“What am I doing here?” said Mrs. Hobson. “Is this treatment really appropriate?”
The Magistrate marvelled at her composure. By this time most in her position were reduced to a pliable fistful of putty, ready to say anything, do anything and betray their closest loved ones for a chance of release. All this without having to do much but threaten, the mere prospect of their possible future was too grim for many to suffer their present realities. But this woman was something else.
He couldn’t quite work out what it was. Breeding, perhaps, that naïve optimism of a once-powerful class? Or perhaps she had been witness to some series of horrors not mentioned in her file, and had grown a tough hide. Perhaps she was simply genetically resistant to this type of situation, some were. Or perhaps everything he had suspected was true, and she was hiding some connection to the enemy.
“I warn you, I have a lot of powerful friends, and my husband has even more,” she said. “He is not a man to be taken lightly, Magistrate.”
“Oh I don’t take him lightly at all,” replied the Magistrate. “He’s the highest rank Liberite sympathiser I know about.”
That took her by surprise, he could see from her expression. How strange. Maybe she really didn’t know, or she had practiced responding to this moment.
Witness the power of absolute control, he thought. Just watch. His trap had caught the prey, the rest was inevitable.
To be continued…