A Legacy Continues


colette_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Legacy Continues
Synopsis Colette and Liz come full circle — Conrad's legacy lives on.
Date Apr 28, 2010

Village Renaissance Building

There's only a handful of civilian buildings in New York City that have dedicated power of their own. Typically gridless power is reserved for those that can afford it, and the prohibitive costs of generator installation and maintenance on a large scale often means that residents of tenement buildings are — quite literally — left out in the cold. Not so at the Village Renaissance Building in Greenwich Village, the highrise apartment complex is one of the few public locations still operating on reliable power due to the disastrous winter weather.

The fact that Catherine Chesterfield's building still has electricity is the first good solid fact presented to Elisabeth Harrison as she comes through the doors into the well-appointed lobby. Heat comes with having electricity, and it's no small surprise why Catherine's likely over-paid clerks are here instead of at a shelter across town, it's warm, comfortable and doesn't smell of urine. The second fact that becomes readily apparent to Elisabeth on coming into the lobby is that she isn't the only one who had mind to visit Cat today.

The doors to the east stairwell open with a noisy clunk of the push bar, and the teenage girl bundled up in a black wool pea-coat with the hood of her sweatshirt pulled up over a black knit cap looks remarkably familiar. It's been just over a year since the last time Elisabeth Harrison had seen Colette Nichols, that cold winter day in February where she turned down her offer to tutor her on her ability after Conrad's death.

Now, a year older Colette looks like a girl five years beyond where that wiry little girl was just a year prior. The way she carries herself, dresses, even the look on her face implies someone who's grown. She's lost some of that youthful naievte — certainly not all of it — but the girl coming out of that stairwell looks little like the one who left her car.

Elisabeth knows Colette had been there at Pinehearst, had helped sneak the teams in, but seeing her now — which wasn't an option with the invisible girl back at Pinehearst — makes all the difference.

As she steps into the very welcome heated environment, Elisabeth pulls the stocking cap off her blond locks and breathes in the warmth. Even taking as many breaks as can be had, she still feels constantly cold these days. And it's getting worse. Certainly the bronchitis that laid her low not too long ago is still lingering in its effects as well. The cough behind Liz's forearm is less wet than it was a week ago, though, so that's something. As she heads for the dedicated elevator that will take her to the penthouse, Liz merely waves to the person on duty at the security desk. And then she pauses in her forward movement to raise her eyebrows slightly. "Colette?" she calls quietly, uncertain she's seeing the right person.

On someone having called out her name, Colette pauses in mid-stride and shifts the weight of her olive-drab courier bag over one shoulder a bit more evenly. Dark brows crease on seeing Elisabeth, and there's a look of mild confusion across the teen's face. "H— Hey," she offers a bit nervously, glancing towards the people at the front desk before turning and heading over towards the elevators. "You're— Liz, right?" There's a crease of Colette's brows, head ducked down and lips creeping up into a lopsided smile.

"That's— " Green eyes divert to the elevator, then back to the blonde, "were you going up to see Cat? She was just talking about you." A bit sheepish on her approach, Colette still seems to have that touch of nervousness in her that she did a year ago. "I um— Magnes was— " there's a vague gesture of one of COlette's hands in the air, "he— he said he— talked to you about me?" Though she's a bit afraid to ask what he said.

Elisabeth smiles slightly and tilts her head at the young woman. She wonders if Demsky has seen her recently… if the man would even recognize her. Her face has a weary cast to it, but her blue eyes are warm. "He did," she replies, sliding a field up around them so that those loitering in the lobby don't eavesdrop. Just in case. "I told him the same thing I'll tell you …. the door is always open, Colette. If you'd like some help with your ability, I can't promise to be as good a mentor as Con was, but I'm willing to do what I can. That hasn't changed." She pauses and then comments quietly, "I don't know if anyone's mentioned him to you as yet, but… Cardinal was asking about seeing you. I told him I'd put the word out, but reports indicated you were out of circulation for a while."

