Where Are Your Loyalties?


william_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Where Are Your Loyalties?
Synopsis Liz has to be at work right after Armageddon, cuz …. where else would a cop be?? But it means explaining some things, taking a risk.
Date January 28, 2009

Captain William Harvard's Office, Police HQ

He's been shoulder deep in phone calls and orders for hours. Tossing units this way and that, but always right behind Homeland Security. A royal embarrassment, that. That Homesec comes in to clean up the pieces where he and his department clearly failed to deliver. Though the Captain is keeping it together, though he is stretched thin.

Elisabeth finally manages to make it in to the precinct by about 3:30pm. All hell broke loose in the city and it's a complete madhouse out there, so though she called in at 1:00 and said she was coming, it took her this long to get here. And when she does, she's dressed like she's expecting to go back out. Which is probably a good call. Black pants, her kevlar beneath a black jacket. "How bad?" she asks without preamble as she zips into his office. The rest of the team is clearly already out, since the squad room's empty.

Ending a conversation with a few choice words, the phone is slammed shut, and William's eyes roll over to Elisabeth, his lips pulled back slightly. Not in a smile, but a snarl. "What do you think? On a scale of one to ten, I would say this rates at about 'Fuck'." A word William seldolm uses. But seems apt, now. "How were your personal days?"

"I think it went beyond 'fuck' about the time I hit Broadway," Liz tells him mildly. The tension has etched lines into her face that weren't there yesterday. "They were fine. Wish I hadn't had to be called back in like this, though. There were two crowd control issues just down the block that I stopped to help with or I'da been here a half an hour ago. Do you want me anyplace in particular? I was listening to the scanner on the way in … one bridge is out of commission, but … at least we headed off that part. I heard some chatter about the ConEd plant and a big mess over there.

"What did you do?" William asks simply, leaning back in his chair. "Before you got pulled back in, I mean. What all did you get up to?" He asks, linking his hands together over his chest he gives her a very interested look as he watches her silently.

Elisabeth closes the door behind her now, erecting a bubble of silence around his office and hoping against hope that his office is not bugged. "On my personal days?" she asks, keeping his gaze. She would normally try like hell to prevaricate, but today? Today's not that day. "I stopped a viral attack on the city on *my* vacation days. Made sure this wasn't worse. I can write you a book report on what I did on my vacation days if you really want, but … " She pauses and shrugs. "Seems to me you got more important shit on your plate right now. Power's out all over town, we've got a traffic nightmare over in Queens, and people are already starting their looting and rioting shit."

"Book report." William says softly, leaning forward he taps the desk twice with two fingers. "You need to understand Elisabeth. You've.. done some things that would be considered as suspicious. A lot of contacts and a particular run in in the holding cells. And then, the day that bridges are blown up and their are attacks all over the city, just happen to be the days you requested off. So I apologize. But please." He motions with his hand, as if for her to proceed.

"Don't come at me with things that are considered suspicious, Will," Liz replies tartly. "I warned you. I warned you that the bridges were wired — Darius brought information from his sources to corroborate my sources. We found the bombs. Lau was thrilled. I *warned* you that there was another attack incoming… that all my sources were telling us about a terrorist group that was going to attempt it. So…. I took some personal days, and I followed up on some leads. What's going on outside? It would have been far worse if the viruses hadn't been eradicated." At least… she hopes. She hasn't heard from anyone about the team from ConEd yet, and the rest of her reports are scattered. "So far as I know, there are some people working with DHS out there trying to get all of that contained. But don't treat me like I didn't give you the heads-up. I did."

"Coming at me with incredulity or being defensive isn't going to work this time, Elisabeth. You dealt with the bombs, yes. You did very good, yes. But it could all be an elaborate set up. Was Darius with you when you went to 'follow up on those leads' is there anyone who can support that alibi?" He gives her a look, as if already knowing the answer.

Giving him look for look, Elisabeth says, "I can't be bothered being defensive with you, Will. You want corroboration, ask Darius yourself. You want my badge and gun? Ask for it now, or drop this and don't ever bring it up again. You either trust me or you don't."

"Then give me your gun and your badge." William says, softly going to meet her gaze. "I'm not going to allow you to weasle your way out of this one. I want you on the team Liz. But you need to answer questions. I will ask Darius, but why won't you tell me? Is it because you'll ask him to lie? You told me you don't trust me Elisabeth. Why should I trust you?"

Elisabeth takes her badge off and unclips the holster on her belt to lay both on his desk. "Ask me what you want to know, straight out. You'll get the answers you need." She gently sets both objects down and steps back, her eyes not leaving his. "You're asking me circular questions again. Ask me what you want to know."

