Chicago Police Department: Containment Cells - Michigan Street: South
A low and squat grey building, the containment cells are tucked in behind the police offices proper. A narrow suspended hallway connects it to the offices, so detainees can be led in and out during inclement weather.
Inside it is just as dull as the outside, fake-granite tiled floors along the halls, the walls medical green and headache grey. Larger holding cells are in front, mostly for hookers and drunks. Midway along the building are the mid-sized holding cells, able to contain between two and four individuals for a week or more. In the back are the single occupancy cells, reserved for the more violent or preternatural detainees or for those under police protection.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, December twenty-ninth 2009. 11:15 pm
The sun is up. The waxing gibbous moon isn't up. <83.3% full and growing>
The tide is low and ebbing.
Fair weather clouds drift through the blue sky from the east, along with the wind. The sunlight on the snow is dazzling, and it gleams on the ice. The winter Hawk wind is concentrated in the Loop. There is about 8.5" of snow on the ground. The average temperature is around Twenty-nine degrees Fahrenheit, Negative two Centigrade.
It's late for most people, but not for the police. If anything, it's early for them, as their busiest shifts happen overnight. Coffee is the pervasive smell in the interrogation room that Rachel is brought to. There is a small box of donuts on the plain metal table, but it is otherwise clear of any debris. A chair bolted to the floor sits on one side of the table, and a plain wooden one on the other. Neither looks very comfortable. The walls are cinderblock on the bottom and paint on the top. One wall is filled above the blocks by a mirrored window; clearly an observation window for whoever is listening in on interrogations. The door is metal and locks from the outside only. Uniformed officers came to the girl's cell and escorted her in here 20 minutes ago, then left her to her own devices in the otherwise empty room.
At 11:15 pm, the door opens and the arresting officer, Detective Eleanor Wickham, walks in with a file folder in her hand. She's dressed in a black suit with a plain white blouse beneath it. It's tailored, but looks slightly rumpled after a long night of work. Her hair is pulled back in a loose tail, and she has reading glasses perched on her nose. She doesn't look at the girl as she enters, her eyes focused on the file in her hands. She scans it as she sits down. "Rachel Winger, 20 years of age, runaway from Atlanta, Georgia. Several arrests as a minor, with records sealed, also in Atlanta. Is that all correct, Miss Winger?" She sets the file on the tabletop and looks across it at the girl.
Rachel sits with her legs pressed tightly together, her ankles crossed and her arms hugging her self. Her head is slightly down when the female officer enters and goes up to look at her then it drops again when the woman begins to rattle off the girls past history. She doesn't answer except for this last dropping of her head. Some could say the silence is deafening.
Eleanor gives Rachel a faint, polite smile. Maybe she's the one who gets to play 'good cop'. But in that case, where is the 'bad cop'? "Please feel free to help yourself to the donuts. Would you like some water, or some coffee or juice?" She studies the girl with an almost sympathetic expression, and seemingly infinite patience.
Rachel breathes shallowly, heart beating slowly as if none of this actually bothers her or she feel it unreal. Her body shifts slightly, an easing of her grip of herself then the head makes the motion of no, though she doesn't lift it to look at Eleanor.
The cop nods her head at the confirmation that her questions, at least, are being understood. The file on the tabletop gets opened and Eleanor resumes scanning its contents. "The doctor confirms that you were both alcohol and drug free on the night of the incident, and other than needing to have some hot meals in you, you seem to be in good health. The charges pending against you are serious, Miss Winger. Unlawful Use of Weapons carries a sentence of up to $2500 in fines and/or a year in jail. Aggravated Assault and Resisting Arrest carry the same and they are cumulative sentences if prosecuted." She pulls a sheet of paper detailing the charges on them out of the folder, and slides it across the table for Rachel to look at. "So why would a young girl who has clearly not been altered by drugs or booze, who has done a bang up job of disappearing herself for several years, and who is in possession of plenty of cash to get by on, force her way into a club and wave around a silver knife while screaming for somebody's balls? That doesn't seem consistent with the care you've taken of yourself, Miss Winger."
Rachel lifts a shoulder and the head drops even more leaving her face completely hidden by her hair and a very nice view of the back of her head. Her body seems to grow smaller as she tightens her hold of herself after a drop of what looks like water hits the table top in front of her.
Eleanor's eyes narrow slightly as she leans back in her chair, folding her hands in her lap and crossing her legs almost casually. There is a sense of calm and ease in her body language. She could be a very patient person, or she could just be too exhausted to get worked up. "What did this Derrick do to you, Miss Winger, that would incite you to such rage that you would risk your freedom and endanger complete strangers in that nightclub?" She draws a clean handkerchief from the breast pocket of her suit, and leans to set it on the table in front of Rachel.
