Kyle arrived at 1322, a house. A woman was sitting outside by the front door, but when he got close he could tell it wasn't Jane.
"Hey," she said, "you here to join the revolution?"
"I'm here to talk to its leader."
"Jane's not our leader."
"Then who is?"
"We don't have one."
Kyle didn't believe her. Every group had and needed a leader, even if they weren't called that. "Then who coordinates your operations?"
"We do this thing called decentralization. No rebel has authority over the others, we just each do what we think will be effective."
"That sounds like a terrible system."
"I didn't come up with it. Jane did."
"So she is your leader."
"Look, why do you want to talk to her?"
"I can talk her out of this. If you'll just give me a chance."
"She doesn't want to waste time talking to statists."
"I'm a childhood friend of hers. She'd want to talk to me, I promise."
"My name's Kyle. I helped her escape punishment from a corrupt authority when we were ten."
"Okay, but if you're lying, you're going to regret it."
"I'm not," Kyle said as he watched her call Jane with her wrist computer.
Jane answered the call. "Arlene? What is it? You know you don't need me to accept new members."
"It's Kyle. He says he can talk you out of this." Arlene handed the computer to Kyle.
"Oh hey Kyle," Jane said. "Long time no see! You wanna help me liberate this country?"
"Arlene just told you I said I was here to talk you out of this."
"That's what you think you're here for, but it's not what's gonna end up happening."
"Let's get to the point. I think the government protects these people from crime and enforces largely just laws. Why do -"
Jane cut him off, her voice already heated. "I think it steals everyone's money to fund stuff not everyone believes in and tries to replace people's consciences with its fucking self."
"Whoa, no need to swear about it."
"Yes there is! There's no excuse for the evils the government perpetrates! They're thieves, kidnappers and religious tyrants!"
"Religious tyrants? What are you talking about?"
"Democracy is a religion, Kyle, and the majority is its god. The government wants you to think majority vote determines what's right and wrong. It doesn't. Only your conscience can tell you what's right and wrong."
"Hey, I agree. I don't think the government determines morality."
"And that's what makes you not a real statist. If you did I wouldn't be talking to you. But there's hope for you."
"I don't think anyone thinks that, Jane."
"Yes they do. If you think there's anything wrong with breaking the law, then you think that."
"But I think there's something wrong with breaking the law."
"What is it?"
Kyle paused. If the government didn't determine morality, what was wrong with breaking the law, exactly? Ah. "It's just like your parents. You shouldn't disobey them, but they don't determine morality."
"What's wrong with disobeying your parents?"
Kyle gasped. "They fed and clothed you for years! You have to give something back!"
"They owed me that because they chose to bring me into this world knowing I would be a helpless baby unable to fend for myself when they did. They would be murderers if they didn't do that."
"But they still made great personal sacrifices to give you life! And they took care of you even after you were old enough to fend for yourself."
"They gave birth to me because they wanted to have a kid, not because I wanted it. Anyway. The point is, even if parents are owed obedience, it's entirely because you owe them. You don't owe the government anything."
"Not even for protecting you from crime?"
"With your money! And not to mention how they impose laws you don't always agree with on you in the process. At best, the government is a business partner except they impose their trade on you. They put you in jail if you decide you don't want to pay them in exchange for protection."
Kyle opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He was losing the argument somehow. Was it possible that the police force he worked for wasn't the force for justice he thought it was? They stopped and punished thieves, murderers, and other criminals, but meanwhile they took money from the people they protected under threat of force. It was a forced trade.
"... Okay, so maybe you should be able to opt out of it. But you can't opt out of following the laws, because if the laws are just then you have a duty to follow them anyway."
"Let me get this straight: if an act doesn't hurt another person, it's not a crime and you shouldn't be punished for it. Laws against recreational tannin use are bullshit. So are laws against people owning lethal weapons."
"That's not true. Immoral acts should be punished, victim or no."
"Even if that were true, can you possibly argue that using tannin is immoral?"
"Look, we can argue about this all day, but the point is you're about to kill a lot of people that don't deserve it."
"They do. They work for an organization that steals money from everyone, imposes unjust laws on everyone, and puts those brave enough to fight back in cages."
