2009-12-21: Truth From the Lies



Date: December 21, 2009


Tiago is the next to receive the psychological trials of Tammy's interrogation. Will he cave to the mounting pressure in order to save his partner-in-crime? Or will Tammy's record remain flawless?

"Truth From the Lies"

Alpha Protocol's Temp Holding Unit, NY

Tiago didn't even have the benefit of constant surveillance, thus, most of the time, he didn't even have a guard he could harass, only a camera pointed at his cell that he could try to antagonize to make himself feel better. He was fed, he was hydrated, he was provided with the bare essential toiletries, but other than that, he was afforded nothing other than dirty looks from the guards at meal times.

A day goes by, then most of another, before there's any change in this routine, and with nothing to occupy his time other than staring at a wall or performing calisthenics, perhaps watching the toilet flush over and over in the vain hopes of bankrupting his captors through their water bill, one could almost get the feeling that they had been neglected, forgotten, left to rot in a small cell for all eternity. But the approach of several pairs of booted feet changes that thought when a trio of guards comes into view. They were dressed normally, beefy guys with mean, beady little eyes fixed on the Brazilian in his cell.

"Come to the door and put your hands through the slot." One of them is holding a pair of handcuffs, while another raps against the indicated slot in the cell door with his baton. All three carried stun guns, batons, and sidearms, and looked almost hopeful that the prisoner would give them an excuse to use them. "NOW!"

The first day was torture - never before had the seconds crept by at a more agonizingly slow pace. And left with nothing to entertain himself, Tiagp spent the entirety of the day and night sitting in the corner of the cell, staring blankly at the opposite wall as his mind began reminding himself of his crimes, his faults. All in all, it was a very demoralizing experience - he barely even touched the so called food presented to him.

Then, during the twilight hours, something clicked. He is of no use to anyone, curled up in the corner of his cell like a child. And he certainly is no use to himself. Therefore, from that moment on began a rather rigorous physical regimen. He is currently mid-push up when the guards make their way over to his cell, and the foreigner presents the guard with a sweatied indifferent sort of look.

With a grunt, he makes his way to his feet and tosses them an insolent sneer all the while sliding his hands into the slot. "What's up, bro? Couldn't find a date ta prom so you gotta come take me instead?"

The guard who slaps the cuffs on Tiago's hands looks like he wants to give them a good rap on the knuckles with his baton for the smart remark, but only let's it slide with a grunt of distaste. One of his younger compatriots in the back makes a soft snicker, though it's disguised to sound suspiciously like a cough. After the male's hands are secured, the guards step back from the door about a foot or so.

"Stand back, prisoner."

The leader of the trio barks out the order, and, not waiting to see if the Brazilian failed to do as ordered, barks into his radio to open the prisoner's cell. With a *CLANK-CLANK*, the door slides to the left, slamming Tiago's hands painfully into the bars if he was unwise enough not to remove them. "Step out. That way." Two of the guards proceed to march Tiago down the row of cells, to a door they have to be buzzed through, then beyond into a long hallway. The third stayed behind, immediately ransacking the cell, searching for any contraband items that might have mysteriously appeared since he was left here almost forty-eight hours prior.

It's only a five minute or so walk, at least, it would have been if they didn't have to stop periodicly to be buzzed through doorways, until finally he's pushed into a square room about twice the size of his cell, containing one of those suspicous wall-mirrors, a small window set high, barred and meshed over, through which a patch of blue could be seen, a heavy iron table, and three uncomfortable-looking chairs. As the door is closed behind them, the two guards take up posts in the corners of the room nearest the doors, where they spend their time glowering silently at Tiago.

"Sit." The order is given, but neither makes a move to force the Brazilian to do so, leaving him to wander the room as he saw fit. Neither of them make a move if he goes towards the door, since he would find that the inside handle didn't work. It's a full twenty minutes before another person enters, probably the one Tiago most wanted to see, while he was holding a knife and had her cornered in a dark alley, anyway. The door closes immediately behind Tammy, looking the perfect picture of poise and refinement in her suit, with a small file under her arm. "Mister DaSilva. Have they been feeding you?"

