Performance Review


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Scene Title Performance Review
Synopsis Richard and Elisabeth travel to the PISEC facility to meet with Pete Varlane.
Date September 2, 2019

Far beyond the Safe Zone, northeast from New York City along the isolated stretch of land known as Long Island, rests a government facility with a history of conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact. While the notorious Fort Hero of Montauk Point is more renowned, the Plum Island Animal Disease Shelter holds a special place beneath the tinfoil hats of conspiracy theorists worldwide. If the conspiracies are to be believed, this is where lyme disease was developed as a biological weapon and unwittingly released to the public. There’s never been any corroboration on that particular theory, of course.

Viewed from the air, the government-controlled facility looks unremarkable with a small campus of low-set buildings and a small airstrip surrounded by sparse woodland and the Atlantic Ocean. Plum Island itself is offset from the northeastern point of Long Island, accessible only by boat or aircraft, making it a perfect place in the post-war world to house some of the most notorious criminals of the modern age.

For science.

Today this island isn’t home to an animal research facility, but has become known as PISEC, an acronym that translates to Plum Island SLC-Expressive Center, a government think-tank and research facility for SLC-Expressive abilities done under the oversight of human rights advocates from the United Nations. It is perhaps unsurprising, given history’s arc, that it is home to this generation’s version of Operation Paperclip. PISEC has become home to a host of brilliant minds that once aligned themselves with the Commonwealth Institute and the Company leading up to the civil war. None more notorious than Doctor Mohinder Suresh, the would-be engineer of a genocide averted by Civil War. While the courts ruled that Doctor Suresh was not acting of his own accord at all times the burden of doubt did not absolve him of all of his actions.

It is this muddy history that informs the arrival of a SESA-branded helicopter in the early morning hours, bound from Fort Jay in the NYC Safe Zone. The young SESA agent Kenji Saito sits in the copilot seat, looking out the windscreen to the approaching helipad on the roof of the largest building on the campus. «We’re about to touch down,» Saito says into the headset he wears to the passengers in the back of the helicopter, «Director Waite is in Kansas City today, so we’ll be meeting with George Strickland from the CDC before your inmate interview.»

As the helicopter descends, Richard’s attention is squared on the building, and the potential of the brilliant minds contained within. It’s easy to see, from this high up, how access to a pool of scientists like that could be tempting. How that kind of power could be…


Some Time Later

Plum Island SLC-Expressive Center

Plum Island, New York

September 2nd

8:17 am

“Mr. Ray, Lieutenant Harrison.”

Director George Strickland isn’t much like what either Richard or Elisabeth might have imagined for someone in this role. He’s a tall, rail-thin man somewhere in his late sixties or early seventies, exuding the personality of a liberal arts college professor rather than someone working within the bounds of the CDC. He met them in the cafeteria, of all places, after their 15-minute security screening.

Strickland is sitting by a wall of windows that overlooks a common space within PISEC, through which small gardens, recreation areas, and cozy benches are visible. It is jarring to see Odessa Price in that moment, but there she is some two-hundred feet away on the other side of that glass, tending a garden with the chalk-white haired Kyla Renautas. Both are visible just over Strickland’s shoulder, and he is oblivious to their significance to either Richard or Elisabeth as he rises from his seat and offers them a hand.

“I’m sorry for delaying you from your interview with Mr. Varlane,” Strickland says with an affable smile, “but I just wanted to talk to you both first.”

“Of course,” Richard replies affably, stepping over to reach out and clasp the offered hand briefly before surrendering it for Liz to take over, “I’d hardly expect to go tromping around your facility without someone in a position of authority wanting to talk to us.”

It’d make it easier if they could, though.

As he steps back, he looks to the windows— silent for a few heartbeats as he watches Odessa through the glass, a faint smile with a hint of sadness to it curving his lips. Distracted, for just a moment.

Elisabeth's smile is polite and professional. Her millisecond delay in taking the proffered hand is probably not noticeable. "Good morning," is her greeting. She glimpses Odessa as well — she's been a visitor up here a few times now. Her blue eyes don't shift from the man greeting them, though, and she offers easily, "Is this about special procedures we need to follow with Varlane or are you just making sure we know the rules?"

