2020-04-19 - Circumstanial Evidence


Detective Charles has information on the bomb the other day

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 19 00:36:07 2020
Location: Lower East Side

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A couple of days ago, a prominent business man and several members of the Chambers of the Commerce of Lower East Side had been killed in an explosion. It's likely the explosion was deliberate set - Mister Dale Buchanan was also mutant - and two suspects had been apprehended at the time of the incident.

Hank McCoy and Hisako Ichiki had been contacted by Detective Georgina Charles and asked to see them. The best place is at the scene of incident - or perhaps crime?

When they get there, Isis Marik is already there. She probably isn't alone. The slim feline-like mutant is talking with the Detective and their waiting for the rest to arrive.

Having been contacted for a follow up interview, Hank had given a statement already at the time of the incident, Hank would of course make time for the good Detective Charles. Naturally, once he found out that Hisako was asked to join he offered a lift, so the pair of mutants arrive together at the scene in his '78 Grenada 'Bessy'. Along the way he'd queued up a very eclectic mix on the one bit of actually 'super' tech in the car - his radio, sick-it makes Bose audio sound like a PC speaker.

Regardless, once they arrive he emerges from the car, and if she allows it he'll get the door for Hisako, he's old fashioned about such things.

Eyes of yellow are intent as he sees the Detective and his friend Isis. Moving over he he nods politely. "Detective." Deep bass voice and lovingly enunciated words sounding rather cultured. Isis gets a much less formal greeting in the form of an ear scritch and then a hand on her shoulder.

Nick Glearson is already there. Which makes sense because Isis is here and Isis is often with Nick. He had been literally sniffing at something that had caught his interest - chemical traces from the bomb blast - and is just returning to the group. Whatever he found he doesn't immediately say. The police have a forensic team which is something Nick doesn't have but there are rare occasions where he doesn't need one. And anything that can be identified by scent counts.

"Hello Hank. Hello Hisako." He says as he comes to stand next to Isis.

For all that Hisako knows and frequents several of the shops in this part of the city, at least when time and finances allow, she *was* kind of hoping not to be back here any time soon. She gave her own statement, of course - not that she saw much more than anone else in the crowd, at least until she was literally holding the stage up so it wouldn't collapse on people. But, when the police call, a good citizen answers … even if Hisako's own citizenship is still, at least technically, Japanese.

Maybe she should change that at some point.

"Detective Charles … Isis …" she greets the first two, then inclines her head to Nick as he joins them. "Nick. Any new information, or is that what you were hoping we could offer?" Hisako asks somberly.

"Miss Ichiki, Mister McCoy, Mister Gleason." The Detective greets, giving Nick a searching look as he joins them. "Did you … find anything, Mister Gleason?" She'll ask directly. The police have worked with Paragon Investigations enough to know that Nick and Isis have a special set of skills.

"A bit of column A and a bit of column B, Miss Ichiki. To be honest, we're a little stumped on the matter. As you're aware, there's been a group aligning itself with the Purifiers who have been linked with this crime and the one on the med clinic opening."

Interesting phrasing she has there - aligning itself. What does that mean?

Isis rubs her ears against Hanks arm when he greets her and then leans against Nick. Typical cat. "Hello Hisako." She says politely. That's something - Hisako might know that Isis has been called 'rude' by her fellow students.

"Hey Nick." Hank greets the other big furry, offering a ginormous hand. Hank steps back to stand beside Hisako a bit after Isis greets him back, arms clasping in the small of his back after he also offers the Detective a hand to shake.

Sadly, much of the information Hank has accumulated was done though 'unofficial' avenues, much won't be admissible in court.

Some, however, is a matter of public record. A lot in fact. "I have been doing some research on my own, as well." Hank says softly. "Detective, by any chance are you any relation to Phillip Charles?" Seems interesting to find the detective and one of the Persons of Interest in his investigations share a last name—but, coincidence IS a thing>

He did take the time to copy his findings so far to two different thumb drives, one of which he offers to Nick. (Isis would just lose it more than likely!)

"I can say this much, Detective - the Purifiers as a whole are not a thing, anymore, and have not been for some time. These /might/ be a splinter faction, but I suspect that is not the case."

"Mmmhmm. Smells like a fertilizer bomb. Nitrogen based. Would have been easy to get the stuff for it and only takes a little bit of chemical knowhow to create. Running down who made it will take a bit of work." Because, you know, people buy fertilizer. A LOT of it. "I might be able to identify the scents again if I smelled them again but that won't help you actually identify the people involved, just confirm their identity."

Nick folds his arms. "Aligned with. As opposed to 'this is a group of purifiers.' I remember the purifier movement here. It was nasty and this is well within their usual MO. But according to everything I know they haven't had any level of public or private support for years. Losing registration took the wind out of their sails. I take it that aligns with what you're finding out too, Detective?"