Tiago is almost compliant, and if it weren't for the unkind, humorless smirk plastered on his insufferable face. With his head held high, he trails along with his own personal escort, dragged from door to door until, finally, he cracks. "Jesus Christ, s'this shit y'gotta do everyday? No wonder you guys are such assholes," this is grumbled out once they reach the third door. Eventually, however, he is deposited in the room. And instead of sitting, as commanded, he begins to wander aimlessly around the room, looking around with a vague curiosity. The mirror is glanced at in particular, and he moves to tap at it curiously, as if waiting for a response.

This is the state Tammy finds him in. He barely glances over in Tammy's direction when she appears. "Huh…y'mean that shit they were pushin' through the slot was s'posed ta be food?" He inquires mildly, eyes narrowing as he catches sight of her prim visage in the mirror. Slowly, he turns back to her. "Cut the shit. You aint dragged me in here ta ask me what I think of the food, an' you know it."

"Regardless of whether you think it tastes good or not, I'd rather you ate it. It has everything required to keep you in good health, and starving yourself is certainly a less than optimal idea." Low heels click across the hard tile floor as Tammy walks across the room to the table, setting the firl down, though she herself remains standing as she turns her head, an eyebrow raised ever-so-slightly at the Brazilian male.

"You're right, though. Whatever you think of the food isn't of consequence, so long as you're given the option to eat it. Believe it or not, it does me no good to see you unnecessarily abused, as that can only serve to put you in a far more uncooperative mood than I'm sure you already are in. No," Using a small ball-point pen, she flips open the file on the table, looking down into it's contents. On the current page was Tiago's fingerprints, a few pictures of him, as well as an arrest warrant for 'MURDER'. "I'm simply here to convince you that cooperation is entirely in your best interest. My inquiry into your health is purely clinical."

"Tiago Gaspar Gilberto DaSilva, March twenty-third, nineteen eighty-seven. Is this accurate?"

"Huh, s'there a camera over there? Behind the mirror? Or is it jus' a couple of ugly white dudes?" Tiago inquires with a tone of bemusement, completely ignoring her professional spiel about the food in favor of waving grimly into the mirror, and then even leaning forward to give his reflection a kiss. Narcissistic, much? "Y'know, I look pretty damn good for havin' been in a cell all this time. Not too bad if I say so myself, huh? What d'you think? I look pretty badass with a black eye."

Oh, uncooperative is an understatement, apparently. Eventually, once he finds that he's tired of wasting time, and with a sigh he travels back in the direction of the table to collapse with a lazy slouch into one of the chairs. "Maybe. Maybe not. Tiago Gaspar Gilberto DaSilva's a damn mouthful, aint it? Maybe my name is Mike Hawke."

"Sometimes. Sometimes my supervisor or co-workers sit in the adjacent room. I'm sure you know enough to know that I'm not going to tell you who or what may, or may not, be currently behind the mirror." As Tiago goes about his ritual oddity at the mirror, Tammy's pen clicks out, and she flips to a page containing hand-written notes in nigh-illegible script, which was apparently her own hand-writing, as she seats herself on the edge of the chair to add more to them with a few flourishes of her wrist. "I don't know. Do you think it makes you look more socially appealing to other people?" Her eyes raise to him, studying his response. "I find that a rather curious notion."

Apparently skipping the rhetoric with the birthname and date, the dark-haired agent adds a few more lines to her notes, before clicking the top of her pen and ceasing her scribbling for now. "Miss Grey has been asking after you. I gave her my word that I would see to it that you were kept in one piece. Is there anything you would like me to tell her?"

Before too many questions can be launched at her on that subject, or a tirade can begin, she continues, in the same neutral, almost emotionless tone she had kept the entire time she had entered the room. "And before you ask, I feel inclined to let you know that things aren't going well for her. Right now she's set to take the fall with you on charges of murder. My supervisors want heads on pikes, I'm afraid."

"They're watchin', huh? Kinky." It's a game, to Tiago. He stares over to Tammy, evading all of her questions and comments altogether, and slowly, he finds his lips curling upwards into a boyish smile. He has a goal, and his goal is to wipe that emotionless facade off of her smarmy face. "So like, if you an' me were ta get it on, freaky prison style, y'think they'd be whackin' one out in there?"

He immediately sobers up when Lena is mentioned however, and as a result, he finds himself straightening up in the chair. "Yeah? Has she?" Solemnly, green eyes narrow. "Y'can't do that. Pin that shit on her, y'got no proof."

