Not That Kind Of Question


elisabeth_icon.gif coren_icon.gif

Scene Title Not That Kind Of Question
Synopsis Elisabeth finds Coren in the fitness centre at NYPD Headquarters, and they talk about the various tragedies that have occurred and are occurring.
Date March 19, 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.

It's truly amazing how, on the off chance of having a day off, Detective Shelby is still at the precinct working. Maybe he's not working on a specific case at his desk, but his mind is still whirring about minute details most people haven't even begun to put together. Then there's the endorphin rush, resulting from the three hundred and fifty-sixth press. That's right, Shelby's making a spectacle of himself in the training room, and he doesn't even have someone to spot him.

Elisabeth herself rarely ventures into the gym — she puts in her running time, when she gets it, in the park. Today, however, she's looking for Detective Shelby. It's barely a couple of days past the close of the Tyler Case investigation, a couple days past Elisabeth getting shot and the head of the Triads being taken down, and yet she's back on duty, apparently fully recovered. "Shelby?" she says as she approaches where he's working out. "Don't let me disturb you," she adds.. .she'll let him finish his reps.

"How's Abigail?" Coren asks as he raises the barbell. There's a whisper of three eighty as he raises it again. Now, most might think that's insane, but he's in it purely for the endorphin. Exercise makes you happy, and he's hoping for even the slightest buzz at this point. The situations surrounding him all suck.

"Tired," comes Elisabeth's reply. "Not sleeping. Pretty much what you'd expect from a kidnap victim," she tells him quietly. "Thought I'd check in with you on the case." She tilts her head and asks perhaps unexpectedly, "How're you holding up?" Because after all… he's reasonably new to this train wreck that keeps going and going all around us.

Coren remains silent until he hits four-hundred, then he sets the barbell back on the rack. "I can't believe I quit the FBI for this bullshit." He sits up and grabs his water bottle, taking a good long drink from it. Five years with the NYPD and only now it starts to get to him. Probably because he was dealing with a case not dissimilar from Abby's (minus the jurisdictional problem) when he resigned from the FBI. It was personal.

Moving now to straddle a weight bench across from him, Elisabeth studies him quietly. "It's not always as bad as all this," she offers. As if he doesn't already know that. But it's been a REAL crappy few weeks for everyone.

There's almost a laugh that comes out of Coren at that statement. "I've been with the NYPD for five years now. The only thing worse than this was dealing with the bomb and its aftermath…. well, direct aftermath. It's been prolonged." He stands up from the bench. If he were an ordinary human, it would be weird that he only recently broke into a sweat, but that's superhuman endurance for you. Tough as nails. "This bullshit with DA Sandler…. girl gets kidnapped right here in Manhattan, and we can't do anything because the perpetrator's on Staten Island?" He shakes his head nad takes another drink. "And I think we're going to have another problem."

Elisabeth looks curious. "Do I even want to know what the other problem is?" she asks, though she does grin a this assertion that it's bad. "I was trying to make you feel better. I stuck it out through the first couple of months after the Bomb, but… had to take a leave of absence for that. Lost my mom that day. It was too much." She shrugs matter-of-factly; she's not looking for sympathy, just stating a fact. "So yeah… I know what you mean."

Coren nods, "A lot of people did." He starts to walk towards the showers, "I was reading the paper…. A man, evolved, not well liked, well-feared, was shot in the head by a sniper rifle. I worked as a profiler with the FBI long enough to know that incidents like these tend to … degenerate."

Elisabeth blinks and says, "What?" She missed that bit of news. "Shit," she murmurs. "Not like it's unexpected. I have a feeling we're going to start to see all kinds of stuff like that — it's been a free-for-all out there for weeks, but … the situation with the kids is going to fan it back into a bonfire."

"The situation with the kids started a fire and poured gasoline on it. Not to say there weren't already fires, but we really didn't need this," Coren says. "I had a professor back in nineteen eighty-eight who had such a bleak view of humanity. I always tried to prove people were better than that." He shakes his head, "Things like this make me think he was right."

There's a long moment of silence. Then Liz replies, "You know… humanity has come so far in some ways, and so NOT in others." She grimaces a bit. "We're still ruled by the instinctual parts of our animal brains, the part of us that actually let us survive and evolve at all. When things threaten us, we respond without rational thought. When bad things happen, we look for a reason that makes sense… I have to tell you… I hope to God they find out someone WAS manipulating those kids." She looks away from him. "As much as that would suck… the idea that kids are afraid enough of the government to organize themselves to take their own lives? God, Shelby… I don't want to think that."

"They're more likely afraid of the people around them, but that does include the government. Somebody had to have manipulated them, though, even if it was just one of them. Mass suicides are cult-like behaviours. People don't just up and group together to kill themselves. There was somebody with a lot of charisma behind it, I can guarantee you that," Coren says. He has published articles on mass-suicides. He's done the research.

She glances his way. "It doesn't negate the tragedy, and I have to hope that their message gets across. But honestly? I think it'll come down to 'oh look, an Evo made all these Evo kids take their lives… see, Evos are bad!'" Elisabeth shakes her head and says, "Anything I can do to help you? I think we're all kind of muddling through here, but…"

"That's what I'm hoping doesn't happen. Otherwise, shit will hit the fan worse than it has already," Coren says. He stops at the doorway to the showers. "I heard Abigail's gone back to work. You can drop her schedule on my desk if you happen to know it. I want to ask her something."

Elisabeth tilts her head. "Want me to pass along the question?" she asks. "She's just moved into her new place. Building with good security."

"Just get her to send me her schedule, passing it through only trusted sources. It's not a question I intend to share," Coren says, before heading into the showers.

There's a faint shrug. "Sure," Liz replies to his back. She watches him go thoughtfully, though. Eh… whatever.

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