Clear Cut


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Scene Title Clear Cut
Synopsis Elisabeth and Myron discuss the details of their investigation, and start knocking on doors to get some answers.
Date March 13, 2009


Brooklyn is located on the westernmost point of Long Island and shares its only land boundary with Queens. The East river borders and defines the borough's northern coast, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan beach are to the south, and the Narrows separate it from Staten Island to the southwest.

Downtown Brooklyn is one of the NYC's largest business districts. Between the Bridge and Prospect Park, brownstones, townhouses, and high-end restaurants are dominant. The culturally diverse communities of Williamsburg and Greenpoint are snugged against the East River to the far north. Close by are far more criminally active neighborhoods such as Brownsville, Crown Heights, and Bushwick. Regardless of the social situation, the so-called Borough of Neighborhoods is packed to the gills in post-bomb NYC.

The windshield wipers in his car squeak.

It's really annoying.

"…so apparently Grimes has this idea in his head that he's going to lure Case out of hiding wth bogus story about his sister being found alive and in a coma in some hospital." Driving, as is his demand whenever he's partnered, Richard Myron doesn't lose his gruff conversational tone even when trying to pay attention to the road. "Kid's got a good head on his shoulders. I mean, s'cold thing to do, but hey," Myron cracks a smile, one hand moving in a fluid motion to turn on his left directional, "sounds like it might work, if Case really has visited his sister's grave marker recently."

Friday, March 13th. — 7:33pm

Myron's beat-up old car turns right onto Church Ave, a narrow and pot-hole riddled street flanked on either side by brick-faced buildings with plywood boarded windows spraypainted with forclosed in large red paint. The rain has been hammering New York since Thursday, it's the sacrifice required of having unseasonably warm weather for this time of year. And Myron's windshield wipers squeak.

Day 23

"So, off the books," Myron turns to look over at the blonde in his passenger seat, resting both hands atop the peeling and cracked leather of his steering wheel, "wha'd you think about this Tyler kid? I've heard a lot of funny things swingin' around the few a'us who're on this case… and," Myron's eyes flick back to the rain slicked street and the red glow of brake lights up ahead, "I dunno what to make of it. It's all…" old, tired eyes narrow as Myron slows down, sighing between his words, "I dunno, it's complicated, ain't it?"

As she rides with Myron, Elisabeth looks out the window. The squeaky windshield wipers don't seem to bother her…. but then again, it's good practice for tuning out specific sounds with her ability while still carrying on a conversation. "The only thing that I'm finding complicated at this point is figuring out how to find the damn kid," Elisabeth comments.

"Based on all the evidence we've got so far, Myron, it looks to me like a pretty clear-cut case of self-defense and/or a power out of control because he's being terrorized. Neither of which are offenses he should be arrested for." She looks to him. "The basic storyline I've got in my head based on the facts we've got on hand are that he crossed the Triad somehow, and they came calling to collect. He got scared, lost it, Chang Ye got caught in the middle…. and it's just escalated from there."

"Clear cut…" Myron echoes as he stares out the windshield at the tail lights of the van stopped in traffic, "You got yourself a nice and loose definition of clear cut, Harrison." There's a gruff, chuckling laugh that erupts from Myron as the old detective shakes his head. "Self defense is one thing, roasting a guy inside out? We can't pin any Triad connections on that poor bastard, all we got is Case on the scene and a corpse. Even then, there ain't no laws saying whether or not them Evolved powers are legal implements, considering Case ain't registered."

The van finally begins driving again, and Myron's old clunker of a car starts shuddering forward again, hitting a four inch deep pothole with a clunk and a rocking of the old car. "What we got is an unregistered Evolved kid who's killed two people — self defense or not the DA is going to have a fuckin' field day with this when it goes to trial. The public ain't gonna care if he was using whatever mojo he's got to fight Godzilla," Myron slows, despite the van in front of him driving off, and flicks his directional on again, turning into an open and empty parking lot of a single-floor brick building. "They're gonna see red, and Case is gonna' be lucky if he spends the rest a'his natural life behind bars, if you're askin' me."

