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 The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain

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PostSubject: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 3:49 pm

Dr. Tahain had been languishing in her cell for two days now, insulting the Bajoran security officers, refusing her food, and generally making a nuisance of herself. Her two ranjen remained yet unidentified to their captors, and had maintained nothing but silence during their imprisonment.
Her eyes lit up, however, when Commander Rai entered the room.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 4:07 pm

Rai dismissed the security guards on duty, and set a metal, utilitarian chair of Cardassian design in the front and center of Dr. Tahain's cell. He set a second chair beside it, and waited for Lieutenant Inabnet.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 4:45 pm

T'Pren may not have been the galaxy's best Vulcan, which was especially clear to anyone with any kind of telepathy, but she could pretend for brief periods of time, pretend so well that sometimes she could fool people. But then, if the Cardassian doctor remembered anything about her from the moon base, she'd know that the half-breed had been exceptionally sweet and cooperative with her captors. A model lab rat.

Regardless, she was playing Vulcan for this, for her own sake as much as for the interrogation. Her uniform was pressed and spotless and her hair was neatly French braided to let her pointed ears show. She arrived promptly and paid attention only to Rai, not even acknowledging the prisoners. Her expression was neutral and cool and her mind was organized and focused.

"Sir."


Last edited by T'Pren Inabnet on Mon May 12, 2014 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 5:12 pm

"Lieutenant, let's step outside so I can brief you before we begin."
Once they were away from the Cardassians, his demeanor instantly warmed again.
"I need to know, before we begin, that you can handle this. I got Ozan's report-- the medical experiments, the surgical torture, this is a woman with a hideous history. I know you've been stretched really thin the first few days you've been here and if this is more than you can bear, please tell me now. Protecting you is my first priority here, and I can certainly handle this on my own. I had a feeling, however, that you might find this edifying."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 5:38 pm

As Rai was warming up, T'Pren was letting her Vulcan exterior down, her emotional life becoming a little more active and readable. While she was certainly a little nervous, she was otherwise doing very well, all things considered, and seemed fairly in control. She was compartmentalizing expertly.

The anxiety grew slightly worse and color tinted her cheeks as he started listing the things the woman had done, since T'Pren had been present for some of it, but she gave her commanding officer a small, grateful smile. "Thank you, sir."

Something shifted inside her and her emotions started to steel with resolve. She replaced her smile with lifted brows and reassurance. "I can handle this. I want to be in there with you. Obviously I will do whatever you need me to do when you need me to do it. I will say or not say whatever you'd like."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 5:49 pm

"I'm going to ask her about her mission and who hired her. Your duty is to question her on her past. Press her hard on her prison camp time. You don't have to be kind. In fact, I would encourage you to be unkind. I promise, I'll be far worse. Are you ready?"
She was so brave, he thought. He suddenly felt rather proud of her. He wondered if he was pushing her too hard. At the same time, he couldn't deprive her of closure. So many prisoners of war never actually saw justice. T'Pren might actually see her captors tried, and likely executed, depending on the leniency of the Bajoran government.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 5:54 pm

Strangely enough, it was when Rai encouraged her to be unkind that T'Pren experienced a wave of emotion. It was the anxiety from before, but coupled with guilt and sadness. It flushed through her face with more of that green tinting and stopped her, however briefly, from breathing.

"A moment," she murmured, actively sucking in a breath and concentrating on tidying up her emotional life again. "I'm sorry, sir. I just need a moment."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 6:18 pm

"Take as much time as you need. Please feel free to leave the room if you're overwhelmed." He didn't want to crowd her, so he gave her a moment alone. He sat down in front of Tahain, with a face like a pane of glass.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 6:33 pm

Oh hell no.

The second Rai left T'Pren alone to collect herself, her Vulcan side kicked into high gear because all of her -- every last fiber of her being -- wanted to be in that room. The whole time.

You're not that little girl anymore, Pren, she coached herself with a whip in her voice. Get it together. Now.

She took one more very deep breath and let it slowly out with one last moment lingering outside to make sure her cheeks, though warm, weren't green. Her Vulcan mind went methodically through her emotions, shutting and locking doors and pocketing keys until at last, T'Pren locked away her heart and followed the commander in. She was stony-faced and had more than a little condescension in her lack of expression and she walked with extreme efficiency to the chair, where she seated herself beside Rai. She knew he was probably picking up on the pulsing warp core of feeling way deep down inside her, but she was regulating it carefully, venting and containing it like an expert engineer.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 6:40 pm

"Dr. Mila Tahain, I'm here on behalf of the Federation. I am Commander Darren Rai. I'm the one whose space station you tried to destroy. You also framed one of my residents for murder. I understand the reason you provided was to settle a grudge you held against his family, but if you'll forgive me the expression, that doesn't hold a drop of water.
You might already be aware that I had the illustrious Dr. Ozan disable the Obsidian Order endorphin regulating device previously installed in your brain. Tough break on those withdrawal symptoms, right?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 6:51 pm

"I won't give you the satisfaction of telling you I'm in pain," she said, remaining aloof, though Rai and T'Pren could see she perspired faintly in the dim lighting of the cell.
"I stand by my statement, I did this to abort the very creature his mother ought to have swallowed," she said firmly.
"I don't intend to talk."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 6:53 pm

"Strong words for a woman of your repute. I expected more dignity, to be honest. I'm rather disappointed. Lieutenant, I believe you have some questions for the Doctor before I proceed."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:03 pm

The smile with which T'Pren accepted her turn in the questioning did not reach her eyes and was cruel and distant. It looked entirely out of place on the lieutenant to anyone who'd had an actual conversation with her. She took her time, studying the suffering Cardassian and then sparing a glance for her Ranjen like someone who disdains messes might regard another's muddy pets. Her emotional life is almost non-existent, it's so disconnected.

