Location: Al-Haseeb, The People's Republic of Cobra Unity
TP: Red Shadows TP
Summary: Dr. Mindbender teaches Interrogator the basic use of the Brainwave Scanner while Artemis and Angel carry out their mission
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "Interrogator. Report to Dr. Mindbender in our Al-Haseeb facility at once."
(Cobra (IC)) Interrogator says, "Yes, Sir!"
Al-Haseeb is Cobra Unity's most sophisticated and largest biological weapons (BW) production factory. The facility is part of a large military complex about 60-70 kilometers southwest of Crown City. It produces large quantities of botulinum toxin and anthrax under the command of Dr. Typhoid. The name derives from the common Arabic name or title Al-Haseeb ("The Bringer of Judgment "), one of the Names of God in the Qur'an. The bioweapons production facility was built under the cover of an animal feed facility, and is prepared to present itself as such if faced with sudden UN inspectors.
Dr. Mindbender is in the Brainwave Scanner room, tinkering with it as usual.
Interrogator enters the facility and is escorted to Dr. Mindbender. He slows his walk when he sees the Brainwave Scanner set up.
Dr. Mindbender has his lab coat on, and looks up at Interrogator imperiously over his small, square glasses.
Interrogator offers a half-hearted salute and says, "Cobra Commander ordered me to report to you, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Ah, yes. I vas told by him that I was to deal vith you. Come over here."
Dr. Mindbender stands, closing the panel on the side of the BWS and getting it ready for use.
Interrogator approaches Dr Mindbender cautiously, asking, "Is this really necessary?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "According to Cobra Commander, it is."
:GAME: Interrogator PASSES a COURAGE roll of High difficulty.
Interrogator starts to take a step back, but catches himself and stays where he is. His escort moves in closer, ready to grab him in case he tries to flee. "Very well." Says Interrogator. "If it is for the good of Cobra."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "It is. Now come here."
:GAME: Interrogator FAILS a COURAGE roll of High difficulty.
Dr. Mindbender frowns deeply. "Did I studder? I do not haf all day."
Interrogator nods in response to the Doctor's statement, but doesn't move. He looks towards the door and lets his gaze linger there for a moment. One of the Crimson Guard escorting him grabs his arm and pulls him towards the machine.
Dr. Mindbender stands near the BWS impatiently, staring at Interrogator.
:GAME: Interrogator PASSES a COURAGE roll of High difficulty.
Dr. Mindbender waits until Interrogator is brought to the machine, and then dismisses the Seigie.
Interrogator starts to tremble slightly, but manages not to try to run. He takes a deep breath and waits.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Good. Vhat is wrong vith you?"
Dr. Mindbender stares at Interrogator intently
Interrogator says, "I do not like this machine. The last time I was in it I screamed so hard I was not able to talk for days."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Yes. Vell, vith luck you vill enjoy yourself a bit more on ze ozher side of ze controls."
Interrogator says, surprised, "On the other side of the controls? I thought I was going to be punished for failing?"
Dr. Mindbender frowns. "Vhat? Don't be a silly-nilly. I've been instructed to train you in zhe use of ze Brainvave Scanner."
Interrogator takes another deep breath and says more steadily, "Yes, Sir. I am ready to learn, then."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Good. Cobra Commander feels you should haf every tool available for use in your interrogations."
Interrogator says, "I would be happy to have another tool to use against Cobra's enemies."
Dr. Mindbender nods. "Excellent. You've already experienced the business end of zhe Scanner, so ve can skip zhat part."
Interrogator nods and says, "I do not wish to repeat that experience, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Gut. Then I would suggest you stop failing, or else I'm sure next time you VILL be on zhe other side."
Interrogator nods nervously and asks, "Where do we begin?"
Dr. Mindbender turns to a Viper Guard. "Bring in zhe prisoner."
Two Viper Guards go into an adjoining room.
Interrogator thinks to himself, "You can do this. Just remember what Dr. Mindbender tells you and try not to think about what the prisoner is feeling. It could easily be you in that machine."
A semi-conscious man in a bloody British Special Boat Service marine commando uniform is half-dragged into the room by the returning Viper Guards.
