Feb-2010 Firebug





Brick Duplex: Living Room - Ashland Avenue: Bucktown

With the semi-open floor plan of many Arts and Crafts style homes, the main floor of the duplex has dark-stained wood floors and trim around the doors and windows and soft, off-white colored walls. The ancient wrought-iron grates for heat (and now air) are still in place but connected to a modern central air system rather than an ancient furnace.

The living area is large, with a rectangular, many-paned window facing the street and a long couch facing a semi-circle of four comfortable armchairs. A low coffee table sits in the middle of the cluster and each of the chairs has a small, simple end table at its right side. Behind the chairs, easily moved to the side, is a simple set of shelves housing a well aged, but serviceable with a modest flat screen TV being the most expensive looking item.

The dining area to the side is smaller with windows facing the narrow space between houses, filled by a table for six. The swinging door into to the kitchen is there. The kitchen itself is ancient, with the modern stove, refrigerator and dishwasher looking like afterthoughts to the Formica counters and cool, blue tile floor. Open stairs off the living room lead up and a closed door in the kitchen, opposite the exterior door to the back yard, leads down to the basement.

Around lunchtime, just afterwards, two days after Chicago was hit by the bombs, and Leah is home. This is hinted at by the loud music leaking from the house. She is settled on the couch downstairs, her laptop in her lap, typing frantically. Occasionally she pauses, a slight grin curving her lips as she reads what she has written.

Emerald knocks upon the door, waiting till the door is open.

Leah glances up, hesitating before she puts the laptop aside and heads to open the door. She uses the peekhole before she does so and her face isn't welcoming when she opens it. She leans against the doorframe, her arms folded across her chest. "Yeah?"

Rowlins looks up as Leah opens the door. He has his ID on a holder that hangs around his neck and he holds it up for inspection. "Ms Soto? I'm Lieutenant Rowlins with the Chicago PD," indicating Emerald with a tilt of his head he adds "and this is Sergeant Lee who I belive you have already met. Would it be possible for us to come in and have a chat about what you saw the other day?"

Emerald looks at Rowlins and then to Leah. Emerald is in her usual outfit for being a patrol officer. She doesn't speak as Rowlins already stated their intentions.

Leah hesitates, glancing over her shoulder, her reluctance obvious. Then she shrugs, pushing the door back as she walks back to her seat, shutting the lid on the laptop. The books she moves from the couch are on UFOs, and preternaturals. "Sure." She doesn't offer them a drink, sitting down and leaning her elbows on her knees, looking up and waiting for the questions.

"Well, if you don't mind I was wondering if Sergeant Lee here could run you through your last statement then we can see if there is anything that you have since remembered, perhaps it'll help jog your memory." Rowlins remains standing for the moment, turning to give Emerald the lead. He does spend a few moments looking around the apartment, taking in the various books and other items.

Emerald adjsuts and pulls out her notes. "Last time I had visited you told me that you were at the wearhouse with a few men. Both with dark hair and light colored skin. Is this correct?" the woman questions softly

Leah shrugs, giving him a look that has attitude in it before she pushes her hair back and nods at Emerald. "Sure. I said, I don't remember them that well. Just not that into them." Her tone has the same attitude, sharp and strongly accented, as she flops back into her seat. "Yeah."

Rowlins leans back against one of the walls, nodding as he listens to Emerald recount Leah's statement. He seems content for the moment to let the Sergeant do the talking.

It's mid afternoon in the house and Leah is sat on one of the apartment sofa's talking to two officers. Emerald is stood not far off from Leah reading off some notes that she is holding and Rowlins is currently leaning against the wall listening to the two ladies talk.

Emerald nods a bit. "And they were just a bit taller than yourself?" the woman questions; having very little to go on as it was. Emerald looks at the few notes she has.

Leah glances across at Rowlins, before she nods slowly. "Yes." She doesn't elaborate, or add to the statement. She sits in silence, glancing up at Emerald. The attitude is obvious, the slight lift of her chin a challenge. "Yeah."

A car will pull smoothly into the driveway outside. The old, but well kept hatchback pausing neatly at the end of the short driveway. It shuts off and after a moment Cale emerges. not in a rush, he'll be outside a few moments, pulling a bag from the back seat and getting the doors all closed up and secure.

Emerald adjusts looking at the woman, the officer isn't lacking in the observation area so she notices the slight chin up. "Well, Could you remember anything about their build.. about their eyes maybe?"

Rowlins takes a notepad out from a pocket in his jacket and starts to flick through some notes. Having gotten to the section he was looking for he directs a question at Leah. "I see here from the other statements that we have taken, that you were the last person to leave the warehouse before it exploded and you were seen doing so at some speed. Would you care to comment on that?"

There is a flicker of relief in her eyes at the car's sound but Leah shakes her head at Emerald. "No. I wasn't that into them." The reply holds a load of that attitude about it, and she jerks her chin towards the door. "My cousin is home." She comments. Rowlins' question brings her attention to him and she is silent for a long moment before she shrugs. "I wanted to get home. I was late."
she replies.

Cale comes up to the door steadily, his expression dour. He's seen the car, so when he slots the key into the lock and opens the door, he's not surprised to see who is inside. The young man has his left arm in a cast and sling, his right juggling keys, with his bag(from a local electronics store) hanging off the same arm. He steps in and casually nudges the door closed with his heel. "To what do we owe the pleasure?" Not that pleasure is a part of his voice. Quite neutral.

Emerald turns and looks at the door. The officer nods to Cale before adjusting and letting Rowlins take the lead, obviously the detective knew more than she did.

Rowlins reaches into one of his cavernous inside pockets and takes out a brown manilla folder which he hands over to Emerald. "Sorry I really didn't have a change to pass these along earlier, they're a couple of witness reports." The arrival of Cale elicits a nod from Rowlins. "Ah, you would be Mr?"

Leah glances back at Cale, giving him a tense smile before she tosses her head. "This is Cale, my cousin." She introduces him, waving at Rowlins. "Lieutenant Rowlins, no less." Her tone is lightly sarcastic, and the smile is a tight one.

"Cale Soto, Leah's cousin and current guardian," Cale confirms and extends. His eyes flick to Emerald, then back to Rowlins. "I thought we'd already done the questioning thing once before. Any reason why we're going through this again?" He steps towards the couch, the bag lifted to settle onto it, slid off his arm so he can stuff his keys back into his pocket.

Emerald adjusts as looks at Cale. "More details on the wear house fire have come to surface and, based on report, your cousin was seen leaving the building before is exploded." the officer looks at the file that was handed to her now.

"We wanted to clear up a few things given the new information that we've received." Rowlins directs at Cale, turning his attention back to Leah he asks. "Ms Soto, I can tell you are a gifted individual, would you mind telling me what your particular gift is?" A hint of intensity shows in Rowlins eyes that wasn't there before.

Leah glances at Cale when Rowlins asks that question, her attitude fading, tension rising. "Yeah I mind. It isn't your business." She rubs her hands together lightly, her elbows on her knees, looking down at them. "But it would look stupid not to say. I see visions, and I can sense things." Her glance at Cale is nervous, uncomfortable.

Cale looks between Emerald and Rowlins before saying, "Don't you two have some more important matters to look into? Like making sure Humans First won't be bombing more places? Then I wouldn't have to keep as close an eye on her." There is some annoyance in his voice, which seems quite genuine.

Emerald adjusts and looks at Cale, "Yes, every event is important as the next. We are investigating each and everyone that is brought to us." the officer infroms politely, easily hearing the annoyance.

Rowlins is staring intently at Leah when he rocks back slightly and starts to fumble in his jacket, a pained expression clearly on his face. Finding a bottle of what appear to be painkillers he pops the lid off and takes a swig from the bottle before depositing it back in his jacket. He crunches on the pills for a few moments before turning to Emerald. "I think we're done here for the moment unless you have any points to add?"

