Operation Geopoint, Part IV


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Scene Title Operation Geopoint, Part IV
Synopsis Devon Clendaniel and Colette Demsky team up with Wolfhound's legal advisor Elisabeth Dumont to interrogate a recent capture.
Date July 2, 2018

It’s surprisingly bright out today.

The nearly cloudless sky is awash with the bright gleam of morning sun coming in over the rooftops of the Safe Zone. Seabirds soar overhead, wings alight on warm summer breeze, and the salt spray misting the air. Cutting along the Hudson River, a US Coast Guard transportable port security boat is a bright spot of white and red against a field of midnight blue. Near the front of the ship, leaning against the metal railings, a darkly-dressed member of Wolfhound stands in tense defiance of the sea breeze and the oncoming monument, hands firmly gripping the railing as the ship dips up and down against the river's chop.

«We’re three minutes out.» A voice crackles over the ship’s outboard speakers over the roar of the engine and the crash of water against the hull. The noise doesn’t pull that Wolfhound operative’s attention away from the dark silhouette approaching in the distance, a small island surrounded by a tall concrete wall. A pedestal rises up just over the concertina-wire top of the wall, and upon that the twisted half-remnants of a green statue’s robe-covered legs remains. Lady Liberty once loomed over this island, stood at the mouth of the river to welcome arrivals to New York. The Second Civil War saw to her demise.

Now, Liberty Island Detention Center is a prison for some of the most significant political prisoners of the modern age. It is a place this Wolfhound agent is intimately familiar with, and a place that has her muscles tight with tension and jaw set with uncertainty.

Colette Demsky has a history on this rock, and it isn’t one she or Wolfhound is proud of.

US Coast Guard Transport

The Hudson River

En-Route to Liberty Island

July 2nd, 2018

8:13 am

As Liberty Island comes into view, Colette closes her eyes and draws in a deep breath, unwinding her fingers from their vice-like grip at the railing and unzipping the front of her leather jacket. The button-down shirt worn beneath gives a thin veneer of professionalism, tucked into her dark jeans. She’s taken to wearing an old, battered badge clipped to her belt, one belonging to the now-defunct NYPD. A badge whose number can be traced back to her late father, Detective Judah Demsky. It’s a reminder, one heavily-felt today with the shadow of lady Liberty at her back.

Most of the trip had been spent at the stern watching the dock disappear as the boat traveled away from the mainland, but now that they’re nearing their destination Devon has started wandering. His hands rest in his jacket pockets, boots make a light thud against the deck as he moves to stand alongside Colette. “You ready for this? Interrogating, all that?” He’s never been the one asking questions in an official matter, that he was selected to go with was a surprise. It’s still a surprise, and it’s evident in his voice.

Blue is someone that prefers to be as prepared as possible for things, her background as a lawyer has spoiled her into wanting to research and cross-reference, and have answers before questions are even asked.

That isn’t always possible.

For the trip Blue has done what she could to prepare for the interrogation, then settled herself in to wait for the arrival. She has kept to herself, keeping herself quiet and calm until the island grows closer. Only then does she move towards where the other two are, hands tucked into the pockets of her slacks. “So how are we planning on going about this?”

Turning her back to the prow of the boat, Colette leans against the railing and rests her hands on it, elbows up. Blind eyes track vestigial movement over to Devon for a moment, silently considering his question and not liking any of her potential responses, if the furrow of her brows is any indication. Those white eyes track next to Blue, and Colette sucks in a deep sigh and then deflated some, against the railing.

“I'd recommend a gentle touch. Dunlap killed some of her own men to surrender, according to the field report. She gave herself up willingly, and has been playing ball with DHS since her arrival here.” The strong wind tousles Colette’s short hair as she talks, and she lifts up one hand to brush choppy bangs from her eyes. “We don't need to start red hot, but if either of you feel like she's holding back we have to press.”

Looking aside, Colette watches the Safe Zone’s coast getting further and further away. “We don't know much about what Dunlap’s been up to since the war, so we need to focus on the wartime and post-war timetable. If she volunteers anything interesting outside of that we can pounce on it. But,” Colette inclined her head to Devon, then looks from him to Blue. “You two are lead on this. I can make some recommendations, but it's ultimately up to you. The Major wants to see you develop your skillset,” she directs to Devon, “and handle field work,” is more toward Blue.

“If you miss something I pick up on, I'll play through.” Colette adds, slowly leaning off of the railing. “Provided they let me in,” she says in half-jest.

Pressing an issue, at least with any of the other Hounds, is not something Devon usually makes a habit of. Not without good cause. So he shrugs at Colette’s lack of initial response. The sound of Blue’s question draws a glance toward her and a customary crooked grin. He doesn’t answer, since the senior officer on the trip has that handled.

He looks to the island while listening to Colette’s instruction for the task at hand. Asking probing questions he can do, no problem. But it’s no secret that Devon can be a bit of a hot head and doesn’t always have the best people skills. He’s also aware of what happened when Dunlap was taken into custody, he was one of the first into the room she was located in. Still, “I’ll keep that in mind.” Though whatever possessed Dunlap to kill her own men is a lingering question.

