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Scene Title Initiation
Synopsis The Welcoming Committee gives Harrison her official introduction to the other squad two.
Date February 19, 2010

Textile Factory 17

Situated on the banks of the East River in the Red Hook neighborhood, Textile Factory 17 was once a part of a greater industrial complex in New York in the late 1800's. The building itself has that distinctive architectural look of an industrial revolution factory; constructed primarily from aged red brick, Textile Factory 17 however has one defining trait that sets it apart from the other factories in the area, an outer wall that surrounds the factory that closely resembles the bailey of a castle more so than an industrial complex.

The Factory complex is made up of seven distinct buildings, all having been abandoned since the company that owned the mill went bankrupt thirty-six years ago. The factory, warehouse, commons and shipping buildings all sit in derelict condition, having been cut off from the majority of New York's homeless due to the heavy gate that cordons off the facility from the nearby roads.

While it rests clearly in public view and is considered a historic landmark to the Red Hook neighborhood, it was only refurbished and put back into use during the formation of the FRONTLINE organization in early 2009.

It's a less than remarkable day outside; above freezing, at least, albeit not by much. It's also very, very cloudy and gray. Dismally so, in fact, despite being the middle of the afternoon. But Ruth hasn't really noticed.

The sergeant is dressed in her typical off-duty wear, black shirt and camo-patterned pants, boots leaving distinct but undistinctive prints in her wake — they're the same military-issue footwear as can be found all over the former factory's grounds. Ruth's hair is bound back in a simple tail, where the ocean breeze can't do much with it. More figurative is the 'tail' that follows behind her nebulous shadow, one with four paws, a narrow muzzle, and inquisitively pricked ears. He sits down without prompting as Ruth leans her back against a front corner of the operations building, the woman watching impassively and the mongrel dog with intent interest as a knot of support personnel jog past on their second circuit of the factory perimeter.

The blonde returning to the base is dressed in civvies — jeans, heavy-treaded military-issue combat boots (which are comfortably broken in at this point, thanks to enough time on the carrier training in them), and a heavy denim coat. Her hair's loose, and she doesn't pin it up unless required to for 'uniform wear'. Which she hasn't really done as much as some of the others of her squad. Her steps don't falter as she approaches the door, but they do slow — more due to the four-legged being in the area than the two-legged one. She'd been told to watch out for them, though — not like they're the strangers here. That's Liz herself. "Hey," she greets mildly, pausing just out of range to allow for the animal to get his whiff of her from a safe distance.

"So what you're saying is you think we need a boat?" Crunching snow coming in the opposite direction under the curtain of clouds is heard only after the sound of a familiar man's voice. Approaching from the gated entrance of the facility, Michael Spalding's entrance to the factory for the evening is a decidedly casual one. Out of anything resembling and whirling a key-ring around one cotton-gloved finger, he has his other hand tucked into the dark nylon of his winter jacket, staring over the fur fringe towards a considerably shorter blonde woman moving at his side.

"No, what I'm saying is Batman had a boat too, and I mean…" Adelle Sanderson is the baby of Squad 1, much as Rachel is for Squad 2, and while she resents the very notion it sometimes shows in her conversations outside of work. "Batmobile," she nods her blonde head, dusted with snowflakes, towards the vehicle hanger, "check. All we need now is like a fancy jet and a speedboat, we already have the uniforms you know?" There's a crooked smile on Sanderson's lips, and the once brunette gone blonde marine stops in her tracks when Michael gives an elbow bump to her side.

Nodding ahead, Michael comes to a halt, spotting Elisabeth and Ruth— and more importantly Ruth's furry killing machine at her heels. The pair both grin as they spot Liz coming towards Ruth, and they hang back a little, watching with amused and interested expressions, before Michael offers out of the corner of his mouth, "We're nothing like Batman. I mean, could you picture me in a cape? Come on."

"Harrison." Michael offers from behind, his approaches across the courtyard, Sanderson grimacing and hurriedly catching up behind him, wool gloved fingers reaching up to tug down the knit cap over her head a little further. There's a familiar— and welcoming— wave of one gloved hand to the fellow Operation Apollo team-mate.

