Via Davis (Current Foundation Personnel)
Davis: I can't believe you're making me sit in for one of these.
Dr. Arthur Howell: The supervisor is still a member of the team, Ms. Davis.
Davis: Missus. I'll play along, Get it over with.
Howell: During the operation, you gave the order to prioritize the detonation of the explosive charges over the preservation of the task force, despite detonation being a non-required secondary objective. Why did you make that decision?
Davis: Because it was up to me.
Howell: What was your reasoning?
Davis: I don't know if you were informed on the nature of the task force they stuck me with, but they're not trained Foundation soldiers. They're prisoners we've already pumped for information. This is what our bosses do with them because they're slightly too useful to execute.
Howell: So you view them as tools.
Davis: Oh, they're a bunch of tools, alright.
Howell: How's your marriage doing?
[Davis remains silent.]
Howell: You said you're a missus, right?
Davis: I did. I'm the only married member of the team. I don't think any of the others are even capable of forming interpersonal bonds. Have you seen the so-called art we've had to scrape off the walls of the hipster girl? My lord, did she smuggle in a blood bank?
Howell: I hope this disregard for the value and safety of others is strictly in a professional context.
Davis: You nasty little… Listen, Doctor, you can get into my head all you want. Make whatever judgments about me you like. I know who I am. The people you work for know who I am. That's why they stuck me here with the human waste products. I'll play along with what games you have planned. But I swear to God in heaven, I will do what I can with the power I'm given to ruin you as a professional and a human being if you do not leave my wife out of it.
Howell: I understand. Let's move on…
Dominic Alvares (Former Serpent's Hand Member)
Howell: Alright, Mr. Alvares.
Alvares: Just “Alvares”.
Howell: Okay, Alvares. Your part of the mission was to set the—
Alvares: [tapping his fingers on the table next to him] The perdition charges.
Howell: That's right. Then, when the facility went into lockdown and the two squads were separated, you, Simmons, and Grenich—
Alvares: Hotwired their teleport system and rigged it to take us all out. Yeah.
Howell: Why do you keep finishing my questions for me?
Alvares: [tapping more quickly] Because you take too long to ask them. You know you can't send me out with those assholes if you bore me to death.
Howell: Okay. How did you feel when Mrs. Davis ordered you to not to leave the bombs?
Alvares: How do you feel when someone literally orders you to fuck off and die?
Howell: I see your point. So you—
Alvares: I mean, don't bullshit me on this. She thinks she's the big dog and she can just go “yap yap yap” and we'll gladly blow ourselves up. People like her have been fucking with me all my life. I'm talking grade-school teachers, probation officers, this fucking 800-year-old tick on my balls that no god or man can yank off. Same species.
Howell: It sounds like you have a history of blaming—
Alvares: Other people? Everyone's looking to fuck me over. Everyone I meet… and I don't say this lightly, I mean literally every people I've met… has some use they're trying to get out of me. You're gonna take me through it and twist my words and make it look like I'm out of my mind with paranoia. Like I'm wrong about everything I know. Then you win.
Howell: I just want to find out how you're feeling.
Alvares: [cracking joints in his hands and arms] Pissed? Is that a good enough diagnosis or do you want a textbook word for it? I get the whole “order through eternal prison” gag. You didn't invent it. But to do that, and then stick me on a hit squad with a failed bureaucrat, a nurse, some kind of mall-goth terrorist, an angry teenager, and a magic plumber – the only one of you I could respect, by the way, and he's dead – and I get a strong inclination that I'm the only one who had any idea what I was actually doing out there, blowing up army wizards with bombs you stole from terrorist wizards. Not to impugn your four years of medical school or anything, man.
Clara Berlot (Former Are We Cool Yet Member)
Howell: Let's start, Cl—
Berlot: My name is [shouted] Aries!
Howell: Alright, Ms. Aries. Hmm. It says in your record that you were born in February.
Berlot: First off, fuck you. Second off, yeah, I'm a Pisces. So what?
Howell: Then why Aries?
Berlot: Because I will ram a fucker.
Howell: I understand that you were on the half of the task force which obtained the location of the project being targeted so that the other three could place the charges. But while you were headed to rendezvous with the rest of the team, you were stopped by a GOC agent who wanted to check on you, correct?
