Pop Quiz, Hotshot


colette_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif kaylee3_icon.gif

Scene Title Pop Quiz, Hotshot
Synopsis Elisabeth tutors Colette and Kaylee as they prep for the conclsion of their academy training.
Date May 9th, 2019

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

Raytech Housing, Elisabeth's Apartment

Elisabeth's apartment has several advantages as a place to study. It's starting to look truly lived in and has furniture — KAYLEE, WE'RE LOOKING AT YOU. It has a ready supply of coffee or soda. And it keeps Elisabeth from having to bring Mike Gordon, her faithful shadow these days — having a bodyguard is a concession to Richard's worries, but it drives her up a wall. She did, after all, manage to keep herself and their daughter safe for seven years. ("Safe" is a totally relative term here.)

With binders scattered across her table and cups half full of drinks, the place looks more like a college dorm study party than anything else. Elisabeth's blonde mass is yanked up into a haphazard knot, a pencil shoved through it to hold it in place. A pair of gray sweatpants is topped by a simple T-shirt, and her feet are bare as she paces slowly about the living room.

"So, pop quiz… without a warrant, what constitutes probable cause to enter a domicile without it when you arrive on a scene?" This, at least, is simple procedure. Better than the harder ones about when they can use powers with lethal effects.

“Pursuit,” Colette says, reclining back on the rear two legs of her chair, one booted foot propped up on a leg of the table, politely day-drinking with a beer in one hand (polite in that she brought a six pack to share, currently sitting amid the paperwork on the table). “You know, following a known target— perp— into a residence.” She makes a little sliding gesture with one tatooed hand, indicating the path of pursuit. As she thinks, Colette idly picks at the frayed fabric of her jeans where the black denim has worn and split at the knees.

Colette wrinkles her nose, then flicks out two fingers. “Consent,” is her second item, which she doesn’t much feel the need to explain, and takes that time to sip off the top of her bottle. “Uh…” she eyes the beer, then sets it down with a clunk on the table. “Plain view,” and she flicks out a third finger, then slides a look over to Kaylee with a crooked smile. “No cheating,” she adds, “I mean not that anyone could fucking tell, right?” Colette can’t help but snort out a laugh at that notion.

“Please,” Kaylee scoffs at Colette with mock indignation. “I will have you know I am a well mannered telepath. My granny raised me right.” Her more southern upbringing leaking into her words.” I’ve already asked to be tested separately, before they could even think of it.” Fingers mess with the pages of the book in front of her. “I don’t want to give any higher up yahoo’s an excuse.”

Leaning back, Kaylee sighs, “That being said… I’ve got to get over that a little once we are out there.” A glance goes to the other two woman. “Only the listening part… I.. I don’t want the brass knowing how much I can do with my ability. Word of that gets out…” A heavy breath leaves her and she shakes her head. It wouldn’t be good. At all. “Especially, when it could mean life and death, but lawyers for the bad guys would be all over that.”

Leaning forward, she snags the edge of the page they are on and points to a scenario in the class book. “I mean take this,” Her eyes scan the words, “A man barricades himself in his house with his family. The negotiator is trying talk this guy down, but there is me over there… and all I hear is what he’s going to do with them. Putting a gun to their head. I could end it quickly by changing ‘I’m going to kill them’ to ‘I’m not going to kill them.’ That is a hell of a moral dilemma.”

Elisabeth adds, "Not just seeing but hearing." Which is also something that falls under 'power use' for her, and there are all kinds of new rules about that shit! "And exigent circumstances — arrival on the scene due a call from someone outside the residence who will state for the record that there is a threat or even silence from a residence where before there have been noises reported by a 911 caller."

She glances at Kaylee. "I'm not supposed to say this to you, but Kaylee? At all costs, keep the more… esoteric aspects of your ability under the radar. They're already going to be a little uneasy with what I can do — and I can't force anyone. I can only enhance relaxation and make them a little more susceptible to cajoling. If you have to use your ability like that? I will back you, balls to the wall. But exhaust the more mundane options first — telepathic knowledge isn't admissible in court, and we're going to be walking a fine line with people like you and me regarding the civil rights arguments." It's a hell of a lot more complicated than it used to be, in her opinion. "In that example… you could use your ability to enhance the impact the negotiator is having, but… I'd say unless you know for sure he was going to pull that trigger, you don't jump the gun straight to… the forceful application of power."

Taking a sip from her beer, Colette nods. “This might come as a surprise given— ” She grimaces, then shakes her head. “Givens. But we got versed pretty well in military rules of engagement in Wolfhound. It helps that we were often in a shot-at-first situation. Once the war ended and law and order was restored, we had to abide by the same engagement policies as everyone else. Which, isn't all that different from the police. Fuck, if history is any indication it's supposed to mean I'll be more disciplined.”

Supposed to mean.

Colette closes her eyes and scrubs the heel of her palm against her brow, leaning forward and setting the front legs of her chair down with a clack on the floor. “SESA got the full disclaimer for me,” she explains, “one way or another. My whole ability dossier is pretty public knowledge in the government now. Wolfhound had— a lot of oversight before I left. I always intended to apply for my instructor endorsement, but never got around to it.”

Blind eyes leveled at Kaylee, Colette tilts her head to the side. “Hypothetical,” she says before taking another sip of her beer, including Liz in on this with an aside glance. “You keep your top shelf powers secret, one day they're used. Maybe on the job, maybe not. But somebody higher up than Liz,” Colette says with a motion of her bottle that way, “finds out. Now it comes up that you've got all these undisclosed facets, lied about it, and tried to cover it up…”

Colette looks down into the neck of her bottle, swirling the contents around as she looks between Liz and Kaylee. “There's no way you'd be able to prove good intent then. I know disclosure is a risk but,” she shrugs her shoulders. “Do you think there's anything you can do that Vincent Lazzaro doesn't already know you can do?”

