2009-11-10: Just the Facts, Ma'am

Starring:

Hallis_V4icon.pngJoel_V4icon.png

Date: November 10, 2009

Summary:

The agent pays a visit… the socialite mixed her medicine.


"Log Title"

Hallis' Apartment, Greenwich Village

The sun is just setting in the west and Hallis has just pulled the eyemask off her face. Aside from the loud knocking on the door, the apartment was quiet. "Uhh…" she groans, rolling over to check the time on her cellular phone. "Just a minute!!" comes a sleepy yell. It's been a bad night, a very bad night, and apparently this one isn't going to be much better. The knocking has quieted and left her in peace for just a moment as she sprawls back into the bed. A puzzled frown crosses over her features, her eyes glazing slightly as she stares up at the ceiling. "Who the hell…" she murmurs to herself. And then she gets up.

Normally, Hallis doesn't wear much to bed. Lucky for whoever is knocking, last night was an exception. The loss of her therapy shoes had taken its toll, so the woman had crawled into bed with a little tub of Hagan Daas while wearing a pair of pink LAMB pajamas. Before going to answer the door, she pads into the bathroom and straightens her hair and refreshes her makeup. There's not much time to put on an actual face, so eyeliner and lip gloss will just have to do. Then to the door.

All in all, five minutes have passed before the three deadbolts start to turn and the door is flung open to reveal… a stranger at her door. "Uhh… Can I help you?" This man isn't just a stranger, he's a plain dressed stranger. "I don't think I need anything that needs to be repaired. The super came up to fix that thing a few days ago…"

The calm gaze of the young man at the door might be a touch unsettling, as it comes along accompanied by the mirrored shades and the lift of a wallet that displays National Security Agency credentials. His voice is level, even, as he responds to her words in that faintly distant way of his, "Ms. Cortlandt? Agent Macintyre, NSA." He introduces himself in that smooth no-nonsense way.

The glasses are removed with one motion, dark blue eyes meeting hers as he murmurs, "Please pardon the interruption, but I had questions about the incident at Ling's involving the two perpetrators. I would appreciate a moment of your time." He stands there, body language at ease, but somehow insistent.

"Van Cortlandt, Agent MacIntosh." Hallis grumbles back, her eyes flitting to the badge and studying it for a while. "What's NSA?" The young woman is genuinely curious, and she stand in the door blocking it from entry. Not that her slight figure poses much of a threat to anyone actually wanting to come in, but she's got a whistle. She doesn't waver from examining the badge until he removes his glasses. Then her lighter blue eyes are caught by his. "Really? Are you from like… an insurance company or something? I lost a pair of Prada shoes, they were about $1,200. I have the receipt here somewhere. Hang on, come in…" And she steps away from the entrance, allowing him to step through the threshold.

"No, ma'am. I am not from the insurance agency." He steps into the room, giving the place a once-over as he considers his surroundings. He looks across the way to her and declares in a tone that might seem to imply he's done this a million times before, "NSA stands for the National Security Agency." He rests his hands at his sides, the manner of the professional exuding from his stance and the emotionless aspects of his gaze. "I'm investigating the attempted robbery and homicide at Ling's. You were an eye witness. I'd like to go over your statement, there've been a few discrepancies."

Hallis stops rummaging around in her purse long enough to cast him a suspicious glance and then furrow her eyebrows into a glare. "What do you mean discrepancies?" She motions him to one of the lounges and then makes her way over to a large armoire that stands against the far wall. It opens into a full bar containing a stock of very expensive liquor. From it, she grabs a crystal decanter filled with an amber liquid and a short glass. Then she turns to him and raises her eyebrows, "You want one?" The invitation is made a little abruptly, the woman is quite unused to having company of this nature.

Regardless, she doesn't wait for his answer before pouring a drink of her own. A few ounces into the glass and a cube of ice later has it lifted to her lips. After a small swig, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, letting it loose into a long sigh. "So what are your questions and do I need my lawyer here?"

