Colt had only been in prison for three years but that was three years too long. The system had failed him. After an honorable discharge from the military, Colt had taken the fall for a spree of murders that he didn’t commit. Thanks to his days as an elite operative in the military, the jury had been persuaded that a man with his skills and experiences must have been responsible for the assassination of high level military officials on his home world. They had assumed that he had an axe to grind with his former employer after all those years of combat and near death experiences. Truth be told, Colt did have an axe to grind with much of the military industrial complex but he certainly didn’t go on a covert spree of assassinations. Despite this, Colt had been convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Colt didn’t belong here. No one really tried to mess with him in prison given his history as a certified badass, or so everyone around him seemed to perceive. Couple his military history with the fact that he was pinned with assassinating people that everyone in prison wanted dead to begin with and Colt pretty much had a free pass. He mostly kept to himself considering the fact that he couldn’t relate to the majority of his fellow inmates but there were a select few that he got along with and would hang out with to pass the time.
That’s where the jailbreak began. Or was about to. Colt’s buddy Marlon had been going on about it for weeks. Marlon was a funny and likeable guy but had a serious rage problem. He had beaten several people to death at a professional Splitgate match to land himself in prison. He waited outside of the opposing team’s locker room and went to work with a BFB outside of the designated respawn area. According to him, it took eight men to restrain him and save the life of the last remaining member of the opposing team. Colt had never asked what caused the incident.
Marlon had received word that several guys were planning a jailbreak and today was the day. Not unlike the Splitgate arenas that Marlon used to play in, the prison guards used an elaborate portal system to enter and exit the prison during work. The primary reason for this was obvious to those inside the prison, but not so much to the general population who knew nothing of it’s existence. Their prison (dubbed Helix) was suspended miles in the sky. No one knew how far up they were because the only way in was also the only way out; Through a portal that was highly secured and impossible to get to under normal circumstances. Tonight, that was going to change.
Word had somehow made it to the prisoner population that a new inmate would be portaled to Helix, which was rare. This meant that for a short window of time, the portal would not only be active but that guards would be working to bring this new prisoner into the facility shortly after he was teleported there. If anyone could make it past all of the security, and to the portal at the exact time when the guards would be bringing this new inmate through, they would be punching their ticket out.
The plan was relatively simple, albeit a long shot. Given that everyone in Helix had been sentenced to freeze miles in the sky in a place that they couldn’t find on a map, most of them didn’t seem to care about the odds. A riot would be started tonight. And not a fake one. Many of the inmates flat out didn’t like each other and hated most of the guards. Right before lights out, everyone in the know would get unruly, attack virtually anyone in the way of their freedom and make a break through Helix.
Colt wasn’t sold, to be honest. While he didn’t deserve to be there, he also wasn’t thrilled with the idea of indiscriminate violence to force his way out. Everything that he had done during his time in the military had been different. While there were plenty of messed up situations and things that he would rather forget, there was always a mission to complete that was, in his mind, for the greater good. During a prison riot, he would have to act in his own self interest and only his own self interest. No one, including Colt could hesitate. Once the jailbreak began, it was no holds barred if it were to succeed. They were all just as likely to be killed by one of their jail mates as they were a guard during this process.
Colt planned to stick with a small group of people that he could trust throughout the riot. Marlon would be by his side of course but he would also be accompanied by Frank, a Brazilian who bombed a convention of people dressed like animals. They would be joined by Bubbles, Hodgkiss and Ramon as well.
With only minutes until the jailbreak began, Colt ran through the plan in his head. Despite the urgency of the matter, he was surprisingly calm. Though he had been in life or death situations before, he was usually flanked by highly trained professionals. This would be a little different. Regardless of the circumstances, Colt thought about what was it stake. While Colt didn’t want to die, he didn’t have a lot to lose either. He had no family of his own, given the amount of time and dedication that he had given to his service. If he died during the jailbreak, he would almost be all right with it. At least he would die fighting during one last “operation” if you could call it that. While he wasn’t looking forward to potentially taking a life again, he knew that he was on the right side of this. He didn’t belong in prison yet someone had put him there. If he did manage to break out, he intended to find out who.
