Discussing The Dwarf


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Scene Title Discussing The Dwarf
Synopsis Len attends one of Cat's lectures at the Suresh Center.
Date August 31, 2009

Suresh Center

It started at 09:00. Cat arrived a few minutes before that, clad in a business suit with skirt and heels, carrying a briefcase with a variety of things in it. She opened it on the front of the classroom chosen for the seminar, set out some notepads and a pen, and watched as others made their way in for the discussion.

Precisely at the top of that hour she addressed the gathering. "Good morning… As usual at these sessions, we're here to discuss law and the ethics of using extrahuman abilities…" And over the next ninety minutes there's just that. Opinions are exchanged on the merits of using existing law to deal with abilities used in crimes, the possibility of committing persons in open court much the same way mentally ill patients are now when persons prove unable or unwilling to control their gifts, and the mechanics of applying search and seizure rules to such things as telepathy.

During the opening, Len Denton filled out a little card subscribing to the Suresh Center's mailing list and gets periodic emails on when speakers will be presented. When he heard that Cat was giving a lecture, and more specifically what the topic was he decided to venture in and have himself a listen. Having been held up at Fort Hero longer than he expected this morning, he arrives 45 minutes late, and promptly takes a seat in the back of the room.

He makes some notes on a pad. She does have his full attention at the moment, even to the point where he's ignored the insistent vibrations of his PDA as it vibrates against his belt where only the man sitting next to him can hear. Different points in her presentation take on different types of scribbling. Some were just touched on, while others required extentive writing and page turning to a new piece of paper. While not the more incognito person in the room, his height does nothing to shelter him.

She spots him, it's impossible not to, but the tall dark man in the hat isn't given any more attention than others present. Cat too takes notes, perhaps a notable thing in itself; putting on the impression she actually needs to write anything down at all. It's an open exchange, people are free to ask questions and voice opinions as they feel the need, the only limit being recognition after signaling for the floor to prevent discussion from becoming disorderly.

It would seem the overall purpose she has in this is to secure opinions from various sources, hear ideas bounced around on these issues full of thorns. After all, for example, how does law enforcement make information gained by telepathic means with a search warrant admissible in court? How does a person whom telepathy is used on without consent go about pressing charges for rape? Notably, that one parallels the difficulties in prosecuting physical rape. One's word against another, most of the time.

As heated as some of the discussion has been, it has also been rather tame in comparison to some discussions on these same topics. Len can tell when something is starting to wind down. Talking about telepaths and postcogs and precogs testifying in court is something he could be interested in, if someone decides to start allowing their testimonies. His voice is loud as he interjects into the conversation. "I think you plan to use information from a telepath in order to gain an arrest of a suspect, then most definitely a warrant would be required." Heads begin to turn to the back of the room. "I mean, a telepath would be considered a listening device, or am I incorrect?" He's not the lawyer, even if he is law enforcement.

"That's correct, sir," Cat replies evenly. "It's covered by the fourth amendment, search and seizure. The standard rules on that should apply. Using telepathy in that regard is entering a person's private space just the same as a home or other location would be. But it's also trickier: there'd be no physical evidence secured in many cases, although a person could be induced to think of said physical evidence and where it can be found. In other cases, telepathy might secure the memory of a crime someone committed, and this brings in the fifth amendment. Prohibition of being compelled to witness against onself."

"Seems to me that using a telepath would be breaking all sorts of rules, now don't it?" Because, Lord knows, we wouldn't want anyone to incriminate themselves. Len grins as he responds to her statement with another question. It's not like he's any stranger to breaking rules to get what he wants. It just comes along with what he does for a living. "Seems to me that a confession is a confession, whether it's thought or spoken."

"As stated, it's tricky. Not so easily solved. If a person were brought in to be questioned and told there were a telepath present, thus having the opportunity to demand that person be removed, a confession thus secured could stand up. Allowing the telepath to remain could be called waiving the right to remain silent. But if the telepath's presence wasn't known, things are different."

There's something in Cat which enjoys the discussion. It's why she does this: to brain out practical ways of addressing such points for publishing in the fashion of the Federalist Papers.

"That brings up someting else that's kinda tricky about it. Who's going to validate the telepath? Make sure he or she is telling the truth? Plenty to be concerned about when you're talking about hearing things no one else can." Len leans back in his chair looking rather comfortable. "Don't mean to hold up the discussion, but wanted to through my two cents in there somewhere." He offers a charming smile towards the front.

"That would work like most other cases of one person's word against another before the jury," Cat replies, "except in those where physical evidence is uncovered which backs it up. Nothing is perfect, certainly, but the law can and will apply to cases involving advanced abilities. Our task is figuring out how, and it's always good to bring in multiple viewpoints." She makes a few more notes, and glances at a clock. 10:30.

"Unfortunately time's run out for us this morning, ladies and gentlemen. My next session is at six this evening. Please, do enjoy your day." And as people begin to make their exits she remains, slowly pulling items together and placing them in the briefcase. She appears approachable.