"I highly doubt it, Mister DaSilva. I'd simply be terminated from my position." If Tiago was hoping to obtain a reaction from the collected brunette, he failed miserably on his first try. She doesn't so much as bat an eyelash, narrow her eyes, or even snort in disgust. "But I find it interesting that you would think of me in that way. I had rather got the inclination that you and Miss Grey were more involved."

And down goes her head, the pen clicking once, then beginning to scribble more lines across the paper with a quick, pretty, if unreadable, script. There's a long pause until she finishes writing, at which point she looks up, lying her pen down on top of the file, folding her hands together on top of it.

"I think even you can appreciate the position you both are in. We are not the police. You have no rights, no Ammendments standing between you and justice. There is no trial, no gathering of evidence, no lawyers to defend either of you. The only thing you have to defend yourselves with in any positive light is your cooperation and your testimony. Miss Grey seems to…" She leans back in her chair, looking up as if searching for the right word, crossing one leg over the other and placing her hands on top of her thigh. "Care for you a great deal. And thus far she's been most agreeable after her options were explained to her. There is little doubt in my mind that in a misguided attempt to save you, she will attempt to take all of the blame for herself. You've been through this game enough to know that the first one to talk gets the deal, and I think you and I both know exactly what she will bargain for. I believe she's a scared child doing what she thinks is best for those she cares about. So the only question is: are you going to let her go down for you, or are you going to set the record straight?"

"No - no, you're not s'posed ta do shit like this. We're s'posed ta have rights an' shit - they say, it's in the books. Y'cant jus' kill anyone you want!" Tiago is rather incensed as he makes the declaration, righteous indignation found in his voice, and though he learns forward, sneering his slightly disfigured face. Suddenly, his hands are balled into fists, clenched so tightly that their knuckles become a pale, ghostly white. He just barely manages to distract himself from voicing just /what/ he thinks of a government that allows and condones this kind of behavior, due mostly to the fact that the woman is talking about Lena.

His eyes flicker left, then right thoughtfully. And after a moment of thought, he finds himself pursing his lips tightly. "She aint goin' down nowhere. She didn't do nothin', she's got nothin' ta do with anythin'. I killed 'em. It was me. What more d'you want? Why're you still holdin' her captive?"

"As I said, when agents end up dead, someone has to pay, and my supervisors want heads to roll for this." Neither her icy demeanor, nor her immovable expression changes throughout the show of temper, the declarations of injustice, not the blatant confession. "I'm afraid that's not good enough. I'm not going to lie to you, she's going to be held until we can determine whether she is a danger to the populace. Before you say anything, let me express that it is already my opinion that she is not, if she has disclosed the full measure of her abilities to us. But as for securing her release from these charges…"

Tammy scoots her chair further, looking back down at her notes, flipping back to the front pages, which contained the information on Tiago and his crimes. "I'm going to need more from you. I'm going to need details. I'm going to need names. I'm going to need you to confirm the information she has given me, or even to refute it, if it's false. The more honest and forthcoming you are, the quicker this will be solved. I would also like to point out that we are on a timetable here. The powers that be aren't going to sit idle if I have to drag each and every little thing out of you like a dentist pulling abcessed teeth. If they determine you're stalling too much, or what you have isn't worth their time, you're both going down for this."

"Do you understand, Mister DaSilva? For your cooperation, I can ask for leniency on your behalf, and see to it that she is cleared of all charges. Is this acceptable to you?"

"What names? What details? I don't get what else ya need, y'already got the murderer." Tiago expresses his exasperation, brows furrowed as he finally launches himself from the chair to begin pacing around the room restlessly, unaware that he is mirroring the actions of his significant other. His eyes fix themselves onto the floor and it is in stiff, quick strides that the man travels around the room, occasionally darting his glance over to the mirror - and even more scarcely, the woman herself. "I want her out of here. I want her cleared - of everythin'. She aint got nothin' ta do with this, okay?" He repeats, a tinge of panic in his voice. "She aint a threat either, she aint never hurt no one…but how can I know you're goin' ta do this? Show me proof that you aint tryin' ta fuck us over again. Lemme see her…let her free, /somethin'/. Then…then I'll tell you everythin'."

"Your involvement with Miss Andrea Dextris Neal, for starters, would be nice." Out of the back of the file comes a photo of the said woman, which is slid, bottom-first, across the table towards the male. "Spare me the 'I don't know her's, you were both positively identified and connected to the murders in question."

