In His Name


allison_icon.gif annika_icon.gif josie_icon.gif

Scene Title In His Name
Synopsis Allison Richards uses her power to learn more about Wiley Schnook and his involvement in Josie DeVries' bus robbery.
Date Juy 21, 2010

DeVries-Perry home, Albany, New York

The drive out to Albany takes about three hours, leaving behind the bustle of the Big Apple for the slower and sedate areas separating the two cities and finally arriving at the DeVries-Perry homestead, a sprawling estate overlooking the river. Here, Josie DeVries-Perry is awaiting her trial. With lawyers as parents, with a Congresswoman as a mother, Josie's got the best of legal aide, but unless the Company can help validate their claim that Josie was somehow not acting of her own volition, with 50 bus passengers as eye witnesses, the girl doesn't stand a chance.

When Allison knocks on the door, she is greeted by first a housekeeper, Marta, who leads the Company agent into a sitting room. The decor is tasteful, something out of an interior decorating magazine — both comfortable to sit in an beautiful to look at, with a bowl of fresh green apples on the coffee table, lush cream couches, accent pillows of taupe and green that give the room warmth. Tasteful coffee table books are laid out on such diverse topics as cats, bridges, and French cafes.

Heels on the wooden floor herald the arrival of not Josie but her mother, the Congresswoman Annika DeVries, who walks toward Allison with a smile. She's dressed as if for work, in a summer suit of green that contrasts with her red hair in a way that is no accident. "Doctor Richards, I presume?" she says, her voice in the nasal Northern New York accent, though not unpleasant, a smile at the delivery of the greeting. "I'll get Josie in just a moment. I just want to be sure I know what's happening, what you plan to do. Please, sit." She nods to the couch, taking an armchair for herself.

Driving makes Allison nervous. A long drive moreso. But at least this isn't a high speed chase, and she doesn't crash. The other agents would make fun of her if she did. She doesn't look impressed by the decor of the house, but she does give a smile to the Congresswoman. "I am, yes," she verifies as she sits down.

She studies the woman intently for a moment, deciding how much to tell this woman. But she's Registered now, so not as much point in hiding as there was before. "I'm a trained psychiatrist, and most of my work has involved evolved individuals or those who have been affected by those individuals. I will begin by simply speaking with Josie, and if it's necessary, which I believe it will, I will place her in a hypnotic state in which she'll be able to recall details that she might not otherwise remember." She smiles. "It's all perfectly safe, I promise."

Her arms crossing as she listens, Annika's forehead wrinkles as she listens, nodding once, then twice. "Excellent. That's what I hoped for. I assume that it's possible for Josephine's attorney to get a copy of a report of any findings, especially if they do in fact suggest that Josephine's mind was not her own at the time of the incident — which, I assure you, it was not." Without waiting for a confirmation on whether such a report is, in fact, possible, she turns to head to the door.

"I'll get Josie for you. I have some work to do, but I will be in the other room if you need me." Apparently, she trusts her daughter in Allison's hands. And with that, she is gone.

Allison is left alone for only a moment before softer footfalls, shuffling ones, herald the daughter's entrance into the room. Josie is about her mother's height, but seems to take more after her father — rather than her mother's fine features, hers are softer, rounder, though she is a lean girl. She looks like the typical girl next door, with dishwater-blonde hair, brown eyes, a summer tan from laying out by the pool — not a bad way to spend time awaiting trial. She's dressed in capris and a tank top, her feet in Adidas "sports slide" sandals, the kind soccer players wear when they pull off their cleats or water polo players wear on the pool deck.

"Hi," Josie offers, her arms crossing around herself in a more defensive pose than her mother's, her eyes appraising Allison before dropping to the ground.

Allison smiles when Josie enters, and doesn't seem to mind the defensiveness at all. "Hi Josie. I'm Allison. I assume you've been told why I'm here?" she asks, shifting, getting comfortable. Even using her ability this could take some time. "And I do hope you realize that I'm not your enemy here. I don't want to see anyone who's innocent put in jail."

"Do you think I'm innocent?" Josie asks as she moves to one of the chairs, the opposite one her mother sat in, and curls up in it, pulling the pillow from behind her back to rest in her lap.