Interrogator sizes up the prisoner, and asks, "Have traditional interrogation methods failed with this prisoner or are we trying the Brainwave Scanner first?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "The Viper Guards had some fun vith him, but I haf ozher plans for zhis one."
Interrogator says, "Yes, Sir, I await your orders."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Vatch as I place him in zhe scanner."
Dr. Mindbender places the prisoner into what looks like a dentist's chair with a multitude of restraining straps.
Interrogator repositions himself so he can better watch the Doctor as he works.
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, "This is Artemis. In Position. Preparing to take down a Target. Got a preference?"
Dr. Mindbender slowly buckles and tightens each strap.
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "No preferences ma'am. Just make it a good shot."
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "Any chance Hawk has revealed his ugly beak?"
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "He's been bunkered up since I started observing, Sir.”
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, "Negative. Last Intel I had shows only Scarlett has been spotted, but that it is strongly believed Hawk is in the base. I'm scanning for high value targets now...."
(Cobra (IC)) Dr. Mindbender says, "If anyone survives your attack, feel free to bring zhem back to Cobra Unity... I could use more instructional 'volunteers'."
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "Then use your best discretion, Artemis. In this instance you are off the leash."
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, "Thank You, Commander!"
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "I assume the same for me, Sir?"
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "Follow Artemis's lead, Angel."
Interrogator makes note of how the straps fasten and watches Dr. Mindbender carefully.
Dr. Mindbender seems to enjoy his work, taking his time and obviously appreciating the process possibly almost as much as the results.
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, "Do not fire until I do."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "Understood Ma'am"
Dr. Mindbender finally gets the man completely strapped in, and takes a moment to slap his cheeks lightly to rouse him.
Interrogator turns his attention to the prisoner, waiting to see what he will do.
The man opens his right eye (the other being swollen shut), and gazes up at Dr. Mindbender, who seems to drink in the man's fear like an elixir.
Interrogator folds his arms and makes note of the Doctor's reaction to the prisoner's gaze. He waits to observe what happens next.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Vakey-vakey. Eggs und bac-ey."
Interrogator waits for the prisoner's response, hoping the Viper Guards did not have too much 'fun' with the prisoner.
The prisoner shakes his head groggily. Dr. Mindbender leaves him, walking over to a nearby table on which lays an array of medical apparatus
Interrogator follows Dr. Mindbender over to the table, asking, "What are these items for?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Quite a few things, but first I am going to give our guest a stimulant to vake him up for our little exercise."
Interrogator nods and asks, "Is it better for the machine for the prisoners to be awake and alert, or will it function just as well if they are not?"
Dr. Mindbender smiles at the astute question. 'Vell, it depends on the desired effect, and the vill and training of ze victim."
Interrogator asks, "If you want the most information out of the prisoner in the most efficient way possible, is it better for them to be alert or sedated, Sir?"
Dr. Mindbender says, "If zhe prisoner can be manipulated into zhinking about vhat ve're asking him, zhen awake is better, as ve can just scan his surface thoughts. Otherwise, ve have to dig around in his head, vhich is time-consuming. For zhat, sometimes sedated is better."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "And I thought my AWSM left nasty wounds..."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "In zhis case, let's just see vhat we pick up on the surface."
Interrogator says, "Yes, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender brings the actual scanner around, which is currently built into an adjustable dental X-Ray scanner.
Interrogator follows Mindbender, carefully observing what he does.
Dr. Mindbender points to a bank of monitors. "Turn zhose on for me."
GAME: Interrogator FAILS a TECHNICAL roll of Above Average difficulty.
Interrogator tries to turn on the monitors, but hits the wrong button. He studies the panel some more...
GAME: Interrogator PASSES a TECHNICAL roll of Above Average difficulty.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Do you need help?"
Dr. Mindbender sneers impatiently.
...and figures it out. He pushes the button and the monitors come to life.
Dr. Mindbender says, "If ze monitors are so much trouble perhaps you are not yet ready for zhe scanner."
Interrogator says, "No, Sir, I have everything under control."
Dr. Mindbender smirks evilly. "Very vell. OK. Look here."
Interrogator leans over and looks.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Zhis is how you activate zhe Scanner itself. How much training haf you had in neurology?"
Interrogator says, "I received a Doctorate in Psychiatry, so I have had training in neurology."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Excellent. A vorking knowledge of zhe brain vill definitely help."
