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Old 01-24-2018, 04:05 PM   #211
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default A Full and Frank Exchange of Views

Special Agent William Dunbar nods sympathetically to Danny O’Toole as Holden glares at him with naked hostility. Neither man is taking notes, but a blinking light on a camera set up to capture the interview indicates that it is being recorded.

Dunbar: “No doubt it was very confusing, Danny. Firefights are. The movies always make it seem like there was a clear narrative, heroes and villains, but it’s never like that. It’s just an awful mess that never makes sense to you afterward. ‘Who stood where?’ ‘What happened then?’ Our minds aren’t really built to process near-death experiences in those terms. And that’s not even accounting for the effects of flashbangs and gunshots in an enclosed tunnel!”
O’Toole: “Uh, yah. I mean, I can tell you what happened, but some of it, you know, it’s more of a blur. Not a lot of detail.”
Dunbar: “And that’s okay, Danny. It’s just that we’re the sorry sons-of-bitches who get the job of trying to make sense of the blur. So we’re going to go over it from all angles, see if we can’t help you figure it out.”
O’Toole: “Sure. Not a problem.”

Smiling reassuringly, Agent Dunbar pours himself a San Pellegrino. He offers O’Toole some, which he accepts gratefully, having finished his soda. Holden shakes his head in disgust and tops up his coffee cup from a Thermos, without any visible desire to share his beverage with anyone else.

Dunbar: “For instance, Danny, let’s back up to the point where you return fire. You used an M9 pistol, right?”
O’Toole: “Yeah, that’s right. One we’d captured from a guard who was attacking us.”
Dunbar: “What I was wondering, Danny, is why you had the M9? By this time, you had captured two M16A2 rifles, hadn’t you? Col. Burr was carrying one. Why weren’t you carrying the other?”
O’Toole: “We felt that Taylor would be more effective with the rifle, having been a Weapon Sergeant in the Special Forces, a sniper and a small unit tactics specialist.”
Dunbar: “I see, Danny. Who made that decision?”
O’Toole: “After some discussion, it was unanimous.”
Dunbar: “So Col. Burr didn’t just give orders? You had discussions about what to do?”
O’Toole: “Yeah, sure. We weren’t exactly a military unit. If we hadn’t gotten the civilians on board, we could have been in a situation where everybody ran off on their own, leaving us in even more trouble.”
Dunbar: “But you did, in fact, get separated? After the tunnels firefight?

Danny O’Toole is somehow managing to maintain a professional bearing and even look directly into Agent Dunbar’s eyes, like an honest man with nothing to hide. This is made even more impressive in light of the open contempt and disbelief that Holden projects through his baleful glare at O’Toole, regarding him as he might a particularly bloated leech on his own scrotum.

O’Toole: “We did get separated, yes. I managed to reach the Coast Guard and call for assistance. The situation in the tunnels became untenable. When the guards threatened to throw grenades into our position unless we gave up Ms. Bell, I decided to surrender in order to win time to allow rescue to arrive. By providing a distraction, I allowed Ms. Bell to escape in the direction where we had last seen Taylor, hoping they’d find a way to contact the Coast Guard again. Unfortunately, as I knelt to surrender, flashbangs went off and the guards started firing.”
Dunbar: “That must have been very frightening.”
O’Toole: “Agh, it was mostly just confusing, you know? I didn’t really have time to be afraid, it was just this, like, assault on all the senses. I couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, couldn’t think. Somehow, I don’t know how, I managed to throw myself into cover.”
Dunbar: “And that’s when the guards captured Col. Burr and the others?”
O’Toole: “Yeah. They must’ve missed me, I was in a side tunnel maybe thirty or forty feet off. Just lucky, I guess.”
Dunbar: “Very fortunate. And once the shooting had stopped, what did you do?”
O’Toole: “Well, when I could, I moved after them, you know. Trying to see if I could find out where they were taken, let the rescue know.”

Holden snickers. Agent Dunbar looks at him with faint annoyance, but then looks over some papers on the desk.