"Okay, suppose that's how it really is, but the individuals involved don't see it that way! You just need to open their eyes."
"Do you know how many times I've tried? Over the years I must have argued with a hundred statists about this, and none of them listened. Reason doesn't work on irrational people nor appeals to morality on bad people. I've tried it; people's minds are closed."
"I see... But before you start killing police, let me try one last argument. Most of the people the government forces its services on genuinely believe in it. Maybe you should be able to opt out. But most people don't want to. Most instances of this forced trade are actually voluntary."
"People don't want to pay taxes and be subject to laws they don't agree with just for protection and the ability to vote. They just do it because they think there's no other option. And right now, there isn't - except rebellion."
"But how about instead of attacking the government you just declare that you won't let them enforce their laws on people who want to opt out? I don't think very many people will. And there's be a lot less innocent blood that way."
"The government would attack us if we did that. They know they'd lose at least some of their tax base, and once people saw how profitable it was to opt out, more and more people would start doing it. The government knows this. They're terrified of losing their hold on society, and they'll stop at nothing to keep it. This war is inevitable. I just want to be the one to make the first move."
Kyle sighed. The argument was over; he could tell he wasn't going to get her to back down. "Alright. We're done then. I suppose your group isn't really the badguys anymore than the heavily flawed government you're fighting, so I'll sit the conflict out and see if I can get my friends to do the same. Goodbye."
Sid approached the door to the sheriff's house, having escaped Dak's supervision. He had a lockpicking device from Helen similar to Dak's, but he knew there were probably other security measures to stop the sheriff from being so easily assassinated. He was ready for alarms to sound or whatever, and he knew what room to find the sheriff in via his vitavision goggles. He opened the door.
He heard a loud noise from inside the sheriff's room, and then the sound of him getting out of bed. Probably a motion camera triggered something to wake him when the door opened at night. Sid turned on his anti-stun-gun shields and rushed over to the door, gun aimed. They made eye contact and Sid shot him immediately. Mission accomplished. Time to get out.
He called Jane as soon as he thought he was safe. Time for his big lie. He made sure he was still running. "I snuck out to at least get the Sheriff before the battle started! He's down, but they're on to me! He was guarded! Probably not gonna make it out of this. Wish me luck!" And then he hung up before Jane could ask any questions. His plan was in motion.
After eliminating the sheriff, he figured Jane and the others could probably handle the battle for the capital without him, so we was going to drop off the grid for a while and prepare to backstab Jane and her sidekicks when the time came. He knew she was probably bluffing about forgiving his crimes after the government was down, and even if she wasn't, he wanted to go on living a life of crime, and she definitely wouldn't allow that. His best bet was to betray her while she still trusted him. In the meantime, he guessed he would go try to kill Kyle.
Priscilla was woken before dawn by Lindsey in her room shouting, "Priscilla, the revolution's coming! I need your help figuring out what to do!"
Priscilla's eyes shot open. "What? What revolution?" And then she remembered... Jane had gotten free. In the three years since she had all but forgotten. Now was the day. "Oh god... we're not prepared, are we?"
"Not at all. We don't even know anything about the rebels: where their base is, how many there are, what weapons they have... we know nothing. Well, we do have one lead. 1322."
Lindsey showed Priscilla a recording of the message. "So maybe, if they're really stupid, it's their base."
"More likely it's a trap," Priscilla said. "They're waiting to ambush any troops we send. We should send some though, just incase."
"I'll go notify the sheriff of the situation. He's the one in charge right now."
"I'll come with you."
They went to the sheriff's house. The door was already open. "Uh oh," Priscilla said. "I hope they didn't assassinate the sheriff already... you go in first, incase it's a trap."
"Fine." Lindsey turned on her shields and went in, gun aimed. "Sheriff Taylor? If you're still alive, we need you! A rebellion's started in the city!"
Priscilla followed her in, and a traumatized wife and children came out to meet them. "An assassin came and killed Nathaniel..." the sheriff's wife said. "He had a lethal gun."
"Lethal weapons?" Lindsey said. "Damn it! At least we know that now."
