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A New Family
The precinct in Golyanovo district was not known for being particularly large or well funded. It was in a part of DI's outskirts that had yet to benefit from the CCD's prosperity, and was known for violent and organized crime. The precinct dated back to the days of the former Soviet Union, and strongly looked the part. Unimaginative grey concrete, narrow windows covered in thick bars, and tall steps up to the entrance. And a wheel-chair accessible ramp, of course.

Two officers stood at the building's entrance, shoveling snow and salting steps long stained and worn by foot traffic. Through the doors led to a reception area, walled in on all sides and an older officer seated at a desk behind bullet proof glass, ready to process complaints or visitors.

Clearly seen beyond the reception desk was a large room full of dozens of desks, the area where the brunt of the precinct's paperwork was done. Those desks did not belong to individual officers exactly; they were communal, used as needed by the precinct's lower ranked staff, and beyond were offices or department-shared rooms for the more specialized teams or higher ranked officers and detectives.

The precinct was a three story fortress, meant to be intimidating in appearance and brutally functional. Efforts had been made in recent years to soften the building's interior; pictures were hung, inter-department sports league and competition trophies sat on shelves. Even plants. Real ones, not the plastic ones one might have otherwise expected. Carpet, and renovations to break up the featureless concrete walls with rich red brick or wood paneling. Anything to give the place a more pleasant feel.

Cells were in the basement, where criminals and hooligans were housed while waiting for processing. Few spent more then a night or two there before being released or moved to proper facilities. And below that was a subbasement that had been used to store old office furniture or forgotten paperwork for decades.

That area was newly re-purposed, and the smell of concrete dust and the sound of power tools could still be heard as the building's elevator, which hadn't moved in almost twenty years, was being repaired finally.

That subbasement held the entirety of Drayson's newly formed task force. A dozen detectives gathered from throughout the CCD, three dozen officers of similarly diverse origins. The task force's tactical team was away, being run through rigorous drills and scenarios to form the group into a functional team and to familiarize them with the unorthodox array of nonlethal weapons recently made at their disposal.

Every last member of the new counter-terrorism task force, dubbed simply 'task force Domovoi,' were among those like Drayson. The ones that had witnessed the inexplainable, be it monster or magic user, and had kept both their sanity and their jobs. Some had even made a career of dealing with explainable cases, always managing to find a way of writing the reports that seemed plausible, or in some cases, dealing with a problem in a fashion that never made it into a report.

Officers Konstantinov and Sokolov hadn't gotten the promotions to Detective they had hoped for, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Chief Inspector Drayson had pulled some strings and had the pair moved to the new task force, and both men sported the new unit patch on their uniforms with pride, although both had little doubt that the new job would come with unimaginable troubles.

The two men manned the guard room where led both the only staircase that reached the subbasement, and the doors to the still broken elevator, although there was no actual need. They were waiting for the unit's newest member, whom they were tasked to show around their new home.
Alex was eager and anxious all at the same time. It wasn't everyday you start a new job, though it was a recent thing for her. First she came to Moscow to identify and help understand the criminal mind. Now she was on a task force meant to capture and detain the unknown. People like Mr. Dane Gregory, or Pytor and Jensen, Bas probably was ranked right up there with Dane in terms of getting him off the streets, but he didn't seem too dangerous, at least not yet. Probably even those like her father and her sister, half sister. The ones who make real trouble unlike the Atharim. Her thoughts were venom at the mention of their name. She hated the Atharim with a passion, maybe she should tell the chief inspector about her connection to them, and her half sister's involvement with them. Maybe the next time she sees him. She hadn't exactly decided yet.

But today she was getting a tour of the task force area. She wondered exactly what her job would be, she wasn't exactly a officer of the law, but she did have insight into criminal minds, she supposed that was why she was here.

The building was intimidating, the soviet era construction obvious. It was cold and bleak very unlike the modern Moscow she'd come to enjoy.

