Scene Title Trigger
Synopsis An independent operator does his bit for the cause.
Date December 13, 2008

The Home of Frank and Carlotta Marchant

It's late. The stylish condo of Councilman Frank Marchant is quiet, still. Only the faint streetlight casts shadows over the plush carpeting that covers the floor of the designer, sterile living room.

"Frank, you're paranoid. For god's sake, it was just a handshake!" the shrill voice of his wife, Carlotta can be heard on the other side of the door as she fumbles with the keys. "Anyway. You have enough support to pass the bill. I don't know what you're fussing about," she pushes open the door and pauses by the mirror at the hall window to touch her coif. She is an almost unhealthily lean woman who has tried too hard to cover up the fact that she's in her sixties. The keys are dropped in a dish by the door. "Rick's behind you, that's all that matters."

Behind her enters the imposing and hawkish figure of New York councilmember Frank Marchant. He is a memorable six foot four with gunmetal gray hair. "Rick might be behind me for now, but you know as well as I do that all the support doesn't matter if Harry keeps going soft on these measures for the Evolved."

Carlotta's heels click down the hardwood floor towards the kitchen, past pictures of their three children in various states of growth. She pauses to check on a lovely, well cared for orchid that almost seems to flush with new brilliance as she passes nearby. She then moves to the liquor cabinet to pull out a bottle of whiskey. A shot is poured into two crystal tumblers and she offers one to her husband as he makes his way down. "He's not going soft, dear. I mean, for god's sake! There's a whole task force out there funded with millions of dollars of taxpayer's money who operate almost outside of the law. What do you expect him to do, turn the city into a state of martial law?" She shakes her head and shoots back the whiskey.

Frank stares into the liquid of his drink. He taps his finger against the tumbler. His gold wedding band makes a ringing sound. "I suppose you're right," he admits with a mumble. "So," the sides of his mouth tug upwards in something like a smile. "We have the Milton's Christmas party tomorrow, right? When are the kids supposed to get here?"

The phone rings.

Carlotta looks down the hall, towards Frank's office. "It's one o'clock in the morning. Who's calling at this hour?" She shoots back her own whiskey and drops another bit into her glass.

"It might be Rick. He was going to let me know if he heard anything else about support for my bill. He was still at the party when we left, wasn't he?" Frank puts the tumbler down and moves down the hallway to his office. He picks up the phone. "Hello?"

For a moment, there's only the sound of breathing on the other end. Then, "Sarahu."

That single foreign word trickles through Frank Marchant's brain. . "I understand." He hangs up the phone and opens the bottom drawer of his desk., his movements recorded, mechanical. A black H&K 9mm glints dully in the lampllight. With practiced motions of years on the force, he loads the clip.

"Frank, was it Rick? What did he say?" Carlotta fusses around the kitchen and then goes to the laptop to check their schedule. "Frank?"

No answer. There is a glaze to the councilman's eyes. He walks with too-regular steps towards the living room where his wife leans over the laptop. He raises the gun.

"What do you think of this lamp? The design house thinks it will look lovely in the new spare r—" Carlotta turns. Her eyes go wide. "Frank…"

Frank pulls the trigger. And again. And again. Three perfect shots slice through his wife's chest, into the laptop behind her, ending thirty years of marriage in the most final way. Her blood sprays across cream suede furniture and on to the plush carpet. A few drops even make it as far as her prized orchid to stain the delicate petals.

Carlotta's body folds like a card table and lies prone against the floor, eyes unblinking as they stare towards the ceiling. Her leg is twisted awkwardly and lacerations dance across her face.

Frank stares at his wife with a mask of coldness as he holds the gun on her. The phone rings again and that shrill sound clicks something in his brain. The big man looks suddenly dazed, displaced. He blinks, stares at the warm gun in his hand, then down to his wife. "Carlotta?" her name is spoken softly. "C…Carly?" His gun drops, clatters to the floor. The big man bends at the knees, drops and reaches out with shaking fingers towards his wife's lifeless face.

MANHATTAN - City Councilmember Frank Marchant has been arrested and charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Carlotta Marchant. Police responded to a call from neighbors at shortly after 1 AM last night. When they arrived on the scene, they discovered Mrs Marchant dead with three bullet wounds in her chest. Former Newark police chief Marchant's registered 9mm was found nearby with three bullets discharged. There was no evidence of break and enter and the building's security system and hall cameras showed no other persons entering or leaving the Marchant's floor.
District Attorny Aldon Franco says that the motivation for his wife's shooting may have been that he discovered that his wife was Evolved. "Mister Marchant has a history for pushing for extreme measures to control the Evolved. He has even been lambasted in the press for comments that sound like racial slurs except for 'Evolved' in the place of other minorities. We have reason to believe that Mrs. Marchant herself was Evolved and that the discovery is what prompted her murder."
The attorny for Mr. Marchant has stated that his client claims that he was under the influence of an Evolved person when he shot his wife. However, at the time of printing there was no evidence to support his claims. His building is secure and although the DA hasn't released what they believe to be Mrs. Marchant's power was, it is not believed to be dangerous in any way. All he would say that if Carlotta had been registered, she would have been a Tier 0.
Mr. Marchant is currently in custody and is awaiting his bail hearing.

December 12th: In Search of a Wayward Fed
December 13th: Brown Paper Bag
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