“A little of both, actually,” Strickland says after the brief introductions. “As you may be aware, PISEC is a rehabilitation center first and foremost. While it does leverage the minds of those within, we also focus on the psychological needs of our inmates. Pete Varlane has made significant progress since his arrival and, while you undoubtedly understand the gravity of the crimes he was charged with, that doesn’t give us equally the right to be cruel in return for cruelty’s sake.”

Turning his attention to the two women in the garden outside, Strickland continues. “Mr. Varlane is in a delicate state right now, struggling with a host of internalized issues and guilt over much of what he’d done in — his words — the protection of his family.” Though Doctor Strickland seems in doubt of the authenticity of those feelings. “He is cooperative and I would strongly recommend starting with the carrot, rather than the stick. As reprehensible as his crimes are, he is attempting to make himself a productive member of society for the duration of his life sentence. There is no freedom in Pete Varlane’s future,” Strickland clarifies, “and he knows that.”

“Ah— Don’t worry about that, Director Strickland, we’re not here to… rub his situation in his face or anything like that,” Richard assures the man once he’s pulled his attention back from the glass and the familiar faces outside it, “We just need to ask him some questions about some of the projects that he was involved in, is all.”

Dryly, “I have read his psych profile, though, so while he’s cooperative I have my doubts that he’s actually feeling guilty about anything he’s done. I’ll pretend he is for the sake of the interview, however.”

Elisabeth's smile on the description of Varlane as "cooperative" says that she, too, is in sincere doubt of the man having any remorse for any damn thing he ever did. "Whatever his issues with regard to his … 'protection' of family… are his to deal with. The projects in question may upset him to speak of, so it feels appropriate to warn you of that. But we won't be deliberately upsetting or leveraging him." There's nothing they could offer that would put pressure on him anyway, that she's aware.

Strickland nods, hands folded in front of himself at the table. “He was visited by his son, prior to his trial, and I think that had a profound effect on him. I know the man the media painted in the trial, but I also know the man who sits here and wishes he'd done things differently. Pete is a valuable asset to our ongoing research, and his pursuit of redemption is facilitating that.”

Starting to trail off, Strickland exhales a short breath and pushes himself up from his chair. “Well, so long as that's out of the way,” he motions to a PISEC security officer in an off white uniform who approaches the table from the outer edge of the cafeteria. At the same time, there's a buzzing sound and the north doors deeper into the facility unlock. “I'll have an escort take you to a room.”

Thirty Minutes Later

Visitor Room 11


The accommodations of a visitor room isn't the fluorescent-lit plastic furniture and two-way mirror Richard and Elisabeth expected. The room they're left to wait in feels more like a lounge, or a psychiatrist’s office. There's comfortable leather furniture, bookcases filled with second-hand hardcover and paperback novels, a coffee table between the couch and an armchair with copies of today and yesterday’s newspapers from Kansas City and New York on them. Plastic bottles of water sit atop a softly humming mini fridge and a few tactically placed ferns give everything a somewhat homey feeling. The surveillance camera dome in the ceiling and bars on the windows reinforce the idea that this is, at the end of the day, a prison.

Eventually, the sound of someone approaching draws nearer in the hall and the door to the visitor room opens. A PISEC security officer steps in, followed by a man Elisabeth and Richard have only heard of in stories or seen in photographs. Pete Varlane is thinner than his 2010 era Institute photographs, a little longer in the face and gray all over. His cheeks are sunken, shoulders hunched forward, posture stooped. Pete’s eyes seem tired as they sweep over Elisabeth, settling on Richard with a crease of his brows. Suddenly, Pete’s throat tightens and he looks to the security officer, then slowly steps into the room.

“If you need any assistance, I'll be right outside,” the officer says before shutting and locking the door to the room. Pete lingers in the space by the door, slowly approaching like a nervous wild animal.

“Funny running into you here,” Pete says to Richard, brows furrowed. He isn't handcuffed, isn't restrained, though odds are good he's probably negated. “Is uh,” he eyes Elisabeth, then looks back to him, “a belated performance review?” There's a laugh, rueful and bitter.

“You know, I keep getting that reaction…” Richard’s tone is rather dry as he steps inside, head turning to look over the room before turning to settle upon Pete, “I wonder if he did sometimes, too. It’d be a little bit of schadenfreude knowing that he did, but… I suppose by then he wasn’t running around looking like this.”

“I’d introduce myself, but you already know who I am. I’m an old… friend of your son’s, though,” he admits, glancing back to Elisabeth, “Not sure if he ever told you that part.” Before he turned him into a black hole.