The file is flipped through until a blank page is found, whereupon Tammy appears to get ready to write. "We would also like for you to confirm, or deny the limits and potency of Miss Grey's abilities. She has also pointed out several other accomplices of the both of you, as well as other similarly evolved individuals to her. You have some catching up to do. Think of this like a race: the first person to paint the complete picture gets the prize, which seems to be the other's life. I must say it's a refreshing change from the usual selfishness of the typical detainee."

"No, Mister DaSilva. "I can allow you to view her briefly through a monitor at the security office, if you like, to put your mind at ease that she is still in one piece, but I'm under strict orders not to let you two speak. You can see how that would compromise things, if you two were able to hatch the same convincing lie while together. If you can convince us that she is no danger, that she is guiltless in these crimes, then we have no reason to hold her, and I make you my personal garauntee that you may watch her walk out of this facility after saying goodbye. But that bittersweet ending is only going to happen once we know about the incident in question, the involvement of Miss Neal, and the story behind your other friends. Now…" She taps the photograph again. "Tell me about Miss Neal, from the beginning."

"Andrea?" Tiago repeats, genuine confusion tinting his exclamation - although he cannot hide the note of recognition that flashes across his features once he sees the photograph. The pit of his stomach falls…but, then again, they already knew about Dex…he isn't ratting her out any. "D-Andrea, yeah. Her. I've seen 'er." He pauses for a moment, trying to work out how exactly to present the information about her. After all - he can put good use to certain information. "I don't know 'er much or nothin'. She was tryin' ta teach Lena how ta turn of her abilities, so she don' need ta worry about druggin' people no more. That's all I know - other'n she's a psycho." Beat. "That, an' I think she likes me. Like that, you know. She was kissin' up on me that day. Dragged me inta an alley so she could try an' seduce me, an' then them agents busted in, with guns out. She can do shit with her mind, yeah? She pushed 'em back to try an' get away, an' they started shootin'. So…I was there. An' I started shootin' too. It was self defense. We woulda died otherwise."

As for Miss Grey's ability… "She can make drugs, is all I know, really. Make people feel good…uh…knock 'em out too. An' she can't turn it off none. Lemme see her - lemme see Lena."

"I'm sure you did what you thought you had to." The murmur seems to be automatic, as if Tammy were saying it out of habit as an automated response, apparently only half-listening. She could have been drawing a picture of a bunny for all the attention she seemed to be paying, her pen moving a mile a minute, adding line after line as the Brazilian continues talking. After he stops, she looks up, frowning down at her half-filled page, tapping the non-writing tip of her pen against the sheet of paper.

"How many times did you meet with Miss Neal? And don't say 'once', because we already know that isn't true from what your partner has told us." A few extra notes are added, and a few corrections are made to previous ones in the form of line-outs and scribblings in the margins. "Well, at least you both seem to agree, more or less, on what her abilities seem to be."

At the plea to see the teen, Tammy's face almost has a hint of compassion in her expression, though it's slight enough that it could just be a trick of the light. "After we're done here, I'll have you taken to the security room, I promise, and you can have a few minutes to watch her. Until we have the complete story, that's all I can do. Once we know everything we need to, there will be no reason to keep you apart, and supervised visits may be on the table. Now, tell me about your other acquaintances. Keep in mind that time is not on your side, and that if you can tell us more than she has, it can only help your desire for us to see her as an innocent bystander in all of this. Do you need a moment? Anything to eat or drink?"

Tiago purses his lips tightly, thoughtfully lifting his cuffed hands to scratch at the side of his head. "Miss Neal? Andrea? Geez, I dunno. What, two, three? Lena, she met her more. It was always in the streets an' shit, 'cause that chick - Andrea - was tryin' ta keep a low profile so as ta not get caught, y'know? I dunno much 'bout her, other'n the fact that she escaped from prison or somethin'. From you guys, I think." His expression does not flicker, but boy, is he pleased with the news that what he says matches up with Lena's. But, then…the pressure.

