5.16th Precinct, SVU Squad Room.
Looking up, Captain Donald Cragen saw ADA Kim Greylek, open the door to his office and walk in.
“Have you seen this?” Greylek said without preamble as she waved an official looking document under Cragen’s nose.
“Erm, yes I have,” Cragen replied levelly, he was well aware of what was printed on that piece of paper and who’s signatures it carried.
A couple of hours earlier, his detectives, Benson and Stabler had left the suspect, Eric Lutz after questioning him in the company of Special Agent Lehane and Miss Rosenberg. On the pretext of returning some army documents to Fort Hamilton, Lahane and Rosenberg had parted company with Benson and Stabler who had then returned to the squad room. However, instead of returning to Fort Hamilton, Lehane and Rosenberg had doubled back and gone back to Lutz’s house.
Realising there was something amiss when they couldn’t contact Lehane and Rosenberg at Fort Hamilton, Benson and Stabler had returned to Lutz’s home and once again gained access. Here they found Lehane and Rosenberg standing over the freshly shot body of Eric Lutz. The only word for what had happened to Lutz was ‘executed’. In what sounded like a most surreal five minutes, Lehane and Rosenberg then calmly admitted to killing Lutz. Next Lehane had suggested that the SVU detectives should search the house explaining that they would find either photographs or other images of Lutz assaulting his other victims. Finally, Rosenberg had handed Benson an envelope that had contained the piece of neatly typed paper that ADA Greylek was now holding in her hand.
Sure enough, after Lehane and Rosenberg had been arrested for murdering Lutz and returned to the Precinct (where they’d remained in separate interview rooms not saying a word) a search team had been dispatched to Lutz’s house. Within minutes of starting a thorough search a computer was found. On examining the computer’s drives the tech support officer working on the case found files containing images, both still and moving, of Lutz sexually assaulting women. So far tech support had found forty files and they were still searching.
“The bearer,” Greylek started to quote from the words on the piece of paper, “has done, what has been done, by my authority and for the good of the nation…”
You had to admire whoever had thought that one up, Cragen smiled to himself. That one short sentence allowed whoever was carrying the letter to do anything they wanted to without whoever had actually signed the paper admitting that they’d authorised anything illegal. Patiently, Cragen waited for Greylek to finish reading.
“…and it’s signed by the Attorney General, the Security of Defence and the President herself!” Greylek shook her head in disgust, “Just how naive do they think we are?”
“Well,” Cragen sat back in his chair and studied the agitated ADA for a moment before continuing with what he was about to say, “I’ve seen the President’s signature before and it looks genuine to me.”
“You can’t seriously be suggesting that…” Greylek looked at Cragen and realised that, yes, Cragen was suggesting that they should ignore a murder, “…but…not even the President can ride rough shod over the constitution.”
“Look at it from my point of view,” Cragen said softly as he gestured for Greylek to take a seat in one of the chairs in front of his desk, “Special Agent Lehane and Miss Rosenberg by their actions have cleared up at least forty sexual assaults that not even the victims knew about.” Cragen paused waiting for that to sink in before continuing, “Plus, they’ve dealt with a case, which I might add, you yourself said we had little chance of winning without more evidence. Also, without more evidence we could never have got a search warrant and found that computer…”
“Are you saying we should let them go on the say so of the dubious legality of this…this…” Greylek struggled to find the right words, she found some that would do for the time being, “…death warrant…and that’s what it amounts to.”
“As I see it they’ve done the City of New York and the NYPD a favour,” Cragen pointed out.
“You do!” Greylek exclaimed horrified, “You’re going to release them without charge aren’t you?”
“Once I’ve had those signatures authenticated,” Cragen nodded his head, “yes I am. I will however warn them never to involve themselves in a SVU case ever again.”
“Great!” Greylek laughed mirthlessly, “Come to New York, murder a suspect and be sent on your way with a mere slap on the wrist…if this ever gets out…”
“It’s not likely to,” Cragen pointed out, “I expect this will all be buried under the cloak of National Security…”
“Well that might be alright for you,” Greylek got angrily to her feet, “but I’m going to see those two burn for what they did! I might have had to let Kersey go but this is going too far,” she snapped, “Once you let agents of the Federal Government go round executing suspects, just where do you think it’ll end?”
“I don’t know Ms Greylek,” Captain Cragen sighed, “but I think you’ll be wasting your time.”
“It’s my time to waste,” Greylek headed for the door, she paused with her hand resting on the door knob, “Where are they now?”
