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Old 08-17-2006, 06:33 AM   #10
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Chapter IX

''Supreme Commander?''

''Yes, soldier what is it?'' Kraal asked in an agitated tone. He was just starting to relax a bit when this soldier barged into his office.

''I am sorry to disturb you, sir, but I thought you might like to know that we have a prisoner.'' The soldier reported.

''A prisoner?'' Kraal was confused.

''Yes, sir. And a Jedi, no less.'' The soldier continued.

''A Jedi? What would a Jedi be doing in this part of the Galaxy?'' Kraal wondered.

''We caught her trying to leave Vjun. She was about to enter hyperspace when our tractor beam got her ship.'' The soldier reported.

''Interesting.'' Kraal said.

''You might want to interrogate her, sir, she might know something relevant to your investigation.'' The soldier suggested.

''Yes, indeed. Put her in a holding cell and in one hour put her in the Embrace of Pain and leave her like that for another hour.'' Kraal ordered.

''Understood, Supreme Commander.'' The soldier confirmed.

''That way she will already be half broken when I start my interrogation and will be more than happy to tell us everything she knows.'' Kraal added, ''You may go.''

''Yes, sir.'' The soldier saluted and left to carry out the order.

Even though he didn't seem like the type, Kraal could be vicious and cruel given the opportunity. He despised his enemies with the same intensity with which he respected his soldiers and he showed no mercy to his prisoners. The Embrace of Pain was a prisoner's worst nightmare. It was more mental torture than it was physical. Very few prisoners could withstand the Embrace of Pain for a longer period of time and in the end they all cracked.

Dasha was thrown into a holding cell as was ordered, but not before a few of the soldiers had their fun with her and for them fun mainly meant beating the snot out of her. She was lying on the prison bed, her clothes were soaked with blood and even torn in a few places. She sobbed, very quietly. ''What did I do to deserve this? I'm just a Padawan, all I wanted was to find that ship and return to the Academy. Why did the Vong had to appear now, of all moments?'' She sobbed, ''I have to get out of here, somehow I have to escape.''

An hour has passed and the guards took Dasha to the interrogation room and put her in the Embrace of Pain, then they simply left the room. At first she was confused. She didn't know what to expect next. She knew that she was brought to that room for interrogation, but she had no idea of the horror the Embrace of Pain would bring. Suddenly she felt it, a mild sense of pain in her head. She calmed down as much as she could, cleared her mind and surpressed the pain. She managed to resist the torture device for the first fifteen minutes, but then things started getting worse, the pain started to increase significantly. The two guards standing outside the interrogation room could hear the desperate screams coming from within, but they couldn't care less. They might have even enjoyed them.

One hour later Supreme Commander Kraal entered the room. He adjusted the torture device to produce a smaller amount of pain, just enough so she could talk. Dasha couldn't believe it, the pain was almost entirely gone. She was exausted and could barely catch her breath after that kind of torture.

''What is your name, Jedi?'' Kraal asked.

''D... Dasha... Kar.'' She murmured.

''And what were you doing on Vjun, Dasha Kar?'' Kraal asked with a cruel look in his eyes.

''I was... I was doing... some research for the Academy.'' She murmured again.

''Really? And would that research have something to do with a one year old incident involving a certain traitor to my kind and the officer sent to catch him?''

''What? I... have no idea... what you're talking about.''

''I'm not convinced. I'll ask you one more time: what do you know of a halfbreed traitor named Ralik and a Yuuzhan Vong officer named Xerx?'' Kraal insisted.

''I've... I've never heard of them, I swear.'' Dasha barely spoke.

''I'm still not convinced. It just seems as too much of a coincidence that the Jedi would investigate the same planet that this traitor, Ralik, chose to visit and that their investigation has nothing to do with that event whatsoever.'' Kraal said arrogantly, ''I will ask you one last time tell me what you know!''

''You can... believe what you will... but I don't know anything.''

''I see you have chosen the way of pain. I am going to leave you here for another hour, but this time I will double the amount of pain that you felt before! Perhaps then you will be more willing to cooperate.'' Kraal said and moved towards the door.

Kraal was just about to leave the room when he received a message over the comm: ''Sir, I have performed another scan for the Raktajorr's signature and I have found a trail leading to a place on the edge of the Galaxy, somewhere in the Unknown Regions.'' It was Jashra.

''Well, looks like I won't be needing you anymore after all.'' Kraal opened the door and called the guards, ''Take her to the airlock and kill her. I have learned everything I've wanted from her.''

Kraal left and the two guards released Dasha from the Embrace of Pain and dragged her out of the room. She was barely managing to remain concious. Then it hit her the Yuuzhan Vong ship is going to that place mentioned in the Ebon Hawk's log. If they discover it, who knows what sort of disaster it could cause. ''I can't let that happen. It is my duty to try and stop them.''

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