Deconstruction, Part I


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Deconstruction, Part I
Synopsis The Company's Investigations team struggles to make ends meet when their lead archivist and assistant director are unexpectedly called out of state to handle an internal matter.
Date June 21, 2010

Fort Hero: Conference Room

The buzz of fluorescent lightbulbs high in the ceiling sounds like the distant buzzing of a disturbed beehive.

It's a difficult sound to drown out with the acoustics of the concrete-walled conference room giving amplification to any scuff, scrape, bump or buzz that happens to take place in it. Only when those wheeled chairs sitting around the large horse-shoe shaped table are moved is the noise harder to hear. The accompanying clack of hard-soled shoes on polished concrete flooring helps, soon joined by the susurrus of conversation and agents of the Company's investigative department settling in for what is surely to be a tense meeting.

Senior Agent Martin Crowley looks put off, and understandably so, slouched in his high-backed chair at what serves as the head of the table, an elbow propped up on the arm of his chair and brow resting in his hand, eyes shut. It's been a long, frustrating day that has culminated with a short-sheeting of the Company's proverbial bed.

That Benjamin Ryans and Corbin Ayers are not present in the room doesn't go without notice. The Assistant Director and head of the archives are instrumental to the running of the investigative department, and their absence leaves a noticable hole in things. But, as they say in theater, the show must go on.

The arrival of Desmond Harper into the partly filled room raises that tension in Crowley, and the look exchanged between the DHS liaison and the investigation department's organizer is a long and silent one. Even as people are still filtering into the room, Harper doesn't move to a seat, but instead comes to stand behind Martin's chair and clear his throat to muster attention.

"Before we get settled in here, I'd just like to explain the absence of assistant director Ryans and agent Ayers." Brows furrowed, Harper looks to agent Rossling as the white-haired man comes walking into the room with his tiny blonde partner — Liza Messer — dogging his heels with a pair of paper coffee cups.

"Ryans has been called in to handle an administrative issue in Seattle's branch of the Company and it's required agent Ayers' presence. Now I don't know how long it's going to take to handle everything out there, but I assure you that we're going to do everything possible to keep running smoothly in the interim." Reaching up to run one hand thorugh his hair, Harper turns his attention to Veronica Sawyer, watching the agent making her way into the room from where she'd lingered in the doorway.

"Now chain of command indicates that Agent Sawyer is going to be in charge until Ryans returns, which means she's running all field assignments until he's back from Seattle. Handling agent Ayers' responsibilities will be agent Grant Fitzpatrick." There's a motion to the grimacing agent still familiarizing himself with data at Martin's end of the table, a laptop in front of him connected to a spaghetti mess of cables and wires.

"Is— Did something bad happen?" Is the concerned question bubbling up from Liza's lips as she carries the two coffies over to a seat beside where Rossling is sitting down. "I mean— didn't Director Bishop leave with Ryans too?" Both of her brows lift up in a worried expression, and as the young agent in training leans over to hand Rossling his coffee, Martin is the one who nods his head in response.

"Aye, s'exactly what's happened. I can't really get into it right now, but it's pretty serious, an' there's not much we could do 'bout it. Ayers will probably be back before Ryans, if I had t'guess, but let's not let it distract us from the work we've got t'do here." Rubbing one hand over his bearded chin, Martin pulls his chair closer to the head of the table, rubbing fingers worriedly over his forehead.

"Crowley couldn't have put it better," Harper notes, folding his hands behind his back, "I'll be observing the meeting in an inobtrusive manner. So, I cede the floor to Martin and ah— do you want me to get the lights?" Harper asks of Crowley as he makes finger flicky motions at the lightswitch. Martin exhales a sharp sigh and nods his head, waving dismissively to Harper.

"What happened out west?" The question is a whisper, coming from Grant Fitzpatrick to his partner Gracie Lee, looking askance at the redhead with a nervous expression. Gracie offers a shake of her head, lips downturned into a frown and fingers tapping on the screen of her blackberry before she looks up to her partner, then over her shoulder at the sound of approaching footsteps.

"I hope I'm not late…" is the coarse voice coming from agent Gael Cruz. Stopping in the doorway Cruz offers a side-long look to Harper as the liaison turns off the fluorescent lights, casting the room into darkness save for the dim illumination or computer screens in front of each agent's seat. Adjusting his glasses, Cruz approaches the seat nearest to Martin, offering a look around the table. "I don't think Desmond remembered to let you know, but in Ryans' absence I'll be filling in as assistant director. Any queries and concerns can be passed directly through me in the meanwhile."

