"For starters, what were you doing in the off-limits section of the museum?" Nesbitt asked.
Squires transcribed the words of both interrogator and interrogatee in a special shorthand. It was usually his job, since he was the quieter of the pair, and Nesbitt had handwriting that could be...difficult to read later. He didn't particularly mind.
Alfred Dunham shrugged. "What do you think I was doing?"
"You were trying to steal a suitcase from one of the storage rooms," Nesbitt said bluntly.
"How the hell did you know that? That's classified information, missy." Alfred wagged his finger. Nesbitt ignored it.
"So, do you confess to attempted thievery?" Nesbitt inquired, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, sure." Alfred shrugged.
Squires noted that he didn't seem too bothered about this. He cleared his throat, and Nesbitt stepped back and gave him a nod.
"Alfred Dunham," he began, then trailed off. How to word this?
Squires decided to ignore Alfred's mocking tone. "You seem to believe that a jail sentence has little effect on you. Would you mind enlightening us as to why?"
"So you're not the stupid mute who lets your partner do all the work after all," said Alfred. "Huh. Well, yes, I have plenty of reasons to be undaunted by jail time. I'm not exactly human, y'see. I'm... I guess you could say a superhero? Like, with special powers and stuff. Alfred Dunham isn't my name, not really. I mean, it's the name my parents gave me; it's my name to you pathetic mortals, but my real name? My taken name? The name that defines me? It's..." he lowered his voice. "The Hush."
Nesbitt looked like she was trying not to laugh. "Write that down, Squires. We don't just have any ordinary criminal here, we have a 'the Hush.'"
Alfred scowled. "I'm not making it up! I'm a wizard! I can fry your brain, and I will!" He snapped his fingers. Nothing.
Nesbitt and Squires exchanged a look, communicating without words.
Squires: Sophie had the jail bound in case of something like this.
Nesbitt: I don't exactly understand, but if Sophie had anything to do with it, it must be okay.
Squires: Should we take him outside to see if he's telling the truth?
Nesbitt: No, no point. If he wants to prove to us he's not lying, maybe he'll reveal something more useful about the suitcase.
Squires nodded. That sounded good.
"I'm not a mental case!" Alfred the Hush insisted. "I'm not sure why my magic doesn't work here. Maybe it's the ceiling, but if you take me outside..."
"We're not letting you escape, Mr. Dunham. Once we've determined the charges, you will have the opportunity to go out on bail, unless we think you're an insane lunatic, which right now it looks very much like you are."
"I'm not, I swear!"
Nesbitt looked unconvinced. "Very well, then you're a poor liar."
"I'm not a liar!"
Squires cleared his throat again. "Nesbitt, we have the questions from the clients."
"From the museum, remember?" Friends of Sophie's
"Ah, yes. That's right." Okay then. You're taking it from here.
That's fine. Squires fumbled around in his pocket until he found the piece of paper. He unfolded it, cleared his throat again, then said, "We established before that your target was a suitcase from one of the storage rooms, correct?"
"Yeah. You're not mortals, are you? You're sorcerers, and you think you can open it. Well, you're wrong."
Squires blinked like an idiot. It was, sadly, one of his talents. "What?"
"Never you mind." Alfred the Hush winked.
Squires grimaced and read the next question. "Alfred, do you happen to have a lawyer called Bruce?"
"What sort of a question is that? I said I didn't want a lawyer. Lawyers are always trying to trick you, whatever their name is. Bruce, Brian, Broccoli, it doesn't matter."
Squires nodded. "Right... Sorry about that. Anyway, what is your relationship with the suitcase?"
"I am the one who can open it. There's a reason it's in the back room. The museum people don't know what to do with it, but I do. I can open it."
"What makes you believe that?"
Now it was Alfred's turn to blink like an idiot. "I am the chosen one, that's all there is to it. This suitcase has been coming to me, in dreams and stuff."
"I see." Squires scribbled a note, then said, "What do you think is inside?"
"I can't tell you that. You're not the chosen one. I am."
"Okay then." Squires gave the observing Nesbitt a 'this man is clearly crazy' look, though it was mostly for Alfred's benefit.
"One more question before we give you a bit of a break. How did you get into the museum?"
"Oh, that was easy. I paid admission, just like the rest of you ordinary mortals. It's a school day, but all the local schools have already had their field trips to the museum, so the place was pretty empty. It wasn't hard to get into the back room. I just swiped a key card. I wasn't planning on running into an actual security guard, much less seven of them."
"Mr. Dunham," Nesbitt interjected, "You were apprehended by one security guard, not seven."
There wasn't really much he could say to that.
This is just a story bit. I should have another puzzle up this weekend. EDIT: It's up now. Yay.