We Are So Screwed


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Scene Title We Are So Screwed
Synopsis Cassidy and Elisabeth walk right into their very own real-life horror film.
Date July 27, 2009

Brittany Hall, New York University

Content Advisory
The following log contains graphic scenes that may be disturbing to some readers.
This scene happens during part of, and extends beyond So Much Time On Our Hands. Read that scene first.

It's going to be one of those days that people try so desperately to block out of their memories. Unfortunately for the two detectives approaching room 42 in Brittany Hall, neither of them are quite prepared for what they are going to find behind door number 1 — well, 42. Cassidy might be able to feel that something's not quite right behind those walls — the emotions just don't match up with what one might expect from a college dormitory — but beyond that, there are no clues but one: The uniformed officers who arrived never quite did get in touch with Jackie Wilcox.

Even as Coren gives Felix a run down of the case back at HQ, Cassidy does the same for Detective Harrison. "…the MO was how he described it.. Two years and eighteen known bodies in all before it stopped." A hand on the rail and one in her jean pocket, Cassidy half jogs her way up the stairs to the dorm floor. "But the first two that spelled it out for them, those two blond girls. They were holding each other's slit wrists. One of those hand made pieces between them. He always made it look like suicide."

There is a sad shake of Cassidy's head. "The whole thing about those cases for him… " she glances at Liz and tells her something Coren doesn't tell Felix. "It destroyed his marriage. His obsession got that bad. It became personal for him." She glances at the floor number as they reach a landing. "… It became his life."

Fourth floor. Reaching for the handle, the red headed detective pauses to give Elisabeth a worried look. "I'm gonna need help with this, Liz… I can feel it in my gut. I can't let it eat at him again." Then she pulls open the door to let Harrison pass before passing through after.

As they walk up the stairs, Elisabeth glances at Cassidy. "That's pretty damn sick," she agrees about the roommates. Her sense of urgency isn't extending to running up the stairs, the uniform in question said the girl didn't appear to be home yet, so he's got campus security looking for her in the buildings around campus while he staked out the dorm and waited for Harrison and O'Shea. "I'm told we all wind up with a case like that if we stick out this job long enough — one that just… sticks to us. Even when you solve it, sometimes." The 36 will likely be that one for her, she kind of figures.

As they step into the hallway, it looks just as it ought. Elisabeth leads the way to #42 and starts knocking on the door. "Jackie? Jackie, you home?" Her voice is pitched to carry enough that if people in the adjacent rooms are home, they may also hear and come out to offer information — she hopes.

Un giorno sai per vivere
La vita che ci sfugge qui

The vocal tones of Josh Groban can be heard through the door, and yet there is no answer. Not from Jackie's room, anyway. The RA, though, Amanda Dawson appears with her curly chocolate locks, coming from her room as she heads toward the stairs. She stays long enough to say, "She might have headphones on, or something. I saw her talking to a blonde girl earlier, and she invited her in." After that, she's on the stairwell.

Un giorno sai per vivere
La vita che ci sfugge qui

"Admittedly, I haven't gotten a case like that yet.. but I get to relive his it seems." murmurs Detective O'Shea softly as she moves to stand along side the other at the door. As Liz knocks she glances down one side of the hall and then the other making note of who steps out. "He resigned eventually cause of it too.." The words trail off as the RA makes mention of headphones. A glance to the other detective, Cassidy reaches out slowly to test the knob, finding it unlocked, she turns the handle and pushes the door open, letting it swing open. "Hello? NYPD… "

Elisabeth's stomach drops to her toes when Amanda tells her that. "A blonde girl?" she asks urgently. "Not Jessy?" And then she's right behind Cassidy, bracing herself for the worst.

L'amore in noi supererá
Gli ostacoli e le maree dell'avversitá

No, not Jessy, and 'blonde girl' turns out to be 'blonde woman.' Only one person in that hallway would recognize her, though. On the other hand, Elisabeth may see similarities between that girl and one Abigail Beauchamp. They both have the same colour hair, same ears and overall shape of the face and chin. Slightly different browline and nose, however. Megan Manning. Admittedly, she's aged — it has been nine years since Coren last saw her — but she's really unmistakeable. The features are just too similar to be anyone but her.