Colt sat in his cell, calm and ready when he heard shouting, something that wasn’t uncommon in prison. The shouts and screams slowly started to pick up as more people joined in. Some of the screams sounded too familiar; They were agonizing. People were most definitely in pain. Seconds later, gunfire rang out.
Helix was an awfully big place, so it was hard to tell what was happening and where, from his jail cell. Colt heard a loud thud and watched a guard fall to the ground in front of his cell. Several more guards sprinted past his cell and he heard the unmistakable voice of Marlon screaming “You motherfuckers!” A tangled mass of four people seemed to tug itself in front of his cell. Three guards were struggling to subdue Marlon who was raging like normal, throwing elbows, jabbing his head into any part of a guard that he could find. Eventually the mass of limbs, torsos and legs clanged into the bars on Colt’s cell, Marlon asking “A little help here, please?”
Colt walked over to the bars of his jail cell, grabbed one of the guards by the neck and slammed the back of his head into the bars, instantly knocking him unconscious. This was all the help that Marlon required. Marlon quickly hip tossed one of the guards over the banister onto the floor fifteen feet below before kicking out the knee of the last remaining guard, upper cutting him from below the chin and then finishing him off with a head butt.
“You didn’t have to throw that one over the rail, Marlon,” Colt said. “He might be dead. If we don’t make it out of here, you just added a second life sentence to your resume.” Marlon countered his critique with “If we don’t make it out of here, we’ll probably be killed in the process. You want out of there or what?” Marlon picked a key card off one of the unconscious guards and opened the Colt’s cell.
Colt took a few steps forward to get a view of the chaos. The riot had only started a few minutes ago but had quickly escalated into full scale warfare. He saw someone going to town at the bars of a jail cell with a circular saw, sparks filling the air. He saw guards firing pistols at inmates on the floor below him. Some of the inmates were taking cover behind the unconscious or dead bodies of guards that they had put down. In the east wing of the block he saw inmates that seemed to be taking guards hostage, stripping them of their protective gear and putting it on themselves. He watched a 500 pound man belly flop off a balcony to his death in an apparent suicide. He saw several inmates squaring off against each other in bloody hand to hand combat. It was anarchy. Unlike the warzone’s that Colt had fought in, where most people would flee and it came down to one small group versus another, everyone in the entire facility was involved in some shape or form. “You done bird watching,” Marlon injected. “Let’s go find the others.”
They found Bubbles tucked into the back corner of his cell, screaming at an impossibly high pitch. “GET AWAY! GET AWAY!” It was all that they could hear. This must have been some kind of psychotic episode brought on by the riot. They couldn’t wait so they just moved on after their efforts to convince him to join them, failed.
The situation scarcely improved with Hodgkiss and Frank. They found that Frank had died of a heart attack and Hodgkiss was no where to be found at all. That left only Ramon, who was supposed to meet up with them. They really needed at least one more person if they were going to be able to defend themselves. They waited for what seemed like an eternity when Ramon finally emerged. “Where the fuck were you,” Marlon demanded. “I was eating,” Ramon said, calmly. “Are you serious! Let’s fucking go already! People are dying,” Marlon scolded. “Diablo nino,” Ramon said before adding some pep to his step.
Colt, Marlon and Ramon started to follow the crowd of people that was funneling into the exit from the cell block. There were a few guards in riot gear still standing at the exit where a full scale brawl was happening. As the trio got closer to the action, Marlon ran and threw himself over the top of the sea of bodies, hurling himself into the guards. One of the guards went down under the impact of his weight. It didn’t take long for the other two guards to get pulled down and trampled once the line was broke.
As Colt and Ramon moved forward among the crowd, they looked around for Marlon. Had he got shoved to the front of the group of inmates forcing their way out of the cell block? Was he still on the ground? Hopefully he hadn’t been trampled, Colt thought. As the concert-like mass of bodies moved through the gate, Colt eventually found Marlon just sitting against a wall, waiting. “Nice move, Marlon. You sure you weren’t a professional wrestler back in your day,” Colt asked. Marlon chuckled and stood up while Ramon muttered “Cabeza muerte,” to no one in particular.
