cooper_icon.gif elle_icon.gif maria_icon.gif

Scene Title Squeeze
Synopsis In the wee hours of Friday morning, a murder happens, leaving Law Enforcement and the Company wondering who did it… and how?
Date July 30, 2010

Hunter Communications, 60 Wall Street, Financial District.

Hunter Communications, one of the giants in the industry and also one of the tall sentinels within the financial district of New York. The offices at Hunter Communication look like your typical office building with it's cubicle farms and employee's popping their heads up now and then to look around much like gophers in the prairie usher forth from their holes. On this floor, the 22nd, it's all hallways and actual offices with windowed ones on the outside, four walls on the inner track with secretarial desks shared by the clusters around them.

7:02 pm

"I'm going home now Justin, you want anything before I go or is there anything that you need?" A pleasantly plump woman asks the equally plump man behind the desk as he taps away on the keyboard.

"No Darlene, I think I'm good, going to make a run for some Chinese soon and stay late. Gotta get this proposal written up before Peter has my head on a plate and served up to the board" He grumbles. Blue shirt, tie loose around the open collar, he's shoving around papers on his desk. "Say hello to your son for me"

"I will Mister Renner. You don't stay too late now. You can always come in early" With that parting, the purple suited woman is making her way out of the doorway. She is the second to last person to see Justin alive.

8:32 pm

"Michael, I'm heading to Win Won" Justin informs one of the security guards manning the front desk. The tall black man looks up from the many monitor's, tapping on a block of plastic that rises from either side of the massive security and information desk. Justin pulls out his swipe card, running it through, his exit clocked on the machines.

"Yeah, Pick me up some almond chicken and some rice, an order of dumplings would you? Wife's putting me on a diet tomorrow, so I gotta get in the good stuff before it's rabbit food and tofu" He rubs his hands together, peering at a screen before his attention goes back to Justin.

"In that case, meals on me, glad I'm not married to your wife" Justin pats his own middle aged spread, letting the keycard snick back into place on it's tether. "Back in half an hour"

"Working late?"

"Yeah, gotta get that stuff done for Peter, he needs it and I've been waiting on some preliminaries, but got them back. Looks like I'll have to probably refine it more over the weekend if he satisfied"

"Gotta keep the boss satisfied. I'll be here, or Johnny will. If it's Johnny, just leave the food with him"

"Sounds good" Justin waves off, heading out the door, easing through the revolving doors and hurrying across the street to the parkade.

12:12 am

"Mister Renner" A blue jumpsuit garbed man knocks on the door to the office, Justin Renner, Product Relations painted on the frosted glass. "Mister Renner" Now answer, the man likely fallen asleep since he last made his run up here a little past nine, the little Persian man's hand closes around the doorknob and twists, pushing it open.

12:18 am

"9-1-1 please state your emergency" A clean shaven man at a desk in the emergency call center taps buttons, the address of the call popping up, recordings started the moment the line picked up.

"I need police and ambulance, there's been a murder" Comes the deep voice over the phone.

"What is your address Sir?" Verification is needed, already ambulance is being dispatched and his fingers tap over the keyboard as he sends out a request for the police.

"Hunter Communications, 60 Wall street. One of our employee's has been killed"

6:08 am

The 22nd floor had been cordoned off. Employee's who arrived were escorted to their desks and the necessary things that the police didn't think were relevant had been fetched and sent to work on other floors. Security tapes had been sequestered, the witnesses - or at least the last people to have seen the victim alive - had been rounded up.

Cooper had gotten the call in at two in the morning, his cellphone bleating it's hated ringtone to inform him that he was the detective assigned to the case. When he'd arrived, by then, most of the evidence was being gathered and he was getting a run down of the case.

Justin Renner aged forty-one. Slumped over his desk and paperwork. The desktop a puddle of congealed blood that had gone from red to orange, spilled down his front, pants and eventually to the carpet. His throat slit from side to side

When nothing had turned up right away, no signed of forced entry, nobody seen immediately on the tapes, that's when the company had been called. In actuality, Peter Hunter had descended from on high, the CEO of the business and had made a racket and the call had gone to Homeland Security about a possible evolved or evolved related crime had occurred.

