Pounding The Bricks


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Scene Title Pounding the Bricks
Synopsis Darius and Liz head out to try to do some cop work and come across someone.
Date January 6, 2009

Somewhere near the George Washington Bridge

In keeping with her nomadic ways since that day in December, Cat once again slept at a different hotel last night, and afterward was up early. Food followed, and then the start of her day. Part of that involved going to the library HQ and seeing what updates were added, and one thing caused her to contemplate.

So it is that within an hour of that point, Cat is near one of those bridges over the Hudson. She's in jeans, boots, a winter coat, and gloves with the fingers cut out. Her backpack is on the pavement near her feet, the guitar case set down and left open, the instrument in her hands.

Her fingers work the strings and frets, but what she's mostly doing is looking at the bridge to see what she can see and think.

While the two of them made their phone calls from Liz's apartment, the blond cop also took the opportunity to use her disposable cell to text a message into a certain database with the possibility raised during the brainstorm session she and Darius shared over breakfast. By the time Darius touched base with his military contacts, Elisabeth had in hand a list of demolitions companies and a list (much longer) of construction companies that would also have access and reason to have explosives. So now comes the hardest part — pounding the bricks, so to speak. The two cops have hit three of the demolitions companies already, all of which have denied any loss of explosive materials. As they leave the third one, situated not too far from the bridges they're actually interested in, Liz comments mildly, "You don't think there's any chance they're already putting things in place, little by little, do you?" That would almost be the only way to *do* a job this big. "If it's the terrorists, I mean."

"Of course there is." Darius notes without any concern in his tone. "The trick is doing it in a way that won't go noticed. Like say replacing an emergency phone box with plastique in a box. That sort of thing. Or along the beams underneath.. to be honest, I could spend days looking without a city engineer to tell me what's off." As the car is parked, he gets out of the passenger side. He Content to play rookie for now.

At the entrance to the south sidewalk of the GW Bridge, 178th Street just west of Cabrini Boulevard which also has access to the Hudson River Greenway, Cat plays her instrument and lets her eyes wander, taking in that which is seen. Thoughts progress behind her eyes, speculating on who might try to bring these structures down, how, and why. They can't cut the city off entirely by that means, the tunnels and railroad tubes remain, but that doesn't mean those avenues wouldn't also be assaulted. Is it, she ponders, the Vanguard who would sever the links or the agents of government? Both could have their motives, as was suggested by the Scout infiltrator. But if it is the Vanguard, the job is huge. Wiring the bridge to blow could be noticed. But… Her mind calls up the list of assets they know that group has.

Military hardware, a decommissioned missile silo in Nevada, properties in the western US and Europe, a warehouse in Providence, Rhode Island, two cargo ships purchased from Brazil in 1997 (This section also contains images of various documents related to those resources, in specific the now defunct accounts with a Russian satellite phone company and the deed to the Providence, RI warehouse. There are other documents related to those assets, all tied to the name of Richard Santiago.)

Connections with Mexican drug-runners and pirates, and a great deal of money more than the GDP of quite a few small countries once held by Swedish banks on Kazimir Volken's behalf. Those funds have been raided and dispersed.

The Volken Group has hundreds of personnel worldwide.

Recently purchased biochemical hardware: hazmat suits, mortars capable of dispersing a biological agent, refrigeration units.

And this also comes into her mind: A photo of a tank. There's a soldier in a gray uniform sitting on top of it with no military insignias, he's holding an automatic rifle. There are a pile of bodies stacked up neatly in front of the tank. At first it looks like an old World War II photograph, except that it is in color, and it's in New York City.

There are, she recalls by viewing those items, no records of explosives purchased or stolen. Perhaps Wireless should be asked to look into that angle, that doesn't mean they don't have them… only that if they do no records were found. Yet. But, if they have no explosives, how…

Cat's eyes suddenly widen.

Elisabeth seems perfectly confident in both her own driving ability and Darius's — she is not in any way treating him like a rookie. Hell, she's barely back on the force herself after a two-year hiatus. "Yeah, I'm starting to get that. And if I have to lean on every darn person we talk to, it's going to take weeks to get through this list of construction contractors. All because the idiots don't want to report stolen explosives if they have them." She shakes her head and glances at him as they pause in the yard of the fourth company, with a view of the GW bridge. She studies the structure and comments quietly, "You do realize, don't you, that if it's the terrorists… the information I've got so far suggests they're VERY well funded, and they'd have no need to steal the stuff anyway." That possibility alone does not negate the need for this kind of legwork.

