Interrogation Aftermath

Summary:
August 01 2014: Partisan catches up with Jericho toward the end of his interrogation.

Abandoned Mine - Adironack State Park

A secluded, century old abandoned mine in the middle of the wilderness.


Characters

NPCs

  • Hydra Doctors

Mood Music:
[* None]


Partisan was going to find him. Eventually. Jericho figured she would. She has a sixth sense about these things and a good nose to boot. Maybe she smelled the fear. At the moment Jericho is outside, with K'nert, drinking a beer while he lets his interrogatees in the mine percolate. There's a timing to this kind of thing and while he's gotten some good info, he hasn't gotten all of it. Also he had to go get more ice cream from the gas station down the road. K'nert needs more motivation.

*

Partisan is, well she doesn't look like shit anymore at least.

"Why don't you take a break and sit down, I've done this sort've thing a lot. Shit's caustic Jerry, and this is the sort've thing I used to teach kids how to do." She's dressed up to a degree. A neat charcoal suit and skirt, hair tied back into a bun to present an entirely business like appearance down to the delicately jeweled black frames resting on her nose.

"How many are still coherent, or conscious at least?"

*

Jericho quirks an eyebrow. "Didn't know you did the business casual look Parti." He nods as she approaches, seeming a bit tired himself. "Looks nice on you though. They're all in various states of sobbing incoherently. Wusses. None of them have even lost anything yet. Except their bowels. That was about ten minutes ago." He takes another sip of his beer as the demonling sidles out of Partisans way.

"Gonna go right in or going to let them stew? I was doing the latter. Plus I needed a break."

*

Partisan cracks her back.

"Give me two, put them in a room together for me. Don't say anything to them at all, no words. We'll record the conversation they have and review it later, after about ten minutes I'll begin. Keep in mind, this is going to result in one of them going room temperature."

She brushes off any comment on her "look" as it were, but she isn't berating him for saying it so there is that. Producing a pack've smokes from her jacket pocket as she slumps back into a chair, and lights a cigarette.

"I'm going to break one of them, hard and he's going to tell me everything I want to know. Also, if you have the names of their wives handy that would be very useful."

*

Jericho shakes his head. "I wish. These guys were full time employees. All of their ID info is faked and faked well. I'd actually like to meet whoever put it together. I'll arrange the room for you. Go stuff the worst one in one of the smaller galleries. Give me a few." The hacker picks himself up and heads in. He's moving stiffly, mostly because he's pretty injured. Crease under his right ear, burns all over his left side. Not in a happy place, Jeri.

He comes back out a few minutes later. "Okay. Recording as we speak. And don't worry about it. We were going to have to get rid of them anyway, sadly. I'd love for them to rot in a prison somewhere because that seems worse, but these guys have knowledge that could be used to reconstruct the project, so…"

*

Partisan slides a pill bottle across the table and nods. "Pain killers, and antibiotics. Take one of each, until your techno voodoo catches up. You're vulnerable right now, make sure you're getting plenty of sweet and salty foods. Your blood chemistry is out of whack with a burn injury, slows cognition and muddles decision making. We'll have some down time, but for now being in agony serves no purpose" Pausing to check her cellphone timer, five minutes to go.

"Just a heads up, I'm going to be very cruel and you should feel comfortable with not watching. Like I said, this sort of thing is caustic. It'll eat you from the inside out, if you get emotionally invested."

*

"I've already poured ice cream over one mans head and watched K'nert nibble at him. Which apparently hurts a lot. But no, I'm gonna be right out here."

Jeri takes the painkillers with a nod of thanks and opens the bottle. "I just need the info. We'll have to see about when the rescuees are well enough to interview. We'll need all we can get to shut this thing down."

A smile quirks up on his lips, wry. "You're not emotionally invested?"

*

Partisan shakes her head softly. "This is the job Jerry, the calling. Some men were born to paint, some men were born to make music and others were born to live for their fellow man. Someday, you'll become a regular Joe again with a wife and a kid and this will all look like the good old days. We'll still be friends, but you won't miss this. You're a good man, making the very best of a very bad situation. This is your life, so of course you’re invested."