"Who?" Colette's brows furrow slightly, her head tilted to the side as she considers the notion. "I uh— sorry I— don't think I know who that is? God, I— I'm terrible with names, I probably talked to him this morning and forgot,"s he admits in a facetious tone with a roll of her eyes and a laugh. "I um, I've been pretty busy with the Ferry's work lately. We had that— thing— happen over in Jersey and…" she motions up into the air, "it's snowy," as if that somehow explains it all.

Grimacing, Colette reaches up and scrubs one gloved hand at the back of her neck. "I uh, Magnes must've mentioned it 'cause we got to talking about stuff a little while ago. It's— it's not so much that I need a tutor any more, but… I guess it's more— " Colette purses her lips and wrinkles her nose, "I just kind've— I don't have someone to really fill Conrad's role in my life. He— " even now she still has a hard time talking about it, "he was a really big impact on me, you know? I know a long time ago, you… sort've offered to take over, and, well— I was dumb and emotional and… a lot of things."

Brows creased and eyes averted to her feet, Colette lets her hand slide away from the back of her neck, tucking nervously into a pocket on her jacket. "If you don't… mind having a bumbling kid following you around I— I think it'd be cool. I mean, you work with my dad, right?" She's a little out of date on that.

"It's not wrong to be emotional and you aren't dumb," Elisabeth replies quietly. "Conrad was… quite an amazing person." Her tone is affectionate and a flash of hurt still manages to find its way through the other pains that make her heart ache more recently. "I'd be honored if you thought I was up to the task of filling his shoes. And no, I don't mind if you follow me around sometimes, though it could be a little more complicated these days. I'm not on the PD anymore. I'm working for FRONTLINE. In the same way I worked for the PD, mostly — which is to say that a lot of things will continue to stay under the radar." She pauses. "I'm never entirely sure who knows what about anything, but… Cardinal is an associate of Cat's, and he has done a few things for Phoenix at times. I can introduce you, if you like."

Turning her grimace into a lopsided smile, Colette shifts her weight to one foot and offers a snickering laugh to Liz. "You make it sound like I'm pickin' you to be the nexy Dali Llama!" There's a teasing tone there, and Colette's chin tilts up as she re-assesses Liz. "FRONTLINE, though, seriously? That's so friggin' G.I. Joe that is awesome!" Impishly twisting her smile, Colette bounces from one foot to the other a littl eexcitedly. "Oh man that's so awesome I didn't know the Ferry had people in there," she offers in a conspiratorial whisper, "so cool." A little star-struck by it all, Colette doesn't seem to feel a threat by the authority represented. Maybe it's just that unquestioning ability to trust someone Conrad trusted.

"If your friend Cardinal wants to see me for something that's totally cool. I should be here on Manhattan the next few days, then I gotta head down to Staten Island to do some Ferrywork, aaaand…" Colette's lips purse to the side, "after that m'not su— oh!" Bouncing from one topic to the other like a ping-pong ball, Colette leans in, voice going whispery again.

"Did you really kid kidnapped by Vincent Lazzaro?" Colette asks with one eye squinted and one brow raised.

Now Elisabeth is the one laughing. "G.I. Joe, huh? I don't know if it's THAT awesome." Her laughter laces the words with amusement, maybe the first real laugh she's had in days. On some level, Colette's reaction is a balm to her somewhat tattered ego — Lord knows she never seems to feel like she's making the right choices and even if it's entirely inadvertent, someone thinking it's cool instead of being horrified sort of makes Liz feel better in weird ways.

She starts to answer the Cardinal thing, but Liz's brain gets derailed by Colette's question. "I….. yes," Elisabeth stammers slightly. "I'm surprised you know about that, much less that you know about HIM enough to be able to say his name like that." She looks puzzled. "What's that all about?"

"Oh Cat was just talking about it upstairs, we uh…" Colette's lips purse to the side, green eyes slanted towards the door to the stairs she'd emerged from, then back to Liz. "Hey if— actually— " she's juggling an omission, Liz hasn't spent this long around both children and as a member of the NYPD not to be able to pick up these blatant tells, "what d'you think of him? Like, as a dude?" As a dude. "I mean, Cat said some stuff about him and something happened a few weeks ago that's got me all thinky about him and I just… there's something personal going on that he— might— uh," Colette taps the index fingers of both of her hands together, "be //connected?"

