F*** Me, We Cleared It!


karen_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title F*** Me, We Cleared It!
Synopsis Liz takes the plan that has been worked out to handle the bomb situation to the commissioner.
Date January 22, 2009

Commissioner Karen Lau's Office, 1 Police Plaza

She's heard many things over the time that Lau's been in office as the police commissioner, but luckily enough, Elisabeth Harrison has never chanced to stand before the woman she's now come to see. The rumors about Karen Lau are actually somewhat terrifying in some ways… "ball-busting bitch" is to be expected of a woman in the police force who's climbed to her level. But "five tiny feet of monsoon-strength fury"? Yeah… that one has Liz just a hair uneasy. Still, this plan requires the authorization of the commissioner, and now here she stands, awaiting permission to enter the inner sanctum of the woman in charge of the NYPD.

When the secretary, who frankly has GOT to be nearly as intimidating as her boss, finally says to go in, Elisabeth squares her shoulders, straightens her black blazer, and marches herself into Lau's office carrying a file folder of information in case it's required. "Ma'am," she greets quietly. "Thank you for your time. Elisabeth Harrison," she says in greeting.

The first thing Elisabeth will notice upon entering Lau's office is that the rumours of her stature — or rather, the lack thereof — have been greatly exaggerated by the force. Although she's a small, lithe woman, she isn't much shorter than Elisabeth herself… though this might have something to do with the heels she's wearing on her delicately-pointed feet. "I know who you are," the commissioner says, folding shut the folder of casework she had spread out across her desk when Elisabeth first stepped inside. It might have something to do with the impending viral apocalypse, it might not — either way, life goes on and the earth continues to rotate on its axis; assuming they succeed in delaying the End Times, her job is never done.

"You don't have to sit down if you don't want to," she adds, almost as an afterthought. "In fact, I'd prefer that you didn't. What do you have for me, Harrison?"

The 'prefer if you didn't' sort of throws her, but only for a second. Elisabeth steps forward and offers the file in her hands - if nothing else, it'll be something Lau will want in her files later. "Ma'am, I won't take much of your time. We learned a couple of weeks ago of a possible bomb threat, with the bombs set to coincide pretty closely with the viral threat we're also facing. My partner and I have confirmed the presence of bombs on each of the eight bridges into the city, we've spent the past several days studying them in great depth to create a plan to deal with the situation without alerting the terrorist faction in question, which might cause them to up their timetable."

Inside the folder are the X-ray schematics, diagrams, information on the bombs themselves, and information on the locations of the bombs. "Under conventional protocols, the city would be hamstrung for nearly 10 days attempting to disarm and remove them. We believe, and we've consulted with Homeland Security on this as well, that we can manage it in less than a day with zero, or minimal if you insist on bridge closure to handle it, delays on each of the bridges and no public panic."

Lau opens the file, leaning back in her seat as she inspects the paperwork from beneath her dark lashes and begins thumbing through it. The diagrams get the majority of her attention — they're easier to read at a glance than large chunks of text, and she probably suspects there's nothing in front of her that Elisabeth hasn't summarized already. "Who's your contact with HomeSec?" This is, perhaps, the most important question… even if it is a springboard for the conversation that's likely to follow. "And what do they know about explosives?"

And now she gets to lie just a bit. "Matt Parkman is the person that I've spoken with at HomeSec. They are going to be sending us a cryokinetic for this operation. He's not the bomb expert, however. That distinction goes to my partner, who spent several years overseas disarming bombs half a dozen times a day. He's in the process of consulting with the NYPD's most experienced squad captain, as well, and they are in agreement that this plan will work as advertised, ma'am."

Liz's voice remains level and calm. "The basic jist is this: By freezing a bomb, you can keep the detonator from activating. I have a street source who's put me in contact with a teleporter, and we're planning to have the teleporter take the cryokinetic to the bomb sites so they can be deep-frozen, at which point the bombs will be teleported to a remote location for bomb squads to ultimately disarm. We're going to need eight teams. I took the initiative and put in several calls to verify that we can obtain bomb squads from the New York and New Jersey National Guard bases in addition to the teams we have on the NYPD, and then my partner will also head up one of the teams. His team will deal with the first round of bombs due to the fact that his forcefield will be able to contain the blast and minimize any damage and loss of life to our personnel in the case of any problems. Once we've verified that disarming is actually going to work, then the rest of the teams will get started with more standard protocols in place."

