SIM:T'Lea - Torture Part 1

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((Black Ops Facility – Location Unknown))

It had been days. No, months. Maybe years?

Solitary confinement was a dangerous and cruel thing, especially when sensory deprivation was included. The interrogation specialists at Star Fleet Intel. had it down to a science for each individual species. They knew what they were doing. They knew how to break someone's will. They knew how to extract information.

One problem.

T'Lea had an ace up her sleeve. Or to be more precise, she had an ace implanted in her head.

Outside her cell the Director of Star Fleet Intelligence, and the Chief Interrogation Officer discussed the problem in the other room.

Director: No. Unacceptable.

Chief: We have Doctors who can do it. Hell, Sir. They invented the damn thing. If anybody can remove the telephathic inhibitor safely with little brain damage they can. It's been done before.

Director: And people have died on the table before, people have been turned into vegetables before. No. I won't risk losing the information.

Chief: Pardon me, Sir, then what do you suggest? She knows the location of the artifact. She had her hands on it and studied it closely enough to hand us a very detailed fake. Every telepath, every psychologist, every profiler, and every damn interrogation specialist we've sent in there has hit a dead end.

The Director took a long moment to think and pace the gray hallway, and then he stopped and grinned wickedly. There was still a bandage on his swollen nose and he still had big dark circles under his eyes. Smiling hurt, but this he would endure.

Director: She knows I won't risk the operation. She knows we won't kill her. It's a game of chicken, right? Who wants it more?

The Chief's brow ruffled.

Chief: Sir. You have an idea?

Director: Yes. We're going to blink first.

Chief: Sir?

Director: We're going to give her exactly what she wants.

Chief: You’re letting her go?

Director: No, you idiot.

The Director turned toward the sealed room where the prisoner was being held. There was no window on the door, just a number, "C- 8901".

Director: She wants to meet her mother for the very first time.

Looking ominously back at the Chief, the Director met his eyes.::

Director: Who better to extract the information than an ex-Tal Shiar agent.

((Later… Interrogation Room))

To an outsider The Table looked like nothing more than a normal metal table slanted upright. Innocent enough, right? Sure. But when the subject was strapped to that cold metal table it became the devil's instrument of pain. It was developed by the Tal Shiar, and was no doubt one of Raivus's little secrets that she traded to SFI for their protection.

The Table didn't leave scars, and didn't draw blood, but it was far from humane. This was, after all, a device conceived by Romulans to torture spies and Federation sympathizers into confessing their trespasses against the Romulan Empire. And it did it so well.

Raivus: It pleases me that we have this opportunity to finally spend some quality time together. It’s been such a long time coming. Of course, I wish it were under different circumstances, but… I’ll take what I can get.

The Romulan woman stood unwavering in front of her daughter, smiling sincerely. Had T’Lea not been strapped to the torture device her mother’s words and expressions may have come across as sincere, maybe even loving.

Raivus: It’s a wonderful thing for me, you know, to finally get to know my daughter on a personal level. Oh, but I’m sure you’ve wondered about me, as well. I’ll tell you a little secret.

She parted her lips to sigh and looked over her flesh and bone, helplessly locked to the table.

Raivus: ::whispering:: We're not that different, you and I.

The dark haired Romulan woman casually stretched, and grinned as if reminiscing about the good old days.

Raivus: You see, I’ve been keeping an eye on you all of these long years, and I’ve learned something. You have this sick need to win, even if it means destroying the ones you love. Where do you think you got that from, Paenhe?

Paenhe meant “daughter” in the Rihnnasu language.

She turned back and tenderly brushed a strand of hair out of T’Lea’s ragged face. Raivus had only just begun her turn questioning the hybrid for information on an Iconian Gateway, but T’Lea had already been subjected to days of interrogation specialists from Star Fleet Intel., and their methods had left her unresponsive and withdrawn from reality.

Raivus: I'm curious to see what else you inherited from me.

Lifting her daughter's chin, as a caring mother was apt to do for an ailing, down trodden child.

Raivus: Stubbornness? Yes.

Tilting her daughter's limp head into the light.

Raivus: Intelligence? Sadly, no. You got caught, after all.

Softly stroking the side of her daughter's face with her thumb.

Raivus: Loyalty? To yourself, yes.

Backing away...

Raivus: Vengeance? Oh, most definitely, yes.

Clicking a remote device in her other hand, the Romulan woman didn't flinch at the sight or sound of her daughter pitching and screaming in agony. In fact, Raivus's voice remained perfectly indifferent, except at a higher decibel so that she could be heard over the wailing.

Raivus: A high threshold for pain? Well, we're still learning about that, aren’t we, Paenhe?

Turning to the two-way mirror in the room, Raivus stared at it as if to see the Director with his broken nose observing from the other side. She gave him a slight tweak of her brow.

A pathetic howl of agony bellow from the depths of T'Lea's raw throat. It sounded primal, like a wounded, dying animal crying out on the Vulcan desert plains. It was gut wrenching. And yet her estranged mother, Raivus, watched unfazed, and almost as unemotional as a Vulcan. The detachment was nothing new for the Romulan woman, especially an ex-Tal Shiar agent.

With a wave of Raivus's hand the victim on The Table was spared, for a moment.

T'Lea: The's'at katra k'tei i'k'therie - In' k'tmneri a'nailara laikani'he. The's'at katra - a'--

Raivus: Lovely poem. I remember hearing your father recite it during his nightly meditations. ::pause:: He was at the part about "harmony" when his heart mysteriously gave out. Natural causes they said. Work related stress they speculated. I’m sure your Uncle Zadok told you that I killed Keros. Poisoned him perhaps? Such a tasteless thing. Then again, Keros never did like my cooking, said it was too spicy. ::beat:: Huh, maybe *that* killed him.

Though there was no reaction from the woman on the rack, Raivus was certain she'd heard, and understood it to the fullest.

Raivus: Your hand is shaking, Paenhe. All you have to do is tell me where the gateway is, and your suffering will end. I promise.

Stepping close, the Romulan woman wrapped her fingers around her daughters left hand, feeling it tremble uncontrollably, violently. She gave T'Lea a sympathetic look and leaned in to whisper gruffly in her ear.

Raivus: Remember. Everything for a reason.

Letting her fingertips drag against T'Lea's cold palm, Raivus removed herself a few feet away and turned her back, nodding for another onslaught suffering.

Raivus: ::loudly over the wails of pain:: It amazes me -- your loyalty to a father that you never knew.

She heard T'Lea's agony cease, followed by a horrific gasp reviving her lungs. Raivus casually strolled the sterile floors, passing through spots of bright light and darkness.

Raivus: It's all so misguided, really.

She picked at a bit of crud under her finger nail as she strolled happily along the small confines of the room.

Raivus: I know you see me as the villain. I know you want me dead, and I wouldn't have it any other way after the things I’ve done to you.

Stopping to examine her nails in the light.

Raivus: But if you’re looking to avenge Keros’s death, you should know that he betrayed his people long before I ever did. He wasn’t as innocent as you may like to believe, Paenhe, but I’ll save those details for another time. Rest assured, I did the Vulcan Counsel, and the Federation a favor. Your father was a traitor long before me.

Moving slowly back into the darkness.

Raivus: So you see, we all do horrible things, but sometimes it’s for the right reasons. Sometimes we end up helping our enemies, and sometimes our enemies help us.