Following on Gael's entrance is the far slimmer and far younger figure of agent Bianca Karina who'se narrow-eyed look to Gael implies something less than fortunate bubbling on the surface of her thoughts. Her glasses catch the light of the computer screen in front of her seat, and when she settles down as far away from Gael as possible at the table wordlessly, she's all but shouting that she's not happy.

Clearing his throat, Martin rubsa on hand tiredly over his forehead and looks down to the screen in front of himself, tapping a few buttons before scooting his chair in. "Alright everyone let's— just try an' get settled in an' do our jobs. We've got two important cases t'review and a gaggle've new faces 'ere. Let's try'n keep things orderly…"

It's going to be a rough couple of weeks, from the looks of it.

Allison has been seated for several minutes. Arriving early to almost everything is a bad habit of hers. She glances over the faces of people one by one as they arrive, and shows no reaction to any of them. In fact, there's no reaction until Cruz mentions being assistant director in Ryan's absence. But even then it's just a soft sigh, before she leans back and prepares to listen. It's what she does best.

Arching a brow at the news she's theoretically in charge as she takes a seat on the other side of Liza, Veronica Sawyer sips her own coffee — she doesn't have a little understudy slash minion to bring coffee for her. Yet. Then Gael announces he is Ryans' replacement, and the mixed feelings show on Veronica's face. That she's not in charge is good — but that she's without a superior she trusts is not. Ayers' absence makes for a double blow, and she just gives a shake of her head as she leans back in the seat. Too many bosses and none she can turn to — Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

Dante quietly shuffles through the papers laid out before him, seeming only mildly interested in the proceedings. But then, that's just how Dante usually is, and when his eyes flick up to the group around the table, it's clear he's listening. How doesn't comment on the changes in management, however temporary, letting that be worked out. He's a grunt, after all. A more mentally focused grunt, but still not on the level of making decisions. Yet. "By the looks of things, there's a lot to cover," he remarks idly as he flips another page, loud enough for his cool tone to carry across the table.

Reshorn, reshaven, resuited up in pinstripes and officially returned over the weekend, Flint almost looks like he might belong here. The gaunt, recently reacquired former crook is already seated and (already) looking nervily restless in the absence of handlers Ryans and Ayers. Veronica's the only familiar face in here he hasn't shot at recently, and the bloodless slate of his stare flicks to her in time for the lights to dim, stamping his irises out eery electric blue in the relative dark.

He's quick to look away again once Martin's addressing what sounds like a start, cheap Bic turned over white in his hands. Somewhat hunched in his seat, the long slope of his jaw already dusted with a sandpapery shadow accumulated over the last 48 hours, he doesn't look excessively comfortable. Or attentive. And when he turns his head enough to skim a skulky look after Gael and then Harper, the uppermost point of an elaborate tattoo bares black ink at the scruff of his neck.

Musical supervisor chairs! Who doesn't love that game? Flora doesn't, she can accept change, but really. Oh well, when you have to go off on urgent assignment, you have to go off on urgent assignment. Folder in front of her and reviewing the information to be displayed, discussed and jibbered about in the room, the cap on the pen she's holding is stuck in the corner of her mouth, being masticated by her molars absently, one perfectly pink manicured nail tapping along the paper. So much to read, so much to discuss! There's a glance to the other faces, unfamiliar and familiar, flashing them toothy grins before going back to masticating and waiting.

Nicolas Ahlgren isn't a usual feature at these meetings, although his work has appeared in the past, one of many technicians who help process evidentiary trails. He walks in at a deliberate, unhurried pace, selecting a likely-looking seat and navigating his way around the table towards it. He carries a small spiral-bound notepad in his right hand, a styrofoam cup in his left. A polite smile is given to those he walks past. Pulling out the chair beside Allison, something… skips: the cup slides out of Ahlgren's hand to glance off the edge of the table, upending its contents on the table, floor, chair, and the woman herself.

Fortunately, it's just water.

"My deepest apologies," Ahlgren says, hastily dropping the notepad on the table — a brief clatter rattling off the walls as it hits. He slides into his chair first, then looks for where the cup has gone to: close enough he can grab it with his right hand. "You are all right, I hope?"

Among the discussion, Dante's eyes don't hold still and the sharp-featured man lets his gaze wander about the room, settling idly on the door a few moments before Ahlgren wanders in. He takes in the sight of the man with his cool demeanor, lightly tapping a finger on the sheets before him. His eyes settle on the cup in his hand, watching with some kind of cool anticipation. And when it spill, he just smiles mildly to himself, flipping a page before him with a light crinkling of flattened and dried wood pulp.

