She Had It Coming


rebecca_icon2.gif coren_icon.gif

Scene Title She Had It Coming
Synopsis Well, this is Nalani we're talking about here.
Date March 7, 2009
Soundtrack Kaiser Chiefs - Good Days Bad Days

Forensics Lab

The forensics lab of the NYPD Headquarters is a massive collection of seperate laboratories and testing room. This entire basement level of the building is interconnected with the ballistics lab and its own morgue. The facilities, while stocked with state of the art technology, show obvious signs of wear and tear that have not been repaired. Ceiling tiles are stained brown from leaking pipes, concreet walls show stress fractures, paint is peeling and it seems like every other fluorescent light flickers with old age.

It's a fine Saturday morning, and Forensic specialist Rebecca Nakano enters the lab to be met with her boxes of soot. The statues, former humans, have been moved out and she now focuses on the gas station fire She has already done a great deal of analysis, yet there has been nothing conclusive that would point this into any direction remotely considering arson, which seems to be the conclusion that everyone wants her to come to. She reaches for a couple of latex gloves and pulls them over her fingers and snaps the plastic against her wrist. She reaches up and pulls her hair out of the way and ties it up, using a black hair band to fasten it behind her. Then she digs her hand into the soot, moving it from one full box to the empty box behind her, looking for anything suspicious, and pulling aside a little sample here and there for additional analysis.

It's no coincidence that Detective Shelby is in the office on a Saturday morning. He checked the duty roster and made sure to be around while Rebecca Nakano was on shift. After collecting the department's information on Grace Matheson, he proceeds into the lab, standing only in the entranceway, not yet fully entering the lab. "Miss Nakano?"

To say that Becca has been a little on edge as of late, would be an understatement. She's had a few things on her mind, that.. well, she's not going to get into. Regardless, the voice is unexpected as she usually doesn't have too many visitors in her little sanctuary in here and when her name is announced, she drops the dish into the box of soot and mutters. She reaches up and wipes something off her cheek, leaving a nice smudge of soot in its wake. She turns around and offers a well meaning smile to the detective. "Yes? Can I help you with something?"

"My apologies for startling you," the British detective says as he enters the lab, file folder and notepad in one hand, a digital recorder in the other. "I'm Detective Shelby, I've come to ask you a few questions regarding February the twenty-seventh. There seems to have been an incident involving one of our consultants — Grace Matheson — and one Miss Nalani Hollingwood1. The latter wishes to press charges and has filed a lawsuit against the department for failure to protect. If you have a few moments for us to talk, I would like to take your statement regarding the incident."

Normally, Becca would offer a hand for shaking, but well.. she's covered in soot, well her hands at least, plus the detective seems to have his hands full. She reaches over and pulls off her gloves and steps on the lever which opens the top of the wastebasket and she drops in the dirty things and wipes her hands on her lab coat out of habit. "What? Suit? Surely, you're kidding right?" she asks. It's not an outburst, but more a comment of amazement. "Oh boy.. am I in some kind of trouble here?" she asks, though she doesn't mention that she's the one who brough in Grace for the consult. Technically, she could be partly responsible.

"I wish I were," Coren says. "No, not any trouble I am aware of, at any rate." He turns the digital recorder on, "This is Detective Coren Shelby interviewing Rebecca Nakano with regards to the incident between consultant Grace Matheson and Nalani Hollingwood on February twenty-seventh. Now, Miss Nakano, as I understand it, you were present at the time of the incident. What can you tell me about what happened that lead up to the attack?"

Rebecca sits up far straighter in her seat than what would normally be considered appropriate as she is suddenly on the receiving end of.. questions! "I.." she stops abruptly and rolls her chair over to her computer and punches a few things in. "I keep everything I do in a journal, just in case I'm called to testify. Oh, I was working that 'child pornogrphy' case." When she said 'child pornogrphy', her voice lowers to almost a whisper. Yes, there still can be someone that naive out there. She knows it exists, but would rather not acknowledge it. "I called in Grace because I couldn't access some data on a hard drive after it was erased several times over and formatted. I could just barely see it, but didn't have the means to access the files. She was the only one I knew who could possibly do it. That's why she was here. At my request."

"Are you familiar with Grace Matheson then? Do you know her personally?" Detective Shelby asks.

The question is odd to Rebecca. I mean, she has worked with Grace a couple of times, but.. does she know her? "We don't hang out or anything, Detective. I mean, we don't sit around and talk about physics or any of that stuff. If I have a computer issue, she comes in and deals with it and then leaves. In all those times, I've never had any issues with her. She was very professional." She rolls her chair back towards Coren and waits for his next question.

Detective Shelby nods, "But you have dealt with her before? Are you aware of any history of violence or hostility?"

Rebecca thinks for a moment. They have really only worked together a handful of times and she can't recall anything. "No. Like I said, she was very professional. Came in, did what was asked and left." Some hair falls down over Becca's eyes and she reaches up and pushes it out of the way as she peers over at the recording device, then lifts her gaze back up to the detective.

The detective nods slightly. "So to the best of your knowledge, the attack was uncharacteristic of her? What can you tell me about the conversation that led up to the attack?"

