The Rescue and Interrogation of Mira Lexor part 5

Phaedra Whitlock, April Randall, Ginna Wilcoxen (July 2002)

Rachel and O'lea pass through the security and Rachel stops at Mira's cell. "Good morning Commander."

Mira looked up at them. "What is so good about it?"

Rachel stepped aside for O'lea. "The Empire doesn't have you, for one."

Mira eyed Rachel's companion. "So I'm reminded. I've given your doctors the information you wanted on the poison. So when is my execution?"

"As I've said, there will be a trial first and possibly no execution at all. That would depend on you." Rachel gently reminded.

Mira sat down in silence. "So I've been told as well. Forgive me Lt., if I don't fall over with belief."

"If you help us," O'lea said, "I will do everything in my power to make sure you stay alive."

"Commander Lexor this is O'lea Sari'jek." Rachel introduced.

"I see, no guarantees." Mira's voice is bitter.

O'lea watched her for a moment. "Lieutenant Wylde here tells me that your family was killed in a raid by the Alliance about ten years ago."

Mira smiled how many times had she heard these words, right before the prisoner was executed or sentenced. to a fate worse than death. Mira's eyes narrowed. "IF you need to know, my husband was yes." she stared at the two women. "The Alliance has never been to Telos since, once they got what they wanted."

O'lea swallowed hard, feeling the familiar emotions wash over her. "I'm sorry about your husband," she said sincerely. "I know how you feel." O'lea fought to keep her empathic abilities to herself, she refused to lose control here.

Mira studied her. "You don't take into consideration of what destruction you leave in your wake do you?"

"Neither does the Empire, it seems," O'lea shot back, a bite in her voice that hadn't been there before.

Mira let a small frown cross her face. "They uphold the order that was set. If I recall you started this war, not them."

"I don't care about who started it. It's about what's right." O'lea stated firmly.

Mira glanced to Rachel. "And what do you believe is right?"

"I believe both sides have made mistakes. I think that if the Senate had not been disbanded and the worlds of the Republic allowed to take part in Government again that there would be no need to revolt."

O'lea's lekkus were moving slightly as she spoke. "I don't like war. People die. That's what's not right."

Rachel shrugs lightly, she has told Mira this before.

"Your husband was killed in a raid by the Alliance," O'lea said more gently. "Join the club. My husband was killed in a raid by the Empire. Both sides are losing here."

"If I recall my history, the rebellion was already in the planning stages. You just use the disbandment of the Senate to fuel your own unrest." Mira leaned against the wall and shut her eyes. It's useless trying to talk sense to fanics." Mira's eyes darken. "JOIN YOU?"

Rachel smiled. "Yes it is, and we are not fanatics. Don't blame us for what a government does, please."

"It was an expression," O'lea said, trying to calm her. "People are dying on both sides. I was just trying to point out that you're not the only one suffering."

Mira let out a sigh.

"Why did you give our doctors information on the poison?" O'lea asked non-threateningly.

"I ..." Mira stopped. "I don't fully know why ..."

"Do you like it that your poison was let loose on a civilian population?" O'lea continued.

Mira closed her eyes. "I had it protected, it should have never been released to begin with."

"Is this why the Empire was looking for you?" O'lea asked.

Mira nodded, "I can think of no other reason."

"Why was the Empire upset that the poison had been let loose on a civilian population?"

"I don't know." Mira answered. "I wasn't able to find out." Mira could hear the Emperor's orders from when they talked. 'this creation of yours is for me and me alone.'

O'lea frowned. "But why did you turn yourself in to them at Port Lansing, knowing that they were most likely going to kill you?"

"It was my responsibility. I didn't keep it safe, and because of my failure ... " Mira stopped hearing Steeles' words in her head. 'Children, you killed defenseless children.' she looked up at the two women, "Where else does one go?" Mira asked. "I am an Imperial Officer, loyal to the Empire."

"You wanted to die?" O'lea asked in disbelief.

Rachel had suspected that. "One goes wherever one must to rectify the mistake. Not kill ones self. You make things right."

O'lea was silent for a moment, studying her. "You can still make things right. Whatever you felt you did wrong, even though it was clearly Xanatos' fault, you can still make it right."

Mira shook her head. "In all my career Lt. I've never harmed a child, at least not to my knowledge. I lost more than my husband ten years ago in that raid. I lost my child ... and I swore then the Alliance would pay." she chuckled at Xanatos' name. "Xanatos ... he taught me how hatred can fuel ones motivation. I remember the Jedi now,,," a small smile appeared. "Regardless, of what he had me do or what he has done. I will not hide behind that."

