You Want Me To Do WHAT??


elisabeth_icon.gif lori_icon.gif

Scene Title You Want Me To Do WHAT??
Synopsis Liz is given a direct order to do an interview… go be the face of SCOUT. Ya gotta be kiddin' me, right? Nope… Will wasn't kidding.
Date March 22, 2009

Coffee Shop somewhere

When the call came down to SCOUT that someone was needed to go on an interview, Elisabeth is certain that Harvard snickered to himself and offered her up as a punishment for past trangressions or something. So now she finds herself sitting in the coffee shop — which is the only place she was even remotely willing to talk to this 'reporter' or whatever the hell she is — for a tiny length of time. Harvard said 'play nice'. She sighs quietly, checking her phone for the time for the eighth time. Tardyness is not about to make it easier to play nice.

Lori's not really the best for punctuality even at the best of times. And a coffee shop is not the best of times. She has to wiggle her way through the paparazzi, and finally makes it into the shop itself. Which, of course, draws plenty of attention on its own, as she looks around, and then starts towards Elisabeth. Thankfully the city was kind enough to send her a press packet, with Liz's picture.

Looking up as the woman sits down in front of her, Elisabeth is …. stunned doesn't even quite cover it. Really? Harvard's kidding, right? Really??? "Uhm…. so I gather you wanted to talk to me?" Liz asks. Because well…. she was given an order.

Lori smiles. "Sure! I wanted to get an interview with you. For the magazine, and all. Do you have something to drink? Would you like something?" she asks, nodding toward the front counter. Pictures are being taken in copious amount.

"What on earth do you want to know about me for a magazine?" Elisabeth asks. "I'm not a poster girl or anything. What's this article about?"

The model/actress/socialite looks surprised. "I figured they'd tell you. I'm trying to put together an article on Evolved. Everybody's all in a tizzy since the whole bridge thing the other month. So, I figured it would be good to interview a couple, and get some information out there. And well, you're Evolved, and police. What's it like?"

Please…. this is her idea of hell. Really!! Elisabeth has less than zero desire to be in a magazine. "I'm sorry. I really have no interest in being interviewed for a magazine. Would you like me to ask around about people who WOULD like to talk to you?" She's uncomfortable, unhappy about this, and definitely ready to get up and walk out. She doesn't trust Lori to be unbiased… or even to be good at this.

She probably WON'T be that good at this. "Oh, it's okay, you'll be fine!" She says, trying to be reassuring. "I talked with the city people. We wanted someone who was in a good position, and they spoke very highly of you. Plus, you'll look really good in the photos. That's why they said you'd be the best choice!" Perhaps a subtle reminder; her bosses are the ones that sent her out here.

Elisabeth doesn't seem to care that her bosses sent her. "Yeah, about that. Stop taking pictures, cuz if they flash-blind me one more time, I'm seriously going to confiscate every camera over there." She's dead serious about it, absolutely does NOT care that this woman wants pictures. "Ask your questions, please, and make them quick. I've got a huge caseload, but I'll answer what I can."

Lori laughs once. "I'm not. I WISH I could get them to stop. Paparazzi is the bane of my existence." She frowns a bit, though. "Why're you being so…well, grumpy about this? This could be some really good press for your department!" She smiles brightly, still trying to make friends."

"No, actually, it couldn't," Liz sighs. "Seriously…. ask your questions, or I'm leaving." She's getting more and more upset by the minute.

The woman looks a little confused. "You don't have to be so hostile. Well, let's see…what's it like to be Evolved and on the police force? How do the other police treat you?"

Now there's an interesting set of questions, actually. The answers she could give would make a few people mad. Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I'm a cop first, an Evolved cop second. I do my job just like any officer," she tells Lori. "I just have an extra tool in my arsenal of tools." She tilts her head, inviting the next question.

Lori latches onto that. "You only answered the first one." She points out. "What about the second? Do the other officers accept you? I mean, lots of people seem scared of you. Not you-personally, but you-Evolved."

"Like any occupation, law enforcement is made up of individuals. Some I get along just fine with, some I just work with. All of them I respect, regardless of whether we get along on a personal level." Elisabeth refuses to go further with that, and her body language is giving off major 'hands off' vibes in terms of pushing it. She's ready to walk off.

There's another frown at that. She looks over to Elisabeth, and crosses her arms over her chest. "Why are you being so confrontational?" She's picking up all the unsaid parts, which are a lot more confrontational than the verbal parts. "Do you not like me or something?"

