Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing. I'll put them back when I'm done.

Rating: PG-13.

Author's note: My take on Alien 3. This was started before the movie came out in an attempt to see how close to the real thing I could get. Needless to say ... I was way off.


The wind howled like a beast in agony, wailing around the corners of the mammoth structure of the atmospheric processor. It seemed as if the wind itself was attempting to mourn the tragedy, which had taken place here. The colony called Hadley's Hope lay close by, abandoned and desolated. All the human inhabitants were gone and Hadley's Hope had become a ghost town. Another gust of wind slammed into the side of the processor, making it creak slightly in its joints.

Inside, not much was heard of the raging weather; nothing apart from a slow pulse, which ran through the processor, making it seem almost like a living, breathing thing. Bolts of pure energy from leaks in the electrical innards of the superstructure of the man-made monstrosity occasionally brightened warped corridors on the lower levels of the station. Odd formations decorated the floors, walls and ceilings, twisting and turning them into nightmare-like shapes of inhuman design. Moisture dripped from tubing that looked like a mutation of the original design and the heat on the lower levels was almost unbearably high.

Despite a constant reiterating evacuation call, the processor was still populated; but not by the human inhabitants of the nearby colony. Some levels were alive with creatures as odd looking as the reshaped corridors. They moved around the lower levels, restlessly trying to find the threat to the hive they had created in these man-made surroundings. They were not able to comprehend that the coming storm was an enemy they could not fight.


Deep inside the hive, Private William Hudson, one of the last survivors of a marine team summoned to Acheron by a supposed down transmitter, slowly came to. Perception went from darkness into a gray mist and then into a nightmarish landscape as he slowly raised his head. Hot damp air brushed over his face, bringing unknown odors with it which made the hairs on his neck stand on edge. The semi-darkness combined with the few flashing emergency lights, which had not been covered by the alien material, made the incomprehensible shapes around him appear to move. They seemed to reach out for him with gnarled fingers, always just at the corner of his eyes. He twisted his head to catch a glimpse of the horror that was sure to be there, but found only strangely twisted walls. A hiss made him jerk his head the other way, but there was nothing there either. At first he was certain he was having a nightmare. Something like this could not be real. Then, like lightning from a clear sky, he realized where he was.

"Oh no. Jesus, no. This can't be happening, man," he whispered to himself, attempting to keep the panicky feeling in his guts from erupting and rendering him incapable of taking the necessary action.

His arms, legs and most of his torso were encased in the gluey substance the aliens secreted and it was as hard as concrete. He tried to pull his arms free but could not move them.

"Oh man. This ain't happening," he screeched, throwing caution to the wind and allowing his fear to blossom after all. All that matter now was trying to stay alive.

Writhing and twisting inside the harness, he fought his restraints like a wild animal, his breath coming in short, labored gasps, his eyes constantly scanning his surroundings for possible danger. A danger he would not able to cope with if he could not get free.

Putting more strength into the attempt to break the resin, he managed to dislocate his shoulder with an almost audible pop and he let out a piercing scream of pain. With tears stinging his eyes, he forced himself to calm down long enough to relocate it by moving his body backward. The joint snapped back into place, causing him to let out another howl of pain.

"Shit, shit, shit," he hissed through clenched teeth, then again became painfully aware of his surroundings and what they might conceal.

Renewed panic made his eyes dart to and fro once again, trying to take in everything at once, knowing that somewhere in the shadows the aliens were waiting. And so was a facehugger with his name on it.

The thought of the detestable parasite made his imagination go spinning off to unknown heights. Managing to completely ignore his aching shoulder, he threw all his strength into getting free and finally managed to move his right arm a bit. He pulled harder at it and it slipped another inch through the concrete-like material, giving him hope that he might just make it in time.

"Yes, man, yes." Leaning to the left side, his right arm smoothly slipped out of the harness. Unfortunately, it was also the same arm he had dislocated only moments before. When he tried to use his now freed hand to break his left arm free, the movement sent a scream of pain through his shoulder and he tried to crumble up within the confinements of the harness.