This was how Maria and Elle arrived to the 22nd floor, down the hall where Amin the janitor, Micheal the security guard and Darlene his secretary were being watched over and talked with by cops and others. Coffee held by a newbie to the force, passed out to those who wanted it in the wee hours, camera's going off as every aspect of the crime scene was being photographed. TGIF indeed.

Maybe there's a car they came by parked outside the building when these two DHS agents arrive on the scene, both of them women of not great height. But it's also possible the blonde came literally on the back of the brunette. Such an offer may have been made and accepted. Either way, Maria Delgado is present on the 22nd floor, making her way to where police have been doing their thing for several hours.

Baggy-eyed and tired, Agent Elle Bishop currently wears one of her business suits, this one grey with a white shirt poking out from the jacket. She carries a large cup of coffee with her, and a scowl on her face; she certainly looks like she would rather be in bed. But when you get a call like this…well, you kind-of have to respond. Her heels scuffing against the carpet as she arrives, Elle first pauses in the middle of the floor, glancing around the crime scene with a slightly disgruntled look upon her face. Mornings suck, especially after an evening like the little blonde girl had.

"Oh… my…. gawd…." The groaned out words are from a man wearing a dark blue suit and black converse sneaker. His head lolls back on his neck, eyes closing for a moment. "How much longer?" He stands there, with a very large Starbucks coffee gripped in one hand, the other tucked into the pocket of his slacks. He looks pretty damn tired, with his light green eyes ringed with dark circles. "I left a perfectly good date for this — which there were plenty of other guys for it.

"Oh… oh… I know what this is about." He says the Patrol Sargent, a finger lifting from the cup to point at the man in an accusing way. "Haze me cause of tomorrow. I'm going to shoot the person that circulated my birthday to the whole damn precinct… stating that all I want for it is cases. Oh yeah… he's dead." A deep drink is taken of his coffee, sighing as it is pulled away.

Catching the sight of the two women approaching. "Please tell me this is Home Sec so I can go home — course I doubt she's still there." He grumps softly eyeing the approaching agents.

But then he steps forward, giving them both a smile. "Uh… Hey — hi — ah…" His brows furrow for a moment, before they raise again and he's smiling again a bit brighter this time. "Detective Thomas Cooper. You the DHS folks we've been waiting for?"

"Maria Delgado," the mocha-hued agent replies as she displays her badge, but otherwise remains silent in letting Bishop take the lead. Eyes commence to exploring the scene, looking for details such as the body and what may have caused the man's death, if visible from the distance currently between her and him.

Peering quiet at Cooper as he complains, one brow arching as she looks him over. He came from a date wearing a suit and black sneakers? She can't help but snicker to herself a little bit, though that doesn't stop her from looking tired and grumpy at the same time. After a moment, however, Elle offers as pleasant a smile as she can manage. It looks more like an grimacing smile coming from the exhausted electrokinetic.

She can't help it that she sounds grumpy. Sipping at her coffee, she peers at Cooper. "Yes. Agent Elle Bishop. What do you have for us?" She frowns, peering around the crime scene as she all but chugs the coffee. Way too early for this.

Glancing at the badge offered, eyes squinting a bit at them, before Cooper nods a little, with a crooked smile. "Yup… look at there… definitely Home Sec." He says it brightly, giving a wave of his hand. "I — uh — just put my resume in a few days ago to DHS." He flashes a toothy smile, looking a tad uncertain. "Got an interview coming up.

Remembering what they are doing, his brows twitch upwards as he turns back to the scene, nodding at the body slumped, "Ah - yes… the sti — dead guy." Digging into the inner pocket of his jacket, he pulls out a notebook. Brows furrowing, he flips through the pages. "What was that big word the forensic guy used. Ahhhh… " He gives him an amused look before reading of the page. "Male, about 41 years of age. With Exsanguination from his throat.

"That's - uh - bleeding out from the throat." Cooper adds after a moment of staring at the word, before glancing at them. "I had to ask — since I don't' speak big words… so… much." He looks at them both as the words trail off. He clears his throat and looks back to his notebook.

"Oh-kay. Um… name of Justin Renner." He closes the notebook and looks at the dead body. "No signs of force entry… which is why they sent you all in — you all that special — group?" Cooper gives them a curious look.

