The klaxons sounded of a shuttle's imminent arrival
and those who hadn't quite cleared the landing area
scrambled to get out of the way. The Chief who ran
this docking bay didn't care if you got squashed and
if you almost got squashed, you always heard about
In the landing bay's control room, the Chief watched
the indicators as the shuttle neared The
Interrogator. He nodded as the correct security
codes came in, but still kept the defensive
turbolasers trained on the incoming shuttle. He
wasn't about to be the one who let an unauthorized
ship onto the Interrogator. He had no desire to meet
the Sith who ran this ship and he knew he would be
meeting her if he survived the incident.
When the shuttle landed without a hitch and a dozen
Stormtroopers marched out with a prisoner between
them, he breathed a silent sigh of relief and
ordered the turbolaser crews to stand down. He felt
a bit of surprise when High Colonel Veller stepped
out of the usual crowd of Stormtroopers to sign the
datapad for the prisoner's transfer. Must be an
important one, he thought, if that new Stormtrooper
CO was taking charge. He idly wondered how many of
those Stormtrooper idiots she had taken out to get
such personal treatment. They were always getting in
the way of his operations and he resented the fact
that he couldn't just order them around.
High Colonel Mark Veller signed his name to the
datapad once he had verified the identity of the
prisoner before him. One Lovora Rikki was to be
interrogated at the behest of High General Glin by
High Inquisitor Thanor per the orders he had
received earlier today. While slightly annoyed at
the orders, what was he, a common jailor, the orders
had come to him personally and he would be damned if
he handed it off to someone who then flubbed it.
He looked over the slightly battered prisoner then
motioned for the two Stormtroopers with him to take
over from the dozen that had brought her. "Thank
you, Sergeant," he told the ranking trooper, "You
are dismissed. Barracks to your right for some sack
time while your shuttle refuels."
The troopers gave a smart salute and moved his
troopers out. He was actually rather surprised at
the offer of barrack time. Most of the time he and
his troopers had to wait around the shuttle, bored
stiff but unable to do anything. He wished more
officers were like him.
Mark returned his attention to the prisoner, eyeing
her up and down. Didn't seem like much, but then, he
knew better that to trust a label. "Lovora Rikki,
welcome to the Interrogator. I am High Colonel
Veller and I will be your escort to your new
quarters." With a motion of his hand, he indicated
to the troopers to move her out as he lead the way
to the cell block he had cleared out that was near
Serine's quarters. No use in having his commanding
officer traverse the entire ISD in order to
interrogate this prisoner.
Thirteen. That was the official number, between the
run-and-gun chase in the streets with the local
troopers and the ISB guards who she'd gunned down
during the raid of the safe house. During the last
effort of the local detention center to interrogate
her, it had almost become fourteen. The troopers had
made it in time to pull Lovora off of the officer,
but not before she'd broken half his teeth with the
wrist restraints and left some serious bruises on
his neck. His mistake for insisting on handling
things alone. Her mistake for thinking she was going
to accomplish much by attacking him. All Lovora had
won were two broken ribs and a massive black eye.
The ribs had healed enough that she was walking, but
the bruising was still very present.
They had managed to confirm her rebel ties, though,
and the fact she had been armed during the raid lead
them to believe she had likely been involved in more
action than they could pin on her. Not that it
mattered once the orders came down for her transfer.
The sick smiles and sneers painted on the faces of
the local officers when they packed her up on the
transport made it clear that this was anything but a
turn for the better. Lovora knew she was in trouble,
and it was all she could do not to choke on the fear
of what she was about to face.
By the time they were marching her off the
transport, restraint cuffs magnetically locked to a
belt secured to her waist, the young rebel had
managed to steel herself to some degree. She'd been
beaten up, sure, but she could take a few blows. The
short, rather scrawny woman was more durable than
she looked. As the light of the hangar and the sight
of some high ranking officer hit her eyes, though,
Lovora found herself remembering all the horror
stories about what the Empire did with problematic
prisoners. The fear welled up inside of her all over
She stared right back at the High Colonel when he
spoke to her, putting on an angry face, doing her
best to play tough. She was pretty good at it for
now, refusing to speak and even refusing to move
again until she caught an E-11 to the small of her
back, forcing her to stumble forward. The trooper
behind her moved too, threatening to plow her down
if she didn't walk. Lovora fell into their pace and
followed, staring dead ahead, not so much as
glancing at the High Colonel. The least she could do
was face whatever fate awaited her as the soldier
she believed herself to be.
Mark heard the stumble of Lovora behind him, but
decided not to reprimand the troopers. It was either
that or pick her up and he didn't want his troopers
to be vulnerable in that way. He had skimmed the
report from the detention block and her attack on
the officer. Foolish of him to be there alone with
her if he couldn't prevent or handle an attack. She
had already managed to take down thirteen
Stormtroopers. He had no intention of
underestimating this unimposing prisoner nor
allowing her to add to that number.
