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White Elephant - Deposition
Rplog-icon Who: Harvey Bullock, Kilroy Capital Conneticut
Special Agent Lizzy Cerro
Where: GCPD Headquarters
When: 2014.05.11
Tone: Gritty
What: Detective Harvey Bullock is interviewed regarding a new partnership between the GCPD and the Ivory Foundation.

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This is usually not a good room to be in. This is the room reserved for disciplinary hearings, since each department usually has its own debriefing room or shares it with another squad. Today, however, Officer Bullock has been assured that this is for something good, something new. A way to change the way things have been going in Gotham for decades and to turn the city into some place safe, clean and prosperous. If Metropolis can do it, why not Gotham?

Has a fancy enough sounding name. The Ivory Foundation is a list of some pretty prestigious names. Some new toys from an R&D arm of the Department of Homeland Security, T.A.Z.E., along with some hefty political clout from Senator McMurder, and the National Valiance Foundation. It's an impressive bunch and they have a pilot program in Gotham...but like all good government programs, all I's must be dotted, all T's must be crossed.

Kilroy? How does he fit into all this? Well Sheer Accounting was the gold standard of forensic accounting firms with law enforcement. But given his extracurricular advice in Genosha, his partners had been screaming at him to 'fix' the firms reputation. This came up. So they were the money guys, the ones to make the magic happen. So here he is, on the board of a project that...just seems weird to him.

Special Agent Lizzy Cerro smiles at Harvey from a line of desks, Kilroy on the right, two businessmen and a politician on the left. "Officer Bullock, thank you for your time. We're doing some...research into a pilot program here in Gotham and your name came up as a good guy to tell us what life was like on the street. But for the record, would you mind telling us a bit about yourself?"

This is just what he needs. Detective Bullock entered the precinct with his temper in tatters -- his sacrosanct morning trip to grab coffee and pastries was delayed by an unbelievable line, then screaming children, and finally an irate customer's altercation with the cafe's overtaxed register jockey. It took every ounce of his restraint not to jail the offending party, so his patience had run out by the time he made his way into the office and was directed to this hearing.

He sits and stares at Agent Cerro for a long moment, digesting her question. In one hand, he's clutching a steaming paper cup of coffee; in the other, a half-eaten bear claw. His expression dares anyone to make a comment. "I'm a GCPD detective," he finally answers. "You've seen this place. You've read the news. I think you got a pretty good idea what life on the street is like. We got crazy people in ridiculous costumes beating the crap out of each other and the city all day, and it's our job to keep out of the line of fire long enough to sort out which ones we're allowed to throw in jail."

Agent Cerro nods appreciatively, clucking a bit with her tongue, "I have Detective Bullock. I have. I think we all have. And I for one thank you greatly for your time. Now, one of the reasons you were recommended to us for this process, was a complaint you filed a few weeks ago about the situation regarding fire power and available technology. Would you mind describing the incident?"

Bullock shifts in his seat with an audible creak, looking harried. "Aw, yeah, that. I was pushing Gordon to up the budget on our firepower. I didn't mean to start a whole damn internal investigation. The Commish and I got our issues, but I got his back, okay? None of this is about him." He pauses for a moment, satisfying himself that this isn't about to turn into a witch hunt against one of the few cops on this force he gives a damn about.

"That said, I mean... yeah. It's a mess out there. I think the specific thing in the complaint was about this high tech guy who tried to rob a bank or something. We show up to stop him, he's blowing up cars and shooting exploding fireballs and eventually it gets so bad that we just have to wait for God knows what 'registered' 'superheroes'" -- he pronounces the last two words with dripping sarcasm -- "to show up and punch his face in."

Bullock bashes his bear claw on the desktop. "And they do. Oh yeah, they punch his face in. Along with half a city block! Then they're gone, and we go in to try to pull ID or prints or something, and I swear to God, the guy's whole kit explodes." Bullock flings his arms wide, crumbs scattering and coffee sloshing. "Little bits of meat and metal everywhere."

Everyone at the table looks sympathetic, especially Kilroy. Kilroy doesn't usually cause that much of a mess, in fact he literally makes it vanish, but the police are sort of an 'afterthought' when dealing with the crazies who clean it up. Janitors of a fashion, which is not an ideal situation to be in. He begins to look into some things while looking at various papers, making inquiries of the Economy into the GCPD budget.

Agent Cerro continues, getting Bullock's sensitivity to the commissioner. "I assure you Mr. Bullock, all of us here have the highest respect for Commissioner Gordon. He performed the IMPOSSIBLE when he turned back the rampant corruption that infested this city. But, to be honest...there is only so much that a department can do. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but reading your report, all you had to deal with 'The Exploder' as he called himself, was a standard issue police revolver? And three reloads of regular ammo? No vest? No special regenerative drugs often available to federal law enforcement?"