"You really know how to make a guy feel content with the world." Darius quips dryly as he gets out binoculars from his trenchcoat. Compact and military issue, he looks out at various structural highlights of the bridge. "Are you telling me that I'm going to have to tie myself up a swiss seat and rapelle off the bridge myself?" A sigh and he pans further away. "So how well funded is well funded? Buy small arms funded or buy a spare nuke funded?"

The widened eyes are caused by a realization of a possibility. That it may not be explosives which damages the bridge, if it is the Volken group. Cat's mental meandering as she plays guitar continues, her eyes on the bridge all the while, and another flash is called up of seeing Eve in Central Park.

Eve closes her eyes and tilts her head, making the dream come back so that she can tell Cat about it. "Kazimir and his group they are planning something big. My dream started with me standing on a bridge crossing the Hudson then a shadow came with his cane, that is undoubtedly Kazimir. After that the wolf came and the wolf charged me while the shadow just kept walking toward me, then all of a sudden the other bridges around me began to explode and fall apart. Mine was the last to go."

Eve explains with a grave expression. "This one of my most literal dreams ever. Let Helena know, that maybe patrols need to be done around the bridges connecting to the Hudson river or something. I will be talking to Noah concerning this within the next few days." Eve sighs and rubs her temples the dream now stuck in her head. "It can't be allowed to happen." Eve says blankly. "I have a picture of it on my phone, I didn't know if that would be good enough though."

With her features hardening, Cat listens and records all that's shared about this dream. "Kazimir," she mutters. "He plans to take out bridges across the Hudson." Her guitar is put away in the case and closed up, then slung across a shoulder. The backpack follows, while she asks "What's the image quality on the photograph?"

"That bastard /will/ die." It isn't said why but Cat should be able to figure it out. "It's pretty good actually." Eve brings out her phone and finds the picture she took of the painting to show to Cat.

The painting is of a series of bridges all of them in various stages of being blown up except one which a three figures can be seen. Eve standing in the middle with a big wolf stalking towards her the shadow that is Kazimir has expanded and doesn't look like anything remotely human. "How is that?" Eve asks.

Precog dreams, Cat understands, can be literal or metaphoric; in this case she doubts Volken would actually be on the bridge at the time with a wolf to charge at Eve, and Eve herself being on the bridge is also doubtful. So… most likely it's a mix of metaphor and literal: to show the bridges going down and indicate who did it.

The mortars come into her mind again. They can disperse a bioagent. But they could also be fired at a bridge.

Elisabeth mmmms quietly, watching him scan the bridge. Her eyes are not good enough to see Cat from here, obviously, though we're probably only a block or so away from the bridge itself. "I sure as hell hope not." She pauses. "I'm not good at rapelling. Really." She grins at her new partner. "Though if you wanna teach me, I'm game." She looks back at the bridge and murmurs, "Buy a spare tac-nuke funded." Her tone is … thoughtful more than worried. "Hey.. it looks like these guys are out to lunch anyway. Let's take a ride up there and just walk the place. It's a one in a million shot, but what have we got to lose?"

With that thought in mind, Cat turns from looking at the bridge itself to thinking she should perhaps actually walk the span and see what can be seen on both riverbanks. Areas that give clear fields of fire would be of interest, although she realizes artillery weapons might not need that clear line of sight; they can be targeted to fire over buildings at predetermined coordinates.

When, or indeed if, the Scout members come across her, Cat will be on the south sidewalk at the bridge's highest point.

When he shrugs at her in that easygoing way he's got, Elisabeth merely smiles and heads back to the car. She drives them up to the bridge, and the two officers start walking along the length of the thing, one on either side of the roadway. Not that they expect to see anything, but there are always people up there, workers doing something, things like that. People who can be asked if they saw anything. Phone boxes to check. It's a waste of time and they both know it, but …. eh, what the hell. It's a way to kill an hour before lunch, right?

Walking along the south sidewalk, it's with some surprise that Liz actually comes upon someone she knows. She stops a bit of a distance away, tilting her head and watching Cat play. What on earth is the woman doing? And then she finally approaches. "Hey," she calls over the roar of traffic going by. "What's up?"

"I'm just taking in the view," Cat replies with a light chuckle as she continues to scan the areas on one side of the wide river below, "and playing a bit." The guitar case and backpack are over her shoulders now, having been picked up to bring along when she moved here from the Manhattan side bridge foot. "And thinking a little."

'Thinking a bit' with Cat covers a LOT of territory. "You okay?" she asks. Because she could be thinking about Dani, and that's ground that Liz can't cover well out here like this. She shoves her hands into her black coat's pockets. Although she's not wearing a uniform, she's on duty so she's trying to be circumspect about the conversation just in case anyone looks.

