You can find A here.
Brody asked directly for Inspector Hussein, yes she was expecting them, no there wasn’t an emergency.
“Please have a seat and she’ll be with you shortly, Captain Halliday.”
Libby slid into one of the vacant waiting chairs. She hadn’t said much, since they figured out what happened with her records. She was thinking, but he wasn’t doing a really good job of coming up with a way to ask what she was thinking that didn’t seem…wrong.
He’d figured out why she made him uneasy, while she was—inhumanly patiently—spouting off her personal information over and over while Jim looked through the system. She reminded him of himself.
Not the patience, if he had more of that he might have taken one of the promotions he’d been offered and gotten out of the twenty-year retirement track. He didn’t think they were really alike in mannerisms, either. Occasionally there was a moment where he thought their senses of humor might line up, sure. They were about the same age.
The only person Libby had called to say ‘hey, I’m fine, no cause for worry’ was her boss. Her personal device had been wrecked in the blast, and she hadn’t replaced it. He’d thought maybe that was because she wouldn’t be able to really use any sort of communications device until she was a person again and could get into her accounts. But they’d finished that process and she’d been ready to head directly to Inspector Hussein’s office.
He was beginning to think she didn’t have anyone to contact.
He’d started a conversation in his head six times, looking for an even remotely decent way to ask if she had family, or close friends, or not close friends that weren’t her boss. Like did she realize how long it would have been before they even managed to identify the body, if she hadn’t survived the blast?
This was looking less and less like an accident—not that it ever really had to him—and still not making any freaking sense.
“Ms. Wade, Captain Halliday, come on through,” Inspector Hussein said, holding the half-door through into the office block open. They took the lift at the end of the hall up to the third floor. Criminal Inspections was laid out like an old fashioned bullpen, with a couple of partitioned rooms off to the edges, and the rest of the outside walls were completely glass. It was supposed to seem bright and airy, non-threatening.
Brody wasn’t sure it helped as much as they thought it did.
“Captain Halliday said you were at Records…” She waved them to the two chairs across from her desk.
“Presumably it’s fixed.” Libby shrugged. “The guy in charge said to tell you the search program isn’t as bulletproof as the actual records.”
Inspector Hussein blinked at her for a long minute. “Hm.”
“He seemed like he’d have given you a more thorough answer than he was going to give us.”
“What was his name?”
“Ian Mews,” Brody answered, leaning back. “I suspect he’d actually like to talk to you.”
Inspector Hussein nodded, and pulled up her desk information system. “Alright, well look at that.”
“Right, I’m almost a real person,” Libby muttered.
Inspector Hussein smiled, shaking her head. “Well, it certainly helps the case I was trying to make that you hadn’t done anything wrong, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” She scrolled through some things. “Which leads me to our next question.”
Libby rubbed her face. “I didn’t say anything about James because I wasn’t sure my saying he should be there too was going to be enough.”
Brody shared a look with the inspector. That sort of assumed the same thing had happened with James that had with Libby.
“I’ll contact this Mews and see what we can figure out.” The inspector nodded decisively. “You said you’d known James for a couple of years, how often did you see each other?”
Libby shrugged. “I never saw him when I was on assignment. But when I was working out of the Boston office we bumped into each other a few times, and he worked in the same building as the Seattle office, so pretty much every time I was there.”
“And he told you he worked in banking?”
She nodded. “But I never asked a lot of questions.”
Brody frowned, and wondered if Inspector Hussein was getting the same feeling about all this he was. There wasn’t a lot of reason for a gentlemen banker to have been in Boston. “Did you see him in Boston first, or Seattle?”
“Seattle, the building owner had a big anniversary party that was more or less compulsory.”
Inspector Hussein jotted something down. “Were any of these meetings ever intentional? Did you have social plans?”
“No.” Libby rubbed her face.
“Did he ever contact you either by email or any other way?”
Inspector Hussein stared at her for a long moment, and flicked a glance at Brody, before she leaned back in her chair. “I’m struggling here.”
Libby waited, face open, patiently waiting for the questions to be done.
“Please don’t take this as some sort of moral judgement. If you weren’t involved with him, and you never made plans with him, why did you agree to get into a personal transport with him? You travel enough for work you can’t dislike the public options that much.”
Libby shrugged, and puffed out a breath. “He asked, and he seemed excited about the prospect. James maybe acted like he was…interested, but he was never pushy when I wasn’t so I didn’t think he was a danger…well, no more of a danger than any generally intelligent woman expects any man to be.”
“You’re trained in how to recognize aggressive behavior before it becomes aggressive?” Inspector Hussein said, seemingly like it wasn’t a question.
“I’m required by G.I.G. to sit the full Social De-escalation Training and Certification every three years.”
Brody sat back, and watched her. “Do you do the hostage training, too?”
“I did last year, Matt bid for a string of Midwestern jobs.” Libby shrugged. “Like I said, I go where they send me.”
“That’s a dangerous job,” Inspector Hussein muttered.
Libby snorted. “Says the female cop and the retirement track Marine.”
Brody huffed. “Oy. I was never a Marine.”