"No, thank you." He declines the offer of alcohol almost as a second thought. Joel moves into the room, trailing after her a few steps, as if to make sure he isn't encroaching. He continues, "No, ma'am. Nothing on your end, it's primarily from the other witnesses. I'd just like to get your point of view cleanly. So if you would be so kind," He uncurls a hand towards her and then a nearby seat, being so magnanimous as to offer her a rest in her own home.

The woman looks at him for a brief moment before excusing herself politely. "I'll just be a minute, I was just waking up when you came over. Do you mind?" Again, she doesn't wait for his answer before she stalks off into her walk in closet. Speaking of which, the placement of the closet is definitely strange. It is exactly where a kitchen would normally be. As a matter of fact, when looking around the apartment, there isn't a kitchen to be found.

Another five minutes pass by and a casually dressed Hallis exits the small room. She is now wearing a pair of leggings and a flimsy tunic with a camisole underneath. She raises her index finger to him and makes her way to the washroom where the distinct sound of pills being shaken out of a bottle can be heard. Then she comes back, picks up her glass again, and actually takes the seat offered to her.

He is the very image of patience, the very depiction of propriety. Joel waits for her to tend to her needs, waits for her as she makes herself presentable and deals with her prescriptionary requirements. In fact he hasn't moved the entire time she's been gone. It's only when she returns that he offers a faint smile of greeting once she settles down. He moves to a seat opposite, settling upon its edge. His eyes meet hers again and he says levelly, calmly, "If you would, please. Could you relate to me the events of the evening of November sixth, in Ling's Easy Mart?"

Looking down at the floor, Hallis' eyes darken a little. It's easy to see that she's been a little bit traumatized by something related to this event. Something that is easily explained away as shoe trauma. Her eyes flit from side to side quickly, and come to rest looking up and to the left. Anyone trained in psychology would be able to tell you that she is preparing a lie. "These two guys came in, they had a gun… or something.. I can't remember." Then she takes another swig of alcohol and takes a deep cleansing breath. She's not a very imaginative liar, in fact, they're simple, to the point, and easy to remember.

"Ms. Van Cortlandt," Those faintly sleepy blue eyes meet hers should she look back up. His smile shifts a touch, becoming a hint more open and perhaps for an instant, just a bare instant, he might seem like a twenty-something young man just trying to do his job. He takes a breath himself, perhaps echoing her posture as he says, "I am not here to judge you. I'm not here to hassle you. I'm here to try and stop two men who could hurt a lot more people. I'll believe what you tell me, but all I ask is that you tell me the truth. Even if you think it's outlandish and that nobody could believe you." His expression is a touch apologetic, trying to bridge that gap as he murmurs, "If this wasn't something extremely out of the ordinary… then I wouldn't be here."

Hallis does look up and as their eyes meet, her eyebrows twitch downward into another small frown. With the way she's been expressing her emotions on her facial features lately, she's likely to develop a wrinkle. "You'd believe me? Really? You wouldn't lock me up because I'm crazy and shoot me up full of drugs?" And then she finishes her drink. The combination of pills and booze seem to be doing the trick though, because she gives him a lazy smile and then lets out a laugh. "Yeah, out of the ordinary… They came into the store and they didn't have any kind of weapons. I didn't see how the guy, Mister Ling? I didn't see how he died. I was reading a magazine and trying to ignore a … Miss Bad Hair Day."

A small sympathetic smile touches his features as he listens to her, his body language open and accessible. "You don't have to tell it all to me in one go, take your time." His manner is very patient now, as if trying to meet her half way. "You were there, you saw them enter. Describe them to me, please." His hands ease forwards, elbows resting on his knees and his fingers interlacing as he gives her his full attention.