The dog's head swivels around at Elisabeth's approach, the woman's gaze following a belated moment later. His ears angle back uncertainly, and the chuff presented to Liz is not particularly friendly. On the other hand, it isn't outright menacing… but if it were, it'd be easier to tell what the dog intended.

Ruth straightens away from the wall, her hand lingering to brush the curve of the dog's head. He seems to relax a touch, taking some cue from her. "Harrison," she greets, echoed a moment later by Michael. The sergeant glances to her commanding officer, and to Sanderson behind him — both of which are given equally brief notice by the dog, evidenced only in a flick of an ear towards their familiar voices and cadenced walk — before looking back to the former NYPD officer. "Do you have a moment?"

Blue eyes are watchful on the canine beast, but Elisabeth is showing no fear — just healthy respect. "… Sergeant," is what she offers Ruth, since 'Crow Dog' just sounds …odd to her. For now. Turning to look toward the newest arrivals, the blond cop nods slightly. "Spalding." A double take. "Sanderson? Hey." Because she didn't realize Sanderson was going to be here too. It's starting to look like old home week a little…. or something. A glance goes back to Ruth. "Sure… I have time. I was just on my way in for the night anyway. What's on your mind?"

The pair of Sanderson and Spalding make their approach quietly through the snow, up to where Ruth's beginning her show and tell exercise. Michael comes up on one side of Elisabeth, with Sanderson on the other. Spalding's expression is a bit inquisitive, head tilted to the side and brown eyes angling out towards Ruth, then down to her dog, then up towards Elisabeth again. The look in his eyes is one of those knowing ones, but all he offers is a polite nod of his head.

Sanderson, on Elisabeth's other flank, has something of a more crooked quality to her smile, wry in the way a playful animal's might be. "Guess it is time isn't it?" Sanderson admits, leaning forward to look over at Michael across Elisabeth. The two share a look, both nodding in unison before straightening up. "Initiation," Sanderson intones with far more gravity than it honestly deserves.

But how often do they get to play with the rookies, really?

Dark eyes settle on the pair of fellow first-squad members, and Ruth smiles faintly. "Something like that," she allows. Her attention focuses on Michael; she gestures him forward. "Care to lead, sir?" After all, both he and Sanderson have been through this before. Then the woman looks to Liz, clearly expecting her to follow. Assuming, that is, that Harrison is prepared to have the animal telepath and her dog bring up the rear…

Both eyebrows go skyward, and Elisabeth's wariness skyrockets from low-level watchfulness into the stratosphere — action-ready that quickly. Not because she thinks they're a threat to her but because she can't control the instinctive stress reaction. "Really?" she drawls in a deceptively mild voice. "Well, I suppose as long as you're not chucking me in the harbor, I can take what you dish out. Too fuckin' cold to swim." She rolls her shoulders, trying to loosen up the muscles some as she turns to follow the commander of Squad 01. There is no threat here, just new-guy hazing. Ease up, Liz. It's fine. Just… enjoy it! It's a normal part of joining a cop squad too.

Both dark brows going up, Sanderson threads a messy lock of blonde hair behind one ear before hooking one of her arms with Harrison's like the Scarcrow and Dorothy about to dance down the yellow brick road. Michael, perhaps unaware that this clearly makes him the tin man, offers an unintentionally crooked smile and shrugs his shoulders. "If you insist," he offers to Ruth, giving a look back to Elisabeth after the fact that's clearly more mischevous than she'd seen him be during training in Annapolis. "Maybe you were right about that boat idea, Adelle."

Huffing out a breath as if to say, of course I was right Michael, and gives a ginger tug of the arm she's taken before leading Elisabeth to follow in Michael's bootprints through the snow. Spalding's departure has them headed away from the operations headquarters and past the noisy vehicle garage where blaring music and the sounds of a spot welder sparking and sputtering come out. Just in the silhouette of the doorway, Tristian Bentley can be seen kicked back in a chair reading a magazine, pretending to listen to whatever Juliette Wright is trying to explain to him as he does.

