Everyone Is Guilty


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Scene Title Everyone is Guilty
Synopsis Russo summons his producer and the PI to have a brief meeting to touch base.
Date December 18, 2010

Studio K — Russo's Office

Meetings are meant to be had in offices. Which is likely why Bradley Russo summoned both his producer and the private investigator to his office. It's already dark outside thanks to the abysmal mood lighting through old man winter, but the window is open, permitting the entrance of streetlight into the office.

After his meeting with Nicole, Brad had been left feeling unusually pessimistic about the state of the world and feeling undeniably uneasy with the Heller situation. His dark wash jeans and army green sweater give him an unusually relaxed appearance for this office, but his tightly knit eyebrows, tensed jaw, and pursed lips tell a different story. There's nothing relaxed about this meeting, not even with the pre-supplied coffee.

He forces a smile that comes out as a grimace, "I'm inclined to believe the wall execution isn't an isolated event? He's looking for other evolveds. Unless the ones he's searching for were involved with the incident… my contact and I think two were." His lips press tightly together.

Dirk had been shocked and confused when the boss came in on a Saturday. It had reeled his system. This is the one day he was supposed to have to himself, but alas, a pseudo-meeting was called and here he is… shy one scooter (which was sadly confiscated sniff) and plus one writing pad. He scribbles a note down before eyeing his boss…. the question is simple, unspoken, but obvious: should he really be here?

Rainmayr had arrived punctual by at least 15 minutes, as usual. He is wearing dark wash distressed jeans, white Hanes v-neck shirt under his thick leather jacket. His sunglasses are in his upper pocket today and he looks grieved at the news. "I don't see how this is possible. I've set up a meeting with him later this month to discuss things. Are you saying my life is in danger should I go to this meeting?" He shakes his head as he grabs his coffee and sits down in the stiff backed chair.

"The information I found doesn't build him out to be that type of person at all." He sighs. "His service record is exceptional, and includes a significant period of time spent in Iraq during the Iraq War. He's received the Bronze Star Medal, the Silver Star, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, among others. You are trying to tell me a -war hero- is perpetrating crimes against Evolveds?" He shakes his head and rubs his forehead slowly.

Kristen is sitting primly with her right leg hooked over her left knee, bouncing the booted foot aimlessly as she listens to Russo. A slow slide of her eyes toward Dirk when he gawks at her is enough to convey that yes, she should be here. If he ever wants to see his scooter alive again. After all, Kristen shouldn't have to take her own notes; she's the numero uno, the top banana, the big kahuna… she could get a sore wrist and that wouldn't do anyone any good.

"That pretty much matches what I found too. Exemplary record, yadda yadda… I just have a very hard time believing that anyone is so clean. There isn't even a public drunkeness incident in college on his record, no one is that spotless." Snapping her fingers to Dirk, she prompts him to fill in something for her, as though he shares a brain. If he does, the entire studio is in trouble. "Dirk, I need you to get a hold of Redbird. See if they have other means to dig for information, see if they can get access to that garage too."

Russo's head shakes firmly, he's unaware as to whether the record can be believed, "I don't know. This Heller thing— he's looking into people and legally he can pull it off. But it's fishy." Brad's eyes turn up towards the ceiling as his head shakes, "He's poking around asking about people. And the way we were ushered out of that parking garage… I'm not inclined to believe he's simply trying to figure out the truth about the whole thing— even if some of the people he's looking for are witnesses. But I don't think there's imminent danger to you Mister Rainmayr if you can be… discrete with your intentions towards him."

Russo shifts in his seat, "My contact felt threatened. K and I felt threatened. And even if this man is clean, something is wrong. I can feel it." He smirks at the turn of phrase as his head shakes, "Look. Isn't it possible it's not Heller either? I mean, I don't know much about abilities, but f people can be made to believe things, can't people assume someone else's identity?"

Dirk sighs heavily and then nods, "Aye aye mon Captaine! Mes amis! Mon cheri!" Then, as if on cue with all of the glares he receives, Dirk clamps his mouth shut and shrugs his shoulders, "I'll get in touch with Peyton Whitney again."

Rainmayr looks right at Kristen. "Then you didn't look deep enough." He mentions. "He's separated from his wife, who at one point placed a restraining order on him twelve years ago, which was eventually dropped. He attended a series of AA meetings for about two years around the same time his wife asked for the restraining order." He frowns. "He does not seem, at least, the type of person to murder civilians in cold blood. There has to be a reason. A method to the madness." He takes a sip of his coffee.

