Mila slept soundly that night, having read herself to sleep with “Descent from Xanadu.” When she awoke, she enjoyed a long, hot shower.
Glancing in the full-length mirror, she was surprised to see she’d lost at least two stone during her torture. “Not bad!” she thought.
If only Putin could see her—Wait! NO! Why would she even think of him now? They were finished! And she had other problems to worry about.
Apparently this “Order” expected her to explain Hive technology to them; she would have to come up with something to tell them about that.
She would have to figure out where she was actually being held, and how she was going to escape.
And she would have to bring down destruction and painful, lingering death on these assholes, who tortured her and called her a “rat”!
Still wrapped in a towel, Mila slid open a closet door, hoping the prison uniform the Order provided would at least be clean this time.
Instead, she found a few beautifully tailored dresses, all cut to exactly fit her new figure. She ran her hands over the luxurious fabrics.
So this was how the Order tried to buy her loyalty! But still … She selected a simple blue silk sheath and finished dressing.
Just then there was a tapping at her door. She opened it to find George Takei with a breakfast tray: blini, sour cream, caviar, and tea.
“Good morning!” he said cheerfully as he entered and set the tray on the table. “How do you like the dresses? I selected them myself!”
Mila blushed. Did Takei fancy her? He had certainly been kind. And she did look good, for a thick-waisted, middle-aged Russian woman.
Mila smiled coquettishly. “They are very nice,” she said, “and this one fits me perfectly!” “Oh my, yes!” Takei replied admiringly.
“I don’t suppose you’ve had a chance to look at those blueprints yet?” he asked. Why was he changing the subject! “No,” she said, “not yet.”
“The Red Tsar is most anxious to have your report. The Order wish to understand how the Insekt technology works.”
Mila thought longingly of the potato bin and the communicator she had used before being accepted into Hive Mind.
“Perhaps it would be easier if you just brought me the actual devices,” she suggested. “I might be able to show you how to operate them.”
“Regrettably, the devices no longer exist. All we have are these plans, drawn by our Founders after they defeated the Insekts.”
“What?” Mila exclaimed. “But that means these are many hundreds of years old!” “Thousands of years,” Takei answered cheerfully.
“Surely you realize Insekt technology has improved since then! These plans are of no use to you.” “Oh, my!” Takei said. He looked concerned.
Mila hoped he would not notice the cockroach crawling across the table toward her blini.