~*~ The events of this story will incorporate external added elements from the author's imagination into the already rich and exhilarating canon narrative of the HBO original series, Oz. For the most part, the canon of the series will remain intact to preserve a sense of realism to the plot, while also being sensitive of the time flow of events occurring within Oz.

~*~ Although the characters to be featured are prominently factual in their given genre, they are the sole property of Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, and are copyrighted to Rysher Entertainment and HBO. All original characters are of the author's creation and belong to him alone and, as with the rest of the story, may not be replicated or redistributed in any way without formal consent from said author.

~*~ Underage reading or any other illegalities is neither encouraged nor condoned in any way by the author. He also will not tolerate any form of plagiarism towards any of the words to come, as they are his and his alone. The principal objective is that of enjoyment and entertainment to you, the reader.

~*~ Address any type of question and/or feedback to jc71883@hotmail.com, making sure to add a relation to the story on the subject line of the e-mail to guarantee its reception.



News of Warden Glynn's murder had sent shockwaves throughout the prison and had begun to crumble the very foundation of Oz itself. Many of the inmates had not cheered or snickered at the news because most knew the ramifications of the action. Oz was in dire trouble and even more dangerous than it had ever been in the past. Glynn had been mainly respected by most of the inmates for his fair hand and his ability to keep Oz running while so much shit was going on inside the walls of the prison.

There had been mostly bad blood between the two of them, but Alvarez was not happy, nor did he take any joy in the news. A man was dead---regardless of personal feelings, a man was dead. No details were revealed about the death, but the inmates were clearly digging for answers. The Latino thought of the changing vibe of Oz and what it would mean---what the partnership with O'Reily would mean.

The Latino sat with Guerra in the cafeteria as Martin Querns addressed the entire prison population. As the newly appointed warden, he took a no-nonsense approach to the inmates and the staff alike. Alvarez already did not like the man because he sounded like a pompous blowhard that got off on the bit of power he now had. It was sickening. He felt a chill against his skin when he saw that dead eye looking at him as if he was prey.

"This is a restraint chair," Querns spoke from the stage and motioned to the contraption next to him. "It will be placed in the hole. If you disobey, you will be placed in it. I wanted you all to see this monster, to let you know I will not take any shit from anyone. So remember---don't fuck with Querns!"

When the pep talk was finished, they all were escorted back to their various cellblocks until Alvarez felt a finger secretly slide against his palm. He turned his head easily to see O'Reily give him a quick smile and then point elsewhere with his eyes. He disappeared after that without notice and Alvarez waited for the appropriate time to sneak away himself. Many of the inmates were too busy talking and making jokes about Querns to notice much of anything else.

The closest storage room was the one only a few feet down from the interview room---it was a risk, but there was nowhere else he could have gotten in such a short time and without being seen. The Latino looked around with swift reflexes and only approached and entered the door when he was sure that no one was around to see him do so. He guessed right, because O'Reily was waiting for him in the small room.

"You believe that asshole Querns?" the Irishman said.

"The bastard's an arrogant piece of shit."

"Fuck---things are changing here, loco."

"I know. Oz is becoming more dangerous," Alvarez agreed and said. "Glynn's death made sure of that."

"Did you hear anything about that?"

"No. I think the hacks are involved, you know. Like Kenmin."

"I'll see what info I can get. Shit---I wasn't a fan of Glynn's, but I'd take him over fucking Querns any day. This place is going to be turned upside down," O'Reily said in an angry tone.

"What's going on with Cyril?"

"I'm fucking stressing out. The lawyer put in an appeal, but we haven't heard anything back."

"Dammit. I hope it comes though, you know?"

"I can't lose my brother."

His voice was emotional and Alvarez walked over and wrapped him up in a protective hug. O'Reily almost collapsed into it because of all the pressure he was under to save his brother. Time had really run out now and this was the last effort to save Cyril. Alvarez held him to give some kind of comfort and felt their lips crush together in a small kiss when their eyes had locked. Lips begged to be tasted and skin craved any kind of touch in the desolate environment they were all forced to survive in.

"Damn---we can't. We don't have much time," the Latino said when their lips came apart. "We have to get back."

"Yeah---yeah," O'Reily recollected himself and stepped back. "That fag---what's the deal?"

"I wish I knew. He's a fucking crazy queen that thinks he's going to run Em City."

"How does he plan to do that?"

"Destiny---D-tabs. Synthetic high was what he called it."

"Shit---is it coming through the kitchen?" the Irishman asked, his mind already working.

"He didn't tell me anything other than that. He's confident that his D-tabs will get the job done."

"You had one yet?"

"No," Alvarez said, and did not want to talk about Torquemada. "I ain't going for that shit---keeping clean to get out of here."

"Any news on Ruiz yet?"

"McManus hasn't said anything. You think Torquemada will be a problem?"

He pondered this for a moment before he said, "I doubt it. No way he's going to beat the niggers and the dagos. Pancamo is still strong---especially with Urbano as his lapdog. Destiny isn't that strong."

"I think he's going to be a problem, Ryan."


"I don't---I don't know. I just feel it, you know?" Alvarez said in a somber tone.

"Someone will take him out before he gets the kind of control he wants over Em City. I'll go first."

O'Reily was unsure of himself at first, but gave him a quick kiss on the lips before he left out the door. He smiled and waited for his turn to leave and rejoin the rest of the population. There was a bad feeling stirring inside him about Alonzo Torquemada and he had to keep his distance from the man. Alvarez was not going to be caught up in any of that bullshit that had put him in some of the lowest moments of his life. His clear focus was getting out.

He thought about his conversation with the Irishman as he was in the laundry room waiting for his clothes to finish drying. There was an uneasiness he felt towards Torquemada, and especially when the man's eyes were on him. Alvarez felt like he was looking at him as a conquest to be had, or a piece of meat that he wanted to bite into. He did not give a fuck about the drag queen and was not going to be sucked into his plans to take over Em City.

