2007-05-03: Thinking Outside The Box


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Matt comes over to discuss the stranger side of the Gray and Yankee Stadium Case. Viola doesn't hit anyone with her cane.

May 3rd, 2007:

Thinking Outside the Box

Holcombe Apartment

It's almost been three weeks and Viola's itching to get out of the apartment. She and Ethan have been out on short walks and he's still trying to baby her, but now she can actually handle most things for herself. Physical therapy and the cane has given her almost full mobility again. While her leg still hurts now and again, she can walk with a cane. Right now, though, she's relaxing on the couch after a long couple hours of physical therapy exercises.

There are some things that can be discussed over the phone, but other things, specifically very odd things, are better discussed off the record and in person. This is the main reason why Detective Parkman arranged to meet his Lieutenant at home, and why he rapps his knuckles against her apartment door now.

Having expected Matt to come, Viola slowly sits herself up on the couch, grabs her cane and limps over to the doorway. She still looks through the peephole to make sure it /is/ Parkman that she's opening the door to and then unlocks and opens the door. "Parkman," she nods, pulling the door wider to allow him in. "Come in. I'd offer you something, but then I'd make you get it yourself since I can't really carry anything."

When the door opens, it does indeed reveal Matt Parkman, standing with slightly stooped shoulders, but it might just be the way his suit coat is sitting. He shakes his head, and a small smile ghosts over his face. "That's alright, Lieutenant. I'm alright." His grip on a relatively thick file tightens as he slips into the apartment, glancing about. It's awkward being here, but it's not like he has any choice. "If, uh, …if it's alright with you, I'd like to make this as quick as possible. I know you need your rest."
"I've been resting for three weeks," Viola grunts, gesturing with her cane for Matt to sit in one of the chairs at the kitchen table. Easier for him to flip through his file. "Give me something other than Holly trying to tell me to take it easy and I'll promote you as high as I can." Not noticing, or caring, about Matt's awkward feeling, she pulls out a chair for herself and sinks into it. "So, let's get on it."

Not looking up at his superior for some time, Parkman takes his seat and opens the file. "Right. I talked to Dayan and Baker. Dayan was pretty mum on things, but Baker…Baker claims that he didn't have control of what happened. Like someone was playing puppeteer and he was just watching from the inside. The shrink says he's probably dissociating due to stress and whatnot, but…" But Parkman trails off, his eyes narrowing under a knitted brow.

Knowing the names of the officers she both shot at and was shot by, Viola nods and listens to Parkman. She's heard parts of this before, but not about him thinking he was being played like a puppeteer. "But what, Parkman?" Trailing off normally denotes that the person has something else to say.

As if trying to fight off something, Parkman curls both of his hands into fists for a moment, then lays them flat on top of the open file. "I don't think he's crazy." After all, if Parkman himself can force people to do things they may not do normally, it's not unlikely that someone else could. Or maybe someone was drawing on him like the younger Petrelli can.

Not quite making the connection, Viola eyes Matt and leans back. "Well, stressing out 'cause people are leaping off buildings and shooting people in the head is something I would start to qualify as crazy." After all, what does she know about mind control or flying? Evolved powers belong in her husband's comic books.
Matt 's jaw tightens, but he takes a deep breath. "Sylar may be crazy, but that doesn't mean he can't hurt people and leave us without any evidence to pin him down or even find him with. Whose to say there aren't more people out there like him?" God forbid.

Viola blinks and stares at Matt. "I don't quite get the connection, Parkman." And she doesn't. Cops shooting each other and Sylar has no bridge together in her mind. They're totally separate incidents. "Of course there are other monsters like Sylar out there, but we'll find them, too."

