Alameda Clear the air

A few days after the Kiln fire. (TW Depressive thoughts)

Ziska had little memory of what had gone on once she passed out, she knew there had been pain, shouting, questions asked and her pockets rummaged through to find out who she was. She had been rushed to the closest hospital and sent off to surgery to fix the internal injuries and set bones back into place. It took two days for her to even be aware that she was in a hospital but the pain meds had her sleeping more than she was awake, when she did awake, she panicked and cried out until they had to sedate her all over again.

The confusion from the events whirled in her head through the fog of smoke that was in her head.

When she woke up again, her eyes scanned her body briefly. A crisp white and blue blanket pulled up over her, a brace on her right write and banged in varied spots. Up her nose, undignifiedly, there was a tube running down her nose to give her nutrition while she was asleep. All in all, it didn't look too bad but what was confusing was the white restraints around her wrists that kept her from moving her hands too much. Ziska only tugged at them once before not even trying again. She saw the nurse call light beside her fingers but didn't touch it and instead just looked around the room.

It felt bare and clean and there was a single window where she could look out and see the sun was trickling through the window and onto the floor. That's where her eyes stayed now, even as nurses filed in to check on her and to call the officers that were to be informed when she was actually awake and more coherent. Though, she'd debate on what coherent meant honestly. She just slipped into silence, mentally going over everything as she felt like her life was over. She was probably going to jail or prison. Her job was probably gone once things came to light and she was probably going to be sued until she was living in a box and then she'd have to surrender Nitro. That idea alone hurt horribly as that bird was the only creature that seemed to understand her and that brought on a new wave of sadness that sent her silently crying again. When there was a knock at the door, the woman didn't answer it, just looking out the window as her breaths became a bit shaky and ragged.
The events that led to her being directed to checking in on a patient were “odd” to say the least. A car had been plowed into a building, fire damaging both the roof from an external source as well as inside the building from an engine that had sparked against odds. A woman had been pulled from the fire by a man who’d been described by the owner, but had fled soon after painted a distraught image full of questions and heaps to go through.

Arson wasn’t usually on their radar, but it never hurt to show up when asked to by other departments just in case. What could be some petty dispute or something of the like could also easily be of interest to the task force.

With backup standing outside the door, Clara would knock and after a beat and confirmation through the window that the patient was awake, she’d let herself in.

”Ma’am, my name is Officer Haas and I was hoping I could ask you a few questions if you’re feeling up to it?”
Ma'am. Was she a ma'am? Right now she felt like she'd been put through a meat processor and then left to be spun out and trying to reassemble the pieces with kids glues. Blinking those thoughts away some, her head slowly turned to look at the woman, her anxiety spiking a little and making her clutch the blankets a bit but she gave the slightest nod. Ziska was a proud woman but felt rather brought low by her appearance. She was paler, her hair frizzy and bandages on her face. The definition of a hot mess.

" name...please call me that, " she asked her as she found her voice. It was hoarse and a bit rough but she could at least be understood.

"W-was anyone...anyone hurt? " she asked softly, wanting to know if it was just her or if others were.
Understandably, she was on edge, small actions clocked for what they were and Clara softened for them. Clara tried to always take care, but when it came to hospital visits there was almost the idea that she was wrapping each of her words in the gauze that may even be upon their own body; softened and careful, supportive yet carrying out a duty.

With agreement from the woman to come in and even call her her first name, Clara stepped further into the room, giving a nod and smile.

Right into the heart of the matter they would go. ”Not that we are aware of at this time. Would you be willing to walk me through what happened?”
What had happened? She'd been running it through her head over and over like some weird TV show that she was just the viewer of.

"I don't...I don't even know. I was at the Drunk Poet grading Latin papers...I had a couple of drinks I didn't plan on driving after but...I was there...then I was outside smoking and I couldn't move...I couldn't do anything...I've been trying to remember...trying so hard to just remember why I went outside...I-I just don't remember and then...then I was in the car and scared...I feel like I'm going crazy I didn't drive there but I obviously was there with my car I didn't... " she was starting to panic now, her chest rising and falling as just fear was in replace of the memories.

All she felt was fear and tears rose to her eyes and her hands went to her face to press the heels of her palms against her eyes as her head shook. She couldn't remember. It just hurt and all she knew was that every time she tried there was nothing but fear blanketing anything in her mind.

"I-I'm so sorry...I'm sorry...I'm so sorry, " she whispered over and over as she kept just rubbing her eyes and trying to fight through the fear that just clung to her.
It was a good sign that even as Miss Engel wasn’t sure, she still began. Trusting that the tape would catch everything, Clara took notes, highlighting specific parts of interest.

There was nothing particularly apparent at first, but once she honed in on not being able to move an arrow would be scratched up to the name of the establishment. The Drunk Poet was a start, somewhere to look into for cameras. Alcohol, maybe. Drugs? Or something different. From there a huge swath of time was missing till she had found herself in her car at the business.