Interrogator says, "It should only be the technical aspect of the machine that I will have to learn."
Dr. Mindbender nods, pointing out various aspects of the machine, which is surprisingly easy to operate itself -- the difficulty of its use lies in isolating the right part of the brain to scan, and the finesse in which information is extracted... and implanted.
Interrogator mostly listens, occasionally asking well thought out questions.
Dr. Mindbender finishes his technical review, and the moves to the live demonstration.
Interrogator watches the Doctor as he goes about his work, occasionally making audio notes in his helmet.
Dr. Mindbender steps back. "Zhere. Point ze scanner at zhe part of ze brain currently processing consciousness."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "Scarlett spotted. She's my target."
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, "Good Luck...."
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis mutters, "You'll need it..."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "Thanks."
Interrogator runs the scanner over the part of the brain processing consciousness. He says, "It looked more complicated when you used this machine on me."
Dr. Mindbender grins. "Vell, I do like to put on a show."
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "Bring her to me, dead or alive, and your bonus will be... substantial."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "No preference? Understood Sir."
The man in the chair, who at first was watching the Cobra operatives in fear, has now closed his eye and seems to be trying to retreat within himself, although Mindbender's biometrics show he is quite conscious
Interrogator looks to Dr. Mindbender and asks, "What do we do now, or is this normal?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Vhen it is in position, cycle up zhe power -- slowly."
Interrogator positions the Scanner and slowly turns up the power, following the Doctor's instructions from earlier.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Don't increase it too much too fast unless you vhish to burn out zhe information for vhich you are looking."
Interrogator nods once and slows the speed at which he was increasing the power even more. He asks, "Is this slow enough, or should I go slower?"
The screens jump to life, and images start to form...
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Perfect..."
Interrogator keeps part of his attention on the monitors as he slowly continues to increase the power.
The images coalesce on the screen: An older couple who might bear a passing resemblance to the man, although it's hard to tell with his swollen face. A woman who appears a few years younger than the man, hugging and kissing him as if afraid she's never see him again. There is no sound, but the images are clear and intimate.
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "She's dangerous alive. I want no mistakes."
Interrogator slows upping the power even more, afraid to ruin the prisoner before all the information is taken from him.
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "Understood."
The images are suddenly interposed with a snowy landscape, onto which armed Snow Serpents suddenly appears, aiming multiple rifles directly out of the monitors...
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says softly, into her radio, "Course, you kill her, and Snake-Eyes will make it his mission in life to destroy you."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "And then I'll put a bullet in his spine."
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis laughs, "Even *I* am not good enough to kill Snake-Eyes."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "Who said anything about -killing- him?"
Interrogator slows the power increasing to a crawl and focuses more attention on the monitors.
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, between the sounds of her soft mewl of pain, and a gunshot, a very close gunshot, "You likely couldn't.... even hit him."
The Viper Guards appear on the screen, followed by Mindbender's own leering face. The couple and the woman appear briefly again, but are overshadowed by scenes of Viper Guards with electric truncheons.
Interrogator continues to slowly increase the power, wondering how much of his own life Dr. Mindbender saw when he was in the machine.
Multiple images appear, and the Scanner automatically separates them onto different screens. A classroom with other military types, with a buzz-haired instructor holding court. Images of the older couple at various ages, looking loving at first, then angry and disappointed. The woman crying. Blurred pictures of the floor of this very room, with the shiny black boots of Dr. Mindbender just barely, but recognizably, in view.
Interrogator says, "The machine seems to be hurting him less than it hurt me. Is that because we are merely doing a surface scan?"
Dr. Mindbender nods. "Yes. We have but touched his psyche. Vhat do you see?"
Interrogator says, "I see a couple, they might be his parents. They keep reappearing, so they must mean a lot to him. There was a woman a few years younger than him who might be his wife or girlfriend. Finally, there was a room of other military men and a drill sergeant. There was also the floor of this room and your boots."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Yes. I can see zhat, too. I mean, vhat is your interpretation of zheese thoughts?"
Interrogator says, "I think he is very close to his parents and wife or girlfriend. He is also attached to his comrades."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Yes. And vhy vould zheese thoughts be in the forefront of his mind at zhis time?"
