“Nineteen hours. How is our little prisoner holding up?”

“Oh, she’s broken. Has been since late yesterday. At this point the only thing keeping her from babbling every secret we could possibly want is the gag in her mouth.”

“She certainly exhibits all the signs. Pupil dilation, rhythmic groaning, humping the toy like an animal. Has she been permitted to come yet?”

“She almost got there once, but we think we caught it in time. A bucket of ice water brought her back. No slip-ups since then. She’s been held at the edge so long she’s practically putty.”

“So¬†do we plan to ask her any questions?”

“We ask plenty, we just don’t let her answer. Increases her desperation, plus we’re recording the whole thing to prove to her bosses that she hasn’t given away anything sensitive. She’s a much more valuable for barter if she hasn’t been unsealed, so to speak.”

“How long will it take to get the recording to them?”

“A few more days. And they’ll need a week to decide on terms after that.”

“Nineteen hours. I wonder what she’ll be like by the time she finally leaves.”

“If her predecessors are any indication, Ma’am, in her own mind she’ll never really leave at all.”