Fear is the Mind Killer
This Week's Special
Location: Deck Six: Jail
Mack sat in her cell and tried not to think about how frightened she was. She let her fear flow through her, taking in good energy with each breath in, releasing fear with each breath out. Of course, the fear kept replenishing itself and Mack was having a hard time keeping up without hyperventilating. Regardless of how scared she was, she wasn't going to give Carnahan's Purple Belly stooges the satisfaction of seeing her freak out. So Mack focused on being calm... or at least creating the outward appearance of calm.
It helped that Mack knew her sister Xiulan would be, at this very moment, trying to help her. Xiulan probably didn't realize how much Mack actually knew about what she did for a living. Xiulan was an amazing hacker and many influential politicians and corporations had been ruined by Xiulan's keystrokes. If anyone could get Mack out of this mess, it was Xiulan.
Mack just had to stay alive until Xiulan could make her move... or moves.
Time moved extremely slowly, or perhaps quite quickly, but it certainly took forever. The seamless corners and neutral lighting of the jail cell was designed to keep prisoners off balance and inspire hopelessness. After an eternity of nothing, the door slid open with a hiss. The light flowing in from the cooridor kept the person entering in silhouette. The sharp lines of a perfectly neat and polished uniform could easily be made out. "The prisoner is not supposed to have visitors, but we acknowledge Alliance Customs the right to perform their investigation. Please try and keep it quick." said an unseen purple belly in the hall.
As Mack's vision adjusted to the light, the sternness of the formal uniform began to fade into the friendly curves of someone she knew well: Oksanna Petrovich. The woman wore her pillbox hat pulled down tightly to the front of her head, looking as much like an imposing bureaucrat as she could. She lifted a datapad. "Security Chief Johannah Shepard, correct? It seems you have landed yourself in a great deal of trouble." As she moved into the cell, Oksanna shot a quick wink to Mack.
Mack hid a smile. "It does seem so," she said. "Is this a social call, Customs Officer Petrovich? Or is this business? It's... good to see you either way."
Oksanna gave a thin smile at Mack. "I assure you Chief Shepard, this is business of the most grave consequence. Some would say this is an open and closed case, with you clearly guilty. If you could be so kind as to provide the names of officers you last worked with before the incident, it would help to verify your account of the circumstances."
She leaned over and slid a datapad to Mack with a sylus for writing. The tip held a small red and black polka dot covering. Oksanna stood back up brushing her hair back over her shoulder, a small device of similar appearance was in her ear. "Your compliance in what is asked of you will only make this easier on you and everyone involved. There are many that foolishly find inspiration in your stand against the Alliance, and they need to be identified for the good of everyone." She leaned back over and tapped on the datapad. "Please take your time and consider your situation carefully."
Mack took the pad and stared at it. Then she sighed. "Only because you're much better looking than that other mудак." Then she wrote on pad in Cryillic. They're setting me up! They have some bullshit video! Tell Xiulan! Tell your father! And... sorry for what I'm about to do... "There, you go, you chòu biǎo zi! I hope you gag to death on your own rotten stench!" Mack said, and then spit in Oskanna's face and glowered at her.
Oksanna gazed down at the datapad, reading what Mack had written. She lower he brow slightly to acknowledge she had seen it, before wiping her hand across the tablet, erasing the words. "Keep your insults to yourself traitor." she snapped back. The stream of saliva hitting her in the face did honestly surprise her. She was trained not to react, but it was still a little gross, even if she had exchanged saliva with the same person only a night before. She kept a straight face as she wiped the moist spot from under her eye. "You bring your own fate." she said icily. She picked up her erased data pad, leaving the stylus in front of Mack as she turned about to the door. "Guard! Get me away from this shǎbī yīndào!" The word hurt to say, even when she knew she was only saying them as theater. She hated seeing Mack in there. She looked back, mostly out of sentimentality. "Remember this moment when your fate comes." she stated cryptically and left.
Mack feigned despair by slumping to the floor. While on the ground, she managed to secure the stylus without anyone seeing her do it. She positioned herself so that the cameras in her cell couldn't see what she was doing and examined the stylus. Oskanna may act innocent, but she was smart. She had to have dropped the stylus on purpose. But why? Mack examined it more closely. The top end was... glowing, just slightly. Mack examined it further. The stylus didn't look right. Mack gently turned glowing end and it came loose. An ear bud! Mack put it in her ear. There seemed to be an extraneous button on the side of the stylus as well. Mack tapped it deliberately, three times and waited. Then she tapped it another three times. If there was someone on the other end of the damned thing, they were going to have to speak first.
"I'm getting you out of there." the voice over the earbud stated. It only took a moment for Mack to pick up on the familiar tones of the Station Administrator. "The Minister is way out of bounds, but I don't think we will have time to hear this out in a proper trial. He wants blood and seems inclined to get his way what ever happens. Well he can wán lǎo èr himself as far as I am concerned. Beep the stylus once to let me know if you are alone. If not hit it twice." the administrator sounded as fired up as her flaming hair.
Mack swallowed a lump in his throat. Was it actually possible she was going to get out of this okay? She clicked the stylus once.
"Ok good. As you know the security deck is fairly secure... but not entirely. There is a maintenance access panel in the corridor between the briefing room and the officer lockers. Its a tight squeeze but if you can get though you can crawl up to a fairly large ventilator duct in the ceiling. Of course you need to find a way out of the interrogation room. Maybe confess to something that gets their attention. You just need 20 seconds in the main hall. Is that something you can do?"
Mack clicked the stylus one time.
"You can contact me once you are in the vents, they don't have mics up there, at least none that work. Don't ask, my youth was misspent."
Mack clicked the stylus one more time, then hid it away. Now she just had to figure a way out of here.