"Come with us." The guard ordered. Mira nodded and followed them, she was sure this was the end. No trial, no way to find out what really happened on Arridor or if there was a way to stop it.
"May I ask where you are taking me?" She shook her head at the silence she received. She was led to a room and left alone once again. Mira looked around it looked to be a study, moving cautiously she took a look at the room she was in, there were a few leather chairs, books and tables. She turned when she heard the door open. A man entered dressed in gray, an Imperial Officer.
"Commander Lexor, please take a seat." Eric sat in one of the chairs and indicated to the one across from him.
Mira hesitated then nodded and took the seat. "May I ask what is to happen now?"
"That depends greatly on you." Eric stated. You know some things that we need to know, and you're willingness to help will guide your future."
Mira looked down at the floor then back to Eric. "I've heard that a private experiment of mine was released on Arridor?"
"Yes, that is the case. And to get right to the heart of the matter, you have the cure for your experiment, and we want it." He paused slightly. "In face we must have it."
Mira remained quiet she tried to think of the poison, the cure yet it was hard to thing of the components. Maybe if she had time. "I ... I can give you the components ..." she made a slight face her head pounded with a dull ache. "It will take time to make it ... Time to .... You have to be ... careful ... " she paused her thoughts were everywhere but where she wanted them. "I'm ... I'm the cure." Mira spat out. "I'm immune ... my blood holds the answer." Her words rushed out in a blur.
Eric listened to Mira as she tried to put her thoughts in order. Realizing he needed help, Eric called out mentally to Talia. *I have someone here who seems to be ... somewhat scattered, do you have time to take a look? *
Talia's mental image blinked in confusion. *Where are you? *
*On my way* Came Talia's reply.
"I have asked someone to join us, I'm hoping she can help us understand why you are so ... confused."
Mira couldn't help but tense, she wondered who this person was and how they would help. "As you wish." Was all she could say.
Eric gave her a smile, "You should have nothing to worry about, we are only trying to help."
Talia walked through the door. She was dressed in a green and gold jumpsuit.
Mira watched as the woman entered the room and unconsciously moves further back in the chair, hoping to be unseen.
Talia glanced between Mira and Eric ... she took notice of Mira's dress, it was a regulation prisoner jump suit.
"Talia, this is Commander Lexor. She has some information we need" Eric paused. "She seems to want to cooperate"
Talia straightened visibly at the comment, then relaxed when Eric explained that the prisoner wanted to cooperate.
"But there seems to be something in the way." Eric added.
Talia stared at Eric as he spoke. She nodded. "In the way?"
"I would like you to look at her energy, it seems scattered"
"Look at my ...what?" Mira questioned softly her eyes darted from one to the other. "A force user?" her breathing seemed to quicken.
"Of course." Talia moved across from Mira and sat down in front of her.
"In a way, it is nothing that will hurt you, she is going to look passively."
"I really ..... I don't .. think. " Mira stammered. "Does .... this have to be?" She looked between Eric and Talia.
Talia smiled reassuringly at Mira, "Don't worry you will be fine." She reached out mentally to Mira.
"Yes, it must be, we need the information you have, you will not be harmed." Eric stated.
Mira jerked at the mental contact, she never liked the idea of being mentally scanned. Talia was surprised to be met with such strong blockage. "I ... told .... you ...." Mira searched for the next word the next thought. "All that ... I ... "
Talia brought up the energy patterns on Mira's body. It didn't take her long to discover that her energy levels had been blocked and many of the pathways had been diverted. She nodded at the discovery. "There are some diversions here, something has been hidden." Talia explained to Eric.
"Do you wish to me to try and unblock them?" She looked back at Eric briefly.
"Try, see how deep they run, if they are too deeply ingrained we may have to get more help."
Talia nodded as she sunk deeply into Mira's mind, beginning by looking at the threads as if they were a knot around the information they were protecting, she made sure that if she untied them, that there would be no backlash, or mental traps of any kind.
