Voices in my Head: Part Eleven (1) (Five days later, X-COM Infirmary) "Hold still," Alice says, gently tapping an alcohol swap against the gash over Jake's left eye. He flinches, and Alice grasps his shoulder. "I said hold still." "I'm sorry." Jake ignores the stinging as Alice finishes cleaning his wound and places a bandage over it. "Thanks," he says, lightly touching it. "Really, now, is all this hostility nessacary?" Alice shakes her head in disgust. "What is this, the fifth interrogation in as many days?" "Sixth," Jake answers, rolling a sore shoulder. "But I think they're done for now. I'd like to think it was because they finally figured out that I can't say anything if I don't know anything, but more likely, they just want me to stew until the next time." He looks Alice up and down. "How are you holding up?" "Oh, I'm fine." Alice turns away. "I guess since I'm a woman, they're going easy on me." Jake shakes his head. "That black eye you're trying to cover in makeup says otherwise." Alice sighs. "Duncan has had it the worse. Cybernetic body means they think they don't have to hold back. It's all for the safety and security of X-COM, or so they'd claim." "Pft." Jake puts on a grim expression. "Safety and security my ass. This is McCarthyism, plain and simple. With the Commander and Bradford up to their eyeballs in paperwork, repair orders, and accusations from the counsel, that Russo guy has free rein to initiate a witch hunt." Alice glances at Hitomi and Rei, sitting solemnly in the corner, Rei resting her head on Hitomi's lap as Hitomi slowly strokes her hair. "How are they holding up? They look miserable." "They're depressed. They've hardly eaten since then." Jake shudders. "The idea of Russo getting his hands on them..." Alice gives him a look of shock. "You don't think they'd...oh, of course they would." She clenches her fist. "From what I've heard about what they're doing to Sora, I'd believe anything. Jake, you haven't been able to see her, have you?" "Are you kidding?" Jake scoffs. "It's a miracle Haven was able to convince them to keep me on security, at least for the time being. But they won't let me with a hundred feet of the labs, let alone in the alien containment facility." Jumping to his feet, he says, "I have to go. Now that I'm finally out, I need to see what I can do about talking to the Commander. Will you keep an eye on them?" Alice looks at the girls with pity. "No problem. Just don't do anything to get yourself in any more trouble." "I can only promise to try," Jake says, heading out the door. (X-COM Main Laboratory, Alien Containment Facility) Sora sits silently in her small, glass container, staring solemnly at the top of the cell. Two large, arm-like devices extend from the walls on either side of her, the round objects on the end of them humming softly. A man in a lab coat stares into the cell, impatiently tapping his foot. "Don't you see how much easier this all would be if you told us who your collaborators are?" He asks. "It would spare you so much pain." "No pain would be spared, Dr. Krueger," Sora responds without looking at him. "Only transferred. And I would only be passing it off on someone free of guilt. No, this is my pain to suffer, and mine alone." The scientist lets out an angry grunt and hits a switch on the counsel before him. The mechanical arms buzz loudly, and the cell fills with waves of distorted energy. Sora squeezes her eyes shut, clutching her head in pain. The man deactivates the machine after a few seconds. Sora takes a few moments to catch her breath, then resumes staring at the ceiling. "I suggest you start talking." Krueger folds his arms. "The fact that you look human is the only reason I haven't turned up the power, but my patience only goes so far." Sora smiles weakly. "Look human, huh?" She turns to look the doctor in the eye. "Do you have a sister? Or a daughter, perhaps?" Krueger moves his hand towards the switch. "Are you threatening me?" Shaking her head, Sora says, "No. I was just wondering if you'd so readily hit that switch if it was someone you loved who was accused of just 'looking human'." Krueger's angry expression softens, and he pulls his hand away from the counsel. To his left, the door to the main lab opens, and Major Russo walks in. As he approaches, he asks the doctor, "How is today's session going?" Krueger's eyes dart back and forth. "I was, um, just finishing up. I'm afraid we can't push her anymore today." Sora nods at him, and looks back towards the ceiling. Standing inches from the cell, Russo asks, "What are looking at? Are you trying to stare a whole in the cell, or are you trying to communicate with you compatriots. Because neither is going to work." Still smiling, Sora looks at Russo and says, "Oh, I