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Debriefing

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Two Division guards led Alex into a dark room. Alex couldn't see anything but the guards were equipped with night vision goggles. Each guard held Alex's arms as they laid her down on a metal platform. The guards restrained Alex's wrists, upper forearms, upper thighs, ankles and neck on the platform in strong fabric cuffs. Once they were sure she was secured on this platform, they left the room.

The lights in this room were turned on. It took a while for the lights, bright overhead lights, to achieve full power. They slowly revealed a room that looked like Amanda's office in Division. It was clear that Amanda's office was recreated in an undisclosed warehouse on, if not close to, Division property.

Four thick chains were attached to the middle of the platform. The chains started to pull Alex up, placing her in a vertical position. She could see Amanda at a distance, sitting in her usual chair from her smaller office. The platform tilted Alex's body to a horizontal position. The chains, attached to a pulley system, then moved Alex's body slowly towards Amanda, who was controlling the motions of the platform with a lever. Amanda used another lever to lower Alex to her eye level. Alex was forced to watch Amanda drink from a teacup directly in front of her.

"Why am I on this platform, Amanda?"

"I'm trying something new for mission debriefing."

"I'm talking to you while I'm being suspended in mid-air?"

Amanda stroked Alex's cheek with her free hand. "I thought that, by suspending you, you'd be less likely to figure out ways of escaping debriefing. And yet I thought you'd be comfortable if you were reminded of familiar settings."

"The last thing I think about is coming to your office for debriefings."

"None of the other Division agents I debrief daily complain about my office, no matter where it's located." She drank another sip of tea. "Shall we begin?"

"No."

"In your latest mission I heard you were in contact with Nikita. Were you attempting to catch her?"

"Yes," Alex lied.

Amanda drank a sip of tea. She put her cup down on the table beside her chair. "Alex, I know you're lying. You're looking too much into my eyes."

"How is that a sign of lying? Maybe I'm enjoying being suspended on this platform." She smiled.

"Let's try this again. Were you attempting to catch Nikita on your last mission?"

Alex stared into Amanda's eyes with a huge grin on her face. She said nothing.

"Were you attempting to catch Nikita?"

No response. Alex widened her eyes, refusing to blink.

Amanda attempted not to wince. She sighed. "Your debriefing has been cancelled. You're free to go when the guards release you."

She moved the levers. The platform returned to its starting position on the floor. The lights quickly shut off. The Division guards, wearing their night vision goggles, freed Alex from her restraints.

Alex, her arms still being held down, and the guards left the warehouse.

Amanda sipped her tea in the darkness. "Maybe I should try electric shock next."