Emerald adjusts alittle and nods. "Yes, Since you were the last spotted leaving the scene. Did you see how the fire was started. There were no electrical or gas lines in the wearhouse."

Leah returns the stare, her eyes narrowing. "Headache?" The mumble comes with a slight widening of her eyes. "Those visions are a bitch, aren't they?" The attitude is slightly there, touching her words and lifting her chin. She glances at Emerald and shrugs. "We didn't have any matches or anything."

"Maybe your witnesses missed someone else that left the area as well. Or they just got it wrong," Cale suggests as he settles himself on the arm of the couch. "There is a lot of talk that calls that sort of thing into question all the time. Witness testimony. So before you folk come around next time, try and have something more specific, yeah? I don't mind hosting visitors, but I draw the line at harassment." His tone is not aggressive or angry, but the light air of annoyance does linger.

Emerald adjusts and asks the question a different way. "Was there anyone there that could have started the fire with a special talent or power." officer is still poking at it; Emerald has to ask all the possible questions right.

Rowlins goes to nod his head then thinks better of it. "Yes they can be entertaining." Turning to answer Cale he says "I'm sorry that you feel that way Mr Soto, we came to your home as a matter of courtesy when we could easily have invited your cousin here to appear at the station. As for harassment, well if you feel that is the case you are free to lodge a complaint with the department as is your right." This is all said in a pleasant, polite manner. Pausing for a moment as he absorbs what Leah just said and what Emerald just asked he says "We didn't have matches or anything? So what did you use?" The question is asked in an almost flippant manner, he's clearly not expecting a response. "Oh and by we, I assume you mean the other two gentlemen you were seen with?"

Leah glances at Cale, her attitude vanishing at his words and she shakes her head. "I think I want a lawyer." Her comment is quiet, and she rises to her feet, folding her arms across her chest, the gesture defensive. "I don't want to answer any more questions." She slants a look at Cale, almost questioning, as she speaks, her words uncertain and she bites her lower lip.

Cale looks towards Leah, then back towards Rowlins. "I think this questioning period has come to an end. If you want to push this tenuous lead of yours further, I hope you will have something more substantial to back it up because a lawyer will be required the next time." He stands then, waiting.

Emerald adjusts a moment and keeps her mouth shut; allowing Rowlins to do his thing. The officer no longer asks questions but something is jotted down on a note pad.

"Fair enough Mr Soto. Ms Soto, I'd like to see you at the station on Monday for a formal interview and please don't forget to bring your lawyer." This said Rowlins puts his notepad back into his jacket and heads towards the door. Stopping before he reaches the door, he pulls a business card out of his jacket and puts it down on a nearby table. "In case you have any questions." He adds before heading out.

"Miss." Leah corrects him quietly, watching Rowlins walk towards the door. She doesn't say anything more though, her face set and slightly pale, her fingers tightening around her upper arms. She is silent, her lips tightly pressed together.

Cale frowns, but otherwise keeps his thoughts to himself. He merely motions towards the door and will quietly see both officers out. And once they are out, the door will close and lock.

Emerald moves out and adjust and moves out.

This room is sparsely furnished with a rectangular metal table and a quartet of matching chairs. The walls have been painted a plain, industrial grey. Two, long fluorescent light fixtures are affixed to the tall ceiling and give off a stark, buzzing radiance. A couple of track lights in the ceiling are on a separate circuit, beaming light downward in a tight, direct circle when needed. One door leads to the corridor and another is a locked, storage closet. One wall holds a long, smoky mirror.

It's now Monday afternoon in the station and after a short wait at the desk the group is led through to an interview room. Interview room isn't perhaps the right word for it, there's a large wooden conference table with chairs on either side. There's a bulky tape recorder on the desk and a couple of pads and pencils on each side. To one side of the room there is a small cabinet with a coffee urn and various cups and a plate of biscuits. Rowlins enters a few moments after they do. "Please take a seat, if you feel the need for a drink there's coffee and tea on the side there." Rowlins heads over to the cabinet and pours himself a cup of coffee which he brings over to the table, taking a seat he pulls out a folder from a file on the floor and waits for everyone to get settled.

Leah is dressed as normal, and her face is serious, her lips tight and her cheeks pale. She takes a seat, glancing at Isabel and Cale, sliding her hands beneath her thighs. She doesn't speak though, looking down at the table in silence.

Isabel smiles as she follows everyones into the room, and the first thing she does is look over to the officer. "I am sorry but I havn't been completely advised on the situation. May I have a moment to speak with my client privately?"

Cale is not happy right now and it shows. While he doesn't flaunt it, he doesn't bother hiding it. He does sit, but he does so quietly. Not a glance towards the refreshments and, well, for the moment not a word otherwise. He does watch Rowlins quietly once he has settled. He's casually dressed as his norm and his left arm is still in a sling and cast.

Rowlins nods. "Sure, I'll just grab some paperwork. Would anyone like a soft drink while I'm there?" Not waiting for the question to be answered Rowlins heads out of the room.

Leah glances after him and then faces Isabel. "What do you need to know?" She asks softly, ignoring the unhappiness of her cousin, her own tension hard enough to manage. "I didn't tell them much…"

Isabel makes sure all the recording devices in the room and turned, so there is no invasion of privacy as she talks to her client. "I need to know exactly what you told them happened, what they have said to you. And what actually happened."

Homicide Division: Interrogation Room - Chicago Police Department - Michigan Street: South

This room is sparsely furnished with a rectangular metal table and a quartet of matching chairs. The walls have been painted a plain, industrial grey. Two, long fluorescent light fixtures are affixed to the tall ceiling and give off a stark, buzzing radiance. A couple of track lights in the ceiling are on a separate circuit, beaming light downward in a tight, direct circle when needed. One door leads to the corridor and another is a locked, storage closet. One wall holds a long, smoky mirror.

Isabel smiles as she nods before she walks over to the door and opens it, "Alright, we are done." She then walks back over to the table and takes a seat.

"Thank you." Rowlins says as he comes through the doorway. He's carrying a small file folder and a couple of soft drinks which he places on the table before taking his seat. Waiting a moment to make sure everyone is settled he reaches over to the tape record and presses a button. "This is Lieutenant Rowlins, the time is 15:02 on the 28th of November. Interview with Leah Soto, also present are Cale Soto, uncle to the witness and Isabel Johnson the witnesses Lawyer." This said, Rowlins settles back in his seat and reaches for his coffee cup. He takes a sip before says "Right, Miss Soto. Do you think you could take me through the events that led up to the fire at the warehouse? What you were doing there, who you saw etc."

Leah is pale, her fingers fidgeting as she watches Isabel and then Rowlins, her eyes wide. She is silent though, Rowlins' questions sending her gaze skittering towards Isabel, questioningly. She doesn't speak, however, pressing her lips together, and rubbing her fingers lightly together.

Cale shakes his head slightly as the questioning commences and leans back in his chair, arms loosely crossed over his chest. Bereft of many things to do for the moment, he merely watches Rowlins with a steady, but not deeply intense focus.

Isabel looks over towards Rowlins, "Before we get to that, I had some questions I wanted to ask you. I was wondering if I could get a copy of the report. From what I heard the fire was in an abandon and run down building correct? Do you have an estimate cost on the damage done? And did anyone even own it? If so can I have their contact information?"

Rowlins looks a little perturbed at the lack of response to his question but turns to Isabel all the same. "The warehouse fire is still under investigation, once the arson department are done with their investigation the insurance adjuster can move in and make their estimates. At this point we're looking for at least a week before we can get a final tally on the damage and the costs." Rowlins takes another sip of his coffee and watches Leah for a couple of moments before continuing. "Am I to assume by your questions there that you are trying to see if this can be settled as a civil matter? Arson is still a felony and that is my primary interest here."

Cale finds no surprise in Rowlin's response and he shakes his head slightly, glancing to another spot in the room. Perhaps a touch impatient, but for the time being he is silent.

