Sniper Interrupted


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Scene Title Sniper Interrupted
Synopsis Veronica comes across Dutch's stakeout and investigates, much to his annoyance.
Date May 3, 2009

Staten Island

There's something about the fringes of Staten Island that will always inspire sentiments of unease. After the bomb, much of Staten Island has fallen into glorious disrepair, so much so that places that were already in stages of decay look more like monuments to entropy than once urban settlements in decline. While much of the island was suburban residential areas before the bomb, there were two crowning moments that drove this borough of New York into an early grave. The first was the mass exodus of survivors and panicked people fleeing Manhattan. They came by foot, bicycle and car across the bridges to Staten Island, all manner of desperate and frightened people flooding into a crowded place. While some fled through to New Jersey, others simply couldn't — or wouldn't — go further. This, like in Queens, led to an eventual chaos that would in time eclipse the pandemonium in the eastern edge of New York after the bomb.

Staten Island was in the direct path of the fallout from the explosion, and after thousands fled to the island, the entire populace was forcibly evacuated. Those few that managed to stay, clung to their homes desperately, and those few who did would suffer from radiation sickness and the ever-escalating crime rate. By the time Staten Island got the "all clear" from the government, the damage had already been done.

What was one suburban neighborhoods and parklands is now a monument to decay. Houses lie in various states of disuse and ruin, and like much of New York has seen property values nosedive. Few want to move out to a formerly irradiated zone, and even fewer want to return to a place so rife to violent crime. Now, much of Staten Island lies in various states of decay. Houses abandoned by families that fled the city, were forced into forclosure and were never resold, or simply places where entire families went missing and are now squatted in by any number of transients line the once peaceful streets. Staten Island is a home to crumbling infrastructure, spotty electricity, and people who wish to remain undiscovered by law enforcement. Few police will willingly go into this now infamous island.

With a lap full of fresh bellpeppers and a little camping stove, Dutch is pretty damned at home despite the fact he's sitting on the roof of a derelict office building. Normally he doesnt get this comfortable on the job, but well this was a special case right? His spotting scope was set to one side, offering a casual view of the clandestine arms dealer who was doing his work a solid eight hundred yards yonder. Behind him sat his backpack, and to his left side laid a sniper rifle (DTA SRS).

Parked in the alley beside his building, just below the abbreviated fire escape was a beat up Dodge Sprinter van. Now the trained eye, would notice things didnt line up there. The tags and plate seemed brand new, and while the van had some dents it was still clean and the dark green paint hadnt been so much as scratched. For a company agent, its easily recognized as the sort've thing the US govt uses when they want a "generic panel van" on the down low. The tires are too new, the interior is just too god damned clean from what you can see through the window. Now even that, isnt too alarming right? This was Staten island though, Law Enforcement had supposedly abandoned this place entirely so who the hell would be able to get an agency van and then why the hell take it to staten? Perhaps the bootprint on the window, leading towards the Van's roof and the fire escape above deserved some investigation?

After walking inland to the dirty motel she and Minea crashed at to sleep off the buzz from their bonfire and impromptu memorial for Kat, Veronica heads back toward the shore, before she comes across the van. She stops, ducking back into the shadow of the building, pulling out her PDA. She had returned to Staten Island alone — probably one of those "stupid things" she promised her new boss she'd do just because it's her nature rather than because she's mourning her friend — to retrieve a trinket of Kat's she apparently lost in the motel the night before. Luckily, the maids, if they had any, hadn't cleaned the room yet or the necklace would have been stolen, of course. She types in the plate numbers to the device, and waits to see if the Company's files will give her any information on them.

The plates come up, BATF. The van was legit, not listed as stolen or missing but it didnt list who it checked out to or anything quite so complicated. It was issued in December of 2006, and was last inquired by a company agent whilst it was parked in Jersey 4 months ago.

Veronica frowns, peering up toward the roof. She could just keep going on her not-so-merry way, or she could find out why BATF is in Staten — maybe something to do with one of the Company files. She hesitates, then does what she probably shouldn't. As quietly as she's able, she follows in the footsteps of whomever went up before her — stepping on the van and then onto the ladder of the fire escape, hoping the metal doesn't creak or rattle.

The ladder is pretty quiet, but the roof of the van is not. A thud resounds with every step, but beyond that its quite silent indeed, without a hint of noise from the fire escape to the roof itself.

Steam blows from a small camp stove, and a little pot set delicately atop it. There was a roll out dark green mat layed across the gravel, a telescope point off in one direction. To the other side there was a sniper rifle set lovingly atop a backpack. There was a wrist watch set carefully on the mat, boots, a map on a clipboard that was covered with notations and even a radio and an ear mic set right beside the backpack. But nobody was home.

The roof is a flat affair, maybe 30 yards long and as many wide. Crammed with air conditioners, a wind sock, antennas and stair access to the rooms below. The doorway was wide open, a third or maybe even less of a red brick had been wedged beneath the door to keep it open.

Veronica pulls her gun from its holster, stepping quietly as she scans the roof to be sure there's no one on top with her. She knows whomever this setup belongs to is not far away, however, and she moves toward the doorway, leaning against the wall to get a peek into the room, without entering it. Flat against the wall there, she looks through the crack in the door to see what she can.