Interrogator says, "I believe they are in the front of his mind because he believes he will never see them again, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender nods. "Veddy interestink."
Interrogator asks quietly, "How much of my life did you see while I was in the machine, Sir?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Ah, qvite a bit, Mein freund. Qvite a bit."
Interrogator asks, "What are we going to do with the prisoner now, Sir?"
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "She got the best of me. I'm withdrawing for now!"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Vell, I've actually already extracted vhat I need from him, vhich admittedly vasn't much."
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "Tsk tsk. Another time."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Instead, I haf another use for him."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel grumbles. "At least I have a souvenir..."
Interrogator asks, "What would that use be?"
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis murmurs, "Leaving me to take on the base with only some Range-Vipers. Remind me to pay Angel a visit later."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Vell, how much do you know about how zhe Scanner works for implantation?"
Interrogator says, "Not much. I was not really paying attention to what you were doing, I was in too much pain."
(Cobra (IC)) Head Snake Cobra Commander says, "You don't need to take the base, Artimus. Just leave your calling card -- the NEW calling card, not your usual -- and retreat. We'll deal with Hawk another time."
(Cobra (IC)) Angel says, "Hey, I didn't -ask- do dance with Madam Rouge!"
Dr. Mindbender smiles gleefully. "Vell, yes, zhere IS zhat."
(Cobra (IC)) Artemis says, "Yes Sir...."
Dr. Mindbender says, "Vell, unfortunately as poverful as the Scanner is, it is difficult to truly change a subject's personality."
Interrogator says, "It is? So the machine does have its limits?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Yes, alas. It can implant false memories, stimulate zhe subject's aggressive impulses, push zhem to do zhings zhey vould never do under normal circumstances... but, eventually zhe mind heals itself, and elements of zhe subject's true personality emerge."
Interrogator says, "So everyone who has been in the Brainwave Scanner is doomed to eventually have to be put in it again?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Vell, zhat depends. Zome people are naturally evil, and zhey tend to stay zhe vay ve put zhem."
Interrogator says, "So if we implant a false personality, the real personality will come back in time? Interesting."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Ja. Ve haf much more success viz more subtle manipulations, but in zhis case, as practice und for a specific mission, ve vill construct an entire new personality. Ze subject is unlikely to live long enough to reject it, and his core personality is not too different -- he is a coward and a traitor."
Interrogator says, "He is? What mission will we be using him for?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Cobra Commander is creating a false-flag terrorist group to divert attention avay from Cobra operations und provide cover for missions ve don't vant traced back to Cobra."
Interrogator says, "Interesting. I suppose we have to do something while we are getting on the world's good side."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Ja. Precisely."
Interrogator says, "I am ready to learn how to implant a prisoner, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender says, "Excellent. Now, zhe contruction of a new personality is amazingly complex -- beyond zhe scope of zhis initial lesson, and possibly beyond zhe abilities of anyone less intelligent zhan I."
Which, of course, is everyone.
Interrogator says, "Interesting, so I will be just observing then?"
My somebody is full of himself ;P
Dr. Mindbender says, "In zhis part, yes, but I vant you to pay attention because ze same process can be used in more subtle manipulations vonce you are more skilled. I have several Vipers on disciplinary detail zhat vill 'volunteer' to be your practice dummies."
Interrogator says, "I will pay attention, Sir!"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Excellent."
Dr. Mindbender moves the Scanner to the parts of the brain that hold long-term memories.
Interrogator watches Dr. Mindbender intently.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Now, since zhis operative is not needed past zhis mission, zhere is no reason to maintain his long-term memories. I vill erase zhem to make room for our implants."
Dr. Mindbender turns up the power of the scanner, and the subject begins screaming the loudest, most blood-curdling screams of fear and pain Interrogator may have ever heard.
Inside his helmet, Interrogator flinches at the sounds of the screams. He thinks, "Hopefully that will never be me!"
Dr. Mindbender smiles in satisfaction as he erases the subjects earliest childhood memories, his experiences of first love...
Interrogator tries to pay attention despite the screaming, which is the worst he has heard. He watches the Doctor as he goes about his evil work.
