Weird Shit


karen_icon.gif vincent_icon.gif

Scene Title Weird Shit
Synopsis There's apparently been a lot of it going on within the NYPD lately.
Date September 06, 2009

NYPD Headquarters

The New York Police Department Head Quarters is an old stone building, rennovated many times over the years. The plaster walls are not as cracked and in need of repair as the various Precinct buildings around the city. The fluorescent lights give the room a rather sterile glow. Old posters, civic reminders, duty rosters and newspaper clippings are tacked up on the walls, rustling every time one of the doors opens. A high, wooden desk sits on the north wall, manned by two clerks, who records all visitors and arrests.

Karen Lau's office is of minimalist design; apart from her desk, swivel chair and the miniature juniper tree she keeps potted on the window looking out over the city's Financial District, there is very little to take up the space allotted to her by her position at the head of the New York Police Department. Inky black hair pulled into a tight bun at the back of her head, the Police Commissioner is a stern-looking woman in her early forties with a reputation more severe than her face and the angular tilt of her dark brows as she regards the man sitting across from her on the opposite side of her desk.

"I'm glad you could make time for me, Detective Lazzaro," she says, and although her words are polite their tone lacks warmth. She does not smile. "Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable?"

Across Karen Lau's desk, were it not for the fact that he's been a little lazy about shaving since he returned, Vincent Lazzaro could easily pass for something that belongs in here with the swivel chair and the juniper tree. He's sturdy in construction if not terribly tall. Short, even — and bald, black hair shaven down around the crag of a slender scar into the same stubbly haze that marks his jaw. The lines of his suit are stiff and neat; an appropriately middling shade of soot over crisp white and a striped blue tie about as exciting as the sit of his glasses on his nose. That is to say: not very.

"I'm fine, thank you, Commissioner. And not at all. You say jump — I say up who's ass?"

Then he smiles, faux polite in the way people often are when sitting in the chair he happens to be sitting in.

Now Lau does smile, a visible tightening at the corners of her mouth that thins her lips and causes crinkles to appear around her eyes. "As I'm sure you're aware, we're retiring Special Counter-terror Operations and Unconventional Tactics in light of General Autumn's last press conference. I had been led to believe that there was still some question about the unit's future, but— Well." She draws in a slow breath and rests both her hands on the edge of the desk, long fingers interlaced, lacquered nails the colour of cocktail cherries. "In any case, the Department of Evolved Affairs has requested we take a closer look at some of our personnel, and with some of the things I've been hearing lately, I think I'm inclined to agree."

"I was aware," Vincent confirms without feeling, comfortable enough to sink himself over into the start of a sideways slouch somewhere around the region of 'Unconventional Tactics.' His hands stay where they are, work-worn fingers criss-crossed ringless and attentive in his lap while he twitches a brow down (wincingly?) after the flagrant red of her fingernails. Abandon hope all ye who enter those crimson clutches.

"Of course," is his second furrow-browed agreement, heartfelt as the first. He is doing a lot of agreeing, actually. Something else common to an esteemed seat in this particular chair. "Are you — do you think there might be a more serious underlying problem behind the unit's shortcomings, or — ?"

"A federal agent jumps into the back of a fucking ice cream truck to engage terrorists in the middle of a black-tie event, one of our officers spatters a woman's brains all over the walls of headquarters, men and women getting shot at and abducted left and right, going missing for days, weeks at a time, mysteriously vanishing to follow up on leads that never pan out— the list goes on. This is some weird shit, and it isn't just limited to SCOUT." Lau pushes a stack of paperwork across the desk toward Vincent, thick enough that it needs to be held together with an oversized paperclip, but not so thick that she can't achieve this by using only two fingers.

"Start with Harrison," she says. "She was close to Norton Trask, used to cover for him on occasion. We let him go when he stopped coming into work and never provided us with a formal explanation as to his whereabouts. In January, she arranged to remove bombs planted by the Vanguard on several of our bridges using a teleporter recommended to her by one of her street contacts. I'd like to know whether or not the woman in question was registered, and if not, where she is now. I'd also like to know how Harrison discovered the presence of the bombs in the first place."

She leans forward in her seat, eyes flicking once between the paperwork and Vincent's face, scrutinizing his reaction to everything she's just said. Then, "O'Shea, Shelby and Castalides are also a priority. Daubrey, Demsky and Rodriguez-Smith, if you can get to them."

"…Right," says Vincent.

Kamikaze commitment to ice cream trucks, head shots, missing people and abductions. Yes, there could be something going on here in the year he's been off — watching daytime television on paid leave, or whatever it is people like him do when they aren't on duty and aren't behind a desk either. He's quiet for a moment, brows lifted in thought or…in not having quite expected quite an expansive list of insane problems, but he leans forward to retrieve the stack of paperwork once he's caught himself and immediately begins to thumb on through the topmost sheets.

"That does sound…unusual. With the teleporter. And the bombs. …And the cutting work like math class." He's muttering more to reassure her that he was listening more than he actually needs to hear himself repeat her out loud, dark eyes narrowed into an incredulous squint after paper's less emphatic recitation of what Lau's already telling him. It's all really there, though. In black and white and the occasional glossy flip of a color photograph. "Jesus."

"What a pain in the ass. Okay. I can start with Harrison. The one who blew the pyro's brains out — Castalides — has been wanting to talk to me about that dumbfuck new kid anyway."

"Varlane." The name is exhaled rather than spoken, Lau's upper body appearing to deflate with the effort of it. She reaches up and pinches the bridge of her nose between index finger and thumb on the inhale. Her eyelids flutter. "Records has a betting pool going on how long he'll last. I'd throw some in, but I'm trying to stay optimistic. He hasn't been around long enough to have been involved in any of this, thank God."

The hand at her face falls away, settles somewhere out of sight behind her desk. Most likely in her lap. "Don't fuck this up, Lazzaro. After what went down at the gala, I'm not sure we can weather another shitstorm of those proportions."

"Well, with the gambling laws overturned you'd be well within your rights." Lazzaro's opinion on that is written out clear in the hard line of his jaw when he flips his stack of papers back into prim order again, even going so far as to adjust the sit of the clip on the top before he looks up again. As the conversation seems to be steering to a close, he's prompt in getting to his feet, ominous files and all.

"I…will talk to people about Harrison. Ask around, rifle around in garbage cans. I don't fuck things up. — Thanks for the vote of confidence, though." Cynicism tips just the one brow down in echo of a floppy gesture with the paper stack as he side-steps away from desk and chair and juniper tree alike. "I'll get out've your hair. In the meanwhile if you think of any other faces you want me to rub in their own shit, you know where to find me."

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