He was quiet as he escorted her through the ISD. The
journey took a little bit of time. Up and down
enough turbolifts to confuse anyone and through
hallways swarming with Stormtroopers and other
Imperial Navy personnel. More than enough to make
sure Lovora knew she was in the middle of an
Imperial stronghold and that her chances of escape
were zero to nil.
At last, he arrived at the cell block he had
assigned just to hold her. He took her down one of
the hallways to the room at the end. It was a
standard interrogation room, table, two chairs, and
enough cameras to catch every angle. At his signal,
the two troopers deposited Lovora into the seat
facing the door, transferring the magnetic lock of
her cuffs to the table. There was a short length of
durasteel chain to which her cuffs were attached,
allowing some movement, but not a lot.
The two troopers left and Mark sat down, "Now, Miss
Rikki, let's talk," he said politely, as if this
were a job interview and not an interrogation
chamber onboard an ISD commanded by a Sith.
The hardened resolve she'd presented since her
departure from the shuttle started to crack a little
as she was lead through the Star Destroyer. After
the fourth turbolift she had no idea where she was;
she could be one bulkhead shy of outer space or deep
in the bowels of the monstrous vessel. That alone
was terrifying, but the constant flow of troops and
crew and officers made it that much worse. Though
she had started out staring straight ahead and
refusing to flinch, by the time she was being
marched into the cell block, the hints of worry were
evident. Her eyes couldn't keep still, looking at
this clump of troopers, that blast door...all the
things that promised to keep her right here until
the Imperials were done with her.
It was enough to make her comply with the troopers
when they sat her down, though once they left that
durasteel chain was put to the test with a few sharp
jerks on the restraints. It didn't take very many
for her to realise that the most she was going to
accomplish was cutting her wrists to ribbons, and so
she settled, taking a few deep breaths. Once the
High Colonel spoke, she'd summoned up enough courage
to play hard again.
"I said all I'm saying already. We don't got
anything to talk about." Lovora was under the
impression this man was who she'd been sent here to
see, and he didn't seem all that dangerous so far.
She had no idea what sort of horrors resided on this
Mark noted her assessment of the cuffs and was
pleased when she detested in injuring herself. "Now,
Miss Rikki," he said pleasantly, "I do not believe
that is true. There is more information you have not
revealed about your rebel contacts and the," Mark
paused, "missions you conducted that left thirteen
Stormtroopers dead." Mark found it distasteful to
label the actions that sawa the Stormtroopers dead
as missions, but he figured that's how they would be
looked upon by the rebel side.
"I do not think you understand the exact seriousness
of your position here. I am your one and only chance
to come clean without any undue pain. High
Inquisitor Thanor has been tasked herself with your
interrogation. It will probably go easier on your if
she is merely confirming what you have told me,"
Mark said conversationally. "I do not believe I have
to go on with the warning that if you lie to me,
things will go much worse for you."
He leaned back slightly in his chair to better study
the reaction of his words on the young rebel sitting
before him. He was genuinely intrigued and wondered
how this session would go. "Nor, do I need to
mention I can arrange for medical attention on those
ribs and whatever other injuries you may have
acquired during your incarceration."
Lovora, above all else, was scared. She could fight
and hide it all she liked, but there was no avoiding
it, and once the High Colonel mentioned an
Inquisitor, well, it no doubt showed through. It
took a moment for that particular threat to actually
sink in, but soon enough it clicked. Inquisitors
were Sith...and they were the true terrors of the
Empire. Sick, twisted creatures that loved nothing
more than the suffering of others, monsters that
could use the Force to ruin people in unimaginable
ways. Not once did Lovora ever think she would
warrant the attention of such a thing. Even now she
was denying it, telling herself that this was just
some kind of threat to get her talking. Surely she
didn't merit something so awful.
Indecision kept her silent until after the offer for
medical aid. Truth be told her ribs were still sore
as hell. The locals knew better than to break her
too badly, but it didn't prevent them from exacting
some revenge for the trouble she'd put them through.
It didn't help that several had friends she was
directly implicated in killing.
"Why? So you can break'em all over again? I know how
this goes. I've heard the stories. You beat me up
until you get what you want, then I get ejected with
the next waste disposal. Why don't you just skip
ahead and kill me, huh? I got nothing else to say to
you." She tried to make herself relax, slouching
some in the terribly uncomfortable seat, shifting
her wrists around in the restraint cuffs. It was a
show, just like everything else, but it helped build
some confidence in her to resist.
