The interrogator cleared her throat. “I understand. You don’t have to go any further into it if you don’t want – I was there. I know why it was so awful.”
“You?” Jen scoffed. “I have a hard time believing that. You’ve got to be 15, 20 years older than me.”
“I was there.” The interrogator put her hand to the back of her neck and lifted up the mounds of curls that covered her skin. A square of skin was bare, no follicles for hair. Deep, old scars wound their way around a few places near her neckbones.
Jen stood from her chair to get a better look. “Shit. Shit, that’s the Mel76 model, if I’m right.”
“The reason you can’t tell for sure is because they had to remove the old M3 first. With all the scar tissue from that upgrade, I was unable to move up to the new Mel83 model when they changed all the interfaces again. So here I am, out of rotation.”
Jen looked the interrogator up and down. “What branch did you serve with? Unit?”
The interrogator said nothing.
Jen’s eyes widened. “You’re still serving.”
“I just don’t need the whole damn war recapped. I saw plenty of death, and the fact that I’m still living indicates I dealt my fair share of it too.” She bit her lip, then divulged, “I was at the Pyongyang gulag. The one where they kept the mothers of the monkey men.”
“Holy shit,” Jen responded. “You made it out of that mess? I don’t know anyone else who lived through that. It was supposed to be the biggest bloodbath-”
“I don’t want to talk about it. I did my duty, and I’m done with that now.” The interrogator cleared her throat and returned her attention to her tablet. “Please, proceed. Tell me about when you returned, how you know Dani. Don’t talk about the ape men, please.”