"Then why did you help us?" O'lea pressed.

Mira rose to her feet. "ONLY because of the children on Arridor." She slammed her fist into the wall, enjoying the pain that shot through her. "Do you not think I know no matter what I do, my death is the only outcome that they want. The only one they will accept. The Emperor doesn't like failures." She looked down at her hand and felt the blood as it began to run down her fingers. I will not die a traitor,"

"A traitor to what Commander. The Empire that wants to kill you because your creations are a threat to the Sith?" Rachel asked. "To your oath of revenge? Take it up in court against those responsible. Not the Alliance but those who killed your family. The Law is where justice belongs." Lt.Wylde's tone was one of annoyance.

"Why do you have such a loyalty to the Emperor?" O'lea asked Mira, glancing at Lieutenant Wylde.

Mira turned to Wylde then back to O'lea. "Because he's the Emperor." Mira thought back to the transmissions she had received from him. From the time she sat at his table at Port Lansing, and when she presented him his bodyguard. "It is his due."

Rachel nodded. "Commander, DO you want to be executed by the Empire? We are offering you a way out of being executed altogether and I think you deserve that chance."

"We'll give you protection from them, and from anyone else wanting you dead," O'lea added. "No strings attached."

"You cannot make such promises, either of you." Mira sat down and stared at her hand. "A trial you stated, you have no guarantee your Alliance will do no better than my Empire. Besides I know the Steeles, if they don't get me, then Xanatos will."

"That is our problem. But, if you want it we will do our best to get it. But it is up to you first Commander."

O'lea glanced at Rachel. "Then I'm offering you my personal protection, right now. I have sway in the Alliance. I'll make them see that killing you would have no benefit for anyone."

Mira thought of ways to escape; she needed to stay alive. "And what benefit is there to keeping me alive? To live like a caged animal." Mira encircled the room with her arms... "What do you propose to do with me. If I accept your offer?"

"You'd work for us. Against the Empire." O'lea paused briefly. "And if you refuse, then I respect your personal choice and I will offer you my protection."

"Work?" Mira questioned a predatory smile crossing her face. "What type of work?"

O'lea paused, considering her answer carefully. "I'd have to take it up with my superiors, are a scientist."

Mira looked at O'lea. "I ... I will consider your offer."

O'lea smiled. "Good. And I will keep my promise."

Mira rubbed her hand and leaned against the wall. "I hope you can ... I hope you can."

"Lieutenant Wylde, would you get Commander Lexor a doctor? Tell them to bring bacta bandages," O'lea instructed.

"Yes Colonel." Lt Wylde goes down the hall to talk to the Security desk

After Rachel left O'lea walked closer to the detention cell. "I think we're more alike that you know."

Mira looked up "Really, and what makes you think that colonel?"

"We both lost our husbands to this conflict. And judging by your actions and from what you've said, you're still hurt very deeply by it. I only lost my husband seven years ago."

"Why not take it up with the court system, wasn't that what Lt. Wylde suggested?" Mira taunted

O'lea paused. "I don't have concrete evidence that it was the Empire. I know it was, but that wouldn't pass in court."

"I see." Mira shook her head. "I would like to know the odds of my spending the rest of my life in this cell."

"Some in the Alliance may feel you're too dangerous to *not* keep in a cell. Are you?"

"Do you wish honesty Colonel?" Mira asked

"Yes." O'lea replied.

"I'm more dangerous than you could imagine." Mira whispered.

"I was hoping you wouldn't say that. Why are you?" O'lea questioned.

"Do you think that poison was the only thing I worked on?" Mira questioned. "Ask your Jedi what I was able to do with them. Ask them if they consider me dangerous colonel."

"I meant what your motivation is, for creating poisons and experiments that cause others pain. You said you don't like hurting children...but without a doubt there are children somewhere emotionally connected and attached to those Jedi you hurt. How is that not causing them pain?"

"I don't know. As a scientist I do what I'm commissioned to do. I do not question orders. And regardless, I don't consider the Jedi as beings who have feelings or care."

O'lea's lekku twitched. "What if the Emperor ever ordered you to hurt children?"

Mira paused her eyes narrowing. "I ... I don't know Colonel. It would then come down to duty and sentiment."

"So you admit you have sentiment. Why do you want to avoid harming children while you feel it's all right to harm adults?"

Mira watched carefully ... "Surely you don't expect me to believe that the Alliance hasn't ever hurt children, or left them without parents?" Mira met her gaze, "Adults can defend themselves Colonel, whereas children are defenseless."