Berlot: Oh, the fucking… army wizard? The beady-eyed asshole with the mustache? The guy who was all “can I help you, ma'am” in that piggy voice he had?
Berlot: Nope, no idea who you're talking about.
Howell: I understand that, when you didn't answer and he became suspicious, you shot him with your silenced pistol in the stomach and head and kicked his body into the nearest storage room. Why did you make this decision?
Berlot: Because I live for the approval of angry lesbians.
Howell: Can you elaborate?
Berlot: Chicken butt.
Howell: Excuse me?
Berlot: Oh, I thought you said “what?”
Howell: Are you saying that you're attracted to Mrs. Davis?
Berlot: [laughs for two minutes and fifteen seconds] Do I look like I'm into women to you?
Howell: I can't really tell by looking. What is your orientation, if I may ask?
Berlot: Can't lie, doc. I'm only attracted to blood. Not the rest, just the red gushy stuff. Know what that makes me?
Howell: What's that?
Berlot: A hemosexual.
Howell: Interesting. I was looking over the background information that the Foundation gave me about your past, and I was interested in how much your behavior has changed between now and a year ago, while you were working toward a gallery exhibition. Your interviews portray you as kind and emotionally open. Has anything in particular happened since to change the way you approach people?
Berlot: A lot of people ask me, am I afraid of death? Hell yeah, I'm afraid of death. I don't want to die yet. A lot of people think that I worship the devil. That I do all types of TARDIS shit. Look, I can't change the way I think. And I can't change the way I am. But if it offended you, good, cause I still don't give a fuck.
[On later research, this and all of Ms. Berlot's subsequent answers for the rest of the session were found to be partially-remembered lyrics from the album The Slim Shady EP by Eminem.]
Howell: Interesting. So do you think that your changes in mood have been brought on by a fear of your own mortality?
Berlot: I'm zoning off the joint, stopping a limo. Cop in the window shopping a demo at gunpoint. A lyricist without a clue, what year is it? Fuck a needle, here's a sword, body fierce with this. Living a month, never giving a fuck. Give me the keys; I'm drunk and I've never driven a trunk. But I smoke dope in a crab. I'll stab you with the sharpest knife I can grab. Come back the next weekend, re-open your scab.
Isaac Grenich (Former Chaos Insurgency Member)
Howell: How are you feeling, Mr. Grenich?
Grenich: It's Mister Grenich.
Howell: That's what I said.
Grenich: Really? Huh. I.. uh… how I'm feeling? Yeah, no, I can tell you. So there's this story that Aleister Crowley used to tell, more like a joke, about being in the back of a cab. No, wait. It was a train. Or a traincar. Or is that the same thing? So, this train, I mean, uh, Crowley, he says… no, wait, first he has to go there. Hold on, I can remember it.
[Mr. Grenich's full response has been excised for length and relevance.]
Grenich: So he says, “That's fine, my brother's an invisible snake!” No, wait, his brother is trying to catch the snake. I fucked it up. But, yeah, I think that sums up my mood right now.
Howell: Interesting. Your role in the mission, according to my field notes, was essentially to be conspicuous on the record as a member of the Insurgency. You used the teleportation system with a faulty ID and you and Alvares worked on those stolen bombs together. How do you feel about that?
Grenich: Not sure. Well, sure, I know everything I'm feeling, but that's hard to sum up in a sentence. I can say that I'm not happy with being placed as bait. I know that much. But at the same time… it made me the most important person on the team by a mile. Which is a good place to be. Under certain circumstances. I remember one weekend, the dreadlords thought my wing did a good job, so they gave us the mummified remains of… not Jim Morrison, but one of the Doors. And so we set about the business of disassembly and reappropriation.
Jeff Simmons (Former Richard and Sons Gateway Service Member, Deceased)
As Mr. Simmons was lost during Mission Σ-66-11, there is no post-mission interview with the late agent. In its stead, here is a second excerpt from the “Alvares” interview in which the agent describes Mr. Simmons.
Howell: You said that you respected Mr. Simmons. Can you expand on that?
Alvares: Are we going to do the whole “sob sob remembering the departed” thing? No, fine, Geronimo. Jeff was the best of you people because he had no bullshit. Artists are bullshit, doctors are bullshit. Magicians are more bullshit than man. Jeff went to work, made good, solid metal equipment, installed it in dimensional portals, came home in the evening to drink and screw and sleep, and got up to do the same thing tomorrow. I respect a man who works with his hands.
