Smart Cop, Dumb Cop


cat_icon.gif henry_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Smart Cop, Dumb Cop
Synopsis Or so it might seem, when new agent Webb goes on his first outing with Veronica as they interview Cat Chesterfield regarding her mother's murder.
Date February 17, 2010

The Rock Cellar

A comfortable place, located in the basement of 14 East 4th Street. The red brick walls are covered with memorabilia from various icons of rock and places in rock history, creating a feel similar to that of a Hard Rock Cafe.

The left wall has two bars separated by swinging doors which lead to and from the kitchen. Directly across from the entrance is a two foot high stage with all the equipment needed for acts to perform there. The right wall has three doors marked as restrooms: two for use by women and one by men.

Thirty square feet of open space for dancing and standing room is kept between the stage and the comfortable seating placed around tables which fill the remainder of the Cellar.

The lighting here is often kept dim for purposes of ambience, and when performers are onstage the place is loud enough to make conversation difficult. Just inside the door is a podium where location staff check IDs and stamp the hands of those under twenty-one with a substance visible under UV lights at the two bars and by devices the servers carry. On the podium's front is a sign with big black letters that just about explain it all: If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll, You're Too Late Now!

Veronica called Cat Chesterfield on the way, letting Henry Webb drive as she promised. It lets her look into things on her PDA while he navigates the roads from Fort Hero and Manhattan. They arrive in the afternoon at the Rock Cellar — no one is performing and it's before dinner but after lunch, so the restaurant and bar part of the business is fairly light. Upon entrance, Veronica looks around for Cat, murmuring to the cornfed rookie agent at her side, "Remember. No spin or bullshit or she won't talk to us. It's very likely she won't trust you anyway. She only trusts me as far as she can throw me, and I don't think that's very far. I'm heavier than I look." Doubtful.

"I can't lie worth a tinker's damn," says Henry, turning his most innnocent expression on her. Utterly guileless. "And I'll let you do the talking," he affirms, all docility. He's even driven sedately over here - no showing off for the new partner.

The woman in question is indeed present, seated at a shadowy table which allows a decent view of the entire place. Fairly customary for Cat when she's here, a favored spot to occupy. Clothing isn't of the professional sort, it's jeans and a t-shirt, but it is all black. Her eyes are closed, head leaned back against the wall behind her, with one hand resting on a pint of stout. Before her on the table is a half-eaten plate of steak, mushrooms, and baked potato. Moments later she straightens and takes up the fork, going for a bite of the food.

The arriving pair of agents is intercepted by a short blonde server who looks about twenty. She smiles. "Good afternoon. May I get you both something to drink while you look over our menus?" It seems this one believes they're present for a late lunch meal.

"You're going to have to learn how, Webb," Veronica says, regarding the inability to lie. "Most of what we do isn't for public domain, you know?" She then smiles at the server and nods to Cat. "We're here to see the boss, thanks but a cup of coffee for me would be great." She glances at Henry to see if he wants anything, and then begins to move toward Cat.

"Catherine. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother," she says, softly, apologetic as well for interrupting the woman's moment of solitude. "This is Agent Webb. We're looking into the matter. Do you mind if we sit and ask you some questions?"

"I understand," says Henry, looking put upon. "I'll have a coke, if you don't mind." He offers Cat his most reassuring smile. It's crooked and conspiratorial and makes him look about twelve. "Sorry to bother you at such a time," he adds.

The server nods and moves off toward one of the bars to fill those requests, clearing the path toward that occupied table. Cat looks up at the sound of voices, setting her fork down and using the hand to gesture toward chairs opposite her. "Not at all," she replies somberly. "I was actually hoping to call you yesterday, V," she adds. "It turned out to be a far busier day than expected, though."

The facial features are stoic, her posture poised, but the eyes show some different things. Like grief and guilt mixed with repressed rage.

Veronica takes a seat, the one that will give her a clear view of the door, and puts a hand on Cat's shoulder briefly in a show of sympathy and support, though it's soon on to business. "Let me know, aside from professional duties, if there's anything I can do to help you in this time," she says gently. "Of course, we're here to try to help in a professional sense as well." Her eyes move to Webb to include him in the 'we.' "I'm sure that some of this is getting repetitive, but if you could tell me when the last time you saw and talked to your mother — if anything seemed out of the ordinary, if she'd spoken of anything unusual, if there's any one you suspect of trying to harm her, that sort of thing.

There's a pause. "Webb knows of our recent travels to a degree, so there's no reason to speak in code," she adds, with a slight smile.