From here, the plan got a lot foggier. Not only had Helix erupted into complete chaos (which was the plan, to be fair) but their actual escape was going to be a roll of the dice. In order to get out, the group of rag tag prisoners had to make it to the portal within the facility. The fact that no one knew exactly where the portal was presented a slight problem.
“No matter what happens from here, we stay together,” Colt encouraged Marlon and Ramon. “We find this portal together and make our escape together, or none of us get out. The important thing is our lives,” Colt concluded. “Well, I don’t plan on dyin’,” Marlon replied before laughing out loud, as if it were funny.
While groups of prisoners fanned out in all four directions, Colt and his pair of companions headed West within Helix. It was like playing the lottery. The trio made it a solid two minutes without running into trouble. The West wing was lit only by emergency lights at this point but the group just walked as if nothing was wrong. It’s not like they were literally attempting to break out of a prison, suspended in the sky in an attempt that could very likely lead to their deaths.
Marlon broke the silence with a question. “What do you guys plan to do if we get out of here?” Ramon was the first to answer. “I really want to get some Mofongo,” he said. “You get a second chance at life and all you can come up with is eating food,” Marlon snapped. “I’m going to find myself a Russian Princess to marry,” Marlon dreamed out loud. “What about you Colt?”
“To be honest, there’s not much that I can do,” Colt opened somewhat cynically. “None of us can get a job. We’re serving life sentences. You think any of us will get through a background check? We’re not supposed to be out there. I don’t have any family to go home to. So I’m going to do the only thing that I’ve ever really known. I’m going to go on a mission. I’m going to find out who put me here, and why,” Colt concluded.
“Damn, so serious,” Marlon said. “Frio,” Ramon said. “Dude, can you stop saying things that the rest of us can’t understand,” Marlon said, annoyed. “I know what he’s saying. Maybe if you get out of here in one piece, you can culture yourself a bit,” Colt replied only half joking. “I said I wanted to marry a Russian Princess, not a Spanish one,” Marlon corrected. Their conversation was interrupted by a pain-tinged scream from up ahead.
Colt, Marlon and Ramon stayed close to the right wall and slowly moved ahead to scout. Colt took the lead and peaked into the side room, first. There were four inmates going to town on one unlucky guard, who was bloodied and battered so severely that he was hardly recognizable as a person. Colt took a quick inventory of the men responsible for the carnage at hand and discovered that it was Treyho and his posse. “Not good,” Colt whispered. Colt stood up, looked back at his “friends” and made a decision. Without sharing it and no time to make a plan, Colt walked into the room.
Colt opened with a question that he already knew the answer to; “Treyho, you guys find the portal yet?” “Nope, but this guy is going to tell us. That or he’s going to start losing eyes. And he’s only got two,” Treyho said. “I know we all want out of here, but I don’t think this guy is going to tell you anything if he goes unconscious or bleeds out,” Colt said, knowing where this conversation was going. “Who cares if he does? The clock is ticking for us to get out of here and if we don’t make that window, we’re all back to serving life sentences anyway,” Treyho argued. “I get it,” Colt said, “But this guy doesn’t have to die. Not everyone is a brain washed G-Man. Some people are just doing their jobs. Look at me. I was in the military. I did my job. Yet, here I am. Am I just ‘one of them’ because I was employed by the government?” “I don’t know what you are but you’re wasting our time. Get out of here or you’ll look like this guy in a minute,” Treyho said.
“God damn it,” Colt thought. Where are Marlon and Ramon anyway? It was right then that he saw Marlon sneaking up behind one of Treyho’s nameless accomplices with something in his hand. They truly didn’t have time to fight these guys. They needed every second that they could get to search for the portal. If they missed the opportunity, they might be stuck there forever. Or they might just get killed when more guards join the fray and they’re out roaming through Helix like its a river walk. “Fuck it,” Colt said out loud before grabbing the closest inmate and slamming his knee into face.
