Coldridge prison was a massive building, which seen from afar seem like a great monolith, sober and dark. Corvo knew the architecture of that place by heart as when he had arrive and been appointed as Royal Protector, he had study the prison and learned every single detail of it, just as he knew the Tower like the back of his hand. He knew that the prison hold one hundred and fifty cells, that were distribute in five blocks. Each block containing a different numbers of cells, the A and C block were close to one another and hold regular criminals. The B block was the solitary wing, which wasn’t that isolate even though there were only ten cells there, the prisoners could speak to one another. The block D and E hold the criminals that were jailed for life and therefore were in the back of the building. Also the prison had a basement where the barracks and the kennels were located. The small hospital wing and the dining room were also located in the basement, alongside the armory, from the basement one could reach any part of the prison and the sewers. Also Corvo knew that the walls that surrounded the prison were too high for any man to try to climb them by hand, though there were some pipes that ran alongside the walls that could be easily climb. Yet Corvo knew there was a huge difference between being outside the cells from where one could walk as one desire and being behind the bars.
He had always wonder why Coldridge prison had been located next to the Dunwall Tower, he had always find it strange and had even commented it with his second in command when he had first seen the Tower, before he had been appointed as Lord Protector. He had thought that Gristolans were strange men, as they seemed fit that the prison would be next to the Emperor’s residence. But after studying the place, he had concluded that trying to break in from outside was impossible, so if the city would be under attack it would be expected that the Emperor would be moved to the prison, as a secure measure. As for the criminals inside, well he knew first hand, that even if they did manage to escape their cells and reach the main door they would still need help to break free, it was also difficult to try to escape that bloody place, he knew they would need help of some sort, either a friend that would open the door or that it would provide another way out.
Yes, they would need help, just as much as he needed it. Help that he had wait to receive for the past four months and a half since he had been told he would get it. Help that didn’t seem to arrive, help that seem now like an empty promise. He had waited for it as he had tolerate the mockeries and insults of the guards and their few abuses, as they had learn quite quickly to better not tried anything on him, as he had show them that even in chains he could be deathly. Corvo had kill or harm more than a guard when they had tried to soft him before the interrogations began, but he had prove them to better leave that to the Royal interrogator. Corvo had waited for a help that he had began wondering if it have not been a trick of the now Lord Regent, Lord Hiram Burrows, to have him stay put and not try to escape anymore. A little voice in his head had told him that it could be something like that, just a trick, that Burrows knew that eventually if Corvo had continue trying to escape the would had succeed and that maybe he had him told that lie so he would remained there. Corvo wondered if it had been truly wise to listen to the medic instead of trying to escape each time he had the opportunity. He hoped that the man was truly a Serkonan that had delivered an encrypted message to Corvo and not simply a pawn in Burrows game, yet he couldn’t be sure of any. And even though he had thought again in trying to escape the security measures had been improved since his sixth attempt of escaping, a small grill was added to his cells so his meals would be slip through it and no actual guard would opened the door and he wouldn’t get an opportunity to escape, and not only that but also what the guards like to call ‘the double safe’, which consist in a guard in each end of the corridor and a couple of guards in the next area, always making rounds. At least Corvo had to admit that they were afraid of him and that somehow flatter him. Yet he knew that the only time in which he could tried to escape was when he was brought into interrogation, but there were far too many guards for him to take with no weapon and he knew he would need help of any kind for him to break free. So he could only hope that Serkonos hadn’t really abandoned him, that they would send help, any type of help.
Corvo couldn’t be sure they would be sending help or wouldn’t. He still held hopes as he knew that what he had proposed to the Duke had been far too good to be thrown away. But of course, he had never imagined that he would end up in prison, and less sentence to death, that might change the perspective of the Duke and might even let him rot and die away in Coldridge. He knew that they wouldn’t go to open war just for one man, a man that even though he had held great power, he had lost it when the Empress had died. If he had been Emperor Consort probably Serkonos would had send aid, but if that would had been the case, he wouldn’t had been there in the first place. Sometimes Corvo cursed his decision of not accepting that proposition of Jessamine, but having to deal with the noblemen and having to pretend that he cared about the city had always make him decline it.