Taking a very deep breath this time, Hallis swirls the drop left in her cup around. "I don't know, they were just poor people, you know? One was big and black and in gang clothes or something and the other one looked like he belonged in some kind of prison show. White and bald." Then she tenses and sets her jaw stubbornly. "The bald guy, Flint… he had fire coming out of his hands…" She looks up to meet the agent's eyes, as if daring him to believe her.

It's as if he doesn't even miss a beat. His eyes don't flinch, his gaze doesn't waver. Those deeply blue eyes hold her gaze and he asks her, "And the other man, the African-American, did he seem to do anything strange or out of the ordinary?" Joel keeps his hands clasped before him, seeming so terribly reasonable, utterly unflappable in his regard for her during this discussion.

"I guess he was pretty strong, I wasn't paying much attention to him." Hallis' voice is low, and it is as though she is trying not to slur. She looks around the room, averting her eyes from the agent's. "I was busy. Miss Bad Hair Day, she did something to me. I think she was one of them, not with them, but like them… kind of." And it is then that the young blonde closes her eyes and begins to rub her forehead. "She was here last night, she wrecked my new shoes." It all comes back to the shoes. When ill prepared to deal with an event, throw money somewhere else. That seems to be this woman's M.O.

Now that seems to break through that faint image of calm. Joel's brow quirks, gaze sharpening as he sits up just a tad. He tilts his head to the side quizzically and then he says, "Oh, what makes you think she was one of them?" He seems ever so slightly taken aback and eager to press along that avenue of interrogation. His smile returns, just as easily. "It must have been a terribly stressful time, please. Don't feel you must rush."

Encouraged by the man and quite pliable from pills, Hallis' opens up even more. She begins to tell the same story that she told her new therapist yesterday, "They came in, and that guy with the fire hands… He started lighting things on fire. Like the camera, and that guy." Pause. "..the other one that died?" She opens her eyes again and looks at him, "She grabbed me, and I wasn't scared, I felt really good. Like," her eyes flit to the direction of the bedroom and then back to him, using that small gesture to fill in the blank. "good."

There's a furrow that mars his brow as he considers her. He tells her, "I see," even though it's clear that he does not. His lips purse for an instant, then he takes a deep steadying breath. "If you feel you can continue, I'd appreciate it Ms. Van Cortlandt. If there's anything you can recall about the men, anything they said, what they might have talked about. It's difficult to tell what might help an investigation so I need it all." His tone is a touch more insistent, pressing her to try and focus on what occurred.

"Flint, he said he wasn't going to go back to lock up." Hallis says lowly, shrugging. Apparently the agent wasn't interested in the woman and so she doesn't volunteer any more information. "They didn't talk much except to give orders, and yelling during the fight." She adds finally, pushing herself off of the sofa only to walk to the bar to pour herself another drink. "I ran out right after the guy with the fire, but I didn't have my shoes… so I tried to go back in."

A low hmm comes from him, barely audible. Joel straightens up and then adjusts the hang of his jacket with the sweep of one hand. He tilts his head towards Hallis and then says quietly, "One last thing, Ms. Van Cortlandt. The clothes that Knox was wearing, can you recall anything in particular about them. You said they seemed like gang clothes, in what manner? Please be specific if you can."

Shrugging, Hallis grimaces, her eyes narrowing as she tries to remember. "Just jeans and one of those shirts with a hood, it was black. You know, like gang people wear in the movies or in Harlem." She pours her drink and takes another long swig, shivering a little as it burns down her throat. Her remarks aren't exactly meant to be racist at all, it's just apparent that she's led a very sheltered life. One that began and ended with 'what can I get for you Hallis?'

"Alright," Joel gains his feet smoothly, looking down at her as he rises. His expression is calm and precisely controlled as he tells her. "I appreciate your efforts, if you recall anything else please feel free to contact me at this number. Having said that he produces a small card that he sets down upon the coffee table, face down. He pauses for a moment, considering her, then he steps back. "I'll see myself out, thank you for your cooperation."

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