2010-07-01: The Inquiry, Part 1



Guest Starring:


Date: July 1st, 2010 — and prior


"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

Maggie and Laurie's actions have consequences. But what were the actions— and what are the consequences?

"The Inquiry, Part 1"

Detective Powers is settled as she's going to be in the closed office room she has been guided to. From the chair across from the desk, she sits with her hands one atop the other on her lap, silent and neutrally expectant. If she's guilty, she doesn't show it; if she's fearful of consequences, it's unnoticeable; if she's angry about the whole ordeal, it would be hard to tell, while she waits. But Maggie isn't stony — an impression of her polite smile has stayed.

Somewhere along the line, roles might as well have been reversed, for all the interviewee stares at the interviewer instead of the other way around.

The humorless man has been replaced by a similarly no-nonsense woman, full-bodied, and filling up the lumpy shape of her unappealing olive pantsuit with a briskness unsuited to the 'Patty' the ID badge around her neck declares her to be. She mumbles several times to herself while eyeing over the variety of papers in her hands, letting Maggie's stare get trapped somewhere in her unattractive brown haircut.

In between them, whirling quietly, is the tape-recorder that started as soon as the detective sat down — and carried through the basics of stating her name and position — now it picks up as Patty Bush stacks the papers neatly against the table and then sets her clasped hands on top.

"Detective Powers," she begins without pomp nor circumstance, "We're here to establish the suspected unlawfulness and professional misconduct which has led to the series of events occurring over Monday the 28th. If you are found to be responsible for any serious action, we will make certain recommendations to your station chief. However, should we find later that you were dishonest about any of the information given today, you will not only be off the streets but there will be the possibility of further consequence, including arrest. Do you understand the situation as I've explained it to you, and do you have any words you would like to put on record here before we begin?"

The normally very lawful cop accepts it all. "Understood," Maggie says simply, the word airy but sincere, with a nod to reassure her seriousness. She glances, finally, from the investigator to the tape recorder, seems to consider it calmly. "I'd like to state for the record that I acted with the intent to do my duty — to protect and serve."

"That's very nice, detective," the IA agent asides perfunctorily, sliding one paper next to another. One seems to be a report, the first line of which Patty taps a square fingernail against. Tick, tick. Tick. Grating, almost, the nail material against that of the table. "Let's start there, then. Explain for the board your orders, as they stood on the days prior to Monday the 28th, regarding the case of the suspect Mandy Larson…"

Hesitation— tension comes early to Maggie's collected features, but only just, in order to express her momentary indignation over the matter. "I was to step back. My sergeant didn't want me involved in the Larson case. I suppose some others agreed— you'd have to ask them."

There's a certain way people ask questions when they already know the answer. It's evident now: "And would you say that you, Detective Powers, 'stepped back'?"

There's also a certain way people answer such questions when they know the truth is already on the table. Honestly… "I stepped back at work." …but not exactly straightforward. Maggie does admit: "At first."

Patty's eyes flicker up to Maggie, her thick mouth a perturbed line as she goes from detective to the writing on her tink tink pieces of paper. After a moment of quiet following the admittance, she gives a meant to be encouraging — but really more irritated — grunt. "At first, detective?"

"It was a mistake taking me off the case— " Maggie says, stating it as if it's just a fact that has nothing to do with her sense of self-worth and narcissism; because it doesn't. She holds up a hand, useless to the tape recorder. "I don't mean any disrespect to my superiors," she says sincerely. "I can see why they thought it was the right choice. But it wasn't. Nobody knows Larson the way I do and the way … well I contacted … her profiler. Larson wasn't being handled the right way, she's even more dangerous than anyone else gave her credit for. We saw it. We had to do something."

"You say 'we'," the agent narrows in on immediately, "Let's state officially that, in this case, 'the profiler' that Detective Powers now refers to is police consultant Laurence Miles — or — Case B." With only a brief glance to Maggie to make sure she confirms, Patty continues: "So. 'We', detective. Are you submitting that the decision in this matter, the one you've admitted to be against the judgment of your superiors, disrespect meant or not," it's easy to see how much this distinction means no lessening of her disapproval, but she keeps her cool, "was a joint decision made equally between yourself and the profiler, Miles…?"

