Double Draw


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Scene Title Double Draw
Synopsis Isaac Faulkner turns to a member of New York's Finest for some insight into a curious situation.
Date February 15, 2021

Linderman Building: Isaac Faulkner's Office

It's a long elevator ride up from the ground floor of the Linderman Building to the top floor.

The first few floors are the slowest; the elevator is constantly stopping to pick up someone or let someone else off — visitors, or employees, or the occasional stone-faced Federal agent. As the elevator goes up, the traffic diminishes. Fewer visitors have business higher up in the building, and the few employees still getting on and off the elevators are both better dressed and more driven-looking. The number of agents boarding doesn't change.

Finally, though, finally the elevator reaches its destination: the top floor. Isaac Faulkner's office.

A well-dressed secretary sits behind a desk, talking on the phone; as the elevator door opens, she hangs up, turning to face the elevator.

Abigail can count a dozen times that she’s met Isaac and almost all of them if not in fact all of them have had to do with when she’s been on her husband’s arm for some Linderman function. Her job and her husband’s job tend to not cross paths. She’s just Mrs. Muldoon with her smile, a fancy dress and laughing at something that James Muldoon has spoken.

So when asked to come to the top, top, top floor of the Linderman Group, it’s a touch puzzling, but she goes. Dark blue skirt, button down and blazer with low heels and a soft blue peacoat, Muldoon’s wife - Detective Muldoon - is exiting the elevator and approaching that secretary at the desk.

“Good afternoon” The sweet drawl has never left her. “Abigail Muldoon, here to see Senator Faulkner, I believe I have an appointment.” She offers up to the gatekeeper.

The secretary nods, offering a pleasant smile. "Yes, one moment…" she says, pressing a button. "Senator Faulkner, Mrs. Muldoon is here to see you."

The response is immediate. "Excellent!" Then, for a moment, silence… until the door swings open. Isaac is standing there, clad in a sharply cut charcoal suit, a white shirt, and a navy blue tie. "Mrs. Muldoon. Thank you for coming," he says with a smile, stepping back and pulling the door open wide. "Please, come in."

The office beyond the door is impressive — an oversized space rendered in polished black marble, darkly gleaming and immaculate. The view through the tinted floor-length windows at the back of the office is impressive, and the midday light coming through those windows makes the tiny veins of gold in the marble gleam softly.

A heavy desk of the same black marble sits in the center of the room, several folders on top of it; a leather rolling chair sits behind it, while a pair of comfortable-looking stationary chairs sit in front of it. In one corner of the room, a grandfather clock ticks quietly; a small potted plant sits in another, and several expensive looking bottles of liquor sit pristinely on a ledge along one wall. These few touches of color and life serve only to highlight the darkness of the decor, the emptiness of the space… and the grand view through those windows.

“Thank you so much.” Abigail states to the secretary. The enthusiasm that Isaac replies with doesn’t go without notice and she turns her head toward the door when it opens and the senator is there. “Senator Faulkner.” Moving forward when indicated and passing him and into the office. Not some place she’s ever been, but James has spoken of it before. “Your office view is much better than mine.” She turns though, offering her hand out to him to shake, her own grip firm. “James told me the view was stunning, but I don’t think that his words have ever or would ever do it justice. I hope that the day finds you well, Senator. Though I confess, I’m a little confused why you’ve asked me here. Normally I only see you at parties.”

"It's a grand view," Faulkner agrees, closing the door behind Mrs. Muldoon. He takes the proffered hand and gives it a firm, business-like shake. Then, as he lets go of her hand, his gaze slips over to those windows. "Watching the city is an idle pleasure of mine, when I have a spare moment. It's a reminder, at times… though of precisely what depends on my state of mind," he says, glancing back to Abigail with a hint of a grin.

Ah, but to business. "As to why I've asked you here… Well. I'm hoping you could clear something up for me — a recent incident I've heard tell of," he says, a more serious expression coming over him.

"Have a seat, if you would," he says, gesturing to the chairs on the near side of the desk. "Would you like some water? Something stronger? I won't have it said that I'm remiss in my duties as host," he says with a hint of wry humor.

