You're Very Analytical

Participants:

cat_icon.gif danielle_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title You're Very Analytical
Synopsis Information is shared and someone is spooked.
Date September 21st, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Cat's Apartment


Helena felt somewhat obligated to Cat to tell her of what went down during the raid. She'd almost forgotten she had Cat's contact info, but finding it when she was getting all her stuff out of the tenement, it gave her pause. So here she is, her knapsack over her shoulder — on her way to her new hidey-hole. She taps the knocker and waits.

The knock at her door draws Cat's attention, she checks the DVR clock and rises from her seat. Muted sounds can possibly be heard on the other side as she approaches, like those of feet across carpet getting closer. She peers through the peephole and identifies the visitor, then opens the door to admit her. "Helena," she greets. "Good to see you."

Helena slips inside. "I don't know how good you'll think it is." she says softly, shouldering her bag as she steps in and peers around curiously. Bowing her head she says, "The raid's finished. Whether you'd call it a success or not, I'm not sure."

Interest and concern is on her features, in that she's not heard from anyone among the group in a few days, and here she has Helena at the door instead of Rock. That speaks a volume or two in Cat's eyes. She closes the door and locks it behind the blonde and starts toward the kitchen. "Are you hungry or thirsty?" she asks. "I've got beer, wine, and soda." Given the circumstances, she doesn't stick to her usual position on underage drinking.

Helena looks around, and forgoes her own air of politeness in favor of sinking down in one of Cat's seats. "Not to be fussy, but water? Or tea, if you have it? I don't think I can manage alcohol right now." Ironically, Helena's not prepared to take advantage of the moment. Once seated, she leans forward and rests her elbows on her thighs, hands bracing her forehead.

A glass of wine is poured for herself, and a glass of water for Helena; Cat carries the water over to her kitchen table where the blonde has settled and sets it before her guest, then sinks into another chair. A slow sip is taken of the wine, and her eyes rest calmly on the activist. Her clothing is fairly simple at present, a pair of dark shorts, a tank top, and no shoes. She doesn't ask what happened, the opportunity is left for Helena to begin in her own way.

"We found Sylar." Helena accepts the glass, curling her fingers around it and taking a drink like she hasn't put water to her lips in days. "Somewhere along the way he's learned how to shift his shape, make an illusion of himself. Peter confronted him. It got hot and bright and he — " she shakes her head. "They vanished."

Her facial features take on a more concerned expression, as if the hot and bright means something to her. Cat recalls the story of Peter going nuclear while fighting Sylar before, and to hear what Helena reports strikes a chord. It might be evidence she and Helena are both privy to that piece of info. She's silent for some moments before standing. "What's your taste in tea, Helena? Iced or English style?" Other than that, the floor remains in her guest's possession for speech.

"Hot." Helena says gratefully, not altogether sure what English style means. She guesses hot. "He told me before they went up or disappeared or whatever, to be the leader they need." She looks away, off to the side. "A man from Homeland Security was there. Matt Parkman. He's dangerous, a telepath. He took one of our people."

A kettle is filled and placed on the stove to boil, while materials for the tea are set on her counter for use when the time comes. Earl Grey. "I see," Cat remarks quietly. It's all being recorded, filed away and stored. "Rock said you should lead before he vanished, and I haven't seen him, that can't be good. Is the Harvard Man still in position, Helena? And who was captured by Parkman?"

"The Har — oh." It takes Helena a moment to realize Cat means Cameron. "Yes, he's alright." Considering a moment, she decides it wouldn't hurt for Cat to know the nest bit of information. "Her name is Claire. Claire Bennett. She's Peter's niece."

She still displays calm and poise as her eyes study Helena's face. Silence reigns for that stretch of seconds before she assesses "Sylar and Rock, whereabouts and status unknown. Claire in government custody, probably imprisoned. Mr. Crimson is still in position, and presumably the other members of the team remain free." While the water works toward boiling Cat retakes her seat. "The name Rock, it was all about the scar. He seemed like someone who'd use such a name, had rough live and become a survivor. And later he chose to use it instead of giving his real name to people around me." Her voice becomes quieter, softer, for the question which follows. "How are you holding up?"

