The Praetorians, a fantasy cop drama. (Game thread Started/CLOSED Prologue)

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Cali watched Rat leave before turning and running towards the house, gun at the ready. Just because these were kids didn't mean she couldn't be a bit intimidating.

With that thought in mind, she began searching for her fellow officers. hoping she'd catch up soon.

"While we're on the subject, would anyone else like to make any particular skills or connections known that might have been skipped over during the recruitment process?"

Chris was somewhat glad that he was still in uniform; it just wouldn't feel right, meeting someone of authority in your casual wear. Nevertheless, he gave his best salute. Hopefully that would make up for the lackluster answer. Chris really did try to think of connections and whatnot, but the only answer he could think was his family. Sure, they were just regular nobles... And he didn't want to drag them into the mess of crime and punishment. Besides, his sibling was out of town, supposedly on a trip or something. With that, Chris flashed an innocent, but sheepish, smile.

"Er. Let's see..." He replied, "No, nothing. I think you have everything on me, ma'am."

The lone tabby raised its hackles and its tail stood on end like a toilet brush as it hissed and spat at the encroaching predators. Who ever they were they had dropped their human half and were going full on cornered animal, though their small form probably wouldn't be sending shivers down the spines of men. Luckily for the thief there was stirring upstairs and a middle aged man in pajamas rounded into the room holding an old bat out in front of himself defensively. He looked at the scene in front of him as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.

"Ellie call the police!" He yelled, readying his bat.

The cat took the chance of a distraction and made to bolt between the officers and out the front door.

*****

"That's all that comes to mind for now, sadly. Rest assured, if I can recall any other details that you might find helpful, I will be sure to inform you."

"Right... well... thank you, constable." Ackerman trailed off. She could honestly say that in all her years of service she'd never seen anything quite like that.
Is this my life now? Still he at least presented himself fluently, and he holds himself like an officer. At least for the most part. Maybe he'll make a good candidate for patrol leader. She'd have to wait until Novak got back with the other half of their motley crew.

"Well at least we've got that cleared up then." Of course there was one thing left out of those skills. "Then in that case it's my place to inform you all that I will be starting our first extra hours training session tonight." She drew her gun, holding it up for the room to see. "Should anyone care to, they can join me in the storage room for firearm training. Your own training at the academy seemed to glance over areas like proper weapon handling." She ended firmly before going down to one of the empty rooms on the basement level of the building. The same one that was serving as an armory and temporary shooting range.

Novak had been kind enough (read, forced into) fetching some scrap from the local junkyard to serve as targets. Ackerman set about marking some lines for the recruits to shoot from.

"Ellie call the police!"

Jason was about to ask if he was having a laugh, or else just snatch the bat out of his hands and smash it into splinters. However, before he could speak, something clicked. He registered the genuinely confused look in the man's eyes just as the cat started to make a break for it.

He's no thief, he's being robbed.

The bag of loot Jason had snatched earlier fell with a thud to the floor as Jason dived after the fleeing feline. Even though he only had to make one movement, the cat was fast enough that Jason almost didn't make the catch. Luckily, the reach of his long arms worked in his favour, and his outstretched hand managed to fasten around the tabby's tail just before it whipped out of the door frame, bringing it to a sudden and likely painful halt.

Jason rose to his feet, dragging the suspected warg with him, hissing, squirming and scratching all the while. With his other hand, Jason fumbled for his badge.

"Sir," he said firmly. "We are the police, and you're in no danger from us." He finally managed to get the badge out and hold it out in front of him. "There, see? Now put down the bat. Does this cat look familiar to you?" he asked, holding the tabby outstretched.

"Right... well... thank you, constable." Spoke Captain Ackerman, sounding a little tired after Constable Ampere's rather extended explanation of his skills and connections. "Well at least we've got that cleared up then." She then added with a bit of energy behind her voice.

"Then in that case it's my place to inform you all that I will be starting our first extra hours training session tonight." Ackerman said, drawing her gun and holding it up for all to see. "Should anyone care to, they can join me in the storage room for firearm training. Your own training at the academy seemed to glance over areas like proper weapon handling."

"Hmm, a chance to brush up on my fire arm skills; what little training we received back at the Academy was rather lackluster, perhaps I should mention my experience with other types of firearms to her whilst I'm down there, and I really should talk to her about that 'other' thing." Mordecai said to himself, before brushing himself down, and following the Captain to weapon's practice.

