Caught Flat-Footed


william_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Caught Flat-Footed
Synopsis Will decides to confront Elisabeth on the information he's been fed by Abby, leaving the possibility of jail time open-ended for the SCOUT officer.
Date January 7, 2009

NYPD Headquarters: Captain William Harvard's Office

The summons to William's office reaches Elisabeth after she gets to work late that morning, and after she's been to court to testify briefly at lunchtime. So it's close to 3:00 before she taps on his door. "You wanted to see me, Captain?" She's wearing court clothes — a light violet blouse, a black skirt, and knee-high black boots with an inch or so in the heels. She looks both professional and feminine — something she rarely allows herself at the precinct.

"Yes. Come in, Liz." William greets, his tone somewhat warm. A smile playing loosely on his lips. Dressed sharply as usual, and looking exhausted as usual, the man is leaning back in his high backed office chair. One leg is tucked under the other, his hand drumming idly on the desk in front of him.

"How are you, Liz?" He asks politely, his brows going up as he considers her and her entrance. "And your partner, Johnson? How are things going there?"

Elisabeth looks puzzled, but smiles at him. "I'm doing fine. Johnson's working out well so far. He had a tip on a possible bomb threat, potentially Evolved-related, that we're checking into. Lotta phone calls, lotta knocking on doors," she comments with a shrug. "What's up?"

"He told me about that." William says quietly, picking up his shiny black pen with his other hand. "Please, Liz. Take a seat." He gestures with his pen to the chairs across from his own. "I hope you two can get to the bottom of it." The Captain says softly, his head leaning back on the chair.

Moving warily now, Liz smooths her skirt beneath her and sits in the chair across from William's desk. Something about this is not boding well. She's silent, though, waiting for him to hit her with it, metaphorically speaking.

"Anyway." It is said quietly, his eyes moving from her to other random points throughout his office. "Just wanted to see how you were doing. We really should have a closer relationship, Liz. Because in this day and age, you never know who you can trust. There's just so many possibilities out there. So many people with bad, no, evil, intentions. Smart people. I think about this.." He trails off, twirling the pen deftly through his fingers. "Trust is most important to us right? Us who are trying to protect everyone else?"

Okay… now she's out and out cautious with him. "What is it you want to know, Will?" She's already set up the meeting with Conrad Wozniak. She did as he asked. "Because you only come at me with the trust issues when I've done something to piss you off," she comments mildly.

"How well do you know Wu-Long?" William asks bluntly, tilting his head. Bringing his hand up, he sets his elbow on the table supporting his head with one hand.

Elisabeth gives him a perfectly sincere, puzzled look. "Wu-Long who?"

William frowns deeply. "Don't play dumb with me, Elisabeth. I'll have you fired and arrested in a heartbeat if you don't start explaining yourself. Honestly, it doesn't look very promising for you right now. How do you know Ethan? And Wu-Long? It's because we're friends that you're not already in a cell. You've been hiding things, that's obvious. I've tried ignoring it. But now I hear you know the names of these terrorists. I need to know everything Elisabeth."

Oh … *fuck*. Elisabeth has no clue what Will knows or doesn't at this point. And she has to make the split-second call on whether to trust him or not. "I don't _know_ them. I know _of_ them," she tells him quietly, her eyes never dropping from his face. "I didn't have names until relatively recently. You said the information I gave you wasn't useful, so … I went looking for more information, better information, so that we could move on them. Wozniak has a disk with him when we meet him, it has a bunch of names and detailed information on it. Some of it I've been told, some I haven't." She shrugs a little. "I haven't hidden that I've continued on the investigation."

"That's all you're going to give me, Elisabeth? We all know that's not all. I don't know who you are anymore, Elisabeth. As far as I know, you're a plant. I should have you in an interrogation room right now. It's against all my better judgement that you're in my office instead. It's because I like you that I'm giving you this chance. So, Liz, here's your chance. Be honest with me, or don't. You know there will be consequences." William says rigidly, steepling his fingers on the desk in front of him.

Sucking in a deep breath, Elisabeth studies the man who is her captain. Her boss. "Look, what do you want me to say?" The silence is fraught with tension, and she finally says, "I have a *ton* of suspicions. I know a lot of rumors, speculation. I have some half-formed ideas of who's doing what out there on the street. I have no proof of anything, and in all honesty…. I don't look too close. I know some people that I know for a fact know some people. And since I have no inkling that they're violent, I don't want to get them into trouble. The assassination attempt on Rickham was not merely thwarted by cops, Will… some of those people who know people were also part of it." She nibbles her lip. "And no," she finally admits softly. "I don't know that I trust you not to run them all in for just trying to help. Of the people that I know, Conrad Wozniak is willing to come forward, to meet you and give you the information that those people out there have — I've seen some of it, and I think it's worth our time. Parkman thinks it's worth HomeSec's time too. I don't know what more you want me to say."

