Executive Rights


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Scene Title Executive Rights
Synopsis Some days, Kain Zarek loves his job. This is not one of those days.
Date January 8, 2009

Dorchester Towers, Apartment 101

Dorchester Towers is a huge white building surrounded by a carefully landscaped stretch of gardens. The spacious lobby almost has more window than wall, white and green marble floor tiles gleaming in the light; it is occupied by doormen and a concierge to assist renters and guests. Nine high-speed elevators provide convenient access to upper stories; every floor has its own laundry room. Closed-circuit TV monitors the lobby and grounds, and every apartment has a security system, double-bolt door locks, and even window locks. The complex has its own garage, a bicycle room, and a sun deck.

It's a place she hasn't been more than once since the abduction, that time only to pick up the hamburger wrapper her classmate told her was left on the floor there. The apartment is compromised, she's known to the Vanguard, not to mention the tide of memories which are present there, so Cat is spending her nights bouncing from hotel to hotel, occasionally staying in one of the Ferry's safehouses, living like Yassir Arafat was once said to: never two consecutive nights in the same place. Her phone number, however, is unchanged. Should someone desire to call, she would be able to answer.

It also occurs that on this Thursday evening, in the apartment, persons Cat hired are in the place. One of them is an attorney in his mid-twenties who supervises. The others are two burly guys for the heavy lifting.

The door to apartment 101 opens, and out the two large ones come, carrying a small Christmas tree which was neglected between the 19th and now, its needles having turned colors and begun to drop off. The attorney remains in the doorway, waiting for them to return. He pulls out his phone and makes a call, speaking when it's answered. "Cat," he begins in a somber voice, "we're just about done here."

Down the hall the elevator chimes, the sound of its doors slowly sliding open as the destination floor is reached, descending from the upper levels of the apartment building. While Catherine Chesterfield speaks with her attorney, a well-dressed gentleman steps out from the elevator, his sandy blonde hair swept back away from his face, styled with some sort of product. He carries in his right hand a briefcase, and the roughly unshaven countenance he bears also carries a look of discomfort and nervousness. Looking down the hall, he walks in slow and confident strides, a feigned confidence that Kain Zarek has learned to put forward in his line of work.

Sidestepping the pair carrying the wilted Christmas Tree, Kain's eyes follow them down the hall before tracking back to the apartment itself, making his way towards the man standing in the doorway, an expectant look replacing the pensive stare of earlier. "'Scuse me," He croons in a southern drawl, "Ah'm…" Kain's voice hitches in his throat, "Ah'm lookin' for Catherine Chesterfield."

The attorney, a six foot man with brown hair and a clean shaven face, wearing an expensive Brooks Brothers suit, looks at the man who stepped up and spoke. His air is of protectiveness toward the woman he asked for, one who to him is a friend and a client, someone he's protective of. "One moment," he says, holding up an index finger to accentuate the words. "Cat, someone is here looking for you." He pauses to listen, then looks at Kain again, and hands him the phone. "Doctor Chesterfield is on the line, sir."

Raising both brows with appreciation, and surprise, Kain takes the cell phone over and presses it to his ear, wandering a few steps away from the attorney to a comfortable speaking distance. It's not so much to prevent eavesdropping, but rather to indicate that the other man isn't invited into the conversation at hand.

"Well, seems Ah caught you at a bad time, Miss Chesterfield." The accent is thick, the southern drawl tinged with cajun inflections. "Mah name's Kain Zarek, ah'm…" The hesitation in his voice is momentary, "Ah'm a representative of the Linderman Group, a former associate of Danielle Hamilton." For a moment Kain's silence seems like an invitation to speak over him, but he interrupts it just a moment too soon. "Ah know, uh, this ain't the best time. But Ah came down t'your last listed residence to deliver some paperwork t'you… Ah… Ah'm sorry 'bout the nature of the call. Ah' wanted t'let you know that the NYPD have been led to, an' positively identified Miss Hamilton's remains. Ah — Ah'm sorry it took so long." Another brief pause, awkward and lingering, "Ah jus' need you t'sign some release forms, we've already notified her next a'kin, and they're comin' into th' city. But… Dan— " He catches himself, "Miss Hamilton's personal record states tha' she wanted you to be th' executor of her estate."

The voice which speaks on the other end is feminine, and is tinged with emotion drawn by the words she hears Kain speak. "That's Doctor Chesterfield," she replies solemnly. "I'll meet with you, Mr. Zarek. Is there a location you prefer, or would you come to where I am?"

The attorney simply watches, waiting for the conversation to conclude.

Kain's taken a bit aback by the answer, and he falters from one foot to the other in anxious consideration of just how to let her down. "Actually, it'd be a whole lot easier if Ah could just, y'know, mail these here forms out t'you. If'n you're busy or on th' other side've town." Kain's pale eyes track to the attorney, then back to a vacant spot on the wallpaper nearby as he returns his focus to the conversation at hand.

"It'd probably be best for y'ta not have t'handle it directly." And best for Kain not to have to see the face of Dani's lover, lest that notion haunt him in his dreams like the other wayward spirits that had taken roost in the back of his mind as of late. "Jus' give me a forwardin' address, an' — " Kain clears his throat, voice catching a bit as he talks, "An Ah'll just send these on over, or if ya' got a fax line Ah can send them to ya."

But this is not a matter for surrogates to handle, the direct paperwork of Dani's estate. While Kain speaks, Cat enters the building and walks steadily toward the apartment they shared. She's in jeans and a winter coat, one which reaches her waist, and winter boots. It may not be wise to be here, especially after the events in Queens recently, but some things draw her presence just the same.

