Disclaimer: Inception does not belong to me.
The silence in the room was deafening.
Arthur, unwilling to look at Robert at first, cast a quick glance to John. The young detective was sitting calmly, and looking at his notes.
Arthur felt Cobb shift slightly. Finally, he heard the Principal speak.
"Robert, no-one's accusing you-"
Blake interrupted. "Excuse me, Mr Cobb." With a deft movement, he flicked a switch, and Arthur realised with shock that they were being recorded.
"The date is February 7th, 2012. Time is 8pm." John paused, then continued. "This interview is being conducted by Detective John Blake. I am questioning Robert Fischer, Arthur Ogilvie, and Dominic Cobb in connection with the fire at J E Fox High. Accompanying Mr Fischer is Mr Robert Browning."
Robert leaned forward. "I have nothing to say, Detective."
John exhaled slowly. "Mr Fischer claims to have nothing to say." He opened his file, and began pulling out photographs, scattering them on the table. The other men blinked, and began to look.
"Detective Blake is showing the interviewees photographs from the fire. The photographs depict that a great deal of damage occurred, to the brick work and interior of the school."
Arthur gulped as he looked at the evidence. A science lab - Yusuf's lab - completely gutted into a mass of black, charred, ashes. Ariadne's art studio, with the work that she and her students had painstakingly completed destroyed. He rubbed his face.
"And here is another one."
It was of the downstairs basement. Arthur blinked - he could see what looked like a blanket, and packets of junk food scattered on the floor. He swallowed, and looked up.
"Its evidence that someone was in the basement, and probably left, before the fire." Blake's voice was steady, but Arthur could see a wary look in his eyes. "What I need to find out is who are they, and what were they doing there?"
Robert smirked. "Mr Blake. You really think I know anything about this? Probably a vagrant."
"Why would a vagrant sleep in a school basement, Mr Fischer?" Blake countered, leaning forward. "You do realise that they could be prosecuted under child protection laws?"
Fischer leaned back, scowling. "No, Mr Blake, I did not know." He shook his head. "Why should I?"
"Because, Mr Fischer-" Blake swallowed - "I have reason to believe that a student may have been living in the basement. And I have reason to believe that they may have been aided and abetted in starting the fire."
"Really?" Fischer yawned, displaying a casual arrogance. "How?"
"With money," Blake said, calmly. "I have reason to believe that a student was paid a total of a thousand dollars to start the fire."
Fischer looked at him, impassively. "Well, that's very interesting. Mr Blake, you're wasted as a detective. You should take up writing science fiction novels."
Blake shifted in his seat. "Mr Fischer, please don't make light of this. If a student was bribed into starting a fire, its a criminal offence. The person who instigated it could be facing a charge of bribery and intended arson."
Fischer nodded. "I agree. Clearly, a dangerous maniac."
"Or just a greedy one."
Arthur turned and looked at John, who was smiling. Cobb shifted in his seat. Browning's mouth flew open. "Excuse me, Detective-"
"A greedy one." Blake sounded frighteningly calm. "A greedy man who decided that he could afford to bribe a kid from an abusive home, and to pin the blame on some one else."
"Oh, really?" Fischer spoke mockingly. "And how would I do that?"
Suddenly, the atmosphere was electrified. Arthur cast a quick glance at Cobb, who coughed, shifting in his seat. Browning glared at Robert, his eyes narrowed.
"Go on, detective," Robert said, almost mockingly. "You seem to know everything. How would I pin the blame on someone else?"
"Why do you assume I think you did it, Mr Fischer?" Blake's voice was eerily calm.
"Well, you seem to have made your mind up!" A dull, angry flush was spreading across the other man's face. Blake swallowed, the tendons in his neck moving.
"No, Mr Fischer, I'm a detective. I'm not allowed to believe in coincidences. Despite the fact that you disappeared out of the country just after the school burned down." Blake met the other man's eyes. "Its due to this."
He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a plastic bag. Inside was a small black object. He tossed it on the table.
"Does anyone recognise that?"
"Yes." Dom spoke softly. "Its my wallet."
"That stupid kid!" Fischer shouted. "I told him to destroy it!"
Suddenly, he fell silent. Browning looked at him, horror on his face. "Robert, are you saying..."
Fischer covered his face with his hands.
"Well," Blake said softly, "if you want to admit to anything, now is the time, Mr Fischer."
Fischer turned to Arthur.
"Arthur. I bribed a student to burn down your precious school. Satisfied?"
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