Catching Flies


bill_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Catching Flies
Synopsis Bill Dean attempts his own kinder, gentler interrogation methods; and it turns out you actually do catch more flies with vinegar than you do honey.
Date September 2, 2009

Somewhere in SoHo

Dry and cool are the two fortunate considerations afforded to the greivous injuries sustained by Felix Ivanov in his capture by Humanis First. Sealed within a twenty foot by twenty foot concrete room, the days have begun to blend into one another. Men come and go, offering food to keep his strength up with surprising consideration, the vast majority of it disturbingly fast food; the kind culled from a drive-in window. The wrappers of hamburgers, cardboard containers of fries, and an untouched chocolate shake lie resting by the iron door.

Gauze bandages wrap around the horrific injuries wrought on Felix's person by his captors, torture unimaginable done to his legs to keep him from moving, and the gentle caress of injected painkillers in his body giving him a floating sense of numbness that alleviates all but the dull ache of something he knows is far, far worse.

Bill Dean and Emile Danko are like night and day in their interrogations methods. It's not even a charade of good cop and bad cop, but rather one specific outlined dementia contrasting against another. Some times it's a baton to the forehead that greets Felix through the iron door, other times it's a bag of fast food and chit-chat about the start of football season and Bill's constant bemoaning of the New York Jets.

When the metal hinges of the door creak, open and reveal the short and stocky form of that familiar chit-chatter, at least Felix knows what kind of day he's in for. Strolling in to Felix's cell, Bill Dean drags a folding chair by the back with one hand, rubber-footed legs scuffing over the concrete floor. White paper of a grease-stained fast food bag is carried in his other hand. "Felix the Cat," he greets as always, "you're looking like you woke up on a partocilarly bristly side of the bed this morning!" Cheerful, boisterous, and decidedly sociopathic; not even the Vanguard treated him like this.

In some ways, they were kinder.

He's conscious. The cool of the cell has kept off fever. Mostly. He's begun to shiver, though, angry red lines starting their creep from under the gauze. The bruises, at least, have begun to fade, from furious purple into green and yellow. He can even see out of both eyes now. Which roll to peer at Bill, even as he offers no particular word. Still chained, still IV'ed, still not sure what day it is. Filthy and unshaven, which is a sort of particular torment for a cat as fastidious as this one. There's a reason he cleans, while Lee's the cook.

He doesn't bother to try and sit up. The cuffs will permit it, if he really tries….but why bother? He can answer what questions he needs to from right where he is. Not that he has. It's never fallen out right, the combination of pain and coercion and consciousness that has him yielding answers. Frankly, he faints a lot, fleeing into unconsciousness and incoherence whenever he can. Though Bill has been treated to little episodes of delirium, complete with prayers or recited lessons or little snippets of remembered conversation. Generally in Russian, alas. Though perhaps that's better than him recalling a near-argument ten years ago about the crappy season the Dynamos just had. At least right now, he seems to be tracking on the present.

"I hope you're not some sort've Russian Orthodox Jew or something," Bill notes with a raise of his brows as he whips the chair around, settling himself down as thick fingers withdraw a box of fries which come to rest near one of his feet. "Because…" he says with all of the cheer a father surprising a daughter with a Christmas present would, "I got you— " his hand withdraws from the bag, something paper wrapped and burger shaped, "a baconator." There's a broad smile on Bill's lips, as if this were the answer to all of Felix's questions. With one foot, the enormous burger is nudged over in front of the federal agent's face.

"Go on an' eat up, and while you're teething at the wrapper, I'm thinkin' you an' I might be able to have a little conversation about a few people mmn?" Quirking his head to the side, BIll's smile grows just a touch as he grabs at a pawfull of fries, sliding them into his mouth while giving Felix a considering stare. "'Ow much d'you know about Helena Dean? The lil' leader of Phoenix?" Mouth full of fries, he seems practiced at enunciating despite eating. A practiced art.

Oh, ew. Fel turns his face away from the burger like a recalcitrant toddler, scooting away as much as he dares, shoulders against the wall, small of his back up against the pipe. "I just need water," he mutters, in a parched voice. "I don't know much. Phoenix was never my case, really. They schismed off from a more violent group that got cleaned up, PARIAH. Mostly playing with the internet. Home Sec blusters about them being responsible for the Narrows. That was the Vanguard. And man, if you want somewhere to turn your hate, that's the place. Evolved genocdiaires that make PARIAH look like kids with slingshots. Or Gabriel Gray." Even whispery and wan, there's venom in his voice on that subject.

