An Unknown Becomes Known Again


bf_cassandra_icon.gif, elisabeth3_icon2.gif

Scene Title An Unknown Becomes Known Again
Synopsis Ever wonder about where you came from? Elisabeth Harrison finds out a lot more about that with Cassie's help.
Date November 19, 2014

Elisabeth's Apartment

It's only been a couple days since the explosion. It's all over the news. The feds, the cops, Homeland Security, everyone is up in arms about the number of deaths within Pinehearst. One of those deaths hit very close to home for Elisabeth, and she checks on Cassie throughout those days because she isn't sure the younger woman hasn't also lost friends there. Today, however, when she called, she asked if Cassie could meet her for coffee. She has something she'd like to ask, a favor. It's a pretty rare request from the audiokinetic — she's more often the one offering things than asking them.

Sitting in the bookstore cafe that she and Cass have come to sort of call their own near the college, Elisabeth has the largest coffee they make sitting in front of her along with Cassandra's usual beverage of choice. She looks tired, the lines of worry in her face far more pronounced than Cassandra has perhaps seen them since the day they met.

The explosion at Pinehearst hadn’t hurt Cassandra at all. The explosion happened where she was working, but not when she was there. Thank goodness for her classes being at regular times that allowed breaks and the like. She never knew how much she loved Logic III until sitting in the classroom kept her from being blown up along with a large portion of the auxiliary research lab she called her office. It had survived with a few pictures knocked off the wall and her fan shorting out from a power surge. The IT guys and their battery backup kept her computer safe and spinning without issue, so at least her work seemed to be okay, as close as she could tell.

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” Cassie often said when Elisabeth called. She had no problem talking to the brunette when things got a little dicey at work, worrying about her place in the world and the work she was doing before falling asleep on the couch, often with Rory cradled in the crook of her arm on one side, a book fallen to the floor on the other. When a request came for coffee, Cassie gladly decided to take the time to visit her friend.

The irresponsibly large mug, nicknamed Ol’ Rip’s Wake-up Call, can hold nearly a pot of specially brewed coffee by itself, without the addition of sugar or cream, of which a lot would be required. It’s one of those things, like the Big Texan steak, that’s on the menu for the spectacle more than anything, but when people order it, it’s given out gladly. “Jesus.” Cassie said as she approached the table, her own mug of coffee steaming opposite Liz’s. “Does that thing come with a life preserver and a defibrillator to slow down your heart once you’re done drinking it?” She slips into the seat opposite Liz, wrapping the strap of her backpack around her leg, her cup pulled closer and held in both hands. “Hi, Lizzie. Good to see you.”

Perhaps the scariest part of that hideously ridonkulous cup of coffee is the truly unholy amounts of sugar with which both Liz and Felix tend to doctor their caffeine and then to top it off, Liz drinks hers very light. So it's… actually somewhat terrifying. Elisabeth grins slightly at the joke and sticks her tongue out at her friend. "Nope. It's why you drink it slow," she informs Cassie. Blue eyes search the younger woman's face, and she seems satisfied with what she sees. There've been no after effects of witnessing the murder of Elisabeth Harrison, and that murder has been overshadowed pretty effectively at this point by the larger destruction of some of Pinehearst.

"I'm really not sure how to ask you the favor that I'd like, Cassie. Your ability means that certain things may come to light if I ask you to do it," she starts, getting right to business. It's a sign of how stressed she is; usually she's far more laid back. "A friend of mine worked in the lab that exploded. And he's… they're saying that he's dead, but Cass… have they asked you to go in and look at the lab?"

Cassie’s memory editing is very good, and since Elisabeth knew exactly what to tell the woman the next morning, she doesn’t suspect anything else occurred but what was said, and since she doesn’t suspect anything, she hasn’t looked into it. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust when you lose a memory like that? She lifts her more sedate sized mug of coffee and takes a sip, blowing out a breath with a smile as she sits back, crossing one leg over the other as she listens.