“Miss Rosenberg is in Interview One,” Cragen sighed tiredly, “and Detective Munch is questioning Agent Lehane in Interview Two.”
“Right,” Greylek opened the office door, “Interview One it is.”0=0=0=0Interview Room Two.
Looking up at the sound of the door opening, Faith watched as Detective ‘Big Ears’ and his partner (Faith dredged her memory for the guy’s name…Tutuola) walk into the room. Big-Ears sat down in the chair on the opposite side of the table from Faith, while Tutuola took up position by the door. Big-Ears, or Detective Munch as he was more properly called, placed a file on the table between them, opened it and started to look through the pages. He took his time and never said a word, Faith smiled.
“Ya needn’t bother with all the games,” she told Munch, “its interrogation one-oh-one, ‘how to make your suspect feel uncomfortable’. You’re also hoping that the silent treatment will make me say something…” Faith raised an eyebrow, “…which it has but I don’t think this is what ya wanted to hear.” Faith’s smile got slightly wider, “An’ if I’m a suspect shouldn’t I have my lawyer present?”
“Oh you’re not a suspect,” Munch informed her, “you’re here as a possible witness to a crime that took place several years ago…” he paused to see what effect his words had on Faith; none he decided after a moment or two, “…the ninth of February, nineteen-ninety-nine to be precise…”
“Go ahead shoot,” Faith shrugged; that date would put it before she’d gone into a coma, so she’d remember nothing from that time; of course she wasn’t going to tell this cop that, she’d let him waste his time.
“What can you tell me about a break in at Ray’s Sporting Goods store,” once again Munch looked up into Faith’s face to gauge her reaction, once again there was none, “in Sunnydale, California.”
Yes! Munch kept his face straight, the mention of Sunnydale had made Lehane’s eyes flicker. The mere mention of the town’s name had caused more reaction in the woman than he’d seen her display since she’d been brought to the precinct.
“Say what?” Faith shrugged; this was about the first clue she’d come across, independent of what Willow or the Army had told her about her past. “Sorry doesn’t ring a bell.”
“Well maybe this’ll help jog you’re memory,” Munch took a sheet of paper from the file and slid it across the table for Faith to see.
The first time Munch had found the photo, his computer had mysteriously burst into flames. When he’d searched for the image again it had disappeared from the CHiP’s website where he’d originally found it. It had taken him weeks to find it again, this time he’d found it on the website of a California Sheriff’s office in a place called Charming, along with an old ‘wanted’ notice. Sunnydale PD wanted to talk to Faith Lehane about a break in and the assault on two of Sunnydale’s finest.
By sheer force of will, Faith stopped herself from grabbing Munch and beating him to a pulp in an attempt to find out where he’d got this picture from. The image might be in black and white, grainy and very slightly out of focus but Faith could plainly see a much younger version of herself standing in what looked like a sporting goods store with a bow in her hand. But what was even more shocking was the other girl in the photo with her.
“Now,” Munch pointed to Faith’s figure in the photo, “that’s obviously you…can you tell me who the blonde girl is?”
God-damn-it, she could, Faith stopped herself from saying anything, now was not the time for a violent outburst. But the big question was…what the hell was a young Mrs Finn, wife of her C/O, doing robbing a store with her in a town in California? Buffy Finn had always told Faith that they’d never met before they’d come into contact with each other in Iraq. Several unpleasant thoughts started to go through Faith’s mind one after another.
Why had Mrs Finn, Buffy Summers as she was at the time, come to see her in hospital in Iraq? Faith now knew that Buffy was one of these super-women, a slayer, so what had been her real motivation? Faith also began to wonder about Willow’s true motives. Willow was one of Buffy’s friends from way back, yet she’d always insisted that the first time Faith and herself had met was in Jeffersonville, where they’d ended up hunting aliens and sleeping together.
This was all too weird and yelling and demanding answers from the cop would probably get her into more trouble. It looked to Faith’s trained investigator’s mind that she was indeed in some sort of trouble. The thing to do was to act normally, this wasn’t too difficult, she couldn’t tell the detective anything because she had no memories from nineteen-ninety-nine. But it looked like it was about time that she started her own investigation, she needed to know the truth about her past.
“I’m sorry officer,” Faith smiled innocently at Munch, “I don’t know what you mean.” Faith glanced at the picture again, “Yeah, okay the dark haired teenager could
be me, but it isn’t. Plus I can say hand on heart that I don’t remember ever breaking into a store and stealing a bow…and as for this blonde chick,” Faith shrugged, “never seen her before in my life.”
“I see…” Munch began but was interrupted by the door opening slowly.