The car rolls into the lot, driving clear through four parking spaces to come to a stop at an angle across two spaces, parked out front of a building with barred windows and doors. The sign above the building reads, Barber's Pawn: Gold, Jewelry & Guns. Myron leans forward, resting his forearms on his steering wheel as his eyes flick over to Elisabeth.

"Ain't nothin' really clear cut these days, if you ask me."

Nothing clear-cut is certainly true enough. "What I have, Myron, is a witness statement that said Case owed money, and another witness statement from Deckard before he got busted out of custody that said he'd seen Asian guys with their hands all over a bound Tyler Case. Based on the forensics, it's looking more and more like this kid has an Evolved ability to pull out other people's latent Evolved talents or something. And whether it's in his control or not, so far as *I* can tell, the kid's used it against two Triad people and a Homeland Security agent in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was being grabbed by the Jolly Boys."

She shrugs. "It seems reasonably clear-cut to me at this point. The part that's not clear-cut is why the kid keeps RUNNING if it's self-defense. Unless it's just that he's that scared of being an Evolved — which it's not like the suicide rate hasn't skyrocketed lately over that exact issue." Liz shakes her head. "My big issue, honestly, is that the kid's probably never even going to GET a trial. No one who's been shipped off by DHS has gotten a trial, Myron, you noticed?" She sighs. "So on that note, if it WAS self-defense, it sucks shit that we gotta pick this kid up and let Homeland take him." She shrugs and looks at him. "Clear-cut? You're right….. ain't nothin' clear-cut these days."

Myron sighs, heavily, "Can't say I've been keepin' up on all their trials." He looks towards the front door of the pawn shop through the windshield, "He's a kid who killed somebody, he's runnin' because he's scared. In all my years on the force, ain't nothin' about scared kids changed, even in this Brave New World a'ours." He leans back and opens the driver's side door, letting a wall of rain and the sound of it pattering on the parking lot become far louder background noise. "We ain't got an easy job, Liz. Either we pick him up and he disappears, or we leave him out there and he kills somebody else, or hell, himself." The car creaks as Myron's weight shifts to move out of the car, "Either way we only got two choices — do it, or quit." He sounds like he's someone who's considered the latter more than once.

Closing the door, Myron is quick to walk under the awning of the pawn shop, towards the door with the prominently displayed neon sign that reads, Sorry, we are closed. Cantankerous and stubborn, Myron just slams one hand on the door while reaching for his badge with the other. "NYPD!" He shouts to the man visible between the bars, seated with his back to the door, just shoulders and a mop of black hair.

As she gets out of the car, Elisabeth actually says quietly, "Well, I quit once. It didn't take. Now … I just hope I do more good than harm, Myron." She slams her side of the car shut and jogs for the awning as well. She jumps when Myron yells. "Oh geez, Myron, you didn't think just knocking might do the trick?" she asks mildly. She peers in the window to get a better look inside. Why's the guy sitting with his back to the door, she wonders with a frown.

"This is Brooklyn, I loved here for sixteen years, ain't nobody who runs a pawn shop gonna answer a door when somebody's knockin', not in this neighborhood." It takes another knock to actually get the guy off of his feet, moving up and out of his seat, and his silhouette was clearly blocking a small television seated on a table behind the counter. When he moves, he snatches a baseball bat from by the glass case filled with watches, and moves over to the door. Spotting Elisabeth and Myron, he stops about halfway from the door, then shakes his head and begins walking again.

Unlocking the door, he cracks it open, "Hey, something I can help you with…" Gray eyes focus on Myron's badge, "Officers?" He's easily in his mid thirties, a receding hairline giving way to snaking coils of curly black hair down to his shoulders, where a faded black t-shirt stretches over what might have at one time been a muscled frame, now having given way to the weight of age and one too many bears around his midsection.

Elisabeth doesn't bother to flash her badge when Myron does it, but she does speak up now. "Are you James Barber?" she asks him mildly. "We need to ask you a few questions about a call made from your store the other day. Can we come in?"

