No. To be precise, there was a combination of symbols and pictures before Kieran.
The blood formed two big circles, one inside the other, an inner one and an outer one. In the middle, there was an abstract drawing that looked like a scorpion.
Kieran was not completely sure that it was a scorpion. As a matter of fact, he could not even tell if it was a real symbol or picture that was formed by the blood stain.
As for the words?
Kieran had never seen any words like these before. At least not that he knew of.
"What are these?"
Kieran looked at the gap between the two big circles. There were even more symbols there.
The line started with a pentagram and ended with an upside down pentagram. By Kierans calculations, there were about 41 of them.
It wasn't that Kieran couldn't be bothered to count them precisely. It was just that the symbols were too alien and complicated, and he could not tell whether they were mixed together forming one meaning, or if they were combinations of two forming separate meanings.
Kieran squatted down on the floor and looked at the symbols over and over again.
He was trying to find a pattern within them.
Ten minutes later, he was still baffled by the unorganized, alien symbols. He could not help but frown. He had nothing.
Dealing with something that one was completely unfamiliar with and trying to draw a conclusion was extremely hard. It was definitely not something one could achieve in ten minutes. It was too complicated.
Kieran sighed and stood up, turning around and looking at his surroundings, hoping for more clues. There was nothing.
"Any discoveries, Mr. 2567?" Jack asked as soon as Kieran stood up.
He had stayed beside him all along, holding the flashlight as he covered his nose.
"A few. How did Gilfren Hatch die?" Kieran did not go into detail about his findings. Instead, he asked about the circumstances of the previous tenant's death.
"Gilfren Hatch was a psychopath. Can you believe he bit his own wrist and bled to death? I have worked here for almost 10 years, and I've seen a lot of crazy and vicious men, but he was the only one that went that far!"
As Jack talked about Gilfren Hatch, his face looked full of fear. He seemed terrified by the scene he had witnessed.
"Is there anything else you know about him? What did he have on him when he was arrested?" Kieran continued.
"I do not know anything else about this man, other than the fact that he was a complete psychopath that made over a hundred people commit suicide. If I could, I'd rather not know that either. It was too creepy. Hatch was not arrested, anyway. He turned himself in!" Jack said with a shiver.
Kieran was shocked by Jacks words.
"Thats right, he was like a rat. He could move through the darkness easily. The police could not get their hands on him. If he hadn't surrendered, I think he might still be roaming the streets freely. The official announcement stated that he was arrested, but it was not the truth!" Jack said with a shrug. It was not something anyone would brag about.
"Did he have anything with him when he turned himself in? Any books or notes?"
Kiera had still did not given up on the idea. The symbols and pictures had picked his interest and he wanted to find out what they meant.
Normally, information and knowledge were kept in books. In Gilfren Hatchs case, he might have been carrying something related to those symbols.
"No. When he surrendered last year, he walked into the police station empty-handed. He was only wearing his clothes, he didn't even have a wallet," Jack replied as he tried to recall the incident. His answer disappointed Kieran.
"Do you need me to double-check for you?" Jack asked.
"No need, thank you. Lets head to the cells of the other six prisoners," Kieran shook his head, urging Jack to continue their investigation.
He did not think Jack would lie to him about this particular case.
Nevertheless, when Gilfren Hatch had turned himself in, the books or notes holding the key to those symbols might have fallen into other peoples hands.
The dungeon had categorized Kieran and his team as special experts, so it would not come as a surprise to him if other experts existed as well.
Any expert would have been very interested in the notes or books containing the story behind the leader of the Hatch Heresy, the very man that had made over a hundred people kill themselves. From a normal persons point of view, Gilfren Hatch was nothing more than a sadistic psychopath.
Two of the prisoners that had committed suicide had been kept on the third floor, three on the second floor, and one on the first floor. The first and second floor had surveillance cameras as well, but they were not as many as on the third floor.
There was nothing in the first five cells and Kieran continued to the sixth and final cell.
Compared to the cell where Gilfren Hatch had been kept, the other six were a lot better. At least for cell rooms. They certainly could not be compared to hotel rooms. The best Alcatraz had to offer did not even come close to a hotel bathroom.
Even the best cell in Alcatraz had nothing more than a lamp on the ceiling, a steel bed, and a cover on the toilet bowl. No window, and no washing basin.
"The first floor is for the criminals that have been the most honest and well-behaved. They are allowed to read books sometimes, but not that often," Jack said as he guided Kieran around the place.
"Hope they didnt get any ideas about freedom from books," Kieran said as he activated his [Tracking] again.
"Lets hope so, but it was what they deserved anyway," Jack said with a smile. He did not feel any mercy for the prisoners, and neither did Kieran.
Thanks to Jack, Kieran had a general understanding of the prisoners there. Even the one that were considered well-behaved had robbed three banks and killed a dozen innocent people. The cell they were currently in belonged to that particular prisoner.
