The Good Fight's Enough


cat_icon.gif mona_icon.gif

Scene Title The Good Fight's Enough
Synopsis Phoenix, by way of Cat, extends a hand of invitation. Mona accepts.
Date July 17, 2009

Village Renaissance Building - 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.

Like so many things in life, it began with a phone call, one which invited Mona Rao, pro-Evolved blogger, to Greenwich Village. She was given the address, 14 East 4th Street, and told to take the first elevator to the right of the security desk, that she would find it open and waiting for her when she arrived. From there, Cat had said, she should push a button marked six inside an open access panel.

So it is, as the hour approaches four in the afternoon, Cat waits for the arrival in a room where security camera footage is relayed, for the blogger to be seen so she can send the elevator down. On the top floor, she leaves the double doors across from that device open. It is here she will be when the time comes.

When given it, Mona had tucked away the address in her mind with due conviction, but nobody had told her that she'd be stepping into the bowels of a palace when she got there. For a palace this all might as well be, especially by the Big Apple standards of exorbitant rent, tiny apartment: on the foortage of the security camera, the writer can be seen gazing around wide-eyed at the decor covering her spacious surroundings, a little black handbag absentmindedly clutched in both hands. The girl must be a multi-millionaire, or more.

When the elevator arrives on the proper floor, she steps out and heads for the double doors straight ahead. She isn't purposely being her slow, but still taking her time to survey the environment of the penthouse in a kind of leisurely daze. "Catherine?" she calls out, hesitant.

"That's me," she confirms, standing just to the inside of a door as Mona steps through. Cat is casually clad, a red Fender Strat slung over one shoulder and across the front of her. "Thanks for coming." She doesn't seem bothered by the way her guest surveys the interior while she crosses the corridor to close the elevator's access panel and lock it, then returns to close the penthouse doors too.

"You've been well?" she asks politely. Her back, covered by a tank top featuring an image from the cover of Boston's eponymous album on the front, leans against the wall.

"I've been excellent. This place of yours; it's wonderful," is Mona's response, taking one final look around for Cat's benefit. With a light blink, she seems to ground herself back on earth again, giving her hostess a wry but genuine smile. She herself is also casual attired, though on the nicer side of things: a brown, long-sleeved blouse with draping sleeves, black slacks. The guitar strapped across Cat's torso is duly noted with a glance. "Hope I didn't interrupt you in the middle of a session."

Her reply doesn't come by voice, but by another means. Cat shows a slight smile, her eyes resting on the blogger, as she merely thinks what she wants to say. You could hardly be interrupting me playing, Mona, when I called to invite you and gave such detailed directions. Her mental voice chuckles, seemingly, next before more thoughts emerge. //It is rather cloak and dagger, but I value my privacy very much. The general public doesn't know I, we, have connection to this place. And given what happened one night when Dani and I lived at Dorchester Towers, I like controlling security myself." Sadness sets in with the memory of that, a thing she indulges in only briefly before moving on.

Are you a beer or a wine drinker, Mona? Cat is off toward the kitchen.

Uhh. Oh. Cat's chosen to dwell upon that method of communication, has she? Right. "Wine, please," Mona says aloud with another blink, but she obligingly also switches to mindspeak after that. That's a hint of acknowledgement that's transferred mentally, as well a general feeling of 'just wanted to make sure!' Don't worry. If it's a secret, it's safe with me. Do you live with someone, or is it just you?

"What you do is intriguing, Mona," Cat replies in a switch to verbal speech. "I won't deny being very interested. It's a major vulnerability for us, not being able to tell when it's in use and defend against it. Practice would be needed, techniques developed. Maybe you'd like to help us with that." And the question is addressed. "There's room for guests," she shares, "of the very trusted sort." In saying that, the implication is that Mona has qualified as such by her very presence. And what's with this we stuff?

She takes out a pair of wine glasses and a bottle, opening it to pour Mona's first, then her own, as she moves to sit at the kitchen table.

Mona smiles a little more widely at that, following suit right behind Cat in the switch-off. Back to verbals now, eh. "I, um. I can probably try to help you out with that, no problem. But there's no promises, since I've only just gotten the power under wraps myself, and you're asking me to teach— techniques and things." There's a hint of real amusement in her voice, but she looks sincere enough. Willing to give it a go.

She takes a seat at the table after Cat does, giving a silent expression of grateful thanks. The wine glass is slid carefully closer to her, but not touched quite yet. "I'm, you know, flattered that you trust me enough to be here. These other guests — they're…?" She doesn't complete the thought, leaving it up for Cat to fill in the blank with her own words if she chooses.

Her head tilts as Mona speaks, she choosing to attempt something at that moment. In Cat's head is a tune by the Scorpions, The Zoo. It plays out in perfect detail. Cat sips her wine, displaying a slight grin, and asks a question. "Who do you think the guests might be, Mona?" Perhaps it's a test, aimed at seeing if she can block out telepathy by that means, prevent access to other thoughts in mind. Like Helena's presence and the safehouse two floors down, the name of the organization.

"You're a fan of the Scorpions too! Are you going to try and get in on their world tou— oh, um. Oh, right. Let me see." Mona's brows furrow visibly, and she reaches out to grasp her glass and take a sip of wine. In reality, Cat's extraneous thoughts aren't really any kind of serious barrier to deeper prying, if the telepath so chose; after a few moments of sitting quite still, her gaze returns to Cat's face with a tiny cautious smile. "You help out Helena Dean. That's why she was with you the other day. You're involved with." Phoenix. That part is telepathic, again. Perhaps Cat doesn't want it spoken out loud so freely.

I am, Cat's mind replies while the grin spreads. Would you like to be, Mona? She lifts her glass and sips from it slowly, eyes on the blogger's face. Of course, you can say the word here, you know. This place is safe.

Mona draws in an inhalation, her breathing pattern becoming more delicate, as if she's treading carefully around what she's hearing. "I'd be honored beyond anything, Cat. If you'd have me.

We will, her mind answers. Your role will be undefined as of yet, except for working with our media people, helping to craft messages and the like. You may be asked for your mental assistance at times, of course. And, I have to warn you in fairness, what we do is at times dangerous. Some things require violent operations. You won't be forced into taking part against your moral code. I assure you, we are not terrorists. But we are also not pacifists.

This isn't to scare you, well, not completely, but to see you have a full picture of us, aren't given false impressions. The Founding Fathers, after all, formed an army.

And, lamentably, there are things we know we'd dearly love to make public, but can't for practical reasons. Over time, you would come to know these things, and our reasons.

A few moments pass in silence, enough time for Mona to digest this information and process the implications of it properly. I understand completely, comes her reply. There's clearly worry in it, but layered over it is a surprising amount of firmness, an effort to collect herself. All my life's work, my writing — it's been an effort, sure, but I get the feeling that I haven't been able to do as much as I -could-. Just, I haven't had the direction before now. I get the feeling that's about to change, isn't it?

She stops for a second, swallowing at the back of her throat. I'm willing to do what Phoenix might ask or need, even it means being kept in the dark awhile. Knowing that I'm fighting the good fight's enough.

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