"Motherf— " James cuts himself off, running one hand over his forehead and through his hair. Myron casts a sidelong glance to Liz, cracking a smile before James begins speaking again. "Man I thought that was, you know, an anonymous tip line…" He turns away from the door, setting the bat by a shelf containing DVD players and VCRs. "Yeah, come on…" His body language screams defeat and frustration as he makes his way back to the glass case on the far end of the shop.

Myron manages a lopsided smile and motions towards the door after pushing it open, "Ladies first," he cracks, letting Liz move in first while he takes one last scan of the parking lot before moving in and closing the door behind himself. The digital chime of an electronic bell rings out when both move into the shop and the door closes.

James turns around, resting back against the glass case, folding his arms and staring down at the floor. "That kid's got himself in a fucking boatload of trouble, doesn't he?"

"You could call it that, yes, sir," Elisabeth says quietly. "If you know where he is, things'd go a lot easier on him if he turns himself in. Right now, the facts of the situation are looking pretty decent for him — but the longer he runs, the more it looks like he's guilty of murder, not self-defense." She watches the man carefully. "People are dead, and we need a full explanation, Mr. Barber. He's the only one who can give it to us."

"Murder?" James' bearded jaw nearly falls off of his face, "Jesus /fuck, Ty," he murmurs those words into his palm as it smooths over his mouth. James immediately moves off from the glass case, pacing back and forth as his eyes wander the pawn shop. Myron grows quiet, somewhat mimicing James' movements as he begins to wander the pawn shop, looking at the electronics on the far shelves, as if just here and browsing, he's letting the fairer sex have their way with James to see how it goes, now that he's battered down the gate, as it were.

"Tyler's— I don't know where he is." Shaking his head, James looks up with tired eyes towards Elisabeth, then away to the floor. "I used to date his sister, Libby, before— " his head shakes again, and he runs his fingers thorugh his hair, "murder Jesus Christ."

Picking up a car stereo from one of the shelves, Myron turns it around in his hands and looks at something on the back, then on the underside as James continues to talk, unaware of the detective's actions. "I haven't seen him in two years, I— I figured he might've died, like Lib." Finally coming to rest, leaning against the front door of the pawn shop, eltting his head rest against the glass with a soft thump. "Some cops came by here a couple'a weeks ago asking for him, that was how I found out he wasn't dead. They flashed a photograph of 'em, I told 'em I hadn't seen him…"

Cops? No one has come out here asking about Tyler Case at all, Elisabeth shoudl know, she's been reading this case log inside and out for weeks trying to piece it together.

There's an instant frown on Elisabeth's face. "Did you catch names on these officers?" she asks calmly. "I'll check their reports too. In the meantime, Mr. Barber…. Your tip said he might be staying out here. Do you have some ideas on where he might hole up? Somewhere he'd feel safe enough to go to ground if he were in trouble?" She walks with Barber and says, "I know the situation sounds bad, but I honestly think it's not as bad as it may seem for him. He needs some help, and he really needs to tell us what happened. I don't think he really meant for any of this to go on."

Myron sets down the radio, watching Liz and James from a distance. He's quiet when he moves around behind the glass counter, moving to the table where James was sitting before getting up. With his back to Myron, it allows the detective a few minutes to rifle thorugh James' mail, picking through newspapers and paperwork, looking back and forth from that to James's slouched form leaning against the front door.

"Names? I— I dunno, they were both Korean or something, I— I've got a lot going on I didn't really think to ask. They were plainclothes officers," his head thunks softly against the door again.

"Tyler came by here last night, wanted to sell some stuff…" His voice tenses for a moment, "He ah— he said he owed some money to the Chinese mafia, and they've got some thugs lookin' for him." James finally begins to shift away from the door, but by now Myron has moved out from behind the glass case, back over by the shelves, as if not even paying attention to their conversation.

"He didn't have a car, he walked here. I dunno, Ty's not the more fit kid in the world, I can't see him walkin' across the city for a pawn, right?" James runs both of his hands through his hair, tangling his fingers in the dark locks before breathing out a sigh. "I— he needs help, I dunno he— I ain't never seen him so scared before. He just— I got pissed at him when I found out he was gambling again and… I told him to leave before I called the cops."

