02 | A Really Good Lawyer

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MISADVENTURES IN PARADISE
ii. A REALLY GOOD LAWYER

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   MANIPULATING THE PUBLIC'S OPINION was easy when Riley already knew everything they wanted to hear

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   MANIPULATING THE PUBLIC'S OPINION was easy when Riley already knew everything they wanted to hear.

   They wanted her to feed them everything the press was already shoving down their throats — as if it would mean more coming from her silver spoon than a stranger's plastic one. In hindsight, maybe it would, considering she had the public wrapped around her finger, and they had no clue.

   All it took was a little distraction and deflection before the press and public began to crumble. The more confused they were, the more conflicted they became, and the less heat there was on Peter. Did it change the fact that he was facing murder accusations? No. Did the public really learn much from the Avengers' responses to the press's questions? Not one bit. But it gave them time. In her experience, time was a ticking bomb waiting to erupt. When used at the right moment, however, it could prove itself to be useful.

   Unfortunately, her comments, or rather lack thereof, got her in some slight trouble with her old friends at the Department of Damage Control.

   Riley leaned back in her chair, giving Special Agent Cleary a little wave as he entered the interrogation room. He stopped in his tracks, his bewilderment evident, even beneath the fluorescents' glare.

   "Where are your handcuffs?" he demanded.

   "I didn't want them."

   "What?"

   "I told the guy no, and he said okay. He said it'd be easier to ask for an autograph if I wasn't handcuffed anyway." Riley giggled. "I'm kidding! You can laugh if you have time between interrogating innocent children for no reason. Speaking of, I imagine they've already requested lawyers, meaning you haven't gotten shit out of them. Am I right?"

   Agent Cleary sat across from her. "That wasn't your choice. It was a safety precaution."

   "Handcuffing a victim?" Riley reiterated. "For who's safety? Mine?"

   "So, you agree you're a victim of Peter Parker's vigilantism?"

   "No, I'm a victim of drone attacks."

   "Drones that were authorized by Peter Parker."

   "Did the drones tell you that?" she cooed.

   "This is a serious matter, Miss Stark. Your lack of cooperation could lead to four of your dear friends — Roman, Ms. Jones-Watson, Mr. Leeds, and Mr. Parker — being arrested for their respective involvement in a murder, and a woman, as lovely as May Parker is, could lose her child to foster care," Agent Cleary warned. "Is this the road you wanna take?"

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