On the question of her being allowed into the lab, Cassie shakes her head in the negative. “Not yet. The cleanup teams are still doing all sorts of decontamination and forensic stuff to the place, labeling what they’ve still got to give themselves an idea of where to start. I’m pretty sure they’ll want me to go in, but as far as when I’ll go, I really have no clue.” She takes a sip. “Sorry.”

Cassie watches as a ripple of movement crosses the surface of Mega Mug before she reaches across to squeeze Elisabeth’s hand, nodding. “I can take a look. You know my power, though. It just shows what happened, not what could happen. If your friend is dead, this object might show it happening. I’ve gotten a little better at skipping the bad parts when necessary, for sanity’s sake, but….” She trails off.

“What do you need me to do, Liz?” Things coming to light? That’s par for the course at this day and age.

"At work… I just need you to tell me if he actually died. I … don't know, but it's certainly possible someone could have been saved, right?" Elisabeth leaves that one out there for a long moment. "If you see anything that strikes you as… bad or off, Cass? Please for God's sake, tell Felix?" She seems worried about whatever may have happened there, but she's reluctant just yet to simply bring back the knowledge of why she might worry.

"I actually have a far more personal favor, though." She pulls the chain from her neck and lifts it over her head. The one that holds the wedding ring Cass once looked at. Now it also holds a small lead square threaded onto the chain and as Liz holds it out, the copper penny embedded in it becomes visible. "I've been told that someone with an ability sort of like that one you don't talk about put some memories on this. I would like to know if you can retrieve them for me."

“Sure, it’s possible. They were pulling people out of the wreckage for at least the day after the explosion. Some were even alive.” So there’s that cheerful image. “What’s the person’s name?” Cassie takes a sip of her coffee. “I’ll do some poking around - I have some access to memos and that sort of stuff - so I might be able to help you out there. All unofficial, of course, and you didn’t get it from me if it does get out.”

Her brow wrinkles at the sight of the lead cube with the penny embedded in it, leaning closer to look at it before leaning back, lifting a finger to her lips and ‘shhh-ing’ softly in regards to her ability. “I….can try? I guess. I mean….the echoes would have been placed there instead of naturally occurring, so as long as I can read the notes, I can sing the song. So to speak.”

Rolling her eyes a little, Elisabeth asks, "Seriously… you think I didn't have a silence field around us from the moment you sat down?" She's amused. "I don't normally bother too much with the extra nuances of allowing sound in while keeping the sound from escaping, but I promise you — any time I ask you about a power-related or Pinehearst-related thing? No one hears a damn thing from us," Liz assures her softly. "Ness Parker was his name. And I appreciate it."

She pauses, and then nods. "Do you want to leave here and go somewhere quieter? Or can you do it here?" Elisabeth seems … perhaps a little 'off'. Rarely does she seem to fall back on the older habits of sitting with her back fully to the wall, good sight lines, eyes constantly moving… but today she definitely has that watchful thing happening. In point of fact, Cassie recognizes it from Felix's everyday face — Liz has cop eyes at this moment. "I would very much like it if you could try."

Cassie hadn’t noticed the sound from outside filtering away, a little bubble of silence separating the two women from the world around them. Elisabeth does it so often that it just becomes something she doesn’t tend to notice anymore. “It might be best to go somewhere quieter. The vision goes about ten feet square, with me in the center. I might be able to limit it to a small section, like around this table, but it’s not something I’ve tried.” She glances around. “It’d probably work a little better, knowing you were somewhere comfortable with four walls. My ability overwriting all your senses means that a lot can happen that you’re not aware of.”

Prudent little brunette, isn’t she?

She takes another sip of her coffee. “Should I get a to go bucket for your mug, Liz, or do you want me to try to decode your penny here? I have no idea how long it’ll take me. Could be just like a vision, could take an hour to get the first flicker. This isn’t a memory I had - it’s someone else’s.”

