“Agent Chen, welcome back,” Someone said to Calvin as he descended the shuttle.

“Hi, Steve,” Calvin greeted the other person.

“Glad to have you back with us, Agent Chen,” Steve continued. “How was your trip to Xerphora?”

“See for yourself, Steve,” Calvin returned.

That was when two guards escorted Wallace out of the shuttle. Steve had a smile on his face.

“I see your trip was successful then.”

Calvin smiled. “In a timely manner too.”

Steven clapped Calvin’s shoulder then. “You should go home and rest, I’ll take it from here.”

Calvin shook his head. “It’s fine. I started it. I should finish it too.”

So they both headed to a car parked outside of the building. Wallace was still being restrained by the two guards and was placed in the back. The guards got in on the two sides to keep watch. Steve, of course, was driving while Calvin sat on the passenger side.

The drive lasted for an hour. They were quiet for the majority of the time. Steve only spoke through the radio to alert the others that they were on their way. Wallace had been quiet the whole time, even after he got off the shuttle.

“Agent Chen, welcome back,” One of the guards out front greeted him as they pulled into the undisclosed building.

“It’s good to be back,” Calvin returned, smiling.

After that brief exchange, they proceeded with escorting Wallace inside and placing him in one of those temporary cells. That was also when Wallace spotted Nic and Tony in similar cells. Indeed, there were only the two of them within these cells.

“They got you too, huh?” Nic said after Wallace was already placed inside and the other agents and guards were gone already.

“Thanks to you two loudmouths,” Wallace snapped, settling down on one of the benches.

Nic looked confused. “What did I do? I haven’t even said a word since they tossed me in here.”

Wallace scoffed. “Right, I’m supposed to believe you two.”

“Seriously, I didn’t say anything.”

Wallace had a hand raised up. “Save it.”

Nic was about to open his mouth to defend himself once again yet he closed it, knowing Wallace had every right to be upset at the moment.

As for Wallace, he turned his eyes to Tony. Tony hadn’t said anything since Wallace arrived. Calvin’s words came back to Wallace then: Tony sold you out. Did Tony really do it or was that just a tactic to get them to talk once they were in one place and were waiting for the upcoming trial? It didn’t matter. Wallace cleared his throat once. “Why aren’t you as chatty anymore, Tony? What’s wrong? Don’t tell me you suddenly grew some conscience for ratting me out.”

Tony had on his surprised look then. He turned to Wallace. “What are you talking about, man? I’m just keeping quiet since we’re being spied on right now.”

Wallace scoffed. “Is that so?”

“Why are you attacking me? What about him?”

“Are you deaf?” Nic jumped in around then. “He just confronted me.”

“And you believed him?” Tony asked, turning to Wallace.

Wallace had looked toward the tiny window in one corner of the room. It was the window above Nic’s cell. “I didn’t say I believe either one of you.”

“You’re seriously deaf, huh?” Nic attacked again. “He just shut me up.”

“Yet you’re still yapping away,” Tony pointed out.

Nic had on a thoughtful look then. “Oh, are you pretending you didn’t hear so you could bring the heat back on me? So you could get out of this scratch-free?”

Tony tossed his hands up in frustration. “Getting out of this scratch-free? Can’t you see we’re in this cage?”

“Well, one of you sold me out,” Wallace said. “And when I find out which one of you did it, you’ll pay.”

Nic scoffed. “And do what? Reach across your cell and attack me?”

“It was him,” Tony said all of a sudden.

Nic turned to Tony then. “And you know this because?”

Nic’s tone was definitely mocking, not shocked by Tony’s betrayal nor was it an attempt to disarm Wallace’s wrath.

“Give it up, Tony,” Wallace said. “Your desperation to save yourself is too obvious.”

Tony had on the wounded look then. “I thought you said you don’t believe him either.”

“I was testing you. I didn’t know you were such a coward and went with pushing all the blame on him.”

“Who told you it was me?”

“You’re quick to blame him. It’s obvious you’re guilty from the start.”

Both Nic and Wallace were staring at Tony now, waiting for his response.

“Well, Tony?” Nic taunted. “What’s your new answer? That Wallace gave himself up because he felt like it?”

“All right, all right,” Tony said after what seemed like an hour. Yet it had only been five minutes top. “So I did it, okay? But it wasn’t like I wanted to. Those agents were so cunning. They tricked me into it.”

“Or maybe you were too stupid to figure it out,” Nic provided the answer helpfully.

“Or maybe you were just trying to score yourself a deal with them,” Wallace said, his voice serious and threatening at the same time.

Tony remained silent this time, not answering the other two. He knew too well he had lost momentum after admitting of his betrayal. Even if he had shifted the blame on the agents seconds ago.

*****

The door clanged shut before someone spoke up, addressing Calvin as he stood in the center of the conference room waiting.

“Agent Chen, we reviewed the clip you sent along with your report,” The person in the center of the table said. “And there was a crucial piece missing.”

Calvin nodded, understanding exactly what the other person meant. “I apologize for not securing the location properly. But after the other three entered the place, it was harder to confront Wallace and get him to admit the past killings. At that time, we were too focused on ensuring their safety.”

Yes, Angela and the other two had caused Calvin’s plan to go haywire. But he didn’t mention it at all to the other three, knowing it was useless to point fingers. After all, they were only concerned for his safety. He didn’t want to make them feel too bad about interfering, considering how they already apologized.

“But I think I could get them to confess while they’re here,” Calvin continued, not wanting to dwell. “We still have time before the trial.”

“Very well,” The leader said. “You may proceed with your plan.”

Calvin nodded and bowed to the council before turning to leave the room.

© Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Posted: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

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