Alex followed her instructions on where to go and found the two officers standing chatting. She smiled as she approached them, her shields pulled tight and offered her hand. "Dr Alex Pirozzi, I'm ready when you are."
Alex couldn't help the light in her voice, it was always exciting seeing your new work space for the unforeseeable future for the first time.

Edited by Alex, Nov 30 2014, 12:20 PM.
Double posted.))

Edited by Drayson, Dec 14 2014, 03:35 PM.
The two Ukrainian born officers heard and saw her coming; cameras in the stairwells. The security system was still being set up, but the simple closed-circuit camera had been an immediate requirement. It was brutally rudimentary in the scope of modern technology; one of the techs had found the camera, wire, and monitor in one of the old storerooms in the subbasement, and had gone about setting it up in short order. But there was advantages to low-tech things sometimes.

The two men were standing when she entered the guard room, and Officer Sokolov produced a simple manila file folder which he held out to her as Officer Konstantinov offered to shake her hand, "I am Yurik Konstantinov, and this is Sokolov. The Chief wanted us to meet you, show you around. But I have to warn you, there isn't much to see. Not yet at least."

The file folder had some information on the building and neighborhood, as well as the location of her reserved parking spot and what paperwork she would need to fill out to be able to move freely around the precinct they were under. That done, he turned and pushed open the door behind them, and lead her into the rest of the office.

Unlike the main floor, there had been no efforts made yet to hide the fact that the building was once an old Soviet era police station. Or, more likely, KGB office. There was no thought given over to aesthetics in the construction, and while the main floor was obviously undergoing the renovations to soften that image, the subbasement had no such aspect yet.

The task force had a over fifty names on the roster, but few were actually on location yet. Some were still being transferred from distant corners of the CCD. What had likely once been isolation cells or questioning rooms had been repurposed into offices, and a few walls had been knocked down to make a central communal work space, with one corner blocked off by heavy duty bars to form the task force's armoury, where a dismal selection of next-generation non-lethal weapons were stored. And a far more thorough selection of more conventional weapons. Body armour and other gear was stored there as well.

Some of the old cells were still reserved for that purpose; anyone that the team arrested would not be kept in the general population, after all. And in light of how dangerous they could be, keeping them contained and safe was going to require far more then what had worked for the past few thousand years. Bars alone would not keep one of these 'magic users' confined.

And that was where the team's medics came into play, and their supplies of drugs with which to keep any arrested magicians unconscious. It was an unpleasant necessity, at least until a better option could be found. Almost certainly, some countries developing similar teams simply shot to kill, but Drayson was not about to be the one to develop such an approach to the problem.

Alex was then shown to her own office; another of the rather unimaginative grey concrete rooms that was perhaps a bit narrower then a more conventional office, but certainly not too small. A desk had been set up, as well as a bookshelf and filing cabinet, but all were surely Soviet era recycling; old and unimaginative too. But they would serve for the moment.

No computer had been installed yet; Drayson could only cut through so much of the administrative red tape. Konstantinov nodded to the room and gave her an amused grin, "This one is yours. Elevator will be working next week some time, so please hold off on bringing in anything heavy until then?"
He meant it jokingly; easier to wait and use the elevator then to lug stuff down the stairs.
The two men who met Alex were clearly of 'Russian' descent, their names were harsh and annoying to pronounce, but that's what you get for being in the DI. It still took some getting used to.

They handed her a manila folder with more paperwork, information mostly but some that required her to fill out. Passes and the like, it was security that was this set, and there was no problem in handling it all when she was shown her desk.

The men showed Alex around and they were right there wasn't much to see, it was still mostly the dull grey of its soviet origins, no attempts to hid the crude manufacturing and definitely no attempt to hide that fact, at least not down here. Alex wondered how many of the female or softer side of humanity would join this here task force. There were still many faces she'd not seen. She had done as the chief inspector had said and started familiarizing herself with her new coworkers. She read their files, knew enough about them, that she could infer a few things with her talents. And then she'd meet them and make her use of her other skills. The one that made her useful to a team like this.

