A Possible Lead


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Scene Title A Possible Lead
Synopsis Felix, Kaydence and Judah receive a phone call regarding the Brill/Marshall case.
Date October 8, 2008

Crown Heights Police Station

Nearly a third of New York's finest are stationed in North Brooklyn. Despite that, the precinct in Crown Heights is a gritty place. During peak hours, the lobby is packed with whores, pimps, pushers, drug dealers, and every other sort imaginable. The reception desk is protected by a wall of impact-resistant glass set with a grille for communication and a slot for paperwork. One side of the room is lined with benches, the other with doors leading to offices and interrogation rooms.

Ask Judah, and he'll tell you that coffee is the elixir of life — without it, there would be no all-nighters, no working until the rosy light of dawn slips through the plastic blinds of the precinct's bullpen where the detective, his partner and Felix Ivanov are reviewing autopsy results for the Marshall case. They have a name — Richard Jose Santiago — and they have his fingerprints on a corpse, and while the evidence might be damning as hell it's useless to them unless they can figure out where in New York City Santiago is hiding, and why he disappeared more than fifty years ago. So far, no luck. Just a lot of frustration.

Judah pours himself another cup, so tired from the night's work that his body ignores the scalding sensation when a few errant dribbles of coffee spill from the mouth of the pot and onto his hand. He shakes it off, wipes the remainder off on his slacks and resumes his seat at the table with Felix and Kaydence. "I hate to say it," he grumbles, "but I think we've just plowed head first into another dead end."

Felix is one of those annoying men who shows very little strain until he suddenly cracks, but he's not as young as he once was. And even the rather odd comfort of being back in his old stomping grounds at a familiar precinct, despite a shift in agency isn't enough to make up for the lack of sleep. He's rather hollow-eyed, and tight-lipped. "The Bureau has no records of him from then until now," he says, voice only very faintly accented - another hint at how weary he actually is. "I fear I have to agree with you." He leans back in his chair, making it creak in protest, and rubs at his eyes with the heels of his hands.

"I got this one," Kaydence Lee murmurs as she rises to her feet, discarding the photos she was looking at. She rubs her face and reaches to pick up the phone. "You've reached Detective Demsky. This is his secretary, how may I help you?" She flashes the boys a wry smirk and waits for a response from the other end of the line.

Felix frankly smirks at that, not showing teeth. He reaches for his cup of lukewarm coffee and watches with no particular expectation, blinking rather sleepily despite the caffeine. "You make a wonderful Girl Friday," he teases her, in a whisper.

"Hello?" comes a feeble voice on the other line. It's markedly English, and sounds like an woman who is at least an octogenarian. "Miss, my name is Harriet Anderson. I would like to speak to Detective Judah Dempsky, please? The other young lady said he was whom I should speak to regarding…regarding Maddy — …Madeline Brill." There is a pause, and the muffled sound of a throat clearing itself of a small sob. "Is Detective Dempsky in, please?"

Without a sound to alert the woman on the phone, Kay pulls a face and sticks her tongue out at Felix. She listens and then frowns faintly. "Demsky. Yes, Ms Anderson, he's here. He's—" making love to a cup of coffee right now, may I take a message? "Just a moment. I'm going to put you on speaker." The appropriate button is pressed and the handset is hung up. "Go ahead. What can you tell us about Ms. Brill?"

Felix looks up keenly, from polishing his glasses, all the weariness vanishing from his expression. He's mute, though, head cocked a little as if to hear better. It's not his case, he's really here to assist, but that doesn't mean he's not a cheerfully nosy bastard.

There is silence on the other line for a moment before the voice crackles through the speaker. "I would like to speak to Detective Demsky," she repeats, and if anything, she is more polite this time.

"You are speaking to Detective Demsky." Judah gives the phone a stern look, though he knows the person on the other end most assuredly cannot see it. "I'm a little swamped at the moment— " Well, that's half-true. " —so you'll have to forgive my secretary for being short with you. What can we help you with, ma'am?"

Kay grins and pops a stick of gum in her mouth. She chews away at it for a few moments before blowing a large bubble. Hey, she's allowed to indulge a childish habit when she's been without sleep for this long.

Felix puts the pokerface back on, and reaches into his suitjacket to pull out his cigarette case. No, he can't light up in here, but he can fidget with it.

When Judah speaks, there is a barely audible sigh on the other line. "Detective Demsky? My name is Harriet Anderson. I played bridge with Maddy — with Missus Brill. I…I noticed that in the last few weeks, she had a young man delivering groceries to her home so that she didn't have to go out. Her arthritis, you see, and it was getting so much colder. I was always suspicious of him — he would eye things in her living room when he made deliveries during our bridge game. But Mad— Missus Brill said he was a good boy, so I started having him making deliveries for me."

"Now, Detective Demsky, I know you only have so much time for your work — no one can expect you to work all the time — so I'll make this brief. "I just know that boy had something to do with…with what happened. I just know it. I even went back to see if anything was missing. Her door was open, so it was alright I went in, yes? But so many of her things in the living room, heirlooms and the sort of precious antiques that should have gone to her children, were all gone." There is a pause before the voice continues in a more frantic tone, "Oh, Detective Demsky, I just know he'll come for me next. He probably even has thugs."