"Where'd you get that?" he asked Guerra when he entered with a boom box.

"From Torquemada. You ever been to one of his clubs?" Guerra asked in a slurred voice and turned on the boom box.

"Nope. Never got past the velvet ropes," Alvarez said and saw a D-tab close to his face. "Uh-uh. You better slow up on those things, man."

"I got into Dino's once. The lights, the sounds, and the women---" Guerra said and turned up the radio and began dancing around.

"Yo, Chico, settle down, man. The guard's going to put your ass in the restraining chair."

"Torquemada says he's going to start giving Destiny to the fucking hacks, too, man. Whoo!" he yelled out and Alvarez turned off the radio. "What's going on? What's going on? Where am I? Shit!"

"It's okay."

"Don't touch me---don't, don't! Don't finger me---don't! Ahh! Get it off! Get it off of me!" Guerra screamed out and dug into his neck with his hand.

"Yo!" Alvarez ran out of the room and went for help.

Guerra was erratic and hyper while on Destiny. He was extremely happy one moment and then fear had crippled him the next. Alvarez watched in shock as the guards took him out of Em City and to the hospital. He had deeply clawed into the side of his neck with his own hand and blood was everywhere. The man looked to be on top of the world one moment and was in the deepest pits of hell the very next.

The hacks had immediately responded to Guerra's death by executing a shake down. Destiny was found in quite a few pods as the Latino leaned against the railing on the second floor and waited for it all to end. Torquemada had that dead eye on him but he did not bother to look back at the sick fuck. Querns had to get Destiny out of Oz because it was eventually going to kill everyone. Alvarez sighed and mainly remained to himself throughout the rest of the procedure.

Cathy Jo Cutler was sitting in front of him and holding his hand but he could not concentrate because of what had happened earlier with Guerra. They had honestly made peace with one another, and had somewhat bonded after Morales died. Alvarez was slightly depressed that Oz took Guerra this time. If he was not careful, that was going to be him, too.

"You seem down," her voice brought him back.

"Yeah. A guy---overdosed."

"Close friend?"

"You know, in Oz, you don't have friends. You have the people that look the same as you," Alvarez said to her. "Wolfgang had the Aryans, and me, well---I've mostly been a loner."

"Me too. It's funny---I used to dread coming here to visit Wolfgang, but I don't anymore."

She moved in closer and smiled before she kissed him while their hands were still connected. It was an unexpected move, but Alvarez immediately warmed up to it and kissed back. He wanted to feel good and Cathy Jo Cutler did that to him---just like O'Reily did. The guard told them that the visit was over and he was escorted out of the visitor's room. Cathy Jo Cutler smiled and waved at him from behind the window.

He had budding feelings for her because she was beautiful, but also because he hadn't kissed a woman in so long. Alvarez was in the gym running around the track as he felt his heart rate rising in his chest. Still, she had not brought or even mentioned the legal papers he was supposed to sign to give her ownership of all her husband's belongings. Like a freight train, someone tackled the Latino from the back hard and grabbed him.

"Merry Christmas, motherfucker," he heard as he was thrown against the fence.

"You've had your last meeting with Cathy Jo Cutler," Schillinger said as he and his men surrounded him. "The girl is being talked to right now."

"If you hurt her---" Alvarez said as his anger rose.

"What? You'll get your drugged out Latino pals to come at me?" he mocked and laughed.

"No, no, no. Just you and me, carajo."

"And ruin your chances for parole---all because of a cheap, stupid cunt who doesn't know her place?"

Alvarez smiled slyly before he struck Schillinger's face with his knuckles like a bolt of lightning. The Nazi stumbled back as the three men pounced on him and started beating him. He felt punches and kicks on every part of his body as they jumped him against the fence. Alvarez was powerless to fight back, but he tried to get some punches in. These fucks were not going to scare him so easily. Hacks rushed over to end the fight.

Dr. Nathan's gloved hand held a large strip of gauze over one of his ribs because one of those bastards had kneed him on his side and a rib was bruised. Schillinger was going to pay for this, but he also knew what this meant for him and Cathy Jo Cuter. Alvarez winced at the pain as the nurse pressed the gauze to his skin and Dr. Nathan taped it there to stick. His lip was busted and there was a cut on his forehead. McManus was also by his side, waiting for an explanation.

"I had a little run in with the Aryans. We worked it out," the Latino said to him.

"Yeah, I can see that," McManus said, but wanted more.

"Listen, I know you're going to want to help, McManus, but it'd be better for me and for my parole if this little incident just disappeared."


"Look---the reason why we fought ain't going to come back again," he sadly said of Cathy Jo Cutler. "Schillinger's going to see to that. Whatever you do, it's going to make matters worse."

"Okay. But the good news is, Luís Ruiz has agreed to see you," the unit manager smiled and said.

"How'd you do that?"

"Like everything else in life, through persistence."

"Ahh!" he said of the pain and gave McManus a hi-five for the accomplishment.

Alvarez sauntered back towards Em City in some pain and under a mild painkiller. It was true. Now, more than ever, Schillinger was going to make sure that Cathy Jo Cutler was out of his life and there was not much he could do about it. If he retaliated against the Aryans, his parole chances would be seriously jeopardized. The gate pulled open and he entered and was immediately greeted by someone he wanted nothing to do with.

"Ouch. That looks painful, baby," Torquemada's silky voice said.

"It's okay," he brushed the man off and kept walking to his pod.

"I've got a new shipment of D-tabs coming in today."


"So, since Guerra went wacky, the hacks are making it tougher for me to move the merchandise through the system," Torquemada said, as if Guerra's death from D-tabs meant nothing. "I need your help."

"Why me?"

"McManus trusts you."

"Listen to me. I don't know how many times I'm going to have to tell you until it actually penetrates that little piñata you've got for a brain," he crossly said. "I don't want any part of your bullshit."

"You're so fucking sexy," the flamboyant man said as he slithered his hands onto Alvarez's shoulders.