"Fuck," he hissed, gasping for breath for a moment while his mind sought new avenues of action. Finally, he thought of another strategy. By repeating the procedure as before, he managed to get his left arm halfway out, when he suddenly saw movement from the corner of one eye. He froze and turned his head to look in that particular direction, actually thinking it would be another shadow play. But nothing could be more real than the facehugger racing across the floor, heading straight for him.

All the blood left his face and he turned pale as a ghost, immobilized for mere seconds with the memory of what this would do to him if he allowed the parasite to get too close to him. Then he started screaming for help while he pulled and yanked at his left arm, forcing it inch by inch out of the resin. The facehugger did not even pause before it leapt into the air, throwing itself at its potentially defenseless victim. But he was not quite as helpless as he had been moments ago. He managed to pull his left arm free at the last possible moment and brought it up between the attacking parasite and his face. With disgust, he felt the slippery, slimy underbelly of the beast push urgently against his palm when it connected with his arm. The facehugger's tail wrapped itself painfully tight around his arm but let go almost instantly when the bug somehow realized that this would do it no good.

Hudson threw his arm forward, tossing the bug onto the floor a couple of feet away. It recoiled and attacked again, never once giving him a chance to continue his attempts to get free. Again he managed to ward it off at the last possible moment and again it attacked. Slowly he realized that it would keep coming until he gave up or somebody came to save him.

"HELP ME! SOMEBODY!" he screamed as the facehugger leapt again, sailing through the air with its legs stretched out and the tail fluttering behind it like some obscene kind of spider on its tread. About a foot before it would have hit him full force, the facehugger suddenly veered of its course by ninety degrees and slammed against a nearby pillar. It tumbled to the ground, groping for a hold on the floor with its eight legs. Something resembling a stalagmite had pierced the parasite and it was slowly but surely bleeding to death. It was also immobilized. Its legs could no longer reach the ground.

Hudson stared at it for a long while, unable to understand that the threat had been temporarily suspended. His whole body was shivering and the pain from his shoulder had returned full force.

"Jesus Christ Almighty," he muttered, feeling the tension of fear and distress slowly ebbing away. As the mist of panic cleared from his mind, it dawned on him what had happened. Somebody had shot the facehugger with a crudely constructed arrow. That realization made him look around for whoever had saved his life.

Under an archway, hiding in the shadows, was a woman. From what Hudson could see, she was not much older than him, but it was hard to tell in the shadowy light of the chamber.

"Jesus, man. Thanks! You couldn't have come at a better time," he exclaimed. "Come on. Give me a hand. Get me out of here."

She didn't move and made no attempt to come nearer and that made Hudson nervous again.

"Come on, man. Get me outta here," he tried again, his tone of voice rising in volume.

She was staring at him, almost as if she were expecting him to explode. He could not imagine why she would save him from the facehugger and then not help him to get free. Frantically he started to tear at the resin surrounding his torso but its hardened condition would not allow him to break it.

"Stop moving!" The woman's voice drifted across the chamber, eerily low and somewhat hoarse.

Hudson raised his head again to look at her. "What?" he asked.

"Stop moving! You'll attract the adults," she repeated in that low, intense tone of voice. "Just keep still. I've got to get a fix on where they are."

Hudson leaned his head back and looked upward. There was no sign of any aliens but then again, there had been no sign of them to begin with when the team had entered this hell hole. "How are you gonna get a fix on them?" he wanted to know.

A soft sound traveled through the air, almost like a light whisper, and at that Hudson knew that the adult aliens were on their way; several of them. The woman withdrew from the archway, disappearing into the shadows.

"Don't leave me here," he screamed, panic overwhelming him again. He had been so close to a rescue, so close that he could almost touch it and then she vanished.