"Those Jedi you experimented on, were they able to defend themselves?" O'lea said in a hard voice.

"They are Jedi, and I needed to find a way to save him ... his hatred became mine."

"Who were you trying to save?" O'lea asked.

Mira shook her head. She had said too much already, they were reaching her. Damn she needed to block their words, their kind offers of help out from her mind.

O'lea didn't want to let it go. "Was it the Emperor?"

"No ... no it wasn't the Emperor."

Him...hatred...O'lea turned the words over in her mind, thinking back to earlier in the conversation. "Xanatos," she stated.

Mira turned and walked to the far corner of the cell, she pressed the injured hand to make the pain increase. She needed to concentrate.

"You experimented on Jedi to save a man who should already be dead?" O'lea raised her voice.

At the far end of the hall Rachel glanced at O'lea while she waited for the doctor.

"And then he betrayed you, he turned his back on you," O'lea continued. "This is how he repays you. His method doesn't work, Commander!"

Mira faced the cell wall. Memories of Xanatos standing the middle of room and Elrod choking. His dark blue eyes when they turned upon her demanding to know where he was. "He didn't turn his back on me Colonel. I was careless and got trapped at Lansing."

"You made it sound as if he released the poison on Arridor."

Mira lowed his head. "He's the only one who could have,,, he's the only one who knew of the safe." Mira's voice was low

"Why did he do it?"

Mira shook her head 'Know this Mira, I always have a back door.' his words came back to her. "Back door." was all Mira could say. "A back door."

"A back door?" O'lea repeated. "*His* back door?"

Mira turned to look at O'lea. "Of course, just like with the Jedi master he faced had him trapped."

O'lea's lekku were moving faster now. "A back door...another way out? He released the poison was his only way out?"

Mira watched her, "You have escape plans don't you? why should he be different last thing was why should he be different?" Mira questioned.

"He betrayed the trust you gave him so he could save himself. The Alliance won't do that to you, Mira."

Mira shook her head. "I ...will not betray him or the Emperor."

"You won't be betraying Xanatos, Mira. What kind of hold does he, or the Emperor, have over you?"

"Nothing, there is no hold." Mira stated. She shook her head, the Emperor only held her loyalty, but Xanatos terrified her.

Fear entered O'lea, and it took her a few moments to realize it was coming from the Commander. "If there's no hold to be loyal to them, then why do you keep on working for them?"

Mira shook her head. "You just don't understand."

"Why are you afraid?" O'lea asked in a low voice. "What did they do?"

"The Emperor has done nothing." Mira stated. "He has earned my loyalty." Mira squeeze her hand causing pain to flare up. "It's the others, the ones who can invade your mind."

"Xanatos did that, then."

"Force users!" Mira spat. "What matter what names they go by. Jedi, Sith, what difference."

"But the Sith and the Empire work closely together, much like the Jedi and the Alliance do. How could you develop something that would work against the Sith, and still expect the Emperor to be friendly to you?" O'lea paused. "Is there a distinction for you between the Emperor and the Empire?"

"What the Emperor wants he gets. He had the antidote, none he wanted to save would suffer. I should know he was angry when I experimented upon myself, and almost died from it. YOU see Colonel I am the only walking antidote to that poison, you have the formula to make it.. but that takes time."

O'lea stared at her. "Did you tell the doctors that you're the antidote?" Her lekku moved in anger.

Mira chuckled. "I never cared for genics Colonel, but it was my parents research, they were good at it." she thought back to Xanatos. "DNA manipulation is an art, but one can be taught." Mira leaned as close as she could to O'lea. "OF COURSE NOT!" Mira studied O'lea, and her reactions to her words.

Rachel and the doctor walk down the hall.

O'lea backed up several centimeters at the Commander's loud words. "Then why did you tell me?"

Mira shrugged her shoulders. "Why not, you have the formula now. what difference does it make?" Mira turned and walked back to her cot.

The Security guard lets the doctor and a guard in after Mira moves back, and lets him do his thing with her hand.

Mira watched the doctor, he seemed familiar to her, she looked at the guard measuring her chances of escape, and what possibly lay beyond. "Scare you Colonel?" she questioned.

"Hold still your hand has a broken bone," The doctor said evenly. Mira watched what he did and noticed the design he made with the cleaner. A triangle. "Do you understand what I'm asking of you?" the Doctor asked. "Or do you need someone to hold it for you?"

"I understand, just get it over with."

