2010-01-11: One Question Too Many



Date: January 11th, 2010


After Mandy's reign of terror, Detective Powers is joined by surprised by Laurie during the investigation of the crime scene. Georgia doesn't feel like answering any more questions.

"One Question Too Many"

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles

Harlem, NYC

It's been quite a night at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in Harlem. With the death of multiple people, Georgia trying to save people and failing, and a window that seems to have completely broken into many different pieces, all of which have fallen onto the sidewalk and road outside. The window itself while it appears to have been smashed, an odd thing about it is that all of it is on the ground outside, there's not a bit of glass left in the frame. The police have already arrived and cordoned off the surrounding area and started questioning people. An officer has just finished with one of the cooks, Georgia Gregaire, who seems a little disgruntled at the moment.

Before she even reached the restaurant, Detective Maggie Powers has some idea of what to expect. She got a call. It followed a certain parallel a little too closely. Until lately, there hasn't been an abundance of cases involving people being murdered by something so acidic the authorities have yet to precisely identify it with any kind of logic.


There's been too many. Naturally, they're presumed to be connected. It's with this knowledge well in hand that Maggie looks over the crime scene inside Roscoe's. Standing over part of the forensics team who examines the body of Charlene (one of two womens' bodies brutalized by acid), Maggie hasn't been here long, but long enough to glean some of the details. She's not one of the uniformed officers: rather, she wears a long, red coat and dark dress pants. The detective's blonde hair has been pulled back in an attempt at neatness that is less than precise. "Okay. Thanks," she tells forensics somewhat tiredly, moving grim-faced toward Georgia. Outside, ambulances flash their red strobing lights through the wide open window.

Georgia sits in place, as the good little witness she is, and as the other police officer told her to do. Looks slowly about, eyes taking the restaurant, she finds herself looking at someone who appears to be coming her way. "Oh no, if you're gonna ask me any more questions, don't bother. I told that other police officer everything I knew. Why don't ya go 'round and as him? It was Officer…Jamison or somethin'. Go get his notes. He'll tell ya everything I told 'im." No, she is not a happy camper.

Maggie is prepared after talking to the others on the scene. Must be why she's a beeline for Georgia. "Ms. Gregaire…" Curt but polite, there is a modicum of softness appears behind an otherwise grimly set gaze as she comes to a stop in front of the woman. "I know, and I'm sorry, but we have to be thorough. My name is Detective Powers." So as not to loom, she sits down next to Georgia on one of the chairs provided by Roscoe's. Meant to settle in and enjoy meals on, not question witnesses. At first, she's quiet, watching a trail of authorities come and go — from a back exit meant for employees, as the front door is still stuck. Melted shut.

Maggie leans ahead a little, then, looking over; she smiles, briefly. Sympathy, for a second. "I'm mostly interested in what you saw, Ms. Gregaire. More importantly: who. I promise you can go home afterward."

Georgia stares straight at Maggie, trying to gauge the other woman, for quite some time. "Look, I appreciate ya gotta do your job, Detective, but I gotta son I gotta get back home to. I promised him dinner from the restaurant. And since that ain't a possibility no more, I gotta figure out something else for us ta eat." There's a short pause. "Look, there were plenty o' other witnesses, why can't ya go 'round and ask them your questions and get them to ID the person for ya and let me go on home?"

The door may be melted shut, but there's briefly the outline of a figure there, giving the wholly stuck item a rattle. After a second, the figure goes. Probably not a potential customer - the place is pretty clearly shut down and taped off.

Nothing seems to come of it until, half a minute later, from that occasional, business-like flow of officers and professionals moving through the back of the restaurant comes another person not in lawful blue. He's wearing, instead, a button-up shirt with its sleeves rolled to the elbows. This leaves the regulation crime scene gloves on his hands on full display. Laurie wanders past the women's location, strolling instead to the table where all this action took off - where a woman stood on the table and announced her mission statement for the place.

The evidence of it is, of course, everywhere. The pattern of it leads to Maggie, and to Georgia. He approaches. "You're a cook, right?" As if he's asking if she likes the weather. "You know, I cook a little bit. Marvelous past-time. But— I have always found, now here's the thing— I can just never duplicate the food you can get at places like this." He shakes his head, making a 'tsk' sound with his tongue, then slides right in as if they'd invited him. Maggie, move over! "How old's your son?"