Vipers are very patient animals by nature, it was all about the long slow game, the quiet stalking, the moments of near perfect stillness, and then, in an instant, the strike! It proved quite effective for them over the millennia. What they were not equipped to deal with, was chaos, loud noise, and excessive movement. The response then was a great deal of random striking followed by the swiftest possible retreat. The most basic instincts were the most difficult to repress, but Rory gave it his best, because poisoning a dozen kindergartners was not on his to do list. That damn cat's cry had set the whole place on fire, most of the scamps darting every which direction without pause or hesitation. But the cat remained. Rory moved forward, eyes locked on the cat, holding it a nearly hypnotic stare, tapping into every primal instinct that must be firing off in the back of this warg's brain. The serpent edged ever closer to its new thrall, movements steady and sinuous, closer and closer st-

The door to the hideaway... exploded, that was really the only word for it. Rory's body moved without thinking, turning to the source of the disturbance. The spell broke and the cat went nuts. Something or someone came charging down the stairs, shouting for the police. The serpents flickering tongue caught something reminiscent of mothballs.... Well fuck all kinds of duck....

The cat made a run for it. Officer Hunt managed a rather impressive pirouette, lunged, and didn't come up empty handed. He may have been a bit overzealous, but he damn sure wasn't a slouch. Rory slid over to the crumbling plaster were the ventillation duct was pulling away from the wall and fished out his bandoleer, slinging it about his shoulders and popping open two of the compartments. From one he pulled a badge, flipping it open and holding it out for the old man to observe. The second contained a pair of shorts. Little old men always seemed to come paired with little old women, and "gave a stuffy, old human woman the thrill of her life, and a heart attack" wasn't something he intended to include on any reports to Ackerman. He cracked a grin at the old man and his bat, chuckling as he covered up, "Praetorians, Sir. Offerin' first response before you even pick up the phone."

Rory approached the old man, popping his neck and scratching his chin, manner still casual, still calm. He didn't ignore the bat entirely, but something in the set of a rather toothy grin said that if it came to something physical, the old fellow was going to need something much larger, wrapped in barbed wire, and studded with nails, "Now, good man. You have any idea you were playin' host to half of the pets in your neighborhood? They seemed real familiar with the place..."

Cali could see that some of her fellow officers were dealing with the people who lived here, people who had no idea what was going in. Figuring they could handle things, she went around back to see if any stragglers were still hanging around.

At first she was disappointed, as there were no animals, Shifter or otherwise in the area. However, she did find what looked to be a few small footprints leading from a puddle of paint from an old can that had been spilled in the rush.

"Hello, what have we here?"

The trail lead up down an alleyway and around a corner. Cali took off after the trail, talking into her walkie-talkie as she did.

"This is Cali, I've got a lead on some suspects. I'll keep you posted."

"Should anyone care to, they can join me in the storage room for firearm training. Your own training at the academy seemed to glance over areas like proper weapon handling."

Raising an eyebrow, Archibald hmmmed contemplatively. More training, this time exclusively with firearms, eh? It didn't sound like participation was mandatory, but it was still technically the first day on the job, and taking the Captain's lead would likely make for a good impression.

Letting out a slightly histrionic sigh, the officer paced back over to his desk and carefully deposited his uniform's coat, still safely tucked away inside its bag. "Well," he began as he followed after Captain Ackerman, talking just loud enough to be heard by all, "I don't believe that Eugenie will appreciate it, but training after a patrol should be good for oneself, yes? Going at it while the mind's still active and all that."

Smiling his same self-satisfied smirk, Archibald followed after the Captain, patting his holstered service revolver as he went. Though he knew he had left it on, he still tapped a thumb against the pistol's safety, ensuring that it was properly stored. An accidental discharge wouldn't be fun for anyone to deal with, after all.


The temporary shooting range wasn't exactly extravagant. Bare-bones was a far more apt descriptor; aside from a few "targets" and some hastily-drawn lines, the room hardly had any features at all, excluding of course that strange smell that seemed to permeate the entirety of the precinct. Honestly, it somehow seemed to be even worse down here than it had upstairs...

Though he was unable to keep his nose from wrinkling in protest, Archibald did manage to bite back any verbal outrage. Complaining would hardly accomplish anything, after all. Instead, he simply approached one of the lines the Captain had marked and rested a hand on his revolver's hilt, waiting for further instruction. Drawing his weapon, let alone firing it, without cause or permission would hardly be appropriate.

"Should anyone care to, they can join me in the storage room for firearm training. Your own training at the academy seemed to glance over areas like proper weapon handling."

