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Hurry Up and Wait

Posted on Sun Jun 28th, 2020 @ 1:45am by Lieutenant Commander Talina Sarafian & Civilian Josh Cagney & Lieutenant Nathan Klein & Petty Officer First Class Sparrow Kells & Chief Petty Officer Spencer Malone & Lieutenant Junior Grade Teagan McGuire Ph.D.

Mission: Mission 1 - "Pound of Flesh"
Location: Internal Affairs conference room | Admin Hub - Station 314
Timeline: MD 3

In the movies there was never any downtime, but here in the real world there was a lot of hurry up and wait. Talina hated waiting. While tests and searches were being conducted, she figured the team might as well compare notes up to this point. Maybe they could connect a few dots and stumble on a break in the case.

"All right," Talina said to her assembled team. "First off, allow me to introduce Dr. Teagan McGuire. She's a new profiler who's had to hit the ground running." She paused long enough to let everyone acknowledge Teagan's presence.

From her position leaning against the wall, Sparrow nodded congenially in the newbie's direction and offered up a serious half-smile in welcome.

"I was able to make some progress with our resident podder gang member, RayRay," Teagan offered, getting the sense this group would appreciate her leading with the facts. Still, she didn't want to get too far ahead of herself, so she offered, "I am looking forward to working with all of you. If I can provide you with any assistance going forward, please don't hesitate to reach out."

Talina gave Teagan a nod of acknowledgement and approval. "So far," she said, getting back on track. "We have by way of leads is a belligerent casino pit boss, a disgruntled casino waitress, an anomalous restroom, a stubborn journalist, a station vagrant with ties to a podder gang, and a docking bay rented out to another hotel on the station. Have I left anything out?"

"I made fresh coffee," Klein said. "The journalist knows something he doesn't want to share. Either that or he really just wants the glory of finding his friend without help. I'm not sure which, but I do know that I don't trust him as far as I can throw his pompous ass."

Spencer Malone dropped heavily into a chair and crossed his arms. "The podder also knows things he doesn't want to share..." he added. "You said fresh coffee?" He got back up from the chair and moved toward the coffee pot. "And journalists should never be trusted," he joked, filling his mug and adding sugar and creamer.

"Fair on all counts," Talina said, trying not to crack a smile. She wanted to stay on task, but it was good to see her team coming together. It helped that some of them were already acquainted, but new additions always threatened to destabilize a unit, much less a new chief. "As of now, we have CSI's at the casino restroom, which reminds me--we need to keep the informant there in protective custody. However, we've linked two of the seven missing persons to the Pila-Pala." She put stars next to Pimms and Parvati. "Additionally, Station Security is verifying registration on the docking bay with orders not to move without us. Our vagrant confirms that Justin Boggs was last seen in that vicinity." She also starred Justin's name. "That leaves us with Durchfal Sh'nelle, Janpen Yi, Jasper Pauley, and Ilyana Gorky."

Turning to face the team, she said, "The way I see it, we have three lines of investigation: one is to put a tail on the journalist and see what he shakes loose. The second is to follow up with the CSI team to see what is rotten at the Pila-Pala. Third, we lean on the Rad Ratels and see who squeals. All of this is on top of continuing to dig into the backgrounds and personal lives of all seven victims. Do I have any volunteers?"

Taking her turn at the coffee station, Sparrow half-filled a mug with black coffee and added what looked like far too much sugar. She turned back around to the Chief as Sarafian asked her question, and lifted her hand silently into the air as she took a gulp of her caffeinated beverage. "I'm up for some leaning and squealing," Sparrow stated, no trace of a smile in her passive expression.

Spencer crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in his chair. "I think the Red Ratels have had enough of me." He shrugged a little. "They're just gonna run from me. I'm available for anywhere else though. Unless you have a different idea, Captain."

Teagan did not want to seem too indecisive, but she honestly wasn't sure where she would be best utilized. A part of her wanted to investigate the Red Ratels further since that was a lead she had helped uncover, but she acknowledged to herself she may be needed elsewhere. "I could continue to assist with interviews and interrogations, or I could help uncover more related to the backgrounds of our remaining victims, Commander."

"I would love to put the squeeze on our journalist, but I think maybe approaching from a non-law enforcement angle might help. Perhaps, Miss McGuire here can take a look at that, Klein suggested."

Good strategies. Talina nodded approvingly and almost cracked a smile. That smile faded when an unfamiliar young man wandered into the room.

"Can I help you?" Talina's mouth asked. Her eyes asked a far different question, more along the lines of, 'Why the fuck are you in my conference room?'

"Oh, um, yes, ma'am," the tall and impossibly thin young man said. He brushed aside his sweep bangs in a nervous gesture. "I'm Josh Cagney, unit adjutant and..."

Talina clenched her jaw. "You're late, Adjutant."

"Ah, yes, but, um, you see..." Josh let out a nervous chuckle. "I had a personal matter. A medical matter, in fact. I was at the clinic seeing to a... personal problem." His hands unconsciously drifted toward his crotch.

