Third Deposition

CERTIFIED EXCERPT

Transcript of Witness G.

Date: May 27, 2012

Case: The Royal London Research Institute -v- European Court of Human Rights

 

ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFF:

LAMIA GRAHAM, ESQUIRE

JAMES F. BROOKS, ESQUIRE

MICHAEL GEERHADT, ESQUIRE

ROMILY J. ORFANEDES, ESQUIRE

THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

 

ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT:

ILANA WILKINSON, ESQUIRE

RONAN BERMAN, ESQUIRE

STEVEN A. MYERS, ESQUIRE

LORNE NICOLS STERLING, ESQUIRE

ROGER ABRAMS, ESQUIRE

CARROLL NOBLE, ESQUIRE

THE ROYAL LONDON RESEARCH INSTITUTE

 

VIDEO SPECIALIST: The court reporter today is Brenda Huff. Would the reporter please swear in the witness.

WITNESS G. having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

 

EXAMINATION BY COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF BY MS. ORFANEDES:

 

Q: Good morning, G.

A: Good Morning.

Q: Due to the sensitive nature of the information you have, your identity has been changed a few times, hasn’t it?

A: Yes

Q: I imagine that has been quite troublesome.

A: That is an understatement.

Q: But on the scale of things you suffered while at the Institute’s facility, probably not the most painful.

A: I don’t have a scale. I live in a constant state of wretchedness.

Q: Of course. I apologise. For what it’s worth. I ask you to think back to point where you were rescued form the Facility. Or more, the point when you thought you had been rescued.

A: Which time?

Q: The first time.

A: Okay.

Q: You had been living in general population, at this point?

A: I was living on the cell block, yes.

Q: And what did your days consist of?

A: Psych tests, Memory exercises, torture.

Q: Torture?

A: What I considered torture, Yes.

Q: And can you clarify what that was?

A: I had arrived at the facility with my brother. I was told, if I participated in the exercises, we would both be allowed to ‘return home’. It was not my own desire to participate in those exercises. In fact, they hurt immensely. But they said I could see my brother again. They kept saying that, even though my brother had died 3 days after our capture.

Q: And what were these exercises?

A: The supervisors would bring people in and have me mine them for information until I was physically ill.

Q: And how often would this happen?

A: That I would be sick or that they would bring people in?

Q: Both.

A: So, if I mined 5 people a day, I would be sick by the 7th day.

Q: And what would happen when you got sick?

A: They would give me a break.

Q: For how long?

A: A couple of hours.

Q: Sorry?

A: A couple of hours.

Q: So, you’d still see people that same day?

A: Yes. Sometimes, we wouldn’t even get a break. They’d just mop us up and tell us to keep going.

Q: We?

  1. BERMAN: Objection, beyond the scope.
  2. ORFANEDES: Your honour, I am establishing the witness’s routine.
  3. BERMAN: You’re supposed to be asking about the escape.
  4. ORFANEDES: You mean the faux escape that your clients orchestrated.
  5. HOLMES: Enough. Ms. Orfanedes, continue with your questioning.

BY MS. ORFANEDES:

Q: G, who did you mean by we?

A: All the subjects with mental abilities. The had us work on the same corridor. If one of us was unsuccessful with a test, they’d pass the test to another. We would have lunch together. It’s how I met-

Q: G?

A: Sorry?

Q: It was how you met who?

A: It’s not important.

Q: We’ll decide if it’s important or not, G.

A: It’s how I met [Witness F].

Q: I see. Were the two of you friends?

A: When?

Q: While at the facility?

A: No. None of us were really allowed to talk to each other.

Q: But you ate lunch together-

A: Under supervision, yes.

Q: So, did you not talk because you didn’t want to or because you didn’t want to be seen?

A: Sort of both. Everything was being recorded.

  1. BERMAN: Objection, beyond the scope!
  2. ORFANEDES: How?
  3. BERMAN: The witness could not possibly know that.
  4. ORFANEDES: He was there.
  5. BERMAN: Your Honour, it has already been established that information from this period is unreliable. The subjects were purposely misinformed to keep the experiment unbiased-

WITNESS G: I know what I’m talking about.

  1. BERMAN: I’m sure you think you do.

WITNESS G: I know I do. I mined members of staff throughout my time at the facility. Seeing as the only other person with the ability to manipulate memories was murdered at the facility, I am confident that the memories I gathered were authentic.

  1. BERMAN: G, you have no way of knowing if your brother was murdered

WITNESS G: I saw it. I saw it in his supervisor’s memories.

  1. BERMAN: A witness whom you murdered before they could testify, so how can anyone really know.
  2. ORFANEDES: Your Honour, Mr. Berman is hijacking my examination of the witness.
  3. HOLMES: Mr. Berman, you will wait your turn, or you won’t have one. Have I made myself clear?
  4. BERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
  5. ORFANEDES: May we continue, your Honour?
  6. HOLMES: Please.

BY MS. ORFANEDES:

Q: How did you know you were being recorded?

A: Because I knew, despite what we were being told, that we were the subjects of the experiment.

Q: And how did you know that?

A: how do you think I knew that?

MR HOLMES: G, please just answer the questions. We don’t need you to pose them.

BY MS. ORFANEDES:

Q: How did you come to know that you were the subjects of the experiment?

A: I had mined it from a Supervisor.

Q: And how often were you doing that?

A: At first, all the time, and then after we moved to cell block, only when I could get away with it.

Q: And when was that?

A: During breaks, meal times. The kitchen staff and orderlies were not…the brightest. Sometimes, I’d take memories from the others.

Q: The others?

A: The other-

Q: G, please answer.

A: The other people like me.

  1. GRAHAM: Your Honour, may I request a recess?
  2. HOLMES: Ms. Orfanedes? Mr. Berman?
  3. ORFANEDES: I’m fine with that.
  4. BERMAN: Yes, same.

VIDEO SPECIALIST: We are off the record at 12:35.

(A recess was taken.)

VIDEO SPECIALIST: We are back on the record at 13:40.

BY MS. ORFANEDES:

Q: Let’s jump forward a little. At the point, when you thought you were being rescued, how many people were left in the facilty?