"Get your hands off of me." the Latino violently shrugged him off.

"I like straight boys best."

"You know what? Here's one straight boy you ain't going to be bending over," Alvarez said and entered his pod and closed the door behind him. "Leave me alone. Ugh, that's disgusting!"

The queen had blown air onto the pod door and made lewd movements with his tongue as Alvarez watched in disgust and annoyance. The man was not leaving him alone and he was already fed up with his games. He had to hold out until he could be paroled and get the hell out of there. Torquemada left him in peace and he changed his clothes to get ready for the meeting with Ruiz.

McManus was waiting for him in the hallway outside the interview room; a half smile hung on his face. Getting this meeting to happen was progress in his eyes. Alvarez had to fight for this because Oz was not going to define his life---not anymore. He had to remain calm and find out why Ruiz provoked him the way he did. McManus was giving him a pep talk and he was paying careful attention to everything that was being said.

"Now remember, if you want to get paroled, you've got to convince Ruiz that you're sincere," he said. "Okay---you ready?"

"Yeah," the Latino said as McManus opened the door. "Hello, Mr. Ruiz."

"I don't have a lot of time, Alvarez," Ruiz rudely said and ignored the man's extended hand. "Say what you got to say."

"Luís, we agreed that you two would have a conversation---that you would spend a few minutes getting to know each other."

"Alone," Ruiz said.

"Yeah. Okay---I'll be right outside."

Alvarez waited until the door was closed and said, "Mr. Ruiz, I'm sorry I hit you at the last parole hearing."

"Why are you sorry? I was an asshole---deliberately provoking you to see if you could handle yourself. You failed."

"I know. But---"

"But what, Alvarez? Sorry don't cut it," he said in a nasty and condescending tone. "`I've turned myself around. I've said three Hail Marys.' Bullshit."

"It's not bullshit. I am improving," Alvarez fiercely defended.

"I know you, Alvarez. I grew up on the same streets. I've seen hot-headed dicks like you give every Latino a bad name. Well, the final score is this---you aren't getting out of Oz. Not in three years, not in thirty, not ever. Oh, we'll still go through the procedure, but that's so each time your number comes up, I can see how much you've ripened. I'm going to watch you ripen until you rot," Ruiz hatefully said and Alvarez immediately sprung up. "That's right---hit me again. Go on."

The words were swimming inside his head and he wanted to pound the shit out of the man, but that was not progress. He was trying to provoke him to get a reaction once again. Alvarez remained still for a moment and just stared at him. There was so much hatred in Ruiz's eyes that it was nearly impossible to see his eye color. Alvarez was defeated in every way and walked out of the interview room without another word and a disgusted look on his face. It was over.

"Miguel. Miguel," he heard McManus call after him but never stopped walking.

All the hard work and effort he had put into getting paroled in three years had been set on fire and burned to the ground right before him because of a man and his stupid grudge. Alvarez lied on his bed and thought about the words in his head---he was going to go crazy if he had to spend the rest of his life in Oz. Ruiz was going to make sure he rotted in here. Alvarez wanted it all to be over and done with. Everything had worn him down and he was raw and bleeding.

Cool air nipped at his exposed chest and it was all fucking getting to him. The walls suddenly felt too cramped in now and he felt like an animal trapped in a small cage. No one wanted to believe that he did change---that his effort to stay clean and out of trouble was real and a true struggle inside prison walls. Alvarez was starting to become desperate and lose himself in his own head again. That was when the voices pounced on him and told him what to do. He had to keep his head above water, but every current and ripple was working against him.

"Guess who's your new roommate," Torquemada said and Alvarez turned to face him but turned away again. "I knew you'd be thrilled. You want to help me make my bed, sugar?"

"Hey," he turned back with a severe look and said. "Let me tell you something. Hey, you may have wined and dined, hired and fired, bought and sold, and I may have never done nothing with my life, but there is no way---hear me? No way that I'm ever going to be your bitch."

"Miguel, dumpling, I don't want you to be my bitch," he said in that slinky voice of his. "I have a little confession. I'm a virgin. That's right---I never had sex with man, woman, fish, or fowl. Now, you're thinking, `I've heard about the orgies.' At my clubs, yes---my home, quite the scene, but I myself never indulge. I provide a pleasurable environment, the necessary ambrosia, then, I let nature take its course---and I watch."

"Lights out!" the guard yelled and it suddenly got dark everywhere.

Torquemada took the opportunity to sit on his bed and said, "So, I don't want to fuck you. That would be too common. No, Miguel Alvarez, I want to be you."

The Latino left his bed and was staring out at a darkened Em City as he said, "You want to be me, huh? You know what? You're welcome to it. I'm so tired. I'm tired of trying. I'm tired of the walls---the lies, the fear, the death. I'm so tired. You got one of those D-tabs? You want to party, baby? Keep them D-tabs running."

Fingers brushed against his lips as Alvarez was fed the second D-tab. He closed his eyes to imagine what it was he was supposed to feel. A warm hand touched his chest and slowly remained there. The contact burned his skin but froze it over in a matter of moments. The drugs was pushing through his bloodstream and causing his already fragile emotional state to come crashing down to the ground. Maybe his ego was crashed and burned too---maybe his heart and soul. I continue to believe that you have a good soul.

He felt another hand cup the other side of his naked chest and he opened his eyes to look directly into Torquemada's. He was not sure what he was doing or why he had taken the D-tabs because he did not want this. He did not want the man's nasty hands or drugs anywhere near him. Alvarez's body had given up hope and his fragile mind had fallen right into the queen's court. He did not have the willpower to fight off the invasion and wanted O'Reily to talk to---to be here with him. He only thought about the Irishman.

"No, get off," the Latino said convincingly. "Don't touch me."

"Darling, there's no need to get feisty. The night is still young."

"You don't---won't touch me," he said, but his mind was almost completely gone. "I told you---I'm never going to be your bitch."

"And I told you I don't want you to be," Torquemada eased closer and said. "Relax---and have another D-tab, baby."