Leah watches Isabel and Rowlins speak, her face alternating between pale and flushed. She lowers her gaze to her hands, rubbing them together slowly. The word felony gets her attention and her gaze flies to Rowlins first, and then to Isabel, her tension obvious. She opens her mouth and then closes it again, obviously nervous.

Isabel shakes her head slightly, "You and I both know you shouldn't assume things. It causes far to many problems." She glances over towards Leah, "My client is far to distraught by current circumstances to give an accurate account on what may or may not have happened on any given day."

Rowlins shakes his head. "You're quite right, assumptions are bad but you started this interview by specifically asking about the state and ownership of the warehouse in question and for an estimate of costs. Under the circumstances that hardly sheds good light on your client here. Now you are telling me that you client is completely unable to recount events that happened four days ago." Rowlins gets up at this point and heads over to the corner to top up his mug of coffee. Once back at the table he starts again. "Miss Johnson, I've had some time to go over your clients background and I've noted that she had in the past spent time in psychiatric institutions, does your client have a condition that might impact her statement or perhaps could explain her behavior on the night in question?"

Cale frowns darkly as he snaps his attention back to Rowlins. "That was the result of ignorant, foolish parents who mistook her gifts for mental illness. Being someone who obviously has something similar, I'm sure you can relate and I hope you will kindly not mention that again." His voice lifts and his tone is tense. "What I'd like to know is what evidence you have to continue this harassment. By the sound of it, you've barely even begun to investigate and yet here you are, threatening a young woman with the ruination of her life."

Leah flushes deeply, turning her head away at Rowlins comments. She shifts in her seat, as if she wants to rise and pace, and the look she shoots Rowlins is deeply hostile. She rubs her hands together, her movements agitated and then she does rise, pushing the chair back abruptly. Her face is flushed, and her hands are pink where she is rubbing them together.

Isabel frowns slightly as she reaches over and turns off the tape recorder before looking to cale, shaking her head slightly. "Don't say anything else about it." She looks over to Rowlins. "I didn't say she was completely unable to recount the events. I said that she is distraut, and that any testimony given in her current state would not be accurate." She looks to Leah, then back to Rowlins. "Which should be clear by her appearance." She looks to Cale, "Why don't you take her out of the room for a moment?"

Rowlins stands as Isabel turns off the machine and casually wanders over and flicks it on again. "This is Lt Rowlins, present are Cale Soto, Leah Soto and her lawyer Isabel Johnson along with myself. Recording was interrupted my Miss Johnson. It is currently 16:45 on the 28th of November. Interview resumes." Taking a deep breath Rowlins rounds on Isabel. "Miss Johnson, I'll thank you not to interfere with police property in the middle of an interview. If you do it again I will lodge a complaint with the bar, I also shouldn't have to remind you that it is I who decides when this interview is over and not you." Rowlins takes another deep breath and nods before continuing. "Miss Leah, do you need a few moments, would you like a drink of water? I apologise for bringing up your past but it was a point that I needed answering." Rowlins looks genuinely concerned as he says this.

Cale tightens up his right hand into a fist as he stares at Rowlins for a moment before he turns to Leah. "What she needs is this stress ended so she can get back to her studies," he says. Then, something about her softens his mood in an instant. He does go to her and touch her shoulder softly with his right. Leaning in close be murmurs to her quietly.

Leah turns into Cale's touch, lifting her hands to push her hair from her face. She frowns, abruptly dropping them again, the scent of singed hair in the room abruptly. "I want to go home. I want to go home now." Her voice holds a note of rising panic, and she gives Cale a look, her eyes widening deliberately. "My parents thought my visions were psychotic episodes. That's all!" Her voice rises at the end of that.

Isabel slowly stands up, "As I said, at the moment she has nothing to say. So unless you are prepared to charge her for a crime at this very moment, which I believe you have no evidence for, I must insist that she be allowed to leave immidently."

Rowlins attention is now completely focused on Leah and it takes him a moment to respond to Isabel. "No evidence? Really?" Pausing for a moment to sniff dramatically Rowlins continues. "Does anyone else smell burning? I'll assume that Mr Soto there could and yourself Miss Johnson, you have a far more acute sense of smell then I do." Turning to face Leah now he adds "Miss Leah, you weren't being completely honest with me the other day were you? I have good reason to believe that you do know what caused the fire. It will go a lot easier on you if you just come clean, I am doing my best to help you here, regardless of what others may think."

Cale focuses his eyes on Leahs, keeping the hand there. "Don't talk to him, look at me. Focus on me. Relax. You know I'll keep you safe." Softly said to her, his voice low, smooth and focused. Whatever reaction he might have to Rowlin's words is subsumed and he keeps his focus on her.

Leah takes several steps backwards, towards the door, her hands behind her. The rising panic in her face makes it obvious that she is struggling, but Cale's words help a little and she shakes her head quickly. "I want to go home." She repeats, the words higher pitched, urgent and she turns towards Cale, keeping her hands behind her, palms outwards.

Isabel leans over closer to the tape recorder, "Let the record show that there is nothing visibly burning in this room. Also let it show that my client is being forcibly held against her will, and has not yet be charged of any crime, and that she is being harrassed." She looks back over to Rowlins, "Now may we leave?"

Rowlins looks quite shocked by Isabel's words and blinks a few times before speaking. "That's it, I'm done playing now. Miss Johnson. Leah Soto, I am arresting you on suspicion of committing Arson via means of Psychic Malfeasance. You will be held in State facilities while we conduct our investigations." Rowlins starts to walks towards Leah now, reaching behind his jacket for a set of handcuffs. As he does so he reads her the Miranda Warning.

Cale turns, placing himself between the man and Leah. "You sat you want to help? You are not helping this girl with this bullshit," he states. His eyes flick towards Isabel, then back to Rowlins. "She did not cause the fire intentionally. She is not a criminal. She is someone who is only now being allowed to master herself because of those parents who more or less abused her before. And now you're about to further that abuse and make it even less likely that she can become a productive member of society. The last thing she needs is this stress and a felony on her record that will damage her future forever. Over a goddamn empty building while there are dozens of bigots out there murdering people in the streets. You want to help her? Let her go and get back to punishing real criminals." No. He is not happy.

Leah goes white, as she turns to face Rowlins, stepping away from Cale. The internal struggle becomes easily an external one - her struggle for control failing as Cale speaks, and tiny blue flames flicker along her aura, not quite touching her skin but radiating intense heat. The absolute panic on her face speaks for her chances of drawing it back in, and where she backs towards the wall, the paint begins to bubble.

Isabel shakes her head as she looks to cale, "Of course he isn't here to help." She leans over closer to the tape recorder. "He is purposely attempting to stress her out and harrass her, to the point of getting her to break. Threatening her with harsh and extreme punishments, and reminding her of childhood horrors, all which clearly violates her consitutional rights, and are illegal to use during interrogations." She then moves closer to Leah. "Please try to calm down. There is no real evidence here. There is no case, and you will be out quickly on bail. You just need to calm down."

Whilst obviously concerned about the wall, Rowlins turns to Cale. "Help? Help? I've given you every opportunity to come clean on this but you had to stonewall me. You've forced me to prove a point by acting dumb, fuck I even gave you an 'out' earlier by mentioning the psychiatric facilities but you got a rod up your arse instead. Did you know she was a dangerously out of control Pyrokinetic? If she had an episode at the warehouse bought on by stess we could have worked around it." Rounding now on Isabel, fury quite visible on his face he continues. "And You! Please tell me how I intentionally brought up 'childhood horrors' from her past, how do you suppose I managed to get access to sealed psychiatric record from a hospital in Mexico in less then four days. I brought your client in for an interview as she refused to answer questions without a lawyer present. As for violating her constitutional rights, where the hell do you get that from. This wasn't an interrogation it was an interview, you'll notice when it turned into an interrogation as I mirandized her first." Rowlins stops now and takes a couple of deep breathes before walking to the observation window and picking up a phone. "Can we get some help in here please."

