About That Fire...


elisabeth_icon.gif rebecca_icon2.gif

Scene Title About That Fire…
Synopsis Rebecca closes out the 'statue family' case, but has more questions than answers as far as the gas station fire goes.
Date March 11, 2009

NYPD Forensics Lab

The forensics lab of the NYPD Headquarters is a massive collection of seperate laboratories and testing room. This entire basement level of the building is interconnected with the ballistics lab and its own morgue. The facilities, while stocked with state of the art technology, show obvious signs of wear and tear that have not been repaired. Ceiling tiles are stained brown from leaking pipes, concreet walls show stress fractures, paint is peeling and it seems like every other fluorescent light flickers with old age.

The NYPD is a buzz with the news of the Deckard escape1. Along with that comes rumors of a coverup and talk of Homeland Security coming in and wiping the prisoner, practically rendering him useless to any investigation. It's not your typical week to say the least. The higher ups are wanting answers. Answers about Tylar Case2. Answers about Deckard. Answers about whatever the hell is going on over there at Staten Island3. And of course, they still want the answers to smaller stuffs, which is why Rebecca has 'chosen' to remain in her lab, away from the 'mean yelling' and explosion of profanties that have taken over this place since last night.

Having wrapped up one case, and adding fuel to another, Rebecca Nakano is busy at work trying to piece together the pieces of individual crimes. Making something tidy out of something messy and eventually finding a solution. She has placed a call to Liz Harrison about a couple of her cases, but as she waits for the officer to become free enough to stop by, she continues to work.

There is not a single place in the entire precinct that is peaceful today, that's for sure. Elisabeth steps into the forensics lab and smiles at the woman in there. "Hey," she greets tiredly. She never did make it home for that nap today. "Whatcha got for me?" Her tone is casual and easy, a marked difference from the crusty old Myron.

The lab has been tidied up. Okay, tidied would be downplaying the sparkle that emanates from the room when it's entered, along with the fresh scent of disinfectant. Rebecca looks up from her computer and offers a warm, and yet somehow sympathetic smile. She knows Liz is one of those under fire this morning. "I thought you might want a break, but I do have some information on a couple of your cases and thought you might want to know first hand what I've found." She types up some information on her computer, then reaches over and flips on the projector so that it her results are shown on the screen over the far wall. "Do you have time?"

There's a grin at the sympathy. "Hey, I did my part…. so it's not as bad on me as it is on the guards," Elisabeth replies easily. Sure, she's taking some flak over Deckard getting away, but not nearly as much as other people — it was entirely out of her jurisdiction, see! "Sure, I got time. Enlighten me, oh brilliant forensics woman!" She's apparently in a good mood…. or is at least giving a reasonable facsimile of one.

"Okay. Let's talk about your statue family first4. That one will be rather simple, if not entirely sad and depressing." The photos of the three members of the jumper's family come on screen. "This was a tough one. I accessed every database I could find and unfortunately, there's no way to restore this individuals back to their fleshly state. It would take an evolved with matter converting who had the mind of God. Each organ, bone, hair and bloodcell would have to be individually restored flawlessly back to its original state. We don't have the magic of Narnia, so I'm afraid this is not going to happen. I had to call time of death. I'm sorry." She does offer an apologetic nod. It was an impossible situation, yet Becca still wishes there was something she could do.

There's a grimace as Rebecca tells her that the statues are just that. "Yeah," Elisabeth says softly. "Me too. For every person who erupts with a power that helps plants grow or sparkles with rainbow auras, we get probably an equal number of these… that poor guy fell to his death without even trying to change them back because he panicked. I hate this job some days." She runs a hand through her blonde hair, her shoulder rig flashing from beneath her jacket as she makes the move. "What else?"

Rebecca clears the screen and pulls up pictures of the gas station fire5. "This is your gas station fire. I know you passed it to Homeland, but they're going to be passing it back." Among the pictures are the building on blaze, the firefighters trying to put out the fire, the man running out of the building on fire, along with a few assorted post-blaze photos, including the face of the man. "The hard part sometimes about these fires are that you make automatic assumptions. This man is Stephen Joseph Manci. He did not start this fire."

