Sunday, September 27, 2015

Keys to the Kingdom

This is the second part in a multi-part story. The first part may be found here. The third part may be found here, and the fourth part, here.

               The lobby was no longer an obstacle. Once the receptionist had gotten the memo that charges weren’t being filed, and that he was still allowed in the building, she stopped screaming whenever he walked in the door. Anymore the largest response he got out of her was a glance and a grunt. Even the desks weren’t much of an issue anymore. The rookies only knew who he was if they had heard about the incident from someone else and didn’t find themselves in any position to bother, and the majority of the vets had put everything under whatever bridges they may have owned some time ago.

               Every now and then when he ended up wandering through here over a case, he might hear his name called out from across the room. At some point he’d gotten shoved into the same room as the copier and told he shouldn’t come back. When he came back after that one he was nearly cuffed, though there was no way in hell that was legal. Or if it was legal he couldn’t think of a good reason for it, even if he knew full well how many bendable rules there were.

               Today appeared to be an off day for any instigators, meaning he was going to get through without issue. Which meant there was one last trial to overcome before he could move on with his business, and that was Nadine Holton. Nadine, on a good day, could be rather lenient. But as far as he could tell, Nadine hadn’t had a good day in about three years, save for that one day after the Life Day party he had managed to get an invitation to. Even then he thought that was her somehow riding some sort of hangover high.

               He slipped into her office without as much as a knock, knowing full well they had been past the knock-to-enter routine months ago. She sat, typing away at whatever report needed filing next, a number of folders open elsewhere on her desk. If there was one thing he never missed about his job, it was the bureaucratic bits. Slipping his hands into his pockets, he put on his best smile, working over his opening remarks in his head. She beat him to the punch.


               He frowned, bringing his hands out of his pockets, just for the sake of putting them up in defense, as though being assaulted by her words. She sighed, pushing her keyboard away for the time being, turning her chair to look at him. Resting her elbows against her desk, she shook her head, repeating herself, “No.”

               With a sigh of his own he let his arms drop to the side, “Think that’s a new record, Nadi.”

               Nadine pointed towards the door, feigning pride, “Good, means I’m getting more efficient at this.”

               “Not even a little consideration? Allow me to plead my case?” he said, trying to keep some hope in the conversation. He knew exactly where it would go if he allowed her to drain it all away, and it wasn’t anywhere he wanted to be.

               She shook her head once more, still pointing towards the door, “Don’t make me have to get somebody to escort you out of the building again, Elliot.”

               He frowned, “That was one time.”

               “And it took two people, and I’ve seen kids leave a place easier.”

               “Look,” he said, holding his hands up again, trying to get her to slow down, “Just gimmie some morgue access, or lemme look at your list of suspects right now, or hell. I’ll settle for interview tapes. Anything. Don’t even gotta hire me Nadi. Just need something I can go off of right now.”

               She let out a snort, “You can settle for nothing, Elliot. I already let you on the ship, and even then I’m probably gonna get hell for doing that.” She casually flipped the files on her desk closed, which of course was the first time he even bothered to take note of them.

               “Alright,” Elliot said, pointing towards the door, “I’ll walk out here, right now. If you give me the security footage.”

               Nadine frowned, blinking a few times, “There isn’t any security footage.”

               Elliot sighed, “Are we back to the playing dumb act? Of course there’s security footage, those things come standard with security footage, and it wasn’t there, so somebody has it.” The stare she gave him told him enough, “And apparently it’s not you.”

               Her attention turned from him to the intercom sitting on her desk. Pressing a button she leaned in, lowering her voice, though not enough to keep him from catching her words, “Get Simon out looking for the security footage on that ship case.” His eyes narrowed and his lips spread into a grin. She looked back up at him, “Don’t even think about it.”

               He pointed towards her, backing up to the door, “Finders keepers.”

               A snort escaped her as her eyes narrowed, trying to process what he had just said, “That isn’t how any of this works.”

               He only offered her a shrug, pulling the door open once more and escaping back into the rows of desks, making for the front door, his trip a success. Even if he hadn’t managed to secure a second income, this was exactly the trail he needed to get a move on, and if he did find this sort of evidence before the police did, then that very well could be his in, either for finding a few answers or getting the access he wanted. 

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