Rising softly with a delicate adjustment of her cuffs before she slips away. Entering the room and nudging it very gently shut behind her. "Good evening doctors, I'm very sorry as to how you've been treated. My young comrade has a personal stake in this, but the way you've been treated will change now that I am here I promise." Offering the pair a delicate smile. "I am known as the Partisan, and I will be your interrogator. Would either of you like something to eat, a cigarette perhaps?"

*

Jericho just leans outside at the mine entrance. Were it not for the listening device in the gallery, he'd be too far away to hear any of that. The two Hydra doctors blink. They're not sure what to think at all since they've just seen a creature they'd have assumed hours before could not possibly exist nibbling at one of their ice cream drenched companions while he screamed. It was… Yeah. They are a bit out of their element.

"Um…" One ventures.

*

Partisan smiles softly, tucking her skirt under as she primly seats herself on a folding chair. "You two gentlemen are doctors, you're men of science. You deserve a professional, and I am aware Hydra failed to give you training on interrogation so I will tell you the rules. There is no lasting under interrogation, there is no holding out bravely here. If I decide it is necessary, with the appropriate application of pain I can make you tell me anything. There is no truth you can hide, and there is no fabrication I can't get you to repeat in front of a camera if I want your compatriots to murder your families. So from this point on, there are two paths. You can speak to me freely and honestly, and you will be treated appropriately. If you lie to me, or refuse to answer my questions I will do things to you that you cannot fathom. Now unfortunately these interrogations will be terminal, but between now and then you decide what happens not me. If you behave like gentlemen, then I will administer sufficient quantities of pain killers to allow you to fade away in your slumber. Otherwise I will make it last days, maybe weeks until shock sets in and your heart gives out. Do we have an understanding gentlemen?"

*

This doesn't really sound any better. Well, except for the lack of a visible demon part. It is gone right?

"I… what do you want to know? We've already told the other one…" The only one who seems to have found his voice is the first one. "They… protect everything too well… and they'll kill… what he wants is impossible."

*

Partisan shrugs. "First what were your official positions, what is your actual name and social security and how long have you been working for Hydra?"

Producing a neat little stainless steel pen and a note pad to scribble. "And just to make it clear, I know Hydra seems really hot shit from where you are. You gentlemen are Doctors, you're not soldiers or spies. Unfortunately they aren't just inept, they are beyond inept. Consider the fact that it took really about three of us to take down your entire laboratory, kill everyone there we didn't like, pick through your files, evacuate all of your test subjects and then leave before the police arrived. Now I have no particular desire to see your families hurt as a side effect of my actions, this is a professional matter and it shouldn't concern them. So please keep in mind, that not only do I intend to return your remains to your families for whatever funeral arrangements you prefer? I also intend to keep your families alive, strictly speaking they're more useful as a propaganda element if they are free and alive."

*

"I…" They've already seen the looks in Jericho's eyes. "I… don't suppose there's a… way out of this that doesn't involve us getting killed?"

*

“No these interrogations are all going to be terminal. Look, I know how it works. At no point did you ever have a singular moment where they handed you a gun and told you to shoot someone, it was always handed to you in some sort of abstraction. Every time they gave you something which is ethically unsound they wrapped it in a puzzle for you to solve, and by the time you had the sort've depth to realize what it was this all was you were too deep. It's not like you could have backed out, It's not like you had any say before things got out of control. I understand that, and no this isn't fair. It isn't fair that you are destined to die for doing these things, whilst you had a gun to your head. It isn't fair that they forced you into this, well any of this really. You didn't set out to do these things to people, none of this is what either of you wanted."

Part sets her pen down quietly, before producing those smokes. Offering each a cigarette, before lighting up. "However consider the situation, You have been turned into biological weaponeers. You have done evil, even if it wasn't your intention. If you are to go free of here, how long before Hydra scoops you back up? What would happen then, they'd torture your loved ones to death in front of you over a few weeks. Just because. Then they'd do something nasty like boil you alive in oil, just because. You can have a death with dignity at least with us, and we're after Hydra not your families. Consider my position as men of science please, consider the situation and tell me truly if there is some alternative avenue this can progress? I am offering you every kindness I can afford, one professional to another."