"I mean, I clearly did do it," she says, a little chagrined sounding. "But I don't … really know why. I mean, I guess I said for the cause and donations, and I do believe that the Fellowship needs donations. It does some really great things and has great messages, but the world revolves on money, you know? But… I don't know why I thought getting a gun and holding up a bus was a good idea. Like, that's just dumb. I'm not dumb, usually, or I never thought I was," she says, her voice also accented by Northern New York state's regional tones, though her voice is sweeter, more innocent than the business-like tone of Annika's.

"Let's start there, then. The Fellowship. What can you tell me about them?" Allison asks, pulling out a small voice recorder. It's more accurate than taking notes, and let's face it. It's quicker too. "Tell me how you got involved with them, what the messages are…Anything you can remember. Then we'll go from there and see if we can't figure out why you got a gun to hold up a bus."

The 20-year-old nods, frowning a little. "We saw some flyers around campus for a meeting out in Brooklyn… the group, they're called (r)Evo-lutionaries…" She pronounces it Reevo-lutionaries, "but really no one calls them that. It's just this Fellowship. It's hard to explain. It's not really a church, but it kinda is? Like, no one talks about Jesus or God or Mary or whatever. Just about how to be a good person, how to be on the right life track." Her voice is fervent as she speaks of the message, then realizes she's gotten off track.

"Anyway, so we went… I think it was like two months ago now? And they have an empty lot out in Brooklyn. It's kinda like, old-style revival meetings, like they have in the South in the movies. But no one gets healed or anything. My friend wasn't as into it as I was, which is a little weird, she's kinda usually into groups and stuff. Like she is in the 'Take Back the Night' group at Columbia and stuff. But she was kinda 'meh' and I was all excited. I mean, it's all about equality among everyone, and how to be a good person. Who isn't into that?" Josie says, glancing at Allison. "Wiley Schnook is amazing. He's just a great speaker. I can get teary listening to him. He makes me want to be a better person."

Allison nods as she listens, keeping an understanding look on her face, though she wants to frown. "So they want evolved and non-evolved to live together in peace? That sort of thing? And who's your friend? The one who wasn't into the Fellowship as much as you were?" She smiles. "And I'm sure he is amazing. Can you tell me more about Mister Schnook?"

"Paige Haster. She's in Rideley Hall at school," Josie says, her fingers nervously toying with the braid that decorates the pillow's edges. "Schnook… um, he's really up front. He was in jail like two years ago. I guess he had a power, and didn't know it, and accidentally hurt some people. He's totally up front about it, though. He doesn't think people should hide stuff about themselves, because our mistakes are what make us what we are."

Her dark eyes grow teary at that, no doubt as she considers the mistake of her very recent past. "They won't let me go visit him or talk to him, they said that since you guys are investigating him, that would look bad for me, that it could mess up my chances of getting acquitted, but I really wish I could talk to him. I know he'd understand."

"How up front was he? Did he tell you what his power was?" Allison asks, brows lifting. She doesn't comment on the investigation, just continues to ask questions. "Were their others in the Fellowship who had abilities as well? Or was he the only one?"

"Ummm…" Josie draws out as she thinks, frowning at the braid on the pillow. "No. I don't know what his power is, just that he says he doesn't use it now that he knows how to control it. He feels powers are gifts, but that he misused his, even accidentally, and that he isn't going to use it again since he hurt people with it. I think he's being hard on himself. If he learned how to control it, he could use it for good, right? If it's a gift, isn't that what he should do?"

She shifts, pulling her feet underneath her and leaning on one arm of the chair, facing Allison more directly. "There were others, but it's not like we all said what we were or weren't, because it wasn't about that, you know? It might come up in conversations, sometimes, but we didn't sit around and talk about abilities all day. Or really, we talked about how all human abilities are important, that a talented singer or a good doctor is just as extraordinary as someone who can make a plant grow with their brain. And how we need to make wise decisions and lead good lives, no matter what. He's trying to get missionary groups to go help with stuff in Africa and Louisiana and they want to make an orphanage."

Allison nods then seems to shift topics. "When you were talking to any of those Fellowship people, did any of them make any suggestions about how to get donations? Whether legal or illegal suggestions? And what was the money going to be used for? The orphanage ideas? Or something else?"

The girls brows knit together as she considers the question. "I … Mister Schnook said at the last meeting I remembered I went to that we need to find more funds to do these things, that we need to think outside the box, do whatever we could to convince people to donate," she says. "No one said to do anything specific, there weren't any suggestions. Like, 'think outside the box' but you know, no one ever comes up with anything. And donations go to a lot of things. The traveling across country, the apartment complex they just bought, charity stuff. He wants to set up an after school program for kids with no where else to go, things like that, but it all takes cash."