Both Munch and Tutuola turned to look at the door as it swung open. It came slowly to a halt but no one came in…at first.0=0=0=0Interview Room One.
Sensing the ADA’s anger before she’d even entered the room, Willow took a deep calming breath and let it out slowly just as the door opened to reveal ADA Greylek. Without saying a word, Greylek strode across the room and slammed the letter down on the table in front of Willow.
“What the hell is the meaning of this?” Greylek demanded, “And where did you get it from? You know forgery is a serious offence. What with the murder charges you and your friend will be facing I doubt either of you will be out of prison before you’re both very old.”
Making a show of studying the letter, Willow paused before replying to the ADA’s charges.
“Erm,” Willow looked up innocently at Greylek, “I believe it’s called a ‘Lettre De Carte’ and it was sent to Chief Lehane and myself by General Brittles, United States Army and those signatures aren’t forgeries.”
“Who the hell do you think you are coming into my city and just…” Greylek never got the chance to finish what she was saying because Willow Rosenberg got slowly to her feet and appeared to grow until she dominated the room.
“Oh give it up Ms Greylek,” Willow signed as she somehow managed to loom
over ADA Greylek, “you haven’t got a chance in hell of winning. Do you think any jury would convict once they found out what Lutz was doing?”
“But…” Greylek tried to speak but Willow interrupted her once again.
“Look, you don't have to like it,” Willow explained, “you just have to accept it. But if you do push for a trial you’ll get nowhere.” Willow didn’t smile, she knew how much this must be hurting the ADA, she was a good woman who simply wanted to do her job, “Try and prosecute and you’ll find no charges will be filed. If they are, it'll be a mistrial.” Willow started heading towards the still open door, “If by some miracle Faith and myself are convicted...we’ll get a Presidential pardon within a day.”
ADA Greylek looked at Willow as her anger grew and grew. Everything she’d worked for, everything she believed in was being trampled underfoot by this infuriatingly calm redhead.
“Now its time for Faith and myself to leave,” Willow walked out of the interview room right in front of Greylek’s dumbfounded eyes.
Rushing after Willow, Kim Greylek opened her mouth to call for a police officer to stop the redhead from leaving. Much to her surprise she found that even in a police precinct house there was never a police officer when you needed one. Casting caution to the wind she stepped towards Willow with every intention of grabbing her and stopping her from leaving herself.
“Don’t even think about it, Ms Greylek,” Willow held up her hand causing the ADA to freeze in place. “I’m sorry, Ms Greylek,” Willow said to the statue-like woman, “but it couldn’t be helped, Lutz had to die.”
Continuing out of the outer office, Willow headed for the other interview room. Casting a minor spell to open the door a minute or so before she arrived, she found herself the centre of attention when she did finally walk into the room.
“Officers,” Willow nodded pleasantly to the two detectives before turning her attention to Faith, “Time for us to leave Sweetie.”
“Cool,” Faith got up, “nice to have met ya Detectives,” she smiled, “sorry I couldn’t help you with ya case.”
Before going and joining Willow by the door, Faith palmed the piece of paper with the image of herself and Buffy Finn on it and slipped it into the pocket of her jacket. It was a good starting point for her investigation into her own past. For now she’d say nothing to Willow, she didn’t think Willow would betray her but she was mixed up in something as was Buffy Finn.
Walking through the squad room towards the door, worrying thoughts started to enter Faith’s mind. If Buffy Finn knew about her past and by extension Willow must know something; just where did it end? Colonel Finn? Colonel Mann? General Brittles? What about the Army, the President even?
“What’s wrong Faith?” Willow asked as they walked out onto the street.
“Erm nothing,” Faith shook her head and smiled; did Willow really love her or was…?
“You looked like you’d seen a ghost or something,” Willow replied as the walked along the sidewalk together.
“I was just thinking of all the women that Lutz musta raped,” Faith covered her real concerns, “we’ll have to find them all.”
“Yeah but that’s a job for the FBI or someone,” Willow explained, “Our job’s done we can go home now.”
“Yeah,” Faith nodded slowly, “lets go home.”
Once she was back at Fort Drum she could start to find out the truth about ‘Faith Lehane’.THE END.Author’s end note:
Once again thanks to all you nice people who read and reviewed my story.
The next Faith in the Army story will take us back to when Faith first enlisted. Following that I’ll post the last story in this arc when hopefully some questions will be answered…no just kidding! No, really the mystery that is Faith’s past will be dealt with.
I had been planning to post something non-Faith between these two stories but I think it can wait a little while.