After Me Comes The Flood


berlin_icon.gif cesar_icon.gif waite_icon.gif

Scene Title After Me Comes The Flood
Synopsis Berlin comes to Fort Jay looking for help. And to confess to a crime.
Date March 29, 2019

Fort Jay

The interview room is a small space dominated by a long table. Windows look out on the bullpen, but otherwise it is very underwhelming.

Berlin sits alone on one long side of the table, window behind her, hands resting on the arms of her chair. She sits still, no fidgets or idle noise while she waits. It's training that keeps her in her chair. Her nerves would rather have her pacing the floor or at least drumming her nails, but she doesn't. Mostly because she doesn't know what to expect, even from herself.

It isn't every day she comes to admit to a crime.

Several minutes had passed since Berlin was showed into the empty interview room. She had been told an agent would be with her “shortly”. The administrative assistant then hurried off to find said available agent. One who would be able to handle the young woman who walked in claiming to have murdered a man.

That agent, Cesar Diaz, eventually enters the room with a pause at the open door, blinking at the sight of Berlin and arching up his brows in clear skepticism. Cesar glances back behind him fully expecting a group of prankster coworkers to come out giggling. “Coops put you up to this?” he asks, but shakes his head as he shuts the door behind him.

Once he’s sat down, Cesar extracts a notepad tucked under an arm to set down on the table, flipping the cover open and tapping the pen a couple times on the pad before he starts to scribble down notes without a starting introduction. Should she look, it’s easy to see he’s only putting down basic facts: date, time, name slots. And then, he looks up to the woman seated across from him.

“Officer Beckett, my name is Agent Diaz. I was told you came in to… confess to a murder.” The initial opening statement is accompanied by a slow blink from the agent. “Is that correct?”

Berlin looks over when he opens the door. Just with her eyes at first until she reminds herself to look less stiff. His opening question has her lifting an eyebrow, uncertain who he means or if she should be insulted. She doesn't reply, but no scheming coworkers pop out to laugh, so there is that.

She watches him walk over and sit, and write, although she doesn't peek at what he's jotting down. Her work gives her a decent handle on how these moments go. Even the fact that he uses pen and paper and not a phone doesn't get a comment. She only nods at his introduction, when it finally comes, and folds her arms on the table.

"Yes, that's right," she says, simply.

There’s a knock at the door, but it’s perfunctory, because it’s only a second or two before it opens to reveal a small man with graying hair, dressed impeccably in a charcoal-gray suit, crisp white shirt, and a blue tie. Blue is a calming color, obviously. “Excuse me, Agent Diaz,” he says as he closes the door behind him. “Miss Beckett. Sorry for the late arrival.” He has a pad of paper in his hand, and he reaches for a pen that’s in his front pocket. “Director Sebastian Waite.”

Berlin’s straight-faced manner makes Cesar pause more, enough that he doesn’t get out another question before the entrance of the next man. “Warden, glad you got the message. Must’ve been good timing,” he says by way of greetings, still using the old skool title for Waite’s position. At least in his mind. The agent smiles faintly for the appearance of the other pad and pen.

The smile fades, though, as he turns back to Berlin and clears his throat lightly. “Alright then. Why are you coming to tell us about this alleged criminal activity, Officer?” asks Cesar with a quick renewed scribbling. “Any admission you make could be… pretty damning, you know?” Glancing over to Waite, Cesar exchanges a look shared with those in law enforcement. Criminal confessions could get gnarly.

If Berlin could sit up any straighter, she would when Waite makes his entrance. It's obviously a surprise to her— although after a moment's thought she can understand how complicated a situation she is handing to SESA. "Director," she greets, moving her hands to her lap as she shifts her focus back over to Cesar.

"I understand what I'm doing, Agent Diaz," she says, with some small appreciation for him trying to give her something like an out. She's not taking it, but she appreciates it. There's a glance to Waite, because if Diaz is the good cop, she has to wonder if Waite is going to be the bad cop. His position gives him no small amount of intimidation to leverage, after all. "Why does the why matter?" she asks, attention shifting to the Agent again. "I can't live with the guilt," she says, as if this reason is as good as any other she could name.

Waite meets the look from Cesar, his own expression relatively unreadable, though there’s the slightest of nods from him to the other man.. If he’s the bad cop, it hasn’t come out quite yet. He takes a seat, flipping the top page of the pad over and clicking open the pen.

“The why matters because you aren’t the first person to come to us with a confession, and you won’t be the last. Not all of them are true, not all of them are the whole truth. Motivations matter, Miss Beckett.” However, that’s all he says for the moment, falling silent again and letting Cesar take the reins.