Stepping forward as the detective speaks, Maria's looking around for rubber gloves to wear so she can take a look at the body. "What made Mister Renner bleed out from his throat?" she asks a bit clinically. "No sign of forced entry here at the location could just be someone having authorized access to the place. Unless…" she forms a question, "you're saying he bled out with no apparent wound to bleed from?"

Elle offers an amused smile, the coffee apparently having a least a small effect on the electrokinetic. Stifling a yawn, she glances down to the notebook, eyes hooded. The ever present nitrile gloves she constantly keeps in her purse are pulled out and pulled on. A flat look is offered to Cooper, the girl setting her coffee on a safe surface. "So it's a supervisor who had access, or even a coworker. What else do you have to suggest an Evolved did this?" She doesn't mean to be so grumpy. It's just really early, and Elle Bishop hates mornings.

"Ah - " Cooper gives Maria a confused look at her question, not cause he doesn't know… but cause how else would someone bleed out. "A… wound… at his throat?" He says it as if it should be plainly obvious. Amusement settles again, as he motions them to the body. He does clarify however, "Slit throat."

Pale eyes flick to Elle, brow arching high at her attitude, before something occurs to him. "Oh! Also - knew I forgot something - no one was seen on the security tapes." He takes another drink of his coffe before adding. "Kinda important that… sorry." Another drink is taken, since obviously he needs it to get his sluggish brain to work.

"That is why they called you in." Cooper declares, with a short nod of his head. "I haven't seen them myself, before you ask." Man he's really downing that coffee, how he's not seeing yellow yet is anyone's guess. "Also got three witnesses if you interested." He motions in a vague direction with his half empty cup.

Three witnesses, the Janitor, Security Guard and Secretary, all talking with individual police, while forensics individuals come in and out of the office, not two feet away, ducking under the crime scene tape. A box of gloves sit near equiptment, close enough for Maria to filch a set, though the law enforcement officer guarding stuff shoots an evil eye and a mutter to his co-worker about how Homesec won't even bring their own supplies before turning his back on the pair.

Gloves are pulled on with a snap as she listens to the detective's information, nods being shown from time to time. Dryly, Maria comments "No sign of forced entry doesn't necessarily mean SLC powers were involved. But there are people who manipulate blood. If the victim had expired by bleeding out with no apparent wound, now, that would definitely be a crime on our turf." Moments later she checks out the body and the fatal injury, trying to make a judgment about what kind of knife did the grisly work, about how deep the cut went and where it began.

"I hate having to jump out my window before eight in the morning," she grumbles a bit under her breath.

Grumbling something about stupid corporate dummies calling them out at an ungodly hour, when she should still be curled up in her bed, Elle slips under the crime scene tape, first looking the body over for anything out of the ordinary; then, her attention is turned toward the surrounding area, looking for anything that might help determine what has occured.

She speaks over her shoulder as she searches. "What might motives be? What's known about this guy's personal life, and his professional life?"

Cooper says, "I - uh - oh-kay. I'm going to go - over there?" He glances from Maria to Elle, a finger coming off the cup as he uses it to point at the witnesses. "The - guy over there" Thomas Cooper points to a portly gentleman not too far away. "Not that skinny guy.. that one with the — Hey!" He spots a familiar favorite clutched in the man's thick fingers. "When did they get the donuts here?" He glances around for the tale tell pink box. "Anyhow, he can answer questions on the body and - junk."

After pawning them off, the Detective wonders away from them on a beeline — cause he must have a donut — for the three witnesses."

"Castalides just brought em in!" THe other portly detective quips, watching Cooper beeline for the pink box that the three witnesses are near, a glance to Elle and Maria as they trot into the crime scene, stopping at the door, white powder on his mustache that if it were any other person, and he didn't have half a donut in his hand, could be construed as something else.