Marlon came flying from behind one of the Treyho posse and pulled a bag over the man’s head, wrestling him to the ground as he flailed and squirmed. Colt got hit hard from behind and went flying forward onto the ground. When he rolled over to get his bearings he saw Ramon had run over not only Colt, but Treyho and another one of his crew with a laundry cart at full speed. There was no time to waste.
Colt climbed to his feet, squared up with the only remaining assailant on his feet and started swinging. Colt had gone through significant close quarters combat training during his time in the military so instincts basically took over. His first punch connected with the right side of the unnamed prisoner’s torso. He followed it up with impacts to his left side, chest and finally hit him with a straight jab which sent him tumbling back into tables against the wall. Ramon wasn’t far behind, double fisting a computer monitor down onto the man’s skull. He wasn’t getting up.
Colt nodded to Ramon and spun around to assess the rest of the brawl. Just as he spun around he saw Treyho stab Marlon in the hip with a stylus and push him onto the floor. Marlon fell flat on his back. Colt yelled out “Hey” and got Treyho’s attention. Treyho grimaced and then smiled at Colt before lunging forward at him. Treyho was strong, but undisciplined. Treyho grabbed Colt by the throat with both hands, which was a big mistake. Colt put his back muscles to work and pushed Treyho backwards while he gripped Colt’s neck. As Treyho started to lose balance, his grip loosened and Colt sent his arms above his head, grappling his own fingers together and thrusting his arms into Treyho’s from below. Colt hit Treyho square in the face with his left and right hand. Treyho swung wildly at Colt but Colt ducked under the blow and struck Treyho in the stomach. Treyho spun around and grabbed something off the counter. Colt was sure that he intended to use it as a weapon. He didn’t give Treyho the chance. Colt kicked out Treyho’s legs and struck him a single time in the throat, with his right fist at full force.
Marlon crawled back into the room, scooting on his backside with his legs and one hand, his other hand on his bloodied hip. “Damn, did you crush his wind pipe?” Treyho’s gargling and gasping sounds answered the question for him. It looked like Ramon had summoned a fatality as well, stomping one of the crew to death. “What the fuck,” the prison guard said, reminding the surviving and conscious members of the brawl of his presence.
The guard had crawled to a wall and propped himself up into a sitting position. He had a pistol on his lap, but wasn’t aiming it at anyone. Marlon was the first one to speak up. “Hello uh, sir? We were looking for the portal out of here and uh, hoped that you might help us?” The guard’s expression didn’t change. One eye was swollen shut and Colt wasn’t sure if he could move any part of his face given the swelling. “The portal moves. It doesn’t stay in one place. We have portal pads in each wing. The Warden is the only one who can place them. Since you just saved my life, I’m going to act like I never saw you. Keep following this wing until you find the exit. You’ll need my key card to get out of the door. Once you’re outside, you’ll be in the snow. Turn left about 30 degrees and run like hell. You’re looking for an entrance to an underground bunker. That’s where you will find the warden, portal pad and your ticket out of here. You’ve got about fifteen minutes until the new prisoner arrives, so I suggest that you move quick,” the guard finished.
“Are you going to be all right,” Colt asked hesitantly. Even though the guard had just put them on the clock, Colt didn’t feel right about just leaving the guard who had been badly beaten and could easily be overrun. “I called for back up when you guys were killing each other. They should be here any minute. I suggest you get moving unless you want to get thrown back in your cells. I’ll be fine,” the guard said, before turning his head, signaling for them to leave. They took his advice.
Colt and Ramon helped Marlon walk who was gimping after being stabbed in the hip. The injury wasn’t life threatening but it did make it difficult for Marlon to walk. A couple minutes passed before they got to the exit and used their temporarily ally’s keycard to exit. Just as the guard had warned, they were now outside in the snow. Colt assumed that it was cold because of the whole “prison floating in the sky,” thing. Marlon complained about how cold he was as they followed the guard’s directions and hoped that they were headed the right way.