"No. Leave me alone."

"Miguel---come on. I'm no threat to you. I just want to take care of you, sweetie. Make you forget all your problems."

"This shit---shit, this is strong."

"It only weeds out the weak. Guerra was a perfect example of this."

Alvarez felt rage inflame his insides and, for one brief moment, his mind and body had reunited as one. He swung one of his fists and connected right on Torquemada's cheek. The flamboyant man faltered back and ultimately fell to the floor at the hard punch. He cried out from the pain, but held it together because he knew the man was his. The Latino could not stop his head from spinning and, as quickly as his anger had appeared, it had disappeared. He sat on his bed and looked at the man on the floor.

"I like it when you get rough, sugar," Torquemada licked the blood from his split lip and said. "It shows me that you care."

"I don't care."

"Oh, but you do. You'll be my numero dos in no time," he overconfidently said as he stood back up and straightened himself up.

"No," Alvarez responded as his speech was slurring. "I told you `no'."

"In due time, Miguel. You and I will run this place. You will be my king, darling. You will be my king and I will be you."


"You fight a losing battle. Destiny will claim you for me. Have another, love."

"No," he tried to refuse but those same fingers pressed against his lips again and the pill was swallowed.

"There you go. This is my kind of party."

"No. So hot---so hot."

"Why don't you take off your pants, then?" the evil glistened in Torquemada's eyes as he said this. "You'll feel much better with them off."

The third pill had burst somewhere inside him and his body wanted the restrictive clothing off and away from him. His blurred vision could see Torquemada taking the chair, putting it opposite the bed, and just sitting there. The sick fuck was getting off on seeing him like this, but Alvarez could no longer control his own body and his mind was in a maze covered under a dense fog. His hands fumbled with a button and a zipper before both were opened and released.

Alvarez knew he had already lost this battle, but he was not going to be thought of as weak. His body was not listening to him anymore, but his eyes stayed focused on Torquemada sitting on the chair across from him---he did not blink for what seemed like minutes at times. He was not going to succumb or lose his will to the man. His body quickly hopped up and pants slid down from over his waist and were kicked free by his two legs.

He did not feel any better, and the drugs were starting to have an arousing effect on him. In his boxers, the Latino laid there and could no longer control himself. He wanted it all to stop but he never once broke eye contact with his drug assailant because he had to retain some of himself after doing what both his body and Torquemada wanted him to do. His mind did not even comprehend when his fingers hooked onto his boxers and slid them down and away from his legs.

He heard a deep and sucking breath from the queen and rubbed one hand on his chest while the other fingered his abs. He had become a toy. His completely naked body had become a plaything for someone else's amusement. The dead eye especially focused in on Alvarez as he touched his own skin and made himself even more sexually aroused at the coaxing of the drug. He kept his face forward and his eyes focused and staring at the perverted bastard that was probably getting off watching him like this.

Torquemada stared up and down at the naked man lying in bed only a few feet away from where he was sitting. He was the perfect specimen of man created by God himself---the sinewy muscles and chiseled good looks complemented by that light caramel skin tone and perfect package. The queen was getting hard in his pants, but this was only their first of many nights together. Besides, it was all Alvarez's show anyway.

"That's it, baby. Touch yourself for me," he gently cooed and enticed. "Stroke yourself for me. Make yourself mine, sweet thing."

"Hot. Hard. So---hard."

"Touch it, Miguel. Touch yourself. Release you pent up frustration."

"No---hard. D-tabs. No more. Want---Oz," Alvarez made no sense in what he said.

It was as if he was trapped in his own body and he was tired of fighting to get out. The only thing that seemed to remain his was his eyes---which still had a stone cold stare on Torquemada. One hand was on his flat stomach while the other gripped the base of his dick and his body shuddered at the forceful touch. Ryan. The hand began to move up and down his engorged shaft while eyes remained bonded together.

Alvarez silently moaned and grunted as he jacked himself off, but refused to close his eyes and fall into the pleasure because it was the last shred of dignity he had left. The D-tabs was making him do this but he did not know that. His mind did not know that he was naked and putting on a sexual show for Torquemada. But that was the case as he continued to stroke himself because Destiny was making him do it.

Everything was too much. There was too much Destiny in his system and his dick was too hard for its own good. He wanted too much of Ryan O'Reily. He wanted to talk to the man---even in the smallest room Oz had to offer. Alvarez wanted to be there with him to talk and laugh and sometimes make hurtful jokes. The smallest piece of mind that was still attached to his body to make stroking himself possible only thought about the Irishman and their partnership---their relationship. Torquemada would never know what they had.

The Latino moaned inside his mouth as his other hand went down and reached for his churning balls. Goose bumps were all over his skin and the heightened sexual experience was gone on him because he did not have someone to share it with. There was no touching or intimacy---like what he had with Maritza, or Cathy Jo Cutler, or O'Reily. Hormones had taken over though because the drug was fondling them in his system. That was what was truly being stroked inside him.

Breaths became shallower and more ragged as heat created from his hand chafing against his hard shaft sent Alvarez into a false orbit. It was unnatural because he had no one here to share it with---no one to share his crumbling emotional walls with. It was fake and coerced in every way imaginable. The Latino came under the guide of his hand and serenely whimpered softly in Spanish as cum pumped out of him and onto his ridged stomach.

His eyes were glazed over, mostly from the drugs, and his still swollen dick smacked against his stomach as he let it go and finally closed his eyes to break contact with the other man. Ryan---Ryan. Where are you? His mind called out through the fog but nothing could be seen or heard. Alvarez tried to move but his body was too tired and sluggish from the drugs. Too much of it was in his system and it had all gone down too fast. I'm sorry. Ryan.

Alvarez felt a finger trace up his leg, but never touched his dick. That dead eye was looking through him---he felt like a fly trapped on a spider's web. Torquemada took in the beautiful sight in front of him from up close and smiled at the things he was going to do to this man throughout his time in Oz. He was going to be Alvarez's mind, body, soul, and heart. Torquemada smiled when Alvarez opened his eyes and they met. This was only the first step in getting his king all to himself.

