Robert called nearly everyone into the conference room to discuss his new plan. "Welcome." Robert stood in front of the whiteboard. "The alien is lying." He placed his hands on the table. "The Commander in Chief wants proof." Now there were raised eyebrows. "And I have a plan to make the alien squeal."
It wasn't complicated considering teenagers made short films with phones. Robert spent ten minutes at the board, writing the important bits down and making crude drawings.
"Any questions?" He capped the marker and studied the dozen agents in black sitting at the table. One at the far end raised their hand. Someone more muscle than brains, a couple pale scars crossing their jaw. "Ferguson."
"What if the alien is telling the truth?"
Robert had a hard time from keeping his face free from the fury racing through his blood. "Let's say the alien is telling the truth and sticks to their story even after viewing the video." Robert raised himself to his full height. "No one is hurt, so what's the worst that can happen Ferguson?"
Instead of the scrunched up face and tilted head Robert was used to seeing on Ferguson when he was confronted with a difficult question, Robert watched the man's mouth open almost immediately. As if he had planned, or been planning a response to the this question all along.
"We could loose the trust of the alien. They might not think well of humanity if they think the government is willing to threaten their own civilians. Or at least willing to lie about it." Ferguson took a deep breath. "Although, I think the worst that could happen is them seeing us as a threat and acting accordingly."
Robert didn't have to ask if anyone else agreed; he could see it in the way his agents' muscles tensed. Ferguson had, more eloquently than Robert remembered him being, pointed out a fallacy in his plan.
"Anyone who agrees has until the film is finished to present their ideas for proving the alien is lying." No one looked back at Robert at this point. "Back to your duties." The tension immediately melted from the room. "Except Ferguson.”
The bulky man froze for a second, before stepping to the side of the door. He slowly came up to Robert. Neither man said anything until the room was otherwise empty.
“Now,” Robert said. “Ferguson, what mission was the first one we were together on?” There was that confused look Robert was used too.
“We studied some archives in Nevada over a long weekend a couple years ago.” Robert frowned, while it was a correct answer, Ferguson’s body language wasn’t confident or relaxed.
“Well, Ferguson,” Robert crossed his arms, “you better watch yourself. One wrong move and I will find the most disgusting latrine and send you to dig through it for samples.” Ferguson gulped and Robert smirked. “Understood?”
“Dismissed.” Robert made a note to keep an eye on Ferguson.
Word count: 494