Shaking her head, Becca responds. "I don't think it was like her to do that. Grace, I mean. She's usually pretty friendly." She thinks for a moment as she tries to recall the exact conversations, "If I recall, there was some incident that required 'that woman'.." Sure, Becca keeps up with the society pages.. ".. Hollingwood or something like that. She came in. She was very rude to the officers who were trying to help her and Grace made an offhand comment about her being rude. I mean, we were in here doing our work and we could hear her ywlling. It became a rather snowball effect of rudeness as they both each took it to a new level of rudeness as the conversation deteriorated. Grace tried to leave, but the woman bumped into her, so Grace responded by knocking her down."

"A woman tottering on stilettos hardly seems like the kind of thing that would provoke a leg sweep," Coren comments. "I'm not sure if you were in a position to notice, but did Miss Matheson appear agitated before or after the attack?"

Becca starts. "You haven't seen that Amazon up clo—" She stops suddenly and places her hand over her mouth. She doesn't normally speak ill of anyone, and this just sort of slipped out. From where, she has no idea. She just remembers Nalani being a very tall woman. "What I mean is, Miss Hollingwood could definitely take care of herself, sir. She was not what anyone would consider frail. And no, Grace wasn't upset or agitated. She was annoyed at being verbally abused by that woman, but otherwise, she seemed fine."

"As a matter of fact, I took her statement yesterday2. As I recall, her wrist was in a cast, though I did not ask whether or not it was due to the trip to the floor," Coren comments. "My last question is, if she did not appear upset or agitated, why was she not approached by yourself, the two detectives or officer present?" He manages to ask the question rather straight-faced, in a calm and genial tone, despite how accusatory the question might sound.

A curious expression passes across Rebecca's face as she listens to the question. "Approached? Why would we approach her? From all accounts, it seriously looked like the woman tried to knock Grace down, and Grace responded appropriately. Besides, the woman was making a nuisance of herself. Someone rode in on their high horse, tried to order everyone around, and when it didn't work, she tried to bully someone who wasn't going to take it. I don't see where the problem is."

"The problem is that, from the point of view of the surveillance video, along with statements from Nalani Hollingwood and her assistant Stephanie Aberdeen, Miss Hollingwood stumbled into Miss Matheson," Detective Shelby notes. "That fact that several members of the department watched as a crime was committed and did nothing to detain Miss Hollingwood's assailant, nor help her, nuisance or not, is the reason she is suing the department. The precise reason, in fact. However, that you seem to think she intentionally bumped into Miss Matheson, that is intriguing, and it will most certainly make it into my report."

Rebecca shrugs. "I'm just telling you what I saw. If I saw the tape, I could probably prove to you that this 'bump' was not an accident." Always the forensic investigator. "But, I can't promise that anyone will take my expertise at its word side by side with my testimony, but at least it'll take you in the right direction. It wasn't an accident." Once confident about a finding, Rebecca will not waver in her opinion, unless someone brings another piece to the equation.

"It would likely be viewed as a conflict of interest. However, as you have brought this possible explanation to my attention, I will forward a copy of the recording to one of my old colleages with the Bureau and have someone in the Behavioral Sciences Unit examine it for any sign of intent behind the contact." Coren holds the recorder closer to himself, "This concludes the interview between Detective Coren Shelby and Miss Rebecca Nakano, forensics, this Saturday, March seventh, two thousand and nine." He turns off the recorder and sighs. "In the mean time, I have two detectives and one officer to interview before I call Miss Matheson in to place her under arrest. Nalani Hollingwood has pressed charges against her. Between you and me, and this is most certainly off the record, I think anyone who files suit without lodging a formal complaint with the department is just trying to get attention. It can show a variety of things, whether that be attention seeking or if she somehow thinks that she will not be taken seriously. Based on the information I have been presented with thus far, along with profession and her residence, I would be inclined to believe the former assessment — attention-seeker."

Becca looks relieved at that assessment and nods. "Grace is a good person." That's all she says on that topic. She stands and reaches for a new set of gloves from the box, pulling out the purple latex. "If I can help further, don't hesitate to come let me know. I'm almost always here, sir." And that, Detective, is most definitely the truth.

Detective Shelby nods and turns to leave, but stops short of the door. He has already stored the digital recorder away, and is flipping through his notebook. "Before I go," he says, turning, "Do you happen to know anything about a missing persons case … Miranda Dobson3? I have a feeling nothing has come across your desk, but I was hoping you may have heard of it and perhaps know who the lead detective is on the case."

Becca steps over to her computer and shakes her head. "No. There wasn't any forensics involved in that case. You saw the note that it was Officer Harrison and an Agent Marks that were on that case? You might talk with them." she suggests helpfully.

"That's what I was hoping to hear. Thanks," Detective Shelby says, as he pockets his notebook and exits the lab.

Becca reaches down and digs out the dish from the soot and gets back to work. While she was grateful for the distraction, her thoughts drifting off to something a little more close to home for her at the moment.

March 7th: Very Cosmopolitan
March 7th: Sing Sweetly Little Red Bird
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