The year is 2033, and the endless “wars” — on terror, on drugs, on the illegal immigration caused by floods of starving refugees — have transformed the word’s prisons into over-crowded powder kegs. The solution, championed by the crypto-fascist New Freedom Party of America and sold to the world, is the super penitentiary ships — massive floating strongholds that operate in international waters beyond political borders and the reach of humanitarian watchdogs.
The biggest and most notorious of these ships is Inferno, a four-hundred-thousand-ton behemoth five times the size of the biggest aircraft carrier. Wickedly modeled on the nine circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno, the ship houses every kind of criminal imaginable, from petty thieves, to international terrorists, to violent psychotics. Buried deep in the bowels of the ninth level — called “Treachery” — is ex-Special Forces operative and war hero, Sands Simon.
Imprisoned for the unpardonable crime of blowing the whistle on his corrupt superiors, Sands’ life on Inferno is a daily struggle for survival. His only way out is rising to the top of the food chain in the gladiator-style battles Inferno stages for the world’s elite; his only hope is to see once more the wife and child he left behind.
SANDS SIMON, a highly trained black ops soldier for hire, disillusioned with the endless wars on terror and the privatization of the military. Caught up in the gears of the military-industrial machine, Sands turns whistle blower on his corrupt leaders and their political fat cat friends. His reward: a one way ticket to the prison ship INFERNO for life.
AHMER, member of INFERNO’s skeleton crew, a low-level administrator supervising the geek staff who operate the ship from the central control station. The only member of the ship’s crew who Sands might call friend.
CATFISH, former Special Forces comrade of Sands who is also secretly held on INFERNO.
G.K., Sands’ former commander, a military player who works behind the scenes to liberate Sands and his men and undermine the corrupt government.
BRAZINSKI, leader and founder of the super-secret “600 Cell,” which promotes global fear and unchecked privatization of all government entities to wield power, and corporate-engineered food and mesmerizing electronic media to maintain a docile public.
VICTORIA BRAZINSKI, rebellious daughter of he corrupt power-broker. Sent to INFERNO, the ultimate punishment, she holds the secret that may save the ship and derail her father’s plans.
INFERNO is a mega-sized prison ship modeled on Dante, its nine levels loosely complying with the nine circles of Dante’s Hell:
The Vestibule-So named after the entrance to Hell, where those linger who, like Ahmer, can commit to neither good nor evil.
1-Limbo, for those on the verge of release, the clean, well-maintained and apparently humane public image of the ship;
2-Lust, for sex offenders, and the legendary “women’s level” in an otherwise all-male prison;
3-Gluttony, for those obese prisoners whose “tonnage” negatively affects their worth as cargo, put on starvation diets and forced to exercise to make room for more profitable prisoners;
4-Greed, for white-collar criminals;
5-Anger, for terrorists and assassins;
6-Heresy, for those who encouraged criminal resistance to government policies;
7-Violence, for unredeemable violent offenders — the Psych Ward;
8-Fraud, for those who cheated the government;
9-Treachery, for those who betrayed the government — people like Sands Simon.
That is the layout, but in reality, most inmates on the ship are political prisoners. Those at the top are kept docile with endless streams of government television and corporate engineered food. The higher the level, the better the treatment, with everyone dangling on the promise of advancement. The bottom three levels contain the drugged-up psychos and those considered irredeemable. From among the prisoners on these three levels, combatants are chosen to fight to the death for the entertainment of the rest of the ship, as well as the corrupt elite back on shore. Except for Ahmer and a skeleton crew of computer geeks, INFERNO runs almost automatically, but when the bottom drops out, the Vestibule is locked out and the ship is set on an automatic course for the Arctic, where it will be sunk with charges intended to mimic an iceberg strike. All incriminating evidence will be destroyed, the “act of God” lets the insurance companies off the hook, and the government will cover the losses. Everybody wins.
The 600 Cell:
The super-secret group organized and led by Brazinski, made up of 600 operatives at all levels of government and corporate power in countries around the world. It is so named after the geometric figure known as the 600 Cell, or tetraplex, which they use as a symbol of their organizational structure and power. They promote global fear and unchecked privatization of all government entities to wield power, and corporate-engineered food and mesmerizing electronic media to maintain a docile public. Things begin to unravel when their plot to gain control over newly discovered oil in North Korea through a phony nuclear strike sets off a global chain reaction of contained nuclear war.
Cell Block Facts:
1. The INFERNO has a maximum capacity of 66,000 prisoners and operations staff, including a crew of about 1500.
Their duties include:
b) Mechanical Maintenance; and
c) Technical support includes: a Captain, First Mate, Engineers and a small team of Scientists.
2. Each cell is 15 feet wide, 20 feet long and can accommodate up to 10 prisoners.
3. Each cell is designed as a self-sustaining unit. Cell amenities include one toilet, one sink, one shower. All meals are prepared in the galley, and using a system of interlocking pipes, check valves and pumps, a liquefied meal known as “process” is sent directly to the cell, twice each day. The pipe that delivers the process is located just above the sink.
4. The Prisoners are in lockdown 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. The series of exercise cages, which run the length of each unit, were only constructed to pass inspection and their sole purpose is for fighting.
5. The ship is sectioned into 9 SHU’s (Security Housing Unit) the lower of which are deemed, Super Max units. THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD, or The Psych, as it’s called, is by far the smallest unit on the ship. For safety the cells were designed like gold fish tanks. These prisoners have been deemed too dangerous to be controlled by conventional methods and procedures. For additional safety, all prisoners have implanted control chips in their brains and are fitted with an electromagnetic collar. The collar is welded around the neck and can be used to induce electro shock or be magnetized for instant restraint. The prisoners in the Psychiatric ward are controlled from a centralized security office, using specially designed machines with robotic controlled arms. The prisoners are moved in and out of their cells without ever having to be touched by a human.
6. While on board the INFERNO, a prisoner can expect no counseling, rehabilitation, parole nor contact with the outside world. Your stay, no matter how long or short was designed to physically, emotionally and psychologically punish… and the only way off is death. Afterwards the prisoner is liquefied, filtered for its water and usable protein, the remainder washed through the septic system and flushed out to sea.