Cassie’s words seem to speak true. After they both finish their coffee with the sound field down, giving a hint of normalcy, Cassie and Liz pack up their things and make their way to the apartment Liz, Rory, and Ygraine call home. The Brit hasn’t made her way home from whatever it is she does on a daily basis, and Rory’s still at day care, so they’ve got a few hours to kill all alone. Once the door is locked behind them, Cassie settles into her spot on the couch after slipping off her shoes and gets out her bandanna - a nicer-looking one, made from silk, like a necktie, with stripes of alternating pink and black. “You might want to make yourself comfortable….this may take a while.” The bandanna is tied tight once she has the penny in her lap, the little cube taken up and held up, almost like she’s examining it through the blindfold.

“After this, we get ice cream. Chocolate. Just because.” Ice cream soothes a lot of insecurities and sadnesses and, depending on what this thing has, they could probably use it.

Elisabeth curls up in the chair across from the postcog, bringing with her a book and a bottle of water. Because who knows? Cassandra may be able to get nothing. But she's willing to wait as long as Cassandra's willing to attempt it.

As soon as Cassandra touches the penny and attempts to use her ability, there is a static-electric crackle that snaps over her fingers, and her head jerks back in a violent thrust. All of her muscles tense, and what comes next isn’t like how her ability works. It’s the difference between listening to music, and sticking your head inside of an amplifier turned up to 11. The intensity of the psychic impression in this single penny is a hammer-blow to the postcognitive’s mind, unlike anything she’s ever experienced before.

It feels more real, feels—

Rural New York

Outside Castle Point

June 18


The night is dark and the sky has opened up. A rainstorm has come in from the west, darkening the sky to starless blackness and cascading heavy raindrops down over the road, visible in sharp illumination in the gleaming headlights of the Ford Granada cutting down Route 84. Inside, music plays loud enough to drown out the sound of the rain hammering on the station wagon’s roof, and two voices have joined in to sing it together.

It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore
I am sorry
Sometimes it hurts so badly I must cry out loud
I am lonely

The acoustic guitar and lilting melodies of a Crosby Still Nash & Young song elicits fond memories from the couple up front. Jared Harrison’s hair is long and wavy and down past his chin, clean shaven though he is, there’s a roguish quality that he can’t shake. Hands on the steering wheel, he looks in the rear-view mirror at the tiny blonde buckled up and staring out the window behind him. At his side, Carina Harrison carries on with the same song, her blonde hair blown out and parted in the middle, bangs curled and a gleam in her eye in spite of how tired she is.

I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard

Pine trees form impenetrably dark walls on either side of the highway, and the young Elisabeth Harrison in the back seat finds little interest in the song itself, eyelids drooping and head bobbing. It’s been a long day upstate, and the red cooler on the floor at her feet no longer has snacks in it. The fishing poles in the back didn’t catch much of anything, and the pink coloration of her skin will be a sunburn tomorrow. The memories of today would have been wonderful to have, everyone was so happy.

Remember what we've said and done and felt about each other
Oh, babe have mercy
Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now
I am not dreaming

Eventually the trees begin to part, getting more and more sparse as they give way to a clearing. Beyond the edges of darkness, the Hudson River flows freely. Distant tail lights disappear on an off-ramp, and the Harrisons are alone on a winding road headed back home once more. Eventually the car pulls out of the forested section of freeway entirely, transitioning up onto the span of the Newburgh-Beacon bridge. Elisabeth can see the guard rail moving like a snake in the dark outside of the car, and she can see her own blonde reflection more so. The rain is loud enough now to compete with the music.

I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard

During the instrumental, there’s a sudden bang in the rear of the car, a blowout. The station wagon fishtails, and Jared lets out a howl of surprise. Carina immediately lunges back toward the rear seats, pressing a hand to Elisabeth’s chest. “It’s okay, baby!” She says to reassure herself and her daughter, while Jared jerks the wheel left and right to try and steer into the spin. They can feel the car moving sideways now, and Jared yells something incomprehensible over the music. Carina stares at Elisabeth, eyes wide, “Everything’s gonna be— ”

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Tearing yourself away from me now you are free
And I am crying

The windshield cracks violently, water seeping through, the passenger’s side windows explode from an impact with the guard rail. Metal scrapes on metal, tiny shards of glass feel like they’re free-floating in the air, the world is spinning, the red cooler lifts up off of the floor of the station wagon and tumbles through the air, striking Carina in the forehead and sending her jerking back, head impacting the side of her door. There’s a sensation of weightlessness, screaming, terror, and spinning darkness outside.