Dunbar: “I’m wondering, Danny, whether you might be mixing up the timeline a little. Is there anything else you can remember after the firefight in the tunnels?”
O’Toole: “Oh. I came across a wounded patient there. She looked seriously injured and I didn’t have any medical gear, so I told her that I would fetch her help.”
Dunbar: “That was nice of you, Danny.”
O’Toole: “Yeah, well, I felt it was my duty. I mean, she was a wounded civilian.”
Dunbar: “Very commendable. This would be Mrs. York. Judith York?”
O’Toole: “Yeah.”
Dunbar: “Says here she was suffering from the after-effects of a serious head blow, malnutrition and a long list of medical issues that were not as likely to kill her. Her worst wounds were two bullet wounds on her abdomen. Exit wounds on her back, too. I'm guessing .223 caliber.
O’Toole: “Yeah, that could be.”
Dunbar: “And did you, Danny?”
O’Toole: “What?”
Dunbar: “Fetch her help?”
O’Toole: “Yeah, Doc Anderson took care of her. She made it out. I carried her stretcher to the main complex, the Coast Guard paramedics took over her there.”
Dunbar: “Just to help me get the timeline straight, Danny, you informed Dr. Anderson about her location at what point?”
O’Toole: “Well, by the time I did, he had already independently located her.”
Dunbar: “I see. And that was when?”
O’Toole: “I notified him as soon as I saw him, at the main complex.”
Dunbar: “You didn’t see him again in the tunnels?”
O’Toole: “Nah, like I told you, we got separated.”

Consulting his papers again, Agent Dunbar falls silent for a while. Holden takes a sip of coffee, puts his mug on the table and then feels compelled to address O’Toole, his tone of voice every bit as hostile as his expression.

Holden: “Agent Dunbar, out of Catholic guilt or whatever, may care about the level of care you provided some dying dried-up fossil [female sexual organ] in the tunnels. I don’t. You’re not on our books as an EMT. You are, however, supposed to be a field agent. Complete with spine, [penis] and balls! Not a [faeces]-swallowing invertebrate who lets convicts and crazy people decide what to do for him. Man, you were there to provide backup for Special Agent Banks and mother[fornicating] security over Mackenzie [fornicating] Chase goddamned Taylor!”

Holden stands up and slams both hands on the table, almost spilling his coffee.

Holden: “Instead, you let Banks be captured. What you then decide, in your ignorant, potato-eating, Southie-trash ‘Momma smoked and drank all through pregnancy’ fetal-alcohol inspired way, is to give [fornicating] Taylor a gun and leave him behind!”

Red in the face, alarmingly so for his blood pressure, Zachary Holden is shaking with anger.

Holden: “And if I understood your mealy-mouthed, self-serving, CYOA Beltway-bureacucrat bull[faces] right, Taylor also had a [fornicating] grenade and was going to to burn down the barracks! To which you didn’t have a single everloving objection! Don’t you get it?! This is a murderous terrorist, trained to kill by the best in the US [fornicating] Army! You armed him and left him to his devices and what the [fornication] do you know, he killed two people! Hell, the only other person to die in this whole cluster-goat[fornication] was supposedly killed by Inmate Bell, a criminally insane person, who you also gave a gun!!!

Agent Dunbar lays his hand placatingly on Holden’s shoulder. Reluctantly, Holden sits down again.

Dunbar: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Holden. It was a fluid situation and we aren’t interested in assigning blame. We’re just charged with finding out what happened.”
Holden: “Mother[fornicator] would lie to you as soon as look at you. Turn off the [fornicating] camera and we’ll [fornicating] find out what happened, damn straight!”
O’Toole: “I’m telling you exactly what happened. And Ms. Bell shot a knife-wielding psychopath in self-defence. It was a legit shoot, no matter her status.”
Dunbar: “I am sure it was, Danny. Now, do you mind if we go back to where we were?”
O’Toole: “Yeah, okay.”
Dunbar: “What I’m wondering, Danny, is why you didn’t try to rejoin Dr. Anderson, Taylor and Ms. Bell after the firefight? How far was it from the side tunnel to the entrance to the barracks cellar? A hundred feet? Hundred and fifty? And you’d just been there. You knew there were medical supplies, stretchers, IV racks, fluids and everything you’d need to care for Mrs. York in the cellar. Dr. Anderson is board certified as a GP and I believe that Taylor is quite good at battlefield medicine.”
O’Toole: “Well, Taylor was left behind to set a fire and we knew that the guards were coming for his position. Considering I hadn’t seen him come out, I thought he’d either been captured, killed or that he’d left by another way.”
Dunbar: “Yet you sent Ms. Bell to rejoin him?”
O’Toole: “That was earlier, when I believed that he would be coming that way directly. After the firefight, I was pretty sure he was not coming that way, since he hadn’t responded to the noise.”
Dunbar: “He did, however, come back that way. Along with Dr. Anderson and Bell.”
O’Toole: “Yeah, I guess I made the wrong call. It felt like the best bet, given the information I had, to follow the guards who had captured Col. Burr and the others. All in all, it seems to have worked out okay in the end.”
Holden: “[Faeces]! Can you believe this guy, Dunbar? He’s applying for a [fornicating] medal here!”

Holden half stands up and leans close to O’Toole, pointing his finger in his face like a loaded pistol.

Holden: “All you deserve, you bog-trotting, Dropkick Murphy listening degenerate, is being sent to guard our Canadian border. In Alaska!
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 01-24-2018 at 04:37 PM.
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