“YOU WILL TALK!”
Thomas held the lamp like a spear, nearly poking Lyle Tallman in the face with it. He had tied the former Red Midget to a chair, and in between Ivy trying to grill him on technical questions designed to see whether or not he was smart enough to be the Hacker, or one of the people behind the ‘Hacker’, Thomas threw so much ‘bad cop’ rhetoric at him that she was surprised Red hadn’t burst out laughing.
Then again, after four years on an island with no company but each other, Red had apparently learned how to tune him out.
“Seriously Lyle,” said Ivy, sitting backwards in a chair with her hands rested on her arms rested on the back of the chair, “you were working with him on the PCL, you must know something.”
“I already gave my statement,” said Lyle, without emotion.
“You don’t know what pain is!” shouted Thomas.
“This isn’t the cops,” replied Ivy, “this is just us, this is just the CSWA. I don’t care about the legal shi—stuff… but this guy is seriously messing with the show. We just want to know what you know, and either take him out completely or come to some kind of agreement—“
“No!” said Thomas, this time directed at Ivy, “We’re going to take this Hacker down and everyone on his team is going to lose!”
Lose? “Diplomacy, Stephen,” said Ivy.
“I already told you everything,” reiterated Lyle, “You had me in a cage with a water bottle like a hamster’s, threatening me with withholding food – which you did anyways – unless I spilled my guts. And it didn’t even work, because you didn’t feed me until Melton came back with the two women!”
“I’ve had enough.”
Thomas spun the lamp stand around and held it against Lyle’s throat.
“I’m sick of this,” said Thomas, “You’ve been holding out on us since day one, and now you’re going to talk. Ivy, get your pen and paper ready. Lyle? Tell us everything.”
He pushed it against Lyle’s throat a bit harder. “Everything!”
“Okay, okay,” said Lyle, as he looked down in shame, I’ll talk!”
Lyle took a deep breath. “In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max’s toupee and I glued it on my face when I played Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs, and I blamed it on the dog! I never made my wife reach o…”
Thomas stared at him with intensity, making note of every inflection in his voice and every story he told. Ivy, on the other hand, buried her face in her hands and shook her head in exasperation.