2010-07-25: Pigs and Cows



Guest Starring:


Date: July 25th, 2010



"Pigs and Cows"

FBI Headquarters — New York

In the midst of the New York field office of the FBI, Detective Maggie Powers stands looking at the activity that whirls around her. Agents and analysts coming and going, people in suits on phones at desks, a hub of controlled activity — she stands with her hands half in the dark denim pockets of her pants, turning in a gradual circle upon the tiled floor as she takes everything in. Her wide-eyed curiosity is much more analytical than made of wonder as she notes the differences and similarities between this bullpen and the one she's much more familiar with.

It's rare, for her to dwell here for any length of time; the cop has been previously been whisked through or led to one of the lovely bland rooms of the FBI's. Tonight, though, is different. She has to wait here. For the boss.

And wait she does. And wait. And wait some more.

Once every ten minutes or so, a receptionist pops her head into the door to assure the detective that Director Mason hasn't forgotten about her, he's just busy. Then she's left to wait again.

Forty minutes or so pass by before the door opens again and instead of the secretary, Mason himself strides through the door. He doesn't even look up to greet Maggie as he makes his way to the desk, his nose is buried in a file. A very thick file, to be precise, a file clearly labelled 'EYES ONLY'.

When Mason reaches his desk, he closes the file up and tosses it down, losing it among the stacks of others that have collected there over the past few months. "Powers, I hope you have something useful for me. So far your boyfriend's been less than generous with getting me the results I want."

By this time, Maggie has found an undecorated wall to lean against, arms folded, patient but clearly starting to question how much the receptionist knows about the whereabouts of the Director. On Mason's appearance, she shows neither relief or surprise, however — not that he's watching to notice. Her folded arms ease off her chest and she strides toward him.

"Firstly— hi," she starts out matter-of-fact — but not unpleasant, per se; she smiles, as if to remind the man of his manners with her own, before promptly moving on. "Secondly— I don't have a boyfriend— and thirdly… no," a note of sincere apology, "I'm sorry." And it's gone. "But what I do have…" The detective reaches around to her back pocket, a folded document wielded in her hand a moment later. It's waved on display, but held up close to her, to her shoulder, kept close. "…is a warrant to move on this case. With or without the FBI's backup."

The word warrant has the Director looking up quite sharply and fix a steely gaze on Maggie, sizing her up in one breath and then looking down on her in the next. There's about four of those breaths before a smirk finally appears on his face and he lets out a snort of a laugh. "Good work Princess, you taking responsibility for the blood bath all by yourself? Or is one of your knights in shining armor going to take the fall for you when you let a bunch of armed criminals slip through your clutches because you don't have enough evidence to pin anything on them?"

His tone of voice is all at once calm, cool, and caustic. It doesn't let up as he slams his fists onto the desk and narrows his eyes at her in a glare. "If you go through with this, you're going in without FBI backup. No backup, no resources," he pauses there and what's left of his breath comes out in a hiss, "no witnesses."

The detective's gaze fixes on Mason when his fixes on her, and it doesn't move: he's met with unflinching blue eyes and an unchanging expression, not at all intimidated. And it gets closer — she moves to the front of his desk, the warrant going back to her pocket on the way.

"We do. Have enough evidence. According to the District Attorney who signed the warrant," Maggie states levelly with a remarkable lack of argument — what she says is fact. She doesn't lord it over him. "This is a heads up. I wanted to give you a chance to support us. We'd be a lot better equipped if we were a team. The police haven't been completely privy to all the information the FBI has. You're right, it has the potential to get messy. We go in half-blind, but the fact is we're going in."

