Our hero knows he’s in serious trouble.
The problem is, there are familiar faces and a question of who is a friend and who is foe made all the more difficult because of the enemy, if it was the enemy, simply because it didn’t look or sound or act like the enemy.
Now, it appears, his problems stem from another operation he participated in.
I was escorted to a small room that adjoined the interview room, and I was separated from the main event by a one-way mirror.
It was a cliché, but not surprising.
The interrogation room was much the same as an office, with a table, two chairs, and on the side, a cabinet, closed up, and an interesting addition to what might be called a boring room.
It was currently empty, and I was the only one in this small room, sitting at a counter, looking in. In front of me was a stack of writing pads, pens and pencils. I wondered if I was the only party that was about to observe Lallo and the new arrival.
Five minutes passed before the door to the room next door opened and a hooded man was led in. His hands were cuffed, and his legs had chains, standard prisoner gear.
From the man’s manner and body language, it appeared to me as though he was surprised he was being treated so badly, and was not forcefully resistant, but wasn’t making it easy for his captors.
He was asked to sit, and when he didn’t he was forced to sit, with some force, and then his hands were locked onto the metal bar at the table. His legs were locked to a lower bar. A precaution in case he decided to attack his interrogator.
One thing I knew for sure, this man would not give up information willingly.
Once he was secured, one guard took up station inside the door, the other left. That’s when Lallo made his appearance. He came in, put a file on the desk, nodded to the guard who remove3d the hood, and then he sat.
I’d expected to see Lallo in full uniform. He was not. He was, if anything, dressed casually. The man on the other side was in a cream suit, very crumpled and slightly stained as if he had not changed during the entire journey from capture to this room.
No doubt part of his conditioning.
“Mr Jacobi, that is your name isn’t it?”
The man stared at him sullenly. I got the impression he was usually the one asking the questions, not the other way around.
The man lifted his head and stared straight at Lallo. It was not a look I’d want to be on the end of, but Lallo, I suspect, had been on the end of a lot worse. And a closer inspection of his face, and features, I noticed that someone had already started the harsher form of interrogation.
“You know this already. I am an employee of the United States Government, your Government, and you will regret treating me like this.”
“That may be so, but you have failed to define what part of the Government it is you work for. Is it the CIA?”
Another withering stare, followed by, “You people are so incompetent, the left-hand does not know what the right hand is doing. I require a telephone so that I can contact my liaison, and this farce will stop, and you will be reprimanded very severely.”
“I seriously doubt anyone knows you are missing yet. Maybe after a week or so, but we know you keep to yourself, and very few people know your business, a situation, I assure you, the benefits us more than it benefits you. So I will assume you are Jacobi.”
There was a knock on the door, and Monroe came in with a small box, handed it to Lallo, and then left again.
Lallo looked in the box, then pulled out a plastic evidence bag with a mobile phone in it, and put it on the table. “This is the phone you use to call General Bahti, your contact inside the current government. It seems it is not registered with a telephone network in your country, but another, shall we say neutral, country.
He reached into the box and pulled out another plastic evidence bag also with mobile phone in it. “This phone,” he held it up, “is the one you use to talk to the, shall we call them the local resistance. It’s so much nicer than calling them rebels.”
The man’s eyes followed each bag from the box to the table. He was almost expressionless.
Then Lallo pulled out another bag, with another phone, “This is the phone which you make and receive calls from your American contact. It is what we call a burner phone, and was given to you, we think, on a recent visit to this country, by that contact. I am assuming this is the person you wish to call and who will stop this farce.”
If Lallo was expecting the man to break down there and then, he was sadly mistaken. There was little if any movement in his expression, perhaps just enough for Lallo to assume he’d got the men behind the phones correct. That he was basically unmoved at Lallo’s revelations told me this man had a resolve Lallo was going to find hard to shake.
Lallo took the third phone out of the evidence bag and pushed it across the table towards the man. “You can call your contact now, and you can tell him I would like to speak to him.”
© Charles Heath 2019