Upon hearing the call for help, Rowan walks into the room. She looks right to the woman bubbling the paint. The pregnant woman seems to be in a full state of control at the moment. "Ms. Soto, you will calm yourself now!" She says directly as if it was a command. She does hold in her hand a fire extinquisher open and ready to use at a moment's notice. "I've heard all I need to, Mr. Cale, Ms. Johnson. You've corrupted this interview enough. Leave this room now, or face arrest yourself for impeding on an investigation. I will count to three after that I will then give the ok for the officers outside this room to come in and arrest you both. I want to speak to Ms. Soto alone." She says strongly as if actions have been made and there is no chance of swaying her position. Her gaze hasn't swayed much from the woman bubbling the paint, as if she's filling the room with emotions of her power, control and a sense of calm.

Cale shifts away form Leah, tensing at the heat. "Damn it.." Rowlins' words get him a glare. Oh, he has things to say, but concern for Leah trumps this. Though as he's looking back to her, Rowen comes in. Surprised to say the least, but her influence seems to calm him and he 'gets' it. He's still upset, but when he speaks again, his voice is calmer and smooth. "Only if he leaves as well." Cale points at Rowlins. "I'll leave her with you, but not him."

Isabel slowly makes her way to the door, but that doesn't stop her from talking, in a loud and clear voice incase the tape recorder can still pick it up. "Let the record show, the officer is sounding very threatening and hostile. Also that the officers are insisting my client be talked to without her lawyer present, which is against her rights. Any knowedge gain in such a situation will not hold up in court." Then she heads out the door way though she tries to remain close enough to hear.

Leah is backing up, the wall behind her blistering and peeling, shaking her head. She lifts her hands, covering her face and taking some steady breaths. Exercises in control, practiced repeatedly, and her internal focus shows in the dimming of the flames. "Cale, it's fine. He isn't wrong." The effort to draw back flames shows, and she slides down, leaning her back against the wall, leaving blisters of paint. As the flames flicker out, the heat dies back.

Rowlins looks over to the Captain, waiting for a signal before making his way out. For the moment though he is letting the 'calm' wash over him as he surveys the situation.

Rowan looks to Leah and seems to be focused on her. "This is -NOT- up for negotiation Mr. Cale. LEAVE or be arrested. 1…" She says starting to count as the one hand lifts up as if ready to give the signal. "2.." She says again and shakes her head to the leaving lawyer. "Let the record state that this interview has been compromised and shall be redirected by Capt. Rowan Wintercoat. Ms. Johnson and Mr. Cale are being informed to leave the room so that the police may have a civil conversation that will not be esclated by the people currently leaving the room." She then looks to Cale and says. "3, leave or get arrested." She says curtly as if she's right now in complete police mode.

Cale obviously doesn't want to leave. The arm not in a cast is tense and his fingers are tightly curled. He turns at two and says, "I'm not going far, Leah." He goes out. Only outside of the doorway and no farther.

Leah is, by this time, sitting on the floor with her back to the wall. The flames have gone but there is still heat radiating from her. When the door is closed, she looks up, her face pale. She doesnt' speak though, waiting for the questions or direction of the queries.

With Cale and Isabel out of the room, Rowlins makes his way to the cabinet and pours two glasses of water. Slowly he makes his way towards Leah and when close enough he reaches down and puts a glass in front of her. That done he heads back towards the desk where he takes a seat.

Rowan waits for the two to leave, when the door shuts Rowan moves to put the fire extinquisher down. It's a bit heavy for her but she manages before walking over to the woman on the floor. Slowly the seriousness fades and she extends her hand out to the woman in an effort to help her up. "Please Ms. Soto lets have a seat at the table. You like something to drink?" She offers in before saying softly. "I know what it's like truly to be born with powers that you have a hard time controlling. I'm a psychic as well born with my powers on and well… it wasn't the best but I learned. I'm not going to hurt you or let anything ill happen to you. I gather what happened at the warehouse was a mistake yes?" She asks gently as her voice goes tender, letting the soft Irish accent try to sooth the woman.

Leah reaches for the water, but she holds up her hands, shaking her head as Rowan approaches her. "Don't." Her voice is tired, and she draws her arms around her own waist, hugging herself. "Let me sit here." She does finally take the glass, giving Rowlins a look of silent thanks, before she drinks it slowly. "I was practicing control. It was quiet and private and empty." Her voice is low, and she tilts her head back to rest it against the wall. "Paper flew in from somewhere, and caught fire, and then I couldn't put it out, and it all caught." She opens her eyes, looking at them, "Then it all burnt and I ran away. I panicked."

Rowlins is still doing a passable impression of garden furniture. Patiently watching and listening.

Rowan nods her head to Leah and moves to get a chair to sit by the woman. She seems to listen and nods her head gently. "Alright, well I completely understand and please don't think of us as not compassionate or not understanding. Legally, we do have to detain you and bring this before the judge. I will do this for you. If you are willing to meet with me and train with me daily on controlling your powers I will do what I can and ask the judge for leniency. I will also stay with you while you are with us so that you aren't alone and have someone to talk to. Alright? Mr. Cale and Ms. Johnson will have to leave when we do take you into the back. However I will not leave and keep you company and assist if you need anything. Lt. Rowlins will be available as well if you need personal items and such. Are you alright with this?"

Rowlins gets up from his chair and slowly heads over to Leah, when he gets close he offers her a hand to get up but doesn't step any closer. The cuffs have long since been put back in their holder.

Leah glances between them, her expression mistrustful. "You aren't a pyro. You can't train me. Jack can…" She offers the name with some measure of hope, naming the marshal. She shakes her head slowly, "I'd rather be alone, I want to think." The words are quiet and she scrambles to her feet, hesitating before she uses Rowlins' hand for balance. The woman's hand is hot to the touch still, the heat just controlled. "I don't need a babysitter."

Rowan loosk to Leah slowly standing up. She looks to the bottle of water on the table and opens her hand. It floats to her as she starts to juggle it in to the air, though her movements seem to be in the form of Tai Chi. "It's not the power you can put forth into the world, Ms. Soto." She says before slowly moving it back to the table and looking to her. "It's with what force you use, and you're not the first pryo that I've met before and had to train. But I can't vouch for this Jack person, so in picking him this is out of my hands then." She says softly and then looks to Rowlins. "Please process Ms. Soto and show her to her detainment then." She says softly letting Leah choose her own path.

Rowlins is still in position near Leah. "If you'll please follow me, we'll see about getting you processed, and I can assure you, that you'll have a room to yourself. Please don't make this difficult."

Leah is silent then, her face pale, glancing at the door, clear temptation in the way. But she does finally go with Rowlins quietly, giving Cale a long look as she goes past him. The heat radiating from her is still on the high side, however much steady breathing she does.

Cale is pretty much right outside the door and his tense anger lingers. When Rowlins leads Leah out, he stares at the man. "When can I come to visit her?" And if they keep moving, he will move with them. He certainly seems to want to say more, but he suppresses it for now.

Rowan looks to Cale and shakes her head. She has the tape recorder and gives the signal to get everyone into the lobby that is non police personal. With tape recorder that contains the tape inside in her hands she heads to her office.

Cale will be able to follow up to a point but will not be able to go past the booking area. Once they have disappeared from view it will be some minutes before Rowlins returns.

Isabel already has five pages written out, when people start coming out of the room. "I assume that it goes without saying that anything obtained during that intervew can not be used as evidence in a court of the law. This blanted display of wanton abuse of power, and lack of upholding basic consitutional rights, shall not be left to stand.

Cale will do much the same as he did before. Where he's stopped, he stops. But he stays there, waiting with a distinct lack of patience for the man's return. And when he does return, he repeats the same question, if with a bit more intensity. "When can I visit her?"