Confirmation may have been given for one thing — barely more than a look and even less of a nod of her head — but not the next. "No," Maggie states clearly. "It was my— " she stops, quickly rephrasing on the spot. " — working the case was my idea. If it weren't for me, Miles wouldn't have had anything to do with it."

Scribble, scribble. Patty has something new to note on the report now and she does so with swift but swooping motions of the pen before it's dropped down unceremoniously. "Are you now, or were you at any time prior to the highlighted events, aware of police consultant Laurence Miles' participation in other, classified investigations?"

Patty is met with silence as Maggie thinks that particular expected question over.

By the docks—

"Jesus Fucking Christ," complains Roscoe — Laurie — the consultant.

O'Meara spins.

Stopped several spacious steps way, it's not until the movement on the dock that Maggie dares look away from O'Meara. It's meant to be an singular glance, instantaneously back and forth to realize the second man is not only still alive, but has his gun aimed as well.

His gun. A cop's weapon. Smith & Wesson. And that voice. Cursing, but leaving no room for doubt.

What was meant to be that singular glance turns into a stare. Under those heatedly curved down brows, her eyes trail up the jacketed sleeve. It isn't a long delay, all told. In the time it takes for O'Meara to stop his spin to face the other, all the intensity of Maggie's gaze is condensed into a few seconds of looking straight at Laurie. Laurie.

Her features tighten, pre-emptive, twisting as she grits her teeth, bares them in a scowl. Without saying a word, she looks back to the spun O'Meara, gauging his stance, his closeness to Laurie, his indecisive gunhand. The fact that the shot man's hand is steady as hers somehow doesn't factor into the equation.

Maggie tightens the grip on her trigger.


"… How much I know — or don't — about his classified operations is supposed to be confidential," she says evenly without breaking her stare; an answer telling in and of itself. All things considered, she clarifies regardless. "But, of course, yes— I knew a little something."

There's a bit of throat-clearing from Patty, unimpressed by words such as 'little something'. "Confidential enough that you, as you said, 'contacted' him during this classified timeframe?"

Maggie's reply is a patient one-word answer of "Yes." Her gaze, however, becomes more pointed on the woman in front of her. Get to the point.

Fine. "Perhaps you'd like give a detailed explanation of how this contact occurred."

Perhaps she wouldn't. "I used information found during the course of an investigation to contact him." The detective's voice takes on an even more measured quality, restrained. "Then we communicated by phone and met to discuss what we were going to do."

Patty's conducted plenty of these interviews. As the voice answering begins to get tighter, she starts to pay more attention, straightening her bulging shoulders and squinting out at the blonde detective. "This information," she mentions, glancing down at her paper than back up as though looking for something and Maggie will give her directions. "It'll be on record… ?"

O'Meara's apartment—

Maggie's deft hands quickly search out all things hidden in confidential envelopes.

Dossiers on women, correspondence with clients interested in 'meeting' them… the third case seems to just be a video — except for the piece of paper sticking out from underneath its cover bearing an address and a phone number.

Then it's back to searching out all those packets of information tucked away in the adult movie collection.

Maggie watches Patty's search — studies it, in fact, as if she can see everything the documents state. "… If you know where to look," she answers with the faintest of out-of-place smiles in the midst of her tightening voice. "Yes."

"This isn't the time to be cheeky or evasive," Patty levels out carefully, her palms flattening against the papers as she gives a fingernail tick tick towards the tape recorder neutrally absorbing this all. "Were you or were you not authorized in this matter?"

The detective's brows raise as if to defy both of those descriptors. "Was I authorized to find the information? Yes. I can show you the files, they're at my desk. Was I authorized to know what it meant when I saw it — that it would lead me to Miles — well I can't really help that," she says as reasonably as the words allow. "I wasn't…" Maggie attempts to clarify in the hopes of moving on, "I didn't act on any official business when I used the information to track him down…"

Memory flashes, at Roscoe's night club—

Maggie is, as it turns out, not much of a dancer, but she's committed to going through the motions, amateur as they are.

