It wasn't dark like he had expected. The room was well-lit, to a point where it was almost blinding. Private raised a hand in an attempt to shield his eyes, though it was difficult when his wrists were cuffed together. He was seated at a table in a chair that creaked a little too much for his own liking. To his left there was a mirror that took up almost the entire wall. He'd watched enough TV to know that it was only a mirror on one side. On the other side, people were watching him.
The doorknob turned and Private held his breath. A man entered, dressed in a crisp, clean-cut suit. Just like everyone else that worked there. Private recognized him, though. His name was Jacob Canfield. He'd never known him personally, but he'd seen him before. Skipper hated him.
"State your name," Canfield ordered.
Private took a deep breath to steady himself. "Private First Class Collin Fisher."
Canfield sat down across from him, opening a file he'd carried in with him. "Have you ever been in one of these rooms before, Collin?"
"Seen it on TV?"
"Then you know how this works." He turned a page in the file. Private knew what was in there. It was all about him. His history... medical records, psychological reports, fears, mistakes... "It says here that you're nineteen, Collin."
"Yes sir," Private repeated.
"Tell me, Collin... how does a boy so young end up mixed up in all this?"
Straight forward. Private swallowed the lump in his throat. "With all due respect, sir, I don't believe I've gotten myself mixed up in anything."
Canfield remained standing, his hands resting on the back of the chair across from Kowalski. Kowalski sat up straight, his hands folded neatly on his lap. He knew this man, though only fleetingly.
"I hear you're the brains of the group, Daniel" Canfield started, eyes unwavering on him.
"Some might be inclined to say that, yes," Kowalski responded easily.
"Would you be inclined to say that?"
He paused for a moment, considering the question carefully. "My teammates are far from stupid... but I suppose, yes, I would say that I am the 'brains' of the group."
"You must've cooked this whole thing up, then." Canfield accused, narrowing his eyes.
Kowalski held his eyes steadily. "I apologize Mr. Canfield, but I don't believe I know what you're talking about."
"Don't play dumb with me, Kowalski."
"Is this the same tactic you used on Private? No... you wanted to make him feel comfortable, right? Not scare him. You won't get a word out of either of us," he told the man across from him, leaning forward a little, as if telling him a secret. "There's nothing to tell."
"I'll repeat. State. Your. Name."
Rico sat with his cuffed wrists hanging between his knees, eyes fixated on the frustrated agent across the table. He'd yet to speak since the man walked in, despite being ordered to several times over.
"Your hostility is not helping you," Canfield growled. No reaction. He pushed it a little farther. "Or your teammates."
Rico's eyebrow twitched, wavering a moment. "Rico," he stated roughly, though his glare remained.
"And your last name."
"Good." Canfield relaxed a little, taking a seat and folding his hands on the table. He leaned forward a little, meeting Rico's eyes. "Your medical profile says that you're sociopathic and psychopathic... It was the reason you were kicked out. Why were you allowed on this team?"
Canfield narrowed his eyes. "I bet you were used to handle the dirty work, weren't you?"
"You know my name."
"It's for the record," Canfield snapped. "State your name."
"It's not for the record. It's about control."
Canfield leaned over the table, glaring. "State your name."
He sighed, rolling his eyes. "Jackson Rhodes."
"And where does the alias 'Skipper' come from?"
Skipper snorted out a soft laugh. He stood up from his chair, approaching the mirror at the side of the room and studying Canfield through the reflection. "It's not an alias. It's just a nickname."
"Then where does that nickname come from?" Canfield responded. He met Skipper's eyes through the mirror, making sure he knew that he was being watched.
"I don't see how that's important," he answered, glaring at the agent over his shoulder.
Canfield fell silent for a moment, standing and closing the distance between them. Their eyes locked, neither willing to back down from the challenge. "It's not. However, if you want to get straight into business we can."
"You're the leader of those men?"
"Yes I am," Skipper answered confidently. He had nothing to hide... nothing that they'd ask about anyways.
"You think you're so smart, training your team?" Canfield asked. "One of them will break."
"Even if they did," he growled, "which they won't, you wouldn't get anything out of them. Because there's nothing to tell."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah. Ask them as much as you like. They'll all tell you the same thing. They're innocent."
"They're innocent," Canfield repeated lowly. "But are you?"
"Yes," Skipper barked. "Quit with the mind games."
Their stare down continued for several moments longer before Camfield was forced to look away. "Fine then. Tell me what happened."