*

The talky one looks over to the silent one who shakes his head. "You can't be seriously th-"

"I am." Talky doctor interrupts.

"Look, you know how this works. Someone will-"

"SHUT UP! We are going to die here. Do you get that?! I'm not going to make my last act protecting the people who threatened Jenny!" Tears in his eyes, yes, he is crying, the talky doctor turns back and looks to Partisan. "What do you want to know? I'll tell you anything."

*

Partisan smiles and nods. "It's a hard thing to do, to be rational in a place like this." Leaning back to shout to the door. "Jerry, one of these gentlemen is ready to return to his room. Would you be so kind?"

Turning her attention back towards the talky doctor. "We'll start with the basics doctor, I'd like your real name, age, date of birth, social security number, address and so forth. With that out of the way, I'd like for you to tell me in as much detail as possible how this all started. Tell me about how they recruited you, what you did for them, where you did it, dates and specific names are desirable but I'm not going to be upset if your memory is a little wide of the mark." Glance fixing after the second doctor. "Last chance, because I'm not going to have time to ever bother interrogating you again. The moment you leave this room, there is nothing I can do to stop what follows. There are a lot of your peers for me to sit down with still, and I simply don't have time to argue with anyone who doesn't see logic."

*

It's nearly an hour later and Jeri is back outside the mine looking a bit more tired and somewhat grimly satisfied. He left Partisan to do her thing about fifteen minutes ago. After he was done with his. Which he did not enjoy but… it was necessary. K'nert has slipped off into the shadows and Jeri's just looking up at the stars now.

*

Partisan is, at things for a while. It's like a solid hour further, before she leaves the doctor after giving him an apple and a beer.

"Like I said, no emotional investment. Makes it harder to lie, and before you ask fuck no we ain't returning the remains but I sort of like the idea of hitting whomever wants to go after their families. That family hostage shit is so fucking pathetic, makes it obvious how little fucking talent they actually have."

Tossing the notebook towards Jeri, as she dips her head in for another cigarette. "I got plenty of good stuff though."

*

Jericho catches the notebook. Right handed because his left hand is fairly well useless right now.

"Good. We'll talk to the vics and their families when they're in a slightly better place, put it all together and try to wrap this up and put a little bow on it."

He glances back into the mine for a moment and then turns back to Partisan. "How the hell'd you find me anyway?"

*

Partisan smirks softly/ "You only have so many sound proof locations available to you Jeri, and your travel distance is limited. Never mind my nose, of course."

Slipping out of her jacket finally to expose the compact 1911 at her hip, and four spare mags of course.

"You wanna spend a few days as my guest after we clear up this little mess? You're looking haggard, even by your standards. Take a few days, hit up the bar and get laid or something. Repress that side of the human condition and it'll fuck with your brain, ever notice how the most shit places to live all have a really critical lack of sex going on?"

*

Jericho lets out a short barking laugh as he rubs his face tiredly. "I need a few days. We'll see if I get one. Bar wouldn't be a bad idea, I guess. I need the rest. My entire left side is one massive second degree burn and I kind of don't even want to think about anything I don't have to do until it's healed. I'll figure something out. Wouldn't mind going over to your place for dinner though." He pauses and nods. "Or having you over to mine. That'd work too."

The observation about sex gets another wry laugh. "Gods. I've been accused of sleeping with almost every woman I know, including you. Well, including Bianca, not Pru. I couldn't even begin to tell you why." The answer to a lot of that is 'Mrs. Kurkiewicz', but Jeri only knows a bit of that.

*

Partisan laughs. "Fucking pedo."