The small joke gets a quiet chuckle and of his head. Dev casts a brief sidelong look at Colette. “Would the Major send you if she thought you’d sit on the boat the whole time?”

“If you have recommendations then I’m all ears.” Blue offers to Colette, one corner of her mouth quirking upwards before she offers Devon a quick wink. “So we’ll be focusing on war and post-war activities, and then anything else is just….icing on the cake. Should be…” She pauses, considering her next word carefully before she uses it, “Easy.”

Easy? The thoughtful, and slightly worried, look on her face easily gives the impression that Easy isn’t exactly the real way she feels this entire situation will be going. She pulls one hand from her pocket, fingers sliding into her hair before she drops her hand to her side, turning her attention towards Devon, “Do you want to be bad cop or good cop?”

Blue’s question elicits a wry smirk from Colette around the same time the ferry is pulling into port outside of the concrete walls surrounding what was once the Statue of Liberty. “For what it's worth,” she says as the boat crew attach the gangplank and lower it down onto the pier, “I wouldn't put anything past the Major, so long as she thought it was a teaching moment.”

That note, with its perhaps double-meaning, signals Colette’s departure from the coast guard boat down onto the pier where a short, slim man in a dusky gray suit swiftly approaches with an all-business demeanor but a golden retriever smile. “Lieutenant Demsky,” he greets Colette at the landing, and the two shake hands surprisingly amicably, though she doesn't correct him about her rank. “I'm Sebastian Waite, Federal Bureau of Prisons.”

Mr. Waite,” Colette greets in return, tension evident in her posture. She motions back to the two approaching. “This is Devon Clendaniel and Elizabeth Dumont.” The last name elicits a raise of Waite’s brows, and for a moment it looks like he recognizes something, but then ultimately says nothing and just smiles with measured warmth.

“I'll show you in and take you to the room we have Miss Dunlap set up in. If you brought any sidearms with you I'll have to ask that you stow them with security when we go through.” As Waite says that he offers a knowing but wordless look to Colette, then back to those she's brought with her. “It's a pleasure to make all of your acquaintances. You've done some fine work, and you're keeping me a very busy man.” Not quite as busy as his predecessor, but that's a less pleasant story.

“That’s actually a thing,” Devon asks with a thoughtful look for Blue. He actually weighs the idea, one brow drawing upward. “Let’s not assign roles just yet,” he decides, though it sounds more like a suggestion. “See what state of mind she’s in, then adjust as necessary.”

When Colette starts down the gangplank, Dev watches her go then gives a look and a shrug to Blue. “Sink or swim,” he tacks on, before following the senior soldier to the pier. He takes a more professional stance as he’s introduced, tipping his head and offering a, “Thank you, Mister Waite.”

When Colette begins to head down the gangplank to meet Waite there is a faint, brief smirk before Blue schools her features. A nod is given to Devon, indicating that she is all for waiting to see just what sort of state of mind Dunlap might be in before setting some course of action into play.

She slides a hand through her hair, giving it a last second check before she falls in behind the others heading down the gangplank, her chin lifting upwards just slightly, the smile that settles on her lips subdued, painfully professional, and never one to reach her eyes.

While Colette and Waite exchange their pleasantries and introductions she is quiet, her attention seeming to be focused on the man, his reaction to the name not going unnoticed. In fact, she takes a half step forward, holding out a hand towards the man for a shake, “Quite a pleasure to meet you as well, Mister Waite.”

The Wolfhound trio is escorted through the main entrance of Liberty Island, a tall iron gate that cordons off the inner courtyard and the pedestal. Within this area, black-garbed security officers watch from their posts as the new arrivals are escorted in. More than a few of them are leveling steely looks at Colette, leaning in to talk to one-another and motioning in her direction. Waite, either to fill the silence or to distract from the security team's reaction fills the silence.

Dunlap has so far been pretty cooperative since we got our hands on her on May,” Waite begins. “She's outlined what she knows about Institute operations across the United States and we’ve been able to interface with DHS, the FBI, and SESA to coordinate arrests of passive assets.” As the reach the pedestal, Waits badges the team inside to a security desk, where temporary guest badges on blue lanyards are handed out to the trio. Colette’s has a nondescript red dot on it that Waite doesn't bring up.

“We've also had some unsettling developments with the other operative you handed over to us a few months before, Lauren Gilmore?” Waits looks over his shoulder at the trio as they breeze through security, turn over weapons, and pass through metal detectors deeper into the subterranean installation. “Gilmore’s health has… rapidly declined. She claims to have been an unwilling participant in a series of genetic experimentation by the Institute. Whatever they did to her? It isn't holding together well.”

That has Colette looking over to Waite with one brow raised. But he fills in the wordless inquiry before it's given voice. “We've had a few specialists look at her. Their opinion is that she's experiencing a slow cellular degeneration due to some reprogramming of her DNA or something of the sort. They said something about cell wall integrity breaking down. She's on life support right now, but it won't be long.”

“She was Dunlap’s handler,” Colette says, more for Devon and Blue than anyone else. “When we grabbed her in Detroit, she came at us with an ability. The Major’s records didn't indicate that she was Expressive, which means the genetic work must have been, what, trying to tailor-make synthetic abilities?”