Michael leads Sanderson, Elisabeth and Ruth — along with the latter's four-legged companion — around to the back of the command headquarters, towards the round outer wall of the Tower, residence and living quarters for the members of Unit One. Here, the high bailey walls rise up some twenty feet towards crenellated brickwork battlements, and while out of sight, the presence of trees on the other side of the wall is the necessity they've come to find.

"Alright, we're here." Michael admits, stopping in the middle of an open courtyard near the back entrance to the Tower, turning to rest his hands on his hips, prop on foot up on a snow-dusted stone bench and leans forward to lace up one boot just a little tighter. Sanderson gives a grin, letting go of Elisabeth's arm to move over and stand by Michael, hands on her hips and blue eyes focused past her at Ruth.

"Attention!" Sanderson sharply calls out, stomping one boot down onto the ground and standing straight. Michael gives her a sidelong look and a smile, then straightens out just a little bit more lazily, folding his hands behind his back. And then looks up.

Boots crunch snow with each step as the four of them move around the buildings, towards the reach of the Tower. Ruth is quiet as they walk, closemouthed; her shadow is quieter still, his paws softer on the snow, his attention remaining focused on Liz's back — in however nonthreatening a fashion, now that there's three people he knows and accepts keeping her company. As they walk, a howl sounds out of the dismal overcast afternoon, eerie in its closeness, the dog which gave it voice somewhere just on the other side of a building. But only the one.

It's after the declaration of attention, the instant Liz comes beneath the spreading branches of their tree, that the blue jays start scolding. Perhaps half a dozen blue-and-white birds hop from one branch to another until they find suitable perches for glowering down at the humans — which for a more intrepid bird means the sill of a Tower window.

As they bicker loudly, quieter forms ghost out of the gray around them, dogs coming into view in ones and twos as if summoned by the earlier howl — they likely were. No two look alike, although a few might be purebreds of one breed or another; most are mutts, having the lean look of street dogs, just like the shadow at Ruth's heels. Some of them still have snow clinging to flanks and shoulders, as if they'd been sleeping; they gather into an irregular ring around the group. The dogs look at Ruth; at Michael; at Sanderson; …but it's Liz they don't yet know, and Liz they watch.

Ruth lifts a finger to her lips, voicing a soft shushing sound. The birds fall quiet, the jay on the Tower tilting his head to peer at her with one bright eye.

Every step they take further from the front of the building does just a little bit to keep Elisabeth on edge, though the mood around her is mischief and not malice. She struggles to get herself into the right mindset to enjoy and respond appropriately to whatever the squad is about to do to her — it'll be meant in good fun and she has to take it that way. It's not their doing that she's been kidnapped and such things a couple times in the past several months.

Beneath the tree, Elisabeth winces at the clamor of the jays above her — little beasties can be vicious, and she comes to attention now with a good-natured grimace. "Can I amend that request to ask to not get birdshit in my hair?" she asks plaintively. But she does in fact remain standing exactly where she is, appropriately still.

"Probably not." Both Michael and Sanderson answer in unison as if that question actually comes up quite a bit during this whole ordeal. They look at each other, one angling a brown-eyed stare down at the other shorter blonde peering back with a pair of blues. Both Sanderson and Spalding look back at Liz after that moment of unexpected unity in their consideration of her request. But after a moment it's more Ruth's wild animal circus that gets something of a more attentive stare.

Crooked smiles and a pair of raised brows from Spalding, along with a sweeping gesture to all of the animals seems to indicate the reason they'd come out here. "I used to call them Squad Two," Michael admits with a laugh behind his words, "but, I guess since you guys came along they're more like Squad Two Point Five." His smile turns a bit more good-natured as he angles his chin up and nods to Ruth.

"We'll let Ruth explain the, ah, //particulars/ of all of this." Sanderson nods with a nod of her head, gloved hands folding behind her back as she stands at ease, trying to restrain a snicker or two at Liz's reactions to the whole thing.