She gives Mason a small calming gesture of one hand — she's not done — and her stance shifts more strongly in front of his desk. She leans into its edge. Her voice lowers, then, just a touch, becoming heated underneath her evenly spoken words. "Tell me you have a better plan." It might be a challenge, or it might be a test — she's studying the Director like a hawk for his reaction. "Because all I've been seeing? Is your people not knowing what the next move is. Time that nobody has is being wasted while there's a psychotic crime lord out there who will, at the first chance he gets, almost without a doubt, go after the witness who doesn't want to stay in protective custody, and you have a missing 'asset' who holds the most compelling evidence — evidence that you'll never see if you don't bother to find out what really happened to him."

Almost as if on some sort of divine cue, the phone buzzes. Breaking his glare Mason holds up a hand of his own as his attention is diverted. "Step off the soapbox for a second there, sweet tits," he says, his tone still frighteningly cool but now carrying a rather chipper quality. "This call is important."

He pushes a button and picks up the receiver, turning his back on the detective he clears his throat and pastes a smile on his face. "Hi Honey," Pause. "No, no, you're not interrupting anything important… What?" Another pause and the smile drops from his face. "When?" Turning, he grbs a piece of paper and a pen and begins to scrawl a few numbers down. "For two weeks huh? That's… great." This time a fake smile is pasted on his face as his eyes find Maggie again. Now there's an eerie chill to them, almost as though he loathes her. "Wonderful… Yes, I'll pick her up." His jaw clenches and there's an audible grind to his teeth. "Whatever, listen, I want something good for supper, not that crap you made last night…. No. NO!" After the sharp yell, he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. "I'm sorry. I know… I said I'd work on it. Listen, I have to go, there's a dairy farm I need to deal with."

With that, he hangs up the phone, no goodbye, nothing. "So… so many things you're in the dark about." He begins, his voice light and airy and that fake smile just growing. "But, as your former fiance pointed out, you don't have the clearance. So, tell you what darlin', you go in.. guns blazing.. and when you're through and maybe get one or two of the low level thugs… I'll make sure to come and find you and nail your pretty little ass…" Pause. "To. The. Wall." Another pause. "For getting in the way… You're out of your league, sweet tits. Let the men handle this and go back to playing with your Barbie Dolls or whatever it is you people do down at the precinct. Okay?"

Anger has been riled up in Maggie from the very moment he put her on hold — so to speak — for his phone call, but it only grows quietly under the surface. Her eyes flash with it, indignant, contemptuous for his various word choices, for his whole demeanour. No luck for Mason on the determined detective backing down, however.

Nodding — accepting the kind of person she's realized he is, not what he's said — she looks from Mason to some indistinct part of the room, takes a quick breath poised to speak, and re-steadies her gaze on him but a moment later. "If you wanted to convince me that you're a misogynistic jerk," she says very calmly all things considered, "that's great. Congratulations. If you wanted to convince me to be like the rest of you and do nothing, waiting for some big break that might not ever happen now that you have no contact on the inside, then no. I'm not convinced."

Maggie's brows knit darkly while her bright eyes continue to stare him down, lofty FBI man or not. She takes one step back and straightens. "Just a guess— " Not really. " — but I don't think I'm as in the dark as you'd like to think I am. But you know who is in the dark — the DA's office. They're not going to be happy to know just how many crucial case details you've been hiding. You wanted me to work with the FBI, well let me do my job. You don't want … our 'blazing guns' to get in the way…" She speaks slowly and pointedly, for him. "Show some respect for the police department. Back us up. Working together … goes both ways."

"Lucky thing for me that I don't answer to the DA's office, isn't it? These are federal toes that you're getting your hoof prints all over, you self righteous cow." Mason's calm demeanor has a glint of conceit and a small twist of depreciation. Pulling a file from one of the many stacks, he flips it open and begins to peruse the contents. Maggie's file. The one he's been keeping on her. "Respect for the police department, hmm? Which part do you want me to give kudos to? Let's see…" His finger runs through a bit of text and then he glares back into her eyes. "How about the part where you have a bad history of acting the lone gunman… to the point of endangering yourself and those around you?"