A: I don’t know. I only know who was in my cell block.

Q: How many was that?

A: Seven.

Q: What had happened to the others?

A: What had we been told or what had actually happened to them?

Q: Both.

A: They told us they had been reassigned to another cell block. That’s what they had told me about my brother too.

Q: And what had actually happened?

A: (No verbal response.)

Q: G?

A: I heard 0504 die. She had been glitching all afternoon-

Q: Glictching?

A: It’s um- It’s a thing that happens to people with mental abilities. Sometimes it’s nose bleeds, blackouts. It’s the wear and tear we suffer for using our abilities, only it can become- I don’t really know how to describe it- It’s different for everyone. For me, I can get trapped in memories. For- For Witness F, She has episodes of dissociation. It’s basically like your ability takes over and you lose control of yourself.

Q: Hyper Disassociation.

A: Yeah, but we call it glitching. You know, from when we thought that we’d had these abilities implanted in our heads.

Q: I see.

A: Community slang.

Q: So you heard 0504 die and then?

A: And then in the morning, we were told she had been reassigned.

Q: And what did you do once you made the link?

A: Nothing.

Q: Nothing?

A: What could I do?

Q: Were you worried?

A: No. I am not afraid to die.

Q: Is that why you went along with the escape plan?

A: To a degree.

Q: What other reason was there?

A: If I was out I could find the Good Doctor and do to him what he had done to me.

Q: and by that you mean kill him?

A: By that I mean find him, bind him, torture him and kill him. Yes.

  1. GRAHAM: Can we have a sidebar?
  2. HOLMES: You’ve just had a recess. Either continue with your line of questioning or release the witness.
  3. GRAHAM: Okay.
  4. ORFANEDES: No further questions, your honour.

VIDEO SPECIALIST: We are off the record at 14:00.

(A recess was taken.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Liberties: Julius Caesar

So recently I watched a production of  Julius Caesar and it struck me that Shakespeare, who I thoroughly enjoy, can be a bit, well, verbose. I think it’s something I struggle with too, but it’s much more noticeable when peppered with doths and thous.

I usually have an unfair advantage with theatre, in that I’ve read a lot of plays. But I have not read Julius Caesar, and for the first time in a long time, I found myself noticing the play and not following it. So it got me thinking:

Why is it when theatremakers want to ‘modernise’ Shakespeare they always just end up changing the setting, or the  costume, or the genders of the characters?

Is there a way to keep the imagery and metaphors while at the same time, making the play a little easier to follow?

As a generally muted person, how can I relate to the overwrought emotions of a Shakespeare performance?

So I decided to have a go at tackling those questions by rewriting the scene where Cassius visits Brutus after the death of Caesar. Read on.


 

I want to leave, Brutus.

(Approaching him) Now, Cassius. This is the time for us to stand together, brother.

I’m not your brother! Okay? I’m just a member of a conspiracy you happened to get involved in! One that should have ended a long time ago, but, for some reason, some oversight, has twisted into this- abomination that I don’t recognise. I don’t want any of this! I did what I set out to do and the results are what they are. There is nothing I can do about it now, so let me go home. I need you to let me go.

This feeling will pass.

You don’t understand! If I stay here any longer, I’ll lose my mind.

You’re exaggerating.

And you’re not listening!  I shouldn’t have come this far in the first place! Let me go. Please. I’m not doing you any favours by being here.

You’re doing me many favours, actually, without even realising.

Then, let me rephrase: You’re not doing me any favours by keeping me here. We will lose-

(Turning away from him) Stop it, Cassius-

We will, though, unless you send me away! I am not a warrior, Brutus. I’m not a commander. I’m a man. A man who spoke too rashly and acted too quickly. You will lose if you continue to take my advice.

Then don’t consult me about the war! We can talk about something else.

What else is there? The games? The Lupercalia? Should we sit and discuss the murder we committed? Run through it scene by scene, like a play? (Forcing his knife into Brutus’ hand) You take this knife, and I’ll pretend to be Caesar! (Kneeling) Put me out of my misery, Brutus.

(Throwing the knife aside) This isn’t a game, Cassius.

(Jumping up) Yes! Exactly! It was never a game. What we did with our two hands was snatch a life. We took control of something that was never ours to control.  We were stupid- I was stupid to think that killing Caesar would be a quick fix, an reversal, a slight shift. What we have created- What I led us to create, and I can take full responsibility, is worse than what came before. (Turning away) We thought we were liberating Rome by killing one of her fathers but what have we given her instead? Freedom or Chaos?

Chaos is not something to fear. In the beginning, there was chaos.

Yes and nothing else. For centuries. Is that what you want? Is that why you plunged that knife into his heart, so we could be ravaged by war for centuries? In the beginning there was chaos, yes. But this is not the beginning. Life has already started. We have this great land, this spirit, this history. To return to chaos would be backwards, would be wrong. A sin against the very state that we made Caesar bleed for. What we created, what I missed in my patriotic mania, my jealousy even, was that we are a civilisation now. And we damage our own foundations when we behave in uncivilised manners.

What should we have done then, Cassius? Do you think democracy would have saved us? Do you think we could have talked Caesar down?

Down from what exactly? From ambition? From pride? From our pride? Our ambition? No, Brutus. It has never been the task of men to judge their peers and cut down those whose senses are heightened. That belongs to the gods. That is why we have the Fates. Caesar’s crime was being beloved, and being beloved is not so great a height, when you remember how fickle the rabble is. I was beloved once. You were beloved once. And now we are here. Called traitors and conspirators. (He paces the room, distracted)  Nothing is permanent, Brutus, and if we had practiced patience- (He changes direction) Who would have thought that such a quick act would have led to these long and tumultuous years? If I’d known- (He turns to Brutus) But isn’t that always the way?

So impatience and jealousy led us here?

That is what I have finally understood. At my very core, I am impatient, I am jealous and you must not let me lead you again. Send me home, Brutus. Or better still, don’t send me home. Don’t let me face my mother, my children, my countrymen while I  wear this shame. Exile me. Exile yourself! It’s what we deserve for robbing Rome of a father, and robbing ourselves of Rome as we knew it. For after this nightmare will come another and I would sooner gouge my eyes out than witness my city burn.

