The Foundry Pt. 01bythatonekidd©
CHAPTER ONE: Skill of Soul: Frost Monarch
Jun sat upright in his bed, sweating and panting heavily, staring at the open palm of his hand. There, in the very center, was a small ice crystal forming. It was floating and twirling about in the darkness gracefully. Jun would've been delighted by its presence -- had it been anywhere other than on his body.
'How did this get here?' he thought to himself quietly, as if his thoughts could be heard aloud. 'What the hell is this?'
He exhaled, slowly reaching for his lamp switch, not trying to move too much all while keeping a close look on the ice crystal. As his finger neared the switch, he had a strong and sudden urge to sneeze -- and as he did, the ice crystal in his hand quickly expanded into a large blade and shot upwards, smashing a hole in his room's ceiling.
His blue eyes widening in fear, Jun panicked and dashed out of his bed, screaming and tripping over the sheets in the process. He swung his door open and flew out of his room, tumbling down the stairs in the darkness of the house. Landing in the middle of the living room floor, he scurried onto the long sofa and huddled into a shuddering ball.
He heard his parent's voices seconds later, and then the light clicked on. They were still groggy, having been woken up by Jun's frantic outburst.
"Jun? Sweetie, what's wrong?" his mother asked, rushing over to him. "Nightmare?"
Jun replied with a blank stare, his eyes struck with fear.
"Did you wet your bed?" his father asked jokingly. "That'd be a nightmare. Eighteen years old and still wetting the bed!"
His mother turned around and gave him a stern look -- one that silenced his snickering right away. "Toshio, go back to bed. Now."
Jun's father headed back upstairs, still chuckling at his joke.
"Jun, listen to me," she said, stroking her son's tousled brown hair, "it's all okay. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was just a nightmare. If it makes you feel better, why don't you sleep in Kazuaki's room with him?"
Jun's spell of fear broke at the thought of sharing a room with his eleven year old brother because of a bad dream. "Never! He'd make fun of me for the rest of my life!"
His mother laughed. "Come on. Let's get you back to bed."
As she helped him up, fussing over his messy hair, his father called them from upstairs. From the worried tone he used, Jun knew it couldn't be good. He and his mother both rushed upstairs to find Toshio standing in front of Jun's open doorway.
"Jun?" he asked in a low voice, slowly pointing into his room. "What. Is. That?"
Jun fearfully peered into his room. His father was pointing to the large ice crystal blade that had smashed into his ceiling. It was stuck, reflecting the soft white moonlight through its crystallized body.
"My goodness!" his mother exclaimed. "Jun, did you do that? What is that? How did it get there? What is that?"
"I don't know," Jun answered, whispering, as if it would hear him. "I don't know anything about that ... thing. It just ... formed randomly and woke me up."
His father turned to him with a skeptical look on his face. He seemed to open his mouth to say something but opted not to. The crystal, or whatever it was, just seemed so unearthly that he had no possible explanation for it. "Is it snowing outside?"
"It's the middle of March!" his mother exclaimed. "There's no way a chunk of ice would fall and get stuck in our roof!"
All three of them were quiet as they continued to stare at whatever it was.
"Maybe you should sleep on the sofa downstairs," his mother said finally. "I have a bad feeling about that thing. We'll discuss this more tomorrow, okay? Toshio, shut that door!"
Without a word, his father shut the door and locked it, as if it would keep the crystal away from them.
Jun made his way back downstairs, pulled out the sofa bed and plopped down. He tried to shut his eyes and go back to sleep, but no matter how tired he was, he couldn't.
'That came from me! I did that,' he thought, tossing and turning around. 'I made that crystal. I made it shoot up. My god, what the hell is happening to me?' Hours later, Jun finally managed to doze off into a light sleep.
In his dream, he found himself running. Running away from something. Someone. A strange old man, ominously standing behind him with a crooked grin. His face was shadowed, though Jun could still feel the menacing, piercing gaze of his eyes. For some odd reason, it hurt him. Pain tingled through his body, as if it were real, instead of a nightmarish encounter.
He awoke in just a few hours later covered in sweat to loud, heavy pounding on his front door. Creaking his tired eyes open, he was blinded by the shining sunlight pouring through in the blinds.
"Police! Open up!"
Jun shot up from the couch, staggering. 'Police? Why?'
