Where The Hell Is That Line?


elisabeth_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Where the Hell Is That Line?
Synopsis Felix and Liz put some cards on the table.
Date March 14, 2009

In the Car after leaving Bao-Wei

As they drive out of Chinatown, Elisabeth's mind is on the Case investigation, but it's also on a couple of other investigations over the past several days. She's been terribly quiet since Saturday night's brouhaha — a mass suicide of thirty-five kids, ages 12 to 16 — but as she drives, it occurs to Elisabeth to ask softly, "Did anyone tell you that we retrieved Abby and Sergei and a slew of others out of Staten?"

Felix's wearing a faint but newish bruise on his jaw. "I'd heard," he says, quietly. "I'm glad to know it," he adds, eyeing hersidelong. "Good news is always welcome."

"Good," Liz replies softly. "Glad you heard it." She hesitates and asks, "Felix? You're giving me shit about my 'knitting circle', but I gotta ask you something." Her tone says that it's serious. "Are we doing any fuckin' good out here at all? If we find Case, and he's just a scared kid…. is it in his best interests for us to run him in?"

Felix looks to her, blue eyes clear and guileless. "Of course. We're protection. The mob is after him, and you know very well what they will do if they get him. A little time in an orange jumpsuit is a lot better than having someone carve your lungs out. And if we get him, we keep him secret, under a false name. We don't do anything in the system that flags him to HomeSec. What I just proposed is intensely illegal, so let's pretend we didn't have this conversation until the moment comes, right?" He looks back to the buildings passing, and says, "Liz, now I've got one for you in turn. Where are your loyalties, ultimately? I know, I know, for both of us, City of New York, but if push came to shove and you had to choose your knitting buddies over the NYPD, where do the dice fall?"

"Honestly, Felix? I wish I fucking knew," Elisabeth admits quietly. She looks at him, but she can't watch him while she's driving. "I'd like to say the NYPD, of course. But…. where was that allegiance when we took out Volken?" She sighs and shakes her head. "I need to tell you something …. and I'm torn about it. I didn't think it was going to be an issue, but apparently…." She nibbles her lip, slowing the car to sit at a red light. "I took the Case file over to Cat. I thought maybe she'd be able to help pull some of the clues together and see something we missed. She set someone else on Tyler Case's trail, and just by happenstance… he happened to ask me about it."

Felix looks to her, brow furrowing at that. "At least you're honest about it. And I understand. Hell. They can all be informants, so far as I'm concerned. I want to avoid making that a conflict until we absolutely have to, even assuming we do."

There's a sense of relief when he doesn't think she's insane for not being able to tell. "I know you're on the outs with Teo and whoever else…. do I dare ask whether it's just on general principles or if it's something more particular?" Elisabeth starts the car rolling again, but pulls over into a parking lot so she can turn in her seat to look at him. "You're seeing a lot of similar cases to mine…. " Well… sort of. She's getting tapped for a lot of domestic disturbances, interpersonal issues, a lot of anti-Evolved crap because of her talent for calming it. "Things have got to get better sometime, right? Did I do the wrong thing, taking the file to her? I mean… it's not like we don't use outside consultants periodically. I just…. I guess I knew she'd make a move. And on some level I want her to. I want that kid safe. And I'm not sure we're the ones who can make him that way."

"Technically, yes, you did. In terms of serving the over all spirit of the law, not necessarily," His tone is careful. "Deckard. They blame that arrest on me. Deservedly so. Teo…..does not seem to be clear on where my loyalties do lie," He's picking his way along, verbally, gazing off into that vague middle distance, before he turns to her again. "And that's with the Bureau, and the cops. I'm telling you this now, Liz, so we can be sure. I've no intention of turning you in, because your link with them does more good than it does harm. But you and I both are skating very, very close to stuff that'd get our badges taken, if not simply thrown in jail."

