Questioning the Witness 2

"Where and when are the other agents?" Doc demands. "I want dates, times, places; everything."

"I don't know!" Cho Sing Tsu replies.

Doc becomes solemn. He hasn't had to face this kind of decision since his time in the Wastelands. "Thunderhorse," he says, "take his thumb."

The man in black screams and struggles against his ropes. Thunderhorse laughs as only a viking can. He punches the man in the face and grabs his hand. A blood curdling scream rocks their eardrums. Red bubbles float around their heads, bouncing off the walls and ceiling, sticking to their clothes.

"Times. Dates. Places. Numbers. All of it, or your balls are next." Doc says, calmly.

The man in black is blubbering and crying. "I don't know! They only tell me enough to complete my assignment!"

"Where is your generator? When is your point of entry?" Doc demands.

"Fuck you! I will not betray the Republic!" Cho spits blood at him.

"Thunderhorse," is all Doc has to say.

The struggle only worsens the screams. Doc gives him another chance. "One more time. Where is your generator?" Doc asks firmly. Cho only whimpers. Doc turns to Thunderhorse and nods.

Thunderhorse completes the deed. The back seat becomes a grotesque lava lamp. The man in black goes into shock and passes out. Doc opens the airlock bulkhead behind the backseat and helps Thunderhorse push him in.

Fuck him, thinks Doc as he seals the bulkhead. He deserves no mercy. He signed up for a ruthless government, he gets what they would have given him. Doc lifts the black and yellow safety off the airlock release. An honorable death by airlock at most. He pulls the red lever. An alarm sounds fifteen times at one second intervals. The airlock opens. The body blows out. Farewell young traveler; and good riddance. He closes the airlock again.

"Well, that was unpleasant," Dr. Ritenrong remarks. He flips some switches, increasing the airflow through the filtration system, clearing out the bulk of the blood blobs floating around the cabin. The walls and upholstery seem to be liquid resistant; the blood simply bounces off of them. The crew's clothes, however, are not. Thunderhorse is a mess.

Doc cleans his knife off before putting it away. He digs through the MiBs' backpacks. He pulls out one of the cups from the stackable titanium cooking gear. He brings it to Steve. "Here," he says. "Make a wormhole in this and mark the time."

Steve understands. He breaks away from his computing and does so. Doc puts it back in with the cooking gear, covering up the cup and keeping it safe.

"Any luck with the search?" Doc asks Steve, taking his seat at the copilot's station.

"Nothing. I don't understand it. The long range tracking stations haven't seen the Pu or the Younger Brother Pear anywhere in the solar system. This stupid era doesn't have quantum communications yet, so the best data I can get from the rim is from a year ago. I can't find any part of the MARV-IN in any docking registry, ever. I'm now trying to dig up any data from nearby solar systems, but the best data is from Alpha Centuari and it's four years old. The next best bet is data couriers, but they're so locked down it's ridiculous."

"Data couriers?"

"Yeah. In pre-FTL communications eras like this, every ship on an extrasolar route carries as much data as their hard drives can fit between stars. Then they sell that information for as much as they can get. The locations of other ships, their cargo, and routes is a fucking premium price to pirates, so the government pays even more to get it first. Needless to say, they've got that stuff secured tighter than a dolphin's virgin asshole. It's going to take me a while to even find a database."

"So what do you want to do?"

"I'm not going to get anywhere with this ship's computer. It's good, but not good enough. Even if I can locate a courier database with it, it's just not fast enough to break the encryptions within our lifetime. We've got to get to a proper computing center."

"And where would we find that?"

"It just so happens there's one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin."

1 comment:

Doc said...


"Well, let's hope they still brew beer. I could go for a few. Mark, see if you can find some moist towelettes so I can get some of this blood of. We look like we just butchered a hog."

Head for Milwaukee.

Meta: That was ugly, but it needed to be done.