"If they've already started assassinating us," Priscilla said, "then we need to quickly gather all remaining police and senators before they take out the rest of us. All of you split up and go get as many of them as you can! I'll stay here where it's safe."
"Who put you in charge?" the sheriff's wife said. "The person who's supposed to be in charge is dead!"
"I'm the only senator we know is still alive! Someone has to be in charge, and I make the most sense."
"She's right," Lindsey said. "She and I are the only government officials around and I'm a soldier not a commander. Now everyone go!"
Priscilla smiled as they all left to do her bidding. Being authority's pet as a child had been fun, but it was so much better to actually be the one giving orders for once! She had experienced some of this feeling becoming a senator, but this was even better.
"Just got a message from Sid," Jane said to Dak through her communicator. "He took out the sheriff alright, but now they're onto him and he doesn't think he's gonna make it out."
"This is horrible," Dak said. "Now it looks like we sent that message to the whole city and then went and killed someone who didn't do anything to us after it. And we lost a person doing it. I can't believe I let him get away..."
"Well, I guess I'm going after Priscilla now." Jane started to put on her anti-stun shield generator. "She deserves to die way more than the sheriff does."
"I agree, but are you sure it's a good idea to tarnish our image even more? If anyone thinks this sheriff thing was just an isolated case by a rogue rebel, you're about to dispel that idea."
"No one receptive to our message is going to miss Priscilla."
"True. Alright. Good luck."
Jane arrived at Priscilla's house, and used Dak's lockpicking device on the door.
No alarm or anything. She hurried in anyway incase there a security camera watching a door that would signal the police or something. Checked the bedroom, and it was empty.
"Shit," she said to herself. "No way to know where she is now. She's probably just out late; I'll wait outside for her to get back." And that was where she stayed for the next few hours.
"I got Phillip," Lindsey said to Priscilla through her communicator. "He's coming to where you are while I go to get more people."
"Great news. Really glad he's one of the ones who escaped assassination. Taylor's family have probably gathered a few police operatives by now. I'm going to send one to check out 1322."
She accessed the internal police communication network using a passcode from Lindsey, but saw to her dismay that none of the cops's communicators were apparently online. Not even Lindsey's.
"Wait a minute Lindsey," Priscilla said. "You're logged in to the internal police network, right?"
"I don't see you."
"I can't see you either. Wait. Uh oh. I bet the rebels hacked it."
"Dammit!" Priscilla said, swearing for the first time. "They're one step ahead of us on every front!"
"Oh well. Phillip's a technician. When he gets there maybe he can help you figure out a solution. For now I'll keep gathering officials."
Phillip arrived in a few minutes, and entered the house. Priscilla was hiding in case in wasn't who she hoped it was, but came out when she saw him. "Phew, Phillip! Good to see you. The rebels hacked the internal police comm network."
"How? I thought I patched all the security holes!"
"I was kind of hoping you could do something about it."
"I can. Just give me a minute." He got out his holographic keyboard again and entered some commands. "I'll reset the network."
Priscilla waited a minute, watching him work anxiously. "... Done," he said after a minute. "Should be working now."
Priscilla looked at her own gadget; there were other people logged in. "Phew, you just saved us." She contacted one of the rank-and-file cops. "Senator Priscilla here. I've got a mission for you. I want you to check out this mysterious address 1322, tell us what you find, and then reveal yourself, posing as an anarchist who wants to help them."
"Acknowledged," the cop said. "Heading there now."
"As for the rest of you, I need you to go to the police station, arm yourselves, and guard it. The rebels are probably going to try to blow it up to destroy our weapons."
"I hadn't thought of that," Phillip said. "That's a scary thought. What if they've already set explosives at it and they're going to blow it when they see our troops heading there?"
"Shouldn't be possible without us knowing. We have night guards watching it... just not enough to stop a determined and armed group of rebels."
Dak approached the police station, wondering how close he would have to get for the night guards that they suspected existed to confront him. Nothing was happening, so he stepped up to the door and inserted his lockpicking device.
An inconspicuous man in civilian clothing came running over to him. "Halt! I'm an undercover cop! Just what do you think you're doing?"
"Haven't you heard? The government's been overthrown. I'm going to set explosives and blow this building to hell because it's a symbol of evil."