"Yeah. I'm uh…..sort of in with Agent Sawyer there," Cat can fill in the blanks for herself. Webb sort of has Company Agent more or less stamped on his broad forehead.

"I'm enlisting the support of some specialists to look into gathering information I can share, aimed at pinning down just who performed the action," Cat informs, "and to perhaps secure some photos of them. My last meeting with Mother was last Friday, the 12th. We were discussing matters related to recent press claims about her background, and mine, in terms of the campaign. And her involvement with the Company, working for them, a thing I disagreed with." Her hand lifts the dark brew, she takes a brief drink of it.

"There was no indication of anything being out of place when we met. I hadn't believed her in danger beyond the normal variety of threats one expects from being a political candidate who publicly announced her SLC status. She had security teams around her, for that reason. But by Monday she'd apparently released them. At about 23:00, I got a call from a person who served in Operation Apollo saying someone tried to hire him for her assassination, and he refused. He claimed to be tailed, the conversation was short. I hadn't known the security was released, if I had actions would've been different." At this moment, eyes rest on the plate of food.

"She called and left me a voicemail while I was being warned, said she wanted to talk. I called her, got only her voicemail twice, and left a message. It still didn't occur to me anything had gone wrong, it was late. Perhaps an hour later, the NYPD requested my presence at campaign HQ. Now," she concludes with a dangerous flash to her eyes and hands tightening, "about suspects, oh, yes, I have some of those."

Veronica frowns at the news that someone was approached to assassinate Jenn Chesterfield. "I'm guessing asking who was approached for the job is pointless? You know my organization isn't interested in arresting such a person just because their line of work is illegal. It would be off the record, but I'd like to talk to them about who did the asking, anything they can remember about the person trying to hire them. Interesting that it's someone in Apollo that was approached, as I've been led to suspect this is some sort of grudge against Apollo operatives. Who's on the short list?"

"He didn't say who tried to hire him, or do you have an idea and aren't saying?" Webb's tone is mild, rather curious - apparently it's not Good Cop and Bad Cop, it's Smart Cop and Dumb Cop, at least in this pairing.

"The contact with the warning," Cat replies, "was Jensen Raith. I asked him if it was Dr. Sasha Kozlow, called Skoll by the Vanguard. He said he'd never seen the man before in his life. Skoll announced his presence in the country to Abby Beauchamp a while back, and we believe he shot one of her workers. Tanya. I've recently been told another Vanguardite, Carlisle Dreyfus, is also in the country. Both of them seeking retribution for events in Russia related to our search."

"Any description from Raith of the man who approached him? Or did he see him?" Veronica says, brows knitting together. "If he's approaching Raith to assassinate those affiliated with Russia, it must be only that team he's seeking payback on… Do you know if everyone's aware of the danger? Obviously Abby is, but the others?"

"Teo knows of the situation," Cat states, "you'll remember the news reports of his mother being shot in Sicily. Elisabeth's been advised, as has Francois Allegre. I can't say if Felix Ivanov is aware, nor can I speak of Ethan Holden. I didn't ask Jensen to describe who he was approached by, and it's not certain he was approached in person anyway. At the time," she relates, "I believed it was just Skoll. Now I see it may have been Dreyfus. I intend to have a postcog visit the crime scene and take a reading to see what she can turn up, along with a telepath to make a link between me and the postcog so I can see what she sees and determine if the killer was Skoll, Dreyfus, or someone else. I may need some assistance in making that happen," she floats, "to get me past crime scene tape and police on location. A technopath will also be useful in this effort."

Henry shoots a sidelong look at Veronica, as if looking for her to confirm or deny that the Company might be willing to help to that extent. He doesn't say anything aloud - most of these are just names to him, albeit some of them with meaning.

Veronica frowns. "Allegre is alive?" she asks, clearly stunned by this news. She felt responsible in some ways, having been the one to help bring him into the operation. "I'll alert the others that it's a threat." She listens to the suggestions, and she gives a glance to Webb, then nods. "I'll see what I can do. Obviously your mother is someone important to our organization and we don't take this lightly. I'll see if I can get at least a description from Raith, if he's willing to speak to me on this, to see if his contact fits Dreyfus." She turns to Webb. "You want to see if you can dig up a tecnhopath at the Company to help us?" Her eyes dart back to Cat. "I assume you have a post-cog and a telepath in mind? If not, we can see if we can find those, too."