Both eyebrows shoot up, and Elisabeth says, "I'm not being confrontational in the slightest, Miss Levonian. I'm answering to the best of my ability. What else would you like to know?" She's being very polite, but that? That makes her radar pick up a little. Is this woman insane? Is she looking for publicity? Is she trying to throw egg on the face of the NYPD? What exactly is going on here?

The answer is almost verbatim from that, as if she's in Elisabeth's head. "It's not some publicity stunt. I'm trying to do a serious article, and your department said you'd cooperate, not keep trying to go."

There's a blink and Elisabeth peers at her. "Lady… I haven't made a single move to go anywhere. But I'll tell you this much… I think you're wasting my time with this story. So… one more time. Please ask me whatever questions you have, and I'll gladly answer them."

Lori frowns. "Okay. Were you involved at all with what happened out on the bridge?" She moves into her next question.

"Of course I was involved," Elisabeth replies entirely truthfully. "Every cop in the city has been involved in the situation that took down the bridge in one form or another."

The model looks a little frustrated. "Not what I meant. I mean were you -personally- there? They call out your unit when it's big stuff like that, right?" she asks, looking at the blonde.

Elisabeth says, "My unit was called out as soon as someone called it in, yes." She's being perfectly honest again. "I wasn't on the bridge. I was out on the streets trying to quell the panic and looting."

The model nods. "So…do you think that the whole testing and registration thing is a good idea, given what happened? Do you know what happened out there?"

There's a sigh. "Testing and Registration is a hot-button for everyone. As an officer, I will enforce the law, Miss Levonian. My personal opinion cannot come into this interview." Elisabeth looks at her. "Even if I disagree with a law, I swore an oath to uphold it." And that's as far as she'll go. She's digging in her heels. "The NYPD is still investigating what happened on the bridge, and I can't comment on that either."

She looks confused. Maybe there's too many big words in there. "But that's why I'm interviewing you. I want your opinion. An interview isn't much good if the person isn't going to tell you what they're thinking."

The look Elisabeth gives Lori is incredulous. "Okay, so let me lay this out for you…. you're asking a cop that you got an interview with by leaning on her superiors to give an opinion that may or may not agree with the written policy of the police department. Because I'm giving an interview on behalf of the police department, I can't answer anything except questions about my job. My personal opinion can't come into my job, Miss Levonian. It's pretty much like asking a military officer for an interview — even if my opinion were to differ from the party line, I don't get to talk about that. I'm sorry."

She looks upset. "I didn't lean, I asked! They said that it would be good to get some good press." Okay, so she sounds upset, too. "I'm just trying to interview some Evolved people, that's all."

Elisabeth now seems to have some genuine sympathy. "I understand that… I really do. Ask me the rest of your list of questions, and I'll see what I can do to help you out, all right?" Because the boys in blue deserve the good press. "You asked me what it was like to be an Evolved cop. It's just as hard to be an Evolved cop as it is to be a normal cop. I'm not invulnerable, I go into my job every day like everyone else and who knows if I'll face off with something that gets me killed? But what is it that you're actually trying to get at?"

Lori shrugs her shoulders. "To understand what it's like? I mean…people don't understand. What it's like, to do things like you guys can do. Everybody's scared. Maybe if they understand, they won't be so scared." Her heart's in the right place, even if she's a bubblehead.

"So you're more interested in what it's like to be Evolved," Elisabeth concludes. She sits back in her chair, trying to figure out how to answer that. "The only answer I can give you is that I'm the same person now that I was before I had abilities. Nothing changed, except that I can do something that other people can't. It's no different than being good at painting or being good at fixing cars. People are scared because a few bad apples have used their admittedly dramatic abilities to make them scared — and yes, the populace should be cautious of criminals out there using their powers to do their crimes. But you know? People should be cautious of criminals anyway — they could kill you with a gun or a knife just as easily. Just like any other group of people, Evolved are good, bad, and everything in between. Just people."

She beams back at that. That's more what she was looking for. "Well, yes. What it's like to be Evolved. I just figured…well, it couldn't help to present some Evolved who were already people you could look up to. Police, firefighters, stuff like that." There's a compliment in there somewhere. "So…what's something heroic that your power let you do that you couldn't have without it?"

There's actually a laugh at that. "Uhm, actually…. my power's not much more than an enhancement of a skill that I already had. I'm a hostage negotiator, and my ability is sound manipulation. So it lets me do things like throw my voice and hear people talk to me without having to use a megaphone. It comes in quite handy when phones aren't available for use for whatever reason in a hostage situation. Apparently the way I manipulate them also has a side benefit of being a calming influence, so they deploy me to help get riot situations under control as well."