Rachel doesn't move until the handkerchief is slid across the table to her and at that point she shrinks back from it. There is a sudden tension about her as if she will finally say something but all that finally happens is a long held breath of air going out in a soft hiss.
"If you tell me what brought this on, Miss Winger, I may be able to get the charges reduced due to extenuating circumstances. But that will not be possible unless there are valid conditions which caused you to act so out of character." Eleanor tilts her head slightly to one side before sitting up and pulling another sheet from the file. It’s a photograph taken by the medical examiner of the bite scars. "Is Derrick a vampire?" she asks, sliding the picture to Rachel.
Rachel is motionless for a bit, though it seems as if she really is looking at the picture. At least she didn't pull back so she must be. In the stillness around her a soft "yes." is spoken and she slowly lowers one hand from where it grips her other arm and she touches the picture with finger tips, patting where the scars on her neck are.
Eleanor nods and she reaches to pull out a plain donut and breaks it in half, putting one half on a napkin before the girl, and taking a bite out of the other half herself. She swallows it down. "Tell me what happened, Rachel." She uses her first name to build a connection and try to coax the story out of her. "I don't want you to go to jail if you don't have to."
Rachel traces her chin on the picture with a finger tip and the donut goes un-noticed. "I don't care." the words are faint and has a hopeless sound. The sound of someone that has reached the end of their rope and has finally let go.
"Why don't you care? You cared enough to charge into The Basement with a knife and scream for Derrick. Why don't you tell me why and let the authorities handle him properly if he's done something bad enough for you to throw your life away in pursuit of revenge on him." Eleanor presents her own case with calm logic. "It seems like a waste to me for you to go to jail because he pushed you over the edge somehow. Shouldn't he be the one paying for it?"
Rachel shrugs again and the hand moves from the picture to her arm again and she begins to rock gently, her body swaying back and forth with her head still down. There is another long silence then suddenly, softly. "define love."
"Do you want the supremely shallow definitions from the dictionary, my view as a scientist, or my gut instinct?" Eleanor replies. She stands and shoves her hands in her pockets, pacing the room slowly. "The dictionary will tell you it's a feeling of personal attachment and profound affection for another person. If you throw in some passion, then it's romantic rather than familial or friendly. From a scientific point of view, it's a hormonally induced reaction to our species’ need to survive via procreation, and the imperative to have a social mate for protection and support to ensure that survival. But my gut says it's valuing someone enough to want to be part of their life, take care of them, and make them happy." She shrugs a bit and looks back at Rachel. "Did you love Derrick?"
Rachel finally looks up at Eleanor "yes." the word it slightly louder than a whisper, a word that is more breathed out than spoken. Her eyes burn with torment, her expression is hopelessness defined. "yes."
"Did he roll you? Did he feed off of you?" Eleanor asks plainly, with a sympathetic expression on her face. She stops her pacing to study Rachel with quiet concern.
Rachel licks her lips and lowers her head again. "I loved him before." she begins to rock again. "long time before then when he was still human." she goes quiet again sill rocking then slowly stops. "I'm not the only woman now, there are so many, so many." suddenly she looks up, anger filling her eyes. "Why can't I be enough for him, why does he need so many."
"He's a vampire, Rachel. It could be because he's going to live forever, so he doesn't want to be overly attached to one person, because he's going to outlive you all. It could be because you've all become food to him and nothing more. Or it could be that feeding for him is intimate. He can't feed off of you repeatedly in a short span of time without turning you," Eleanor points out, "So he has to have others to feed from, and he can't feed without making it something more than just a meal. Some vampires develop a guilt complex about feeding, so they feel compelled to attribute romantic feelings to their willing meals so they feel less like a monster." She sits back down in the seat and folds her arms on the tabletop. "Did he do something specific to make you do what you did the other night? Being jealous of other women doesn't seem like a good enough excuse to try to slash a bunch of human strangers in a bar trying to get to him."
Rachel narrows her eyes and slowly stands, hands dropping to her sides. "if I can't have him, why should anyone else." the line between love and hate sometimes merge. She begins to pace a few steps left then right then back again. Her voice is low, even "Sex, sex, always with the feeding." her hands clench and unclench. "why should I try to get rid of them when it's him that's the center of it."
"Why not just walk away and count it as his loss, Rachel?" Eleanor asks calmly. "The best revenge a woman can get on a cheating man is to drop him like a hot potato and find someone better." She frowns slightly. "You don't have a history of violence that I've been able to see. Why resort to violence now?"
