The Curious Case of Larry Santos and Paul Lezama

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Scene Title The Curious Case of Larry Santos and Paul Lezama
Synopsis Judah turns in his fingerprint analysis of the crime scene at Erica's, identifying the shooters as Larry Santos and Paul Lezama: two ex-convicts from out of state. He and Commissioner Lau discuss what should be done about MacKenzie Myers and, to a lesser extent, Ygraine FitzRoy.
Date August 22, 2008

Crown Heights Police Station - Offices

This is a busy place. Desks that were at one point neatly arrayed have been bumped and josted out of place by both unruly suspects and unwary officers. Though many are covered with a jumble of loose files and disposable coffee cups, there are a few tidy workstations. Both uniformed and plainclothes officers man desks at all hours of the day and night, and there are usually some of the aforementioned unruly suspects to keep them company.


Friday afternoon. Most people are itching to go home, start their weekends, and generally break the chains of their work weeks. Commissioner Lau is not most people. She's chosen to give up the relative quiet of her office in favour of a more hands-on approach. When the mob's involved, those cases require a more personal touch. Especially when bullets have been flying and witnesses have been wounded. Lau doesn't look up from the file she's paging through with her right hand, standing and bent over the desk she's "borrowed" from one of her detectives, she holds out her left hand and snaps her fingers several times. "Fingerprint analysis. Yesterday."

There's nothing quite like walking into a room only to discover that your personal space has been not only invaded by your boss, but conquered and subjugated as well. Judah Demsky would be upset if he thought the situation was worth getting upset over. Instead, he casually weaves through the labyrinth of cubicles, ignoring the apprehensive looks he gets along the way. He doesn't need any warning from his fellow detectives to know that Commissioner Lau is in a bad mood, not when he can already sense it all the way from the other side of the room. "Something wrong with your office, Commissioner?" he asks once he's within earshot. "Or is there another reason my cubicle's become prime real estate overnight?"

"My office, Detective Demsky," Commissioner Lau doesn't need to look up to see who it is, "is at City Hall and not where I need to be." She slaps her left hand down on Judah's desk and looks around the room, which has now gone silent. "Doesn't anybody have that fingerprint analysis?!" Yes, it's always tense when Karen Lau comes down from her tower. She isn't a tyrant or anything, she's just very… focused. And she doesn't appreciate anything hindering that focus. And that includes reports that are not where she needs them, when she needs them. Sooner than that, preferably. "Do you have a problem, Detective?"

"Not at all," Judah replies mildly, edging just close enough to retrieve an old cup of coffee from the upper right hand corner of the desk. "I do, however, have the fingerprint analysis you’re shrieking about." He retrieves a manila folder from under his arm and offers it to Lau with his free hand. The other holds the coffee close to his chest. "Larry Santos and Paul Lezama. Both of them are ex-cons from out of state, which is why they didn't come up when we ran them through our database. Civella denies any connection to the shooting, but this wouldn't be the first time he's brought people in for a hit."

"I do not shriek," Commissioner Lau states defensively. Like an animal that's just heard some distant predator, or perhaps prey, in her instance, Lau's head snaps up and she peers over the top of the cubicle, "Stop your snickering and bring me my damn chai, Ramos!" After a deep, hissing breath, her expression softens to something, well, not quite as severe as a moment ago. She takes the folder from Judah and actually smiles, "Now we're getting somewhere." The commissioner's whole face brightens when she smiles and she even looks friendly, benevolent. It's her Camera Face, but at least it is a genuine look. Unlike that Senator Petrelli and his dazzling, but very, very fake, smile. "Civella and his mob lawyers are going to have a difficult time contesting our search warrants this go around. What do you say, Demsky?" She pauses, and then her smile turns to a more devilish grin. "What am I saying? You don't get a say. I'm making you lead on this case, Detective."

"With all due respect, Commissioner, I have more important things to be doing than bringing Frankie Civella in on an attempted murder charge." Judah's tone remains docile, but the expression on his face shifts subtly to something less so as he speaks. He doesn't go so far as to reject the responsibility. Lau is, and always has been, his superior; if she wants him working the case, he'll work the case regardless of his own priorities. "Frankly, I'm more concerned about how he found out about the recording. Only a small handful of officers working at this precinct were made aware of the situation, and only Officer Ramos, Detective Damaris and myself are privy to the tape's contents. I don't like it."

"You think I'm not aware of that, Detective?" Commissioner Lau lowers her voice to a conversational whisper. "I know you well enough to know you aren't stupid enough to work for the mob. You know crossing me is far more dangerous than crossing the mob. I pull you off the case and Damaris and Ramos are going to get skittish. Well, Ramos will get skittish. Damaris will show up at my office, screaming about how you're a good cop and…" Lau rolls her eyes. "I need you to keep an eye on the rookie. I don't trust Damaris farther than I can throw her." Word around the precinct says that the Commissioner's arm is pretty good, though. "Can you handle this, Demsky?" Judah's chair has now been claimed and the commissioner stares up at him, with her head tilted down toward the file. The effect is rather hawkish. And Judah's taken the role of a mouse right about now.

If Judah is at all intimidated by Lau, he doesn't allow it to show. "Rhetorical question," he tells her. "I want Myers and the other witness, Ygraine FitzRoy, put under police protection. Nothing overt, just a patrol of two ten-year-men posted outside their residences during nighttime hours. I don't think Civella is desperate enough to try the same trick twice, but on the off chance that he is, we need to be prepared." He takes a sip of coffee from his cup, undaunted by its lukewarm temperature. "When I interviewed the cafe's owner, she told me that Santos and Lezama were overpowered by a blonde woman who threw one of them across the room. Damaris and I can follow up on that in the meantime."

Lau squints at Demsky for a long, long moment. "Myers will have her protection. FitzRoy, though? Santos and Lezama will go down with or without her." She frowns as she considers and then waves her hand. "Fine. FitzRoy, too." She wasn't planning on sending anyone so seasoned, but Civella is serious about this. She should be serious as well. "Yes. The blonde. I know I don't have to tell you to exercise caution, Demsky. That doesn't sound anything close to normal. She didn't sound like Ms. Olympia to me."

"That's because she isn't." Judah taps the tip of his index finger to his temple. "Not to worry, Commissioner. I have plenty of field experience interviewing and interrogating Evolved individuals. The worst she's going to do is throw a bus at me." As usual, there's nothing even remotely sly or humorous about the detective's tone. Either he really doesn't know how to make a joke, or he's being completely serious when he says: "And you know how quick I am on my feet."

Commissioner Lau sighs. "And now I remember why I partnered you up with Damaris. You two really do balance each other out." She turns back to her paperwork and doesn't look up again. "Go find your partner and hit the streets. Don't come back to me until you have something good." Detective Demsky is dismissed. "Ramos! Where the hell is my tea?!"

Poor Ramos. Judah drops his coffee cup in the office's kitchen sink on his way out the door. Hopefully, by the time he and Damaris return, he'll find his desk clear and free of Lau's influence. The remark about him and Damaris being well-suited goes ignored, as usual.


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August 21st: What the Mirror Holds
Previously in this storyline…
Consequences Over Coffee

Next in this storyline…
Avon Calling

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August 25th: Avon Calling
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