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Juris My Diction

Posted on Fri Aug 28th, 2020 @ 9:09pm by Civilian Alexander Stamen & Petty Officer First Class Sparrow Kells & Chief Petty Officer Spencer Malone

Mission: Mission 1 - "Pound of Flesh"
Location: Pila-Pala Casino Resort
Timeline: MD 4

As a 24-hour establishment, the Pila-Pala Casino Resort never stopped partying. Its private security generally held no greater regard for station personnel than did its clientele. Badges meant nothing here, which meant the crushing press of bodies did not give way for the two investigators.

Spencer was waving an arm over the crowd at Kells, the people having pushed them apart quickly. "Hey Kells!" he yelled, over the din of the place. "Bathroom?!" He was currently glad he wasn't all that short. He pointed with both hands towards the facilities, trying not to be swept away from her by the crowd any further.

Her height was a definite disadvantage in a tightly meshed crowd, and it seemed everyone wanted to dance right now rather than allow Sparrow a path through to the bathroom. She was tempted, very tempted, to hack the lights or the PA and divert some of these humanoid sheep elsewhere, but Sparrow was also well aware that she'd been in trouble for similar activity last visit. "Bathroom!" she yelled back, but she was being pushed further from that direction by the second.

Spencer watched her dark head of hair through the sea of people, like a hawk. "Damnit..." he said under his breath as she was pushed further away from him and their goal. At six foot and two hundred pounds, Spencer wasn't the largest, but he was solid and rather good at making himself a force to be reckoned with. He started to push through the crowd toward Kells. When he got to her, he grinned, even though the people around him were making him angry, and reached out to grab Kells and attempt to pull her close to him. If he could get her in front of him, he was sure he could push them both through the crowd. "I got you! Walk in front of me!"

Sparrow begrudgingly allowed herself to be manhandled just a little, accepting the assistance that Malone offered. It would be - and was in fact - churlish not to allow the help, but it rankled somewhat nonetheless. "Thanks!" Sparrow called up into the air as she repositioned herself in front of her tall, broad shouldered work colleague, and she tried, just a little, not to sound ungrateful. With his hand at her back, they half-guided each other in the direction of their target room. "Almost there..."

The restrooms were under armed guard. Private security. "No admittance," one of them said through the face shield of his combat helmet.

Spencer pulled his credentials, holding them out for the armed guards to see clearly. "Chief Petty Officer Spencer Malone from UCID-314. This is Petty Officer First Class Sparrow Kells. We need to look at the crime scene again." He stood there and waited, one hand on Kells and the other still holding out his creds. His face saying 'I'm not playing.'

"No admittance," the private security officer said. His partner raised his truncheon in silent warning.

"Wait!" called out a nasally voice.

The private security guards turned to look at the most weaselly-looking man to ever wear a Union Fleet uniform run over to them. "Wait, wait, wait!" he was slightly winded from the modest jogging and shoving required of him to make it to the bathrooms. "Adjutant Stamen, at your service." He reached into his pocket to pull out a laminated plastic sheet that had the sector commander's seal on it. "Mr. Naismith filed a complaint against the station for interfering in his business, so the JAG has allowed them injunctive relief until they can perform regularly scheduled maintenance." He pointed to a handful of CSI's who were twiddling their thumbs at a table. One of them had a Bellini in hand. "You're just going to have to wait."

Sparrow swore quietly under her breath. So... this would be pointless then, and it was her fault, so she had that aftermath of guilt and conversation with the Chief to look forward to. Awesome. "Understood," she said. "And if I - or your clientele - actually need to use the bathroom?" It was a long shot, but what the hell.

Loud screams as those of a waterboarding victim came through the bathroom doors.

"Um, you didn't hear that?" Stamen's voice capped his nervous grin with a falsetto.

Spencer wasn't about to let the sound go. He tried to push past everyone to get to the bathroom and stop whatever was going on in there. He wasn't going to stand around while people continued to be hurt. "NO ADMITTANCE! Huh?" he yelled haughtily over the din of the crowd. He bowed up to the guards, ready to push past them too. "Who's that if there no admittance!?" he demanded, completely ignoring Adjutant Stamen.

"Maintenance," the guard said.

"Right," Stamen readily agreed. "Just like the injunction says. We have to wait until they finish their regularly scheduled maintenance."

But the screams continued.

She'd had enough, frustration building internally to unmanageable levels, and Sparrow had watched, waited as Spencer tried to throw his weight around. She'd weighed the options. Stamen was the closest irritation to her, it seemed, an easy reach to an easy mark. Suddenly without hesitation or warning of any kind, Kells straight out extended a right arm that ended in a fist with the intention of punching the adjutant in the face.

"Maintenance my..." Spencer started, but didn't finish. Instead he stared at Kells, his mouth slightly open in surprise.

"Owww!!!" Stamen cried out at Sparrow. "You didn't have to hit me, you nutter!" His hands covered his bloody nose as he began to blubber uncontrollably.

"Nice right, Kells," Spencer finally managed, after several moments of slack jawed silence. He grinned and tried to elbow his way past the guards and again towards the bathrooms. "I'm not going to stand here and listen to someone die! Get out of our way!"

"Thanks!" Sparrow nodded curtly to her partner, and flashed a brief smile as she swung up her arm for the next punch, this time aimed at whichever guard was in easiest reach.

Unable to push past the goons, Spencer cocked his arm back and aimed for the guard Kells wasn't already punching.