Ruth smiles faintly at Liz, and shakes her head a little. "We won't be here that long," she assures the former cop. She steps forward to join Harrison under the tree, tilting her head back to look up towards the birds. "They watch the perimeter," the sergeant explains simply. "The jays during the day— " Her gaze drops to the ring of canines surrounding them. "— and the dogs at night. I've taught them what to allow from people they don't recognize, and what not; but as a member of squad two, they should recognize you — which calls for introductions," Ruth concludes. She holds her hand by her side, palm down, at waist level; her shadow pads forward to slide under it, peering quizzically up at Liz.

"This is Tunka," the woman states.

The strain suddenly eases on Elisabeth's face, and her shoulders lose that taut look. Understanding dawns, at least a bit of it. She holds her hand out, palm down, to allow Tunka to do as he will — take her scent, allow her to scritch ears, whatever. "Charmed, I'm sure," she replies with a bit of a grin. She likes dogs. Loves them, really. Just has never had time to have a pet. The birds she's not as sure of, a blue eye cast warily upward. "So they're an active part of the security system, then?" she asks, not exactly surprised as much as… intrigued.

"Tunka here rides along on missions too. Part of Ruth's duties, we've got a whole slew of critters," he still calls them critters, "around here. You see an animal that looks out of place, it's probably Ruth's; you see an animal that looks like it belongs? Also probably Ruth's. You should've seen the look on Director Kershner's face when Tristan suggested we get a Bengal tiger…" Sanderson starts cracking up at that, folding her hands behind her head and wandering away from where Michael is and over towards one of the other dogs. "I think she about had a heart attack trying to think of the legal ramifications." Do they actually have a tiger around here somewhere? Michael isn't confirming whether it's a joke or not either way.

"We had a mission out in Chinatown back during the summer, and Tunka here saved a lot of lives out there, engaged some of the Triad that were fighting cops out in the streets." Michael's brows go up, and the commander of the squad takes a few steps over towards Liz, then looks up towards where some of the birds are. "You get used to it after a while, trust me."

There's another small smile from the native woman as Michael replies. "I prefer cougars," she points out, more for Liz's benefit than theirs, "but they are all difficult to keep." Tunka whuffs politely at Liz's hand, tail-tip feathering the air, before he — all business — steps back to Ruth's side. She looks down at him, then closes her eyes a moment; one by one, the ring of dogs disintegrates, with little more fanfare than a few yawns on the part of the departing animals. "The jays feed themselves, and dogs eat almost anything." As far as 'getting used to it' — well, Ruth is that.

Elisabeth nods slightly. "All right." She glances between them. "Now that you've scared the shit out of me," she grins. "Do I pass muster, or….. is there more to this?" Animal telepathy is not the strangest thing she's seen.

"This is where we collectively warn you about Tristan Bentley." Michael admits with a very feigned sobriety to his words, laying a hand on Elisabeth's shoulder. Sanderson's brows furrow from the comment where she's crouched by a distant dog, ruffling the fur at his collar with gloved fingers. "Tris," Michael closes his eyes, breathes in deeply and exhales a slow breath. "Tris means very well, he is extremely friendly and easy going, and he's a responsible member of this team…"


"But, you are a woman and he is Tristan Bentley so— I'm just going to give you the same warning I gave Adelle." Michael's brows furrow as he squeezes Liz's shoulder just a little with the gloved hand. "Don't be afraid to punch him." He says with a crooked smile, "Sometimes he just needs it."

Ruth chuckles softly at Michael, then inclines her head to Liz. It seems to indicate you pass rather more prominently than there's more. "Just keep an ear open, Harrison. If a dog barks here, it'll be for good reason." She looks briefly to Sanderson and then, hand resting casually on Tunka's shoulders, the sergeant makes her way back around the base of the Tower.

There's a soft laugh. "I'm pretty sure I can handle the likes of Tristan," Elisabeth replies. She's not sure the other man is much worse than Nash, her old partner. But it'll amuse her to see him try. Her blue eyes go back to Ruth and she nods slightly, "I'll pay attention. Promise." She watches Ruth go and then looks back at Spalding and Sanderson thoughtfully. "Got to admit, I was expecting the worst." She grins. "This is better than PD initiation."