Her eyes wander a bit before she speaks, as if checking to see if they're alone enough to speak here; the bridge sidewalk is used often enough by pedestrians. Her answer in the meantime is inoccuous. "Open spaces, there could be room for development as the city and parts of Jersey keep recovering," Cat opines for some reason. "It won't even be the same, but the city will once again be grand someday. There'll even be a place like Times Square, I think."

With a faint smile, Elisabeth says quietly, "There might be a place LIKE Times Square, but there'll never be another Times Square. Too much history." She shrugs easily. "What's on your mind out here, Cat?"

"Of course not," Cat quietly agrees. "What's gone is gone, what comes after may be close but will never be the same." Those words, wistfully spoken, ahead of a pause, and more innocuous musing. "I was just thinking about the construction costs of a thing like that. All the steel and glass, the bricks and mortar."

Elisabeth mms. "All right." She studies the other woman and says, "My new partner has an interesting take on the bridge explosions. We're following up on the construction angle, but … I don't think there's a bomb up here. If they *are* using a bomb, either the government or the Vanguard, they won't steal the makings." She speaks with a look out over the river. "The other option is that it's just a person. And in any of those cases, I'm wasting my time. But I haven't got a choice, I have to eliminate the possibilities."

"Remember the mortars, Elisabeth," Cat replies, as she too partakes of the views. "Remember the mortars."

Elisabeth tilts her head. "Remind me?" she asks of the one who remembers all.

"In the list of Vanguard's assets, there are mortars capable of dispersing a biological agent," Cat comments. "I would imagine they could also be used to launch conventional shells, or perhaps both. A person able to use artillery pieces might not need to rig a bridge for demolition." Her eyes continue sweeping the banks slowly, looking for areas that could be used as firing locations with such a weapon. "You may be correct, of course. It could be the bridges are brought down as a quarantine measure."

Elisabeth shakes her head slightly. "The possibilities are entirely too numerous to really run down. We're going to need better intel." She sighs and looks at Cat. "Let me go ahead and get back to trawling the bridge. Gotta meet my partner back at the car.

"In any case, I thought of the mortars when I mulled over your opinion on the dream's meaning," Cat states. "It would be a way of damaging bridges and blocking traffic in and out of Manhattan without having to plant explosives, which could perhaps be set up away from them. But the locations such a weapon could be fired from, they're vast. That also leaves Hudson crossings by the tunnels, and the railroad tubes."

"Precog visions offer a snapshot of possibilities, they rarely give the whole picture. Is is that she only foresaw actions against Hudson bridges? Anyone wanting to seal Manhattan would need to take out crossings of the East River too, this wasn't dreamt about, but that doesn't mean it's not among the possibilites. Also possible is someone wanting to seal the Hudson and leave the East River unblocked. Part of planning to herd people desperate to escape in that direction?" It all leads Cat to one conclusion.

"You're right again. We need better intel."

Elisabeth mmms softly. "I don't know enough about explosives to determine whether mortars are powerful enough to bring down these bridges. But Johnson'll know. I'll ask when I hook back up with him." And she nods. "Yeah, I know… but *he* also got the same warning. From some source, possibly the same source. Cuz he's the one who came to me with a potential bomb threat. So… " She shakes her head. "Again… too many possibilities. And a *LOT* of casualties, no matter which way you look at it."

"Johnson?" Cat asks, an eyebrow raising. "He's… your partner? His source could be anyone. I'd doubt it was Parkman, that would come from the top as a general alert, wouldn't it? Someone inside the Vanguard having second thoughts, someone sharing info about Eve's dream, even Eve herself. As to the mortars, they don't have to bring the bridges down, they only need do enough damage to make them uncrossable. And a mortar can perhaps fire again and again until the goal happens."

Elisabeth shakes her head. "That's not how mortars work. From what I understand, the painting shows them blowing, yes? An explosion? Not multiple mortar rounds being fired — it's a different kind of explosion. I know that much. But then again… how much of it is literal and how much is interpretation …" She sighs and trails off. "Anyway. I sent the possibility so that if it hadn't been considered, it could be. That's all." She smiles a bit. "I'll just keep doing what I'm doing."

"Learn all we can, float ideas and possibilities, hoping the golden straw is pulled, until Doctor Ray reveals his plan. So much, so much, gets pinned on his Evolved viewing of probability. I'd so much like more to work with, for him and us."

She draws in a slow breath and releases. "Johnson, your partner? He's at the car, you said."

