2010-05-12: No Disclosure



Guest Starring:

Latoya Brown

Date: May 12, 2010


A couple of detectives look for more answers from a victim who is less than cooperative.

"No Disclosure"

Downtown Precinct - NYC

In an area of the police station not often traversed by homicide detectives — things, in this corner, are not always less deadly but often more accidental — a certain cop stands leaned slightly over the desk of an officer on desk duty. Maggie seems to be either on her way in or on her way out, her worn, brown leather jacket unzipped over a plain black-and-white getup of buttoned vest and white blouse. Her hair is pulled back, not neatly, a good deal of it escaping and falling forward. Almost half. "Thanks," she's saying to the officer, genial but insistent. "While I'm over here… could you double-check any motor vehicle accidents from the 2nd off of 478? I'd appreciate it."

It's not very often, indeed, that a detective from another department, let alone a detective from the homicide division graces the halls of the traffic division. Detective Latoya Brown, however, is not a homicide detective. She's not been blessed to be a promoted to homicide. She's only just recently been promoted to detective regardless…a detective of the traffic division. As she passes the desk that Maggie is asking her questions at, Latoya glances at the officer there and says, "I'm still waiting to hear about whether the D.A. has succeeded in getting that warrant. I know they haven't been having success, but I ain't gonna be stopped by that li'l roadblock. Keep pushing them to try to find a judge who'll help." With that, she takes a seat at her own desk, opening the file that's been frustrating her for a good few days.

"He already told you Detective Brown, you can't get a warrant. They're technically not on US soil, no judge is going to want to touch something with South Africa stamped on it." The overworked man at the desk's voice is practically pleading with her, "Just drop the case, Latoya, you're not going to get anywhere on this one. Mark it up as unsolvable, you can afford to have one cold case." His fingers flips quickly through a stack of files on his desk before pulling one sheet of paper and handing it to the plain clothes officer. There's a coffee stain on it.

Glancing at the brown ring on the paper, the clerk winces and gives a meek smile to the homicide detective. "Sorry about that Detective Powers, I can get a new report if you want… that's just the one I was working off of earlier."

"No problem, I'm just trying to track down every lead on this gang case we're working," Maggie replies easily a she takes the report (coffee-stained or no); the other thing she asked about… well, she's not expecting there to be a report there. She eases off her desk, having been leaning into it with one hand, but she doesn't stride off like she planned — she sends a glance the way of Brown. Whatever that conversation is about, it certainly doesn't sound like anything of relevance to her own caseload, but a word or two stands out. "South Africa?" she pipes up with a conversational sort of curiosity. "What happened? I practically grew up there. It was once upon a time, but… are you running into diplomatic immunity?"

KeLyssa sighs and frowns. "I know what he told me. But I don't care. I want results, not excuses. I don't want one of my very first cases as a detective to be a cold case. That's unacceptable." She says, rubbing her eyes. It's evident she hasn't had much sleep. Stifling a yawn, she nods to Maggie. "Yeah, diplomatic immunity and the whole shebang. It's a pain in the rear-end is what it is is what it is." Stifling yet another yawn she looks at the cup of coffee she left on her desk, taking a sip, she finds out it's cold. "So, you grew up in South Africa, Detective? Well, if you had a way to help me, or any suggestions, I'm all ears."

Shaking his head, the clerk settles back down at his computer and starts typing rapidly. It's amazing… it really is. How long dot matrix printers actually can be made to last. The wizzing sound of the antiquated piece of machinery sounds off for a few minutes, the entire assembly shaking on its moorings before the paper jams.

Groaning, he pushes his desk chair and wheels over to the printer and pulls off what has been printed. "Here.. there's what we have on that area of town. Not much…" Then he turns to Brown again, "Tell you what, Brown, you come for a drink with me after work and I'll try to talk to the DA about finding a judge that's willing to go up against the entire Geneva Convention so you can solve your little crash." He gives her a tight smile and then turns away. It's obvious that he was actually trying to have some fnu at her expense.

