Identity Theft

July 11, 2014:

Melinda May interrogates a small time thief who has apparently made a play for the big leagues only to find that not all is as it seems.

SHIELD Holding Facility

A secure facility with an teleportation inhibitor device. Which is totally standard issue. Totally.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"…he's a small time sneak-thief according to all previous information, so this recent heist is out of character for him." May is standing with Trent in the 'observation' room attached to Scott's cozy little holding room, explaining why she's asked him to be here. "I'm going to lean on him for details about the solvent and what he's done with it, I want you to make sure the dampener doesn't fizzle and if you see him lying, shock him through the cuffs."

Of course SHIELD tech can be sneaky, and this is an example. Hopefully all Grayson knows currently is that he's handcuffed to that table. If he realizes the cuffs, the table, and even the chair is all part of an extra fancy lie detector system, that may influence the readings.

With one last nod to Trent, May leaves the observation room and walks the short distance before stepping past the guards at the next door over and briskly opening the door to walk into the sparse little room holding Grayson.

*

Melinda May is probably the only person Jericho would be here for. That's because she's the only Person in SHIELD he thinks is trustworthy. His acquaintance with an actual Demon Queen notwithstanding, he's fairly sure Hill is the devil. And she does not assume a pleasing form. Not. At. All.

"Alright, I can handle that assuming the damper doesn't try to shock me for interfacing with the system." He's already doing that though and it hasn't shocked him yet. "Just give me a nod if he needs encouragement." Why, again, is he doing this?

*

As for the goldfish in the bowl, the last few hours have been rather terrible. If there is one cruel thing that you can do to an individual who is such a creature of the moment and idle whim as Grayson, it's to leave them alone with no means of distraction nor entertainment. Then to do that to the fellow for four or five hours… or more since time seems to blur here, well heck.

So he's definitely primed for some form of stimulus as he's sitting there in that dull room, with that dull table, in that dull chair, with those dull handcuffs on him. The only splash of color in the place is his blue jeans and the Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon t-shirt he wears. He's slouched there, scowling, frowning. At times his head lolls back and he lets loose with a heavy sigh or an, 'Argh' that he figures only he can hear.

*

Jericho can hear it quite will from his end. He sits down, going over the specs and the code on his HUD while he studies the man and the file May had on him. Small time theif. Nano-durabond…stuff. Who lets people make this kind of thing? Not that he's one to talk cause he has tech-magic implanted all over him. When the guy sighs he breaks in over the comm system. "Why, exactly, did you have to go and piss these guys off again?"

*

In his very own little goldfish bowl all alone and handcuffed and looking so terribly forlorn, when Jericho's voice comes over the comm, the young man is suddently intent. Looking up and blinking rapidly, Grayson clings to that voice from afar like a lifeline hurled to a drowning violinist just off the life boat in the atlantic while an iceberg saunters by.

"Dude, I don't even know who these people are." And to be fair that reads as truthful.

He looks around, shuffling in his seat to be a touch less slouchy as he crinkles his nose. "Nor where I am. Or…" There's a faint surge of power and somewhere within the building a certain experimental device trills a faint warning as its sensors detect a surge and dissipate it.

*

Having opened the door just in time to hear Trent's voice over the room's PA system, May's eyes flick toward the camera in the corner of the room for just a second before she steps right into Grayson's line of sight, and lets the file in her hand land on the table with a hopefully intimidating thwack.

"Grayson Scott. Get tired of being a small time 'Bastard'?"

*

Sara is currently on administrative leave as far as NYPD is concerned. Too many explosions, too many bodies. Which means she's free to come to SHIELD and offer what assistance she can. She looks tired when she comes into the observation room, limping a little bit. When she sees who's inside, she pauses, brows rising.

"I know him."

*

Jericho turns from the window he's leaning near. The fact that he doesn't look like he's monitoring and operating a very complex piece of machinery is simply due to the fact that he can do it all in his head. So leaning and watching it is.

