Saturday, March 5, 2011

Episode #3 – The Hunt, Part 1

Normandy SR-2, Starboard Cargo

"You're sure she's stable?"

Miranda turned to Shepard, "Yes. Doctor Chakwas said she was in stable enough conditions to be moved. She's being kept under sedation until you're ready to interrogate her."

"This cell you put up here will hold her physically, but what about her Biotics?"

"While she was being operated on, Mordin installed a biotic dampening chip in her."

Shepard turned to her right, where the Professor was standing. "How's something like that work?"

"Dampening chip blocks body's natural ability to manipulate element zero. Similar to removing implant in human biotics. Subject can no longer consciously use biotic abilities. May still use reflexively, but not enough to cause harm or damage."

"Can it be removed?"

The Professor shook his head, "Chip embedded at base of spine. Removal problematic. Uses 'Dead Man's Switch' instead. Deactivates chip. Allows it to break up on its own."

Leanna contemplated the prisoner. Neither Normandy had been built with the idea of taking prisoners. It was always expected that anyone captured would be detained locally until other, more equipped Alliance or Cerberus forces could take them.

Now, it seemed that Shepard was operating alone. She'd left Cerberus, and the Alliance wouldn't dare hold a Spectre prisoner, regardless of what she'd done or who she was working for. It was up to her to get the information they needed. Well, her and…

"Liara's headed your way Commander," Jacob's voice said over the intercom.

The doors hissed behind Leanna and she turned to see Liara striding confidently in.

"Shepard, I…" Liara froze in mid sentence as the doors closed behind her. Her face contorted into a puzzled look. "What are you wearing?"

Leanna looked down. "Oh, this?" She turned looked back up. "I kind of… threw out all my other outfits." She gestured to the trash compactor on the other side of the room, next to the jail cell they'd constructed. "This was all I had left. You don't like it?"

Liara looked at her thoughtfully. "It's just… strange to see. I've never known you to wear a dress. I thought you had always hated them?"

"Well I didn't buy it for myself. Kasumi got it for me so I could infiltrate this crime lord's party. It's grown on me though, I kind of like it."

Liara opened her mouth to reply, but Miranda cleared her throat, cutting in to the bubble the two had placed themselves in.

"I think Shepard's wardrobe can wait. We have a prisoner to interrogate and we're not getting any closer to the Shadow Broker while she's unconscious."

"Goddess, you're right. We cannot be distracted by this."

Shepard turned back to Liara, "Ok, so how do you want to do this? Good cop, bad cop?"

Liara's puzzled expression returned. "Good cop bad…?"

Shepard smirked slightly, "It's a two person interrogation technique. One of us is aggressive and tries to force the truth out while the other is more comforting trying to get the truth through kindness."

Liara pondered for a moment until comprehension spread across her face. "Ah, I think I understand. I believe Asari officers use a similar tactic, though they call it by a different name. Yes, we should do this 'good cop, bad cop'.

"So which do you want to be, the good cop or the bad cop?"

"I hardly think I could be comforting to Vasir after what she's done. I shall be the 'bad cop'."

Vasir's eyes fluttered open as the stimulant traveled through her system. She was strapped to a chair with her hands behind her back. Liara and Shepard were standing on either side of her.

Liara noticed the tell-tale twitch of attempted biotic usage. "It's not going to work Vasir."

"What's not going to work," she sneered.

"Your biotics. They've been disabled."


"It's true Tela," Shepard said gently. "Go ahead and try if you don't believe us."

Vasir shut her eyes. She gritted her teeth. After about a minute, she opened them. Nothing had happened.

"What the Hell did you do to me?"

Liara gave her a cold look. "The Professor is very good with Biology."

"Tela, listen. It's not permanent. Just tell us what we need to know and we'll disable it and let you go."

"Yeah, right. I talk and the Broker will come after me, and that's assuming you don't hand me over to your little Cerberus buddies."

"You do not have many options Vasir."

Shepard placed a hand on her shoulder. "If you help us, I promise I won't hand you in to Cerberus, and if you need protection, I'll be happy to provide it."

Vasir lowered her head in resignation. "What do you need to know?"

Liara placed a datapad in front of Vasir's face. "Based on the data I've collected, I believe that the Shadow Broker is residing in one of these three systems. Each of these systems has a planet that could serve as the Broker's base of operations. I believe that you have information that could lead us to the right one."

"How the hell would I know that? I've never met the Shadow Broker before, much less been to his base."

Shepard folded her arms. "Surely you must've heard something, anything that could give us a clue. Maybe it was something you didn't even think mattered at the time. If you even know what Mass Relay is used to get there, that would help."

Vasir racked her brain. "I… no, there's nothing. I haven't heard anything."

Liara moved in front of Vasir deliberately. "But the man you called for backup, your contact with the Shadow Broker, he's heard something hasn't he?"

"Maybe, but he's not the one in this cell, is he?"

Liara placed her hands on Vasir's shoulders. "True, but my sources report that you bonded with him on at least two separate occasions. You've shared enough of his memories to know what he knows."

"Liara, what are you…?"

"Get the hell away from me you Bitch!"

In one swift movement, Liara raised her hands to the sides of Vasir's head. "Embrace eternity!" Her eyes turned black.

Shepard had little time to be stunned with Liara's behavior. She heard a high-pitched whine that she recognized all too well. "Liara, get down!"

She tackled Liara and brought her to the floor just before the explosion.

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