Nick pockets the drive. They'll look at it later. "Of course they wouldn't NEED public support to be doing this kind of thing. But they would need some basic level of knowledge and funding."

"Purifiers' way of thinking is they just need to do stuff, the public support will materialize," Hisako says darkly. "They're so right, according to themselves, that everyone'll see their truth."

She has … a lot of bad feelings about the Purifiers and their supporters. A lot of feelings, and a *LOT* of bad. There may be a slightly haunted look in her eyes, too; part of what brought her to America was the hope that she'd get away from bigots of that stripe. On the plus side, she's been more protected than she ever could have been back home, and she's still grateful for that - as Hank would almost certainly remember.

"Don't the ingredients for a fertilizer bomb usually have chemical markers somebody can analyze and identify?" Hisako asks, looking from Nick to Det. Charles. "Or would it take federal resources to look into that?"

Isis might try to eat the thumbdrive. No, not really, but she *is* hungry. Surprise, surprise.

"Not that I know, Mister McCoy." The detective answers. "Charles is a fairly common surname. What you're all saying though, matches with our data and why I've asked to speak to you. None of this makes sense. The Purifiers, were gutted about the time of the Blitz and they've never recovered any political capital. And yes, Mister Gleason, I say aligned - they say they are part of a Church but that particular Church was almost non-existent until about a year ago." The timing is interesting, that's about the time Nick and Isis started noticing the Reverbium experiments.

"What I wanted to speak with you about …" The detective looks at Hisako and then Nick "… I'm sorry, I didn't realise this had personal connections for the two of you." She's observant, at least. "… Mister Gleason is right though. Funding is key here and we … think we've found a connection."

Hisako gets a nod "They do and the basic analysis has been done. Our findings match with Mister Gleasons. We've sent the samples on for further analysis. Sometimes we get lucky and find a trace of something that will identify the locale but that's more just in episodes of Bones and the like."

Isis flinches a little as Hisako's emotions peak. Almost reflexively, the felines empathy kicks in, trying to calm her. Of course, it's a blanket power so everyone else will feel it. "Why are you so angry about the Purifiers, Hisako?" Cat will be cat.

Hank doesn't even think about it, he hands Isis an energy bar, one he made himself that is super rich and sweet and chock full of yummy calories. A little on the chewy side though. "I've analyzed the blast patterns at all three incidents I've been at, they're all consistent with homemade and fairly crude explosives." A nod to Hisako about the nature. "Often, but as the Detective said it is more a matter of luck, especially with easily acquired materials - /legal/ materials at that such as diesel fuel, and fertilizer. It is actually fairly easy to make a fertilizer bomb, and they're subsonic in propagation, results in some significant damage, as Kansas City and many other sites can attest."

The second thumb drive is offered to the detective. "It is a common name, yes." He agrees readily. "My findings to date on the bombs, and my research into various parties of interest." Hank looks the detective in the eye. "Some of that was not acquired 'by the book', however. Still, the information is potentially useful as a guide for peoples and persons to look into on your end, if nothing else."

A sigh. "I have to say that the funding seems likely to be tied to Lobo Technologies, but I cannot confirm that. It is merely circumstantial and supposition…what /is/ interesting is that a lot of the contracts to do the repairs track back to companies and persons tied to Lobo and subsidiaries, in whole or part."

"They can probably identify the make of the fertilizer used and that might help narrow down where and when it was sold but after that finding out who bought it is the trick and without a very specific time frame and location that'll be nearly impossible." Nick says to Hisako. He's still thinking, so much so that he almost doesn't notice when Isis asks about the purifiers. That's a touchy spot for many mutants and Isis mostly lacks it, though she has the other touchy spot of having literally been kept as an experiment and having people try to 'reclaim' her.

"What's the connection, detective?" Nick hasn't really been focused on anything related to purifiers. They've been a non factor until very recently. But he IS concerned with things like Lobo Technologies.

A noticeable wince crosses Hisako's face, with an emotion best summed up as kicking herself; she'd forgotten that Isis is both a receptive and transmitting empath. If Hisako had remembered, she would have meant to keep her emotions buffered better, but —

She lets out a breath, turning away from the others for a moment, facing (deliberately or not) towards the spot where the bomb went off. There's a brief flicker around Hisako, and then she sighs, manifesting her armor fully. It's not big this time - the armor is just about her own height plus a little - but the protective layer is still there, for the moment. She doesn't lash out, doesn't stomp around, doesn't *use* her powers except to surround herself.