"I will." The doctor stated going back to his job.

O'lea let a smile play on her lips. "You may have startled me momentarily, but don't even think that you'll have the chance to escape."

Mira placed her feet on the cot and studied her hand's bandage. "Perhaps not today," she watched as the doctor and the guard left her cell.

"Perhaps one day you won't feel that you have to escape. There's people out there for your head. We can offer you protection."

"Protection?" Mira questioned. "Why ... by all rights I'm ..." she stopped as she felt the first phase of the poison hit her system. "By all right I'm your enemy, why are you concerned?" she needed to keep her words together. She could do that hide the fact that she had been poisoned.

O'lea leaned back, crossing her arms in front of her. "By all rights except for the fact you're still acting with the compassion I've seen humans possess, even if it's only towards children, or giving us the antidote. By those rights you deserve that concern, you deserve a chance."

Mira smiled. "I see, and if I didn't show any ... of that compassion?"

"Then I'd find something else to like about you, Commander. I have to like you or else I'd have a hard time offering personal protection, wouldn't I?" O'lea let her sarcasm leak through.

Rachel reached out to touch O'lea on the sleeve a moment, giving a slight head shake. 'She is angry, don't let it get to you.' She sent to O'lea.

Mira laid her head on her knees. "Face it Colonel, if it wasn't ... for the need of the antidote you wouldn't ... care." Mira closed her eyes. "You would ... have left me ... to the Empire." 'Concentrate' Mira yelled at herself.

"At first, yes," O'lea answered honestly. She gave Rachel a look that said she could handle it.

"Now you have it." Mira stated. "At first?" she questioned. "Tell me Colonel ... how long has been with you?"

O'lea looked to Rachel to answer for her.

Rachel shrugged and looked for the doctor to ask him, she wondered why Mira was concerned about the doctor.

O'lea frowned. "From the looks of it I'd say he's been here a few years."

Mira nodded, she was finding it hard to focus.. "Then I'd say ..." she never finished her sentence before she fell forward.

Rachel lunged for the cell door. "Get that open."

O'lea rushed forward and waited for the security guards to open the cell door, unlocking the cell. She ran in and knelt by Rachel as she checked Mira over. "Get that--" she stopped. "Who was that doctor, Lieutenant?" she demanded.

"Lt. Welby. His name was Welby...." Rachel said as she dropped Mira's wrist. "Get Security and medical STAT."

Security ran to summon more guards and O'lea dropped next to Mira. "Commander, can you hear me?" she said loudly, trying to see if she was still breathing, but her skin was beginning to discolor and red blotches began to show on her skin. "She's bleeding internally." O'lea yelled.

Two guards stood outside the door while one left to get the medical emergency team. Rachel laid her hands on Mira's shoulders to begin Force Healing.

Mira opened her eyes pain surged through her body the poison was moving quicker than she had thought looking up she saw O'lea standing next to her. "O ga .." Mira whispered.

"Organic?" O'lea questioned as she leaned forward, trying to hear. "Organic what?"

"P...sin ." Mira whispered.

"Poison? " O'lea asked. "Your poison or Xanatos'?"

Rachel is seeking out the poison agent and breaking it down in Mira's body, nurturing the cells to bursts of healing...

Mira struggled to take a breath. " ... mi..e"

"Is she going to live?" O'lea asked Rachel, but hesitant to interrupt her concentration. "I can't hear what you're saying, Mira." She wondered where the med team was what was taking them so long?

Rachel reached out to O'lea holding her wrist, beginning to siphoning life energy from one girl to the other to sustain Mira Lexors life.

O'lea had never experienced this before but tried to let her energies flow freely, she needed Mira to live and O'lea would help in any way she could to ensure that.

The medical team arrived taking control of the situation. "We need antitoxins to stabilize her until we get her to medical. "Do we know what happened?" a medic asked O'lea and Rachel.

Rachel quickly explained as she let go of O'lea and Mira. The medics took in the information then moved Mira to a bed and moved her to a gurney and prepared her for transport.

O'lea sagged against the wall, she felt lightheaded. Gathering her strength she moved over to Rachel. "Lieutenant, are you all right?"

Rachel nodded, unable to speak for the moment.

"You're going to medical too," O'lea said firmly, taking Rachel by the arm. "Can you walk?"

Rachel nodded, still sagging a bit. O'lea put her arm around Rachel and summoned a member of the medical team. "We need a gurney for her too." The paramedic nodded and moved away. She looked over at Mira, she was still as death but breathing.

