The Interrogator

The young man dragged a chair across the room, its rear legs scraping across the concrete floor. He placed it opposite Wilson and sat down. It was a flimsy, wooden chair that you might find a junior clerk at a cheap company sitting at. Wilson’s chair, by comparison, was the sort favoured by dentists, sturdy, reclinable and covered in heavy-duty plastic. Cable ties bound him immovable to it.

“Mr Wilson. Hello. May I call you Johnny?” There was a hint of an accent to his voice, the syllables crisp.

“You can call me ‘sir’, you piece of shit.”

“Let’s say that my name is Mohammed. You can call me that.”

“I’ll call you a hell of a lot more than that.”

“I’m sure you will, Johnny. People do, people do. Now, we can play all sorts of games where you pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, and I pretend I know all your plans, but quite frankly, that’s boring. So I’m going to cut to the chase, Johnny. I’m going to tell you everything I know, and then you’re going to tell me everything you know. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?”

“I’m telling you squat.”

“We know you’re planning to bomb one of our bases.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“We know when. All we want from you, Johnny, is the one tiny thing we don’t know yet.” Mohammed lifted a small briefcase from the floor and placed it on his lap. He rummaged inside it and produced a pad and a pen. He put the case down and poised the pen over the pad.

“There’s not enough paper in the world to write down what you don’t know, you ignorant savage.” Wilson tried to lunge at his captor, ignoring the pain as the cable ties bit into his flesh. Mohammed remained still.

“All we want to know, Johnny, is which base. That’s all. One tiny piece of information. One word. How terrible can that be?”

“Kiss my lily-white ass.”

“You know, that’s exactly what Todd said at first. You’re friends with Todd, right?”

“I don’t know any Todd.”

“Really? That’s strange. He seemed to know you. He knew you quite well, in fact. That’s how come we found you. Todd told us all about the bombing raid, everything except the target.”

“Bullshit.”

“He didn’t know. Oh, of course I didn’t believe him, not at first, but he was so eager to tell me everything else about it that in the end I had no choice to believe him.”

“Bullshit. Todd would never do that.”

“Oh, it seems you don’t know the real Todd after all, Johnny. You see, it was him that told us about you. Your name, where to find you, your role. He insisted, begged even, that we ask you the location.”

“I’m telling you squat.”

“I was rather afraid of that, Johnny. So here’s what I’m going to do.”

He pulled a small tray that was hinged to the chair around so that Johnny could see it. From his briefcase he pulled a small cordless drill. He placed it carefully on the tray.

“Hmm, let’s see.” He looked at Wilson’s face critically, pulled a wallet from the case and picked out a drill bit. “A ten millimetre bit for you, I think.” He placed it next to the drill. “Usually I use a smaller bit, but you’re a big strong guy, Johnny. I wouldn’t want you breaking it.”

Mohammed suddenly lashed out, pinning Wilson’s cheek against the headrest of the chair. With his other hand he poked the end of his little finger into Wilson’s cheek.

“I’ll start at the back, with the molars. Now, you might be thinking you’ll just keep your mouth shut, but that’s okay. This isn’t the Marathon Man. I’ll just go straight through your cheek. To be honest, the pain of your tooth cracking and splintering will be much worse than the mess we make of your face. And then I’ll go from tooth to tooth, seeing how many it takes before you talk. You look after your teeth, I can tell. I bet they’re all yours, aren’t they?”

He let Wilson go, whipping his hands out of the way as Wilson tried to bite.

“You don’t frighten me,” snarled Wilson. “I’m an American citizen. You think you can get away with this?”

“Well, I don’t know. Let’s see what your lawyer says, shall we?” Mohammed sat back and raised his eyebrows. “Hmm, he seems to be silent on the matter. What about your pals? Maybe they’re about to burst into the room, guns blazing. Shall we wait?” Mohammed looked towards the door for a few seconds.

“Johnny, what you have to understand,” he said, after a rescue party failed to materialise, “is that no-one knows you’re here. My boss, the army, the police, no-one. You don’t even know where here is. And you’re so deep underground no-one will ever find you. You’ll just be another good old boy that disappeared one day.”

He rummaged in the bag again.

“You’ll tell me, Johnny, everyone always does.” He placed a hypodermic needle and a small flask on the tray. “Some people can resist a lot of pain, until they pass out. Some people pass out on the first tooth. So I’ve got a little treat here for you. Adrenaline. It’ll wake a hibernating bear. No point me working on your teeth if you can’t feel it, is there. ”

“I’m telling you nothing.”

“No, you will, eventually. If you’re stupid you’ll just go through agony beforehand.”

Mohammed picked up the drill and fed the bit into it, slowly tightening the chuck.

“Even if I do, ten men will replace me. We’re going to push your sort into the sea. We’re going to bomb you people back into the stone age.” Wilson tugged at the ties again, throwing his head from side.

“My people? Well, perhaps you will, but that’s not really going to help you now, is it?” Mohammed squeezed the trigger experimentally, and the drill whined in his hand.

+++

Mohammed closed the door behind him and waved the pad. “Jacksonville,” he said, all hint of the accent gone. “They’re going to bomb the FBI offices in Jacksonville. I got two more members of the cell from him too.”

“Jesus,” said Mendez, reaching for the pad. “They call themselves patriots, and they bomb their own country?”

“You know none of this will be admissible in court?”

“I don’t care, so long as we stop the bombs. You, um, you didn’t, you know…” He let the end of the sentence trail off into silence.

“You said any means possible.”

“Yeah, but a drill?”

Mohammed suddenly grinned. “Relax, chief. He sang like a canary before it got that far. They always do. Now if it was you, he’d think you wouldn’t go through with it, but one of my sort, we’re the evil bogey man. We Muslims are capable of anything.”

“Muslim? I thought you were Episcopalian.”

Mohammed winked, and brought a finger to his lips.

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About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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