"Listen, I dunno what you think, but we ain't no big nothin'. You think we woulda been tryin' ta run ta fuckin' Canada if we had mad acquaintances? There's…there's this one guy, though." And he sounds hesitant, shifting on his feet until he eventually goes to slip into his seat. His nervousness should help, he figures, and slightly anxious, he begins his seemingly sincere spiel. "There's…well. I dunno if he was a guy, exactly. We aint never met him, never seen him face ta face. An'…an' Lena's goin' ta hate me for tellin' you but - but it's for her own good, righ'? Righ'?" Yes, Tiago search for that validation. "We…we was lookin' for shit. For info 'bout her powers, 'cause we say these fellas, crooks, you know? One could play 'round with fire - set Mr. Ling's convenience store on fire…so we was tryin' ta figure out if she was the only one, in the library, on the computer…" He trails off, peering at Tammy to make sure she's listening before averting his eyes in shame.

"He said he was a computer hacker, an' he knew what was goin' on. He said the government was onta us, an' they were kidnappin' people like her, an' that he could protect us if we joined him an' his anti-government group…in DC. The heart of it all, yeah? He said…he said Senator Wynn was in charge of it all, so maybe he was the one that made him, y'know…" Beat. "I dunno what he can do. I dunno who he is, or what, but we've been tryin' ta save up 'nough ta get down there - when you came along. An'…fuck, I jus' want out. I jus' want us ta move ta Canada."

Tammy's pen doesn't seem to quit so long as Tiago keeps his lips flapping, copying down a close approximation of his information in shorthand, skipping the word-for-word translation. Of course, she's also bouncing back and forth to a different page, writing professional notes about him in her tiny, messy little script. After he pauses, she stops, looking up with a mixture of sadness and resignation in her eyes.

"You won't be going to Canada, at least not together. Someone has to take the fall here. Unfortunately for you, Miss Grey is giving us names, and you don't seem to be able to give us a single one. I'm afraid it doesn't look good for you, or at least not for what you want to accomplish, but if this is this truly the best you can give us, then…"

Clicking her pen closed, she uses the tip to push the file cover shut, standing slowly up from the table, needlessly straightening the folder on the table several times by tapping the edge against the metal surface. After a few moments, she clears the silence by continuing. "I'm sorry to say that with the deal she's willing to cut, you'll probably do about six months in a federal penitentiary, while she…" She bows her head as she clasps the file up under her arm, before looking back up. "Well, I don't envy her fate, but I admire her courage. I don't enjoy the thought of punishing an innocent girl for something I don't believe she was involved in, but given her level of cooperation on your behalf, I have little choice in the matter. Take him back to his cell."

Turning away, Tammy's heels click towards the door, where she knocks once to signal she's ready to exit.

Tammy is good at what she does, undoubtedly. Her words instill a fear like no other in the pits of Tiago's stomach, and so he jumps to his feet with such force that his chair falls over to the floor, his face pained. "No! Wait! Y'cant…I don't got a name - I don't got names from…" Beat. Wait, yes he does… He knows of one name that he wont mind giving. "Hold on. Hold on…Joel. Joel somethin', he knew 'bout Evolveds. I don't know his last name now…but he gave me this big story - somethin' 'bout the Order of Saint Lazarus an'…an' how it was an organization bent on savin' the world. He hangs out in bars - at the - uhh The New York Saloon place, we met 'im. He plays pool ridiculously good. The New York Double Down Saloon, that's the one!"

She pauses in the first few seconds it takes between her knocking, and the door opening, half-turning to look back over her shoulder with a cool, level gaze. "Joel 'Something'. Well, it's not much, Mister DaSilva, but it's a start. However, I know you know more names than that. I'm going to be seeing Miss Grey tomorrow, and I expect I'll even more information that you're witholding after that. I… I really thought you cared more about her than that. It's not often that I'm wrong about people, and in this case, I can't say that I'm pleased I was mistaken."

The door cracks open after a face peeks through the window, ensuring that it was someone who was supposed to be let out, opening wide, held open politely for the woman to step through. "While you're in your cell for the rest of the night, and tomorrow, I want you to think about that. I want you to remember what she's doing for you, and I want you to remember it for the rest of your life once you're in the clear. I hope it changes you for the better. Oh…"

Almost as an afterthought, she reaches into her pocket, withdrawing a slip of paper. "She wanted me to tell you this: She's going to 'make things right'. She said you'd know what it means."

And then she's gone, her heels clicking down the hall as a third guard enters into the room after her exit, jerking up and back with his thumb in an indication to 'get 'em outta here'. The two guards from the corners move to take each of Tiago's elbows in their hands, to guide him back to his cell.

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