Memoir: Collateral Damage
Collateral Damage
Summary: Agent Zebulon uses collateral threats to get Ona Rei to speak some truth finally for the ISB
Date: 12/03/2011 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: TBD
Onarei Zebulon 
Cells on the Sovereign
~17 ABY

The stark unfeeling walls of white and metal are warmed today. The heat is turned up, where as yesterday it had been ice cold. Dressed in nothing but her skivvies, Ona curls up against the wall, as far away from the bloodied and decomposed corpse as she can be. Blood still splatters across her and some patches look to have wiped at and smeared. Ona is spread a bit, try get some relief from the incessant heat, her dark hair and composure looking even worse from the day before last. It sticks and clings to her and she reaches up to draw it from her neck and coil it up, leaning her head back against the wall to hold it there. Her emerald eyes flicker towards the body, starting to stink up the room and she has since turned his head away from her so she didn't have to look at those eyes. He had said he would get her out of here and Dreven had come in and shot the poor soldier in the face. He had left her with the body, bits of brain flecked around the area and she had removed what had gotten on her. The smell is something she has gotten used to..its the site that turns her stomach occasionally and she looks away, closing her eyes.

Entering the room, with the automated machinery of a door sliding open and promptly back closed behind him, is an unsmiling man in the off-white uniform distinct to officers of the ISB. Rank squares are four narrow red above four narrow blue: a major. His uniform is crisp and his bearing stiff, despite the surroundings. Voice a precise baritone, he recites, "Ona Rei Delamont. Rank: Lieutenant Commander, Republic Navy." The small datapad is held in his right hand, a thumb idly tracking the blunt edge of the tablet as he looks up to regard the woman. "Do you understand the purpose of this interview?" he queries, evenly.
The well known opening and closing of the door sounds and Ona registers it but does not look up. She's staring at an unmarred piece of durasteel flooring before her. It is only when his polished boots come into her view that she looks upwards. Letting out a long breath, the Commander lifts her chin and meets his gaze in a feverish sort of way. "As many of the others have been before." She manages to reply with a faint clearing of her throat. Interview? She wants to laugh but doesn't seem to have the heart to. The hot temperature in the room is eating at her will to do much of anything except hug the wall.

"The purpose of this interview," the officer goes on, as simply as if she has said 'No, sir, I do not understand'. "..Is to resolve this investigation such that there is no need to turn over the counter-espionage efforts to the Imperial Military. I am aware that you have already been.." a look goes to the corpse. It is a mark of self control that his expression remains the same. "Interrogated. With zeal. To your credit, very little progress has been made through compulsion. I, Lieutenant-commander, am here to attempt reason."

"A reprieve.." She whispers. Ona looks to the dead man, the fresh air mingling in the cell with the stench and reawakening it for her. Her stomach weakens and she looks even more pale. Wiping at the sweat on her brow, she closes her eyes. Little progress? If only the knew how close she was and she shakes faintly before barely beating off that edge of insanity that wants to eat at the back of her mind, claw its way into her reflexes and steal all understanding. "Okay…I can take reason. But I can take it better with a normal temperature and some clothes…" She doesn't mention food, not with that raw body so close.

"Results must precede rewards, Lieutenant-Commander," the lean man in his clean white uniform voices. "If you begin to provide verifiable information, concessions will be made." A curious frown tugs at his stern face. "Your own life is the least of those at stake, presently, Lieutenant-Commander. I feel compelled to inform you that- should the ISB not deliver sufficient or accurate intelligence in regards to the espionage activity in connection to which you were taken, standard Military protocol is to 'contain the information leak'. I will give greater detail if you require it, but sufficed to say, your stubbornness has placed several thousand uninvolved lives in jeopardy. So," he regards the datapad again. "To the best of your knowledge, what is the nature of the covert operations in the Arkanis Sector, and on Tatooine in particular?"

"Of course…" She trails off, not having heard his name at all either. Ona does not press for it though and listens, her ashen face falling some without her want of it to. Wetting her dry lips, she swallows past a dry throat that seems to seize up on itself. Shifting to sit up a bit more, her legs folding before her and her hands settling to her knees. "Who exactly am I risking?" She asks him. NOw her emerald gaze sharpens past the haze they had been in the past twelve hours or so. She studies his face and uniform, remembering well the prison on Lok.

Zebulon draws and exhales a slow breath through his nose, managing not to let his expression twitch at the smell. "As it is very difficult to maintain information security on such a world, at present Mos Eisley is considered an immediate zone of containment, with some surveilance recordings indicating Anchorhead. If you are fortunate, the Military high command will act with mercy, and decide that the rest of the planet need not be contained, but-" a look aside to the corpse. "I think you have learned already not to count upon Imperial mercy. And of course, we must expect that your contacts have already fled the world, so the reprisals against Mos Eisley and Anchorhead would land upon entirely uninvolved- if not innocent- persons. So, Lieutenant-commander. I would like you to begin by detailing your standing orders in the Arkanis sector."

