Bryn McFarland sat and turned pages in her worn paperback. Everyone else was out for exercise in the yard, but she was too antsy to participate.
She looked up at the sky and counted her time in her head once again. She had been in for assault causing bodily harm and trespass, and she had three months to go.
After the initial break-in period, in which she had expressed herself with the bullies in the block, and they had accepted her reasoned explanations after some heated negotiations.
Her knuckles had healed in a matter of days.
The scent of dust reached her nostrils, along with gasoline and leather. An expensive vehicle had just arrived at the prison.
Bryn nodded to herself and returned to her book, surrounded by silence.
“McFarland! You have a visitor.” The grim-faced guard nodded her head and beckoned Bryn to leave the yard.
Bryn walked to the cage where the guard was waiting, and she waited for the pat down before leading the way to the visitor’s centre.
All but one of the tables and chairs were empty. She guessed that those were her visitors. She ignored the nudge from the guard and made her way to the table at her own pace. She took in the small, silvery being in the business suit and tried to figure out what the hell he could want with her. Whatever it was, she knew he wouldn’t meet her price.
“Ms. McFarland. Please sit.”
She sat, but her mind calculated the location of each guard in the room, including her visitor’s. When she knew how long it would take to take them out, she looked at the huge black almond-shaped eyes and raised her brows. “Do I know you?”
He smiled, showing shark-like teeth. “No, you do not know me, but I am very interested in you. My name is Recruiter Norz. Your genome was recently added to the criminal database, and it has characteristics that caught the attention of the Volunteer Project.”
“Good for my genome. I am glad that it is getting out and meeting new people. At least one of us is.” She smiled tightly.
Her interviewer appeared flustered. “I have come to offer you an opportunity to leave here, leave Earth and take your place in the stars.”
Bryn looked around and waved at the concrete walls. “This might not be apparent to you, but I am not here under my own volition. I was consigned here because I hit an asshole until he couldn’t get it up again. There is no easy leaving for me.”
The fragile-looking alien raised his hand and snapped his fingers. “Let’s see. No less than six witnesses indicate that he had partially stripped a woman and was forcing himself on her unconscious body. You took action and did not cease to take that action until he was unable to move.”
“It is called aggravated assault. He was a football player, so they brought the full force of the law down on me. He was never charged with the attempted rape.”
“So, if I can obtain your release, you will go?”
She shook her head. “No. I want two things. I want the bastard charged with the attempted rape, and I want a full pardon. If I can leave the Earth free and clear, I will go.”
“A full pardon?”
“Yes. A full pardon and wiped record will clear my name, and since that is all that is truly mine, I am protective of it. I might not be able to pursue a degree in engineering anymore, but I can and will have my name cleared.”
“But you did hit him?”
“Oh, yeah. And if I saw anyone else attacking someone who could not defend themselves, I would do it again.”
“I did not do anything to repent for. He did, yet I am here and he is out there, scoring for the team and hurting women in his time off.”
Recruiter Norz gave her a considering look. “I will see what I can do.”
“Good. If you can’t do it, I am content to stay here until I get released.”
She got to her feet, and the guards guided her back to the yard. Bryn got in just in time to turn around and head back to her cell.