"Miss Soto is still being processed at the moment and it will take a little longer then usual as I've made arrangements for her to be in a holding cell by herself. I'd suggest you give her a couple of hours to get settled in but I've left a note with the Duty Sergeant to make arrangements for a vist later this evening. We will be keeping Miss Leah out of general population for her safety as well as that of the other inmates."

Cale nods his head once, taking the information as given. Though after a moment he huffs and says, "So how would this have gone better playing along with you? What justice is there having that girl in a cell? She's not dangerous. She should be at home, where she'd be a danger to no one."

Isabel looks over to cale, "Don't worry, she won't be in there for very long. We will get her out quickly. They really don't have a case. Its all circumstantail evidence, and most of it wont hold up in a court of law."

Rowlins sighs. "Circumstantial Evidence? Your client who was seen leaving the seen of a fire at speed has demonstrated a clear pyrokinetic ability, an ability which she could have mentioned to me the other day when I asked. Oh and Miss Johnson, I wouldn't make assumptions like that, lets leave it to the judge to decide." Turning to Cale he adds "Mr Soto, could we perhaps have this conversation in private, not in the corridor. Unless you feel you require Miss Johnson's assistance?"

Cale glances towards Isabel, then says, "I'm fine. You can go now." He then looks back to Rowlins and motions for him to lead the way. Amiable enough, it seems, despite the lingering tense anger. Though the anger has subsided to a quieter simmer.

Isabel shakes her head slightly, "You can not use the knowldge of her having that ability in court. That knoweldge was obtained though illegal means. So all we have is a witness who claims to have seen her in the area. Hardly direct evidence of a crime." She looks over to Cale, "I highly suggest you do not talk to him. While any evidence he got in that room is likely to be thrown out, anything you say may be used. Specifically I would not mention anything about any abilities she may or may not have. I would like to remind you that any crime involving magic has a sentence of automatic death. Even ones that are accidental."

"Again we will leave that to the judge to decide. Mr Soto, if you'll please follow me." This said Rowlins heads down the corridor to one of the other interview rooms.

"You don't need to remind me," Cale tells Isabel, glancing at her for but a moment before he turns to follow Rowlins silently. His free hand lifts, slipping into his jacket pocket as he goes.

Isabel nods to the both of them, "Have a good day then. I am off to go speak with the judge right now, and do not worry. She will be just fine. Trust me."

Constructed of natural colored precast concrete and tinted green glass, and located on ten acres of land, this is a massive law enforcement building. Having had its grand opening on June 3, 2000 and replacing the antiquated headquarters, the new Chicago Police Headquarters is the most technologically advanced police facility in the country. The jewel of the police headquarters, however, is the Command Center. It is a high-tech hub where daily activities of the department take place, or strategies for managing a crisis situation can be carefully plotted. The world is dark and foggy. Everything is half-hidden, nothing clearly seen. It's chilly and the air feels damp. No wind blows.

Once outside the station Rowlins seems to relax a little, he leads Cale round the back of the station, there are a couple of old police cruisers here and judging by the amount of cigarette butts it's the unofficial designated smoking area. Reaching into his pocket, Rowlins extracts a battered packet of Marlboros which he offers to Cale before taking a cigarette out himself and lighting it. "Ah, fucking fantastic, I really miss being able to smoke inside." Sitting down on a strategically placed cable spool he says. "This is the point where I could symbolically take off my badge and tell you this is all off the record but I don't think you'd go for that and for the most part it could be bullshit. Lets leave it at plausible deniability instead shall we?"

Cale follows the man silently. There is a subtle air of the wary to him, but he doesn't seem too concerned. Just generally watchful. After giving the area a slow scan, he focuses on Rowlins again and replies, "I expect anything I tell you will be reported. I have no reason to trust you. Feel free to answer my prior question at any time."

Rowlins nods. "Fair enough. As for your original question, if we could have discussed this back at your home it's more then possible I could have made an arrangement with the Captain to keep Leah out of the cell that she is currently in. I'm more then a little sympathetic to the plight of Preternaturals and am aware that there are an awful lot of felonies out there that carry the death penalty. Not something I agree with personally but I do have to follow the letter of the law, especially when a crime happens directly in front of me. Something which your Miss Johnson would do well to remember. A compliant suspect is more likely to gain the attention of the judge, as it stands I'll be filing my own petition to the judge asking that he views the details of the case as extenuating circumstances and recommend her for training and or counseling."

Cale frowns faintly. Skeptical. But after a few moments studying the man he says, "Counseling is a bad idea. If you read her files, you'd know she's been through that before. Sure, you might find nice people, but things like that make people distrustful. It took me long enough to convince her I wasn't like her immediate family. She has people who can train her. A stranger won't get her trust easy. Much less someone who works for the state."

Rowlins nods. "The files themselves were rather scarce on details, it only mentioned that she'd been in various institutions. It really is a hellish job to try and get access to the individual details of a patient." Rowlins takes another puff off his cigarette before continuing. "While it would be nice to keep it within the family there will be some things that are out of our hands. This Marshall chap, Jack? I wasn't aware he was a pyro but he could be a good choice. However I really don't want to get your hopes up at this point, I will do everything I can, short of falling on my sword to try and get this settled more amicably but it will all be down to the judge." Taking another puff off his cigarette he adds "Oh and yes it was a real shitty thing I did in there. How you couldn't smell the burnt hair I'll never know, but I do know when a psychic is having trouble, and I did have my suspicions. It's possible we could have stopped it there before criminal damage was done to the interview suite."

"I could smell it," Cale says. "I had hoped to get her out of there before the inevitable. I had hoped that incompetent, Emerald would have been the last of it so this could all go quietly into the mist and leave her to master herself without this trauma." He shakes his head and turns. "I suppose we'll see what worth the law is. Right now, I have no use for it."

Rowlins shakes his head. "Yeah, well I wouldn't have needed to come back if Emerald had actually taken a proper statement. I can only imagine she was too occupied with adjusting her unfeasibly large breast to concentrate. As it stands I find it patently ridiculous that a preter can be executed for using telekinesis to steal but I'm hoping the court and the judge in this case will see sense. While Emerald was a problem in this case your lawyer was worse, I can only assume she got her law degree out of a cereal box."

Cale keeps walking. He seems about done. "I think I won't be dealing with either side of the law in the future. More trouble than it's worth. If you'll excuse me, I have to work on securing my home. The dangerous ones are still out on the street, after all."

Rowlins nods. "Fair enough, I'll be heading off too. See you around." This said Rowlins stubs out his cigarette and makes his way round the other side of the building.


Cale comes to where Leah is being held with a quiet storm of agitated energy about him. He's upset. Just why may be obvious. The reason he has that item in his pocket and why he's here in the first place. But he keeps that flare and tremble of energy to himself as much as he can. Outwardly he's almost too cool in expression and bearing.

Leah is brought to a room to talk to him, and she has lost her own clothes, swapping it instead for an interesting orange jumpsuit. Her energy is running high and here and there on the jumpsuit tiny burns show. "Cale…" She isn't certain of his response, her face wary and solemn. "Like the outfit?" The joke is a little one, with a slight wobble in her voice.

Despite the flow of his energy, when Cale comes in he comes right o Leah and will draw her into an embrace. If she's sitting, he'll draw her up. Firm, but not uncomfortable. And after a few moments he relaxes some and will say to her, "We're ok, you and me." Perhaps sensing the clues to her uncertainty. "None of this is your fault." He breathes out and will let her go then. "Isabel on the other hand.." He frowns.

She relaxes into that hug, returning it awkwardly, the woman not given to shows of affection. "It is my fault, all of it. You know that." She shrugs, shooting him a lopsided smile before she does take the seat opposite him at the table. "So… did you find my check book?" The question is awkward and she rests her elbows on the table, pressing her fingers lightly into the metal of it.

"Yeah," Cale says, drawing it out to offer it over. "As much as it galls me, if this is how we get rid of her, fine. I'll help you pay some of it.. I shouldn't have suggested her. Had I known.. maybe we wouldn't be here right now."

