10 MAY 24, 00:48
TRACEN Cape May, NJ
Walking out of the office with some notes she had taken about the case, Angelica read the documentation over.. It made her wonder, then again she remembered the times she was in boot camp herself, and the bit about the phone call made her think, relationship trouble, girl or guy back home? That would be something his buddy should know. Now it was time to get those answers. She looked at the group then called out to Reeves who was doing her own research.
“Reeves, you’re with me, let’s go talk to the battle buddy see what we can find out.”
“Yeah sure,” Reeves said, closing her laptop and then getting up to follow. “So, uh, Roe let me take the lead on the last one… I assume I will be this time as well?”
Angelica paused for a second, “Take the lead and I’ll observe if I feel the need to take over I’ll just step in.” She was thinking maybe it was just incompatibility, not she wasn’t cut out for the job, but she and Roe had different personalities which can be like oil and water. “Also it depends how he reacts, some times an interviewee can react differently to different people.”
“Right,” Reeves said, brusquely. I’m forty years old… not a rookie. Fighter Pilot, former cop, she thought to herself. “It isn’t as if they’re a suspect they should be pretty open I’d think.”
“You’d hope.” Angelica responded, “First rule of interview, people lie, suspects lie because they have something to hide, witnesses lie for lots of reason, and some people lie for the hell of it.”
“How do you tell?” Reeves asked, though mentally she was rolling her eyes if she could fly fighters she can handle some junior enlisted.
“Your gut.” Angelica explained, it gets developed over time, with me it started first time some tweaker I caught stealing copper saying it wasn’t his pants. Of course poor bastard tried to steal copper again, from a live transformer, caused a blackout over a 4 block radius and fried himself. ” She paused. “Any questions before we go in?”
“No.” She sounded sour, last thing she needed was a lecture.
In the small conference room attached to the barracks that the recruits lived in a very nervous recruit sat in a chair. He looked pale, he was diaphoretic, and he felt like he was about to vomit. His chief concern had been his missing battle buddy but now… now he was told he was going to be talking to the Coast Guard Investigative Service. Was he going to be kicked out?
The two women walked in, notepads dropped on the table in front of them Angelica looked at the young man and she was wondering if they would need a corpsman for his pale face and sweating buckets, if they pushed this kid too far he might throw up, pass out, or both.
Erin looked at him and then began, “You know why you are here, and you know that if we don’t find your buddy you can be charged…”
The look on Angelica’s face was a poker face, but if you could read her expressions, she had a ‘tell’ that made her a lousy poker player, her eye twitched upward in surprise. This was the worst way to start a witness interview.
Angelica spoke up, “But we’re not here to point blame we all want to find Recruit Malcom, that’s the important thing.” Right now she was trying to calm the kid down so he could concentrate on their questions.
“Ch-charged?” SR Brakus asked, paling even more. “I haven’t seen him since we left on liberty… I told the police that and I told that to my company commander. What did I do wrong?”
This could go sour fast, kid could lawyer up, or clam up. Angelca had to think fast since Reeves had made things worse, an occasional good cop/bad cop could work but this kid was two steps from passing out, or puking or both, and that was the last thing they wanted. Before Reeves could open her mouth and make things even worse Angelica stopped her by placing a firm hand on her arm., “Agent Reeves, I think we could do with some coffee, or a soda.” she turned to Brakus. “You want anything?”
Reeves looked at the other agent incredulously, “really?”
“Yes.” Angelica said firmly. Reeves had managed to scare the crap out of the witness to the point she was worried they would need an ambulance or medic to treat his heart attack.
“Water…” he said, his breath barely able to get the word out. His mouth was suddenly dry at the suggestion he might be thirsty.
Angelica then waited for Reeves to head out with their beverage orders. She paused and looked at the young man, “Look, I’ve been in your shoes, You’re just in the service, and now you’re scared out of your skivvies because you got some feds in here and right now, the only thing we care about is your buddy being found safe, thats’ all, you did nothing wrong Recruit, you did the right thing, now let’s try and find him, I know you haven’t seen him, but anything he said, any problems he’s having at home, anything at all can help us find him. ” She just looked right at him,. “Don’t worry about charges, or getting kicked out or anything, unless you confess to selling typwriters to the KGB or something.” She tried a joke to ease the tension.
The young recruit just looked at her, not understanding her reference in the slightest, “Okay..”
She paused, “Ok, now that I’ve dated myself with that reference.” Normally jokes weren’t her thing during interviews but this kid was redlining with stress, and anything to calm him down. At that point a sour faced Reeves brought in two cokes and a glass of water. Angelica paused, “Look, anything you know, anything you’ve talked about with your buddy can help us, did he have anything going on that can help us?”
“He was really quiet… I know he was upset over a call he made when they gave us our phones for liberty,” the SR explained. “I don’t know what it was… but that was the last I heard anything. I don’t think he liked the Coast Guard and I don’t think he was a good fit for the military… he seemed really high strung.”
Angelica paused, “I have to ask this, did he give you any indication, any thought he was debating harming himself? ” Her biggest concern was kid figured out it wasn’t for him and rather then face going home, he might just end it all.
“God,” he said, his body slumping forward and his head to the desk on top of his arms crossed with a thump on the table. “I hope not.”