The trio eventually made it far enough to see the end of the “island in the sky.” Marlon and Ramon wanted no part of looking over the edge but Colt had to see it for himself. Colt carefully approached the edge and moved his head, but not his feet, enabling him to look down. As he expected, he saw nothing below them. It was blue sky and white clouds, giving no indication of what laid below them. While the view was a sight to behold, it was a terrifying reminder of how dire their situation was. Their options were to escape now or face death in one form or another. They certainly hadn’t came across any parachutes. As Colt stared into the infinite, Ramon called out from behind “Heyyyaaa,” Ramon cried. “I think we found the bunker!”
Colt backed away from the death ledge and jogged back to Ramon and Marlon. Colt took over supporting Marlon while Ramon reached down and grabbed the handles that he had stumbled upon. They looked heavy. Ramon grabbed on with both hands, dug his heels into the snow and leaned back. Slowly but surely, the doors pried open. It was happening. They were one step away from breaking out of Helix.
The trio raced down the stairs, surrounded by a narrow concrete hallway. There wasn’t much to see until they made it to a heavy metal door. They peered through the window, a blue glow crossing their faces. Inside the room was a blue pulsating portal, three soldiers with Assault Rifles and the Warden. The Warden was instantly recognizable in his suit of Maximus armor.
“How are we going to get through all of them? Do we just run for it,” Marlon questioned? “If we want to risk being shot, sure,” Colt said. “And how the hell are you going to run through that room fast enough with a bum hip? We’re going to have to cause a distraction. And since you can’t fight like that, it’s going to have to be you. Ramon and I will take advantage of the chaos to give us the best shot from there.”
The three prisoners turned compadres took a few moments gain their composure and shook hands among themselves. They were under no delusions that if this went south, they were all about to die. They were brothers now, until the end. The time had come. If they didn’t act, the new prisoner would come through and the Warden would close the portal. The time to act was now.
Marlon walked into the room while Ramon and Colt hid along the wall behind the door. Marlon took a few steps to the left before moving forward, extended his hands and cold opened with “Is that the portal out of this place? I’ve been looking for it all day.” The three soldiers spun around and leveled their weapons at Marlon who stood with his hands in the air. Marlon continued his monologue. “I just want to get out of here and marry a Russian Princess. I don’t want to hurt anyone. Do you mind if I go?” The guards were fanning out to surround Marlon, one moving closer to the door where Colt and Ramon still hid. They lucked out as the guard closest to them lowered his weapon and reached for his taser on his hip. This was their chance.
Colt burst through the door and came up behind the guard closest to the door. He grabbed the guard closest to him and raised his arm forced it to the right, taser now in hand, pulling the trigger. Both lines from the taser dug into the second guard’s chest and electrocuted him as he fell to the ground. The third guard opened fire in Colt’s direction as he used the guard in hand as a human shield. Assault Rifle bullets pelted the guard in front of Colt as he did his best to shield as much of his body as he could. Ramon came up from behind the pair and removed some type of grenade from the now dead, but still standing guard’s utility belt. Colt was instantly terrified by this ploy. The room wasn’t very big and an explosion of some kind could injure or kill everyone inside. Much to Colt’s surprise, Ramon didn’t pull the pin. He threw the explosive device like a baseball and hit the guard square in the head, knocking him unconscious. “Basura puta,” Ramon said, disgusted.
Marlon had crawled over to them and took the taser out of the hand of the now dead guard. “We’ve got this, Colt. You deal with the Warden, Mr. Special Forces,” Marlon said before pulling the taser trigger and shocking the already unconscious guard again.
Colt stood up and looked the Warden square in his eyes, or where he assumed his eyes were behind his menacing helmet visor. Colt was the first one to speak. “Look Warden, we have no business with you. Let us through the portal and we’ll be gone.” The Warden stared back at him for several seconds before responding. “It’s my job to keep this place running. It’s my job to keep you all in here. And you think that I’m suddenly just going to let prisoners from Helix, my penitentiary, to complete a jailbreak? Good one.” The Warden kept it nice and short as he reached to grab the shotgun off his back. Colt knew that it wouldn’t be good if he was able to open fire with that. It was almost impossible to miss.
