f_colette_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title 2112
Synopsis I wandered home through the silent streets / And fell into a fitful sleep / Escape to realms beyond the night / Dream can't you show me the light?
Date May 7, 2019

Cat's Penthouse

Rain patters down on the windows of the Penthouse, followed by the distant rumble of thunder that carries across the city. Weather like this isn't uncommon in New York during the springtime, but the sensations Helena feels from the weather make it more worrisome that the approaching storm should be. She can feel that unusual tug and pull on the atmosphere, that emotion behind the weather that belies its true origins, that someone with her ability is affecting the climate with their mood.

Noonday looks particularly gloomy because of the storm, flashes of lightning off the east coast of the city lighting up the spaces between the highrises that give the horizon a blocky and jagged quality. At this hour, few people are left around the Penthouse, with so many people needing to follow up on information given by Kaito Nakamura. On the dining room table, surrounded by windows that view the rooftop garden, one of Cat's laptop computers plays back Kaito's video with the volume down, as it has for almost an hour.

It's only because of this muted quality to the volume that the ding of the elevator is heard. A chime signaling someone coming up from the building below, and the rumbling of the elevator reaching the top floor preceeds the screech of the doors opening. "Hello?" It's an unfamiliar voice — a woman — but no one Helena recognizes. Unable to see the elevator from by the table, all she can hear are the soft click of heels on the wood floor, and the voice call out again, "CCatherine? Are the man down front said you might be here?"

Helena had woken up last night abruptly, cracks of thunder and flashes of lightning filling her with a painful, vicarious thoe of anger. The violence had taken her breath away. The rest of the night had not been filled with a good, deep sleep. Helena's unease today was still evident, or for whatever reason she did not feel inclined to reach out with her power and soothe the storm. The chime comes to her attention, and she heads to the door, toggling the monitor to see who's on the other side. "Cat's not here." she says after pressing the audio button. "Can I help you?"

Standing outside the apartment entrance, just on the other side of the door, a woman a few years older than Helena stands with one hand on her hip, the other checking a mobile that she types on furiously with her thumb. Hearing the response from the other side, the brunette looks up and squints at the intercom, and when her eyes finally focus on the camera the notion of who she is gets spelled out to Helena rather quickly.

One green eye, one milky-white eye. Ten years ago, Helena scared the wits out of this little, bumbling girl at a diner. Now, ten years later, she's older than Helena, and clearly invested on getting into the apartment.

There's a furrowing of dark brows as she tucks the mobile into her pocket, reaching out to press the call button again. "It— H— Helena?" The fact that she even knows to speak the name of someone dead and buried seems suspicious, but the words following only add a bit more mud to the water. "I— I guess it's best that Cat isn't around. I'm supposed to— Christ I don't know— we're supposed to talk?"

Supposed to. Colette Nichols has changed greatly in ten years, no longer a stumbling teenager but a graceful looking woman, she's lost that boyish haircut and street kid attire, traded for shoulder length black hair and business casual attire. "I uh— Tamara told me we need to talk. I've— perhaps we could talk about this sitting down?"

Helena blinks when she sees who it is, and is quick enough to unlock the door. "Colette." she says in faint shock. It would probably be more startling if she wasn't starting to become accustomed to the unexpected. She steps aside. "You look wonderful." she says quietly as she invites Colette in. For some reason she feels oddly subdued at welcoming this woman into Cat's home.

There's a quick wrinkle of her nose as she hears that after the door opens. Her brows both rise, looking at Helena for a prolonged period of motionless silence. "You— " her head tilts slowly to one side, "you look— well— remarkably well I guess, all things considered?" There's a crooked smile that crosses her face as she walks in, carrying a leather folio under one arm, heels clicking on the wood floor as she spans the threshhold and walks inside.

"God, I— hearing it is one thing, but— I can't believe it's really you." The sound of wonder, of amazement in Colette's voice is palpable, and the look in her eyes is one of remarkable shock on seeing a Helena immortalized as the media remembers her — young, healthy, alive.

Grimacing, she looks away and sweeps a lock of hair behind one ear, "God, you must be so sick of hearing that…" Her mismatched eyes scan the penthouse, clearly viewing the residence for the first time, before settling back on Helena. "Is ah— is there anyone else here? I— I have to talk to you about some…" her words trail off as her teeth draw across her lower lip, "things?"

Things people shouldn't be overhearing, from the sounds of it.

Helena takes a breath. "Actually," she admits with a little laugh, "I almost feel guilty, because it's kind of nice. To sort of feel for a moment like I'm some kind of tiny miracle." The smile goes wry, "Even if only for a moment." She moves over to the couch, gesturing vaguely at it and feeling somewhat awkward for playing the hostess in someone else's home. "Cat's having some kind of working meal with a senator or a congressman or something like that." she admits. "I haven't been keeping up with her politics." She starts to take a seat, but pauses. "It's just us. But can I get you anything first? Does this require liquour?" The joke's a little bleak.