First Deposition II

CERTIFIED EXCERPT

Transcript of Rueben Z. Corazzo, Esq.

Date: May 27, 2012

Case: The Royal London Research Institute -v- European Court of Human Rights

ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFF:

LAMIA GRAHAM, ESQUIRE

JAMES F. BROOKS, ESQUIRE

MICHAEL GEERHADT, ESQUIRE

ROMILY J. ORFANEDES, ESQUIRE

THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

 

ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT:

ILANA WILKINSON, ESQUIRE

RONAN BERMAN, ESQUIRE

STEVEN A. MYERS, ESQUIRE

LORNE NICOLS STERLING, ESQUIRE

ROGER ABRAMS, ESQUIRE

CARROLL NOBLE, ESQUIRE

THE ROYAL LONDON RESEARCH INSTITUTE

VIDEO SPECIALIST: The court reporter today is Brenda Huff. Would the reporter please swear in the witness?

RUEBEN Z. CORAZZO, ESQ. having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF BY MR. BROOKS:

Q: Good Afternoon, Mr Corazzo. I’d like to go back to you encounters with Ms. Eugene.

A: Okay.

Q: You’re a legal aide, in your own words, swamped with work and a woman is messaging you on a weekly basis. What do you do?

WILKINSON: Objection. Asked and answered.

HOLMES: Sustained.

BY MR. BROOKS:

Q: Did you tell your mentor at Welch and Fowler about the messages?

A: No.

Q: Did you tell any of the other lawyers that you worked with?

A: No.

Q: Did you tell the police?

A: No.

Q: Why not, Mr Corazzo?

A: I thought it was harmless.

Q: What about when Ms. Eugene approached you, did you tell anyone about that?

A: I told my girlfriend.

Q: But none of the senior staff at your workplace?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: I don’t know. I figured it was not a work matter.

Q: But you knew why Ms. Eugene was approaching you. According to you, it was to offer you a job. Why not tell your mentor so they could intercede on your behalf or provide the LRI with willing council?

A: I assumed if that was what Ms. Eugene wanted, she wouldn’t be pursuing me personally.

Q: So you knew that she was interested in you personally?

A: I assumed, given her dedication to the cause, there was something about me, in particular, yes.

Q: And had she let you know why she was interested in you personally?

A: Dr. Quentin liked my work.

Q: Just your work? Not your colleagues? Mr Davenport or Miss Shrewsbury for example.

A: (No audible response)

Q: Mr Corrazzo.

A: I don’t know.

Q: But you did talk to Mr Davenport and Miss Shrewsbury about the LRI approaching them.

A: (No audible response)

Q: Mr Corazzo, we have a copy of their sworn depositions where both of them claim to have spoken to you about the LRI and Ms Eugene in particular.

A: Right.

Q: So you knew that Ms. Eugene was actively pursuing all those who had worked the case that you met Dr. Quentin on?

A: Yes.

Q: And so you advised Mr Davenport and Ms Shrewsbury to go to HR about Ms Eugene’s attempts to get in contact with them. Is that true?

A:(No audible response)

Q: Mr Corazzo, it’s a simple yes or no answer.

A: I said if it was bothering them they should do something about it.

Q: But you made it apparent that by ‘do something’ you meant ‘let Welch and Fowler know what was going on’?

WILKINSON: Objection, leading the witness-

HOLMES: Overruled. Answer the questions Mr Corazzo.

BY MR CORAZZO:

A: I don’t remember what I said exactly. But I could have said that vaguely.

Q: And by going to HR, you knew that if anything happened in the future between Welch & Fowler and the LRI, you knew that Ms Shrewsbury and Ms Davenport would be exempt from working for them.

A: I didn’t know that.

Q: You didn’t know Welch and Fowler’s Fit and Proper policy? I have a copy here that you signed that year, would you like to read it again?

A: (No audible reply)

Q: So I did you or did you not know the rules concerning relationships between clients and members of staff, Mr Corazzo?

A: I didn’t make them go to HR.

Q: Please answer the question addressed to Mr. Corazzo.

A: (No audible response)

HOLMES: Mr. Corazzo, may I remind you that you are under oath, and we are under time constraints. MR Brooks repeat the question, Mr. Corazzo answer it.

BY MR. BROOKS:

Q: Did you know, that by going to HR about Ms. Eugene and the LRI, Mr. Davenport and Ms. Shrewsbury would not be allowed to work with the LRI should they be made clients?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you tell Mr Davenport or Miss Shrewsbury about your interactions with Miss Eugene?

A: No.

Q: Did you tell HR about your relations with Ms. Eugene?

A: No.

WILKINSON: Excuse me. Can we go off the record for a minute and take a break?

BROOKS: Sure.

VIDEO SPECIALIST: We are off the record at 14:48.

(A recess was taken.)

VIDEO SPECIALIST: We are back on the record at 15:00.

BY MR. BROOKS:

Q: And then you got made partner after how long at the company?

A: A year and eight months.

Q: And in the thirty years Welch and Fowler had been around before you joined, how long roughly did it take a lawyer to become partner?

A: Anywhere between six and a half to thirteen years.

Q: But you made partner in a year and eight months. Did this strike you as odd at all?

A: Maybe.

Q: It either did or it didn’t, Mr. Corazzo.

A: I don’t think odd is the word I would use. It caught me by surprise.

Q: And why did it catch you by surprise?

A: (No audible response.)

Q: Mr Corazzo.

A: I didn’t expect it to be that quick.

Q: So we can say that your being made partner after a year was an unusual occurrence?

A: I suppose.

Q: At least to you and your practice.

A: Yes.

Q: And naturally, being a man of great intelligence-

WILKINSON: Objection. Speculation.

BROOKS: Speculation of what?

WILKINSON: Of my client’s intelligence.

BROOKS: He’s an Oxford graduate.