"You are right, my associate is probably gone.." Ona admits and then draws a long breath at his mention of the natives and travellers on Mos Eisley, she can not help but smirk a little, "Hope you got it locked down tight or your leak is more far reaching than just there." SHe swallows, dry still and shifts, her shoulders sore and a few strands of hair slide free of her pillow she has made with them at the back of her head. She dodges the questions about Arkanis for a moment. "You will have quite the words raised against you if you go for the innocents. It would be a bad move for you and the Empire to make."
"Do not preach politics to me, Lieutenant-commander, not only is it not my choice, but I do not care," the officer returns bluntly. "The Military's ham-handed methods to quell dissent WILL be employed, and they WILL be bloody, if the ISB is unable to deliver the needed intelligence." A degree of greater sharpness enters his tone and regard as the Major goes on. "Raised words do not matter to the Imperial Military. The Admirals want answers. If I can not give them answers, then this matter passes beyond the bounds of my authority, and into the hands of the Fleet." A pointed look. "Casualties in an orbital bombardment are estimated at twenty-five percent, Lieutenant-Commander. The population of Mos eisley- not counting Imperial agents who will be evacuated ahead of time, was forty-thousand at the last census. You may be correct in saying it is an unwise move, but I ask you: are you willing to sacrifice so many innocent lives to protect your agents who have already fled?" A derisive snort. "It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the bull-headedness of Fleet command. The ISB wants to remove select enemies with as little collateral damage as possible. The Military will reduce the place to glass and call it a great victory. We are not your friends, Lieutenant-commander, we are simply the lesser of your two evils. For there is no virtuous choice left for you to make. You may either divulge verifiable information, or you may be tortured to death, secure in the knowledge that thousands of innocents will follow you, when it was within your power to prevent."

Emerald eyes darken as she speaks and pressing her shoulders to the wall, Ona uses her hands to push herself up it, reaching back and splaying her fingers to support the slow process. The Republic Officer levels that slightly unsettled gaze on him and swallows. "I am sure you will do much more that reduce it to glass." She wants to hiss, wants to jump and tear that datapad out of his hand. This sithspawn ship needed to be burned from the sky and all these thoughts echo in that glittering gaze of her's. "Your superiors can only give that order because they don't push the button. Dissociation produces cruel and clever minds that never see past their spotless reports and results." Information from her. SHe had little of it. The near human grits her teeth and a slow fist forms at her side before she starts to talk. "Arkanis…sector that enfolds the planet Arkania. The goal is simple, secure a stronghold there and push out Imperial presence. Its not that hard to see the dissention within the planet towards the Empire…we are just feeding it." But where and how she doesn't know, just knows that the attack will come from within. "You want more, you better capture an NRI agent, because that I am not."

Any answer he would have given to her initial words and furious stare are filed away unspoken as Ona starts to answer his questions. A simple nod, nothing input into the datapad. "The NRI agent with whom you had made contact. Their name or codename, race, rank if applicable, and distinguishing physical features." Much of that could have been gleaned from study of the surveilance, but he asks anyway.

"I was paired with a woman, that is all I know. NRI keeps tight files on their agents, I was meant to go as a pilot only - a guide since I had been on surface before." Ona continues, "They wear disguises, even around us. So what you want is not exactly what I will give you." She is serious. "Makes moments like these push the topic home of keeping things…tight." She sways a little on her feet, longing for water and forcing herself to look at the body and breathe in. That is enough for her to keep her senses.

"What is your prior experience with the area of Tatooine, Lieutenant-commander?" the Major prompts, not wasting time or breath discussing the necessity of NRI security practices. "Tell me what accent she spoke with. In your estimation, was she human, or non-human. What type of vessel were you to pilot?"

"We came here about a month ago, we liberated some prisoners from your prison. That was when I noted the TIE fighter that was on the ground - different from the rest. So we came back.." Simple, they at least knew all of this. Ona shifts, bracing her hands against the wall. "Core accent…human would be my guess." Truth or not? "Simple shuttle, lift off take off. I was gunned near it, you should have it in your custody."

"What I already have or know is not relevant to how forthcoming you are being, Lieutenant-commander," the Major answers evenly. "Describe the nature of your operation against the Imperial prison, what role your contact had in planning it, and how much outside cooperation was necessary in executing this operation."

"I was directed as head of the operation - ranking officer. But the NRI ran it with the marines. I was the dropship pilot. We were appointed to retrieve a captured Republic soldier and a few civilians. We lifted off with them after taking a hit broadside but a missle. Lucky for us the hull held. We were able to get the layout of your prison, again, not sure how but we got it." Ona says, staring him down. She wanted assurances for what was pouring out of her and she is about to ask but thinks better of it.

"Lieutenant-commander," the Major begins, "For so simple a mission profile as this, I find it hard to accept that your role was nothing more complicated than that of a common pilot. With the layout of the prison already had, what specialized knowledge could you possess that would make risking you in such an operation viable?" Already narrow eyes narrow further as the white uniformed officer regards the brazen prisoner. "Did you have personal attachments to one or more of these prisoners?"

"I knew none of the prisoners.." But he perhaps is right to question it yet she doesn't let on. "When I was younger…you might note in your files. I was caught shuttling rebels from planet to planet and for half a year was held imprisoned before I was released by Rebel forces. My experience with doing operatives and shuttle runs is what is key in this. Since I also had experience in custody, it was a shoe in…you see. Harder to break once you've already been broken."