"I have photos," Cat replies, reaching behind her and pulling out two such items. One is a image of Dreyfus taken from the Ryazan State University website, which she identifies as him, and the second is a grainy cellphone image of Sasha Kozlow. "This is why I want new images, and to get a shot of whoever performed this assassination if it wasn't one of them. It may have been a hireling, after all. As to Raith, I'll look into speaking with him myself. I wouldn't want him to believe I've mentioned his name to anyone of an official capacity. Yet." The operative word, yet.

"I found the post-cog on the Registry page, she and I will meet soon. The telepath I already know, but haven't asked yet. The technopath…" She displays a cold smile, "when we fought the Vanguard last year, I discovered a neat little trick: I pulled up memories of Vanguardites I'd seen, got Matt Parkman to bridge them over to a technopath, and they were turned into jpgs."

Henry whistles. Cat has just impressed Henry Webb. He is clearly making a mental note of that particular trick for the Company books.

"Useful," Veronica agrees, but the motley crew assembled by Cat gets a bit of a frown. "The only trouble is, as you know, the operation was classified, and finding random Evolved on the Registry might not go over too well with my superiors, as … well. A post-cog and a telepath in particular would be people they'd be less than keen on letting get close to such information. I'll see what I can do, but they might insist on using our own people. At least as far as official line-crossing and such goes. Is Parkman the telepath you want?"

"I don't plan to tell anyone involved anything they don't need to know, of course," Cat states. "All they need to hear is they're helping investigate Mother's assassination. They don't even need to be told the names of suspects. But as far as the telepath, I doubt anyone would object to an official of his level being involved." Another brief drink from the stout is taken, with the woman's eyes flashing darkly from the next forming thought.

"Defense is futile with these people," she asserts, "the only thing for it is to pin down their locations and bring it to an end."

Presumably that's why Henry there is on hand. Because, well, that's what Henry does. He nods to that,and sips from his coke.

The more senior, if in experience and not in years, agent smirks a bit. "Believe me, I'm not planning on telling Parkman he can't do something. Be useless anyway, even if I wanted to," she says picking up sugar and cream to fix her coffee. "So you don't have a techno in your little band of volunteers? We'll work on that, and see if we can find Dreyfus or Kozlow in the meantime." She takes a sip of the coffee, and sets it back down. "I assume you have increased your security measures?"

"I've taken steps," Cat provides on the topic of security. "I find Skoll and Dreyfus to be cowardly, striking at us through other people instead of making direct moves. It seems their goal is to cause suffering and grief. Doesn't mean they won't eventually make a move on us directly, of course. If you find them, that would be preferable. I would simply hope to know they've been neutralized. I also don't expect arresting them will be an option. They'll make it necessary to kill them."

"I imagine so," Henry, not at -all- upset about that option. "Might be we draw them out by using other putative targets as bait. Since they're going after the near and dear…."

The word 'putative' gets an arched brow from Veronica. Maybe Webb isn't as dim as he looks. "I'm not sure that these people will be willing to put their loved ones out as bait, but keeping an eye on the relatives of the Team Charlie's operatives would be a good idea," the agent agrees. "Is there anything else you can think of that might be useful? Webb here can work on finding us a technopath and we will get in touch with you when we have one lined up, otherwise."

"And if I line up one on my own in the meantime and get photo evidence, I'll share them with you," Cat replies. "As well as anything on locations. The sooner this is done with, the better." A dark chuckle is let out. "Russian nazis. Two words that really don't fit together, but still true."

There's a slow breath from Henry, at that. He still looks….pretty dim. Maybe that multisyllabic word was an abberration.

"Thanks, Cat," Veronica says, with a sad smile. "Your mother wanted us to work together. Looks like she's getting that wish. Please, do let me know if you think of anything else." She glances at Henry. "Anything else you can think of, Webb?"

"We already had, V," Cat replies. "It was quite the experience sharing half a helicopter doorway, both of us pulling people aboard. Not that I ever want to do a thing like that again, of course." Her features remain solemn, that murderous glint is still in her eyes.

"Not at the moment, no," Henry says, sounding almost demure. Surely that's not a flash of envy at that comment about the helicopter. He's done with war and all that craziness, right?


"True enough," Veronica says with a grin that shows her dimples. "If I never get in another military helicopter in my life, I'll be only too happy. Or naval ship. Or, for that matter, a flying robot crab." She sets down a few bills for Henry's coke and her coffee. "Thanks for taking the time to meet with us. We'll be in touch, one way or another, I'm sure." She stands and waits for Henry to join her. "Stay safe, Cat."

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