Biting down gently on her lower lip, Colette takes a moment to try and formulate her thoughts a little better, then slants a look up to Liz. "Do you think he's a good-guy?" Those words are so very obviously verbally hyphenated, not is he a good person but is he one of the good guys in such a way that only a teenager could consider being an appropriate description.

Elisabeth's brows tug slightly together in a puzzled frown. "Wow… " Touching Colette's elbow lightly, she gestures toward one of the rooms off the main lobby. "C'mon, let's go in there for a few minutes. Even with a silence bubble, I'd rather not talk about this out here." Only once they're both in what appears to be a conference room of some kind with the door closed does Elisabeth speak more freely. "Why don't you tell me what's going on? Bottom line is that I'm not entirely sure what to think of Lazzaro, frankly. So whatever's got you and Cat wound up, I'd like to keep up to date on."

Making a noise in the back of her throat, Colette offers an askance look at the desk clerks, then follows Elisabeth across the hall towards the glass-walled conference room. A little hesitant by her posture, Colette stops just within the doorway, stepping aside for the door to shut and, perhaps because she thinks it's helping, reaches out to twist the little rope pulleys that slide the vertical blinds closed. There's a bit of a furrow of her brows at the term silence bubble, still trying to puzzle it out, but that's something she can ask about later.

"It's… well, I guess I can trust you, I mean— Conrad did." Taking a few meandering steps towards one of the low-backed chairs at the head of the faux-wood table, Colette traces gloved fingertips over the metal frame. "Um, there's… this girl in the Ferry," Colette's brows furrow in thought as she begins, "who— she told me a couple of days ago that Vincent's her dad. I— I didn't know much about him, so I wanted to ask around about what people thought n'stuff."

Pursing her lips, hand moving away from the chair, Colette fidgets in place nervously where she stands. "I um, Cat says that Vincent gave her some info about this girl Liette that the Ferry's all flappy-hands about, and that Vincent had been helpin' Doctor Brennan with some stuff. Then uh," Colette's green eyes angle to the side, towards the closed blinds, "then this kid Jonas in the Ferry said that a bald guy who could turn to smoke saved him from those guys that raided the Armory in Midtown."

Looking back to Elisabeth, Colette tugs at her lower lip with her teeth. "He doesn't sound like such a bad guy, maybe he's like— you know— Comissioner Gordon in the Batman movies. Secretly workin' with the Bat 'cause he's a man of the law'n stuff." She's been hanging around with Magnes too much. "I dunno I— it's really important to his daughter. So I just…" Colette finally looks back to Liz. "I dunno."

There's a long moment as Elisabeth parses through the teen-speak to get to the heart of the matter. "Wait," she says quietly. "Bear in mind that I've been somewhat head-in-the-sand with regards to Ferry movements lately. The past few months have required me to keep my distance except when I'm needed." Guilt eats at her over the Ferry's safehouse raid still, and Liz has to struggle with that any time they ask her for help. Even if they don't blame her, she blames herself.

"So you're telling me that Lazzaro has a daughter in the Ferry?" That is definitely news to Elisabeth. And perhaps good news too, though her expression merely remains puzzled. Would the man jail his own daughter over her involvement? "I've only heard the barest minimum about this girl the Ferry's keeping from someone. I know that Rebel wanted her kept out of the hands of the government and I knew she was taking refuge with the Ferry. I don't know anything else outside that. But you're saying Lazzaro helped someone get away from the Armory raid? Was he simply trying to help the girl?" And to what end, she has to wonder.

There's a squint at the name Rebel, one of discerning curiosity, though Colette's eyes are somewhat more so on the 'prize' as it were right now. "He doesn't know she's in the Ferry," Colette explains in a hushed tone, despite the silence bubble, more out of sheepishness than anything. "She um, she confided in me about it. She's terrified the Ferry'll kick her out if they find out, but— she's not a spy or anything. She's new, but she's helped us a lot and she doesn't really see her dad much anymore. I— think she lives with her mom," and there's no telling who that is, from the sounds of it.