It had been six month since Corvo had been labeled traitor and the people of Dunwall wanted to see his head roll. It had been six month since Corvo had lost everything. He lost his golden opportunity to do whatever he had wanted to with the Empire, he had also lost the women he loves the most. He had lost Jessamine and would never get her back and he had lost Emily, whom he didn't know where she was or even if she was still alive. Though that was a thought that Corvo had forbade himself to even consider, he knew that Burrows needed Emily, sooner or later he would need to present Emily or the nobles would become restless and the claims of whom would become the new ruler of the Empire would soon arise. Yet he didn't know where Emily was as Burrows hadn't given the slightest hint of where his daughter could be.
Corvo knew that the time for him to get any aid, if it was truly coming was running out. He knew he didn’t had any time left, as for tomorrow he would be executed, he just hoped that if truly Serkonos was going to send any help it would be that day or they could be sure that their friend would be beheaded. Corvo also knew that the most time that was given to interrogation were six months which meant that his time had come to an end. He knew that Burrows time to get a confection had end, if he couldn’t make Corvo signed the confection that day. Suspicion would soon arise regarding the dead of the Empress, and more if a cure for the plague wasn’t found soon, as probably some would wondered if indeed the former Lord Protector had indeed murdered the Empress and not someone else like a foreigner power. At least Corvo was sure of something Burrows would never ask for help to Serkonos as he had never believed that the island could had the cure, he knew that at least if he would be executed the city would fall to pieces and rot, a thought that give him a smile from time to time.
Corvo passed his hand over his face and felt the unattended beard that had grown over the last six months of imprisonment. He knew that for tomorrows execution Burrows would had him clean up, so the nobles could recognized him. As his current appearance wasn’t at all pleasant to look upon, not only because his hair had grown alongside his beard but because his clothes were practically rags. He could tried to escape as soon as they tried to shave him, even with a small blade, like a shaving blade, he was sure he would be able to make it out of Coldridge. And if not, he could take some of those bloody bastards with him to the Void. Unless that was when his ‘friends’ would try to help him out, he hope that if that was true, that it would be easy for him to escape.
He heard his cell opened and turned to look at the door. They were there, one guard at the entrance with a pair of shackles, and two other guards behind him with pistols aiming at him. At least he had to admit that Burrows accepted that he was somehow dangerous and that he wouldn’t let him try to escape that easily. Corvo rose from what was supposed to be his bed and extended his arms, letting know the guard that he was ready to be taken to his interrogation. The guard didn’t say anything when he put Corvo the shackles on the hands and then he put another pair on Corvo’s feet’s. Corvo was sure that tomorrow if he would be quick enough he could knock out the guard and made a run to the cell door and deal with the other two guards and then try to escape, one last time. Of course he didn’t have a plan per se of what he would be doing, probably he would try to find Emily and get out of that damned city as soon as possible and let it fall to pieces. Let Burrows have it if he wanted it so much, Corvo couldn’t care less about Dunwall.
They make him walked toward the interrogation room, as he walked by he counted the guards and saw if they were in pairs or not, what weapons they were carrying and how easily distracted they could get by strange noises, as he kicked several object in his way. Corvo counted fewer guards than normal and most of them were lower rank City Watch officers, he only counted two officers, but of course some of them could be in the barracks or having breakfast in the dining room. He didn’t knew why he was counting them, he knew that he wouldn’t be breaking free, but he guessed that it was the only thing for him to do while he made his way toward the interrogation room. The guards lead the way through the lower floor, Corvo notice that only two guards were in the catwalk and weren’t even looking at him, he also notice that the entrance to the basement was unguarded, it was strange but he decided to better not let his hopes high as he knew that the chances of him getting any help were the same of him meeting the Outsider.
They reached the interrogation room and pushed him inside, he stumbled but remain on foot. Corvo simply glare at the young guard, the guard had been teasing him since he had been transfer to Coldridge, he didn’t seem to know with whom he was dealing and most of the guards had already told him to better leave Corvo alone, if not he could break his neck. Yet the young man had continue, and Corvo was getting sick of him, he stare at him. Corvo walked in front of the chair and looked at it.
“Couldn’t they clean it from last time?” he asked sarcastically.