There's another nod. "Okay, now Josie? We're going to move onto the next step. I want you to lay back and get comfortable. I'm a psychiatrist, but I'm also a hypnotist, and it will help you remember anything that you may have forgotten. It's perfectly safe, I promise you," she says with a reassuring smile.

Josie nods, shifting so that her head is on the back of the chair, chin tipped to ceiling, her legs uncurling to rest on the coffee table. The pillow stays on her lap, her hands folding loosely on top of it. Despite the fact she has been charged with attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and other crimes, she seems trusting enough.

Allison waits until Josie is settled before she says anything else, though even then, her eyes fade to silver first. "Josie? I want you to close your eyes and relax. Nothing can hurt you now, and you can trust me. You can trust me enough to tell me anything. Anything at all," she begins in her calming voice. "Do you believe that, Josie?"

The young bus bandit closes her own dark eyes, not noticing that Allison's have shifted to silver. Josie's dark lashes flutter for a moment before settling down as the girl grows more relaxed. She nods slowly. "I trust you," she murmurs. "I believe you."

"Good," Allison says, smiling. "I want you to think back Josie. Try to remember…Did anyone tell you to rob people in order to get money for any purpose, including for the Fellowship? Did anyone give you the gun you used to hold up the bus?"

Josie shakes her head, the back of her head softly swishing on the back of the armchair. One finger idly scratches at the fingernails of her other hand. "Huh-uh," she says. "No one told me to get a gun or rob anyone. No one ever said to do anything violent like that — they'd probably be really upset that I did, if they don't know already. I don't know where I got the idea."

"Where did you get the gun then, Josie?" Allison asks, frowning. Someone thought this was going to be easy! "And did anyone say anything to you that struck you as unusual? Did anyone tell you to forget anything?"

Josie's teeth rake over her lower lip. This is deeper in her subconscious, somehow stowed away. "I bought the gun at a pawn shop in Chinatown. The guy took cash. It cost $200. I figured it would make me more than it cost me in the long run," she answers. "No one told me to forget anything… Wait. Noooo, someone did!" Her tone grows more excited, as if she's helping Allison out. Perhaps it's something useful! "Wiley once said to forget it when I stepped on his foot on accident at a picnic."

Brows lift and Allison leans forward slightly in anticipation…then she sighs softly and leans back. Okay, new tactic. "Did you and Wiley ever speak alone? Just the two of you in the conversation, with no one overhearing?"

"No… I'm new. I doubt he even knows who I am, you know?" Josie says, no anger in her tone. Her fingers go back to work on the braid, finally managing to peel the glued-on adornment off the corner by half an inch.

"There's always people clamoring to be near him. I shook his hand once on the way out — you know, he'll stand near the exit and people say thanks and he says thanks for coming. I shook his hand and said goodnight, and he said thanks for coming, or something like that? And then that one day at the picnic, he was near me in the line for hotdogs and I stepped on him. That's all, those are the only times I ever talked to the guy. He's always busy and there's like three hundred people or something at these events, sometimes."

Allison frowns and thinks for a moment. "Okay, I want you to try really hard to remember, Josie…do you have any spots in your memory that are just blank? Or fuzzy, hard to recall details?"

"The whole gun thing was hazy and anything to do with the robbery, though I can remember it now… is that you doing that?" Josie says, starting to turn her head as if to look at Allison, though her eyes remain closed. "Just those things. Everything else seems normal. I don't remember blacking out ever or anything… It's not like I had a hole in my day or anything. I don't know. It just seems to have been sort of … blurred over. Not missing, just not important. Like, you ever drive home or something and not remember any of it? Auto pilot sort of? It feels like that. Not gone, just not … important. Does that make any sense?"

"Okay, that's good. I want you to remember the first time you felt like that, Josie. Where were you when it started? Who were you with? Do you remember anyting out of the ordinary?" Allison asks, latching onto a potential clue!

"Um. I think it was sometime after the last meeting. Like going home that night. I kind of blurred out the whole subway ride, like, I got home to the dorms and sort of wondered how the hell I managed… I'm not that good on the subways, you know, so I was surprised that I autopiloted like that… I usually pay really good attention to the maps and the voice that announces the stop 'cause I'm sort of terrified of getting lost, especially at night, and this was like at 9 at night, you know?"

