Her head perked up immediately at the sound of that particular word. Or rather, particular name which she hadn't heard in over a decade. Pandora's eyes, even the one holding only void, went wide in surprise as her head turned as if stung by a bee. Her voice almost whispering at the realisation. ”You…? No…” But there was no need for her to put any disbelief in the matter of this “Bill Smith” ushering her name, because there were only two people who ever called her like that. It had to be him. There was no other way. The way he said it, that subtle tinge in his tone that even the distortion of his mask could not conceal from her. But why was he so… careful? He'd nicked the security camera with that black vine, but that he remained so vigilant as but to drop a single, be it well-aimed, hint for her to figure it out? Her eyes grew dark as her mind put the last piece of the puzzle into place; her father. That was the reason he was acting like this, it had to be. Because frankly, Pandora doubted that in all these years there had been another man to step up to the challenge of making Artemis feel threatened other than her father and grandfather. But she had heard of the news of her grandfather's retiring, which obviously only left their father as the sole culprit. A most valid reason to remain vigilant, even now. There must be an ulterior motive to not rejoice in this fated encounter right away, as otherwise Arty would not have remained so sneakily about it. Pandora might not have been as bright as her two younger brothers, but she wasn't stupid either. She'd been indulged in her family's schemes for far longer than her siblings, and had taught herself how to work with, around and even against them. Even when she left for Bellum, she'd made use of those skills. So for now, she would play along with the ploy Artemis hinted at them to play.
“Well then, Mr. Bill Smith, you may call me Galeyne Lockheart. Glad to be working with you, sir. How about we solve this quickly and make this a, let's say, “work of ’Art’”, shall we?” Perhaps it was stupid to try and use her alias here, as she, unlike Artemis, wasn't hiding her visage behind a helmet, mask or all-conceiling full armor. If anything, she looked exactly the way she did when she left, and then again, different too. Older. Wiser. And a whole less ‘whole’ than she did when she had left. But then again, only those who had known her long enough before that time would remember her way of acting and speech. Perhaps that was what brought solace to her idea of doing the same. Because there were only a handful that did. A sly sparkle flickered within her remaining eye only slightly as she said it, but it disappeared again as she continued. ”Let me take care of the brat. As you're looking now, you might just end up breaking the poor kid before he can even bother replying to the first question.” she said, patting him on the shoulder before giving him a full-on look from head to toe. She was hinting at his rough armored physique and distorted voice in case someone was eavesdropping, but in fact she was sizing up on the man for her own good reasons. Was this really her little brother? The urge to just screw it all and hug the hell out of him was strong, but she restrained herself from doing so, just like she restrained the happy smile that wanted to overtake her current pokerface. Better get this questioning over with fast, because she wasn't quite sure how long exactly she'd be able to keep her face contorted in a mask of cool calmth.
She turned around and quickly found her way out of the room, informing an officer on the hallway about their first choice to investigate. The man nodded and went to inform his superior, returning a while after the line-up room had been cleared to escort the two to the first interrogation room. They were informed that the others were being kept in different rooms, being questioned by other detectives until they were ready to take over. Pandora waited attentively for a few more moments after she knocked on the door and entered the first room; as one would expect, it was nothing more than a nigh-empty room, with a table and three chairs. A camera was positioned in the far right corner, its red light flickering annoyingly now she'd noticed it. Behind the table’s side sporting two chairs a large, rectangular window had been placed, similar to the one they'd been behind not too long ago. The jitterish young man looked at them nervously as they entered, which turned to a surprised look upon watching Pandora make her way in leaning on her cane. Then, upon seeing ‘Bill Smith’ enter the room, grew paler than the white shirt he was wearing. At this point Pandora was concerned the youth might faint… or, in another scenario, piss himself, as the fear suddenly errupting in his eyes was hard to look past. For a moment she even considered leaving Artemis to stare at the kid for a few good minutes in silence; then casually mention that if he didn’t spill the beans it wouldn't just stick to staring… Juuuust for a moment. But no, although tempting, she'd much rather use a softer approach for the time being. If he proved difficult though, then he was all Arty’s to mess with.
Pandora sat down on the nearest chair and positioned her cane to lean against her, while crossing her arms across her chest. ”So, kid… you know why we're here, don't you? So let's stop beating around the bush and get right to it. Tell me, what's your name, kid?” she asked, her voice calm, not even demanding. The youth shuffled in his chair and stared at the table, mumbling ”Billy Smithers, ma’am.” in a soft voice. The red-haired woman had to suppress a chuckle at the coincidence, and rose her hand to cover her mouth, pretending to be thinking. ”Well, eh” Pandora faked a cough to get the tingling feeling of held-in laughter out of her system. ”That's an interesting name, Billy. I'm Mrs. Lockheart, and this is my associate, Mr. Smith. We're here to find out what happened to our client's vessel, and for that, we need you to answer truthfully. So don't try playing tricks on us or lie, because we might not have that much patience if you do. Especially Mr. Smith…” She gestured subtly at Artemis, and leant forward, giving Billy a friendly smile. ”So kindly do us a favor and tell us what you were doing on board when the ship exploded?” Billy's eyes hastily dashed back and forth between Pandora and Artemis, unknowing what to do. He bit his lip, closed his eyes as if he was trying to will them away, but seemed to crack as soon as he opened them again. ”I wasn't even supposed to be aboard! It was just a stupid dare between me and my friends, telling me I couldn't sneak unto the ship and spent the night on it without getting caught. I hid in a barrel and fell asleep, but by the time I woke up we were already in open sea, I swear!” he seemed to nearly beg her to believe his statement. Pandora leant back, her eyes neutral as they stared at him, and then shifted to look at Artemis. As soon as she did some emotion returned to them. ”Hmmm… what do you think, Mr. Smith? Convincing enough to go and ask his friends for an alibi?”
Total Personal Wordcount: 3257
C Rank WC HIT: 1500 /1500
New WC for freeform: 1757
Last edited by Pandora Dagger on 3rd January 2020, 6:53 pm; edited 1 time in total