Mark's eyes narrowed a bit in anger. This woman had
killed troopers and for that he did want to stuff
her down the waste disposal unit. But he was an
officer, a commander and he had control of his
temper. Mostly. Quickly, he stood up and slammed
both his hands on the tabletop to make her jump out
of that fake relaxed pose she affected.
"Do you think this is some kind of game?" he almost
roared, keeping a tight rein on his anger. "You are
a traitor to the Empire, a Rebel and a murderer. You
sealed your fate when you took that first shot and
killed a Stormtrooper." He forced his anger back and
calmed himself by taking a deep breath. Continuing
in a more normal tone of voice, "But the manner of
your execution is still in your hands. Give me the
information now, and your death will be as painless
as I can make it. Keep your silence and nothing will
stand between you and an agonizing death." Mark's
eyes narrowed, "I will personally ensure you suffer
for every Stormtrooper death you caused." He leaned
closer to her, seeming to tower over her as his ice
blue eyes, cold and intense bored into her.
The impact of those hands upon the table made her
jump, sitting bolt upright in the chair and going
damn near perfectly still. If the goal here was to
put the fear of the Empire in her, it was absolutely
being achieved. His words, of course, did much more
than the show of aggression. Deep down there had
been some glimmer of hope that her challenge would
have been answered with a promise of release or
prison time in exchange for cooperation. Some chance
that there was a way for her come out alive. She
wouldn't have taken it, of course, but it would have
been fuel for her courage, something to cling to.
The confirmation that she was going to die no matter
what struck her like a sledgehammer to the chest.
The way he loomed over her made Lovora feel even
smaller than she was. The officer on Rhinnal had
done it too, of course, but she hadn't been
intimidated. In fact, it was this very sort of
opportunity that she had taken advantage of to
nearly break his jaw. Now, though, there was no
escaping the fear. Lovora was no pro at this sort of
thing; a promise of death from a high ranking
Imperial officer who had her for a captive terrified
"O-ok. I'm a soldier, for the Rebellion. Corporal
Lovora Rikki. Tong's Commandos." The commando unit
was no doubt well known to Veller, considering they
had been an enormous thorn in the side of the Empire
for some time in the sector. Ambushes on Imperial
supply trains, stealing ships and equipment. If
there had been a rebel attack in the Rhingali Shell,
it was safe to assume they had been involved. Rikki
was hardly old enough to have been with them for
very long, but long enough to implicate her in
plenty of their recent operations.
"That's all I got to say."
Mark blinked for a moment, silenced by the admission
of the young woman's membership in Tong's Commandos.
This rebel outfit had been giving Imperial Command
fits with their strikes. Overall it hadn't been
enough to stop the Empire, but it had caused
problems the higher ups didn't like and wanted
stopped. That she was picked up in a routine
inspection seemed beyond just plain luck.
He sat down back in chair, silent for a moment as he
digested the information, "Why?" he asked her,
curiosity clearly in his voice.
It was an admission she regretted as quickly as it
left her mouth. How could she just blurt out that
kind of information? He hadn't even touched her, and
here she was telling him exactly who she was and
what she did. Not only did it confirm her identity
for him, but it meant they knew she could be tied
back to the operations of the Commandos. It was a
hell of a slip, and it hadn't taken much.
Lovora's eyes were on the floor while the High
Colonel sat down to take in what she'd said. This
was hardly how she had imagined things going, back
when she'd heard about other rebels being
interrogated. In her mind she was all willpower and
resistance, fighting them to the bitter end, saying
nothing. A real hero of the Rebellion. So far it
wasn't quite working out that way.
The very simple question from the High Colonel
snapped her out of the introspection for a moment.
She lifted her dark eyes to meet those icy blues and
found herself wondering the very same thing. For a
moment she just stared at him, dumbfounded, but
eventually she found her words.
"Why what? Why tell you I'm with the Commandos? You
said it yourself...you're going to kill me anyway.
Might as well give you some idea of how many of your
boys died before you got around to catching one of
us." The defiance was clear in her words, though her
voice lacked the edge it had held earlier. She was
still scared, but she clung to the thought of heroic
boldness in the face of it all the same.
For a moment, Mark entertained the idea of slugging
her for mentioning the Stormtroopers she had killed.
But, he controlled himself, his anger lighting his
eyes just for an instant before being squashed back
down again. "Indeed, but that was not exactly what I
was asking, my apologizes for not being clearer. Why
join with the Rebellion? Surely a woman capable of
meeting the Tong Commando's expectations was not
without other options."
The words were antagonistic and Lovora had meant
them to be. A part of her wanted to rile the guy up,
to make him as uncomfortable as she felt, but it
wasn't working. The anger was unmistakable, but he
carried on, calm and in control. It was almost more
unsettling than his outburst had been earlier.