William gives a long sigh as he watches her speak. "If you can't trust me, how can I trust you, Liz?" The Captain asks,sadly. Going to stand up, he brings one hand up to rub at his temples. "I don't know what you're involved in, but you have to realize that the lines you're feeding me is bullshit. You walk around and get suspicions and rumors." The man shakes his head slowly, bringing his hand away from his face. "You're not giving me much option, here, Liz."

Watching him, she says, "Ask me a question, then. What is it you want to know?"

Well this is awkward. What does he want to know. Pausing, he eyes her for a long moment. "Wozniak, Beauchamp, who are they? A band of Evolved trying to be superheroes?" He asks, letting out a small chuckle at himself. "How do they have this information on Ethan, Wu-Long? Tell me what you're not telling me." He insists.

The answers here are prompt. "Abby Beauchamp is exactly what she seems — a young girl, a healer, and a trouble magnet. She tends to be in the wrong place at the wrong time because she rarely turns away people in need. It doesn't matter to her whether they're criminals or cops, if they come seeking her help — GOD'S help, to her mind — she doesn't have the right to refuse. Think of her as the Evolved equivalent of a doctor or EMT — she will almost never turn away someone who needs help. It means people like the psycho terrorist Sylar chase her, among others." She pauses. "Conrad Wozniak is a small-time criminal. Boosts cars, steals wallets, has a rap sheet as long as my arm for small shit, half a dozen of those arrests were even mine. Almost any cop you ask will tell you he's not really dangerous, he's just sort of one of 'those guys'. The ones who get by doing small-time crimes and cons because they don't know what else to do with themselves. He is *also* a guy who hangs out in the right places and knows some people who *are* out to save the world from what they view as injustice. I'm pretty sure his friends are not in the PARIAH category, so far as I've been able to ferret out, but I don't look too deep so far."

There's another pause, and Elisabeth says quietly. "The information on Wu-Long, Ethan, and their associate Sylar? I think it comes from a second- or third-hand source. Again, I haven't looked THAT deep. What I do know from seeing it is that it's credible. I've spoken with Matt Parkman myself about it, and HomeSec believes it to be credible as well. They are a terrorist cell, a small branch of a larger organization, that has global goals. I don't even HAVE all the information. You said what they sent me before was not enough, I went back to Wozniak, and he's supposed to bring more detailed info to the meeting."

"You didn't answer my question." William notes quietly, practically glaring across the desk at her. "I don't know what you think of me, but I'm not that stupid, Elisabeth. You're just as difficult as the girl." He snorts, obviously agitated. "Is whatever you're hiding from me worth going to jail for? Even if it doesn't stick, good luck finding work in another department. Even going back to school teaching will be hard for you to get somebody to take you off the streets. Either you're protecting someone, from me which I do not understand, or you're with them. And I'm not even totally sure who them are."

Elisabeth looks completely confused. "Will… if you want a different answer, then ask the question a different way. I answered what I *thought* you asked me! What do you want to know??"

"Who is Wozniak? Who is Beauchamp? And don't give me just 'contacts' people who hang around the 'rumor mill'. How do they know this shit?!" William asks, crossing the borders of anger now. "People you bump into who hang around the right people. Bullshit! What are you involved with Elisabeth? Tell me now." He slaps the desk to drive home the importance of the final statement.

Elisabeth moves to stand up, facing off with him across the desk. "I don't understand the question. I just told you who each of them *is*. I don't know how the hell they get their information! All I know is that when I was working at the school, they hung around in some places, like the coffee shop near the school, that I hung around in, and I gradually got to know them! Where or how they get their information is a complete mystery to me. I don't ask! They got to know me, too, and we all seemed to have similar views on the Linderman Act. Some of the people I know are Registered, I know that for sure… some weren't. When I told them I was going back to the force, Conrad approached me and said that he knew some people who had a network, they had some information they didn't feel they could actually *sit* on because people were getting killed. Like the kids at my school. So they turned it over to me, hoping I'd bring it to you and that they wouldn't get railroaded to registration in return for the civic-mindedness."

William folds his arms over his chest. "I want a meeting with Wozniak. Just with Wozniak." William states, his gaze going to hers. "And don't even start with me that he won't like it or he will be nervous. I'm sure you can figure out something, Elisabeth." There's a bit of venom in his words. "Just give me the time and place. Go do your job and get out of my office."

Elisabeth shrugs and says, "You already *have* a meet with Wozniak. You don't want me there, fine." She eyes him and says, "I don't know what it is that you think I'm hiding at this point. I've given you everything I know, Will. We're talking about people who blew up a school full of kids and civilians, tried to assassinate Rickham, almost killed me, and now are talking about launching a bioweapon in New York. Believe me when I tell you that I'm not going to cover for these assholes in ANY way. The fact that my friends seem to be able to come up with information we can't? They're giving it to us … what more do you want out of them, or me?"

"The door is right there." William says crisply, leaning back in his chair. His eyes search the room before sticking to the ceiling. "Go do your job, Liz. I'll get back to you later."

January 7th: Scorched Earth Policy
January 7th: Do Not Want
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