He nods to Russo. "To be honest, I set up a meeting with the simple request of clearing his public name and got booked in. I don't think the man is guilty but I will need a face to face discussion before I can give you his true intentions. Though I want some back up." He mentions. "I need someone good with tech to help me become wired with a wireless transceiver. One that downloads our conversation onto a server and should anything happen to me… transmits that conversation to other computers and IPs."

Like a sonar honing in on a certain frequency, Kristen's head swivels in Rainmayr's direction and stares at him intently as he speaks. "Restraining order… For what and why was it dropped? What state and county was that in? That'll be a matter of public record, wouldn't it?" Her eyebrow ticks up at the P.I.'s speculation on the man's guilt and innocence and her trademark smirk makes itself known to the room. Even Dirk sinks lower into his seat, like that math guy trying not to be seen by the T-Rex.

"Mister Rainmayr, everyone is guilty of something. It's just a matter of finding out what. If he didn't order the execution and cover up, who did? If it's just a matter of martial law, why the cover up? Why is he looking for these evolved people? Are they terrorists? If yes, are they on a watch list?" Without looking at Dirk, she snaps her fingers again and he quickly begins scribbling down everything she's said.

"The man's wife got a restraining order," Russo repeats. "Was she registered evolved? What do we know about her?" There's a new skepticism about the Colonel surfacing within the television host. His arms gross over his chest as he nods at Kristen's questions.

"Alright so maybe he wouldn't murder civilians, but what if he didn't see them as people? I hate to say it, Mister Rainmayr, for reasons beyond present company but not everyone thinks of all people as people." Brad leans forward, allowing his elbows to rest on his knees. "I also… I need you to find someone Mister Rainmayr if you can. And if you can't, I'll use my resources for it."

Rainmayr's eyes narrow and he sighs. "I've been looking, K." He says simply. "I will find out all the information you request. You said his record is spotless. I just proved to you it was not. I am going to meet with him and discuss this and question him myself with those very questions." He mentions simply. "Also, I resent the fact you thing everyone is guilty. Research me. My record on the force is spotless. No speeding tickets. No charges. Nothing. The only thing I could be considered guilty on… I didn't take the bullet for my dead partner." He shakes his head. "Not everyone is guilty, K." He stands up slowly and sips the coffee.

His eyes travel over the office as he thinks some more. "If I use statistics, he was an alcoholic, thus the AA." He talks this through. "He hit his wife in anger. She put up a restraining order. He was forced to AA. She dropped it when she saw her husband return though she would never feel safe around him again and they are separated." He looks to Russo. "I will find out more about her and about what really happened." He nods his head. "Sure, I'll find someone for you." He frowns a little. "He doesn't seem like a killer. I'll put it that way. I know military brats…I know cop brats…They might carry the gun but it doesn't mean they will fire it."

Rainmayr moves towards where Russo is. "Keep in mind, I'm looking into this man's life… This is a breach of personal space to a man that you can't even prove was there… considering the parking garage is torn down and the men at the base say it's because the supports were unstable. I don't think he is covering it but I think someone in the military is…"

"If he was at the massacre and knows what happened then he's part of a cover up. He's my number on on the cover up angle simply because he's the highest man on the totem pole that we've been able to track so far…. Not including the President, but that's a whole different can of worms." The fact that the parking garage was torn down? That gets a very low vee inset into her elfin features and her lips purse into an unhappy line.

"I haven't been out to Staten Island since that day, I'll need to do some digging into the hospital records to find witnesses.." Looking over at Russo, she raises her eyebrows again and her face smooths to an impassive and quite statuesque expression. "Maybe we should look into getting Ivanov on the show, what do you think? He didn't seem opposed to the idea before and he was pretty interested in what we found until Heller came on the scene. Why don't we put a little worm into his brain about what's wrong with the picture?"

Russo pushes up against his legs, straightening his posture to better meet Rainmayr's gaze. "Fine. Maybe he's not guilty, but that day— when we went to the parking garage— he was trying to cover it up. I swear he was! He gave us his name, told us we were on private property, and insisted we leave." His jaw tightens at Kristen's words, but Brad nods, "Yeah, Ivanov would be good to get on. We need to draw attention to this. Not so much that we endanger ourselves, but enough that the man— or whoever is responsible— knows they can't just get away with this without someone noticing."

"I need to find Lexington Lane. She's one of the witnesses, presumably part of that makeshift triage centre he talked about. She needs to be put into safety somehow. Is this even a possibility?"