"It must twist in your pride like a knife to be the captive audience for once," she began, clearly enjoying herself. Except that inside it was mostly empty with one tiny, far away part of her that was thrilling at the turned tables. "Or should I say scalpel? I do recall you preferred precision instruments. Which I suppose is why I'm so..." T'Pren paused, looking for just the right words. "...let down to find you washed up like this. Inept...impotent. Unable even to assassinate some Bajoran whore in his own quarters when the whole station was in chaos. But what's done is done." Her brows lifted in cold question. "You're here, so you may as well cooperate. You remember what happens when you don't cooperate with your captors, don't you?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:11 pm

"You're both Federation. You possess neither the gall nor the fortitude to pry anything from me."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:20 pm

"See, that's where you're wrong. When the Dominion overtook my home planet of Betazed, I had no choice but to learn something called psionic feedback. I'm not proud of it. It goes against my personal code to use it. Thanks to people like Hent Tevren, I have certain skills at my disposal now. I don't use them unless I have to," he leaned forward and rested his chin in his palm, emulating the statue of the Thinker. He stared blankly into her cell.
"But that headache of yours? It could get a whole lot worse."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:33 pm

The commander's history didn't so much as make a ripple in T'Pren's psyche. She'd done her research before choosing this assignment, including the history of its CO -- or at least what was within her security clearance to read. Instead, she watched the doctor with the kind of curiosity a Vulcan scientist must have for a new chemical reaction.

"You sounded so much smarter over speakers," she sighed, letting a little regret seep into her voice. "If only I'd known it as a girl, we could have rebelled and escaped." T'Pren let there be a long, thoughtful pause before she wondered, "Tell me, Commander...hypothetically speaking, what would the consequences be for an unofficial prisoner of war who was used as a laboratory test subject for eight years if they, for instance, performed some experiments of their own on the body of one of the monsters who tortured them?"

There's a little emotional tremble at the word 'torture', like T'Pren's system feels guilty for using it at all.

"In a fit of passion, of course," she modified, lifting her brows at Rai.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:41 pm

"The Federation does not condone torture. On the other hand, the Federation allows for coercion under duress."
Tahain's nose had begun to trickle blood, as had the two Ranjen in the adjacent cell.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:49 pm

The moment the blood appeared, T'Pren's heartrate picked up, a particularly impressive feat considering her heart is very Vulcan. Her anxiety grew and just as she locked down her emotions completely, a tidal wave of moral and emotional protest was headed to the surface. Even with her massive emotional bulkheads in place, the tsunami of horror and pain battered relentlessly to be let out. She took a very slow, deep breath -- so slow as to be almost imperceptible -- and let it back out as she shoved even what was left of her feelings as far away as possible. Her heart slowed down slightly.

When the lieutenant spoke again, it was with a lowered voice. It was almost gentle. "What was the Obsidian Order hoping to accomplish with its experiments on children?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 7:54 pm

Dr. Tahain dabbed at her nose with her fingers.
"Biological weapons and indoctrination techniques. We engineered a virus that could wipe out the whole of Bajor."
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 8:34 pm

It took quite a bit of internal arguing before T'Pren could convince herself to follow up on the Bajoran virus instead of asking what the hell they were doing with Vulcans and humans and so many other Alpha Quadrant races. Or why they sought her out specifically.

"Where is that virus now?" the lieutenant asked instead of the thousands of questions she'd rather have the answers to. But she was first and foremost a Starfleet officer and that meant Bajor first, T'Pren second.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 8:43 pm

Dr. Tahain had crumpled to the floor.
"The virus, and all variations thereof, are in the possession of the human who hired my men and I to kill Val Etilen."
She laid face down on the floor, groaning softly, clutching her head at the temples.
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 8:44 pm

"Did this human have a name?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 8:45 pm

"He said his name was Park, from Section 31!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 8:52 pm

The lieutenant endured as much of the Commander's "coercion under duress" as she could, but when the Cardassian woman dropped, the pressure of her feelings against the bulkhead she'd created grew unbearable and she reached out with a touch of fingertips so delicate and so subtle that it would be easy to miss the movement entirely. Not a single other muscle in her body shifted but those connected to the fingers that brushed against Rai's leg.

Please stop.

Meanwhile her attention is riveted to the doctor, and at the mention of Starfleet's own shadow organization, her stomach dropped. "Why would Section 31 care about Val Etilen?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Interrogation of Dr. Mila Tahain   Mon May 12, 2014 9:02 pm

"They didn't want him. They want a war," she said.
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