She may have been a powerful Sith, but here she was a detained tourist. There was no real way to identify who was a Sith, and thus the Jedi were also present during the investigation but waiting outside. Since this all fell under ISC jurisdiction, the culprits had been separated to be questioned. Vahliri was alone in a room, cuffed to the table and with a two-way observation mirror.
A moment later, a woman strode into the room.
She had a stern and severe demeanor, and it was clear she wasn’t someone to mess with. She eyed Vahliri before reading through her datapad. Her gaze didn’t shift from what she was reading while she spoke, “If you do happen to be the Sith, I wouldn’t bother trying any tricks. You are being watched from locations outside of just this and you will never escape the building alive.”
She finally looked up at Vahliri, “Mrs. Aerin Aegnor,” She began, “Congratulations on your wedding. I’m sure this mess is disruptive and I hope we can sort it out soon,” The woman set the datapad down, “Normally under ISC laws, you would be assigned a lawyer, however Sith are known for mental manipulation and you can imagine it defeats the purpose.”
She pulled out a chair and sat down across from Vahliri, “Let’s start with some nice, positive questions. What can you tell me about your wife’s family? And how often do you see them?” Similar questions would be asked of Val in a separate room. (@Nefieslab )
If they were using false identities, they had likely rehearsed the big things like wedding date, how they met and their own individual identities. But did they know the nitty gritty details about each other like one would expect from a married couple?
“Haleth Morr is your personal secretary,” She read off the datapad, “Can you tell me where she worked before coming under your employment?”
“Truth be told, I am not particularly close with Selene’s family. My in-laws were not proponents of our union.” She said after a moment, forcing a smile. “Pedigree is rather important amongst some noble families of Indupar.” The words were made with a passing gesture to her fluted ears. It wasn’t entirely false, either. Vahliri had a lifetime of experience on the planet, and knew well enough that some families didn’t condone marrying outside of the aristocracy, let alone outside one's species. “My wife still keeps in regular contact with her family, though,” As she spoke, Vahliri thought back to the necklace that was part of Val’s disguise. “Her mother has always been very close to Selene.”
Then the topic turned to Celeste. Vahliri couldn’t help the grimace that worked onto her expression - both genuine and used as a display. After a moment, she shrugged a bit. “Ms. Morr was selected from an applicant pool and interviewed before she ever reached me. Part of the eco-conservation organization of my family, you see,” Another detail embellished during their operation. “By the time I met her.. It was largely formality rather than qualification. Personal meeting, just to see if she was the right fit.” She shrugged a bit. “She was perfectly nice and the rest is history. Over the years she has mentioned work back on Naboo but.. Nothing specific.”
Vahliri shifted a bit. “I thought we were friends.”
“I understand,” She said simply, “Clearly you’ve crossed some hurdles to be together. How and when did you two meet?”
“Speaking of Ms. Morr, can you walk me through exactly what happened in the bathroom? Why were all three of you crowding in there and what exactly happened to your wife? There were Jedi present and clearly they had agitated you all already. Why was your first conclusion that it was Ms. Morr and not the Jedi standing less than a foot away?
Vahliri offered the interrogator a fond smile, ‘recalling’ the history with her wife. “We’ve known each other for some years, through shared social circles and exclusive events. It was a party on Indupar where we first met and hit it off.. The rest is history.”
She exhaled a breath, nodding ever-so-slightly when the topic turned back to the situation in the bathrooms. “Well.. Selene and I had just walked out of the bathrooms, after removing our jewelry for the tour. We were told things would be delayed by the attendant, and that is when Selene noticed that a gemstone from her mother’s necklace was missing.” She waved a hand a bit. “So we started retracing our steps to find the gem. Thought that maybe the fitting had come loose while in the bathrooms. Haleth followed us inside, and that red haired Jedi.”
“Just after we walked into the bathrooms.. Both me and Selene were thrown against the wall by a Force. I believe it came from Haleth, because the Jedi was standing on the other side of Haleth from us and staring at the floor.
"So Haleth, a friend of yours, was the clear culprit because...she was looking at you," The woman recapped, "Had she done anything else to rouse suspicion that she was a Force user?"
She would let the woman answer before she continued, "And how did you lose the arm? Must have been quite the accident."
Vahliri stared back at the Interrogator. "..And because the Jedi was facing the other direction when it happened." She shook her head. "It all happened so fast.. I'm only telling you what I thought when it happened."
When questioned about other instances of Haleth being Force sensitive, the half-Annfyn shook her head. "Nothing recently.. There have been some instances in the past, in the time I've known her, I suppose. Glimpses of things moving on their own - I always assumed I was seeing things."