Collin shrugged at the offer and helped himself to another sandwich from the rapidly dwindling supply on his desk. Firearms had never really appealed to him, he'd been abominable with them during his three stints at the academy and wasn't left with overly fond memories. First the instructors insisted that he actually had to aim rather than firing wildly but they'd still been on his back when he stopped to have long stare-downs with the targets. If Collin recalled correctly, his instructor had passed him with the words You can use a firearm Vandar, you're likely to cause a political incident if you ever fire the thing, but you can use a firearm.

"I'm fine for the minute," he replied, pausing in his efforts to demolish the sandwich, "I reckon I can talk my way out of most situations." Well, he hadn't managed to talk the gunkin into surrendering but he was obviously mad so it didn't count. "I'll just guard the sandwiches."

The suddenly woken owner of the house could only stutter in gobsmacked shock at the bizarre sights that his house was playing host to. All the while the burglar cat was thrashing, hissing and spitting as t dangled from Jason's hand. The rest of the family was stirring and coming down stairs to see what was happening. This was when a young girl appeared from behind the resident adult.

"That's Charlie, you found him." She chirped, reaching out to stroke the cat. Charlie lashed out with his claws and she quickly retreated behind her father's legs.

"That's a fine haul you've got for yourselves there!" Cheered Novak, seemingly appearing out of nowhere. He quickly took charge of the sack of swag that Jason had dropped and took hold of the available cat tail. The cat wasn't happy as it hissed and scratched at him. "Yeah, yeah, you're a big man." He held it out at arms length and dropped the thief into the sack along with the haul. "And there's silver waiting for you if you shift out." He said to the thrashing canvas.

"Looks like we have a perpetrator to question and evidence to catalog." The sergeant looked at his recruits proudly. "So sorry for the inconvenience, Sir." He nodded to the home's startled occupants. "We'll get out of your hair and try and return your possessions ASAP."

He quickly lead the rest of the squad out to the car (before anyone could protest to him taking their stuff) and gave a short order into his radio. "Come back to us Cali, time to regroup." With that he let the sack down and placed a foot over the fabric, blacking any feline escape attempts. "So." He clapped his hands, ready for another test moment. "We have a group of adolescent thieves, capable of turning into a variety of animals. They've seemingly scattered and ditched the goods they looked to steal, good job there by the way. So let's look over the resources we have available to us and somebody tell me... what do we do next?"

"Come back to us Cali, time to regroup."

Cali came to a halt, weighing her options. Reluctantly, she headed back, but not before making a note of where she was at the moment, and using a scrap of red cloth to - hopefully - inconspicuously mark the spot.

Soon enough, she found the others in front of the house, holding down a writing bag between them.

"...What did I miss?"

As Novak led them off the premise, Jason stuck his head through the door-frame and said, a little embarrassed. "Thank you for your co-operation... and, sorry about the door."

A moment later, Novak had the group all assembled.

"what do we do next?"

Jason considered for a second, his brow furrowed.

"Take a minute to make sure we've gathered up all the loot that got dropped. The higher price tag we can reach, the better. Then we head back to the station and grill the kitty. Right now he's our only suspect, and I reckon he's smart enough to know it. We make it clear that we can pin all those stolen goods on his head, and his alone, unless he gives us any more names linked to this little operation, and, well... If I was him I'd sure as hell spill and cut a deal."

Rory leaned against the squad car, arms folded as he listened to Novak and the others. Hunt's suggestion had some good points (even if it still smelled a touch too prosecution happy), but there were a few holes to address. Rory nodded to the two little figures in the back of the squad car, "He ain't the only suspect, don't forget Rat's little scamps. If 'Charlie's' older, the tykes'll be easier to butter and calm. Maybe get a tidbit or two that helps loosen the cat's tongue but...."

The words trailed off a bit as Rory took a moment to rummage through the sack of 'loot' they'd managed to confiscate. It was hardly some dragon's horde, after all, this was hardly the wealthiest side of town. Half of this stuff was worth next to nothing, and the few things that at least glimmered a bit could hardly be considered the haul of a lifetime. Rory shrugged, "I think these folk are more concerned about eatin' then pullin' off the crime of the century, what unless this was all practice for Upper Ivory. Even with ten bags of this 'swag,' as little as forth degree grand theft would be a helluva stretch, and what's at the end of that? A year in chains and probation? Easy time. Would it be worth gettin' marked on your own home turf just to skip a minor larceny charge?"