Dr. Mindbender strips the poor man of probably more than he needs to, just because he loves destroying minds and ruining people's happiness forever.
Interrogator watches as the man's mind is stripped and thinks to himself, "Better him than I."
After the brute erasure, Mindbender goes back through again more surgically, carefully slicing out every positive memory he can find - every kind word, every warm moment, leaving only the fearful and painful times of the man's life.
Interrogator watches carefully, occasionally making auditory notes in his helmet.
Dr. Mindbender is the master at this, working with the confident skill and speed that comes with a lifetime of training and a natural feel for cruelty.
Interrogator watches Dr. Mindbender and thinks to himself, "If the world ever found out about this, we both would be brought up on charges for crimes against humanity."
Dr. Mindbender would be proud to see his achievements acknowledged before the world.
Dr. Mindbender says, "There. Now zhat zhe good in him has been cut away, ve layer in the new personality. All his memories are false, and vhen he is captured, he vill tell tall tales of red shadows zhat he vill believe to be utterly true."
Interrogator says, "So the Red Shadows are the ones who will take the blame for Cobra's activities? That should confuse everyone."
Dr. Mindbender says, "Ja. Zhe Red Shadows are a complete fabrication of Cobra Commander's mind... a fact zhat should not leave zhis room."
Interrogator says, "I will not tell anyone about them. It will remain a secret as far as I am concerned."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Gud."
Interrogator asks, "How do you know the prisoner will not live long? Will they not treat his wounds when he returns to his comrades?"
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "No, but if he survives ve can always give him more treatments to enhance his loyalty und memories."
Interrogator says, "That is true. Besides, with no good memories left, he may commit suicide."
Dr. Mindbender says, "Not before his mission is complete, but if he does after capture by zhe Americans, so be it."
The subject, having already screamed himself hoarse, now slumps in the chair dully as his brain is reformatted and bent by the the good doctor.
Interrogator continues to watch the Doctor work and make notes. He mentally notes to go back over the screaming portion of them and make new, clearer ones once they are done here.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "At zhis point it is acceptable for zhe patient to be slack and unresponsive, since a passive mind is easier to overwrite."
Interrogator says, "I will make a special note of that, Sir."
After what seems like hours (and may actually be even longer), Mindbender shuts down the machine. "Zhere. Ve vill let ze patient recover, and zhen see vhat ve have created."
Dr. Mindbender says, "Do you zhink zou have ze basics down?"
Dr. Mindbender looks condescendingly at Interrogator.
Interrogator says, "I believe I took good enough notes and some pictures to help me remember. I would still like more practice to be sure. I had a great teacher, after all."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Ah, ja. Flattery vill get you everywhere."
Dr. Mindbender laughs suddenly, and then just as suddenly cuts it off.
Dr. Mindbender says, "Gud. I vill have ze volunteers delivered at your convenience. You vill haf access to ze Brainvave Scanner vhenever your other duties allow and it is not already in use. If Cobra Commander insists I may program X to assist you."
Interrogator says, "Yes, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Ve vill haf plenty of troops to practice... Ve are going to use a similar but similar program to vipe the minds of several Vipers and reprogram them as Red Shadows, loyal only to Baron Ironblood and the new Black Major here."
Interrogator says, "I have met Baron Ironblood. I am glad he will be more active within Cobra.”
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Qvite the opposite. He vill be breaking off and leading the Red Shadows as an independent agent."
Interrogator says, "Interesting."
Dr. Mindbender gives Interrogator an odd, shrewd look.
Interrogator asks, "It is good that Cobra Commander is not afraid of Baron Ironblood taking advantage of the situation and trying to take over Cobra."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Yes. That is always a danger."
Interrogator says, "Hopefully the Brainwave Scanner will be a successful deterrent to that."
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Yes, indeed."
Dr. Mindbender is definitely hiding something, but what else is new?
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "This concludes today's lesson. You are dismissed. If you see X, will you have it report to me?"
Interrogator says, "Yes, Sir."
Interrogator salutes and turns to leave.
Dr. Mindbender says smugly, "Excellent. Vith extraordinary luck you may make an apt pupil after all."
Interrogator says, "Thank you, Sir."
Dr. Mindbender turns from Interrogator, gesturing for the Viper Guards to carry the prisoner back to his cell.