Log:20100104 - The Lion In Winter

Setting

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.

Cast

RL Date

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

IC Date

Monday, January fourth, 2010. 05:56 am

The sun is down. The waning gibbous moon is up. <76.7% full and fading>

The tide is high and ebbing.

Dawn's light is grey. A thin layer of translucent cloud obscures the sun, showing only a bright patch in the sky. The air is cold and slightly damp. There is about 19.5" of snow on the ground. The average temperature is around Twenty-three degrees Fahrenheit, Negative five Centigrade.

Scene

The room the police use for questioning is about as plain and drab and uncomfortable as one might expect. A chair bolted to the floor sits on one side of the metal table, and a plain wooden one on the other. Neither looks very comfortable. The walls are cinderblock on the bottom and olive green paint on the top. It looks like it was painted in the 70s when that particular shade of avocado was in fashion. 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 opens from the outside only. The whole room is clearly meant to give the aura of general discomfort, so that those being questioned don't get the opportunity to relax. Eleanor is seated in the wooden chair, with a file folder on the table in front of her. Plainly put, she looks like hell. She's pale, except for the bright, fire engine red of her raw nose. Her eyes look bleary. Her skin looks blotchy. At this point, even her hair hurts. She has a handkerchief pressed to her nose as she waits for the guards to open the door and usher Virginie in.

The last time Virginie was relaxed was probably during her span of unconsciousness after shifting back to her human form, so that whole uncomfortable vibe is working pretty well. She's in borrowed clothes when she's escorted into the room and she looks scared. It's not something that she tries to hide. And she probably has no idea that she looks pretty distracted, too. "You're sick," is the first thing that the werelion says when she sees, or perhaps scents, Eleanor.

"Miss Danvers, please have a seat. I'm Detective Eleanor Wickham. I was the first officer on scene last night during the incident. If it's all right with you, I'd like to ask you some questions." Her voice is pitched pleasantly, though there is an edge of weariness in it which borders on exhaustion. She gestures the lioness towards the bolted down chair. "You'll have to forgive my current state. My niece managed to give me the flu." She blows her nose loudly.

Virginie glances back at the door when it closes behind her, hands drawing together and fidgeting nervously. She avoids looking at Eleanor again and steps silently toward the seat. When she's seated, a brief glance is lifted to the detective and her eyes shimmer with the odd color of her beast but she looks away again and closes her eyes. "Can I leave, then?" she asks, voice small, not the sort one might expect to come from the beast that got her here in the first place.

Eleanor shuffles the papers in the file folder and pulls a sheet to the top of the stack. She pulls a pair of black framed reading glasses from her suit pocket and perches them on her nose. She speaks at a slow pace, as if taking the time to choose her words carefully before she says them. "You will likely be released on bail, yes. There were two charges made at the time of processing. The first is Reckless Conduct, the sentence for which consists of a fine of up to $2500 and/or a year in jail. The second charge is Assault, in the form of threats of bodily harm, which carries a sentence of up to $1500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail. I have moved to have the assault charge dropped, as the man witnesses say you attempted to attack has not come forward to press charges. Please know, however, that should he come forth within the time allotted by the statute of limitations, you could have that charge levied against you again." Another page gets shifted to the top of the pile and scanned briefly. "The conduct charge is what I would like to speak to you about. Understanding the circumstances that resulted in last night's incident will go a long way towards my recommendations to the court in regards to the disposition of your case." She removes the glasses and looks across the table at Virginie, her features schooled to be as non-judgmental as possible. "Can you tell me how you came to be in Lincoln Park last night, in shifted form, and agitated to the point of attempting to attack others?"

Virginie listens because there's not really a whole lot else for her to do but try to hide in the chair that's bolted to the floor. And that's just not going to work. But the last questions make her wide-eyed gaze shift again to Eleanor and she looks like she's become a lot more uncomfortable. "I don't remember," she whispers, not necessarily to the woman, but certainly in response to her questions. She draws her legs up into the chair and wraps her arms around them, flexible in the way of so many shifters.

The reading glasses get set beside the file folder as Eleanor settles her forearms on the table, leaning in to listen. "Is this your first full moon as a lycanthrope?" she asks calmly. "And what do you remember last, before you wound up in the park?"