Leah shakes her head, reaching out to take the book, and scribbling a check for it. "It should keep the parents off my back for not using their money. I won't tell them what I used it for though." She shrugs, passing both back to him, "It doesn't matter, Cale. I don't care. I just want to get out of here." Her restlessness is obvious, her fingers tapping lightly on the table.

"I know," Cale says softly, not sitting himself, but standing hear her, a hand settled on her shoulder. "I want you out of here. Hopefully the one Stasia trots out will be.. smarter. I really think if she'd have just not said much and we'd have both not let things get out of hand, you'd be out of here. I'm sorry for that.. I seem to be good at upsetting women." A faint, rueful smirk coming to him at that.

Leah lifts a hand, brushing her fingers over his hand, the instant before she draws them away, suddenly aware of the heat she is glowing with. "It isn't your fault, Cale. It is mine. Stasia will find a good one, I'm sure." She fidgets, looking down at her hands before she glances up. "So, um, should I call the parents?" She is aware of the situation, her face slightly pale beneath the bravado.

"No," Cale replies. He braves her heat with a set expression, keeping his hand there. "They'd just make things worse. I'll do anything I have to if it keeps you safe. I wish I could help you relax.. I can feel your heat. Just.. is there anything more you want from home? Anything at all?"

Leah nods, accepting that advice, agreeing with it silently. "Have you seen Jay?" The question is soft, her tone is a little lost. "I was writing… Cale, can you let the college know I can't come in? And the paper?" She glances up at him, her face holding a touch of wariness at that request.

Cale smiles faintly at her. "You think I'm going to get mad because you're writing for a tabloid?" He shakes his head slightly and leans in to murmurs to her. "As long as you keep secrets, you can dow hat you want. Not that I tell you much anyway." It doesn't dismiss his mood, but there is a little lightness. "I haven't seen him, but I've been busy. With the house and with.. other things. I want to try and get the security done before you get back."

Leah's face softens and she shrugs, lowering her voice too. "I don't know any secrets to tell, remember? Anyhow, I make it all up." She leans back, lifting her hands to push her hair behind her ears, a soft sigh breaking out. "If I get back." The words are spoken automatically, a correction that brings a stricken look into her eyes. "Look, don't stress over this. It isn't anything I didn't do…"

"When," Cale murmurs to her. "We all did things. No matter what, we'll move on and learn from this. Both of us." His hand lifts, gently stroking fingers through her hair. "What do you want me to cook for you on your day back? Anything you want. Hmm?" He gives her hair a little tug and smiles. Brave face and confidence, yes.

Leah lets him have that, lets him believe that and she leans her head into the touch slightly, the barest movement. "Anything you like." Her voice is quiet and she is about to say something else when the door opens and the police officer declares the time over. "Give her the check for me? I'll see this new lawyer whenever. It isn't like my schedule is packed…"

"Think about it," Cale says to her. "I want what you want." He glances towards the police officer and frowns faintly before looking to Leah. He takes the check and nods to her. "Call me if you need anything. No matter when. Even if it's just to talk a moment." His hand will dip to rub her back softly before he seeks another hug. Practice will make perfect.


GAME> Thursday, Dec 01 05:39:16 2011 - Autumn Dawn < Fair >

Cale is sitting quietly on his couch this morning, a thick notebook on his lap. Well used and dog eared, the current page shows a rough sketch of some manner of system or network, though the small, uneven scrawl of his handwriting doesn't give easy clues. He knows who is coming, he invited her. And roughly when. But he's not dressed for the occasion, past his normal sweats. Oddly, the dining room table is broken. Two of it's legs snapped off, the rest of it currently leaning on the other two. Might be why a few breakfast dishes are on the coffee table, rather than elsewhere.

Isabel arrives exactly when she says she will be over there. She wasn't exactly happy to have notes slid under her door, especially over things this important. So she had to talk to you in person. There is a light knock on the door.

Cale looks up, then casually tosses the notebook onto the table. He rises smoothly and approaches the door, opening it without ceremony and merely a wave of hand for her to enter. "Say your piece," is all he will say. The door will be lightly pushed closed once she's entered.

Isabel walks in side and takes a deep breath before she looks over to you, "If I didn't know better, I would think you are trying to get Leah killed, but its clear by the fact that you talked to the police without a lawyer present, that you are just an idiot. However the results are amazingly similiar, you need to pull your head out of your ass before you do some real damage. The case is won. They are going to through out the entire thing against her, drop all the charges, and leave her alone. Its all a matter of going through the proper procedure to do it. So if she ends up in jail overnight, or for a day or two, its not the end of the world. She probably deserved it, and shouldn't of lied to them in the first place. Its only a temporary problem however, because she will be out real soon. What I don't get, is why you would step in and the last moment and try to stop me."

"Number one, don't insult me," Cale states, his tone of voice speaking of annoyance. "If you had just told Leah to say nothing and played it cool, this would have been over at the interrogation room," he states. "They had nothing and you decided to make a massive issue out of it. So she's in a cell right now because of you. Which is why I don't want you involved in this anymore. I'll find someone else to handle the issue who is a bit more subtle. She deserves nothing of what is happening." He crosses towards the couch again, settling down on it in a casual sprawl.

Isabel shakes her head slightly, "Saddly, that was never a possiblity. It was clear that they were going to find out one way or another, and that you were blurting things out during the interview didn't help at all. When I said don't say anything, I was talking to you too."

"There wasn't much point in it at that point," Cale states simply. "And I think you're wrong. The witness bullshit is all they had. Which was flimsy at best. I've been thinking about it since that night. You fucked it up from the start. Either way, I've talked to Leah and I'm already looking for someone else to defend her. And the way you're trying to bully me doesn't convince me you're the right choice. So unless you have something deep and convincing to offer up that might give me second thoughts, I don't see that we have much to talk about."

Isabel sighs slightly as she shakes her head. "I don't believe you understand the predicament that she is in. Even accidently setting fire to the building with magic, is an automatic death sentence. You can't just bury your head and hope it went away, that wouldn't have worked. Being subtle isn't what you need, you need aggressive defense, which is exactly what I gave you. All they had was the witness. Now all they have is a witness, and extreme doubt placed on all future evidence they may find. So much doubt, that even if they find an eye witness who saw the fire being started, the case would never go to court. The case is dead, and no evidence that they find will ever be capable of convicting her, because it will all be tainted by what happened there."

"If you're right, I still don't need you, though I think again you're wrong," Cale points out. "If the case is so broken, any public defender will do. Though I'm not, as you think, burying my head in the sand And I know quite well what the stakes are. That's why I don't want you involved. You'll get her killed with your grandstanding. Personally? I think you're trying to ride this for whatever ends you have. Which I'm not interested in being a part of."

Isabel shakes her head, "Well I will put this simply then. I am not your lawyer, and I don't work for you. The main reason I am here, was to make sure you understand the situation, and tell you to stop talking to the police. Or you are going to make things worse. I am going to keep working on the case and I don't care much about what you think."

"Leah has signed papers and I'm making it clear to those who matter that you're no longer Leah's lawyer," Cale states. "I got wind you weren't taking the hint. Work on it all you want, but take the hint. Keep it to yourself. If you interfere, I'll see what legal recourse I have to get you put up on charges. Are we clear?"

Isabel laughs slightly as she shakes her head, "What a joke. If you wanted to fire me, you would have me meet you down there with leah and have her tell it to me personally. Failing that if you have papers, the first things you should do is come over to my office and drop them off. How do you even screw that simple task up? I don't really care who you talk to. Unless she tells me she is fired, what you say or think doesn't mean a thing. There is no legal recourse in this matter."

"Then go ask her yourself if you must," Cale tells Isabel. "Either way, I've taken steps to replace you and any attempts to continue will be dealt with. I have more important things to do than deal with you, alright? If you're done, you can get the hell out. I have a list to make and other things to do." He gets up, going to the door to open it.

