Chapter 14: Interrogation

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“Where the hell is it?!”

Crack.

The man’s fist plowed across Corra’s face, but she didn’t feel much pain. The sharpness had numbed out into a dull throb about ten minutes ago. She coughed as a trickle of blood dripped from the corner of her mouth down her chin and looked up at her captor from the chair she’d been tied to.

“Fuck you,” she spat coldly.

The next punch didn’t come as a surprise.

In frustration, the man spun away from her and paced angrily back to his colleague. He spoke in hurried whispers she could barely hear through the pounding in her head. “What if the kroppie bitch doesn’t have it? It wasn’t with her stuff at the estate. What if he was wrong? I mean, it’s possible that–”

“Oh, she has it,” said the other, nudging his friend aside and stalking towards her chair himself. This guy was a lot more talented than his companion, Corra had come to learn over the past half hour (had it been longer than that? She was losing track of time). He hovered over her for a moment, looking down with more disdain than even Lars could manage towards his allies, and then slammed his hands down on the arms of the chair, his face inches from hers.

“And she’s gonna fuckin’ tell us where it is or she ain’t gonna see another sunrise,” he growled, his spit flecking her face.

Unfortunately for Corra, she didn’t know where it was. She didn’t even know what it was. She had assumed, when she’d woken up in this dark room with two people who obviously meant ill-will, that it was because someone had discovered her identity, that someone had tracked her, that someone whose allies she’d freed wanted payback. But it hadn’t taken long for her to realize that these men had little interest in allies or the Conduit. They were here for something else. Now she just had to figure out what.

But first, she had to get this asshole out of her face.

With a growl, she screwed up her mouth, gathering the excess blood on her tongue, and spat it straight into his eye.

The man roared in anger and lashed out, slapping her across the face so hard her chair rocked back and forth. Corra managed to steady it just in time to take a fist to the stomach.

As Corra bent double, or as much as her bonds would allow, she wracked her brain to try and figure out what these fuckers were looking for. What did she have? She kept nothing with her during her implant operations, but there was a stash of personal effects stored on her ship. Mostly clothing, emergency rations, a few souvenirs from her travels. Nothing she’d think anyone would want, let alone torture for.

Apparently she was wrong?

Still, until she could get more of a sense of who she was dealing with and what they were about, she couldn’t risk giving them anything. Not for her sake, not for the Conduit’s sake and certainly not for the sake of whatever she may or may not have had in her possession. So instead she stayed quiet and waited for one of them to give her something. And hoped they did it before she lost too much blood to notice…

“Alright, kroppie,” the first man was saying again, presumably thinking the word would affect her. These days, it didn’t. “Enough games.”He brandished a knife from the sheath at his hip and started to run his finger along it teasingly. “You’re gonna tell me where the Transmission is or you’re gonna start having crops in more than just your ear.”

Transmission? Now, Corra could safely say she was completely lost. What transmission? And what kind of transmission was something that could be hidden in a physical place?

When she didn’t answer, the man spun the knife around in his hand and then gripped it firmly, the blade pointed straight at her as he approached. “Where should we start? A finger? Nose? Maybe just–” he reached out and dragged the tip of the blade gently across her face, brushing her skin, “–pluck out an eye.”

She was running out of time. But she needed answers. Whatever this ‘Transmission’ was, if she did indeed have it on her, she needed to know. So she took a calculated risk and asked, “I gotta know, who wants it back so bad?”

It was an assumption that she had stolen it from someone, but it was a reasonable one. Corra had little qualms thieving from the various assholes she met along her path. Fortunately, she seemed to be right.

“Little too late for someone to want it back since you killed the man you took it from,” was the response she got. Someone she’d–Internally, Corra ran through the list of men that fit that description. She didn’t often find a need to outright murder. There had been a couple ally owners that had gotten in the way and she hadn’t had a choice. A few external shits who’d tried to stop her. That guy on Ellegy she had to deal with…

“Don’t mean there ain’t others that’re wanting to get their hands on it. For the right price,” the man went on, grinning down at her and running the knife from her eye to her chin, a little harder this time, breaking a stretch of skin on her cheek.

And there was nothing she’d stolen from any of them. Nothing she couldn’t identify anyway. No, there had to be something else. Someone else…

“And you’re gonna tell me where it is,” he concluded, jabbing her a little sharply in the chest and that was when it hit her. The knife. Someone she’d killed, someone she’d stabbed.

“Callahan,” she was unable to hold back from saying in shock.

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