WILKINSON: Postgraduate. And that proves nothing. You’re an Oxford graduate. Boris Johnson is an Oxford graduate and he, as our mayor, got on, and then got stuck on, a zip wire. School is not an accurate measure of intelligence.

BROOKS: What would you consider to be an accurate measure of intelligence?

WILKINSON: Who knows? But the burden of proof is on you, Mr. Brooks, not me.

HOLMES: Mr. Brooks, please rephrase your question.

BY MR. BROOKS:

Q: Were you quizzical about your promotion?

A: No. Not really.

Q: So an unusual occurrence took place, involving you, and you had no questions about it, made no inquiries about it?

A: No.

Q: Why not?

A: Because I was taught not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Q: That’s a good saying. Have you heard the one about something seeming too good to be true?

WILKINSON: Objection. Relevance.

HOLMES: Mr Brooks-

BROOKS: I’ll rephrase it.

BY MR BROOKS:

Q: So you just took the job?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you wonder why they offered it to you?

A: I assumed I was their last resort.

Q: You assumed that in a company of how many- sixty seven lawyers- all of them turned down the chance to become partner apart from you?

A: No. my department knew that they were looking for a partner in our field. I assumed the other lawyers in my department had turned it down.

Q: And how many people would that be?

A: Seven.

Q: Seven senior lawyers-

A: Five seniors.

Q: You thought five senior lawyers turned down partner and the company didn’t consider a new hire, or sending some other senior off for more training?

A: I figured I was probably cheaper.

Q: Did you know before your promotion that LRI was about to become a client at Welch and Fowler?

A: No.

Q: Did you know once you got your promotion that you’d been a condition in Welch and Fowler winning LRI as a client?

A: No.

Q: So as far as you were concerned your relationship with LRI had nothing to do with your promotion to partner.

A: At the time, that is what I believed.

Q: despite how instrumental you had been in narrowing the pool of candidates.

WILKINSON: Objection. My client has already attested to the fact that he did not make anyone go to HR. This is irrelevant.

BROOKS: It is not irrelevant to my argument if you would let me finish making it.

HOLMES: Mr Brooks, please continue to the point.

BY MR. BROOKS:

Q: Mr Corazzo, you never reported the emails. You never reported the gifts. You never reported meeting Ms. Eugene. You encouraged other potential candidates to go to HR with their complaints and then you got made partner because of it. You benefited entirely from LRI being a client of Welch & Fowler and you used that same shrewd and ambitious acumen once you started working directly for the Facility, didn’t you?

A: No. No-

Q: You knew what was going on and you were there to help them cut corners.

A: No! No. I did not know about the kids. I did not know about the kids in East Block!

HOLMES: Mr Corazzo, calm down.

CORAZZO: I did not know! You have to understand that I did not know that was happening in that house.

WILKINSON: Excuse me. Can we- Can we-

CORAZZO: I told them-

HOLMES: We’ll hold you in contempt, Mr. Corazzo.

WILKINSON: Can we take a break?

BROOKS: I’m fine with that.

VIDEO SPECIALIST: We are off the record at 15:28.

(A recess was taken.)

 

 

First Deposition

CERTIFIED EXCERPT

Transcript of Rueben Z. Corazzo, Esq.

Date: May 27, 2012

Case: The Royal London Research Institute -v- European Court of Human Rights

ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFF:

LAMIA GRAHAM, ESQUIRE

JAMES F. BROOKS, ESQUIRE

MICHAEL GEERHADT, ESQUIRE

ROMILY J. ORFANEDES, ESQUIRE

THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

 

13 ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT:

ILANA WILKINSON, ESQUIRE

RONAN BERMAN, ESQUIRE

STEVEN A. MYERS, ESQUIRE

LORNE NICOLS STERLING, ESQUIRE

ROGER ABRAMS, ESQUIRE

CARROLL NOBLE, ESQUIRE

THE ROYAL LONDON RESEARCH INSTITUTE

 

VIDEO SPECIALIST: The court reporter today is Brenda Huff. Would the reporter please swear in the witness.

RUEBEN Z. CORAZZO, ESQ. having been duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF BY MS. GRAHAM:

Q: Good morning, Mr. Corazzo.

A: Good Morning.

Q: I know you’re a lawyer, and we’re days into the deposition, so I’m sure you’re familiar with the rules.

A: Yes.

Q: I just want to go briefly over your history. If you can just tell me about your education background, college and law school.

A: I went to the LSE for undergraduate, and then Oxford for Post.

Q: Okay. And when did you graduate from LSE?

A: 2002 and from Kings College in 2005.

Q: Thank you. And in 2005 you went to a law firm. Is that right?

A:  I did. I went to work at Welch & Fowler, which is a law firm here in London.

Q: And what did you do for them, practice as a litigator?

A: I represented health facilities that were being investigated for unexplained deaths.

Q: Okay. Is that litigation?

A: It was an array of activities that also included litigation.

Q: And how long were you there for?

A: From 2005-2008.

Q: And that’s when you started working for LRI?

A: I was working for LRI while at Welch too.

Q: How does that work?

A: I was headhunted and subsequently offered a job at LRI.

Q: When you say headhunted, what exactly did that entail, and how did it come about?

A: Doctor Quentin attended a hearing that I was counsel for in 2006. After the verdict, he approached all of us on the bench.

Q: All of you being

WILKINSON: Objection. I’m going to object because it’s beyond the scope and is not really relevant to what the four corners of the – I mean, general background, but it doesn’t relate to the case-

GRAHAM: I don’t — we don’t need to go over everything that was done in the courtroom, but, rather, with respect to the background of Mr. Corazzo and why he was chosen by the LRI, I believe this line of questioning is relevant to the scope.

HOLMES: Overruled. Ms. Graham, please continue. Pointedly.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

BY MS. GRAHAM:

Q: What did Dr. Quentin say when he approached you and your colleagues?

A: He commended us on a job well done. He explained that he was from the LRI and that they could use counsel like us for an upcoming operation. My colleague, the lead defence, advised him to contact the practice but Dr. Quentin explained that, given the size of the operation, they would need ongoing in house counsel. He asked if any of us were looking for ‘career growth’. My other colleague, who was second chair, displayed an interest. Dr Quentin then asked for all of our business cards. I didn’t have one at the time so I just told him my name. He then asked who wrote the closing argument and I replied that it was me. Then we went our separate ways.

