2010-07-25: Breaks



Date: July 25th, 2010


A catch-up between colleagues lacks some of the more important details.



Mid-day, Sunday— in this police station in the heart of Manhattan, the prototypical "day of rest" doesn't apply. This particular corner of the building, however, away from pettier crimes, is more quiet than others, populated more sparsely — maybe murder's on holiday. Not on holiday — rarely if ever on holiday — is Detective Powers, who strides down a corridor, route used often around these parts. It's the only to the file room.

The detective's fast, determined strides put her on a mission, but she's otherwise focused in her own mind. A hand runs restlessly through her hair, mussing its nonexistent style as she walks, and her other hand is curled by her face, the side of her thumb constantly bitten down on. Maggie's eyes are cast onto the scuffed floor, lost in thought — awfully serious thought, by her darkened expression. For all this, she seems to have a knack for seamlessly side-stepping the few people who come from the opposite direction without getting in anyone's way.

On a normal work day, Matt spends more time out on the streets than he does back at the station. He's demonstrated a knack for spotting people of interest and understanding what sort of mood they're in, and (almost as importantly) more difficulty than most dealing with paperwork. This goes double on Sunday, most of which have been at least partly reserved for family time - especially since a few months ago, when the size of said family doubled all at once. Children are time-consuming.

For once, though, Janice is taking care of things on her own - well, getting together with someone from her office - so Matt took the opportunity to catch up on some things. At least that was the theory. The words wouldn't hold still back at his desk, and walking around with the file in hand isn't helping, either— in fact, it distracts him from anyone else being in the same hallway until after Maggie's already gotten a pace and a half past him. "Sorry!" he exclaims, belatedly turning around and lowering the manila folder. "Sorry."

The double apology earns a look over her shoulder a few paces later, and Maggie's steps slow — though that could be because she's almost reached the door to the file room. Her hand falls away from its thoughtful — maybe anxious — hassling at her mouth, and she turns around, pressing into the file room door while opening it behind her, briefly studying the other detective in the meantime. Her lips form a thin line, hesitant until it a small smile appears, acknowledging Matt's over-politeness. "No problem. Hey." It's distracted, her focus still elsewhere, more than her usual studiousness to the job.

"Hey," Matt echoes, relaxing a little. "Thought I heard nails being pounded into wood earlier." Unfamiliar with the details of her field work, it's the one thing about her that's stuck in his memory. That, and the… odd byplay between her and one or two of her other colleagues - but that doesn't make a very good icebreaker.

"I've been trying to put a dent in the Brown case," he adds, switching the clearly-labeled folder to his other hand. "No luck so far. What about you, any breaks?"

There's a flash of that smile again, real amusement over the throwback to her impromptu carpentry. The amusement fades fast from her eyes, her weighty thoughts are too heavy, but a dimpled impression of the smile lingers longer. "The district attorney sent over a warrant to move on one of the big gang cases," Maggie answers. So yes, in other words, you could say there's been a break of sorts. However, there's zero triumph in her voice, no satisfaction to be found anywhere for what could lead to a serious advancement in a huge case. She lingers by the door, hand on the handle behind her. "I just have to make sure everything is together."

Matt offers a sour face of his own. "No kidding. That's the problem with the big outfits, they're smart enough to watch for mistakes." They must be, or else they won't stay big for very long. That ragtag bunch of protesters a week or two back, for instance - they went down pretty quickly, once the first punch was thrown.

"Heard Larson finally got brought in," he adds. "That's one less thing." Another polite understatement: for whatever reason, she'd tried to make things with Maggie personal.

Understatements abound. Maggie has nothing to voice over Matt's first comment — if only he knew the half of it — but when he brings up Larson, the mere mention of the murderer brings about a visible shift. Her gaze hardens, though the sharp look that intensifies in the woman's clear blues isn't meant for Matt himself. She gives him a subtle nod. "She's locked up in Bedford Hills." Her voice goes low. It would be cynical, if it weren't so grave: "For now."

"In solitary, I hope— otherwise they might be down one inmate by now. She never was too selective about her victims, was she?" Matt's brow furrows as well, and not just out of a general sense of 'what else could go wrong': if - as he suspects - her supply of acid comes from herself, then what's to stop her from busting down the door any time she wants? Come to think of it, what has been stopping her?

"No, her victims have been more or less random. Opportunistic," Maggie states in agreement. "Except when it's personal." She'd know, from experience — and not just her own. "Of course I think most of it might be about revenge — she thinks she's worthy of being a god. She'd say it was retribution. But I think it's revenge against the world for what it did to her to make her the way she is." As if in apology for this impromptu estimation of the killer — Mandy has, clearly, been on her mind — she gives her head a faint shake. She starts to back up into the file room, only to pause and study Parkman a moment— and, in turn, to pause from that and begin to turn, having decided against something or other.

"Mmm, you're probably right." It does sort of make sense… it'd be a tough ability to find any helpful uses for. It's not an excuse, but it is the sort of thing that Matt could see pushing someone over the edge. He continues along his original path, stopping just before he rounds the corner to glance back. "If she does get out, let me know? Might help if we can hit her from a direction she's not expecting."

Maggie makes it a step or two in the room (which seems empty, begging the question of if there's a file clerk even on duty) before she slowly turns with a splayed hand holding the door open. The look she sends to Matt's corner is clearly intent even from afar, narrowed under thoughtfully knitting eyebrows. "You think she might get out?" she asks, soft voice pitched higher to carry down the corridor just a bit. Maggie's head tilts just so; she's assessing him more than what he's presented. "No, you expect her to."

"Honestly?" Matt pauses, choosing his words carefully - there are things going on here that he might be comfortable admitting to a select few, but not to just anyone who happens to be in earshot. "You know her MO— if she can find a way to carry it out again, she will. It'd cut through bars as well as anything else. And she's got plenty of motivation to look for one, if she doesn't already have something in motion."

It doesn't mean she'd succeed; she could be gunned down from a distance. But yeah, he expects her to try.

Maggie, though vested in the topic, features still slightly hardened, seems remarkably impassive to Matt's opinion; unsurprised by the concepts, at least, silently accepting them as truth. She only regards him further with that long distance watch of hers, and, after this watchful pause, poses a purposeful question: "And if she does?"

"Rope a dope," Matt replies without hesitation, briefly pantomiming a dodge and counter-punch. "If she's coming after you, make sure she knows where you are. If she expects you to make a mistake, make it look like you have. But you pick the spot, and you do something she isn't expecting— whatever that is." It's a broad suggestion, Maggie will have to fill in details based on what she knows.

The suggestion brings a sort of knowing smirk to the other detective's face, a precursor to a laugh that never comes. "That's how we caught her the first time," Maggie's brows rise and fall for an instant. "… More or less." She starts to smile more, stops again— looks down with some hidden, troubled thought, instead. "Good luck with your Brown case," she says on a quieter note; an ending note, perhaps slightly dismissive, but a kind dismissal if there ever was one. She turns to shoulder into the file room with the door threatening to swing shut behind her.

At that, Matt frowns again. Good to know that she agrees with his idea of strategy, but… if Mandy does get out, it'll be that much harder to fool her the second time around. "Mmm. Have fun taking down the Bratva," he semi-echoes, steeling himself for five more rounds with the written records as he returns to his desk.

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