“Historically the Institute has had some measures of success with that. Gregor, Cong. It never ends well.” Waite chimes in as the team rounds a corner, passes a security checkpoint and descends a short flight of steps. “I don't think it's going to end well for Gilmore either.”

Colette looks to the others, “This might be a good angle to discuss with Dunlap. Figure out what she knew about her handler.”

Devon is mostly silent as he follows Waite and Colette. He's taking in everything, though, from which halls they take to who's around. His sidearm is handed over in exchange for a lanyard without comment.

Genetic experimentation gets something of a face from Devon, like a touch of horror and smelling something foul. People being used as test subjects for untried procedures doesn't sit well with him. It's a brief look, however, replaced with that mask of professionalism and hopefully before anyone really gets a glimpse of it.

“What’re the chances of getting to talk to Gilmore before she’s…” Devon hesitates slightly in finishing that question, that's asked in an aside to his fellow Hounds. So he moves on. “To corroborate stories, after we've spoken with Dunlap.”

As they move through Blue hands over things, takes things, and otherwise seems to be a polite, cooperative individual. It’s clear that she’s listening to what she can hear of the discussion between Colette and Waite, there’s a briefly quirked brow at the information about Gilmore in fact. However, she curbs any questions that might come up for the moment.

Until Devon brings up the potential to talk to Gilmore, and she shakes her head faintly, “If she’s on life support she might not even be able to answer questions, even if they would allow us to speak with her.” This observation is offered to Devon quietly, desire to not talk loudly enough for the words to carry. “However, it’d be interesting to find out what might be learned there, if we are in fact allowed to, and she can talk.”

She then falls quiet for a moment, jaw setting and her chin lifting for a fraction before she shakes her head to some thought or another that crawls across her brain, trying to dismiss it.

“She's responsive,” is Waite’s diplomatic answer about her condition. “She's staying on site in anticipation of her trial, but I sincerely doubt she'll make it that long. Gilmore agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations, and has waived right to an attorney, so…” there's a bob of Waite’s head. “If you have follow-ups for her after you talk to Miss Dunlap I can set something up same-day. Because… you're right. Time isn't long there.”

Colette remains quiet on those points, brows furrowed and hands tucked into the pockets of her jeans as she walks, head down and blind eyes locked on the floor. When Waite stops, it's at a nondescript, windowless metal door marked with a placard that reads I-109. “After you,” Waite says as he opens the door into a dimly lit half-room with three black stools. The walls are darkly painted, a single desk sitting in front of a large picture window looking into a brightly-lit interrogation room. Atop the desk is a thick Manila folder marked with Confidential in red block print and the seal of the SLC-Expressive Services Agency, below that it reads DUNLAP, DONNA A. A door in the dividing wall allows access between the interrogation and observation rooms.

Through the window, a woman in her late twenties or early thirties sits handcuffed to a table. Her orange jumpsuit contrasts sharply to her pale complexion. Her features are narrow and sharp, short and dark hair unkempt and disheveled. There's dark circles under her red eyes, glassy and vacant looking as she stares at her hands, slim fingers fidgeting together.

Waite allows the Wolfhound team into the observation room. “The room is all yours, we've got a camera in the room,” he motions to it through the window, above and behind Donna, then to the monitor beside the window showing the black and white video feed. “I'll be just outside if you need anything. Did you have any last questions for me before you begin?”

Colette shakes her head, then looks to the others to see if there's anything else they needed from Waite before they start.

Devon looks at Blue when she speaks, his brows drawing down thoughtfully. She makes a good point. So it’s a bit of a surprise to him when Waite speaks the opposite and he gives the other officer a little shrug. “Can’t hurt to try,” he murmurs in aside. “She might offer something that Dunlap’s been tight-lipped about.”

He trails into the observation room behind Waite and Colette. As he enters, his attention goes immediately to the window and the woman on the other side of hi. His arms fold over his chest and he half frowns while watching the woman. He remembers seeing her when they breached the room, the men she’d killed, and she just calmly surrendered.

“No,” Dev answers quietly, kind of distracted as he doesn’t look at Waite when he answers but continues to watch Dunlap in the interrogation room.

When it’s pointed out that she’s responsive there is a quick look towards Waite, a brow lifting upwards, but Blue doesn’t follow-up the thought. Instead she nods, agreeing with the other that taking a bit of time to question her as well before leaving.

She absently smooths her hands over her shirt, straightening it a bit before she moves towards the window to look through it at Dunlap. She shakes her head, though, “I’ve no other questions before we begin, no.” She seems to be ready for heading in for the interrogation whenever they are let to head in.

“Alright, best of luck with your interrogation.” Waite offers before excusing himself from the room. Once the outer door shuts, Colette looks to the door into the interrogation room, then to Devon and Blue. With an affirmative nod, she heads to the interior door pauses, looking back at the others.

“Come in when you're ready,” Colette says before opening the door and stepping inside. Dunlap looks up the moment Colette enters, scrubbing the heel of her palms at her eyes as best as she can with the chain of her handcuffs run through an aluminum loop on the table.

Donna says nothing at first, just stares at Colette as the Hound walks in front of the two-way mirror, arms crossed over her chest. “My name’s Colette Demsky, I'll be observing your interrogation today. I have operatives Clendaniel and Dumont with time. They'll be asking you some questions and taking your statements.”

