Who is Red Knight?


russo2_icon.gif devon2_icon.gif kristen_icon.gif

Scene Title Who is Red Knight?
Synopsis Locked up in an unknown facility, shadowy government types pose questions to the crew of the Advocate, and receive some telling answers.
Date March 20, 2011


'Where am I?' might well be a question near the front of the mind. When everyone was brought in, bags (for lack of a better term) were pulled over their heads and then they were driven for hours. Somewhere in the southwest might be a good guess, given the temperature when they were unloaded, but then they were shoved inside some place and separated again.

Where Kristen, or Devon, or Tahir or Kincaid are is a mystery to Russo: They may as well be on Mars. He is in a boring, sterile room, sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a stainless steel table, underneath a light that is far too bright to be shining in his face the way it is. But that's his lot. Maybe it would been less bothersome if his hands were handcuffed behind him just a little too tightly, possibly to the amusement of the two armed, camo-wearing men keeping watch over him from opposite corners of the room. They aren't taking any chances after that mess at Coyote Sands.

Finally, someone else enters the room. Another camo-wearing man who is older than the other two already present, although he still wears no name, or anything to indicate his rank or service or anything. The only information provided before he steps behind the too-bright light to have a seat is the folder is his hands, coupled with his expression that is the perfect mixture of bored and angry without being too much of either to not appear partially indifferent. A plastic click comes from the table as a small card is tossed out in front of poor Brad: The fact that it has his face and vitals on it is enough to suggest that he might be in trouble. "Bradley Russo, huh?" is the initial question from the man that is obviously present to find out everything he can. "Found you an awful long way from New York. Care to explain just what you were doing that far off the road?"

The sterile room isn't unfamiliar, Brad had been in one of these only months ago when he'd been hauled off by the DoEA. He'd spent days in one of these. That had been his choice in a way; he could have run. Especially then. Swallowing hard, his grey blue eyes watch stare through rather than at the man sitting across from him.

His tongue rolls over his lips, providing them a small layer of moisture as his tongue feels its way around his already dry cracked mouth— a feeling of nervousness that pervades his interior self. Aside from the mouth, on the outside, however, he keeps it together. His jaw tightens slightly as his chin raises somewhat, a curious tug away from his chest as he watches the man in front of him. His throat clears as he considers his friends, his own loyalties drawing on his consciousness. "I've always been a man for the road less travelled, sir." There's a faint good humour that reflects in his eyes, yet his tone manages to stay even. If he's being sarcastic, it's difficult to tell.

There's a tiny pull of the crow's feet along his eyes as his lips curl faintly— fakely, a television host's farce— before he manages, "Could you clarify the question, sir?" His eyes narrow slightly while he considers again, "We were out of state following an anonymous tip."

There are a few moments that pass before there's any more from the interrogator, and although his face is difficult to see on account of the light, it would seem that he is carefully considering this information. "An anonymous tip," he repeats, "Pertaining to what, exactly? One of our boys you put out managed to remember something about the 'mother ship.'" Another brief pause. "Well, that might be an interesting story to throw around, but you know as well as I do that alien abductions doesn't really fit your format. So, how about we leave the question the way it is, and you clarify your answer. An anonymous tip about what?"

"Frankly, we don't even know," Russo murmurs with a small shrug of his shoulders; a shrug that tightens the cuffs around his wrists and ends with a slight cringe. "It was a note." He swallows hard. "This may sound like a very unusual case, but I have several random individuals who think it appropriate to break into my home." There's an odd smirk as he tilts his head slightly, "One of these visitors saw fit to leave me a note telling us to go to the desert and bring shovels. Honestly? We didn't know exactly what we were looking for. There were a lot of theories, one of which was the notion of an Area 51 which our… more.. " his eyebrows arch as his lips tighten into a smile, "..creative? Influenced? Sci-fi-extreme?— pick your adjective— comrades thought to hone in on. So it was one theory. Of many."

"So, someone, you don't know who, broke into your house, left you a note telling you to go to a specific location, in the middle of Arizona, where nobody lives, and to bring shovels just in case you have to do any digging." It's clear that the interrogator doesn't find this case 'unusual.' He finds it 'unbelievable.' "Well, I haven't heard that one before, but it strikes as odd, unreal even, that a complete stranger left you such specific instructions." Another pause. Those pauses are seeming less and less friendly as time goes on.