It was obvious Dak wasn't carrying any explosives, but the cop didn't ask about that. "You're one of those rebels! I'm arresting you."
Kath, hiding in the distance, shot him immediately as he started to pull out a pair of handcuffs. Dak threw off the jacket he was wearing to hide his anti-stun shield suit and turned on his shields. Another incognito cop pulled out a stun gun and shot Kath, but her shields absorbed it and she killed her too.
The remaining undercover cops realized they were outmatched by people with lethal weapons and anti-stun shielding, so they fled. Dak and Kath stayed as sentries to stop any other cops trying to come here, as it was the obvious place for them to go after they realized their network was down.
Kyle told Tina and Vincent about his argument with Jane, and convinced them not to fight the rebels. "I think we should start planning a new government and be ready to take power when the dust settles."
"I don't see how our new government has to differ from the old ones except for a few changes to the laws," Vincent said. "The rest of it made sense to me."
"Well, if we're going to have the laws our way - the right way, that is - we can't at the same time have them determined democratically."
"So you want us to become tyrants?"
"If that's what you call people who punish evil without letting other people decide for them what evil is, then yes," Kyle said. "We will differ from the current government in four main ways: all of our laws will be just, we won't fund anything with tax money that you could possibly not want funded without being evil, our go-to form of punishment will be forced labor instead of imprisonment, and we won't give anyone else a voice in determining our laws, because then some of them would inevitably be wrong. We will be called tyrants, but we won't be. We'll simply be enforcers of morality."
"Sounds good," Tina said. "But we're going to need power to enforce morality with. And we're going to need more people."
"We'll head to the police station to get our stun guns," Vincent said. "And then I think we should split up to go try and recruit more police to our cause."
"One last thing," Kyle said. "If we get anyone else to join us, we should get a website set up where civilians can submit a report on everything one of our operatives does. That way we can make sure they're all enforcing the right laws."
"That applies in reverse though," Tina said. "If most of the others we get disagree with the laws we're enforcing, they might decide we need to be stopped."
"Well, it'll be dangerous, but it wouldn't be heroic if it wasn't."
"True. Alright, I'm in."
"Me too," Vincent said.
"Alright, let's head to the police station."
Sid arrived at Kyle's house, his hatred surging as he remembered the day Kyle had arrested him. This fucking moralist was about to die. And Sid planned to torture him first. It was going to be so satisfying...
Sid opened the door, which to his surprise wasn't locked. However, after searching every room he determined that there was no one here.
Sid screamed and kicked the wall. Figures Kyle was already awake and helping the government. Probably Jane's group would kill him. But that wasn't how Sid wanted it to end! He had to get his revenge personally! But how?
There was one way. Sid called Helen. "Helen? Kyle's not home. Can you help me find out where he is? If one of the rebels kills him before I can, I'm never going to forget it."
"Could ask Jane, but how would I make it inconspicuous? She'd probably figure out what happened if I just asked her where Kyle is, although I do suspect she knows since they talked already."
"Dammit!" Sid said. "I'm not gonna get him, am I? It can't end this way!"
"Calm down Sid! I'd want revenge too, but don't do anything stupid, okay? Revenge needs to take a back seat to staying safe and getting ready to backstab Jane."
"Yeah... you're right. Wait. You said Jane talked to Kyle. Can you ask her what the result was? I know there's no way she convinced him to join us, but I don't think she'd have just let him go if he said he was going to go help the goverment, and he probably wouldn't lie. He's too stupid."
"Not sure the conversation was in person, but I'll try. Helen out."
Helen called him back in a minute. "Talked to Jane. She says she convinced Kyle not to help the government."
"Okay, that's an obvious front. I can't believe she fell for that. He obviously just said that so she'd let him go. Although I am surprised he doesn't have a strict rule against lying."
"I agree. But to be clear, he didn't join, he's just going to sit the conflict out. We don't know where he is."
"Shit... I knew it would come to this. Alright, thanks for trying. I'll wait here in case Kyle comes back home for some reason. You just give me the word when you think it's time for me to go after Jane. Sid out."