"Do you think she's going to live?" O'lea asked Rachel as they made their way to the medbay. She helped Rachel to the gurney. Rachel nodded.

O'lea stopped a nearby security guard as he ran by. "Have you heard if they caught the doctor who tended Commander Lexor?"

"No Colonel. He was seen leaving the base."

O'lea groaned in frustration. "Well, get after him and don't come back until you've found him!" she yelled the order. "Get a team and go after him. Find out who he was and how in the hell he got in here!" O'lea turned to Rachel, much calmer. "We're almost to the medbay. Then you're going to rest."

Rachel just nodded, making sure that O'lea's orderes were carried out.

Rachel refused to speak to the doctors, after a quick exam she was dismissed from medical.

O'lea moved quickly to have some kind of Force damp set up to protect Mira while she was in medical.

O'lea stays in medical, waiting for Mira Lexor to wake up. She personally was going to make sure that each doctor was an actual member of the Alliance.

Mira opened her eyes half way to glance around the room and to watch O'lea. O'lea pulled out her comlink wearily and sent a voice message to Cheverra, notifying her of Mira Lexor's condition.

Reshutting her eyes Mira realized she was alive, the poison had failed. She had to make a decision either attempt it again or feign ignorance. Mira looks at O'lea. "What are you doing here?"

"Who poisoned you?" O'lea asked nodding to Rachel when she entered.

"I don't know." She answers softly. "It was one of my designs, but different."

"Was it Xanatos, or someone connected to him," O'lea questioned. "Or was it an assassin from the Empire?"

"I don't know," Mira answered looking up at the ceiling.

"I've had a lot of time to think about and investigate this, Commander. I suggest you tell me everything you know, right now, or we may not have the necessary information to save you next time."

Mira shook her head then let out a soft chuckle, the decision had been made. "Never thought I'd be on the receiving end."

"Who was it, Commander?" O'lea asked.

Looking to O'lea, Mira shook her head. "What give you a run down on my creations?" she paused her face becoming serious. "I don't know who it was, I barely recognized the symptoms. Do you know how many things I have created?"

O'lea sighed. "Security will much tighter now Commander Lexor. Lieutenant Colonel Cheverra will be wanting to see you as soon as you're ready."

"Whatever, remember I'm your guest." Mira closed her eyes.

"Are you ready to believe me when I say we don't want to kill you?" O'lea asked.

"He was your doctor Colonel." Mira replied tiredly, she opened her eyes to look between Rachel and O'lea. "What do you expect me to do?"

"Help us find who tried to kill you and stop them." O'lea pleaded.

"To do that I would have to have access to a lab and find out which of my organic poisons were used, then I would have to have my files from Telos to cross reference." Mira spat. "IT'S not that easy. What you ask is impossible."

"Or you could throw a temper tantrum," O'lea said casually, leaning back in her chair.

"I do not throw temper tantrums colonel." Mira spat.

"Mira, I want to help you. Let us help you. Who would want to kill you and who would have access to your poisons and be able to change them like that?"

"There are many, people from the labs Lieutenant Colonel, the Empire, I was part of His Majesty's Sovereign Fleet. OFWPR, Xanatos labs." Mira whispered.

"OFWPR?" O'lea questioned.

"Watchdogs of Xanatos Labs, and were there on Arridor. I believe the doctor was from there." Mira paused, "So you see you are powerless to protect me."

"OFWPR," O'lea whispered to herself. "I've heard of them." But she couldn't remember where. Then it was Xanatos that sent someone to kill you."

Mira shook her head. "No, I don't think so. If it were Xanatos I'd be dead."

"Oh?" Rachel questioned.

"He would have done it himself?" O'lea tried to clarify. "Tell me about him. You said he always has a back door. I know he hates the Jedi and he was the Padawan of Qui-Gon Jinn. What drives him in life?"

Mira shook her head, "I can't, don't you see. No one is safe... no where to run, not for me, not for the Jedi especially for the one named Jinn no one."

O'lea looked at Rachel. "Octavia Jinn is the one she's talking about, correct?"

"No other, he hates Jinn." Mira turned her head. "So tired. Side effect of the poison, can I sleep?"

O'lea nodded. "As long as you wake up again," she said seriously.

"Commander, do you want me to stay just in case?"

"Up to you Lieutenant." Mira answered.

"If you would, Lieutenant, I'd be grateful." O'lea stood up, passing Rachel on her way out.

Mira is asleep as soon as she closes her eyes...

Rachel gets a chair and settles in to watch the door and Mira.

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