From The IMP Affair

I tried to move my hands – they were securely taped to the arms of the chair. No sense even trying to move my feet. My ankles were certainly taped to the chair as well. "Rotten bastards," I muttered She finished reading a paper, closed the file and pushed it over to the side of the desk. Her face was expressionless: Pale eyes with no gleam, cheeks that were dull and droopy, no makeup, a small mouth and thin lips. "It wasn't necessary to hit him," she said.

I ignored her and looked around the room. It was a concrete cell with her desk and chair, my chair and a bare light bulb hung from the ceiling. I thought of old movies with torture cells, except this wasn't a movie set and I wasn't an actor. "Where am I?"

"He was only a courier. A polite messenger, if you will."

"Where am I?" I repeated.

"Why did you use so much force on a trainee?"

"You didn't answer my question."

She leaned forward on her elbows. "And you didn't answer mine."

"Blow it out your ass," I said in a level tone. There's no way to beat them in their game when they hold the cards. At least you can to keep your control and dignity as long as possible.

"Mr Perolli, I am shocked by your language." She didn't look or sound shocked. In fact, everything about her looked as blank as before.

"What the courier could not understand - and I fully agree with him on this point - is how someone as small and as old as you could move so fast."

"Thanks for the compliment. I was well trained."

"It wasn't a compliment. As for being well trained, well that's what your file says; but really, John, trying to exit that shed with a... " She looked at the file again. "Yes, here it is: A large metal wrench. Really? The great Perolli armed to the teeth with a metal wrench. That must have been quite a sight. I heard, although it doesn't appear in the record, that the man who fired the dart had a good laugh when he went over to check what weapons you had armed yourself with."

We stared at each other for a full minute. "Not interested in where we are anymore?" she asked.

"Does it matter?"

"Actually, no."