“My apologies, Senator.” Confusion flits across her face as she retracts her hand once the niceties and social customs are done. “I didn’t realize this was a visit in an official capacity with regards to my job. I’m unsure whether I’ll be able to actually provide you with any official answers that I might have if it’s an ongoing investigation, you understand. At least not without my Captain’s say so.” Apologetic and sincere in the tone as she moves to take up a seat indicated. “And I’ve never seen you remiss in your host duties and I doubt I ever would. How can I help you Senator Faulkner?” With legs crossed at the ankle and bent just a little to the left, curiosity on her face as she can’t really figure out what case she’s working on that he’d be personally interested in.

Isaac takes that as a no on the offer of refreshment and nods, taking his own seat as he listens to Abigail's words; he mulls that over, considering for a moment.

"That's fair," he says. "Let me say, then, that I'm not interested in official answers here; as you've pointed out, there are official channels for that." There are also unofficial channels, which tend to run much faster; Isaac is familiar with those, as well. "All that I want here — off the record — is your story. Your… perspective. If there is anything you don't feel comfortable in answering, then that's fine."

He takes a breath. "I've heard that you've had a run-in with a certain wayward employee of mine, Asami Tetsuzan."

“Miss Tetsuzan.” That would be why her husband's boss had requested a meeting with her. There’s a quick glance around the room as if worried about recording devices and the like, then back to Isaac. “Detective Ashford-Khan and I have indeed come across your… former?” The word spoken like she’s unsure given his word choice. “Employee. She is currently on the run and wanted by the authorities on many charges. We came across her at a crime scene and pursued her ‘til we had an opportunity to engage her. But ultimately in the altercation, we were unable to bring her in. I apologize if you were hoping that we could bring her in sooner. We are doing our best to locate her within our resources. Unfortunately, she’s not my case. It was… an opportunistic moment. Those happen from time to time in my line of work, Senator.”

Lips press together and brows crimp in an apologetic expression. “One of my bullets does seem to have hit her but there’s been no reports of her showing up at any of the hospitals and no ability to track her further. But I am confident that she will be brought in to answer to the charges made against her so that she and her lawyers can prove her innocence or guilt in a court of law.” One hand through the conversation, has balled into a fist and now rests in her other palm as if unconsciously hiding the… anger that the white knuckles likely betray.

Isaac is silent. "When she is brought in," he says, "She will face trial in a court of law," he says quietly, his voice firm, his expression intent. "For my part, I very much want to see her brought in sooner, rather than later, so she can face that trial. For that reason, the Linderman Group is cooperating fully with federal authorities."

"That is my official position, and that of the Group. And unofficially, Mrs. Muldoon," he says, his eyes piercing, "Unofficially, all of that goes double. I keep my ear to the ground, and I've been hearing things that very deeply concern me." He regards Abigail for a moment, observing her — that clenched fist held in her other hand. "Did she attack you?" he asks quietly.

“Unfortunately yes. The injury was nothing more than light bruising lasting a few hours and was gone before James could see it. I haven’t told him since I didn’t feel like he needed to be worried about my job more than the spouse of an officer usually is” There’s protective vests after all, hanging up in their walk in closet. “Did she display this aggression when working for you senator? By all accounts that I can see, she was a relatively model employee.”

Isaac is silent for a moment, just regarding her with that piercing gaze.

"No," he says lightly, moving a pen from one spot on his desk to another. "No, she showed no signs of this… aggression… before the incident. She was, in fact, a fencing instructor — I'd wager if you were to check hospital records for injuries related to her class, you'd come up with a very small number." Now he looks back to Abigail. "Possibly zero. Ms. Tetsuzan's self-discipline, her desire to help others… these were the qualities I would say best characterized her during her tenure with us."

He exhales… and then he looks back to Abigail, that sharpness in his gaze again. "After the incident, however. That's a different story. You're not the only one she's attacked, Mrs. Muldoon, nor the only one to have had an… opportunistic encounter with her," he says, grimacing. "So please. Tell me everything. Every detail, no matter how far-fetched it may seem. Bringing in someone with her… abilities… is a formidable task."