In other words, the prisoners in Alcatraz had committed every conceivable despicable crime to ever exist. Even the pettiest Alcatraz inmate could be executed over ten times in a Union prison.
As for being frame for their crimes?
Inmates in other prisons might have possibly gotten framed, but not the prisoners in Alcatraz. Definitely not.
Every single one of the men locked up in Alcatraz had had solid proof against them. That was what Jack had said at least, but Kieran still had his doubts.
He activated his [Tracking], just like he had the previous five times, and carefully scanned over the prison cell.
Everything would be revealed to him. No trace or trail would escape his eyes.
Yet there was still nothing.
The cell before them was very clean. Nothing had been left behind. Even under the bed, behind the toilet bowl, or in the gap behind the door. Kieran searched every tiny gap that could hide anything, but he still found nothing.
He was not even sure if the prisoners had not left any clues behind, or if the clues had been wiped clean. He was leaning towards the latter.
Jack had ranted more than once about the trouble of cleaning the cells.
"Its too clean!" Kieran sighed.
Considering that the attitude of the prison guards toward the prisoners, it should not have been that clean.
"It should be! It's the Warden himself who cleans every cell first, and then we do a follow-up cleaning. Then the Warden inspects the cell one final time. Some of the guys who were sloppy on cleaning duty were scolded pretty hard by the Warden!" Jack said with a helpless expression.
"The Warden cleans the cells himself?" Kieran was shocked once again. He would not have expected it from the Warden. He had thought him to be much more proud than that.
"Yeah. 'Those prisoners might be sh*t, but this is our turf. I dont want us to be as filthy as those sh*ts! That's what the Warden says," Jack said.
"That sounds like him." Kieran nodded as he walked out of the cell.
Although that's what he said out loud, he was now even more suspicious of the Warden.
It would be useless to investigate any more without any further clues, though. Lingering around would do him no good.
Why not return to the guest room and ask Lawless about the symbols instead? Maybe throughout the seven dungeons he had cleared he had come across something related to that mystery, or made some new discovery.
After Kieran walked out of the cell, he did not go back to the third floor to return to the east side. He was about to walk towards the west side and head back through the entrance to the east side, but before he could take a step, the west side prison gate opened and a team of five fully-armed men entered.
They unlocked the cells and brought the prisoners out.
Every single one of the prisoners had a dirty face and dishevelled hair. They all reeked of a rotten smell. They were holding a small, well-folded piece of towel in their hands, but there was no soap or washing bucket in sight.
Kieran realized something as he witnessed the scene. Jack had mentioned that once a week the prisoners had a chance to go out out of their cells and take a bath.
"Today is bathing day!" Jack had also just realized what day it was. He walked to the wall of the corridor and stood aside. So did Kieran.
"This is also one of the Warden's rules. Any guards who are not on duty must make way for those who are. Bathing day is one of the most important shifts in Alcatraz for us prison guards, because it's the only day the prisoners leave their cells!"
Jack and Kieran stood aside, their shoulders touching. Jack explained the situation before he mumbled, "We are short on manpower because of the poisoning incident. There was originally supposed to be a team of ten!"
The poisoning had not really caused the shortage of men. That was because the Warden had deployed men all around Alcatraz to catch Old Toms accomplices. Kieran knew perfectly well the reason behind the lack of guards, but he could not explain it to Jack.
Instead, he looked at the cells that were unlocked one by one, the prisoners walking out one after the other.
Soon, the cell opposite Kieran was unlocked, and a skinny, shriveled old man walked out.
"Ah, nice to see the sun again!"
Unlike the others, the old man was smiling and stretching his body under the sun. He looked really satisfied. He did not even fold the towel, he just laid it over his shoulder.
"New face, huh?" the old man said in awe when he noticed Kieran.
His action triggered the guards on duty, who had unlocked the cell doors. "Shut up! Youve missed your bathing chance now!"
One of the guards pounded the old man on his back with his gun, and the old man fell to the ground near Kieran. Before he could stand up, the guard dragged him back and threw him back inside his cell.
Kierans face had a hint of an odd expression.
"That fellow was the infamous master thief. If it was not for his countless escapes from other prisons, he would not have been here," Jack explained.
"Master thief, huh? No wonder!"
Kieran moved his hand to his pocket and suddenly felt a crumpled paper that hadn't been there before.
When the old man that was known as the master thief had fallen down, he had moved his hands like he'd wanted to balance himself, but what he had actually wanted was to stuff that crumpled paper inside Kierans pocket.
The moment the old man had approached his pocket, Kieran knew what he had been up to, but he had not stopped him.
Why would a prisoner locked up in Alcatraz risk their life to put a crumpled paper in a strangers pocket?
What did that paper hide? What was written on it?
The unexpected discovery made Kieran smirk.