Glancing sidelong after Jericho. "Jerry, I want you to take a moment and just breathe alright? You and I just did a really fucking incredible thing, the FBI doesn't get that many people out of human trafficking in a whole year and we did it. Other people were there, but that was all us. You just played Atlas and balanced the world on your shoulders, and got away with it. So put the world down, you aren't fail zero right now alright? You did an incredibly good thing, the kind of absolute moral victory men have died seeking since the dawn of for and you got it. You were smart, you were deadly, you were adaptable."

Grinning slyly. "You were very fucking operator, even by my measure Jericho. Most operator partner in crime I've ever had, and if you don't manage your head game better you're going to go completely off the rails. Normal men, common men, even exceptional men can't keep doing what you're doing for days. You've been almost nonstop since well before we first met, but you're going to lose yourself at this rate alright? So when this last bit is over, I'm gonna get you a proper wardrobe, a house with a back yard and a good car. You're going to be running too lean otherwise, alright?"

*

Jericho doesn't argue with Partisan because she's right. And because he likes her. "Thanks Parti." He says with a small smile. Yeah, his best friend is a werewolf Partisan. So what? He thinks that's pretty damn amazing right now, especially after her performance in the raid itself.

He lets out an exhausted sigh. Other than the pain along his entire left side, what he feels most right now is drained in pretty much every respect between fighting and worrying and what he just had to do. "There are not many people from whom a compliment like that would mean much."

The hacker pauses and looks back up at the stars. "What do you plan to do for the next few days?"

*

Partisan shrugs. "Buy a Camaro, or maybe a Mopar. I dunno, feel like I deserve something with cup holders for the very first time in my life. M5s don't have cup holders, E30s don't have cupholders. My Mustang didn't have cup holders, back in Colombia my little Suzuki Rocky didn't have cup holders. I have never in my entire life, owned a car that had cup holders. Cup holders -or- power windows, actually. They were optional for the BMWs but I've always just gotten cranks out of habit, well no the R-32 has power windows but the cup holder is busted so that doesn't count."

Shrugging again as she glances over. "Does it count if the cup holders are fuckin busted?"

*

"Heh…" It's a subdued little laugh mostly because of how worn Jericho is, but it's there. "No, if it doesn't hold a cup, I don't think it does count, Parti…" He sips his drink. Hydrating has been a pain with the burn. Ah well. "Camero huh? What color? Your favorite I presume, but hell if I know what it is. If you'd asked me before today I'd have said it was multicam."

He's referring to the 'in country' camo color scheme used presently by the military. Well, until they replace it, that is.

Partisan smirks. "I always preferred Tiger stripe honestly, the fact that it was so rare just made it fucking bad ass."

Flicking a cigarette aside, before lighting another. “I mean at the time I was like a five foot four Korean chick, and I could walk into the saltiest fucking Saigon bar in my tiger stripes and I wouldn't hear anything but "Ma'am". In like sixty five, man that was no shit. I mean five years earlier, I felt like the fucking help. Tiger stripe, was some serious fucking shit. Worked good too, still does."

As to the color, she does give a little shrug."I like Muscle cars in black, sports cars in this color called Sunset which was the national racing color of my homeland back in the day. Trucks and everything else should be white, stays cool in the sun. I dunno though, this is more of a "me" car. Might get something else I dunno, Might just buy a mustang. Might go buy a BMW. All the digital crap in these cars now, ugh. It's too much, If I can't forget that this is a computer with wheels I'll just get something else."

*

"There are still some real craftsman's cars out there if you know what you like. Just don't get anything Japanese. They like their gadgets. Good cars, but it doesn't sound like they'll be your thing." Jericho laughs.

"Vietnam Tiger Stripe, hrm? Well I guess I can't fault you on that one. I don't know that I've ever seen you really indulge, Parti. Well, beyond little things like spa treatments. And blinged out guns, if you wanna call that an indulgence. Seems more work related though."