Giving Richard the lead here seems the obvious thing to do; Elisabeth uses the time to observe Pete Varlane. She moves slowly so as not to startle the man, perching one hip on the arm of a chair with her fingers laced loosely and hanging in front of her. Her blue eyes flicker to meet the look cast back to her and she offers a faint smile. Schadenfreude indeed.

Then her gaze comes back to Pete. There is nothing threatening in her posture or her expression, she's simply giving the older man room to find a way to be comfortable. That he asks whether this is a performance review piques her interest and she tips her head slightly.

“We didn't get a lot of face time,” Pete explains with a bob of his head, moving toward the couch to take a seat, “mostly because he was a brain in a jar for a long time. But, you know, things change.” As he sits, Pete exhales a strained groan of effort, wincing just a little. Eventually he leans back and rests his hands across his stomach, slouching into a comfortable and casual position.

“Who’re you?” Pete asks up at Elisabeth, clearly not having been too deep in the loop on things. He eyes their proximity, though, unasked questions lingering behind his teeth. “Better yet, why’re either of you here?”

“We’re looking for information on a few things,” is Richard’s response, stepping over to a chair opposite the couch and easing down into the leather, leaning forward with hands resting on his knees, “And before you say the government interrogated me already, I don’t think they knew the questions to ask.”

“So,” he observes, “To get to the point - I need to know what you know about what Monroe is doing with Hydra and Heisenberg. And I need any information you have on Umbra and Tartarus. And, frankly, anything you have on Monroe at all.”

"Elisabeth Harrison," is the reply to Pete's query. Whether he knows her name or not, she is already monitoring the sound of his heartbeat for signs of strain, seeking out a baseline from which to determine whether he's lying — though it's not foolproof, especially with practiced liars. Elisabeth is also watching his expressions, his eyes. She used to be a damn decent cop once. Some of those skills still hold.

Harrison?” That’s what Pete latches on to, at least for a moment. His eyes wander, as though he was re-reading something in the back of his mind, then slowly drags a hand over his mouth and sighs into his palm. The name isn’t unfamiliar to Pete, clearly, but how he knows it isn’t remarked upon. Instead, he chooses to focus on an easier topic. Facts, like the ones Richard is asking after.

Clearing his head with another sigh, Pete looks up to Richard. “I didn’t know Monroe well,” Pete explains with a shakiness to his voice, as though whatever dots he connected with Elisabeth still have him a little rattled. “I um,” he furrows his brows and looks down at his lap, “I met him back in 2010, he offered me a sizable amount of money to spy on the Institute for him. Among other, you know, personal things. He came off like an unhinged crackpot with more money than he knew what t’do with, but… you know, I never drank Broome’s Kool-Aid anyway. So, I mean, fuck it, right?”

Once more, Pete sighs and seems to have regained his composure, smoothing his palms across his knees. “The day the Institute went up in flames, Adam contacted me, warned me it was going to happen. He told me to hand-pick my best staff and move them to an off-site location, and we did. Sunstone. One of the Institute’s best-kept secrets.” Pete glances down to his hands, clasping them together. “Adam showed up, brought some friends with him, basically did the whole the King is dead, long live the King routine, and we started up work again.”

Wringing his hands together, Pete grows momentarily silent as he walks backwards through the pages of his personal history. “Monroe wanted my research, sounded like he was selling it to the Chinese. In return I got to work on… personal projects. Keep the lights on. You know,” he gestures vaguely in a shrug. “The war took off, we stayed out of it mostly. There was always that threat of mercs coming for us. I mean— they did eventually but— Adam said he’d keep us safe.”

“He wasn’t interested in Hydra, not one fucking bit.” Pete looks up at Richard when he says that. “Not initially, anyway… So, sometime during the war, right around the end of it, Adam shows up out of nowhere to my office. I was the only one except Erica who ever saw him face to face. He shows up and he’s… I don’t know, something changed. He’s acting weird, different, you know? This was right around the time my man Caspar went missing, so I figured those two were connected.”