There's a puzzled look from Bill, eyes down on the burger, "What you— don't like bacon? How in the hell's that possible? Everybody likes fuckin' bacon." A huff comes afterwards, followed by a ggrunt of effort as Bill leans forward and scrapes the wrapped burger up off of the floor and sets back in his creaking chair. "You'll get your water when you answer what I asked." Pointing at Felix with a few french-fries in one hand, he pops them into his mouth, chewing loudly as he keeps one brow raised.

"I asked you 'bout Helena Dean, not about what the ol' En Why Pee Dee thinks of'em, or what other lunatics y'know. I'll go on'ta that soon. But, why don't we talk about her for a little bit. Short, blonde, likes t'pretend she's the center of the whole fuckin' universe?" Swallowing down the mouthful of fries, Bill's brows waggle up and down in a come on let's play expression. "She can' be much of a friend a'yours, right?"

"I don't know her. I haven't taken an interest in her. She was never my problem," Felix reiterates, closing his eyes again. "I've heard of her in conjunction with Phoenix, once PARIAH. That's all. She's not a friend. I've never met her." Sort of true. Passing acquaintance at that crucial meeting, he's never spoken to her directly, cuddling down like he'll try and sleep again. Or at least, lose consciousness. "She's a wanted woman, since she's supposedly a high up in Phoenix, and Home Sec wants them for the Narrows."

"Alright," Bill affords Felix with a considering look, scraping his fingers in the bottom of the box of fries to grab the tiny, crunchy fry bits left behind. "I'll pretend you're bad at your job this time. So, if you don't know Phoenix ver' well, why don't you tell me about…" Bill's eyes narrow, head canting to the side. "You know what? I think you got my curiosity piqued, what's all this nonsense about Vans? Vanguard? Tell me who they're and who this Gabriel Gray chap is."

Who Gabriel Gray is?

Bill's serious expression and expectant smile comes with a wave of a hand over his shoulder, shoes scuffing out of sight and someone outside of the room going further away. He honestly doesn't know, but then, perhaps Felix could use his more commonly understood monicker.

His face is bruised, dirty, stubbled. It makes the smile that comes slow all the more brilliant, by contrast. Crooked and malicious. "Sylar. The Midtown Man. A serial killer. You preach about how the Evolved are monsters, but you waste your time. You throw stones at mice and let the wolves walk unmolested," There's a little series of cadenced wheezes that might've been laughter, in another life.

"The Vanguard. They are Evolved terrorists. They hatched a plan to wipe out ninety percent of human life. Not just Evolved, or any particular race or creed. Everyone. The Narrows would've been just the beginning. I got that stupid medal for helping take them down. But that was just one head of the hydra. Too many escaped. And Gabriel Gray, Sylar, is their ally. Hand in glove. I helped bring him in, once. And he escaped. No cell can hold him, nearly nothing can kill him. That's who I pursued. Phoenix is pocket change." He makes a little contemptuous noise.

Both brows raised, Bill listens with uncertainty being his expression of the moment. Uncertainty remains up until boots clunking over the floor bring a tall young man in military fatigues into the room carrying a bottle of spring water. It's tossed down with a crunch of plastic and a bounce to roll and brush up against the side of Felix's head.

Looking to Bill as if for an answer to some unspoken question, there's just a shake of the older man's head, sending the young soldier out of the room. "These Vanguard folks, do they got names and places they live? Sounds like you'n me might have something in common af'er all Felix!" Bill's grin spreads from ear to ear. "C'mon, why don' you tell me where they're all holed up, and we'll send some of our boys out to squish them flat." He makes it sound as if it's just that easy.

He levers himself upright, slowly, lays his spine along the pipe, eyes Bill patiently. You gonna open that for me, let me drink? "Eileen Ruskin. Ethan Holden," He names a handful more, those he can recall. "Staten Island, last I knew. Presumably somewhere in the wilds. You want to protect humanity from the Evolved threat, that's where it is. If you go, go with all you have. Sylar alone is worth a battalion."

"Gonna need descriptions more'n just names," Bill notes with a flick of his brows up, leaning forward to pick up that bottle of water and rest one hand on the cap. His brows stay raised, watching Felix carefully and in that doggedly tiring expression of some more information and you can drink.

"She's British. Gray-eyed, dark brown hair, small caucasian. Her power is avian telepathy. Think Hitchcock. Holden is tall, dark haired but balding, last we saw him. Pale eyes, blue, maybe gray. Also a Brit. Don't know if he's Evolved. There's an Italian, Amato Salucci, tall, blonde thin. Likes to portray himself as a priest. Gray's medium sized, dark hair and eyes, more power than thrones and dominions. Fucking hell. They're all up on the FBI's page. High value targets. Public Enemy Number 1." Oh, this uprightness doesn't last long - his head lolls, and he sinks again, chain scraping down the pipe.

