Too Nice


ingrid_icon.gif jane2_icon.gif

Scene Title Too Nice
Synopsis Jane takes her intern to investigate Aric Gibbs' apartment in his absence.
Date January 18, 2011

Aric's Apartment

Jane has long had a routine when searching over someone's personal space. Of course, in the service, it was often a lot less space, but the spirit is the same. She likes to start with their favorite space. And given the sparsity of Aric Gibbs' home with the exception of the fancy kitchen, that is where she's started.

Plus, there's always a lot of drawers in a kitchen.

She's just pulling one out to thumb through the contents, unsure of exactly what she's looking for, but looking anyway. "It's always good to think a little off kilter when you're conducting a search," she says to her intern as she slides her hand along the underside of the counter there inside the drawer's space, "People can get pretty damn creative with things they don't want people to find."

On the other side of the apartment — loft? she thinks is the word — a young woman dressed in a wool coat in a vibrant cardinal red, white gloves and nylon stockings a few shades removed from the pale of her slender calves is peeking out around the curtains strung up above the window that looks out over the street where the Blue Moon is and the residence above it is situated. Ingrid is wearing a skirt, too, but her coat cuts off several inches above the knee, making it impossible for her superior to guess at what she might be wearing beneath it, but it's probably professional.

She tries so hard to be. "I kept a diary under my mattress as soon as I was old enough to start writing," she says, "but then my mother found it and read it. Took it away, but I guess that's my fault for calling her a witch." She wrinkles her nose, some guilt in the fine lines of her rodent-like expression. "My sister showed me where to hide the next one. Loose brick in the wall."

That gets a laugh out of the agent, "When I was a kid, my brother and sister and I had code words for situations like that. Diaries, passing notes about people, like that." Jane keeps going through the drawers and cabinets, checking for extra little nooks and crannies, and anything that looks interesting.

"Loose brick, though, that's a nice touch. Man, how does this guy rank a nicer kitchen than me? I can't get over it." Probably something to do with her kitchen being used mostly as extra storage and her meals being mostly on the go. When she straightens up, though, she leans out of the kitchen area, "Finding anything interesting?"

"Interesting," Ingrid confirms, "but I don't think it's anything worth hiding. Or at least Mister Gibbs didn't think so." She lets the curtains fall to the side and takes a few steps across the living area to a wooden easel with a sketch pad leaning against it, which she stoops to pick up and flip open. Her thumbs brush the edges of the pages where she touches the paper to turn them in an attempt to preserve the artist's charcoal work. After a few flips, her thumb catches on something, and she holds it up for Jane to see.

It's a portrait of a woman with fair hair that frames an oval face and sharp eyes placed perfectly above a pert nose and a full mouth peeled around a wide smile.

It's also the splitting image of one Elisabeth Harrison.

"Isn't this the Frontline lady?"

Jane steps over at that, an eyebrow lifted. "Well, well, well," she says, a slight chuckle on her voice. "It's either her or she has a twin sister. I guess Gibbs isn't really trying to be sneaky, is he?" She sounds almost disappointed there, like she was really hoping for things to be tucked away inside a secret compartment in the overhead lights or something.

She steps back a little, pulling out a camera to take a picture. "He's pretty good, isn't he? I suppose we should get around to asking Harrison if she knows this guy, see what she says."

"Somebody left a gift basket in the bedroom, too. You know, the kind with food in it?" There's something about the way Ingrid says the word food that suggests it isn't anymore. What's in the fridge probably can't be classified as anything other than garbage, either. It isn't making any sound.

The display on the microwave in the kitchen that would normally have the time in glowing neon green is similarily dark, and although there's enough sunlight streaming into the apartment's windows to make flicking a switch necessary, there are scorch marks around the plastic face plates that suggest this would be a very bad idea.

"The note says it's from somebody named Harmony. No last name. She hopes he's feeling—" Better presumably. She cuts herself off when a business card flutters from between the pages of the sketch pad and floats down to the ground at Jane's feet. It appears to belong to the same woman whose snapshot the liaison just took.

"Oh," says Ingrid.

"Harmony, huh? Sounds like a stripper name," Jane points out before she bends down to pick up that business card. She stays in a crouch for a few moments, just sort of looking around the loft, considering. "Well, things around here look like they were hit by an electrokinetic, at least. A new one, I mean. Which probably means he wasn't lying about this ability being new to him." Of course, she doesn't rule out him lying about something.

"But his connection with Harrison and her connection with Nash and all this mess… I still think he was involved in it all one way or another. Too nice. People aren't that nice."

"She's not in trouble or anything, is she?" Ingrid asks. "Miss Harrison, I mean. There are a lot of explanations for the picture and the business card, Miss Pak. She's a celebrity. Her picture's in magazines and things. Could be he just ripped something out of Pause and used it as a reference. The card he could have gotten from somebody else after Miss Harrison gave it to them. Like an autograph?

"They sell a lot of those on eBay."

"She's not in a lot of trouble, no. I suspect her higher ups already gave her her dressing down for the technopath thing and we're sort of a punishment in a way, as well. Whatever her role is in this thing, well, they all did a fair job of compartmentalizing. I believe something went on with Nash and Redbird, and I'm pretty sure Harrison is connected more than she's saying, but," Jane gives a shrug there. If she had any real fire about clapping cuffs on someone over this, it isn't there now.

No, her goal is something different now. It's a subtle difference in how she's approaching things, but the difference is there. "Celebrity, huh?" She asks, shifting the focus a little with a crooked smile, "You a fan, then, Ingrid?"