Is he the good cop? Cesar pauses in his note-taking to listen to what Waite has to say in response to Berlin’s burden. As the director is relaying his response, the agent takes that moment to study the woman across from him, not only her appearance but her reaction to Waite’s note.

“In the eyes of the law, it matters,” Cesar adds in reply with a tap of his pen tip on the notepad. “We take all the factors into account, even if they’re not ultimately used. And it’s for your protection as much as ours.” How many potential suspects and convicted criminals have they all faced before, internal motives in question? How many times has Cesar himself had a suspect in custody whose guilt or innocence was revealed simply from a round or two of questioning?

“But, don’t get hung up on that. Go ahead with your own words. What happened?” Cesar shakes off his own thoughts, puts pen to pad and readies.

Berlin looks at Waite, and eyebrow lifting at first, but his explanation gets a more thoughtful expression out of her. But when Cesar gives her the way out, she takes it instead of diving into her own motivations.

"I had a source, they told me there was an Institute scientist hiding in New Jersey. I went to check it out. I went alone because I wasn't sure this source was entirely on the up and up." Which is not Wolfhound standard operating procedure. She lets out a breath, shakier than she would like at the moment. "I spoke to him. It turned out that he'd gotten a deal during the Albany trials. He wasn't hiding out at all. But. He also recognized me." Berlin had her own turn on the stand during those trials, talking about what she remembered from her turn as an Institute labrat. As a child. "From the Arcology. He said he didn't know how I survived. That I was dangerous. I knew too much." She stiffens there, shoulders straightening as she gets to the actual crime. "I had a knife in my boot. He had a gun, but I knew I could have disarmed him. I didn't stop there, though. I got him in the throat." Her expression turns stonier, just like her posture. She tries to steady her breathing, pushing away a more emotional display. "I left, but came back later to cover it up. Burned the evidence. I told myself he deserved it."

Waite meets Berlin’s look without flinching; it’s not particularly a staredown, just a look, but it’s steady. When she starts to talk, though, he looks down again, starting to take notes as well. He doesn’t ask any questions for the moment, still deferring to Cesar for the interrogation portion right now, but something she says makes him frown, and he writes something else down on the pad, then leans back and crosses his legs as he regards her.

The quiet scratching of Cesar’s pen tip fills his end of the questioning, to which anybody trying to look over will see a lot of scribbled lines for fill in the blanks. But from around when Berlin in her testimonial goes in to dangerous and knife, the SESA agent stops in note taking and looks up to the young woman. Focused, calm on the surface, he waits til she reaches a natural end to that story. “So… what you’re saying is you cut the man’s throat. With your knife. While he had a gun in his hand?” His tone remains questioning, skeptical still to a degree, but there’s a sense that he believes her.

"After," Berlin states, "after he had a gun in his hand." Her arms fold as she looks over at Cesar, his lingering skepticism pulling her lips into a frown. "Since then I've learned more about my time there. Things I'd forgotten. And more about myself— like who my mother was. They knew me by the name she gave me, not the name the Ferrymen gave me." Which might explain why she has a legal alias these days. Nathalie LeRoux, presumably, is the name she was born with. "So when it comes to motivation for being here," she says with a nod toward Waite, "I think Clark was right. I am dangerous. I don't want this to happen again. I need… help."

Apparently her idea of help includes the kind the legal system gives to criminals.

Waite looks up from the pad as he’s writing when Berlin mentions the motivation — he did bring it up, after all, didn’t he? — and his expression doesn’t change a whole lot, but he does nod once, before looking down to note something else down on the pad. He looks over at Cesar for a moment then, his lips turning down just a tiny bit, but still he’s quiet, keeping his thoughts to himself for the moment.

Cesar tangles the pen in his knuckles, paused in writing as he studies Berlin frown for frown. Once she lets slip her conclusion, the agent releases the grip on his pen and turns to face Waite briefly. “Any input on this, Director?” he asks, tone serious and faintly chilled in its core. Only the foolish would be unfearful of the Evolved and their powers, he can almost hear his former colleagues discussing back in the years of the war and in the police departments.

“However,” adds Cesar in afterthought, “from what you’ve said, you didn’t use your powers in committing the act. Just your knife. He had a gun. That doesn’t exactly warrant a rating of this situation under SESA’s jurisdiction.” That being said… Cesar eyes Berlin some more. “You also said you disposed of evidence?”

"But I'm evolved," Berlin says, to counter Cesar's point. She glances between them, brow furrowing. She hasn't looked worried thus far, but now she does, like she might worry that the lack of powers and evidence means they might let her go. "I burned everything, but I'm the evidence. What I'm telling you." She looks over at Waite, then back to Cesar. "Pete Varlane. You guys have him— I shot him on our last mission. He only survived because of his power. He'll tell you."