"Regenerative drugs?! Who's got regenerative drugs? I bet it's those SHIELD punks, isn't it? A damn fortress in the sky for ~sensitive political matters~" -- Bullock's thick Jersey accent breaks for a moment into a rough impression of an English aristocrat -- "and we've got billy clubs and Crown Vics to deal with an invasion of frigging space gods!" Bullock's rant is only getting more of a head of steam. Fortunately, he's at least vaguely addressing Cerro's inquiries.

"And I mean, the worst part is? I'm not even sure "The Exploder" is even who the complaint was about. That kind of crap happens at least once a week. It could have been the chick with the magnet thing that made our guys jam and blow up in our hands if we tried to fire them. Sergeant Killian's still in the hospital! Or the guy with the spiders." Bullock's whole body quakes as he shudders in remembered horror. He doesn't even bother to elaborate. "A glock and an badge don't exactly cut it in this town anymore."

"Regenerative drugs?! Who's got regenerative drugs? I bet it's those SHIELD punks, isn't it? A damn fortress in the sky for ~sensitive political matters~" -- Bullock's thick Jersey accent breaks for a moment into a rough impression of an English aristocrat -- "and we've got billy clubs and Crown Vics to deal with an invasion of frigging space gods!" Bullock's rant is only getting more of a head of steam. Fortunately, he's at least vaguely addressing Cerro's inquiries.

"And I mean, the worst part is? I'm not even sure "The Exploder" is even who the complaint was about. That kind of crap happens at least once a week. It could have been the chick with the magnet thing that made our guys jam and blow up in our hands if we tried to fire them. Sergeant Killian's still in the hospital! Or the guy with the spiders." Bullock's whole body quakes as he shudders in remembered horror. He doesn't even bother to elaborate. "A glock and an badge don't exactly cut it in this town anymore."

Agent Cerro nods, not commenting on her fellow agency. T.A.Z.E likes to keep good relations within the law enforcement community. She does however ask, "And the alien? I believe you yourself were hospitalized concerning something of a 'larger scope' than normal a few months ago? Would you care to redescribe the incident? We have the report, but I think your own words would do more than the written version."

"Oh, yeah, I got words. I got a lotta words, but you probably don't wanna write them down," Bullock answers darkly. "Honestly? I don't even remember most of it. I think the perp was blue -- that's about all I got, because she zapped me with some kinda brain ray. Hypnosis or whatever. Used me as a guard, which is just perfect in a city full of hero-complex lunatics in masks. I don't even know who 'disabled' me, but I'm betting it was the Bat. Ended up in traction. That was fun." The detective takes a big, emphatic bite out of his bear claw and chews it, looking resentful.

Agent Cerro is about to ask yet another question, when, much to the surprise of the other panelists, Kilroy speaks up. He's looking at some figures, but the real figures are in his head, "If I'm reading this right...a garbage collector earns more after ten years than a two year police recruit...and while after six years the salary can reach six figures, that typically in Gotham includes disaster pay which, due to budget constraints after 2008 has had stricter and stricter guidelines." He shuffles the papers around, "in point of fact, more money was spent on the mayoral PR budget than was spent in upgrades to the four least funded precincts....in fact the entire combined budget of Gotham is...one sixth that of their sister department in Metropolis..." He ignores the other interesting things he's found looking around about, like the fact that to make ends meet some actually HAVE to take bribes or perks wherever they can find them, especially in the upscale areas. "Detective Bullock, I can't make any real changes to the city budget and I have no intention of running for mayor or any other political office, but I can say that the as yet, unnamed 'tech' squad would include a 50% pay increase. My question is...do you think such a marked difference between such a 'hypothetical' squad and the rank and file might cause morale issues?"

The others are looking closely, VERY closely on the panel, since Kilroy's the money guy and one of the reasons these hearings are taking place.

Kilroy says, "Yes." He nods,"The squad would have to be very carefully chosen but I have full confidence in Special Agent Cerro..."

She smiles warmly. But Bullock's seen that look before. It's the kind that gets things done. They might be able to get along. Maybe. Still there's something...a little off there. "Thank you Mr. Conneticut, I appreciate that. Well, detective you have to understand that there is nothing FORMAL, since we'll have to have a public town hall meeting but certain members of the city council are...rather enthusiastic about the idea of a business, federal city partnership. In fact, given your rather extensive record maybe we could talk immediately after the hearing, yes?"

"Uh, yes. Yeah, that sounds great." Bullock is so floored by the idea of that much of a pay increase that he has completely forgotten everything else, up to and including his morning snacks. He files away his impressions of Cerro under 'not a massive pay increase' -- a mental file that is sure to get dusty quick. "I figure if you get the right guys, morale won't be an issue. Give 'em something to aspire to," he assures Kilroy belatedly. The idea of Bullock as an inspirational figure (or, for that matter, a morale expert) apparently doesn't strike Harvey himself as ridiculous. He scoots back from the table and stands. "Anything else you need to ask, you got my number, I guess." Still shellshocked, he slowly shuffles out of the room.

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