“Senator… Did she attack you as well?” She’s regarding him closer now as if searching for some sign of injury or the like.

Isaac hesitates, regarding Mrs. Muldoon critically for a moment… then he sighs. His office is regularly swept for bugs, so he should be able to talk freely; as much as he doesn't like discussing this, fair is fair. "She did." He shakes his head. "And others. But there's more to it than that," he says, and now his expression turns grim.

"Have you ever heard of a Justice Quinn?"

“Don’t believe so” Abby answers. “I presume that’s a judge” A safe assumption at the moment. “Did you have any lasting injuries from your altercation? Do you need to file or amend a report Senator?” Concern now flickering to life on her face. “We can do so discreetly to ensure as little chance as possible of the incident leaking to the press”

Isaac frowns. "No," he answers distractedly to both. "Well, nevermind that, then, for the moment. And no. There are no… lasting injuries from the altercation," he says, with a twist of bitter amusement. Lasting injuries are not a thing he has any particular concern about, given the givens.

He takes a deep breath. "Let's move on. She attacked you. I presume it was…" he raises his hands to his temples. "Here, based on what I've seen previously, possibly accompanied by rants about fixing your brain." He pauses, frowning. "She dragged me through some glass… but you mentioned bruising, not lacerations. Tell me about the attack," he says, frowning. Then, remembering himself, he adds, "Please."

She looks hesitant. She looks very hesitant. Then wets her lips. “She begged us to let her fix us. I shot at her. It stopped her for all of-” She looks around the room again before dropping her voice lower. “It did nothing. She just.. one bullet hit her at least but then she just grabbed it outta herself Senator. Then she just ran at me. I screamed, my partner was… occupied. I told her I have children and begged her not to kill me. I thought she was going to kill me. Who takes a clip of bullets and just… lives” She can count on one hand the amount of times she had to draw her gun in defense and actually shoot.

“She grabbed me by the face, she was so strong. I thought she was going to break bones. Then she let go, was very scared.” This, was not in the report.

Isaac frowns, his expression intent; there's a lot to unpack there, and none of it is good. Strong enough to bruise… strong enough that a police officer estimates her able to break bone with her bare hands… no. To crush a skull, given the location of the attack. There's something there, a half-formed association that he can't quite grasp… but there's something else catches his attention, too.

"Thank you for that," Faulkner says quietly, nodding. "You say… she… pulled the bullet out of herself," he says slowly. "The wound. Did you happen to notice if she was still bleeding? Or did the wound heal?"

“She stuck her hand in herself like it was some episode of the x-files Senator and just pulled it out. Like just…. put her hand in her guts and pulled it out and then rest just… fell. I didn’t get much of a chance to see. There was blood but she ran. She called us tools and ran saying that my partner needed me. Isa was screaming and on her knees. Senator-” Abby uncross the ankles, shifting to the edge of her seat. “I… am I having a mental break? Because people don’t fly or just move their limbs through their body. Or -glow- like their bones are on fire”

"No," Isaac says, his voice firm. He considers for a moment — "No, you are not," he says. "Mrs. Muldoon, several of her victims so far have exhibited… something. Flight. Fire. Enhanced strength." The moving limbs through their body, though… that's a new one. As is glowing like her bones are on fire.

"I'm trying to figure out some way to stop Asami — to bring her in, before she loses it entirely. Because what you're describing… it seems like she's getting more violent, not less, and the longer this goes on, the more likely it is that this will end badly. Asami is…" he hesitates, and there's a flicker of something pained on his face; he looks down, at the surface of his desk. "Asami was a friend, before all of this. The least I can do is try to see that she's brought in alive. To try to stop her from hurting anyone else, because the Asami I knew wouldn't have wanted that."

Isaac looks back to Abigail now. "If you don't want to answer this next question, I'll understand, but… the more I know, the more likely it is that I'll be able to do something. To coordinate some kind of response, before someone gets seriously hurt."

"Did you exhibit any kind of… new ability? After Asami… 'fixed' you?"

“James doesn’t know” Abby states, firmly.