The moment Colette says the name Dumont, Donna’s brows furrow together and she looks to the door anxiously, as if she recognizes the name, then squares a look back at Colette. Again, Colette is met with silence, though this time the former Company agent nods at her Wolfhound interrogator.

“Anything you want to say before we begin?” Colette asks as she leans against the wall beside the mirror, threading a lock of dark hair from her face. Dunlap looks down at the table, to her hands, then up to Colette.

“I'm cooperating,” Donna insists, her expression struggling to maintain composure. “I didn't have to. I could've gone down shooting. I'm cooperating.” She seems insistent on that point, but Colette doesn't follow up on it. Instead, she waits for Devon and Blue to arrive and lead the conversation.

Blue gives Colette a moment in the room with Dunlap, her hands combing her hair back from her face, making certain that she is as professional as possible. An old habit that she hasn’t quite learned to let go of, even after all this time. After making certain she’s got her thoughts collected, her clothes and hair situated, and her nerves calm, and only then, does she start for the door to follow Colette in.

As soon as Blue steps through the door a change comes over her, those that are most familiar with her, her fellow Wolfhounds, might easily pick up the change in demeanor. It’s a facade that was cultivated in courtrooms and high rise offices where she fought for the freedom of her clients. A smile has spread across her lips, cool and professional, as she moves towards where Dunlap sits, “Ms. Dunlap, I’m Elizabeth Dumont. First I want to say thank you for your willingness to cooperate.”

With the strange familiarity of someone who has been in a few interrogation rooms with clients before, Blue moves to settle across from Dunlap, legs crossing and hands folding in her lap as she leans back, “Is there anything that you wish to volunteer before we begin, or anything that you may need?”

When Colette crosses through the door into the interrogation room, Devon angles a look her way. There’s the smallest of nods, he’ll follow shortly. His shoulders shift, arms readjusting but not dropping to his sides, as he looks back at the woman on the other side of the glass. When he hears Blue go next, his attention ticks to the door again.

Dragging his hands over his face, he lets out a slow breath and crosses the small room to let himself through the door finally. Inside the interrogation room, Dev passes behind Blue to stand, arms still folded over his chest, near the wall opposite Colette.

Donna’s eyes track Blue across the room, brows furrowed and thoughtful. When she turns her attention to Devon there's finally recognition in her eyes, remembering him from when she was originally taken in. Fidgeting in her seat, Dunlap looks back up to Blue.

“I want it to be abundantly clear that I'm cooperating,” Donna reiterates. “Whatever it is you need, whatever you want to know. I'm cooperating, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to…” She dithers, looking down to her hands, then back up to Blue and Devon. “There's a lot of people working for the Institute who are held against their will. I've agreed to make written statements about this to the people from DHS I've spoken to.”

Beyond that, Donna doesn't seem to have much to offer initially. Curiously, she's not so much concerned with covering her own ass as she is others, which isn't usually the plea bargaining tactics that Blue is accustomed to. In light of all of this, Colette remains silent and give an approving nod to the two.

“It is abundantly clear that you are wishing to cooperate, Ms. Dunlap.” Blue replies, her voice settling into a quiet, soothing tone, “Which is why we are here, your desire to cooperate.”

It’s clear that Blue is very well aware of where the other pair are in the room, but she keeps her attention focused on Dunlap, studying the woman, the way she seems to react to Devon, or her need to convince them that she is cooperating. Every movement, every gesture, every expression is regarded, interpreted and filed away. It takes barely any time at all before she leans forward, her hands moving from her lap to the top of the table as she shifts her weight forward to the edge of her seat.

“Let’s start with what the purpose of the place was where you were taken into custody. What can you tell me about that? Be as thorough as you can, and then we can move on to those people that you are wanting to talk about that are there against their will, yeah?” Blue continues to speak at a slow, steady, and relaxed pace, her focus remaining centered on Dunlap.

From his place, Devon watches Dunlap, even meeting her gaze when she looks his way. He gives little away, his expression adopting that studious aloofness that comes naturally when dealing with potential enemies and unknown variables. But he’s watching, like a hound waiting for the command to move.

It’s an easy thing to let Blue take point on questioning the woman, kid gloves are not his specialty. However, he follows Blue’s conversational line with a more prompting, “Whatever it takes to… What, Ms. Dunlap? What are you hoping for?”

Devon briefly catches an assessing look from Colette to Blue out of the corner of his eye, but it passes quickly. As Blue’s first question lands with Donna, the shackled prisoner slouched back in her chair with a flatter of chains on aluminum, brows furrowed and gaze cast into the mirror at her own reflection.

“Geopoint Scientific Enclosure,” Donna chooses to answer Blue’s question rather than Devon’s more personal one. “To the best of my knowledge it was an environmental sciences center in the late 1990s through to the early 2000s, owned by the Pinehearst Company. They maintained a secret laboratory below the geodome enclosures, dedicated to researching the Suresh Linkage Complex and the development of synthetic abilities.” That Pinehearst was in on that research isn't news, much of that scandal came out during the Albany Trials.

