Chapter no 66

Quantum Radio

In Kato’s prison cell, the sound of the lock opening shot through the small space. The tall man with a goatee stepped inside again, this time holding a folder.

“Yeah,” he said, drawing the word out. “That line you shot us before is not playing well upstairs.”

He threw the folder on the metal table. “What I have here is a file on a Sicherheitsdienst Sturmbannführer—” He looked up. “Oof, that’s a mouthful. I guess when they integrated with the Covenant, the SS really wanted to keep their ranks and organization.” He tapped the folder. “Anywho, point is, this SD spook looks suspiciously like you—as in, he is you. As in, we know who you are, and ergo—by the way, I just learned that word, ergo, which means therefore—so therefore, ergo, you have info we want.” He held his hands up. “And we’re not super particular about how we get it. Hard way. Easy way. All fine by us. Not a lot of love lost for the Covenant around here.”

He waited.

Kato said nothing.

“Hey, it’s more paperwork for me if we go the super unpleasant way, but frankly, I hope you choose that. Frankly, I don’t mind the paperwork. It’s a bit cathartic, really, writing it all down, sorting through what happened in a room like this and how I feel about it. Writing can be therapeutic, you know?”

He stared at Kato, eyes like lasers carving him up, unblinking, cold and deadly. “So, what do you want to do, SD spook?”

“I’m not who you think I am.”

“That’s disappointing. I figured you SD operatives would have better lies than that. We get that one all the time.” The interrogator made his voice whiny and pleading. “You’ve got the wrong guy, really, I’m telling ya.

“I don’t have the answers you want. I’m not supposed to be here.”

“Well, on that last point, we agree. But we’re going to start peeling the onion here and find out what you know.”


In the dank cell, Ty listened as the man called again, the same refrain he had repeated several times now: “Hungry? Talk, and we’ll feed you. All you have to do is start talking—and you’ll start eating.”

Ty’s jailer left the hall and returned with a metal tray, which he set on the floor outside Ty’s cell, out of reach. The smell of meat and butter and spices wafted through the small opening in the door.

It was a kind of torture Ty never knew existed: to be hungry and smell food. Still, he didn’t say a word. He knew if he did, it might hurt Nora, Kato, or Maria. Or himself.

But each time they brought the tray and took it away, he felt himself breaking a little more.

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