by Max Barry

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The United Island States of
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Black Island

Black Island (or Nigra Nubo Mezkoridoro, Black Isle, Kuroshima) is a small AHSCA controlled territory situated 40 kilometers (24 miles) southeast of Animalpolis Island. The island isn't a state or incorporated territory but is a penal colony under AHSCA jurisdiction and serves as a short term interment center for convicted criminals of the UIS and outlying areas. The island has an area of about 31.3 (12.1 sq.mi) and it's population consists of prison guards and prisoners. The island's name is officially recognized by the government, in International Common (English), Esperanto and Auroran and Hoshine, the main four languages of the islands. The island was designated as a "black site" to be kept secretive from international knowledge but human and sapient-rights activists leaked the info to international press agencies. The name has remained but is officially acknowledged by the Government.


The island has a total area of about 31.3 (12.1 sq.mi) and is also situated in AHSCA's climate zone which runs along the LinkIntertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) . The island sees ample rainfall annually averaging a high temperature is 27C (87F) and an average low is 20.6C (68F) and the annual average precipitation rate is 227.5 millimeters. Just as they are on the main islands, hurricanes are a common hazard.

Criminal Justice in AHSCA

Early AHSCA prior and just after the unification war, AHSCA's criminal justice system was described as something as non-existent. While early Militia (prior to the division and dissolution) did act as a police force, citizens largely policed themselves and justice was served in one fail swoop. It wasn't uncommon for violent criminals accused of crimes to be simply shot dead on the spot, while more petty and paltry crimes usually resulted in some kind of non-life-threatening physical punishment or simple social isolation, ridicule and incarceration. Though incarceration was somewhat of a thing, it was limited to whoever would offer up their hut residence or would built a containment to hold a criminal.

With the formation of a formal criminal justice system in the latter half of the First Era of Villa, the need for a larger scale form of incarceration was needed as the immediate execution or punishment without due process. With several small islands within reach of AHSCA that were unclaimed for any number of reasons, the Royal Government chose one with a large enough land area, a decent amount of resources, fertile soil, ample water and within close enough range but far enough to deter would-be-escapees from attempting a quick sail or even swim back to the main islands. The small unclaimed island was ample as it still resided within AHSCA's main climate zone and would suit the needs. Inter-prisoner mingling is usually among cellmates and occasional chatter during working hours.

Design and Layout

The island split into two halves at about 45 latitude. Women occupy the northern half of the island and men occupy the southern half. Prisoners are boarded two-three per hut and huts are grouped together in rows of 5. A small strip of land is designated a "no-man's land" that divides the male-female sides of the island and is regularly patrolled and guarded.

Each side has 130 acres of land used for farming and labor work. The majority of the grown and harvested food goes back to AHSCA with remaining being left for the needs of prisoner and guard needs in addition to supplies provided by the government.


Transportation to the island is proceeded through a unmarked ship designated as a transit ship. The method of propulsion usually varies between sail and steam powered. Prisoners are clustered together in a single stripped out version of the inner hull (where passenger quarters would be located) with men and women simply chained together and to the hull. Prison guards and staff will also sail aboard these ships in a separate section of above-deck cabins reserved for them, with small quarters set aside for ship crew.

Transit around the island for prisoners is simply foot while staff are able to use motor vehicles around the island. Given the relatively small land area of the island of as a whole, mass transit isn't a concern.


AHSCA's Royal Government does not comment on island conditions but sapient-right watchdog activits have reported the conditions on the island as deplorable. Because AHSCA isn't a member of the World Assembly, it isn't under obligation to abide by resolution 161, or similar treaties demanding adequate housing of prisoners. Prisoners are fed a sustenance in the morning and evening, consisting of a bowl of white rice and fruit as well as crops harvested. Prisoners are given a single tub for bathing and washing and a single toilet bucket. They are only provided one set of work clothing but not obligated to wear it and will have to mend it if its torn or severely damaged.

It's been reported guards have secure concrete or mortar structures to shelter in, in the event of a hurricane but prisoners are left to their own accord to ride out storms. Physical discipline and floggings have been reported and executions are carried out on the island as well for prisoners condemned to death. Prisoner huts which act as cells, are sealed up with heavy padlocks and surrounded by razor wire. Some may have a small window or skylight. As these huts are made of the native material, (similar to many on the main islands) they're generally prone to weathering down but lack reinforcement until rebuilding is actually needed. During hurricanes or heavy monsoonal rains, these are prone to leaking or flooding.

Prisoner Rights and Privileges

Despite the strict conditions, privileges do exist for those interned. Once per month they may see an attorney if any and can be paroled. Those prisoners with exceptional behavior and those convicted of non-violent crimes may also engage in shore leave and/or visitation for a single day under guarded supervision. (Escape attempts will result an instant shooting). If shore leave is not offered or possible one prisoner hut may be given roaming privileges to move about their section of the island.

Inter-prisoner relations among same-sex couples is permitted but not between opposite sex members. If for some reason a prisoner were to become pregnant, the prisoner would be expected to carry the baby to term and the child would be placed into custody of next of kin or failing that, an orphanage.