Just Bones


cat_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Bones
Synopsis The title is all that's left
Date January 9, 2009

Harlem Morgue

The cold air and the strong odor of antiseptics carries all the way though into the entrance hall, going together perfectly with the strong lights, sterile whites and smooth metal surfaces. The cleaning products do a pretty good job at masking the lingering smell of death, but those who already know it will surely come to recognize it. As morgues go, this one isn't terribly special. The entrance hall has little else to look at but a sign that reads "Taceant colloquia. Effugiat risus. Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae." Or: Let conversations cease. Let laughter depart. This is the place where death delights to help the living.

For those who have the authority to wander, the hall connects to four small offices, a large autopsy room, and a cold chamber. The latter's temperature dips well below freezing point and is only accessible to the morgue's employees.

After speaking with Conrad, she went somewhere to change clothing for this grim task, one Cat has been wanting… needing to do for some time now, which she can finally accomplish after her meeting with Kain Zarek the previous day. The clothing she chooses for this is a business suit made by Brooks Brothers: black jacket and skirt, white blouse buttoned all the way up to her collar, black pumps with a two inch heel which raises her stature to five feet and ten inches.

The brunette, when she arrives at the police station which the morgue cooperates with, has her hair pinned up neatly and is carrying a briefcase to present the appearance, in tandem with her clothing, of an attorney. She presents a New York state driver's license, issued in early September 2008, which identifies her as Catherine A. Chesterfield, born November 12th, 1982, of an apartment in the Dorchester Towers. She's an organ donor, doesn't require corrective lenses. Hair: brown. Eyes: brown. Height: 5' 8". Along with showing the license as ID, she displays her bar association card to verify her status as an attorney and the documents which certify her as Executress for the estate of Courtney Danielle Hamilton.

"I'm Doctor Catherine Chesterfield," she introduces, "here to identify and claim the remains of Miss Hamilton."

"Doctor Zachery Miller." is the curt reply Cat gets from one of the apparently ever-present morgue employees. Said employee is dressed for the job, in scrubs that do nothing to flatter the man, and a disposition that does even less. With the identification and proper procedures over and done with, he leads the way out into the hallway and toward one of the cold chambers. "About time Miss Hamilton left." He states after a short pause, not bothering to look around to the person he's talking to. "I was wondering when someone would come around to collect her." Judging by his tone— more because they need the space than anything else.

"I'd like copies of all the police reports and other documents associated with her, Doctor Miller," she replies in her best solemn attorney voice. Cat follows the man where he leads her, the heels of her shoes tapping on the floor as she walks.

The coroner nods, and "Of course, of course. It should all be ready at the front desk once we're done here." He stops at a door and numeric pad, fishing a card out of a pocket and passing it through. Nearby stands a gurney, all ready for the use.

"Thank you," the attorney replies. She watches him open the door and follows through into what lies beyond it unless she's stopped. Cat's eyes wander the interior, making a permanent record in her head in the same way it does with anything else. The briefcase is in front of her, held in hands clasped together. Her features have become graver as the encounter has progressed, there's lingering grief and fond remembrance mixing in her eyes now.

A look not at all unfamiliar to this place, how terrible it might feel. It's a look Zachery barely even recognizes anymore. "Right then," He steps in after Cat, shoulders inching upward slightly at the change in temperature. He passes several drawers, eyeing the nametags on the fronts. "Here we go. This should be the one." With care, though still quite unceremoniously, the body of the late Miss Hamilton is drawn into the light once more. At least partially— enough for an identification.

She's bones, just bones, the result of having been doused with gasoline and set alight right after she was murdered by poison in her final meal. Whatever flesh might've survived the fire was likely consumed by the denizens of nature in the time between that and her being found. But the remains are still somehow recognizable to Cat. She looks them over, assessing the person's likely height in life to be five feet two or three inches, then focuses on the bones of her left hand. That's what seals it for her. The absence of fingers on that hand. Her eyes close, they mist a bit with tears, and she lifts her face to the ceiling. "I found you, Dani, now I'll lay you to rest. And he'll get his for doing this to you, I swear it."

She reaches out when her eyes reopen and lightly brushes fingertips over the skull, then touches the fingerless hand gently, before addressing the attendant again.

"I trust, Doctor Miller, DNA samples were provided to verify her identity, beyond my word on who she is?"

"Naturally. Wouldn't be handing over the body otherwise." Is the short and somewhat disgruntled response Cat receives. It's clear from Zachery's posture and tone that he's not one to sympathize, and he merely looks the drawer's contents over for a second. "Science has come a long way. Thirty years ago, Miss Hamilton here might have ended up in a nondescript box." He looks up with the slightest hints of a grin across his lips, then simply asks, "I assume you've brought transportation? An autograph or two at the front desk, and the dieners should have her all packed up and ready for you in no time." He moves aside already, to wheel in the gurney.

"There's a vehicle from a funeral home outside wherever persons are picked up from here," Cat certifies. Her eyes rest on the man impassively for some seconds as she speaks; she having summoned the steel in her spine to avoid showing any reaction to his crudeness. "Thank you for your time."

The attorney turns away, headed back to that reception desk where formalities and paperwork are to be tended.

And outside by the place designated for such traffic, there is indeed a hearse and personnel to take the remains with them.

She collects the reports associated with the case available to her at the desk where she signs documents to end the morgue's involvement and reviews them briefly. These are placed into her briefcase along with copies of everything she signed, and Cat departs the Harlem County Morgue.

Some time later that day, she arrives at the funeral home and pays the costs of handling the remains. They give her the urn containing her slain lover's ashes, and she departs from there too.

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