Q: Why did you not have a business card?

A: I was still a legal aide at the time. At Welch and Fowler, legal aides do not have business cards.

Q: Was it normal for a legal aide to write the closing arguments for a case?

A: No, but at the time we were juggling a lot of cases. I wrote something for each and every one, just so we could keep our heads above water. Welch & Fowler were a fledgling practice during the recession. Without people like me, it wouldn’t still exist now.

Q: So out of all three people approached, you were the least qualified?

  1. WILKINSON: Objection-
  2. GRAHAM: least senior, then?

A: Yes.

BY MS. GRAHAM:

Q: Was that the last time you spoke to Dr. Quentin?

A: For a while, yes.

Q: and in the interim, you had no dealings with the LRI?

A: Not exactly. I was contacted that week and subsequently every week by the Head of HR at the LRI.

Q: Can you identify this person by name?

A: Constance Eugene.

Q: And what form did this contact take?

A: A host. Emails, phonecalls, letters. Invites to LRI Events. Gifts.

Q: To your place of work?

A: To my place of work, my flat, my childhood home, my then girlfriend’s tenement in Buenos Aires where she was volunteering at the time.

Q: I’m sorry?

A: Ms. Eugene had found out that I was visiting my girlfriend in Buenos Aires for 2 weeks and sent us tickets to the opera.

Q: How did she find this out?

A: I don’t know. I don’t know how she managed any of what she did, to be honest. If you ask me, it wasn’t natural.

WILKISON: Objection. That last bit was irrelevant, unadmissable. He answered the question with ‘I don’t know.’ Everything following is unnecessary.

GRAHAM: Are you saying that your client’s testimony is unnecessary?

WILKINSON: I’m saying he answered the question and you paused to allow him to implicate himself.

GRAHAM: Unfounded.

HOLMES: Ms Wilkinson, are you accusing Ms. Graham of leading the witness?

WILKINSON: I am asking that only Mr Corazzo’s first answer be admissible.

HOLMES: Sustained.

BY MS. GRAHAM:

Q: Back to this contact, was it a back and forth between you and Ms. Eugene?

A: I missed the first couple of calls. I replied to an email inviting me to LRI for a chat, and explained I was swamped with work and would not have the time, that I appreciated the interest but I was happy at Welch. There were more calls and emails after that that I did not reply to. Then Ms Eugene intercepted me on my way back from court to Welch.

Q: How long after your first encounter with Dr. Quentin did this happen?

A: About a month. Just over a month.

  1. Were the other people who met with Dr. Quentin also being pursued in this way?

A: If they were, it wasn’t for very long.

  1. So would you say Ms. Eugene and the LRI were focused on you?

A: Out of everyone in my circle, yes. I can only speak to that.

Q: And were the gifts sent during this time?

A: No. After.

Q: What was the nature of your fist encounter with Ms Eugene?

A: She had understood that I was too busy to talk at the LRI, so she brought the chat to me. We shared a cab back to the office.

Q: What was discussed at this meeting?

A: Mostly me.

Q: Can you go into any more detail?

A: She asked me about school, about Welch and Fowler.

Q: Did she tell you why the LRI wanted in house counsel?

A: Not until I asked.

Q: What was her reply?

A: That the LRI had been tasked with investigating an existing condition in its early stages and that the experiment would be quite large, involving multiple subjects, and spanning a couple of years. They needed someone to keep an eye on the ethics of the experiment.

Q: Were those her exact words?

A: She probably used more words, but it was to that effect.

Q: That the LRI had been tasked? As in asked to undertake this research?

A: Yes. That was what was communicated to me.

Q: What was the outcome of this meeting?

A: Much like before, I thanked her for her interest in me, but I assured her that I wanted to make partner at Welch and I wasn’t interested in anything else until then.

Q: And what was Ms Eugene’s reply?

A: She was cordial.

Q: And after this, your contact ended?

A: No, it ramped up. This is when the gifts started, when we went to the Opera in Buenos Aires.

Q: And how long did this period last?

A: Until I was made partner.

Q: And when roughly was that?

A: (No verbal response.)

Q: Mr Corazzo?

A: Three months later.

 

 

 

The Visitor, Part IV

I didn’t get much sleep that night.

I’m being generous. I didn’t get any sleep that night. I didn’t do the traditional thing of tossing and turning. I just lay in my bed, poker straight, staring into the dark. It was like I didn’t want to sleep, and wouldn’t want to even if I could. I kept thinking about the old man.

The old man that wasn’t that old.

I’d given up on trying to recollect the hours I’d forgotten. They were lost now, that much I understood. But there was something in that exchange, there had to be. Some sort of clue. Something to show us how and when, maybe even why, that time was taken from us.

The old man. At first I thought he was unsettling because of how he spoke. How he seemed to not understand our answers or be able to follow the conversation. But now…his face. His face wasn’t right. His skin was taut, youthful, healthy looking. His hair was a solid mass of black. He was tall and, in his trendy suit, he cut a broad, toned figure. There was nothing to suggest he was old at all. But I’d been so sure of it. Maybe it was his slow, deliberate walk. Or maybe it was his shadowy eyes. Or maybe it was that he looked too youthful. Too artificial. Studied. Like he was an old man masquerading as something young.

I was pissed at myself for not getting his name. I was pissed at myself for not pressing him further. A man doesn’t just walk into an office by accident. He came for something and it seemed as though he didn’t get it.

Chaim Woodbine and Bethan Hardy.

Who or what did he want with them?

If they were his friends, why didn’t he ask for a forwarding address? If he was a client, why didn’t he ask for their replacements? He seemed sure that he’d gleamed all the information he needed from Ward and I. Had he come to make sure they were no longer there? Was he some kind of…hitman?

By the time first light streamed through my window, I had completely given in to the idea that the old man was an FBI agent undercover, who’s sole mission was to seek and destroy Woodbine and Hardy, who had used Ward and I to get information and then made us forget, Men in Black style. It wasn’t entirely implausible. But what had he possibly gathered from three hours of us seemingly going about our daily routine?

