Half an hour later Ferguson called Jianna up to the study area so they could talk on mutual grounds. Jianna day opposite Ferguson in the near empty room. She nervously wiped her eyes with her sleeve- she had been crying over the canteen incident.
“Hey it’s okay,” Ferguson said to her kindly. “It’s okay, I told you Id protect you,” she reminded Jianna. Jianna didn’t smile back. Instead a fresh wave of tears trickled down her face. Jeez, talk about turning on the waterworks, she thought with a sigh. She had to find a happy balance in Jianna- strength so Jianna could fight back, and trust in Joan who would protect her. But first and foremost Jianna did need to toughen herself up. Ferguson would understand it if she was a new prisoner, but she’d been there for six months now, long enough to know the drill. Ferguson peered into Jianna’s eyes and saw nothing but fear In them. “Hartnell really hates me,” she whimpered. “I know,” Ferguson said kindly. “But you have to fight back, Jianna. You have as much right as they have,” she told her. Jianna nodded, sniffing and drying her eyes with her sleeve. Ferguson smiled proudly at her. “That’s my girl,” she said. Then a figure caught her eye. “Go on. Here’s your chance to fight back,” she said, gesturing to one of Hartnell’s crew, nicknamed scar for the long scar she had on her arm.
With determination Joanna nodded and got up to face her enemy. Scar grinned when she saw her. “Well if it isn’t little cry baby,” she sneered. But Jianna was in no mood for names- with Ferguson’s support she meant business.
She reached out an arm, grabbed Scar’s neck and pushed her roughly against the wall. “Tell Hartnell I don’t appreciate having my food knocked over like that,” she hissed to a choking Scar. “If it happens again, I’ll make sure she’ll be sent to the wet cells. Understood?” she asked.
Hartnell continued to choke. “Well?” Jianna demanded as she tightened her hand around her throat. “Y-yes, I understand,” Hartnell managed to wheeze out. Nodding with satisfaction, Jian an let go and Scar dank down to the floor, coughing. “Good. See that she gets the message,” Jianna added before walking back to Ferguson with a hopeful smile on her face.
Ferguson smiled back and winked at her. “You did good, kid,” she told the prisoner who sat opposite her once more. Jianna reaches over and squeezed Ferguson’s hand gently. “I have you to thank, Ms Ferguson. You’re very inspiring to me,” she told her in a quiet tone before letting go. “Nonsense. It was all you. I just gave you a little push,” Ferguson said, smiling proudly back before walking out of the room.
Ferguson rolled over on her back and sighed. Those were the good old days, when she was The Fixer, not the Freak. But that’s what happens when you let your guard down, the master’s voice echoed once more. That’s what enabled them to call her the Freak. Before falling asleep again, Ferguson made a vow. Bea Smith was going to be very sorry that she let people call her the Freak. Very, very sorry indeed.