"Agent Lupinetti is right," Martin offers with a pinch of fingers at the bridge of his nose when Ahlgren topples his drink over, "we have a lot to cover and we're short-handed our usual field and intelligence heads, so please bear with me if this meeting seems a bit disjointed." The British supervisor rolls his chair back, then motions to the display screens situated between every two seats. "You'll notice we've gotten a bit of a technology upgrade, we'll be using these personal screens to display pertinent case information so you don't have to keep cranining your neck to look over at the plasma screen…"

Running a hand over his beard, Martin furrows his brows and offers an askance look to Grant to make sure he's ready. The preoccupied agent looks up, feeling the eyes on him and then offers a somewhat hectic nod of his head. "We have two cases to handle today, the first of which was handed to us just a day ago by the NYPD." At that cue, Grant clicks a few keys on his laptop and the facade of a bar in the Bronx is displayed across the networked screens, The O Lounge.

This is where Grant should be getting into the nitty-gritty of the case, details on the victim, details on the evidence found at the scene, things that the agents would be able to use to start formulating a plan. The blue screen that comes up on all the networked screens that declares that a fatal exception OE has occured causes Grant's breath to hitch in the back of his throat and eyes to go wide.

"Oh— Christ— just— just give me a second. I— I apologize this— I'm sorry, sir. Just give me a second…" While Grant is apologizing with frantic quality, Gracie slouches forward in her chair beside him and covers her forehead with one hand, rubbing her fingers over her brow.

It's going to be one of those meetings.

Though it's just water, Allison still jumps in surprise, chair getting scoot back a few inches. She looks down at the splatters of dampness on her clothes and sighs. "Yes, I'm fine. At least it wasn't coffee," she says, before scooting the chair back towards the table. Can't miss a meeting because of a little water, after all.

She looks at the screen, arching a brow at the blue screen, then glancing to Grant, then Martin. Oh yes, it's definitely going to be one of those meetings. She shakes her head and just relaxes back to wait.

Henry has that 'bland and stupid' face on. The sort of expression generally seen on hungover fratboys in advanced calculus classes, laid over keen and genuine curiosity. He's been out of the loop for a little, sent off somewhere shadowy to clean up some unspecified mess. A working vacation, by the remnants of a bad sunburn and a dust-inspired cough he's been sporting. Maybe a little sojourn back in the sandbox. But at the moment, he's sitting rather primly in his chair, doing something intricate and distracting that involves flipping a pen forward and back around his thumb.

The spilling of water gets an amused arch of a brow from Veronica — watching Allison get splashed on apparently earns Ahlgren some points in the brunette agent's book, as she looks up with a grin at the man she's only met in brief passing now and then. Shaking her head at the blue screen, Veronica sits up, as this is the case she, Richards and Karina had handled. "I can talk briefly on what was discovered at that scene, if the forensics team hasn't come up with anything definitive yet, while you get your new technology working, if you like," she offers, glancing at Crowley, then Cruz, questioningly, then leaning back in her seat while waiting for the verdict.

Out of his element, Deckard realizes that they're supposed to be looking at computer screens about the same time as the system seizes. The unholy light in his eyes goes dark just as his screen paints blue down the length of his lupine face and he's left to sit awkwardly for a moment before he leans subtly as he can to see if the fine lady next to him is having the same problem.

His chair creaks (unsubtly) when he leans back again and knits his brows, pen manuevered to poke at a button that looks like it probably adjusts contrast or brightness on his screen. The kind of dumb-faced exploration that should prompt a don't touch that any second now.'

"Paging Steve Jobs. Martin wants to come work for you!" Comes quipped from Flora. "You promise this will work? Cause, you know…" This is an old facility, and maybe there's some faulty wiring. "Where's a technopath when you need one. Oh, you know, I bet that Apple has hired every single one. No wonder they keep shunting out new version of everything" She folds, unfolds her legs beneath the table and leans to the side to regard the blue screen with raised blonde brows.

"Good, very good." Ahlgren sounds quite relieved by Allison's reassurances. He turns his attention back to the table and the screen before him, making no move to recover the notepad that sits in mild disarray just a little off-center from his seat. Nothing to take notes on right now, anyway. His hands, and the disastrously-emptied styrofoam cup, remain folded in his lap, out of sight beneath the table.

Henry speaks right up. "Hey," he says, bluntly, as he rubs at his eyes. It's like he just got off the plane. "I'm sorry to be the drag on this, but, uh….I haven't even been debriefed. Let alone briefed on this. What're we dealing with - what's the situation here?" Man. That accent is pure Midwest.

"The usual, murders, death and all the heavy lifting sitting squarely in front of us," delicately explains agent Rossling with an arch of one silvery brow. "I believe before agent Fitzpatrick had a little accident that we were about to get to the meat of things. You know about as much as the rest of us…" though there's a narrowing of Rossling's eyes at Henry for the fact that he seems more clueless than normal.