This does not mean I don't love you I do that's forever
Yes and for always

In a sudden and violent impact, the station wagon crashes into the Hudson River over the side of the bridge. Water explodes into the vehicle and it immediately begins sinking. Carina is the first to drift down into the water, and Jared is struggling to unbuckle himself. Elisabeth is screaming, howling, crying, and the water is rapidly filling the vehicle. Before he can even get himself free, the water has pushed all the way up to the closed driver’s side windows, but not all the way, air is still trapped there as the car falls sideways into the deep. Water trickles in from the doorjam, the screaming echoes in the confined space.

I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard

Elisabeth is underwater and in the dark, only the faint light of the darhboard console glows in the watery gloom. There’s a dark shape, her father, struggling to move in the vehicle. He’s up and around, one arm around his tiny daughter’s waist, lifting her up to the air gap where she can take a gasping, choking breath of air. “Hold on baby! Hold on!” She can barely see him, and she can feel him dive back down, feel him struggle, and struggle he does. Carina is unconscious, and he fights with her seatbelt, struggles to get her out. The water is filling up faster, the current is sweeping.

Something inside is telling me that I've got your secret
Are you still listening?
Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart
And I love you

Jared comes back and makes the hardest decision of his life. “Hold your breath, baby. Hold your breath.” He covers Elisabeth’s mouth and pulls her close to his chest, then drops down through the car, swimming out through one of the blown out windows just as the nose of the station wagon touches the bottom of the river. His legs kick, and Elisabeth can see him clearer now than ever. A lambent emerald glow is burning through the surface of the water, bright and electric, like a flashlight shining down into a fishbowl.

I am yours, you are mine, you are what you are
You make it hard

As Jared swims up, the emerald light grows brighter and brighter, until it is as blinding as a search light at midnight. When they breach the surface of the water, the rain is hammering down and the light is gone. Instead, there is a violent aurora of green light crackling in the sky, curtains of emerald dancing down from within the rain storm, and Jared is splashing around, breathing heavily and panting.

And you make it hard

Packed traffic is stopped dead on the bridge, red tail lights forming a rubyline across its length. There was no traffic a moment ago, and now the highway is at a standstill. He screams, “Help!” Treading water and trying to get someone’s attention. “Help!

And you make it hard

He cries out again, clutching Elisabeth to his chest and looking back down into the river. “Someone! Help!

And you make it hard

Present Day

Elisabeth and Cassandra jolt back to the real world from the vivid, shared memory compiled from multiple viewpoints of both Jared Harrison and Elisabeth Harrison. Cassandra’s hands are trembling, prickling sensations of numbness around her mouth and fingertips, hair at the back of her neck standing on end. She knows there’s more contained in that penny, but it’s like trying to drink from a firehose.

Does she dare go back for seconds?

It's certainly like nothing Liz has ever experienced… not like this. The emotional response to seeing her young parents is nostalgia. This drive was a regular excursion when she was a child, and she smiles just a little to see it. When the blowout hits, she jerks in her chair. She knew something had to be coming — she knew from Kaito Nakamura that only Liz and her father arrived in this world they're sitting in. And she watches in horror as it all comes down, tears slipping silently down her cheeks as they experience the gut-wrenching physical reality of the car crash. When it's over and she can breathe again, she literally cannot say a single thing.