Mira began to resist, "Please ....." her hands clutch at the sides of the chair. "No .... one .... but .... no one." Her eyes narrowed as she felt Tara moving through her mind. "NO GET OUT!" Mira screamed pushing back in the chair finding no escape.
Eric stopped Talia for a moment "What's wrong?" He had seen people they've questioned before, but there was something different about this time.
Talia paused holding the energy in her steady grasp. "Mira, someone has done something to you, we must find out what. What do you fear?"
Mira looked at Eric then back to Talia. "Nothing. I'm an Imperial Officer ... was an Imperial Officer."
Talia shook her head. "You are afraid of something ... Share it with us."
"No, there's nothing ... I've changed ... my mind." Mira squeezed her eyes shut tightly fighting back the pain. " The Force ... Jedi ..." she gasped for air. "Xanatos."
Eric looked at Talia to see if she sees anything causing this confusion, "Xanatos?" He asked.
Talia was unsure at this point what to do, she looked to see if there were any kind of traps that might be unleashed if she did the first of the unbinding of the conditioning that had been implanted.
*Let me know if you need help with her. * Eric sent.
Mira shook her head, "Leave me ... alone ... Can't ... tell ... leave me..."
*Thank you, monitor me make sure I am not injured. * Talia asked.
Eric nodded and watched as Talia dove back into Mira's mind and began to unravel the first of several knots making sure to study them closely to see what if anything they were hiding.
*Would this be better if she was sedated? *
*No she needs to be conscious. *
*Perhaps less resistant. * Eric paused "Not completely asleep but more relaxed. *
Talia nodded working to undo the first know negating the pain she knew that Mira would feel. Eric took time to send for assistance.
Mira's world was full of pain, nothing but pain. She needed to stop it, reaching out with her foot she struck out at Talia raising to her feet she went to attack Eric. "NO!" Mira shrieked. Eric moved quickly pinning Mira with his TK, giving Talia a look, she was fine but Mira's foot still had clipped her arm.
Talia reestablished herself in Mira's energy patterns. She made sure that she was more manageable ... Mira tired to resist as Talia did what she needed to find the information she needed.
"NO!" Mira yelled. "You are the enemy, Xanatos!" she cried out
Talia now saw multiples of Mira; it was as if she was in several dimensions at once. Each one held a slightly different part of the conditioning.
Talia reached out to Eric. *Watch these two and try to break these lines, while I work on the other two. *
*Okay. * Eric responded.
Talia glanced at Eric imagining he will be like a pair of shears cutting through the threads, she then went to work on her own two.
Mira's eyes narrowed. "You ... will not.... s .. I'll die first.... NO one will ...." Mira stammered. "NO!!!"
Talia watched as the four independent minds yelled out in defiance. Eric found himself looking at the two Mira's he was working on in freeing. "Any information ... you want will ... never be ... given to the ... likes of YOU."
One of the Mira's Eric was watching nodded in agreement. "ANY information ... you want will not .... be ...given." He ignored her and suppressed her.
*I thought you said she wanted to cooperate* reverberated through Talia's mind back to Eric.
"I think she does or some of her do"
"I ... will .... not .... betray." Mira fought for breath, her mind was starting to feel like it was on fire.
Strengthening her grip on the knots, Talia jerked them free all at once. Mira screamed out in terror, breathing became shallow as she fought to hold on to her thoughts ... her life. "NO!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN'T!!!!" Mira's mind tried to comprehend what was happening to her. "Please! Please ... stop."
A red hair, unkempt man in tie-dye will walk into the room. "duuuuude"
Eric will split his concentration turning to speak to the man in the real world. "Ralf, we need this woman sleeping, but still conscious"
The man nodded. "So like... drugged and stuff?" Eric nodded in return, then return his concentration back to the task at hand.
"Anything you search for... will be destroyed." The main fracture of Mira stated slowly.
Ralf removed a pouch from his belt and began to unroll it on the table revealing a variety of vials, syringes and pills.