Rachel pauses and lowers her head again. "I can't keep away from him." she wraps her arms around herself again. "I can't stay away from him." the torment is in her voice and in her eyes when she looks up at Eleanor again. "I keep wanting to go back."
"Rachel," Eleanor says quietly, with a grimace. She pulls a small stack of photocopied pages from the file folder and slides them to her. They are copies of documentation on the effects of mind rolling and being fed on by vampires. She points at a few of the bullet points. "You can be summoned by a vampire who has fed repeatedly on you. It's a compulsion. It also becomes an addiction over time. And if they've rolled you enough times they can treat you like a puppet to get you to do their will. Some of what you've been feeling, or at least the intensity of it, might not be your true feelings towards him, but the product of being his vessel."
So he's a little late for the party. What're you gonna do? Detective Sergeant Brian Hadley knocks once before he enters and then he closes the door behind him and glances between the two woman. He doesn't ask something that would derail what they're already discussing, but waves his hand for them to continue.
Rachel shakes her head not even bothering to look at the documentations. She makes a swiping hit at the stack of papers and sends the flying across the table in a mass disarray with some fluttering on the floor. "Why, why." she shakes her head again "didn't you hear me. We loved before, when he was human, before he needed blood." Suddenly the man is there, the big one and she backs away from the table untill she is pressed against the wall behind her.
Eleanor nods to Hadley, and throws him a look as if to say she might have some information, but can't come out and say it right then and there. "How long has he been feeding on you, Rachel?" she asks the girl quietly. "I understand that you genuinely loved him before he was turned. The problem is that he /was/ turned, and he's fed on you. It is probably not even intentional, but the rolling and the feeding has likely amplified things for you." She leans her elbows on the tabletop and clasps her hands together loosely. "Were you ever in an argument with him before he was turned? Did you ever get angry enough to be violent like that and endanger other people because of it? Is that how you really are, Rachel? Because your record doesn't seem to indicate that."
"Vampires don't love," Hadley offers unhelpfully, eyeing the woman they'd brought in as she backs away. He watches her with some interest, perhaps even a little too intently. He doesn't say anything else, standing back for now to wait for Rachel to gather herself if she's going to.
Rachel wraps her arms around herself again muttering. "from day one, until." she begins to slowly slid down the wall until she reaches a corner. Coming to a stop there she slowly lowers herself until she is squatting and bows her head again, resting her forehead on her knees.
Eleanor looks at the girl sharply while she can't see it, and her lips press in a tight line. "I'll look into getting your charges reduced, since you have no prior record of violence, no one was injured at the scene, and there are - extenuating circumstances," Eleanor states as she packs up the papers into the folder once more. "’Disobeying a Police Office’r and ‘Public Nuisance’ charges are petty offenses instead of felonies, and they have fines of $150 and $100 respectively. Along with these charges I will recommend to the judge that you be are put into mandatory counseling and required to do some community service. In the meantime, I'll try to have your bail reduced relative to those charges. Since you willingly permitted him to feed from you and roll your mind, I can't bring Derrick in for questioning or press charges against him, unless there is an offense he's committed that you have yet to tell me about." She shakes her head at Hadley, knowing she's mostly struck out here.
Hadley frowns at the girl where she goes to sit in the corner and he looks at Eleanor with an arched brow when she looks at him. He might have his own opinions on the whole vampire thing but he knows that Eleanor is right so he doesn't say anything contradictory to what she's said already. "Is there some other offense you haven't told us about?" he asks, directing this to Rachel.
Rachel has started rocking again and either doesn't hear Hadley's question or just ignores it. She also has made no comment on what Eleanor has said about the fines, bails ect.
Eleanor swallows and moves to Hadley's side, lowering her voice to speak to him. "I'll get the process started on all of this. Can you see if someone can get a meal into her before she makes bail and leaves? The doctor made a note that she's a little malnourished." She turns for the door then pauses, leaning in to whisper, "What are the odds that there is more than one vampire named Derrick in Chicago?"
Hadley doesn't look overly impressed with his task but he nods his head without taking his gaze off of the girl in the corner. "I'd guess slim," he says, glancing at Wickham briefly and shrugging his shoulders. "I'll have one of the younger women bring something in, maybe. I don't think I'll be able to do it myself," not by the way his presence seemed to drive her into the corner and rock like a mental case.
Rachel seems to have fully withdrawn back into herself, much as she had done the night before.
Eleanor nods and she heads for the door, knocking three times. An officer opens it so she and Hadley can depart, and she heads off to start the paperwork,