"Lay off him, Rossy," Liza comments quietly with a nudge of her elbow to her partner's side. "He just got back from that Tunisia assignment while we had that lull." Brown eyes assess Rossling for a moment, and Liza looks back to Henry with a tiny, impish smile before it's hidden behind her coffee at Rossling's disapproving grumble in the back of his throat.

As if that noise intimidated the computers into working, Grant seems to have rebooted his laptop and gotten his files back in order. "God I'm sorry about that…" he mumbles with a shake of his head, tugging at the collar of his button down shirt before that picture of the O Lounge in the Bronx comes up again, then slide-shows over to the image of a tall brick-faced apartment building.

"Where… was I…" Grant mumbles as he smooths a hand over his mouth, looking down to a PDA in front of him, then over to Gracie who doesn't even look from her Blackberry as she points down to a line on Grant's. "Right, thanks…"

Clearing his throat, Grant switches the slides to show a narrow alley terminating at stairs that leads into an apartment complex, police tape and evidence markers fill the night-time photograph. "At approximately 3:35am the body of Abraham Michael Ritchie was discovered here in this alley entrance to 1522 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard."

There's a switch to a photograph of a deformed human body slouched up against a red brick wall as if at rest, save that he is very clearly dead. The corpse's lips seem to be little more than a horizontal ridge across his face. His arms don't seem to have the right shape beneath the cover of a black suit-jacket: too thick at the elbow. There's also a disturbing thickness to the wrists, on the right caught just above the links of a metal watchband as if his flesh had slipped loose and run down until reaching that constriction. The corpse's hands are half-hidden against his stomach, but enough of one is visible to show the fingers curled rigidly inwards, clawlike in their arrangement, as well as distinctly bluer than the rest of his cooling skin.

"The body was discovered by Shelly Dixon, a resident in the tenement building. Shelly reports not to have seen anything involving the man's death and was questioned by Company agents on-scene. We also found a syringe at the scene…" there's a snap to a new image showing a hypodermic needle with a tiny bit of fluid still inside, "but the lab reports haven't come in yet. Lashira's down there right now I think…"

Furrowing his brows, Grant shakes his head and looks up from the screen, then over to Martin before settling his attention back down on the screens again. "Our victim was a real-estate agent employed with Mount Hope Housing Company, located just a few blocks away from where the body was found at 2003 Walton Ave. Ritchie's apartment is in the same vicinity in a tenement building at 1678 Morris Ave. He was a regular at the O Lounge according to the owner, nobody saw him. We've got some contact info for waitresses that might be able to be questioned which I'll forward to you all after the meeting…"

Slouching back in his chair, Grant looks down at the information and then looks around the table. "The Forensics team we sent in was able to pull some denim fiber from the concrete and Ritchie wasn't wearing jeans. From the scuff marks left by his shoes it's estimated that Ritchie was dragged to where his body was found, implying that the perpetrator likely had a large build or unusual strength. We found glass shards from a broken beer bottle nearby as well, but no one reported hearing a disturbance…"

Looking up to Ahlgren, Grant nods his head. "I'm going to turn this over to Nicholas now, we received a— I don't even know— a similar corpse earlier in the week that he's going to give us some more details on. Lashirah has some considerations about the way both bodies looked to be… manipulated and wanted to put out the info on the second corpse as well, just so we have it out there in case they're related."

Hearing about another body like the one found last night has Allison sitting up a little straighter, her brows arching. It may be a horrifying sight, but it's an interesting horrifying sight. At least to her. So she looks over to Ahlgren, waiting a bit more eagerly now.

"Apparently Ritchie left alone, though he met up with buddies at the lounge. The lack of any neighbors hearing any noise might suggest it was someone he knows — if someone left earlier and was waiting for him but went unnoticed by the bartender because it wasn't out of the ordinary, maybe. Not sure what the motive would be, though," Veronica says. "Or he was just really quickly knocked out — the syringe might have done that. I can't think of what chemical could have done that to the body. My guess is our perp has some sort of ability to manipulate the body tissues. Again, without a motive, I'm not sure for what purpose. The wallet was still on the guy so it wasn't just a mugging."

Deckard's eyes flicker like an old flourecent tube on its last limb, in and out at the table. Various bony feet lie in shoed pairs through the oddly distended corpse and not long after he scuffs blunt nails at his jaw and looks more intently at his screen, a boot toe angled in from Veronica's direction footsies delicately at the inside of Flora's ankle.

