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  Ambassador David Bonali, et al., SD
 
Interrogation. A JL with Cpt Taylor, Maj Patterson, LtJg Spearhorse, and Nurse Drew (played by Dr. T)
 
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Captain Zak Taylor sat at his desk in his Ready Room, reviewing the data file on this David Barnum fellow, or David Bonali, or whoever the hell he was.  As soon as he'd been brought to the Security Offices, he'd been scanned and his file sent to the Captain's desk. And, he was supposed to be dead. Zak was pretty sure he wasn't.


Exasperated, Zak kicked back in his chair and threw his arms over his head.  “So, who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” Patterson had already told the Captain that he saw Bonali shoot Higgins and Price with his own eyes, and Spearhorse confirmed the story.  Price probably would too, as soon as the medical staff cleared him to make a full report (the man had just suffered a head injury, his testimony might not be fully reliable just yet).


“So,” Zak said out loud to himself (an old habit he had when he was alone - talking to himself), “I guess I have to give this Federation citizen his …€Â˜due process' and the basic right of …€Â˜innocent until proven guilty' and all that.  I have to hold a tribunal or something and stand in the place of Federation Justice out here on the frontier, I guess. Such is the fun of being promoted to Captain.”


He stood up, grabbed the jacket he'd tossed over the back of a convenient chair, shook it out, then a smirk creeped on his face.  “Of course, the man is listed as deceased - hard to give rights to a dead man, isn't it? Does he still deserve due process and a hearing and all that?  Hell, there's probably stacks of PADD-work that would need to be done just to have him declared alive before I can do a hearing.”


He slipped his arms into the sleeves of the jacket and zipped it, tugging it down to be as neat as he could then running his fingers through his silvering hair.  “Crap,” he swore, “I can't just let Patterson shoot the man and be done with it. Integrity and all that BS. Ah, well.”


He strode out of his Ready Room onto the Bridge, glancing at Xiva.  “Xiva, I'm headed to talk to our prisoner, you have the Bridge.” He stepped into the turbolift and barely heard the quick “Understood,” before the doors swished shut and he was off.


***

Spearhorse was in the brig writing yet another report of the incident.  He was watching the prisoner too, but most of that duty fell to PFC Homer Kyle.


Kyle approached the cell.  “Well, it's about chow time.  Are you hungry?”


“No,” David answered flatly.  “I would like my effects back - and those cigarettes I requested.”  The assassin knew that his Felaran cloves would be difficult to obtain on short notice, but any dried leaf rolled in paper would do.  The rich and earthy taste of the Cuban cigarillos that he'd received from Captain Montoya all those years ago came to mind and he hummed quietly at the thought.  He had relaxed back onto the cot that was attached to the wall. His hands were interlaced behind his head to give him a bit of extra pillow on top of the thin one provided in the cell.  Cool green irises shifted as he turned his head to study Private Kyle. After several silent moments, the Corolian tilted his chin and then returned his gaze to the ceiling.


Homer shook his head.  “That may be a tall order, but who knows this might be your last request before my captain tosses you out da air lock.  I'll see what I can do.”

 

A smirk pulled at the corners of David's mouth and he chuckled quietly.  “Thanks, Private.” The threat of being ejected into the cold compress of space did not frighten him in the slightest.  Sure, he wouldn't survive, but it wasn't likely to happen to begin with. “If you can't do that, bring me your Captain. I'll speak with him.”  David lifted his head slightly to pull one of his hands away and he made a shooing motion toward the Private.


That gave Spearhorse an idea.  He stepped out of the room and called the Captain.  “Sir, what if we make this joker think we have poisoned him?  He is dead, thus he is not technically covered by the Geneva Convention and such.  All we have to do is give him some food that will make him think he is dying. The doctor should be able to prescribe the right dose of a certain drug in his smokes.  We can have an …€Â˜antidote' handy for him if he chooses to confess. My recommendation for this aspect would be sodium pentothal, …€Â˜truth serum,' sir, and of course something to relieve the ill effects of the other drug.”


Dean wondered if the captain would do it.  He had not been with the crew long and was somewhat unsure how he would react.


Captain Taylor was still in the turbolift when Spearhorse's call came through.  He pondered a moment before answering, then tapped his commbadge. “Mr. Spearhorse, I think perhaps your transmission was garbled, but, should our …€Â˜guest' accidentally ingest some poorly prepared food, or tainted tobacco, and grow sorely ill, and should such illness cause him to babble nearly incomprehensibly, and should such babbling uncover crucial details in our current situation, then, we could, of course, act on such bits of information we may discern.  Provided of course, our man has received his proper Miranda Rights, you know the ones, about his Right to Remain Silent and how anything he says might be used against him, and so on.” He smiled to himself as the turbolift doors slid open on Deck 6, where the Brig was located. Again he muttered to himself, “I think I'm going to like working with this Spearhorse fellow.”


Spearhorse closed his comm with the captain and commed sickbay to ask about Price's recovery and  consult with Dr. T. or Dr. Shadow on how they could properly get the right effect out of the planned …€Â˜poisoning.'