*

Partisan nods. "I try to do, not Partisan things every so often. The wolf loves this, all of this. The fighting, the stalking, the training, the games. That is totally what she is just all about, but I'm not -all- wolf. Muscle cars, music, certain aircraft, beer, some guns, art museums. Even I have to stop myself, just to take care of myself. This…" Waving an arm towards the mine. "This is so easy to obsess over. It's so utterly intoxicating, it's like a drug. There’s always just one more thing to do, always just one more loose end. Some juicy rumors are always circulating, there is always -something-. If you let it, if it gets away from you?" A snap of the fingers. "You're fucked, because by the time you realize there is a problem? You're doing things like snorting coke every other hour just to feel somewhat normal, and are so completely out've your mind you don't even -care-. If it isn't Coke it's Heroin, if it isn't heroin it's Meth. If the meth doesn't get you, the booze will or some other damn thing. This, what we're doing is a fucking -drug-. Think about it, last time you took a day as a normal guy. Which even felt more normal to you, like a junkie between fixes. When was the last time you got excited about anything, -anything-. it's all just grim determination now, right?"

*

"More like exhausted determination tinged with desperate worry… except in a couple places." Jericho nods. "I hate spending every waking moment on this kind of thing, but when your options are doing that and letting someone get away - maybe for good - with turning twenty people into assassin-slaves and trying to do the same to Nan?" The hacker shrugs helplessly. "What other choice is there? At least now we've bought ourselves a little breathing room. On this front at least. There's a few other things I know of that could pop hot at any time."

Being the guy with the information really sucks when the information is bad. "Not that I disagree with you Parti. At all. Just…" He shrugs. "What are we to do?"

*

"If we were smart, we'd quit. I mean on a, intellectual level we both know that if we quit someone somewhere else would pick up the fight. I mean yaknow what's really scary? Ok ego aside, I think I've got a shot at being called the finest soldier that ever lived. I've done it the longest of anyone, and sure as hell did it the hardest. I've rolled governments, I've killed so many evil men that it is beyond any reasonable measure. The Ottomans are gone, the Nazis are gone, the cold war is over but is the world any fucking better than when I started?"

Part folds her arms with a huff. "After all of it, everything. All the soul destroying shit I've done for -all- the right reasons, for all the pain and effort and blood I've spilled. Is the world one bit better than when I started, or is it just different? Now we have this nonsense with hydra, madness in the middle east, China is acting like a douchebag for the first time. It isn't better man, I have accomplished exactly fuck all. Yaknow what the definition of insanity is, it's doing the same thing twice and expecting a different outcome. What scares the fuck out of me, is I know that everything we do is fuckall pointless. Nothing we do, no matter how epic is may seem? It won't change a single fucking thing, it won't ever accomplish anything. Yet here we are, we know the score but we do it anyway. We are unable to help ourselves, war junkies both of us."

Lifting a hand to ash that cigarete with a sigh. "You'll get old and die, you'll get cancer or get snapped and I'll feel really fucking horrible and I'll be on my own again. I'll keep at it, and nobody will be able to off me. That is the real and true price I paid for my reckoning Jerry, I'm cursed to fight for a cause I've lost all faith in forever and ever and ever. Fucking guts me."

*

Now it's Jericho’s turn to smile a bit. "You're thinking too big, Parti. I think that's your trouble there." He twists to pat her shoulder with his off hand. Good lord that feel awkward. Going to have to do some off hand drills when he's better.

"Soldiers like you and me, we don't save the world. It's too big. Too many people to mess it up for us…" He pauses. "But sometimes we can save the people who save the world. Nancy and her friends are going to be safe if I have to die to make it that way. And she's somethin' else. She'll make a difference. There are others out there who just need…" Well, an avenging angel maybe, but Jericho isn't Sara.

"Well, maybe they need a werewolf and a hacker so that they get the chance to do their thing. Save people, Partisan. Save the ones who matter. The world will sort itself out eventually if we can do that."

Jericho, it seems, still has some faith left.

*

She doesn't pull away, but she doesn't seem terribly eased either. "A hundred years, is a long time Jerry. I got tired a long time ago, I don't even know what I'm running on anymore. I just, wish I could quit this. Then we got fuckers talking at me like I enjoy any of this, any of it. I don't enjoy it, I don't hate it. I'm just, numb." Sighing softly, before she looks for a place to sit down. "Maybe I'll survive long enough to find something new to do, how awesome would it be if I could go be a colonist or something. Explore Mars, walk on the moon like Armstrong did. Do something constructive, do something I'd be remembered for."