"Yes, I understand." Allison's head tilts and she frowns. "Who did you speak with at the last meeting? Anyone? Did anyone touch you? Like, laying a hand on your shoulder, or shaking hands for more than just a second or two? Or perhaps did someone make eye contact and hold it for longer than usual?"

The girl's eyes move behind their lids, as if 'reading' her memory of the event for a moment. "We're all really huggy and stuff, you know? The people who live with the Fellowship, they all hug and hold hands all the time, and they greet all the newbies with hugs, so it's hard to really pull anyone out. I probably hugged twenty people, but no more than usual, you know?"

Josie frowns and shakes her head. "No real eye contact that was abnormal. It's hard to explain. Mister Schnook makes great eye contact when he speaks. I didn't really talk to anyone about anything. I just listened and said goodbye and stuff at the end like always to everyone, and left."

There's a minute where Allison is just thinking, brow furrowed still. "One last thing, Josie. I want you to run me through your day, starting when you went to buy the gun, up until the robbery. Can you do that for me? Any phone calls, anyone you stopped and talked to on the street, or anyone who seemed to bump into you on purpose?"

"I had the plan for a couple of weeks, and had checked out the gun," Josie murmurs. "I got the gun in the morning. I took the subway to Chinatown. I got my money from the ATM. I went to the pawnshop, it doesn't have a name really, or it's in Chinese so I don't know what it is. The guy who works there is old, donno his name. We haggled on the price, from $300 to $200. I then had a Starbucks frappuccino for lunch on the corner. So I talked to the barista, his name was Sage. I remember thinking it had to be fake, but he was hot, so it was okay." Well, she did say to talk about anyone. "Pretty green eyes, probably why he took that name. And I had just enough cash left to buy the drink and one of their little pesto salad thingies. Those are really good."

"After that, I went to my dorm. I talked to my roommate for about five minutes, because she was leaving for the weekend. I took a nap, and then I went back to Chinatown by subway, and I waited for the bus… rest is the robbery, which… well, you know what happened, right?"

There's the faintest of sighs and Allison nods. "Okay Josie. Now I want you to come out of this trance. Remember everything you told me, and be relaxed. Feel as though you've had a really good nap," she says before letting the silver of her eyes slip back to her more natural color.

"I'm sorry," Josie says at the sigh, her brows knitting as she feels she's let down the investigator, though Allison's directions relax the worry out of her face and body immediately. Her eyes open and she lifts her head, shifting her body toward the Company agent. "Wow. That's pretty amazing that you can do that…" she says, meaning the hypnosis. Whether she knows it's Alli's power or not is another matter. "I'm sorry. I know I didn't really help." She frowns again.

Allison smiles and shakes her head. "Don't worry about it, Josie. Every bit of information we get helps, believe me. It's just like putting a puzzle together. You never know when one tiny piece will bring the whole thing together."

"Okay. Maybe I helped then… I … for what it's worth, I didn't mean to do it. But I did, and… that's scary," Josie says, sighing herself.

For all her talk of work to do, suddenly those heel clicks on wood floors repeat their rhythm, and Annika DeVries appears in the doorway. "Oh, you're done, then? I was just coming by to see if I could get you anything. Coffee, water, lemonade. Marta was supposed to ask but there was an issue with the washing machine. I hope Josie has been helpful?" Annika says, leaning against the door frame and appraising the situation.

"I know you didn't," Allison says with a reassuring smile to Josie. She nods at Annika. "She did, yes. And no, I don't need anything. We are done, so I just need to return home and write up my report."

Annika's face brightens into a smile and she moves to Josie to put her hand on the girl's shoulder, squeezing her to her side for a moment. "I'm sure we'll get this figured out. I know Josie didn't do this on purpose… it's not in her. She cries at Hallmark card commercials. Thank you so much for coming out and helping us, Dr. Richards. We do appreciate it," the Congresswoman says warmly, letting go of Josie's shoulder to move toward Allison, offering her hand once more in a farewell handshake.

"Moooom. I do not," Josie protests, as she stands and begins to shuffle out of the room. "Thanks, Dr. Richards. I hope you can help. Hopefully it's something explainable. Mister Schnook doesn't deserve to have people doing crazy things in his name, you know? That's bad press, and it's not his fault I did something dumb."

The redheaded Congresswoman just lifts her eyes to the ceiling, shaking her head at the younger woman's naivete. "Josie. It's in your best interest that they find your beloved Mister Schnook to be at fault. Your entire future depends on it." With that, she shows Allison to the door, for the three hour ride home.

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