An awkwardly choked out laugh comes from the latter part of Helena's words, and Colette's brows both rise high, "I— think I might need a stiff drink or two. This— I have to say I'm not particularly used to this whole cloak and dagger affair, or— " she waves one hand dismissively, moving towards the sofa while trading the leather folio back and forth between her hands. "The ah— this whole situation is— time travel, I mean. It's closed-minded of me to say it sounds preposterous, given the world we live in, but— " Coletre's mismatched eyes scan the couch for a moment, then lift up to Helena, "but here you are."

Swallowing dryly, Colette settles down on the couch. "I— probably shouldn't drink, I mean— yeah that's probably best." There's a moment of befuddlement, "t-thank you though." Breathing in a deep breath, Colette unbuttons a clasp on the front of the folio and lays it out on the coffee table in front of her, open. Crossing one leg over another, she removes what looks like printouts of floor plans, laying them one after another on the table. "Tamara and I talked this morning, she— " a wary gaze goes up to Helena, "she told me that I have to help you do something largely illegal. I— " dark brows crease together, "I'm not wholly comfortable with this, but— this is what I need to do. I— I trust Tamara, with my life, so…"

Clearing her throat, Colette motions to the spot on the sofa by her side. "If you could come and sit down here, it— it's easier to do this when you're on roughly the same level of perspective that I am."

Helena blinks a moment. "Yeah, I heard about you and Tamara, wow - I mean, I'm happy for you guys." And she is, but she's also getting the sense that this is serious, especially when illegality is mentioned. By the time Helena is seated next to Colette, her Business Face is on. "Time travel is less preposterous when you've met Hiro Nakamura. Or been jaunted forward in time a decade." She murmurs.

The congratulations about Tamara comes with a flush to her face, eyes wide. Even now, so many years later, she seems to have much the same reactions to things, and her relationship with Tamara is one of them. "I— you— I wasn't aware we— " one eye twitches, "Teo." Despite the tone of her voice that indicates she's going to perhaps playfully tease a certain Sicillian in public more often, Colette can't help but smile, though her embarrassment forces her to shift her focus down to the papers at hand.

"These are…" she motions one hand over one of the floor plans, and then seems to pull the color up off of the paper, creating a three-dimensional representation of a building's ground floor that hovers over the paperwork. "This is the ground floor of Pinehearst Tower, the ah— facility— I was told you'd need… help infiltrating?"

Swallowing awkwardly, Colette suddenly gives a stare to Helena, her fingers twitching over the holographic image. "Please— please tell me at least some of this isn't entirely blindsiding you, because— I thoroughly apologize in advance if you've no idea what in the heck I'm talking about."

Helena shakes her head. "It's not. But your gift is incredible. I remember when it was just crazy scary Pink Floyd planeterium show stuff." She watches the hologram intently. "We need to get to the roof, but let me guess - air traffic is very tightly controlled?"

There's a crooked smile as Colette hears Helena's praise, her fingertips rubbing together slowly. "You— don't know the half of it," she notes with a grin, then tilts her head in a slow nod, "T-thank you though. I— it's come a long way since then, mostly thanks to Conrad and Gabriel." Turning her eyes back to the blueprints, Colette's brow furrows. "Wait— the roof?" She looks back up with one brow rising higher than the other. "That— shouldn't be a problem at all, really. They might have a security team that can dispatch to the roof, but— when I was taking these blueprints— " the other three pages rise up into three dimensional depictions, "Tamara told me that you needed to get into research lab 2112…"

Rolling her teeth over her lower lip, Colette stares down at the papers, then looks back up to Helena again. "I— I'm not sure what all this is about, but— she told me that I needed to help you all get to that lab, so that— to make everything right again." Clearly, she's not armed with all of the proper information. "So— I— I don't know."

Helena considers only a quick moment. "Go ahead and give me all the information you have to share. It may be different from what I've already received, but there's no way to know which is more reliable, so best to have as much of everything as possible. Sorry for interrupting you Colette, please go on?"

"N— no it's— " Colette smiles awkwardly, "It's alright." Pulling up the ground floor map, Colette holds up her hands as a wave of colors and abstract shapes begins to expand outwards, and soon the image of the lobby of Pinehearst Tower fades in and over Cat's Penthouse, entirely swallowing it in a perfectly replicated illusion of the lobby's grand entrance, with Helena and Colette sitting on one of the sofas near the double-helix fountain. The textures aren't right, of course, nothing feels with a tactile sense like it's real. There's no sounds — the fountain burbles without noise, the replications of secretaries at their desks make no sound while on the phone. But visually it's indistinguishable from reality, and that's where it matters.