He turned to run up the stairs to get his parents, before being stopped by the most horrific sight of his life. The ice crystal - whatever it was - had expanded even more, destroying the entire house and created crystal walls in its place. His house had now become a crystallized castle. His mouth hung open as he stared at his reflection on the walls in disbelief.
But, waking up to a crystallized house is not as shocking as waking up to a dead family. There, nailed high above to the crystal ceiling, was his two parents and younger brother, all dead. A red chain wrapped around their crucified posed bodies, tying them to each other and dangling loose on the ends. Jun was stunned. And scared. Deathly scared.
"Oh my fucking god!" he cried out, dashing up the stairs, ignoring the pounding policemen and flashing sirens outside. "Mom! Dad! Kazu!" Their blood splattered out of their bodies on the ceiling, as if someone had tried to paint eerie blood red wings.
'This can't be real!' Jun thought as he frantically tried to reach up to his family's cold, lifeless bodies. 'It can't be! I'm dreaming. This is a nightmare. I'm so fucking dreaming! God, this can't be real!' The more he continued to fuss over it, the more the reality began to sink in.
If you have ever lost someone dear to you, then you know the unbearable pain and despair that you gain in place of them. And for those who haven't, you can't even begin to imagine it. Jun slid to his knees, staring with an open mouth, at the horrific sight before him. His voice was stuck in his dry throat, coming out in squeaks and other incomprehensible noises.
He tuned everything out, every bit of his surroundings. He didn't care about the shouting angry policemen outside his door. He didn't care when they broke down the door with a battering ram. He didn't care when they rushed upstairs, loudly interrogating him about what happened. He was silent when they picked him up and carried him outside.
By now, Jun had come back to reality a bit, getting a glimpse of what was going on. News cameras everywhere, as well as photographers and reporters with their cameras flashing taking pictures of the house, of him, and of the large crystal that jutted out from the roof. Along with them were multiple police cars and cops, ambulances, fire trucks and nosy bystanders - all chattering loudly. The police sat Jun down on the back of an ambulance.
"What happened kid?" they asked in a loud booming voice. "What is that? Where did it come from? Did you do it? Why is your family dead? What the hell is going on in there?"
Jun merely replied with a blank stare, still in shock. 'This is reality. This hell is now reality. This is real life.'
"Answer us kid!" the policeman demanded. His patience was wearing thin. He turned to his partners and shook his head. "Forget it. Kid's not talking. We'll have to go to the eyewitnesses. Don't let him out of your sight!"
Jun looked around at the busy scene before him, reporters and policemen scurrying back and forth the street. Blinding and flashing lights filled the sky as well as deafening sirens and blares of horns. Jun felt his head spin, and it wasn't long before he fainted, falling back into the ambulance.
He awoke hours later in a white hospital bed. His head was wrapped in a tight bandage and a needle was stuck to his finger. He groggily got up, his head still in pain and throbbing, and tried to look around.
A nearby nurse noticed him and quickly sent word to the doctors. Within seconds, his empty room was filled with white clad doctors and nurses fussing over him, with hoards of reporters and cameras piling outside his door.
"Where am I?" he asked. It came out stifled and scratchy. His throat was dry and hoarse, almost painful to talk.
"The hospital," a nurse answered with a friendly smile. "You passed out after the murder, so they took you here."
Jun looked down. "Oh." Then it hit him. "Wait! Murder?!"
His sudden outburst of energy surprised the doctor. "Y-yes," the doctor said, removing the needle stuck in his finger. "Your family, looks like they were killed and then crucified to the ceiling. Looks like the work of some psychopathic murderer."
'Who did it?' Jun thought, 'And why did they spare me? Why did they do it? Why us? Why me? And the red chain ... what the hell is going on?!'
The doctor smiled warmly and made sure all wires were disconnected from the injured Jun. "Yep. They're charging you with the murder," he said calmly as he snapped a thick pair of metal handcuffs around Jun's slender wrists.
Jun's heart dropped. Silence rang in his ears. He stared back at the doctor, as if he had grown two heads instead of telling him horrible news, then down at the cold pair of cuffs on his wrists. "Wha ..."
No sooner had the doctor delivered his horrifying news that a tall and skinny man entered the room. He looked about thirty, in his white pinstripe suit and slicked back hair. Behind his glasses, his grey eyes were shiny and had a sneaky glint to them, constantly darting around the room. He approached the dumbfounded Jun, pushing the nurses and doctor aside.
"Hello there, young man," he said in a bright peppy voice. "Jun Kimura? Hello, hello! Do you know who I am?"
