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Old April 10 2013, 04:53 AM   #57
Rear Admiral
Re: Dark Territory: Shadow Puppets (Revised)

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Merria Cosmopolis

Every time Lt. Commander Meldin thought he had gone to a place beyond pain, Major Vorot reminded him otherwise. His body jerked spasmodically again, the restraints shackling his limbs to the upright gurney was the only things that kept him from flopping to the floor.

The two small mind probes attached to his forehead stabbed through his eye lids with flashing lights the color of human blood. Major Vorot’s sigh was audible. She sat at a small table near the door in the stifling room. She held the smaller probe controller, about the size of a Starfleet PADD, in one gloved hand. The other rested comfortably by her disruptor.

On the table sat a pitcher of the most tempting water the security officer had ever laid eyes on. One glass sat tantalizingly by the cup. “Once again Commander Meldin, what do you know about the Benzite partisan movement?” She paused to allow the man’s self-control to return.

Control of his bodily functions had been one of the first casualties of the Tal Shiar agent’s interrogation. Meldin had almost gotten used to the stench, but the feel of his drying excrement on his skin still turned his stomach. However there was nothing in it to expel. The contents that hadn’t made it to the floor were staining the front of his uniform. Dried tracks of vomit and spittle ran from the corners of his mouth. It was all disgusting and unsanitary, but there was nothing he could do.

The Benzite was surprised at how nonplussed his interrogator over his appearance and smell. He reasoned that the woman had probably conducted so many inquisitions by this point that his condition didn’t faze her at all. “I-I know nothing,” he forced the words out, over a tongue that felt like sandpaper.

“Your resiliency is impressive,” the major said. She picked up the pitcher and filled the cup. She took a sip of the water, making a show of savoring it. She put the cup back down, stood up, and approached him. “Let’s try another tack,” she suggested.

Meldin remained silent. It wasn’t as if he had a choice in the matter. “Why did you murder Commissioner Morah?” The woman returned to a previous line of questioning. Meldin’s expression hardened at the accusation. “We know she was associated with the partisan movement. Was she going to expose them-you-or was this some lovers’ spat?”

Before Meldin dismissed the questions, Vorot leaned forward, “Is there dissension among the partisans? If you have such information this could be your ticket to incarceration and not execution.” The Benzite wished the woman would get a bit closer so that he could at least attempt to take a chunk out of her face with his teeth. It would result in his death, but at least he could end his life with a bit of satisfaction. Wisely the woman kept far enough away from his teeth or puke.

Unfortunately Meldin had nothing left to spew even if she was within striking distance. “The Federation isn’t going to allow you to execute me,” Meldin said, after clearing his throat several times.

“Perhaps,” Vorot concurred, shaking her head as if she was seriously considering his reply. “Except that we are still in Federation space and you are subject to the laws of a Federation member state.”

“Despite what you think, the Benzite people are not your puppets. They will not condemn a Starfleet officer to death just because of trumped up charges,” Meldin riposted, feeling both good and ashamed that the woman had struck a deep vein of anger.

The major smiled. “The provisional authority is very amenable and they want to stanch the menace the partisan’s pose very much. Your Starfleet uniform won’t save you once I have established your partisan ties.”

“Good luck with that,” he scoffed. “You’re going to have to torture me a lot more to get me to confess, because I know that your mind probe hasn’t revealed anything about such involvement.” He knew that the controllers also served to dissect the data gleaned from the mind probe. It galled him that the woman had access to his thoughts, but once again, he was helpless to prevent that.

“True,” the woman admitted with a shrug, “Which is not a surprise if you have received mental conditioning, as I assume a Starfleet security officer would have. So I guess we will have to do this the old fashioned way.” Meldin clenched his teeth, girding himself for another wave of intense agony. But the woman pocketed the controller and pulled a small blade from her back, which had been covered by her uniform jacket. She pressed an indention in the hilt and it vibrated slightly, its song sending a trill of terror through Meldin.

“So you recognize what this blade is,” she remarked, with delight.

“Monofilament, of Tholian manufacture,” he said, trying to put on a brave face, but his voice sounded tinny and inside his stomach corded with horror. “Such blades can cut through virtually anything.”

“Correct,” Vorot said, “So, let’s begin again shall we?” She asked as she approached him.
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