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The room was dark. One could find scratches on the walls here and there, undoubtedly from former captives. The only source of light was a small window on the upper side of the room. Even that light however was discomforting for Jim McKenna, the Arbiter of the Junker Conress. He was strapped on his bed for at least two hours according to his best estimations. He shook his head as he felt diziness overwhelm him, Jim was hungry and thirsty ever since he was captured.

The Provocateur of the Lane Hackers was quickly moving through the corridors of Leiden Base. It was a busy day for Goro Yoshida, more busy than usual. He entered the command center and scanned the room for the Communications Operative.

"Do we have the uplink ready with Airdrie?"

"Yes, Mr Yoshida."

"Open it up." The operative pressed a few clicks on his console and the large screen which dominated the room showed Airdrie Hideout for a moment before it changed, revealing Professor Hunter on a seat along with several senior Hackers standing around her.

"Greetings. I hope Airdrie is quiet, as usual." He leaned his head in respect. "I would like to report that everything is ready, we are now moving to the Interrogation room."

Two minutes later the bulky door opened and four Lane Hackers in medical uniforms entered the room. Two of them started monitoring a number of screens which the Arbiter assumed they projected his biosigns, the third was responsible for the videocall with Airdrie and the fourth approached him and checked the straps and the cables which were connected to his forearm.

No more than sixty seconds passed and Goro Yoshida entered the room as well. Unbeknown to everyone, a transparent membrane was attached to his left palm which was connected to one of the devices of this room. He carefully approached the Arbiter before stopping at a safe distance and without saying a word he inspected his condition for several seconds.

"I see that you have not yet lost your morale, Jim. Apparently we still have work to do." The Provocateur gently said which made his statement sound even more frightening. Then he turned his back on his prisoner and slowly removed his suit, leaving it on a chair.
It had occurred to him.. repeatedly in his .. time in liberty as a working man that he would eventually end up on this side of the interrogation room. Though more than that one time King had him strapped to a table on pittsburg.

Karma? Deliberate manifestation? ... Well didn't matter how. he felt fussy. and a little pissed off.

We should do this as cleanly as possible. Thing is. any hacker would know jim's curriculum vitae.. he wasn't a hillbilly scrapper jim was a professionally trained and mentored clinical psychologist, anyone who delved further would know it wasn't for wellness, it was for this particular situation he was bred and trained to handle.

jim had a more than expert knowledge of what it takes to crack a typical head and keep the heart ticking, thing is was he dealing with peers.. or ..

you know what it doesn't matter... for better or worse this was Goro's deal. he had to trust him to do whats needed.

He decided to position as best he can.. as it seemed he was being "propped" into a position for a better conversation. hard to do that to people laying down. They are apt to pass out in a laying position..

"So we going with the sodium pentathol or psychotropics or are you just going to have a team of eggheads watch my rhythms for fibs? "

He had done interrogations where they did all three.. but .. by the time psychotropics kicked in you were in another dimension..
"I am sure you are thinking the worst case scenario..." The Lane Hacker softly said while turning around, facing the Arbiter. He nodded to the Hacker standing next to the bed who then pressed a button on the side of the bed turning it vertically. The prisoner was so tightly strapped that he didn't move from his original position.

"Since I have no doubts that you have heard about the notorious Lane Hacker interrogation..." Mr. Yoshida said while he slowly walked towards the Arbiter.

"About the torturing, the psychological warfare, or perhaps the rumors that you lose a part of yourself..." He paused for a moment.

"I can assure you that it is all correct!" He said smiling while the Lane Hacker next to the prisoner turned the machine on which transmitted neural pain signals directly to the spinal cortez of the Congress Arbiter. The pain was excruciating and Jim was screaming loudly but it didn't stop. The machine continued to work and he was sure that an eternity passed before it eventually turned off.

At some point he heard footsteps approaching him. He still maintained his senses, however his head was dropped, feeling it to be too heavy or unresponsive to his commands. He didn't know the reason and he didn't care at this point. Then the footsteps stopped and a familiar voice spoke.

"Jim, there is only one way out of this. Only one way to get back to your precious Church and Congress. And that is by answering my questions... Do I have your attention now?"
Who the hell was screaming?

