2007-06-05: Regarding People Versus Ali


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Summary: Jane and Rianna talk over the legal situation of one Alyssa McAlister.

Date It Happened: June 5th, 2007

Regarding People Versus Ali

Rianna's Office, Times Square, Manhattan, NYC

The clocks say approximately 1:30 when the brunette enters the building, clad for this occasion in whar she calls lawyer garb: a light gray suit for women from Brooks Brothers. Jacket, white blouse, skirt, pumps. Jane feels perhaps naked dressed this way. She doesn't have her guitar! Instead a briefcase is carried. "Curse you, Ali, for getting into this soup and needing bailed out." To the elevator she goes, intending to ride it to the level where Rianna keeps her office and try to be seen today.

The receptionist refers Jane up when she arrives, fifth floor as per usual. Rianna's secretary is gone to lunch when Jane arrives, so when she goes through the glass doors that lead into the outer office, the two oak doors leading into the inner office are wide-open, and Rianna is sitting in her executive chair with a pair of glasses on, a disheveled stack of papers and folders open on her desk.

"I don't *care* if he's a lying piece of shit. He owes me. I want that permit on my desk in the morning. I pay you enough, make it happen.", she says, obviously frustrated as she puts the phone down rather forcefully into the cradle. "Lazy s…", she begins, looking up. "Doctor Forrest. Did we have an appointment that I was not aware of?", she asks.

"No," the visitor replies, taking a step back, after the conversation she walked in on the tail end of. "I've come to discuss an unfortunate matter which dropped into my lap, one you may be familiar with. But, given you being busy, I can set an appointment and return another time." Jane shifts her briefcase to the other hand, waiting for the decision.

"Of course not. I've actually done everything I need to do for the moment. I'm just waiting on some people to hold up their ends of bargains made.", Rianna says with a smile. "How rude of me. Please have a seat, Doctor Forrest.", she continues, gesturing to a chair. "I have to be quite frank in that I'm going to enjoy a small glass of white wine before I go on with the rest of my day. Keeps my attitude in check on particularly stressful days. Would you like one as well?", she asks, getting up and going over to an oak cabinet which actually opens up into a refrigerator. "I can also offer you a bottle of water."

"Water will do," Jane replies with a quiet chuckle. She settles into a seat and sets the case by her right foot, placing hands in her lap. "My tendency to keep attitudes in check is playing guitar. It works for almost all moods, really. Beyond that is screaming, which I can't really let myself do anymore. Shattering glass tends not to go over very well."

Rianna smiles at that, handing Jane a chilled bottle of Aquafina from the refrigerator before pouring herself a glass of the wine. She goes back to her desk and sits down, taking off her glasses and setting them down. "I am particularly grateful somedays that my gifts are rather subtle. It is an immeasurable blessing, both in keeping it secret and doing what I do. So. Unfortunate matters that I may be familiar with?", she asks, taking a sip of the wine.

Taking the water bottle and opening it as talk turns to the business at hand, Jane replies "The criminal case of People vs Alyssa McAlister, to be precise. She contacted me regarding the matter, and on listening to her story, it raises some concerns. Given your involvement with her, I sense you suspect as I do, that she has some variety of persuasion ability."

"Well, that is definitely to the point.", Rianna replies. "But yes. She definitely has some sort of mind-affecting ability that she does not fully realize the potency of. I contacted her initially because I wanted her to broadcast her afternoon show from the Petrelli Rally at Central Park this Sunday, and she inadvertently used it against me in an attempt to garner my good will.", Rianna says. "I've talked to the DA, and apparently, he's seen it in mind to let her off lightly. So we can be fairly assured that Robert Bishop has gotten the same inkling.", Rianna finishes, taking another sip of her wine.

"That's certainly good news to hear," Jane replies. "She told me she'd met with a legal aid attorney, and he had a plea agreement for her to sign, which she did not, and which I haven't yet read. By her word, the terms were a fine and sixty days jail time. There wasn't a mention of community service, and I'm not yet certain if she were to serve the time, or have it suspended. Perhaps your conversation with the DA took place after that offer was made, or you know more details than I. She tells me Mrs. Petrelli claimed the water lines were tampered with. That, and my concern over the felony charge involved, of theft, are the more serious of the situation. I had thought to attempt a defense against the theft charge based on the radio station having looked the other way in the past."

"Mrs. Petrelli claimed the water lines were tampered with?", she says quietly, her brow furrowing a bit as she thinks. "I'm not sure exactly when my intervention came in, but I do know that she was out on bond when I talked to her. And as for the radio station, it doesn't matter if they looked the other way any other time, they still have to disown any part of it, or the injured parties could include the station in any lawsuit for damages.", Rianna says, mulling things over. "That's why I'd like to see the DA give her a plea deal to lesser misdemeanor charges in exchange for community service, so everyone can walk away happy. Hopefully. It looks like I'll be talking to the DA again today to make sure we're all on the same page."