Three adult aliens dropped to the ground and started pacing around the chamber, obviously trying to find the intruder. Neither paid any attention to Hudson. Apparently they did not consider him a threat. He stared at them, watching the way they moved soundlessly across the floor, their heads moving from side to side, their tails dragging along the floor behind them. Seeing them this close up made him keep quiet. One of them suddenly turned up beside him and showed him the full splendor of its teeth. He winced, trying to pull back as the outer jaws parted and the inner jaws slowly slid out, slobber dripping from the glistening teeth. The alien's head suddenly snapped around and for a second it remained motionless. Then it simply leapt into the air, grabbing a hold of the pillar Hudson was stuck to and took two powerful leaps through the room, using the pillars as support. One of the others emitted a piercing screech and the third came racing out of the shadows toward the spot where the screamer had frozen in mid-motion. The screamer dropped like a log before the other two could reach it, another crude arrow piercing its head. Then the second and the third dropped, too. Hudson gaped at the whole scene with disbelief. Vasqueze and Drake had barely been able to stop them with their smartguns and here was this one woman who managed to stop three of them with arrows.

A brief moment of silence followed the death of the three aliens and then the woman reappeared, this time followed closely by two men and another woman. They stole into the chamber, edging along the walls, keeping an eye out for movement. They managed to bring down three more aliens before one of the men finally approached Hudson.

Hudson opened his mouth, but the man shook his head, putting a finger to his lips. "Not a word," he advised quietly, then started to break Hudson free with a crowbar he had pulled from a utility-belt strapped around his waist. He then grabbed a hold of Hudson and pulled him out of the niche without uttering another sound.

Still too dazed to think clearly and desperately trying to ignore his aching shoulder, Hudson put his weight on both legs, but his right leg folded up under him and he lost his balance with a cry of pain. The man grabbed his arm, stopping his fall, and briefly glanced around for the movement the scream would result in. Gasping for breath, Hudson glanced down at his torn-up trouser leg that was crusted with dried blood. Only then did he remember that he had shot himself during his frantic attempt to get out of the alien's grip when it had dragged him down through the floor in the colony complex. He ground his teeth, hissing silently. The other man watched him from across the chamber for a second, then approached him, nodded to the first man and took his place on the other side of Hudson. Both of them put one of his arms around their shoulders and thus supported, he was able to limp with them out of the chamber. The women followed, keeping up the rear.

After a while, the men stopped to catch their breath after having moved quickly down a few flights of stairs and along more corridors than Hudson wanted to think of. He had wondered why they were going down instead of up and now he was downright worried. Eventually, he aired his concern about the direction they were taking. "Thanks for the rescue, man, but where are we going?" he wanted to know, glancing over his shoulder in the direction they had come from.

The man who had broken him free clapped a hand over his mouth before he could say more, staring at him with fanatically burning eyes. "Shut up, okay?" he whispered angrily. "The less noise we make the bigger chances we have of getting away."

Hudson was taken aback by the fierceness in the other man's voice and started wondering who these people actually were. They knew how to battle the aliens. That was for sure. A thought popped into his mind, worrying him slightly. Why had they rescued him? Why had they put their lives on the line for him? Disturbing thoughts intruded on him but he decided to ignore them for now. These people had, after all, rescued him.

Shortly after, they started moving again and continued their trek down through the hive until they reached an area that was barely touched by the aliens. Another stairwell led down to the final sub-level where an all-terrain vehicle waited at the mouth of a dark tunnel. A young, brawny man was sitting on top of the closed vehicle, armed to the teeth with a bow and several arrows and what appeared to be a makeshift flamethrower. He silently greeted the others, jumped off the roof of the vehicle and opened the side-door. The two men supporting Hudson quickly pushed him into the back of the vehicle and the young woman he had first seen climbed in after him. The others climbed into the cab and the armed man started up the engine.

Hudson watched all this with a lingering feeling of dread, having sense for nothing else for a moment longer. Then he realized that he was not alone in the back of the vehicle. He looked around in the gloomy light at the others. Two men and one woman. One of the men was huddled up in a blanket, hiding his face. Hudson quickly forgot his aching leg and shoulder, when he recognized the woman. "Dietrich," he exclaimed, thrilled at finally seeing a familiar face.

