The Squeeze
The Squeeze
Summary: Shem questions the pilot flying the Raptor in which Astyoche was found. A plot is exposed.
Date: 29 ACH
Related Logs: None
Shem..Lt. Aric Kratos (played by Astyoche)..

Ward Room
The Ward room is used for meetings. Carpeting covers the floor in a muted gray/blue color. Colonial flags line along one wall, representing all the colonies. A sideboard for refreshments is along one wall and a large conference table sits in the center with a dozen, comfortable chairs around it.

Shem sits, alone, in the center chair of a long end of the conference table. The lighting has been dimmed so that the most prominent feature are the circles of light along the table's length shining down from the recessed lamps overhead. A tape recorder and a folder sits in front of him. It's an adversarial setting, no doubt, designed to make the person being questioned uncomfortable. A guard leads in Lieutenant Aric Kratos, uncuffed, and points at the chair opposite Shem.

The Lt. settles into the chair as directed and laces his fingers on the table, "Lieutenant." he says to the other man. He's a little peppered around the temples and he has a sort of scratchy voice, too much smoking, drinking, or both at some point in his life, but he's steady.

The guard shuts the hatch and remains on this side. Shem takes a deep breath and watches the pilot carefully. "Service number."

"Kappa 407 epsilon 118 gamma 43657 alpha 4." the older man replies steadily.

Shem asks, posture still, "What unit were you assigned to?"

"I was assigned to the Picon Colonial Guard in a training position for their pilots." he replies smoothly.

"Interesting," Shem answers. "I knew a few Guardsmen. Where did you get your AIT?"

The man shakes his head, "I didn't." he doesn't remark on the trap, but there's almost a smirk at the attempt.

Shem replies, "My mistake, then." He leans forward into one of the light rings and laces his hands, throwing his face into sharp relief. "What was your mission?"

"Pick up the prisoner, and quietly take her to Picon, alive." the man replies with a fair poker face.

"What was the call-code?" Shem asks. It's an obscure detail, and an obscure term, but something that would have to be remembered by anybody operating under an order.

"Orestes." comes the reply, "The call was Orestes." he replies. Poker face flicker.

Shem sniffs and sits straighter, backing away from the lights. "Who authored the orders?"

Eyes lower, "I'm not cleared to answer that, Lieutenant."

"In case you didn't notice, the classifying authority is dead," Shem replies. He purses his lips a little. "So why don't you try me."

That gets a frown, and a moment of thought, "Hylden Delios. He came at me outside of channels. Gave me a timeline and a place. Same for the other guys."

Shem frowns, letting the name wash in his mind. He wasn't expecting that sort of response. "Last I heard, Lieutenant, civilians weren't authorized to give orders to military units." He tightens his fingers. "What were you paid?"

Kratos closes his eyes, "Twenty large, with another thirty on delivery, assuming she was alive at the time." then reopens them, "Guess it doesn't matter now."

Shem takes a deep breath, recentering himself. He shakes his head and looks off to the side. "You know anything about that verdict against Kyrios?"

"Guilty, unless you mean do I know anything special about the trial? If anything went on there, I don't know. Out of my paygrade." he answers. An offhand shrug, "I know what the reporters were pissin' on about. 'Corruption in the military tribunal', 'poor girl's sister was killed', 'big cover up', etc." he shrugs with a derisive snort, "Guard nuggets would get heated on it during downtime."

Shem returns his eyes to Kratos. "Alright. The JAG will figure out what to do with you." He waves the guard over. "Appreciate the honesty, Lieutenant. You let me know if you need anything."

A nod, and the LT looking a bit less sure of himself than he did coming in says, "Yes, sir."

As the guard approaches to take possession of the pilot, Shem raises a hand, pausing the marine. "I have another question for you."

"Amazing what they can do with forensics," Shem observes. "They can find out who last took a shit from the molecules in the grass outside your house. Those molecules, they're everywhere." He pauses to let that information sink in. "Why don't you tell me what really happened with Sergeant Melchiah and Corporal Reese?"

"They couldn't handle it, Lt." he replies, "Reese ate his gun, and Melchiah checked his hearing." He narrows his eyes, "You think I did them both or something?"

Shem says, casually, "Maybe just one, or somebody else did both. The JAG is real appreciative of people who own up to things before they're found out. And just to let you know, I'll be asking your friends the same thing."

Mrf. The detainee looks vaguely irritated at that, "Reese went first. He was blubbering non-damn stop since the attacks. I had to set Melchiah straight a couple of times, because he wanted to take out the package. Third day out, I was asleep, got woken up to this godsawful bang. I look around, the bitch is staring at the stain on the wall, I step over and realize it's Reese. Well, hell, she's trussed up on the bench on the other side of the ship. There was another couple of nights as things got more desperate, Melchiah went after her three more times. Sometime on the fifth or sixth night, I heard him cock the hammer and was just about out of my seat when the gun went off."

Shem asks, plainly, "And at what point did Sergeant Melchiah meet the console?"

"It was the fourth night, second time he'd gone after her. I grabbed the gun, managed to jam the slide, twisted his arm around and pinned him to the console." He shrugs, "He finally settled down, and I let him go. We took up a watch on him, after that."

Shem thinks about his answer for a moment. He waves the guard back. "Alright, you have a good day."

The man nods and allows the MP to lead him, "Lieutenant." the man says by way of goodbyes.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License