"She has never talked about being Force Sensitive." She shrugged a bit.
Vahliri glanced down when the interrogator questioned the loss of her arm. The question was immediately followed up with a grimace and flash of discomfort. "It was." She sighed. "Speeder accident many years ago, I had it worse than most of my friends."
"Remarkable," She said, brows raising, "It all happened so fast, and yet you were clearly able to pinpoint exactly what the Jedi was doing when all of this happened and pinpoint who did it and recognize that it was use of the Force."
"Seems like a terrible accident," She nodded, glancing at the arm, "Which hospital were you treated at? We would love to verify. I'm sure someone from your esteemed position is treated to some of the best care."
"Your wife is terrified and does not appear to recall anything that happened and has not mentioned Ms. Morr at all. Ms. Morr is also noticeably confused and lost as to what happened. Can you tell me why you are the sole person pointing the finger at someone as a decisive Force user? Especially considering that you've never, ever had reason to suspect her on anything before?"
Vahliri calmly stared back at the interrogator, the faintest hint of a frown gracing her features. “Ma’am,” She began with a sigh, knitting her hands together on the table. “We were both - without seemingly any effort - thrown against the wall without ever being touched physically.” She blinked. “What.. Would you call that, if not the Force?”
“To clarify, you’re asking me about my immediate reaction after we - not just my wife - were attacked, what I saw and said.” Vahliri stared back at the woman. “I’ve explained why I suspected it was Haleth and not the Jedi. Both of them were visible from where we landed.” The woman exhaled through her nostrils.
“As I said - I am telling you what I thought in the moment, and the reasons for it. I am not presuming to know anything for certain.” Her eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly. "I can’t speak for my wife or what she saw after being injured.”
“I was treated by our own medical droid and facilities,” She arched her brow, “Which.. Yes, we are able to afford.” Vahliri shrugged a bit. “But I am sure there is record of it kept within the droid.”
“I don’t know what I would call it because no one else seems to recall you being thrown,” She answered flatly, “You are the only person that has full memory of exactly what happened down to the details of who was looking where. You have been vague about every answer regarding your relationship with your spouse or any details about her or her family. Personal droids cannot be used for critical medical procedures specifically because they circumvent paper trails, so that’s already an instance of you breaking the law.”
She looked through her datapad, “How about you cut the bullshit and start telling the truth? Or perhaps we can put you in a cell until you’re in a more talkative mood?”
Vahliri stared back at the interrogator, blinking in response to everything that was said. “I don’t know exactly what to tell you - I’ve answered your questions as I believe they occurred these past few hours.” The half-Annfyn fiddled with one of the rings on her fingers over the table. She deliberately didn’t address the part regarding her arm or the illegal medical procedure - and wasn't going unless the interrogator wanted to press charges for a backalley procedure.
“But I will try to answer whatever other questions you have, without an attorney, to the best of my ability.”
"What's your real name? What are the real identities of the other two women with you? I have a lot of information with me from their interrogation coming in now, so I would think very carefully about what you say next and whether it's worth lying."
Vahliri’s eyes narrowed the faintest bit. “My name,” She began slowly, “Is Aerin Aegnor. My wife’s name is Selene Aegnor,” The half-Annfyn continued, “The third woman with us is Haleth Morr.”
“That is the truth, as I understand it.”
She sighed, "Let's try this again," She began, "Ms. Vahliri Kahtal, Sith Master. Tell me the purpose of your visit or offer an explanation that's better than the clearly false identities you are using. One of the parties in your group has had a sudden moment of clarity, and I would hate for her to speak for you."
Vahliri paused for a long moment, staring back at the interrogator. The half-Annfyn had been under no illusion how precarious her situation had been up until this point, captured and isolated by Consortium authority. Every attempted spin and story had been an attempt to save her own skin - but it mattered little.
Someone within her group had snitched - either from the pressure of interrogation or as an attempt to ensure their own survival. The Consortium knew who she was - and as an Induparan citizen herself, would easily be able to validate her family and identity. There was no point in lying or attempting to spin the situation into anything it wasn’t.
There was a sharp inhale through the half-Annfyn’s nostrils, her expression remaining largely fixed into place. After a moment she leaned back into the stiff metal chair, both hands folded against the table where she was handcuffed.
“I don’t believe there is any point in wasting either of our time, at this point.”
She said simply. Though she had a theory, Vahliri simply didn’t know how much one of her companions had revealed. There was little point in spinning a story at this point, when her mere presence on Manaan was justification enough for being arrested and held in custody.