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East Asian Crime Fiction

It was so terribly cold, snow was falling and it was almost dark. And the inmates have not eaten their evening meal and officer sheng was working them to the bones against regulations.

It’s against regulation to jump queue in Lanty international prison. But nowadays, rules and regulations seems to have gone with the wind which is never in short supply in the semi dessert that the prison was built on. The district officers and the central management seems to have became helpless with their shortcomings that it is showing clearly on their lapses of the management of the prison. 

The divide and conquer silent war that is raging and smoldering under ground seems to have gone a notch up since a week now. Every level of officer is operating with impunity these days. No fear, the qualms, no respect to the rules of the prison. Each camp in the raging war has its regulations that are more important than the prison regulations to them. Things have gotten out of control.

This situation started with junior officers complaining of favoritism on the choice of those being promoted and the manner some financial benefits are being shared among the officer’s ranks and files. They claimed that even most of the avenues some junior officers make little money to supplement their meager income have been taken over by the senior officers.

The story has it that during their general monthly meeting that some junior officers weren’t able to control their anger and frustration so laws, respect, and orders broke down and the meeting wasn't conclusive. The prison management seeing that things are getting out of hand decided to act to establish orders but as you know that it is not always easy to restore order where disorder had reigned supreme once. Such was the case there in Lanty prison. Funny to behold how the junior officers handle their annoyance with the authorities. 

They refused to obey orders from their superiors and when asked to leave the meeting arena, voices were raised and chairs are thrown around to the chagrin of the management. The junior officers it was their duty to restore orders refused to do so in support of their colleagues and the management have to call the military in to evacuate the junior officers from the arena. When they tried to mete out punishments after a day, there was a near mutiny of naked standing in the prison and the federal government had to come in to know the reasons behind the thought that led to what is considered treasonable offences in the land. Contemplating mutiny. 

The people's republic is afraid of internal enemies and the one that comes from organized force within is what they are always in complete ignorance on how to handle. They had been in the habit of, recruiting extra officers and trying to train some military on the activities of wardens in the prisons to avoid what they heard coming from Lanty prison. 

Customs, police, wardens, and a battalion on the army have their works intertwined to encounter mutiny of any kind from any sector. Now, what they believed is just for preparation and precaution sake that no person is so stupid to start what he can not finish and what will lead to his demise have happened in Lanty and no sound reason is coming from there outside money and promotion issues.

have investigators found enough sound excuses to listen to the junior officer’s complaints? Sure, from look of things. To think that the only lawful and organized creatures walking the grounds of the prison outside the cats and lower creatures and flying ones are the inmates were surprising to many from federal level and not lost on some sound officers among the crazy ones.

The inmates had pretended that they know nothing was going on for weeks now. None of their business. None has planned to escape considering how tall the walls were and what lays behind the fences. Lakes and barracks with military walking around the fences and lights and alarms tested each week to remind any inmate with wrong ideas in mind to drop them and face their fate.

Despite those from federal to investigate the issues, and their preferences of trusting what came out of the inmates to that of the officers and other workers. Some officers like Sheng still in what some believe to be fear and cutting off the probabilities of not trusting inmates to protect them decided to transfer their sins through spiritual means to the inmates and that move was only in foreign districts that it was in action. 

They must have detailed officer Sheng for that assignment and that was how he walked the inmates from factory after works when they closed that fateful day around 5pm, and marched them to their confusion to the prison walls that stretched to almost eternity and asked them to start clearing the heaped compost deposited there since summer in the middle of winter that fateful evening snow was descending heavily as if everything was running out of fashion up there and asked them to start clearing the heaps. 

“The earlier you are through, the fast we returned to the dormitory” he told them. 

They were at it like mad for good and was still at it around to seven in the evening when it was reported to the prison number one that the foreign district inmates didn’t appear in the dining Hall for evening meals and they were not in their district and there was no light in their factory to show human presence there.

They found them through CCTV clearing compose at the wall since 5pm and prison number one marched there under the heavy snow to know what is happening. 

Officer Sheng was speechless when the man and his entourage accosted him. He was shaking like Christmas goat not out of snow but fear. To make things worse, it was inmate that was driving little white van they used in clearing the compost which is against regulation.

No inmate must be allowed to drive any vehicle to anywhere within the prison premises and no officer must be seen to encourage such no matter under any excuses.

The inmates were on winter attire but their gloves and shirts have soaked that some were visibly feeling cold, angry and hungry. After harassing the officer, he was told to send the inmates back to the dormitory and the central office was called to turn on hot water for them to shower. 

Officer Sheng and his junior colleagues in their quest and in their fear to manipulate the outcome of he investigation ended up thrown their chances away.

Two weeks later after about five inmates from the foreign districts was interviewed by the federal group, most of those showing mutiny like spirits in them were sent to various terms in prison including Sheng and many sent packing. The file of their complaints was closed and all made to resigned their engagement forms at the same salary without any other means of income from the prison. 

“If you believe that your salaries are not good enough, you can resign”

That was speech from federal group to the remaining junior officers.

March 11, 2023 05:14

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1 comment

Graham Kinross
08:56 Jan 02, 2024

This is a familiar story of upper management not caring about the reality of the job. Interesting story Philip.


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