The sensation of this memory is quite like standing in the blast of one of those jet engine things that are used to put out oil well fires - hot and cold and a force she's unable to dampen while the memories are coursing through her body. Unlike her usual visions, this one is visceral. It's not live, but it's close enough and more intense. She actually feels her stomach drop at the blowout, feels herself free falling as the car goes airborne, and can even count the number of shards of glass cartwheeling around the interior of the car and bouncing off her skin. The silence while falling, too, is jarring, and the impact on the surface of the water - the rush of water filling the car - is something she'll never forget.

She says nothing as the vision fades, her teeth unclenching, the block of lead leaving a mark on her palm from gripping it it too tightly. Her head shifts slightly, looking to Liz through the blindfold.

“Well….” She finally says. “It looks like I can get to the stored memories. I…I could see why this one would want to be forgotten. It's….hard.”

Traumatic would be the best term. She doesn't say that, though.

“There’s probably more. If you want me to dig.” Cassandra's voice is quiet, concerned. .

"Please?" The single word, whispered in a choked voice that is barely audible, is the only thing Elisabeth can use for assent. And she braces herself for whatever comes next.

When Liz gives her assent, back into the void Cassandra delves.

Rural New York

Outside Castle Point

June 18


Floodlights cast across the surface of steady currents. Red and blue lights from police cars shine off of the arching span of the bridge overhead. The night sky is black and lightness, a yawning void that refuses to relent, letting rain hammer down on the search efforts.

On the rocky banks of the river, beyond the dark pines that rise up from the shoreline, Jared Harrison sits in the back of an ambulance with his daughter Elisabeth held in his arms, wrapped in a gray blanket and still sipping wet. Elisabeth is crying, and Jared is staring vacantly out at the water.

“Sir, there's no car.”

A uniformed police officer holds a pad of paper in one hand, close to his chest, trying to review Jared’s statement. His hat is wrapped in a plastic cover and a yellow poncho thrown over his shoulders. “We've dredged the river twice, there's no car anywhere. And we talked to the drivers up on the bridge, traffic’s been at a standstill for an hour because of a logging truck crash about a mile up,” he motions in a direction Jared doesn't bother to look in.

“So…” The Officer furrows his brows. “We called DHHS, and we’re going to need to talk to your daughter separately, ok?” Jared blinks slowly, looking up to the officer with a befuddled expression. “Now, I don't want to make a big scene of this, ok? But you're gonna have to hand her over to me.”

Jared’s hands clench into fists. “I didn't jump,” he reiterates for the fifth time. “My wife is down there!” The Officer braces at the bark, closing his notes.

“Well, that's a funny story. Because we ran the ID you gave us. That license number isn't registered to you in the State of New York, and Jared Harrison died in ‘79. We called his widow and confirmed ev— ”

“Excuse me Officer.” The voice comes from the dark, where a middle-aged man in a brown suit stands under an umbrella. The officer turns, looking confused for a moment. But before he can speak the man steps forward and speaks up. “I'm Charles, I'm with the Department of Health and Human Services.”

“You're with the Department of Health and Human Services,” the officer parrots back in a monotone voice, shoulders slack.

“I'll take it from here,” Charles instructs.

“Why don't you take it from here,” the officer seamlessly agrees, stepping away from Jared. And as the officer moves away, Charles Deveaux slowly approaches under the shelter of a black umbrella.

“Mr. Harrison, I—”

You're not taking my daughter!” Jared bellows, one arm around Elisabeth’s waist as he rises up to stand, blanket falling off of his shoulders. Charles steadily raised a hand, slowly shaking his head. “I'm not crazy! I didn't try to— to— ” It's so unfathomable he can't even say it.

“I'm not here for your family, Mr. Harrison.” Charles words seem to immediately soothe Jared, who gently sets Elisabeth down to stand beside him. She, red eyed and in shock, stares up at Charles’ dark silhouette under the umbrella. He, in turn, steps forward and shelters the two under it.

With one hand on Jared’s shoulder, Charles Deveaux looks into his eyes with a mixture of compassion and regret. “We don't know what happened here yet,” he says in a soft, weary voice. “But I promise you, I'll do everything in my power to find out and make things right.”