As he talks, Pete rubs his fingers around his right ring finger where a wedding band would be. It’s an unconscious gesture. “He goes balls-in on Hydra. Starts making batshit crazy demands. Project deadlines we can barely meet. Wants me to develop a whole fucking truckload of clones of him, wants them daisy-chained together with project Heisenberg. He stopped coming to Sunstone, instead he’d talk directly to Erica, she became his go-between… But then things just kept escalating. Once we made the clones successfully, once we got them networked, then he starts pushing on Gemini. We had single-ability transfer down… sort of and he starts explaining how we have to make fucking synthetic mosaics.”

Shaking his head, Pete scrubs a hand over his mouth again. “So we do like a year of testing, wind up striking gold thanks to Erica’s daughter, and figure out the unifying process. This was… fuck, weeks before Wolfhound came knocking. Adam was sending live test subjects to us to have the ability subduction process done to them, a supply chain of his loyalists to receive multi-ability treatments. A whole fucking conga-line of supermen.” Closing his eyes, Pete pinches the bridge of his nose.

“Then the hammer came down, and the fucker tried to kill us all with his fucking robots.” Lowering his hand from his face, Pete looks back up at Richard. “I’m not familiar with, uh, Umbra or Tarterus, I don’t think? Those don’t sound familiar. He was more interested in you know, Hydra and Heisenberg, and Eclipse.”

“A few very important decades of Monroe’s life were wiped out by the Company,” Richard reveals, lips pursing in a frown, “I’m guessing that Caspar gave it all back to him, or at least enough that he remembered… what was coming. That explains why he shifted gears like that…”

He leans back, a frown pursing his lips, “Doesn’t matter, if you weren’t read in on those projects you weren’t.” A glance back to Liz, then to Pete, “The synthetic mosiacs needed constant treatments to keep stable, though, yes? And… do you have any idea why Adam tried to kill you all? Obviously you must know something he was trying to keep quiet, or he wouldn’t’ve hit Sunstone like he did.”

His reaction to her name makes Elisabeth quirk a brow. It's something she'd like to follow up on, but that takes the focus from where it should be. "How many people were actually given the mosaic treatment?" she adds to the list of questions. "And how many were stable?" They're related queries, but she doesn't want to derail the list Richard has in his head.

Pete looks away, makes a frustrated face, then waves a hand dismissively in the air. “Nothing was stable,” he says in a way that at first seems reassuring. “We had some trial subjects survive eight to twelve months, tops, even on a single Gemini procedure. No one was a sure thing, and none of the early test subjects survived no matter how few or many procedures they went under. Everything broke down.”

Exhaling a sigh through his nose, Pete looks over to Elisabeth. “We made a handful of mosaics, I never knew their names. I mean, Monroe aside. He came in right toward the end for the process, we layered him with as many abilities as we had access to at the time, nearly cleaned out our stables. Nine? Ten? Somewhere around there.” Pete looks back down to his lap. “The others were… I don’t know, there were maybe three or four? All very secretive. Only Erica and Doctor Allen knew details, they handled the procedures directly. But, stable? Yeah, once we perfected the process… they were all stable, far as we know.”

“As for why he wanted to off us,” Pete lifts his hands in a helpless shrug. “Look, Monroe was a fucking lunatic. I think we all know that, right? Suresh has told me a thing or two about him, how the Company locked him up for trying to kill the entire fucking world with a virus back in the 70s. I mean, you don’t just grow out of that.” Pete looks down to his lap again, his stare a distant one. “We were assets. Once he got what he wanted…” Pete shrugs again. “The fuck use were we if he could replicate our research?”

“As someone who employs quite a few scientists, I can tell you that the answer is to do more research, but if we get into who chose the wrong employers we’d never get anywhere,” is Richard’s somewhat-dry observation, head shaking a bit, “I suspect he wanted to make sure that nobody know what you all had done. Do you recall what abilities you imprinted him with?”

One hand slides into his suit jacket then, drawing out a few folded pieces of paper and smoothing them out. “Also— during the raid on Sunstone, one of Wolfhound’s operatives was taken, cloned, and returned. A technopath managed to recover these emails regarding the situation, and I was wondering if you might have any idea what they did to the individual in question, and why they did it.”

He reaches out to offer the printouts, a single brow lifting.

While Pete skims the emails, Elisabeth also asks, "tell us about Eclipse." She is still studying him closely.

Pete briefly glances up at Elisabeth from the printouts when she invokes the name Eclipse, giving her a somewhat confrontational look before returning his attention to the papers. “First of all,” Pete tosses the printouts into the coffee table between them, “Kravid handled all of Monroe’s augmentations. She had the final logs of all of our captive samples. That was her project. Mine,” he motions to the paperwork, “was Hydra.”

