|Location||NYPD - New York|
|Summary||Irene Atwell meets her new partner, Vega Zhang, for the first time. This is not a prank.|
There is no such thing as a non-busy day in a police department, and though Mutant Affairs is a specialty division of the NYPD, it is no different. It's not quiet either. Phones ring intermittently, either until someone or some machine picks up; conversations are had in every room in varying volumes; people walking to-and-fro; and even occasionally the muffled wail of sirens from outside. It's not exactly the ideal environment for concentration, but everyone finds their own ways to deal with the lack of consistent quiet--or they just get used to it--since most of the desks are situated in one open room.
Her desk is where Irene is situated, the surface mostly clean except for a pen and notepad (very old school) and a coffee that's half-full and has cooled enough that is doesn't steam anymore. One drawer is pulled open to be used as a footrest--which is slightly more professional than using the surface of the desk itself--and she flips through some files on a tablet with a look of mild concentration on her face, accentuated by hair pulled back in a tight ponytail.
It's like coming home. A home that is nearly visually indistinct from the rest of the NYPD offices. Desks. Sounds. People. The buzz and hum of technology that is ever-present in New York. It's a pleasant kind of cacophony. Yet, like a switch was flipped, the room gets quieter as the Captain enters. A slender, young-appearing asian woman follows her with her shock of pastel pink hair tied up in a messy bun.
She doesn't bother to make broad introductions. That isn't //her// job. Instead a beeline is made for Irene's (very tidy) desk and introductions are short. "Atwell. This is Detective Vega Zhang. Newly minted Mutant Affairs as of fifteen minutes ago. She'll be your new partner," she says briskly, each word sounding like a decision. "I want you to take her on your rounds on the dockside case." That said. Enough said. She leaves the pair of women to get acquainted.
Irene removes her legs from atop the drawer and kicks it gently closed. Tablet still in hand, she stands up, back straight and shoulders back. "Captain," she acknowledges/greets with little change in her expression from a moment before. At least until what is said sinks in and her gaze slides over to Vega, eyes widening almost imperceptibly. Almost. She looks back at the Captain, silent for a moment, searching for a sign. Like, that this is a joke, probably. "Yes, Captain." Of course, that would require the Captain to be making a joke about police procedure, which seems unlikely.
No jokes. Irene is left with exactly what the Captain promised - one Vega Zhang. Pink-haird, petite, and (at least) respectful as she nods at the Captain's orders. "Yes, Sir." Pivoting slightly on her foot, Vega's expression warms a little as she extends a hand. "Pleasure to meet you, Atwell..." The lengthening of Irene's name indicating that /she/ wasn't give a first name at least.
Taking the hand, Irene gives it a shake, her grip firm if not aggressively so. She fills in that dangling question and offers her name to the woman who is apparently her new partner, "Irene. Irene Atwell." Her own greeting is much more succinct and much less mannered: "Hi." It's not /un/friendly exactly, but a little wary. She looks at the tablet and back up. "I guess I'm supposed to take you with me on rounds." Almost like an afterthought, she adds, "Welcome to the department."
Vega's grip is firmer than might be expected, a certainty and strength that seems to sit comfortably with her. It may be difficult to equate with her visual appearance. Her dark eyes flit towards the tablet with unrepressed interest, mouth curving lopsidedly. "Hi," she repeats easily. "It sounds like it. Looks like we'll be seeing a lot of each other." Partner. That lopsided curve broadens into something more genuine. "Thanks."
There is a lot difficult to equate with Vega's visual appearance. Irene's gaze, for example, can't help by stray to her pink hair now and again. "Apparently." Look, it's been only a minute and she's still trying to figure out if this is really happening and how someone might be pulling one over on her. But almost no one is paying the pair of them much mind, not like a group of people waiting for a moment to laugh. So she shrugs and pokes the tablet a couple of times before passing it over. On it, there is a little information about the docks in question, and some weird inconsistencies in shipping crate contents.
It is very pink hair. Cotton Candy coloured even. Trying to make a good impression on her first day, it's been twisted up in a mostly neat and tidy bun. Other than a few curious glances, everyone else has shit to do. They'll meet the new girl later. Extending a hand for the tablet, Vega's eyes skim quickly over the information, a scattering of freckles visible on her nose. Fingers dancing across the screen, she pulls up some of those inconsistencies before zeroing in on the location. Eying the address, she sighs. "We had some issues with that area when I was in Narcotics."
"Narcotics, hm?" Privately, behind a mask of neutrality, Irene is pleased to hear that. Because no one gets into narcotics without being on the force for awhile. "Items going missing got the attention of the port authority, who got the attention of the police. But it's this that landed the case here." 'This' being a series of photos Irene brings up, which looks like the rough outline of a person burned into the walls of large shipping containers. It's not normal looking.