"And it doesn't start looking any better when we take into account that you assault four of our men, crippled three of them, and then immediately fled the scene. Why didn't you stick around to explain what happened? See, from where I'm sitting, it looks to me like you knew you were going to be in a restricted area. Given the fact that we found loaded firearms with you, it seems like you were expecting there to be trouble. So, we're going to try this one more time. What were you doing out there, and who sent you? I'd think about your answers carefully. There are right and wrong ones to these questions."

"It wasn't an assault. It was an accident." That actually has him frowning. "I had a similar one on national television," even with the interrogator's agitation, somehow Russo manages to stay cool. For now. "Frankly, the man who left the note was in one of those outfits they give FRONTLINE officers. He was shielded; he'd visited me more than once and when an individual in armour breaks into my home, I take it seriously. I live in a heavily secured building, anyone who breaks in is to be taken seriously. And, frankly, I take anyone in a FRONTLINE uniform seriously. I respect the law, the government, and the like. We never intended to enter a restricted area; rather, we intended to follow a lead where it took us. My producer and I actually enjoy roadtrips. Have for years. Although she's more conscious about the carbs than she ever was back then." He gives more information than necessary, even if it's irrelevant.

His lips press together firmly before parting again, "We don't know who sent us. All I know about is the armour— " there's a pause as he actually glances down. "The note was in the SUV. From the Red Knight." His eyebrows tick upwards.

Another pause. This one, however, stretches for several moments longer than the previous ones. Did Russo hit the jackpot? "An accident," is repeated again, "Well, you better hope there aren't any more 'accidents' around you." The man makes a brief gesture with his hands, and one of the armed guards takes a few steps forward, grabs Russo by his arm and forcefully drags him out of of the uncomfortable chair. "We're going to give you some time in the tank to think, Mister Russo. Maybe your pals will have a better memory than you do."

That's the beginning of the rough escort. Regardless of what protests Russo might think to make, he is dragged out of the sterile room and into the corridor outside where he is greeted, perhaps to his surprise, by the faces of both Kristen and Devon, handcuffed and under armed watch much in the same way that he is. Time to talk is not provided: Russo is carted down the corridor, presumably to 'the tank,' while Devon and Kristen are shoved into the sterile room at gun point and the door is shut behind them. This has not been the sort of road trip that any of them normally look forward to.

A curious look from his intern is what Russo might see, though Devon quickly washes away any expression. He doesn't give whichever the guards shoved him the satisfaction of a stumble, catching himself at the threshold and walking the remainder of the way under his own power. There's a residual tightness to his expression once inside though, a slight shift of his posture to better alleviate the strain on one of his shoulders.

Lips thin, pressing together into a narrow line as Devon's eyes journey around the sterile room. He takes in position of the men remaining inside, settling on the table though he doesn't move to sit. Hands tighten into fists, pulling against the metal that holds him captive briefly, as his attention settles on the gentleman behind the table.

They've been having a hard time keeping Kristen's face forward. When faced with certain death, she's reached a rather ostentatious attitude when it comes to her guard. Handcuffed the way she is, she can't exactly flip her hair over her shoulder as they pass by Russo, but she can flick it behind her with a whip of her head. The sudden rush of brunette tresses to the face of her guard earns her a little bit of a shove forward, a punishment she takes with dignity and a nose in the air. She is not going to go down crying.

Once settled comfortably into the sterile room, she faces the men on the other side of the table with a raised chin. "Do you know how far this is putting me behind schedule? I have deadline. This kid? Right here? He's going to be running his ass off for a year to try to keep up with all the errands I'm going to have for him. Now what is it going to take to get out of here?"

"If we don't start getting answers of a quality we like," the man at the table says, "The answer is 'never.' This isn't some sound room where you can buy and sleep your way through whatever problems you have, Reynolds. You've all got several felony charges lined up and total cooperation is the only way you might possibly see daylight again, and that includes your puke intern. Now, your other pals have been less than helpful, so we're going to keep this simple from the start." Even though Kristen and Devon are less blinded by the too-bright light than Russo was, there is still nothing really remarkable about the man set on interrogating them. He looks like what they might expect any shadow government-military type to look. "Explain the exact nature of your unauthorized presence at the location where you assault our men."