“The Institute swept up the facility after Pinehearst’s collapse, and much of the research there was repurposed. To the best of my knowledge, the site was used for research into something called Project Gemini, a genetic engineering research program designed to transfer SLC-Expressive abilities from one person to another. It was intended to be used to strip powers from ‘dangerous’ Evolved and bestow the abilities on Institute agents.” Donna makes some air quotes with her fingers around the word dangerous.

“The research wasn't ever finished, to the best of my knowledge.” Donna looks across the Hounds, then down to her hands as she wrings them together. “The facility stayed active after the Cambridge incident, operating in secret under remote guidance from Director Erica Kravid.” Not a new name, but in this context it is. Her name is on Wolfhound’s wanted lists as an Institute executive, but little has been heard of her since before the war.

“After the EMP hit out west, Institute central command was basically in the dark about Geopoint and communication was dark. With…” Donna furrows her brows, “with you all hunting for us, the Institute couldn't move freely. After you hit the Ross Dam last year we moved to consolidate, and I was ordered to take a team and find out what happened at Geopoint.” Donna looks up to Devon. “You saw that place.”

Colette slides a look over at Devon, then back to Donna. “What happened there?”

“We checked the security logs when we breached the facility, but there was… some sort of machine in the building. It was like one of the Hunter robots we used before the war, but it didn't respond to voice commands. It killed four of our men before we were able to lure it outside. I'd never seen a model like that before.” Donna looks to the side, then back to her inquisitors. “The facility was hit sometime in 2016 by a strike team. We couldn't figure out how they got inside or who they were. Or where they went. Not in the short time before you all showed up, anyway.”

“Wasn’t ever finished…but was there ever any tests run? I assume there was, but I’m not a scientist, so I could be wrong and it was all just theoretical.” Blue wonders, her hands unfolding to rest flat against the table, one finger tapping very lightly on the surface as she mulls her own question over before shaking her head.

Circling back for a moment she tilts her head in Devon’s direction, “As a follow-up on your desire to cooperate, you’re willing to do whatever it takes to….what?” She smiles slowly then, an easy expression that has a little less professionalism to it and a little more sympathy for Dunlap and the situation she’s found herself in, “You wish us to know about these individuals, and I’m curious who they are, and why….what are you hoping to accomplish with this, all of this.” She lifts a hand, gesturing to the room and Dunlap’s position chained to the table.

He notices the brief exchange of looks, but his focus remains on Dunlap for the moment. He casually takes a couple of steps to one side, then turns back to retrace those steps. “Little strange, with all your tech, that you can’t account for what happened at one of your own facilities,” he muses out loud. He does remember what Amarok found when they arrived at Geopoint. That wasn’t a Hunter he ever expected to see again.

He ticks a look toward Blue, that same cool expression given to her for all of a beat before it’s returned to Dunlap. “How long were you on site before we arrived,” he asks, eyes narrowing just a fraction. “And what happened to the security logs?”

“The major has the logs,” Colette informs Devon, “they left data mining software running on laptops. She had a 100% data collection success. So far nothing she's said contradicts what was on the hard disks.”

Donna’s quiet for a moment, hands wringing together, thoughtfully. She looks up once to Blue, then away, and her gaze wanders the top of the table in the long pause between conversational beats. Finally, she looks up to Devon and focuses on his inquiry first.

“The Institute has to go low tech,” Donna explains with an incline of her head. “When your chief adversary is Hana Gitelman you can't use satellite communications. The creation of the Dead Zone also fried a lot of infrastructure. All Institute facilities operate as independent cells, and they” not we, “have analog communications methods. Land lines,” like the ones found in Boulder that outed Geopoint’s existence, “and the Twins.” That data point elicits a raise of Colette’s brows. She looks to Devon, then to Donna.

“Kyle and Kyla Renautus. They have a remote linked telepathy, the Institute administration uses them as an impenetrable two-way communication hub between field operatives and wherever it is the leadership is holed up.” That bit of information elicits a raise of Colette’s brows and a look to Blue, then back to Donna.

“As for Geopoint, we’d been there 74 hours before your team arrived,” Donna states. “We were trapped inside after that machine ambushed us. Whoever had attacked Geopoint killed everyone that was there.” Then, looking to Blue Donna adds. “The experiments at Geopoint went on for a few ears with limited results. As far as I'm aware all of the test subjects died.”

Donna reserves something, tucks a piece of information away for later and instead turns to address Blue’s earlier question. Though belatedly. “There's a doctor who is being held against her will, a geneticist. She wasn't aware of what the Institute was when she was employed, and now she's their prisoner. I just want to… to make sure she gets out fine, and doesn't spend the rest of her life in prison for something she had no control over.” Donna looks down to her hands again. “Her name is Adrienne Allen.” A name from the Institute San Francisco dossier, a geneticist, little else known about her.

Blue slants a quick look towards Colette, but then she doesn’t waver her attention from Dunlap for very long. Once again she starts tapping her fingertip against the surface of the table, listening to everything that is shared, sorting through the information, and deciding which part of what is shared to tackle first.

