PHD #503: The Big Rene-Marie Reveal
The Big Rene-Marie Reveal
Summary: Kincaid explains to Sawyer the whole solution behind the Piers Rene-Marie investigation.
Date: 14 Jul 2042 AE
Related Logs: All "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics" Logs
Kincaid Sawyer 
Living Quarters — MV Elpis
The opulent living quarters of Piers Rene-Marie.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #503

Piers Rene-Marie was just arrested. He was hooked up, hauled off on a Raptor, and transported to Cerberus. At around the same time, Sawyer was brought to Elpis on a tip from her favorite Marine corporal, Daniel Kincaid. He met her at the Raptor, leading her back towards the quarters that Rene-Marie was just seized from. "Have your pad?" he asks her as he comes through the Marine cordon at the quarters, telling the Privates there that "she's with me."

"This is the big reveal we're doing here. You can talk to me while we do the search of the quarters."

"Do I have my pad." Sawyer scoffs playfully, also tapping the breast pocket of her khaki shirt with her pencil to indicate the recorder so he knows he's on audio recording. She's dressed for mess today, which is to say she'd rather not have to worry about running one of her last remaining pairs of pantyhose in trying to keep up with her favorite MP.

"I'll start from the top," begins Kincaid as he takes a look around the plush set of quarters. It's a set of four bunks — it's supposed to hold four souls. But it instead just holds — or held — Piers Rene-Marie. He has various luxuries around — liquor, bedding, all the creature comforts people thought lost. "It started with a tip from Allan Rejn — the One — that there was something fishy in Cerberus's accounting. He slipped by the QUODEL budget analysis and I compared it against some sample inventories of things I had access to — the Marine small arms inventory, for example. From that, I found out that someone had artificially deflated Cerberus's costs. In other words, the project came in at cost, but only because someone booked the books in the QUODEL analysis. That, of course, was unusual because typically the Admiralty inflates costs to capture more Colonial funds. And who do you think did the shifty QUODEL analysis?"

"Piers, of course. Such creative accounting raised many a question, the least of which motive." Despite the fact this part is mostly a recap, Sawyer is taking studious notes as she keeps pace with Kincaid. There's the slightest of smiles at the corner of her lips, but the expression is full-fledged in her eyes.

"We're going to need to inventory all of these luxuries, get them back into inventory. If any of it goes missing, I will make heads roll," Kincaid tells a Private behind him, tossing out admonitions just like the seasoned NCO he isn't. But then back to the Big Reveal.

"It did, yes. It was odd. But what I did next was try to track the inventories back — see who got the additional requisitions onto Cerberus. Some were just mistakes; we asked for 8 widgets, got 10, and we left dock before the 2 excess could get removed. But those that weren't — well, they all led back to Petty Officer Second Class Marissa Langer of Support. But I couldn't talk to Langer because she had been listed as KIA on the main stairwell during the concealed Centurion Cylon attack."

Sawyer makes a glance around the chamber, but she's seen it once before when Piers was still in residence. The chair was over here, and this scarf was draped over there, but it looks relatively the same. No telling how many went without, just so this man could have more than his share. "Terribly convenient, that."

"Terribly convenient," agrees Kincaid. "Especially convenient because Langer had left her personal effects to Rene-Marie. I tried to pull personnel files to figure out the link between Langer and Rene-Marie, but I couldn't find anything. But that was because Rene-Marie's file was classified by the military — not QUODEL — but by the Fleet. His two years previous to QUODEL was marked as 'Consultant - Picon HQ.'" More of that dubious tone as he opens a foot locker, rummaging through some cigars and cigarettes found there. "I spoke to Langer's replacement — her former subordinate — who confirmed that Rene-Marie and Langer were lovers. Fought like cats and dogs, but she gave him access to all of Support's files. And he apparently bragged to Langer and other women that he was on some sort of 'deep cover' assignment for Picon HQ."

"A fact I was pretty much able to corroborate with the man himself, though not necessarily in those words." Sawyer stands over his shoulder, edging up on her tiptoes when she can not see what he's looking at, at any particular moment. She falls silent again, letting him draw the puzzle and fill in the pieces for her article.

Kincaid takes his pad out of his front pocket, takes some notes on the items and quantity of them found in the footlocker. Then he stands up, moving over towards another footlocker. Booze in this one. Hard stuff. "So that explained the link between Rene-Marie and Langer. Rene-Marie was Fleet, sent to make the Admiralty look good with QUODEL. When the worlds blew up, no one knew he was in deep cover, so he just stayed civilian and started carving out his little fiefdom. But that doesn't explain the murder."
So he has to explain that part. "We got out break there when an anonymous informant approached medical personnel and reported that he had seen Rene-Marie and Langer near the stairwell where she was found shortly before the Cylon attack began. With that information, we began taking a look at Langer's autopsy, trying to find out if something was overlooked. After all, a lot of bodies came in that day and a lot of medical personnel died."

"Luckier still that an autopsy was done, at all. As you've said, a lot of people died that day." Sawyer is polite enough still, to let him fill in what was found during autopsy, and she encourages him further with her silence.