Instead of becoming annoyed or pushy, Maggie does the opposite: she seems to become more calm. A soft smile comes to her face, not to make light of Georgia's situation, just a hint of compassion. "Okay." She slips a hand into the pocket of her coat and pulls out a card, which she hands between two fingers to Georgia. "But I'm going to have to follow …"

She catches a glimpse of him, before he moseys in like he belongs. Detective Powers is a woman of routines, and maybe even something of a lone shark despite having to work with others to solve such important things as homicide cases. It's with surprise that the blue eyes belonging to the detective turn from serious — and concerned for Georgia — to surprised… but no less serious. "…up…" Arched eyebrows arch even more, creating all manner of creases. Then, as quickly as it arrived, the surprise is gone as if she's fully intending to pretend it was never there. "Um. Miles?" And she doesn't move over.

Georgia takes Maggie's card and looks it over. "Do what ya gotta do, Detective. I ain't meanin' ta make your life more hard. It's just…I seen a friend die tonight. That ain't no easy thing to do. And not only have I seen her killed, but others too." As Laurie sits down, she tilts her head at him. "Well, we gotta keep our recipes secret, now don't we? Else people'd never come back." She says, considering the man. "M'son is 15 years old, sir. Yes, I know, that's old enough to make food for himself, but if he's been expecting food, then he won't make any for himself."

Alright, don't move over. It seems to make little difference to Laurie, who's made himself look even more comfortable with what minimum room he has. He holds up a finger to Maggie - wait a moment, please, he's not done swapping stove stories with this nice lady. "No, you're right, that'd be silly. Gotta be sharp, gotta think business." And he raps himself on the temples with a couple of knuckles.

"Of course he wouldn't," he adds, for the son, quiet and appreciative, it's phrased like a compliment to Georgia, "It's nice to be taken care of. Not have to think about it… like I'm sure you don't want to have to think about detectives coming back around to whip this up again after you leave." Pulling his hands up to the table, he rests them carefully in front of him with a new gentle intensity. "So, could you do me the favor of answering one, singular question?"

Maggie opens her mouth and— is shushed before another sound can come out. Alright. Ignore her. She's still not moving. For the time being, she stays silent — listening to the goings-on of Laurie. She may be dedicated to her job, to getting answers for herself, but far be it for her to stop a mother from going home to her son; still, her questioning look moves from the man to the cook, finding herself curious about his "singular question".

Georgia frowns slightly. This is really holding her up more than she'd wanted. "Look. I really would prefer to just be getting home. I don't care if you have to come and drop by my apartment to ask me a few questions, get a sketch of the person who caused all this suffering, but…" She sighs, moving into the booth to leave room between her and the man. "Fine. Ask me the question. I ain't gonna be happy 'bout it. And I ain't gonna stay 'round here longer than I have to."
There is a firm but understanding stare from Laurie while he is examined with that frown, and then a brisk nod when she states her case. His hands raise, palms out, as if to say 'of course', before he sits back against what seat he made for himself. Then, head slightly tilted, lips vaguely upturned, he says, "Of course you ain't gonna be. Only the unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others. Now… you just say, and then you can get up and walk out of here— did she acknowledge you, as a person, in any way?"

Georgia takes a deep breath in and lets it out slowly. "As I told the officer that spoke to me before, she, the person who caused all this damage, she acknowledged me, yeah. I tried ta take a stand 'gainst her to try an' stop her from hurtin' anyone else. Didn't quite work, mind ya." She furrows her brow. "So short answer, yeah. She acknowledged me as a person, so me as a real person. Not that she wouldn't, as it's true."

Even though Laurie's chin lifts, his mouth quirking to the side, like he wants to comment, he keeps his word. "Yes… it is true… ahh, thank you. You've been a gem with your time, and time's a hard thing to give up. Detective Powers here doesn't seem to like to give me time. Or the time, but that one's just silly." Sort of like the mood he's rolled back into, leaving the seriousness of the crime scene behind like a movie someone can pause. "However, I'm positive she'll be so kind as to excuse you from the scene now." In saying, he glances over to the blonde detective in exaggerated hopeful fashion. But first, one last conspiratorial look, and stage whisper, for Georgia. "She has more authority than me."