She seems to land on one thing first, “Do you happen to know the location of whichever of those twins is with the field teams? Which one is it with command and which one is it that is with the field teams?” Blue tilts her head very faintly, a ghost of a smile crossing her lips once more, “In fact, let’s talk about those teams in general as well. You were part of one, weren’t you?” She shifts ever so slightly further forward in her seat, her weight leaning forward onto her forearms.

“They,” Devon echoes the word Dunlap had used describing the cells. He leans against the wall, a hand lifting to absently scratch at the side of his neck. “Do — rather — did you and your team have a different method of communicating?” His tone implies he could be speculating out loud, wondering without actually reaching for an answer.

Mention of the Twins brings a slight lift to a brow. He looks directly at Colette, a question brewing. Or a theory. He doesn’t voice it, though, and with a small shake of his head, returns his attention fully to Donna.

“74 hours is long time to be holed up while a robot lurked outside,” he goes on after a beat. “In a facility with a lot of corpses, some weren’t as long dead as others, you know.” That’s pointed out with a glance toward Blue and Colette. “In fact, I remember passing one soldier who hadn’t been dead for too long in the security hub. And it was Ms. Dunlap who killed two of the security detail who were in the room with her, before we entered, and I’m curious about that. You were ready, asking to be taken into custody.”

Dev’s eyes narrow, casual and conversational tone taking a slightly harsh edge. “I don’t think one lackey yelling would have reached you through those heavy doors. I think you knew, somehow, that we were close. So, Ms. Dunlap. What’s your real story?”

As Blue and Devon find their cadences and angles of attack, Colette stalks the perimeter of the room with her arms crossed over her chest. She's watching all three participants in the conversation, but remaining a passive, background actor to the verbal dance happening. Donna briefly tracks Colette’s movements with motion of her eyes, but then settles a look on Blue.

“Kyle Renautus is wherever Institute leadership is holed up. It's cell-organized, so I never knew where they were or where Doctor Allen is being held.” That last part has Donna’s fingers curling against her palms, knuckles white. “His sister Kyla is usually out in the field, but I've never seen her personally. I only know she's somewhere on the east coast, but beyond that nothing concrete.”

“As for my arrangement,” Donna looks back down to her hands, brows pinched together and fingers fiddling with the chain of her cuffs. “I had a small strike team that I had personal contact numbers for. I didn't know their real names, just codenames. I would be contacted by my handler, Lauren Gilmore, via landline. They have a line tap near the university in Boulder. Someone would relay the information via coded message to me,” Donna inclines her head, as if motioning to another thing, “and then I would activate my cell members and plan rendezvous and operations. It keeps one security compromise from breaking the entire operation.” Leaning back in her seat, Donna tracks her eyes from side to side as she considers data. “Everyone on my team is either dead or apprehended.”

This tracks with information Wolfhound gained earlier this year. The wire tap in Boulder was already found and led to the Gilmore’s apprehension. The two surviving members of Donna’s team corroborated the cell structure and that they would wait for activation calls.

“The dead soldier in the hub,” Donna notes, “died to the machine. When we found it inside the facility we weren't prepared — how could we be? He was killed almost instantly. We fled back through the Reef biome and that slowed it down. We were able to lock the Hunter outside…” But it doesn't sound like that's the end of the story, because Devon hit on something true in Donna’s recounting of events. Hit on a nerve.

“I tried to flee the Institute once before.” Donna admits while looking at her handcuffs. “November 8th, 2011. When the Arcology fell in Cambridge, we received emergency evacuation orders in the San Francisco branch. I was up in Seattle at the time, inspecting a facility undergoing construction, with Erica Kravid. When I heard what happened, I abandoned Kravid on the spot and called Adrienne…”

Bitterness sinks into the tone of Donna’s story. Bitterness and resentment. “I knew it was either now or never. I was sold a lie about the Institute. I was told they were going to undo the damage the Company did. That they were going to make the people who abducted me and turned me into a killer pay. They did, but they didn't tell me the cost.” Scowling, Donna looks up to Devon.

“I took me a month to realize the Institute was just as bad — worse — than the Company. I was planning my way out ever since. But the way things went down couldn't have been better. I had Rie — Adrienne — meet me in a neutral location and we ran for Montana. We were going to disappear forever, maybe slide away into Canada.”

Taking a deep breath, Donna shakes her head. “Someone was following us almost the entire way. Even as the war started, we were always being followed. They were Triad,” which seems immediately unusual. “Ghost Shadows, from all the way in New York. Way off-territory.” That piece of information has Colette pausing in her tracks, and she listens more intently.

“These guys kept finding us no matter where we hid. One day they came at us, there was a British guy with them. Blonde, nicely dressed. I shot him about three-dozen times and he just kept on coming like something out of a nightmare. Rie and I were in a meat packing plant, hiding out near the Canadian border. We sealed him and the Triad our behind a steel door, were ready to flee out the back and this fucking guy he… he smashes the tiny window in the door open— just big enough for his head, and he just— forced himself through. Broken bones, torn skin. He got right back up and started popping back into place. I've never seen regeneration that fast before.”

Donna shakes her head slowly. “We still managed to get away. Four days later the Triad caught back up with us again and cornered us. We figured it was a bounty or something. But they delivered me to the Ross Dam facility in Washington. Took Rie away, put me with Gilmore. Then mostly kept me locked up in that penthouse in Detroit.” The one strike team Wendigo hit in the spring when they captured Gilmore.