"I'd like to go somewhere and pull covers over my head and cry." says Helena in a matter-of-fact tone. "I can't afford to do that. I ordered an evac of the tenement. We're scattered, for the moment. It's safer, since Matt Parkman can get into Claire's head. I'm probably going to have to quit my job. I've a place to stay, but I don't think it can be long term."

"There's a spare room here," Cat offers. "Scattering seems a good idea. Were your faces seen by the agent or others in the compound?" Please, she thinks, please tell me everyone had the presence of mind to go in wearing black from head to toe with faces covered. "I'm glad what the piece of artwork predicted for you didn't come to be, Helena." Moments later she's on her feet again, retrieving a mug and pouring boiled water into it, then adding a tea bag. A spoon is provided, and sugar, along with milk when the beverage is placed before the blonde.

"There's no time limit on the artwork." Helena says. "It didn't happen when we thought it would, but that doesn't mean it won't. Still," she concedes, "I'm glad too. I have a place to stay, though, don't worry." She dumps sugar and milk in her tea with a murmured thank you, as grateful for it to drink as she is to warm her fingers around it. "I came because I thought you should know." Then, "Some of us, our faces were seen. I need to make sure people are taking necessary precautions. And I have to find Claire's father."

"True enough," she admits. "But I believe the odds are in your favor, now." Cat takes a long sip of her wine, reflecting inwardly during that moment, before she speaks again. "Where would you start to look for Claire's father? I can help you do that, at least."

"I have a good idea of where to find him already." Helena says. "It's just a matter of whether he'll see me. And if I can get to him." Her expression takes on a curious cant, sipping her tea. "How do you think the odds are in our favor? We did manage to get some people out, but we have no idea if Sylar and Peter are alive and if they are, where they've gone. Claire's in custody and the group is scattered."

"I meant your favor, personally, Helena," Cat quietly replies. "You didn't suffer what was possible you might in the place it was projected to happen. No matter what else occurs, you remain alive and free to continue on with the cause." She pauses to sip from the wine glass again, stating "I'm interested to hear the details of how things went, inside the target, if you care to speak of that. A play by play, as it were. It may help you to go over it, for your own purposes, as well."

Helena considers that with an absent frown. "There are some things I really shouldn't tell you. It's so easy to get information. Could you imagine what would happen if a mindreader got into your head with your gift, Cat? It'd be like the Rosetta Stone for them."

"What you share is your choice entirely, Helena," the brunette answers smoothly. "It's astute of you to recognize such dangers. And I can't guarantee any defense against telepathy. I've considered the possibility and ways to do so, and on pondering must admit maintaining a constant defense would only serve to draw attention from such a person. Yet…" Cat's voice stops as she sips from the wine again, "I remain curious. I've become so accustomed to collecting information, it's difficult to avoid opportunities."

"You're very analytical." Helena observes. "I'll tell you this much — we entered a secure area and split off into two groups. Company Agents were waiting for us, and unexpectedly, Mohinder showed up. Only it wasn't Mohinder, it was Sylar. The escaping prisoners managed to kidnap a blonde Company agent who could handle lightning, and Claire turned herself into Matt Parkman. He's Homeland Security, and a telepath. I don't know if she struck a deal, or what. And somebody there, they made me see things. Confused me. One of the Company Agents, but I'm not sure who."

Her features become speculative as she listens, and the voice is a bit hushed when Cat speaks again. "Analytical. That I am. Going through law school required it to some degree. I have to tell you, it also gave me a certain cure for insomnia. If I can't sleep all I need is to replay one of certain professor's lectures in my head, and I'm out like a light. " A brief smile is cracked there, before she continues on. "Sylar can either project illusions, or alter his physical shape, then. Perhaps both, given his activities. Claire surrendering is a mystery, and the illusions you saw… What possible abilities do you think could be the source of such a thing?"