Kyle and Tina and Vincent arrived at the police station. There was a young man and a teenage girl there. "Hi there," the man said. "It's a beautiful night for the fall of the government and the rise of freedom. You wanna join our rebellion?"
Kyle was planning to say yes and get in under that pretense, but Vincent messed it up. "No. We're on our own side. We're just coming here to get weapons."
"Why should we let you?" the girl said. "For all we know you're probably cops."
"Call Jane," Kyle said. "She'll recognize my face and tell you to trust me."
They called Jane and showed her the three newcomers. "That's Kyle," Jane said. "Let them in."
"But they're not on our side!" the girl said. "Are you sure we should let them get weapons?"
"We don't wanna start a conflict with them. They may not be willing to help us fight the government, but they're not enemies. Besides, it's not like stun guns make them significantly more of a threat to us."
"Okay. Go in."
Kyle and his friends armed themselves, including anti-stun shield suits. "I'll work on getting that website up," Kyle said. "I think you two should go try to convince some of the other cops to not fight the rebels."
"Agreed," Tina said, and they split up.
An ordinary-looking man arrived at 1322. "Hey," Arlene said, "you here to join the revolution?"
"Yes, actually. Is this your base?"
"We don't have a base."
"Uhh... okay... so how do I get started?"
"First, convince me that you're not a cop trying to infiltrate us. Tell us why you want to join."
"Cause I believe in freedom?"
"So you think you should kill the people that protect everyone from crime? I don't follow."
"Well... it's just... well they do protect people, and that's good, but they also oppress us."
"So how should the new government differ?" This was a trick question, of course, as Jane's group was anarchists.
The man paused. "Well, it needs to tax less, for one thing."
"Fail," Arlene said, and shot the cop.
Priscilla was watching the police network and saw the indicator that the cop she had sent to infiltrate was dead. She played the record of the conversation.
"That's not supremely useful," Phillip said. "At least now we know it's not their base."
"We should at least take that woman out. She's one of the rebels, and we have yet to kill any of them. It'll give us a much-needed morale boost." Priscilla sent Lindsey for the job.
Moments later, Priscilla noticed that the cops she had sent to the police station had also been killed. She contacted all of them. "Attentation all operatives! Don't go to the police station, whatever you do; the rebels already captured it!"
"Then what do we do?" Lindsey said. "All of our weapons are stored there!"
"We've still got the night patrols. Wait that's it! All night patrols: converge just south of the police station, regroup and attack it from all sides! You can take the rebel sentries with your number advantage."
"Good idea," Phillip said. "Let's cross our fingers..."
Lindsey approached 1322 unnoticed. As soon as she had a clear shot she stunned the woman and ran over to her. This was the kind of time she wished lethal weapons hadn't been prohibited even to police. If there was another guard somewhere, she was about to die.
No one shot her. The woman cursed. Lindsey came to stand over her. "Why would you do this?" she yelled. "Why would you kill the people who protect you from crime?"
"Because they only do it for a paycheck and more often they're the ones perpetrating the crimes! That's all I'm going to argue with you! Jane will kill you!"
"No, I'll kill you and then I'll kill her. Or if possible I'll capture her and make her rot in a cell the rest of her life."
"See how evil you are?" the woman screamed. "All you care about is making the innocent suffer as much as you possibly can! Fuck you!"
"Enough talk." Lindsey killed Arlene, and then sprinted away.
"This is boring," Kath said.
"Want to play that game where we take turns adding words onto a story?"
"Sure. I'll start: once."
Dak laughed. "Come on... how am I supposed to make a story out of that?"
"Did you see that?" Kath said, turning on her anti-stun shields. "I think I saw a cop running behind that building."
Dak turned on his shields too. They readied their guns. In a moment, dozens of police came out from behind buildings and fired at them. However, their shields absorbed it all.
They fired back and killed several before the cops realized what was going on and retreated.
"Chase them!" Dak said, running toward the police. Kath ran a different direction to kill more police. They both killed several more before all the remaining police had escaped. Then they rendezvoused at the station again and called Jane to tell her what had happened.
Priscilla got the report through the comm network. "You hear that Phillip? They have our stun shields."
Phillip gazed in horror for a second before responding. "... What do we do aginst that?"