"I— " Colette rises up from the couch and motions towards an elevator on the ground floor. "I'm supposed to take a group of you through the lobby and to this elevator, up to the fourteenth floor." The room falls away in a rush of light and color, as though Colette and Helena were moving at a break-neck speed up through the building, and when the image stabilizes again, it's another floor. "From here, we have to travel down this long hallway," a few security cameras encased in black domes on the ceiling flash a bright green, as if being hilighted, "and… then take you down past these laboratories…" One by one Colette walks past numbered lab doors, each of them a bright red color, until she finally reaches one labeled 2112.

"After that I— I didn't have any more instructions. You're not supposed to be seen, so— I'm going to have to try and render… render the lot of you invisible." Brows tensing, the dark-haired woman looks over to the red door, teeth drawing over her lower lip. "I— I don't know why you have to do this, Helena. I— this is all a lot bigger than me, but— Tamara she— she hasn't been quite the same since you all arrived. She's… it's like she's been waiting for all this to happen." Looking back to Helena, Colette's brows tighten into a look of concentration. "I— if I'm supposed to help you, if it's important enough for her to ask me, then— then I will."

Helena's lips part, and she seems to be hesitating about something. Then, "Did she say who specifically was supposed to come with us?" It's not what she intended to say, but it's also best not pursued, because having made up her mind about it, Helena has no desire to tell Colette about the possible impending doom of her world. She'll trust Colette's faith in Tamara, and leave it there. "It may be that we have to go to this room before we reach the roof. Either way, this would be where your help for us would draw to its close, and…thank you, Colette. I know you think I did you a real disservice, back…well, recently for me, further along for you. It wasn't my intention."

Wrinkling her nose, Colette gives a shake of her head, "No it— don't worry about it. I was kind of— I was young." As if that explains everything, "I would've been just as hard on me, really." Looking back to the door, Colette gives a small shake of her head and shifts her weight to one foot more so than another. "I um— Tamara didn't say who you'd be taking, just that there'd be a group of you. She— didn't even specify the number of people." Scratching at the side of her cheek, the young woman's mismatched eyes settle on Helena again, watching her in the way one might some sort of miracle of nature — with a mixture of curiosity and awe.

"Tamara told me this would happen on the 14th, specifically. Though— she didn't say when— just— " the illusion is dropped, dissipating in splotches of color that burn away like rubbing alcohol exposed to air, slowly dithering back to their natural colors and shapes. "I've only been in the tower a few times, and even then never past the lobby. I— I don't have any idea what's up on the higher levels, and Tamara afforded me these blueprints and descriptions. I— it's best not to ask where they came from, I've learned."

Helena nods wryly. "Smart." she says. "The way your invisibility would work - are we safe from electronic surveillance? Getting caught on camera, things like that? Telepaths might be something to worry about too, and - shit, Sergei. You may not be able to efffect him at all." Helena's lips press together tight as she thinks. "And two different sets of instructions to boot. God," she runs a hand through her hair, "Whyever can't it be simple?"

Grimacing a bit, Colette watches Helena with a mixture of confusion and understanding, seeing the stress bubbling up in her. "I ah… it's a physical manipulation of photons, so cameras and other light-sensitive devices can easily be fooled. Mind you I can only work with the visible spectrum, so— infra-red or something might be a bit trickier." Her hand wavers side to side in a so-so gesture.

Watching Helena for a time, Colette struggles with whether to look obtuse or not, but given that Helena knew her when she was younger she figures the blonde's opinion of her can't get too more colored. "Who ah— who's Sergei?" Dark brows furrow into a concentrated expression, "I— the name's not familiar."

Helena ah's. "He's a Phoenix member." she explains. "And his ability is nullification. Powers don't tend to function in his vicinity. We may end up needing to make sure your ability will still work in his proximity, or come up with some way of getting him where he needs to be."

There's a prolonged sigh that blows from Colette's lips as she folds her arms across her chest, rubbing the heel of her palm against her forehead. "I— don't really know, there's so many types of negators, I— I'd have to try and test it out. Otherwise you might need to figure something else out for him. I— I don't know, I've never had a good experience with a negator, for what it's worth."

Toying with her lower lip, Colette looks down to the papers, "Those're yours to keep, so you can get an idea of the layouts. I— I really don't know what else I can do to help." Mismatched eyes upturn to Helena, watching her with a lingering stare. "You— you're going to be safe right? I— I know we really didn't know each other, I mean, hardly at all but— when you died I just— it was— " her eyes close, head shaking slowly. "It killed Teo… it really did. He— he hasn't ever been the same."