Talia sighed, wondering how many more knots there are and when this will end, moving further down the line she became a little less careful, mainly because it was taking a lot of energy. Not worrying about the damage that might be caused.
"NO ... ple .. no ... STOP." Mira pleaded her voice cracked and dry.
Selecting a vial, Ralf drew up half the contents, then selected a second drawing up some of that one. "Like ... hold her dude."
Using his TK Eric held Mira's arm out so Eric could gain easy access to do what he needed to. He watched as Ralf injected her and smiled. Mira let out another scream as the drug entered her body. Ralf's eyes opened in surprise. "It's just a muscle relaxant, wow she shouldn't do that."
*Thank you. * Talia sent to both Eric and Ralf as she hit one of the inner knots then stopped as she saw something unusual she blocked out Mira's pleas studying the oddity closer.
Eric noticed Talia's hesitation. *Be careful, there is a trap. * She sent to Eric. Examining it closer. *It's to entrap force energy. * She sent.
*I'm going to have to put her back together, it will be more difficult to handle ... but ... is best to control this in a single environment. *
*Do you need help? *
" ... no ... mo ...re." Mira says half conscious.
*Break her if you must, but we have to have to get the information on that poison. *
*We may need another force user then ... one that ... one that you and Darana are willing to sacrifice ...* Talia's own words disgust her. Eric raised an eyebrow at her tone. *It's a trap to eat her mind and to take another force user with it ... which means the force user who touches it will begin to break their mind. * She watches Eric for his reaction. *I can save one ... her or myself. *
*Is there any other way? *
*It is better for another force user to break it one .... We have an excessive amount of energy that will be turned against your mind or mine, as well as hers the instant we touch it. It will attack her and me or you or whomever we set against it. * Talia paused. *The key is to keep the energy from back lashing if we can find a way to do that then, I can hold her mind together. *
Mira took in a breath, watching the two them with half interest.
Eric nodded watching the prisoner in front of them, what had seemed a simple interrogation had become very complicated. *We have to find a way to ground the energy out, some one or some thing to direct the energy into that will take it. *
Talia frowned. *...Well I could open a conduit I guess but we need a biological pathway for it to follow and it will destroy that pathway as it goes. *
*Could we allow it to destroy her but salvage the information? *
*It would destroy the information as well and there is not a guarantee that I would salvage it in time, or that you would. *
*I understand* he became silent for a moment. *What about a recently deceased person? * Eric questioned.
*I could set up a channel with residual energy, spark the pathways then let it go and eat up that? *
Eric thought, he didn't have any prisoners that would work for this sort of thing.
Talia shuddered slightly but it passes she too had suggested something she disliked. She suddenly looked at Eric. *What about animals? Perhaps tonight's dinner. It's biological. *
*Klaw? * Eric questioned. Talia frowned at him making him grin. *How much energy are we talking about here, do we need a cat or an elephant? *
*It would have to be equal to a human mind in close comparison but equal to a human mind. *
*Could we force a link with some one? * Eric suggested. *and dump the energy through. *
*We could but it would kill them or it. * Talia stated. *Well I think I can set up a bypass so very likely not ..* She was still concerned about the backlash that would effect her as well as Eric, but she trusted that Eric could control that.
*I will select a prisoner at random then, * He noticed that Talia paled, "I'm sorry but this is important. *
*I know. I will do what I must ... one life for many. *
*If we could come up with another way that would work as well. * Talia shook her head,
*Only if we had time ... I could consult with others, but how much time do we have? *
Eric thought on this. *I can give you perhaps 48 hours. *
*That may or may not be enough.....I am already holding the threads and I am not certain that I won't trigger it when I put them back to hold it in place. I'm not familiar with setting up this sort of thing. *
*If you can not put her back together then we must do it now. *
*Then it will require ... this ... * her voice trailed off. She should be making the sacrifice herself; she felt she should be the one to die to save these people it is her lack. ,p> *These things happen dearest, and we must do what we must, I am sorry it has to be like this. *
Mira closes her eyes feeling quite relaxed. The drug was effective, somewhere in the back of her mind she knew the components of it, but she didn't want to think of anything ... didn't care about anything. Even though the two in front of her were silent she knew they were talking. She barely noticed the other prisoner that was brought in.
