#SaturdayScenes: Virtual Identity, Part 3

“IT SHOULDN’T TAKE LONG NOW,” Cynthia said to Agent Rodrigo Ochoa. She tapped on the large flat panel display. It showed a split view: on the left a close up of Sandra Tomek’s trembling lips and facial features, and on the right a wide angle view of the interrogation room.

Ochoa stood there, arms folded over his chest, feeling cold for that poor girl, not looking forward to being cold when he joined her.

Cynthia hooked her left wrist over his right shoulder. “We’re on the verge of a breakthrough. I can feel it.”

He took a deep breath, refusing to acknowledge her pride in this, her interrogation technique. As if to counter his apprehension, her hand slid onto the back of his shoulder, and her knuckles kneaded him there.

“Ready to jump in?”

He pulled away from her reach. “I’m ready when you are.”

“And they’re ready for you next door.”

He turned to leave, but she wouldn’t let him go without one more swipe.

“It will be quite the mission, Ocho. Like nothing you’ve dropped into before.”

He shook his head, turned the knob and flung the door open. This would be the last one of these, he reminded himself. One way or the other, he’d punch out after this one.


Sandra had no clock to go by, but Cynth stayed out more than ten minutes. Way longer. Sandra had no doubt about that. And maybe her staying out for more than ten minutes worked after all, because Sandra spent the first ten imagining ways for proclaiming her innocence.

Maybe she should cry, go hysterical. Maybe she should point out how she didn’t have as much as a parking ticket to her name. Always a schoolgirl. Always good with math and science and computers, studying her heart out. Full scholarship to Caltech. She’d even had a nine month internship at one of the local defense contractors, complete with full background checks and security clearances she would have never gotten if her nose had been anything but clean. Couldn’t they see that? Couldn’t they admit how much of an outstanding citizen they’d holed up in this interrogation room?

But after the first ten minutes, she’d set all that aside. Maybe the shivering did it. Maybe something else — despair and the realization that they had some sort of evidence on her, and they felt it solid enough to treat her like… What? A terrorist? An enemy combatant? To rendition her?

What exactly had she looked at in that first picture? Stolen government computer equipment, maybe? Someone had set her up as the fall gal for an illicit black market transfer of high grade computer equipment? If so, why? Who would do such a thing?

Read the rest of his installment…