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[Agency Base, Northern Pole of Ch'Rihan]
The Major looked at the two of them from the one way viewers with a neutral expression. The boy was innocent. He knew that right now, there was nothing that could be done to change that. However if she began to resist them, he would pay the price. He would be used against her, because deep down these Vulcans were quite like their cousins. One just had to know how to push the right buttons for them.
Without another thought he moved into the room with the woman, the four Revellion stoic and impassive as always went to attention for a brief second before he motioned that they should wake her up. What they had planned was the normal wake up procedure for Vulcans. First the antidote for the drug she had been given. As she slowly began to stir, a large bucket of ice cold water was thrown on her to help jar her to her senses at once.
The officer sat behind a desk in a large plain grey room. He watched his paitent and waited for her first reaction.
Even as the sluggishness drained from her along with the effects of the sedative, it was the only coherent thought she could form for what seemed an eternity.
So cold it hurt.
Perhaps it was not the sedative but her mind unwilling to accept reality, hiding in the soft mists of incomprehension.
Her eyes snapped open more out of anger and defiance than the efforts made by her captors. Though there was a small part of Teillh commenting dryly that the efforts had been rather straightforward.
Sadness mingling with the banked flames of defiance in amber eyes, T'Sahik of Vulcan recognized this dry humor in most inappropriate circumstances as the heritage she had buried, locked away only to have it dragged before the cold, cruel gaze appraising her like a Chkariya that had dared to steal the nuts from an unguarded table.
And in a way, that was precisely what she had done.
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Along with Teillh, the little seamstress's fear began to lose substance, fade like a nightmare that leaves you shaken but is losing its hold, second by second.
After all, if your worst fear has come to pass what else can you possibly be afraid of?
Dripping ice cold water from shiny brown hair and soaked garments, T'Sahik managed just so not to shiver and gave a curt, perfunctory nod of acknowledgement.
The hunt was over, the prey brought back in triumph. If there was a touch of sarcasm to her conceding defeat in this matter, it was at least not noticeable enough to be rude.
"What is your name Teillh," he said looking up from his ISD as his subject began to come to after the water had been splashed across her face. He didn't expect a response so instead he continued. "I'm afraid that I must do some things in order to ensure that nothing time sensitive is in play right now. I do not like to use Elementa for such brutal tasks, but there is no other option available to me," he looked at a door as it opened and a Romulan with no rank insignia and black gloves came into the room. "Now. You can tell us what we need to know once he is done ascertaining the information that he needs, or we can begin things the hard way. Perhaps not always the hard way for you either," he said as he motioned at one of the dark mirrors to her left. It lit up immediately and it showed poor son of the tailor who had taken her in. The one who had been so kind to her and even developed feelings for her. He had been awakened the same way, but he was different.
He knew nothing. His eyes darted around, as if seeking something to gain strength from. His Gai'Shian training kicking into gear as he attempted to resist whatever was about to happen, for he knew that it would be unpleasant. The mirror went dark again just as one of the Revellions in his cell punched the boy square in the chest... Hard.
The Major's eyes never left her. "This will be uncomfortable, and I am sorry for that," he said before he nodded at the other Agent before he began to walk towards the restrained Vulcan, his eyes boring holes into her. At first it was only a tickle in the back of her mind, like something she couldn't shake. However before long it was far much more than that. Invasive, personal, the worst kind of violation....
Caught so horribly off guard by the sight of Velal poor, innocent Velal, the horror so plain on his face, knowing exactly where he was but not why she missed the chance to guard against the one whose mere presence she should have recognized.
The low hum of a powerful telepath, inaudible but there all the same, searching, honing in on the familiar. But not the light, tender brushing of one mind against the other, or even the calm, joyful embrace that was as food and water to T'Shanik's race.
Invasion. Relentless, cold, examining thoughts and memories like one studies the shimmering colors of a pinned butterfly.
No way to fight, to strike back, to turn this mind against itself. All she could do was retreat, deceive with shadows and veils while burying the essence of what she was under layers of clouds and rock, leaving nothing, nothing but a windswept desert.
Ah, it hurt. But the ancient curse hissed out between clenched teeth as she glared at the cruel one, daring him to go further. He already knew enough, had seen the little seamstress, so frightened and weeping inside for Velal's fate. Had seen the small skilled hands examining the data crystal. Message received.
"You are too late."
If there was one small triumph in this, she did not allow herself to savor it, give an opening that would crack the ground under which the other memories slumbered.
"They know. And you know as well as I they will not come for me."
The Agent with the gloves turned and nodded to the other staring at him for a moment before he turned and stood behind the Major turning to his prisoner. "No I never assumed that your agency would be so stupid as to come and get you. If they were, we would have infiltrated them and made them a non-issue a century ago," he said dryly before he looked down at his ISD again, tapping away at it for a moment before looking back up at her. "Yes now that the unpleasant part is over with, we can begin with your questioning. I will be asking you a series of questions and I expect answers. False answers or non-compliance will result in a varying form of punishment, not only for yourself but for your friend over there." The Major motioned again as the light came on in the mirror and she saw Velal panting, but staring at something on the far corner, gathering his strength from it.
"The severity of his punishment will increase faster than yours, and you will watch everything that we do to him. If we have to tape your eyelids open and force you to watch as the life is slowly beaten out of him," he said giving her a bit more incentive to cooperate. "What is your name. Your real name mind you. When were you first planted into Romulan space? Were you on any other planets before this? If so what were they. What is the name of the contact that you passed your information onto? What does he look like. You will provide us with a picture of him."
She did not laugh. And it was just as well, for it would have sounded both bitter and incredulous, a mere shadow of the crystal clear sound that had so enchanted the poor boy in the other room long, long ago it seemed.
Her name. She was tempted to shout it at him in defiance. What irony that this cruel one would perhaps even understand what it meant, both the word itself and the significance of knowing. But she only shook her head, slowly, almost sadly.
She whose name he sought was no more, had to cease being to remain who she was. And like the lava slumbers eternally under the barren desert, the Katra wanting to live still burned hotly, wanted to reach for that which was bright and warm and beautiful. But all the same it was beginning to understand there was nothing left but ice, and emptiness.
Only one way.
But ah, how hard it was.
"I am little more than a gust of desert wind, Major." So calm, so level, with the faintest touch of sadness, her voice rang strangely even in her own ears.
A wind that was dispersing even as it swirled before uncaring, appraising gazes. Did the telepath know? Sense that under the blank, unreadable surface a mind was preparing to let go, override that most basic of all instincts in one last, desperate act of defiance?
This, too, would soon cease to matter.
"So if it pleases you, think of me as Arev. My true name you know well I shall not speak."
If there was one regret, one that still had the power to tear at her heart with a Le-Matya's sharp claws, it was that Velal would pay the price of her defiance. But even though she would not be granted the little comfort that he at least would know, remember her as who she truly was there was one gift she could lay at his feet, one way to repay the kindness.
"Ahuian. Yisail. Ch'Shrr. All a long time ago." Would they try and trace her movements, reconstruct how this little annoying wind had blown across their borders? No other would ever again come this way, so even if they did, all she had given them was an account of leaves rustling.
And while the gloved one's implacable eyes saw there was no lie in the calm, sad amber gaze, it also kept searching trying to find a crack in the surface, and nearly found it. Nearly.
She would have to be faster.
"As for my contact he chose to never reveal himself, and wisely so, yes?"
[To be continued ...]