"Was it a car crash?" What's the big deal? Maggie's curiosity is piqued, if only because she might be able to help or at least lend her insight. The detective smiles toward Brown while going to take a look at the paper from the officer. "I was just on my way out but hey, listen. You look like you're almost out of coffee, why don't you walk with me?" The tall detective cants her head back the way she came. "If you want to tell me about your case, I'd be glad to help. I know a thing or two about South African law and diplomacy. Sometimes it just seems like a matter of circumnavigating the red tape."

Brown rolls her eyes at the clerk. "If you got the D.A. to find a judge who'd do that. I'd not only go with a drink with you after work tonight, but I'd go on multiple dates with you." Yes. She is desperate to get a warrant. Giving Maggie a weak smile she says, "That would be appreciated, detective. Any insight at all you could give me, I'll gladly accept." She says, taking her cup and walking over.

The Upper West Side

The drizzle of spring rain falls down over the awning, collecting into larger droplets before finally slipping off and down to the sidewalk below. Outside the door of the posh apartment building stands a uniformed doorman, the brass buttons of his coat polished to a gleaming shine. His blue uniform is offset by the deep maroon of the rest of the building, letting him stand out to the average pedestrian.

Each and every person passing along the sidewalk receives a tip of his hat and a polite nod. Every once in a while, he opens the door to someone entering or exiting the building. All of them are well dressed, all of them are well to do. One of them in particular, a blonde woman in her 50's is trailed by a tiny dog on a diamond leash. When she sees the doorman, she doesn't smile, she simply raises her nose at him and pauses as he opens the door.

Technically, Maggie is off-duty — but she's willing to help her fellow member of the NYPD and focus on something that isn't violent crimes for awhile before she heads home. Home which is far from the Upper West Side. Maybe it's generous and selfish at the same time; it's a distraction.

Approaching on foot — parking is rarely easy — alongside Brown, Maggie looks up at the building's many stories as they near and come upon the lady and her dog. "Is this it?"

Brown gives a nod to Maggie. "Yeah. This is it all right. We want the penthouse." She says, approaching the building behind the woman with the dog. "I just hope she's home, or else this was all for nothing." Giving a nod to the doorman, she approaches the building and makes to enter.

The doorman shuts the door just before the two women come up to it and gives them a polite nod and a twitch of a smile. "May I help you ladies with something?" His cool demeanor is not unfriendly, he's just doing his job. He's quite good at his job.

Unfortunately for the doorman, one of the residents of the building choses at exactly this minute to step from the elevators and head toward the door. A tall woman with a willowy appearance, long legs made even longer by the stiletto boots she is wearing. Her skin is a light bronze, tanned from the sun or perhaps a lamp but not old looking, like someone that's spent too much time in the sun. She's wearing a cream colored ensemble, complete with a soft cashmere wrap. She looks… expensive.

The doorman glances at the two detectives for a moment, silently warning them to stay put as he opens the door. "Miss Kruger, I hope you're doing fine today?" His voice is much more pleasant, though the answer he is given is a cool glance followed by the woman placing a pair of sunglasses over her hazel eyes. The doorman falls silent as she breezes by him and down toward the sidewalk.

Detective Powers is prepared to give the doorman a kind word or two about what she and LaToya are doing here. Her mouth is even poised open to do so. She's also prepared to flash her badge, if she has to, in order to move on in — but the appearance of the very expensive-looking woman allows them to skip a step. While the face of the woman isn't one Maggie especially recognizes, the name, Miss Kruger, is. She turns away from the doorman to follow after this Miss Kruger.

Though there's a certain straightforward, authoritative air about Maggie that has an aura of "cop", her casual leather jacket and prepared-to-be-friendly, genial expression can go a long way, too. "Hey, there," she casually tries to get Vasha's attention, not even raising her voice. "Miss Kruger?" With a nod to Latoya — to follow? — Maggie jogs just fast enough to cut out in front of Vasha, immediately raising her hands in harmless, pre-emptive surrender and smiling. She reaches to her belt, next, sliding her coat aside to reveal the badge hooked there. "My name is— " Detective Powers? Not the right time. "Maggie. This is my friend LaToya." Who she met less than an hour ago. "I'd like to talk to you for a second if that's okay. I'm off-duty." One of them is, at least. "It's about the wreck."