Even if she could just get termed an early security system, to know when these godlings wielded their power. At least she might keep a few people alive in the process. At least that was the hope. During the tour her wallet beeped at her and she ignored it, it would have to wait, just like the paperwork. Alex was not the sort to answer each and every text immediately and whoever it was should know that by now.

They past the cells that would be used for actual prisoners and Alex wondered at what else they could do to prohibit their talents. How would one prohibit one like her father? Drugging him was fine and well, but when the touch could be worse what do you do. Drugging Dane Gregory had worked, but there had to be a better way to do this. Getting in their heads was her thing, and a drugged out head was hard to navigate.

Finally they showed Alex to her office with a comment about heavy things. She grinned at them. "So that grand piano I had coming, I should hold off on."
Her grin widened to a smile that said she was just joking. Thought she might have to send a fake delivery guy this way with that in mind. Would be fun to see the big men blanch at that task.

Alex took that moment to check her phone as she put the papers in the drawer and looked through the things she had, gauging what room she had, and thoughts on where to put things. The text was from Bas, she smiled at the message, he was always ready and willing and almost always up for some late night adventure. She wondered what he was getting up to, it'd been a few weeks.

Alex replied quickly tapping out an equally steamy text and question of tonight? at the end. Maybe he'd come by, maybe not, you never could tell with a man like Sebastian.

Alex looked up at the men who had shown her around. "Are there any others around who I could meet, put faces to the files I've read?"
Alex wanted to do more than that, but these boys didn't need to know that.
Konstantinov and Sokolov both chuckled at the comment, then Sokolov bowed out of the conversation, off to round up a cup of left-over tar (coffee) from the little break room, leaving Konstantinov to help her finish settling in. "Not really, no. Chief Inspector Drayson does hold an office here, but it isn't one he's likely to occupy often. Otherwise, Mr Sarkozy may be in at some point. His official transfer to the unit should be going through today."

Konstantinov shrugged slightly; he and Sokolov, and a few of the others, didn't really know what to make of Ivan Sarkozy. The man was a new face, and seemed to have a direct link to the Chief Inspector, whom had referred to the young police officer as being something important to the task force's future. None were yet privy to what exactly that meant, but that would change quickly once the task force was fully assembled and put to its task.

They were joined then by a plain featured woman in her early thirties, another one-time street cop like Konstantinov and Sokolov. The ones who had encountered things that had led to their careers coming to a jarring halt. Officer Kira Zinoviya gave Konstantinov a rather audible punch to the arm which caused the taller man to blanch and grimace, but he managed to bite his tongue and keep quiet.

After punching the other officer, she pushed him out of the way and offered to shake Alex's hand, "Kira. Konstantinov is right, unfortunately. Not many of us are here yet."
There were a few other people already present, but most of the staff just hadn't finished their transfers yet.

"You are the psychological profiler, right?"
What Kira might have lacked for striking looks she made up for with an almost musical and childish voice; a continual source of irritation for a woman in a traditionally male-dominated work environment. The fact that she was no stranger to the gym probably helped keep most trouble-makers from causing her any problems though.

The way she walked was a little off; favouring her left leg, although the limb seemed to move naturally enough. The leg was a high quality prosthetic from mid-thigh down, and the limp was mostly habit left over from a few years on a cruder model. "I run the armoury. What's your opinion on all of this? Hunting the monsters and witches?"
She had a thick binder tucked under one arm, which contained maintenance and operations manuals on the myriad of unusual non-lethal weapons that were, or would soon be, at the unit's disposal.

Edited by Drayson, Dec 17 2014, 09:28 PM.
Alex watch the interplay between the officers, it was habit to look at the body language, the words, their eyes. It was part of her job, and really she could have peaked into their emotions to find the hidden truths. It was such an invasion of privacy that she was taught not to do it. She shook her head clearing her own thoughts, as the armory officer asked her what she thought of all of this.

