Is There Something You Need To Do Before Graduation?


elisabeth_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Is There Something You Need To Do Before Graduation?
Synopsis Magnes pays a visit to a detective so as to ask some questions… and he winds up doing something else too.
Date Aug 9, 2009

Police Precinct, SCOUT Squad Room

It's a rainy Sunday morning, and instead of being on his way to train at the academy, he's using today to make a large step into learning how to be a detective. His first stop is Elisabeth's precinct, closing a large very dark purple umbrella as he enters, looking around for the woman described to him. Of course, waiting sucks, so he decides it's best to simply shout, "Is Elisabeth Harrison here?" And yes, his hair is gelled back, with his semi-casual suit, though he has a pair of black loafers on instead of inline skates.

The desk sergeant looks up at the man standing in the lobby and raises both his eyebrows. "You could ask politely," he says ascerbicly. He picks up the phone and calls upstairs, and within just a moment, he tells Magnes, "SCOUT squad room. Up the stairs, second door on the left."

"Sorry." Magnes apologizes with a nod of his head, then proceeds on his way to the squad room. When he arrives, he knocks on the door a few times, then slowly moves to open it, trying to peek inside.

The squad room itself always has at least a couple of people running about. Even on a Sunday morning. And this particular Sunday morning, Elisabeth does happen to be in — she's got a serial killer case that is taking up a lot of her time along with every other case on her desk. She glances up when he steps into the squad room and stands up, blue eyes more than a little wary as she recognizes his face. Magnes Varlane. Seriously? "I'm Detective Harrison. What can I do for you today?" she asks, gesturing him over to a seat near her desk.

Magnes slowly walks over to the gestured seat, curiously looking around at the hustle and bustle of the squad room. "My name's Magnes J. Varlane, and uh, a teacher gave me your name and stuff. I thought, I don't know, maybe you could give me advice on investigating and stuff. I'm currently in the police academy, but I'm also getting an investigation degree." he expains once he's finally sat down. "I thought detectives were a lot older."

There's a faint grin at that. "Age doesn't have as much to do with it as experience. You have to have a certain amount of time on the streets and you have to have made sergeant usually before taking the detectives' exam. In my case, I did both at once — SCOUT's kind of a different ballgame." Elisabeth moves to sit back down at her desk. "So tell me what you'd like to know?"

"Well, I'm learning the skills to be a detective, not sure if I'll ever really become one, but I know they're skills I need." Magnes folds his hands in his lap, momentarily distracted when SCOUT finally registers in his head, though he doesn't comment, he simply nods. "Well, I know the textbook stuff, but when you, personally, start an investigation, what's going through your head, what're you looking for?"

Elisabeth leans back in her chair. "Depends on the case, really. For example…. in a missing persons case, the first thing I think of is retracing their steps. Start with what you know and backtrack every step of the way. Literally follow their footsteps. Investigating is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle where you don't know what the big picture looks like. You're constantly trying to fit little pieces of information into their niche."

"Do you think that way all the time, I mean, are you even able to shut it off anymore?" Magnes asks, this question mostly out of curiousity, staring at her with an attentively intrigued look. "And, hypothetically speaking, what if you were captured and wanted to investigate the people who have you in order to somehow find a way out, without them knowing, how would you do that?"

Studying him thoughtfully, Elisabeth says, "Not sure what you mean by shutting it off… being a cop isn't a 24/7 job, so if that's how you mean it, then no. I don't shut it off. As a beat cop, it's easier. You bring in the perp on the street and leave the job at home. Unless you got shot or something. But after stepping up to this squad? Most of what I do … I think about a lot. Most of the cases have political and legal ramifications that are nearly unnavigable at the moment." She pauses and then slowly answers his last question. "If I were 'captured'? You mean kidnapped? Honestly, I'm not sure how much cop would kick in versus how much normal woman. But objectively speaking, I suppose mostly you'd keep your ears open." It's an odd question and her watchful eyes probably give away that she thinks it's an odd question.

"Makes sense." Magnes files that bit of advice under 'Use in case of emergency'. Briefly looking down at the desk, then up at her again, he asks, "Is there any essential detective advice, like, stuff that's not in the books?"

