The Cliff Notes Version



Scene Title The Cliff Notes Version
Synopsis Burroughs brings Judah the results of the Marshall autopsy.
Date October 7, 2008

Crown Heights Police Station, Brooklyn

Nearly a third of New York's finest are stationed in North Brooklyn. Despite that, the precinct in Crown Heights is a gritty place. During peak hours, the lobby is packed with whores, pimps, pushers, drug dealers, and every other sort imaginable. The reception desk is protected by a wall of impact-resistant glass set with a grille for communication and a slot for paperwork. One side of the room is lined with benches, the other with doors leading to offices and interrogation rooms.

Crown Heights Police Station is usually a busy place, day in and day out the troubles of post-bomb New York come rolling onto the doorstep here without relent. Be it gang-related violence, an Evolved going out of control on the streets, terrorists blowing up confetti bombs in crowded neighborhoods, it's a job that eventually becomes a life. But as of the last week, it's like someone took a hold of the crazy dial in the city, and turned it up to 11.

Around two in the afternoon, the station is buzzing with activity. From the string of unexplained murders to the hostage situation, the last few days have been staggering for all precincts; Today is no exception. A gang of ten teenage boys, handcuffed and seated by the entrance to the station await processing, the phones are ringing off of the hook, and most of the station's staff look like they haven't slept in days. The weariness and weight of responsibility resting on all these shoulders is almost too great to bear at times.

"I ain't done nothin'!" One tall man shouts, thrashing around while being held arm-in-arm by two officers, "Dat' chica had it comin'! She ain't paid me what I done earned! How's a man suppos'ta afford a livin'!" As he's dragged through a doorway by the officers, it's almost a welcome return to normalcy to see a pimp throwing a fit in the lobby.

Normalcy is a relative term. Ask anyone who works here — especially the tall, lithe man sitting on one of the benches that line the wall, his shoulders hunched and large hands clasped loosely between his legs as he watches the comings and goings with a scrutinous if wary eye. People adapt. Detective Judah Demsky is no exception. As much as he might long for the old days, the days when fire breathers and human chameleons were still considered a part of myth and legend, they seem strange and alien in hindsight. Sometimes, he's not sure what he’d do with a mundane case if it fell into his lap. Pass it onto someone else, he supposes. Someone less experienced. Someone who isn’t so hard and jaded that he doesn't automatically imagine the worst of other people.

Right now, more than anything, what Judah wants is a cigarette. It would give him the excuse he needs to stand outside instead of sitting here like an ornery gargoyle, glaring daggers at anyone who so much as glances in his direction. Even the K-9 units know to avoid him — they recognize a bad mood when they smell one, and if they had the brainpower to comprehend the detective's situation they might be able to sympathize with him. Having been on the trail of a murderer for several days only to lose his scent is as frustrating as it is disheartening. There isn't much more he can do about the Marshall case until another lead turns up.

As people come and go from the station, there's something visibly missing from Judah's situation, aside from his cigarette — his partner. Perhaps it's that it isn't the same without her here, perhaps it's that with he extra pair of hands though, would always be appreciated. That moment of thoughtful introspection is cut short by a voice calling out from one of the cubicles, "Detective Demsky!?" A chair scuttles on the tile floor, followed by the click-clack of hard-soled shoes as a young red-haired man steps out from the back offices, carrying a few papers in hand. "Has anyone seen Detect — " His eyes catch sight of Judah's gargoylish perch on the chair, and there's a mixed expression of relief and wariness that sets in.

Miles Burroughs, paper-pusher extraordinaire, a quiet sort who Judah rarely has contact with, save for picking out numbers and addresses. He processes a lot of information that comes across his desk, content to stay behind it and handle his work, not the type to get his hands dirty. "Ah, Detective, um…" Coming over to Judah's side, he pushes his wire-framed glasses up the bridge of his nose with one finger, holding out the documents, which clearly display a large photocopy of a black handprint. "I just got this faxed from the Harlem County Morgue, Miller's office?" One auburn brow raises. "It's the autopsy report on the Marshall case, you ah… You might want to take a look at this."