"As it turns out, the autopsy report didn't hold up under scrutiny. Langer had injuries to her skull and neck that were consistent with her cause of death being hit from behind with a blunt object — not with Langer striking a bulkhead. The bulkhead strike was post-mortem. But the fatal injury, in retrospect, was so obvious that the doctor doing the autopsy was either corrupt or so incompetent he should have his licensed pulled." Kincaid glances over his shoulder at Sawyer, seeing if she has any questions yet.

"Around this point, the attack on Magnus Dekker occurred. And, as you know, we suspected Piers Rene-Marie set up the attack for the response to be portrayed as police brutality. We then discovered that the red-headed waitress in the cafeteria at the time of the attack had pointed out Dekker to his attackers, basically stirring up the bad blood that got him beat. She didn't tell us that at first; it made her a suspect in the Dekker attack."

There is a bit of a smile from Sawyer that doesn't emerge until well after the news about the autopsy has settled. Her pencil makes a few notations about Langer's injuries before she's emitting a tiny 'mmm' sound, "I still have the strategically taken photographs tucked away in my desk that he wanted me to publish to support that 'police brutality' angle." And yet, for some reason, that's the one story Sawyer never ran.

"Oh. I should have mentioned." Kincaid stands up from what he was inspecting. "One of the injuries to Langer's neck." He gestures to the spot on his own neck. "Was indented, like — a piece of jewelry. Keep that in mind, because it's important later. But back to our redhead. We discovered that she came onboard pregnant, but at the time of the Dekker incident, she was not. Yet she did not go to Sickbay for a birth or for treatment from a miscarriage. But when we did check Sickbay records, we discovered she inquired about an abortion but was turned away by a religious Gemenese intake nurse." His voice bodes no judgment on either side; he's just relaying the facts.

"So if you were in need of a grey market abortion, who would you turn to?"

One of Sawyer's eyebrows inches up on her forehead at the bit of news about the jewelry, surely having her own conjecture about that interesting tidbit, but it's purely that at this point: conjecture. The tip of her pencil waggles as she takes notes in that odd little version of shorthand she has, "A man who was in the 'know', a man who can get things," Her pencil makes a sweep to indicate the room, "When others can not. But of course, everything comes with a price, doesn't it Danny?"

"You can't pay a man in cubits anymore," agrees Daniel Kincaid, moving over to a new footlocker to rummage through it. "So my hypothesis was that she owed Rene-Marie a favor, a favor he called in by having her point out Dekker — and his having researched AI in the past — to men whose families were wiped out by the Cylons and who were still simmering mad about it. Long story short is I brought her in and that she copped to the story and gave up the doctor that performed the abortion in Elpis's clinic after-hours."

"You can't pay a man in cubits anymore," agrees Daniel Kincaid, moving over to a new footlocker to rummage through it. "So my hypothesis was that she owed Rene-Marie a favor, a favor he called in by having her point out Dekker — and his having researched AI in the past — to men whose families were wiped out by the Cylons and who were still simmering mad about it. Long story short is I brought her in and that she copped to the story and gave up the doctor that performed the abortion in Elpis's clinic after-hours."

Sawyer shifts so she can keep eyes and ears on Kincaid at all times, as much for her immediate benefit as for the recording she'll be able to play back later. "When we're through, you'll have to come back to her, and you can let me know what charges she's been brought up on." She makes a little apologetic hand gesture for interrupting.

"She hasn't been brought up on charges." Kincaid can say that much. "Abortion isn't illegal — at least not yet — and it's not certain that she knew what Rene-Marie wanted to happen when she pointed out Dekker to the four attackers. To be an accomplice, you have to have the intent that the crime you're helping happen. We're not sure she had that."

But then he hesitates. "Can I get something off the record?"

Sawyer makes a little 'mmm' noise of 'ohIsee' and then another that sounds vaguely like a 'hmm?' as if going off the record is foreign to her. She seems hesitant at the request, but perhaps because it's Danny, she finally reaches up to flick off the recorder. "What's up, hon?" And to further prove he's off the record, she slips the pencil up behind her ear.

"I approached Rene-Marie to find out if he'd trade the names of the attackers he enlisted for a promise to lay off of his grey-market clinic. He called my bluff. He said he would give me the names if I could promise that they would get civilian — not military — trials. I told him I'd see what I could do, and Command ultimately decided to go along with it."

This explains Danny's hesitance, his desire to go off the record. "I can't make it seem like I negotiated with criminals to make the civilian justice system happen. But I wanted it anyway, so I was willing to play ball."

Sawyer's eyes narrow a hint, her head tilting at an odd angle as she regards him for a long moment. It's like she's trying to process what he's just said, and then suss out her precise feelings about it. "You can't make it seem that way, but…that's precisely what you did?" It's phrased in such a way, as if she expects - or wants - him to rephrase it differently.

"I wanted to close the case and I wanted a civilian justice system, Sawyer. You do, too." Kincaid isn't talking to her as cop-to-reporter now, but friend-to-friend. "It's something you wanted when you were going to be President of the Colonies. So that Rene-Marie was pushing for it, too, was helpful. But the public — they don't like negotiating with criminals. Even ones that you're going to nail for murder."