*

"Maybe you need a bit longer of a break." Jericho knows that Partisan can't quit right now. And he wouldn't ask her to, much as he thinks if anyone's earned her rest, it's this woman. "Take a week or so. Something. I think maybe getting blown half to hell took more out of you than just pain and blood."

Being hurt is exhausting. It's not just the pain, it's the mental stress that goes with it. Getting rid of that stress isn't easy. It takes time. Jericho knows. It's one reason he's ever so slightly cracked himself.

*

"Thus, buying myself something nice. Don't worry, I'll be fine. I just, don't have alot've people I can bitch to ya know? That was like, building since ninety two. It's not like I can tell Nancy, any of that. Even if she was around, yaknow she's so young how do I even begin to explain it? I mean back before PTSD was a thing, yaknow guys just got "battle fatigue". They just ran out of gas, just ran dry and had nothing left. That's what I feel like, I'm not broken I'm not traumatized I'm just fucking spent. I don't even know what to say to Angelo, I mean fuck great job I guess? I ate three mags and change because he didn't fucking communicate for shit, and everyone just expects me to be ok. Like, I feel like we get fucked up so often people just get used to it, but fuck if I've ever gotten used to it. I was coughing up bits of my fucking lung, I could -taste- my own fucking spinal fluid. I don't care if I heal, that shit freaks me out. Like, all manner of base instincts just revolt and shut down."

Sighing, as she looks after Jericho. "Anyone else but me offer to do anything about your burns, I mean sure pain killers ain't much but it's all I can do."

*

"Angelo probably would be he's got a bunch of mutants to help look after right now. And I needed the pain anyway. I needed to remind myself why these idiots in the mine deserved to have K'nert sic’d on them so I could learn what I needed. I wasn't sure you'd be in a mood to come looking for a while the way got shot up." Jericho sighs and shakes his head. Painkillers are good though. Doesn't hurt so badly now.

"If I can stay out of the scrum for a few days I'll be okay. I've got a regen feature on this thing. It's slow, but it works. It's not normally this bad. I had to eat a frag grenade from Nancy so the blast wave didn't pulp the entire hallway, but don't tell her that. At least, not now. She'll feel awful and she's had enough of a time as it stands and too many things to worry about in the immediate future."

That had scared the crap out of him too. Enough to come up with a new idea for the Wolf Sister. "I'm gonna take steps for that. Build a little biocomp into a combat harness for her with one of those insulin pumps attached to it. Only it'll have dextrose in it. They somehow manage to tank her blood sugar. I just didn't think to do it before but that'll fix the issue quite nicely. Sugar her up if it ever happens again."

*

Partisan sighs "She doesn't do this again. Not with us, we're in the deep end of the pool. The learning curve is gonna get her killed we try bringing her on another raid like that, She wants to be useful we find a non combat role for her. The Difference in skill level in the field is too great anyway at this point, she'd just slow us down. Hell, most folks can't keep themselves situated."

*

Jericho shrugs, and nods, agreeing. "She told me after this she didn't want to be in on stuff like that anyway. I'm still building it though because I'm not confident that she'll have a choice all the time. Or that we'll have a choice. Call me a paranoid bastard, but it'd be better to have it and not need it…" He trails off. Too close. The fact that they can't see it happening again in the near future isn't going to prevent him from closing the loophole.

*

Partisan doesnt argue. "Go take a shower, get some food in you. I'll stay here alright, keep an eye on things. Get a night's rest, take a load off. These fucks ain't going nowhere. We'll hit it fresh in the morning, alright?"

*

Jeri nods. "Sure thing." Jericho levers himself up and starts walking toward the car he'd appropriated for this mess. Halfway toward he turns back.

"You lived up the legend back there, Parti. Thanks. And get some sleep yourself too, okay? I've got more food stashed in the first mine cart in there. Night."


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