Under the cover of a calamitous prison riot, interplanetary Soma kingpin, Alexander “Umbra” Lanza, walked right out of the 162173 Ryugu penal colony last night, through an oxygenated, well lit, professionally dug tunnel.
While prisoners fought to the death on the surface of the celestial rock hurtling through space, a calm, cigarette smoking Lanza, strolled in magnetized boots, down an impressive gangplank toward a waiting starcruiser ready to whisk him away.
A long time accomplice broke into Lanza’s cell through the shower floor. Surveillance video shows a man emerge to greet Lanza, smile, the two men shake hands, then drop down not to be seen again. The accomplice’s identity, Rolo Parsons, was confirmed via leaked telepathic police reports from Galactic Investigators.
Lanza and Parsons, long time gang members, have already been charged with murder, as well as several currency-exchange frauds across Mars and Europa. Lanza, who was awaiting trial, is also regularly named as a key supplier of the semi-legal space fairing drug, Soma.
As authorities clean up in the riot’s aftermath they are discovering the true extent of Lanza’s tunneling and escape operation. It appears the 9ft by 9ft tunnel was dug using silenced, pneumatic drills, stolen from the Ryugu penal colony’s mining operation.
Hundreds of prisoners mine valuable metals from the asteroid’s core everyday. The precious metal and ore is loaded onto automated conveyors and processing lines. Cargo containers are filled, and stacks of containers are readied for transport back to Earth, or whatever intergalactic port is on the day’s shipping manifesto.
During the riot, which erupted at the height of visitation hours, suspected sleeper cells working for Lanza attacked guards throughout the main concourse. Over 100 makeshift daggers have been discovered, some constructed from aluminum composites, others from stolen cafeteria cutlery. All melted and shaped into lethality.
Several guards were killed in the massive riot, and subsequent escape attempts. 64 total lost their lives, including those light duty guards taken hostage during the initial prisoner thrust. Inmate groups stole keycards and i.d badges trying to advance toward the starcraft hangers. The only possible exit, unless you dug a tunnel.
A laser skirmish took place in the visitors hanger. The entire prison dome sustained heavy damage. Arriving Galactic Union Police spacecraft have to land at the backup pad on the south side of Ryugu till further notice. Although some convicts managed to steal vehicles, they were quickly shot down, crash landing in the asteroid’s craters. Not a single prisoner other than Lanza escaped.
The complexity of the tunnel, and the sophistication of the extraction operation that rescued Lanza, suggest his normal cartel soldiers may have had assistance from an outside agency. Lanza is a major importer and exporter of the drug Soma, among other high value commodities. Soma, a mild sedative, hallucinogen, and time manipulator is key to helping passengers manage the mental toll inflicted by space travel.
As the United States of North America sends more colonists to the stars, it has struggled to secure a stable supply of the time distorting mood drug. Soma cannot be synthesized on Earth. And as the Chinese Union sends colony ships to far flung destinations, the U.S.N.A had even begun negotiations with Lanza to close the gap, ready to import large quantities of Soma type D, to Earth from Titan, Saturn’s Moon.
Discussions were suspended upon his arrest.
Lanza ran a highly profitable galactic shipping business till last year, when it was discovered he embezzled billions from stockholders. In a botched arrest effort made in orbit around the Earth’s Moon, Lanza fired a laser rifle at a Luna Police detective’s cruiser, hitting him in the throat, killing him instantly. On the run for months, he was captured at a U.N space station customs checkpoint, trying to make his way to Alpha Centauri B under a false name.
Now free again, the whereabouts of Lanza are pure speculation. The only evidence left behind were the magnetic boots still locked in place at the end of the long tunnel, two stamped out cigarette butts, and a makeshift airlock covered in finger prints. The tunnel lead to well outside the penal colony fences and sensor strings.
A 14 second security video shows a red starcruiser leaving the Ryugu asteroid, and heading toward the Kuiper belt, a known safehaven for galactic criminals. The belt is also home to some of the largest asteroid mining and Soma manufacturing satellites in the whole galaxy.
A reward of 100,000 U.S.N.A ‘Merica Coins has been offered for any tips leading to the arrest of Lanza, Parsons, or any intelligent beings aiding and abetting them. Security measures have been heightened at spaceports across the galaxy. Earth and Martian orbital stations have been placed on high alert.
It’s also been reported, that a detachment of special force operators from the U.S.N.A Space Force have been dispatched. The strike team is assigned to apprehend Lanza via any means necessary.
Intergalactic Interpol has sent drones to the far reaches of the Milky Way, and all Galactic Union Policing Forces are being marshaled to apprehend the dangerous convict.
By Marcie Darkling
art credit. the amazing Aaron Beck