Man, What've Things Come To?


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Scene Title Man, What've Things Come To?
Synopsis Detective Shelby asks Officer Harrison about Miranda Dobson, and hands off surveillance footage of Grace Matheson battering Nalani Hollingwood to Felix to forward to the FBI for analysis. They converse about how special Nalani is.
Date March 9, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

The New York Police Department Head Quarters is an old stone building, renovated many times over the years. The plaster walls are not as cracked and in need of repair as the various Precinct buildings around the city. The fluorescent lights give the room a rather sterile glow. Old posters, civic reminders, duty rosters and newspaper clippings are tacked up on the walls, rustling every time one of the doors opens. A high, wooden desk sits on the north wall, manned by two clerks, who records all visitors and arrests.

The way out to the street lies to the south, while doors to the offices of the Head Quarters lie to the northwest.

Some days are easier than others; today was not that day. It's been one of those days. She had two calls before she managed to get a cup of coffee this morning, the afternoon was filled with depositions for court cases pending in earlier arrests, and then she took some time off to get something to eat and got called practically right back on duty to deal with a break-in. So now she's sitting at her desk filling out the report on the computer regarding that arrest. 'Cardinal, Richard.' She's working on looking up his priors while she types up the report. Computers are your friend. Sometimes.

Coren Shelby doesn't really have that problem. Unlike most of the officers or anyone else employed by any civil service, he doesn't have to live on caffeine and finds himself rather wide awake and attentive most of the time. Most people can't run dozens of 20-hour days, consecutively. It's why he can get so much work done. It's also why he has a tendency to look into cases that aren't his, which is why he almost sneaks up on Elisabeth Harrison. "Officer Harrison?"

Looking up from her computer with a vague frown that indicates Elisabeth's attention was focused entirely on the screen in front of her — or maybe that she should start considering glasses to read the screen better — she replies, "Yes? What can I do for you?" There's a wary edge to her. Not too many people come looking for her this late at night in the precinct with GOOD news.

"I'm Detective Shelby," Coren says in introduction, although he doesn't offer his hand as it looks that Elisabeth is quite busy. He has no intent on wasting too much of her time. "I was taking a statement from one Nalani Hollingwood when she mentioned a missing employee — Miranda Dobson.1 She wanted an update regarding her case, and I hear the person to talk to regarding it is you.2 Given the situation with Miss Hollingwood, I think it best we keep her well updated, lest she think us truly incompetent and sue us for something else."

Speaking of the truly incompetent! Here comes one now. Felix has volunteered to be boy gofer, because he somes eeling his way back through the farm of cop cubes, with stuff from Starbucks in hand. Apparently they're both sick of the horrible government issue coffee in the breakroom.

Elisabeth rolls her blue eyes at him. "You're kidding, right, Shelby?" Elisabeth shakes her head. "That woman's a piece of work," she comments mildly. "I'm actually writing up my report. Keown and I responded to a break-in at her place today. So maybe it'll earn the department bonus points. As to Miranda Dobson… that's the young woman who worked for her as a stylist that she was ripping a new ass in front of everyone on the set, causing the poor girl to erupt into glowing green light, right?" She grins a bit. "I remember the incident well. What about her?"3

"Sadly, no, though I have a feeling she's just blowing hot air and will drop the suit once she's appeased. Which means after I arrest one of our consultants for battery. That should be an entertaining interrogation," Coren remarks, though takes no notice of the incoming coffee. "I can't say I know anything beyond what you just mentioned, hence my coming to find out if you happen to know anything beyond the fact that she disappeared shortly after and hasn't been seen since? Or should I be talking to Katherine Marks? I suppose I just want to know what news there might be on the case, or why there isn't any news."

"Hey, Liz, I didn't put any - oh, Detective Shelby," Fel looks….a bit odd, considering his head's been shaved to the scalp to le the docs stitch up the side of his head. Apparently he's on light duty, rather than pounding the bricks, these days.