Darius was by the car. He comes walking over towards the pair with a pair of footlongs held in the palm of his left hand and a drink carrier held by the same hand's index finger. His right hand, its empty. "Brought some food. Or at least something to eat." They have the works on them as far as chili cheese heart attacks go. "Nothing like breakfast but you can live on it." He's talking to Liz, of course, and gives Cat an almost afterthought sort of nod. "Hi."

Elisabeth turns to look at her partner. Something like 'speak of the devil' crosses her mind, and she smiles for him as she moves to take the hot dog and drink from him. "Thanks," she replies easily. "So… this is Cat Chesterfield. She and I hang together occasionally at the Nite Owl. She keeps trying to get me to sing with her," she says with a roll of her eyes at her partner to convey the amusement factor.

They've seen each other before, although brief. Cat was the disturbed woman seen talking with the younger one on that occasion. She's the woman who seemed distraught who declined his offers to assist her. Darius may or may not recall on seeing her. But she, for her part, remembers him without fault. That recognition may be given away in her face and eyes when the man walks up and is identified as Liz's partner. A smile forms; her right hand, in a glove with the fingertips gone, is extended to shake once and release. Her grip isn't without a mild degree of strength, and the fingertips have calluses. Perhaps from the playing the guitar she carries in a case across her shoulder. "That's me, Detective. And someday I'll win out on that front."

Darius smirks. "Detective. That's a new one." There's something of a recognition in his eyes that isn't precisely perfect. "Darius, Johnson." If his last name matters. "For you." Once his right hand is free, he offers over the other hot dog and drink. "I had mine in the car already." He does offer a glance to Liz. "Does everyone sing in this city? I swear, it must be Broadway."

Elisabeth shrugs and sips from the soda cup. "I *don't* sing… except that I'm good at it. My two-year hiatus from the force was spent picking up my teaching credentials for music," she says with a laugh at her partner. "And well… it's sort of related to the other part of me, you know? Sorry, my introduction skills are sorely lacking," she says of not giving Cat his name. "Darius is my new partner, Cat. He and I'll be stuck together like glue from now on. Or something," she adds with a grin.

"Darius," she repeats. "Also the name of a Persian emperor. Good to meet you, and, well, Detective fits. You're with the police, on duty, and not in uniform. That spells detective." Cat adjusts the gear supported across shoulders as she speaks.

She takes the offered food. "Thank you."

"I'm surrounded by musicians." Darius gives a little sigh at that in good humor. "Doomed." The glue comment gets him to glance from his hip to Liz' and he chuckles. "Its not so bad as glue.. yet. Though I think our boss is going to regret it. So far we've agreed on everything but the price of tea in China."

Elisabeth laughs at Darius quietly, and then looks alarmed. "Oh no! Don't tell me you think it's too expensive! Cuz that'll just be the straw that breaks the camel's back," she asserts. "I'll have to dump you and partner up with Will. And won't the rumor mill have a field day with THAT. I mean, *really*… you can't sleep with your partner!" she says with clear facetiousness.

Quiet laughter breaks out as the two banter amongst each other. "You two do fit together. Now, if he could plays bass guitar and you could play drums, or vice versa, we could really have something here." Because Cat? She's the lead. That goes without saying and is, in fact, not spoken.

Darius looks aghast. "You can't? Damn.. and here I was already fantasizing about you in a slinky teddy." Rolling his eyes, he folds his arms across his chest, emphasizing his pectorals. "Damn woman. Just kill the moment." He turns his head abruptly to Cat. "You believe that? And no.. I don't play either. Suppose I could learn.. why?" All deadpan jesting aside, the last question seems genuine.

Elisabeth would facepalm, except one hand as a footlong hotdog and the other holds a soda in a cup. Instead, she's forced to just shake her head and roll her eyes. "You were not!" she snickers at him. And then she looks at Cat, curious to the answer herself. She chooses to go ahead and start in on her hotdog while Cat comes up with an answer — in truth, this is probably the most relaxed Cat has ever seen her. She's sort of in her element and feeling like she's in the right place.

"Because that would make a band," Cat replies with a laugh as if it were obvious. "Bassist, lead guitar and singer, or singers, and drums. I know it's usually four, in the tradition of the Beatles, with all contributing songs to some degree, but trios work too. Rush, and ZZ Top for example."

She lifts the footlong and brings it close to her mouth, but pauses to eye Darius. "You do like rock, don't you? Metal?" Then she bites into it, carefully. For all the rocker chick talk, she seems to have something of refinement about her which suggests her background is other than one might think for a musician.