Howell: I can sympathize.
Alvares: I guess that's why he went down. You need a certain level of bullshit to survive in this environment. [drinks from a glass of water] Although…
Howell: What is it?
Alvares: Fuck. Fuck, I just know it's… okay, that walleyed bastard. Elrich. Erlich.
Alvares: Whatever. He and Simmons were having this argument that afternoon. Some political squabble about, uh… US government, neoliberals, the usual. And when Simmons cut it off and left, Grimace had this look about him. That look that says “I'd cut your throat but I'm too good to get your blood on my shirt.” And when we were in the shit, and I was explaining to Jeff how the setup in the teleporter system is basically a networked version of a system he's worked with a hundred times, I could swear I saw Gergitch screwing with it. He told us that he thinks Jeff couldn't get through because of a sloppy connection. He sees us as sheep. Like we'll just believe that Jeff made a basic mistake on something not far off from his whole livelihood.
Howell: So you think that Mr. Grenich deliberately caused Mr. Simmons's death?
Alvares: I'm telling you, man. Watch the chaos magician.
Cassandra Jackson (Former Manna Charitable Foundation Member)
Howell: How are you feeling, Dr. Jackson?
Jackson: I've been better, Doctor… what can I call you?
Howell: Dr. Howell is fine. I'm sorry to hear that.
Jackson: I've been worse, too, to be clear. This isn't the first time I've been detained during my work. If I make it back out to the field, it probably won't be the last. And I've had to give aid to nastier people than this cageful of whiny sociopaths.
Howell: You do have an impressive record. You've spent fifteen years with the medical wing of the MCF, “Doctors Without Existential Boundaries”. It's taken you all over the world treating conditions that typical medical professionals couldn't fathom.
Jackson: Oh, the basics still apply. Turn it inside out, fill it with tiny screaming robots, whatever, it's still the human body. Can I smoke in here?
Howell: That should be fine.
Howell: I'm just wondering how you feel after the mission you were sent on, specifically regarding your part in it.
Jackson: Right, right. Specifically my role? All I did was put on a uniform and look like I knew what I was doing. Now, the Foundation's real intention here, that's what I'm concerned with.
Howell: What do you mean “real intention”?
Jackson: We're on need-to-know. They told us we had to sneak into a GOC headquarters, find a certain magic project the Coalition's working on, and sabotage it with Chaos Insurgency weapons.
Howell: Right. Go on.
Jackson: They don't explain why we're specifically pretending to be CI. The clear implication was that it's a simple false-flag against a Foundation enemy. The rest of the team doesn't really care either way, to be honest.
Howell: I see.
Jackson: But they can't expect us to not know anything about the rumblings in the community, right? Keeping up with the CI is part of my job, from how often we have to clean up their disasters. I know about the treaty.
Howell: I should tell you this session is being recorded.
Jackson: I don't care if they hear me. I can't say I'm surprised that the Foundation would pull something like this. I'm disappointed that it's in such an underhanded way, but the basic motivation is just like them. They just see that the GOC is helping the CI and they want to make sure the bad guy doesn't score points. Is the agreement ideal? Is it even a guarantee, knowing the CI? No, but it might have stopped up to a dozen insurgent attacks over the next several years. Hell, it might have stopped one. If you were to walk into the aftermath of a single one of those strikes, through the ash and the wailing, if you were to get in there and start pulling out wreckage because you can hear… no, the story doesn't cut it. Just trust me. It doesn't matter who made you mad or how unreliable the piece of paper might be. I just need to believe there might be a way out.
Howell: This next question is going to sound callous, but it's just for the record.
Jackson: It's fine. I know you have a job to do.
Howell: If you feel so strongly about the mission, why did you cooperate?
Jackson: Because that woman had her finger on the button. She knows I'm dangerous, and while she's not made of stone like she expects you to think, she leaves her feelings at the door when it comes to those missions. It's how she proves herself. If I showed even the warning signs of giving her up, out there, I'd be dead before the words could leave my mouth.
Howell: If you had somehow been able to neutralize the mission, but die in the process, would you have done it?
Jackson: The moment I knew I could.