E ci sará anche per noi nel mondo
Un tempo in cui l'amore vincerá

Of course, that face would be startling to Cassidy, because it is for Coren. The far more alarming site is that, while both 30-year-old and far younger Jackie are covered in blood, Jackie's innards spilled onto the floor and raveled around Meg's legs, the older woman is still alive, though barely. It's entirely possible she's covered in more of her own blood than Jackie's — from the slit throat and wrists, and various gashes all over her body. The look the woman gives Cassidy is one of scorn. Then she smirks, eyes widening into fear. With one last rattling gasp of air, Meg Manning dies, her right hand gripping the left of Jackie Wilcox, a white Queen between the two.

Un tempo in cui l'amore vincerá

First thing that Cassidy's mind does is go completely numb at the sight that greets the two of them. She can't speak, she can't think… she can only stare. She quickly tries to blank her mind and not think of them as people…. but then the older woman looks at her, and her stomach falls. Her hand reaches out to grip the door jam for support when the dying woman smirks at her.

Much like her partner her stomach starts to roil unhappily, threatening to make her throw up right there. She has to swallow back a lump in her throat a couple of times and turn her back on the scene. There is a wince from Cassidy as her partner back at the station breaks his mug.

"Megan Manning" She manages to gasp the name. Another attempt to swallow back the bile. "That's Meg Manning." She says with the sharp edge of fear, her eyes a bit too wide when she looks at Liz. "Back up.. call back up."

Elisabeth freezes in the doorway, her stomach pitching up into her throat. The trick is, it doesn't smell like the last one did — this is so fresh that she can smell only the copper. She looks down the hall at Amanda and barks, "CALL 911, right the fuck NOW, tell 'em Officer needs assistance, give them an address, and tell them to roll an ambulance yesterday." She shoves past Cassidy, fully aware that there is almost nothing there that's going to help, but even in the midst of all the blood and gore, Megan Manning has only just expired. "Close that door," Liz barks at Cassidy sternly as she yanks a pillowcase off a pillow to wrap around the woman's arm as tight as she can and picks up a T-shirt from the floor to put pressure on the throat wound. "Cass, CPR." Oh yes, this is going to suck huge big donkey rocks, and it's most likely futile. But if they don't try, they'll never forgive themselves.

Closing her eyes to try to control her fear and disgust, she bends over as her mouth practically waters with the need to throw up. Almost… but not quite. She can't help but wish her partner was there, everything was easier.. safer when he was there. Straightening slowly, Cassidy takes shallow breaths. "Sick and twisted fuck," she murmurs softly as she forces herself to look at the scene again only to be shoved aside.

Shutting the door as directed, Cassidy shakes her head slowly. "She's gone Liz." No more fear in her. Empty of emotions. "You can't bring her back from a slit throat and wrists." She stares at Meg face's for a long moment, remembering that smirk again. It takes the murmuring thoughts of her partner to pull her eyes away from the woman.

As she tries to passively look at the area around the dead woman, her eyes skim over the stereo, something tickles at the back of her mind. Right there. "What's that then?" Skirting around the bodies and blood, it's easy to ignore them for the piece of paper laying on the stereo. She starts to reach for it, but then remembers that she doesn't have any gloves, CSI would have a fit. So, instead, she is reduced to reading it where it is.

It doesn't matter if she knows there's no saving the woman. Protocol and Elisabeth's own morality dictate that she do everything humanly possible. For at least a few minutes, she has to try. The crime scene can wait. The body is not even cold. So Elisabeth will do the best she can for as long as seems even remotely reasonable… and when she finally gives up, there is anger and there are tears in her eyes for the girl we couldn't save and the woman who …. God only knows what she was thinking. Covered in the blood of both women, Elisabeth kneels on the dorm room floor and looks toward Cassidy. "What is it?" she asks softly.

The words on the note are written in a cursive form Cassidy can recognize — through Coren — as belonging to the Meg Manning he questioned and counselled all those years ago with the FBI.

