38 - Interrogation

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         I didn't sleep for a second last night. Sleeping seemed to be more of a waste of time than anything else. There's so much to do now. So much to prepare for.

My first interrogation is in two days. I need to practice more, hone the skills I've learned thus far. I study at the library and apply what I learn immediately at my training. Brink joins me for most sessions. Honestly, it's easier when he's there since he's the one who sets up the Programmables for me to practice on. No, playing twenty questions with a robot doesn't perfectly parallel what I'll be doing, but I think it will help. Each Programmable is slightly different, so I gain some experience in the means of diversity at least.

I insert physical training into my Training Center time slot also, in case action needs to be taken against my examinee. If there's one thing I've learned in cross-examination, it's that there is no such thing as letting up or going easy. Instead, I must intensify and crack down harder to get the answers I seek.

After Brink programs my obstacle course, he decides to leave me to myself. I am scheduled to meet him sometime before my first interrogation tomorrow. Apparently he is going to talk me through what exactly I'm to be divulging from Travis. Maybe I'll get some back story on who he really is and what his true motives are. As for now, I need to improve.

Meeting Brink the day of is nerve-wracking. Before I do, I ponder over my word choices for an hour in my room, sort my order of questions, and run through multiple scenarios in my head for the examination. Then, I attempt to piece together and predict what will be said in return and what the punishment will be if Travis chooses not to cooperate.

Before I over-think the entire thing, I exit my room and meet Brink exactly where he said he'd be. I've come to discover how the other Four are exceedingly punctual with timing; we all have an inner clock engraved in our brains ticking away. Only recently have I discovered it in myself.

I give him a semi-smile when I approach, but the notion seems to go unnoticed when I don't receive one back. He's probably still upset that I snuck in the Holding Room without his permission the other day.

"Okay now Aurora, do you recall the last time I discussed the Nazareth situation to you? How their leader, Kai, wants to exterminate us and gain power across the universe?"

I process his words and eventually nod. Does Travis have something to do with him?

"The man inside, Travis McCormack, is a part of their cause. He is a rebel we have managed to capture that originates from that planet. We need all the information we can receive from him, understand?"

"Yes, I understand," I confirm.


We step in together after Brink types in the entry code and scans his hand. I have to admit, I am faintly appalled by Travis's appearance, though I try to not let it be prevalent on my face. His jaw continues to dangle crookedly--still broken. Worse yet, it seems he's taken a beating since I last saw him. Bruises dot his skin in all sorts of places, but mostly cluster around his neck and face. Has Brink been trying to get information out of him as well--through force?

Travis squints at me as though I'm shining a flashlight in his eyes. "I was right. Your eyes are different," he grumbles, pain existing in his voice. "What the hell happened to them?"

I hold back any response showing that he's sparked my curiosity, but can't help to wonder why he points it out.

Are my eyes...red?

My thoughts must be pushed aside for now, as drastic as that reality is. Brink has to believe I am not currently concerned about anything other than Travis. I have to prove that I am capable of carrying out an investigation solo. Besides, I'd rather not have him here watching over me like a child. So even though Travis brought up an odd topic, right now, I can't care.

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