Retelling was taking its toll and her brows creased in worry, lowering the notepad.

”Hey, take a deep breath for me. You think you can do that,” she asked, stepping closer to the bed and pulling up a chair to sit in by her.
Ziska was trying , trying to just figure it out but things didn't add up. It was like she had a psychotic break because it was the only thing that made sense. She did it but she didn't. It was her but it wasn't.

Looking at her, her heart hammering in her chest as her hand cupped her cheek as she took shallow breaths, "I'm trying to remember...I've never even been to that place before. I'm not crafty. I love my books. I love my bird...I love my job and I still couldn't stop myself from what... " she looked at the woman and then down at the bed that she was sitting on and when she tried to move, tried to just curl up to make herself smaller the incisions on her stomach tugged and made her wince and stop.

Her hands pulled the blanket up over herself more, just hugging it as she tried to breathe. All she wanted was to go home to her own bed and never leave her house again. To be a hermit after this. Closing her eyes she tried to breathe, "I'm sorry... " she whispered again, her voice aching as she tried to breathe and focus on the air coming into her lungs but her breath was doing that strange hiccuping that happens after a hard cry session.
She was spiraling and Clara was left watching her unwind more and more. Bit and pieces of information were offered, but none of it relevant, but all of it reaching for stability that nothing nonphysical could provide.

”Ziska, do what I say. Inhale for one, two, three,” Clara began, breathing in along with the counting. ”Hold for three, one, two, three. Exhale, one, two, three.” Out the air would go and again Clara would repeat till the woman did as was instructed and breathing leveled.
Ziska couldn't think to protest her, her brain was running and pounding; fire, pain, fear, and just not knowing all racing in her head as she had tried s desperately to stay the calm composed woman she always was.

Slowly she did as told, the first breaths wavering and shaking, her heart still pounding in her chest but eventually, there was a deep breath and an even longer exhale as the tension slipped from her body bit by bit until she was slowly leaning back into the bed with her eyes closed.

"I'm sorry...thank you..." she told her as she just closed her eyes and just breathed for a few minutes. "I remember being at the kiln suddenly...I don't know how I got there but I was there and...I don't know why but it felt my body was being controlled and I had no choice in destroying the building...I tried to stop myself...I know I called nine one one...but nothing I will moral compass...nothing until I was too hurt to move," she told her softly, her eyes just closed as her voice sounded broken while speaking. Ziska just felt empty now, drained of any will power to fight or emotions. She did it but she didn't understand why at all.
Slowly, the woman’s breathing calmed yet the concern stitching her brow never left. This was a volatile situation and Clara was going to let Ziska fully drive them wherever was comfortable.

Surprisingly, they were taken into a retelling of the night.

There was that jump in memory and key details that had dread prickle. A possible vampire attack then?

”That sounds frightening, I can’t imagine,” Clara started, flipping open her notebook once more to begin writing details, beginning to bite a lip in anticipation of having a follow up. ”I apologize for having to ask, but do you or your family have any history of memory loss? Or waking up in different places, even?”
All she could do was give a small nod to that, not really able to bring words because not much could sum it up. It sucked and it was messing with her mind something fierce.

She kept trying to breathe, her head shaking as she kept it even and level, "No...not even when I use my psychic ability...worse that happens is I can't speak English for a little bit No one in my family, " she told her as she let her eyes opened to stare up at the ceiling.

"Am I going to jail? " she managed to ask. She'd done it, even if she didn't know why or had any control over it, she knew she was guilty and felt it.
No. That shored up one end of questioning, but her revealing herself as a psychic only threw open another door.

A psychic who’s ability caused her to not speak English for a timeframe after use, all of it written down and solidifying Clara’s need to be here.

Before she could follow-up, Ziska had her own and Clara’s whole body paused for a beat. ”You will be under police custody as you heal and we work the case. That’s all I know.”
She felt a lump building in her throat, her head turning away from the woman so that she wouldn't see the tears that rolled down her cheeks, "I really...truly don't know why I did all that...or how...I have no reason to, " she told her as she lifted a hand and wiped her face again before looking back at her.

Ziska was quiet now, just accepting whatever fate was about to come her way with this or whatever questions she might ask.
The problem with the confession, because that’s what it was sounding like, was that even with the unknowns it was enough to keep an eye on her. Even if she was allowed to go home, she was stuck with this taped to her back.

Still they had to find out more, things weren’t adding up at a cursory walk through.

”Do you remember talking to anyone or seeing anyone or anything out of the norm at the Drunk Poet?”
Ziska shook her head, "It makes no sense...I was marking the papers, drinking a whisky- I remember the bartender, she was nice and was serving me- I remember paying my tab and tipping her...going outside...but that's where things go so strange, " she said softly, taking a small breath.

"I couldn't...I couldn't smoke. I couldn't move. I was outside the bar and I couldn't move... I remember feeling so much fear and desperation and then I was in my car...I feel like I'm losing it because it doesn't make sense, " she told her as her head pushed back against the bed while she stared up at the ceiling.