"Man's Justin Renner, Product Services Manager. The little arab down there, said he came in to empty the trash and found him slumped over his desk, with his neck sliced" The detective imitates the wound on the body, complete with sound effects before he chomps down on half of the remaining donut. Security has a camera at the end of the hall, one of the guys has been over it and so far, save for Mister ahhhhhmin down there, only person who came in and out of this office was the stiff himself"

There's a slurpy sip from his coffee and a glance to the two women, a leer down to Elle's ass. The office is immaculate to a certain degree, everything labeled and in it's place, The body slumped over the desk still as before, with red splattered on the desk, his neck slid from side to side, body pale from lack of blood and makes one marvel at how much blood the body still holds. Black powder everywhere, fingerprints dusted for and lifted in a hope that someone actually left one.

It's when Maria moves the body a bit, a forensics collector there to help her and point it out. Stab wounds in his chest, eight in total. "before his throat was cut" She points out to the company agent. "Didn't see it till we moved the body"

Outside the room, the Janitor watches Cooper nervously, the Secretary wrings her fingers, eye's swollen with tears while the Security guard is going over things with a petite african american police officer, any one of them ready to be plucked by cooper and questioned.

"Seems like a personal motive, the number of stab wounds he has before being slain," Maria speculates as she views the body. Her eyes move along to the rest of him; arms and hands being checked for defensive wounds and maybe evidence of DNA under fingernails. She anticipates the forensics collector commenting on having already checked that and their findings, but wishes to see directly.

Next Cooper is looked for, her queries held aside until he returns.

Elle seems drawn to something in the corner, her eyes up near the ceiling. She turns to look at one of the lackeys, requesting a chair. The moment it is brought to her, she climbs up on it, staring intently at a reddish-brown stain. "I think I might know how our killer got in and out without being spotted by cameras…" Using the end of an unsharpened pencil she keeps around for just these cases, Elle points to the air vent.

"Oh sweet… Castalidies! You are a savior. You even got the ones I like." Cooper sounds really happy that he at least can get his fix. He is ever the stereotypical cop. Sugar coated breakfast food in hand, he makes his way to the witnesses. He takes a bite of his goodie she offers them a bright smile. "I don't know about you all, but I can not work in the morning without a good donut." He holds it up and gives them a matter of fact look, before taking another bite.

While he chews, he points to the Janitor and motions him with powder covered fingers to follow him away from the others. Around the bit of doughy goodness he manages to say. "Let's go talk about what happened." He points down the hallway, to a small office. "Uh — over there, starting with what you saw?"

Maria finds nothing that indeed the others haven't already collected. There's no dna from under fingernails though they already did take that. Some threadsm black in color that have been collected and held up for the latino to look at. "Coroner will be able to tell us what weapon was used but we haven't seen a murder weapon at all, no blade"

It's when Elle spots something up by the roof and the vent that everyone in the office turns and looks. "Maybe if the killer was a toy poodle" is the reply, but regardless, items are thrust at Maria to go take a look up there while the expert pops out to go deal with dropping off evidence and getting a screwdriver.

Up there it seems, when Elle is closer, there's blood. Just a smear of it along the side of the cover and very easily missed. The vent though is indeed small, a toy variety of any dog would have trouble getting through it, not to mention that the cover is screwed in. A touch though, shows that it's loosely screwed in.

Outside, the Janitor follows Cooper to an adjacent office sitting down in a chair and facing the detective. "I saw Mister Renner, dead on his desk. The smell, oh it was very bad. There was no one in there! I swear! I was just coming in to change the garbage" His headbobbing up and down, the white sprigs of hair combed over his balding pate flop with hte movement.

Taking what's thrust at her after Elle voices her discovery and draws all eyes, Maria makes her way over to the spot. She looks up at it, then decides to get the closer view. No chair, no seeking of any tool to do so. She simply floats off the floor and shifts into a horizontal position when she's just twelve inches away from the vent and commences to collect a sample of that blood. Hopefully there's enough to both do an SLC test and send to a lab.

Elle needs no screwdriver. Once Maria has taken the blood sample, she quickly removes one of those gloves, holding one finger up. Each screw is zapped. Following this, she hands the vent, with the screws still attached to bits of charred wall, to a lackey. Replacing her glove as she raises onto the tips of her toes, Elle peers into the vent as well as she can with narrowed eyes; Maria may have a much easier time of checking this one out.

