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Old 02-06-2018, 01:00 PM   #227
Icelander
 
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Bury Me Not...

Special Agent Adeline Wong asks occasional questions, but otherwise, Chase Taylor’s detailed report of the events at Manhanock Asylum proceeds without much in the way of input from the two Homeland Security agents from JTF Onyx Rain. When Taylor comes to his encounter with Warden Tyrrell in the main complex, Special Agent Gerald Richardson clears his throat and interrupts.

Agent Richardson: "Correct me if I am wrong, but this would be the Deputy Warden of Manhanock Asylum, the commander of the guard contingent, CEO of Manhanock Security and a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Coast Guard Reserve?”
Taylor: “I reckon he musta been. He sure was the commander of them guards and the Deputy Warden of this here asylum, but I never caught his USCG Reserve rank nor his company title. I done knowed he run that guard company, though.”
Richardson: And is it not true that at the time of Deputy Warden Bradley Tyrrell's death, he was leading armed military personnel and federal law enforcement agents in an act of mutiny against the United States? Weapons were found on the ground near his body and Warden Tyrrell had given specific orders to kill you and the rest of the people here from Onyx Rain. In fact, when Tyrrell was killed, he had been trying to kill you in hand-to-hand combat."
Taylor: "An' you want me to say I feared for my life, sir? It wasn't like that. I done murdered Warden Tyrrell. I wanted him dead."
Agent Wong: “Can you confirm that you have waived your right to counsel and understand all the rights you have previously been read, Prisoner Taylor, and then repeat your confession?”

Agent Richardson sighs and with great deliberation turns off the recording device on the table.

Richardson: “Agent Wong. This recording is being made merely because neither of us wants to type out the entire interview. It is never going into evidence. It will never be played in any United States courtroom. Surely this must be obvious to you?”
Wong: “Sir, I…”
Richardson: “We are never going to tell a judge that a task force under the joint auspices of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense arranged to have a dangerous convict removed from USDB Ft. Leavenworth, armed him with the knowledge and consent of senior people, and then allowed him to kill two people. We cannot prosecute a prisoner for acts he committed while theoretically in our custody; but functionally in command of a group of people employed by Homeland Security. Many people at JTF Onyx Rain would lose their jobs if we did. Some might go to prison. Worst of all, our ability to do our jobs would be fatally compromised at a time when we really cannot afford that.”

Adeline Wong looks shocked. She is obviously searching for a rebuttal, but nothing immediately comes to mind. Gerald Richardson turns to Taylor.

Richardson: “I suspect that you already knew this. What you should consider, however, are the consequences of this fact for you. You may believe that Agent Wong and I have relatively little power over you. Administratively, you still belong the vast machinery of the United States Army and at worst, we can only return you to USDB Ft. Leavenworth to serve out the remainder of your sentence.
After all, your faithful minders of the US Army CID are here, already making a nuisance of themselves, reminding us all of the vast power of impersonal bureaucracy. Because they signed you out, they are bound and determined by the power of paperwork to take you back to prison. Unpleasant, perhaps, but nothing you had not prepared yourself for mentally.”

Agent Gerald Richardson leans forward and speaks in an even quieter, more reasonable voice.

Richardson: “You should think again, Taylor. As far as USDB Ft. Leavenworth is concerned, you have been transferred to a special federal Communication Management Unit (CMU), at a location I will not share with you. On paper, you will serve out the rest of your sentence there. I understand that the conditions are not bad. Very professional, very disciplined, very safe. Much like the conditions at a federal ADX facility, except with no contact with the outside world. Your very existence would be classified TS-SCI and I assure you that no one would need to know about the prisoner at the CMU. Or lack thereof.
Worley and Kowalski will find that they are no longer responsible for your transport. They signed you over to Col. Burr when you stepped on the ferry to Jewell Island and their responsibilities will not resume merely because Col. Burr has been incapacitated. You may rest assured that your paperwork will show that another officer took over your transportation to your final destination. You need not concern yourself with his name. He will not remember yours.
And no matter what happens to you on Jewell Island, I assure that your paperwork will be immaculate. No one will ever have any reason to complain about your paperwork. This is my personal guarantee. I am sure you realise, from having served almost fourteen years in the military, exactly how much work is involved in squaring away all the paperwork. Especially if you do not, in fact, arrive where you are supposed to arrive, when you are supposed to arrive. Nevertheless, I promise you that if we have to, we will take care of it.
Do you understand me, Taylor?”
Taylor: “I reckon you jes’ threatened to bury me in a shallow grave right here on Jewell Island. Ain’t that right, sir?”
Richardson: “No, Taylor. I’m not a shallow man and I hope that nothing I ever construct shall ever be shallow. What I bury; it stays buried.”