The next day was probably the most haggard I’d ever looked at work. I waited semi anxiously, semi excitedly for Ward to walk through the foyer so that I could tell him my theory.

But he never did. From my desk I could see shadows moving about in the post room. At times the door would swing open as someone else left or entered, and I would hear his muffled tones. By mid afternoon, I had figured out that he was avoiding me.

I could see where he was coming from. I was his only real link to the bizarre and random events of the day before. Avoid me and he could avoid it. But that didn’t suit my needs at all. I’m a talker. I need to talk things through. I’ve got an overactive imagination and the only time I can quiet it is when I’m talking, when someone else is talking to me and making sense.

So I opened my draw, chose a random item of stationery and shoved it in an envelope addressed to me. Totally out of company guidelines, but so was a weird man erasing my memories. That’s how I justified it anyway.

I called the post room. Much like I expected, it wasn’t Ward that picked up.

‘Hello, Post Room.’

‘Hi, I have a courier to go down.’

Ward’s supervisor, Mike, groaned.

‘I’ll be out in a second.’

I rolled my eyes at the hiccup in my plan but I was not disheartened. As soon as he took the parcel, I created another one.

‘Hi, I have a courier to go down.’

‘Another one?’ Ward’s desk mate, Fletcher, asked.

‘You know what the secretaries are like. Any excuse.’

He came out and took the package. So I made a third.

I called the post room. No one picked up. When the line cut off, I called again. No answer. I was calling a third time, when the phone was abruptly answered. There was a pause. And then Ward’s exasperated voice.

‘What?’

‘I have a courier to go down.’

‘I know what you’re doing.’ He said, quietly.

‘I’m trying to get a courier sent down.’ I replied, firmly.

There was another pause and then Ward sighed deeply and hung up the phone. An agonizing minute later, he stepped into the foyer.

He did not look haggard, like I did. More rugged, if anything. Like the stubble was a style choice rather then a drowsy oversight. If I hadn’t been up the night before myself, I wouldn’t have guessed he had.

‘Where’s this parcel then?’ He asked. He wouldn’t meet my gaze.

‘Why are you avoiding me?’ I asked, gripping the parcel in my hands.

‘Can I have the parcel or not?’

‘You’re going to have to talk to me eventually.’

‘If you won’t give me the parcel, I’m going to go back to my desk.’ He said and began walking away

‘I think I know what happened-‘ I started, l

Suddenly, Ward spun around and leaned over my computer screen.

‘No, you don’t!’ He spat. ‘If you did know, you wouldn’t be talking about it here!’

His fingers gripped the screen so hard his knuckles were white. I just stared at him.

‘Do you know something?’ I whispered. His eyes darted around the room.

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’

‘You do know something. Don’t you?’ I pressed. Ward opened his mouth.

A member of finance came stumbling through the foyer, with a tray of coffees. She glanced in our direction. Ward let go of the screen and straightened up.

‘Can I have the parcel, please?’ He asked.

I handed Ward the parcel and he walked away. For a while I sat stewing. How dare he freeze me out of his investigation? How dare he let me fester here, alone in the dark, while he had all the answers?

I had begun to type a strongly worded email when he came back, parcel in hand.

‘The address is wrong.’ He said.

‘What?’

‘The address is wrong.’

‘It can’t be. It’s my own-‘

He shoved the envelope at me. In between the lines that I had written was another message so small it was almost illegible. It read: Something happened to Woodbine and Hardy, and I think the company is involved. Unless you want something to happen to us, we have to stop looking for answers.

I looked up at Ward. He looked from me to the camera above us.

‘Oh right.’ I said, eventually. ‘I’ll get a new envelope.’

I tore the envelope apart and shoved the shreds in my bag instead of the bin. Ward saw the large roll of cellotape that had been inside and rolled his eyes, but he didn’t leave. I put it in a new envelope, wrote the address and handed it over. Ward took it with a slight nod and walked away.

I went back to my work. But every so often, I’d glance at the camera above me.

The Visitor, Part III

The first thing I noticed about the post room was that it was the only part of the office without any natural light. The wall lamps were dim and not far reaching. Parts of the room were completely dark.

‘Watch your step.’ Ward said, leading the way.

Parcels were neatly stacked in tottering piles. Despite his warning, I still managed to knock one over.

‘I’m sorry.’ I said, kneeling down to pick up one of many ASOS packages. My hands were shaking.

‘Leave it. I’ll worry about it tomorrow.’

So I stood up again, squinting to make him out across the room.

‘You can take Fletch’s chair.’ He muttered, sitting down at his desk.

I pulled the chair from the desk I was standing next to and pushed it towards Ward, taking care to avoid the stacks. I knocked at least 3 over.

‘Are you trying to make a mess?’

‘I can’t see anything!’ I snapped, frustrated. ‘And you’re no bloody help.’

Ward looked up in surprise.

‘I’m sorry.’ He said eventually. ‘I didn’t mean to snap at you. I guess I’m a bit…on edge.’

He helped me wheel the chair the beside him.

‘And you get used to the dark. We call each other moles in here, for jokes.’ Ward shrugged, suddenly embarrassed, ‘It’s stupid.’

An awkward silence followed. I was still annoyed at Ward for being so short with me. I didn’t want to be around him anymore. I just wanted to go home and, well, forget. As if that wasn’t already the source of my problems.

Ward logged into his account, drumming his fingers on the table as he waited.

‘I’m going to need you to close your eyes for this part.’

‘What?’

‘Hazel,’ He said, firmly. ‘I need you to trust me.’

I just stared at him.

‘This is really important. I could get in a lot of trouble. The less you know about it the better.’

‘What is it?’

‘I can’t tell you. To protect me and you both. Please. Just do this for me.’

His eyes pleaded with mine. I didn’t have the energy to fight him, and in a day of strange occurances, what was one more, really?

‘And this will help us get the CCTV footage?’ I asked, defeated.

‘Yes. This is how we get it.’

I closed my eyes. Soon after, I could hear furious tapping.