*I...thank you my love.... I will do what I must.... I have never killed someone quite like this though.... it is...different. * Talia pulled back enough to the room around her to look over at the prisoner. The guards were holding a rebel woman in one of the chairs. Her look was one of defiance.
"In the chair" Talia ordered indicating the chair next to Mira.
"Bitch!" the rebel spat.
Talia closed her eyes and hardened her heart. "Know that you die for the good of all sentient life." She knew that is was little comfort, to the woman that was once defiant who know looked scared fully realizing that she was about to die.
"You can't....!" She cried as the guards secured her to the chair. Her struggling only increased.
Talia looked around for Ralf and found him staring at one of the lights. "Ralf." She called attempting to get his attention.
"Duuuude" He shook himself. "Dude?"
"We need her conscious but paralyzed physically." Talia indicated the prisoner.
"K" He picked something out and walked over to the prisoner, upon injecting her, the rebel became glassy eyed and passed out. "Oops." Ralf said looking at Talia.
"Oh man ... sorry dude."
Eric couldn't help but grin. "Captain, take her back to her cell, bring us another." He ordered the guards nodded untied the woman and drug her away. They returned in a few minutes with a man. Following previous orders they tied him to the chair and made sure he was secure.
Eric looked at Ralf as Talia raised an eyebrow. "Paralyzed, but Conscious!" he ordered.
Ralf nodded, "right on dude"
Mira opens her eyes half way. "Re ...lease ....me. You ... have no .."
Ralf became distracted and started walking toward Mira with the syringe.
"Not her!" Talia yelled in shock.
Ralf looked surprised then looked at the two in front of him. "Oh yeah." Moving over toward the man he injected him and watched as he slowly slumped in the chair. Fully aware of what was going on, but unable to move.
Talia nodded and reached out to his mind, melding her own senses with the mans ... drawing Mira along into the connection.
"No ... no more." It was barely audible.
Talia ignored Mira...keeping a firm grasp on her; Eric followed her watching and protecting. Setting up the connection directly between the man and Mira. Once that was done Talia acknowledged Eric's presence.
*Eric I am going to basically hit the trap, then run back ...when the bypass is set up to follow the connection to the man...*
*Ok, I will shield you. *
*I will hold Mira's mind while you shield me. Good, are you ready? *
*Yes. * Eric knew she was nervous. He watched her senses alert to anything and everything as she activated the trap and quickly jumped out of the way letting the bypass do its work.
Energy sparked as it sought a path through the mind. Finding the connection it moved along the path to the man in chair. His scream echoed Mira's as the energy unleashed in his mind. He had received mild shocks before what attacked his mind was worse than lighting from the sky during a thunderstorm.
Mira pushed as far as she could into the chair that held her, as pain increased threatening to devour everything she knew and was. Her eyes seem to focus on the two in front of her then slowly closed. Talia sighed in relief she was glad to be alive, but she also had pains of guilt. Drawing from Mira she looked to Eric.
"Is there anything else?"
"Is that all? I see nothing else"
"That is every bit of conditioning and control that has been done to her. The pathways are clear and all energy is flowing through her as her body meant it to."
"Commander Lexor?" Eric questioned.
Opening her eyes Mira looks at him. "Yes?"
"How do you feel?"
"Tired, something is different. Free to think. Arridor my poison was released on Arridor ... no, it couldn't have been."
"Yes it was, you were under someone's control. We need the antidote."
The guards removed the dead prisoners body, as Ralf began to examine the binding of one of the books very closely Talia remained standing nearby quietly, Eric had never answered her question and allowed her to go.
"My blood." Mira closes her eyes. "Carries the antibodies, the antidote is a long process to make, my blood is quicker... How do I explain my failure, the deaths?"