"Detective Pezzini?" He's not seen her since that mess with Shield nearly a week back. The mess where he learned that Hill Is The Devil.

"Didn't expect to see you here. Then again I didn't expect to be here myself. Who is he? I mean, other than what his dossier says?"

*

Inside the interrogation chamber, Melinda May's appearance brings Grayson's attention around. He cocks an eyebrow at her and she can probably tell that things are flicking through his brain at a crazed pace. He's starting to realize that he is well and truly bound, that he won't be able to simply disappear and escape all repercussions. Yet it is perhaps to be said for him that he does not give in to utter abandon and despair.

Though he does give a nod to it when he says simply, "So not fair."

Then he leans forward, bringing his handcuffed hands up onto the surface of the table with a faint clink-clank. "Bastard isn't really like, a title. Or anything." Then, of course, ego wins out as he adds. "And I'm not like, small time either."

*

"Not anymore." May opens the folder and flicks a photo out of it at Grayson. "You've officially stuck your foot into the big leagues, Scott, and we're the referees." The photo is a stock image of the Horizon Labs building that was recently hit. "What did you do with the solvent you took from Horizon Labs?"

*

"I've got no idea what his dossier says," Sara admits, joining Jericho at the window. "I ran into him at the park. Knew he was wanted for something or other, but he rabbited before I could really get anything useful going. He's a teleporter, right?"

She pauses. "Should've taken him up on the offer of a beach vacation. Didn't expect to see you on this side of the glass, either. Guess things worked out all right?"

*

Jericho nods and lets a braeth out. He's smiling just a little. Because he remembers his first (and only) Melinda May interrogation. It went kind of like that. First up, insult and stare. Then for follow up, see step one.

"You know this is a lot more fun from out here. I'm thinking I'd like to make a habit of being on this side of the glass. Not that I mind running into you but I prefer not to do it in an interrogation room."

*

Leaning awkwardly in his chair and looking at Melinda as if she were going crazy, Grayson taps his hand light upon the tabletop. He lifts his voice, not the most confidence-filled thing, and asks her, "Umm, can you describe the building?" He sits up a bit and pulls on the front of his chair to try and adjust the seat, only to remember that the thing is bolted to the floor.

A glance is given towards the big mirror and then the young man looks back to Melinda May and tells her, "I mean, not trying to be difficult, but I tend to… you know. Go to a lot of places." And rob them.

"And solvent? You mean like nail polish remover?"

*

Melinda May taps the photo of the Horizon Labs building with one finger. And when Scott tries to play the simpleton card, the simply crosses her arms. And stares at him. Thus begins the Teal'c method of interrogation.

*

"It's nice when there's no shooting going on, too," Sara drawls, dry, at Jericho's words. "We should try to do it this way more often. The other way less often."

She watches the interrogation, head tilting slightly as she takes the chance to get a better look at Grayson and jog her memory. "So what's he in for? And how are you keeping him there?"

*

"SHIELD's got some fancy device that shuts down whatever teleportation trick he does. I'm just making sure it keeps working. He's here because he stole some multibillion dollar piece of Nanotech. May is pissed. Er, I think. It's hard to tell some times." He grins. "I'm starting to think at least some of it is an act."

*

"Ohhh," Grayson looks down as his attention is drawn to the photograph. "That building." The young man looks down at the photograph and scrunches up one eye as if trying to dig through all of his memories and come up with something. It might lend one to think he's hiding something, or perhaps he's meta-gaming the whole thing and trying to think of what she wants to hear. Eventually he responds, "Well, I mean, I'd like to say I've never seen it before like. Ever. But that's not hugely true."

He shifts in his seat and pushes the photograph back to her. "I mean it's like, in the skyline of the city. So I'm sure I've seen it at various points and time. But I don't think I've been in there anytime lately."

He scritches his chin thoughtfully as he looks towards the mirrored glass again, then back towards May. "I mean, maybe I did go there ages ago. I don't remember if I did. But I really get around. Not trying to feed you a line or anything. Just trying the whole honesty thing. I hear cops like that. Oh wait."

