The young man, with short dark hair, was leaning back in his chair. His feet were casually propped up on the table before him, his hands cupped behind his head.
“Hey, Papa John,” he called out, as Mr. Z entered the room, “why don’t we call out for a pizza, if this is going to take long!”
“This will only take as long as you permit it,” Z answered.
“Then I’ll take a pepperoni and anchovies on thick crust,” the young man answered, “and be sure to also order bread sticks!”
Z smiled and casually walked over to the table and, with one quick movement, pushed the table over, sending the young man tumbling back into the wall!
“What the hell!!” the young man screamed, “are you crazy, man?!”
“Get up, Mr. Straume!” Z ordered, “and sit down properly in that chair!”
The young man reluctantly got back up and immediately sat back down.
“Now,” Z began, glancing through the file, “your name is Miles Straume and your occupation is ghost whisperer!”
“More like spirit communicator,” Miles corrected.
“Yes,” Z continued, “I’ve read a series of police reports, public complaints, and potential lawsuits, centered around your “spirit communications!”
“Yeah, well,” Miles said, “I have the ability to talk with the dead, okay! People pay me to communicate with their deceased loved ones! Sometimes those same people don’t dig what their beloved dead have to say! So they get pissed off, usually at me! You know, kill the messenger kind of thing!”
“Oh, so I get it now,” Z sarcastically commented, “you’re just a misunderstood medium doing your best to bring closure to all kinds of people for a small fee!”
“Yeah, that’s right!” Miles answered.
Z glanced back at the file in his hand.
“Where were you born, Mr. Straume?” Z asked.
“Uh, Encino, California,” Miles replied.
“Really?” Z said, “this information I have must be wrong!”
“What does it say?” Miles curiously asked.
“Must be a misprint,” Z said, “it implies you were born on some island! You know anything about that?”
Miles nervously shook his head.
“You ever belong to an organization called The DHARMA Iniative?” Z asked.
“N..No!” Miles nervously stammered.
Z pulled a photo out of the file and showed it to Miles.
“Sorry about the quality of this photograph,” Z stated, “its pretty old. But that looks like you standing with a group of new DHARMA recruits, doesn’t it?”
Miles said nothing.
“Of course,” Z commented, “it can’t be you, can it? I mean, according to the sign in the background, the year in this photo was 1977! You’re too young for that to be you!”
Miles still remained silent.
“I’ve got it,” Z said, “maybe it’s a relative of yours! Did you have any relatives that were involved in the DHARMA Iniative? Maybe a cousin, brother, or maybe even your father?!”
Miles held his head down.
Z smiled, then continued to thumb through the file.
“You used some forged documents to book passage on some rust bucket freighter called the Kahana, didn’t you?” Z asked.
Miles eyes registered the slightest hint of surprise but he still said nothing.
“Why did you want to go on a freighter?” Z continued, “where were you going?”
“Cruise ships are so predictable,” Miles answered, “I wanted to try something different. See the world without knowing exactly where you are or where you’re going! It’s the newest, hippest trend!”
“Weren’t you recruited for that cruise, Miles?” Z asked.
Miles was once again silent.
“Weren’t you hired to travel to an island to try to find someone? Make contact with someone?” Z began, “if so, then you must know all about that island, right? So you will now proceed to communicate with the living like you communicate with the dead, because if you don’t tell me everything you know about that island and everyone and everything connected to it, then I’m going to kick your ass out of this world, ghost buster!!!”
“I want compensation for what I know!” Miles said.
“Tell you what, Miles,” Z said, “I will give you some compensation for any information you can provide!”
“You will?” Miles grinned, “how much?!”
Well,” Z said, “maybe I’ll let you keep some of those diamonds you swallowed before you stepped off the plane!”
“Again,” Miles replied, “I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about! And by the way, I didn’t step off that plane, I was dragged off in some type of Halloween costume from the Boba Fett collection!”
“Then you probably didn’t notice,” Z explained, “because you were so busy being a jerk, that you were taken through an X-ray gate. We saw the diamonds in your stomach! You have to go to the bathroom, yet?”
“I found those diamonds!” Miles said.
“X-ray digital pictures are so detailed these days,” Z said, “its amazing! Those diamonds bear a remarkable resemblance to some diamonds reported stolen in Hollywood, California months back!
That diamond theft also involved a murder and the disappearance of an aspiring actress and her sleazy boyfriend. Both who happened to have been on Oceanic flight 815. A flight you were not on, Mr. Straume! But then again, you weren’t originally on Ajira 316 either, but you drop in tonight on that very flight!
You were also on the freighter, so tell me the remarkable story of your journey from that freighter to Ajira and every detail in between, then maybe I’ll let you keep those diamonds!”
“I’ll think about it,” Miles answered.
“Don’t think about it too long, Mr. Straume,” Z said, as he headed for the door, “those diamonds are coming out one way or another. I can have a surgical team here in no time! If I have to go that route, then I’ll tell them not to use anesthesia!”
Miles gulped at the thought!
“I’ll arrange for a video camera be brought in to record your fascinating adventures,” Z said, as he exited the room!
“Well, did that punk tell you anything?” Smaller asked.
“Not yet, he’s thinking it over!” Z smiled, as he picked up the last file.
“You been keeping the beer flowing into room six?” Z asked.
“Ever since he was put in there!” Smaller answered.
Z nodded, “Well then, maybe Captain Frank Lapidus is now relaxed enough to talk!”
Next: Chapter Nine “The Frank Lapidus Interrogation”