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Old 02-20-2017, 06:42 AM   #7
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Gentlemen, Welcome to Shelter Island

On the ferry ride, Dr. Anderson informed Townsend that 'Manhanock' means 'Shelter Island' in the Abenaki language. As part of the Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane, it wasn't an original Native American toponym, however, but was chosen by the WASP designers of the modern and innovative mental institution, as sounding welcoming and peaceful.

Colonel Burr and Agent Banks conferred about something on the way, with any attempts by Taylor to join their conversation rebuffed. Trying to pretend being treated like a dangerous criminal didn't hurt him, Taylor went to chat with the operator of the ferry, who proved to be a retired Coast Guard bosun and former member of the Manhanock Asylum guard force. Taylor found out that New England was apparently unified in support of the Patriots for Sunday's game, that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were the greatest coach-quarterback duo in history and that Tom Brady was unquestionably the GOAT.

Also, that the private security guard force at Jewell Island was founded around 2003, when the island was taken over by the DHS, and originally consisted mostly of former members of the military detail that used to be stationed there. They exchanged uniforms and paymasters, went up in salary and didn't have to deal with half as much bureaucracy anymore. By now, most of the original guards are retired, but many of the current guard are their relatives or have some other connection, as Deputy Warden Tyrrell can hire whomever he likes and he prefers to go with men he knows and trusts.

The ferry is operated by several former guards, who bought a ferry and bid for the logistics contract on the island. They move staff around when they have off weeks or days and they bring supplies to the island. The ferry makes a morning run and an evening run every weekday, but over the weekend, there are no trips at all after the Friday evening run unless special arrangments are made.

Taylor asked Agent Banks if they'd be picked up tomorrow by a special ferry, but Banks had made no such arrangments and told Taylor they'd leave when they were done and not before. Taylor immediately began asking the ferry operator about TV reception on the island and was relieved when he was told that although cell phone reception was spotty, they got excellent TV reception and the guards had a nice recreational area where they'd watch the game.

At the docks on Jewell Island, we were welcomed by Deputy Warden Brad Tyrrell and two of his men driving jeeps to take us to the Manhanock facility at the other side of the island. There were also some orderlies present to move boxes of supplies, but no one seemed to be leaving the island. According to the Warden, everyone off duty over the weekend had already left that morning.

We were surprised not to meet with Chief Administrator Dr. Vernon Findlay (the Administrator Formerly Known as the Warden) or any of the medical staff, particularly Ms. Bell's primary psychiatric caregiver, Dr. Bruce Cotton, or his assistant Dr. Emma King.

Our jeeps passed through gates to reach the compound. We saw the observation towers clearly as we drove past and Taylor noticed the crew-mounted weapons in them. Some more guards courteously stopped us as we disembarked from the jeeps and asked for our weapons. No one could carry inside Manhanock Asylum but guards and only then if the Deputy Warden had designated a state of emergency.

Agents O'Toole and Banks handed the guards their H&K P2000SK pistols and the rest of us said we were unarmed. Taylor inexpertly twirled a pencil between his fingers while holding up a notebook, grinning: "All the weapons I need." No one seemed to find him amusing. We were scanned with a metal detector, but not frisked. The guards went through the gifts for Ms. Bell. They took the boxes that the Tic-Tacs came in and made Taylor put them in a plastic bag instead, but otherwise allowed him to take all that he bought through.

At this point, Agent Banks demanded to see the Chief Administrator and Warden Tyrrell took him to the main building for a conference. Agent Banks told O'Toole that he needed to discuss the matter of Special Agent Vicente Berrocal with them. In the meantime, Agent O'Toole was the senior law enforcement officer and thus formally in charge of their mission, regardless of Col. Burr's higher military rank and Cam Townsend vastly greater importance in political and bureaucratic terms.

A guard named Hewitt took the rest of us into the dining facilities of the guard barracks. Which was a bit strange, considering, but maybe the guards got better food than the inmates (likely) and the medical staff (less likely). Dinner was more clam chowder to start with and then meatloaf. As meatloaves go, it was all right, but Taylor was wiling to bet that the doctors were eating something better. As for the clam chowder, it was even more bland than other Yankee food and nothing like the clam chowder they had at Kitty Hawk or Ocracoke, where he'd once played tourist with Rhonda McBride while stationed at Fort Bragg.