The young man blinks a few times, "I'm supposed to ask you, 'Am I being detained?' but I guess I kinda am."

For Jericho he can probably read that whole meandering thing that Grayson says and realize that it's… some form of the truth. It's not lying, it's more just rambling.

*

Melinda May leans toward Grayson and says seemingly completely emotionlessly, "If you're lying to me, I will drop you into an oubliette so deep this room will seem like the Waldorf Astoria in comparison." She's waiting for Trent to indicate to her via the commlink she's wearing whether or not this punk is being a smart alec or if he's actually trying to be truthful.

*

Jericho pings May's commlink, though he does it without moving so it's hard to tell he's not just talking to no one. "He can't make a point May, but he's not lying. Yet. You'll know if he does. I'll give him three hundred amps to the wrist. It'll be fairly obvious. Promise."

*

"Some of it," Sara agrees with Jericho. "For what it's worth, I didn't get the evil vibe off of him," she adds with a nod toward Grayson. "Not that I'm exactly fool-proof on that front. I sort of got more of a joy-ride vibe. If he stole something dangerous, he either did it for fun, or for someone else without knowing what he was doing."

Holding his hands up defensively, Grayson looks across the table at her.

"Hey, nice use of the word oubliette." He says this more on auto-pilot as the rest of his brain is racing. The young man shakes his head and his brow furrows. "Look, just tell me what happened or whatever. I am seriously like super serious not trying to pull anything over on you. Last think I remember was Benny giving me a call and saying he needed help with something. Then me showing up and your people shooting me with those dart things."

He grimaces a bit as he shifts to lean on the other arm upon the table, his body language clearly speaking of tension and anxiety. "Before that I was… ahem. Kinda. You know. With someone. In Ecuador. Under a fake name. So not really much of an alibi huh?"

He heaves a sigh and looks askance, then back towards her. "Did you see the movie, Labyrinth?"

*

Jericho shakes his head with a sad chuckle. "He still can't get to the point, but I guess we should call Ecudor because he's not lying. I wonder though, does this thing sense half truths? Or obsufscation? This guy's a hell of a fast talker."

He looks over at Sara. "Not evil? Like me not evil or just misguided kid not evil?"

*

Melinda May flatly ignores the mention of the movie Labyrinth. "Someone. In Ecuador." She says it with a derisive tone of voice, as if clearly disbelieving. "Give me names."

*

"Could be either," Sara shrugs to Jericho. "That's just ten years as a cop talking. This is a smart-ass kid who happens to have some neat tricks that've gotten him out of paying the consequences so far. That's what my gut says, at least."

*

The young man takes his turn to ignore the question for the moment as he answers, "Just that's where I learned the word oubliette. I wonder how many of those sort of touchstones we share. It'd be interesting to see I suppose."

But then the young man seems to bring his attention back around as he looks across the way at Melinda. His eyes narrow faintly and for the first moment he seems to be at least a little bit serious. "Some local gal, don't remember her name. Sonia something? Fernandez, Guttierez? Dominguez?"

And that's the moment when Jericho's alarms will go off as it's clear that he's lying.

Of course he presses on, not realize what is most likely coming for him, "We just had some larks at the Hilton in Quito…"

*

"Oh. Pant's on fire." That's not for May's benefit but for Sara's. "I think your third theory was spot on. Well, though maybe he *did* know what he was doing."

Jericho narrows his eyes and triggers the shock feature of the machine he's linked into. 300 joules. Enough to hurt. A lot. Not enough to kill you, but definately enough to make you wish it had. Sorry buddy. If it were anyone but May I'd think you didn't deserve this. But since it is May…

*

And suddenly the shock bursting through the handcuff causes an abrupt jump from Grayson as he snaps, "Mother fu…!"

As he turns to stare accusingly at the handcuffs like some ancient monkey in front of a monolith suddenly betrayed by his banana. He grimaces and rubs at his wrist as he turns to peer back at Melinda May accusingly, expression suddenly grim. "The hell!"

