annika_icon.gif josie_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Zeal
Synopsis The Company gets called in to investigate an armed robbery committed for unclear reasons by the child of a Congresswoman.
Date July 15, 2010

Chinatown Police Station

The room that Josie DeVries-Perry and her mother, Annika DeVries, wait in is not the sort of room that the Congresswoman ever envisioned sitting in, especially on account of her daughter's actions. Her status as a politician earns her very little clout in an NYPD interrogation room. Perhaps, if the Chinatown precinct had a nicer room to place the bus bandit and her mother in, they may have been treated to a little better than average treatment, but the concrete slab walls and cracked linoleum and card table bolted to the ground are all the station has to offer.

There are three chairs, but only one is occupied — Josie, 20 years old, Columbia University pre-law student, is hardly the typical suspect for an armed robbery. The orange jumpsuit she wears looks out of place on the all-American girl's frame. She has a Diet Coke in front of her, another nod toward the mother's "clout." A cup of coffee sits unsipped from in the empty seat beside her. Her mother paces, waiting for the "specialist" to arrive and to listen to their side of the story.

Agent Ryans has been called in after Annika DeVries insisted that there was something extraordinary at play. She made a few calls, and soon, the case was passed off to the Company. All Ryans knows is that the mother is insisting that her daughter's mind has been tampered with, and that DeVries' perfectly manifured fingers are pointing at "that church" her daughter is involved with. Josie claims not to remember the bus robbery at all, according to the email that asked the Investigative team to look into the case. The fact that it's a Congresswoman requesting DHS (and thus the Company's) assistance was highlighted, underlined, and bolded. So much for subtlety.

A high profile case is always handled with kit gloves and there is barely anyone that Assistant-Director Benjamin Ryans' trusts to do this job, so he's doing this part of it himself. Too much is riding on cases succeeding, to give them more time. He's stopped thinking of cases as way to save the Company, but way to keep it afloat just a little longer.

Time… they need time.

Dressed in a sharp, well pressed suit, the man gives a sharp knock on the door, pulling the fedora he is wearing from his head and stepping into the room. "Congresswoman? I am Special Agent Benjamin Ryans, I heard you wanted to discuss an aspect of your daughter's case?" His voice is calm and pleasant, he even smiles a little out of politeness.

A uniformed policeman lets Ryans into the room, and locks the door behind them. Annika DeVries steps forward to offer her hand, smiling her candidate smile despite the serious situations. "Thank you so much for coming, Agent Ryans," she says, her voice accented with the nasal twang of those to the north of the state. "Come in, sit down. Did they offer you coffee? I'm sure I can get you some coffee. This is my daughter, Josephine. Josie." She gives a nod to the younger woman who looks more like a teenager than a college student.

Josie looks up from staring at her Diet Coke can, her fingers idly playing with the tab on top. "Hi," she manages, a soft and slightly embarrassed tone, as if to apologize for him having to come here on her account.

"Josie's a good girl, and it just doesn't make sense that she'd hold up a bus on her own. She's not stupid, and that was just plain stupid on so many levels. I know all parents think their kids can do no wrong, Mr. — er, Agent Ryans. But that's not what this is about. Something weird is going on here, and I think it has to do with this church she's been going to," Annika begins. Apparently she's not the type to beat around the bush.

"Ah… no, not coffee thank you." Ryans shakes his head slowly, taking the woman's hand only briefly before letting it go. He turns his attention to the girl now, watching her as he moves towards the table, fingers unbuttoning the jacket of his suit before sitting across from them. "A pleasure to meet you Josie."

Setting his fedora on the table, Ryans takes a moment to pull out the notebook he always carries with him. "Tell me about this church?" He gaze moves from the mother, to the daughter. It's clear he wants to hear about it in the younger woman's words.

"It's not a church really," Josie says, a querulous tone in her voice as she eyes her mother, obviously unhappy with the woman's tacit disapproval. "It's just a group. We call it the Fellowship. It's a group and they have meetings, but it's not like, denominational or whatever? They've only been in town for a few months, and they have meetings in a tent over in a park in Brooklyn."

"Why in the world would you go to Brooklyn for church, Josephine?" Annika says, distaste in her tone as she comes to sit at the table.

Josie rolls her eyes and looks back to Ryans. "The leader, or minister, whatever, he's really dynamic and it's all about equality and love and being who you are and being tolerant of others," she says, fervently.