Popping the last of the donut in his mouth, and wiping his hands on his slacks leaving a bit of white behind, Cooper listens to what the man says. His cup is sat at the edge of the desk, so that he can pull out his little notebook. "Smell?" Cooper asks curiously, tongue working at bits of food in his teeth.

"I know that this will sound like — um… really weird, but bear with me." The detective is making a few notes even as he talks. "But was there anything weird about the smell? Or it was just a nasty - you know - dead guy smell?"

"You have got to be kidding me" There's the forensics officer, back with a screw drive, watching Maria floating and collecting evidence, followed soon after by Elle does her own trick with her own ability and the charring that remains on the vent, and wall. "You have got to be kidding me. Hey guys, Homesec's real winners in here, screwing up the crime scene. Do you realize we haven't dusted for fingerprints, are you that stupid? Why did they send you guys, get out of here" Disgust is plain on the womans face.

The in the vent, what Elle can see of it before there's yelling from the police, there's nothing. There's literally nothing, but air vent. But the back of the vent has smeared blood as well a few more small drops just inside the vent, but after that, nothing. What Maria can see as well.

"No, copper, the smell of blood. That's all. Dead guy smell. I swear it sir. So much blood, I couldn't believe it"

She observes Elle's method of removing the vent cover with a raised brow, surprised by the move and not quick enough to suggest otherwise. Instead mildly edgy commentary is offered to the protesting forensician. "If we waited for you to dust for fingerprints," the woman floating vertically near the vent remarks dryly, "you might've disturbed and contaminated the DNA. There's blood here, more than Agent Bishop already found. Meanwhile, you've got the vent cover to get prints from."

Seconds later, Maria's speaking to the other agent after having a look inside the vent. "Think someone was able to get small enough for passage through here, and had some of Mr. Renner's blood on him, or her? Or was the person cut and leaving some of this? Maybe both."

Large blue eyes turn toward the forensic officer, hooded as she peers at the woman. "And while you're taking your own sweet time fetching a screwdriver, there's quite possibly an Evolved out there that is far more versatile than a normal murderer. I doubt a few tiny scorch marks will get in the way of any prints you might find." She scowls. They wake her up at an ungodly hour, bring her in to deal with a murder, and then yell at her for her methods.

She glances back to Maria, the scowl disappearing as she nods slowly. "Size change could be one possibility. Mist form…any number of different abilities could be used to escape." She glances about. "I'd recommend looking up where these vents lead. See if we can't find any witnesses in the area who may have seen anything outside, too. Any outdoors camera footage would also be good to check."

"Oh-kay. Just had to check." Cooper gives the man a reassuring smile, before looking at his notes. "Nothing seem out of the ordinary when you saw it?" Brows furrow slightly at his own question. "Let me… let me rephrase that — cause seeing a dead guy isn't exactly normal. Was there anything, about what you saw…" His hand gives a circling motion as he asks the question. "… beyond the deceased, that really stood out.

"Anyone else maybe?" Cooper adds after a moment of thought.

"Wait, you're blaming me for something that hasn't even happened and wouldn't have happened? You're trying to say that if I hadn't gone for a screw driver to take it off like a normal person, that evidence would be compromised? Newsflash, this perp is long gone, this guy's temp says he died hours ago. Wow, real rich there Agents. Get the hell out of my scene and don't try to pin this shit on me. Now" The technician pops her head out the door and bellows out to the others. "I need these folks escorted out now. Get me Detective Cooper now. I want these idiots out of my crime scene before they screw the case up further!"

The vent has been taken, already at work on by another technician who's wincing at what's happening. Whatever they might find, it's quickly becoming something they might not get their hands on as two cops are coming to the door, one 'Castalides' and the other a 'Tasse' who motion for the two homeland agents to leave the scene. Justin Renner remains where he is, dead.

"Nothing sir. no one. No one or anything. I am so very sorry. Maybe if I had come in earlier I would have seen something, if I had come in earlier maybe Mister Renner would be alive sir" Anything else he might say - and likely more of the same thing - is drowned out by the bellowing forensics technician.