"That would be splendid," Jane replies. "The account Miss McAlister gave me indicates that while she had no permit, the police were taking no action. Were it not for the failing water lines, none of this would be a legal issue faced by her at all. But on the other hand, if someone out there is performing such acts of sabotage, more people could be injured at other occasions. I'm hoping to speak with Nathan regarding this, and see if his wife will pass along details. And another thing causes my curiosity to spark. Miss McAlister also says my roommate is interceding on her behalf with her father's organization, which is odd, given the incident isn't a result of public and provable use of her persuasive ability."

"I'm really not all that surprised, Jane.", Rianna says. "The Company wants to be able to control all people with Evolved powers, whether they or their power is dangerous or not. I would be worried if the Company WASN'T pursuing her in the case of Miss McAlister, actually. I don't know if you can fully realize the unimaginable power that comes with being force people to do your bidding. With training, Miss McAlister could look at either of us, tell you to put a gun to our temple and pull the trigger, and even I with my two decades of having trained my power would be hard-pressed to not *WANT* to do it, Doctor Forrest.", Rianna says.

"This is true enough," Jane replies solemnly. "But their involvement also leads me to wonder if perhaps there wasn't another person like us in the mix. There was one person with persuasive ability who worked with the Company, I'm told she's dead now. The story is she encountered Sylar, and managed to commit suicide, shooting herself in the head, to deny him."

"Well, let's be thankful for that if it is true. The thought of Sylar possessing that sort of skill is not a pleasant thought.", Rianna says, taking a larger sip of the wine. "Are you thinking that someone in the Company intentionally made sure that people got hurt at Alyssa's little impromptu party so that she would get herself into a legal situation that they would be able to easily make go away for her?", Rianna asks.

"No, I doubt that would be their style," Jane replies. "But it's certainly possible. I may know more after I speak with Nathan and ask of the alleged tampering. As regards the criminal charges, will she and I need to meet with the DA to sign formal documents and appear before a judge, or will this be handled through your office with all parties?"

"She's going to have to go to court, Jane. It'll be a good experience for her anyway, even if it is just to plead to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence. She'll think things through in the future.", Rianna says. "But yes. I will be asking the DA to reduce the charges in whatever way possible that will reduce her sentence to a period of time in community service…

"And I'll be there with her," Jane replies, "as attorney of record. Law isn't something I enjoy practicing, but, when asked by someone of limited means, I at times do." In her mind, she's mulling over the tampering angle, and in part thinking of how she feels naked without that guitar, but can't, won't, abandon Ali. Curse Ali for not getting permits and permission to use radio station equipment.

"It really could have been worse.", Rianna says, finishing the glass of wine in front of her and setting the glass down near her computer screen. "If she weren't a semi-public personality, we wouldn't have had to worry about the DA wanted to charge her with a felony. With Senator Reed's whole fiasco in mid-swing, elected officials across the state are making sure their I's are dotted and T's crossed at this point.", Rianna says, a sigh soon afterward revealing a bit of her own frustration with it.

"Indeed it could," she replies, rising to her feet and extending her hand. "Thank you so much for your time and assistance. I'll be passing the word along soon, that she's fortunate to have people like you on her side. And sharing what if anything I learn as regards the alleged tampering."

"I appreciate that, Jane.", Rianna responds, standing to accept Jane's hand. "I don't know if you've heard, but I'm personally taking a vested interest in Nathan Petrelli's bid for Senator. Having you on our team would be an invaluable help, as Richard doesn't want Edwards, Johannsen, and Foster to be publicly tied to Nathan's campaign. Though he is helping on a strictly non-professional basis, of course.", she says.

She smiles. "He and I have spoken on this, actually. I'll be doing some legal work for the campaign, aimed at securing rights to use musical works as part of his effort." This, apparently, being the variety of law work Jane handles best: that which is tied to music and the industry around it. "From time to time my guitar and I will also appear near his headquarters and at events. Doctor Petrelli came to find me at a dark time, when no one else did, and that sort of thing I don't forget." She shakes once and releases, her mostly soft and smooth hands marked with calluses at several fingertips from playing that instrument so frequently. "Take care."

"Have a good night, Jane. I'll be looking forward to your call.", Rianna says, sitting back down and putting her glasses back on as she gets back to her work.

Out she goes, water bottle and briefcase in hand. Shortly after exiting the office, Jane steps from the elevator and reaches the street.

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