The question was an honest one. A snitch's fate wasn't a pretty one, far less pretty than a few months jail time or juvie. But then again, these little thieves reeked of desperation. Would that draw them tighter or loosen their tongues all the more quickly? Rory scratched his chin and offered Novak his two cents, "Why not call it a night? It's only gettin' darker and this place smells way too much like a damn buffet to go howlin' off after any one else. A cold, dank little cage for the cat, a blanket, a bit to eat, and a hot bath for the kids. It'd put everyone in the right frame of mind for questions come the morrow, neh?"

"Ah but who wants to wait?" Novak smirked. "Strike while the iron is hot, isn't that the old saying?" He handed Jason the thrashing sack, its occupant wasn't showing any signs of stopping any time soon, though the cat had stopped snarling and spitting so much.

He opened up the car and let the squad pile in however they wanted. The car coughed itself awake and trundled on down the darkened streets, Novak wasn't looking forward to the paperwork this latest arrest would demand. Hopefully they'd get some simple cases in the future.

*****

"Don't wait on my account, officers." Ackerman said as she placed herself at the side of the room, scanning the behavior and stances of her recruits. She assumed thy at least knew the basic safety of a gun range. No one could mess up their training that badly... could they?

Some of them were showing promise at least. She'd have to wait until the Novak and the others got back to hear his input before any major choices were made first though.

Jason accepted the bag back with a satisfied smile. He wasn't sure if this meant Novak approved of his plan of action, but anything that wasn't another dressing down was welcome at this point, and he went and sat in the back of the patrol car before it sped off.

"Give it a rest." he told the still thrashing bag as they made their way back. ĢIt's not a long ride to the station, and maybe once we're their we'll let you out... if you show us your real face and don't try anything funny that is."

Cali let out a sigh. "I guess I'm all for turning in," she said. Even though she doubted she would get a good night's rest with thoughts of the trail in her head, she was too worn out from the night's events to even care.

She slid into the car and laid her head back on the seat, closing her eyes to get some much-needed rest.

"Don't wait on my account, officers."

"Whatever you say, Captain," Archibald replied easily, taking a step forward and settling himself into a shooting stance. "Preparing to fire."

With sure, steady hands, the officer drew his sidearm, wrapping both hands around the revolver's grip and bringing it up in front of him. Carefully positioning the gun, Archibald stared down its sights, lining them up with the target (really just a mound of miscellaneous debris) a few dozen yards down the range. Once he felt confident he had a good shot lined up, he spoke up again, his voice terse and rigid.

"Safety off."

Flicking the metal lever up with his thumb, he re-positioned the gun, lining up its sights with the target again. Then, after taking a deep breath, he aimed and placed his finger on the trigger. "Firing."

With his eyes locked onto the target and his hands steady, Archibald squeezed the trigger.

Blam!

And sent his bullet careening off a good three feet to the left.

"Well. Damn."

Blam! Too far to the right this time.
Blam! Nope, back on the left, but a little bit closer.
Blam! Over the target.
Blam! Still on the left.
Blam! Hey! Managed to nick it that time! Way to go!

Coughing a bit, the officer took a step back, reflexively flicking the revolver's safety back on as he returned it to its holster. He'd "hit" the target all of once, and even then his accuracy was pretty dang poor.

...Well, maybe no one had noticed.

"Don't wait on my account, officers." Spoke Captain Ackerman as she stood at the side of the room, her eyes appeared to be scanning everyone who was currently there. Mordecai realised that he would need to take his goggles off in order to take a clearer shot, so he gently pulled them from his face, folded down the arms, and placed them in the chest pocket of his shirt.

"My apologies Captain, I was originally going to wait for perhaps some of the others to join us, but since it appears that not to be the case, I shan't waste any more time." Said Mordecai as he unbuttoned the holster, and pulled out the revolver, allowing him a chance to properly examine the sidearm. It looked as though it had a fixed cylinder loading system, with a double action on the trigger; he had seen similar ones being carried on a few of the patients that he helped treat whilst travelling with DuPont years ago.

Whilst he was busy with examining the fire arm, Ampere had already fire his six, with only the last actually hitting the mark. Mordecai hadn't any intention of being better, he would simply take his time and aim after each shot, instead of going rapid fire.

First he adjusted himself to being in a more comfortable firing position; with three fingers of his right hand, he gripped firmly but not too tightly on the grip, whilst the fourth was around the trigger, and the thumb was resting on the hammer or cocking mechanism.

"Safety Off." Mordecai called out to the others as he adjusted the safety on the side of the revolver.

"Commencing firing in 3... 2... 1..." He then added before pulling back on the hammer, and gently squeezing the trigger.