"Explain to us who you are," Devon counters quietly. He casts a sidelong glance toward Kristen then returns his attention to the man at the table. "Seems to me you're forgetting a few things, like identifying yourself. Who you work for, rank and regiment." Brows raise slightly as he poses his questions, taking a step closer to the table.

"You also need to tell us what charges you're holding us under," the intern continues quietly, leaning forward a touch for a better look at the man. "You share that, and I'll tell you what I know."

Whatever movement she's able to do, Kristen slides her chair a few inches away from Devon's. "Okay~ New game plan? The kid? Not with him." The producer doesn't like guns too much, she doesn't like the thought of her own mortality, and she doesn't like attitude that's not her own. "He obviously doesn't understand the rules you play under, you know.. like Guantanamo.. Supermax… I'd really like to stay out of places like that." There's a subtle twitch downward of her eyebrows and a quick flit of her brown eyes, down and to the left, before they rise to meet the figure in front of her. Her squint isn't very noticeable but with the bright light, her pupils are about the size of a pin.

One place she didn't say, specifically. Moab.

For what it's worth, Kristen's plan works. If there was a biting comeback intended for Devon, it doesn't come: Someone understands the rules, at least, and that helps make things easier. Just a bit. But Kristen is seemingly not the only one changing their game plan, and for the moment, the issue of what they were doing in a place they shouldn't have been in is dropped in favor of a different line of questioning. "Who is 'Red Knight,' and why're they so intent on sending a television crew out some place they knew was not open to be visited?"

At that, Devon falls momentarily quiet. It was worth a shot. That step he took is retreated, arms giving another pull to the metallic links around his wrists. Finally he shakes his head. "It's a Final Fantasy character. Uses a lance and can cast magic. Pretty versatile to have in your party, to be honest, since red knights can cast white and black magic. —That means they can heal or do damage. But they're also pretty good for physical combat too. Especially useful when you're up against monsters that can silence."

A single shoulder shrug follows the teenager's explanation, a little unsure since he's never heard of a red knight, or a Red Knight, anywhere else. He glances toward Kristen again, then closes his mouth before anything else can be said. That following, Devon flicks his gaze toward the man at the table then lowers it, to the table itself. He's done talking, at least for now.

"Who specifically, I can't answer. Someone that broke into Russo's apartment. Before the new year, he had a big problem with people going in and out… then he got better security." Kristen's aloof tone is quite matter of fact, it may be rehearsed but if it is, it's accompanied by a body language that suggests too much discomfort for it to be far from.

"Why is easy," she begins again. This time her tone is more casual, a bit arrogant even. "The Advocate is the hottest news program out there right now. Last ratings poll showed up a few million viewers over 60 Minutes. That's big. 60 Minutes has ruled that spot forever, once you beat them a few times, you have it made. Do you know how many viewers Geraldo Rivera had when he opened up that safe? How many people tuned in to see Arthur Kent during the Persian Gulf War? If we'd actually found something out there on live television… It'd be bigger than Jesus."

The answer to 'why,' although informative, was probably not the answer that was desired. The silence that follows Kristen's explanation is long and measured. "And tell me why, upon learning of this forced entry by an apparent FRONTLINE officer, you did not report the incident to the police." Which, really, is probably a pretty good question. "You see, Red Knight at least thinks they know something, and if they are choosing to operate through you, that means you know something, whether or not you're aware of it. And rest assured, you are not leaving until I know what that something is." This is not a matter, clearly, that their interrogator is leaving up for argument. "So I suggest you start thinking very hard about what you know, or you're going to be here for a while."

The intern only offers a small shrug. He knows nothing of a Red Knight, that much has been shown. He was also, until now, unaware that Russo's apartment had been broken into. Before he joined the studio obviously. Devon gives a small shake of his head and a quiet sigh. "All I was told was to make reservations. Car, hotel, that's it. Booked them about a week or two after I took the internship."

The steely set to Kristen's eyes as soon as the words the police are mentioned might be enough to indicate where the Producer's take on the subject. "The simple answer is.. I don't like the police. I don't like involving them in anything that we do unless it's a simple break in or petty theft that's too small to handle on our own." She leans back in her chair and extends one leg out in front of her while folding the other under her chair.