Thank God, Elisabeth's expression seems to say. "Didn't put the sugar in? That's okay, there's a canister of it here somewhere," she says to the federal agent with the weirdo haircut. "I love you enough to have your children just for making the run," she adds with a smile, "Especially considering the fact that you're head's cracked like an egg. So you two know each other?" She's not deliberately avoiding Shelby's question, actually — we've just been sidetracked a bit. "I don't know how much investigation Marks has done into the woman, detective, but I can tell you that I dropped her off at her apartment after taking her to the registration center to get her appointment for testing. She went inside. When she didn't show for the testing — which I didn't know until Marks told me about it — I did some checking. Apparently she packed a couple of bags and left town. There's no evidence of foul play involved, it just looks like she was scared. She's not the first person who's been terrified of what it means to be Registered, and I doubt she'll be the last." Her tone is …. dark, even bitter. She's been dealing with a lot of suicides and attempted suicides over the Evolved issue.

Detective Shelby's jaw clenches ever so slightly over the mention of the evolved. It's a terribly conflicting situation for him, which is only one of many reasons for him taking an interest in the case, aside from boredom. His obsessive nature, however, whirls the proverbial cogs. He can think of many reasons a person could disappear in such a scenario, bags packed or not. It's not hard to make it look like a person left town willingly. He avoids responding to the remark about the evolved, and turns instead to answer the first question. "In passing. He's the FBI liaison, and I've been looking for him, and he knows it. It's hard to miss the neon orange post-its I plastered to his desk in my spare time," Detective Shelby comments, "Not to mention he, too, was here when that … 'delightful' woman's attorney presented us with a certain legal package." He rifles around his pocket and produces a CD, which he sets on top of Elisabeth's cubicle divider, "It's surveillance I want sent to Jeffrey Gillis in the Behavioral Sciences Unit for analysis for any signs of deceit on the part of Nalani Hollingwood. I doubt they'll find anything, since I couldn't myself, but maybe more than one brain can find something. I'd love to nail her against the wall for wasting our time."

"I apologize for being so slow about getting back to you," Felix says, with genuine contrition in his voice. He puts down the coffee and touches the stitches on his head by way of explanation. "We had a combination of equipment failure and human stupidity, and I had a suspect get loose and jump me," He eyes the CD, "I'm sorry, what is this?"

Elisabeth smirks at Shelby, she can't help it though her eyes show no amusement whatsoever. "Man, have you seen how often any of us actually get to sit at our desks? I mean… this is the first time in … like three days I've actually put my ass anywhere near this chair. I've got like fourteen reports that need to be typed up and filed, or I wouldn't be here in the middle of the fucking night. And under any other circumstances after getting his head bashed in by a suspect, Ivanov would be at HOME for a couple days to rest up. Instead, his ass is in here too." She shakes her head. "I don't know what cases you're working, but the SCOUT squad is working 20-hour days *every* day. So ease up a little okay? Cuz I'm going on about 6 hours sleep in the last two days, and it's not gonna take much for me to jump your shit. I'd love to see you nail that bitch to the wall too — she irks me something serious."

"It's the surveillance video showing Nalani Hollingwood stumbling into Grace Matheson, and Matheson sweeping her off her feet."4 Coren says to Felix, the last bit with so much sarcasm that it drips with it. "If you can forward that to SSA Gillis, that would be great. I'd do it myself, but protocol and all. If it goes to the Bureau, it goes through you." He's hardly prepared for the sudden rant from Elisabeth. "I wasn't aware I was in any way being harsh, I apologize." He turns to Felix, "Sorry about your head, by the way. Speaking of which, why aren't home in bed?"

"I've got too much to do," Felix says, laconically. He nods, and picks up the disc. "Will do. What sort of case is this - isn't she some socialite? I think I met her," he adds, rather musingly. Memory apparently not so hot these days.

Elisabeth wasn't meaning to rant at the man, she really wasn't. She's just … touchy. She rubs her forehead. "I'm sorry… it's been a long, crappy couple of days," she says apologetically. Digging a canister of sugar out of her desk, she proceeds to doctor her coffee into oblivion, absently handing the canister to Felix for his coffee. "I'm seeing far, far too many dead kids lately," she murmurs. "Don't let my temper chase you off, Shelby. I'm a bitch when I don't get enough sleep, but it's not you."