Judah offers Burroughs no thank you, no nod of acknowledgement, not even a smile. He simply takes the photocopy and, with a snap of his wrist, straightens it out and holds it up to the light. These aren't the ideal conditions for inspecting evidence, but they'll make do for the time being. "I don't have the time to thumb through paperwork, Burroughs," he says, voice coming out in the form of a low, hoarse growl. "You've read the report — let's hear the Cliff Notes version."

"Ah, w-well…" Burroughs reaches up to rub at his neck anxiously when Judah snatches the papers away. Detective Demsky always frightened him, some kind've irrational fear as if he was a parental figure. "The report was pretty bizarre, in terms of the cause of death. Whatever happened to her, the coroner says it caused massive hemorrhaging of her blood vessels when the moisture was removed from her body. I mean, we're talking hot desert sun kind've desiccation here…" He motions to the cover sheet, "The big catch was that black handprint on the skin? It looks like it was some kind've heat blister under the skin, discolored when everything got dried up. Miller was able to pull some fingerprints from the palm…" Burroughs looks down at the floor, grimacing, as if not sure how to go over what he discovered. "But, ah… This is where things get really weird."

When Burroughs continues, the phone begins to ring again back in the office, catching the officer's attention for a moment, before turning back to Judah. "I ah, the prints matched ones on our file. Old files, sir." Shifting his eyes to the paperwork, Miles motions to the second sheet, plucking it out and giving it a glance over to make sure he has the numbers right. "The prints belong to an Agent Richard Jose Santiago from the Federal Bureau of Investigations…" His brows tense, "He… he disappeared on assignment in nineteen fifty-seven. He's um," There's clearly something difficult about explaining what he tries to. "According to this paperwork, Santiago would be seventy-eight years old now. I tried to pull up the files on the case he was working when he vanished, but I don't have the clearance for it. We put a call in to the bureau, but God knows how long that's going to take…"

"Go ahead and put in the request," Judah says, taking the rest of the paperwork off Burroughs' hands, "I have a favour I can call in while we're waiting. Might speed things up a little." To be fair, the favour doesn't belong to him — it's Kaydence's. One of the benefits of working with Damaris is the company her late husband used to keep. If Judah is lucky, his partner should be able to sweet-talk Homeland Security into lending them a helping hand.

Judah rises from his seat on the bench and tucks the files under his arm. "Remind me to put in a good word for you with the Commissioner," he adds. "This is some excellent work."

"Ah, y-yes sir, I'll get right on that." The immediate response is given just before Burroughs stammers out a confused, "W-wait, r-really?" A smile creeps up on his face, and he nods with enthusiasm to the detective, "Yes sir, absolutely sir!" Burroughs' enthusiasm, however bright, is cut short as a switchboard operator behind one of the desks motions over to Judah.

"Demsky!" She calls out in a shrill, nasally voice, adjusting her glasses with one hand, "It's Detective Myron down in Chinatown, he says you need to swing down to the Bowery, they've got another two victims on the Marshall case." Burroughs' attention snaps to the desk for a moment, then back to Demsky, eyes wide. He merely nods, hurriedly, to the Detective and then heads back to his desk to put in that request — It would seem time is a matter of importance.

This guy just doesn't stop, does he? "Tell him I'll be there in twenty," Judah snaps at the operator. "Twenty-five if I run into Damaris on my way out." He's kept this case from her long enough. If he doesn’t involve Kaydence, and soon, she's going to skin him alive when she finds out what the department has been dealing with these past few days.

Without another word, the detective disappears through the doors leading back into the station proper, his pace brisk, footsteps smacking sharply against the floor. If his partner is hanging around, slogging through paperwork in the bullpen — he'll find her.

October 7th: Holding Hands

Previously in this storyline…
To Fool an Inquisition

Next in this storyline…
The Power of a Name

October 7th: Evil Preppy Young Republican
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