"As for what I know… New York is a pretty rough place right now and sometimes things happen that aren't completely… above board. Martial law rules the roost and sometimes it gets pretty ugly. I'm sure you're familiar with the events surrounding November 8th of last year?" There's a small tic upward of one of Kristen's eyebrows as she speaks rather candidly, perhaps too candidly of the subject at hand. "Well a little while after that, I met a FRONTLINE officer. A real hero," the way she adds the last bit, it doesn't seem that she means it. "I don't know what went on in the place we met him but there was a lot of blood that someone attempted to wash away. That is what I know."

Again, the silence that follows Kristen's response is measured. It's the kind of silence one might expect to hear if they'd informed a judge they would entrust their law enforcement needs to the Punisher before the police. It is not their interrogator's voice that breaks the silence, but loud, pounding knocking on the door that goes unanswered at first. When a second round impatiently starts just one second after the first concludes, one of the room's guards is directed to open it. Maybe it's not a surprise that there is another armed and uniformed man on the other side. What might be a surprise is the man who comes in immediately after him, as he is wearing civilian clothing- slack and a grey collared shirt, in fact- and looks nothing less than unhappy. His first order of business is to whip out and display a badge that, in the glare of the too-bright light, shows perhaps why he's even here: "Department of Evolved Affairs. What do you think you're doing?"

A curious glance is directed toward the door as the knocking picks up a second time, the first time having been ignored. Devon looks at the man behind the table, as he gestures for the door to be opened, then looks toward the door again. A shift of his shoulders follows, another testing strain against the cuffs, his eyes going back to the table. Not without noting the badge, though he continues to say nothing.

Kristen is almost unable to hide the impressed expression on her face when the plain clothes officer shows up at the door at practically the nick of time. She turns her head to take a look at the man, no one she recognizes but it's likely that Russo might, he's more familiar with them. Because he's evolved. Which still really keeps Kristen bent over a barrel, since she's not. At least everyone else on the trip might be saved.

"Interrogation," the producer suppplies helpfully. Indicating with her cuffed hands toward their host for the evening. "He's got just about everything out of me though." Just about. Maybe.

The Evolved Affairs agent regards Kristen for a moment, and then turns his attention back to their interrogator. "Well, that's super," he says, "Hope your satisfied with the answers you received, because these people you picked up? They're mine now, and I'll be happy to show you every piece of paper I have that'll tell you that. You have fifteen minutes to get all of them together, including their personal effects, and then I'm leaving with them. You don't need to worry about what happens after that. Fifteen. Minutes." And then, he turns and leaves without giving anyone a second look. The effect is largely one that seems to have left the man at the table wondering to himself, 'Did that just happen?'

Yeah. That just happened.

There's a tsk from the teenager, the kid shaking his head and looking with sarcastic apology at the man behind the table. "Sucks to be you," he states. Hopefully that's true, he has no idea who that DoEA guy is. Devon turns slightly, half wiggling his handcuffed wrists in the direction of one of those guards. "C'mon. Take them off —Ms. Reynold's first, though." No idea if that's even part of the deal, but no one's said it wasn't.

Being passed from one government agency to the next doesn't give Kristen much hope that the cuffs will be taken off, after all they're still in custody. Standing up at a rather languid pace, she takes a few steps away from the glaring light and laces her fingers together while her hands are still in the cuffs.

She's silent for the time it takes the man at the table to collect himself and whatever little scraps of dignity he has after the verbal lashing he just received from a plain clothes agent of an entirely different division but being Kristen, she doesn't stay that way for long. "I just feel the need to say… It's not you, it's me. This never could have worked out between us, I'm sorry." A pause before she continues, "I think my father really would have liked you though."

Another pause, although this one is much shorter than previous pauses. "We'll be watching you, Reynolds," the now ex-interrogator says, "Get them out of here."

And that's that. Much in the way that Russo was dragged out of the sterile room, so too are Kristen and Devon. Their destination now is less certain than their friend's, however: He at least had the benefit of knowing he wasn't leaving the facility.

But in this case, in this one case, maybe not knowing the destination is actually the best part of all. It means that they're going some place where the lights aren't as blinding or the rooms as sterile. Maybe there'll even be cigarettes and liquor.

But I wouldn't count on it.

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