Either the guards weren't any great shakes as conversationalists, they didn't like football or something was wrong with them. They were monosyllabic, tense and sweating. They were trying to be polite, however, and asked whether we'd prefer to be shown our quarters next. Agent O'Toole wanted to get on with his mission, however, and Taylor was eager to see Sherilyn Bell as well. Eager or terrified.

Guard Hewitt escorted us to the J Wing, where Sherilyn Bell was housed. According to him, she was alone in the wing, owing to problems caused when she had neighbours. He didn't elaborate on the problems. The inmates we saw going there seemed strange. One woman made caressing motions toward Dr. Anderson and addressed Taylor as 'Gringo Rojo', his nickname from the Teams, despite Taylor not remembering her.

In light of what Hewitt had said, we were a bit surprised to see that there was clearly another inmate housed on the first floor of J Wing, someone called Derek. Hewitt said he must have been moved there temporarily for some reason and didn't seem to react to him much. Derek seemed friendly, if a bit spacey.

We didn't notice any orderlies around J Wing, which was pretty weird. Hewitt said that the staff didn't like being around Ms. Bell if they could avoid it. Taylor asked how her routine care was handled and Hewitt said that apart from her primary psychiatric caregiver and Dr. King, there was a nurse who assisted Ms. Bell with cleaning herself and generally handled any necessary sanitary or health issues.

There was another guard on duty at the entrance into J Wing. He had a name tag that said 'Ball', a sheen of sweat on his face and a tang of sweaty odour clinging to him. He also smelled of ejaculate. Taylor immediately sniffed him more closely to see if he smelled of another person, but there was no sign that he'd been in close contact with anyone else for hours, perhaps days. Specifically, there was no smell Taylor could associate with Sherilyn Bell anywhere close to Guard Ball. That probably prevented immediate violence, but didn't prevent Taylor from conjuring all sorts of terrible scenarios in his mind.

According to Hewitt, Ms. Bell was housed on the third floor. The second floor was empty, not in use. While walking up to the third floor, all our characters noticed some electrical lines that were not integrated into the walls, as they were elsewhere. When we reached the door that led to the cell block where Ms. Bell was housed, this was revealed as part of surveillance equipment mounted there. When asked, Guard Hewitt claimed that this was part of new security protocols instituted in the case of Ms. Bell. He said that the video feed was visible to the Deputy Warden, but not to anyone else. Hewitt was by now nervous enough to tremble uncontrollably and was clearly lying.

Taylor asked Cam Townsend if their conversation with Ms. Bell could legally be recorded and whether the guard force were cleared for all subjects that might possibly be discussed with her. The answer was a resounding no and Taylor then asked Guard Hewitt to call the Warden on his handheld radio and ask him to turn off the camera. Sound too. Guard Hewitt fiddled with his radio and clearly pretended to call his boss. Taylor told Hewitt he had forgotten to turn on the radio and took it to try himself, but got nothing. No sound, no static, no nothing.

Agent O'Toole took up his Motorola and tried Agent Banks. Nothing. Tried the guard channel, again, nothing. Things started to get acutely uncomfortable. Taylor suggested that they go down again, use the intercom there to ask Agent Banks to come immediately to J Wing and bring the Deputy Warden. Downstairs, Guard Hewitt repeats this into the intercom and gets an acknowledgement. We wait for a while, but instead of the Deputy Warden and Agent Banks, two more guards arrive. They say the Warden and Agent Banks are in a meeting and refused to come, but sent them instead. They claim that the survaillance feed has been turned off, however.

Everyone troops back upstairs. Even though the camera and sound is supposedly not recording and the receiver is supposed to be off, Agent O'Toole decides to turn it off manually. Guard Hewitt takes up his keys and opens the doors to the area where Sherilyn Bell's cell is located. He is clumsy and takes a long time to do so, clearly so that people in there will be able to hear the door open.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 04-06-2017 at 06:37 AM.
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