Waite meets the look, and when she mentions the name, even though he’s not speaking, it’s as though there’s a pause. He looks over at Cesar, but that’s all before he looks back down at the notepad, making yet another note. Possibly about Pete Varlane.

"And I'm a hot-blooded, Cuban-Dominican-American man," Cesar counters to Berlin's counter, brows lifting at the young Wolfhound officer with his verbal prodding at her point. "But my point is, that being Expressive doesn't make you more or less predisposed to violent or criminal activity."

The other parts of the confession, on the other hand…

The mention of Pete Varlane being in custody gets little reaction outside of a short clearing of the SESA agent's throat. He sets his pen down, closing the notepad cover over it. Cesar pushes himself up to a stand, still eyeing the woman. "I don't know why you're trying to get yourself deemed dangerous, Beckett," he says after the pause. "At this moment, we're going to have to consider the confession of this act outside of SESA's wheelhouse. But, it'll be enough to do something that'll put you in his." He tilts his head over at Waite, then motions the director away as well.

It's not until outside of the room that Cesar exhales a long sigh. "I can get a team out to the site and have them comb around for what we can find, based off what she'd said. But I think we better kick this up to the MP's. I could put in a call to Major Olson, given that it's one of Wolfhounds trying to turn herself in." Which makes it a sensitive and delicate matter within all their departments, as he recognizes. "A leak out to the public about any of this could jeopardize any sanctioned, current investigations." He sighs, crossing his arms over his chest. "Are your facilities equipped to handle an inmate like this?"

When Cesar motions for him to stand, Waite nods and does so, letting the hand with the notepad fall to his side. He does, however, turn to Berlin, and says, “Thank you, Miss Beckett. You’ve given us a lot to consider.” Maybe surprisingly — or maybe not — his tone is gentle. Not exactly sympathetic, but at the moment, not judgemental, either. He starts out of the room then, letting the door close behind him.

Cesar’s question once they’re there has him looking over his shoulder, his lips pressing a little bit together. “I believe so,” he confirms as he looks back to Cesar. “I hesitate to say I’m sure, because that sort of hubris seems destined to mean that I’m wrong.” The corner of his mouth pulls up a little bit at this, though it’s not exactly amused.

“But I believe so.”

One Hour Later


On any other day, for any other situation, Matthew Olson would have sent a proxy. But today isn’t any other day.

Berlin had been left to herself within the small interrogation room, under flickering fluorescent lights and with not much but metal chairs and a short table to keep her company. When Major Olson opens the door and fills its frame with his tall stature and broad shoulders, it isn’t with a pair of restraints in one hand and a gun in the other. Though he’s dressed for war in a Raytech AEGIS body armor vest, he is armed only with a patient but strained expression. Waite and Cesar aren’t far behind him in the hall, and when Olson steps into the interrogation room, he briefly looks back at them before continuing the rest of the way inside.

“Ms. Beckett,” is Olson’s flat greeting as he approaches the chair opposite of her, pulling it out and tiredly settling down into the seat across from her. “Agent Diaz and Director Waite tell me you came here to confess to a crime…” He sits forward, folding his hands in front of himself and looking up to the aforementioned peers, then back to Berlin. “Ms. Beckett, I’m not here to arrest you.” He glances at them again, then looks back to her. “Neither are they. No one is going to go to jail today… and I need you to understand why that is.” He says, tapping the fingers of his hands down onto the table as if motioning to two discrete objects.

“Agent Diaz here, represents SESA’s interests.Crimes committed by SLC-Expressives and crimes committed against SLC-Expressives. Director Waite here is authorized by the Department of Justice to incarcerate both at the secure facility on Liberty Island, and on a local level up at Rikers.” Olson folds his hands together. “I’m the law within the bounds of the Safe Zone,” comes with a motion to his chest.

“Now, Agent Diaz tells me you killed someone in the Pine Barrens. Former Institute scientist.” Olson exhales a sigh and leans against the slatted back of his chair. “As soon as I got off the phone with Agent Diaz, I put a call in up to your superiors in Wolfhound to see if they could corroborate any of this or if they knew anything about it, which is standard procedure when a PMC is involved in a civilian killing.” Olson looks briefly up to Cesar and Waite, then back to Berlin.