He ran the same finger further up Alvarez's body and stopped on his stomach where numerous puddles of cum laid---waiting to be wiped off. His own dick was straining in his pants but he was not going to push anything on the Latino---not yet anyway. He had no interest in being sexually active yet because this was all about conquest. A few more tabs and night like this one and Alvarez was going to be his for the taking. The flamboyant queen dipped and swirled his finger in the largest pool of cum and brought it to his own lips---it rested there for a moment.

Torquemada lewdly stuck the stained finger in his mouth and licked it all over before he said, "Strong and sweet---just like you, angel."

"Don't. Touch," the Latino struggled to get the words out because his body was ready to give up on him.

"Sleep now. Tomorrow will be a big day for you---for us."

"No---us. There is no---us."

"Maybe not. Maybe so," Torquemada soothingly teased. "I'm going to bed. Your show took so much of my breath away. I need to recover. Good night, love."

As if right on Torquemada's schedule, the hack's shining flashlight came by and invaded the pod to make sure everything was normal within. Alvarez had managed to slip under his covers a little before so the light was gone as quickly as it had come. His body craved rest and the dense fog inside his mind was not letting up any time soon. Destiny was strong and it made him sick. Alvarez quickly slipped on his boxers and ran over to the toilet to throw up what felt like his guts. His head was spinning and his stomach was a cramped mess as he sat on the cold floor and threw up into the toilet.


The Irishman was in a bad mood as he waited in one corner of the gym during rec time for the man he wanted to talk to. Everything in his life was going to hell, but this was one thing he was able to control. He looked at the exact spot Meaney had told him where it all had happened. O'Reily shut out the high level of noise around the gym and carefully concentrated on how he was going to set his plan in motion without his true intention ever being revealed.

"O'Reily---I hear you wanted to see me," Keller advanced towards the corner and said. "Make it quick---I got weights to lift."

"K-boy---it's about time. How's the wife? To be free only to be snatched back into this hellhole---"

"Fuck you. What do you want?"

"So, Beecher figure out it was you who set him up yet?" O'Reily said and played it close to the vest because he needed to get inside the man's head to put down his plan.

"You don't know what you're talking about, O'Reily. Your brother's impending death must have you delusional."

"Maybe so. Maybe my source got it wrong."

"There's no maybe about it. I had nothing to do with Beecher coming back to Oz. I love him," he said as if it meant something.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. You two are bending each other over every chance you get. That's not my interest."

"Really?" Keller stepped closer and asked. "You sure you don't want to join in on the fun? Bending you over would give me so much pleasure."

O'Reily immediately moved away and said, "Fuck you. I ain't no fag, Keller."

"How many times do you have to say that? I could give that tight, pretty ass of yours the ride of its life," Keller continued to talk as if he was trying to seduce him. "You'd scream and beg me to keep pounding into you."

"Fuck you! I ain't Beecher, motherfucker! That shit's never going to happen."

"So you say. Life imprisonment is a long sentence."

Keller disgusted him, but he knew that this was just their normal banter. It mostly meant nothing because both men knew the other's ways of manipulation and capabilities of persuasion. He wanted to get a rise out of him, but O'Reily was not giving him much to work with. That was not the point of this meeting, and he was not going to be sidetracked by the other man's talk of sex or his ass. Not this time.

"I may have heard some misinformation about Beecher, but I know what your deal with Schillinger is," he said to get to his point.

"What deal? What are you saying?"

"Come on, K-boy. You're not denying this one."

"What do you want?" Keller asked, with a sadistic look on his face.

"Switch out Beecher's knife for the real one. Fuck that Nazi cumstain."

"What'd Schillinger do to you to deserve death?"

"Not a damn thing," O'Reily answered back, keeping his emotions completely closed off. "Think about it---all your problems with Beecher come from Schillinger. Taking him out of the equation would guarantee that Beecher is left alone."

"And suddenly you care about Toby and me---want to see us live happily ever after in Oz?"

"Don't give a damn about that. If you partner with Schillinger, you'll be his bitch."

"Hey, I'm nobody's bitch. That's no how it's going to be," Keller said with the same hard look on his face.

"You and I know that. The other inmates won't see Schillinger as your bitch if you give him the real knife to kill Beecher like you told him you would, though."

"You're manipulating some angle, O'Reily. You want Schillinger out of the way."

"Would I cry if he was? No. But I'm telling you that it would be better for you and Beecher if he was gone," the Irishman said and knew he had already laid the foundation of his plan inside Keller's head.

"I'm going to lift weights. Toby'll get what's coming to him."

They were both going to have to wait and see what the outcome of this conversation was going to be. O'Reily watched him walk away and thought about how the Nazi prick and his cronies had jumped Alvarez a few days ago against the fence he was again looking at. He had seen the Latino with the bandage on his forehead but they had not gotten another chance to talk, since the transition from Glynn to Querns was still taking place.

It was all about revenge. Schillinger was not going to get away with what he did to the Latino, and he was not going to get away with what he had done to Cyril when his brother had first come to Oz. He had not forgotten how the bastard and the other Aryans had raped his little brother in a closet. O'Reily was sure that Keller had listened to his words and was going to betray Schillinger because of his love for Beecher. If that was not the case, the Irishman was going to find another opportunity to airhole the Aryan leader.

It felt different to him that he was not the one serving lunch anymore, but was on the other side in the line. O'Reily had worked in the kitchen for such a long time that he never thought he was going to get out. It was not the place for him anymore. He collected his tray of food and walked over to where Neema was. A quick turn of his head and the Irishman noticed his father waiting in the end of the line. The man looked miserable and worn down---like he always did.

"Hey, yo, dad---check it out," O'Reily said as he put his arm around Neema's shoulder. "Look at that, huh? Look at me and my new best friend."