Oh yes. muscle fatigue due to electroshock. Son of a bitch I pissed myself.

Pain means control.. pain.. yep here we go. pains coming.. move your head. sssssssshhhaaat that hurts.


Jim was whimpering? somewhere between shock and indignity the word questions he did hear made it through the ringing in his ears.

"What?.. you sunnuva bitch. "

He had to take a break.. thoughts were confused.

"You had my attention... Had it at. since. you got me. "

felt like he ran a mile. or 50. The fatigue wasn't all at once it just kept mounting until the pain was somewhat over. it wasn't the hurt more the energy pouring out.. making everything feel like walking through mud. Even thinking.

"Listen.. honestly ill tell you anything you want to know. Dont.. need... damn.. I need to get in shape.. hells..."
Goro Yoshida nodded however his eyes revealed that he was still unconvinced. Could he really seek more meaningless torture? He turned around and approached the table where one of the holoscreens was located. He pressed a button and the screen was activated towards his and Jim's side.

"You have been wondering what these cables are doing in your forearm. What the cables on your skull are doing too. Well, this is one reason." The holoscreen showed an image, a bioscan definitely. Could that be Jim's brain?

"If you lie to my questions, a certain area of your brain will be activated. If you tell the truth, another. And I am sure you understand what happens in the first case. You will have to be disciplined." The Hacker smiled again, while moving next to the holoscreen, facing his prisoner.

"So let's start from the beginning. What is your name?"
Was it macbeth? yeah.. I think it was the overarching theme of tragedy... that seemed familiar more than the truth of the play.

I clothe myself in old odd ends of holy writ and seem a saint.

"James Joshua Mckenna" he answered quickly.

when in truth I play the devil.

He remarked upon the scans. They were off. yoshida did a good job making it seemed like they were prepared here. Odd buzzing from his wrist implant..

Shit.. there's artifacts here I hope he knows about this thing in my wrist... must have got turned on when i got lit up... fffffffffff

Oh ..calm down you idiot.. torture is junk science anyway. you have to figure out a person's pathology to interrogate.. and even then its manipulation.
Hearing an answer, Yoshida turned his head to the holoscreen located on his right side. A few seconds passed when the screen projected a specific area of the brain lighting up for a moment. The Hacker then turned his head back to his captive and nodded.

"You apparently said the truth. Good. Now let's ask you something which would be more difficult to part with." He said and sipped some water from the glass located on his table.

"You have family, Jim? And if so, where is it?" He said and patiently waited for an answer.
Ahhh hah hah hah hah hah ... If only they knew... uncle mike.. kate.. the Branigans, Fannigans, Milligans,
Gilligans, Duffy, McCuffy, Malachy, Mahone
Rafferty, Lafferty, Donnelly, Connelly
Dooley, O'Hooley, Muldowney, Malone
Madigan, Cadigan, Lanihan, Flanihan
Faygan, O'Hagan, O'Hoolihan, Flynn
Shanihan, Manihan, Fogarty, Hogarty
Kelly, O'Kelly, McGuinness, McGuinn....

yeah thats probably all of em..

"Immediate? I'm 64 son. They're all dead."

he shook his head.

"I don't suppose you care to hear about dead people. Dead.. in space... somewhere...

Though everyone else is more or less in dublin family i've barely said two words to for decades, grandkids or nieces and nephews, im mostly irish I got family everywhere I suppose if you wanted to actually run into them you'd have to go to arranmore. but frankly I think you guys would find them before I did."
"Enough." The Hacker didn't care for those details.

"I won't need to find your family, if you remain cooperative. So tell me Jim, how many overt and undercover operatives do the Oracles have in Liberty, a House of 23 billion citizens?"
Honest to god why on earth would these eggheads figure I know that number. .

*he was obviously frustrated shaking his head*

"Mr. Yoshida I barely know how many congressmen are in liberty at a given time then..

"operatives" of the oracles there are ? I know Liberty is a prime focus, I know that they have spread as much free media as they can so it can trickle in this far.. again.. mostly via junkers who have access to both sides of the sector.

But operatives? I've met three ever. whether they are in liberty or in off in some fringe system I haven't a clue. But they don't work through the seekers or the faithful at all. they never ask seekers to do anything but to continue seeking or to find balance in their addiction."
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