MAYDAY, MAYDAY. Resupply Ship C10-X943 requesting immediate assistance. MAYDAY MAYDAY. Sublight navigational systems offline, course uncontrolled, collision imminent. MAYDAY MAYDAY.
Last night, anyone that had reason to be outside under the sky will have seen a cacophony of lights. Anyone who had managed to earn the rare privilege of a communication line off-planet would have found it instantly cut. Anyone with a keen enough eye may have spotted the glint of metal as several thousand kilometers of falling cable caught the first rays of the rising sun, or the twin fireballs off in the distance as large objects entered the atmosphere. Everyone will have heard the noise it made when it hit the ground, and the rumour mill won't have taken long to piece it all together.
The support station is down—the last lifeline off this hunk of rock, the tether for the space elevator which brings anything to or from the surface, and the connection point for the FTL comms channels which connect b-Exagora to the rest of the Empire. As the guards scramble to reassert control, the gossip spreads—no way off this rock now, no comms either. The prison is alone out here; next resupply is at least 10 months away, but that'll have already set off, and with the elevator down it's going to take some ingenuity to get supplies down or people up. Next hope of anything that could provide rescue…maybe 3 years, if they set off now? Maybe 4 if they wait for the resupply to confirm that there's anything left to rescue. Maybe never if they just don't care about a couple thousand prisoners trapped on a failed investment.
Shock turns to despair turns to resentment turns to anger—undirected anger against an unfair world, but there are so many different outlets for it within the prison. The guards wade in, shouting the words of command to make the control collars freeze the prisoners in their tracks, mid-punch, mid-stomp, mid-throttle. They're separated and dragged back to their cells. The lack of care as heads are bumped against stairs, limbs against doorways, shows that the guards have other things on their mind. Or they've realised that even if they can't get comms out, the Council in Elysium can't see in.
Everyone is confined to their cells, slumping to the floor as the collars deactivate and their muscles relax. By the evening, most are returned to the day-to-day work of keeping the prison running—food still needs making1), the doctor needs assistants to help with those hurt in the riot, and laundry still needs doing. The guards are watchful, armed to discourage further trouble, even though they could stop it with just a word. A few, selected apparently at random, are told to report in for a special briefing. Those that don't show at the appointed time are found, frozen, and unceremoniously dumped in the room.