- SJF – Chapter 1
- SJF – Chapter 2
- SJF – Chapter 3
- SJF – Chapter 4
- SJF – Chapter 5
- SJF – Chapter 6
- SJF – Chapter 7
- SJF – Chapter 8
- SJF – Chapter 9
- SJF – Chapter 10
- SJF – Chapter 11
- SJF – Chapter 12
- SJF – Chapter 13
- SJF – Chapter 14
- SJF – Chapter 15
- SJF – Chapter 16
- SJF – Chapter 17
- SJF – Chapter 18
- SJF – Chapter 19
- SJF – Chapter 20
- SJF – Chapter 21
- SJF – Chapter 22
- SJF – Chapter 23
- SJF – Chapter 24
- SJF – Chapter 25
Technically, Darius Logan had been placed under arrest, although the paperwork he filled out referred to it as a “term of service.” Instead of being tried and convicted, he was remanded to the custody of Super Justice Force to participate in Second Chance, a rehabilitation program operated by SJF.
Second Chance had been started by SJF over twelve years earlier as a way to help ex-convicts start a normal life after prison. Dr. Samson Omatete ran the program, which worked with everyone from petty crooks to super powered villains—it didn’t matter as long as they were committed to going straight.
Once Darius agreed to enter into Second Chance, and before the final details could be worked out, Captain Freedom left the conference room at the police station, saying, “Don’t screw this up.”
Filling out the stacks of paperwork took almost an hour. Everything had to be signed by six people—Maslon, who was the Head of Security for Super Justice Force, Dr. Sam, both of the lawyers, Darius, and eventually Edith O’Malley, who, as his caseworker, had permission to act as a custodial guardian. When the last of the forms had been signed, Dr. Sam arranged all of the papers and placed them back in his briefcase.
“So, you’ll make sure his case worker signs off, process the paperwork today, and send copies over to both offices?” Ollie asked Dr. Sam.
Dr. Sam nodded at him and waved his hand as if to say, “It’s all taken care of.”
“I’ll need my copies first thing Monday morning,” said Ms. Oldham, closing her briefcase with a thud. She looked over at Darius, pushed her glasses back up, and spoke in her raspy voice. “Well, Mr. Logan, you’ve dodged a bullet. I sincerely hope you make the most of this tremendous opportunity. This is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Any violation of the terms spelled out in the forms will constitute a breach of your term of service, in which case you will go directly to jail. You will not pass go. You will not collect $200. Am I understood?”
“Yes,” said Darius.
“Good,” said Ms. Oldham with the closest thing to a smile Darius had seen on her face. “Good luck to you.”
Ms. Oldham left the room. In a way, Darius felt sad to see her leave. She had been far from friendly, but compared to Maslon, she was downright motherly.
Next, it was Ollie Porter’s turn to leave. He rose from his seat and extended his hand to Darius. “Good luck with everything, Darius,” said Ollie. He handed Darius a business card. “If you have any problems at all, just call me.”
As Ollie Porter left the conference room, Maslon removed something from his briefcase. It was an object that looked like a black plastic bracelet. “This is your cage,” said Maslon, handing Darius the black object.
Darius had no idea what he held in his hands. It was made of some sort of smooth black material. It felt heavier than it looked, and as near as Darius could tell, it was one solid piece. A small display of lights came on—something electronic inside the black band had been activated.
Darius looked up at Maslon, talking into his cell phone. “I need you to go live with Logan, Darius R., number 005-1381.”
Red electronic characters appeared on the band’s display screen that read, “Logan, Darius R., 005-1381.”
“Now I need you to open the door,” said Maslon.
A moment later, an invisible hinge on the band opened. Maslon walked over to Darius, took the band from him, and squatted down like a shoe salesman helping a customer try on a new pair of sneakers. He placed the band around Darius’s ankle, and closed it. Standing back up, he spoke into the phone one more time. “Now lock the door.”
A small beeping sound came from the band around his ankle, and before Maslon could explain, Darius knew exactly what was happening. The black band was some sort of LoJack, or tracking device, or something along those lines.
Nothing like a high-tech ball and chain to keep you in line, Darius thought.
“It’s called a Security Transmitter and Tracking Unit, STATU for short,” explained Dr. Sam.
“Does everyone in Second Chance where one of these?” asked Darius.
“Not everyone. But some,” answered Dr. Sam. He offered a smile that Darius figured was supposed to be reassuring.