"Jonas," Colette throws out a name without really any clarification, "said that the smoke guy saved him from the dudes who attacked the armor, and old man Tien said the same thing. They said he was a short bald dude in a suit, and that he turned them to smoke too and helped them avoid gettin' captured. I— I dunno if it's him but Cat thinks so and she's super-smart." Or so Colette thinks.

Considering the situation, Elisabeth seems thoughtful. "I don't suppose anyone — Jonas or Tien or anyone — could look at a picture for me and verify if that's who it was? I'd feel better about the matter if his identity were confirmed. If it was him and he doesn't know his daughter's in the Ferry, it's possible that he was simply assisting to get Liette out of the way. As I understand it, she is…. extremely important." She reaches back and scratches the back of her neck, puzzling through some things. "I recommend that you not trust him until I can do some discreet digging." She pulls her cell from her pocket and hands it to Colette. "If you put your cell number in there, I'll have his picture sent to you so you can see if Jonas or anyone can verify his identity, okay? He can't be the only person who turns to smoke out there."

"Oh! That'd be super-helpful!" Colette offers that up with a chirping tone of voice, taking Liz's phone, then tugs off one of her gloves with her teeth because typing on it with the winter gloves she has on now is an exercise in futility. Glove just hanging out of her mouth, Colette bobs her head from side to side as she swiftly thumbs around on the keypad with one hand, inputting her number into the phone and letting the glove sway side to side in the motion. She's done in quick time, offering the phone back and then plucking her glove from between her teeth.

"I didn't have a picture of him and I didn't know where to look to find one either, I didn't wanna be like a stalker and go through Tasha's wallet or anything," and there's the unintentional slip. "I should be headed down to the garden tomorrow, so I can show Jonas then and see if it's the same guy. If it is then that totally means my friend's gonna have to talk all sternly to her dad about stuff, because she's so worried that he wouldn't approve of what she does."

Huffing out a breath, Colette offers a thankful smile up to Liz, teeth nibbling at her lower lip as she does. "This'll totally help fix things, Liz I— I am so glad I bumped into you down here!"

"Mmmmm," Elisabeth says. "For now, don't tell Tasha anything, Colette. Seriously. If it's not her father who helped, we need to know that too. And quite frankly…. even if it is her father, he is not the most…. pro-Ferry type out there. You know? If she tells him, he could very well arrest her or something." She doubts it, but she wants to make sure that Colette understands the situation. "Most cops don't believe in what we're doing, so she'll need to be extra careful." She takes her phone back and then smiles slightly. "On to the question of Cardinal — may I tell him that you're heading for the Garden tomorrow? He knows where it is and can simply meet you there. His ability is shadow-walking, and he'll be unlikely to become corporeal while he's there. So you'll basically be talking to his shadow. That okay with you?"

Furrowing her brows, Colette looks a little resistant to Elisabeth's suggestion. "Mmnh… y— yeah, sure," is the non-comittal answer from someone who is likely going to do it anyway and is just saying what she thinks she wants Elisabeth to hear. Furrowing her brows, Colette looks to the side, then back to Liz with a squint for a moment. "Um, what— what's Cardinal need me for anyway, if he's got spooky shadow powers and stuff, I mean?" Nervously toying with her lower lip, Colette's brows furrow and her eyes cast to the side before she looks back to Liz.

"Wait a minute, Richard?" There's a sudden connection that Colette was dumbly unable to make a moment ago. "Kinda' tall guy, hangs out with the mechanic girl Devi down on Staten Island? Oh, yeah I know Richard!" There's a bubbled giggle of laughter from Colette and her nervousness fades away some. "I met a friend of his uh, brunette girl, kinda' pretty… I— think her name was…" Colette's lips purse to the side, "P— Penny?" Not quite. "Yeah I— she told me he wanted to talk to me. I forget what about though. Sure yeah if— if he knows where the Garden is he can come down and talk to me, s'no big deal at all. I dunno when I'll get there though."

