Time To Come In


elisabeth_icon.gif mack_icon.gif

Scene Title Time To Come In
Synopsis A phone call from a squadmate sends Elisabeth flying to the Crown Heights precinct to fetch him out of lockup.
Date Aug 18, 2009

Crown Heights Police Precinct

It is, literally, the ass crack of dawn. That tainted yellow orb has just allowed a sliver of its glory to pierce the darkness, leaving that eerie moment that precedes the day in which the shadows seem to stretch a little longer and the bumps in the dark more menacing. Despite the time of day, however, the Crown Heights station is packed. Well, it'll be ten times as bad later, but still busy. Amongst the throng, almost entirely escaping most of the cop's and criminal's attention, is a single man. He's unkempt, stubble running from his scalp down onto his cheeks and neck. He has a black eye and a fat lip. A wifebeater and a dirty pair of jeans make up his only clothing, a large rip in one knee of the jeans and a large stain along his side thats almost black — but it ain't hard to tell it started out red… Oh, and a pair of silver bracelets linked together with a short chain. Its hard to see Gabriel Patrick McNamera through the grime, but its Mack alright. He's just sitting off to one side, forgotten.

The asscrack of dawn is definitely a time of day Liz is seeing often lately. Son of a bitch — you take a half-day off on a Sunday and the world goes to hell in a handbasket, that's for sure. It's been insane. And then at oh-dark-thirty, her cell phone rang and a voice she wasn't sure she ever expected to hear again told her to come to Crown Heights, he needed to be picked up. As Elisabeth walks into the precinct, she's wearing jeans, a purple T-shirt, and a beat-up leather jacket, her blonde hair in a ponytail because she didn't have time to shower. Blue eyes skim the skells sitting on the benches this fine morning and they go right over the top of Mack. Only when she hits the end of the bench does she backtrack and look more carefully, spotting him. She heads for the desk sergeant, flashes her badge, tells him which one of the nasty critters on the bench she wants in his interrogation room, and lets him send a uniform to do the dirty work of getting Mack into the back of the precinct, out of sight.

Only when he's seated and the uniformed officer leaves does Elisabeth turn and raise a single eyebrow at the man she hasn't seen in months. "Slumming, darlin?" she drawls at him with a faint grin. Then she walks to him to uncuff him. "Christ, Mack."

Mack looks up at his rescuer; you could say his appearance is 'zombie-like' at best. He looks only half focused, but that could be due in large part to the fact that his left eye still refuses to open. "Tell me about it." His voice is raw, as if he'd been screaming. Once the cuffs come off he alternates between rubbing each wrist. "I hate handcuffs." He takes a deep breath, but that quickly devolves into a rough cough. "Sorry if I woke you up."

Once he's loose, she cups his chin in her hand and inspects his eye, and the rest of him, with an experienced eye. "You did, but it's okay. I'm glad as hell that you thought to call me. It's time you came back in. Things are… chaotic." She grimaces and admits, "I didn't realize until you called me that you were still under. It fell through the cracks after Will…." She walks to the door and tells the uniform outside to bring a couple bottles of water. "If you're ready to break cover and debrief, I'll get you out of here now," she says when she comes back. "I don't like the sound of that cough, though. What the hell happened?"

"I don't know. Fuck, I know that sounds lame, but…" Mack takes another deep breath — this time he doesn't cough — and just leans forward until eventually he'll either have to stand or fall. He manages the former, if only just barely. But then, that eye doesn't look quite as bad as it did a few minutes ago. "Went to meet a guy named Bart — at least, thats the name they gave me — who slings some narcotics. Next thing I remember, I'm waking up a few blocks from here lying in a gutter. Guess I kinda got lost out there. But fuck yes I'm ready to break cover… I think before this I was forgetting which way was up." Then, there's a pause, his eyebrow draws down close over his eyes. Yeah, that left eye is open just a little bit now. "What do you mean, 'after Will'?"

She's never seen his regeneration actually in action, though she knows what his ability is. Elisabeth moves forward to steady him as he stands up, so she's standing in his space as he asks and her head comes up sharply. Oh fuck. Her jaw clenches, and Elisabeth steps back just a bit — still well within his arm's reach, but not quite in his personal space anymore. "Will's dead, Mack. Fucking Humanis First assassin," she says quietly, bluntly. He's always been up front with her, she won't sugarcoat it. "Beginning of July."

"Every time… every fucking time." The words are whispered, barely audible even a step or two around. Mack's eyes seem unfocused for a few seconds until he finally snaps back into the present place and time. His own jaw tightens; really, it seems like he tightens. "One more name on the list. Lets get somewhere quiet so you can fill me in." His voice takes on the qualities of unworked stone; hard, jagged, emotionless. There is, apparently, a limit. "I'm guessing most of the leads have gone cold if it was a month and a half ago."

Elisabeth reaches out for his arm, a light touch only, and then she heads for the door to get the uniform back. He's just returning with the water, and she takes both bottles, murmurs to him to tell his captain that she's taking Detective McNamara with her — if he's got questions, he can call her later and she'll sort it out. She leaves him with a card, and she hustles Mack out the back door of the precinct to her car. "I'm assuming you still have an apartment — give directions as we go," she tells him as they get into the car and she hands him the water. "I'm not even sure where to start. The leads are still being played out — we have a description… and the postcog in forensics said that if she was actually Humanis First, which seems reasonable because she kept talking about a mission, she wasn't anymore — she'd developed an ability or something. From what we can gather, she had been assigned to take him out — he'd been shot at before — and this time she took him at home. Kicked her way in, he was just about to drop her and he grabbed his heart, and she ….." Liz swallows, her eyes on the road as she drives. "She burned him," she finally says quietly. "Brazen bitch brought his dog to the precinct and dropped it off — that was how we found out."