Jun slowly shook his head, his brown eyes still empty, torn, and confused.
The mysterious man smiled and reached into his jacket, pulling out a small white card. He handed it to Jun. "As you can see by the card, my name is Hajiro Kusani, lawyer and owner of Kusani Law Firm."
Jun looked at the card blankly.
"And I," Hajiro continued, "took it upon myself to appoint me as your lawyer. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I heard it and rushed over as quickly as I could to help you. And don't you worry your cute little head off, I'm doing this free of charge and out of the goodness in my heart."
Jun looked back up at the strange man before him. "Th-thank you," he uttered out. "Will you help me?"
"Don't you worry about a thing, Mr. Kimura," Hajiro reassured firmly. "I'll do everything I can, and I assure you we'll get through this without a hitch."
Jun looked back down at the cuffs. "Mr. Hajiro, how do you know?"
"Because I'm a lawyer," Hajiro said with a warm smile. "Always trust the lawyer. I've got more than enough experience dealing with the justice system. Relax, and soon I'll be helping you find who really killed your family."
Jun sighed with relief. "I want to find who did it. I have to know!" He tugged at the thick metal handcuffs angrily.
Hajiro smiled. "That's the attitude. Now let's go. It's trial time."
The doctor and nurses helped Jun get up and stand on his own. He was a little wobbly and woozy, but he managed to follow Hajiro out the room. Outside, the herd of photographers and reporters all jumped in his face, bombarding Jun with questions.
"How did you do it, Jun Kimura?"
"Jun Kimura, do you feel any remorse at all?"
"The crystal, Jun Kimura. How did you make the crystal?"
"No, the red chains. Why red chains, Jun Kimura?"
"Why, Jun Kimura? Why?"
Jun balled his cuffed fists in anger. He stopped and faced the crowd of reporters. "I didn't do it! I didn't kill my family, because I had no reason to! I didn't do it, I didn't make any crystal, and I didn't kill anybody so leave me the hell alone!"
That didn't phase the reporters one bit. Cameras kept flashing and the questions persisted, until Hajiro stepped in front of Jun.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a trial to attend," he said calmly. "Until we can prove this young man guilty, he is innocent as ever. Please hold all questions until after the trial."
Down in the courtroom, everything was all a fast moving blur to him; Hajiro talked, then the judges talked, although Jun wasn't paying any attention to the words. His mind was still a jumbled mess. He had never stepped foot inside a court before, let alone be a convicted criminal. The reporters and news had followed him, flashing cameras as they called Jun to the stand.
"We find Jun Kimura," the judge said, raising his gavel, "guilty of all charges and sentenced to life in the Foundry." He slammed it down on the block; his decree was now official and absolute.
CHAPTER TWO: Solitary Confinement - Iron Gondola to Hell
Jun's eyes widened in shock as the echoing of the gavel rang in his ears. 'Guilty?' he repeated in his head. 'For life?' He stood there, still and wide mouthed, overcome with many emotions. 'That can't be ...'
"No!" Jun shouted, slamming his cuffs down on the stand. "No! No! No! You've got it wrong! I didn't do it! I couldn't have! That was my own family, damn it!"
Security marched into the room, ready to escort the raging Jun away. Behind them was Hajiro, light reflecting off his glasses.
"Hajiro!" Jun cried out angrily. "What the hell happened? You said--"
"Mr. Kimura." He stood over Jun with a frown of fake remorse. "Oh. You're guilty. So sorry, Mr. Kimura. I'll see you in the Foundry." He gave a slight nod to the security and watched as they picked up Jun and carried him away.
The Foundry is a mysterious, private maximum security prison located on an island far away from the mainland, tucked safely within raging whirlpools. It made sense, since it is rumored to be home to the most notorious criminals that smaller, local prisons could not hold. The only way in the Foundry, and out of it, would be through an extremely large, highly secure gondola ferrying back and forth. The gondola itself is a taste of the prison - crafted completely out of iron, barred windows, and small rooms where each inmate is placed alone. Both it and the prison are extremely low key and private, only making headlines and catching the public's attention for its brutality and secretiveness.
Despite almost everyone knowing about its existence, not many knew much about it. The prisoners that get sent there are either death row inmates or vicious criminals who committed heinous crimes. No one has ever been released from the Foundry and it boasts a blank escape record. Many have tried to escape the wrath of the Foundry, but they have never made it out alive.