That was a big question, a really big question, and Alex wondered where she'd fit into their perceptions of witch or monster. She prayed it was not the latter as it was with the Atharim. The disgust that rolled through her mind and to think her half sister was part of them. But she had survived with them, learned to hunt monsters. It might be a good idea to let inspector Drayson in on the family secret, maybe with the CCPD checking out her sister, her father would lay off.

Alex felt guilty about sending him after her. It wasn't her fault about any of this anymore than it was Alex's. Alex didn't ask to be a weak Sentient. She didn't ask to be one in the first place. Aria had been born with little choice as she was. Maybe she should give the girl the benefit of the doubt.

But her thoughts had to turn to the answer at hand. Alex shook her head. "If I'd not seen it with my own two eyes, I'd think it was all some elaborate hoax to chase cold cases."
Alex smiled. "But if men like Mr. Gregory are out there, someone needs to stop them when they go rogue. I'm not sure I believe in monsters. There is always an explanation, something that our mind will correct upon seeing. It's a psychological barrier of protection. But is there something else besides us, humans, I do believe so.

Alex glanced at the binder with a smile. "What we have on hand to keep these unique individuals at bay once we catch them? Drugs do only so well, it's hard to do my job with an individual so drugged they don't know where they are, or what they've done."

Edited by Alex, Dec 17 2014, 09:25 AM.
Konstantinov took the opening provided by Kira's distracted conversation with talking to Alex to discreetly rub his arm where she had punched him, hiding it with a look towards the break room where Sokolov was still getting himself a cup of hours old coffee. "That is the problem with all this, I think. And you may have to rethink your stance on monsters some day, Ms Pirozzi."

Kira nodded and held up the manual she was carrying for Alex to see the label; it was a compilation of manuals all on non-lethal weapons. "Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response Rifles. Pulsed Energy Projectiles. Long Range Acoustic Devices. I take care of the equipment that can be used to take these witches alive. But after that..."
She shrugged slightly, and jacked a thumb towards the room that would be used by the dedicated team medics and the locked cages of medicines. "I'd guess electro-shock maybe. Strap them down, wire them up. Anything weird starts happening, hold the button down till they give it a rest. And if it ain't a witch, well, that's where the conventional weapons come in."

Konstantinov shrugged in vague agreement, "Maybe a little extreme, Ms Zinoviya, but don't really have many other options at the moment."

"Well, until someone with a higher pay grade then us comes up with something better, I still say electrocute the bastards."
She shrugged and glanced at Alex, "I mean, until they do, you won't have a lot to work with."

The prospect of loosing one's job because of reasons outside of one's own control was something Kira could understand and commiserate with. She had been on the final months of her employment due to the loss of her leg; her contract had been extended just long enough for her to receive treatment and therapy for her recovery, and to learn new skills once she was out of the police. If you couldn't chase down a perp, you couldn't do your job. If Alex lost her job because she couldn't profile a witch because said witch was up to their eyeballs in drugs, wouldn't exactly be fair.
The weekend went by far too quickly for Ivan's tastes. He ended up sleeping pretty late after the tunnels and that meant a pretty lazy rest of the weekend. He did some housework and went to a movie with some buddies. In the back of his mind something nagged at him and in the middle of the movie he finally realized what it was. He'd forgotten to give Xena- Akantha, Akantha. He needed to get used to that name. Anyway, he'd forgotten to give her a charger. So stupid. He had been so focused on the phone and programming it for her that it totally slipped his mind. The battery had been fully charged and would last a couple days, most likely. Still, it was incredibly stupid of him.

He ended up heading out to get a normal charger, a solar one, and a kinetic charging unit. He wasn't sure they had power down in the tunnels. Or at least not the sections she lived in. And she'd have to come topside to use the solar. It was overkill, he supposed, butl, it was all he could do. He hoofed it back down to where they'd met up and he hid the box with them behind a palette. Then he took a few pictures with his wallet of where it was and texted it to her along with a short message. He wasn't sure she knew how to check a text but it was the best he could do.

