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Chapter 18

Dennis glared at Ricardo and the latter glared right back. No word passed between the two for what felt like almost thirty minutes- although Megan was fairly certain it was five minutes- as all they did was glare at one another like in some mental debate that only they were privy to.

Okay, this isn’t going anyone anywhere, Megan thought, groaning inside at what was becoming a visual torture for her.

Thing is, it didn't take powers to see that whatever Dennis was trying to do to Ricardo, which she herself wasn’t quite sure of as of yet, wasn’t working. The latter looked just as unmoved as he was at the beginning of the encounter. Perhaps even more so now, she judged from the defiant aura that had started to surround him like a shield.

It's going to take more than a stare down to break Ricardo DiSanto, Megan decided, but just as she made to notify Dennis of that fact, Ricardo suddenly broke off the stare with a tut.

"You know what, I'm curious now," he said, looking to Megan like Dennis didn't matter. “Who do you work for?”

“Who we represent is of little importance to you in this scenario, Mr. DiSanto,” Dennis returned, forcefully returning Ricardo's attention to him again. “You concern yourself with providing answers to our questions and making sure they’re the truth, and we should have no problem.”

But the only thing that came from Ricardo was a smirk.

Sitting back in his chair as if suddenly relaxed, he placed his arms akimbo. “Since we’re on the subject of the truth,” he said, “do you mind telling me where my cellphone is? I’ve been searching for it for the past three hours.”

“I’m sorry but you’ll have to stay longer without it,” Dennis replied, looking anything but apologetic. “Thing is, our tech experts advise that we keep it in a Faraday cage to prevent the distress beacon in it from setting off and alerting your buddies at Os Buscadores to our location; and as you yourself can attest, it’s always best to listen to the tech experts.”

Ricardo nodded affirmative with a smile, apparently impressed. His hand went to his wristwatch and he began to tap the surface in an almost rhythmic pattern.

“I should also inform you that we’ve disabled the tracker in your wristwatch," Dennis added, effectively putting an end to the motion, "and the one in your collarbone-” when Ricardo’s hand seemed to be moving towards his shoulder “-and the one in your spinal cord-” when he still looked to be unconvinced.

Ricardo’s face took on a serious expression. It was as though it was suddenly dawning on him the score of the play and his loss. “Seriously, who are you guys?” he asked again, looking to Megan just like before. “What do you want?”

Megan couldn’t decide whether it was because Ricardo looked at her or she had just been feeling so out of the conversation for so long that she suddenly had the urge to step in right then; but she had and she did.

Tapping on Dennis's shoulder before his next statement, she said, “Allow me, Director.”

He turned, looking from her to Ricardo and back. It was as though he was debating the sensibility of letting her take over the interrogation, but he shrugged eventually and stood up. “Go ahead, Miss Months.” He vacated the space for her.

Megan sat down and watched as Ricardo looked at her all over like he was thinking where exactly would hurt her the most on a punch.

She didn't react though, letting him have his moment. You hurt his ego, Megan, she said to herself, it's only normal he would react badly.

Ricardo didn't do anything and when he was done with the looks, Megan proceeded. “Mr. DiSanto,” she began, her voice even as she adjusted her chair forward so that he would see her face clearly as she spoke and recongise her sincerity as much as professionalism, “we can’t tell you who we are right now, but what we can assure you that all we want is the safety of the world as a whole.”

Ricardo made no rebuttal reaction and Megan took it as progress. Just keep looking at it glass half-filled, she said to herself.

“What do you want?” he asked.

“Well, a certain “item” was stolen from our custody last night and our investigation led to a certain person,” she said. “Now, if said person were to tell us where they hid it and return it back, I’m sure we can round all this encounter down to a simple misunderstanding and go our separate ways.” She looked to Dennis to confirm and he nodded affirmative.

But Ricardo’s reaction was a confused expression. “What in the world are you talking about?” he asked. “I don’t know anything about an i- oh my God-” his eyes went wide “-you’re talking about Item 13.”

“Where is it, Mr. DiSanto?” Dennis leaned over the table now.

“I don’t have it,” he returned. “I mean, why in the world will you think I’ll place myself within a hair’s breadth of that devil’s instrument? After all the chaos it caused before.”

Megan had no idea what "chaos" Ricardo was referring to and it immediately showed as she quirked an eyebrow at Dennis.

“Wait a second, you have no idea what Item 13 really is, do you, Megan?” He said and looked at Dennis with a sudden flare of fury in his eyes. “Are you insane, Director?!" he screamed. "How the hell could you send her out after something without a proper explanation?”

“That information was on a need-to-know basis,” he returned.

“And you figured that it wasn't "need-to-know" that Item 13 could obliterate you on a touch?”

“Wait, what?” Megan stood up between Ricardo and Dennis as it seemed that they had suddenly forgotten that she was present even as she was the one they were actually arguing about. Well, me and Item 13, she corrected herself. “What exactly do you mean by obliterate on a touch?”

“Well, Megan, Item 13 is one of the five most dangerous weapons on the planet at this moment,” Ricardo replied. “In fact, some might even argue it’s the most dangerous weapon.”

“Are you kidding me?!” She whipped around to face Dennis so furiously that he took a reflexive step backwards. “How could you not to tell me that before?”

“It wasn’t important to the mission at that time, Miss Months.”

“Well, it is now, Director,” she returned. “Spill.”

Dennis looked from Megan to Ricardo and back, presumably debating the wisdom of the course of action he was about to take. “Look, maybe we should-”


He stopped, reading something in her eyes that killed whatever excuse he had on his lips.

He sighed. “Alright then, Miss Months,” he said and adjusted his suit in preparation of what was to come, “listen as I tell you the truth behind the origin of the weapon of doom that is Item 13.”

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