"Same thing. But it was weird. Sylar looked like Mohinder at the time." Helena takes a swallow of tea. "But suddenly Eve looked like the blonde with the electricity and she looked like Eve. Sylar-as-Mohinder was standing where this Asian woman — young, pretty — was standing and she was standing in his place. Maybe some kind of weird teleport swap? Or an illusion? Some kind of mind fuck." Pardon her French.

"All are possible," she comments quietly. "None can be ruled out." Cat taps her fingers on the table a few times. "Doctor Suresh's book seems to indicate several abilities have overlapping features and can actually be minor manifestations of a wider ability which would develop with time and practice. In any case, we're stuck in the stages of speculation on this topic." And she shifts subjects. "I was reminded of something when I watched you with the plants at the Headquarters, Helena."

Helena blinks in surprise. "Yeah? What's that?" She adds shyly, "My mother — she could do things with plants. She's why I learned to garden."

"The recent graffiti," Cat answers. "I looked up the plants in it. The one with berries is called Solanum Nigrum. Black Nightshade. The uncooked leaves and green berries are poisonous. Alkaloids. The mature berries, though, can be eaten directly. Leaves are edible after cooking. The plant also has some medicinal uses dating back to ancient Greece. But the vines, those appear to be a new species. I couldn't find a match to the image anywhere."

Helena blinks. "Peter did that." she says. "He can paint the future. It's a beautiful mural, but I don't know what it means…do you?"

"I've seen him art the future," Cat replies with a dry chuckle. "He entered a trance once and etched a piece in my main room, regarding the cell blocks you went into. And he brought me a painting once of a woman about to be attacked by two armed men as she passed an alley entrance. One of them was a guy who got thrown out of the Surly Wench for grabbing my ass. He apparently decided to get some by force and brought a friend." She sips more of her wine, after which action the subject of recent graffiti is returned to. "I've thought about that. It could be the direct action of someone who can cause plants to grow. It could be something that happens after a person with the ability to cleanse earth acts on that area. Or it could be simply natural occurrence."

"The question is, why is it important?" Helena asks softly. "He doesn't paint things that lack significance. It's always something kind of…pivotal, you know?" She takes yet another long swallow of her tea. "Except that's not even the most important thing now. He's — he's gone." Admitting it is hard. "I don't think he's dead, but I don't know where he is."

One hand reaches out to rest atop Helena's, to perhaps transfer calm. Cat speaks in a soothing voice. "I know. I think the significance of the graffiti is to predict things being able to grow in the blast zone. That it would no longer be barren. Perhaps, even, if the plants occur naturally it means the area is already suitably free of radiation. The government could know about this and be hiding it, or not know because they've not tested."

The pair are at the kitchen table. Clocks in the apartment read 5:45 pm.

Late to be sleeping, but then, Dani's been keeping odd hours since the accident. The door to her room opens, and out she wanders. She's in PJ's at the moment, baggy and comfy. She starts towards the kitchen, and gets as far as "Hey, Ca—". That would be when she also sees Helena there, and she breaks off the former, before giving a wave as she tries to wake. "Oh, hi there."

Helena sits in one of Cat's chairs, a duffel at her feet. She looks red-eyed and tired as she gazes up at Dani. "Hi." she replies, and turns to look at Cat in silent inquiry. Who is this? Helena clams up, force of habit, survival instinct.

A broad smile is flashed at Dani as she makes her way in, Cat's eyes lingering on her for a moment. "Dani's my roommate," she introduces. "We go waaaaaay back. Dani, this is Helena." And a question follows. "Are you hungry or thirsty?"

Dani smiles, though it's a little forced…not from dislike, but pain. "Pain meds and caffiene." she tells Cat. "And I will worship the ground you walk on. My head feels like it's about to explode." She runs a hand through her hair, squinting a little against the brightness of the room.