Mack settles himself into her car with disquieting ease. The water is pretty much gone as soon as its in his hand, however. "Somebody that can just give you a heart attack? Wonder if its mental or a poison of some kind… via touch, odor. Shit, could be anything." His voice sounds better. His left eye opens all the way, now. Too bad that blood stain isn't going anywhere. Dirty, torn, blood stained clothes and tattoo's do not make someone who looks much like a detective. "But then again, I'm a month and a half behind the eight ball, so if I say anything stupid, just tell me. So… have we managed to track down any known Humanis First ops? See if we can squeeze em and see what kinda juice pops out?"

Elisabeth glances at him and smiles faintly. "Well, you may have more insight on that than most of us. If they're not on fuckin' Staten, I'd be shocked." She looks at the road again. "You been hearing the information about FRONTLINE? They're ramping up for ops on Staten. Someone — clearly on government orders because they never scrambled the jets out of Maguire — bombed the Dagger over there." She grins at him, "I'm assuming you saw that mess." Couple of months worth of cases to upload into the man's brain, and she knows his patience level is not going to last. She pulls through a drive-through as they go, ordering a couple of breakfast egg sandwiches and two large drinks — he can have them both if he wants them, or she'll take the other if he doesn't. And then she resumes the drive to his place. "They haven't placed us with a captain as yet, so … most of us are basically taking the cases as they come and doing the best we can with 'em. Wish we had Harvard, though — goddamn, the brass can't find its ass with a streetmap and a flashlight at high noon."

Mack can't help but laugh a little. His sense of humor is… twisted. "Turn left up here." He says between bites of egg sandwhich. He only eats one. He sucks down the drink, though. "So step up. I would, but I don't even know if I have a job anymore so I'm guessing promoting me is completely out of the question. Take Will and me both out of the equation and unless you got some hotshot probie since I left, that leaves you. If there's somebody out there pulling hits on cops this is a bullshit time to be running around with no one running the show."

Elisabeth looks sideways at him and asserts mildly, "You're clearly out of your fuckin' mind." She takes the turn, leaving the other drink where he can reach it easily. "I've had my shield for all of what… three months? Been on the squad seven months? Petey has far more seniority than I do — but I wouldn't put him in charge either. I've asked twice who's heading us up, and I keep getting the runaround. They keep telling me 'soon' — in the meantime…. we're all working together well enough right now that it's working out fine." She glances at him. "Hell, we've even managed to keep the fact that we've got not one but TWO Evo serial killers on the loose right now. One of them's been broken in the headlines, but the other one is far, far scarier. And if you don't have a fuckin' job after being undercover for months with only Will as a contact where NO ONE knew you were out there under orders? Fuck it, I'm quittin."

"Don't be stubborn. I should have come in when I lost contact. But if everything I've done the last couple months ever comes out, I will be out of a job and the state will be giving me a little room with some old bars for a front door. Somebody's gotta run the show, even if they don't get the pay raise and the fancy title." Mack finishes his own drink, but he doesn't touch the second. To look at him now, you'd never know how bad he looked just a short while before. "I don't know. We'll figure it out. I shoulda been here. Will was my partner."

Elisabeth looks at him and says in a soft tone, "I know he was. And I'm sorry that I had to be the one to tell you, Mack." She steers around a cabbie who seems to think he can take up two lanes. "I should have come back out to Staten to talk to you in person." There's regret in her tone. "I thought someone above Harvard would have…." She shakes her head and grits her teeth. "Undercover's got different rules to live by, and you know it." She glances at him and says quietly, "If you need to talk, though… I'll take whatever you say to my grave, Mack." She knows exactly what kind of a cesspit Staten is.

"Somehow I doubt giving you the details would do anything but make you not wanna come pull my ass out of the fire next time. And yes, I think we both know there's gonna be a next time." Mack clears his throat, and he stares conspicuously out the window as they drive. "You know, I was normal before the bomb. It was so long ago, in this town shit moves so fast, nobody ever seems to talk about it anymore… but I was normal. No nifty mutations; at least that I knew about. Had a girlfriend. Dog. I was a firefighter. Poster boy, and all that shit." Then he turns away from the window, looking over at the driver. "I don't think I could look my dad in the eye, anymore."

"Don't count on that," Elisabeth tells him quietly as she pulls toward the side of the road. Propping one hand on the steering wheel, she turns to look at him. Elisabeth too has changed in just the few months he's known her. The blue eyes that meet his hold far more comprehension of what he's just said than he might have expected. "Since I came back on the force, Mack… I've done some things that make me feel the same way. Will's covered my ass more than once. And believe me…. I know exactly how you feel." She shrugs just a little. "The fact that you worry about looking your father in the eye? That's why I know you'll make it." She turns her attention back to the street and pulls out. "I know it's close to here — point," she instructs gently. "And if you need that ear…. don't hesitate. I'll come for you, no matter what hell you just landed yourself in." Her tone is not kidding. Mack somehow got lost in the system, and he's Will's partner and friend, and he's SCOUT — she's not letting him fall through the cracks again if she can help it. "Get a shower… get some sleep. I'll warn…. shit, I don't know. I'll figure out who needs to know you're coming in — call me before you do and I'll let you know who to see, okay?"

"Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see. Don't get yourself tied too tightly to me. If I go down I don't want to drag anyone with me." Mack then forces a smile, and it looks anything but happy. "Our shits all outta whack, Liz. We gotta put this shit back together. Or maybe I'm just talking crazy cause I haven't slept in a decent bed in forever. I'll call you tomorrow. I'm taking today off. Thanks for the ride." With that, he pops open the car door and steps out onto the street, lighting a cigarette as he goes.

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