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Posted: Sep 12 2014, 03:38 PM
clarice, lay down your mind. it’s there just hard to find
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
OKAY, WHY DON'T YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
“I’m proud to say I came from a honest, hard-working family in West Virginia. We never begged for anything. I was one of four siblings, the oldest. My father was a night watchman and my mother...she died when I was little and I don’t remember very much about her.(Subject shifts and looks down). “I wanted to be just like my father when I grew up, despite the chagrin of my friend. She wanted to be a nurse in one of the larger towns. She wanted me to go into a less dangerous field; she had seen what bullets could do. But there was no stopping me. My father supported me. We would both go to the gun range on weekends, just the two of us.”</p>
“But I was always eager to escape the small town and the mentality it entailed. And I got my wish sooner than expected. (Subject pauses) “When I was 10 years old, my father died. Shot, actually. There was nothing I could do. My social worker was an understanding women, and she tried to keep our broken family together. My sister went first. The couple only wanted her. Of course, who could resist the little lost blonde girl? Myself and my brothers had inherited our father's features, and three of us were together for longer. But eventually, they were taken away too. I bounced around from foster home to foster home, running away each time. I was a planner, never staying at one house for very long. I ended up with my mother's cousin and her husband. They took me to to their ranch in Montana. They were very kind people, but I only stayed with them for two months.”</p>
“Why so brief?”
“I-I ran away.” (Subject pauses, taking a deep breath). “I woke up one night to screaming. I didn’t know what it was, but it seemed to be coming from the barn. So I went to investigate. (Subject pauses again) “They were slaughtering the spring lambs. It was so horrible. I-I tried to free them but they just stood there, dumbfounded. So I took one and just ran. He was so heavy, and I had no plan, nowhere to go. I just wanted to save this one lamb...I didn’t make it more than a few miles before the sheriff's car picked me up. He admired my guts trying to save the lamb, told me that maybe I could make a living doing what he did. The memory stayed in my mind. The rancher was furious. He sent me to live at the orphanage in Bozeman, and his wife was too meek to disagree. I became a ward of the state of Virginia at 11, and I never saw the ranch again.”
Starling came from people who do not ask for favors
“I went college at University of Virginia, taking Criminology and Criminal Justice. I worked through college, and I volunteered with the department, too. But I was told I was always underfoot. The rest of my school days until graduation consisted of more research and studying. I knew that they only accepted the best. I went to gym eagerly, and kept on that treadmill until my legs burned. I knew they only accepted the best. Four years later I flew in to apply for the Academy. That’s where I met Jack Crawford. He became more of a father to be than any of my adoptive parents. It was tough work but he encouraged me to keep going. I pushed myself, both in studying and the psychical training. Some days I thought about dropping out. But that all changed when Jack Crawford called me to his office.”
“You must have been nervous.”
”I was, at first. He wanted my help with the VICAP project. They were collecting information on serial killers, and they had everyone except for one. Hannibal Lecter. The famed psychiatrist turned serial killer. Crawford warned me not to let him get inside my head, and I took that advice to heart. Dr. Chilton was...a little more than welcoming but he cleaned up his act as soon as he realized I wasn’t interested. Despite the bumpy start I was met by Barney and he let me in to see Dr. Lecter. The walk down the hallway seemed to stretch on forever, but I found myself in front of his cell all too soon. He wasn’t what I had expected. Charming, polite, and if you met him on the street you would have no idea he was a serial killer. I did my best but he had me pinned pretty quickly. It was a battle of wits, an odd exchange of information. I provided him with things from my childhood, while he gave information on Buffalo Bill. When Bill's sixth victim was found in West Virginia, I came with Crawford to help with the investigation. When we entered the morgue, Crawford pulled the sherif away to speak privately, saying that the details might upset, just because I was a women. It hurt me deeply, and to make matters worse the other officers just stared at me like I was piece of meat.”
“After that disaster I helped Crawford perform the autopsy. I found a moth pupa in the throat of the victim, and just as Dr. Lecter predicted, she has been scalped. Furthermore, autopsy reports indicated that Bill had killed her within four days of her capture, much faster than his earlier victims. Everything was starting to come together to me, I getting a handle on who Bill really was. I asked Crawford why I was sent to fish for information on Buffalo Bill without being told I was doing so. Crawford explained that if I had had an agenda, Dr. Lecter would have sensed it and never spoken up. I took the pupa to the Smithsonian where it was identified as a Black Witch Moth, and they don’t naturally occur where the victim was found.”