“Shut up Attano,” said the younger guard, as he approach him. “You don’t even deserve that the Lord Regent interrogate you filth. They should had already hang you, and let the rats eat your corpse, after what you did to the Empress and Lady Emily.” Then he kicked Corvo on the back of his legs, making him lose balance and fell to his knees. It was in that moment that Corvo had enough, they had warned him and he didn’t listen to them, now he would learn the hard way. Corvo quickly turned around and got his arms around the guard and started strangling him with the chain, the other two guards turned when they heard the young one choking. One of the guards quickly grabbed Corvo and also started strangling him to make him lose his grip on the young man, the other guard noticed that Corvo wasn’t going to let go, he simply punched Corvo in the stomach, that took Corvo’s breath away and he let go the young guard. Corvo fell and before he could get up the two officers quickly tied him up in the interrogation chair.
“Are you alright Jeff?” asked one of the officer, to what the young guard simply nodded. “How many times we told you not to mess with him? How many? He could have killed you. Next time you try to do anything I will let him take you.”
Corvo looked at the man in the eyes and simply said in a cold tone. “You should had listen to them Jeff, you shouldn’t had mess with me. I’m going to kill you first as soon as I get out of this chair, unless your sweet Lord Regent is able to protect you.”
The guard looked at him and was about to hit Corvo when one of the officers stop him. “The Lord Regent want him unharmed, let him be, he won’t be able to do anything.” Corvo eyed both guards in a cold and dark way, but remained silence. The officer looked at him and then quickly turned away, but the guard looked at Corvo in defiant way, but eventually turned away.
They left Corvo alone in the room, he knew it was worthless to even try to set loose the bindings, as they were tight. They would only lose a bit until they had tortured him enough, when he had already twisted the arms far too many times and he was exhausted to try to do anything or was unconscious. He wondered what they would do to him that day. Would they try to drown him in the sink? Maybe hang him up from the shackles until the skin on his wrist started tearing off and his arms become bloody. Or they could turn him upside down while he was sitting, so the blood would rush to his head and then turn him again and get him dizzy. Or perhaps they would put the shackles and have several guards beaten him up, which never actually ended up well for the guards as he usually finished beating them to the ground. Or maybe they will take of his shirt and whip him several hours until there was enough blood on his back and had dripped down. He also thought that maybe they could use the favorite of Campbell, putting him in the middle of the yard in the shackles that were use in the Abbey to punish Overseers and any other person that would go for a trial of heretic and left him there for more than day. But he discarded that last one, since tomorrow would be when he would meet his end. There could also be the favorite of Burrows and that was using his interrogator, who likes to use red hot iron to brand him. Corvo had several new scars because of that, he was sure of one thing, that Jessamine wouldn’t had like them, even though she had always ask about his scars. She had always find them fascinating, yet Corvo had never told her the whole stories behind each of them, and he knew that even if she would had been alive, she probably wouldn’t like to hear the stories of his new ones. Corvo gave a sigh and heard the door opened.
Hiram Burrows and Thaddeus Campbell entered followed by the ‘Royal interrogator’ and the captain of the prison. Captain Carlew left a new audio card next to the audio graph machine made a bow and left.
“Corvo, it seemed you have recovered from our last interrogation,” said Burrows as he stood in front of him. “If you would sign the confession we could omit everything of this nasty business. But… even if you don’t sign it, it will really won’t matter after all you head will be rolling off your body tomorrow in the afternoon.” Corvo didn’t reply anything to Burrows, he simply stared at him with a cold and piercing look. “Well then, shall we begin?” said Burrows smiling back at Corvo.
Corvo opened his eyes, just to see the ceiling of the interrogation room, he saw the sign over it, ‘Order shall prevail’ he read, how many times had he read that sign in the last six months, too many he thought. His whole body ached and he could barely move, he smelled the soft scent of burn meat, his own flesh, as Burrows’ interrogator had been using a red hot crowbar to torture him for the last couple of hours. As soon as the interrogation had begun they had opened Corvo’s clothes, or what was left of them, and once the crowbar had been red hot the interrogator had began burning Corvo. The man had pressed the crowbar against Corvo’s sides and then had torn it off when he had felt that the skin had attached to the bar. Therefore Corvo didn’t just have nasty burned wounds but also those that had living flesh that were dripping blood. His whole body was in agony and trembled softly.
Corvo looked at Campbell that was in front of him, he could see Burrows at the desk, probably finishing the last details of the confession they wanted him to sign. The Gristolan looked at the Serkonan and could easily see his exhaustion, the younger man was breathing in slower and deeply way, yet his eyes were defiant and penetrating.
