6.1 Cliche

by Matt P.

Alexander pulled up short before the door, turning to face the others. “Something isn’t right here.” He said after a moment’s reflection. “I’ve seen a lot of guys in a lot of boxes, and none of them have ever been that calm.” He shrugged a little bit as he looked between Walter and Leah, who were designated to go in. “I don’t know what it means, but I don’t like it. So be careful, and we’ll be right out here.” He reassured them, before he turned and opened the door.

They walked in to the room to find the man seated comfortably behind the desk like it was in his office and he was waiting to speak with a pair of subordinates. His wrists were handcuffed in front of him to a u-bar on the desk, and were folded over together as best they could be in patient repose. The dark hair sprayed with silver framed a sharply angled face, handsome in a striking way when lit with a smile. What it had on beneath those crystal eyes was a cousin to a smile, or an uncle, but it had too much smirk in it to be a truly joyous thing.

“Ah finally.” The man offered. “I was getting so bored of just sitting here, waiting for things to begin.”

“Edwin Tennyson.” Walter said as he moved to sit down. “Investigated by Interpol three times for three different crimes, nothing ever proven. Some minor crimes States-side, but nothing like this. Which means either you had a habit for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, before you decided to get real violent; or you were always violent, and decided to get real sloppy.”

“And you must be Walter.” Edwin said with a cool little smile. “Please sit. Can I get you something? Coffee? And yes, that’s one alias.” That drew both officers up short. “Mmm, surprised?” He asked.

“Are you…new at the alias thing, Mr. Tennyson?” Leah asked as she laid a folder out on the table in front of them. “Because normally you don’t share the alias right away, or so I’m told. Kind of supposed to be a secret.”

Tennyson gave a lazy smile as he leaned back, to the extent that his handcuffs would allow him to. “And where would the fun in that be? So many people running around with secrets. Secret names, secret lives, and secret agendas. But if you never find out about them, then you can’t see what happens when they’re revealed.”

“Uh huh.” Walter said absently as he reached out to adjust the folder, and pulled out pictures. “We have you on attempted murder of a group of teenagers, on top of aggravated assault, weapons charges, breaking and entering, and of course parking in a handicapped spot to commit all of the above felonies.” He said, spreading out photos of the crime scene, the seized weaponry, and the parking violation.

“Is that the crux of it, the parking violation?” Tennyson asked, a note of genuine amusement in his voice as he considered the picture.

“We just wanted to lay out exactly what we have you on, Mr. Tennyson. It’s quite a staggering array. The attempted murder by itself has a median sentence of over 12 years, and that’s assuming that a record doesn’t surface for you.” Leah explained once Walter was done with the pictures.

“That’s a pretty little butcher’s bill, Mr. Tennyson.” Walter continued from his partner smoothly. “But we’re willing to help make a lot of it go away.” Walter said, attempting pleasantness and unable to keep a certain amount of edge from his voice. “So let’s make a deal. You tell us why you were there, and who sent you, and we make some of these charges go away.”

“First, you can’t make the charges go away, only the DA can do that.” Edwin Tennyson responded simply, reaching out to brush away some of the pictures. “And what makes you think someone sent me?”

“Do you have some reason to want to kill these teenagers besides someone sending you?” Leah asked, as Walter raised an eyebrow. He had been about to ask a similar question, albeit in a more angry tone of voice, and with more expletives.

“No, I was just curious.” Tennyson gestured non-chalantly with his hands. “I was sent. But the question I’d like to ask you is: How do you know it wasn’t my plan to get brought here all along?”