"No, I mean, well, yes." Yes, they will find them. Parkman readjusts himself in his seat and sighs again. "There's a reason why there are never any fingerprints and hardly any signs of struggle in any of the Sylar crime scenes. He can do things that most people can't. It's all in Suresh's book - Chandra Suresh's book. I know we'd talked about it being a sort of inspiration for his fanatics, but…but what if it's /true/? What if people can do…well, /things/. Things reg…nor…/other/ people can't? What if that kind of person is behind /this?/" It's all out on the line now, or enough of it anyway, and Parkman looks quite nervous. Knowing that it will likely take his superior time to process what he's said, Parkman tentatively turns up the proverbial volume in order to get a preview or an inside look at what Viola Holcombe is /really/ thinking.

There's a long pause while Viola processes what Matt is trying to communicate to her. And the most prevalent thought in her head is wondering if Matt has cracked under the pressure. "Parkman, that book is just a theory. That sort of stuff isn't real. People can't fly or whatever. If someone could do those things, don't you think it'd be all over the tabloids? Or Science Journals somewhere? It'd be tested and laid out for all to see. People would love to see that sort of crap. My husband is one of them. He'd eat it up."

Suddenly, Matt finds himself having a hard time balancing on that line. His job, his way of life, his ability to stay on top of things in order to protect Molly. He balls his hands into tight fists for a moment, studying how the tension changes the color of his knuckles. "Do you know how I met Molly?" It's no secret she doesn't share Matt's last name, even if he is her legal guardian. But is this the best way? "…do you remember where you met Holly?" Parkman squints then, trying to focus in on his superior officer's thoughts once again in order to snag that information. "Don't tell me," he says as a warning. "Just remember."

Peering at Matt, Viola just sort of stares at him. "I don't," she replies to his question. Of course she knew that Molly wasn't his biological kid, but she didn't know the details of her adoption. Nor did she ask. Personal lives of her detectives have nothing to do with the job. As long as the kids are healthy and happy, she doesn't need to know their elaborate backgrounds. The second question makes her start to answer verbally, but then she stops. Just because he asked she starts thinking about how she and Holly met. A blind date, set up by friends, the horrible dinner at Tabla where he was nervous and made horrible jokes and she was not impressed. "What are you trying to get at, Parkman?"

"I'm proving a theory," comes Parkman's reply, but it's said under his breath and while inhaling a sigh. "The Tabla," he then states, as if answering his own question. "A blind date…and he wasn't funny. Or, you didn't think he was funny." Matt braces himself then by squinting once more, but the upward twinge of his eyebrows changes it from a look of concentration to one of slight fear regarding the Lieutenant's reaction.

There's not much of a physical reaction from Viola. It's more of an eye narrowing as she continues to watch Matt. "That's no secret. We were set up as a joke by some funny guys on the force." She didn't hold back her views on it when she came back from it, either. Of course, that was before Matt was in New York. Long before he was there, but she wouldn't doubt that some Detectives still talk about it. "I don't see what my first date with Holly has to do with the Gray case."

"But I'm not just talking about the Gray case, ma'am," Parkman is quick to answer, and there is a thread of desperation in his voice. "I'm talking about that case, and the Stadium case, and…well, maybe more than that. Think of something no one else knows, not even Holly. Maybe…the name of a pet you had once, or a relative. Something." Matt narrows his eyes in concentration again, feeling the need to prove himself, to make Holcombe understand. (One more chance,) he persists in that soft yet firm, commanding mental voice.

Though not a hard woman, Viola isn't really one who gives out chances like candy. Once you prove yourself unable, she's not about to keep wasting tries on someone. However, there's something in the way Matt presents his argument that makes her decide to try this magic trick again. "I don't see what you're getting at, Parkman, but fine. I'm thinking of something." Frowning, she thinks back to one of the few things she's never told Holly. And this is a beaten up teddy bear that she was so attached to as a child named Sebastian - the twin brother of the Shakespeare character she was named for. Of course, she no longer has it, but it was her favorite toy and security blanket when she was growing up.

But Parkman has no idea what play that might be, but the name and significance if clear enough. "Sebastian," he says, nearly closing his eyes as he focuses. "…a bear." A small smile curls onto his face - everyone had a toy like that. "Mine was named Geoff, but a neighbor dog decided to eat him." The sandbox is a dangerous place.