“All I ever did for the Ferry was read minds and share information, so how would he know more than that?” Kaylee asks simply, with an edge of irritation… this was clearly something she’s struggled with. After a moment she gives a wobble of her head, “Okay, I made a few guards look elsewhere in the arc… And I might have mind melded with Avi another point… He wasn’t there for all that.” She waves it off, quickly enough, “But no one knew the dark stuff. The really dark stuff.” There is worry when she looks between the two. “This isn’t lasers or manipulation of frequencies. This is full blown…”

Kaylee sighs heavily and looks away from them both, trying to find the right words and calm her nerves. “If I put myself out there and people find out?” She gives a small shake of her head. “Everyone I ever bring in could claim I made them confess to a crime. Lawyers would be all over that shit.” Kaylee pleas with them to see what she’s saying, shifting forward on her chair. “Guys, I can literally control what people think and remember. I can change everything they ever remember or make them do what I want.

“Hell, I made Luther’s body seize up when I first started training. Pretty sure his brain shut off his heart.” She stumbles to a stop, realizing she might have given up too much. Stopping short of confessing to making a soldier kill all his buddies and himself during the war. A hand scrubs against the back of her neck with her anxiety. “You really think I should disclose all I can do?” It’s obvious that the idea terrifies Kaylee, deeply.

Elisabeth doesn't look even remotely surprised by what Kaylee can do — then again, she traveled with a much harder version of the same woman for years. Colette's words have her looking wary and thoughtful, though. She sighs heavily. "She's not wrong, Kaylee," she admits reluctantly. Shoving a hand through her hair, she also admits, "And I'm still struggling to come out of survival mindset on this front. Colette's really the expert here."

There's a curl of her lip at Lazzaro's name, though. "Christ. Has someone told him that Donovan put me back on the force? I can't even… the man hated me!" And said she was a shitty cop too.

Elisabeth frowns slightly, pulling the huge binder with their 'textbook' in it toward her. "Dad said the new laws are written to protect law enforcement officers when they use power in the line of duty — I'm pretty sure coercion is covered in the regs, too. With the way the new laws are written, as long as your power is disclosed ahead of time and you only use them to, for example, make someone surrender a firearm but not to do shit like confess, the defense isn't supposed to be allowed to use it." She grimaces. "Not that they won't, but…"

“Hypothetical,” Colette says again with a shrug, “we arrrest somebody. He confesses — naturally — and then two years down the line it comes out that you can make people confess.” She shrugs, the implication is obvious. “I'm not an expert,” comes with a lopsided smile, “but one of my partners is a lawyer and the other one is a Tamara,” that smile grows, “and I'm an alright listener.”

Idly starting to peel the label off the neck of her beer bottle, Colette looks over at Elisabeth. “Vincent’s mellowed out a lot,” is an understatement. “Back after you and Magnes were gone, when Heller and his men attacked Pollepel, Tasha got shot in the head. It…” She picks more of the label off, “she barely made it. A lot changed in him after that. The assassination attempt on Mitchell, the whole war. But saving Tasha, nearly losing her? He's still skeptical, but…” Colette exhales a sigh. “I trust him with my life.”

Depositing a few scraps of the label onto the tabletop, Colette takes a sip of her beer. “I'm the poster girl for backsliding with regards t’trusting the government. But… look,” she looks to Kaylee, “I fucked up hard a while back.” Another understatement. “And Vincent shielded me from the consequences. Shielded Wolfhound. I keep his secrets, he keeps mine.” She bobs her head from side to side. “So long as Praeger is president, I have faith.”

What comes in the 2020 elections, though, only time will tell.

“Yeah, well, easy to say from that side of this ability,” Kaylee huffs out testily. Thumb and fingers rub across tired eyes and after a moment a heavy sigh escapes. It sounds a bit resigned. When the hand drops, it curls into a first to join the other, pressing into her knees. “I promise to think about it.” That was all. It is the best they will get right now.

The telepath’s fears were less about the government and more about people in general. Still she would give it some thought. Times like this were when she wished she could drink. Talk about things like this really wound her up.

Kaylee motions to Elisabeth, “But enough about me and my insecurities. Continue.” Despite the tightness in her voice, she offers she sargent a smile.

Elisabeth grimaces at the fear and the stress she can see building in Kaylee. She hates that it's there. And more… she hates that she doesn't honestly think there's a good answer here. She sighs.

"Okay — Colette, your turn to pick a quiz question." The audiokinetic has had to do less studying — the older stuff really was just review, it was the newer laws and how they apply to law enforcement that she's been having to relearn — but she's tried to be as much help for Kaylee as she can. Finding along the way that Colette, and Wolfhound in general, was already working under the same basic structure as law enforcement just with more leeway has been helpful for her. She's been able to ask practical questions of the younger woman.

Colette can see how tense Kaylee is, recognizes the weight of the air in the room, and sets down her beer as though she were taking Elisabeth’s question with the utmost seriousness. Except in this moment, she can’t. They’ve been at this for hours now, and after the heavy discussion, she’s made the decision that they need a break. But, Colette smiles wryly, raising one finger as if to indicate she has an idea on exactly what question to ask.

Alright,” Colette says with a barely restrained smirk. “Pop quiz.”

Colette, no.

“There's a bomb on a bus.” Elisabeth can already feel herself getting older as Colette starts to talk, and the younger woman is barely able to contain her smirking laughter as she starts quoting Speed. “Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50…”

It’s going to be a long day.

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