The first shot just grazed the target on the right hand side. Shots two and three both hit the target in the top right hand area. Number four meanwhile sailed over the top, whereas five hit slightly closer to the center. Finally the sixth shot grazed the hand side, missing the target by a fraction of an inch.

Each shot had been carefully timed so there was an equal rest space between them, after the final one, Mordecai lowered the revolver, readjusting the safety and returning it to his holster.

"Three out of six, not bad.... not great but not bad either, average in fact." Mordecai remarked, sounding pleased at his result.

The patrol car was getting a bit... crowded. Rory kept to his corner as much as possible. Truth be told, there was something undeniably swanky about being driven about, though he came close to offering up his seat and taking an alternate route back to the station a couple times. With a moment of relative quiet at his disposal, Rory's mind turned inward, adding up the past few experiences with this lot and trying to figure out exactly where they fit in this particular problem, the problem of the Praetorians. These people were... strange. There were too many radically different motivators to affix any one comfortable, general label. Within the span of the last few hours he's seen officers full zeal for a cause that required no zealotry, officers composed of an eerie, almost mechanical efficiency, officers who seemed to do this for laughs, and officers who clearly did this for a pay check, and little else. They were so... disjointed. That was to be expected to an extent, this was their first day on the job after all. Still, Rory expected at least a touch more... cohesion in sense of purpose, surely they must share some basic motivator to tie themselves to such a thankless job.

Rory would make a case for an extension to the observation period. There were a small, but vocal minority of his more aggressive siblings who felt a day was more than enough, more then enough time to secure the location of the personnel folders, acquire them, and commence a targeted extermination. That plan rung hollow to Rory's bones, didn't taste of a lasting solution, thankfully Father agreed and the more bloodthirsty kin were kept at bay. He had some time yet to shore up his opinions on this day's work, but there were a number of keen ears and eager hands waiting for the sort of report that would never cross Ackerman's desk.

Chris saw that it was his turn to fire and so muttered a half-hearted, "Firing now."

But his mind was clouded by doubt yet again. Why had he mindlessly walked over to the firing range? Orders, well, what he took as orders. What this what a Praetorian did? Just take orders? Maybe the brand-new branch of the police was just for show. Nevertheless, that assumption sounded like a bit of a challenge to some. To Chris, well, he had simply concluded that he had to try to make it work, at least once. Pity he was stuck with a revolver, a hunting rifle would have better. And so, with a sigh, he aimed and fired. Noise and erupted from the barrel, and after it had cleared, the Praetorian could see that there were two holes on the side of the target.

Not exactly his best, but if that were a live target, the poor fellow would probably be nursing his arm.

Ackerman could only sigh as she watched some of the displays of marksmanship her new recruits displayed, it would take some work to get this lot into the kind of shape that was expected of officers in this day and age.

Not that the other precincts haven't let things slide... But this was her precinct now and lax training would not stand.

Time dragged on and the patrol car pulled into the drive, its fresh haul in tow.

"We're Hooome!" Novak called out as he walked back in like a conquering hero returning to his kingdom.

The captain came up to meet them and was unpleasantly surprised by what was brought to her doorstep. "Oh dear gods, Sergeant, what have you brought me here?"

He gave her a rundown of what had happened as Ackerman went over the notes Novak had made while they were out. All this of course took place in her office, away from the prying eyes of the new recruits. "So what do you want to do with them?" Novak asked, his hands fidgeting with the lack of a cigarette.

Ackerman leaned against her desk for a while, her brow furrowed in thought. "They're still too raw for an interrogation."

"They wont get any less raw if you keep them away from it."

"I know, I know." Ackerman grumbled, massaging her temples. "But gods have you seen some of them?"

"Oh don't even get me started!" Novak scoffed. "You know what one of the wargs said?"

"Not the time for gossip" She cut him off. "It's getting late and we have a pair of suspects in custody. I'll test the waters for volunteers before we have to close up, you see about the rest."

***

Novak set about stowing the two animal suspects in a pair of separate cells down in the basement where the only windows were on the door to the room, tightly cramped with bars. As the doors locked behind them the young suspects gave up on their animal forms and let themselves shift back as the nervously paced the cells.

The cat couldn't have been older than ten and the rat looked even younger. Novak did his best to bury the little bit of depression that thought brought on and went to find them some blankets.