“This is your final chance, Corvo. Sign the confession and let me give you the rites to put your spirit at ease,” said Campbell in a condescending tone Corvo glared at Campbell and tried to move the hands. Campbell nodded and the royal interrogator approached Corvo with the red hot iron he had been using.
Corvo opened his eyes and saw how the man pressed the iron against his left side, he screamed in pain as he contorted on his seat. He gasped and breathed heavily as soon as the man had retired the crowbar, he was far too tired to suppress the scream. Corvo had to admit that every time they tortured him with the red hot iron it exhausted him faster than any other method. Maybe that was why they were using it that day, so he would simply signed the confession or to exhausted him so he wouldn’t try anything the day that would follow and he would be easy to handle. He looked up and saw how Burrows approached Campbell and then he talked to his subordinate.
“That’s enough for now, wait outside Morris we will call you once we need you again,” said Burrows, Corvo was relief; he knew at least that he wouldn’t be tortured anymore with the hot iron, at least for a couple of minutes. A part of him was glad for it. “Get out. Let’s give the man some time to think.” Both men that stood in front of Corvo watched how the big man left the room. Once they were left alone with Corvo Burrows continued. “I have to admit Corvo that you have been the man that had turned out to be most difficult to break down. It didn’t matter all the torture I put you through, you never broke, that is something extraordinary I may said, I only wonder what type of training they make you go through in Serkonos that you could withstood so much. If you would have been under my command and follow orders of course, imagine all we could have done for this Empire. But you choose to remain by her side instead of mine, such a foolish decision and for that is that you are here,” said Burrows as he had walked through the room, then he looked again at Corvo. “The Empress is dead, her daughter Emily is hidden away, and no one will ever know the truth, it didn’t matter that you actually screamed it the first whole month, no one believed you, such a sad thing,” he said with a bit of satisfaction in his voice. Corvo looked up at Burrows, so Emily was alive, that was relief, at least now he knew she was alive.
“Yes, unlucky you. Tomorrow you’ll be executed, but it’s for a good cause. This country needs strong leadership now, someone to guide the weak, and that’s where we come in. With the Empress death, finally this great Empire will rise to what it is supposed to be.”
“There was nothing personal in this,” said Burrows with a small smirk in his face, Corvo stared at his eyes and knew it had been a delight for Burrows when Corvo had been blame for Jessamine’s dead, as he had killed two birds with a single stone, all knew there was little love between the Spymaster and the Lord Protector. “Even though you almost sank your plans. But it turned out well. You were at the wrong place at the right time, and someone had to take the fall,” he said with delight in his voice. “And lucky for us it was you, if not, knowing you, you would had started to become a bother as you would had tried to find anything about Lady Emily’s whereabouts. And probably would have started digging and messing around trying to find a lead to find that spoiled girl. But you are here and we don’t have to really worry about you anymore, after all you killed the Empress, and for that you will pay with your life. So, goodbye Corvo,” he said smiling in an evil way to him.
“I had cursed you Hiram, and I will make sure that curse become true,” said Corvo gaining the attention of both men. “I’m going to make sure your lives turned into a living nightmare and made you beg for death, and I will make sure you both die in the most agonizing way possible. Even if I have to come back from the same Void, I will tear you apart and will drive you crazy. I will make sure you wished you were seeing the eyes of the same Outsider before you die instead of mine,” said Corvo in a cold and deathly tone.
Both men stared at his dark empty brown eyes, they knew he wasn’t lying. That look wasn’t human, that look was of a predator that had just decided who will be his next victims. Burrows felt how his blood ran cold, while Campbell simply looked at him.
“You won’t be able to do that, you will be dead by tomorrow night,” said Campbell trying to convinced himself.
Corvo simply looked at them, smiled in a cruel way and laughed in a cold and sadistic way making the High Overseer and the Lord Regent feel panic in the first time since they had become the leaders of the Empire. Both men hurried outside the room, Burrows looked at the Captain Calrew and simply said. “Make sure he stay put until tomorrows execution.”
The Captain nodded and watched how both men walked away in a hurry pace, then he turned and looked how the guards were dragging Corvo out of the room, who could barely stand up, he wondered what could the Serkonan had told them that it make them ran away in that way.