"Hi." she says again. She's still not inclined to resume their conversation with a new face she doesn't trust. She sets her tea down and leans forward for her duffel. "I should get going, maybe."

She stands and moves to the refrigerator, pulling out a bottle of Pepsi and getting a glass from a cabinet for Dani, then a bottle of pain medication. The items are placed in front of the shorter brunette, then Cat turns her attention toward Helena again. While she trusts both women, she can't make them trust each other, and how connected the blonde is would be her own story to tell. But she can continue the conversation in subtle ways. "You don't have to go, Helena," she assures with a quiet smile. "Stick around and talk. You know, I wonder how often the government tests the ruins to see if they're still radioactive."

The reporter blinks. She listens to the comments on the ruins. Radioactive. And Helena is awfully close-lipped and trying to leave all of a sudden. It's just like Captain Emo! She looks to Cat, then to Helena, and asks something she probably wouldn't if she wasn't so brain-addled. "Is this another terrorist?"

Helena's deep set eyes go wide and roll faintly. "You know Cat, maybe another time." The truth is, she doesn't want to talk about the potentially rad free zone of Manhattan. The delayed shock of what happened to Peter is starting to get to her, but then something occurs to her abruptly and she looks to Danielle. "How many terrorists do you know?"

Well. This is interesting, and unexpected. Cat looks from one to the other, not seeming so shocked by the question. It does get to the point after a fashion of how much she trusts Dani with, and raises the topic. But… she does wish her move for subtlety had been picked up on by the recovering one, and that the subtlety in the topic had been caught by Helena; that it might be a very good idea to get geiger counters and do independent surveys of the ruins. "Labels, Dani, really now. So rude." Her voice holds a chiding tone, which vanishes as she addresses Helena again. "It was an interesting thing, really. I had a guest who created some artwork, and the next day I get a call that an old and very trusted friend is moving to the city. I couldn't, and wouldn't, deny her a place to stay, and I trust her. Completely. So she saw the art."

Dani blinks blearily. "Sorry. Just woke up. Haven't had meds yet." She moves to take the offerings of medicine and Pepsi, downing the former with the latter. And then looks back. "One, or two if you're another. Which if you're not, I totally apologize. I'm a little scrambled-brain right now."

Helena says simply, "It's fine. Cat…I think I should go. I have a lot of things to take care of, but I promise I'll come back. I just need to go…somewhere, right now."

She stands to walk Helena out, headed for the door. "I understand," she replies simply. "Good evening, Helena." But she also intends to share something with her in a whisper just before the blonde exits. "She doesn't know anything more than was necessary, things our friend told her, and nothing about you will be shared without your consent. Our friend will be found. Keep your head up." A gentle squeeze to her shoulders is attempted, to pass along comfort, and she opens the door.

Danielle looks back and a little distressed. "Sorry. I didn't mean to…" she sighs, exasperatedly.

"It's alright." Helena murmurs. "It was nice meeting you. I'll see you both later." Shouldering her knapsack, she slips out the door, intent on returning to the safehouse Peter had ironically granted her before the night of the raid.

After the guest has departed, Cat closes the door and returns to the kitchen. Her expression is calm. Peaceful. She stands behind Dani and begins to slowly rub her shoulders. The action is intended to comfort and soothe her, to say everything's okay without the use of words.

Dani sighs at Cat's touch, and her shoulders slump. She's tense, though. "Well, THAT went spectacularly."

But she doesn't seem the least bit concerned. Cat replies, in a soft voice, "We're all good here, Dani." Hands remain, giving their massaging attention, and she kisses the top of her brunette head.

Danielle turns her head a bit, reaching up to put her hands over Cat's, on her shoulders. "I seem to have a talent for alienating your friends." she says, unhappily.

"They'll need to become our friends," Cat states, "if they won't, that's their problem." Her position is held, the massaging halted by hands which cover her own. The words are spoken with complete calm conviction.


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September 21st: Imagine
Previously in this storyline…
Imagine

Next in this storyline…
Deconstruction

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September 22nd: Special Delivery
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