Colt rushed the Warden and tackled him to the ground before he could get the long gun off his back and leveled at anyone in the room. Colt swung at the Warden beneath him but was pushed off of him before connecting. The Warden now had his shotgun out and came down with it, hoping to connect with Colt’s head. Colt dodged to the left, rolling his body to catch a quick glimpse at the guard that had been tased, now literally on fire as Marlon had held the trigger for so long. The Warden came down again, with Colt slowing the blow with his arms in front of him this time, instead. Ramon came up behind the Warden, grabbed him by the helmet and tried to pull him off of Colt, but the helmet itself came off instead and Ramon fell backward onto the ground. That’s when Colt noticed.
The Warden was a former Splitgate player that anyone who loosely followed the sport had heard of. He had been banned from the league after taking a hiatus to fight for the aggressor in a religious war. When footage came out of the infamous Splitgate enforcer known even then as “The Warden”, brutally executing people in a battlefield, no team wanted the PR nightmare that would have come with signing him.
The Warden head butted Colt on the ground, stunning him, stood up, and came down hard with his metal boot on Ramon’s knee who recoiled in pain. Marlon was crawling across the floor toward one of the guard’s Assault Rifles but the Warden kicked it away and kicked Marlon full force in his wounded hip. He followed it up by kicking him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. Colt climbed to his feet and grabbed the Warden’s shotgun off the floor. He had lost it Ramon grabbed him by the helmet and he instinctively reached up. Colt wasted no time, took aim at the Warden’s back and fired a round. Dozens of pellets hit the Warden in the back and sent him flying onto the ground, face down. Maximus armor might deflect small arm fire but not a shotgun at close range. Colt cocked the gun again and approached the Warden, when several rapid sounds came from the portal. Two guards as well as a man in handcuffs entered the room through the portal.
Colt used the two remaining rounds in the shotgun to take down both guards who attempted to draw their weapons on him, but were too slow. He wasn’t happy about having to kill them but it was kill or be killed at this point. Colt dropped the shotgun to the floor, now out of ammunition. The new prisoner stood in place, confused. He had just been sentenced to life in prison, only to arrive in the middle of a shootout. “Is that The Warden,” the new prisoner asked? “Yeah,” Colt said. “We’re about to go back the way you came in. You want to go?”
The new prisoner walked over to The Warden, who was using the wall to try and stand himself up. The new face put a stop to this by axe handle smashing him over the back, sending him back to the floor. “This guy terrorized my colony back in 57. You guys move along. He and I have some business to tend to.”
Colt walked over first to Ramon and then Marlon, picking them up off the floor. They were both badly injured, but able to move with some assistance. With Marlon on one arm and Ramon on the other, Colt limped the group over toward the portal. Once they got a few steps away, Colt stopped and looked back toward the new prisoner who seemed to be supervising their exit. “Be seeing you,” he said, raising his still cuffed hands as The Warden sat slumped against the wall beneath him. The Warden tried to reach over his own body to his wrist mounted portal gun but their new inmate comrade kicked him in the chest and didn’t lift his foot.
“All right guys, time to go,” Colt said to his now literal partners in crime. “Hold on a minute,” Marlon said. “Do we even know where we’re going? Like what’s on the other side of this thing?” “Don’t know,” Colt said. “But isn’t it better than being stuck in a floating prison fortress?” “We might get shot as soon as we walk out of this thing,” Marlon said. “Maybe. But what else are we going to do? We made it this far,” Colt said. “Jesus Christo,” Ramon reacted to the unpredictable situation at hand. Colt, Marlon and Ramon all lifted their heads and limped through the portal, unsure what laid ahead for them. Whatever it was, they had vendettas to settle, Princesses to marry and mofongo to eat.
Jailbreak is an original story set in the Splitgate universe. It is not considered to be official Splitgate lore or endorsed by 1047 Games.