Olson only waits a moment to be sure Berlin is following along before continuing. “I spoke to Commander Epstein, and he informed me that he knew of the incident in question and that it was an information-gathering exercise gone awry. Due to the logistics of law enforcement in a post-war America, we provide PMCs with considerable latitude, especially if they’re under federal contract. What you did happens to fall into a gray area in that legislation, which leaves any and all potential action on Agent Diaz’s side of the fence. Because the Pine Barrens are outside of the 91st’s jurisdiction, and as it was an Expressive-involved incident, it is entirely up to Agent Diaz whether this is followed up on or not.”

Olson’s brows raise, dark eyes assessing Berlin carefully. “If you weren’t a part of a federally contracted PMC, this would be another issue.We’d be having a different conversation. But right now, given all the particulars of this specific alleged crime, it’s Wolfhound that is on the hook for this just as much as you. Your actions while on their payroll for a national bounty hunting contract have zero distinction on active and inactive duty times. You may not have been aware of that, but when your CO say, you represent us, that’s what they mean.”

Breathing in a deep breath, Olson flattens his hands on the table. “Provided you understand all of that… are you still here to confess to a crime?”

Berlin seems to be able to handle sitting in a room alone. She's tense, but not showing signs of any boredom she may or may not be feeling. Given what she's here to talk about, her thoughts probably aren't letting her get around to feeling bored. When the door opens, her gaze flicks over to it, nodding a greeting to Major Olson. She doesn't say a word while he explains the situation to her, but she is obviously paying attention.

Her eyes close when he mentions Avi, her head tilting to one side. The Commander's take on the situation has her looking up toward the ceiling before she looks back to Olson. "It wasn't my intention to bring any negative attention to Wolfhound," she says, words carefully chosen now in a way they weren't when she first got here. "But I understand. And I'm… not here to confess to a crime." Although she doesn't seem particularly happy about it, even though she's being given a reprieve. She looks away, blinking away a telltale wetness from her eyes.

Within the comparatively short wait time of an hour, Cesar had gone over a few more details with Director Waite as they waited for the Major. Remarks made about the nature of the confession, the facts they could establish, and what was to be done in scenarios in which Olson would arrest, or not arrest, Officer Berlin Beckett. Protocols - the military was known for them.

But as he listens to the Major give the rundown of events, Cesar stops in his note-taking and looks sharply up as Olson states the incident is outside of his jurisdiction. That it falls back on SESA to follow up. “Coño,” he can be heard uttering under his breath. The Major’s pointed questioning stirs a degree of unease in the agent. Either way, the paths that lead the credibility for the young Wolfhound were being trampled quite harshly.

“Thank you Major Olson,” Cesar quickly slips in after Berlin retracts her confession. A short glance is sent towards Waite, something of an abject apology for his presence as well. “Given the retraction, we will proceed with standard protocols of a criminal investigation report.” It almost pains him to say it as he comes to realize Berlin’s position, and he adds, nodding slowly in her direction, “You’re… you’re free to go, Officer. Unless you have anything else you wish to discuss at this time.”

Waite watches Olson as the other man speaks, meeting the man’s gaze briefly when he looks over at them, before he nods and turns back to Berlin. His fingers tap against his thigh absently, a little frown on his face, but he doesn’t interrupt, and when she takes back her confession — more or less — he nods again, though he just lets Cesar speak for now, putting himself in the background as he has done for most of this. He does, however, reach into the pocket of his coat for something.

Clearing his throat, Olson slowly rises from his chair and offers a nod of recognition over to Cesar and Waite, then looks back to Berlin. He’s silent for a moment, but his stare is more telling to her than anything, she’s seen Hana give her that look before; not quite judging, but more paternalistic and patient. Then, once he’s sure she’s understood everything a single look canconvey, Olson looks back down to the table and starts to walk away.

Only, he stops after a few paces and looks back at Berlin. “SESA can help with scholastic sponsorships to the Crawford Academy,” he says with a slow bob of his head, “if you have concerns about ability control.” It’s the closest thing to a piece of unsolicited advice he’s willing to give, and the last thing he says before he shows himself out.

Cesar and Waite can handle the rest.

Berlin returns Major Olson's look with a nod. Her expression looks a little blindsided, but she is grateful for him stepping in to safeguard the others in Wolfhound. She starts to stand as she's dismissed, her attention turning to Cesar. "I won't be hard to find, if you need me." For the investigation.

The Major's parting words bring out a defeated look and she glances away for a moment. "Thank you, Major," she says, although she's not convinced her power is the problem. In fact, she's far more convinced that she is. She makes her way to the door, pausing only to take a business card from Waite's fingers as she passes. He gets a nod, too, and a serious look when she meets his eye. "Thank you," she says with a lift of the card.

"I'm sorry for wasting your time," she adds before she turns to leave the interview room. And shortly thereafter, the island itself.

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