The woman's face is somber, she has the lingering grief and perhaps guilt in her eyes, but she's displaying her toughness at the same time by being here. To look at the man Dani got hurt trying to investigate and know his face, and handle this all in person. "Mr. Zarek," she begins, addressing the one who isn't in her employ. "I'm Doctor Catherine Chesterfield."

Slowly lowering the phone from his ear, Kain's expression shifts from bewildered to dumbstruck when Cat comes up from the hall. He looks at the closed phone, then offers it out towards the suit standing by the door, "Didn't know you were jus' outside." He says with a raise of his brows, followed by a tired sigh as he looks from one side of the hall to the other.

She's the last face he wants to see.

"There some place we can sit down, then? Get this all filed out? Then Ah'll be out of your hair." He's a picture of nervousness and discomfort — delivering notice to next of kin clearly isn't his job.

She's got the earbuds of an iPhone in her ears, perhaps explaining how she arrived in conversation. Hands free driving and all that, the word of his presence causing her to change course and come here. The button is pressed to end the call, and she removes them, eyes on the man. "I've known this was coming for some time," Cat assures quietly, as she walks into the apartment. "Come in, please."

Inside, the place looks much the same as when it was routinely lived in, though dust has begun to gather, suggesting it's been not occupied for some weeks. Pine needles are on the floor where the tree was, unopened presents still rest there too. The stockings they had, also untouched. It seems perhaps that crew was tending to such matters.

The attorney holds out his hand to get his phone back, then waits outside. He'll keep the guys who carried out the tree away.

Cat stands in the main room in silence for some moments when she gets there, letting her eyes travel, then sits near a coffee table and gestures for Kain to also sit. "Why were her parents contacted at all, Mr. Zarek? I'm surprised they'd have been listed on any documents, having turned their backs on her years ago."

"Beats me, Ah' ain't a state employee. Ah' ain't gonna profess knowledge of the judicial system beyond what Ah' need for mah line of work." The apartment is all too familiar, a more empty and hollow memory of the one he and Dixon saw when they were investigating Danielle's disappearance. Not that he can ever tell anyone about his assignment, but there is telling in the way he seems familiar with the layout, moving into the kitchen to lay his briefcase down on the table in there, calling out to Cat from the tableside.

"It's jus' a couple a'forms indicating that yer' willin' t'take over her estate and handle the affairs of her funeral. From the sounds of it, her folks ain't gonna have a hand in that, but Ah' think they might show up." Kain wrinkles his nose, opening the brifcase as he slides out a stack of papers, laying them down on the table beside it, before withdrawing a pen from the inside of his jacket, clicking the tip out with a motion of his thumb.

"I was told," she quietly states on realizing he went into the kitchen instead of following her into the main room, and therefore getting up to join him at the kitchen table, "her remains would find me, I wouldn't find them. Do you know where they are, Mr. Zarek?"

Cat sits at the table and begins to look over the documents. One hand takes the offered pen, and as she reads she compares them with her indelible memory of the law.

The somewhat haunting indication that Cat had some forewarning of the remains presence causes Kain to bristle some, an uncomfortable chill sent down his spine as he hides a discomforted grimace behind one hand. "Harlem County Morgue," Kain says quietly, stepping away from the table to wander the kitchen in uncomfortable silence. When he does choose to speak up again, it's with a reserved and hushed tone of voice. "Ah don' have a copy a'the police reports, but if yer intrested Ah'm sure y'can get them yerself." He looks away, down to the floor, one arm folded across his chest to support a raised hand that cradles his chin.

"Her left hand was missing all its fingers," Cat states quietly. "The sadist bastard tortured her. I expected we'd both die, I was prepared for it." She remembers, can see it all like it was two minutes ago. But she forces herself not to travel that path. "Thank you, Mr. Zarek." She continues to read the documents and commit them to memory, not that they wouldn't be from simple sight, and verifies they don't somehow contain some form of tricking her into giving her soul and body, or either, to Daniel Linderman. "Did you come to know her well in her time with Mr. Linderman?"

Silent again, she lets some of the memories surface, happier ones of meals eaten in this room, at this table, to honor Dani's wishes.

There are just some things you don't say in casual company with strangers, and the mutilation of your dead girlfriend ranks pretty high on Kain's list. He visibly recoils from her statement, pacing to the other side of the room with a mildly exasperated look in his eyes, before turning around with a silent stare of did you just say that? on his face.

But it remains silent, and as much as he'd like to explain why that was a terrible thing to say, Kain remains unexpectedly professional. "A-Ain't no need to thank me. This ain't a thankin' job." He reaches out for the documents, taking them in hand quietly before breathing out a heavy sigh at her last question. "We didn't work together, Ah' saw her in the halls, s'about it. We weren't exactly friends."

And that's an understatement.

She knows. She knows very well. Among all the things Cat remembers is how Dani was hurt and hospitalized after she tried to investigate Kain, and Linderman too. While he wasn't on the tape of her being assaulted and receiving the injuries which caused Dani to approach Linderman for his healing gift, abandon her newspaer job, and go to work for him rather than expose the detective's daughter to harm if she pressed the case, he's still connected to it, and Linderman, therefore not above suspicion.

The man seated at her kitchen table isn't about to get any mercy in his discomfort with the whole thing. She doubts his memory is like hers, that's a very very rare thing, and he doesn't rank on the villain scale with Volken and Ethan, but he's still on it.

The papers are signed after she's sure they're not obligating her to Linderman in any way, or to do anything other than execute the estate, and slid over to him. She watches to receive her copies.

There is grief, and fond eternal remembrance. There is also steel in Cat's spine. "The man who killed her will get his," she calmly asserts.

Beware the patient wrath of she who never forgets. Ever.

January 8th: The Meet Meat
January 8th: One Last Look
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