Inquiries--Written by AOM Glenn, Eleanor, AOM Alex

in Shoppers' Boulevard

"She's right you know." The Deputy Prosecutor commented from inside the monitoring room. "Not to mention, how the OIP might look at this. See here, I am not very confident in this machine. She seems to more in control of the thing attached to it, than you are at the controls. I would prefer that we resort to more common methods of interrogation and we have already wasted two days of the pychological review order that only gave one hundred days now we are ninety eight. At this point I am inclined to plead her out to manslaughter with a sentence to psychlogical rehabilitation. This..." He pointed to the machine. "...Is going nowhere fast." 

"You seemed considerably more confident in the machine with the seventeen convictions that it helped you get. Crap, Garrick, we've only had the machine for nine months now and this is the first subject out of the ordinary, can't you give us some time? You get this case solved and you have it made and I am guessing the Mayor would have a place for you in his administration. So are you really ready to pull the plug on this one?" 

"OK you make a point there. Look, let's give this "subject" a rest for a week, use it for the next four cases. In the mean time, maybe it's time to admit you need some outside help here. You have fourteen weeks and then I am going to get this case out of my hair one way or the other. You may be able to go back to waiting tables Missie, but I couldn't. Fourteen weeks is all I can give you." 
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Prologue: Child has been detained for the murder of Dr David Devon President of Devon Bio Chemicals (Dr.K) see 'A ticket to ???'

[Open to anyone but it is taking place in high security Terran space,]

Over the years police interrogation had gone from raw one to one contact, to more of a psychological battle between detainee and artificial intelligence. The subject was inserted into a world that would shift it's parameters to ease information out of the subject slowly, on paper it was perfect, in practice it wasn't so flawless. Child had been plugged into one of these for the fourth time she had seen through it the average three times and now, as she lay in a metal coccoon detectives and psychiatrists toyed with her mind. 

A sweet smell of gourmet food hit Child's nostrils gently, the covers rustled as she turned and smiled in her semi-conscious state. The curtains slid themselves open silently and sunlight slowly filled the room. As the sleeping beauty rose from her slumber a delightful smile spread accross her face. Slowly rising from the bed she rubbed the sleep away from her eyes. Child was perched on a 4 poster bed with red ribbon and gold trimmings, beside the bed was an antique dresser the magnificent weavings of oak bewitched the eyes. Taking in the sight fit for royalty Child wanted to indulge in as much of it as possible. Then as soon as she moved, her favourite song boomed downstairs and she hastened the pace interested in what was going on. She stopped in front of the mirror, she was already dressed? But she had been in a night dress a second ago. Shrugging off the doubt a wide smile beamed on her face and she hastily made her way down the stairs. Bursting through some double doors at the bottom of the stairs. Child found herself in the middle of an academy dance.

The psychiatrists had simulated this, with an evil smirk Child realized. Over the last few attempts she'd found they could hear her talk.
"I never attended one academy dance, I was...busy"
The illusion dispelled, and Child soon found herself conscious in the real world.

"Why don't you just ask me what happened?"

Shocked the detectives moved in closer, one who looked like a rookie took the lead,
"fine, what happened?" He tried commanding her in a forceful tone,

What...a loser... For once we agree try not to laugh....
"I don't know, I was singing at the bar as usual then went for a nap, after a while I woke up covered in blood with that guy next to me..." 
She didn't tell them the whole truth as she knew it would severely affect her credibility


With a few deeps her eyes instantly went black, this time the illusion was less enjoyable. She found herself laying next to a girl about her age strapped to a rock in the desert. The girl next to her was in a brown raggy skirt with short blonde hair, her eyes looke dweak and lifeless and her voice was scratchy.

"So they put you here too?" She croaked to Child
"....." Child had already realized the illusion but was just playing along now and didn't respond.

"Have they given you the one with the Avran and the bar yet?"

What?! How did she know about that?! Wait, it's just an illusion, but if they know about that then they must know about the testing right? Wait, wasn't the other machine used for interrogation?

"I wonder what the UN would think, if I made it public that you're using an illegal machine on humans?"
 She laughed out loud and again was dragged from her visions.
Terran Civilian Police Authority, Orpheus System, Bordering Neutral Territory HD: 503.09.24

"Another day, another load of missing people," Thomas Larkson thumped the set of datapads down on to his desk. He rubbed his eyes with his fingers to try to clear the sleep away, the coffee was helping but its effects were slow.

"Don't you ever just yearn for the core worlds?" his partner, Jan Baker asked, her own coffee mug almost sewn to her hand.

"And miss out on all this fun? Absolutely not," Larkson said with as much sarcasm as he could muster. "All right, what have we here..." he said, and began to review the top lines of the datapads.

