Comic Book Theorists


ezra_icon.gif kaydence_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Comic Book Theorists
Synopsis Kay and Ezra deal with grisly murder the only way they know how - by suggesting every fictional character but the Peanuts did it. But Zachery hasn't given them reason to rule out that shady Charlie Brown fellow.
Date February 19, 2009

Harlem Morgue

The cold air and the strong odor of antiseptics carries all the way though into the entrance hall, going together perfectly with the strong lights, sterile whites and smooth metal surfaces. The cleaning products do a pretty good job at masking the lingering smell of death, but those who already know it will surely come to recognize it. As morgues go, this one isn't terribly special. The entrance hall has little else to look at but a sign that reads "Taceant colloquia. Effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae." Or: Let conversations cease. Let laughter depart. This is the place where death delights to help the living.

For those who have the authority to wander, the hall connects to four small offices, a large autopsy room, and a cold chamber. The latter's temperature dips well below freezing point and is only accessible to the morgue's employees.

Despite a few small bumps in the proverbial road, Doctor Zachery Miller would like to think that things have been looking up for him, lately. Life - or rather, his job - has been interesting! Unfortunately, that means things have been looking rather down for a lot of others. Such is the case with the man currently lying on the autopsy table in front of him, naked, pale, but most of all— resembling two bits of Kit Kat snapped vertically down the middle more so than any man should be allowed.

A well rounded team of pathologists have had their time with the body ever since it came in, and the file they wrote their findings in is currently getting an apathetic look over from Zachery, who stands waiting with his back against the table. No doubt scanning the sheets of paper for anything his colleagues may have overlooked. A sigh escapes him as he peers over his shoulder, and mumbles quietly, "You're lucky you're interesting. Else I may have just handed over the file without proper explanation." As if he has better things to do.

Ezra Grimes shouldn't be here, maybe, but that doesn't mean he's not. He's not smoking — he tried, but the kibosh was placed pretty firmly on that notion. He is, however, chilling in the back of the room, leaning against (perhaps against suggestion) a rack of those drawers they use to keep bodies in. He's fiddling with the wrapper to some kind of candy bar — an orange Kit-Kat. It's making more than a little bit of crinkle-crinkle noise.

Every now and then he checks his watch, as though to imply that he really rather wished they were done with this part by now.

Kay leans against the rack next to her partner, with a look that would be classified as one of boredom were it not laden with so much sadness. She holds out one hand in silent askance. She's getting one half of that goddamned Kit Kat. "So," she murmurs, eyes settling on the broken body on the table, "we're looking for the Jersey Devil, right?"

"Not quite that interesting." The coroner answers without pause, eyes on the file again. Once he finally puts it down he wanders over to the apparently bludgeoned head-end of the corpse, and slides a gloved hand over one side of it. "You're looking at what appears to be a very creative— but normal homicide of one Yan-Lao Han. According to fingerprint records and this, here." His hand brushes over a tattoo on the victim's scalp. "Like barcodes, these. You've got to wonder whether they realize that."

Ezra breaks off a chunk of kit-kat for Kay; it's probably all fair play, consider he's drinking coffee from a mug that says #1 Mommy.

"It could be the Mothman, but his MO is a little weirder. How normal are we talking, here? We've got evidence from the crime scene that backs up an Evolved suspect with — at the very least — enhanced strength."

"The Mothman? Really? I was thinking more like Venom. Didn't see any black goo up on that roof, did you?" Cop humour is always dubious at best. Detective Damaris is no exception. She pops half of her candy bar into her mouth, taking the space of time it takes her to chew and swallow it to think. "Gang bangers generally aren't smart enough to figure out that they're telling more than they want us to know with their symbols, colours and ink. What does this stiff tell you, Miller?"

A chuckle leaves Zachery as he looks back up to his visitors. "My definition of 'normal' may be a little… skewed. I, ah— rather meant he was killed by another human rather than creature."

Now he moves back to the torso, reaching to put a hand across open flesh and ribs, staring down at it now. "Though until the lab results came in, we were figuring it might be the other way around. There are grooves left in the chest and hip area, from when it was torn apart. As if they were clawed in there by a wild animal, which initially made sense. Things got a little more intriguing when we found out the bone chips belonged two two individuals, not one."

"… Two?" Ezra stands up, pushing off of the door with a start. "… You mean to tell me this guy was fighting for his life?" he says, taking a shot in the dark. Either way, even Ezra's attention has been hooked.

The same information perks Grimes' partner right up, too. "Two?" she echoes. "All right. We're all ears, Doc. What have you got for us?" Kay strides past Ezra, second half of her candy bar down the hatch as she approaches the body for a better look. "Don't skimp on the gory details. Gotta see if we can gross out the rest of the squad back at the precinct."

Zachery looks toward Ezra and Kaydence with an ill timed grin now. "I didn't quite mean it like that. I meant that the lacerations… appear to have been made with something made from human bone. An Evolved having done this seems… likely," there's a tinge of reluctance to his tone, but he moves quickly on without it, "but nothing much came out of the DNA tests so there's no confirmation. As for having fought back— it's very likely he was still alive and conscious when he was torn open, but the only blood found on him was his own. The injuries to his face were inflicted quite hastily with the business end of a heavy shoe or boot, and post-mortem. Likely because of the victim's connections to the Triads." Here he looks up again, as though to see whether that last part is as helpful as he'd guess it to be.

"So we can't rule out gargoyles as the suspect, is what you're telling me," Ezra says. "But they're not wild animal gargoyles. Great." Ezra steps up to the body and looks down at it; there's some flicker of basic recognition. "And if it's not an Evolved? What's the less 'likely' alternative?"

"So, let me get this straight… Our perp' used a knife or some similar cutting implement made of human bone?" A sidelong look is cast from Kay to Ezra. "We've got our work cut out for us on this one, partner. Aren't you glad you transferred into SCOUT?" She points toward the tattoo on the side of the victim's head. "Our perp' decided to smash in the face of our vic' so they wouldn't be so quickly identifiable? The guy's got a blinking arrow inked to the side of his face that screams 'Triad here!'" She frowns and crosses her arms under her chest. "And possibly 'Eat at Joe's.' That part's smeared a bit." A wry look is shot at Ezra again. "Can't be gargoyles," she explains. "They may be trying to clean up the city, but this isn't their MO." She pauses before offering another theory, "Maybe we're looking for Sonic the Hedgehog. I mean, think about it, we've seen a lot of weird shit. What if we're looking for someone who sprouts bone spikes? Maybe we're looking for someone like Wolverine but with bone instead of metal." This is what happens when one consumes cigarettes and coffee for breakfast.

A lot of the references seem to go straight over the coroner's head, and Zachery clears his throat in an awkward sort of way, before answering Ezra, "Unless you know of someone with a collection of very special murder weapons, Evolved is your best bet."

Ezra crumples his wrapper and dumps it in a bin of medical waste. "Great. Well, keep on the trail." He starts walking for the door. "Shit. We need a good lead and we need one fast. Magic 8-Ball?" he asks his partner, just before shutting the door. He doesn't thank the coroners, but she probably does.

February 19th: While He's Down
Previously in this storyline…
It Starts With A Body

Next in this storyline…
Whatever The Case May Be

February 19th: Cop Chick Fight, Round One
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