Lori thinks about it. That doesn't make for great interview material. "Nothing…more impressive?" she asks hopefully. "The kind of thing that would make people go wow?"

Elisabeth shakes her head and grins a bit. "Nope, nothing more impressive." Though there are some impressive applications of sound manipulation, Elisabeth has never shown the government what hers are. "Miss Levonian… you do realize that the vast majority of people really don't have explosive fireballs and such, right? Most people have powers that are just… simple. Flight. Making plants grow. Making it rain. That kind of thing."

She looks thoughtful. "Do you know that? For sure? I mean, or are you just guessing that most people just have boring stuff." Boring stuff. "I mean, people were able to tear down a whole BRIDGE. And then the Bomb…"

Raising her brows, Elisabeth seems to give it some serious thought. When she answers, it's slowly. "I know a number of people with powers that could be destructive, I guess. Heck… even mine, really. I was attacked a few months ago and I used my ability to scream and burst the attacker's eardrums. But… most of the people I come across seem to have powers that just … aren't. Like the man in the news not too long ago who turned his family to stone. It was completely an accident. And the kids who committed suicide this past weekend? Most of them were talents that I'd consider no threat. Perfect pitch for music, color manipulation. I mean… I guess I kinda figure there's some kind of curve out there, though I couldn't figure what it is. A few almost completely useless talents, a few really high-end dangerous ones, and most people fall somewhere in the middle — with talents that do something, maybe even something cool, and for the most part it's about what they choose to do with it that matters."

Her eyes go wide at the mention of some of that. "Well…" She looks thoughtful. Let's get something good in here. "I know. This magazine will go out to thousands of people. So, if you had a chance to say something to them…from Evolved to not…what would you say?"

"I guess I'd say the same thing people have said about race and sexual orientation for decades… centuries even. People are people - there are some bad ones, sure. But don't decide that just because someone has a power, they're to be feared. There are people out there who can, with the right encouragement, help feed the world because their ability is to make plants grow. People who are healers. People who can mitigate the weather damage that the world takes. And the vast majority of people out there are GOOD people, who'll do the right thing. Fear is the only thing stopping them from coming forward. So maybe think about it some." Liz shrugs. "I really need to get back on duty, Miss Levonian. Anything else I can do for you?"

Lori smiles. "That's good stuff. I think that's enough that I can write an article on. Thank you for the interview, and I'm sorry if the paparazzi harassed you on the way in."

Elisabeth hesitates and says, "Ms. Levonian? There is one more thing I'd like to say… and I'd be much obliged if you'd find a way to incorporate it into your article."

Lori nods. "Sure!" She says, looking back to Elisabeth. "I'll do my best. Anything you can give me would be great!"

The body language that goes with her thought and her next words is laced with agony; the situation eats at her. "There are a lot of rumors on the street right now about people vanishing into custody for having a power. Whether people agree with Registration being mandatory or not, I want to say that what happened with The 36 should never have happened. The police don't arrest kids or take them from their homes for having a power. I am Evolved — I'm not missing, I didn't vanish, I didn't have to give up my job. In point of fact, my job utilizes this ability on a regular basis. I don't want to lose anyone else to suicide. The number of suicides and attempted suicides in this city have skyrocketed since the events in January. I'd really like to see that stopped. If people are afraid of themselves, afraid they'll hurt their loved ones… that's what the Registration process is for — so that they can go somewhere, tell someone they have a power they need help with, and get that help." She looks at the model, her expression weary and sad, her body language expressing all of that … along with some hesitance about her own words here. "The 36 is a tragedy I don't ever want to see again."

The model nods. "Sure…" That right there will get a lot of magazines sold, she's sure. "I'll make sure it gets in there. I promise." She sounds sincere.

Elisabeth merely nods slightly. Her voice is quiet. "If someone can get that across to people, it'd go a long way." She shoves her hair back, and offers a small smile. "Do me one other favor? Try to keep pictures of me to a minimum? It's really hard to do my job with them following me around." Not to mention the whole 'Triad on a cop-killing spree' issue.

Lori makes a sad face. "I'm sorry. They follow me everywhere. They've probably got tons of pictures of you by now, cause you're here with me."

Elisabeth shrugs. "Just…. yeah." She sighs. "All right. Have a good day, Ms. Levonian. And good luck with your article.

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