Isabel shakes her head slightly as she moves towards the door. "You really are an idiot. I can't believe I am even wasting my time with you. There isn't a better lawyer in this country, when it comes to my speciality. Go ahead and play your games, but know its not going to effect anything I do." She heads out the door.

"So long as you don't effect anything to do with myself and Leah, I don't care what you do," Cale states. "And if you're the best, then the legal establishment is fucked." Once she's out, he slams the door closed and goes back to his morning work.

Homicide Division: Interrogation Room - Chicago Police Department - Michigan Street: South

This room is sparsely furnished with a rectangular metal table and a quartet of matching chairs. The walls have been painted a plain, industrial grey. Two, long fluorescent light fixtures are affixed to the tall ceiling and give off a stark, buzzing radiance. A couple of track lights in the ceiling are on a separate circuit, beaming light downward in a tight, direct circle when needed. One door leads to the corridor and another is a locked, storage closet. One wall holds a long, smoky mirror.

It's early afternoon, the court having sat for three hours on Leah's case. But now it's finished, with the verdict to be delivered to the plaintiff. Kombo arrives outside the interrogation room where Leah waits - the most sparsely-furnished room in the building - and knocks on the door. She's looking sober but not somber.

Leah's outfit isn't sober, the bright orange hard to appear serious in. But she is looking tired, and a little pale, distinctly scared. She has alternatively paced and sat and fidgeted throughout the wait, and the room is warm. Almost hot. The heat is coming from her, her nerves worn to a shread.

Cale waits with Leah. He's been there a while, given the light sweat he has going. But he doesn't suffer it poorly. Indeed, he stands from where he's been sitting and observing her, stepping closer to the young woman. He doesn't say anything as he approaches, daring to reach out a hand and touch her shoulder. Braving the heat to give the touch. Though a moment later he pauses. Head cocked, he listens towards the door. "Someone's coming." He looks back to Leah and looks her in the eye. "Relax." A futile word, perhaps, but he must try, his eyes settling on her own. He's been almost too calm, though his energy speaks a quiet protest to the outward calm.

The door is opened, Kombo stepping inside. The African-American woman greets Leah and Cale with a professional smile. "Ms. Soto, Mr. Soto. You're going to need to hear me out. The verdict is - complicated." She steps over to the table, putting her briefcase on it and taking a seat.

Leah turns to the door, letting Cale keep his touch on her shoulder, but the heat spikes at the words. She nods slowly, forcing out a smile, her face paling slightly. She can't force any words out though, and the faint scent of charring rises before she moves her hands from the orange material covering her arm.

Kombo steeples her hands in front of her, interlacing her fingers but not obscuring any part of her face. "You were found guilty of criminal damage and damage of police property with psychic malfeasance, Ms. Soto, but you do not face the death penalty if you go for the option the judge has decided to present to you. We successfully held out the point that not one single person was harmed, despite the situation. As a result, due to your obvious belief in the sanctity of life and your youth, we were able to get the sentence commuted. There's a training programme you can undertake, only available to cases such as yours. I'm afraid I don't have too many details, but I'd have to recommend taking it over the alternative."

There is the tiniest of nods at Cale's statement and the heat eases off slightly. Her gaze stays fixed on Kombo though, her eyes widening at the first part of the statement. Her face pales and the flare of her power is enough to make Cale's position uncomfortable. Her fingers flick at her side, flaring off small flames, an exercise to try and burn some off as she listens. "I'll take it." The tone of her voice is empty, automatic.

Cale grips Leah's shoulder despite her state. "Wait, wait.. what details do you have? Are they going to take her off somewhere?" His brows furrow and it's easy to tell that notion doesn't sit well with him. "Training is good.. she needs that, but I'm sure you can understand my being a bit leery."

Kombo's smile is suddenly not very professional at all; it's warm, but tempered with understanding. "I'm so pleased to hear you say that," she says. "I believe that some graduates of this training programme have gone on to join various government agencies, and some work with city fire departments, saving lives. I can understand your reticence - it does mean going to Arizona - but you should be able to write and email each other."

Leah glances at Cale, a look of warning in her eyes, her hand lifting up to push his hand from her shoulder. "Cale, I'll burn you." Her voice is soft, sounds muted and she gives Kombo a smile that is forced but the gratitude in it is genuine. "Thank you." The words are spoken softly, before she sits down abruptly, the relief of it obvious in the slumped shoulders. "Arizona." She repeats softly.

"Of course," Kombo replies, then adds drily, "I believe they picked Arizona because sand isn't too flammable." She opens the briefcase, pulling out a 'leaflet' printed on a sheet of metal and placing it in front of Leah. If it were paper, it'd be a flyer about the programme, complete with testimonials from a US Marshall, an insurance adjuster and a famous wilderness survival expert. "I was given this to give to you. There'll be someone coming here to collect you tomorrow morning at nine sharp, Ms. Soto - if I were you I'd go home, freshen up, pack and have a damn good dinner."

Cale doesn't seek to care about her heat, but when she goes to sit, he releases her. "Arizona?" The description does indeed seem to concern him. But he doesn't reject Leah's acceptance of matters. "She gets the choice of what to do after this training, right? If she wants to go back to college and do what she's already planned for herself. Or whatever else." He steps up to the table, but is inclined to stand slightly behind and to Leah's side.

Leah makes a soft noise, humourless laughter at the use of metal in the flyer and she reaches for it, staring at it. "I can go home?" The question distracts, her head lifting, her face turned towards Kombo. Her mouth finally curves into a smile, the relief sinking in. "I want my clothes and a shower so badly." She admits, hesitating before she adds, awkwardly. "How much do I owe you?"

Cale does seem a bit mollified by the whole of the explanation and a peek at the metal.. flyer? Odd. "I'll see that she's well fed before she goes. And she'll be ready." He glances down at her when Leah speaks of money, then looks up to Kombo himself.

"You can go home," Kombo agrees, then turns serious again. "I'm sure I don't need to mention the penalty for failing to return in the morning, Ms. Soto. However tempting it is, you *have* to be here." And then another smile. "Don't worry about the fees. We were hired on your behalf by the vampire Stasia; the invoice will go to her."

There is a mix of relief and worry on her face at the news. Relief she doesn't have to pay, and worry at owing Stasia but she rises from the seat, shooting Kombo a smile, her eyes warming. "Thank you. I'm not going to skip, I'll be here. Cale, take me home? I want a shower… I'll get my clothes." She steps forward, heading towards the door to reclaim her clothes.

Cale nods his head to Leah, but he does step closer to the table to offer Kombo his hand. "Thank you for your help. In a way it's a perfect solution.. and yet not. But that's the way of the world." He does seem grateful, despite his own quiet reservations.

Kombo smiles at the departing Leah; the police officer in the room opens the door for her, his colleague taking her to get processed out. Kombo, meanwhile, looks at Cale. "I share your reservations," she says. "But it was the best I could do for her. Thank God she didn't hurt anyone in that interview room. It literally saved her life."

Cale nods his head and says, "She's a good kid. She doesn't want to hurt anyone. She just wants to get control. Hopefully this will do it and she can get on with making her life what she wants to to be. I don't really see her as a marshal, though." A faint bit of amusement.

Kombo nods. "She might surprise you," the lawyer says. "But either way, this is her best shot, I think. Has Ms. Johnson's bill been settled?"

"I'm thinking hand delivery will do, UPS is just another expense," Cale says with a faint grin. He glances towards the door for a moment, the continues, "But thanks for the advice. I should probably go make sure she's alright and get her home. THanks again. Good luck with your next case."

Cale takes the card and considers it a moment before it goes into his pocket. "Hopefully I won't need it," he says. "Don't worry, she'll get a good send off. Have a good evening." He lifts a hand in casual salute before he turns and heads out to track Leah down.

Kombo watches Cale go, and then she too is heading out, out to freedom, her car, her cellphone and a victory lunch with the firm.