"Back when I was home in Japan, in middle school, my mutant powers manifested," she explains - mainly to Isis, but if Nick and the detective want to listen in, she won't stop them. As if she could. "There was a fire at my school, and I tried to protect a classmate. Never mind that I was saving somebody; knowing I was a mutant … it still marked me. Set me aside. Made me *different.* That was all some people needed. Just that I wasn't like everyone else."

Hisako looks away again, taking a moment to focus on her breathing, her armor still shimmering yellow around her. "And some people … maybe not 'members' of the Purifiers, but they liked what they heard … they kidnapped me. Tranquilizer dart, when I was coming home from school; I didn't react fast enough to block it. Blacked out … woke up and it was still black. They kept me locked up. Sometimes one or another came in to strike me. 'Keep me in my place,'" she quotes with a faint but unmistakeable sneer. "As if I wanted to be more than a teenaged girl."

She pauses again - just long enough to hear the words, 'all three incidents,' from Hank, and an absolutely clear moment of 'wait, WHAT?!' in her mind before she de-armors, turning to face Hank.

"What do you mean, *three* incidents? The clinic, the festival, what was the first one?" Hisako's mind races briefly, trying to think of another point when Purifier sympathizers have made a nuisance of themselves …

It's hard to keep emotions hidden from Isis and she notices when people mute their feelings about her. Hisako can feel the calming effect from the feline.

"Three incidents, Mister McCoy?" Detective Charles asks. The third being the burst water main - maybe she hasn't been given that case or connected them.

Isis says nothing to Hisako but pulls away from Nick for a moment, happily munching on the energy bar that Hank just gave her. Approaching Hisako, walking *right* into the womans personal space, the feline like mutant rubs her ears against that armour.

"As soon as we get anything on the fertilizer, Mister Gleason, I'll let you know. As to the connection, it's tenous and … it's difficult for me to investigate. But the two we apprehended the other day and the 'Deacon' of this church are all members of the same Rotary chapter. The 'Deacon' has been receiving regular payments - they started about the time this Church started causing problems again. Tracking the payments, we think that they're being made by a man called Leland Hadrick."

Isis tenses at that name and peers at the detective.

Nick will no doubt be happy with the contents of the thumb drive he was given (thank you for not eating it Isis!) as it paints some fairly straight lines to Lobo, alas, much of it circumstantial - though compelling. "Truly, I think the Purifier tie in isn't. I think it is just being used as a front."

Hank most definitely remembers Hisako's anti-mutant terrorist issues in Japan, just thinking about it would spike his anger, it tinges his 'aura' a bit, and is something that Nick can scent.

Once she unarmors, Hank will offer comfort by gripping Hisako's shoulder. "There was another event, a water main was bombed, a crude cellphone trigger - but also the chemical composition consistent with the explosives used here and in the damage done to the clinic."

A slow nod when Detective Charles speaks of the ties. "My research corroborates that, Detective. Leland Hadrick, the VP of Biomed Tech for Lobo Technologies. They have their fingers in a lot of pies."

"Also a possible connection in a case I've been pursuing." Nick chimes in. "Regarding someone kidnapping and modifying mutants with particular DNA profiles." Animalistic ones, specifically. The wolfman detective looks down to Isis. Yeah she was right to tense up, this isn't good.

"I take it that you don't have anything solid on him or you'd have him in custody already. You said they're all in the same Rotary Club?" Well. That might merit some investigation. And it just so happens that this is exactly what Nick does.

"I don't suppose this is the same chapter of the rotary club that recently announced a scholarship program, is it?" It had been in the paper and Nick hadn't thought much of it, but it WOULD potentially be a VERY good way to identify potential targets. Then again, it would also be a really good way to identify potential suspects. Nick can't pass for someone going to school anymore though and Hank doubly so. Howeeeeeeeever…

The calming 'aura' projected by Isis actually *does* help Hisako, pushing the bad memories back below the surface and smoothing over the waters of her mind. Hisako does a double-take at Isis rubbing against her armor, and even after de-armoring, the Japanese girl almost …. she's visibly tempted, but not sure if she *should* reach up to give Isis a scritch, or a hairpat, or … something. It's kind of awkward but she does mean well.

"Rotary … ah, that's an American social thing, right? The gear symbol?" She makes a vaguely circular gesture with one finger. Hank's clarification about the water main - the third incident - draws a sour look to Hisako's face. "Either it's the same group using the same materials, or somebody *wants* it to look like that," she assesses.

… and the Purifier 'connection' only being a front? Maybe it *is* a fake-out of some kind. Assuming either way carries risks, though - and honestly, Hisako's not that much of an investigator. Or, for the most part, that much of an undercover agent - which is why she gives Nick a wary look when he brings up that scholarship program.

"As I said, we *think* they're coming from Mister Hadrick. The man does have a partner though and the men in question say they were providing services to the partner. Maintenance and upkeep type services. It's a flimsy connection but we have our suspicions." There's not much more that the Detective *can* say but she's given some valuable information.