Not one of those people who needs to close their eyes while thinking, Viola's stare hardens when Matt mentions the name Sebastian. "How'd you know that." It's not so much a question as a command. Her soft side is not something she shares with many people.

"I heard it when you thought about it," Parkman says in a careful whisper, but there is nothing but truth and determination in his tone. "Just like I heard Molly crying under her parent's stairs after Sylar'd killed them. If Mohinder and Chandra Suresh's work is just a theory, then I don't know how to explain how I can do this. But if it's not, then I can sleep a lot better at night." Well. "Maybe a little better."

Frowning, Viola watches Matt when he makes his explanation. She told Holly the other day that if someone could prove to her that this sort of thing was possible, she would believe them without bells or whistles. But that was before when she thought this was impossible. "You're saying you can hear my thoughts." Once again, it's not so much a question. "And that the Sylar case and the Stadium incident are all….a part of this Suresh book." She's never read it, so she's not sure what it involves. Staring at him, she needs another confirmation. "I'm thinking of a number between 1 and a million. Just tell me what it is." (398)

With a slight shake of his head and a tired sort of expression, Matt lifts a hand with an open palm half to the ceiling and half to Viola. "Three hundred ninety eight," he says effortlessly. "You can hook me up to the polygraph, I don't care. I'm not lying to you. And I know that Baker wasn't lying to me when he said he didn't chose to hurt those people. To me, that can only mean someone was messing in their heads." But Matt'd rather not give a demonstration of /that/ parlor trick.

Whatever Parkman might be, he's one of Viola's detectives. And what she said to Holly before about believing what can be proven is true. However, this isn't any sort of relief. "That's the sort of thing that's gonna be impossible to prove in court, Parkman. Not the mention the fact that any sort of confessions you can come across through your palm reading isn't going to stand up. We need /evidence/. Hard facts. Even if someone was messing with their heads, we're gonna need something better than that to convict the real culprit." Pause. "And just because you can tell me a number out of my head doesn't mean that I believe Baker isn't lying to you to get out of this."

"I know, I know." With another sigh, Parkman leans back in his chair and rubs a hand over his face. "But it helps in the line of questioning. And if you chalk it up to a hunch, we can follow any lead we might be able to get from Baker." His eyes fall to the psychologist's report again. "I want to see if we can get him hypnotized. Recreate what happened, if you know what I mean. Maybe he remembers something that's deeper than what I can get at."

Viola frowns as she listens to her detective. "Hypnotized?" Just because she's going to take Matt taking thoughts out of her head at face value, that doesn't mean she's going to believe that hypnosis is going to randomly make Baker remember something he didn't before. "Can't you just read his mind? Isn't that basically gonna be the same thing? Hypnotism still seems like a stretch."

But Parkman shakes his head insistently. "I can't hear it if he's not thinking it. Now, if I sit in with the shrink who hypnotizes him, then I can hear what he doesn't tell the shrink, sure. But if the shrink is /right/ and he's either disassociating or holding something back, I can't get at it unless someone else digs it up." At least, not yet. Maybe someday. "Please, ma'am." It's not often he gets good ideas like this.

With no idea how this whole 'mind reading thing' works, Viola is at a loss. But she's also running out of ideas fast and if this case can be linked to the Gray case somehow, maybe they'll catch the break they've been looking for. "Fine. Hypnotise him. Drug him up. Do what you need to do. But, you come back with something we can actually use in court. I can't just stand you up there and have you tell some jury this is what you yanked out of his head."

Matt gets to his feet and gives Viola a nod, leaving the file on the table. He's got copies at the office, after all. "Thank you, Lieutenant. I won't let you down."
Pulling the file over to her on the table, Viola nods at Matt. Though he does stand, she doesn't. As much as she would not like to admit it, she's a little tired from the full day. "Sorry for not showing you out, but I'm sure you can handle the door?"

"Of course." Matt smiles a little then as he starts out of the kitchen, heading for the door. "See you back in the office soon," he offers as he leaves. Who knows? Maybe a little wishful thinking will work.

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