Helena reaches out and puts her hand on Colette's wrist, like she's trying to soothe a nervous filly. "It's okay." she says. "We'll test you and Sergei out, see how it works, and if it doesn't, we'll come up with a plan." Withdrawing her hand, she looks down, for a moment losing what to do with her own hands. "Yeah, it seems like - a lot of people, got hit really hard. The world may be better, but some of the people, the changes to them, because of

The gentle touch earns Colette's immediately attention, but it's grounding in the way it helps her focus past the confusion and worry. Swallowing noisily, the young woman nods her head and anxiously threads a lock of dark hair behind one ear. "Of— of course, yeah I— " too many words, she's stumbling over herself like Teodoro again. It isn't usually like this, but maybe after being around Helena again after so much time, it's easy to fall back into old patterns and habits. "What's on your mind?"

"Were you - were you at Conrad's funeral?" blurts out Helena. Yeah, she found out he was dead not all that long ago.

Biting down on her lower lip, Colette gives a slow shake of her head. "I— no I— I didn't find out he was dead for weeks after the fact. I— I heard there was a ceremony done for him, and they put a grave marker up, but… but I wasn't there, no." Hearing Conrad's name in that context again really hits home for Colette, something she hasn't thought about in a decade still stings just as much as the day she first heard the news.

"I ah— I never really visited his old memorial, I— it didn't seem like something he'd want. You know? He— he'd tell me to stop crying like a sissy and toughen up." That bittersweet smile from before creeps back, and Colette's eyes downcast to the floor. "When they put up the memorial where Consolidated Edison used to be I— I went there for the ceremony. I— he earned that, for everyone to know how much of a hero he was."

Helena takes a deep breath. "Yeah, that sounds like him. He was pretty much the same way with me. Put up or shut the fuck up, you know?" She's not sparing the vernacular. "I'm glad you went. People do deserve to know that he was a hero. The sonuvabitch." She smiles, in that sort of way a person does because it keeps them from crying.

Colette swallows again, loudly, wiping one hand at the side of her green eye, "Y— yeah he— he really was a son of a bitch." A strangled laugh slips out from Colette, and when she looks back up to Helena, it's pretty obvious that the talk of Conrad after so long strikes her pretty hard. "he ah— did you know the first day he came to see me, he picked me up in a van? I mean— " breaking out with a nervous laugh, Colette wipes at her eye again. "I mean it— I just got in, of course. God, I was so stupid back then."

Helena lets out a laugh. "Oh my god, you know he probably did it on purpose - carjacked it, and then was all, guest star on To Catch A Predator, it was so his sense of humor." It really is a good belly laugh to think about. "He got me drunk and went with me to get my tattoo. Peter doesn't even know I have it yet." A pause, and she amends, "My Peter doesn't know." With a faint shrug, she wipes at her eyes, becoming serious. "Thank you for helping us, Colette. It's really kind of you. It's been hard for a lot of us." A pause, and she amends, "It's been hard for me."

There's a bit of a haunted look when Helena mentions Peter, given how hard it was to avoid news of the engaement once it hit the news. Colette's head downturns and she gives a slow, silent nod. It's been one extreme to another; the laughter felt at discussing Conrad, and now so much more somber things. "Hey I— I don't know why I'm helping you, really… but I've gotten by in life pretty happy by not questioning when things happen sometimes. She— Tamara— when she says that I should do something, I— I don't really ask why anymore, because… " There's a faint look of happiness that divides the soured expression, "you trust the ones you love to not hurt you."

Lifting her mismatches gaze back up to Helena, Colette tires a more honest smile. "I— I can't even imagine what it must be like, coming here and… " her brows tense slightly, "are— you staying here? Or— " she's starting to piece ideas together, "this… is all so you can go back, isn't it?"

There's a moment's hesitation, and then Helena nods wordlessly. She was savvy enough to know Gabriel wasn't entirely sold on the idea, and she searches Colette's face for the same doubt. Hopefully her trust in Tamara will balance it all out.

Confusion, uncertainty, but never doubt. Unlike one of her eyes, there's nothing but clarity in Colette's expression. But in that is a sense of fearlessness, of knowing that she has a guardian angel looking over her shoulder, one that she trusts with the well-being of herself without question. Ten years on, and Colette's faith in herself may not be absolute, but her faith in Tamara seems to have filled in any gaps of self doubt she might have ever had. That's — to her — exactly what love is, trust.

Helena's expression is relieved. "Thank you." Helena says yet again. "I can't tell you how much this means to me, that you're willing to help us do this." She rises. "If you need to go, I understand…but if you want, I know where Cat keeps the really good booze."

Dragging out a laugh, Colette raises one brow and tilts her head to the side, watching Helena for a short time. "Well… I mean, I do have some case files to go over later— but— " her eyes track around the penthouse, then back to Helena. "You know, it's not every day I get to have a drink with a real-life Hero, you know?" There's a crooked smile that crosses Colette's lips as she folds her arms across her chest again.

"So, let's knock one back."

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