At that, Liz laughs a bit. "Uhm…. the best advice I ever got was from a cop named Myron. He told me 'keep your trap shut and your eyes and ears open.' Really, it's what it's all about. Asking the right questions — figuring out the right questions to ask. And who to ask them of. No matter what case you're working on, your job is to look for the truth. If you listen when people tell you things and you watch what they're doing, you'll see when what they're doing doesn't match what they've said. A liar will usually out themselves by virtue of it being a lot harder to perpetuate the lie than the truth." She shrugs faintly. "I know, that all sounds ridiculous and very vague. And it kind of is."

"There's this really nice girl I know, she tries to talk very impersonal about a certain topic, but the look on her face convinces me that she's involved somehow." Magnes says, tilting his head curiously at Elisabeth, "Is that what you mean?"

There's a bit of a shrug, and Elisabeth says, "Yeah. Stuff like that." And she pauses, considering whether to ask. "This friend of yours. She in trouble?"

"Maybe, I don't know, sure seems like she used to be though. I don't wanna pry too much, she's really nice and I like her, so…" Magnes trails off with a slight shrug, leaning his arms on the desk slightly. "I can't really tell you anything about her, I mean, if she was in trouble, I wouldn't well, want her in trouble, if you know what I mean."

Oh Lord, can she relate. Every person out there seems to feel that way about Abigail Beauchamp. And though she doesn't mention to the young man that his name is known to her in several respects, she knows that's got to be who he's talking about. Elisabeth merely nods and says quietly, "Not sure how to help you here, Mr. Varlane. But there are a lot of things going on in this town, and a lot of things you have to make judgment calls on how to respond. If you think your friend's in danger, all you can do is try to talk to her about it. If you find proof of a problem, though… come see me. Maybe I can help."

"You know, I was just thinking of maybe looking her up online, and I just realized she never even gave me her last name." How'd he miss that one? Magnes rubs his forehead for a moment, then smiles at Elisabeth. "I'm still really bad at this detective thing, aren't I?"

Elisabeth laughs. "No… you weren't trying to be a detective. And believe me, even detectives fuck up their personal lives. On a semi-regular basis, I'm pretty sure," she replies easily. "Here," she slides one of her cards over to him. "If you call the switchboard and I'm not here, they'll transfer you to my cell phone. When do you graduate?"

"I think I graduate the academy in a few weeks, but I have a while before I get my investigation degree." Magnes takes her card, looking it over before tucking it securely into his pants pocket. "Thanks for the advice. And uh, can I ask one more question? Could you tell me how exactly registration works? I mean, I know some vital things, but I don't know about it in detail."

Tilting her head, she studies him once more. "A degree still won't put you in the department as a detective, just remember that," she cautions. "I'll look forward to seeing you around the precinct, though." There's a pause and she asks, "Is there something you need to do before you actually get on the PD?"

"I, uh, yeah." Magnes admits with a slight nod, looking around at the other people in the room, then focuses on her, understanding what she means. "Yeah, there's something I need to do."

Elisabeth nods slightly, her expression sympathetic. Testing is mandatory for cops, so better he do it now rather than after graduation. Then she proceeds to explain. "When you Register an ability, you bring your paperwork to one of the precincts or to one of the registration centers to be filed. After the paperwork with everything you can tell them about your ability is filed, you get notification of an appointment where they bring you in to test the ability you have, see if you know what the limits of it are and such. And then you get your Registration card in the mail about a week later. It's usually not a very big deal at all," she says gently. She moves to stand up, heading for a file cabinet on the wall, cuz these days EVERYONE gets to have the paperwork though it rarely comes into play in this squad room. She brings back several forms, which really could be anything to the casual observer, and slides them across the desk to him as she sits back down. "If you want to fill them out and leave them with me, I'll make sure they get put in for you," she says quietly.

"I, uh," Magnes, clearly reluctant, just nods and takes a pen, beginning to write. "I'll do it, just another sacrifice." he mutters, not seeming too happy about it.

With a soft chuckle, Elisabeth comments quietly, "You'll find that you make a lot of them to be a cop, kiddo." She doesn't look unsympathetic, though. "It'll work out." And she'll leave him to fill out his paperwork while she does a bunch of her own, letting him ask any other questions he may want to toss her way.

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