That's mighty convenient, and even tempting as Len allows most of those on his side of the room to access the aisle before he stands and makes his way towards the front. He doesn't step near the podium but remains near the front row of seats. "I almost didn't recognize you without your ballcap." he says as he tucks his notepad under his arm.

"It's effective when I need it, Agent Denton," Cat replies dryly when he steps up. "Last Friday night was quite the event. It was such a shame you couldn't stay." She takes a pause spreading across a few seconds before remarking "Those affairs bring out the most interesting people. Like the bald man you made look like a dwarf."

"And here I thought he was a dwarf. I just didn't want to hurt his feelings. Some dwarves are sensitive about that sort of thing." Len might jest about Emile Danko, but he knows the man is not a joke. "Seems that Mr. Dwarf has been causing quite a few problems for some folks I know. I thought I might take it upon myself to see what I can do about that."

"He and his associates demonstrated rather effectively it can never be assumed any one of them is alone when they appear to be," Cat remarks, "and have an impressive array of military armaments. I have photos of him and another of his variety which might soon be where you can obtain them. Not that it's so hard to pull up the website of a man who owns a Hyundai dealership in Tarrytown, NY and see a photo of the proprietor."

"I found some other things of interest about Mr. Dwarf in my inquiries," she adds. "It's a curiosity I have, about the source of his hatred. Where did it come from? Sometimes people just naturally have it from fear, other times things happen which fan the flames and produce such a man. It causes them to forget there are people just as psychopathic and murderous, or reckless and incompetent, without abilities and sparks vendetta against an entire class of person."

Considering the stack of paperwork that Minea Dahl provided Len, it would not surprise him in the least that the sources might be similiar. "I have stacks of information on him, but all official records with nothing that really tells me why. What I do have is an unyielding desire to squash him before he gets even more out of control."

"What I'm looking for are like-minded individuals. Because what I'm planning, has to be off the books, which means I can't use my typical resources. So I'm having to be just a little creative." Len watches her for a moment. "Whatever differences of opinion you and I might have, I have a feeling they pale in comparison to how we feel about our friend the dwarf."

"Mr. Dwarf wants to kill me and people like me just because we breathe the air," Cat remarks. "I'm not inclined to hide what I learn about him and his associates. I rather like not dying. That said, he and his deserve trials if they're not killed while resisting capture. Even the Nazis got trials, after all. I don't particularly plan to engage these persons in direct action, we lack the resources for that. But if they come at us, we'll defend and escape. Survive. Eyes are open, ears are to the ground."

Len nods as he looks like he's about ready to head out. "Well, defend if that's what you do best. Unfortunately, I'm tired of always responding after the fact. Time to find the mouth to the dragon's cave and walk in with gun's blazing, if I can say that and not sound too cliche considering what I dress like on a daily basis." Len walks backwards up the stairs. "If you come across anyone looking to go on the offensive rather than to just play defense.." Len reaches into his pocket and places a card down on the first desk next to the aisle. "I can be reached. And by the way, I agree with quite a bit of what you were saying. Unfortunately, we haven't quite gotten to the point where it's applicable. Maybe someday. Enjoy the rest of your day." Len says with a grin as he starts up the stairs.

As he turns, Cat speaks quietly. "I'd like to arrange a cash purchase."

That stops Len. He turns around an inquisitive look on his face. "Cash purchase?"

"There are certain chemical compounds," Cat replies. "It would be advantageous to buy some."

Either Len is awfully good at pretending to be dumb, or he's not entirely certain what she's talking about. And with Len, it could be either. "And you think I'm in possession of this chemical compound?"

"It's likely you have access to it," Cat replies. "It makes an effective treatment for certain conditions." She says nothing more, he'll either be willing to sell a supply or he won't. If he won't, it just means she doesn't get what she already doesn't have.

"What is it? And what do you intend to use it for?" There's just a tad more caution to Len's voice now and he starts back down the stairs towards her.

"It's a suppressant, for someone who wishes to be suppressed," Cat answers dryly.

Oh. That one. "They're not for sale, I'm afraid." However, seems to be the word that could come next if Len's inflection is any indication. "As I said, I could use a few bodies who might be interested in dwarf hunting. Pass it along to your folks and if you have anyone who wants to help out, I might be able to assist you in what you're looking for. All I'm asking is for you to ask them."

"Considering what happened to her, I would be surprised if you didn't have at least a couple who would be interested in living out their World of Warcraft fantasies. Promise me you'll ask, I'll see to it you get a supply." It's obvious that someone needs help, so he's more than willing, but he also knows he's not going to do this thing he's doing by himself.

"I'll ask, sir," Cat replies. "Do enjoy your day." She closes the briefcase and begins to make her own way out of the classroom. She may be able to drum up a person or two whether they're in the organization or not.

Len watches her walk up stairs and disappear from the room. It occurs to him to wonder if perhaps the temperature in Hell has dropped significantly in the last few minutes.

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