From the sounds of it, James regrets calling. "Ty ain't got anybody. His family's all dead, nobody's gonna miss him. He's had a really bad lot in life, y'know? I dunno where he's staying…"

Well, maybe there's the information that's been missing — that Tyler was gambling in the Triad's games. His link to them has always been a question mark. Whether that's what's actually happening, well…. only bringing him in will answer that. "He does need help, Mr. Barber. More than you know. And I want to help him. But I can't do that unless I can find him. Did he have any friends around here he might rely on, people he might go to besides yourself that might help him out of a jam? Anyplace in particular he used to hang out? Anything you can tell me at all about his favorite haunts and people who might know would be helpful."

She looks entirely sympathetic. "I think Tyler got seriously in over his head. These guys gunning for him… one of them got killed when they went after him. I'd really *like* to help Tyler get away from them, and get him the help he needs." She lets Myron be the Snoop while she deals with Barber. She can see he's not just meandering.

Pacing around the pawn shop, James looks like he's racking his brain, brows creased as he tries to piece together something that might be able to help. "Like I said, I ain't seen him in two years. He used to hang out at the Mahjong parlors down in Chinatown, his sister got him into it. Libby was big up with the Triads, I think she was dating one of them before she got spooked and bailed, I met her 'round that time."

James scratches at his beard, then looks up to Liz sharply, "There was— " his head tilts to the side, "Ty used to hang out with this guy who lived on Canal Street, owns some kind've antiques store or something, old guy ah… fuck what was his name…"

"Claremont?" Finally, Myron chimes in, looking up from a CD rack, sliding one back in where he got it, "Guy who owns Jitettsu?" James' focus shifts immediately over to Myroin, snapping his fingers and pointing at the detective.

"That's the guy, kinda' looks like a dirty Santa. Yeah, yeah that's the place, Ty used to be fucking obsessed with swords and shit, he had a part time job down there. If he had anybody he could call a friend, it'd be Claremont."

Looking back to Liz, James folds his arms and frowns, "Ty's a good kid, he really is… he's just— mixed up. He needs help, he really does… just, I don't wanna' see him get locked up for this. He doesn't deserve that, you know? He deserves a chance."

Liz listens as the men talk borough-specific information here, but she nods to Barber. "Yeah, Mr. Barber, he does. If I can find him before he gets his fool self killed by the Triad or by some gung-ho cop who thinks he's a murderer, I'm hoping to get him that chance. The information you've got is helping, though."

She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a card. "Do me a favor, though?" She writes her cell number on the back of the card, along with Ivanov's just because she knows it by heart and doesn't know Kay's or Grimes's or Myron's — if Myron even has one. "~If any other cops come by, don't talk to them — not plainclothes or uniformed — until you talk to me, okay?~ I'm trying to consolidate all our information in one place, to try to make sure we're not all stepping on each other out here, you know? ~So if anyone else comes asking, refer them to me and just don't answer any questions.~ I think most everyone knows by now that we're the ones working the case, but eh….. it's kinda crazy out here these days, right?"

She offers him a grin and her card. She laces the instruction heavily with that hypnotic suggestion; though she can't force it, she hopes his desire to protect Tyler will come into play here. "~And if Tyler shows up again? Call one of those numbers as soon as you can.~ The sooner we get him off the streets, the safer from the Triad he'll be."

James glances from the card, to Liz, and then to Myron. He just nods with a faint smile, tucking the card in the back pocket of his jeans, "Yeah, yeah I will, hey — thanks for… you know, not just being out for blood. Tyler's a good kid, but I know how hard you cops work."

Myron affords James a plaintive smile, not quite reaching his eyes, and makes his way for the door. "C'mon, Harrison," Myron grumbles out, striding towards the front door.

"We're goin' Antiquing."

March 13th: How Could We Not

Previously in this storyline…
No Rest For The Non-Wicked

Next in this storyline…
Your Hubris Is Showing

March 13th: Your Hubris Is Showing
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