Identity Unknown

"Being back here made me see how much it can get to you; the training, all of the lessons, even just the environment we are in. We aren't the same as everyone else. And everyone else can never know.'

After six months of searching for her father, Charlotte Goode returns to the Gallagher Academy. Exams and eager friends await, but something is wrong. When a phone call changes everything, Zach can offer the answer - but someone will stop at nothing to keep him silent. And when a double agent is revealed, Charlotte must choose who to trust - but time is running out, and the Academy's greatest secrets are at risk.

The stakes are higher, but is she ready?

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12. Questioned

The death of an agent is never taken lightly - we all potentially had intel. So Zach, Rick, his friends and I were carted off to face the CIA's questions, as helpless as lambs to the slaughter.

There were several things I noticed about the journey from Blackthorne to the CIA headquarters.

1) Transportation vehicles for young-but-potentially-lethal spies were a lot nicer than I would have thought (and I mean, leather seats and blackout windows nice).

2) Zach didn't look at Rick. At all. He initiated conversation with Rick's friends (except for the boy with the ring whom I had bitten, as he was still sulking). Zach was also adamant to stop me talking to Rick, whether it be by passing me the M&M's that Kian had wondrously snuck in or actually interrupting our conversation. I was certain that they already knew each other, or knew of each other, but they both denied it.

3) At an average speed of 80mph, it only takes three hours to reach the main CIA base from Blackthorne.

4) After three hours, even aforementioned luxury vehicles can get a bit boring

5) Even though it was 5am when we arrived, none of us were tired - I for one was far too fearful for fatigue.

 

CIA bases were big. And secretive. And pretty darn awesome. But I didn't have time to marvel at the technology or fiddle with the gadgets. A top spy organisation is a lot less cool when you are suspected.

"Did he hurt you?" A woman in a white coat rushed forward, her kind face etched with concern, but my bodyguard made her keep her distance. I'm not sure whether he was for my protection... or theirs. This made me feel guilty and dangerous. I shifted my vision away from his clenched fists to the floor.

I was led into a room, cold and bare, the lock clicking behind me. I selected the comfier-looking of two chairs and fiddled with the handcuffs that bound my wrists. Damn. I should really start wearing bobby pins, because a) they make lock picking 100 times easier, and b) my hair needed taming. 

My thoughts were interrupted by a figure appearing before me. He had entered almost soundlessly, and his expensive boots somehow didn't even click against the stone floor.

"Can I get you anything?" Something to drink perhaps?" I raised my head, about to decline, but another voice beat me to it.

"No thank you, Wilson," replied a voice behind me. I voice I knew. I spun round to face my teacher.

"Mr Solomon-" I started, but was cut off.

"Turn around and shut up," Wilson instructed in a steely tone, taking the seat opposite me. Between us sat a large monitor, presumably a lie detector, and a small computer. He started tapping haphazardly on the keys, not even bothering to look at me. I took in his own appearance; a reasonably thin layer of black hair coated his head, leading to a large forehead and sharp cheekbones. His jaw was unshaved, his suit slightly crumpled. Everything about him had a tiredness to it, a willingness to just get on with everything, no time for slacking. Finally his eyes met mine. They were dark, and I couldn't help but look away, studying my shoes.

"When did you first meet Agent Andrew Stevens?" His voice carried across the small room. I took a breath, tried to ignore Mr Solomon's uneven breathing behind me, focusing on seeming nonchalant - and not guilty.

"One year and ten months ago," I recited, my voice surprisingly even.

"You first met him on a mission?" I nodded.

"And on this mission, are you aware that someone tried to assassinate Stevens?"

"Yes," I said steadily, at last confident enough to meet his gaze as my training flooded back to me. I sat up a little straighter.

"Were you involved in any way in this scheme?" he asked me.

"No." I said.

"This is only a TruthMaster 3000. She could quite easily be lying," a voice chipped in behind me.

"What, you think it was me?" I whipped around, angry with my teacher. I could have lied smoothly, fed them false information, but I had nothing to hide, and it hurt me that my own teacher didn't believe what I had to say.

"Be quiet," Wilson drawled, tapping away at the computer. I drummed my fingers on the desk, maintaining a pulse in an attempt to calm myself. Wilson thudded a fist down on the desk. I flinched away.

"I said, be quiet!" he instructed again. I folded my hands in my lap and kept my lips sealed. 

"We are finished here." His strong voice echoed. I moved to stand, but he shook his head.

"Not you, Miss Goode. We're not quite finished with you yet." I watched him follow Mr Solomon out of the small room, winced at the thud as the solid door slammed.

Surely they should have been asking about how Stevens had died, not whether I had known him previously? Something about their whole manner of questioning seemed wrong. I had been in similar circumstances before, sat in the dull rooms, answered the monotonous questions. But there had never been anyone I knew also present. Anonymity in witnesses was key for questioning, and yet a man I knew well sat behind me, taking in the questions, listening to my answers.

I rested my head on the desk, my mind unable to comprehend the strange series of events. But there was one thing I was certain of.

 I needed to speak to Zach.

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