*

"All right, so I lied about the oubliette. You'll get that instead, every time you lie to me." May seems unmoved by the accusatory stare Scott is levelling at her. "Now. Once again. Ecuador."

*

"Maybe," Sara allows, grimacing as the shock comes into play. "Doubt he got the whole story, though."

*

"You know this is how people become super villains, right? I mean you're the expert, I don't want to second guess you…"

Grayson's eyes are level on Melinda's as he shifts in his chair antsily, still occasionally checking on the handcuffs and trying to puzzle out exactly how such a gross violation of his civil liberties was perpetrated. He crinkles his nose and looks back up. "But this is totally an origin story sort of material thing. Innocent guy gets kidnapped by evil government thugs, tortured, tormented. Next thing you know I show up in a cape and with a death ray ten years later. Is that what you want?"

There's a moment as his eyes narrow. "Wait, is that your plan in the first place?"

And to Jericho it might surprise him that he's actually almost convincing himself with that line of thought. But then Grayson shifts tacks and murmurs. "Ok, yeah I was in Ecuador with a gal pal friend type person. And yeah I know who she is. And yeah she could vouch for me. But no I'm not gonna ask her to and no I won't tell her. So you might as well give that up."

All truthful.

Melinda May remains straight-faced through all of the rambling about turning Grayson into a super villain. And, perhaps a bit surprisingly, she doesn't press him about the lady friend he spent time with in Ecuador. "Where did you stay in Ecuador?" At this point, she's starting to be convinced that this kid didn't do the Horizon Labs heist, and her line of questioning is aimed toward getting him to give them the intel they need to prove his lack of involvement. And if Hill doesn't like that, she can just deal.

*

"Truth. This is like a really bad drinking game, May. With shock collars."

Now there's a concept. Might liven up the old SHIELD wardroom. The very idea makes him smirk. Then again, a lot of ideas involving SHIELD agents make him smirk. Particularly recently. Because Hill Is The Devil. Has he mentioned that yet? It's true.

*

"The Hilton in Quito," Grayson's expression is a little hurt, but it's just his ego as he looks askance. He's reluctant to give her information that could possibly lead to whomever, but this shouldn't be bad. He looks back towards her, "Nice five star place, really good restaurant. And this kinda crazy pool that is right next to the ocean, so it's kinda like, 'Wow they have a pool, but the ocean's right there!' so kinda pointless. I guess."

At this point they can probably get used to his rhythm. He sort of just spews his thought processes as he gathers his other thoughts and then offers them once organized. "It was under the name of Mr. James Garner and friend. There should probably be some video records. Didn't lie low too much. Though I did pop around at times." His brow furrows as he gets another thought he doesn't give voice to.

And, of course, that all is true.

*

Melinda May nods slowly at that, fully expecting Trent to check that lead and verify it. He'd be able to do so MUCH faster than anyone this side of Tony Stark. "We'll verify that. Given that, who would benefit from placing the blame for this heist on you. And why?"

*

"Uploading to your pad now May, but it looks good. Guy's on video everywhere. Got a look at his friend here too but no ID as yet." Pause. "Kind of a nifty little trick he's got there. Though folks have said the same thing about me so I feel a bit awkward saying that."

He sighs as he scans the networks. "There's enough here to make it unlikely that he did the deed. Though… the man can teleport. What's the range on it?"

*

The young man drags a fingernail along the surface of the tabletop, as if trying to scribe something into it but not from any desire to pass on a message, more as a nervous activity of someone in a position they don't want to be in.

"I really have no idea." He grimaces and looks up at her, "I mean. Sure there are people that don't like me and all. But not like to such an extent…" There's a pause as he starts to think back, "I think. I mean, maybe there are. I just don't tend to keep a list of people that have a mad on for me."

