Leave it to Death (To Bring the Mood Down)


murdoch_icon.gif rebecca_icon2.gif

Scene Title Leave it to Death (To Bring the Mood Down)
Synopsis Murdoch inquires about the hands, while Rebecca decides that stone equals death.
Date March 4, 2009

Forensics Lab

The forensics lab of the NYPD Headquarters is a massive collection of seperate laboratories and testing room. This entire basement level of the building is interconnected with the ballistics lab and its own morgue. The facilities, while stocked with state of the art technology, show obvious signs of wear and tear that have not been repaired. Ceiling tiles are stained brown from leaking pipes, concreet walls show stress fractures, paint is peeling and it seems like every other fluorescent light flickers with old age.

If one wanted to actually find Rebecca Nakano, then this is where you would check. And 95% of the time, you'd be correct. Such is the case during this afternoon when Rebecca seems to be studying some statues.1 You would probably be surprised to find that the NYPD Forensic Investigator is admiring statues, but sure enough she has three life size stone statues in the lab. The first is a statue of a woman, probably about 5 foot 5 inches tall, with a startling look of surprise on her face. The other two are children, one boy and one girl, also surprised.
She is studiously taking a small blade and scraping portions of the statues into a small clear dish. She has three stacks of four of these dishes, all with the same stone scrapings and each labeled with a big black marker. She has her hair tied back into a pony tail to keep her hair from contaminating the evidence, and she wears latex gloves and a lab coat. Anyone coming in would have to announce themselves as she is fully engrossed in her labwork.

He is almost sure he has seen Rebecca hard at work here before, but Vincent Murdoch is not the most outgoing of men, and without official business he rarely makes chit chat. But, even if he were just passing through somehow, the recent art installation (so to speak) would stop him in his tracks. He pauses on the walkway that rests before the stairs that move down into the high-ceilinged section of the lab that holds these life-sized bits of evidence. He sets a hand on the railing, eyes flicking to the ever-dedicated Rebecca. "A shame we don't have a Perseus handy," he comments, by way of introduction. If Rebecca turns towards him, she'll see he's smiling in her direction.

She's startled by the voice and a small indescribable sound escapes her lips as she turns around, nearly dropping the dish in her hands. A small blush would indeed appear on her face, as she turns and sees the smile. Rebecca takes a moment to compose herself, setting down the dish and returning the smile. The Asian-American woman tilts her head, then shakes hit. "Well, our Medusa has already been slain, so he would be out of work I'm afraid." she turns back to her statues. "Is there something I can help you with, Detective?" she asks politely, the distraction seems to be welcomed, at least for the moment. She should know his name, but she doesn't get out much either, spending most of her days and the majority of her nights in this very room with what she knows best. Science.

Murdoch descends the stairs, gaze lingering on Rebecca for a while, taking her in, before moving up to appraise the poor statues, trapped in the graceless moment of surprise. "I am glad to hear it. Reflective sunglasses would give me altogether too Fascist an appearance," he crosses the room and extends his hand, "Vincent Murdoch. I'm with SCOUT," another smile, "Though don't hold it against me. I was only recently pulled out of retirement."

She would probably offer her hand, if they weren't covered in soot and latex. Instead, she reaches her hand up, bends it at the wrist and uses the flat of the wrist to rub her nose, and insufferable itch far too much to bear. "Rebecca Nakano. Forensics. Nice to meet you Detective Murdoch." She picks up the dish and walks over to the microscope and takes a seat. "I'm not trying to be rude, but I have so much to do. I have to determine if these statues can be changed back into humans, I have boxes of soot from a recent fire2 and I'm supposed to make myself available for a deposition because of a civil suit."3 Each word is cheerful, just stating the facts as they are, which is really how she operates. "I'm sorry.. did you say you needed something? Was I working on a case of yours?"

Murdoch lowers his hand, clasping it with the other behind him, taking a slightly military stance. He frowns slightly, "But of course, Miss Nakano," he says, "I don't wish to slow down the already labored wheels of the department. I was hoping, though, to access the complete files on a case that was presented to us not long ago. A box of hands4, delivered to one of our stations? I doubt there is anything new we've dug up, but still…" he looks up at the statues again, "Have you been in contact with a member of SCOUT about… this," he indicates the petrified victims, "It does seem rather firmly in our bailiwick."

Rebecca is about to run analysis on the scrapings, so her hands tug her goggles down over her eyes, which would make quite the comedic scene. "Oh, the hands. Sure, I gave the information to Officer Harrison. She came in asking about them." She stands up and walks over to her computer and leans over, beginning to tap-tap-tap the keys at a rapid pace. Each key she strikes leaves a dot of black from the soot on her fingers. "If you have a computer, I can send this file to your desk, unless you had something specific you need to ask me about it, Detective." She turns her head and looks over at him through the goggles.