‘Okay. You can open them.’

On Ward’s computer was a live feed of a couple of the security cameras on our floor. Ward switched on his second monitor. More camera feeds.

‘Holy shit.’ I said in amazement.

‘Yeah.’

I had several questions. How and when and why did he have access to them, things like that. But I also knew Ward would flip his lid if I said even one of them.

‘That’s the foyer!’ I said, pointing at the second monitor.

Ward clicked on the camera and went through the log.

‘3 pm.’ He announced, when he found it. His finger hovered nervously over the button.

‘Play it.’ I urged, my voice wavering a little.

He clicked and I braced myself.

There was nothing but static.

‘Fast forward.’ I said, a little relieved.

More static. Static at 3:30. Static at 4. Static 5.

‘Go back to just before 3’

Ward rewound the footage. At 2:45, I was clearly visible, sat at the reception desk, typing at my computer. At 2:50, the same. At 2:55, I put my hair up in a ponytail and fanned myself. At 2:58 I looked towards the lifts. At 2:59, the picture gave way to static.

‘What the fuck?’ I said, almost in a whimper, mostly in a whisper.

Ward went back to 11 am, to 9 am, to the day before, to the week before. Everything was above board. The camera was working fine. Ward returned to 3 pm that day again. Static.

‘I’m going to be sick.’ I said.

Ward skipped ahead to 6. There was static for a few seconds and then the image cut to us. Looking at each other. After a short exchange, Ward typed on my computer and then-

‘Look,’ Ward said, pointing at the screen ‘I’m about to realise the time.’

‘And there’s me getting up to check the TV.’ I replied.

We turned to each, just as our past selves turned to each other on the screen.

‘So…we can’t remember the hours of 3-6. No one else can tell us that they saw us. The CCTV is fucked during that time period in particular and…we’re no closer to an explanation. I think we need to stop looking.’ Ward said.

‘What?’

‘We are going down a weird and baffling road and I don’t think either of us is equipped to.’

He stood up and hastily pulled on his jacket.

‘So- What? We’re just supposed to act like nothing happened?’

‘Well, how do we know something happened? We don’t actually know anything.’

‘We know we can’t remember the time passing and we know that no one, and nothing, has any proof of us even being around during that time! So the only logical explanation-

‘There is no logical explanation!’

‘What if something happened to us? Ward! What if something bad happened to us?’

‘Something like what?’

‘I don’t know. But don’t you want to find out?’

Ward picked up his satchel.

‘Ward, please.’ I pleaded, ‘Let’s just look at the other cameras.’

Ward looked around the room, shook his head and then sat back down.

‘We’re going to regret this.’ He said, ‘There is no way this ends well.’

He clicked on the post room camera. Everything seemed to be working order. It was mostly Ward eating alone.

‘We can fast forward through this.’ He said, embarrassed.

‘Is that an entire box of Krispy Kremes that you bought for yourself?’ I asked, even more puzzled.

‘I- My girlfriend is on a diet. This is the only- I don’t have to explain myself to you.’

He sped through. At 3 pm, the camera was working fine.

‘So maybe it’s just the Foyer.’ Ward mumbled.

He skipped to 3:10, to 3:20. Then at 3:30-

‘No. Please, no.’

Static. For the duration of 5 minutes. Then the camera cut back to an empty post room.

‘Maybe it’s a glitch.’ I said, a little reassured. But Ward has his hand to his mouth, holding his breath.

‘I collect the post at 3:30.’ He whispered, ‘I come back in at about-’

3:40. The camera jolted slightly this time and then the picture was replaced by static. Ward shook his head.

‘It’s us. We’re making the cameras glitch.’

The static lasted for another 20 minutes and then the camera cut back to an empty post room. Ward hurriedly clicked on the camera on the far side of the office. He skipped to 3:30. We held our breaths.

Nothing happened. The camera was fine. We watched our colleagues mill about.

‘You’re wrong.’ I said. ‘You must have-’

Static. Ward buried his face in his hands. After about five minutes, the camera cut back to the office. Nothing was noticeably different. Other than the fact all the post trays were all empty.

So, we had been there. Or at least, something had been there, doing our jobs. But we had no idea who, we had no idea why, and it felt like someone or something was deliberately trying to keep us in the dark.

 

The Visitor, Part II

I couldn’t leave without an answer. My legs wouldn’t let me. You might know the feeling; It’s like butterflies, but so strong that your body won’t let your mind override it. Something was telling me that I couldn’t, shouldn’t, just write this jump off too.

So I called him.

It didn’t even ring.

His voicemail was a generic message, but still it filled me with dread. What if…

I wonder how many rash decisions have been made because of a ‘what if?’ I could think of at least one, as I went back up the stairs to my office. If Ward thought he could just ignore me, I would make it as difficult as possible for him. I logged into my computer and opened My HR.

I typed in his name.

I copied his address onto my phone

Then I booked an Uber.


Ward and I spent the whole evening, that first time, trying to figure out what had happened. He asked me to go over everything, from the beginning of my day to the bizarre end. He even wrote a transcript of the whole exchange and asked me to perform it with him. It was weird that he never doubted me, and that I never doubted him. I remember thinking that at the time. For my part, I felt guilty about the whole thing. If I hadn’t looked so distressed, Ward wouldn’t have got involved. He was just being a nice guy. A nice, nosy guy. But I should have been more suspicious of him. Never trust anyone who appears just when you need them.

But that night, a mixture of unease and guilt got the better of me, and I let him lead our investigation. I performed the exchange with him and he timed it. At most, with as many gratuitous pauses as we could fit, the whole thing was just under seven minutes. Seven minutes.

‘Let’s record it again.’  I said.

Ward started the recording. We said the words as we remembered them. 7 minutes again.

‘We must be doing something wrong.’ I pushed, ‘How long does Openscape take to search a name?’

We played out the scenario again with the appropriate props. Six and half minutes.

‘I don’t understand.’ I pressed, frustration getting the better of me, ‘We must be doing something wrong. How does ‘7 minutes’ turn into ‘3 hours’?’

Ward leant against the Reception desk.