"Adjutant Cagney, you will remove your hands from your genital region for the duration of your shift!" Talina barked.

Josh twitched at the reprimand and thrust his palms to his sides. "Yes, ma'am! Sorry, ma'am!" His messenger bag plopped to the floor.

"Take a seat," Talina said. As Josh complied, Talina paced back to the whiteboard and sighed to clear her head. "As I was about to say, I think the ideas presented are good ones. Malone, go follow up with the CSI's at the casino restroom and take Kells with you. See if you can't scare up anything they might've missed. Klein and I will go pay the Rad Ratels a visit just as soon as the search warrant is approved." Looking back at Josh, a twist of revulsion passed over Talina's face. "Cagney, if you are capable of data processing and clerical work, I need you to babysit our digital tracers and automated background searches. McGuire will review anything you turn up."

To Teagan, she added, "While you're waiting for search results, you can observe this Cetus Lapetus through station cameras and see if he turns up anything." Looking around at her team, she made eye contact with each one. "Any questions?"

"No, Commander," Teagan replied. She cast a glance over to Cagney, not sure whether to be concerned about his well-being or questioning his competence. It seemed she was being given the opportunity to get to know him and decide for herself.

"Nope. I'm good, Commander," Spencer Malone replied with a little smile. His gaze shifted over towards Petty Officer First Class Sparrow Kells. "You down, Kells?" he asked, his smile turning into a grin. He was looking forward to getting out of the office for a little while. He had to admit that interrogations weren't his favorite things, even as much as he seemed to like playing the bad cop.

"In addition to watching maybe a little meet up out of uniform," Klein suggested to Teagen.

Teagan wasn't sure what to make of Klein's words and she couldn't help but wonder whether his reference to her as "Miss" rather than referring to her by her rank or as "Doctor" was intended to be dismissive. The thought left almost as quickly as it came, however. She didn't know him well enough to assume anything about his attitudes or his intentions, which was the reality of being new. "What type of attire are you suggesting?" If Klein were attempting to be anything but professional, his intentions would reveal themselves, and if not, her question would still not seem out of the ordinary.

"Well that's really none of my business," Klein said, face deadpan. "What I'm suggesting is that you approach him as an everyday person and not a member of this team. Perhaps he'll mention what he is up to and we can find out some information. You are supposed to be the expert on personalities and that sort of thing, right?"

"I'm sure she'll manage," Talina said in defense of Teagan as one former profiler to another.

Drinking her coffee in quiet contemplation of the current events, Sparrow paid close attention to the others in the room, particularly the odd man with hands that seemed to constantly draw attention to his genital region. She kept her gaze on him - his face - as he reacted to the commands, and maintained this vigil as the others spoke. Only when Malone addressed her by name, did Sparrow break the one-way staring competition.

"I'm down," she said, her tone a flat-line, but as her green eyes sought his, Sparrow mirrored his broad grin in a flash of brightly offered amusement. "Though you look worryingly keen to visit the ladies restroom," she pointed out.

Spencer snorted. "Well... I've always wondered what it was like in there... I bet it smells nicer than the men's room," he joked back. He stood up from behind his desk, still grinning. "We good to go, Commander?" He really wanted out of the office.

"Yes..." Taline's eyes narrowed at Spencer, but she chose not to reprimand him for his tawdry humor.

"I might need to go to the bathroom first," Josh said anxiously.

Talina glared at him. "You may go right now. I insist."

Prompted by her glare, Josh jumped up from his seat and waddled his skinny ass to the door.

"I think I'm going to give the adjutant a little orientation," Klein said, a somewhat evil looking smirk appearing on his face.

"Make it quick," Talina said. "If that warrant is ready, then you and I will move out immediately."

Spencer headed for the door, then looked over his shoulder to see if Kells was following him. "Hey, Kells? Did you meet these CSI before?" he asked.

She was indeed following him, about two long paces behind Spencer, and Sparrow looked up from her terminal to meet his gaze as she answered. "Briefly," she said. "We waited for them to turn up before we left. Obviously needed to protect and maintain the scene. Don't worry," she added, potentially getting the wrong meaning from his question. "I'll recognize them when we get there."

Spencer laughed and walked backwards for a few seconds. "You better recognize them... or we're gonna look stupid." He stood in the doorway and waited for her to pass, still grinning. He knew that the people they were going to see would, of course, be in uniform, so finding them would be easy, but he did like to harass people.

At his laugh, Sparrow canted her head to the side and let her gaze rise up to study the taller figure. "Lack of intelligence is not often portrayed purely visually," she said, utterly serious in that moment. Then a spark of humour lit her green eyes as she walked past him, and Spencer's grin remained on his features. "But I am sure even you will be able to tell them from the clientele at the Pila Pila... sir."

"God Almighty..." Talina muttered while pressing her hand against her forehead in hopes of stifling her nascent migraine. The proud feeling she felt at the beginning of the meeting was gone as soon as her unit began running their mouths. "Stow the chatter and get to work!"

 

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