"Where are your loyalties? Who do you work for?" William asks, his eyes not averting from hers. This has been a long time coming, and William is not about to back down this time.

"I work for this city and all the people in it. I work for you and this department," Elisabeth answers dead honestly, without a flicker of hesitation.

William rolls his eyes. "Where are your loyalties, Elisabeth? Who are you protecting? Part of me wants to believe you're with Wozniak, and Beauchamp and a string of Evolved would be superheroes running around with underwear over their pants, but part of me leans toward suspicion. So. Who are your loyalties with?"

With that question, and his qualification of it, Elisabeth actually smiles. Her expression for that moment eases into something close to 'thank God.' "My loyalties are to this job, and to keeping as many people in this city — Evolved and not — safe. Do you honestly think that if I were working with the guys wearing the black hats, I'd bring you all my information? I will swear whatever oath you want from me that whoever it is that I work with out there…. and yeah, Wozniak's one of them… they're definitely of the idealist, help the people sort. You remember the miracles? That was them too." She sighs. "They're good people, Will. It's the best I can tell you — my oath to protect and serve means pretty much everything to me. It's all I *ever* wanted to do, and I'm doing it the best I can. Both here with you…. and out there, when I can."

Looking to the door, William leans forward. Pushing her gun and badge back a little bit towards her. "Make sure the door is locked. And take a seat." William says, gesturing to the chair across the desk. Watching her closely, he speaks quietly. "So you took this group of idealists.. And.. the violence, the gunfire. That was your people? Against Wu-Long's people?"

Sucking in a deep breath, Liz reaches behind her and locks his door. It seems odd to be having this conversation now, but … if he needs this from her before he'll trust, so be it. She steps forward to retrieve her gun and badge, sitting in the chair across from him. "I'm still not going to tell you everything," she tells him. "Because you need plausible deniability and someone to throw on DHS's pyre if it ever comes up. But yes… we've gone up against Wu-Long's people before. And frankly, this time around it's a terrorist by the name of Kazimir Volken. He's the honcho, so far as we could tell. Wu-Long's people were just one of his cells. What's going on out there now? It's all about the virus. There are boots on the ground from several federal agencies — people like me, who try to bring in the cops or the feds when they're needed but otherwise lay low and just help where they can. Like with the assassination attempt on Rickham. The only reason Trask and I and the rest of the cops and visitors weren't hurt worse is because they were there too."

William inclines his head. "So these are just regular people?" The man asks quietly, looking at her closely. "Just people wanting to help? You didn't think it would be wise to bring in professionals? Me? Baxter, or Knowles?" They're certainly not as authoratative as William, and very helpful. "So the objective of this Volken was to unleash a virus? The bridge? Con Edison? Sea View?"

Elisabeth nods slowly, now hesitant. "They're regular people… a lot of whom have military training in their backgrounds, a lot more of whom don't. In honesty, Will… I didn't want anyone else out on this limb with me. If you want me to go to one of them next time so as to leave you out of it and retain your deniability, I'll take it under advisement. But yes… the bridge, ConEd, Sea View… it's all related." She pauses. "And the reason I didn't tell you at all is because …. you're pretty much a stickler. I knew I was taking a chance by NOT telling you, but… it seemed better to get in trouble or tossed in jail myself than to bring everyone else in with me. Cuz then there would have been NO ONE to stop Volken. When I brought you the intel, you said you couldn't move on it, you didn't have enough. These people? They're not hindered by that — they can get places we can't go, find information we can't find without warrants, and they don't have their hands tied."

William watches her quietly for a moment. "I'm a stickler." He repeats, watching her closely. "You put the lives of.. I don't know how many people in the hands of civillians because I'm a stickler? You really think I would endanger the welfare to preserve the books and protocol?" William asks. "That hurts me Liz, right here." He taps his jacket where his heart should be. "Right here, on the jacket."

Elisabeth shrugs slightly and says softly, "I came to you with what I had, tried to feel you out about following up on it. You didn't want to move on it. I couldn't just let it go. And even if you throw me in jail right here and now, I won't be sorry about what I've done today." She looks at him, her exhaustion showing in the lines that once more etch her features. She's been working on this during every spare minute of the past several weeks, between the bombs and this day. "We've got work to do…. am I cleared to be out there doing it, or should I report to processing?"

"Go." William says, waving a dismissive hand. As if on cue, his phone starts to ring.

January 28th: Assume The Worst
January 28th: The Warmth Of The Company
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