She raised her head to look at him for a few seconds before realizing who he was. Without a word she came to her feet and slipped her arms around him, hugging him hard. A shiver ran through her and he opened his mouth to ask if she were okay but stopped when he saw the expression on her face. She looked haggard and pale and there was something slightly mad lurking just beneath the surface of her otherwise well composed self.

The vehicle started moving and was rolling fast over bumpy ground, forcing Dietrich to sit down. She settled down close to Hudson, leaning against him. "What about the others?" she asked hoarsely after a moment.

Hudson bit his lip with an unhappy expression. "Dead, I think. Maybe the others made it. They were on their way when that fucker grabbed me. They were heading toward the landing grid. The dropship is on its way," he replied. Then he realized what he had just said. "Hey, the dropship is on its way. We can still make it, man. We can get out of here." His tone of voice rose with excitement while he spoke.

The driver of the vehicle muttered something to one of his companions and she turned to Hudson. "Where is this dropship going to set down?" she wanted to know.

Hudson thought about it for a moment, trying to put some order into his tumbling thoughts. "Near the dish," he then replied, already feeling disheartened when the woman's expression turned somber.

She glanced at the driver who in return shook his head. "We can't risk it. The processor is going to blow any minute and we have to get the hell out of here right now. We're lucky if we make it," she then said. With that she turned back to watch the tunnel slip by at breakneck speed.

Despite the feeling of total defeat, Hudson was about to retort that they had to try. They couldn't just give up now. They had a chance for getting off the planet and he figured they ought to use it.

Dietrich, however, held him back by squeezing his arm. "She's right, Will," she said. "We'd be vaporized if we tried."

He met her eyes for a moment, the resistance still there, briefly wondering if it wouldn't be better if they were vaporized rather than staying here, then he crumbled up and started moaning about his leg for a while.

After driving for less than ten minutes the walls of the tunnel changed from steel to stone. The tunnel behind them was sealed up by a pressure-door, which fell into place seconds after the vehicle had passed through.

"Man, where the hell are we going anyway? Who are you people?" Hudson suddenly exclaimed, fed up with the silence. In his opinion you could not just rescue people without letting them know who you were.

The woman in the front seat turned around again and looked at him for a while. Then she glanced around at the others. "We're colonists," she then said. "Just like the others." She hesitated for a moment, apparently uncertain about what to tell them and what not. "The processor is going to blow up according to one of our scientists. Some kind of overload. We're living in the next processor and we've been keeping in touch with this one all the while. After the aliens appeared, we monitored what was going on but there was little we could do to help our fellow colonists." The driver grumbled something under his breath and the woman turned to him. He repeated whatever he was saying in the same low tone of voice and she nodded. "To make a long story short, we will stay below ground all the way to the next processor. The pressure-door back there should withstand the pressure of the explosion but just in case it doesn't, we will pass another door in about fifteen minutes." With that, her explanation was obviously over but that was hardly enough for Hudson.

"Why did you save us?" he wanted to know. Dietrich gave him a sharp glance but he ignored her. "Huh? Why? What are you gonna to do with us?"

The woman returned her attention to him with an overbearing expression on her face. "What do you think we'll do with you?" she asked back. "We've been going in regularly to save some of our friends since we discovered the means to defend ourselves against those hell hounds. You just happened to be there, so we took you along, too. Nobody should die that way."

The young woman who had first spotted Hudson had watched the whole exchange with an impartial expression. Now that Hudson saw her up close, she appeared even younger than him. In his opinion, she could be nothing more than twenty. When he met her eyes, she managed a ghost-like smile and he returned it, knowing that his own would be just as pale as hers.