"Uh-huh." Vega's response is almost negligent; she finds her history far less interesting than the case at hand. Not a lot of ego there. Irene is handed back the tablet to pull up the information without protest. Rocking back on her heels, she whistles at the image of a person burned into the walls of the shipping container. "Shit. Combustive? Is this the first?"
It's okay, there are plenty of files on that history available for reading. "Maybe, except it looks like someone was walking /through/ crates to get where they were going." There are multiple images of different crates. Irene then turns the tablet off for the time being. "That's the first. The second was called in this morning, though there seems to be less unaccounted for or damaged this time." Make of that what you will.
A lock of pink hair falls over Vega's shoulder as she tips her head to get a better look at the image, dark eyes narrowing. "Residue left by walking though the walls? It could be damage rendered when slipping through the molecules. Was a similar mark on the outside?" Questions. "Have you checked out the scene yet?" Maybe the cargo was less interesting this time around.
"Maybe. There's a more...technical-" Read: Science-y. "Report by the techs. Yes." Vega can read about it in the car, if she wants. Irene cannot parse it. She read the 'for non-scientists' summary. "No, that's where we are headed." Because they are leaving now, you see. The coffee is abandoned on the desk, Irene sweeps a jacket off the back of her chair and around her shoulders, badge swinging from a chain around her neck. The tablet comes with too.
Science-y. Awesome. "I'll take a look at it on the way," Vega agrees, slipping the coat that she had folded over one arm onto her shoulders. Her badge is clipped to a breast-pocket. It's been polished. "Lead on." She waits for Irene to guide the way to the car and all.
"If you want," Irene says in a way that sounds more like 'why would you want to?'. On the way out, she gives the world's shortest tour of the place, not certain if Vega has already been shown around or not, so this consists of just pointing at things and naming it. "Cells, interrogation rooms, coffee pots..." And so on. All the way to the car they're using, which does not get announced as 'car'. It clicks as it's unlocked by remote, and she climbs in without another word, tossing the tablet on the passenger side seat. For...Vega. Presumably.
A shrug is all the answer that Irene gets to her unspoken question. The sights of Mutant Affairs are noted with interested - only the most important landmarks listed. Coffee Pots. Vega follows obligingly, nodding at the various places marked on the tour. She's too polite to say if she got one already. The car might be a little jealous that it doesn't warrant such an announcement. If Vega is a little sad at not getting to drive, she doesn't show it as she gamely piles in. The tablet is picked up before she drops down on the seat, crossing her legs with a clink of metal.
That clink catches Irene's attention, looking over at her new partner with a quizzical furrow of brows as she puts the car in reverse. And then stops for a moment, possibly concerned that the /car/ is making a funny sound.
For a moment Vega stares back at Irene in confusion. That is the most expression she has seen out of her new partner so far. It doesn't dawn on her until that car stops, brows tweaking in a wince, just what Irene is responding to. "The car is fine." She promises. "Might as well get this over with now," she says dryly, reaching for the bottom of her pants legs. One, two, three, four, and five rolls of the cuff, just about to the knee, expose a dark metallic prosthesis where human skin should be. The plating and lines are roughly suggestive of the musculature of the human form, but there is an architectural sharpness in that angles that is anything but human. Her own features mild, she expectantly watches Irene for her reaction.
The car is in reverse, but with Irene's foot on the brake, it isn't going anywhere. Her own brows draw together at the remark of 'getting this over with'. In no way could she possibly predict what Vega meant by that. She stares at the leg for a long moment in silence, before equally silently putting the car back into park. Nope. There isn't a lot to read in her brown eyes, but there is a thoughtfulness there, and if one is optimistic, one might even see a flash of sympathy. If one is pessimistic, they might instead see guilt. "The department knows about this, I assume?" Hopes. Hopefully assumes.
That is for the best. Vega waits out the silence, expression unchanging, except for the slightest of motion as she rolls up her other pant leg. The motion is jarred a little by the car settling back into park. "Yeah. No way to get out of the physical," she cracks lightly, lifting her shoulders in a shrug. All while she watches the other woman carefully. Sympathy or guilt. Often it's both. "That going to be a problem?" The legs. The department already knows.
This time it probably is both, sympathy and guilt. There is only a slight pause before Irene answers. "Not unless it's a problem." She isn't challenging Vega to prove herself, or prove her legs worth--not directly, anyway. No, the legs are not a problem. Unless the legs become a problem on the job. If everyone else thinks it's fine, there's no reason for her not to. She puts the car in reverse again, backs out of the parking spot for real this time, then drives it out into the busy New York traffic. "You don't have to tell me what happened unless you want to." It's a kind of peace offering.