Meanwhile upstairs, Ackerman was sounding off. "We've got two juvenile perps waiting down their for us. Now the days closing down and we don't have enough hands to form proper shifts like the larger precincts yet. So I'm asking for volunteers to stay late and take the lead on interrogation. Four should be enough, two for each perp, the usual. The rest of you will be free to go where you please. Your time, your business."

"Your time, your business."

Jason considered for a moment. It was already late an an interrogation might last all night. Elaine was waiting for him at home and after the day he'd had there were few things that Jason wanted more than just to see her face again. On the other hand, the beginnings of this investigation were just about the only thing he hadn't managed to completely fuck up today. He couldn't help but feel the pull of responsibility. He'd caught one of the suspects, and now he had a chance to get to the bottom of this case.

"Captain Ackerman." he announced stepping forward. "I'd like to volunteer. I'm a little familiar with what it's like for kids who grow up poor and get into crime. Give me some time and I might be able to get him talking."

He stole a little glance over at Rory. If the other warg took him for a heartless zealot, then it fell to Jason to prove him wrong, just like all the rest.

Cali thought about her options.

One the one hand, it had been a rough day, and she was looking forward to a nice hot bath, some good food, and long rest. On the other, however, she wanted to know what exactly had happened to that cat... and any others, for that matter.

It certainly was a tough choice, for her at least...

"Your time, your business."

"Hmph."

Smoothly, surely, Archibald crossed his arms and raised a single eyebrow. Taking a moment to glance around the room, especially at his fellow officers, the aristocrat evaluated his options. It was already fairly late in the evening, but it was also important to watch the criminal scum that the other squads had managed to bring in; mayhaps he should stay and-

"Captain Ackerman. I'd like to volunteer. I'm a little familiar with what it's like for kids who grow up poor and get into crime. Give me some time and I might be able to get him talking."

-and never mind. If that was the sort of company that would be hanging around the precinct for the next however many hours, then Archibald had no interest in remaining here. Honestly, he'd already wasted too much of his time in that dump of a shooting range; now his dress clothes reeked of gunpowder and whatever that strange, omnipresent smell was. No, it was far past time for him to leave.

"Right, well then, Captain," he began, inclining his torso forward in a half-bow, "I do believe I shall go ahead and take my leave. Undoubtedly the other, ah..."

Trailing off for a moment, Archibald glanced briefly at Jason, looking the Warg up and down. "...officers will be more than capable of dealing with the criminals.

"It's been an 'interesting' first day. Good evening."

Straightening his tie, the man nodded once more to the Captain and the other officers, before making his way towards the precinct's entrance.

"Undoubtedly the other, ah... officers will be more than capable of dealing with the criminals."

A muscle twitched at the corner of Jason's eye, and he bit his tongue.

'Maybe the first time we get into some actual shit on the beat and you start crying like a bitch, I'll remember that, little man.'

He managed not to give Archie the satisfaction of rounding on him, as he made his last snide little remark and swept out the the precinct.

"Prick." he muttered to himself, as the door swung shut.

"We've got two juvenile perps waiting down their for us. Now the days closing down and we don't have enough hands to form proper shifts like the larger precincts yet. So I'm asking for volunteers to stay late and take the lead on interrogation. Four should be enough, two for each perp, the usual. The rest of you will be free to go where you please. Your time, your business."

Rat came through the door just as Ackerman announced her intentions. Jason volunteered, fairly unsurprisingly. And... the name was on the tip of his tongue... Archer? Arch-something. Rat made a mental note to just refer to to him as Archie from now on. The man voiced his decision to not remain behind, giving a clear and meaningful look towards Jason, and began to walk towards the exit, where Rat still lingered. He stood his ground for a moment, and stared directly into Archie's eyes as he walked close. "I volunteer." He let the words hang in the air, along with his message to Archie, before slipping by the other man, eyes locked on Archie until he was out of his view, and striding up beside Jason. His gaze was now fixed intently on Ackerman and whatever orders she had for him now.

It had been a while later, and several other recruits had come down to test their luck at the shooting range; though the look that Mordecai could see on Captain Ackerman's face, was telling him that she was less than impressed with the results.

'What was she expecting our accuracy scores to be like on the first day? Perfect or something?' Mordecai asked himself as he made his way up from the target range, and on his way back to the staff room, where he sat down at his desk and began looking through his twin notebooks as something to do to pass the time. He could hear the sounds of Ackerman and Novak talking from the down the hallway, something about some suspects he and a squad had brought in.

A while later, and everyone was back in the room, when Ackerman arrived and addressed the group.

