A stinging sensation roused her. At first it was merely irritating but it refused to go away. It increased in intensity until she could ignore it no further. Her chest felt as if it were going to implode and her ears rang. It was worse than any hang over she had ever experienced. Then she began to be aware of a voice. "On your feet, Lieutenant." Her attention was drawn to a slender figure in black and silver, with flyaway blond hair, icy blue eyes, and a killer's smile. "The Colonel wants you IN her office NOW!" Anastazya worked to pull herself up, but noticed the pain wasn't going away. The agony was evident on her face, but none-the-less, she slowly stood and followed the man. ********** Darana sat watching the scene play out before her. Anastazya was indeed going to be a handful. Questioning those placed in charge of her, refusing to answer questions, easily irritated, talking back to her superiors... everything indicated a problem with authority. Her interview had been less than positive. A familiar sensation approached the office, it was Michael. She reached out to him through their link, *Send her in alone. DO NOT enter with her.* *Yes mother.* Michael responded flatly. ********** The pair meandered down several flights of stairs, through corridors, and security checkpoints. Finally, they entered a foyer and the young man held a door open for her. "I will accompany you no further. Proceed to the next door and enter. She is expecting you." Anastazya, hesitated, attempted to straighten her posture, but barely, as standing at all was a feat as the pain continued. She wondered what that SOB had given her, as she walked through the door. ********** Darana stood, looking out the window over the moat. She felt the pilot enter and turned to face her before she could speak a word. "Do you know why you are here, Lieutenant?" She inquired, very slowly, very carefully, emphasizing each word. This afforded time for Anastazya to take in Darana's uniform with her red guard insignia and household insignia along with her silver hair, red eyes, and fangs. She watched and 'felt' for any reaction the pilot would give. Anastazya was standing as close to attention as she could muster with all the pain, and raised an eyebrow at the sight of the Colonel, to match her first thought... "interesting," but she was hardly in a condition to make an impression. Just as Lt Rowan was about to answer, Shade, now dressed in his fighting attire, stepped forward. Wearing a tailored loose fitting pirate shirt, black pants and laced knee-high soft leather boots, his double bladed saber hanging from a tied leather belt, Shade smiled the exact same smile she last saw on his face. Anastazya almost went sheet white. She felt her pulse increase and caught herself holding her breath. She wanted very much to leave the room, but found that she couldn't move. She just stared at her torturer, obviously the one who gave her whatever poison still wreaked havoc in her system now. She almost glared. "Lieutenant." Darana barked, "Answer the question." She sat down then quickly added, "And, if you find something here intriguing you may keep it to yourself." Anastazya turned back to the Colonel, did her best to straighten up and tried to stop shaking, and replied, "I believe I am here to be interviewed to be your personal pilot." She hesitated, wanting to say more, but considering her treatment thus far, she didn't think it was wise. Darana could not believe her ears, or the arrogance of the woman before her. Without hesitation, she reached out and gripped the mind of the other woman with her own. "Really? Think very *carefully* Lt." Darana questioned her through closed teeth. None too gently she began probing the pilot's mind for the truth. "And try the answer again." Rowan's thoughts raced, wondering what the hell was going on. She responded slowly, trying to sort it out, "I ...... have no idea why I am here. I thought it had to do with ....... my piloting ......... someone." "Someone what?" Darana demanded. "I thought I was to pilot someone... somewhere. I have no idea who or why." Anastazya stated with some difficulty. Darana stood and crossed to the front of the desk. Very slowly, she began to walk around the pilot. To her credit, Anastazya remained dead still. She was too terrified to move or think. Darana smiled inwardly. It was the first time this girl's mind was quiet. As Darana moved behind her, the Lt.'s eyes started to follow her, mentally she reached out to her, *Do you not remember how to stand at attention Lt?* Darana paused briefly, wondering if Ana would immediately correct movement. She didn't. *Eye's front!* Echoed throughout Rowan's mind. She flinched inwardly at the sharpness of Darana's mental command and attempted to control her fears. It wasn't easy. Her pain wracked body screamed for her attention. Once more Darana circled her. Moving in closer with each step, until another step forward would cause physical contact. Darana knew better than to touch the woman. It would only cause her to lose any control she had at this point. Satisfied, Darana sat down once more and began to work. Lost in her focus to maintain control of her pain and posture, it was twenty minutes before Anastazya realized she was being ignored or even that her previous tormentor had disappeared. She relaxed somewhat, once again wondering what in the Galaxy she was doing there. Finally the pain overwhelmed her and she had to decide, adjust slightly or pass out. She adjusted slightly to get her circulation going, hoping that Darana would not punish her for it. Realizing the pilot was willing to take the potential punishment, Darana ignored the movement. After all she wanted the woman conscious. With a controlled exhale, Ana relaxed and once again focused on maintaining control of the pain and her posture. Darana stood abruptly, startling the pilot. Once again, to the other woman's credit, she did not move. Without so much as a glance towards her, Darana left the room. Immediately, Ana went to parade rest. 'What the hell kind of game is this?' She wondered to herself. From the frying pan into the fire, same game as before, but this time the interrogator could rape her mind if the Sith chose to. A shiver passed through Rowan. She dropped that line of thinking and allowed memories from her days at the academy to pass through her mind. "Did I give you permission to move Lieutenant?" Reflexively Ana snapped back to attention, her arms and legs shaking from the pain enhancers administered earlier. 'Academy Discipline 101,' she laughed inwardly. These memories begin to help her ease the pain. "You will be lucky if I *only* demote you Rowan." Darana stated from behind her. 'Great,' Ana thought to herself, 'look what I got myself into, a commendation one minute, and demoted the next. Humph.' Ignoring the temptation to snap the arrogant pilot in two, Darana pointed to the right hand side of the room, "Move. There. Now." Anastazya moved to the best of her ability. The movements reminded Darana of a baby bird jerkily trying to take it's first steps. Ana's thoughts wandered back to her recent mission and the post she helped save, but her thoughts couldn't hide the first signs of trembling from the current condition of her body. She wondered if this situation is worse than when she thought she would die in battle, then decides that as long as she lived, there's still the chance for her to fly. Then she noticed Darana drinking blood. Immediately she pushed that knowledge to the side and began thinking about the officer on the last shuttle. He had been a potential suitor...until she learned he was married. Her arms and legs began to shake uncontrollably. Darana hit a button on her desk, opening up a wall panel behind Anastazya. She pressed another button and the interview with Shade began to play. The world swirled around her. Ana tried to fight it, "Ma'am..I can't stay.." Darana looked up at her and watched as the pilots eyes rolled up inside her head and she collapsed to the floor.
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