Brows furrow slightly as he scribbles across his notebook, his pen scratching softly. Behind him the door unlocks again, a young officer steps in, giving a sheepish look to the Congresswoman. The file is set down on the table, as Ryans straightens. "Ah… thank you officer."The senior agent watches the man scurry out again.

Pulling the file to him, Ryans flips it open. "Okay… So tell me about, this Fellowships leader. Starting with his name if you will." He pauses mid flip, looking up at her. "Or did he even give you his name?" A brow twitches up curiously.

"Yeah, he's from like California or something. They've traveled across the country and are settling here in Brooklyn, I guess. His name's Wiley Schnook. He used to be in jail but he set himself on the right path," Josie says, eyes sparkling with reverence for the man. "He's all about doing what's right and just and good, you know? He wants to make orphanages and all the proceeds from any fundraising and all are supposed to go to, like, camps for kids with cancer and stuff like that. I wanna be a counselor at one this summer, but…" But that was before she got arrested for armed robbery.

"He's open to Evos and non-Evos, too. You know, a lot of churches are intolerant. His Fellowship — well, it's got a name, Revolutionaries, but spelled weird — like, parentheses r, Evo, dash, lutionaries? Like… Revolution, evolution, and then he said something about the 'lusch' sound part meaning light, too."

Oh great, it's sounding more like a Messiah wanna be, at least by the name. Ryans sighs softly through his nose, eyes going over some of the report while catching what she says. "And… you were robbing the bus for donations for a charitable cause?" The question is asked in such a way, to give his opinion on it. "So… "

He doesn't continue right away, looking over the file, but then he looks up at the Congresswoman, "So, you believe he may have done something to her, to make her do this?"

He glances at Josie thoughtfully, before looking at her mother again. "Besides the attempt to rob a bus, have you noticed any difference in her behavior since starting to go to this… group?"

The tone in Ryans' voice makes Josie's cheeks flare red and her eyes dropping down to study her Diet Coke can. Annika shakes her head. "Not really, but only because she's here in the city and I only see her every couple of weeks or so, when I'm in town or if she comes home. She hasn't been home in the last month, though, so that's something, a change. The last time she would have come, she had a fellowship meeting, she said, and she didn't want to miss it. I thought it was good, that she was finding something to be involved in," she says, sighing and looking a little guilty, like she blames herself.

"I looked into this Schnook guy. He's moved across the country over the last year and he's gotten a lot of followers in the last few months. People who left behind their lives to travel with him. I think it's a cult. I wish I'd thought to look into it before," the redhead says with another rueful shake of her head.

Josie looks up. "It's not a cult! And I didn't decide to go rob a bus. I don't… I don't know how that happened. He didn't tell me to do it, I swear. I think I was sleepwalking or something. I don't really remember." Her voice takes on that querulous whine again, typical of entitled youth: It's not my fault.

"Either way, you did Josie… and did it for 'Donations' it was mentioned often according to this." The agents finger taps the folder. "Many, many eye witnesses. So I can understand your mothers concern." He gives the Congresswoman an understanding look. "I have two daughters about the age of Josie.

"While… I don't think long absences is a reason… as much as we'd like to think it." Ryans offers honestly. "I think that we will look into this group and make sure there isn't something funny going on." He glances at Josie before continuing, offering the young woman a reassuring smile. "I have an agent I'd like to have talk to Josie, she's good about getting people to… open up and might be able to get her to remember more of her side of things."

"That's fine. Her arraignment is tomorrow, hopefully we can get her released on her own cognizance," the congresswoman says, glancing at her daughter with a shake of her head. This is clearly not what any mother wants for her daughter. "I don't think I can keep it quiet from the media any longer. The police agreed not to give her name at first, but… once it's in the court system…" She shrugs, reaching up to run a hand through her short hair. "So much for the family values platform, right?" she adds with a bit of a wry smile.

Josie sighs heavily, dark eyes growing teary as she looks away. "I didn't mean to hurt anyone. I wouldn't have hurt anyone, if they hadn't shot at me," she says petulantly. "I mean, I don't even remember it, right? But they said I never shot anyone on purpose. The police said everything was accidental, so I didn't hurt anyone. I'm still a good person!" The last bit breaks off into a sob, and Annika reaches over to touch the younger woman's shoulder.

"Thank you for whatever you can do to help, Agent Ryans," the Congresswoman says.

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