"And I see no problem keeping it that way," Isaac says smoothly. "As far as I'm concerned, what is said in this office is between you and I."

There’s still hesitation. He can see it on her face. She’s a good cop. Internal affairs loves her (normally) because she keeps her nose clean. Because she can’t lie worth shit. Her heart is on her sleeve and written on her face.

“I make her normal.” Abby tries to explain it as best she can. “I’m… a black hole? She was horrified by my partner, but it was me that she was afraid of and she couldn’t run fast enough I think. I think, I make anyone who she’s… turned into a tool, normal. I can feel it in my bones and I just know.”

Isaac's eyes widen. For a moment — just a moment — he's no better a liar than she is, and what he's feeling is written on his face as plain as day.

It's hope.

He raises a hand to his mouth, taking a deep breath, then lets it out. "That's… that's the best news I've heard since this mess started," he says, taking a breath and visibly working to compose himself. "If… if you can do that… we might be able to stop her. To capture her, before she strikes again." Because without powers, she is just Asami Tetsuzan, and she can be stopped.

But… but there's something else there, isn't there? "You said… Asami had been horrified by your partner?" It seems safe to assume Asami had fixed her as well… but that it hadn't turned out quite as she'd hoped. "What about her?"

“Her bones glow. I couldn’t begin to fathom what that meant other than it scared Asami. It stopped after Asami attacked me. So whatever it is, so long as I’m near her, it doesn’t happen.” Her tongue runs on the underside of her upper teeth. “If it will help, I’ll help. But she’s probably going to avoid me at all costs.” She regards him again. ‘You?”

"Her… bones glow?" Isaac asks. The first thing that pops to mind when he thinks that is x-rays, which —

"Don't say you're sorry. You're not. I know bullshit when I hear it; Congress, remember? And don't pretend you give two shits what it is you forced on me. It wouldn't have mattered to you if I'd ended up being able to call locusts, or with lava for blood, or killing everyone around me with radiation. The only thing you care about is your fix."


Oh God, no. No, that can't be. Surely not. He'd just been talking shit, off the top of his head. Something like that can't actually happen. It's impossible, why the fuck would someone have an ability like that, it's —

"Get a Geiger counter," Isaac says, the words coming quickly; for all that he's trying to look composed, he can't quite hide the tightness at the corners of his eyes. "Look, maybe… hah… maybe I'm off base, but you say glowing bones and I think of x-ray machines, and that makes me think of, uh, radioactivity. So, uh… get a Geiger counter. Just… run it over wherever she's been. Just. Just in case. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Immediately. We can laugh about it."

"But if I'm right… that needs to be caught as soon as possible," Isaac says, eyes wide. "Cancer is… a terrible way to die. I've seen it up close."

“Senator…” The words come out incredulous. Laughing somewhat. “I don’t have access to a geiger counter. I’m just a detective. You can’t just go buy those in Home Depot.” She points out. But glowing bones and radioactivity. There’s a serious look of concern on her face. “My partner is chernobyl? You’re saying she’s radioactive?”

"I don't know, Mrs. Muldoon. But glowing bones doesn't suggest anything good, and if Asami reacted with outright horror I think there's a reason." He rubs at his head. "Maybe I'm jumping to worst-case scenarios. I do that, occasionally. But it's not really that much crazier than someone reaching through themselves or crushing skulls with their bare hands."

Isaac stands up, beginning to pace, and this version of the Senator probably seems more in line with the one James has spoken of. "I know that Geiger counters were included in old fallout shelters; you might see if there's one at the precinct, tucked away in a basement or something. Failing that, they might actually have them at Home Depot — I know that radon gas is, or was, a homeowner's concern. If they don't have them on hand, they might at least be able to point you in the right direction. If you're unable to secure one through either of those avenues, let me know and I'll try to source one."

He pauses, looking back to Abigail, and musters a strained smile. "I know that this is a lot, but I want you to know: you've already been a huge help. I've been… trying to figure out a way to stop her ever since this started, and you're the closest thing I've found to an answer. So… thank you, Mrs. Muldoon. Hopefully together, we'll be able to make a difference."