Murdoch smiles once more, though it is marshaled into place with somewhat more effort. "Ah yes. I do, in fact, have a computer. Just… send it along. I'm sure I'll suss out how to access it quick enough," he pauses a moment, "What /did/ happen here?" he asks, regarding the statues.

With a few extra strokes on the keys, the file is sent to his computer just like that. She thought maybe he had a question, but when he asks about the statues, she makes a face, standing up straight again. Her grimace pretty much says it all. "The report filed by Officer Harrison stated.." It's funny she words it that way. ".. that the victims.. " meaning the statues, ".. were handled by an evolved during his first evolved episode. He had no idea he had the power when it happened, according to the report. Just a touch turned his wife and children to stone."

This reduces Murdoch to silence for a long moment. Then he dips his head. "What a terrible thing," he says, and no ounce of his reaction seems merely polite, "What happened to the man in question?"

"He was so distraught that he jumped from 'the bridge'." She moves to sit back down at the analyzing machine. "There was an effort to rescue him before he fell, but it failed. He was pronounced dead by suicide. Drowning." She spins the seat around so she can still look at the detective, she folds her hands in her lap. "And I'm afraid I'm about to have to pronounce all three of these victims as dead as well." Even behind the goggles, her eyes show the fact that she's never really been in this position before. "I.. I mean, that case was reported also by Officer Harrison, though there was some Homeland Security agent on the scene as well." They do seem to have their nose into everything, don't they?

Murdoch gives a soft sigh, then nods, "I am loath to say it, but perhaps it is for the best. Not all suicide is cowardice, and even that which is… well… some things I can understand running away from. Sometimes running is all we have left to us," he shakes his head, as if clearing it, shaking off the cobwebs of contemplation, "This is hardly a crime. Simply a tragedy," he pauses, "How long have you been working here, Miss Nakano?"

Rebecca considers the question for a moment before she responds. "It's been almost five years, actually." She remembers coming to the department shortly after the explosion, wanting to help. To put her skills and degree to work. It was slow as first, but things seem to be going out of control. Liquifying humans, turning them to stone and a spontaneous flaming man who burned down a gas station. Too much in too short period a time. "You say you've recently been called from retirment? How long were you on the force before you retired?"

"Oh, well over twenty years," Murdoch answers, "And when it was over, I thought it was entirely over. But it is amazing what uses people can find for you, isn't it?" His tone is slightly sardonic, "And I don't begrudge them. I could have said no. But I cannot pretend that there isn't need. Not for me, necessarily, but for someone, and if I can… then I ought to. That is how I feel, at least."

The smile she gives is genuine, as she gives her head a bob. "With the many years of experience you possess, I'm sure the force could always use that. I mean, you." she stammers for a moment, that blush returning to her cheek again as what she might consider a social blunder. She turns and glances at the results of the analysis, then shakes her head. "Completely stone. Even the most brilliant Evolved who could change matter would not have the knowledge to turn these bodies back. Every organ would have to be accounted for. There isn't a soul alive who could do it." She doesn't speak it outloud, but within a matter of moments an entire family has died. With a single touch. When she turns back, the smile is no longer all the genuine. She pushes herself to her feet, moving back towards her computer.

"And then what would you have but the meat that made them?" Murdoch inquires, "Are their souls waiting in escrow? Will they come floating back?" He gives a wry smile, not a real smile at all, to match hers, "And if they are in heaven, then let them stay, hm? Why bring them back here where they will feel pain and loss?"

"I was asked to see if it was possible." is all she says in response. She types up three death reports, and sends them to the printer. If there's a heaven, she hopes they truly are there. "I should get back to my work. If you have any questions about those files I sent over, please don't hesitate to ask."

Murdoch slips his hands into his pockets, "Certainly," he says, with a nod and then, hitching a smile to his face once more, "I shall enjoy an excuse to come bother you once again, whatever that excuse may be." He dips his head, "A pleasure formally meeting you. If you need anything from me, or from SCOUT, do tell. I should keep myself useful."

She considers the man for a long moment, then offers a small smile. "I will." she decides. "Thanks for stopping by." And Rebecca Nakano means it. She gives him a wave with her hands covered in latex gloves, which are in turn covered in black soot. "And good luck with the hands."

Murdoch gives a short half-chuckle, "Thank you," is all he says, before turning and scaling the stairs.

She picks up the paperwork and dials in to have the statues picked up. She hopes there is a heaven and this family is together again. She's not entirely sure there is one, as she deals mostly with facts, but it's times like these that sometimes everyone needs a little bit of faith.

March 4th: One Upon A Rapture
March 4th: Leaving Breadcrumbs
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