know, Major. There's no escaping on your watch, right?" Russo chuckles. "I know you're just patronizing me, but yeah, that's right. You know, you might as well just open up to us. Your friends have already confessed to us. The young ones in particular didn't take much to crack." Sora's smile broadens. "Do you play poker, Major?" "I do." Russo raises an eyebrow. "Why?" "Just wondering if any of your fellow players ever told you that your nostrils flare when you lie. It's a pretty bad tell." Grunting angrily, Russo slams his fist on the counsel, activating it. Sora writhes in agony. When the Major doesn't deactivate it after a full minute, Krueger darts forward and does so. Sora collapses, and the doctor yells, "You'll kill her!" "It, doctor," Russo says, raising a finger, "and don't forget it, less it trick you into letting it free, and it slaughters you and everyone else in it's wake." He snarls at Sora as she weakly tries to sit back up. "Have her ready to go again in two hours." Russo exits in a huff, and Krueger turns to follow. He looks up at Sora, and whispers, "I' m sorry." Sora nods, and says, "I know," before looking up at the ceiling again. (Two hours later) Krueger takes a deep breath before opening the door to the containment facility. He nearly doubles over at the sight of the carnage before him. All around him are the torn apart remains of over a dozen soldiers and scientists. "What the hell?" He mumbles to himself. "Krueger! Is that you?" At the sound of Major Russo's voice, Krueger rushes towards the containment cell. From within it, Krueger yells, "Get me the HELL out of here!" Krueger runs up to the counsel and rapidly types on it. "Sir, what happened here?" "That damn alien bitch!" Russo pounds his fist against the cell wall. "This is what I was warning you about. She got some young, pretty-eyed ditz working in the labs to sympathize with her, and the moment the cell opened, she went ape shit. I got a tip they were getting too friendly, but by the time I got here, it was too late." He grits his teeth. "She threw me in here, forced me to watch as she slaughtered my men, laughing the whole time. Hurry, we need to act fast!" "I've almost got it," Krueger says as he frantically types. "There are a lot of safety protocols." The cell slowly opens, and Russo ducks out. "Crazy bitch said she was saving me for last. Come on, we need to warn the Commander." Krueger nods and runs to the door, holding it open for the Major and following closely behind. Making sure he's gone, Sora climbs down from the containment cell, stretching her sore, underused arms and legs. She looks at the two passed out guards by her cell and smiles, then walks over to the lone unconscious lab tech near the door. She carefully slips off his lab coat and puts it on over the shabby medical gown she wears. Her eyes dart between the man's over-sized shoes and her own small feet, frowning. With a shrug, she peaks her head out the door, then darts out. As she makes her way through the lab, she grabs a folder off a desk and pretends to read it as she walks. Behind her, she can hear Krueger yelling, "What are you talking about? He was right here." "Slow down." Another scientist says. "Did you say you let the subject out?" "Aren't you listening? She already got out! How did you not notice the blood bath?" "Are you insane? What blood bath? All I see are a few knocked out people and a cell that used to contain a dangerous subject!" "What, no! They...it was...what?" "Someone get him out of here and call the real Major Russo!" "Damn, I don't know why I thought I'd have more time then that," Sora mumbles to herself as she picks up the pace. She peaks out the door to the main hallway and notes the two soldier guarding it. "Time to have a little fun." "Did you say something?" The first guard asks. "Huh?" The second guard shrugs. "I was just saying I wished something would happen around here, if that's what you mean. After that alien attack, guard duty is so boring." "Tell me about it," the first guard says. Suddenly, the door bursts open, and a chryssallid rushes into the hallway. It snarls at the two soldiers before dashing to the left and around a corner. The soldiers exchange a surprised look before taking off after it. Sora exits the lab and heads in the other direction. As she rounds the corner by the staff showers, she jumps back at the sight of three guards outside it. Taking a moment to think, she pulls off the lab coat and tosses into an empty room next to her. Forming an orb of energy in her hand, she fires it at the wall next to her, then presses against the edge of the turn. As the soldiers round the corner, she throws herself forward, landing in the arms of one of them. "Oh, officer, please, help me!" She yells frantically.