“In Tennessee, Catherine Baker Martin, daughter of a senator, was kidnapped. Within six hours, her blouse was found on the roadside, slit up the back: Buffalo Bill's calling card. Some of us thought it was politically motivated. Crawford estimated they had three days before Catherine is killed. I was sent to Dr. Lecter with the offer of a deal: if he assisted in Catherine's rescue and Buffalo Bill's capture, he would be transferred out of the asylum.”
”Unknown to me, Chilton had secretly recorded the conversation and revealed my deal as a fake before offering to transfer Lecter in exchange for a deal Chilton made. Lecter agreed and was flown to Tennessee where he revealed personal information on Buffalo Bill to Catherine Martin. As the FBI went to search for him, I tried one last time to get information from Lecter as he was about to be transferred. He offered a final clue - "we covet what we see everyday". He then asked to hear my worse memory. It was the memory of the lambs. Chilton then forced me to leave. Later on, I put the pieces together, pulling from Lecter's clue. Buffalo Bill knew his first victim.”
”Shortly after that, Lecter escaped by killing his guards, using one of their faces as a mask to fool paramedics. I knew nothing of the escape at the time, as I was continuing my search for Buffalo Bill. I tracked him down and killed him, and rescued Catherine in the process. I was made a full-fledged FBI agent months later, but the celebration came to an end when I received a phone call from Lecter. He hoped "the lambs had stopped screaming" and hung up. I have not seen or heard from him since. I was transferred to the Maryland Field Office. I’ve been a proud member of their team for 3 years and counting. I often wonder where Lecter is and what he’s been doing for all these years. But I’m sure I’ll never see him again.”
“I'm not sure you get wiser as you get older, Starling, but you do learn to dodge a certain amount of hell.”
Starling noticed he looked at her body first before his dark head met her her eyes. She continued to approach and moved to push past him to open the door. He only folded her arms and widened his stance. His name tag read Agent Grimshaw. He must have been in the car ahead of them.
“Sorry, this is a big boy’s meeting.”
His smirk made Starling’s blood pressure rise. She had three years on the job and wasn’t about to be bossed around by this sexist son of a bitch.
“How do you mean?”
“The head of B.S.U. and the sheriff only.”
She knew Crawford. Why would he do this?
“Talk to Crawford. Tell him it’s Special Agent Olivia Starling. He’ll clear this up.”
“No. Sheriff Daives was strict about this. He didn’t want anyone leakin’ anything to the media. Town’s in a panic as much as it is.”
“I understand but I-”
“You from the South?”
Her eyes narrowed. “Yes.”
“Well, shouldn't you be barefoot and pregnant by now? Chasin’ a serial killer is dangerous business. Certainly no place for a lady.” His smirk had grown.
Starling said nothing, her fingers curling at her side.
“Tell you what, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll let you in on this meeting if you do a favor.”
His over bright eyes told her just what kind of favor he was asking.
Starling took a step closer.
“After all, it’s how y’all women get to the top. Do we have a deal, Agent Starling?”
Starling’s fist connected solidly with his jaw. His head snapped back and Starling was pleased by the ugly bruise.
”I’ve been apart of the FBI for 3 years now. There was one case that broke me, though. It landed me in hot water with your superiors, and they’ve held it above my head ever since. The time I got too close to a case. It involved a child, and I became too ‘emotionally invested’. After that, I worked even harder. I’ve moved from trainee to fully fledged agent, battling the men who say a women shouldn’t be in a position of power. I’ve led drug raids and drove to houses where shots were fired, yelling orders on the radio and having my heart stop whenever one of my own is wounded or worse. I’ve spent long nights pouring over files, and tackling men to the ground. I made a promise to myself, to my father, to the F.B.I. be a peacekeeper, the guardian of the weak. It’s a promise I plan to keep.”
INTERESTING. AND NOW WE'D LIKE TO SEE YOU IN ACTION
Clarice took out her cell phone, not quite surprised to find it. They hadn’t searched her very well or not at all. No signal. She raised it higher, getting the same result. No signal in the middle of woods with no idea how she got there. She started walking. She had to find a road. Roads meant civilization, and maybe someone had a working phone and she could figure what had happened to her.
She stopped walking, the fine hairs on the back of her neck and then arms raising. Years of experience had honed the instinct that someone was watching her. Her hand found her gun subconsciously, staining the butt with red. Fingers curled around it, prepared to take it out.
She turned slowly, checking her corners, gaze darting to peer among the shadows. It was quiet. For a time Clarice only heard her own labored breathing. She swiped at the strands of hair that had fallen across her eye, whisking away a trickle of blood that had trailed past her temple. The cold bit into her exposed skin and she shivered, checking her surroundings once last time before walking again. She kept one hand on her weapon.
EXPERIENCE 6 years
TIME ZONE gmt
Posted: Sep 13 2014, 06:45 AM