These aren't the droids you're looking for

Summary:
January 4, 2015: Barry witnesses the death of one of his friends; Spitfire casts a skeptical eye.

NYC

The Big Apple


Characters

NPCs

  • Rodney Wallace

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


There's a call that goes out to all those on the SRD comsigs: A robbery in progress over on 35th street. Someone was in a dark alley, about 4 minutes ago at 4 am, and heard shots fired.

It doesn't take Barry long to get ready. He leaps out of bed and is into his suit just a split second later. From there, he's out on the streets, and pulling up into the alley in question in less than half a minute.

Usually, Jacqueline doesn't get up until 5am — 7am on a Sunday! And, not being in the SRD, she doesn't tend to keep a pager or a scanner by her bed, though MI-13 has been known to buzz her phone on occasion. This, however, is not one of those occasions. Instead, this is one of those unusual happenstances where the Old Lady of London's meta circuit has been out most of the night dealing with other business. Thus, when shots are fired, she orders her driver to stop, so she can hop out. Seconds later, red trench over golden speed suit, she's enroute as well, arriving only a speedster's heartbeat after Barry.

By the time Jacqueline arrives, she'll notice the Scarlet Speedster on bended knee tending to a form on the ground. It's tough to see, but it is, in fact, a man. A man wearing the garb of the police, and one, though she wouldn't know this part, that Barry knew on a personal basis. He was Rodney Wallace, one of Barry's first friends here since moving a couple months ago from Central City.

Jacqueline has spent much of her life, in recent years, certainly, around military and law enforcement personnel. She has a deep, abiding respect for such men and women. Her eyes tighten as she understands the meaning of the tang of blood in the air and the puddle on the ground beneath the man Flash attends. "I'm sorry." she says, British voice soft. "Call the ambulance?" Or just the coroner? Carefully, she steps around them, inspecting the alley for the trajectory of the shots and any indication of where the shooter might have fled.

Flash shakes his head, "He's gone."

He stands now, looking down upon the dark skin of his friend; looking so peaceful aside from the blood under the shirt—he was pierced at the top of the chest, just above where the kevlar vest would have covered. It was a strategic shot. "I'll call the coroner."

It's not long before the authorities arrive. As they do the work, Barry is sitting on top of the building, looking down, looking mopey.

By the time the forensics and coroner teams are there, Jacqueline has joined Barry on the rooftop — though she looks more focussed than he does. She stands on the edge of the building, coat flapping some in the cold breeze, turning in a small circle as she tries to determine the likeliest angle of attack. Had to be from a rooftop. To see into the alley, it also has to have been nearby. "The shooter can't have gotten far," she muses softly, glancing down at the moping young man. "There's only two or three likely spots he could have nested. Care to check them out with me?" A beat. "It beats moping…" There's no criticism in her tone. Just a gentle suggestion.

The Flash nods, "You go that way and I'll check this way." The suggestion is a good one—she's right of course. Without hesitation, the Flash tears away checking every possible spot in a 4 mile radius. Between the speed he and Spitfire have, it doesn't take long.

No. Not long. And at one location, although the casings are gone, Jacqueline is sure there's a fresh scrape mark from the bipod, where it rested on the lip of the rooftop, and the scuff of a footstep in the worn tar and gravel. She leans on the lip, a couple of feet down from the scuffs, and sweeps the surrounds visually before going for a 'jog' to check out the likeliest route of retreat.

"It's not it," The Flash says from behind Spitfire sadly. "I know what it looks like, but that could just as easily be from a crate." He rests his hand on his hips. "I think the shooter got away.

*
Meanwhile, as the coroner's office is preparing the body, Rodney is being transported into the freezer to keep cool before tomorrow's examination. Though there were a couple in the queue, the Coroner would probably take care of Rodney first, for obvious reasons.

Not long after he goes into the freezer, Rodney's eyes flash open and he nudges the edge of the door with his foot, opening the cooler slowly to be sure there's no one else in the room.

Spitfire glances back at Flash and grimaces. She glances up at the overcast sky, eyes squinting a moment or two before she nods simply in response. "It was worth a look," she shrugs. "But, now the question is: Why was the officer targeted? Just because of the uniform — wrong place/wrong time — or something more personal?" She cants her head. "Did you know him?"

"Pretty well, actually," The Flash says in response. "I'm not sure why he would have been targeted. Rodney was just a simple cop, working the beat. Young too. With a family. I think the guy was only 25. Maybe it was wrong place wrong time? I guess I'm not sure."

*

Rodney slides out from the cool coccoon and goes immediately toward the computer banks. Hand in pocket, he produces a USB that he inserts into the desktop computer. Within moments, he has access.

Again, Spitfire nods, empathetic still. "Which means it's up to the D.I.C. to figure it out." The detective-in-charge of the investigation, that means. "I'm sorry. I know how hard that is, to wait on someone else's investigation." She lets out a low, dry chuckle. "Worse, really, when you're the meddling sort." As she is. Her head cants. "What do you want to do, now?"

"I suppose we should go see his family," the Flash says. "You interested in coming along? His wife is going to be pretty upset. And there'll be kids there," the Flash says. "It could really help if you were there."

"Absolutely," the Brit agrees without hesitation. She understands moral support. Had he not asked, she wouldn't have intruded. But, since he did, there's no second thought. "Lead the way…"

It's not far.

Everyone at the precinct tends to live in the same area, everyone except for Barry and Pezzini and Manning who live in the city. It's across north, into Westchester, in one of those neighborhoods that have low housing prices, but not a lot of crime because that's where all the city's workers live because that's what they can afford.

The Flash pauses and takes an inward breath. This is the worst damn piece of the job, right here.

"Can you knock? I don't think I can bring myself to do it." They really must have been close for the Flash to be handling it like this.

*

Rodney's hands splay over the keys as he digs and digs and saves and saves medical information. The screen is a blur until something comes across the screen.

Lisa Snart. A picture of a beautiful blonde woman is on the corner as the details of her death and autopsy begin to be downloaded.

You can almost see the dollar signs in his eyes.

Five o'clock in the morning is not exactly the time a young wife wants to be awakened by… well, anyone, really. Especially not someone representing the authorities when her husband's a cop on patrol. But, some things have got to be done. Jacqueline gives Barry a sympathetic look and then rings the bell, waiting a few moments before rapping smartly. She steps aside and lets the Flash deal with whomever answers the door, however.

And then, something surprising happens.

Rodney Wallace opens the door, toothbrush in his mouth, looking as if he's getting ready for work. "Flash?" he says with a mouth full of paste. "Spitfire?" he leans out and spits into the bushes. "What are you guys doing here? Is everything okay?"

As George Harkness walks out of the police station and into the masses of early risers, he stops by a trash can to slide his mask in. He's come for what he wanted, and the mission was complete.

Spitfire looks at the young man framed in the doorway, and then back at Flash — who's more than likely dumbstruck? She would be. As it is, however, the agent of the British Crown looks at the Scarlet Speedster and says, "I think you'd better call the M.E. Find out just who, exactly, it is we just sent to the morgue."

"I think you're right," the Flash says. "In fact, I think I'm going to go there right away. Forget calling." The Flash tears away, headed straight for the medical examiner's office at full tilt.

Leaving Spitfire with Rodney. Awkward.

Spitfire watches Flash bolt and gives the young man with the toothbrush a dry smile. "I'm terribly sorry to impose, officer," she says evenly. "But, might I come in? I think you and I need to have a wee bit of a chat." Yeah. He's in for a few of those over the next few days, no doubt. Poor sod.


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