Flora's paying attention, listening to the run down of the body found, the state of it and Veronica's suspicions that come with it. Dying in a bar. "Maybe a reaction to a chemical? If the perp could manipulate such. Are there any known allergic reactions that would cause such a thing to happen?" You never know- Hey. Flora looks to the other side of the table, sliding her gaze between the possible perpetrators of the foot fondling. "Maybe they put something in the beer bottle, and our victim drank from it? Falls back to ability to manipulate chemica.. Chemicals"

Prompted by Grant, Ahlgren clears his throat, leaning forward a bit but still leaving his hands under the table. "Yes. The other body — pictures, if you would, Agent Grant? — wasn't human, I should clarify."

The images that come up on the computer screen are of a dog with the rangy look of a feral animal, its breed correspondingly indeterminate. Despite being on a morgue table, it is clearly some ways into decomposition, and has been the subject of scavenging as well. Other images show a close-up of the body cavity, particularly the way the ribs have been flattened and fused together into paired sheets of bone. Another shows the gums peeled back from the carcass' muzzle, where the teeth and jaws have been merged into a nonfunctional unit. "It was found by a cleanup crew in Long Island City, and delivered to a local veterinarian for examination. He refused to handle it and shuffled it onto the NYPD, who passed it to DHS, and thence to us."

The pathologist pauses, drawing in a breath and turning his attention to the larger projector screen. "At best estimate, the dog died before the deep freeze set in, meaning it was under ice for at least a month. The resulting thaw and the multiple hands it passed through means little trace evidence remained. Aside from the obvious skeletal malformations, there was also a substantial amount of restructuring to the muscular, circulatory, and nervous system of the torso, strictly outside the ribcage. Toxicology identified morphine metabolites in its system, indicative of a substiantial perimortem dose, but with the various damages done to the corpse it was impossible to determine ultimate cause of death."

"So, we've got some sort of crazy Evo Doctor Frankenstein, is what you're saying. And….did I miss someone saying yes or nor on this, but was the human vic, Ritchie, Suresh-positive?" Henry cants his head, eyeing that Cronenberg horror of a former canine. "Hell," he says, in a voice still hoarse, as if he'd been shouting. "That looks almost…artistic."

"Blood work came back negative for the SLC," Grant explains with a point of one finger to Henry. "Good thought though, we're still scratching our heads as to what exactly could've done this all. Unfortunately we don't have any bag and tag information on tissue manipulation abilities that could've done something like this."

Shaking his head, Grant looks up to Ahlgren, then over to Veronica. "Evolved Registry and Company records are negative, and we have no prints to go on. I can't help but feel like… I'm missing something really obvious, but I've had my head wrapped around this case for just under 24-hours, so— I'm sorry if I'm not as helpful as Corbin usually is."

Running his tongue over his lips, Martin breathes in deeply then exhales a sigh, looking around the table. "Alright, we have the waitresses to question about Mr.Ritchie and we're waiting on the labs from his corpse and the syringe. Does anyone have any other insights that might be able to help us out here? Grant's right that it feels like we're overlooking something, but I'm not entirely sure as to what."

Flicking her eyes to the screen in front of her, Bianca Karina furrows her brows and pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "I haven't been able to access any previous case logs and without Ayers here we don't have anyone with intimate familiarity to prior cold investigations. Wasn't there something about melting corpses a few years back? Homeless people turning to flesh-soup after running amok?"

"Cherry Cobbler," comes a chirping voice from the doorway where Elle Bishop stands, arms crossed over her chest and one brow kicked up. "Hi kids, how's everyone?" Sauntering into the meeting room, it's clear that Elle wasn't supposed to be here today. "That's what they were calling it, I think the late agent Woods was to blame. But that got solved, actually. Different specifics too, bones got all gooey and liquidy, you're barking up the wrong tree, B."

Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, Bianca stares up at Elle for a moment then offers a look down to the screen, slouching back in her chair. "I… I don't know, then," she defeatedly comments.

Artistic? I can't say I agree there," Allison murmurs as she leans forward to study the image, her brow furrowed. "What if it's the chemical that's done it? I don't know of any drugs that can do this, but when you deal with the evolved, anything is possible. Maybe this perpetrator can alter chemicals, rather than working with living tissue directly.

She looks up and around the table. "Have you seen any other deaths that were odd in any way besides these two? Not the same thing, but odd in any way at all? Because these two are different. Maybe there was a different purpose for each, even if they were done by the same individual."

With a furrow of her brows at the image of the dog, Veronica shakes her head. "Could have been experimentation, could have been self defense or something, though drugs in the dog's system suggests the former," Vernoica murmurs thoughtfully. The word cherry cobbler earns a deeper frown and a sidelong glance over at Deckard before she returns her eyes to the screen.

"Did you test the bottle for DNA? Was it Ritchie's or someone else's? That could be important. Also the denim fiber… is there any skin or hair or fibers other than the denim on it? Denim could match with God knows how many pairs of jeans in the world, but if there's carpet fiber, anything else, that could connect us to something else… How do we not know what's in that syringe yet?"

