been implemented in the murder of Stewart Embridge and his family. We also have in our possession video footage that confirms this information. Due to the nature and political ramifications that could arise from this incident, the Collective Administration and House representatives of the Hive have agreed this situation be given a status of the highest priority.”
“So in other words, you want this covered up as quickly and as quietly as possible?”
“Chief Warden, I will remind you of who you are talking too.”
“My apologies Madame Secretary, I was only voicing the obvious which I’m sure has crossed the minds of everyone present, including House Minister Alverson.”
“You must realise Chief Warden, such things are delicate and need to be handled with the utmost delicacy. Our country’s political structure is somewhat fragile and a portion of the country’s population is looking for an excuse to destabilise it further. I, for one would not like to hand them that opportunity Chief Warden.”
“House Minister, Madison Tate is a murderer and should be treated as such. Just because he is a Minister of the Hive, special privilege should not be granted him. It’s a perversion of justice when you grant such to someone of higher status than the general populace.”
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a perversion or not. There’s more at stake here than the countries political standing. Madison Tate is a class 7 mage and the only representative your kind have Shamus in the Hive. So, in light of everything, it is imperative that we proceed with swiftness in apprehending Tate before more significant damage can be done. So if we could all get past the need to voice our opinions and concerns, I would like this briefing to continue and everyone remain focused on the situation at hand.”
All heads nodded in unison and a brief silence ensued. Madame Secretary studied the faces of the people who stared back at her from their designated offices, she wondered silently if they had made the right choice in bringing aboard the Shar-Kattori mages. She sighed inwardly at the responsibility ahead of her and everyone who was involved. It didn’t really matter now anyway, the order had been put through and she had no choice but to relay the wishes of the Collective Administration. It was the Collectives job to direct the flow of law and order in the southern, western and eastern continents. Without them the world would revert back to its chaotic war-mongering ways. She nodded her head in reassurance more to herself than anyone else.
She had a job to do, and that job was to recruit the very people on this planet that were capable of catching and bringing to justice a mage of exceptional power. She focused her eyes on the screen that had the Chief Warden and looked past him at the two Arcs. Yes, the right choice had been made. The Arc Sentinels of Shar-Kattori would be the ones to hunt down a ruthless killer. A killer who had spilled the blood of innocent human beings.