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Riene Zend

Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Arquebusier

 Post Posted: Thu, December 09th 2010 12:10am    Post subject: Imperial Prison Ship Justice
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"Him. He's the one I'm looking for," Chief Marshal Zend hissed to the archival droid. "Voight. Lieutenant Nevin Voight."

Her eyes narrowed at the display screen. A weapons officer on board one of the light cruisers that abandoned the traitor fleet. He did not partake in the patriotic revolution against the corrupted captain, nor did he hinder it. He might have held some useful tactical information or command codes, but those had already been extracted from the ship's second officer, the most senior survivor of the mutiny.

However, what did catch Riene's eye was a small mention in his service record. A previous assignment, as a sublieutenant, alongside a Sublieutenant Jendob. While she was not yet certain that this Jendob was related to the new pretenders to Palpatine's throne, she was going to find out. And if so, she eagerly wished to learn all she could about Lieutenant Voight's former shipmate. "Ready my special interrogation unit, and have them meet me at his cell," Zend ordered, her eyes transfixed on the glowing screen. You might well be the key...

A squad of Stormtroopers was waiting for Riene outside the nondescript, black cell door. They were decidedly tall in stature and of larger build than most. This was deliberate: quite a few prisoners cracked merely at the sight of these eight men crowding their cell. And those that didn't soon learned to fear them. They assumed their proper formation: two flanking the door, four standing against the far wall in clear view for a prisoner, and two more off to the sides.

Riene pressed the door control and stepped into the small cell. The bed contained a slab-like bed, a retracting toilet, and what appeared to be a mirror on the far wall. She blinked when she saw the man inside. He had stood out to her when she reviewed the survivors, just before the captured armored troops decided that they knew about musical theater than good sense and opted to sing a final marching song instead of living to serve the real Empire. She hadn't made the connection when she was looking over his file, but now it came back. "Good afternoon, Lieutenant."

"Oh, is that what time it is?" His small blue eyes blazed with hatred, and his scruff-lined jaw moved from side to side as his teeth ground. "I wouldn't know."

"Come now, Lieutenant. You're alive, you're uninjured. As a prisoner of war, we've hardly treated you poorly. There's no need for hostility."

"Tell that to the Army troops you blew away," Voight growled. "Yeah, we all know about it by now. Some of us do actually know what a blaster sounds like."

Riene's expression betrayed nothing. "And what does that have to do with you?"

"It means I have no intentions of talking to you, or having anything to do with this insane asylum you call an empire."

Zend stepped further into the cell. "You were a weapons officer on board a light cruiser. What could you know that your admiral wouldn't?" She paused a moment. "If I wanted information, I have twelve hundred other sources for it."

"Yeah, I doubt they're talkative."

The chief marshal idly inspected her gloved fingers. "Oh, everyone talks. One way, or another. But it's so much better for the prisoner when they can come out of captivity as a functioning being. Don't you agree?"

Voight began to shake... then suddenly lunged forward. "You murdering whore!"

Riene stepped to the side, grabbed the rampaging man by his collar and belt, and him spun around, redirecting his energy back into the wall. She admonished, "Playing rough will not get you anywhere."

Voight wiped the blood from his split lip. "Funny, you strike me as the type," he snarled as he attacked again. This time, his fury knocked Riene off-balance, sparking her own ire. He attempted to claw at her, but she pushed him back, landed a sharp blow on his jaw, another to his gut, and a double-handed strike to his back as he doubled over.

Armor clattered behind her. She put her hand up to stay the trooper, but she did not stay his tongue. "If you ever touch the Chief Marshal again, scum, I'll hang you with your own entrails."

The prisoner coughed. He looked up at the furious Stormtrooper with a brazen glint in his eye. "Touch her? Who'd want to do that?"

The Stormtrooper shifted, but a hand on his shoulder was all Riene needed to stay him from robbing her of a potential intelligence source. "Go outside. I can handle him."

"Please don't," quipped the still-gasping Voight. "I'm not into that sort of thing."

She knelt down, staying out of arm's reach. "Now, now. Didn't your mother teach you any manners?"

"Nope. Never knew her. Guess you don't know as much about me as you thought."

Riene cocked an eyebrow. "Well, that explains your hostility toward women."

The prisoner snorted. Clearly, his pain is receding, Riene thought, and rose as he pulled himself upright. Her defenses went to hair-trigger. "What can I say? You just don't do it for me... so, I got no reason to talk to you."

Zend gave a nod, and feigned defeat. "All right. If you'd rather speak with a male interviewer, that can be arranged."