Smirking slightly, Michael nods his head and looks up to the snow falling from the cloudy skies overhead. "Initiation's initiation…" he admits in a quiet tone of voice, nose wrinkling slightly. "Hey ah…" Michael turns to watch Sanderson already heading off on her own, giving a small wave to the blonde as she's moving towards the back entrance of the Tower. "Some other time, not— not right now, but maybe after that whole gala thing we have to go to…"

Michael's shoulders slouch, brows furrow and eyes wander the snow before he comes to look up at Liz. "I was wondering if I could talk to you, in private, about something? Completely off the record and— " he waves a hand around as if to indicate the Factory, "personal, not work related. I just— I hear things through the grape vine, and I think you might be able to help me with something."

The look on Spalding's face isn't quite like what Elisabeth is used to from the marine; somber, serious, and a little bit vulnerable. He smiles it away, as best as he can, looking up from the snow to Liz. "S'good to have you on the team, Harrison."

Elisabeth grimaces at the information about the gala. And she waves as Sanderson as the other woman slips out, shoving her hands into her pockets. Spalding's hesitant approach brings her up short, and she glances around. A bubble encases them, leaving out the sounds of water, of birds, of everything except the two of them. "You're welcome to talk to me now, if you want. It'll stay off the record." She grins faintly. "I believe I have a message for you… something about a weather witch who wanted to talk."

Michael hesitates at that, his posture stiffening up and head coming to turn and look over his shoulder just as he'd started to turn away from Liz. Michael's eyes stay locked on her in silence, then divert down to the snow again as a hesitate smile crosses his lips. "My personal number's up on the whiteboard in the conference room, you can give it to her." Michael's expression keeps that distant quality, tinged with something awkwardly sentimental.

"I guess… that kills two birds with one stone," he admits after a moment of silence, head bobbing in a lazy nod. "Never thought I'd be able to talk straight to the person herself. Yeah… tell— " Michael's brows furrow, "tell her I'd like to talk, if you could. She's… the last person who saw my brother before he died, and— I kind've need to be able to close that door in my life."

Elisabeth watches him with a careful expression. "I'll pass it on," she says quietly. And then she smiles self-deprecatingly. "You wanted to ask if scuttlebutt was true." There's no question in that statement at all. "It is. And I didn't know your brother…. but someone that I care about knew him quite well. And thought very highly of him."

She considers her words and then offers softly, "I don't know you, don't know your situation with your brother, but I'll tell you this much…. I've learned over the past year that… doing the right thing is a lot harder than doing the legal things. Especially these days. So… for what it's worth to you… it's always seemed to me that your brother was a good man. A lot of people I trust with my life were willing to give their lives for his ideals." She shrugs. "Make of it what you will."

"My brother was a cop-killer," Michael says quietly, broen eyes coming up to Elisabeth, "he was a man who blew up a federal building and killed twenty-seven Homeland Security agents and five visitors to the building to make a statement. He was a troubled, and violent young man and— " Michael's head shakes slowly, throat tightening as he swallows. "I failed him as a brother. I wasn't there for him when he needed me, and I refused to even acknowledge him when he obviously needed help."

Looking back up to Liz, Michael's eyes have that uncharacteristic vulnerability to them from before. "My brother did terrible things that he thought were right, and there's a difference, between doing the right thing, and doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. I just— " Michael reaches up to fold his hands at the back of his neck.

"I don't want to debate him, I just want to… be able to mourn and move on properly." Forehead creased with lines of worry, Michael looks up to Elisabeth and offers an enxious smile. "I appreciate your candor," he's trying to put on the professional face again, because it's clear he's of the mind that a leader can't show weakness in the field.

"I should— I've got to go make a call to director Kershner about Mills' incident at the bank earlier today." Michael looks to Liz, then down to the snow, then back again. "Thanks, for— you know."

You know.

And just as simply and awkwardly as that, Michael's breaking away from both the conversation, and Elisabeth, to find a more solitary headspace.

She couldn't debate his statement even if she wanted to. Consider what Elisabeth herself has done… there's not much moral high ground to stand on, after all. She simply nods slightly. "I'll make sure she gets it immediately." And she shoves her hands into her pocket to turn and look out over the water for a few minutes before going inside that stronghold that is supposed to be her 'home' now.

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