Wong looks appalled. Ignoring her distress, Richardson turns on the recording device again.

Richardson: “You were telling us, Taylor, that you subdued Warden Tyrrell after a short struggle which occurred when he charged you. What happened next?”

Taylor takes up the story again, narrating how he used the unconscious Tyrrell as a shield against Inspector Rankin, how he threw Tyrrell at Rankin and managed to grapple the armed man and how he stamped on Tyrrell’s head when he heard him still breathing. Agent Wong winces, but Richardson shows no reaction.

Then Taylor explains his acrobatic leap from the balcony overlooking the ground floor of the front main building to a second floor window in the rear annex, the scene he found in the rear annex and the subsequent actions taken to secure the area. When describing room clearing and areas of responsibility, his vocabulary is technical, yet clear, and while nothing can eliminate his rural drawl, his grammar seems to improve.

Taylor makes no attempt to conceal the fact that his hearing is acute enough to be able to follow a conversation in what turned out to be the Deputy Warden’s office even while in the rear annex. He is also quite clear on the fact that after running down the guard sharpshooter with Danny O’Toole, he ordered Agent O’Toole to remain behind and secure the guard while he moved forward.

Richardson: “And Agent O’Toole obeyed without hesitation?”
Taylor: “He ain’t got much choice, if’n we being fair here. His first time under fire an’ he facing military men with real long experience together. He may not have done too good alone in them tunnels, but ain’t nothing wrong with how he done when he took my orders. Jes’ common sense, really, not having the rookie second guessing them what knows how.”
Richardson: “I see. Agent O’Toole sensibly concurred with your tactical judgment. And after this was when you moved to rescue the hostages?”
Taylor: “You might could say that. It ain’t what I was thinkin’, though, sir. No, sir, I done had me murder in my heart jes’ then. Powerfu’ Old Testament kinda feelin’, yes, sir.”

Richardson turns off the recording again.

Richardson: “I don’t know if you’re looking for absolution or a cross to nail yourself to, Taylor. In any case, you’d best look for it somewhere else. I’m not looking for a confession, I’m looking for data to make a judgment call. If we applied moral standards to whether or not we were prepared to make use of an asset, the position of criminal informant wouldn’t exist and drug dealers, pimps or contract killers would never rat out the kingpins above them.
All I really want to know about you is whether we can trust you to do what you are told or if you are a mad dog who needs to be treated like one.”
Taylor: “I ain’t no mad dog, sir. I gone an’ killed two men, I know, but I done had my reasons.”
Richardson: “I understand you don’t want to share them, but I’m going to have to insist.”

Taylor looks conflicted and anguished in his chair. Adeline Wong is watching him with a mixture of disgust, fury and fear, which bothers Taylor far more than if she just hated him.

Taylor: “You know what they done here, don’t you? Jes’ like Auschwitz and Mengele, ‘cept they experimenting on people’s minds as well as bodies?”
Richardson: “I’m aware of some of what has been done here and I expect I’ll learn more than I want to know as time goes by.”
Taylor: “An’ you knows they was going to get away with it. Dr. Cotton, he was going to convince Townsend an ‘em all an’ he was going to do it all again. Not right now, no. Later, one step at a time, jes’ ever so sweetly an’ reasonably telling y’all about the scientific benefits an’ the necessary sacrifices an’ all the things they say when they need to convince somebody. An’ then one day, they’d be here again. Maybe other victims. Maybe some o’ the same, even. But this same maze of tunnels what ain’t got no escape but death. This same evil.”
Richardson: “So you killed them because their evil offended you?”
Taylor: “I done told myself I was saving the victims. But I knowed I was wrong. I ain’t God’s avenging angel. I’m jes’ a dumb country redneck. I was prideful. I was angry. It ain’t who I was raised to be, sir.”
Richardson: “So killing Warden Tyrrell and Dr. Cotton was not something Sherilyn Bell had asked you to do?”
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-07-2018 at 06:28 AM.
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