"That is not an issue to dwell on now." Eric wasn't sure if she would block any information or not if she thought on the effects. "Now we need to do this process and get the antidote." Eric picked up from Talia through their bond, by not making such a poison in the first place. He smiled at her. *She is paying for her mistakes. * He sent to her.
Talia frowned, wondering if the woman really considered her actions a mistake or if she would do it all over again.
Again picking up on her thought Eric smiled. *Perhaps you will have a chance to ask her that question at some point the in future. *
"I'm immune to the poison, tested it on myself, Give me a lab I can make the antidote. He has it; he has all my projects, everything. I've failed The Emperor," Mira closes her eyes briefly. "I don't deserve to live."
"Be that as it may, before you meet your fate, what ever it is, you must undo what you have done" Eric nodded to the guards. "You will rest, while a lab is prepared for you, sleep now, you will have some time before you must begin work"
"No ... no one can make the antidote quicker." Mira's voice drifts.
"You are not of any use to us in this state." He stepped back as the guards half-carried Mira out of the study. Talia stood there quietly her anger was easy felt. "You may go dearest, you do not need to be here any longer."
Talia nods curtly. "I will be in the workout rooms."
"I understand, thank you love for your help, you have saved many lives today."
"I should have ... I know and I will deal with it...life is life. You have work to do."
Eric smiled at her; Talia smiled a little then leaves Eric alone in the study.
Mira had to be drugged to insure a forced sleep; once she woke she was given a lab and a couple of assistants and put to work. She shook her head twelve hours; they had forced her to sleep twelve hours. She had a lot of work to catch up on.
Mira sat at the bench area in silence, it didn't matter who was around her, and she kept her mind on the task at hand. She knew every movement was being recorded. She didn't care, she knew her poison was deadly ... the Emperor wanted it so, but it was to be used on the Alliance not people of the Empire. Arridor ... the labs. What have they been through? She forced to keep her thoughts on her task at hand; she needed to make the antidote.
Mira explained to the people around her at last every step of the procedure, as well as drawing her own blood to make sure that nothing had changed. Everything showed she was still immune.
Unless one of the assistants asked a question, Mira remained silent noting every step and the reason why. She knew once she was done, her life was useless.
Finally she straightened putting her hand on her back to stretch; she looked to one of the assistant. "There, you have all the information you need. I'm not needed anymore." she took a seat by one of the tables. The assistant took the information as well as the antidote and left her in the room, guards entered a few seconds later and escorted Mira to another room. It was comfortable, but it wasn't lost on Mira that anything sharp had been removed. Taking a seat she rubbed the back of her neck trying to work out the tension.
"Commander Lexor. How are you feeling?" Eric asked.
Mira raised her head then rose to face him. "I am recovered. The antidote is finished as I'm sure you are aware."
"Yes, thank you for your tireless work on that."
"It is the least I could do, after all I failed to keep it safe." Mira stood straight hands behind her back. "What charges are to be brought against me?"
Eric watched evaluating her. "I do not know, I was assigned only to gather information." He paused slightly. "You are to be turned over to Darana, and as I understand it, taken before the Emperor."
Mira nodded, she had heard of Darana. "I will not cause any problems, though I assume I will be restrained?"
"Unless you intend to make your self a threat in some way, you are still an Imperial Officer, and will be treated as such."
"I Would never disobey the Empire Sir," Mira paused remembering Xanatos. "Not willingly anyway."
Eric smiled slightly, "Yes, well then, I wish you luck in what comes"
"The same to you." Mira bowed slightly.
Eric turned to leave, "Is there anything I can do for you before you leave?"
"Just one thing." Mira shifted her weight. "Has all his control over me been removed ... I mean ... I am thinking on my own once again?"
"Yes, all the controls have been removed. You are as much you, as you were before."
Mira nodded and relaxed a bit. "Then I am ready to face what my fate is to be."
"Good luck" Eric left Mira alone once again.
Mira sat back down on the bed and shook her head, 'No, not as I was before, that will never be.' She said to herself. 'I'll never be that way again.' Would the Emperor understand? She doubted it.
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