"This wasn't part of my plan," Maggie tells Roscoe through her teeth. She represses what seems to be the beginnings of a roll of her eyes while taking that colorful silk shirt collar in hand. It's a lap dance; she begrudgingly climbs on in a straddle. The synthetic fabric of her short skirt can barely stretch far enough with her knees apart, let alone without revealing the fact that she's armed. It's only in this pose, hands at his neck making meaningless gestures with his shirt, that the dark-haired detective looks down at Roscoe and, her mouth a stern line, gives him a softer, faintly pleading look.

There's only the speaking of lone raised eyebrows before he settles back. The hand that was near his mouth stays, folding fingers are in consideration, for an expression utterly unforgiving to however uncomfortable the detective might be — and entirely acknowledging, instead, what her outfit is saying. It's even there in the eyes she won't meet. Lust. Appreciation. The certain pitying amusement a man is obliged to give a woman clearly trying so hard without practice.

"Like I said," he asides thoughtlessly to Roberto, "Ain't all dancers…" A judgment interrupted, perhaps detoured somewhat, by the soft grunt as she slides on him, legs shifting but not displacing her.

His gaze drops what it can to the grip on his shirt as it happens, the delicate wrinkling fabric. Conveniently, while just looking down, he makes his first real move since she got off the chair arm: a touch, to her. His palm press at the thigh is not shy, even passing indulgent to be rather utilitarian. Fingers spread in a search till he finds the edge of that weapon the skirt wants to betray.

When his eyes lift to Maggie's, nothing's changed in the way he looks at her— no answer to that plea. Only words that aren't meant for her: "But I always say— I say 'don't underestimate the women— " a visual search of this one, every inch, in a practiced manner of depravity, "— they have other talents." What was one hand is now two, other thigh, same position. With a nasty chuckle, he gets a good grip on her, either side, and then hefts the secret detective into him. Not just for fun — it gets her securely around his waist for when he stands, bouncing Maggie once to adjust her position — or maybe that was for fun. He's certainly grinning enthusiastically at her. "Boss, you'll excuse us." A pause; flatly, with a glance to Roberto, "That means we're going to— "

That memory is kept to herself. "… If that's what you want for your record."

"Hrm hrm hrm," is Patty's judging noise as she takes to making a few written comments on this as well. She adjusts a few times in the chair then slaps her elbows onto the table and regards Maggie with new interest. "Alright, detective. You spoke on the phone and then met. Let's go over the course of action that followed this meeting. You returned to the station and led several of your fellows officers into an operation…"

"All I did— was give some of my colleagues advice. They needed a different tactic; I gave them one," Maggie states honestly, if modestly; wasn't so easy.

"Eventually there was a press conference…"

* * *

"… that the suspect we're looking for is not the woman we originally believed to be responsible for the latest murder in this case…" Detective Fuller's bulldog face looks out over a crowd of journalists of varying origins from a too-small podium indoors. "New evidence, as well as re-evaluation of a profile by police consultant Laurence Miles, has unquestionably led us to believe that the previous suspect — the so-called Acid Killer, Mandy Larson — was not at the scene of the crime as previously stated. The original killings are clearly the work of a coward, delusional at best — a child having a tantrum. There's no reason to suspect that this new case, showing both intelligence and planning on the part of the killer, have anything to do with Mandy Larson; she's no longer a person of any interest."

At the outskirts of the crowd, Maggie stands watching with her hands half in her pockets.

"We do have a new main suspect — the department is confident that the person responsible for the death of Dennis Shine is a man. He is a known criminal by the name of…"

This is all going according to plan — she watches with measured expectance for every word — but she can't help but be unsettled as it plays out.

"…thin, six-one, black hair and brown eyes. Be on the lookout for the suspect — we ask you to contact us immediately with any…"

As the conference starts to peter out to a finish (she knows how it's meant to go, anyway) Maggie turns and ducks out of the conference with more than a couple pairs of eyes belonging to the NYPD — those of her superiors, even from the podium — following her.

* * *

"… After that, it was only a matter of time before Larson was going to make a move," Maggie tells her interviewer. "So I managed to get in on the operation when we had the fake suspect in custody. I had to be sure it was going to work."

It isn't hard to guess where Patty will go with this, after she sits a second to absorb the details of that public announcement she likely saw when it happened. "And did it— work?"

Did it work


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