The woman's answer prompts a frown from Maggie. It's pensive, but there's more to it. Laurie's particular line of questioning might have something to do with it. It moves quite quickly into a straight line once Laurie has acknowledged her existence again. "…You'll have to excuse Mr. Miles, he's just a consultant." There's a faint glimmer in her otherwise serious visage — blink and you'll miss it. Gone! "Thank you for your time Ms. Gregaire. If you think of anything you didn't tell the officer, call the number I gave you," she tells Georgia before moving to stand herself, eyeing Laurie pointedly.

Georgia furrows her brow in confusion, smiling a little at Laurie. "Well, I suppose it's been a pleasure to help you some. Though…I don't know how I helped at all." What kinda question was that? She shakes her head, smiling. "Well, such is life, I do suppose, sir." She responds to Laurie. "Have yourself a…good evening?" She asks confused. She looks to back to Maggie. "I…" She frowns as Maggie stands up. "Come 'round my place in a couple. While my son's at school. We can talk then, Detective. If you've got more questions."

It takes a moment, but then Laurie seems to remember that he nudged into their way. Pushing out of the spot again, he flashes Georgia a softer look of encouragement before wandering back towards the center of the crime again. He'll leave Maggie to sort out what she needs; he only glances over at the detective once or twice without lifting his head from otherwise staring at the floor. Staring at some nothing patch on the floor, too, so it's anyone's guess if he's still thinking about being useful. If anyone calls it that.

"Thank you. I'll do that." Maggie takes her leave from the seats as Laurie (so graciously) frees their way. As she strolls away, leaving Georgia, she gives the cook a small nod and smile. It seems out-of-place to smile in a place like this, but there's no reason to be rude. Speaking of rude— she comes to stand in the patch of floor the behavioural consultant finds so fascinating. His point of vision will be replaced with her plain brown boots and the long legs of the detective's slacks. "So I take it someone called you in. Unless you make a habit of waltzing into other people's crime scenes to question their witnesses…"

When floor is suddenly replaced by coat, Laurie squints at this new development. Hello, legs. Head still not raising, his gaze wanders up the detective until it reaches her face— and without any awkward detours along the way, thank you. In fact, he goes past her to glance thoughtfully at the ceiling before answering. "The one doesn't necessarily discount the other…" He offers in pure scholarly, not at all sheepish, interest. "But this crime scene," and he lifts a blue-covered hand to wag a finger at it, "is not mine. Nor yours. It belongs to a woman… a disorganized, sociopath who…" When he trails off, he also seems to disconnect from Maggie. His attention leaves her for some other direction.

"…who…" Maggie squints a little at Laurie, judging his sanity. "Well— yeah. I have a feeling we're getting the better end of the bargain, coming in… after all this happened." The way these people were killed — the way others were hurt, now in ambulances or maybe to the hospital by now — is not something anyone should ever have to witness. It's her turn to look away distantly. It's cold; a breeze from the window brings her back around with a quick shake of her head. Or it could have been a shiver. "…anyway… I'm gonna go track down the officer who questioned Ms. Gregaire, see if maybe someone knows what happened to the door and window."

"Who?" Laurie chirps, called back to the conversation, but clearly not at the same spot. Maggie's evaluation may take little time. He makes a long, drawn-out thoughtful noise at her comment. "Hmm, are we?" It's obvious that he's distracted in some part by his own mind, and the investigation that is going on in there. Whatever it is, it's not the same one the detective is on. He only slants a half-formed smile of acknowledgment at her and chooses, instead, to turn smartly around from where he's standing and sit right where Mandy did, eyeing the same perspective as a killer.

"…Uh-hmm… right. I guess I'll catch up with you back at the station— if in fact you… aren't just here on a whim." That would be all Maggie has to say to Laurie's distracted responses. She just blinks and drifts off, shaking her head as she makes her way to a cluster of officers near a back corner of Roscoe's, carefully winding around the victims still being dealt with by thee forensics team. Everyone has their process, but this guy…

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