Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Interview


The goalies were taken to hospital. The police apprehended the runner and later brought him to the Davisville office. Our constables dropped him in a small interview room. Adams and I had been grilling him for an hour. More Adams than me. I was just there for continuity. The runner  was silent. Perfectly silent.

“We are done,” announced Adams looking the runner in the eyes. He had finally given up. Adams looked at me and nodded that I follow him to the door. We got up and went into the hall, closing the door behind us. We walked  down the corridor to the stairwell, away from the posted room guard.

Adams leaned against the wall, staring back at the room, “He is a professional. His background is spotless, but his overall behaviour gives him away. Something is not right.  The complete silence and submission to the process speaks volumes. It is very rare for anyone to remain completely silent during detainment or interview. He knows that we do not have any charge against him.”

“Can’t you use your ‘I’ll ask the deputy minister for a security certificate’ line?” I offered,

“It only works on people like you. Hardened professionals who know when there is no basis for the certificate will not bite. If I had solid evidence, I would use it.”

“He ran away from the scene of a crime,” was my next uneducated suggestion.

“His representation would argue – correctly – that he merely witnessed a disturbing event at Stop 23 and did what any innocent bystander would do, run away.”

Adams looked down at the floor for a moment and then walked back to the guard. “Return him to processing. I’ll have his discharge papers there in 15 minutes.” Adams came back to me, “Let’s go to my office.”

We took the stairs up a floor, turned a corner after the landing, and disappeared into the past.

Adams plopped into his big chair. He motioned me to the seat in front of his desk. The last time I had a private audience in his office was just after he had corralled me off the street during the botched ray-gun affair that lead to me becoming an agent. It had only been seven months ago, but it seemed like a million years. The office seemed older too. More down on its luck. A bit disheveled. Dusty. Paper strewn. Paleozoic coffee cup rings were fossilized on the desk. 

Adams stared at some pristine papers that a secretary had carefully placed on top of the desk rubble.

I was anxious. I jumped in, “That’s it? We can’t hold him?”

“I’ll have him discretely followed for a few days.” Adams glanced at me and saw my face light up, 

“But not by you.”

I dialed back my beam and cautiously asked, “What’s the status of the goalies?”

“The one with the cracked head is in a coma. Constable McFarland is in surgery. He is in a lot of trouble.” Adams stared way beyond me and told the back wall, “McFarland is a traitor.”

Traitor. Barry White and Darth Vader were gone; Adams spit the word out.

“I’m afraid he might be the tip of an iceberg,” came the reply to the unasked question.

I didn’t ask anything more. Didn’t seem too wise.

Adams’ vision refocused on me, “The reason I asked you here is to inform you that you are now assigned to level three activities until the inquiry into this incident is resolved. I will need to ask you to give me your sidearm and any related weapons paraphernalia you have on your person.”

I knew this was coming, but I hoped I was special and could avoid it. No such luck. I placed my gun and holster on his desk. I was glad to be rid of it. But apparently not Adams, he looked even unhappier.

“Since you have been with us for less than a year, and the incident involved discharging your sidearm, and later using it to coerce a suspect, I have to downgrade your responsibilities and confiscate your weapon while the inquiry is underway.”

“I know the procedure,” I replied.

“I think you will be cleared regarding the events at Stop 23. However, you later used your weapon for intimidation of a civilian. Luckily, you did not let your sidearm be seen by members of the public; otherwise, the consequences would be more serious. As such, you will probably only receive a class 3 reprimand on your record, and be required to complete additional training. None of that is overly concerning.”

“Intimidation?”

“Strictly speaking, yes. A regular citizen might try to charge us with harassment or abuse of some sort after such a confrontation”

“Do you think he’ll do that?”

“No. He is going to try to disappear.”

Adams straightened up in his chair and continued, “The incident investigation team will speak with you briefly tonight, and then all day tomorrow. After that, you will start a new assignment until your case is resolved,” explained Adams. He reached into his desk drawer, pulled out a paper, and slid it to me across the desk.

I read it. I couldn’t believe it. They were putting me on UFO duty: near daybreak on the 17th a large, fast moving object was seen in the western skies above the dunes at Molly’s Beach on Ward’s Pacific Island, and I was being sent to investigate. I’d probably only confirm that stoned, New Age hippies smoke pot in the early morning and hallucinate before harmonically converging with Mother Nature.

“Is this a joke?”

“No.”

“I’ve been told me about these assignments.”

Adams gave me a blank stare, “We investigate these not because we are looking for extra-terrestrial visitors, but because they are often signs of other activities of concern. If this not suitable for you, I have some office oriented activities that might be of interest.”

reconsidered my position, “No, this will be fine.”  Chasing hippies outdoors was better than cajoling beauracrats indoors.

“Good. It will likely  turn out to be a just balloon.”

The next instalment can be found here.

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