The corridors of Gateway Station were relatively deserted at four a.m.; this was a strange time to be on Gateway. It was one of the few times where the station seemed virtually dead. The few who worked at this hour were sitting in some office or at some terminal, watching and waiting. The recycled air of the station was clear as crystal and still as the surface of a pond on a quiet morning. Nothing other than a quite breeze moved when the air circulation system now and again belched out a fresh breath of air. The upper level of Gateway's north tower belonged to the governing part of the Company. Here the silence was almost complete until it was interrupted by the hiss of the lift-doors, followed by the soft pad of shoes on carpeted floors.

Around the corner from the lifts came a woman in her mid-twenties. She was tall with short, hazel hair, sparkling brown eyes and wearing a dark-blue business-suit and matching shoes. The way she walked and her entire posture suggested that this was a no-nonsense woman with a lot of faith in her own abilities. A wedding-band glittered around her right ring-finger and that was the only kind of jewelry she wore. Bonnie Taylor strode confidently along the corridor toward the large double-doors leading into the inner sanctuary of the Company. The executive office.

Her chance of making it big had finally come. She had finished her very elaborate training to become a lawyer three years ago, but had not yet been to court. She was frequently requested as an assistant, by both the lawyers at the law firm she was employed with and other independent lawyers. Everybody knew she had talent, but her boss and guardian angel had not been willing to jeopardize neither her evolving talent or his firm's name and reputation by putting her into a court room too early. But, after a call from Mr. van Leuwen's secretary the previous day, where she had been told to show up as early as possible for an interview with the man himself, she had realized that her time had come. She was going to be an appointed lawyer for the Company. Taylor could not deny that she had been taken aback by the choice. The secretary had told her that van Leuwen had asked specifically for her and Taylor's sharp mind had instantly picked up on the underlying reason. She was certain that van Leuwen did not expect her to be experienced enough to state her case convincingly at a hearing. Being as straight forward as she was, she had suggested half past four a.m. to the secretary, because she was on Gateway already and was an early riser. At first the secretary had hesitated but after consulting with van Leuwen, she had agreed because van Leuwen had said that they would have peace and quiet for the conversation.

She reached the office doors, hesitated a moment while the doors slid apart and then stepped inside. The front office was equipped with beautiful furniture and a thick, bright carpet. The rays of the early morning sun fell through the skylight, which covered the main part of the ceiling, lighting the scene in an inviting light. She took a moment to study the room, slowly turning in a circle to take it all in.

"We pride ourselves on making people welcome here," a voice said from somewhere behind her.

She turned to face van Leuwen, who stood in the doorway to his office with his hands in the pockets of his rather expensive looking business suit. His serious expression made Taylor hesitate before she approached him.

"In here please," he said and stepped aside to let her in.

She brushed past him into his office and looked around with a knowledgeable expression. The office was impersonal without seeming unfriendly. The colors were dark earth-tans and the Venetian blinds were partially closed, giving the office a slightly gloomy feel.

Van Leuwen observed her as he stepped around his desk. He motioned for her to sit down on a high-backed armchair standing in front of the massive desk which occupied most of the free floor space. A thick soft carpet covered the office floor wall to wall.

Taylor, not bothered by undue orthodox feelings of respect, watched him expectantly when van Leuwen sat down on his chair behind the desk. She always observed people before she made up her mind about them and van Leuwen would be no exception. She had never met him before, but some of her colleagues had told her some pretty horrid things about him. The Company as such had never been involved in any scandals which had to go to court. Many lawyers had been appointed to defend or persecute some of their employees, though, and from what she knew, van Leuwen had never been easy to deal with under those circumstances.

For a moment, he just looked at her with his folded hands resting on the table top. "I have called you here today because Wayland-Yutani has appointed you to be a lawyer for one of our former employees. Here is the case file. Look at it and tell me if you are interested," he said, handing her a thin folder with the certain knowledge that she would not turn down the chance of participating her first, real hearing.