Theres a staircase headed down, which of course is incredibly dimly lit. So dim infact the stairs just sort've descend into one inky mass of shadow, but the stairs do at least appear clean. Smelling strongly of dust and moldy insulation, hinting that the door was recently propped open.

Veronica pulls out a badge, then lifts her gun so that it's at the ready, should someone come up shooting — of course, she's more in the light than anyone down there, dim light as there is on the room, so her odds aren't too good if someone should come up fighting. "Homeland Security," she calls down the stairs, not about to go down blind into an armed man's hiding spot. "I just have some questions."

"Freeze" The voice comes from directly behind, cool and calm. "Holster your weapon, slowly using only your right hand. Then with both arms raised, walk slowly backwards towards the sound of my voice."Dutch had little patience for interruptions, especially with dinner brewing but if she was homesec he couldnt exactly mug her and send her on her way.

The brunette rolls her eyes. But of course. Because things never go as planned. She turns her badge in her left hand so that it faces him, while putting her gun back into the holster deftly enough with just the right. She raises both hands, and glancing over her shoulder to see the owner of the voice, walks backward. "You can understand why I was checking up here — making sure someone didn't steal your van or something. Gotta badge?" she asks, her dark eyes narrowed.

"Eyes foreward, agent."His tone is cold, almost mechanical as he collects the badge. "theres alot of phony copper floating around the island, so to avoid any misunderstandings I'm going to relieve you of your weapon temporarily."he doesnt make much noise as he leans in, having taken note of where she kept her peice. He easily jerks the pistol free, before stepping back. He tucks the pistol into the back of his pants, before lowering his carbine. "So, Veronica what are you doing snooping into my stakeout."

She frowns as he takes both her badge and her weapon. "It's a lot easier to talk face to face, you know," she points out. "And I just told you. I thought law enforcement gave up the island a long time ago. Didn't expect to see a government van out here, and figured I'd check to see that it was legit," she says. It's almost the truth. "I'm no threat to you. I identified myself, didn't I?"

"Theres no Law enforcement on the island, so what are you doing out here?"Dutch reaches across, nudging Veronica's side with the grip of her weapon and badge. He was apparently satisfied with her response, and he was starting to fucking starve to death. He wasnt wearing anything too noteworthy, a high collar button up affair in camoflague with matching pants. No shoes, but there was a very small rifle and a pistol involved.

Dutch casually saunters on back to his shooting mat, and settles right back down where he was before. Hitting the safety before sliding it over his shoulder to hang from its sling. He plucks the pot from his little camp stove and sets it aside, as he produces a little fixed blade knife and begins to dice bellpeppers. "I wasnt informed, Homesec was involved in the island."

"I'm not involved with anything in particular," Vee says with a shrug, watching him as he goes back to eat and not moving from her position, though she does slowly drop her hands. She keeps them in front of her where he can see them — after all, he has all the guns. Well, except her Tranq gun. But she's not about to pull it out on him. "I just happened to be passing by and noticed the van. Why are you here?"

Dutch glances up absently, but for a moment. "I'm not permitted to discuss ongoing investigations with people not inside the taskforce, but you understand. Homesec hasnt exactly been the most trustworthy agency when it comes to information security, I'd hate to let something slip just to have it come back and bite me in the ass."He extends a hand, offering raw slice of an orange bellpepper. "I believe you crashed -my- party, and put -my- investigation at risk so Your the one who needs to explain yourself. Does that not seem reasonable, Veronica?"

"Fair enough. And I just did. I was walking by. Saw the government vehicle, thought I'd check it out. End of story," she says, glancing down and frowning at the vegetable he offers, accepting it merely because… well, it's offered. She doesn't eat it though. "Can I go now? With my weapon and badge?" she crosses her arms across her chest, looking a little irritated.

Dutch takes a moment to note the badge number, and weapon serial number in the margin of his notes. "Be careful Veronica, you know ever since the FBI skullfucked us at Waco we've been a little jumpy."Then he hands the two over, glancing after them cooly as he munches a sliver of pepper. "In eithercase, I think I'll have a few words with your superior. He should warn those in his charge, to keep little girls off the big scary island."

Veronica rolls her eyes again. "Oooh, macho sexism. How very refreshing in a cop," she says, pocketing her badge and holstering her weapon. "I'm not on the island for anything related to business, so it's none of my superior's business. But if you want to act like a pre-schooler, by all means, go tattling to my teacher." She tosses the pepper bit down onto the roof and turns to go.

"Watch that temper, people who are curious cant afford to be so sharp with their words." Dutch turns back to his spotting scope, lifting his little pot as he digs about with a spork. "It wears thinly upon the patience of unexpectant hosts."

"It's my job to be curious. And if you don't want people looking into your little stakeouts, you might want to be less obvious about your choice of vehicle. Any criminal worth his salt will know you're here and that you're on the lookout for him," Veronica tosses back. She heads to the ladder to make her way down, hoping while that while her hands are occupied, nothing bad decides to come her way — it really is a bit eerie over on this island, and she really shouldn't be here by herself. Not that she'd admit that to Dutch. Or herself, for that matter.

Dutch listens to Vee depart, and then slowly begins to get himself pressed back into his work. Peering at the serial number and badge number he lifted, before glancing between the empty spotting scope and his laptop. "Dont be so curious Alois, your not a cat."But of course, he opens the laptop anyway and gets to it.

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