Once the scuffling started, the CSI's abandoned their table to join in the fray. The one with the Bellini skipped the brawl and went straight to the bathroom door. After it opened, a grisly sight was plain to see.

A Gelatin was operating a small machine. Inside its base was a removable container marked with a biological carrier symbol. At the top, a pair of feminine legs stuck out of a hopper. Bare feet jostled around to and fro as the legs were slowly pulled down into the machine. Splatter was everywhere.

Taking one look at the criminal investigators, the Gelatin said through its amorphous and androgynous biomass, "I want a lawyer."

Without saying a word, Sparrow stole a quick moment to record the scene for posterity, her expression passively horrified and her hand steady. That done, she sucked in a short, slow breath and regarded said gelatin with direct and unashamed derision. "If you don't have one," she told him, "one can be appointed for you."

"Joke's on you, fuzz!" The Gelatin blew raspberries threw its makeshift mouth before osmosing its way through the bathroom tile into the plumbing and away from the crime scene.

Kells swore inventively and ducked out of the bathroom. "Where's the main shut-off valve?" she demanded, hoping to at least keep the little fucker within reach as she attempted to track his motion with a scanner.

"Son of a..." Spencer managed. "Where does all the water go?" he asked of Adjutant Stamen. He grabbed the Adjutant by the front of his uniform and shook the man roughly. "Where does all the water go!?" he shouted in the man's face.

"How should I know?!" Stamen screamed through tear-stained hands that failed to hold back the torrent of blood from his busted nose.

The same CSI who opened the door stepped forward. "Pardon me, Sir, but the station schematics say that the casino resort's waste bypasses central reclamation and is ejected directly into space."

Spencer dropped the Adjutant. "Well, fuck..." He looked over at Kells. "I'm going to assume that means it... he... that... thing... had a ship waiting? And... what the hell is this anyway?" He looked reproachfully down at the Adjtant Stamen. "So... you just let this go on? In your casino?" His face reddened as he got angrier. "What's your excuse for this?!" He reached out and grabbed the Adjutant again, yanking the smaller man to his feet again. "You just let people be killed?!?"

"It's not my casino, you nit!" Stamen shouted, though the effect was somewhat diminished as he was pinching his bloodied nose. "I'm just the liaison between Mister Naismith and Admiral Holder! Neither of whom had any knowledge of this, by the way!"

Spencer shook Stamen. "I don't give two hoots about whose casino it really is! You let this happen! You made excuses while we tried to stop it! Believe me, your bosses will be hearing about exactly whose fault this was!"

With mild confusion in her face, Sparrow watched Malone throw Stamen up and down some. They both looked unhappy, but it didn't make any sense that the latter was directly involved. Did it? She considered conspiracy for a moment, then rested a calm hand on Spencer's shoulder. "Put him down, Sir," Sparrow suggested rather than demanded. "I think we need to track the escaping Gelatin, and have this scene cordoned off, right? And report back to Commander Sarafian."

Malone seemed to snap out of his rant with her touch to his shoulder. He nodded, lowering Stamen slowly to the ground again, not really realizing that he'd sort of picked the man up. He dusted off the front of Stamen's jacket and nodded again. "Yes... Yes, you're right. The Commander needs to be informed and... I'm not sure how to go after the Gelly... so we should work on cordoning off the scene. Good call, Kells. Good call... I have all the gear we need to rope it off in my pack." He always had a small kit on his hip. No weapons, but almost anything they might need to collect at least a little bit of evidence and take care of any crime scene they might come upon, such as the current one.

The greasy haired Pit Boss with too much mousse, from before, elbowed his way through the crowd. "'Ey, now! Just what in the bloody fuck is going on here?!" Mister Naismith pointedly shoved a CSI from station security out of his way.

Malone narrowed his eyes at the Pit Boss. "Is it normal for you to have Gellies in the bathrooms, grinding up guests? I mean... I don't really even know where to start... There's a lot of blood! And no one seems to give a fuck?" The question was more sarcasm than anything else. "There's a fucking giant meat grinder in your bathroom..." He pulled a roll of crime scene tape from his pack.

The angry confidence that comes from years of belligerent management melted away from Naismith's face as he processed Malone's words and looked on the scene for himself. "Uh... what? Is this a joke? It ain't funny if it is..." He took a few steps forward. The remains of some poor woman sticking out of the meat grinder met him at the door to the washroom, as did the smell. "Who did this? You said a Gellie? Oh, goddammit!" Naismith punched the wall. "Dammit to hell!"

Then he looked around. "Stamen! Where is that little fucking weasel?!"

But Stamen was nowhere to be seen. Realizing the situation in which he found himself, Naismith immediately clammed up. "I invoke my right to legal advocacy. I ain't saying shit until I speak with my lawyer."

Spencer shrugged. "Like I give a fuck if you talk to me or not." He started to tape off the area. "We saw the Gellie... we saw the grinder... matter of fact! It's still in there! So... I don't really need you."

"Yeah?" Naismith looked visibly relieved. "In that case, I got some unrelated business to attend to..." He turned back the way he'd come in return to his office.

"Uh-uh," Sparrow managed to inflect that non-word with enough seriousness to give extra weight to her hand on his upper arm as she twisted it behind him to secure his cooperation. "We could do this without you, but we're not gonna." This time she read him his rights properly, and while Malone taped off the scene, Kells called back to Sarafian to bring the Commander up to speed.

But Talina did not answer her communicator.

"No response from the boss, Chief," Sparrow told Spencer, even as she held Naismith steady. "We need more help here to secure the scene." She put in a call for back-up, first from UCID, then station security.

 

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