She accepted the folder while still watching him closely. His expression revealed nothing to her and she eventually turned her attention to the folder. Slowly leafing through it, she skimmed over the contents, getting the basics of what it contained. The man in question was a marine with high credentials and no family to speak off. The corps seemed to be his life and he had worked his way up to his present rank very quickly. His file stated very little about the charges against him other than the essentials and Taylor instantly wondered about that. Usually, when it concerned a case like this, there was a folder a mile thick to cover the who's, the why's and the what's. Keeping her musing to herself for the time being, Taylor finally looked up again. The file would have to be studied closer at a later time, but for now she knew all she had to. "Of course I'm interested. It will certainly be a break for a struggling young lawyer as myself," she said.

Van Leuwen smirked a little at her words. Her insight was surprisingly sharp. "Good. This man is currently being held in a detention-cell here on Gateway. You can see him at your convenience." Van Leuwen stared at her for a moment, maybe expecting her to back down, but then nodded almost solemnly. "Well, good luck with it," he then said, rising from his chair at the same time.

Taylor frowned at him, wondering what he took her for. If he expected her to be content with what little he had given her, he was wrong. "Ahem ... I don't mean to be disrespectful, but is that all?" she wanted to know.

Van Leuwen pursed his lips, thinking that he should have been aware that he could not brush her off so easily. "Is there anything else you wish to discuss?" he asked a little brusquely, trying to discourage her.

Taylor's frown stayed on. "Well, I do have a couple of questions," she said hesitantly. If he thought that he could just hand her a file and be done with it, he had another thing coming, she thought.

"Well, ask away," he suggested, sitting down again with a sigh which indicated his displeasure.

Taylor ignored that. "First of all, I would like to know why you have chosen me for this case." Asking straight out had always been a policy that Taylor believed in. She had been taught not to do it as it could get her in trouble, but this she needed to know.

"I have heard a lot of good things about you and, to be quite honest, this is not a case we wish to spend too much money on." Van Leuwen smiled a little, trying to make her feel more at ease, but she merely continued to frown.

"I see! So, you choose a new lawyer who can't possibly be expected to establish a working case. Do I understand that correctly?" she asked on, staring at him intently.

Van Leuwen was taken aback by the fact that she had seen through this thing so easily. None of the other fledgling lawyers he had used previously had ever indicated that they suspected something like this. "I wouldn't say that you've understood that correctly," he lied, his tone of voice once again brusque. "I would suggest that you watch your manners, though. I don't know who you think you are, accusing me of such things?" His tone of voice had become indignant and his expression stern. He was not about to let a kid like her come in and lecture him.

Mentally Taylor rolled her eyes, but externally, there was no sign of her opposition. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to accuse you. I merely got the understanding that this is how it's done." She glance down at her hands, fighting the urge to tell him off. "I apologize. I was out of line."

Van Leuwen nodded, once again at ease. "Apology accepted. -- So, is there anything else you wish to ask me?" he added, getting up again.

Taylor got up too, still trying to figure van Leuwen out. He seemed peculiar to her, but then again, she didn't know him. That was just her initial feeling about him. "One more thing," she replied. When he did nothing more than look at her, she continued, "am I representing him for or against the Company?"

Van Leuwen managed to look a little surprised. Raising an eyebrow, he wondered briefly if the material he had given her was not enough. With a mental shrug, he discarded the thought. There was no sense in handing her the case on a silver plate. She would have to work hard to get this man acquitted and van Leuwen doubted that she could despite her sharp insight and her cheeky manners. "Against, Mrs. Taylor. Against," he replied with a half-smile on his lips.

With a nod, she briefly squeezed his outstretched hand and left the office again, wondering what it was about him that she did not like.



The detention-area on Gateway was luxury compared to so many Earth-prisons and definitely to most of the off-world prison-colonies. Taylor was not usually affected by the atmosphere of a place but she could not help noticing the air of gloom which swept her the minute she stepped inside. This was not a happy place. But, what else could one expect from a detention area? Shaking the feeling, she approached the desk across from the door.