Virginie shakes her head slowly. "No, it's not my first," she says in that same quiet voice, a hint of shame buried in there somewhere. "I don't know," she says almost immediately, but looks down at the wooden table between them to actually give it some thought. "My ex-husband had called me," she says, sounding a little uncertain.

Eleanor rubs a finger across her jaw as she ponders the weight of those five small words. "Would I be wrong to assume that you do not have the best of relationships with your ex-husband? In that case this was likely a stress shift. And this is why you really need to take precautions for the full moon nights." The detective dips her head for a few moments to gather her thoughts, and then she pulls some papers out of the folder. "I am sympathetic to your situation, Miss Danvers, I assure you. But at the same time I'm responsible for ensuring that the public is safe. I have a badge which grants me authority over civilians and I have a gun which is a deadly weapon, which both help me in many ways to do my job. The law permits me to have both, as a police officer, but it is only with the understanding that I take full responsibility with their use, and secure them so they do not get used for ill. You have a similar responsibility. You have abilities which can aid you greatly in your life, and aid your friends and your community. However, they can also be dangerous, and it is your responsibility to ensure no harm comes to anyone because of them. Does this make sense?"

"You wouldn't be wrong," Virginie says, still staring at the table. She listens to the detective's speech and while she appears to understand, she doesn't look wholly convinced by the analogy. "Your gun doesn't like the way blood smells," she says, glancing up to look at the detective. "Your gun doesn't tell you that the sick person would be easy prey," she says, even if she doesn't seem to like the words that come out of her mouth. "It's easy to control a gun," she adds after another moment, lifting a hand to wipe away tears building in her eyes.

Several sheets of paper get pushed across the table towards Virginie, along with a clean handkerchief. Eleanor adds a pen a moment later. "I realize that, Miss Danvers. But the responsibility is still yours. If you agree to it, and sign the papers as a sign of good faith, I will recommend that the court levy the minimum fine, and commute any jail time provided you attend three months of mandatory counseling at St. Rumon Health Center. They specialize in the care of lycanthropy victims, and they have counselors on staff to help with issues like stress shifting and first shifts. Also, you must agree to allow yourself to be securely confined there during the full moon nights, until such time as you satisfactorily demonstrate self control under duress, or can prove to the court that you have set methods of confinement in place for yourself in your home for those nights. Can you agree to these things? If so, you can sign those papers and I'll put things in motion to get you out of here." The cop looks at the woman expectantly and the reason for her exhaustion is now clear. This is something that she has probably been putting together, in an effort to keep the werelion out of jail or worse, since the time of the arrest. She likely hasn't slept much if at all.

"You don't put people like me in jail," Virginie murmurs, a little skeptically, but she lets her legs drop to the floor and she leans forward to look over the papers. She reads everything and she has to think about it even after she reaches for the pen and wiggles it in her hands, still fidgeting. After a few more moments of hesitation, Virginie sighs and signs everything, pushing the papers back toward Eleanor and looking away. "I don't want to hurt anyone," she says. "I've never wanted to."

"In the past, they haven't put many shifters in jail due to the logistical nightmare of it, I know. But things are changing; slowly, but changing nonetheless," Eleanor admits. She lets out a breath. "I have a friend on staff at St. Rumon's. His name is Dr. Jacobi Leukievo. I'll speak to him about helping with arrangements on their end," she says quietly as she collects the papers. "Your bail should be set within the hour, and reduced to suit the charge as it stands now, with my recommendation." She draws a business card from where it was paper-clipped to the folder and slides it to Virginie. "Miss Mourning requested that you be given this." She rises, collecting the folder and her glasses, and moves to rap lightly on the door. She turns to look back over her shoulder at the lioness as she waits for the guards to get around to letting her out, and her expression is sincere. "Be safe out there, Miss Danvers. The officers will escort you back to your cell until bail is posted. You can keep the sweats, consider them a donation." She smiles wearily.

Virginie reaches for the card and she looks at it uncertainly. She slips it over to look at the other side, but nothing's there. She glances up and offers a very weak smile. "Thanks. I'm sorry this dragged you out. You should be resting, you know," she says, a tentative hint of concern edging her voice. She waits there for Eleanor to leave and for her escort to take her back to her cell.

"That's all a part of that responsibility thing I mentioned, Miss Danvers," Eleanor murmurs. "A fever and being a veritable snot factory doesn't absolve me of a need to protect our citizens." With that, the door opens, and she slips out into the hall.

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