Not seeming at all impressed by the forensic officer's bellowing, and paying little more attention to either Castalides or Tasse than to notice their motioning. Maria directs her thoughts to Elle. "I've got the blood sample, they're not getting any of it. As to the lady and her demands, what say you? Shall we remind them this is no longer their crime scene since they called for us, or leave and let them be chewed up from head to toe by their own bosses for non-cooperation?"

Elle's posture stiffens as she scowls at the bellowing forensic officer. Her DHS badge is withdrawn and shown. "We will certainly step to the other side of the crime tape, ma'am, but might I remind you: it is believed that there is an Evolved involved with this crime. Therefore, we, as Department of Homeland Security, are perfectly entitled to oversee your crime scene." She glances to Maria, shaking her head. "Leave the evidence with them, Maria. It's not our case."

Then, she's slipping under the crime scene tape, snapping her gloves off and taking her coffee back up; the cops called to bring them in are shot an almost murderous look, the girl's posturing suggeting that touching her would probably be a very bad idea. Way too early for this crap.

"Hey now… don't go blaming yourself." Detective Cooper reaches over to pat the guy on the shoulder to be reassuring. "This questioning is normal and never easy. Alright so…"

Catchign the sound of his name, Cooper moves to the door and glances out, brows furrowing. "Uh — stay here, a moment." He turns to look at the witness. "I'll have another detective finish up here, so you can get home." There is a short nod to him before, he's hurrying down the hall.

"I heard my name?" The detective looks between the pissed off cops and the DHS agents around the vent. "What's… up?" Brows lift as he gives them all an uncertain look, a small half smile on his lips.

Hearing Maria's comments, Cooper looks surprised. "Uh — actually — this is our scene. Til I got something that says otherwise? Your gonna have to go. Mmmmaybe…" He looks behind him, spotting the last of the witnesses. He snaps his finger and points to them. "Maybe you can jsut question the witnesses and leave the forensics to the — ah — ones with the degrees in it?"

"You bet you better leave it" The Forensics officer holds her hand out to Maria with eyebrows raised and waiting, even as Cooper comes in, the glare sent by Elle matched and returned, giving her a wide berth as she goes by. The other detective just stands from afar with some other officers, snickering at the antics being pulled. "Classic homesec" Chomp goes a donut, lost to the detectives stomach.

The remaining two witness's watch the jurisdictional squabble with wariness, looking to Cooper when he suggests that Elle and Maria go talk to them.

The forensics officer is eyed calmly, her words considered and ignored. Maria instead bypasses the woman and approaches the detective, choosing to deposit the collected blood with him. "We should talk later," is offered to Cooper, and no words beyond that. She's choosing to speak further opinions at another place and time when tempers aren't as they are now.

Some moments later Delgado is on the other side of that yellow tape, not intending to remain longer than is necessary.

Oooh, Elle would so zap that woman without a second thought, if this weren't a New York crime scene. She stands for a moment, scowling over the entirety of the crime scene, thinking to herself over what's been found thus far. There's a large number of abilities that could fit that tiny classification. Size Changing, gaseous forms, even animal telepathy.

Cooper addressing them prompts a small smile. At least he's a little bit nice. She steps a little closer to the man, speaking low enough so that only he can hear. "Cooper, I'm good at interrogation…but I'm not so good at talking to scared witnesses." The next part is said a little louder, so Maria can hear. "I think it's best for us to let you guys do your thing for now. I would, however, like to review where those vents lead, and perhaps find out if there are any cameras that could have caught our killer outside…"

She rubs her chin. "Perhaps check the building outside, near vents, see if there's any signs of our killer passing through…" Who knows, it might lead somewhere.

The blood sample is almost dropped by Cooper as it's handed over, as if being handed something volitile. It ends up held gingerly between a finger and thumb, held away from him, as if worried he's gonna ruin it. When Elle steps close, the detectives brows inch upwards slowly at her words, but he doesn't move. "I - I - ah - Oh-kay." The word drawn out with his uncertainty.

"Yeah… just - um - sure." Cooper glances at the others with a slightly confused look at asks 'what just happened here?' "We'll be in touch?" Glancing back their way, Copper raises a hesitant hand in farewell, the other still held out there as if holding something very very bad.

"Can — someone take thing?" The detective addresses the forensic people. "Before I contaminated it… or - you know - drop it?"

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