"You get tha', David?" The cap of the bottle in unscrewed, and Bill scoots his chair a little closer, laying it down near where Felix can reach it from his handcuffed position. From the hall outside of the doorway, there's a grunt of affirmation and Bill scoots back with his brows raised. "The only problem with all'a that, Felix, is that I know you're holdin' out on us. See, my work associates gave me a list'a people an, well, I figure an FBI man like you might know a few of them. Where d'we start— oh! How about the one wanted for the murder a'some cops."

Bill leans back in his seat, brows raised as he folds his hands over his stomach, eyeing the still wrapped burger like a cat eyes a mouse. "Teodoro Laudani," he pronounces it wrong. "You gotta' have a heads up or two about this one, right? Why don't you start by tellin' me what he does that lets him get away from the cops."

"He got possessed," Felix says, simply. "Body jumper. All the reports we've got indicate someone else was driving. I don't know how you prove that in court, case like that has never come up. We still want him for questioning, but he's also on the run. Also not my case. That's Jersey PD. Don't know if it was Newark or the Staties, not something they felt compelled to roast beef 'em about. Killer's in another body now. We're still getting kills with that signature."

He snorts at this, rests his cheek on the concrete floor again. "You're asking me about shit that's not my problem. Never was, never will be. I'm not the Amazing Kreskin or an encyclopedia. I worked Organized Crime, Vice, Homicide. I can tell you all you ever want about the state of the Russian mob on both coasts, and what fuckups Ukrainians are. I can tell you what place in Brooklyn caters to your tastes if you like underage black girls, and where you're most likely to catch the clap in San Francisco. I can tell you how the drug mules get their stuff in through LaGuardia, Kennedy, and Islip. I can recite every relevant stat in fourteen unsolved homicides in the year of 2002. Including that one guy I am for certain fucking sure killed his wife by throwing her radio in the bathtub, and the first thing I am going to ask Saint Peter about when I reach the Gates this time is just how hot that man's space in hell will be."

His voice is winding down as he speaks, into a rasp, a whisper, a drift like a mouse behind the wainscoting. "You fucking pussies. You'll parade around, do your little videos, kill random civilians, and never touch the real threat. You're afraid to, because you know when it comes to the real monsters, you're a bunch of numbnuts wanna-bes, parading around in your white sheets and burning crosses."

"Haven't heard that one before," Bill notes with a huff of breath, rising up from his chair after snatching the paper-wrapped burger in one hand. "See, me an' mine are of divided minds on how best to handle interrogations. One side'a me says — you know what maybe you do attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." Bill walks over to Felix, looking at the water bottle, and kicks it over with a slosh and a glugging noise as it begins to spill out across the dry concrete.

"But now, Felix, you've gone an' made me wrong an' ol Danks right. Now see, he and I both agree torture is a pretty unreliable way of gettin' information outta' someone. So— " he inclines his head, starting to unwrap the burger, eyeing it wantingly. "We've come up with somethin' I think you'll like."

"Don't pretend you're going to get anything out of me that way. Your buddy can come in and get his rocks off on the blood and the screaming, and I guess you do, too, since you seem to be around for that part enough, that's fine. Don't pretend it's interrogation. I've yet to see anything here that makes me think you've got any more professionalistm than extras on a shitty movie. This is play-acting. This is theatre. You're every bit as pitiful as some white power pinhead in Alabama saluting his picture of Hitler. You and I both know I won't come alive out of this room, I have nothing left to lose. And all the time in the world to frustrate you both," His voice grits and grinds like a watch with sand in the gears, and his glare is blood-shot, furious.

"Torture you?" Bill laughs, grimacing playfully, "that's a good idea. No, no— we're done torturing you." Bill's smile grows a touch at that, wagging a finger back and forth. "We'll have a new playmate for you in a couple of days. You have fun there, mister Ivanov. You won't be lonely much longer when we get that pretty little thing in here. Then you can get all friendly."

As he makes his way to the door, Bill stops and turns, looking over his shoulder to Felix with a teasing smile. "I know you don't have much to lose. I'm just wondering how many kids we'll have to go through, before you decide to talk." Burger unwrapped, he bites down hungrily and waggles his brows, steping outside with a flighty, "Ta ta!" offered to Felix before the metal door slams.

He was getting his rant on, and Bill stopped him. Felix has the somewhat bug-eyed look of a Doberman who's just lunged to the end of his chain, and he falls silent. All the ire drained out of him. Kids. Oh, Jesus. "No," he says, quietly. "No. You don't need to do that."

But the only person to hear Felix is the walls; and his pleas fall on deaf ears.

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