Neema shrugged him off and said, "Don't use me to taunt your father."

"Why not, man? You hate him as much as I do."

"No, I never knew the man. I just heard the stories from your mom."

"Yeah, well, she's just got the abridged version. I've got thirty-five years of gory details," he said and then looked at his father passing through the cafeteria line. "You fucking asshole. What's that word called for when a son kills his father?"

"Patricide," Neema said.

"Yeah, patricide. I like the sound of that."

Neema gave him a strict look but he ignored it because he was engrossed in the hatred of his father. He wanted to devote more of his time to helping people stay alive in Oz, but not Seamus O'Reily. The man was poison---everything he touched withered and died. Both his sons were going to die in prison and O'Reily hated him for that. He picked up his tray to dump it because he was no longer hungry. Alvarez had eyes on him throughout the entire scene.

A twisted pleasure filled his insides as he walked to work at the infirmary. News had quickly gotten out that Neema had been taken to the hole because he had stabbed Seamus O'Reily. The Irishman knew that his father had picked the fight because Neema was against violence. O'Reily only wished that the job were completed. He entered the hospital and saw his father recuperating there after Dr. Nathan had stitched him up.

"Guess you're not as quick as you used to be, huh, dad?" the Irishman mocked the man.

"Get the fuck away from me."

"Hey, pal, I got no interest in changing you bed pan. I just thought you should know that tomorrow's Cyril's execution and, so far, the courts refuse to step in."

"Mm-hmm," he uncaringly said.

"You really don't give a shit, do you?"

"I don't give a shit about anything I can't control."

"Then you must not care about anything," O'Reily continued to provoke his father.

"Will you get the fuck away from me?" Seamus O'Reily yelled out at him.

"Ryan!" Dr. Nathan called from behind him.


"Come here, please," she said and he walked over to her. "You tell me you want to be an orderly to help people?"

"Not him. Hey, tomorrow Cyril's going to die, all right?" he shouted in anger. "You can trace back all the shit that's come down and dear old fucking dad is at the center."

"Maybe so, but it still doesn't justify what you're plotting, Ryan---no more than it did when you had Cyril kill my husband!" she said loudly, but then restrained her voice. "I watch you care for your brother, and you're so warm and so sweet with him, and then you get this look in your eye---this dangerous, terrifying look. There are moments when I forgive you for what you've done, and others when I can't. And, I want to forgive you, Ryan. Help me to do that."

"How?" O'Reily almost whispered.

"Promise me that no harm will come to your father. Please. Let's just both put the past in the past."

He wanted to say something but the no words came and he instead walked away. The man had been the cause of so many bad things in his life that it was hard to let go of all that and have a normal relationship again. O'Reily slammed his fists onto the counter when he knew his anger was getting the better of him. His father had been in Oz for only a few days and already, he had caused so many problems. Neema did not deserve to be in the hole.

The Irishman could not look after his father and guarantee his protection as he had done with Cyril in the past. He did not want to babysit anyone anymore. Also, his time with Alvarez might be compromised if he constantly had to keep an eye on Seamus O'Reily. Dr. Nathan was serious though, and he did not want to lose his job in the hospital. O'Reily wanted her forgiveness---wanted it for Cyril before it was too late. He ran his hand under water because his knuckle had slightly busted open when he hit the countertop.

The hour was creeping up and his mind was reeling with the possibilities of life without his little brother. Oz would become unbearable without having his brother at his side. O'Reily was slightly dazed and numb that this was going to happen. He sat on the bed next to Cyril in death row and remained quiet as he thought of a way to get his brother out of it. Nothing had worked and he did not want to accept that it was all over.

"Lopresti told me dad got stabbed," he heard Cyril say.

"Don't worry about dad."

"Is he going to be okay?"

"Dr. Nathan's taking good care of him," O'Reily said with bitterness in his tone.

"I like Dr. Nathan," Cyril smiled and said.

"Me too. Me too."

"That man's taking notes again."

"I told you, that's because this time you're going to get that special ECT treatment," he continued with the fantasy lie.

"Right. Finally."

"Showtime," Lopresti began opening the gate and said.

"Any word from the lawyer?" O'Reily rushed out of the cell to ask his mom, but her face already gave the answer.

"See ya, Ryan," Cyril said when his brother came behind him and hugged and kissed him.

"Yeah. I'll see ya."

His voice choked, but he reserved his emotions as best he could so that his brother would not see him crying again. Cyril had just walked out of his life forever and he was being led to the gym to walk the maze. O'Reily wanted to believe that faith would bring him through this time but, deep down, he knew that this was going to be it. The State Supreme Court did not care enough to overturn the ruling. No one cared.

Ryan O'Reily walked through the maze like a lost soul looking for salvation---looking for a place of comfort and safety. A piece of him was going to die and, despite all his efforts, he was unable to protect his brother from the chair. The path was the wrong one, so he backtracked and started again. He was never going to solve this puzzle and his frustration was getting to him.

A gentle hand touched his shoulder and he turned around to see Dr. Nathan with a sad smile on her face. She touched his chest and looked into his eyes to see all that he had been hiding where Cyril was concerned. All the raw emotions, uncertainty, and blame that he hid from everyone were there. O'Reily closed his eyes because he did not want to appear this weak because he was not. He wondered if the act was done yet.

A pair of lips was on him and he fell into them because he thought it was the right thing to do. Dr. Nathan was the only one there and his body desperately needed comfort so he kissed her back. Alvarez played with his mind, but that was impossible right now. The Irishman pulled back when she did but did not look her in the eyes because he had felt practically nothing from it.

It was soft and warm, and felt good, but there was hardly any comfort behind it. Not the way it felt when Alvarez kissed him. Dr. Nathan smiled and stayed with him for a few more moments before she left him alone again. That was when he knew that he had no more feelings for her. O'Reily did not love her anymore, and had no desire to be with her. Working in the ward was a plan hatched to get him and Alvarez together.