Looking at the pictures makes Elisabeth wince. "All right… I'll bite. How do you know that and what did start the fire?" It's the only question she figures Rebecca will have the answer to. 'Who is he?' is more in Liz's job description, though she's peeved at having to take it back.
She taps a few keys and the screen shifts around and a diagram of the inside layout to the convenient store is shown. Placing a large red dot near one of the aisles on the layout, Rebecca continues. "Traces of nitromethane were discovered at the scene. As we get to this dot, this is where the more higher concentration of it were discovered. If you're not familiar, nitromethane is use primarily as a fuel for professional drag racing. It is also more explosive than dynomite. This particular aisle here is paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates.. you get my drift?"

As far as how I know it wasn't Mr. Minci. It's true, he came up positive as an evolved, and his ability has been determined to be pyro related, Mr. Minci would have had high amounts of nitromethan on his body if he had been handling the fuel. He was clean." She turns to face Liz now, "My best guess is that Mr. Manci was caught inside this fire and, as most abilities evolve, just lit up. He didn't help the situation at all, in fact he probably caused the fire to spread faster then it normally would have. Hate to say this, but we have an arson."
Elisabeth looks….. puzzled. "Okay," she says slowly, trying to process. "So… the fire was just your basic fuel-driven arson, the guy erupted with a power in the middle of it but didn't contribute to it?"

"I'm not saying he didn't contribute to it. And I wouldn't necessarily rule him out as an accomplice, but he didn't plant the fuel, nor did he ignite it. He never touched the fuel. And because he had no trace of the fuel on him, that means he might have been in this.." Becca points out on the diagram. ".. bathroom when the first explosion hit. He was the only survivor inside the store."

Elisabeth looks thoughtful. "Are there traces of other people being killed in the fire? It was midday, it should have been open."

Rebecca puffs out some air as she nods. "We're still trying to determine the actual number of casualties involved in that incident. If there's a silver lining, so far the casualties are only two individuals, as of yet unidentified. I don't think we're going to find another." She pulls up photos of the couple seen arguing before, the owners. "I will confirm that neither remains belong to the owners of the store, who are still missing. At least as far as an hour ago.

Elisabeth facepalms. "All right…. well, ultimately, that actually still makes it look like it's not my case, it's an arson investigation. If the Evo guy didn't do it, it's not my problem." She sticks her tongue at Rebecca. "I'm taking shit and a half off Deckard's escape *and* the escape of Richard Cardinal… not that anyone thinks it's anyone else's fault per se, but it's a shitstorm," she says, echoing Myron unknowingly.

Rebecca's smile is nothing if not sympathetic. "Your name was on here, I wanted you to be aware because you will probably be asked about it. I wanted to do the right thing." she nods. "I didn't want you to get blindsided with it." She reaches over and punches off the projector and turns back to her computer. "I've sent you copies of both case files in case you need them later." Occassionally through the dissertation, Rebecca has seemed a little preoccupied, and she does it here again. When she shakes free of it she turns back to the negotiator. "Good luck with all that.." Shitstorm, indeed.

With a soft sigh, Elisabeth says, "I appreciate it, Nakano. I really do. Things are…. you know, you should get out of here more. You got a life? Cuz every time I walk through here, you're in here. You're putting in at least as many hours as we are, I think." She grins.

She looks entirely serious when she responds. "I was actually thinking of putting bed in here." She glances up and points towards the far wall. "Right.. over.. there." she nods.

Elisabeth snickers. "Well, it's probably quieter in here than in the SCOUT squad room," she admits. "Thanks for the heads-up on the cases. I'll put the files away on them and write the reports." She heads for the door and says, "If things ever slow down, you should come join us for beers sometime, okay? You're doing a great job down here."

"Thanks, I'd like that." Rebecca responds to the invite. "Just let me know when." Admittedly, she doesn't get out often enough, and when she does, she usually ends up where she doesn't intend to be. "Good luck out there, Officer Harrison."

March 11th: What Exactly Do You Hope To Accomplish Here?
March 11th: Her Answer Is...
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