No Polyidus



Also Featuring: Margaret "Maggie" Gear

Scene Title No Polyidus
Synopsis Greek myth.: Polyidus was the wise old man whose advice resulted in Bellerophon acquiring Pegasus, without whom he would not have defeated the Chimera.
Agent Sawyer comes knocking on the door of the waitress from the O Lounge, but while she's a very obliging young woman, no strikingly obvious leads jump out and present themselves.
Date June 25, 2010

Maggie's Apartment

The apartment is tiny, tucked away in a corner of a far larger building; the sitting room is scrupulously neat and tidy, low coffee table looking like it came from a garage sale, the two chairs beside it worn enough to suggest similar origins. The kitchen isn't much more than a counter, a sink, and a stove with some cupboards overhead: no oven, and a dish drainer takes up most of the counter space. Shelves on one wall hold an assortment of bric-a-brac, from decorative plates to figurines to an array of photographs that seem to document two different families; there's also a few books, but most of those are piled near the base. A computer at one side of the room has what sounds like a movie running on it, although glare from the afternoon sunlight effectively masks the screen.

With the noise of actors' dialogue as a backdrop to her actions, Maggie Gear is currently at work in the kitchen, cleaning and chopping various vegetables; she's in the middle of processing a bell pepper when the knock comes at her door. "Just a second!" Leaving it half-done, the young woman dries her hands on a nearby towel before walking around, glancing briefly through the peephole before cracking open the door. "Yes?"

Agent Sawyer, on the other side of the door, flashes her DHS badge and an apologetic smile at the waitress peering at her. "Margaret Gear?" she asks, her husky voice low so as not to disturb any neighbors in the apartment building, and for the sake of Maggie's privacy.

"I'm Agent Veronica Sawyer, and I'm working on the case involving the incident at your workplace earlier this week," she says, glancing past the woman for as much as she can see into the apartment through the small sliver of open door. "I thought maybe you might have some details that could help us. Do you mind if I come in to speak with you?"

"Oh! Um. Yeah, sure," she replies, stepping back and opening the door so Veronica can enter. "Lemme just turn this off and — can I offer you something to drink, or, well, anything?" Maggie asks, off-balance and attempting to compensate for that with words. She moves to the computer desk, hitting pause on the movie player. "Water or lemonade or there's still some coffee left— " she continues, turning back towards Vee.

"No, but thank you anyway," Veronica says, easily enough. "I appreciate you taking the time with this. There isn't a lot to go on just yet, and your boss said you probably knew Mr. Ritchie best of the employees at the O Lounge…?" The statement lilts upward into a question as Veronica moves to one of the two chairs, pulling out a small pad of paper to take notes on. "How long have you worked there?"

"I'm pretty much the only employee," Maggie says as she moves around the table, sitting on the floor on the opposite side with her legs outstretched. She puts her hands on the carpet, then reconsiders and sets them in her lap. "There's a part-timer who works a few days in the week. I've worked for Jeremy — well, there was about a year before the explosion, and then he reopened about two years ago and asked me to come back. I didn't have anything else to do, so of course I did."

Veronica nods at the information. "Jeremy said that this guy comes in pretty frequently with a group of friends. What kind of guy did he seem to be? Friendly? Fresh? Give good tips?" she asks, with a little bit of a smile, to ease the young woman into talking about the deceased man. "How many friends were in the group, would you say?"

Maggie frowns, pursing her lips in evident reflection. "He did tip pretty well," she allows. "Wasn't forward at all, though. Mostly talked with his friends about work, sports, people they all knew, stuff like that. If the group wasn't all there, and it was a slow evening, he'd start up a conversation with me. Asked a couple times if I was going to college, or what I'd want to do if I did. Talked about his wife and kids a little. Mostly his daughter; said I reminded him of her. Even though I had the wrong hair color." She pauses, considering that, and shrugs. "I don't really think it's cause we have anything in common, except maybe age."

Notes get scribbled on the pad of paper, and Veronica nods. "I get that too — any guy old enough to have kids my age… I think they just see us all through the eyes of a father, sometimes. Unless they're leches, of course," she says with a smile, before moving on. "He was a pretty big guy — was he the biggest guy in the group? Anyone in that group taller, bigger than him? Weird question, I know. Just humor me." Veronica has a few guys' names on a few receipts, and starting with someone 5'6" isn't the most efficient plan in her book.

Maggie peers over at Veronica. "Um. Taller?" The frown reappears, and she leans her arms on the table, bracing her head against one hand. "I don't think so. There was one that was pretty large but I don't think anyone was bigger."

"Do you remember that guy's name?" Veronica flips a page to peer at the various names she'd written down from the cache of receipts. "Or whatever they called him, if you don't remember ever seeing his name or being introduced?" She can probably just call up the DMV records for the men and compare sizes, come to think of it. "Also, did you notice anything at all different from other nights the night Mr. Ritchie died? Anything that hadn't happened before — or any arguments between the group?"

The younger woman mulls over that for a minute, then shakes her head. "I — Loren, maybe? I'm not sure. I didn't even know his name, really, until it all got reported on the news," Maggie has to admit. "Different?" There's another brief pause as she thinks back; then the girl shakes her head. "Not that I saw. They hung around until the game was over and then started drifting out. He was one of the last — I think he catches, um, caught a late bus to go home."

Veronica jots down the name Loren and nods. "Do you know if any of them had some interest in… I don't know… biology, chemistry, anything like that?" she says, knowing that's a long shot, but thinking to the syringe and the warped bodies of the man and the dog. "A career involving anything scientific?" More stuff to research, but if she has a starting point, it will cut down the time involved.

"Not a clue, sorry," Maggie replies, shaking her head. "Or — I don't think so, but I didn't really listen to everything they said, you know? I think mostly they were in business and stuff, things like that." Which isn't necessarily exclusive.

"Oh, don't be sorry. You were doing your job… I just have to ask. And you're very helpful," Veronica says with a dimpled smile. "All right. You mentioned his wife and kids — what did he say about them? Was he happy with his wife? Proud of his kids, or was there trouble at home?" She knows Jeremy had said he didn't seem to want to go home, but she doesn't want to put words in Maggie's mouth.

Maggie smiles back at Veronica, looking a little reassured. "Okay." His family? "Well — both of his kids are off in college, or something like that. I don't remember where or what, but it kinda sounded like they weren't around here. His wife…" Her voice trails off a moment as she thinks. "I think she was in the explosion, or she got radiation-sick from it, or something. When he talked about her, it was always stuff from before. 'Used to' or 'once we did' or stuff like that."

"Ahh," Veronica says, thoughtfully. "Okay. Well, I think that's all I need from you today, Miss Gear. Thank you so much for your help." She reaches into her pocket, coming up with a business card. "If you think of anything else, don't hesitate to call." The agent hands the card to the woman, then rises from her chair to move toward the door.

Maggie scrambles up from her seat, taking the card and nodding to Veronica. "I will," she promises, moving over to open the door for the departing agent. "Sorry I couldn't be more help."

"You've been a help," Veronica assures the girl with a nod. "Any information is more than I had before, and it can help speed up the process of finding out what happened. For now, though it was probably an isolated incident, be sure to have someone walk with you when you leave work and such if you can. Don't leave your work by yourself." With that bit of advice, she is down the hall, already pulling out her Blackberry to pull up the DMV records of Ritchie's friends as she heads to her car.

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