She stepped out of the cell, and the door closed behind her. "Take care of him," she instructed the assembled Stormtroopers. "Standard procedure."

"As you wish," the sergeant replied, all hostility and anger gone from his voice. They'd all become masterful actors, as well as skilled interrogators.

Riene opened a door just down from the one she'd exited. Beyond was a small cubicle with a window, and a bench. She reclined, looking through the window... and into Voight's cell through the two-way mirror. She watched the Stormtroopers enter the cell. And as the blows began to fall, she smiled as the upstart prisoner got exactly what was coming to him.

After the Stormtroopers had finished brutalizing Voight, they filed out. Zend waited about ten minutes after that before appearing to check up on him. A waiting aide handed her a datapad full of miscellaneous data: it was merely another prop in the play put on for Voight's benefit. She reentered his cell, her head down as if she were focused on the datapad's contents.

"Now, Lieutenant, where did we--my gods!" She dropped the datapad and gaped in carefully-practiced horror at his entirely-expected condition. "Captain! Get the medics immediately!"

She rushed over to the battered and beaten prisoner. His face was puffy and swollen, his nose bleeding, and one eye was hidden under a dark purple mass of edemic tissue. "What did they do?"

He coughed, bloody discharge issuing from his mouth. "What... do you... think," Voight said weakly.

"Those worthless animals," fumed the chief marshal as the medics arrived with a hovergurney. "They were supposed to interview you, not... not..." Her voice trailed off. If she could have added a choking sound, if holding back tears, she would gladly have done so. Alas, the daughter of the Grand Admiral had never mastered the ability to weep or strangle her voice at will.

The medics began to load the prisoner onto the gurney. Riene made sure to support his head and neck, herself. "Do your best," she snapped at the medic, her voice thick with anger and the sad thickness of a soul that will forever be tormented by what had just been witnessed. "This is completely out of line..."

She escorted the gurney to the prison infirmary, staying by Lieutenant Voight's side until he was sedated. Just before he went under, she made sure he heard her tell the medics, "Inform me when he wakes up."

Zend departed the infirmary, finding the Stormtrooper squad just beyond the doors. "Good—ahem," Riene cleared her throat, chasing away the remnants of her dramatic performance. "Good work. Now stay out of his section; obviously, such a terrible breach of discipline can't go unpunished."

"Yes, ma'am," the sergeant replied. "We all look forward to the next time you need us."

Riene smiled coldly. "It's a big Galaxy, Sergeant. Your skills will be needed for a long time."

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Riene Zend

Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 118
Location: Arquebusier

 Post Posted: Sun, October 02nd 2011 08:57pm    Post subject:
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The hatch to the cell chimed, and Riene stiffened her posture. A petite Stormtrooper captain with her blonde hair pulled back—and slightly mussed on the sides of her black cap—and in the midst of buckling her sable belt stepped forward. Her gray-green eyes fell upon the other woman, only a couple of years older but vastly senior in rank and authority.


The captain immediately came to attention, her gloved hands falling to her side once her belt had been properly fastened. “The prisoner is definitely more responsive, Chief Marshal. One might even think he's enjoying his newest rounds of interrogation.”

A wicked smile tried to play across Riene's lips, but she suppressed it. Deep down, part of her found this whole matter utterly nauseating... but it was damned effective. And the captain was a veteran and volunteer for this special task force; the entire unit was all volunteer, right down to their targets and methods. But the captain always had a special knack with a particular set of prisoners, perhaps due to an unfortunate deformity she'd borne since birth. And if her interrogators enjoyed what they were doing, it did soothe her concerns somewhat. Just as long as it was kept within reason; attachment was strictly forbidden. There always was the unfortunate case of the interrogator who got too sympathetic with his or her charge. After all, they were only human... and a few other alien races.

Some of her Chiss mentors frowned upon such direct methods, preferring mind-games and analysis to pluck thoughts out of an expression, a sigh, or even simple bodily carriage. It made for lovely holodramas, but when time was of the essence, there wasn't time to pussyfoot about with psychology manuals and readouts. If violence was needed, then it was applied. And if friendship, or a sympathetic shoulder to lean on would give the best results in the shortest time, then her special unit would go into action. She'd let her interrogation unit try the stick with this prisoner early on. Now the carrot was producing the desired results. Then again, that was another lesson she'd learned from her mentors and through experience: brutality followed by kindness had a synergistic effect. And it worked beautifully both with individuals in the interrogation cell, and with entire subjugated planets. A bloody conquest would always cause burning anger... but if the roads were simply left to rot, and the damaged buildings to crumble, then resistance had symbols to latch onto. Rebuilding the devastated cities, employing the people in their reconstruction (that it was voluntary was a key caveat), feeding the hungry and sheltering the war refugees not only undercut the frothing rants of the revolutionaries and radicals, but also engendered real affection for the conqueror and made the people less liable to rise up against those who helped them rebuild a home, or provided the food to their children.