Darius glances back at Liz. "Wasn't I?" There's a quirk of his brow in a comedically Vulcanoid fashion then the other joins it in a waggle before his attention settles back on Cat. "Hard rock? Sure. Got enough of that in sandland." He jerks a thumb eastward. "Can't say as I got all into the big hair bands. Not huge into gangsta rap either. Of course, I think I was the only guy out there who listened to the local channels." He has a laugh at that.

Elisabeth pffts at him and comments idly around a bite of hotdog, "My ass isn't big enough. Don't you bulked up, good-looking black men all like women with big shelf-sized behinds? And far more tit than I possess?" It's vaguely muffled by the bite, but it comes through loud and clear. And then her eyes get wide, like she knows she might have just crossed the line — she has this sort of deer-in-the-headlights 'was that my OUTSIDE voice!?' look on her face.

Her eyes widen a little, and the blueblood refinement with which Cat eats suffers a bit in her reaction. Some of her food is ejected in a sort of mild choking way. One hand goes to her mouth as she seeks to recover. "Ooookay, that was unexpected." And a grin forms. "See? She can think like a rocker chick. Now we just need to see how she is on drums, and find out if you can play bass, then we're set."

Darius did not expect that. He turns a slow long look at Liz with his left hand going to his hip. The smile on his face is both shocked and bemused. "A most excellent retort detective, I approve. But I should warn you, I'm what the brothers would call chocolate milk. My mother was white as you. My dad, on the other hand, was blacker than any brother you'll see on the streets. He's a Moroccan. Which means.. I don't speak gangsta half as well as you'd expect. I don't have a gat or a ghetto blaster and fried chicken isn't comfort food. Try humus." Now that she's on the spot, Darius really enjoys it by facing her. "So. I like women of all shades from a nice rich mocha to a creamy white like yourself and big butts aren't a turn on for me." He shows her his palms. "Just something handsized will do." He glances to Cat then back to Liz. "Any other questions, ladies?"

Elisabeth chokes on the bite in her mouth, trying to laugh and swallow the hotdog at the same time. She has to bend double because she's just NOT gonna get that bite down. Turning away from the other two so she can gag it out of her mouth and not gross anyone out, when she finally turns back around, there are tears running down Liz's face as she laughs so hard. "Oh. My. Fucking. God," she gasps! "I can't believe I just said that," she wheezes. "I'm so sorry, that was beyond the pale. But… nice comeback!" She struggles to catch her breath.

Her footlong is held in hand, but Cat doesn't dare bite into it again yet, because the unexpected humor might just keep coming and to choke from laughing would look bad, besides just being bad. And there it is, from Liz again. She nods with confidence. "It would totally work, us as a band. I'll play the straight woman against your crackups, and…" Her voice trails off, a flash of what could be inspiration forming. Maybe Cat is serious when she speaks again, maybe not. "We'll call it Beyond The Pale, because our band will have a black man reminding the world one doesn't have to be light-skinned to rock. That black guys can still play like Hendrix."

Darius gives a shrug. "Liz, I said keep it real. So keep it real. You want a censor go to DC." A head jerk southwards and he looks to Cat. "Now, see, that would imply I knew how to play a guitar and Hendrix didn't play bass. Nevermind that there are all kinds of black artists. I just think the rock band gig is distinctly a different animal. Besides, Liz and I have a day job. And a night job. And midnight job. And a four am job and a noon job…" He's ticking off 'moments' on his left hand. "So when would we practice exactly?"

Elisabeth chokes on still more laughter, and then she says, "I don't need a censor, but it's your first day. I'm not normally QUITE that bad! Not til I know whether you're cool with things or not." She grins at him. "Since you are, well… no foul." She just giggles at Cat. "Okay, now, we've harassed my partner enough for the day, I think, Catherine."

Laughing. "You can learn, Darius," Cat suggests. "That day job thing? Totally the wrong calling for both of you. If not music, you make a great standup comedy team. But… you won't go for that either." She heaves an overly dramatic sigh. "I guess, Liz," she adds. "He does have a solid sense of humor, though."

Inwardly she's thinking it went well, she talked with Liz's partner in Scout and didn't give any hint of her multiple degrees, which leaves him no clue as to the power of her memory, and no suspicion of advancedness in her gene pool.

"Should I apologize now? Or mention that I did the glee club at the Academy, first, just to torment her?" Darius asks the latter as an aside to Liz. "If its any consolation, it was a small gig. I did football mostly." He looks it, too.

"Yeah…. I think I'll keep him," Elisabeth tells Cat with a chuckle. "Oh good… glee club. Now you'll get her started again," she says. "You ready to beat feet, partner?" She looks at him.

January 6th: Simpatico
January 6th: Pride Goeth Before the Fall
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