Only moments thereafter Patterson made his way into the Brig, having changed back into his regulation attire: typical color-scheme to match Starfleet Special Operations, however.  The rifle he carried had been slung across his back, as it was also personal property at this point, and not standard-issue. In that regard, most of the items he had in his possession, or had access to, weren't standard-issue in the slightest.  Travis gave a nod to Spearhorse as he entered, though it was more in recognition of his job.


“I presume the Captain is on his way already?”, Patterson said as his hands shifted around to rest casually in front of him as he stared down the …€Â˜dead' man.  In truth, Patterson had already called upon every available connection he had, personally, to get as much information as possible; he wasn't made the Reconn Intercept Officer for nothing.  “Have our guest's belongings locked away as evidence until someone can identify his …€Â˜remains' for us. Dead men have no need for personal belongings, do they David?”


David's brows furrowed and he pushed to sit up, his legs draped over the edge of the bed in preparation to stand.  He sighed heavily and pushed to his feet. “I'll speak to your captain in a secured room.” The Corolian approached the field and slid his hands into his pockets.  His stance was casual but his facial expression spoke of waning patience.


Zak had entered the brig area just in time to hear David's last statement.  With only a slight glance around him he said, “Well, I think the Brig is just about the most secure room on this ship!  What did you want to say to me, Mr. Barnum?”


David's features hardened and he shifted his ice green gaze to stare at the captain.  “Bonali,” he corrected with a flat voice. He'd thought that this had already all been sorted out.  The Corolian waited for several moments before shaking his head. “I'm not saying anything until it's just you and me, Captain.”  He glanced expectantly toward Patterson and Kyle.


+++


Earlier, in Darmok's sickbay, Nurse Grace Drew found herself in charge during a major emergency.  Both the CMO and AMO were out -- they had gone to the holodeck with Commander Relok making an attempt to contact the inhabitants of the spheres.  She had tried getting Dr T. back when she learned there were incoming casualties, but Dr. T. told her to handle the situation.


The situation was a bloody mess.  One of the away team was beyond handling or helping and a second was bleeding profusely from his head.  Grace ordered him to be placed on a biobed and only quickly looked back at Lt. Spearhorse. He was also covered in blood but was standing on his own.  Most if not all of the red smears on him appeared to be from keeping her current patient alive. She wanted to check him over anyway but Sgt. Price was her priority.  


The bio bed beeped an alarm as it picked up the sergeant's vital signs.  His blood pressure was low, his heart rate elevated, and his breathing was shallow and rapid.  Price's skin was pale, sweaty, and cool to the touch. Grace signaled the biobed to adjust it's position to help him compensate for hypovolemic shock. Nurse Martin had already attached Price to the intravenous fluid system and Grace adjusted the contents to a Ringer's lactate solution.  She motioned to one of the med-techs to disinfect and wash off the side of Price's head and Grace applied a quick-stop device right on the injury.


She heaved a huge sigh of relief when she saw the wounds.  Near his temple there was a long angry slash where he had been shot with some sort of projectile.  The heat of the weapon had seared most of the injury and it was not the source of his hemorrhage. The flow of blood stemmed from two other wounds -- a jagged opening across his forehead and another on his cheek.  Grace and the sickbay team swiftly took steps to stem the flow, only to be interrupted by sickbay's main comm. Automatically a line opened and a voice Grace knew spoke.


“Dean?” she asked glancing around sickbay  She hadn't even noticed he had left, but apparently he had.  “Kinda busy here.” She told him without missing a beat.


As Price started to stabilize a bit, the biobed's warning sounds quieted too.  His injuries had bled a lot but weren't life-threatening. They still had a good bit more to do for Mr. Price, but at least he wasn't getting cold on the next biobed over.


Dean answered.  “I'm sorry, I was looking for Dr. T.  We had a question about an interrogation technique we were preparing to use.  We can't harm the subject, even though he killed Higgins, so we needed some advice.”


Nurse Drew's eyes widened.  “Dean Spearhorse, you called sickbay to ask the doctor about torturing someone?  Geeze louise, if she got wind of that, she'd give you hell. But you got me. Lucky you.”  She glanced at Higgin's body.


“Here is the quickest way I can think of,” she said. “Make him sick like the dog he his and then you can introduce pretty much anything in a hypo designed to settle his stomach.  I suggest old-fashioned Ipecac syrup disguised in something flavorful to eat. He'll be tossing his cookies from here to next week and will beg for something to stop the vomiting.”


“We were just thinking of giving him some minor gastric distress,” Spearhorse answered, “But I like your thinking.”


Grace grinned evilly.  “My brother wouldn't agree with you.  Anyway, if you want to enhance the effect or give him another issue, just add something to the antiemetic hypospray in the standard medikits.”


“I'll pass on your recommendations to the Captain.”


+++


Captain Taylor eyed the prisoner a moment, sizing him up, and evaluating whether he was a threat.  Zak was sure he was. And yet- “Fine,” he said. “Patterson, Kyle, wait out here. You can watch through the force field, but I want his cell made totally sound-proof.”


