The Crowley InterviewEdit
The man was nervous, that much was clear. He sat across the table, eyes darting around the room, fingers drumming on the underside as he waited. A glass of water sat untouched in front of him. When the interrogation room door finally opened he nearly jumped out of his seat. He gathered himself as the interviewer sat down opposite him and hit record on the portable tape player.
"Mr. Crowley, thank you for agreeing to speak with us."
"Just so long as no one knows I was ever here."
"Of course. Now, let the record show that we've invited you here to tell us everything you know about the freelance agent codenamed Janus."
"Well, first of all, I never met the guy. It's hard to say whether anybody's ever met the guy, and anybody who tells you they have, they're probably lying. You see, some guys in this business, they trade on their image. Guns, bombs, fast cars, flashy gadgets. Not Janus. He works the background, see. Lines up the dominoes and then gives them the tiniest of pushes. By the time the last one falls, he's been gone for months."
"You have no firsthand experience with agent Janus then?"
"I've seen the messes he leaves behind. I was in Colombia in '94, Iraq in '89. I was vacationing in Nigeria in '98 when that whole mess went down. So yeah, I've seen his handiwork, probably up closer than pretty much anybody who's still alive."
"What can you tell us about his methods?"
"The guy's prepared. Like, scary prepared. He's got a half-dozen different identities, safehouses in every city from here to Grenada. He's been working in the intelligence community for more than three decades now, and he knows his way around the block. Brings whole countries to their knees like it was nothing, just a few words whispered in the right ears and a blade between the right ribs. And if you thought the guy was scary when he was working for you guys, well, who knows what the hell he's capable of now that he's freelancing. If I were you I wouldn't even bother bringing him in. If you ever find this guy, put two in the back of his head and consider yourselves lucky."
"We'll take that under advisement. What can you tell us about his interrogation abilities?"
Crowley shifted uncomfortably. "I'm sorry?"
"You must know that Janus is a master interrogator. He trained with the CIA, then did some "independent research", as it were, with the Mossad. Which, if he does his homework as thoroughly as you claim, would certainly rank him as one of the world's foremost experts on torture."
"I... I hadn't heard that."
"Well, they say that nobody who's been interrogated by Janus ever says a word about it. They're all either dead, or too frightened of him to even remember him, much less say his name."
Crowley was sweating now. He barked out a nervous laugh.
"These stories, eh? Everything gets blown out of proportion. Half of what you hear isn't even true."
"And half of it is." The interviewer packed the tape recorder into his bag and stood up. "Thank you for your time, Mr. Crowley. An agent will be in to take you to your car shortly."
The door swung closed behind him. Crowley wiped the sweat from his brow, took a sip from the glass of water. A minute later, the door opened again, and another agent walked in.
"Mr. Crowley. Thank you for agreeing to meet with us today. Sorry for the delay, there were some issues with your paperwork."
"I'm sorry, are you the agent who's going to take me home?"
The man frowned. "I'm here to conduct your interview. Are you alright, Mr. Crowley? You look like you've just seen a ghost."
Crowley sat there in silence.
"As soon as you're ready to continue, I'd like you to tell me everything you know about the agent codenamed Janus."
Crowley looked at him. "I don't know who you're talking about."