"And yes, the same Rotary Club, Mister Gleason. We're seeing if we can get someone on the inside of that. Perhaps …" She looks at Hisako.

"Rotary, Nick, Hank? Like a motor?" Isis asks, catching up on that part of the conversation. Hisako can scritch her ears as the feline-like mutant pats the others woman arm before moving to stand with Nick again.

Detective Charles gives the group a look before taking her out her phone. "If you'll excuse me, I have to take this. You have my number if you remember anything and I have yours." She nods and moves away. Clearly, giving the group time to talk.

"Hadrick is bad man." That's Isis' contribution.

Softly. "It is okay, Hisako-chan, Isis likes affection from friends." Hank has known Hisako a lot of years, he's pretty adept at reading the girl. A smile to Isis. "A club, though there are rotary engines, yes…the Rotary *Club* is actually a global thing. It is 'an organization of business and professional person united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.' according to their website." Yes, Hank's brain is weird, he remembered all that.

He looks to the Detective, and nods. "Of course." Once she is gone, he looks thoughtful. "It seems Nick and the Detective had the same idea, do you feel up to this sort of subterfuge, Hisako? You're the only 'can pass' amongst us." He hates asking her, but…she's young, she's in school, so the scholarship angle is a good one.

"They're a networking and lobbying group." Nick snorts more cynically because Nick - having lived the life he has - is considerably more cynical. "They do a side business in philanthropy because it's good PR. I mean, doing good is doing good but we ain't exactly talking March of the Dimes here."

The detective gets a nod as she steps away. "If you're not up to it we can find another way." Nick assures her. "But… you do still conceivably look like you could be a student and being from Japan is actually a bonus in that regard." Isis is also young enough to do it but Nick isn't at all sure Isis could hold the deception for long enough. Also, Isis is at considerably more risk for just being snatched.

There is absolutely no hiding the derisive snort Hisako gives at the description of the Rotary Club's started goals. 'Humanitarian service,' *right*. Apparently somebody thinks that encompasses public assassinations.

But … they want her to pose as a student. Hank and Nick are asking this of her.

"I'm not much of an actress," Hisako warns them. "And knowing what we do now … I might blow it. But if this will help us take them apart *legally*, bring the weight of the law down on these scumbuckets … I can try."

And if she knows danger's about to strike, she *is* one of the best-suited individuals to protect herself, and those around her as well. It's not an easy decision, but if this needs to be done and she's the best-suited to do it …

Isis frowns as she works that through. "I know we want to do this legally, Hisako. Well, stop what we think is being done to mutants legally. Looks like we have a tie, even if it's just a weak one for now." More evidence is needed. "There is a connection, right, Nick? Hadrick works for Lobo Tech and Hadrick has being paying these 'purifiers' money. This isn't just circumstantial evidence, is it?"

Isis is tryin to get her PI licence. It's a big challenge - given the feline like mutant can barely write and read.

And they *could* ask Isis to do it but that would be silly. She'd be bored in no time flat and asleep in a sun beam somewhere - no matter that she's not really educated.

"If Hisako is saying yes, I think we've got a way forward?"

"Well…I didn't say it was an entirely accurate description." Hank says with a soft chuff of laughter in the face of Nick and Hisako's derision. A squeeze to Hisako's shoulder as she proves willing. "You're the best one for the job, even when I was not furry I couldn't have - between my name being fairly well known, and my physical proportions, not viable for me." He really does not like sending her into potential danger, but…she does have the powers to handle most risks, at least of a physical nature. She's also smart, and motivated - both by her past and the recent events. Hisako is also a good person.

To Isis, he shakes his head. "Not just circumstantial but probably insufficient to get a warrant." Definitely need more evidence, ayup.

To Nick and Isis both. "I'll brief Hisako on the risks, and the other details." The Reverbium and the weaponizing of beast form mutants. "Unless you have any objections?"

"No objections here. I've got a second lead to follow up in the meantime so… let us know if you need help with this. All we need it something to connect Hadrick with all of this. It doesn't have to be much. Just enough to justify an investigative warrant. We do that and I think this jenga tower of suck will collapse."

Which ALL jenga towers do eventually. "Anyway, good luck. Isis, let's get some lunch." Second lunch. Maybe third.

"Right." Isis would rather just tear the mans throat out but that's frowned upon by the X-Men. Nick has reinforced that well and good.

Detective Charles waves as the group is breaking up. She knows what she did.

"See you later, Hank. I'll need to see you about my lessons." She says, starting to trail after Nick. Food!

As they leave, Hisako and Hank hear "I want waffles and pancakes and icecream, Nick. And a steak."

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