Brick Duplex: Living Room - Ashland Avenue: Bucktown

With the semi-open floor plan of many Arts and Crafts style homes, the main floor of the duplex has dark-stained wood floors and trim around the doors and windows and soft, off-white colored walls. The ancient wrought-iron grates for heat (and now air) are still in place but connected to a modern central air system rather than an ancient furnace.

The living area is large, with a rectangular, many-paned window facing the street and a long couch facing a semi-circle of four comfortable armchairs. A low coffee table sits in the middle of the cluster and each of the chairs has a small, simple end table at its right side. Behind the chairs, easily moved to the side, is a simple set of shelves housing a well aged, but serviceable with a modest flat screen TV being the most expensive looking item.

The dining area to the side is smaller with windows facing the narrow space between houses, filled by a table for six. The swinging door into to the kitchen is there. The kitchen itself is ancient, with the modern stove, refrigerator and dishwasher looking like afterthoughts to the Formica counters and cool, blue tile floor. Open stairs off the living room lead up and a closed door in the kitchen, opposite the exterior door to the back yard, leads down to the basement.

Leah makes a call in the car, and sends a text message, her face serious. She is quiet the rest of the journey. The instant they get into the house, she heads for the shower, returning some time later pink and scrubbed, in clean clothes. "I'm going to tell them that I was offered a place at a FBI training thing." She tells him as soon as she enters the room.

Cale is quiet for the trip, letting her call and letting her tend to herself once they get back. He isn't idle and a big dinner is on the heat and he's lightly and comfortably settled on the couch when she comes back down. He looks up towards her and says, "Them?" Quite a few possible thems that come to mind. He rises, setting aside a catalogue as he comes around the couch to meet her, offering a hug. More practice.

"Parents." The tone isn't a friendly one, but she sighs, moving into the hug and leaning her ceek against his chest. "I'm sorry." Her cell rings and she pulls away, sliding her hand into her pocket, drawing it out. "I gotta…." She steps back, flipping it open, to speak into it in a low voice.

Cale squeezes her and says, "If you want to tell them. But only if you want to." When the phone rings, he steps back and nods his head to her note on the call. And while she's speaking, he will turn and head into the kitchen, checking on the food.

Leah is pacing, her face serious as she talks, her voice low. She finally perches on the edge of the sofa. The conversation seems to be making her more serious, her expression darkening slightly. She flips open the lip on her laptop, opening a file and staring at it blankly.

Cale remains in the kitchen for now, giving a modicum of privacy for the call. He can't easily not listen, but he won't hang over her.

Leah hands up, an odd little smile on her lips as she closes it, turning back to face Cale. "So.. Um, that was Marshal Green. He says to pass quickly and well, and he'll see me after." There is a hint of excitement, the touch of the adrenaline junkie showing.

Cale pokes his head out of the kitchen and looks over to Leah. "Marshal Green?" He considers Leah and says, "You have that certain look about you. What's running through that head of yours?"

Leah widens her eyes slightly, an innocent look, "Marshal Green." She replies, moving to stand in the doorway, watching him. "He said if I'm helpful to other people I'll get through faster. Keep my eyes open, do whatever I have to and I can walk into any job I want…"

Cale moves back into the kitchen as she comes over. He has a lot of food going, most of her favored dishes and more than she can eat in one setting normally. "That's how you should go anyway, right? Pay attention, do well. I suppose it all depends what you'll want to do with yourself after."

"Yeah." Her gaze flickers to the dishes and she hesitates, adding quietly, "Um Cale. I know I've been a right fuckup and pain in your ass but… thanks, you know?" Her voice is soft, uncertain and the prickliness is, for once, dropped.

Cale turns from the cooking and smiles at her. He turns and approaches, reaching out for one of her hands to fold it between his. "Trust me, I know what that feels like. I've done more than enough of my own. So I understand all too well. Just do your best. And call me when you get there. I'll need the address to send you things, alright?"

She lets him take her hand and for once, its cool, for the first time in a week or more. "I'll do my best and I'll keep in touch. Email and all. I don't think I can keep my job but …" She shrugs, taking that well enough, before she takes her cell phone from her pocket, dialing up her parents and giving Cale a speaking look.

"You'll get a better one," Cale opines. Squeezing her hand before she draws it away, then turning back to the cooking. Though he does keep an eye on her, so he does catch the look. He holds it for as long as she does, feeling a bit calmer now himself. But soon he'll be back into juggling the pots and steadily making progress towards dinner time.

"Yeah. Get me, I'll be fibbie, or marshal soto… what do you…" And then the phone connects and some of the light dies in her face, the prickliness showing as she greets her mother. "Hey it's me. Yeah, I'm fine. Guess what? No, I'm not… no, its not like that. Mum, listen…" She is quiet for a moment, leaning against the doorframe, her mother's voice clearly chastising her. "Look, I got offered a place on a training thing, Mum."

Cale smiles at her words, then it falters as she deals with the person on the other end of the line. With his cooking at a balance point, he turns to approach her again, a hand coming out to touch her shoulder and squeeze, then he leans in slowly to put his ear next to her own. Listening in if she doesn't mind it.

"Look, it is a really good deal, like they scout for …" She stiffens, lifting a hand to shove her hair back, the heat radiating off her, the air shimmering above her. "Yeah. Arizona. Yeah. Alright." She hangs up, and forces a smile that isn't that convincing. "Yeah, really made up over it."

Cale grunts and shakes his head slightly. "Don't let her trouble you, Leah. Put them behind you since it's obvious they don't want to be with you in the here and now." He gives her cheek a brush with the back of his hand. "Go get settled. The food will be ready soon. We can pack what you're taking right now and anything else I can hold for you or have it sent later, ok?""

"Yeah." The exuberance of a moment before is gone and she gives him a slight smile before she heads for the sofa. The laptop is drawn onto her lap, and she types slowly, her face serious. A resignation letter from the mumbled phrases, and the moment she hits send it obvious enough from the gesture.

It won't be too much longer until dinner, when he start bringing out the patters to the new dining room table. What happened to the other one he's not mentioned since they got back. But it's sturdy enough to hold all the food and once he's set it all out he'll turn to her and say, "Eat as much as you want. There will be leftovers for breakfast and some things to take with you. I don 't imagine they'll have the best food on the trip, so I'll make sure you have something good."

Leah has, by the time he comes out, summoned some of the enthusiasm and relief back from under the slump of her mother's negativity. "Thanks Cale!" She piles in, eating quickly, serving herself her favourites and tucking in with the energy of the person living on jail food for a week. "So what do you think? Executioner, or marshal or FBI?" She is joking, making a deliberate effort.

Cale settles himself, not light in his own plate piling. "I think you'll have to decide that on your own." A bit more of a serious response, though he does smile and say, "I suppose you didn't expect to have this sort of shift in your life before. But that's what life is like, I've found. The less you try and manage the future, the better you are. Outside of what's logical and needed for the future. Savings and such."

"I guess I'll get more savings over time. I just blew mine on paying Isabel." She shrugs, dismissing it, "Worth it, if it meant Ms Kombo could handle it all, sort it out." She eats quickly, rapidly emptying her plate. "I better pack and … Um, have you heard from Jay?" The question is nervous, with a glance up at him.

"To be honest, I haven't looked," Cale admits. "I've left him information, but that's it. I'll make sure he has any info on you I have, so don't worry." He smiles and motions. "Get up there and get your things together. I'll clean up and be up to help you get ready."

Leah bites her lip and then she smiles, shrugging, abandoning her empty plate to go and pack. "Back in a bit." She grabs up her laptop, taking the precious thing with her.

Cale lets her go up and puts the leftovers away, puts the dirty dishes into the washer after a rinse. Won't take him too long to get it done, then he'll be up after her, to help with any packing needs. Or just to be there. Time is short in that sense, so he'll be with her the rest of the evening as much as she can stand.

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