The criminal justice system tries its best to sentence the guilty into smaller, local prisons instead of opting for the privatized Foundry, but somehow, a select few always manages to make their way into the iron gondola, ready to seal their lives into the Foundry forever.
Among those 'select few' was Jun Kimura -- a small eighteen year old high school senior convicted of murdering his family. How he did it, officials don't know, but he was the only one alive when the police broke down the door to his home. According to reports, he was found standing there as his family hung from the ceiling.
Jun was shocked. Confused. Lost. Angry. He didn't do it. He couldn't have. Although he randomly discovered his shocking supernatural ability to create ice, there was no way he could have killed his own family. Someone else did it. And now here he was, sitting in a white prison jumpsuit, staring at the walls of the small room.
The officials didn't care, however. He was the only one alive, they said. Therefore, he did it. He committed the crime.
'Fucking bastards!' Jun thought, slamming an angry fist down on the iron walls of his room in the gondola as it waded through the murky waters. It was headed straight for the Foundry. 'I didn't fucking do it!'
Jun looked around the small room he was placed in for solitary confinement. "I didn't do it!" he yelled, pounding on the door with his fists. "Let me out of this damn thing! I have to find who really did it!"
Frustrated tears streamed down his youthful face as he slammed his fist down one last time. He was scared. He'd heard rumors of the Foundry from the kids at school. They would all talk about how awful it must be to go there, and luck have it, he was headed there now. All seemed hopeless, until an idea popped in his head.
'Wait a minute! I have that weird power!' he thought excitedly. 'I can probably bust my way out of here! No one will stop me!'
He paused, debating with himself if he should use the very same thing that caused his life to turn upside down. 'Damn it! This is no time to be bitter and spiteful! I have to use everything and anything I can to bust the hell out of here!'
He quickly stared at his hand and concentrated on trying to form it again. 'Come on! When I need you, you don't want to show up? Come on! Help me! Appear! Create! Form! Materialize!'
After a few minutes of strained silence, a small shard of ice began to form in his palm, spinning around like it did so familiarly the night he first encountered it.
'Okay! Okay! Now we're getting somewhere!'
He aimed the small shard towards the door.
'Alright, now ... enlarge! Grow! Get spiky and shoot forth!'
Jun sighed angrily. "God damn this fucking thing! When you want to get all dangerous and kill my family, I didn't expect it! Now when I need you to, you don't want to do anything?"
Then, almost as if on cue, the ice shard quickly expanded into a blade, like it did the first time, and flew toward the iron door with a loud bang, bursting into a cloud of smoke. The recoil sent Jun stumbling back down on his feet.
Ecstatic, Jun waited for the smoke to clear down before heading out on his own. A satisfied smirk swept across his youthful face as he wiped his tears away. 'Hell yeah! Take that, criminal justice system! Nothing can hold me back now!'
But as soon as his smirk came, it vanished. When the smoke faded, Jun could see, clear as day, that the iron door still stood fast, scratch-less. Not even a single dent was made.
'What the hell?! It should've came crashing down! Just what is this place?' He stared at the door angry and confused. On his door was his information plate, one that reminded him again and again that he was arrested and on his way to hell on earth.
"Jun Kimura, 'Ghost'. Eighteen. Height: five foot five. Weight: one hundred ten pounds. Eyes: blue. Hair: brown. Conviction: murder. SoS: undetermined."
He sighed, leaning down in his cot, staring at the blank gray walls of his room. A while later, he heard the lock of his door click open. He jumped to his feet, anticipating what would happen next. The creaking of the heavy door filled the room as it swung slowly open. Two security officers, dressed in white lab coats marched in without a word.
One of them reached into their pocket and pulled out a thin, sleek metal bracelet, snapping it around Jun's wrist.
"Hey! What the hell is this thing?" he demanded angrily, waving the bracelet in their faces.
The two white clad officers stared at him silently with blank faces, ignoring his question then left without a word, shutting and locking the door behind them. Jun was, again, left in solitary confinement.
CHAPTER THREE: Enter the Cruel Beauty -- Chief Warden Aburagi
"The Foundry is highly privatized prison, so secretive and secluded to the rest of the world, some say we don't exist. That we're merely a legend created to instill fear and good behavior into the citizens of the world. While I'm flattered that our humble name is being used to create do-good citizens, I'm afraid I'm going to have to burst their naïve bubble. We are very much real. And we are very much glad to be here."