Oblivious to talk of cherry cobbler as he is sideways looks, Flint has gotten bored with the lack of foot action response and traces his toe carefully up along from ankle to the inside of calf. He's also started to trace the bump and knot of veins across the back of his hand out with his pen, aquiline focus downturned to that task approximately ever since they started talking about art and experimentation.

If Flora could sit up straighter, chin angling dooown a fraction at the foot that's traversing up her leg under the table. Who. The. Fuck. There's a glare thrown Veronica's way, for some reason assuming that it's her who's doing it, followed quickly by a kick of a sharp stiletto'd heel to the offending limb. Only, it's to Flints foot. She's leaving this case to those who have idea's about what the hell it might be happening.

"We only received the corpse yesterday, the lab work is going to take a while. Lashirah's running double duty with the lab team, and even with Ahlgren assisting they can't actually make the lab work process faster. We'll have the details on what was in the victim's body and what was in the syringe as soon as possible, unfortunately that isn't as fast as I'd prefer it." While Martin's answer may not be exactly what is wanted, it's all he has to offer. "The bottle, everything… we're waiting on the results. But as soon as the tests are done, the information will be forwarded to you."

"Squirrels!" Liza suddenly shouts as she bolts up out of her chair, brown eyes wide. For just a moment Rossling is staring up at her with a mixture of embarrassment and horror, mouth agape and brows furrowed, head canted to the side and about to yank her down into her seat before she starts to explain. "No it— sorry." The tiny blonde ducks her head down and looks around the meeting room.

"Montauk park, last year! Don't you remember the case file we got handed?" There's a look down to Rossling, and the silver haired man furrows his brows and shakes his head, then looks askance at Martin before returning his focus to Liza.

"There were like— things that got into the storage facilities here! Weird mutant rat-squirrel things! And there was a body that washed up on the beach right here at the base! Agent Sawyer, weren't you there when it happened? I remember hearing about it when I was going through orientation!"

"The Montauk Monster?" Martin asks with one brow raised, then looks over to Grant then to Flora. "Elisabeth, my dear, you might actually be on to something there. Sawyer," there's a look to Veronica, "Anderson," then a look to Flora, "Do either of you know if that case was ever solved?"

That'd be a big no.

Allison's attention flicks to Liza and she looks almost pleased to hear that there were other weird bodies. It's a possible link, and the more links, the more clues. "I assume that all the bodies, human or otherwise, had a full tox screen done? Was anything unusual present in the corpses?"

Liza's jump has Veronica startled, her hand knocking over her coffee — perhaps due to the discomfiture caused by the discussion of cherry cobbler a few moments ago, and the memory of all the pain of those clones dying in a Chinatown alley. "Shit," Veronica says, picking up a memo pad that hasn't been written on and turning it upside down on the little puddle of coffee to soak up the mess before it makes its way into one of the pieces of electronics.

"The … Montauk thing — the more recent sighting, if you mean the one I saw, I'm pretty sure was all Flora, and 100 percent not real," she tells Liza, shaking a few drops of coffee off her fingers to the floor behind her, and glancing at the blonde across from her. What's with the dirty looks, anyway? She doesn't like Flora, but she doesn't like most people.

"But it's possible that if the original 'monster' wasn't a hoax… it could be connected. Those monkey-squirrel-porcupine things… I don't know. I don't see how they're connected, other than being mutated and weird. That dog, this man, the monster — not so much alive. Unless they were an experiment that succeeded, maybe," she murmurs, glancing back at Liza. "You're thinking it's like some sort of Doctor Moreau or something?"

Neck and shoulders stiff after a jerk of ill-suppressed tension, Deckard's flinch and grunt somehow manages to be more subtle than Veronica's similarly timed (but independently sourced) jolt next to him. Footsie stops so that he can recover, ink-lined left hand pushed up across the side of his face to combat the brutal pain disseminating through his shin.

The fact that the conversation has moved on to cryptozoology makes it marginally easier for him to feign overly intent interest, meanwhile.

Ew. Just. Ew.

"As Agent Sawyer says, the montauk monster that went running around the park, reported to the paper, that was me. a prat for the party, that's all. But there's the strange animals. Mind you, supposedly there was experimention over on plum island, which isn't that far from here" Flora points out, ever so nicely. "Combined with the rumored, supposed, and sometimes true history of the very building we're in…."

"Not to mention there's a whole wing've this place that's got the doors sealed off by concrete up near the labs…" Liza adds with a furrow of her brows, only to get a look from both Martin and Rossling that seems somewhat scrutinizing. To his credit, Harper has something of a poker-face when the concrete-sealed wing of Fort Hero is mentioned, but his curiosity about that oddity seems piqued.