"I do remember something...when I crashed into the building itself...I didn't try to get out, I didn't want to but someone else pulled me out," she told her, her brows furrowing some, "I don't...I don't recall his face but he was strong and cold in all that heat...he laid me on the sidewalk and someone else was suddenly there...the two men stayed and were talking but all I could think of was trying to get back to the building, " Ziska told her, her brows pressing together as she could remember that urge until the day she died. All she wanted was to go home now, to curl in bed and just forget.

Lifting a hand, she wiped at her face, wincing at the touch of the cut on her cheek before she let her hands drop down to her lap. She momentarily wondered if she could plead insanity for all this.
Clara quickly jotted down relevant parts to the retelling, underlining the bartender bit, someone to circle back on.

Her brows cinched in confusion as well, trying to make sense of the events. Again, not being able to do anything and yet still finding herself in a car, still crashing it. Time was missing, a big piece to this all as well.

As for the building itself, someone had pulled her out and she noted the description, wondering how much had been adrenaline and fear warping reality. The two men had her already routing out questions for the owner noted to have been on the scene. So many people, so many leads. It was a good thing to have this much, but not if they were all without their own timestamps. That’s why they had a team though, they’d get to the bottom of it, Clara was sure. She could hope at least.

Wait, what? ”Why did you want to get back into the building?”
A dry laugh left her at that one, "I don't know...I could barely move at all but... there was just this feeling, like a pull telling me I had to go back. I remember the one guy who talked like a doctor telling me to not move and he kinda pinned me there when I tried to. " she said as she took a deep breath and just sighed a little.

" That's...I think that's it. I can't remember much else...I did call nine one one right? I didn't imagine that right? " she asked, double checking her own memories because she truly did not trust her mind to anything. She could be wrong and didn't and the alarms called them.
A feeling wasn’t tangible proof, but it did follow the increasingly concerning stance of this all. There were theories, but Clara didn’t want to give them too much ground before there was more to back them up.

The doctor witness was noted as well. Lots of people to follow up with, indeed.

”You did,” Clara confirmed.

”And just to circle back, you’ve never visited the Kiln before? That was the business the fire occurred at.”
"I didn't even know it existed...I normally go to the bar or work...maybe the mall on occasion? But...nothing like that- I don't even know the man. Would...would it be possible for me to talk to them? To see if maybe they jog anything else of my memory? " she asked her. Zis had no idea if that was allowed or not but she wanted to try. To apologize and maybe hear from what they saw.

She also just wanted to know if she truly was some sort of deranged psychic out destroying places at random.
It was hard to believe her at just her words, that’s why they investigated, but still it was a head scratcher.

The idea of talking to the owner had her looking up from where her pen scrawled ink. ”Not at this time, but does a man by the name of Mathis DeLuca ring any bells?” Meeting in person depended on so much and ultimately it came down to what the Chief would allow, but for now they had this. She shuffled through paperwork, producing a black and white photo printed off from the Kiln’s website of a man in the midst of pottery making.

this is a raylee approved description uwu

As she pulled the photo out, she reached for it and if she let her, took it to look at it. Squinting a little, she looked at it and then shook her head, "No...I recall him from the scene though...he ran off after the guy who pulled me out and then came back...but no...I don't, " she told her as she handed the photo back.

So, she wasn't allowed to contact the owner but maybe the guy who basically stopped her from dying inside the building.
Clara watched carefully as it was studied, the name considered, before that hint of recognition flickered over her face. If this was to be taken as the truth, then why target a random person’s place to begin with? ”Okay, thank you.” Nodding as she took the photo back, Clara made a few notes. Running after the man? That was worth following up on why.

”I believe that’s all the questions I have for you at the moment. Is there anything else you’d like to say or ask?”
Ziska gave her a nod to that, "I need to know...when I am medically cleared to leave- am I allowed to go back to my home or will I be sent elsewhere? And...can I have my father come here and visit me? " she asked her softly.

She wanted her father. A rare moment for her but it was there and she really needed someone who was family.
It was an understandable question, but as for the final result, Clara wasn’t entirely sure, only on what was next.

”Visitors here shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll be recommending that when you’re cleared, that you take a psych eval and the results will determine where you’ll go from there.”

She pulled out a business card, handing it over to the woman. ”Please, don’t hesitate to call me or the department at any point. We’ll be in touch, okay?”
Psych she thought she was crazy then and had lost her mind. It made sense in a way but also just sucked as well because her mind had been what kept her sharp and going.

"I can accept that. I'm sure they will call you once it's done, " she told her as she took the card from her and just stared at it for a moment as if it would reveal all the answers she was trying to find.

"Alright...please just, let me know what you find out...the sooner the better so if I need to put things in order, that I can do that, " she would just ask of her as she placed the card on her lap and just chilled. What else could she do? She couldn't walk easily right now and her body ached. All she could do was just wait and see what happens.
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