"I don't" Ingrid starts, and she pauses, like she's not entirely sure of what she wants to say next, or if what she wants to say next is the right thing. "I'm sure she's a wonderful lady, but in her interviews she comes off as I dunno. Arrogant, I guess is the word I'm looking for. Like she looks down her nose at people? Even the ones she's trying to help."

Another pause. "Especially the ones she's trying to help. She's not exactly the kind of person I'd put— um. Art supplies toward."

"Well. Maybe she's different if you know her. I didn't really get arrogance, although smug definitely is around her expression from time to time. But we all get that way sometimes." Jane stands up, setting the card back down with all the art stuff. Carefully. "Or maybe he just likes arrogant women, who knows. Or thinks she's got a good facial structure. There's one thing I've learned in my time and it's that artists will draw the weirdest things sometimes. And for some bizarre reasons. But, it's enough of something that I want to ask her and see how she answers. And then see if she answers differently after seeing this. Make sense? Sometimes you've got to work on hunches. And if you never ask, you'll never know if the hunch was right or not."

The agent puts her hands on her hips for a moment, turning her head to look toward the kitchen again. "I really want to see if something ties him to Redbird somehow. That would really be interesting."

"You could take the card to a psychometer," is Ingrid's suggestion. "Laws are changing. Or they'll be starting to. It's only a matter of time until the kind of evidence uncovered by Evolved abilities is admissible in court, and even if it isn't, then at least you know what you're dealing with, right?"

She she's not sure that she does. The business card. The charcoal sketch. Being in someone's apartment while they're not home seems to make her uneasy, evidence aside, and she gingerly places the sketch pad back on the easel, then wipes off her hands on the front of her coat, leaving a dark smudge on the fabric, which in turn causes a frown to tug at the corners of her mouth.

"Call it a hunch, Miss Pak, but I don't think we're gonna find anything else. Not here. Have you searched Redbird yet? Requested a copy of its call records and the call records of its employees?"

"That's true enough. I could requisition someone. I should take the card from Harmony, too." Jane pauses a moment, tilting her head a moment before she pulls a few bags out of a pocket, something akin to a Ziploc bag, each card getting it's own space. She even has a pen to make notes on the outside.

"A hunch, huh? Yeah, hate to say it, but he doesn't seem like the type who's got anything really juicy hanging around. And I have requested. Cardinal and I are playing the Whose Clearance Is Better game for a bit. I suspect so he can make sure he has time to clean up after himself, paperworkwise."

Ingrid drags her teeth over her lower lip. There's another moment of debate, this one longer than the first. Then, "Why hasn't the Department arranged a sting?"

"Search me, Ingrid," Jane says with a lift of her shoulder. "I'm beginning to wonder why the hell this was put in my lap at all, the way things are playing out." A hint, just a hint, of uncharacteristic bitterness is laced in that statement before she lifts her attention back up to her intern with a crooked smile instead. "They had to have known I wasn't going to uncover anything, giving both Harrison and Redbird warning I was coming to snoop around. Hell, I could get the sensitive documents out of my office in less than an hour if I had to, they had days to cover their tracks and get their stories straight. So. Take from that what you will."

"I don't think it's like that," Ingrid hedges. "If they really wanted to protect Redbird's butts, they'd have tossed out the case as soon as it came across their desks instead of sending you on a wild goose chase. You're the liaison for the Department of Homeland Security. Somebody wanted you to know what was going on."

Whatever that is. She doesn't sound entirely convinced that there is something going on, but her tone is earnest and her pale blue eyes sincere. "Mister Cardinal's a government contractor, right? And if he's guilty of something, then one of our people probably is too, and I don't mean the DoEA. Federal Bureau of Investigation, could be. Or even DHS itself."

Ingrid forces a smile. Like they're talking about something a little less serious than treason. "When my dad was still alive, he used to let his friends take me out hunting sometimes. For birds. They'd sit me up on their shoulders and send the dogs out into the tall grass to scare them up into the air before the pop-pop-pop. Maybe this is like that, only the warning Redbird got is the labrador, and you're the one with the gun."

Small hands clap together abruptly. "Oh! What about Miss Kershner? She used to be in charge of Frontline before her, right? And there was that shady thing last year where they used Miss Harrison to lure out those terrorists out of hiding and all the civilians got killed in the crossfire."

"Somebody did, maybe, but they're making it difficult for me to get anything found out. The things is, I know they all pulled a fast one, because I'm not stupid. But proving it's another thing. And I don't think these are… bad people, really. I'm not really sure who I'm really investigating anymore," Jane admits with a bit of a sigh. "This guy, Gibbs. Black suits just came and hauled him away. Mid-interview. They flashed DHS badges, but Hanson… Audrey Hanson? She couldn't even look up the case. So something is definitely going on. And don't think it hasn't crossed my mind that it's one of us. I just… have to figure out what's going on. I want to know whose gun I am right now, you know what I mean?"

Jane lifts a brow at the mention of Kershner, nodding a bit in recognition. "The military does throw down some shady tactics from time to time," she notes, crooking her head a little, "Sometimes it's necessary."

"Sometimes," Ingrid concedes, and that is all. She looks down at her shoes and some of the snow that she and Jane tracked into the apartment when they first arrived, now meltwater. "We should get back to the office and catalog what we found, huh?"

"Don't worry, we'll figure this one out, Kiddo. I'm known for being really stubborn," Jane says with a smile. But she gives a nod, giving the loft one more look over, possibly feeling.. dissatisfied. "Yeah, I suppose we should. Paperwork awaits, as always. You know, Ingrid, you really might give this career path another thought. It's really tiring sometimes. And there's no hazard pay for the papercuts."

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