"It hasn't been so far." Vega is willing to let her history and her place in the department speak for themselves. She wears the badge, which means she earned the right to wear it. Somewhere in her blithe reply, there might be a quiet request to not make it a problem. As they enter traffic, she laughs suddenly, leaning an elbow against the door. "That is...not a response I've gotten often," she offers, smile broaden. "It's refreshing." The peace offering is accepted. "Although, you seem like the kind of person, Atwell, to learn everything about me later."
As much of a baby as Vega looks, as green as she looks, she apparently has enough history to be here after working in narcotics...which isn't nothing. Irene isn't going to make the legs a problem as long as they don't make problems for her. "You're not the first person I've known with prosthetics." Though she doesn't elaborate on that point, nor does she look like she wants to. She takes her eyes off the traffic just long enough to give Vega a sideways look. "Well, you're not wrong," she admits with a sigh.
Vega's head tips to the side in acknowledgement, hands perfunctorily rolling back down her pant legs. "Mine are pretty nice," she says. Modestly. "It happens." Prosthetics, one assumes. Possibly life. Leaning her face on her hand, she grins back at Irene, looking younger for a split second as she flashes her teeth. "Thought so." Admittedly. "I would too. Will." She lifts the tablet, giving it a small shake. After she finishes her reading material for the case. She is silent for a moment, looking out the window at the cars passing by, gaze lingering on a subway marker. "It was the 86th Street Station attack. Mutant, some kid, lost control of his powers, leaving the place a heap of rubble and melted concrete."
"They look it." Irene has no idea. They don't look /not/ nice, which she'd have an easier time recognizing. "Yeah." There is silence in the car, and the noise of the city muffled from outside it. "So is the hair..." She begins to ask, but trails off as Vega begins to speak again. She couldn't figure out how to end that sentence anyway. Instead, she looks perplexed briefly--the what?--before it is explained. "Oh." A beat. "That's pretty bad." And that is a mighty understatement. "I wasn't around for that." Like it would've mattered.
A lot of the prosthetics look /not/ nice. The hair gets left to the wayside as Vega accidentally cuts off Irene's question. "It was pretty bad." To put it lightly. "It was a long time ago," she says, shrugging off her new partner's not being around for that. She probably can't pin down her age. "Long story short, they found me underground in the next day or so. And these..." Her hand taps her knee, making it clink. "Weren't salvageable."
"Yeah. Sounds it." Bad, that is. Without getting into the truly gruesome details. Or messy emotions. "At least they found you." It's a small statement with large implications. At least they found her...at least she's alive. "And now you're here." There is obviously a lot in between those two events, but it's not the sort of thing one needs to talk about on the first day with a new partner--if ever. Irene's hands grip the steering wheel a little tighter for a moment, but she spares Vega any kind of interrogation. "Lucky you." There is a dry humor to that.
"Mhm." They found her alive. It's a blessing well counted and often repeated over the years. "I am," Vega agrees more brightly, leaning back in her seat. "So lucky." That dry humor is met with a little more enthusiasm than strictly necessary. "And you? What was a little sign post for you on the illustrious route to Mutant Affairs?"
"Sign post?" Irene isn't sure what that means for a moment. "I'm not sure I would call it illustrious. Give it a month and see if you think the same." Still, she doesn't sound bitter about it, just realistic. "I just thought I might be useful here." There is a stretch of silence, filled only by the honking of horns at an intersection, then she says, "All my stories of mutants trying to explode me are from this job." She is probably kidding. Maybe.
"Mile marker, turning point, shit you did when you weren't here?" Vega offers, and continues to offer, until she kind of gives up. She laughs lightly at Irene's realism. "I was being pithy. Police work is hard work, nothing quite lives up to that shine television gives it." The answer given is given an appreciative nod. That's a valid one. Her eyes go back to traffic, falling easily quiet in that stretch of silence. Then, her brows go up in surprise. A joke? Is she serious? "Common problem?"
"Mostly I got shot at when I wasn't here," Irene deadpans in a way that could either mean she's pulling Vega's bionic leg...or she's gotten shot at /so much/ that it doesn't even phase her anymore, which seems unlikely. "This is police work, yeah, just weirder." She nods her head at Vega and tablet, without taking her eyes off the traffic. After a bit, she admits, "No. Not a common problem." She should probably not /try/ to scare of the new girl.
Tongue ticking at the roof of her mouth, Vega leans back in her seat visibly pondering what Irene might mean by that. Verbally, she quips, "Might want to get an apartment in a new part of town..." If that /is/ in her off hours. Obediently she opens up the tablet, pulling open the file on their current case. Nodding, she lets that comment roll off her shoulders like a duck in water. Time to focus on the case a little more."Broker fees are outrageous," Irene quips back, with what is becoming a familiarly dry tone, with the 'reason' she doesn't move. (It's probably not why she doesn't move--if she is even in that bad of a neighborhood at all). She glances Vega's way, but as her new partner has picked up the tablet and begun reviewing the case file again, she leaves her to it.