I had hoped to see Detective Doctor Coren Shelby again, but I suppose you two will have to do.

I'll be watching.

Cassidy's whole body stiffens as she reads the letter, her hands curling into fists…. but then they begin to shake. "Fuck…" That word as all the sound of something being very wrong. Her head snaps around, her eyes scanning the area, gun already in her hand and being cocked. "How in bloody hell did he know it was us, Liz?" Glancing to the woman, she motions to the letter with her head, "Look. Megan's handwriting," she whispers in her partner's accent, the fear very clearly there, even a wash of panic.

Stepping out of the way, Cassidy looks down at the body of Megan again. "Detective Doctor Coren Shelby… " She whispers. "Where have I heard….?" her head comes up, as something brushes her thoughts. "Abigail. She calls him that." She doesn't voice the sudden thought she has, but she goes very pale.

Moving to stand, Elisbeth's brain is clicking into crime scene mode. She can't go anywhere looking like this, certainly not until paramedics get here. "Tell Coren to get CSI here." Her blue eyes on Cassidy are worried. "Abby's not in town right now. So please, God, she'll be all right until she gets back. And I'll put some people on her." Some cops and some not-cops, that's for sure. "This case is making no sense at all," she says quietly, "Unless we've got some kind of Evo telepathic domination going on, maybe?" She considers the idea.

"Already on the way." O'Shea confirms softly, her eyes closing against something in her head. The news about Abigail's whereabouts relaxes her some. "Well, at least she's safe for the time.. but.." She glances at Megan again. "She's his MO. The type he goes after."

She shivers and looks away and over to Liz. "Something… She smirks at me. Smirked and then suddenly she was afraid. Something is off.. Very off." A hand lifts to run over her mouth as she thinks. "Whoever it was.. made her write that.. watched us arrive." Suddenly, Cassidy is moving. Yanking open the door she steps into the hall, making sure that not much can be seen til she closes it, while pulling out a cellphone. She about drops it as she punches in a number for dispatch. Almost a bit wildly she looks down each side of the corridor, studying the growing crowd of teenagers.

"Hey.. Detective Cassidy O'Shea here. Call the units already on scene, have them search the school for anyone suspicious." Fat lot of good it would do, but she knows he was watching. That fact there scares her to death.

Elisabeth hesitates and tilts her head, something catching her when Cassidy says that. And then her eyes are thoughtful. "Have the units grab that RA and ask her some more pointed questions," she says quietly. She can't step into the hall, covered in red as she is.

A glance back over her shoulder, Cassidy starts to shrug off her coat. It exposes her sidearm, but she needs Liz to be able to go as soon as they can. "Yeah.. and have them be on the look out for a Female.. African-American.. Right.. Curly, shoulder-length brown hair.. Got it? Okay.. About five foot four… five foot six rang. Wearing jeans and a pink hoodie. She's wanted for questioning." She pushes her trench coat through the door to Liz and snaps the phone shut. "It'll go out. Hopefully, it won't be long." She studies Elisabeth through the door. "This is bad Liz.. Do you happen to see he chess piece?" She slips back into the dorm room and shuts the door again. "A queen… There was one at the first one of these, back then."

There's a brief nod from Elisabeth about the chess piece, and she murmurs, "I saw. We need to get back into the boyfriend's apartment." She's avoiding looking at the two victims on the floor. She doesn't take the jacket until the paramedics arrive — only then can she go into the hall's bathroom and wash up her hands and arms enough to put the thing on. She tells the uniformed officer who's come up to the hall by now, "Tell CSI I want it treated like a murder scene, bag and tag everything." Because it may not do a damn bit of good, but it's a start. "Let's go," she tells Cassidy in a subdued tone.

Sweat beads are all over the young uniform's forehead when he appears at the top of the stairs, a sheet of paper clutched in hand. "Your suspect got into a cab before we could stop her, but I found this in the stairwell," he tells Cassidy. "It's addressed to both of you," he adds, handing it over.

Detectives O'Shea and Harrison —

I knew you were coming.

It's in the same handwriting as the original note.

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