‘When you try to remember 4 o’clock, what happens?’ He asked.

‘Nothing.’

‘How about 5’ o’clock?’

‘Nothing. When I think back, It’s just the man, and then us talking about the man. Nothing else. What about you?’

Ward closesd his eyes.

‘I come out of those doors. I see the man. I speak to you. I speak to him. He leaves and then, this. That’s it. But I can remember 4pm yesterday. I can remember 4pm the day before. Today is just…It’s like the time didn’t happen at all. I can only see that man.’

‘Well if you can’t remember any time, then maybe we just have the start time wrong.’

‘We can’t have.’ Ward said, ‘And if we do, then that means…’

He shook his head.

‘What makes more sense: that we both lost part of our day for two different reasons and then met that man, or that we both lost part of our day while we were talking to that man, together?’

‘Neither of them makes sense.’ I said.

‘True, but one is much more terrifying than the other.’ He said, quietly.

I didn’t ask him which one. I knew the former was more farfetched, and the latter meant- Well, it meant that we were in this together. Which, even though we didn’t know each other that well, was so much better than tackling this alone.

‘We need proof of the start time.’ I said. He nodded.

‘Someone must have seen something.’

In an ordinary period of three hours, people would pass the reception between 30-40 times. I know this because, well, I’d counted before. I have a lot of free time on reception and I spend it…wallowing in the mundane, I guess. Granted, this was a quiet period, but at least one person would have walked by, or gone into the post room to talk to Ward.  All we needed was someone else who could say ‘Yes, I saw that man.’ Or ‘Yes, I spoke to you on the phone at 4.’ Then we would at least know what we were dealing with.

But in my gut, deep down in the shadowy depths of my consciousness, I knew that something unfathomable had happened, that it was linked to our visitor, and I was just trying my best to block it out. I think Ward knew it too, but we went through the motions anyway. It made us feel like we were in control.

Ward and I did a lap of the office. No one else was around. In the fading afternoon light, the place looked like it had been abandoned. It gave me chills.

‘Ground floor.’ Ward suggested.

Before anyone could get to our floor, floor 3 of the office building, they had to pass through the main reception. The receptionists, Aidy and Kate, would have greeted our visitor, asked him why he was here, who he was here to see, and then opened the security barriers. If they hadn’t, he would have had to jump them. Someone would have noticed a middle aged man trying to jump over a barrier.

But when Ward asked, no one seemed to know who or what he was talking about.

‘He was tall, slim. Well dressed. Clean.’ Ward suggested, trying to jog a memory.

‘Very clean.’ I chimed in. ‘Very odd’

‘Clean?’ Aidy repeated.

‘Oddly so.’ Ward emphasised.

Aidy and Kate rolled their eyes in unison.

‘We get a lot of people coming through here. That description could fit 50% of them.’ Kate replied.

‘Could we look at the visitor log?’ Ward asked.

‘I’m looking at the log. No one came through here for your floor. No one came through this afternoon at all, actually.’

Kate looked surprised by this news herself. Ward and I looked at each other.

‘Do you remember what you were doing at 4pm?’ I asked.

‘What?’ Aidy asked.

‘What were you doing today at 4?’ Ward repeated firmly.

‘I went to Starbucks to get some coffee for the two of us.’ Aidy said.

‘Yeah, and there was a paper delivery that I had to sort out.’ Kate said, ‘Not that it’s any of your business.’

‘Maybe he followed someone in.’ Ward suggested, when we were back on our floor.

It was a possibility. The barriers were slow. If you were directly behind someone, you could sneak through without using your pass. But you would have to be really close to the person you were following. So close that they would notice.

‘There’s 700 people in this building, where would we even start to ask?’

‘And when? Everyone’s fucked off home.’ Ward said, rubbing his forehead.

Then, it occurred to me that there was one thing left to consult.

‘What about the CCTV?’ I asked.

‘What about the CCTV- Oh.’

‘We couldn’t…could we?’

‘I mean, that’s really IT’s domain.’ Ward said, putting his hands in his pockets. ‘Maybe we could ask-‘

‘We could ask someone.’

‘We could, I guess, ask someone tomorrow.’

‘We could wait until tomorrow.’

‘What’s 14 hours?’ Ward asked, hesitantly.

‘So…I guess we’ll just go home now.’ I said, searching his face.

‘Yup. Go home and…wait.’

He wouldn’t look at me.

‘It’ll probably be nothing.’  He said, eventually.

‘We’re going to feel so silly tomorrow, I know it, when we check the CCTV and find out it was…What was it, do you think?’

‘I don’t know. It was…We’ll laugh about it, though. I’m sure.’

But neither of us moved. We just stood on opposite sides of the reception desk, rooted to the spot.

‘I’m scared.’

The words came out without me meaning them to. Ward nodded.

‘Yeah. Yeah, me too.’

He reached over and squeezed my hand. It was obviously something he wasn’t used to doing. His hands were clammy and he still wouldn’t look at me. After a few seconds, he let go. He began to walk back to the post room. But then he turned back, hesitated, put his hand to his mouth as if he was trying to stop himself saying something and then clenched his fist.

‘Okay, look.’

He walked over to my side of the desk and stood close to me, speaking quietly.

‘I’m about to do something, and I need you to promise not to ask me about it and not to talk about it to anyone, not even to me. Do you understand?’

‘What is it?’

‘Wrong answer.’ Ward said. He dropped his voice an octave.

‘Do you need me to repeat the question or are you incapable of following instructions?

His face was grave. I didn’t know what to say. For moment, I think I was scared of him.

‘No, I understand.’

He nodded and walked towards the post room without a word. He tapped his pass against the reader and pushed the door open with his shoulder. He was about to disappear inside when he doubled back and caught the door.

‘Come in.’ He said.

I hesitated for a second. I think that was my gut telling me that I was about to walk into a ‘lesser of two evils’ type of situation, and I should really just go home and bury my head in the sand. But the thought of being alone in the reception, even for a second, while I packed my thing up to leave, made tears well up in my eyes.

So I hesitated for a second. Then I grabbed my things and followed him inside.