Voice on the other end: "Yes."
Special Agent Sawyer: "Someone famous, it might have been Sam Harris, once said that science is incompatible with religion, and that science must destroy religion. Another famous person, it might have been Richard Dawkins, said that the universe has no purpose, no right or wrong, no good or evil, and that religion and science are discrepant,"
Reverend Potts: "That's nonsense!"
Sawyer: "Would you consider a face to face debate pitting your faith against the atheistic beliefs of Pindar Balzac?"
Sawyer: "Tomorrow at noon."
Potts: "Bring him on."
Sawyer: "A limousine will be placed at your service tomorrow morning."
Potts: I'll be there."
# # #
The Freeland Forest Detainment Facility For The Criminally Insane is ostensibly a privately funded hospital comprising a group of ten separate squat and obviously solid buildings on a quite secluded plot of forested land not too far distant from the Washington D.C. / Baltimore, MD International airport. When a heavily muscled white clad orderly ushered Pindar Balzac into the large office already inhabited by Special Agent David Sawyer and agent Nicole London, his first words were: "This harassment has got to stop."
"Harassment? said Sawyer. "How are we 'harassing' you? Or anyone else, for that matter?"
"You know very well who you are harassing. That bewitching stooge of yours over there by the window blatantly kidnapped Ric Newman. And at your explicit orders, without a doubt. I know you're holding him here. Ric is a friend of mine. He is an innocent law abiding private citizen with civil rights, and you are unlawfully detaining him as a prisoner here in this hell hole against his will."
"Ah, it's Mister Newman you are concerned about. Yes. A sad case. Mister Newman has been, quite 'legally' ensconced within these charitable walls for his own protection, a necessary intervention as certified by Professor Truman Gottlieb, most eminent psychologist and a concerned member of the Council for the Advancement of Responsible Patriotism."
"Bull!" exclaimed Balzac.
"Sir," said Nicole, "we have a compromise to offer you, if you would care to listen to it."
"Compromise? Now there's a loaded word if I ever heard one. Compromise is the kind of fence straddling cowardice that the opposing sides of the government have been engaged in for too long, far too long, and the citizens are sick to death of it. Compromise. Bull."
"Nevertheless," crooned Nicole in the same soothing voice that was so familiar to millions of celebrity worshipers the world over, "each side gaining at least a portion of their desires is much more satisfying than receiving nothing at all. Is that not correct?"
"Our way is best," Balzac said. His tone had quieted, but was still high in volume.
"Are you able, Sir, to suppress your rather intense emotional responses and apply your highly touted superior intelligence long enough to listen to and consider our offer?"
"Suppress my emotions? Of course."
"I was sure you would."
Sawyer interjected, "You will debate an outspoken critic, the reverend Matthew Potts. a critic of both yourself and your group. The debate will be moderated by Professor Gottlieb."
"Oh I will, will I?"
Agent London said, softly and with a charming smile, "I'm sure you can and will handle yourself in such a situation most admirably."
"Yes,, of course" Pindar said, smiling back at her.