Detective Brown is ready to give her own comments to the doorman. It doesn't hurt to be nice to door people, does it? Be nice to them, and they'll be nice to you. However, with the exit of a one 'Miss Kruger', Latoya is on the ball with following her. Letting the more seasoned detective start off with the talking, Latoya stands beside Maggie, opening her own jacket up to show her badge as well.

"Miss Vasha Kruger?" Latoya asks, as if in confirmation. "My name is…" She pauses, glancing sideways at Maggie, offering a nod. "My name is Latoya. We'd like a moment of your time. You're not in any trouble. We'd just like to ask you a few questions, if you'll let us. As Maggie said, we'd like to talk to you about the wreck, if that's alright."

The woman pauses for a moment and turns slowly on her heel. A gloved hand raises up to pull the sunglasses down her nose and that is how the two detectives are greeted. Her expression is neutral, impassive, bordering on haughty. "Detectiffssss…" she drawls slowly, her South African accent played up by the long consonants and short vowels. "How nice ett is of you to stop by, ja? Unfortunately, I heff giffen my statement…" As incomplete as it is. "…There is nothing more I heff to add." No additional comments about the gaping holes in her story. Nothing at all.

The doorman turns toward the trio, almost ready to step in on behalf of the resident. For his good service he receives another sharp glance while the two detectives are issues a slight smile that barely borders on polite. "Eff you will excuse me, I am late for getting my pedicure."

"Now there's an accent I haven't heard in awhile." Maggie smiles, warm in contrast to Vasha's neutrality. "I don't want to stop you— " From getting to her pedicure… "It's just that your statement left the investigating police with a few questions," she goes on, understating considerably. Though her smile doesn't leave, her voice takes on a firmer and less casual tone. "I looked over the accident. I'm glad I did. I'm a homicide detective and what I saw looked an awful lot like attempted murder. I understand there's the issue of your mother country … and I know there's some talk of the police going to the District Attorney."

Maggie pointedly doesn't look to Latoya at that moment; instead, she reaches into the pocket of her leather jacket, rummages a moment hand hands a card out to Vasha. Det. Maggie Powers, NYPD. A phone number. Plain, simple. "I spent a lot of time in South Africa… I lived there, on and off. Mostly Botswana— " And more; details she cuts off in order to offer, "That's why I was drawn to your case. Before I read about the bullet holes and thermite. I'd like to help you."

There isn't much to be said that Maggie hasn't already spoken, but as Latoya is officially on duty, she keeps an extra careful eye on Vasha, watching for her physical responses and listening carefully to her answers, hoping that she'll catch something, anything that seems odd or out of place; even if it's the fact that the woman that stands before then is a little too uncaring about what they have to say.

"We understand that you want to get to your appointment, Miss Kruger, but I promise that this will only take a few short moments of your time." Detective Brown says with a kind smile. "We are curious as to why there were bullet holes in the windshield and thermite melted on the engine. You seem to have forgotten to mention that in your report. I understand…sometimes people forget to mention things when they're giving a report. We just need some clarification is all."

"Bullet holes? Really…" The surprise in her voice rings as false as the thick accent which has abated quite a bit with only those two words. Vasha's hazel eyes drift lazily back over the two women. Her jaw tenses for only a moment before her face turns to a pleasant expression and she tilts her head back a little and to the right. "That must have happened while I was unconscious, I do not seem to remember that at all. After all, I did hit my head fairly hard." She turns her head a little more to the right to show off a beautiful bruise that hasn't managed to be covered up very well with makeup.