The Director closes the file and whips it across the desk at the detective, a few of the sheets that fall out are copies of the case built against her when she was put on suspension. "You'd think you'd learn from your mistakes, detective." The last word is spit from his lips as though it were poison or some foul tasting witches brew. "Learn a few lessons from the pros here, sweet tits. You're not going to win any poker games with the pair of deuces in your hand, no matter how good you think your bluff is." He smirks and folds his arms across the span of his chest, taking in a large breath of air to make himself look bigger. "We're not going in until I'm ready. You've got nothing that's going to hold any of these guys more than a half a decade, with good behavior."

His eyes narrow again and his nose wrinkles as his lips contort into a sneer of distaste. Looking across the desk at her, his voice drops to an almost threatening whisper. "Let me know when you're going in, I'll give the coroner a heads up on how many body bags to bring. You're going to lose, Detective Powers, and I'm not willing to ride your coattails to Failville. Population, you."

For an observer, it wouldn't be a poor guess to think that Maggie is about to launch across the desk and punch Mason in the face. The menace written all over her face as she clamps down on her lips, making them a thin, cross line and the way the fingers of her right hand curl in next to her thigh throughout Mason's diatribe — it's all one big alarm bell. Maggie's eyes duck down to glare briefly at the file and papers Mason made a show over. Like a professional, however, she tips her chin up an inch, blinking slowly at him. Her shoulders square back and her anger — at least visibly — squares away.

"Let me ask you something, Director…" While spoken smoothly, a hint of disdain colours the detective's voice when giving this man any sort of moniker of authority. "…why did you keep me in. After I got suspended, you— " presumably, " — arranged my return to duty with the police department. I've got nothing but the run around ever since."

"Really Maggie?" Mason asks, as though speaking to a child. "You don't mind if I call you Maggie, do you?" Not waiting for an answer of either yes or no, he goes on. "I really really wanted to give you a little bit of credit for being smarter than that. Wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt in using that detective brain of yours."

Clasping his hands behind his back, he begins a leisurely stroll to the opposite end of his office. For a few paces he remains quiet, just a few. Then without looking at her, he brings one hand up, pointing the index finger in the air. "One, what would Detective Powers do while she's on suspension? She's a workaholic without work, she'll invent some. Two, what does this mean for me? I'll have Detective Powers skulking around my investigation, without a badge and endangering all of my men. Because three, what does Detective Powers need more than anything? Someone to bail her out when the going gets tough." Each of the points is counted off with a finger to match and when all is said and done, he folds all but the index back. That index is used to point directly at Maggie, "Sweet Tits, with a badge, you're a pest at best. Without a badge, you're a civilian liability. A liability I had the power to keep occupied, silly me…"

There is no obvious surprise from Maggie. No apparent sense of being appalled. Neither is there any conceding, however — only the faintest trace of a knowing smirk, a silent confirmation. She only listens and deflects the man's words with her self-possessed demeanour — calm save for that anger beneath. For his continued degrading, Mason earns another quiet stare. Until: "If you call me anything other than Detective Powers again…" she states evenly, seriously, "I'll be a pest giving you the liability of a lawsuit." She eyes him for a few more seconds before turning around to make long strides for the office exit. "Good night, Director."

"Don't let the door hit you in the ass one the way out, Detective Powers," Mason quips as the blonde woman makes her way toward the exit. Going the opposite way, he strolls at a leisurely pace around to the back of his desk and sits down in the easy chair. He waits, eying the woman and the door until it's slammed behind her and only then does he push the intercom button to call the receptionist.

"Patty, get me … Sergeant .. whatever his name is Gartland.. on the phone. Then I need you to call my wife and tell her that I'm working and I won't be able to pick her mother up from the airport." He pauses for a moment and a small smile crosses his features as he steeples his fingers in front of him. "She can take a cab. If Sun complains, tell her that the old bi— hag can go back to Japan for all I care."


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