When he was done, he stood there for a moment and noticed how quiet everything was. He was maybe getting used to the claustrophobia and being underground- at least he didn't have that panicked feeling in his gut- but it was still creepy down here. He thought about the things he'd found on both occasions, could almost imagine them skittering or sneaking about in the dark. It didn't scare him, not really. But he did feel his tension rising and his senses expanding. In the distance, he could sense the power suddenly. It occurred to him that he only seemed to sense it when he was tense. That was good, he supposed. Perfect time to need it. At the same time, he wondered if it was the same for the Ascendancy. Having to wait until a tense situation seemed....well, it just didn't seem like something he'd do. Maybe there was a way around it. It would be nice to get it at will. He'd have to think on it.

So anyway, weekend done, Ivan suitably rested and his leg pretty much healed up despite the hot nurse''s super extra strength pain inducing bleach or whatever the hell it was that she gave him, he was ready to report to the new unit. Domovoi was the name and it conjured up all kinds of images from his childhood memory. The house spirit that protects a home and family. It was appropriate, given what it was for. Course, then they tried to ret-con it into an acronym. Domestic Office of some such crap or other. Acronyms always made him laugh. Lucky coincidence the first letters happened to make a meaningful word. He cracked himself up.

Where was he? Oh yeah, Domovoi. Or D.O.M.O.V.O.I. The team was right up his alley. Moscow's own Monster Squad. The head office was in the Golyanovo district. It was pretty similar to his old beat in terms of what was out there. The crime rate was higher. Lot's of mob activity. Word was that a few families were gettin kinda ambitious recently. Not his concern anymore, but still good to know.

He tramped up the freshly salted steps and into the warm squat building. Typical soviet era architecture. Course, it might have been Putin era too. Either way, ugly. The office was typical and he gave his name and ID to the desk officer while looking around trying to figure out who he should report to. The Cap wasn't there of course. He would be involved only from a distance, so it was going to be largely autonomous.

He saw a couple guys and two women standing around talking. One of them was a looker too. He did like brunettes. He headed over. "Hi,"
he said sticking out his hand and smiling at them. "Sarkozy. Seargent Ivan Sarkozy."
Greetings were made. Konstantinov. Sokolov. Pirozzi. Zinoviya. Interesting that the looker was a profiler. He looked around the room, smiling. "Looks like the Cap is serious about his Monster Squad. I mean Domovoi. Good thing, too,"
he said absently. Between Smiley and those things in the tunnels, they were gonna have their hands full real quick.

Edited by Ivan Sarkozy, Dec 18 2014, 11:23 AM.
Alex absently corrected the officer, "Doctor. But Alex is fine."

Alex was 100% certain there had to be another way other than drugs. But how does one confine a person who can reach outside the bars of their cell, or who can melt the bars with a thought. It was a scary thought, but drugs might be the only way to keep them safe. But it was hard to do her job, not that once she caught them they necessarily needed her expertise then, except maybe to insure they aren't proclaimed insane.

Alex wondered if Dane Gregory would have pleaded insanity. But Alex was pretty sure that Mr. Gregory probably could have gotten that plea regardless of his claim on being a man who could wield magic. He was just that sort of man. And as per usual that brought to mind her half sister and the Atharim.

Alex was about to seethe with her inner anger when a pretty face walked into her office to introduce himself. Alex smiled. "Ah, the famed Officer Sarkozy. The Che if Inspector mentioned your name to me specifically."
She had wondered why that was the case. What made him special other than his young look, his infectious smile.

A text came in, she glanced down at it with a grin. Bas was having a good time sending text. It would be an interesting night. She'd have to send Bas a text when she was free about the pretty boy in her office. She grinned as she looked up.

Back to business. "Other than myself and Officer Kira, are there any other specialties in our mist?"

Edited by Alex, Dec 18 2014, 02:09 PM.

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