Briefly scrubbing a hand over his mouth, Pete slouches back into his chair. “Do you know what a hydra is?” Pete asks, rhetorically. They can tell he's going to explain it either way. “Little critters, most advanced morphallaxis systems in nature, natural regenerators.” Pete glances down at the paperwork, the paperwork he didn't bother to read, then back up to Richard. “You cut a hydra in half, both halves will regenerate. Equally. Neither is the original, they're both the same hydra, except now there’s two.”

“The Germans coined the phrase for the project in the 1940s, experimenting with Monroe’s blood to try and make replicated soldiers. An infinite army. They failed, technical limitations, cellular breakdown.” Pete scratches briefly at the side of his face. “We succeeded. We split Monroe. It sounds like they split your friend.”

With that answer made, Pete looks to Elisabeth. “As for Eclipse, you're barking up the wrong tree. Adrienne Allen headed that project, archaeology meets genealogy. Allen believed she'd found the common ancestor of everybody with the Suresh Linkage Complex. Your goatee twin,” he motions to Richard, “threw half our discretionary budget at her to finish her research. She found a body in Japan— bones— had them shipped somewhere. Project was shit-canned when the Institute went tits up. Monroe wasn't interested in Eclipse. Probably because he was there when all the serpent and apple bullshit went down in that nice Garden.”

Pete smiles, awkwardly. “Either of you play Monopoly?

“Jesus Christ.”

Richard leans back, one hand coming up to rub over his face, “He wasn’t a Hydra experimental subject… he was a subject of the finalized process. Why the fuck… okay. Okay, that’s good to know. You found out how to turn people into flatworms. I knew about the origins of the project, but… fuck.”

His hand drops down to land on his thigh, “Okay. Okay, we’ll handle that somehow… okay.”

A glance up to Elisabeth, one brow crooking upwards to see if she has any questions. He doesn’t respond yet to the question about Monopoly.

He has a feeling Pete might cheat.

The news about what happened to Devon is something she will think about in a moment. It's the answer to Eclipse that has her attention now.

"I know it seems to have little to do with anything," Elisabeth demurs with a small smile, "but that idea is kind of fascinating to me. Do you have any idea where that project was taking place or why she was so certain of what she'd found? The evil twin didn't usually throw bad money after good." Her tone to Varlane is casual, as if he's answered the questions they needed answered and now they're just talking.

And then she pauses, as if this one is an afterthought, "Do you mind if I ask you… why you reacted that way when you found out my name?"

Pete draws in a slow breath, sinking into the cushions of the chair on exhale. He offers Richard a halfway-lidded stare, then blinks his attention over to Elisabeth. “He wouldn’t shut up about you,” Pete explains, “Double Trouble.” He must mean Ezekiel. “The handful of times he and I actually spoke you came up in more than one of them. Back then I was working full-time on Heisenberg and Hydra, trying to… you know,” he lowers his voice, “Magnes.” Swallowing down a lump in his throat, Pete looks briefly down to his lap, then back up to Elisabeth as he finds his courage.

“The old boss wanted to know how much genetic material I’d need to make a new body for you, how accurate of a copy. He brought in Stevens one day,” Pete waves a hand in the air, “Darren. I don’t know if you know him, he did time things. Anyway, he wanted to know if I cloned you if Darren’s schtick would be transferred too. We went around that mulberry bush a few times. The answer was inconclusive.”

Shrugging, Pete scrubs the palms of his hands against the arms of the chair anxiously. “I think he wanted to have a failsafe in case anything happened to you. I didn’t understand why at the time.” He looks to Richard, then back again. “I get it now.”

As if trying to cover up that uncomfortable topic, Pete switches disappointing conversational gears. “As for Doctor Allen’s work, I honestly don’t know. I know she spent some time in Mumbai and Japan? Whatever was left of her research was either destroyed, or Wolfhound picked it up when they hit the Ross Dam a few years back. We didn’t keep any of Eclipse’s data at Sunstone.”

“Huh. Mumbai? Interesting,” Richard rubs his jaw a bit, hand falling down to the arm of the chair, fingers drumming over it lightly as he watches them move, watches them tap against the likely-faux leather upholstery. Then he looks up, his expression serious as he regards Pete for a moment and then says:

“Of everyone, you’re probably one of the few that would actually get it, yes.”