Elisabeth nods slightly. "Richard," she confirms. "That's him." She'll leave it to the shadowmorph to tell Colette what he wants of her. She studies the young woman and says quietly, "Colette…. if this girl confronts her father and it gets ugly, she could conceivably be pressured to name names of Ferry people. I know you don't want anyone to get hurt - and she won't do it on purpose, she'll do it because she trusts her father. Or because she wants to trust her father. Believe me, I get that. I need you to keep it on the downlow until we can verify whether it was even him and what exactly he was doing. The whole Rebel thing concerns me — Lazzaro didn't arrest me and let me go because he believes in what we are doing out here. He arrested me and let me go because people farther up the food chain thought I would be 'useful'. They're using me just as much as I'm using them. It's all a big chess game, kiddo. And it's a dangerous one that I don't want to drag Ferry people into if we can help it. Help me look out for your friends, okay?"

"Cat thinks he's on our side, so… one strike for and one strike against," Colette says with a furrow of her brows, green eyes cast to the side. "I'll think about it, but she doesn't trust her dad enough to tell him nothin', I just… she deserves to know what her dad's been up to regardless. M'not gonna' hide that from hr, 'cause it's not what I'd want done to me if somebody knew somethin' about my dad. S'not the way you treat a friend. I trust her, and I trust her judgement, an' sometimes you just gotta' have that faith, right?"

Shifting her weight to one foot, Colette uses the nervous motion to take a step away from the table, meandering over to the vertical blinds. "She can decide whether she talks to her dad about it or not, s'not my decision to tell people how t'live their lives n'stuff, but I ain't gonna' lie to someone I care about, s'wrong. If y'can't trust the people that're close to you, stuff's all mixed up…"

Which is the very same line of thought that has made her so wary about Tamara lately, that uncertainty of trust. "I appreciate the concern though, Liz. I just… I gotta' do what's right by me, y'know? If somethin' goes wrong, I'll figure it out." Her outlook is a little odd, but having relied on Tamara's unique vision of the future for so long had to have skewed her a little.

There's a nod from Elisabeth. "I wouldn't want you to keep it from her," she assures Colette. "Just to be cautious about encouraging her to jump to the conclusion that just because he may have helped out that he'll actively support what she's been doing, that's all. Confronting him on it may be a bad idea. But I agree all the way around that we need to know if it was him, and if it was, I need a little time to investigate the why of it. Can you handle holding off just a little while until I can do that kind of looking? I don't … I don't want to get her hopes up. You know? If it turns out he had his own agenda, that might hurt her feelings far worse. You and I are on the same page about people close to us. You have to trust someone; none of us gets through this without people to trust." She smiles a bit. "I promise as soon as I have reliable information, I will get it to you."

"I'll see what I can do," is the same answer Judah would give, it's a tentative yes in as much as Colette is capable of giving. "Let Richard know that I'll be around if he needs to talk to me. I mean, he can call too," Colette adds with a smirk and a nod of her head towards Elisabeth, not quite realizing the frustrating endeavor that it requires to get Cardinal and a phone working together. "I gotta' go , though, Liz… Oh and— Cat's got a video you might want to watch, some stuff we picked up after the vaccine run. It's pretty hardcore, but… If you've been out've the loop on things, it might be helpful."

Pulling open the glass door to the conference room, Colette tips her head to the side, offering Liz a somewhat wakward but hopeful smile. "Maybe after the snow clears, we'll both have some time to talk. I— Maybe we could go say hi to Conrad together?" It'd be the first time she willingly admitted a desire to want to go to his memorial. "Might be a nice way've startin' things."

"I would like that very much, Colette." Elisabeth then grins wickedly. "I'm not sure you'll appreciate the placement as much as we did, but …. I think he'd have been duly amused." She nods. "I'm on my way up there now. Thanks, Colette. And I'll get the picture to you by this afternoon. Richard will either call you tonight or get up with you tomorrow afternoon as well."

Laughing at something she imagines, Colette offers a nod of her head to Liz as she steps back out the door, holding it open for the blonde to follow. When Liz leaves the conference room, Colette's walking ahead of her, turning around to backpedal through the lobby so she can face Elisabeth again, since the former police officer isn't headed in the same direction. "If you thought to mount a plaque in a strip club…" Colette cracks a teasing smile.

"…I think we'd both approve."

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