"What a foolish notion that was." Though she doesn't elaborate, no doubt she means her short-lived attempt at playing politics. Sawyer touches her knuckles to her forehead, grinding them into the area right above her eyebrow. The respite only lasts a brief moment before her hand falls away and her expression once more becomes sacchrine sweet. "Alright, so. Did he give up the names of the attackers?"

"That's where my maneuvering comes in. I was approached by the confidential informant that I mentioned earlier who confirmed that Rene-Marie had argued with Langer on the day of her death. It appears that she was breaking up with him and his position was that 'no one breaks up with Piers Rene-Marie.' He had a bracelet, her bracelet — remember what I said about that jewelry earlier? in his hand."

Kincaid smiles. It's all coming together now. "I then brought in the doctor that the redhead gave up. It turned out that he was a True Believer in Rene-Marie's cause. He admitted that he overheard Rene-Marie and one of his bodyguards discussing the Langer investigation and he took it upon himself to modify the autopsy report to hide the abnormalities that I mentioned earlier. But he was only willing to testify if Rene-Marie got a civilian trial — allowing Piers to 'be able to create a legacy that outlives what bad things he's done.' And without firm proof of the modification, his testimony is all we had. If it was a military trial, he said he was going to lie through his teeth."

"I'm assuming this part is still off the record." Sawyer says simply, looking attentive if not all together comfortable with what Kincaid is saying. Of course, her own history with Piers is conveniently not being commented on, for better or for worse.

"But that's where the genius comes in." Kincaid is just blowing past her assumption. His genius. He's wrapping this up now, poking into a drawer that seems to contain some personal effects from Rene-Marie. One can tell from the scarves.

"I had Rene-Marie willing to give up the attackers for civilian trials and the doctor willing to give up Rene-Marie for civilian trials. So I told both of them — after securing permission from Command — that they had a deal. Rene-Marie gave me the attackers' names. The good doctor gave me a tape-recorded statement. And then we busted all of them."

Sawyer finds a smile buried beneath all her own doubt. "You cracked the case, detective. Just like in the novels. So what comes next? Piers will face charges in front of a civilian court, and this all can be put to bed?"

"Indeed. Rene-Marie goes down for his murder; Dekker's attackers go down for their bloody assault. And a precedent is formed for civilians taking more of a role in their own justice system. And …" Kincaid reaches into the drawer and pulls out a bracelet studded with emeralds — a female's bracelet. "It seems like the last little bit has been closed off, hmm?"

"And you pulled in a civilian witness to testify to the fact that you didn't plant that evidence." Sawyer smirks, reaching up for her pencil so he knows that she's going to put him back on the record unless he has anything else to add otherwise.

Kincaid says nothing to the contrary. "I had no idea it would be here. I just hoped." Kincaid smiles and takes out a zip-loc bag from his pocket, "bagging" the bracelet. "I can get Medical to match the pattern on these gems to the marks on Langer's neck."
A pause. "One more thing? Friend-to-friend? Off the record?"

"Of course." Because, if anything, Sawyer owes him far more than just that in the grand scheme of things.

"There's one question that's always bothered me. I assume that Rene-Marie accidentally killed her when he struck her with the bracelet. Maybe he didn't realize that she would die when he sent her down the stairwell. Maybe he meant to just teach her a lesson. But here's the problem: How did he know the Cylons would attack and cover his tracks? Was it luck? Was it — I don't know. If Langer's death was discovered on a normal day, it would be an obvious murder. It's only the Cylon attack that provided the cover for his murder."

Kincaid shakes his head. "I'll need to give it to intel; let them look into it. Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe he got lucky. I don't want to accuse people of being Cylons willy-nilly. But —" His voice trails off. It bothers him.

"I wish I had the answer to that. An answer that's far more simple. I've always been a fan of the law of parsimony, but if one thing has been proven recently? Nothing is ever so simple. My only theory on that is that had the Cylon's not attacked, then he would have taken the time to cover his tracks more sufficiently. He could have just used the attack as another weapon of convenience, if you will. We know they only have a limited number of models, so between us? Friend to friend? Let's hope they didn't waste one on Piers." Sawyer lips take a turn towards wry, and she reaches out to briefly touch Kincaid's cheek with a sweep of her thumb. "Let's move on."

Despite all Kincaid knows of Sawyer, all that he knows that They will never be, he still leans into the touch, smiles at the feel of his best friend close to him. "I think that's all I have, Sawyer, all that there is to know about Piers Rene-Marie. Unless you have anything to ask me." He pauses. "I've talked for so long, I haven't even asked if you have any questions."

There's a little shake of Sawyer's head after her hand falls away from the brief touch. "I think the time for questions is over. It's time to put this baby to print, and then maybe finally put it to bed as well. There is happiness to be found in closure, Danny. I'm glad you've finally found some."

"I am as well, Sawyer," says Kincaid softly as he makes his way from Piers Rene-Marie's den of sin, out into the hallway, turning the scene over to his junior investigators. "I just hope Marisa Langer has found some, too."

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