"Oh believe me, I know that better than anyone," Elisabeth says softly. "Harvard's almost run me in twice." She sighs, resting her wrist on the steering wheel. "I'm a good cop. But I'm not a good lackey for the political bullshit that's come down the pipe, you know? This line we're walking…. you're right that it's a fine one. And some days, I'm not entirely sure where it is. Someone asked me recently how I reconcile myself with it, and… I'm starting to not know the answer. Because the stuff I do? I think it's the right thing. Breaking people out of a kidnapping ring in Staten, stopping Volken. Whatever else is in the works." She shakes her head. "I'm searching for a reality check — mostly on the Tyler Case investigation and what I did, but… maybe for more than that."

Felix's voice is certain. "Those were certainly the rightthings to do. And what HomeSec has been up to makes me increasingly uneasy. One of the things the FBI is supposed to do is police other agencies. Corrupt police departments, even the CIA, when we can get at them. But we can't even get anywhere near Homeland Security…." He shakes his head, and wonders, with a sigh, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

Elisabeth is forced to smile a little. "Well…. at least we seem on the same page. That's a plus," she offers, looking for a bright side.

He doesn't smile in return. In fact, he looks back at her, and her face is somber. "Cut me out if you need to, Liz, when the time comes. I'll understand. I won't like it, but I'll understand."

"Forget it," Elisabeth says quietly. "I have no intention of cutting you out. I might not tell you some things going on, but… the Deckard thing wasn't entirely your fault. I was right there with you, and I'm the one who started it all. Would you have gone after him if I hadn't said we needed him just then?" She hesitates. "I haven't even told them yet, but I think Sylar's still alive." It's what she's been sitting on for a week now."

"I know he's still alive," Felix says, quietly. "I'm sure of it." He wves away her question. "Water under the bridge."

"You knew that?" Elisabeth is surprised. "Well, hell…. guess I shouldn't have bothered to mention it." She shakes her head. "The police report of the boat hostage situation mentions that someone who looked like Sylar was there, but I've been sitting on it trying to figure out what to do. You know we're too understaffed and underpowered to try to take him in."

"I suspected. From things people have said. Ruskin, Laudani," Fel admits, fingering the bruise on his jaw. "We are. In this case….we may need to call in HomeSec."

Elisabeth looks out the window and says quietly, "Do you have any idea how much that royally disturbs me? I just had thirty-five kids kill themselves to make a statement about DHS and their methods." She sighs. "But I think you may be right. We don't have the capability of taking Sylar down."

"It makes me want to spit, honestly. I hate them more and more. They undermine all we stand for….it's like 9-11, but a million times worse. But we don't. And they do. They detain Evolved, there has to be a way….."

It makes her laugh softly, the fact that he wants to spit. "Now you sound like Teo," Liz comments mildly. "But yeah… there's a way. Moab federal Penitentiary. Where they took Helena and Alex and who the hell knows who else," she says quietly, looking at him with wary eyes. "But the fact that I know about it is between me, you, and the fencepost."

Felix peers at her, arching a brow. "That's mutant Guantanamo? I knew there had to be one. Unless….the alternative was worse." Mass graves, somewhere.

Elisabeth nods. "Yeah… mutant Gitmo. That's a good name for it." She hesitates. "So far, I haven't heard of the worse alternatives, but I admit that I'm not entirely sure it doesn't exist."

His face is utterly bleak, as he looks at her, the lights of passing cars glinting off his glasses. "It's coming, Liz," he says. "I fear it. Pogroms. Another Shoah, unless people wake up and work to prevent it."

"Well…. " Elisabeth shakes her head. "Guess that's what I'm out there TRYING to do." She puts the car back in gear. "God help us all, Felix. Because if he's turned his back on us… the virus would have been the easy way out."

"Better to have a villain we can blame it all on than to realize we're all the monsters ourselves," Felix says, quietly. "I find it a terrible irony that my parents and I risked our lives to come to America to avoid just such a fate."

"Wanna know the worst part of it all? People are so fucking scared, they're LETTING it happen. They're ENCOURAGING it to happen." Elisabeth just… shakes her head as she drives. "There's got to come a reckoning. And I hope … I hope we survive it."

Felix looks ahead, grimly. "I do, too. It may sound cornball, but America is the world's hope. If we fuck it up, it can't help but spiral out of control."

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