"Unrelated," Martin notes dismissively, clearing his throat. "Company experiments from back when this base was actively used in the 1970s, nothing… relevent." Looking askance to Allison, Martin raised a quizzical brow to Grant after the fact.

"Tox screens are still pending," Grant explains with a grimace, then shakes his head. "We don't have a lot to go on yet with this one, but I'm going to recommend we send agents to check out the victim's residence. I put a stop on the NYPD or DHS from entering the apartment until we got a look at it. Might yield some evidence as to what's going on. Furthermore, the crime scene is still taped off. I'd like to see if Lupinetti could get down there to analyze it as soon as possible and…"

Grant pinches at the bridge of his nose, thoughtfully. "We should have someone question the waitresses who knew him too. I'll post a bulletin on assignments once we're done, but… I guess that moves us on to the second case." Grant's attention flicks over to Martin, and just shakes his head.

"Don't worry," Martin admits, "Agent Anderson," he gestures to Flora, "is covering this one entirely. You're off the hook, for now." Wryly smiling, Martin turns his focus over to Flora and nods his head. "Agent Anderson is currently covering a case revolving around the incident at the Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, and she's going to fill us in on the pertinent details about this new case."

Allison stares for a moment. "Tox screens are still pending from bodies found last year?" she says to Grant. "There are a great many chemicals that disappear completely within hours, much less months," she says, rubbing at her temples as if suddenly getting a headache.

"I was planning on going to the guy's house, based on what the bartender said, that our vic didn't seem to want to go home," Sawyer says, eyes flicking back to Grant with a nod. "But possibly better if someone with forensics goes. We should also do a background check on Ritchie, if it hasn't already been done, but I don't think he backfired on himself." She turns her attention to Flora to wait for the information, eyes darting to Dante and then Isabella, aware of their recent medical issues, before returning.

\It's her turn, spotlight on her. Flora preens for a few moments, looking to Grant apologetically. "No powerpoint for you, sorry. Didn't know I needed to make one" Flora stands, flipping open the folder and pulling out a bunch of glossy pictures, some taken by people at the scene, a few that Lashirah managed to get for her of the pair who three of the people present will at least recognize, though different places.

"Blood Robbery, get your vampire jokes out of the way right now" A flip of her blonde hair over shoulder, they're spread out evenly, followed by a dossier with a drivers license picture of the male of the pair. "On June tenth, at approximately four in the afternoon, while agents Lupinetti and Dawson, Doctor Richards and myself were visiting the Coler-Goldwater Hospital, they stumbled into a pair of individuals who were attempting to relieve the hospital of it's blood stores"

Flora runs her tongue over her front teeth, gesturing to the face shots caught on camera. "There was an attempt to apprehend them that resulted in the firing of a weapon at a security guard before they teleported out. Within half a minute or less afterwards, all individuals within a fifty foot radius were complaining of chest pains, dizziness, fainting, and promptly blacked out. It's surmised that one of the individuals is a teleporter, but which one, we don't know."

She taps the male visage. "His name is Jacob Stack, no priors, identified through the DMV. It seems, that this is not their first time doing this, surveillance has them caught at three other locations over the past six months. We have no positive identification on the female with him but her age and gender matches the records for a sibling he has by the name of Mary-Anne Stack. St. Lukes…" She rattles off a few other hospitals large and small in the New York area.

"It's not the teleportation that's quirky, that's straight up enough. It's that all the blood in that particular room, post altercation was unusable. Lashirah posits that the teleporter, probably tried to take the blood with them and failed"

"I've done some research on this case prior to finding out Ayers got shipped off to Seattle for a few days," Grant offers as he speaks up. "I've gone thorugh the Company's database and looked into the specifics that Lashirah gave us for the effects on the blood. Lashirah's screens show some really weird things that I don't think teleportation alone can account for. I cross-referenced botched telportations with the Company's database and didn't pull up anything that matched, but what I did find that seems to best fit our evidence is something called hemokinesis. Or, layman's language, blood manipulation."

Clicking away at the keys on his laptop, Grant brings up some information related to the blood on the screens. "All of the blood bags that were taken remained sealed, yet some of them had the blood types changed from what is on the bag, others were— impoissibly— mixed blood types, and some had been clotted to an unusual degree while others were just at half volume. There was no unusual effects on the plastic of the bags either or anything else in the vicinity. Combining this with Agent Lupinetti and agent Dawson's mild anemia they suffered, it's possible we're looking at one of the siblings being a hemokinetic."