He gets a small smile as he looks up, "I mean, who can dislike me? I'm pretty awesome right?" Alright that last there isn't entirely truthful, more just bravado. He then adds, "I suppose there are some folks that might think I crossed them before when some stuff went missing or whatever. But nothing like, serious…"

Then he pauses, "Though that guy was kinda mad I took his dog for a drive a few months ago."

*

Melinda May nods. "Valid questions. Though knowing you can teleport, what's to keep you from hopping to Horizon Labs from Ecuador and then back again?" May puts the photo back in the folder and closes it again but otherwise just keeps on staring Grayson down."

*

Jericho sighs. "Guy clearly hasn't thought this through has he. And… he's not that likeable." The hacker causes the cuffs to charge. Audibly. Just to keep Grayson on the level.

"Hey. You. Truth. Not Dare." He says over the PA. "You dont' want dare. Not here. Hill. Is. The. Devil. Remember that. No dares."

*

Frowning at the threat, he squirms a bit in his chair before scowling a bit. A faint sigh slips from the young man on the other side of the table from Melinda. He answers her with a grimacing, "Nothing, really. I mean I can pop in and out really quickly and really far. So no, my alibi doesn't really mean crap. I know that," Grayson grimaces and shakes his head, he looks back up towards her. "Heck, I mean I know that some low-tech places have security cameras that only snap shots once every 2-3 seconds. I've practiced popping back and forth in between ticks to present the illusion that I never moved. It can be done."

For once his manner is a bit more stern, the seriousness perhaps reaching him. "Why am I telling you this? Because I know how crap it is to try and get a teleporting freako like myself pinned down to one spot. But I'm telling you, lady. I didn't do this thing. Usually when I… allegedly do something, I kinda cop to it since I'm not what you call a careful type fella. I don't wear gloves, I don't pick up my hair follicles."

*

Melinda May turns and glares at the camera for a second before turning back to Grayson. "Whoever did pull off this heist did a rather thorough job of planting your fingerprints and DNA everywhere they could. Do you know anyone who would have the ability and motive to do this?"

*

Jericho is silent on his end, mostly because he's still running down information over the network. "Not to belabor the point May, but if he's that sloppy, then pretty much anyone could have gotten his DNA and fingerprints to plant. I think we need to look at people he's robbed and who they're connected to. Maybe he doesn't hit any big fish, but someone who works for one? Or knows one?"

*

Suddenly looking distinctly uncomfortable, Grayson scrunches up one eye as he looks at Melinda. "My DNA?" He swallows visibly, then leans forward a bit and shifts his weight to leaning on the other arm as he ahems faintly.

"Um, what sort of DNA? I mean, no. I don't know anyone who would go to that extent." But then something strikes his memory and Jericho might have his second hit on the ole lie detector.

Luckily, Grayson corrects himself as he adds, "Ok, I've crossed a few criminal organizations in my time. And, you know, some prominent people in them. Like Federico Allesan… drini? Is that right? He got kinda mad. Oh and some Hammerhead guy tried to lean on a friend of mine once." Then he looks towards the mirror and coincidentally right at Jericho for a moment before he looks away. "Also there was a Russian guy. He had this big kennel of dogs that he was a real dick about, Kravinoff or something. These big mastiffs which were really like… huge beautiful dogs and he was tormenting them crap. And I mean, ok I don't like people a lot. But dogs are… you know. Dogs are great. So umm, something happened and they disappeared to loving good homes. Or so I'm told…"

But then before Jericho can shock him he grimaces and says, "What I mean is that I took them. Alright, not lying. I took them and there's this place in North Dakota that is a no kill place and they're pretty great. But, whatever."

*

Melinda May nods again, and yes, she's expecting Trent to follow up on all of that as well. "We'll research these names. And probably for now, you should accept our … 'hospitality'."

"It's not so bad. Maybe you'll get a field trip." Trent mutters, remembering the outcome of his own First May Interrogation. He's not staying here though because… yes, he's mentioned it already a few times.

*

"May." He says into her comm. "I'll run this down for you. You know how to get ahold of me or find me on short notice, just call when you need the info."

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