“Actually, there might, in the police station. Or the fire station at least. With emergency preparedness. Or the fire station. Or maybe amazon.” Amazon has everything. You can buy… well you can buy nearly everything off amazon. “Might take a day or two.” She looks at him again though. “You avoided the question.” And she imitates what he did with is hand, only toward him. “I told you mine, only fair you tell me yours.”

"Hm?" Isaac asks, frowning. His eyes narrow as he thinks back.

"Oh. Right," he says, hitting upon the question. "Yes, I was… distracted," he admits, one shoulder rising in a faint shrug. He takes a deep breath, then nods. "That's fair. I'll ask the same discretion of you that I've offered for your gift, though — namely that what I am about to tell you does not leave this office," he says, regarding Abigail sternly for a moment.

Then he lets out a slow breath. "I can heal. Myself, mostly. Others, sometimes. It is… not easy. From what you've said, my ability seems much more finicky than yours."

“Well…” Well that’s interesting. “It would seem we’re useful tools at least.” She inhales deeply then exhales. “More useful than radiation or…” Or whatever else the woman had been doing. She falls silent, introspective and quiet. “Why you. Why me and Isa? What made us… broken in the first place and why did she need to fix us? I’m pretty sure she didn’t fix Isa. She made her even more.. Broken. I don’t have the most stable of partners as is. Probably why they put me with her.” For that matter. “I hope that this will not reflect poorly on my husband.”

Isaac's gaze sharpens. "We are not broken," he says firmly, his gaze intent and unblinking. "Whatever she is, she is not God, Mrs. Muldoon. Whatever she may or may not think… it isn't for her to decide whether or not we are broken, or whether we are tools. That comes down to us."

And yet, looking at what he's doing, comparing who he'd been before and the person he is now, at this very moment… he can't help but wonder for a moment if there might have been some truth to Asami's claim, after all. If he hadn't been broken, before.

Isaac closes his eyes and lets out a slow breath; he'll worry about it after Asami has been stopped. He musters a smile. "Rest assured, you have done nothing to reflect poorly on your husband, or on yourself. I thank you for your time, Mrs. Muldoon. If you could leave me a contact number, it would be appreciated; I'll be in touch should we find a lead on Asami. If you find out anything about Isa's… condition… I would appreciate it if you would let me know that, as well."

“No one is God. There’s only one God.” Abby retorts perhaps a little sharply. The little cross that hangs off a gold chain around her neck is a piece that rarely if ever, comes off her neck. “I don’t think I’m broken. I think… I think she’s crazy. I think something has happened to her and I don’t know what she’s done, and I would like it go back to normal so I’m not babysitting my partner outside of work hours.” But his words are the kind that start to get spoken when a meeting is wrapping up and Abby pushes herself up to stand. “I’ll see what I can do about a geiger counter senator. I think I know where to get one now.” Hands smooth down her skirt and straighten things. “I’ll leave my contact information with your secretary, or you can always just call Robert and he can get a message to me. Is there anything else Senator?”

"Just so," Isaac agrees, nodding. He isn't much for religion, personally, but it seems like it's something Mrs. Muldoon puts a great deal of stock in; that's a useful thing to know. "No. I have nothing else for the moment; thank you again for coming, Mrs. Muldoon."

“I’ll see myself out then.” She offers a nod of her head to him as she makes for the door, opening them and closing behind her so she can stop at the secretary’s desk and offer up the requested information for Isaac. Then it’s a long, long elevator ride down that will leave her very quiet, very thoughtful, and more than a little worried.

Faulkner nods, settling into his seat once more, and for a long moment he just sits there, hands steepled in front of his mouth as he thinks. Finally, he moves, reaching for his phone and punching in a number. "Doris? Yes. Sorry to add to your plate, but I need you to look into something for me. I need you to find out everything you can about a Detective Isa Khan — Abigail Muldoon's partner. Don't be too overt about it, but grease the usual palms; anything you can find out about her." He nods at whatever is said in response, giving a tired smile. "Thanks, Doris. You're a saint." He presses the button to terminate that call, and after that, silence reigns over Isaac Faulkner's office for a long while.

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