When she resumes her normal stance and posture, another brief smile is given the officers as she pulls the glasses over her eyes again, effectively shielding them from view. Leaning forward, she plucks the card between two scissored fingers and flicks it upward to read it. "If you really wish to be of aide, detectives, you will work with my insurance adjuster to settle this so that I might be afforded a new car."

Maggie takes the card — it's fair, a card for a card — but all the while, she gives Vasha a long and knowing look, not only at that bruise, but into the hazel eyes of the woman herself. Blue-eyed and calm, Maggie's is a look that says: I know there's more to your story.

"Well we'll see what we can do," Detective Powers replies pleasantly, after that look has lingered awhile. The very corners of her smiling lips twitch — their direction turns out to be downward, after a moment. "Your safety is a higher concern to me right now than your car. Miss Kruger … do you know of anyone who might want to hurt you?" Maggie's calm, focused stare returns more deliberately, focusing as she says evenly, "Remember … you have diplomatic immunity here." It's spoken almost like a reassurance: if Vasha is involved in something, here, she probably can't be prosecuted, but if she's being targeted, Maggie wants to know.

Bullet holes and thermite just don't happen through the course of a car accident.

"I understand that you have been through a bit of an ordeal, Miss Kruger, but we do need your cooperation with anything more that you can tell us." Detective Brown says kindly. "Anything more that you can remember can be useful to us." Latoya gives Maggie a quick glance. An indication that she, too, does not fully believe that Vasha is telling them everything?

"Perhaps you remember more of how you ended up in the situation. You say it was a hit and run…what was the other car like? What did it look like? What colour, what make? Did you see the driver? Perhaps someone with a gun? Anything and everything is useful, even if you don't think so." Says Detective Brown.

"Latoya is it?" Vasha asks, her tone bordering on antagonistic. "It was dark, I was hit." She gives the woman a rather placating smile and narrows her eyes behind the glasses. "There is really nothing more that I have to add. Bullets and thermite…" She waves her hand in a circle, dismissing the notion of danger. "This is New York City, you have violent youths. All of that could have happened after I left the vehicle for the safety of my home."

That's right, she didn't go to the hospital.

The foreign woman tucks the card into a slim clutch, just as it falls to the ground and spills all of its contents around. With an annoyed growl, she bends at the knee and begins picking up all the items on the ground, hurriedly shoving them back into the small purse.

Maggie gives Latoya a sidelong look; while it isn't antagonistic, it is firm. It flashes with worry in the second before it returns to Vasha. She doesn't want to overwhelm the woman with questions, make her feel cornered when there's obviously something less-than-straightforward going on here.

Instant Good Samaratin instincts kicking in, she crouches down to help Miss Kruger with her things. It's not a cellphone or wallet or even lip gloss she finds in her hands, though. It's a receipt (which she can't help but check, out of habit) and … is that shell casings? Maggie rises and offers these things back on the palm of her hand. "…Miss Kruger…" Looks like New York isn't the only place that breeds violence.

Latoya sighs, shaking her head. An indication that, yes, she'll try to not ask so many questions. Being a new to the 'Detective game', she may not be as use to all of these aspects of the work, but by goodness gracious she's wants answers! And she'll get them…or go out on a limb trying to get them, anyway. Kneeling down to help put the items back in the purse, she glances sidelong at Maggie as she stops, looking at a receipt. She leans over to take a good look at it. Her eyes widen slightly as she turns to gaze at Vasha.

As she scoops up most of the things on the ground and places them into her clutch she pauses at the sight of the shell casings in Maggie's hand. Her poker face is full on as she non-chalantly reaches over and picks them from the detective's hand and examines them. "Hmm, I wonder what these are…" Then she drops them in her purse along with the rest of the things.

The receipt is tugged from Maggie's hand with about the same expression, a patronizingly smug look. "Thank you for your aide Detective. I am, how you Americans say, obliged." Maggie and Latoya both receive a toothy grin and without another word, Vasha stands and pivots on her heel. In moments, she has made her way down the sidewalk and into a black towncar waiting at the curb.

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