O'Reily knew his time was almost up---he would have to return to Em City soon. He was not prepared to face anyone, even the Latino. His emotions about his brother's death were so dangerous and uncontrolled that the rage inside him scared him. Faith had done nothing for him in his hour of need. The Irishman was tired and hated what his life had become. He could not spend the rest of his days bound to Oz---only to end up dead, like Cyril.

The hack had brought him back to work at the infirmary because he did not want to go back to Em City. All the questions and eyes looking at him would have driven him out of his mind. He needed to keep himself busy and not think about it. His brother was dead. Cyril was finally free from Oz, but it had cost him his life. O'Reily bottled up all the emotions inside and got to work. He never wanted to feel them again, but ignoring them would be the biggest disgrace to Cyril's memory.

"Ryan. Ryan," his father called out to him as he passed by. "I want to see Cyril."

"You're too late."

"I did the best I could for him, and you, growing up. I tried. But I never caught a break. Nothing ever went my way---not one single time," he said. "And the day that you sister---died was the day I found out Tessie had cancer. I was scared."

O'Reily looked at him and said, "You were afraid?"

"I don't want to die. Don't leave me, Ryan, please, son. I don't want to die alone. Please," Seamus O'Reily said as extended his hand.

He took it and sat on the side of the bed before he said, "Don't worry. I won't let that happen. I'm not going anywhere, dad."

He knew Dr. Nathan's eyes were on him as he made peace with his father because it was what she wanted. O'Reily was tired of the fighting, the bad blood, and the hatred spewing inside him. Now, he only had his father and mother in his life so he had to protect them both. Doubts clouded his mind because he was unable to protect Cyril, but he had to brush them aside and focus on getting his father better.

It was as if nothing had happened just hours earlier. The play was premiering in a few minutes and all the inmates were packing into the cafeteria and taking their seats for it to begin. The Irishman sat in the crowd and remained mostly to himself, but it was hard because the noise level was almost through the roof. Some inmates had told him sorry for what happened to Cyril, but O'Reily always remained guarded because he was still a target in here.

Behind the curtain was chaos as people were scrambling to get their costumes on or doing some last minute practicing of their lines. Alvarez sat by the ropes that drew the curtains open and close with a headache and nerves inside his stomach. A flare of anger flashed in his cool brown eyes when he saw Schillinger pass him, but remembered where he was. He was not going to retaliate---not yet anyway.

The fucking D-tab he had taken earlier in the day was still eating away inside his system and he felt slightly incoherent and sluggish. Bits and pieces of the first night he had taken it still eluded him, but he knew the gist of what had happened and was disgusted with himself. Destiny had made him forget about Ruiz and being a free man, though. It had also made him jack off and put on a sexual show for that prick drag queen Torquemada. He was lost in the drugs.

"Miguel, are you okay?" Fitzgerald came over to him and asked.

"Just a little opening night jitters. A little cotton---cotton mouth," Alvarez responded in a dry and parched voice.

"Okay. You set?" she asked.

"Let's make theatrical history," Keller confidently said.

"All right. You guys ready?"

"I'm so excited I'm going to bust my buttons," Stanton said.

"Don't do that---it's a rental," Fitzgerald easily warned. "All right, everybody, we worked hard, so now's the time to have fun. So, if you flub a line, just keep going. If you miss a cue, don't panic. I'm very proud of all of you. Break a leg."

"Have a good show, Beecher," Schillinger said and the two shook hands.

"Miguel, dim the house lights."

He went to the main control board to turn down the lights of the cafeteria and put a bright spotlight on the stage. Destiny made his mouth dry and his head hurt far worse than when the Aryans had jumped him in the gym. The only thing he was sure of was that Torquemada had not touched him---not until the very end when Alvarez felt the finger on his stomach. Applause was heard as soon as the lights went down and Fitzgerald stepped out in front of the curtain to give the opening remarks.

"Good evening, and welcome to the premier production of the Oswald Players," she greeted the audience before her. "Before we begin, there are a few changes in the program. The second Weird Sister will be played by Reggie Rawls instead of Chico Guerra. Banquo will be played by Tom Smeeding instead of Agamemnon Busmalis. And, Norman Duttweiler will play King Duncan instead of Burr Redding. I would also like to say that Warden Leo Glynn was a great supporter of bringing the arts to Oz, and so, we dedicate tonight's performance in his memory, and also, to the memory of Cyril O'Reily. Thank you."

The audience clapped and an inmate said, "Oh. They spent some money on this shit."

"`When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?'" Poet said.

"`When the hurly-burly's done, When the battle's lost and won.'" Rawls said.

"`That will be the set of sun.'" Stanton said.

"`Where the place?'" Poet said.

"`Upon the heath.'" Rawls said.

"`There to meet with Macbeth.'" Stanton said and all three laughed evilly.

The play progressed and he was feeling weaker and his body drained. Destiny was sapping his strength, but he wanted another one. Alvarez shuddered and his insides flared with rage when he thought about what he was going to have to do this time to get his hands on more D-tabs. If this kept up, Torquemada was going to own him---that thought was far worse than anything else was. He needed O'Reily. The Latino closed his eyes and rested his head against the wall.

"`Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear: And Chastise with the valor of my tongue, All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid---'," an inmate acted out.

"Miguel!" Fitzgerald tapped his arm and his eyes opened.

"`---doth seem to have thee crown'd withal'," he continued.

O'Reily watched but felt guilty because Cyril was not there with him. He was not paying much attention to the play but rather thought of his last moments with his brother---in that fucking cell where he had kissed Cyril on the head for the last time. He wanted there to be peace between him and his father, but they had been fighting for so long. The Irishman owed it to himself, and to Cyril, to fix the relationship he had with Seamus O'Reily.

"`What is thy name?'" Kenaniah said.

"`Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.'" Schillinger replied.

"`No: though thou call'st thyself a hotter name, Than any is in hell.'" Kenaniah said.

"`My name's Macbeth.'" Schillinger said and they started a fight.

