2007-04-17: Simple Questions


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After the events at Yankee Stadium, Matt sits down to have a little chat with Namir. Namir is released pending further investigation.

Date It Happened: April 17th, 2007

Simple Questions

Police Station

It's been about a half-hour since the strange and altogether violent occurrence at Yankee Stadium. Things are much quieter this very late afternoon in the police station, where Namir now sits silently in an interrogation room. Oddly enough, this is the first time he's ever really been in one — all his years working on the force were never spent in the shoes of a detective. He isn't ignorant of the proceedings, however, and he's been properly Mirandized and processed. His armor and weapons have been removed, leaving him in a white undershirt and the dark pants and boots normally seen on members of his profession. As always when he's on the job, he wears his dog tags. Additionally, his wrists are still cuffed — police officers tend not to look kindly on those who shoot their own, and especially this one. Nasty rumors have already started to circulate about the "towel head" traitor who shot Lieutenant Holcombe in the leg. It probably doesn't help that Namir has said nothing to defend himself just yet, waiting until he's properly questioned.

As per the normal tradition which might as well be procedure, Detective Matt Parkman has been standing on the other side of the two-way mirror for some time, watching the man he's about to question. Mannerisms are just as important as verbalized testimony. Taking a deep breath, Parkman opens the door and enters, a file in his hand and a stolid expression on his face. "Let's start from the beginning," he says simply, not wanting to waste time with niceities. This man, after all, shot Viola Holcome. Parkman has to be polite, not friendly. But even as he opens the door to enter the room, Matt is turning up that volume, focusing his mind as if positioning a microphone when he sets his eyes on the cuffed officer in the chair.

Naturally, Namir knows he's likely being watched and has been watched for some time — however he can't see /who/ is watching him through the two-way, and so it does come as some surprise when Matt steps through the door. He was expecting somebody hostile, harsh — and then it dawns on him that this, perhaps, was their intention: to disarm him with a familiar face. He immediately attempts to brush the thought aside, telling himself that these people should not be his enemies. They all work on the same side, and this was just a misunderstanding. "Detective Parkman," he intones in greeting, recognition showing through, but little else. "What a surprise. I hope things have been well for you." Matt may be doing away with the niceties, but they're practically instinct for Namir; he can't just forget them. Still, he's capable of getting down to business, too, and he shakes his head as though in reprimand of his own politeness. "Sorry. What is it you want to know?"

Matt offers a strained smile in response to the greeting as he too takes a seat, perhaps prompted by the fact that is is a habit, especially when one lends you and your "wanted" family an apartment. "Well enough. The beginning, please. Let's assume I haven't read this," and his hand rests on the file which he sets on the table in front of him. "Or even if I had, I want it from the horse's mouth." It has nothing to do with Parkman's reading difficulties. Nothing at all.

Reading isn't exactly easy for Namir either, but he does a great deal of it anyway. Not that he would know Matt doesn't read well. He sits forward with a sigh and rests his arms on the table, clasping his hands together, as the handcuffs leave little room for his arms to part. "I was just called back on-duty today after being away on sick leave for the past three weeks," he begins in a level, almost stoic voice. "We got a call that there were a series of violent suicides at Yankee Stadium: fans leaping from the bleachers one after the other. We arrived after the sixth or seventh one went down — I don't remember exactly — and myself and three of my teammates — Scott Baker, Pierce Gibbons, and David Lawrence — went up the bleachers to talk down the people who were lined up to jump. We were getting things under control when Baker suddenly discharged his handgun at one of the civilians. Lieutenant Holcombe came forward and fired at Baker; I returned fire." Thus ends the distant recount, and some guilt leaks into the clarification: "She was in plain clothes and did not identify herself out loud. To me, she looked like an armed suspect firing on my comrade. I didn't see her badge until after she went down." But if Matt is paying any attention to Namir's thoughts, he'll realize that there is something amiss — something the man is not saying.

It's something that Matt does indeed catch, and it intrigues him. "Well, why would your teammate open fire on a civilian?" It would seem someone /else/ needs interrogating, but Matt is confident that this has not escaped the department's scope - still, it will be something he checks on. "Seems like a pretty severe breach of protocol to me."

"I couldn't say," Namir responds matter-of-factly. "I am not a mind-reader."

~Or a mind-controller,~ he thinks bitterly.

"I can tell you that Baker is a good man, however. I've served with him for two years, and he has never shot /anyone/ before, let alone a civilian. He is usually the one who talks armed suspects down."

The words Namir chooses to use make Parkman tense. Why would he say that, and then /that/ with such disdain? Did he know?

Clearing his throat, Parkman's frown deepens. "Well, I've seen crazier stuff," he says, holding back a sigh. His own history both with this and the Los Angeles department isn't exactly a mystery when it comes to water cooler or locker room chatter.

Feeling a little guilty, Parkman squints when he looks at Namir again. (Tell everything. No matter how crazy it sounds,) comes the firm, whispered command.

"As have I," responds Namir dryly.

~Such as what happened at that stadium — such as that man with the paper dolls.~

When he feels an inner prompting to tell all, the Muslim hesitates, then shakes his head and pushes it forcefully aside.

~No, not on the record.~

"In our line of work, one tends to run into plenty of crazy things." Change the subject, change the subject. "I truly did not know it was Lieutenant Holcombe when I pulled that trigger. In the heat of the moment, when you see an unidentified person waving a gun at one of your own, you don't hesitate. You know what it's like."

"I also know what Lieutenant Holcombe looks like," Parkman answers dryly.

(He'll understand,) comes that firm voice again, but there is the tiniest whisper of curiosity about the dolls, like the undertones of a bell or plucked musical note.

"But you still haven't answered my question. Why did Baker shoot a civilian if he's such a good guy? Why cause that headache? I can't figure it out unless you give me the whole picture, officer." No first names here. Sorry.

And again, that voice sounds inside Namir's head, though it's a bit louder this time. (The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.)

"As I have never worked with Lieutenant Holcombe before, I cannot say the same." The promptings in his head and from Matt are starting to agitate Namir a great deal, and he fights them hard. No. He /does not/ want to speak on the record about what /really/ happened. And … what was that curious tone? That seemed a bit odd.

Sitting back in his chair again, Namir lets out a sigh, clasping his hands over his abdomen. "That is a question you would have to ask Baker."

~What is going on here?~

"May I have a glass of water?" He needs to clear his head — so to speak.

It's getting slippery, and so Parkman easily edges off with the pressing, persuasive projections. He instead nods. "Baker will be questioned, if he hasn't already. But I'm afraid your suspension will continue until we can make sense of all of this."

Parkman rises then, picking up the folder and tucking it under his arm. "I'll make sure someone grabs you a glass on your way out."

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