"164. What is your name?"
The mangled hair, crusty with dried blood rose with its owner and mostly hid the face of the prisoner. "I don't know," she answered gruffly. The once rich, deep voice had turned rough and hoarse from her previous screams.
"164, where were you born?"
"I don't know."
"When were you born, 164?"
"I don't know," the prisoner shifted, the chains straining as she tugged uselessly. The Interrogator nodded and recorded the results, looking satisfied.
"164, what are the names of your parents?"
"I don't know," she coughed and flipped back her greasy, unkempt hair from her face. A few rebellious strands came forward again, but for the most part, the Interrogator could see her gray eyes, full of hatred and obstinacy. But he also saw defeat. The high born pride she had been known for had disappeared. Had the broken animal before him lost it all at once, or had it taken the years of torture to break her down as low as the dust at her feet?
"164, why are you punished inside this prison?"
"I don't know." Her lips pursed together tightly. It must be a new kind of torture, he realized, to accept your own ignorance and say it out loud. He wondered if there was someway to expand upon that.
"164, what is this person to you?" The Interrogator lifted up a picture and watched the prisoner's face closely. He knew her well enough to tell when she was lying. There used to be recognition in her eyes when he showed her the portrait, and it would take her a moment to choke out the words, "I don't know," But there was significant progress the past few weeks, and now she responded with a flick of her eyes over the picture and then back to his.
"I don't know."
"Good," he mumbled and wrote more results. The last picture still got a reaction from her. She either screamed or cried or howled. But he was still required to show it to her.
"164, what is this person to you?"
The prisoner looked at the picture with indifference and said, "I don't know."
The Interrogator's hand jerked, his quill snapping. It should have taken longer to erase that memory.
He pointed to the picture again and repeated the question. Prisoner 164 glared at him and repeated the answer.
He quickly stood and left the room. Once the door shut, he turned and ran his hands through his pepper-gray hair.
"It's worked! The solution worked!" He started to laugh uncontrollably. The young man sitting at the wooden table stopped shuffling his papers, his mouth gaping open."Quick man, send a letter. Tell them she does not remember the Invicta!"