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Kyane strode through a plain government hallway when her phone went off. She stopped in her tracks and pulled it out. Her parents, Jerry, and Vic walked past her before they noticed she stopped. Kyane unlocked her phone and saw Desmond’s message. Jerry asked if everything was okay. “Yeah,” Kyane said. “Everything is fine.” A smile grew across her face. Another message from Desmond popped up.
“Did you see Jamie when you left earlier? Hadn’t heard from him, and he’s pretty good at texting back,” he sent. Kyane shook her head. “I hope we don’t. All too crazy,” she sent. She locked her phone and put it back in her pocket. She just thought that if Desmond only knew the truth it would make things worse.
The five of them entered the other side of a one-way mirror interrogation room. The raptor sat at a table on the other side of the glass. His hands, and tail were shackled to the desk. There was some light bruising on his face that Kyane didn’t remember giving him. Kyane looked at the UDC with crossed arms. Everyone else remained silent. “What are we waiting for?” Kyane eventually asked.
“This,” Jerry said. A man in a suit walked into the room and closed the door.
The man in the suit began tossing the chair on the other side of the table around and pounding his fist on the table. His face turned sunburnt red. The UDC looked around the room to avoid eye contact and try to hold back his laughter at the man’s frustration.
“What’s he saying?” Kyane asked. “Suit-man over there I mean.”
“You don’t want to know,” Jerry said.
The man in the suit composed himself, adjusted his tie and jacket, set the chair back up, and sat down. An MP walked in with a manila envelope and gave it to the man in the jacket before leaving. The man in the suit took out some pictures and showed them to the UDC. The UDC barely looked at them. He kept darting his eyes around until they landed on Kyane’s face like that was both planned and an accident. She backed up. Damon put his hand on her shoulder.
It was silent for several minutes while the man in the suit kept showing pictures and talking to the UDC. The UDC kept silent, seemingly ignoring every word the man in the suit was telling him. The man in the suit finally stopped, collected the photos back into the folder, then slapped it across the raptors face. Kyane jumped. The pictures went flying into the air. The man in the suit then grabbed the UDC by the throat and hovered his fist inches from his face. The UDC seemed unfazed.
“Is this how you have been getting information before now?” Kyane asked.
“Some,” Jerry said. “You wouldn’t want to see the other ways.”
“Right,” Kyane said. She watched the man in the suit collect himself again, pick up the empty folder and walk out. The UDC kept its eyes on her the whole time. Those eyes dug into her core. Those eyes agitated her, drove her until she said, “I want to talk to him,” Kyane said.
“What?” Hinotomi said.
“That’s really a bad idea, sweetie,” Damon said.
“Not as me,” she said. She quickly aligned and armored up into Dieous. She could see her slight growth in real-time when she grew a few inches above her mom.
“But as Dieous,” she said.
“Is that a good idea?” Hinotomi asked.
“He can’t hurt me like this,” Dieous said. “I took him out without this, I can take him in this form even easier if things come to it.”
Damon wiped his face with the palm of his hand. “Okay, go, try,” he said.
“We’ll be watching,” Jerry said.
Dieous nodded and walked out of the room and stood in front of the interrogation room door for a minute. D13 chimed in, “Is this a good idea, Kyane?”
“It’s definitely rash,” she said. “But they got nothing from him by doing the usual, so I figure I better change it up.”
Dieous grabbed the door and walked in. He gracefully stepped over the pictures and leaned himself against the glass and right in the UDC’s line of sight. “Hello, I’m Dieous. Can I get you anything? Coffee? Water? Soda? Blood of the innocent?”
The UDC remained quiet.
“I’m sorry for that guy’s outbursts,” Dieous said. He walked up and sat casually in the seat in front of the UDC. “He is having some marital troubles I really shouldn’t be sharing.” The UDC finally cocked its head at her. Dieous bent over and picked up some of the photos from the folder. They were the burnt walls of the school, and images of him attacking Eorapst and the other raptors. “Sorry you had to see these,” he said. He put them in a stack, face-down on the table. “Let me help you, and in return you can maybe help us.”
“Your angry cop-nice cop routine is very old and very bad,” the UDC hissed. “I can smell that you want to beat me more than that man in here before me did. You reek of hate.”
“Keep calm, Kyane,” D13 said.
Dieous nodded. “I am, I am,” Kyane said.
“It’s true,” Dieous said. “One of your kind kidnapped a student from the school and took him to wherever this portal takes people. If you help us, we can help you.” He paused. “We just want the kid back. That’s all.”
“Who was it that took your kid?” the UDC asked. D13 sent an image from the video feed he recorded over to Jerry. Jerry then projected the photo into the room. The UDC examined the photo and knew who it was. “Nyansa,” he murmured.
“Nyansa, good.” Dieous leaned forward. “Who is Nyansa?”
The UDC shook his head. “He is Sargent Nyansa.” The UDC tapped his nail on the desk with each word.
“Dangerous?” Dieous asked.
“You fought Lieutenant Eorapst,” he began, “imagine him, but worse.”
“Dangerous,” Dieous said. “Okay, well how do we get the kid away from him and back home safe? Help us out.”
The UDC laughed. “Why would I help a lower species like you humans? You have done nothing but torture me and toss me into the dingies cell we don’t use for our worst prisoners. I will not help you.”
“I’ll change that!” Dieous said. “If you help us, I will make sure you get a nice cell with a view, and no more experiments, the whole shebang.” He clapped his hands. “Boom, done!”
The UDC smirked.
Dieous leaned in close. “Look, your higher-ups will not save you. I saw your lieutenant grind his own men into portal juice just to get home. They will not accept you back there. Work with us. I will make sure what I told you about the nice cell and stuff comes through no problem.
The UDC nodded. “Okay, do all that and I will help. Those portals connect your world and our world. There is one in a warehouse by the docks. It has a unique energy signal you can track once you look for it.”
“Okay. But the one Nyansa used closed on him. How do I know I won’t be trapped once I get in?”
“We have different kinds of portals like you have different cars. The one Nyansa used must have been a temporary one that routes to a few different portals. Like your highway system.”
“Where does the one in the warehouse take you?”
“We change it for security. It used to drop you off inside the camp, but with you now existing they probably moved it to avoid you walking right in.”
Dieous nodded. “Thank you, citizen. I will make sure the guards do everything to treat you better in the future.” Dieous stood up and walked out of the room and told Jerry and Kyane’s parents on the other side.
“We will investigate and set up a perimeter,” Jerry said. He put his phone to his ear to make a call, then left.
“Good job, sweetie,” Damon said.
“Yeah!” Hinotomi added. “But it is pretty suspicious that he gave you all that information.”
“It’s okay,” Dieous said. He hit the button on the side of his faceplate to reveal Kyane’s face. “Die would have told me if anything is not cool. Right?”
“Well I can read the signs when it comes to human faces, these UDCs look different and therefore can’t assume they have the same facial ticks for lying or withholding information.”
“Good morale boost, Die,” Kyane said. “Look, if it is a trap, I can hold my own. I was able to take down a boss without training. Now that I have some training, I should be able to do more. It will be fine.”