“Like I said, I'm an unwilling participant. But it's Adrienne whose the real victim. She's just a scientist. She isn't a part of this…” Donna shakes her head. “This bullshit.

“I've known Institute scientists.” Colette sharply chimes in. “Usually they're the most in to the bullshit.” She squints, and levels a cold stare at Donna.

“No it's— Rie isn't like that. She's an anthropologist and a geneticist, but… her work is predominantly about history. All she ever did for the Institute was work on a project called Eclipse that was researching the genetic history of people like me. Figuring out where we came from. Dust and bones work, not… fucking…” Donna is visibly flustered. “Not some Mengele shit.”

There is a whole lot of information that comes pouring out of Dunlap now, and Blue doesn’t interrupt the stream of thought, instead she watches, and taps her fingertip lightly against the table.

Anyone that has been around Blue enough might recognize that she’s up to no good, opening herself up to try and get a better sense of Dunlap, and her emotions, any subtle cues that might give her any indication that what she’s saying might not be the truth, or the entire truth. Every time she mentions the scientist, the person she’s worried about the most, she tilts her head, eyes narrowing just a fraction of an inch before her face melts back into neutralness.

“If you don’t think that your friends research, dust and bones and history, can’t be used for Mengele shit, then…” She trails off, a bit of a sad frown crossing her lips, eyes flicking briefly towards Colette, then back to Dunlap. “We’ll do what we can about your friend, but there needs to be a few more questions and answers.”

There is a very brief pause before she continues, “Why was a Triad involved? How many? How did you know who they were, where they were from?” Now the questions start becoming more rapid fire. “If you were in charge of getting your friend out, where and how would you be doing it?”

“How did you get the Hunter outside,” Devon asks, picking up that thread almost immediately. It’s at odds with the more factual questioning that Blue presents, but the ping-pong nature might keep Dunlap off balance, might bring some other secrets to light. “It wasn’t responsive to voice commands. Did you sacrifice someone else to get it out there?”

He pauses to step up to the table. His hands press against the edge and he tilts his head to look at Donna Dunlap. “Also, why’d you kill the men with you?” His line of questions begins anew by voicing an earlier implied query, and he pushes himself upright again. “You knew we were coming, you know our reputation and that we could have taken them as well. What are you trying to hide by murdering them?”

Dev turns away from the table to glance at Colette. A second later, he’s looking at Dunlap again. More conversationally he adds, “What can you tell us about the symbol that was on the door?”

That's the easiest question for Donna to answer, and it makes it easier to avoid addressing concerns about what amoral work Adrienne may have been forced to participate in. “Gemini,” Donna clarifies. “The symbol represents the Gemini program, a genetic research initiative that the Institute started back during the Petrelli administration.”

Donna looks aside, then back to Devon. “It was an initiative started by Doctor Mohinder Suresh,” a man who already stood trial after the war, a man imprisoned within this very complex. “Toward the end of… of everything Petrelli has asked the Institute to look into ways to permanently negate Evolved abilities. I don't know much about what went into the research, except that it wasn't successful. Gemini was born of that research, from what I gather.”

“I don't know the specifics,” Donna admits, glancing down to the table, “but it started as a fusion of the work done by Doctor Suresh and Doctor Isabelle Sheridan. Mention of the latter has Colette standing up bolt-straight, jaw clenched. Doctor Sheridan stood trial at the end of the war and by flipping to a state asset avoided any real jail time and is now a free woman.

It's common knowledge around Wolfhound that she once held Colette prisoner for unlawful human experimentation, and that Colette testified against her in a written statement to the Albany Trials. Colette’s tension here shows just how little she's let that time go over the intervening years.

“Primary research was done at the Arcology in Cambridge before it was destroyed, then transferred to the San Francisco branch under the administration of Pete Varlane.” Donna explains, invoking another name on Wolfhound’s hit list, easily the most influential and noteworthy member of the Institute left unaccounted for. “Gemini was a very clandestine project, top security clearance only. Ultimately Erica Kravid ran it, and she continued to oversee research after the Institute’s collapse.”

Donna looks down at the handcuffs around her wrists again, her stare going vacant. “Gemini isn't about negation anymore, though. It didn't work for that purpose, not really. It's… the way I understand it, it's ability transference. Permanently removing an ability from one person, and bestowing it on another, whether they're Evolved or not.” Donna looks up, not to any of her interrogators but to her reflection in the mirror. “I think they did it to Agent Gilmore.”

Colette’s brows furrow at that, and she looks at Devon and Blue for a moment, then back to Donna. That piece of information answers the question as to how Gilmore possessed an ability when Wolfhound raided Dunlap’s safehouse in Detroit several months ago. “They asked you other questions.” Colette goads, brows raised. “The Triad?”

“Right,” Donna says softly, shaking her head. “I'm honestly not sure how many were involved. I counted at least twenty people when Adrienne and I were grabbed. All Ghost Shadows, I'm pretty sure. Almost all of them were Evolved,” which is unusual density for a minority of humans that represents an estimated 1% of the total population. “I'm pretty sure the Ghost Shadows are based out of New York. I don't know if they're still active I…” Donna grimaces. “I didn't get out much.”