The detention officer rose from behind his desk, looking a little surprised. He was not used to people walking in at that hour. "Good morning, ma'am," he said and sat down again when she stopped in front of the desk. With a half smirk he ran his eyes over her in a way that Taylor disliked strongly and she instantly knew that she would not like this man.

"Morning. I'm Bonnie Taylor, appointed lawyer to this man," she said in a stern tone of voice and handed him the file.

He glanced at the name on the file and she noticed the brief annoyance in his expression, which was replaced by a slightly puzzled one as he handed the file back to her. "Do you want to see him now, Mrs. Taylor?" he asked.

Glaring at him, she wondered if he was stupid. It had to be apparent that she wanted to see her client now, considering that she was here. "Of course I do. Do you think I would be here if I didn't?" she snapped. "Is there a problem?"

Resting his hands on the top of his desk, he looked a little stunned at her snappy tone of voice. "Well, ma'am. It's pretty early and ... " he began, but Taylor interrupted him.

"I don't care if it's early, officer. I don't have time to muck about because you want to treat criminals as royalty. If he wants to sleep, he can do it later," she countered under the assumption that the prisoner was indeed asleep, causing the guard to snap to attention.

"I meant no disrespect, ma'am," he was quick to say as he pulled out a security-access-card, got off his chair and headed for a heavily armored steel-door to the right of the desk. "He'll probably be awake anyway. He doesn't sleep much." He inserted the card into the slot of the card-reader and the door popped open. "It's the last cell at the end of the hall," he added, stepping aside.

Taylor pursed her lips, frowning deeply at him. According to what she knew and had witnessed on several occasions, it was common practice that the lawyer talked to the prisoner alone and that did not mean his cell. "I will talk to him in private, officer. See to it," she replied coldly, then turned her back on him to wait.

The officer stared at her back for a moment, then turned and headed down the corridor. All the while, he was mumbling to himself, never aware that the acoustics of the corridor carried his words back to her. "Whatever you say, ma'am. You're in charge, ma'am. God-damned women, bossing me around at this hour. All the shit I have to take in this job. Lawyers treating me like shit and prisoners trying to kill me. I hate this fucking job."

With her back to the door, Taylor could not help smiling. She had learned to deal with obstinate people like this one due to her boss. He had been very insistent that she should never be afraid of anybody -- not that she was. She actually never had been, but it was not really in her nature to talk down to people, either. With people like this officer, however, it could be necessary. There was no way a man like him would take orders from a woman if she simply asked him.

Eventually she turned around to face the entrance of the cell-bay when she heard a door being opened somewhere down the corridor. "Come on, buddy. Your lawyer is here," she heard the officer saying. The prisoner replied something in too low a voice for her to hear. "I don't give a shit if you're not up to meeting her. She wants to see you now. Get on your feet, you lazy son of a bitch," the officer snarled. It was obvious that he let his bad mood out on the prisoner and Taylor would have felt sorry for the guy had it not been for the severe charges against him.

Her first glimpse of her potential client made her almost change her mind about taking the case. What she could see of his expression was on the verge of being stony and the left side of his face and neck bore marks of being badly burned. The standard prison cloths and his crew-cut did nothing to improve his looks. With his hands tied behind his back, she did not think he would be dangerous to her but she felt apprehensive just the same. Taylor did not get easily scared but this guy had something about him that made her shudder inside. He was walking slowly with his head down, not looking up until he was almost at the door. Then he raised his head, meeting her eyes and, mentally, she shuddered again. His eyes held nothing of what his appearance said about him. There was something so unforgiving, so utterly desperate in his eyes that she did not know what to think.

The officer guided them both to a small interrogation chamber, holding onto the prisoner's arm all the while. Taylor sat down on one chair while the officer pushed the prisoner down on the other and cuffed his hands to the back of it. The chair was bolted to the floor, preventing him from getting up and, even though this would never show on her expression, Taylor had to admit to herself that she felt relieved. The officer nodded briefly to her and stepped outside, closing the door behind him.