"We've got two juvenile perps waiting down their for us. Now the days closing down and we don't have enough hands to form proper shifts like the larger precincts yet. So I'm asking for volunteers to stay late and take the lead on interrogation. Four should be enough, two for each perp, the usual. The rest of you will be free to go where you please. Your time, your business."

One of the other officers raised his hand to volunteer, saying that he grew up in similar conditions. The gentleman was certainly a tall and imposing figure with exceptionally broad shoulders. His jet black hair on both his head and face were rather unruly in their presentation. Mordecai had seen few men like him before. Others on the hand...

"Undoubtedly the other, ah... ...officers will be more than capable of dealing with the criminals." Spoke Constable Ampere, it appeared that the man was certainly getting on other people's nerves, with that sense of superiority in his voice. Ampere soon gave a customary goodbye to everyone present, straightened his tie, then left the room. The officer from earlier looked as though he was about to snap.

"Well, if he expects to get far in this job by passing the opportunity to prove himself to others, then he's got another thing coming." Mordecai said, sounding rather annoyed at Archibald's current behavior as he began making notes on a new page of his non-medical journal.

"Anyway, to the matter at hand. Captain, whilst I wouldn't be able to offer much in the question and answer session, there are one or two things that I need to discuss with you, though it can wait."

Rory's eyebrows arched slightly as the call went out for late night volunteers. The prospect wasn't entirely as appealing as heading out to a local pub, getting a bit sauced and seeing where the evening took him, but this whole experience was hardly about choosing the most entertaining option. Jason volunteered, and Rory felt his stomach sink ever so slightly, though the statement that accompanied the offer was worth a bit of consideration. Rory's brow furrowed somewhat. The cat had proved a child, all of the so called 'perps' were children, would that soften the big man's aims any, or was prosecution still the order of the day? It'd be worth it to stick around and find out for sure. One of the human's, the one that stank of perfume, dismissed himself and took a chance to posture a bit, sizing Hunt up with an expression that reeked of silent disdain. Rory chuckled slightly, that was ballsy, to say the least. Well it'd be ballsy up into the point Hunt lost his shit and turned that fancy man into a fancy maid....

"Heh, well I got no pressin' plans. I'll stay behind as well, never got the chance at an interrogation from this side of the fence, should be... enlightenin.' Do we get time and a half wages?" Rory grinned slightly, offering Hunt and Rat a quick glance. Thus far it was looking like an all Warg party. He wondered how that would sit with Novak and Ackerman.

When Captain Ackerman returned from the shooting range, she already looked annoyed about something, Collin was counting his lucky stars that he hadn't gone down there. Most likely it was some sort of horrific shooting accident, rookies and guns never worked well together. Surprisingly enough, finding Collin lounging at a desk upstairs with an empty plate on his desk and crumbs sprayed everywhere didn't raise her ire any further. Instead she got straight into the night's business.

"We've got two juvenile perps waiting down their for us. Now the days closing down and we don't have enough hands to form proper shifts like the larger precincts yet. So I'm asking for volunteers to stay late and take the lead on interrogation. Four should be enough, two for each perp, the usual. The rest of you will be free to go where you please. Your time, your business."

The mountainous officer, Hurt or Hunt or something, was first to volunteer, which didn't surprise Collin. The way the man had handled his coffee this morning had been a clear indicator of how tough he was. Ampere was speaking next though, Collin was oblivious to the snub the man was making towards the wargs so he cheerfully waved goodbye to the man as he left. A man that Collin only vaguely recognised volunteered next, followed by Vasir who didn't volunteer, but rather criticised Ampere's career choices. Collin felt rather uncomfortable at this, considering he had skipped firearm training to stuff his face with sandwiches and catch a nap. Finally, the rebel Red, the walking armoury himself, volunteered, leaving a pause for Collin to say his piece.

"I'm happy to stay on," offered Collin, his apartment was a mess right now anyway, and the neighbours were always making a racket. "I don't know if I'll be any help with the interrogation but I can fetch some more food," he gestured at the empty plate, "we're all out of sandwiches, sorry."

Cali watched as Archibald left, throwing a dirty look his way as he did.

Well good riddance. Feeling tired all of a sudden, she figured maybe taking a break wouldn't hurt...

"If it's fine with you, ma'am," she said, "I think I'll take my leave now."

Ackerman nodded along as the volunteers stepped forward and the others reacted. Good, this gave her a lay of the land. Even the parts that went unsaid told their own little story. At least the wargs had stepped up, maybe the young perps would be more likely to open up to someone of their own race... or maybe it would make them shut down even more, it was hard to tell what with all the stories she'd heard about this particular breed of shifter.