Rainmayr's jaw clenches as he listens and he shakes his head. He takes out a little note pad and writes the name down. "I'll find her." He speaks seriously. Then his blue eyes lift to look at both Russo and K. "I want you to listen to me… listen well…" He puts the note pad into his pocket. "You start shining light on a situation for which no proof exists… you start pointing fingers and you'll end up a joke on the airwaves and the one who is responsible… will kill you and cover over the murders."

The PI moves towards the exit. "Do not start broadcasting this… If Heller is attempting to cover things up… then the question should be, whose pulling the military's strings to get a Col away from his office job, into the field to cover up murders?" He looks between them. "You draw attention to this and all your leads could dry up with the head from the exposure." He frowns. "Be smart about this please. I will continue to research more into Heller's background, more about his wife and I will visit with him. I will ask him questions and if need be… I will force the truth from his lips but for hellsake do not prematurely broadcast this…" He sounds serious about his request.

Unfortunately Kristen's wheels are already turning, likely in a different direction than what Rainmayr thinks. "We owe Ivanov a show, we should get Praeger in on it since he was the target when Ivanov got the medal. Let's start playing two sides on this, Brad. Pump up FRONTLINE, let's start getting a real public eye on our heroes. They put their lives on the line November 8th, I'm pretty sure there's some FRONTLINE casualties on that day… Good men and women who gave their lives to defend the public. That should help keep a blind eye to the other digging."

"Dirk, get a hold of Felix Ivanov and I want the names of all the other FRONTLINE soldiers we can get for a show. Put Kincaid on it too… Reuben's been slipping in the ratings, we'll slide him off that show gently by giving him more responsibility on The Advocate." Swinging her boot down to the floor, the producer rises to her feet and looks between the two men. "Well gentlemen? If there's anything else, it's about that time to get it out."

"And don't be concerned, we won't be broadcasting until we have concrete evidence." And even then there might be a better way? "We actually take journalistic integrity seriously, Mister Rainmayr. Even if we give into the…" he coughs, "…sensationalist notions of getting ratings from time to time." The smile extends as his head tilts. "But whoever's responsible for what happened… they need to be held responsible. Martial law or not, war crimes are still war crimes and killing innocent, likely unarmed civilians shouldn't be tolerated."

"I'll work on getting Ivanov and Praeger. If we can at least build our connections to people who would be interested in something like this— and maybe eventually do something about it… the better, right?" His eyebrows arch as he turns his gaze to Rainmayr, "Don't worry, Tristan, we won't tell them anything we know. Just… building our social network." He strokes his chin, "You know I could always use more facebook friends…"

Rainmayr frowns and shakes his head. He turns on his heel and moves for the door. He turns to Russo. "Here's a news flash for you. Within Martial Law, there are no war crimes. If someone poses a threat to the national security of the country and its population in any way they can be taken out without questions, trials or even answers. That is Martial Law so do be careful where you walk. I'd hate my next case be about two missing news people." He turns to look at Kristen and shakes his head.

Rainmayr finally speaks. "Sometimes, ratings aren't everything. I realize it's your job but when you job endangers people's lives… when do -you- draw the line?" He opens the door. "Have a good evening. I'll be in touch." The door closes behind himself as he moves outside.

With a glance to Russo, Kristen quirks an eyebrow down at Dirk. "I don't know what planet you dug his number out of, Dirk… but I think someone needs to inform Mister Rainmayr that our ratings are paying his salary." The final directive is given to her secretary before she turns to Russo.

"That said, I think he has a very skewed perception of what it is we do here. I'm getting a real… I don't know… superior vibe? I might be reading it wrong," she waves a hand dismissing the thought as quickly as she did Dirk. "Get a schedule from Kincaid about what show's he's planning to do. If we're going to be digging into Heller, I want to have us on record for being supportive of the military. Just to keep our collective assii off the barbecue."

"Touche," Russo salutes his boss and stands from his chair before slumping back down. "Wait. This is my office." He flashes her a bright smile and shakes his head, "Look, I realize we need to discrete, and we can keep discretion if we want to. I know we can." His eyebrows arch, "In the meantime, I'll do what I do best. I'll meet the right people, do the right things, and flash my charming smile anywhere I go." His lips press together as his head tilts, "Hey. Have you chosen a charity for the annual telethon yet? Maybe it should go to retired army vets or… their families? And not just to suit our purposes…"

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