Lau listens to Elisabeth speak but does not give any outward indication that she's actually hearing the words coming out of the other woman's mouth. She fixes her with a level gaze and holds it, steady — only when Elisabeth has finished her explanation does she give her a short nod, almost imperceptible if it weren't for the ripples it sends through her long black hair. "Let's assume," she begins, "that this teleporter of yours knows what he's doing." There's no question about the cryokinetic if he comes recommended by Agent Matthew Parkman. "Do you have any intelligence to suggest the organization that planted these devices isn't watching the sites? What happens if they catch us in the act and decide to press the button before you've been able to neutralize each location?"

With a nod to the diagrams, Elisabeth says, "Darius has already ascertained that there *are* no remote detonation possibilities with these bombs. He's already removed one of them and had it X-rayed and taken it apart. Had they had remote radio signals, though, we had in place a plan to handle that as well, with white noise generators to reflect the signal back so that it would be unbroken if necessary — but that would honestly have been overkill in light of the cryokinetic's actions. With the detonator frozen, it couldn't have responded to the signal anyway. So we covered all the bases."

She adds quietly, "And the possibility that they have boots on the ground watching the bridges *does* exist, but … if we move quickly enough, with such a small team as a teleporter and a cryo, we *think* we can fly under the radar. There's no evidence so far that they're watching."

Lau pauses, and a silence settles over the office, broken only by the intermittent tick-tock of her wall clock. "If there's no danger of remote detonation, then I see no reason not to follow established procedure. If both Darius and Agent Parkman feel that using the combination of cryokinetic and teleporter is the best course of action, then that's what I expect you to do. However…" There's always a however. "Before anyone even sets foot on those bridges with intent to disarm the explosives, I want them all evacuated. Relegate inbound and outbound traffic leaving Manhattan to the tunnels. In addition to your people working the bridges, I want Parkman on the lookout for any suspicious activity in the immediate area. Let them know what we're doing — if we have an opportunity to draw these fucks out into the open, I want to take it."

Yeah…. this was where it was going to get dicey, and she knew it. And Liz doesn't dare attempt to ~persuade~ Lau in the metahuman sense. She has to rely on just the standard power of persuasion. "Ma'am… with all due respect, my first instinct screamed the same thing. Evacuate the bridges, public safety at all costs. My biggest concern is *not*, in this case, that they will attempt to detonate the bombs — since they apparently can't do that remotely. My concern is that if you shut those bridges down all at once, we're going to cause a public panic… and if they *don't* have boots on the ground watching, that kind of panic will hit the news and make them pay attention. Which could, in turn, make them attempt to hit the city with the virus early. The timetable on that attack is already only a few days away — they are PROBABLY in a position where moving it up a couple of days wouldn't be that big a deal to them, but it would assuredly be a huge problem for *us*, because DHS isn't ready for them yet." She nods to the folder. "Doing it this way, where we shut down one bridge at a time for a variety of reasons — staging an accident that takes up lanes, maintenance, power outage with the drawbridge up, reasonable things that keep the bridge shut for the 30 to 60 minutes we need to remove six bombs — it seems the best option for keeping the entire situation as far under the radar as possible. Which gives DHS the maximum time to try to head off the rest of this attack."

Lau blows out a short, irritated snort through her nostrils. "One at a time then," she agrees, "but my ruling regarding Parkman and Homeland Security still applies. You watch those sites like a goddamned hawk, Harrison. Whether they're shut down or not. If something goes wrong and this all comes crashing down, it's on my head, not yours. Got it?"

There's a moment of lightheaded relief as Elisabeth parses that Lau's really going to follow her recommendation. Luckily her very professional demeanor doesn't break in that moment, and she nods quickly. "Yes, ma'am. Believe me, I know the risks. I share your concern. But I do think this better serves the public safety. Thank you. I'll let Agent Parkman know we've been authorized, and we'll start moving on it today." In the middle of the night, when fewer people will even notice that the bridge is shut, she hopes. Hell… she's HOPING to pull it off without having to close *all* the bridges! But she keeps that bit of intel to herself.

Lau closes the file and slides it across the desk to Elisabeth. No "you're welcome, Harrison," no "thank you for your time." Instead, she glances out her office window to where the waterfront looms on the horizon, glittering yellow and gold in the fading afternoon light. "Get out of my office."

Elisabeth takes the file and merely nods. "Yes ma'am." And she leaves the Commissioner to her thoughts.

January 22nd: The Queens English
January 22nd: Instead Of Egypt
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