As uncomfortable as it is to empathize with the monster sitting opposite him, he can’t help but understand why he did what he did with Magnes at least.

“And yes, I knew about Darren. I watched more than one of his patients drop dead when their time ran out. One of them exploded all over me,” he grimaces, “Fucking Goodman. Mnm.” Back up to Pete, “You’re a smart man, Varlane. You know what sort of information we’re looking for based on all of what we’ve been asking - and who we are. Anything come to mind that we might want to know?”

Giving the man a chance to be active rather than reactive in the conversation. It’s not a lot of trust, but it’s a sliver.

Enlightenment dawns on Elisabeth's face, along with a finat grimace. Jesus fucking Christ, it wasn't bad enough that the fucker brought her back to life using Darren, he had to run around seeing if he could clone her too?? Somewhere in the back of her head, the blonde sends out a thought and a prayer for Wasteland's Elisabeth, grateful that any of them were spared that process. She backs away from the topic rapidly.

The Eclipse information, though? It intrigues her for reasons other than what may just be idle curiosity. It niggles at her. She crosses her arms and watches Pete Varlane, adding quietly, "Now would be the time to talk to us about anything you do know regarding what's happening now… because Magnes is smack-dab in the middle of it. And I'd really like to make sure he doesn't get hurt." Her genuine affection for the man's son is evident.

“For what it's worth?” Pete lets that hang in the air as he looks to a window out of the room, his stare unfocusing. “People've always underestimated me. What I can do. How smart I am. It's intentional.” He looks back to Richard and Elisabeth from the window. “I like people assuming a subtle level of incompetence. Monroe? Underestimated me.”

Raising one hand, Pete wiggles his fingers in the air. “When I touch someone, when I'm not on drugs that mitigate my power, I link up to all of their biological functions directly through their nervous system. I can tell their brain to make their body do all kinds of things, including reprogramming their cells. But I get a blueprint, for lack of a better word. So when I touch someone, I get their biology.”

Pete looks at his raised hand, then lowers it. “Monroe thought he was fooling me, with Erica. But I knew. I don't know what I knew, but I knew something. There were two different Erica Kravids. They had entirely different biological histories. Different illnesses at different times. They'd alternate out of Sunstone on a bi-weekly basis. They weren't Hydra either, I can tell that by a touch too.”

Pete folds his hands in his lap and looks between Richard and Elisabeth. “An Erica died in Sunstone. The other?” He shrugs. “I'll tell you what I told SESA. She could be from anywhere and be anywhere now. But the only people who'd know?”

Pete points out the window to the sunny garden outside where Odessa and Kyla sit in quiet conversation. “The Renautas kids.”

“Two…?” Richard brings a hand up to rub over his face, “Christ. One of them was from one of the other timelines… I shouldn’t be surprised, we knew that they were working on it in the Pinehearst string.”

He pushes himself up to his feet, then, walking slowly over to the window to look out towards the pair. “How would they know? They’re only linked to each other… Kyla was in the field, Kyle was at Sunstone. Or is there something there that we don’t know about?”

A glance back, a single brow lifting.

"Whether it was that timeline or the one that came after " by her own reckoning Wasteland was 'after' even though it was technically occupying the same years. " both are a danger to this world," Elisabeth points out quietly. A conversation needs to be had before they leave this prison with Kyla Renautas. Among others that will need to be added to the list today. It's going to be a long day at PISEC, that's for damn sure. Tipping her head, she adds to the question there, "Were the two Ericas working on the same project?" It may sound more like an aside.

“Kravid answered directly to Monroe and Monroe only. He'd worked at least one of them to his side before the institute even fell. She handed him the keys to the city and he pillaged it before it all went up in flames.” Pete explains, scratching one hand at the side of his face. “She kept close counsel, didn't tell me or Schwenkman anything and we were the two highest ranking people at Sunstone.”

Exhaling a sigh through his nose, Pete clasps his hands together and leans forward again. “As for the Renautas kids? They played Kravid’s game of telephone. Whatever conversations she was having over their link? They knew them. They might not understand the context, but…” Pete looks briefly to the Monopoly board and back to Richard. “Kyle? He was with Kravid almost always. Her little puppy. She'd take him off-site too. Where?”

Pete shrugs. “Nobody tells me nothin’.”

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