"Battery. Nalani Hollingwood wants our technical consultant, Grace Matheson, arrested on charges of battery. It seemed that such was indeed the case until I took Rebecca Nakano's statement, as she was present at the time of the attack shown on that surveillance video. According to Miss Nakano, the stumble into Grace Matheson was intentional, although I couldn't make out anything that would suggest that. The angle is not quite good enough to make out any facial expressions, and she has too many clothes on to pick up on any other body language that might suggest she is being deceitful. At any rate, this case stinks, and we definitely need higher resolution surveillance, and from more angles. The last thing we need is another person suing because we allowed one of our consultants to batter someone and let them walk out without saying anything." Coren smiles and shakes his head, "Don't worry about it. I know perfectly well how people are when they're exhausted. I still don't understand why you're all run so hard, though. It can become counterproductive." He signs, "Dead kids are one of the many reasons I left the Bureau."

"That sounds like complete bullshit, and an utter waste of the Department's time. Stupid civilans," Felix says with acid displeasure. "Thank god it is a local and not a federal problem," he adds, shoving the disc into his OUT box. "Honestly, I'll do what I can, but the Bureau is likely to blow this right back atcha."

Elisabeth shakes her head and looks thoughtful. "Why don't you send it up to HomeSec?" she asks Coren. "Apparently Hollingwood's…. something. Brother, cousin, someone? Is a high muckity muck over there, I'm sure SOMEONE will do the man a favor and look it over?" She grins a Shelby a bit. "Counterproductive some of the time, but we're the only squad actually made up of and trained to handle Evolved …. or so they tell us."

Detective Shelby shakes his head. "Gillis and I go way back. It's got my name on it. He'll look at it, and he might even have the team look at it if they're not occupied. Probably for an hour, then they'll toss it back and conclude as I did after my four hours of examination — no luck on proving Miss Nakano's statement." He nods, "And I concur. It is a waste of time and is indeed total and utter bullshit. But, unfortunately, you can't exactly just say that to Miss Hollingwood. She'd probably sue us again." He pulls out his notebook and scratches a few things off his list, and writes down a few more things. "Hopefully my assessment of her is right, though, and she'll drop the suit once I arrest Matheson. I just hope Grace has a good attorney, because Miss Rich does."

Hugh rolls his eyes. "An arrest. God, that woman needs more to do than make up an assault to cause scandal," he says, dumping sugar into his own coffee, and stirring it in liberally. "What she said. Takes one to deal with one. Or arrest one," he adds, wryly, glancing down the line of cubes towards the window.

Elisabeth just shakes her head. "If Nakano is right and it was deliberate, it becomes a case of she-said, she-said…. I doubt either ONE of them will wind up being able to prove or disprove anything in the suit, which in this day and age will probably mean it gets kicked out. The courts are too overburdened to deal with BS, I would think." After all, look at this town. "Maybe the fact that we did a good job today will make her ease up on the suit against the department too — that'd be ideal."

"Here's hoping," Coren says, "Though nothing would please me more than to find out she filed a false police report. It would be rather ironic to have her brother, cousin, or whathaveyou with Homeland Security arrest her, though. But of course, the real problem in my eyes is that we had one forensics technician, two detectives, and one officer just let Matheson leave without detaining her and seeing if Hollingwood wanted to press charges. That, I think, is the key to the lawsuit. But as I said, I am almost certain she'll drop it once Matheson is arrested, and hopefully her lawyer will have the case thrown out as frivolous and an utter waste of the courts' time. Because it is." He looks at his watch, "And speaking of those detectives and officer, I have to interview them and I believe they are waiting for me.[[footenote]]See There Is No Protocol For Dealing With Nalani Hollingwood for statements from Roberts, Poulin, and Johnson.[[/footenote]] Hopefully Miss Rich will not be upset that it's taken three days since I talked to her to get to the arrest. Cheers." With that, Detective Shelby goes on his way.

Fel makes a rather bitter face, and just shakes his head. "I'll get back to you on it," he says, not sounding terribly sanguine about it. "Man, what've things come to?" he grouses at Elisabeth.

March 9th: Congratulations, It Turned Red
March 9th: There Is No Protocol For Dealing With Nalani Hollingwood
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