She tried to settle some, to calm the nagging terror
and choke down the very present reality of her fate
here. It was taking a monumental effort to keep
talking to this man, this Imperial bastard who had
pretty much guaranteed that she wasn't leaving here
alive. It took a moment for her to find her voice
"Because it's the right thing to do. Because every
planet should be free to do things their own way,
not yours. Because the Empire has murdered plenty of
innocent people just to prove their points well
before I killed anybody at all."
There was absolute conviction in her words, even if
there wasn't so much resolve in her tone. Getting to
say it all out loud, though, was a strong reminder
of why she did what she did, and what had gotten her
here in the first place. It helped return a little
bit of strength.
In his debriefings on the Rebellion, Veller had
heard similar words, that this was the main reason
given for joining the Rebellion. Some imagined
injustice they used as an excuse to incite rebellion
against the lawful government. He had always
dismissed it as hyperbole, as an excuse criminals
used to justify their actions.
But this was the first time he had ever actually met
a Rebel face to face and been able to have a
conversation that didn't involve exchanged blaster
bolts at 20 paces. He heard the conviction in her
voice and knew then and there that nothing he would
say could ever change it, even if she was wrong in
every regard. He now understood why one of the words
used to describe rebels was "fanatic" with all the
troubles that entailed. Fanatics were willing to
throw their lives away and that made them
unpredictable and dangerous.
He stood up from his chair in a single graceful
motion, "You are wrong, Miss Rikki," he said, his
voice echoing her conviction with his own, "Without
order, there is chaos and order must be maintained.
Without that order, there is only barbarism." He was
silent for a moment, seeming to struggle with a
It was evident to his eyes that she was in some
amount of pain due to her ribs. He was tempted to
leave her that way as some small payback for her
transgressions against the Stormtroopers who had
died by her hand. He took a deep breath, remembering
the High General had transferred custody to him.
With her affiliation now known, she was even more
valuable a prisoner and he couldn't afford the risk
of some other hidden injury.
"You played fair with me, Corporal Rikki," he nodded
slightly, "I will do the same." He turned to one of
the mirrored windows on the wall, "See to it that
Corporal Rikki gets medical treatment and is
examined for other injuries. I want a full report
within two hours." He turned his attention to Lovora,
"Will you give me your word you will not give my
troopers any problems? That you will not attempt an
escape while your injuries are being tended to? I
assure you, if you deal with me in good faith, I
will return it as best I can. I need not remind you
there is no chance of escape or rescue from The
Interrogator. As much as a thorn Tong's Commandos
have been, I assure you, it is only a thorn. We both
know the Rebellion has not the resources to launch a
raid that will even scratch the surface of this
vessel." He paused for a moment and continued, "Give
me your word you will not escape and I will
authorize the removal of your restraints during your
Lovora wanted to argue with him. She wanted to dig
in her heels and shout at this man, to make him see
how wrong he was, how what the Rebellion was
fighting for was true and just. His tone left no
room for argument, however, and even if she had been
willing to summon up the courage to engage him, he
was moving right along without her.
Her whole body felt sore, and by now it was no doubt
fairly obvious. The simplistic chair she had been
flopped into didn't do her ribs any favors and she
shifted as he spoke, trying to find some small level
of comfort. Her eyes didn't stay with him at this
point, drifting back down as he went on about some
kind of fair treatment. Not moments ago he had made
clear just what that fair treatment consisted of,
and every time he brought it up was a stark reminder
When he asked for her word, Lovora nodded. She
didn't want to speak for fear her voice would betray
just how afraid she was of the death he'd promised
her, but it was easy to agree to his offer. Where
was she going to go? Even if she managed to fight
her way through ten dozen Imperials, there were
hundreds, thousands on this ship...and she had no
way to escape it.
He watched Lovora for a moment, then softly said, "I
need to hear the words, Corporal."
Of course he did. She couldn't help but feel it was
a little indignity that he had to impose on her. A
few seconds passed before she managed the words,
just as soft as his own. "Yeah. You got my word."
Mark nodded and then left the room. A few moments
later, two Stormtroopers came in, released her from
the cuffs and dragged her to her feet. They weren't
exactly gentle, but they weren't entirely rough
either. Just enough to make it clear to Lovora
resistance was not a good idea. A short walk to a
medical bay soon had her being looked over by a
The medical treatment was good and she felt better
once it was over, but it was entirely humiliating to
be handled by the droid while the two troopers
looked on. Treatment took about an hour. The bruise
on her face was already fading and her ribs felt
much better and would probably be fully healed by
the next day.
Once done, the two troopers took her back to the
cell block and tossed her into one of the empty
cells. The door slide shut behind her, leaving her
in a small room with a bench and basic sanitary
functions. Now, the waiting game was truly on as she
was left to contemplate her fate.