"Toby, I've got a plan---a way to get Schillinger out of our life forever," Keller said when they were backstage.

"I don't want to hear it," Beecher adamantly said.


"Just give me my prop."

Keller gazed at him and handed him a very real shank that was disguised as a harmless prop. He had taken O'Reily's words for what they were and had made the decision to betray Schillinger. No one knew, but everyone would see it after the next scene played out. He watched as Beecher prepared himself to go on stage and act out his part. Revenge against the Aryan leader was going to be theirs.

"`Thou wast born of woman. But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, Brandish'd by man that's of a woman born.'" Schillinger said after he killed Kenaniah's character.

"`Turn, hellhound, turn!'" Beecher entered behind him and said.

"`Of all men else I have avoided thee: But get thee back: my soul is too much charg'd, with blood of thine already.'" Schillinger turned around and said.

"`I have no words, My voice is in my sword: thou bloodier villain, Than terms can give thee out!'" Beecher said and they began to fight.

"Stick him! Stick him!" an inmate yelled out from the crowd.

"You're a dead man, sweet pea!" Schillinger whispered.

They broke apart and the Aryan kept violently swiping his knife as if it were the real one. Keller came over to the side of the stage where Alvarez had his eyes closed and watched the fight taking place. The prison erupted with cheers and coaxing for either side as Beecher tried to avoid him. Their arms met and were forced over their heads. Beecher managed to free one of his hands and plunged the real knife into Schillinger's chest---into his heart.

"That cocksucker," the Nazi said as he fell forward on the stage and started bleeding profusely.

"Dr. Nathan!" Beecher screamed out into the audience.

"That motherfucker's dead!" Kenaniah sat up from the stage floor and said.

"Hey, get back! Get the fuck back!" a guard yelled to try to control the crowd.

The lights came up and the inmates erupted as McManus and the officers tried to control the crowd. Fitzgerald ran onto the stage, followed by Dr. Nathan, who went to examine the body. The cafeteria was already being cleared out and Querns had made his way onto the stage as well. Beecher looked at Keller and saw the malevolent smile on the other man's face. This was his plan.

O'Reily looked on and remained under the radar as he fought through people and avoided hacks to get backstage and to Alvarez. Keller had followed through with the plan he had planted inside his head---Schillinger was dead. He hid behind the curtain and caught a glimpse of the body as he snuck behind the rest of the curtains and located the Latino near the control board. He looked so out of it and his eyes were barely functioning.

"Hey---hey, Miguel. What's wrong with you?" the Irishman whispered after he walked over to the other man.

"Ryan? What are you doing? Why is everyone leaving?" Alvarez looked around and said.

"Miguel---are you okay? Shit," he said when the hacks started coming backstage.

"Come on O'Reily, Alvarez. Back to Em City," Murphy instructed them.

The fuck got what he deserved and O'Reily felt no remorse for what happened. They were all in lockdown until the whole situation was sorted out and the Irishman only looked up at Alvarez's pod to see what was going on with him. When he had seen him backstage, the man looked like he was sick or on drugs. They had not had much of a chance to talk because of Cyril's execution, but O'Reily missed him. He missed him now.

After a day, Querns had ruled Schillinger's death an accident the lockdown had been over. O'Reily sat in the quad and looked upstairs at Keller and Beecher arguing---practically all the prisoners were watching them. Their relationship was so public that it was disgusting. The Irishman could never imagine himself and Alvarez arguing in public like that. Things escalated to physical and Keller grabbed Beecher around his neck and forcibly kissed him.

"Beecher, no!" Keller screamed as he threw himself from the second floor.

"No!" everyone heard Beecher yell.

Keller fell from the second floor and instantly broke his neck. Beecher screamed out in horror as he watched Keller slip away and Alvarez, O'Reily, and Poet examined the body and looked at him as the alarm rung and everyone was sent back into their pods because the prison was in lockdown again. Murphy took Beecher away as the rest of them were pushed back into confinement. O'Reily could not believe what was happening---first Schillinger, and now Keller.

It was definitely going to be harder to give the hacks the slip when he and Alvarez wanted to meet up, and he was hoping that McManus would transfer him to the hospital ward as soon as possible. He was getting a weird feeling from Torquemada. Every time he had bothered to look at the flamboyant queen, he either was close to or had his eyes on the Latino. O'Reily had to talk to him to see what was going on.

Early in the afternoon, a blaring mechanical voice came over the intercom informing everyone to evacuate the facility. Prisoners and guards alike scrambled to get out of Oz while no one really knew what was going on. O'Reily had to run all the way to the infirmary to help his dad because he was still recovering from the stab wound. Everybody was rushing and he did not have a chance to see Alvarez.

"Proceed to level one---emergency evacuation. Proceed---" the voice said.

"Where are we going to take them?" Officer Murphy asked from the command tower.

"Beats the shit out of me. All I've been told is the move is temporary. We'll be back, someday," McManus said back and looked around at his creation.

"Emergency evacuation," the mechanical voice went on.

The Irishman made it to the hospital and grabbed a wheelchair to put his father on. The guard rushed them outside to awaiting busses. Prisoners were tethered to each other in clusters of ten as they were all being forced into many awaiting busses. O'Reily wheeled his father outside and up a ramp to secure him inside the vehicle. A hack grabbed his hand and tied him to a group of prisoners to keep him from escaping. Most of them still did not know what was going on.

"Come on, move it! Let's go!" a hack ordered them to hurry up and load the busses from outside.

His eyes looked around the bus as it pulled off but they did not find who he was looking for. Alvarez was not on the same bus as him. The Latino had to be safe because McManus or Querns were not going to leave anyone behind. O'Reily thought about the fight between Beecher and Keller and wondered if all these events were somehow related. Either way, they were all going to get answers eventually as to what had just happened. He sat back as the bus drove them away from Oz---no one knowing where their destination was, or if Oz would ever reopen. The Irishman thought about his brother---and he thought about Miguel Alvarez.