Chiming up beside Grant, agent Lee finally speaks out for the first time during the meeting. " From reviewing the footage taken at Coler-Goldwater, I'm only considering one real line of possibilities. One that these crimes are out of necessity, for what I'm not certain, but the lack of priors on either of the youths, the consistant theft of just blood, and the premeditated nature of the robberies to indicate a marked urgency. The pattern between robberies, with the earliest before the Coler-Goldwater robbery being on February 25th and at similar intervals prior seems to indicate chronic need."

"Now," Lee slants her head to the side, red hair falling over one eye. "This could mean that they're being contracted for their work, but given their backgrounds they seem more likely to be personally motivated. I'd recommend a check on other family members, fathers, uncles, aunts, grantparents. Someone who may be on dialysis and unable to receive normal medical attention. Neither of the Stacks have a medical background, so that also implies a potential third party."

Motioning with one hand vaguely in the air beside his head, Martin doesn't take his attention off the screens as he off-handedly adds. "I've already taken the liberties of putting eyes on the street to look for these two. Nothing's come up yet, local law enforcement has been alerted as well. Hopefully something will come up, but I wouldn't hold your breath."

There's a faint grimace when the blood incident is brought up, and Allison absently rubs at her chest. But she says nothing more right now, just nods and listens.

Veronica leans forward to view the pictures laid out, then settles back in her seat. "So we can count on them needing it again when based on the pattern, would you say? We could put agents at the most likely spots, and also warn local law enforcement to cover where we can't, see if we can catch them that way. I'm assuming the addresses that the DMV and any other accounts connected to their names are vacated, if we haven't already rounded them up and put them in custody?"

"I had the cops sniff out the last listed address on the license. Nothing, it's long been rented out a few times. Theres no other address and nothing from the IRS. Seems Mister Stack hasn't been paying taxes. Last place of employment was a garage out in Pleasantville New York. I was going to see if lupinetti and dawson want to head on out to check out his work place and see if they knew of any other places of residence."

Her nose wrinkles oh so delicately at the mention of patterns. "Every few weeks it seems, though there was a long gap, between the last and this recent one. Either the person was too leave alone since they seem to work in the pair only, or the snow hindered them. I mean… They teleport out only. Camera's catch them going in, but teleporting out"

"Then we're probably jus' about due," Martin comments, folding his hands together. "With the ability to teleport around, the fact that they're constraining themselves to New York hospitals seems suspicious, either the teleporter's range is limited or there's something else going on. I'm going to alert the NYPD tp keep some uniforms on the local hospitals in the New York Metropolitan area in case they show back up, meanwhile I'm going to agree that sending Lupinetti and Dawson down to check on the old job's a perfect idea."

Scrubbing at his beard, Martin's brows furrow slightly. "Sawyer, you mentioned that Agent Hanson from DHS had a rivate investigator on the case I had you working on? The serial killings?" Furrowing his brows together, Martin makes a motion to the brunette. "See if we can get a hold of her, I'd like to see if we can put her to use on both cases. Checking out that alleyway in the Bronx and the last known residence of the Stacks, we might not find anything in the latter but I'll be damned sure if we could get the former."

Glancing to Martin, Grant nods his head. "Nakano, Rebecca Nakano. She used to work NYPD forensics I think, I didn't know she was moonlighting as a PI now, good for her. If you can get her to assist, Sawyer, that could help us out a lot."

Nodding in agreement to Grant, Martin looks over to Deckard for a moment, brows furrowed as he only now notices how abjectly silent the agent has been, then looks up and over to Flora. "Did you have any areas you wanted checked out in regards to this case?"

Dark eyes glance up at Martin's direct order, and Sawyer gives a nod, first to him, and then to Grant. "I'll look into it," she says, pulling out her Blackberry to type in the name as a reminder, since the memo pad she might have scribbled it on is now a sodden, soggy mess.

"If I think of anything, I'll be sure to bring it up and keep everyone informed" Flora too looks over at Deckard, eyeballing him, a pointed look at him and then to below the table. "Considering they failed to get any blood? I'm certain that it will be soon, very soon"

"Alright then I think I've had enough of this comedy of errors…" Martin grumbles as he leans back in his chair, rubbing his hands over his face. "Hopefully Ryans and Ayers will be back by the next time we have to conveine like this. Agent Lee will have a posting up shortly on your assignments and as soon as Lashirah's lab work is done I'll forward that information along to you." Eager to get up out of his chair, Martin pushes up to stand, offering an askance look to agent Harper who lifts one brow, flashing a toothy smile and a wave.

"You know, I think despite everything, you all worked together about as well as I could've expected." There's something of a backhanded compliment there form Harper, but when Martin rises, Harper does too, folding his hands together behind his back. When Martin opens his mouth to begin to say the words that would close off the meeting, Harper leaps in and says it just ahead of him, leaving Martin stumbling over the words;

"Meeting adjourned."

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