Judah's dark eyes flick to Kay, and then to Felix. There's disappointment there, but he tries not to let his voice reflect it. "I can send someone over to take a look," he says, pausing at the mention of thugs. The detective sincerely doubts that this lead has anything to do with their good friend Santiago. For one thing, he isn't a young man anymore. For another, he doubts that he'd be interested in any of Brill's earthly possessions — murder, not theft, is the M.O. Even so, a crime is a crime, and if someone has broken into a dead woman's apartment, they need to look into it. "Where do you live?"

Kay is already shooting Judah a look and mouthing 'not it' and pointing to Felix. 'Send him instead!' Then, Felix earns a grin as the woman pops her gum.

Felix mutters out of the corner of his mouth, even as he idly fidgets with one of those ridiculously expensive cigarettes he smokes, "That problem is definitely local, not Federal, don't look at me." Oh, the maturity. "Just send a uniform down to pat her on the hand, take a report."

There is a somewhat lengthy pause in the current conversation as the woman's voice can be heard, if muffled, speaking to someone else. It would make sense, then, that Harriet Anderson does not hear Felix's words. There are a lot of "Yes dear"s and "I'll ask, dear"s before she moves her hand away and speaks directly into the receiver once more. "I'm sorry, my granddaughter is here and has looked up your record, Detective, on her…internet box — oh, com-poo-tar. I do hope that's alright? I'm afraid I'm not certain on the laws regarding that sort of thing. Everything is so dreadfully complicated now. At any rate, she says you are very good at this sort of thing — gangs of…of devil-people — and that I should insist you come yourself to catch him the next time he comes to do a delivery so you can find his gang and do right by Maddy. It's a bit forward of me to ask, so I do apologize. I hope you won't hold it against me?"

It takes a conscious effort not to groan. Judah leans forward, his elbows on the table, his head in his hands. "They're complicated, all right." Slowly, he lets a sigh out through his nostrils, body seeming to deflate. It's been almost thirty hours since the last time he slept, and at least twenty-four since he last checked in on Colette and Tamara. What did he do to the Powers That Be to piss them off so badly? "What time does he usually deliver them, Mrs. Anderson?"

The female detective puts a finger to her lips and gives Felix a sharp look, gesturing pointedly to the phone. She can hear you!

Fel arches a brow, and mouths, 'Devil people?' at Judah. The idea of New York's detectives being rated on myspace or whatever is equally amusing, though no doubt she means one of the NYPD's official sites.

"Around two-thirty in the afternoon on Fridays," Mrs. Anderson replies in a slightly brighter voice, feeling as though she has the Detective himself on her case. "He's never late. I live in number 302 at Briarwood Terrance in Queens. Now I will tell you, Detective, that when you c-Julia?" The phone is set down, and the sound of short footsteps can be heard for a moment before the phone is filled with a piercing cry of terror. Sounds of a scuffle can be heard next amid further shrieks from the old lady, but the whole ordeal and punctuated quite soon with a loud thump that can only be that of a body.

There's a surreal quality to the silence that follows. Judah stares at the phone, saying nothing, his jaw clenched, hands pressed flat against the tabletop. Either someone was just murdered while they were on the phone with her, or he passed out in the middle of the conversation and is now experiencing a very bad dream. He doesn't know which is worse. "Ms. Anderson?" he tries, voice softer, weaker than it was a few moments ago. "Hello?"

The gum actually drops out of Kay's mouth and onto the floor with a dull smack at the sound from the telephone. She stares wide-eyed as though she can see what's going on. Not being able to see it? It only makes it worse. She shakes off the fear and goes bolting toward dispatch. "I need a unit! Now! Three-oh-two Briarwood Terrace in Queens!"

Felix says a number of things under his breath in Russian. Obscenities of various kinds. He's risen from his seat like he's gonna bolt for a squad car, hands on the table. But he doesn't run, and he doesn't snap orders. Not exactly his jurisdiction.

Felix might not snap orders, but Judah does — at his partner. "Damaris," he barks, "go! You were on vice — you know Queens!" If anyone is going to accompany and direct the unit, it should be Kaydence. "Get your ass in the car!"

If anyone is still listening, slow, firm, and deliberate steps can be heard nearing the other end of the phone. The distinct noises of the receiver being lifted prelude the smooth voice of an older man. Spanish rather than Hispanic, his voice is smooth, his accent like honey over his words. "It is a shame I must tell you that Missus Anderson cannot come to the phone at the present time. Please leave a message after the click." With that, the connection is cut off as the receiver crashes back into its cradle.

"Got it!" Kay shouts without looking back, abruptly changing direction to grab her keys off her desk before running headlong for the door, and her car. Fortunately, she doesn't hear the voice on the other end of the line. She's already gone.

Fel's after Kay, then, at the utmost of his (normal human) speed. Not yet time to break out the Agent tricks, in any sense of the word.

October 7th: Bloody Hands, Clean Feet
Previously in this storyline…
The Power of a Name

Next in this storyline…
302 Briarwood Terrace

October 8th: 302 Briarwood Terrace
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