"We pull out of the city. They win this round."
"Really? That's it?"
"Yes. We'll regroup with police forces in other cities. Hope isn't lost, but we need to retreat."
"You're right. Let's contact all our remaining operatives."
Sid got a call from Helen. "Hey, apparently Dak and Kath just slaughtered a dozen police at their station and the government seems to be pulling out of the city. I think the victory's pretty assured now. I'd go after Jane if I were you."
"Excellent. Where is she?"
"Call her. Wait. I'll call her. I know what to say. You and Alex look at taking out Dak and Kath."
"Okay. Helen out."
He called Jane immediately. "Hey, Jane. I escaped. But I need to meet with you in person. Where are you?"
"I'm heading to the prison. We're going to free everyone there, and find alternate ways to punish anyone guilty of a moral crime."
"Okay, meet you there." Sid hung up and set out for the prison. The time was coming.
Jane called Kyle as she rode to the prison. "Hey Kyle - good news! We seem to have won the battle already. The remaining government forces fled the city. That means everyone's free now!"
"And I've already got a system in mind for replacing it."
Jane sighed. "We're going to end up fighting each other, aren't we? I was hoping there could be peace after the government was down."
"You do realize the government isn't down, right? You pushed them out of the capital, but they'll be back."
"We'll be prepared. We have a huge technological advantage."
"What technological advantage?"
"You haven't even heard? We have lethal weapons. And we're going to show the goverment why it's a bad idea to cut yourself off from great power."
"On an individual scale I agree, but the government is a group of people that are all subject to each other. No one of them could have access to that power without all the others having it too."
"And that's one of the biggest problems with government: it makes people feel like they're more a part of a group then they are an individual. Anyway, me and my friends are heading to the prison to do justice."
"Do you mean kill all the criminals?"
"I suspect I'll be killing some of them, but no. Anyone whose crime is a victimless one I'm going to set free. The others I'll find an alternate way to punish, because we don't believe in imprisonment."
"I don't like it either, but it sounds like I'd better go there with you."
"Okay. Wait. Sid'll be meeting us there too, and he's likely to shoot you on sight."
"Wait what?!? Sid is part of your revolution?!?"
"He was willing to help. I'm not gonna turn away a potential ally just because of things he's done in the past. And I think working with us might've changed him."
"You blasted idiot! He used you to help him get rid of the government and now he's going to backstab you!"
Jane paused. Somehow she hadn't thought of that possibility. It did seem awfully convenient that he absolutely had to see her in person to explain whatever it was. "I don't think so. Like I said, I think working with us might have changed him. But I'll be ready for it."
Jane arrived at the prison and took a deep breath, getting a little emotional. It had been three years since her escape. Now she was ready to finish the job.
She found Dak guarding one of the entrances. "Hey," she said, "what's up?"
"We let all the criminals out of their cells, but until we've sorted out who's guilty of what Kath and I are guarding the entrances to the building with our lethal weapons. Kyle and his friends are waiting for you at the informational terminal."
"Okay. But you should know - Kyle said Sid just used us to get rid of the government and now he's going to backstab us. Explains why he needed to meet us here in person. I'm not sure, but let's be ready for that just incase."
"Good idea. Somehow I hadn't thought of that. I'll be waiting somewhere less obvious then. And I'll tell Kath."
Jane went in and found Kyle and two people she didn't recognize - a woman her age and a man a good bit older than Kyle - at a computer in the warden's office. "Here she is," Kyle said. "Let's get started."
Sid rendezvoused with Helen and Alex outside the prison. He didn't see anyone as they approached the door, but they were greeted by a man in the criminal uniform when they entered. "You..." he said. "You're the guy who made a distraction for Jane to free us three years ago..."
"Listen, do you know where Jane and her friends are right now? This is important."
"In the warden's office. They're looking through the database to determine who's guilty of what. Two of them are guarding the entrances with lethal weapons so we don't just run away."
"That suggests there's more than three of them," Sid said to Helen and Alex. "Weird."
"There are six total," the prisoner said. "Four in the warden's office."
"Probably just some other members of the revolution," Sid said. "No qualms about taking out others."
"Agreed," Alex said. "Let's go then."
