If you want to read the rest of the series, here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, and Part 16.
Pepper sat on the cement platform substituting for a bed with her back against the wall. She kept her hands clasped lightly around her knees, ankles crossed, head tilted slightly up and rolled, just a little, towards the door.
It was a good position for the circumstances. The circumstances were that Alex, Doug, and three men she didn't recognise had just broken about every regulation the "company" had for interrogating and searching a prisoner. Pepper wanted to look casual and relaxed for the security cameras she wasn't supposed to know were in the ceiling corners of the room. Since in reality she was in a certain amount of pain, a true relaxed posture wasn't going to work.
Okay, she reflected, they hadn't actually used torture. They'd just been inconsiderate jerks about the cavity search. She rolled her head slightly away from the door. Deliberately inconsiderate jerks.
And Doug, bloody Doug with his questions.
"Where's the microSD card, Ellie?"
"What microSD card?"
"The one you said you had!"
"I said no such thing."
"You said you'd hidden it at Queen's Quay."
"You had a gun pointing at my face and I wanted to get away. I moved the interaction to somewhere I had the advantage."
Doug, breaking all the rules by showing how angry he was, while Alex just looked on with his usual hangdog expression. The interrogation had gone on forever, and she was pretty sure she'd never confirmed she knew about the memory card. It certainly wasn't on her. They'd torn apart her phone, her clothes, and nearly torn apart her looking for it, but what they didn't know is that Geoffrey had walked out the door with it just about when they were taking her to room 8C.
Pepper had always liked 8C for work, not that she'd used it much. Usually she would just hand off and then leave. It was at the end of the corridor, a little bigger than the other cells, and far more difficult to get out of. Even if the prisoner did manager to overpower any visitors, they were caught on camera doing so and it was easy to block off the end of the corridor.
She rubbed one hand over her knee. On the cameras it would just look like she had an itch, but she wanted to check the material used in the clothing they'd given her. It was some synthetic stuff with no discernible weave or knit. Flimsy. She'd have to give it a good twist before trying to strangle someone with it, and that would waste time she didn't have.
Someone was walking down the corridor. Pepper forced herself not to tense, but listened carefully, body posture slack. The footsteps stopped some distance away, and she heard a door click open. Probably 8B. The sounds faded.
If she had gleaned the situation correctly from the questioning, Alex and company were holding her because Doug, or someone working with Doug, had convinced them that she had stolen the data and put it on the microSD card. That she didn't possess a microSD card should have knocked a large hole in that theory, but she was still locked up, so they hadn't let go of the idea yet.
Either that or they were trying to figure out what else they could pin her with.
Pepper shifted position. Cinnamon and Geoffrey needed to come through before Doug got any more frustrated.
To be continued...