As she looks up to Blue, Donna is understandably tense. “As for your other question, if I were trying to get Adrienne out… I'd be looking for hidden Institute assets. But I don't know where leadership is hiding out these days, but whatever facilities they're using had to have been off the books. I…” Donna falters. “I'm not sure where I'd start looking. That's why I shot the men on my team,” she looks pointedly at Devon, “why I surrendered. Because I wanted to show you that I'm not on their side. All I care about is Adrienne.”

Tension drains out of Colette and she closes her eyes, exhaling a slow sigh through her nose. Donna’s motivation resonates with her, distantly, and she looks over to Devon and Blue to see what follow-ups they have.

The flood of new information is listened to, the tapping of her finger ceasing as she lets her attention drift from Dunlap to Colette, then Devon. It’s a considering look before she starts to get to her feet, “Thank you for your answers, Ms. Dunlap.” Blue, it seems, doesn’t have any current follow-ups for Dunlap…..until she pauses, almost like she’s just remembering something, looking back at the woman, “Oh, one more thing….Why did you have a handler?”

Devon watches Dunlap as she speaks, his brows drawn down in a near frown. He’s quiet while he processes the information, all of the information they’ve gathered, noting what has and hasn’t been answered. He glances toward Colette then Blue, then settles a calculating look on Donna. He doesn’t care for her response to shooting the two soldiers that had been in the Gemini room with her, but he lets it go.

“You haven’t answered about the Hunter,” he points out casually. “And why is this Adrienne so important to you?”

Three important questions, each with three uncomfortable answers.

Donna exhales a slow sigh and looks down at the table, making eye contact for none of the answers. “I had a handler because I was seen as a flight risk. They knew… if I could leave with Rie, I would. They knew as long as I was alive, they could keep her working.” Donna looks aside, to a scuff on the corner of the table.

“The Hunter…” Donna breathes in deeply and exhales a sigh. “I sent Orlando and Tucson our to flank it, then ordered them to retreat outside. Then, once it chased them out, I shut the door and locked it. I have to imagine they're dead.” Strike Team Amarok didn't find their bodies, but they did discover that the Hunter ground up and processed biomass as fuel, based on a mechanical analysis. So that's a likely answer.

“Adrienne…” Donna closes her eyes and slowly shakes her head. “I love her.”

Colette scrubs one hand at the back of her neck at that answer, looking to Devon and Blue to see if they have anything further.

None of those answers come as a surprise, but having a statement to confirm assumptions and suspicions is necessary. And one of those answers clearly strikes a nerve already irritated from earlier answers. When Dunlap admits to sending her own men out as bait for a robot known to eat humans, Devon’s expression grows cold. He’s all for risky maneuvers when he’s the one taking the risks, but the wanton disregard for another’s life…

Given time to comb over the information and process it against the files they already have, he might come up with more. Certainly there’s a part of him that wants to demand every last minute detail out of her. But instead, Devon hovers around one final question while he draws himself back to neutral professionalism.

Taking a couple of steps, he puts himself near Blue’s side, though his gaze is set on Dunlap. “Why were you sent to the facility?”

None of the answers that are offered are really surprises to Blue either, instead she just nods as a sign that she is actually listening, she heard, and she processed the entire thing.

When Devon moves closer to her she glances at him, one corner of her mouth kicking upwards briefly before she looks back towards Dunlap at the newest question that is asked, her arms crossing over her chest, head tilting to the side.

Donna seems less strained to answer that last question. “I was under orders to re-secure the facility and check on the condition of the Project Gemini hardware and research. That became a secondary when we were attacked by the machine, and then Wolfhound.”

“For whatever reason,” Donna says with a lack of certainty, “the Institute is desperate to complete the Gemini research. For who or what, I don't know. The government isn't bankrolling them anymore, Director Broome is dead, the Arcology is destroyed. I don't know who is still at the helm, if it isn't just Varlane and Kravid.”

Colette nods at the answer, looking to Devon and Blue. “This has been helpful,” is an unusually sympathetic thing for Colette to say to someone aligned with the Institute. And though it looks like she's going to call the interrogation there, she hesitates and lets the others make that call.

“Thank you for your cooperation Ms. Dunlap…if there happens to be anything else you remember that you think might be pertinent, please feel free to try and get word to us.” Blue observes, slanting a look towards Colette at that, double-checking to make sure that is appropriate. It’s what she’d say if Dunlap was a client, or even a person of interest, back in the day, so it might just be a matter of habit at this point.

However, she seems willing to call it as well.

Devon doesn’t respond immediately to the idea of being finished with questioning. His mind again wanders back over the questions that were asked, the answers that were not given. Eventually he settles on, “I’m through.” As he speaks, he looks away from Dunlap and steps around Blue’s seat to stand near the door they’d entered the interrogation room through.

Colette let's the others through the door first, hanging back and watching Dunlap’s pensive expression. After a few moments, she looks away and down to the floor with a conflicted expression and steps out of the room. As the door shuts, Donna lowers her head and brings her hands up to her face. Her shoulders tremble, and it's only then that she allows herself to break.

It's all out of her hands now.

Like so much of her life to this point.

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