"Wait," the prisoner said, "you're going to kill Jane and her friends?"
"She's a threat to us," Sid said. "Now that the government is pushed out of the city, she's going to turn all moralist on us and try to stop us from committing any more crimes."
"I guess you're right. I'll stay out of your way."
"Good. Now let's go."
They began to hear voices as they approached the door. Sid thought he recognized one of them that wasn't Jane. Was that Kyle?
He signaled for one of them to open the door while he readied his gun. It was going to happen in just a few seconds...
"The government is back!" the criminal from earlier yelled, running toward them. "Everyone with a weapon needs to be ready! I spotted a huge force of police heading toward us!"
Sid cursed under his breath and ran away from the warden's office toward one of the cellblocks. Helen and Alex followed him. "We'll hide in the cellblock until the battle's over," he said, "then take Jane and the others out when it's over. We don't want any risk of us dying in the firefight."
Jane and the others came out of the warden's office, weapons ready. "How are they back already?" Jane said. "I thought we pushed them out of the city! Also, why did they think they should come here first?"
"I won't shoot police," Vincent said. "They don't realize what they do is wrong."
"Maybe we can talk them out of attacking," Kyle said. "Let's go try."
"Wait!" the criminal who alerted them said. "I was lying. There are no police. Sid and his friends were here to assassinate you. I had to stop them."
"Told you so," Kyle said to Jane.
"Fine, you were right once." She turned to the criminal. "You were brave and selfless just now. Whatever your crime is, I'll forgive it. You can go free now."
"You can't just do that!" Kyle said. "For all you know he's a dangerous murderer!"
"I'm a small-time thief," the criminal said. "You can check in the database."
"Kyle, you go check, since you're the one that cares," Jane said. "I'll deal with Sid and his sidekicks." She turned to the criminal. "Where'd they go?"
He pointed to a cellblock. "They might have heard us and left by now though."
Jane, Vincent and Tina moved to guard the entrance of the cellblock. "Sid, come out here," Jane said. "I thought you had something to show me."
"You're not a very good pretender! If you hadn't been tipped off how would you even have known I was here?"
"Damn, good point. Okay, come out here so I can kill you."
"How's this for a deal: you give me the guy that alerted you, I kill him, and then I let you walk away alive."
"It's too bad about you, Sid," Jane said. "There were a couple of times where you seemed to consider giving morality another try. I had hopes for you."
"There really were times like that. But I realized you were just deceiving yourself. You're not free, and you never will be. Evil is the only way to be free."
"Fuck your bullshit!" Jane said. "Stop giving freedom a bad name!"
They heard Sid and his friends begin to fire their weapons rapidly at something inside the cellblock. "What are they doing?" Tina said. "Who are they shooting at?"
"Not who," Jane said, "What. A person doesn't take this many shots to kill, and there's no screams."
"Jane," Vincent said, "How exactly do these lethal weapons work? Is it possible they're blasting a hole in the wall?"
"Oh shit. That's gotta be it. They'll kill us if we peek out though." She said this last part just for the enemies' benefit. Then she gestured for Tina and Vincent to stay put while she circled around to the outside and tried to be waiting for them when they came through the wall.
She came out the opposite entrance to the prison, passing Kath. "Kath come on did you hear what happened?!?"
Kath began to follow her. "Kyle was right?"
"Yep! They're escaping through the wall now!"
They came to the outside of the cellblock, and found a hole in the wall but no one in sight.
"Must have already got away..." Jane said. "Shit..."
"Well at least they failed to assassinate us."
"Yeah. That's some good news. I guess we're going back to our positions. But be careful. They might come back for another try."
Jane went back to the warden's office with Kyle and his sidekicks, and explained the situation. Kyle had confirmed that the criminal who had saved them all - Arnold - was only a small-time thief, and agreed with Jane to let him go.
"I still can't believe you were stupid enough to trust Sid," Kyle said.
"Shut up and let's get back to our work."
They reached a verdict for each criminal, and whenever they found someone that Kyle thought should be punished and Jane didn't they decided they'd let the person go for now and Kyle and his friends could try to punish them later if they wanted, knowing that Jane and her friends would come after them for it.