Reports Of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated


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Scene Title Reports Of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
Synopsis Cat states the obvious when a reportedly dead person (Gillian) drops in to visit.
Date January 26, 2010

Village Renaissance: Cat's Penthouse

Arriving by any of four elevators, visitors will find they open into three foot corridors facing wide double doors made from sturdy southern pine which swing outward and have the strongest locks available. The stairs lead to single doors, also outward opening, at the end of three foot corridors. Entry requires both a key and a keycard; other security measures are a video camera and voice communication terminal at all doors. The 4th Street side has floor to ceiling windows interrupted only by the access points. Cream colored curtains are normally kept closed.

This level has enough space for sixteen apartments. There is an office space with reception area, conference room, and executive office; a room for archery practice and other forms of physical exercise; a very well appointed kitchen and dining area; a music zone with an array of instruments, electronics, and amplifiers; an entertainment area with an HD set covering an entire stretch of wall from floor to ceiling; a locked room where security footage for the building is recorded and can be monitored; a laundry room; a staircase for roof access; central air and heating; the main bedroom and a few smaller guest rooms; plush deep wine carpet everywhere except the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms; and track lighting everywhere overhead. The light levels can be lowered or raised in the entire place, or selectively by segments. The overall decor suggests the occupant is a woman.

The sun's not been up long by the time the Penthouse gets a visitor. This time, Gillian's not in the wheelchair. She's starting to wish she had taken it with her, or that she hadn't insisted on going on her own. The stomach wound still hurts. In the elevator, she pops another pain pill, before the doors open and she drags feet out onto the top floor. "Cat?" she calls out, questioningly. The receptionist said the buzzed up, but it's still early. Who knows if the woman didn't groggily hit a button that said 'send 'er up!' when she meant 'GO AWAY'.

The younger woman looks pale and quiet, without the normal eye make up and lipstick she usually wears. The coat and scarf and hat combination looks good on her, designer in fact. Some of it doesn't even technically belong to her. Borrowing her roommate's clothes happens.

Having been alerted to a visitor on the way up, and to the visitor's identity, Cat is awake. She looks rather fresh from bed; hair is very much unkempt, attire is shorts and a sports bra. She's standing not far inside the doors opposite the elevator which carried her up, the better to not make an injured person need to cross the entire penthouse to reach her. There's a copy of the day's New York Times in her left hand. "Gillian," she answers.

She might have said good morning, but while it's morning it certainly isn't good.

"I guess you watched the news," Gillian says, rubbing her hands over her face in a common nervous gesture she's often seen doing. Especially lately. The tension that she had before is ten fold. It's not cutting back. "I'm not sure what this is going to do for my pardon and the scholarship and stuff. I was hoping that you being all into that legal shit… I don't want to just become someone else."

"The news," Cat replies dryly, "no. I was watching Mother, Mr. Donovan, and the Nazi Lockheart in their debate then. I found out from this," she informs quietly, holding up the paper in her hands. "I don't think you'll have to become anyone else," she opines, "but this can be tricky. One of the first steps is to contact that police precinct and have you meet with them, as well as their medical examiner, to verify you are indeed yourself. DNA matching and such. They might insist on having a negator present, to establish you're not a shifter trying to seize the name."

"After that, there comes the matter of explaining just how you're alive and there's a genetically exact copy of you in forensic hands when your registered ability isn't replication." Calm is exuded as she makes her way into the entertainment area, a place where Gillian can sit rather than having to stand on crutches and damaged leg.

"Would you like coffee?"

"So you think— I think if I tried to explain everything that happened, they'd want to shoot me in the head. The people who would like to pretend things like Pinehearst never existed," Gillian says, rubbing her forehead with a hand. "Since I'm adopted would it be possible to say that maybe I had a twin sister I didn't know about or something? It sounds soap operay, but it's easier than saying 'I had a fucking clone who I made when I had this other fucking power entirely, but I really just have augmentation now and I'm not trying to hide any other fucking powers I might have'…"

Yeah… she seems to think this'll be fun. "Yeah, I think I could use some coffee."