"Vagrant, Drunk, Prostitue, Druggie...neutral space is such an appealing place for the social scum of the universe," Larkson sighed. "You know, why can't these folks just stay in the same place? I swear I would like just one missing persons report regarding someone who..." Larkson stopped, pulling up the last datapad he had just been looking at.

"Wierd," he frowned.

"What?"

"Missing persons report for a murder. It's got arrest paper-work tagged on afterwards, though," Larkson frowned.

"The person was arrested, then went missing?"

"Looks vaguely that way to me...this person just dropped off the radar."

"What do you mean? Folk don't just drop off the radar, especially when they're already in custody."

"This one did. I should look in to this..." Larkson stood and exited the room, heading for the Records Bureau. 
Having been drugged several times for moving and interrogation, Child's immune system had turned to mush, and with heavy symptoms of overdose cropping up, she was sent temporarily for treatment.

Having been wakened by a jar in the motion, Child stirred and rubbed her eyes clear of fatigue. The cold industrial lights of the city flashed by through the windows and the quiet country follk songs on the radio contributed to the silent atmosphere. In the front, sat two men, occasionally mumbling jokes or questions to each other, too "involved" with their thoughts on how to break the silence neither of them had noticed Child's awakening. 

Her head buzzing with migraine and drowsiness she sat up with a hand clamped to her forehead, as she did her body bumped against something and her head flopped onto a third man in the back's shoulder. He brushed her soft hair off his shoulder and lightly righted her so she rested against the opposite door. With shivers running down her spine as he moved her. she wrapped her arms around her bare legs for warmth and curled into an upright ball, while resting her head sideways on her knees.
"Is this a.. an illusion?" she slowly asked obviously exhausted from the vigorous testing mixed with the interrogations.
"No, we had a...miscalculation with dosages and you need scanning for toxins,"
Going to a hospital brought great relief to Child, at least she could get some much needed rest after being awake for going on 68 hours now... 
"What do you mean missing?" Duminuitive, Marissa Cousins shouted, "How did we lose a murder suspect?" Marissa, "Missie" to most, was frantic. First, the top secret equipment entrusted to her department seems to have walked out of the secured building on its own, in spite of a contingent of guards on watch. Now, Ms. Jane Doe, prime murder suspect of Dr. Devon, turns up missing. 

"Technically, we didn't lose her Missie, she was signed out for transport to the Xenon Clinic for a drug scan." 

"Well, signature or not, there is a Nuribis heavy duty cop on his way over to find out why he can't pick her up. Any bright ideas?" 

Well, there is always your sister in the Sol system who works for a foundation or something, maybe she can track it down. I am sure the Institute can come up with the money to find out." 

"Trina? You want me to call her? I am not about to call that...." 

"Missie, you got any better ideas. If you can get them involved, maybe it can take the heat off. I really don't know why you had to let your boy friend get us involved in this whole thing." 

"Garrick, gave us access to some very sensitive stuff, and as I recall Blair, you were very anxious to work on it, too." 

"OK, he did do us a favor, but right now, we need to think about saving our asses. Call your sister!" 

Missie reluctantly, went to the desk and buzzed, "Hattie, I need a line to Sol, scrambled. To Trina Cousins at ShadowTex."
Now in the hospital Child had overgone a few tests and had come out clean, however the doctors were concerned about how tired her body was and advised the officers accompanying her to give her a bed for a day or two, they got authourization and Child was admitted to a ward with a garden. The first day she spent mostly curled up in a ball asleep while her body basked in the relief only waking now and then for a cup of cocoa and a warm meal. 
A classical church bell rang sounding twelve, and Child found herself stretching off the sleep and wondering whether or not to go back to the police or try to run. 
Any luck?" Baker asked as Larkson ambled back in to the office. 

"Some luck...but not a great deal. We all know that this sort of thing isn't uncommon...but I did get a name who I think I'm going to visit," Larkson said, a frown imprinted on his features. 

"Who?" 

"Marssia Cousins." 

"Never heard of her." 

"Neither have I." 
Marissa shook her head, "Just my luck, my do gooder sister is out on a case. So, now what Blair?" 

"Missie, how should I know, you're the one with the doctorate. I guess we need to find someone local." 

"Lawd, Blair, there is an idea, we just need to look for an adverstisement, 'We work for cheap and in total secrecy, call ...." 

"Wait a minute, Missie, why don't we advertise? Hell, this is Nuribis, there has got to be someone that can help us." 

For once, Blair actually had a useful idea. Missie quickly pulled up a chair at her desk and pulled up the advertising broker, she oftened used. She quickly typed: "Need someone to handle something sensitive, Discretion is a must, reply to this Box with credentials, you will be paid well to take care of this." she typed the paycode for the lab and closed the connection down. 

"Blair, maybe you will have earned your salary this month." Missie settled in to wait for a reply or the cop to show up, which ever came first.
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