Well time to find out for myself I guess. She couldn't think of any better way of clearing up the second hand information.

Novak appeared from the storage area with a few of the larger uniform jackets as well as some smaller items like socks and shirts, they being the closest thing to blankets he could find. "Looks like we're going to be requisitioning a lot over the next few weeks." He muttered to his captain.

Ackerman nodded silently. "I'll leave your pairings to your own judgment." She said, turning to the recruits. "The dear sergeant and I will be on hand in case you need any assistance. Remember these are minors we're dealing with here, so let's try and keep the water boarding to a minimum. Split yourselves between the rat and the cat we brought in, they should have shifted back by now... assuming they're not idiots."

She waited for the recruits to leave about their business before approaching Novak. "You're going to have to multi task a little here, Rat managed to catch a third one and we can't risk all our leads on some greenhorns. I'll monitor them for the rest of the night and try to leave you too it." She said like some conspirator mid plot.

"Sure you don't want to join me? I know you're not great with kids but you were an animal person last I checked."

"Very witty, Sergeant."

"Split yourselves between the rat and the cat we brought in, they should have shifted back by now... assuming they're not idiots."

"I'll take the cat." Jason was first to say, before heading over to the vending machine to get some coffee and snacks. He didn't know how long it must have been since the suspects had last ate.

"What about you?" he asked over his shoulder to Rory. Jason wanted to keep an eye on the other warg, and he suspected the feeling was mutual. If they were going to be interviewing the kid together, then they needed to be a team, which would mean some things having to be said first.

Mordecai listened whilst the others gave out their contributions, he chuckled quietly to himself for some reason as Collin showed the empty plate of sandwiches; it would be interesting to see if there was any side effects of eating so many, aside from several trips to the toilet and a possible bout of indigestion in the morning. From what he could gather, it appeared that all the Wargs had volunteered for the interrogation session.

Novak had disappeared from the room briefly, only to return a few moments later with an assortment of clothing items, ranging from larger uniform jackets to socks and shirts. "Looks like we're going to be requisitioning a lot over the next few weeks."

"The dear sergeant and I will be on hand in case you need any assistance. Remember these are minors we're dealing with here, so let's try and keep the water boarding to a minimum. Split yourselves between the rat and the cat we brought in, they should have shifted back by now... assuming they're not idiots." Spoke Ackerman as she turned towards the group of recruits. Mordecai waited for the meeting to be adjourned as it were before approaching the Captain.

"Um, Captain Ackerman? Apologies for interrupting, but would it be possible to have a word with you please, in that private that is feasible, there are one or two things that I would like to discuss with you; it may prove useful in the running of this precinct and the group in particular for the foreseeable future at least."

"What about you?"

Rory noted Officer Hunt's tone and caught a glimmer of understanding in the man's eyes as he gathered snacks from the vending machine. A half smile flickered across the ruddy man's face. Well, well, perhaps it was best this way. Who watches the watchmen? The answer was surprisingly simple: the other watchmen. Their methods were sure to differ, but perhaps Rory could reach some accord with the big man, something the young warg on the other end of the interrogation would no doubt appreciate.

"I'll give you a hand with 'im, if you don't mind," Rory put the offer out their even as he collected some of the spare clothing from Novak. He started towards the room where the cat was being kept. He paused for a moment as he drew closer to Jason. It'd be best to clear the air before this got started, lest they spend the evening working at cross purposes. Besides, any insight into how the big man thought would no doubt prove valuable, perhaps making it easier to work with him in the future," What're you hopin' to accomplish in here, with this kid, if you don't mind me askin'?"

"Split yourselves between the rat and the cat we brought in, they should have shifted back by now... assuming they're not idiots."

Collin didn't respond immediately to the instruction, he had managed to find a pencil under his desk and was busy tapping out a rhythm on the empty sandwich plate. By the time he realised anything of importance had happened, Rory and Jason had already paired up to interrogate the cat, that is, the boy who could turn into a cat, or was it a cat who could turn into a boy? Collin could never quite decide, either option made for a good film anyhow. Anyhow, that meant if he was going to earn his stripes as interrogator, Collin would be talking to the rat Warg.

"The one who can turn into a rat is mine then, I've got this really inspirational story to tell him," enthused Collin, who apparently had some strange ideas about how interrogations were supposed work. "I'm sure it'll work like a charm." Collin was on his feet and halfway across the room before he remembered he was supposed to have a partner.

"Uh unless you have another idea," said Collin, turning to look back at Rat.

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