"You doubtless became familiar with the profiles of this agent and these prisoners. How was the decision made as to which civilians to free, and which to eave in the tender care of an incensed Imperial garrison?" The details of her former record do not occupy the Major's attention.

"Our goal was merely the officer…but the civilians, we cleared who we could. Time was not on our side. It wasn't exactly who could or couldn't be saved, so much as who we were able to collect and fit into the shuttle." She says and for once, this sounds more like truth than anything else. "We would have needed more support to do otherwise. As it was we barely made it off planet."

"Off planet?" the Major echoes Ona's last words with interest. "As an experienced pilot, you no doubt had a backup course programmed into your Navigation Computer. Upon evading the anti-aircraft, what was your destination? Oh, and before you gloss over it further, do take a moment to answer my prior question regarding the profile of this priority prisoner."
"He was the downed Ghost Squadron leader. They had been doing recon when shot down." She breathes, the questions grating at her. Emerald eyes glint narrowly at him. "Of course we had back up…we got far enough out and sent a subspace signal. The NRSD Audacity jumped in to meet us and then back out again. Swift in and out.." She says evenly. Ona does not look happy what so ever. "Captain Tyriete was the squadron leader. Corellian born, bout 5'9", blonde hair, green eyes. Assigned NRSD Audacity."

"And had you previously made the acquaintance of this individual?" the Major prompts. However, her detailing of the pickup procedure pauses his prior line of questioning. "Are you telling me that the shuttle had no failsafe course programmed into its Hyperdrive, in the event that the NRSD Audacity did not arrive before planetary pursuit caught up to you?" A frown touches the officer's brown eyes. "Your record would indicate much more competance than that, Lieutenant-commander. What was your secondary rendesvous point?

"I had not met him previously, I was just told to read the file." She says. Ona then watches him, a brow lifting, "You give me too much credit." But then she wets her lips, drawing a long breath. Watching him, she knows well what he has the power to do. "IF we found trouble, we were supposed to land on Ghomrassen..the primary moon and wait." She says slowly. "You have said that lives were based on the information I gave. I must be made certain that what I am giving is going to see to that. To the preservation of those lives."

Zebulon gives Ona a skeptical look as she claims 'too much credit', nodding as she gets on to describing the supposed failsafe plan. As before, he doesn't input any of this information into his datapad, instead simply nodding at two points, and answering her latter concern. "The only assurance I can give you on this is that mass destruction makes my job just as difficult as it is distasteful to you. I will tell you plainly, Lieutenant-commander, that if we cannot establish more information as to the identity, allies, or past, present and/or future location of this NRI agent, it might not be enough."

Ona's face twitches at his words and she looks about ready to jump from the wall at him. "I don't know the operative." She says firmly. "So even if you had not captured me you would bomb the surface? It might as well have been that you didn't even come today because I am not going to give you anything that you need. Between a rock and a hard place and there is nothing to squeeze out of me." She is shaken, near broken. Korynn runs a tight interrogation process and she had never felt the shock to her system like she had here. Her eyes become a little more feverish and she looks at his stark uniform. Cruelty hidden behind perfection. "You krayt dragon, your poison is a seeping infection that will spread. Damn you. Damn the Empire, may it fall." (speaking in Corellian)

The Major turns, maddeningly non-plussed to regard one of the upper corners of the cell. The heat in the chamber has started a light sheen of sweat on his forehead, as the officer studies the corner for a moment, nodding once, before returning his eye to Ona. "I believe that will do for now, Lieutenant-commander. Thank you for your cooperation," he voices in a methodically even tone that doesn't betray gratitude.

Hastily pushing her damp hair back from her face, Ona can not help but growl at him. She had given too much in her own mind and yet it wasn't enough. "You bomb that planetside you will have more than your own souls to answer to you emotionless pigs.." She starts forward then, or tries. Weak and overrun in the sensory section of her body, her legs give and she collapses, her body shaking as she manages to get a hand beneath her. The jolt of the landing up her arm causes a grunt from her and she slowly starts to push herself to her knees.

"Whatever you may think, Lieutenant-commander," the Major returns, pausing his departure to observe the woman as she collapses, exhausted to the heat radiating deck. "I am simply being.. honest." The choice of his last word is spoken with a touch of irony. "I do not know whether this information will be sufficient. But- in case we are required to conduct a second interview, I didn't want you to feel you had been.. misled." A final tip of his head in parting, as his right thumb taps lightly against the corner of the datapad, before deftly tucking it away and turning for the cell door.

Trying to restore some sense of composure and pride, she offers him attention if only just to make sure he knows she can still comprehend. Sweating still, she is just losing anything that is left of the water in body, which is starting to dry out completely. "Misled or makes no difference here. All will be done with whether I want it to be or not." A second interview is looked forward to and perhaps it will be ice cold in here and she will just die of exposure. She might see that as a blessing. She watches that datapad which he never used and then his back as he leaves, the Republic officer trying to get comfortable and the promise of quiet once more with the body is what causes her to twitch unvoluntarily.