Riene intended to share this lesson to the Galaxy... indeed, it was key to making sure there wouldn't be an Alliance to Restore the New Republic or some such nonsense. The Final Victory would be necessarily bloody, as would justice for the terrorist leaders and their murderous thugs. But if the people underfoot could combat the bloody images of war with memories of reconstruction and the Empire's potentially boundless magnanimity and munificence... then true hope and progress would flourish. And the Galaxy would enter a new golden age... guided by the firm but loving hand of the Empire.

“How far along would you say he is?”

The captain scratched behind her left ear. “He's not fully rehabilitated. Something continues to conflict inside. His head is where it needs to be, but...”

“But the heart's not?” Riene finished.

A wry smile twisted the young captain's face. “I didn't want to come off as too poetic, Ma'am.”

The chief marshal nodded, flashing a small smile. “Very well, Captain. You're dismissed. Get some rest.”

The captain clicked her heels and raised her arm in salute. “As you command, Ma'am. And thank you.”

The blonde vanished down the corridor, boot-heels thundering across the black grate floor. Riene punched in the entry code for the cell, and stepped in.

Nevin Voight, late of the traitor “Remnant Navy,” sat on his bunk. The perpetual scruff that adorned his face never seemed to diminish entirely, nor expand further into beard growth. The defiance had, however, greatly receded, through there was a brief flash of hatred in his blue eyes as he looked up to see Zend enter the cell. His momentary hatred was quickly replaced by a wariness-frosted welcome, then covered with near-complete neutrality. Riene let the emotions simply wash around her; they were irrelevant. The only important thing in the whole affair was the information the captain had been acquiring. There'd been the prerequisite lies, of course, as he toyed with her in that first week. But her insistence, her gentleness... her warmth eventually melted through the icy walls of hatred and hurt. Voight's information was now about 60% good... or four times that of the next best prisoner from Muunilinst.

She always does good work with these types. Riene mused as the necessary lines for this act of the play began to formulate in her mind. “Good afternoon, Lieutenant.”

“Afternoon already? I guess that last visit was longer than I thought,” he responded coolly.

Riene touched her chin thoughtfully, or at least seemed to. “Indeed. I trust you and the erstwhile captain are being civil in your chats?”

“You could say that.”

“That usually suggests that something uncivil is going on,” Zend noted dispassionately. “I trust she's not being abusive?”

“You mean like your first batch of goons and their r—” Voight's tone had turned to ice and broken glass.

She nodded, cutting him off. “Yes. They've been punished, as you know. Which leaves the question still standing...?”

The former lieutenant regarded her for a moment. “No, I wouldn't say she's abusive at all.”

Riene pretended to make a note on the datapad. “Good, good. And I trust you're being civil with her?”

She noticed a small, secretive smile play across his face. Ah, so she's been playing the secret tryst angle. He doesn't suspect... “You could say that.”

Hiding her own satisfied smile, Zend pressed her lips into a thin line. “Mister Voight, if you're being problematic for your case officer, I can find you a new one. And he or she would not be as tolerant.”

He put his hands up in surrender. “I'm being civil, dammit. Grife, at least our Empire still has a sense of humor.”

“Good.” She made a few more random notations on the pad, making sure not to disturb the record function. Voight was clearly starting to gain his own attachment, tenuous though it was for the time being. But that would all clear up nicely. “May I ask you some questions?”

The prisoner shrugged his shoulders. “I don't have much choice... but I'm in a good mood anyway. What do you wanna know?”

“Your service record indicates you served with a Sublieutenant Jendob on a previous assignment.”

Voight raised an eyebrow, but betrayed nothing else. “What about him?”

That's far too much neutrality to be natural. “So, you do know him?”

He shrugged. “He was a dick. I don't really know how well you'd say I know him.”

Interesting. Voight's impassive insulting of his dear Empire's crown prince suggest that Jendob's spawn had wronged him in the past. Perhaps a cheat at cards? No, there was too much guarding of his emotions for it be so trivial. Stole a lover away? Perhaps damaged Voight's career through his connections? “Enough to not be overly fond of him. Why is that?”

The smile tried to creep across Riene's face again as Voight began to talk. She kept it strictly under control, and dutifully recorded.

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