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Scene Title Sphinx
Synopsis Greek myth.: Daughter of the Chimera, the Sphinx posed a riddle to all who came before her, and killed those who could not answer it correctly.
The day after the primary suspect is taken into custody, another victim is found. So much for suspects.
Date June 29, 2010

Outside Siann Hall, Bronx

Well past sunset and into the dark hours of the evening, Siann Hall Apartments is an even less prepossessing sight: a tall building with a brick facade stuck in the middle of more tall buildings with brick facades. Streetlamps paint a harsh sodium-orange tint over everything, darkening greens, bringing out reds. The vivid yellow tape marking off a space behind the corner of the apartment building doesn't need much help at all to be visible; color alone does for that, and where it doesn't, the men in uniform also very effectively proclaim stay out without ever having to say a word. Almost everyone is content to do that.

One person who isn't about to heed the unspoken directive is the red-haired administrative assistant climbing out of a black SUV's passenger door. She has a cellphone to her ear, and — never one to use an indoor voice when an outdoor voice will do — a good half of the conversation is clearly audible to everyone else on the block. "What do you mean you've lost it?" Her feet tap out brisk paces on the concrete as Kayla heads up towards the building and the bold yellow do not cross line. "Isn't that what your damn chain of custody paperwork is supposed to prevent?"

Lashirah sighs as she climbs out of her own viechle. She's not dressed for work. or rather, she is. She's dressed for her OTHER job. Thus the sight of a punk rocker digging out a clip on identity badge declaring who she is, leather jacket and combat boots clashing nicely with the crisp uniforms. Yet she is already digging out a box of rubber gloves, evidence bags, and other tools from the trunk of her coupe. She walks up to the do not cross line, ducks under it, and introduces herself. "Lashirah Lee, FBI Forensics. I was called in to help with evidence gathering and analysis?"

Kayla looks over to Lashirah as the woman introduces herself, and breathes a brief sigh. "Look," she tells her phone, or rather the unfortunate person on the other end, "at least figure out roughly when it disappeared, okay? I have to go." She snaps the mobile closed and moves up to join Lashirah, nodding to the cop who's inspecting the punk rocker with a very unconvinced expression. "Hey, Lee. I need to borrow your ear for a bit; you can look at the scene while I do." Gray eyes narrow in the city cop's direction: he gets the hint, removing himself to the far side of the yellow line with alacrity.

While she leads the way around the building's corner, Kayla's pace is slower, her footfalls softer. The corpse of a young man is slumped against the building wall, not quite in a natural-seeming sitting position; he wears a suit, as if just having come home from work. The twist of a rictus grin baring teeth, however, puts paid to any imagining that he's just asleep — or even that he died a peaceful death. One hand clutches a torn strap, possibly from a backpack or duffle bag; a pattern of bruises on neck and jaw suggest someone's forceful grip; and the lines of his torso seem strangely off, too soft, perhaps swollen beneath his clothing.

"Name's Michael Green," Kayla observes, in something that would indeed pass for an indoor voice. "He's one of ours." She stops some seven or eight feet away from the body, after making sure it's a place that'll keep her out of the forensic tech's work. "Initial report suggested this might connect to the Ritchie case — I know you haven't been handling that directly, but in your opinion, is that likely?"

Lashirah shivers at the mentioning of the case. "I've read those files. Everyone in the department has now." She puts on the gloves, and a disposable rubber apron. She kneels down and carefully starts by removing the strap from the hand, sliding it into a evidence bag… she then checks the body over carefully as she can without destroying how it is set or other possible evidence. "… looks like it bled out into the internal cavities… fits the bill. Can't be sure but the odds aren't against you."

Kayla doesn't shudder, but her lips thin into a distasteful line. "I was afraid of that," she remarks grimly. The assistant twists to look back towards the building's main entrance and the street beyond it, gray eyes flicking over each person silhouetted there. "I'm going to have to ask you to handle this scene and its evidence yourself, give it top priority if you can. And — keep other scientists to an absolute minimum." She crouches down to regard the body more closely, keeping her hands well away from the concrete. "If it is related…"

Lashirah frowns as she nods, and digs into her pocket, pulling an earpiece. "Internal problems? Do we trust our own transports?" She asks it as she puts the earpiece in her ear. Then out comes a camera to take pictures of the scene from several angles. "… Need a full autopsy, caffeine, and time to look this scene over for possible trace evidence… assuming this isn't a body dump."

"Transports should be fine," Kayla replies, straightening. "We've had one piece of evidence on that case… apparently get lost from the lab, though, and a test that… well, it doesn't look kosher." She watches Lashirah take pictures for a few moments, then shakes her head a bit. "I can get you the caffeine. In whatever form and quantity you prefer. Time we may be short of." And autopsies are outside her jurisdiction.

Lashirah nods, taps the earpiece, and says a simple command into the bluetooth headset, "Call Office." She waits a moment. "Agent Lash here." She grimaces, but it was easier to use the nickname then to explain WHICH Lee was calling. "Need evidence pick up, as well as a body." She gives the address, then sighs as the line goes dead. "Have someone deliver a 6 pack of Frappachino, Dark Mochas to the Fort Hero labs?" she says it simply. "They know where to deliver by now." It's a standing joke, after all, that she charges a caffiene tax down there for work done.

With that she kneels down and starts looking for undisturbed bits of ground, seeing if anything was left behind.

Waiting as Lashirah places her call, Kayla nods curtly. "I can do that," she affirms. There's a moment's pause before the woman continues. "Bring your findings directly to me, please. And let me know if there's anything else I can do."

Her shoes clop a staccato rhythm against the concrete as Kayla Reid walks away, leaving the scientist to her work.

Lashirah raises an eyebrow at the the rhythm. "Hmm. Ponies," she says with a humorous smirk.

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