"I doubt Kershner will be happy to hear about this, if she even does," Cat dryly comments. "I'm not inclined to ask her, or even advise of the situation. The less we have to deal with that shark, the better," she mutters. "We're getting on top of this quickly, hopefully they've not notified agencies yet, but with the announcement in the press they may have. Also call your adoptive parents, if you didn't already, tell them you aren't dead. They were probably called in to make identification."

As she departs to get the coffee, an opportunity to do just that is provided.

"I called them last night, as soon as I could actually— you know— talk," Gillian says, rubbing her forehead once again. It doesn't help her headache as she moves to find a place to sit down, to get off her feet so she can wait for the coffee. "It also depends on when they find the body. I was in the hospital not too long ago. So there's one place that would have— you know— physical evidence that I was alive and not dead a few days ago that they could compare to…"

To Stef. She doesn't finish saying it, covering her mouth with her hand for a moment.

Those words are left hanging while Cat is across the penthouse getting coffee, a distance sizable enough for the injured woman to likely not desire walking with her and back. On her return, a somber reply is given. "It doesn't say how long she's been dead. That would have bearing on things. One thing, though, which works as an explanation with a bit of tweaking is Tyler Case. The NYPD know about him, there's a documented incident of him having encountered your brother and Veronica Sawyer. He infused her with Brian's ability very briefly," Cat relates, "and clones were produced. They disintegrated almost immediately. It could be claimed here he may have somehow caused a clone of you to exist which was biologically stable. Explaining how becomes their problem."

"Sometimes I just wish I could… say what the fuck happened," Gillian muses softly, unable to really express herself beyond that point. "We'll figure something out. I just… I want to be me. And I do want to go back to school and… I thought it was done." She takes the coffee, a deep drink possibly helping, but… no. It didn't help that much. "Getting back from Antarctica. Things were supposed to get easier. Can't a single fucking week go by without something like this happening?"

"You'll be you, and you'll attend school," Cat tells her in a hopefully reassuring voice. But she can't honestly say a week would go by without things happening. Rebel's cryptic sites tell her this, if there weren't the matters of Linderman gearing up to rig the mayoral election, Nathan in the Oval Office, Frontline expanding and Sharkrisa Kershner…

"Saying Tyler Case was involved isn't a complete fabrication, anyway," she floats after a stretch of silence. "I'd like to tell the whole truth myself, if we could ever prove it." A quiet chuckle escapes, she alters topic for a bit while sipping coffee to perhaps lighten the mood for Gillian. "Did you see that lame story the Feds floated after Rebel made that image public?"

"Yeah, we could probably swing the Tyler story, especially with Vee being on our side and all." Gillian believes the woman would vouch for her, in this case. Even if it's not quite the same situation at all. "No, I didn't see the story. What'd it say?" She knows that the woman won't forget a word of it.
"It's from the Associated Press," Cat begins, "dated January 23rd. They blamed it on a pocket of methane gas ignited during prep for a second round of drilling into the ice. Like anyone with a brain would believe that mushroom cloud came from a methane blast. Rebel used it to make another cryptic message with red letters, saying their site had changed. This time there are documents, image files, and another audio message. I'll be emailing them around soon."

"So they're saying the ice farted," Gillian says with a small laugh, touching her stomach as she does to consciously remind herself not to laugh too hard. "Oh— I had heard there was a second one, with the whole… password thingy. If you cracked it, awesome." It means she doesn't have to attempt to do it.

There's a pause. "Okay, I wanted to avoid this, but… do you have a spare laptop I can use for a while? Until I can buy my own again." She used to have one. But she lost it in all the safehouse shuffles…

"The ice farted, and someone lit it with a drill, which made a giant mushroom cloud. Yes." Cat herself laughs for a moment, after which there is assent to providing a laptop machine. She sips from her coffee. There's time to partake of a little relaxation before beginning to delve into the business of undoing Gillian's reported death.

And a whimsical thought that if Gillian did need to take another name as a result, she could always call herself Samantha (Sam) Clemens. Because reports of her death are greatly exaggerated.

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