The Captain expected the questioning looks, but his own expression was stern.  He nodded at PFC Kyle to lower the field and calmly stepped into the cell. The field sprang up behind him and the Captain crossed his arms on his chest.  “Well?”


David had stepped to the side and his hands remained in his pockets as he watched the captain enter the cell.  His gaze dipped briefly to the man's arms crossed over his chest and a disapproving frown found his features. Ice green hues lifted back to meet Taylor's and the Corolian shook his head slightly.  “David Barnum is dead. I'm not going to get into the whole story, but I'm known to Starfleet. I'm an informant. No one said there were Starfleet operations in the area.” His brows furrowed with a subtle glare toward the captain.  “The Hell were you thinking trying to infiltrate an Orion outpost?” He swept his arm aside and he pointed toward Patterson. “You're lucky I wanted to save his smug ass for the last kill.”


The Captain flicked a glance at Patterson then looked back to David, “Huh, from what I've read most people want to kill him first!  So, you're an informant, working inside the Syndicate, for- Starfleet? How the hell is it that YOU are NOT dead, uh- Mr. Bonali? As for whether you'd heard about Starfleet operations in the area, we are on the frontier here and Starfleet is generous with the commanders of starships to give them reasonable autonomy.  You do know that one of the founding statements of Starfleet includes the phrase …€Â˜To Boldly Go,' right?”


There was a nod to confirm his status as an informant for Starfleet, and his brow raised as he studied the captain.  He decided to ignore the question regarding his degree of undeath. David frowned slightly and shook his head. His accusatory finger shifted to point at Zachary.  “You've just boldly gone and gotten one man killed, another seriously wounded. You now boldly owe me a new shuttle - which I will take one like that lovely vessel in the bay - a new suit, and I will take my personal effects now, along with that damn pack of cigarettes I asked for an hour ago.”


Zak allowed David's slowly ramping venom to peak and then waited several seconds as it started to subside.  “Well then, you do understand that I'll need to verify your claim of working for Starfleet. You can imagine how often an accused prisoner might say …€Â˜But, I'm on your side!'  As for your shuttle, well, that was an unfortunate episode of a slightly overzealous officer who had just watched you kill one of his men. If you have proper connections, you might be able to requisition some kind of replacement in kind - a cargo ship is a far cry from a decommissioned reconnaissance fighter craft.  I will personally buy you a new suit and a pack of smokes once we've cleared up your status. But, I'm afraid even the Brig is a no-smoking zone now - you can ask Patterson about that, he always wants to light that damn cigar of his. You know, that damn thing stinks like burning a- well, it stinks.”


He sighed heavily and shook his head in disappointment.  David rested his hands on his hips as his gaze settled on Patterson and Kyle beyond the forcefield.  “You should probably expect a call from Admiral Blakely or Captain Winford. Blakely would be happy to clear everything up for you.  Winford will want me transferred to a penal colony, no doubt.” The Corolian silently hoped it would be the admiral that reached out.  He and the captain had never gotten along, though Winford was more involved in the investigation of clandestine organizations such as the Orion Syndicate.  His hands slid into his pockets and he turned away from the captain to return to the bench in his cell.


Meanwhile, outside the forcefield, Patterson found himself a chair nearby and sat down, moving his rifle onto his lap as he began to idly tinker with it; ejecting the battery pack, cleaning any scuffs off with the corner of his jacket, examining the barrel for any fouling, the warp injectors, coils, chamber, cylinder- though his eyes never left Mr. Bonali.  He stared with a mixture of anger, cockiness, and even a bit of audacity to his thoughts. In reality, Patterson already knew most of what the Captain would nevertheless be told, via his connections with SFI. He looked over to Spearhorse during his brief communique with the Nurse. “There won't be a need for that, I doubt. There's more in play here than we bargained for.”  Drawing one of his cigars from his vest, he placed it to his lips, but never withdrew a lighter to ignite it, merely idly chewing on the tip of the tobacco and natural leaf as he checked his weapon. A gentle, confident sigh left his lips when he finished reassembly, and finally he stood and went over to the forcefield, withdrawing a second cigar, which he held up to the barrier before pointing it to David.  He knew the man hadn't had the satisfaction since he was captured.


Captain Zak watched David return to the bench that served as a bed, then turned to see Patterson offering the man a cigar.  He signaled for the Major to lower the force field and stepped out of the cell and heard the force field re-energize behind him.  “Major,” he said, “give me fifteen minutes, then join me in my Ready Room. I have a few calls I need to make and then- we need to talk.”


He stepped over to Spearhorse.  “Lieutenant, keep our prisoner secure for now.  And, Lieutenant,” he placed a hand on Dean's shoulder, “you're in charge in here, not Patterson.  Don't let him push you around, and don't let him at Mr. Bonali. Oh, and, I'd rather our prisoner not suffer any accidents while in your Brig.”


He strolled out the door and down the hall to the turbolift.  As he stepped through the door he slumped against the rear wall.  “Admiral Blakely. I thought maybe I'd be away from the admiralty after Johannsen turned over command.  I guess that was a stupid idea.”


   
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