The ‘Specialist’

A few days ago, my group was separated. We weren’t told why or given any information about what would happen next.

This was a typical tactic designed to make us feel alienated and alone. I actually preferred the alone time. Any time away from Reena and her minions was time well spent.

Like the others, I was eventually escorted into a room with a table and two chairs. I sat at the table, and as I looked around the room, I noticed two cameras pointing towards the table, one in each corner. This was unexpected. This made me uneasy. Again, a typical and resourceful tactic designed to put recruits on edge.

It was working.

I tried to concentrate on something else, anything else, but as I began to focus, the door opened. I was half expecting a droid to enter the room, but it was no droid. The blue skin and red eyes were unmistakable. The Chiss officer looked at me with a blank expression. She closed the door and proceeded to sit in the chair opposite mine. She lifted what looked like a tablet of some sort onto the desk and began to tap and swipe.

The tapping stopped a moment later. The Chiss female looked over my face with uncaring eyes.

“You are recruit number XN2903, correct?”

I slowly moved my hands under the table to hide my nervousness.

“Yes”, I replied

My voice sounded so unfamiliar to me as if it was someone else speaking entirely

“I am the Specialist assigned to your case. Would you like to tell me about your experiences at the academy?”

My hands started to sweat as I clenched my fingers into a fist.

“My … experiences?”

“Yes, XN2903, your experiences as a recruit here at the academy. All recruits must report what they are experiencing during their time here. I have been assigned to discuss these experiences with you for an hour each day until you … well, until you either graduate or”…

“Or what?” I asked

“Or expire…” she replied

The word sent a chill down my spine. She said it with such finality.

I had to get a grip. This was all a test, just another one of many tests designed to push me. I had to focus on why I was here in the first place – to escape the past, to become something better than a slave.

This was not the time to falter.

I swallowed, cleared my throat and looked the interrogator in the eyes

“What sort of experiences are you referring to? I mean, I really enjoyed the mental exercises the other day with Lieutenant Trayvor”

The specialist looked down at her tablet briefly and then looked back at me

“You can stop with the lies now,” she said with an authoritative tone

I stiffened in my seat.

“E…excuse me?”

“We know about your situation with the others in your group, particularly the Twi’lek recruit JW3039? We know you’re not fitting in, so you can stop with the pretence”

“What do you mean by pretence?” I asked

“There are cameras everywhere,” she said, pointing to the ones in the room

“Even if you wanted to lie, the cameras don’t”

I had nothing to say, not a single word to defend myself.

“Recruit XN2903; I’m here for one purpose and one purpose only: to hear about what you’re going through so I can report back to your superiors. So this will all go much smoother if you tell me the truth. That way, I won’t have to waste time going through all the camera footage to find it”

I swallowed again and lifted my hand to my forehead. I was sweating, not a lot but enough to give away what the specialist already knew.

I cleared my throat again and nodded slowly


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