Jared’s jaw trembles, imperceptibly. “I just— I just want my wife. She's— ” Charles makes a face, lowering his hand as he looks down briefly to Elisabeth, then back up.

“Your wife’s fine.” Charles lies, and yet also doesn't.

“I'll take you to her.”

Present Day

When Cassandra disengages from the penny it isn't willingly, it's from an overload. Her ability was never meant to interface with the way memories were stored in this object, and it's like using the wrong voltage power source for an electronic device. Vision blurred, pulse elevated, and head throbbing she slips out of the memory with the understanding that there's scattered moments still contained within. There's glimpses of other events, transits, alignments and memory modifications. Some of them seem to be memories from Charles’ perspective, not Elisabeth or Jared’s.

But Cassandra has enough subconscious understanding to piece together intent beyond the broad picture. Elisabeth and Jared were from a parallel timeline, and came here in 1982 and were hidden by the Company in plain sight with memories modified to fit a new narrative.

And then, all knowledge of the event was sequestered into a physical object. A secret too great to be kept by any one person.

A secret that would change the world.

So much to take in… so much hitting all at once. Dazed and in shock despite having been expecting at least something of this nature, the reality of seeing it happen in front of her is only mitigated by the fact that it's the other Elisabeth's memories… she is devastated and impacted, but just enough removed from them to not be sucked under the complete horror.

Right. Keep telling yourself that. The silent tears that slide down her face are testament to the lie.

Stumbling out of the chair she sits in, Liz moves to check on Cassandra, focusing on the well-being of the young woman instead of on all that they've seen. She goes to grab a cool towel from the bathroom and also fills a glass of water, coming back to gently wipe Cassie's face and help her off with blindfold.

Cassie’s visions are easy. She falls into them without too much trouble, but this? This is like jumping into a hurricane. Sure, you can get through it unscathed, but there’s the occasional board that flies at your head at a hundred miles an hour, lightning strikes, and hail that batters your body. She can read the music - very well, in fact - but the effort of performing is taxing, to say the least.

The vision stops suddenly, the real fading into being, the memory blowing away like sand in a desert. Her hand unclenches, the lead block actually cut her palm, she was squeezing it so tight. And why do her teeth hurt? “Jesus…” she whispers, her head flopping back, feeling exactly like she would after sprinting a mile. A hand comes up to rest on her forehead, pulling the blindfold away, flinging it to the floor in the middle of the apartment, a shuddering sob escaping from the smaller woman. When Elisabeth sits, Cassie wordlessly leans over and tries to pull the older woman into a tight hug.

“Th….there’s not a corporation or government on earth that wouldn’t kill us all for what’s on that cube.” she whispers quietly. “Proof of…parallel worlds…”

“Where did you find this?”

"I know," Elisabeth replies in a grim tone. She hugs Cassandra tightly in return wishing she knew what the right thing to do here was. She leans back and looks at the younger woman sadly. "It's mine."

Reaching out, Liz picks up the chain holding the small chunk of lead that contains the penny and Dave's wedding ring, slipping it back over her head.

"And now you and I need to make some plans, Cassandra. Because if I'm going to survive this world, I'm going to need your help… and I need you to tell me how best to get that help when you can't know all of this. This… is the second time we've had a similar conversation," she tells her friend quietly. "The first time was after you helped Felix with the murder of his friend. I need you to remove all of what you just saw, but I need you to continue working at your job. Because they are working on a project that could help me go home again."

Cassie’s head tilts slightly to look up at Elisabeth, the woman straightening a little finally, rubbing her eyes with the cool towel that was brought, and drinking her water. She’s suddenly very, very thirsty. The glass is drained and set aside as she shifts to the corner of the couch - her usual spot when keeping Rory or, it turns out, forgetting things that need to be forgotten.

“Where do we even start?”

It’s a simple question, sure, but there’s so many nuances to it that even considering the end point is dizzying to say the least. Thousands of aspects, thousands of choices, and quite possibly only a few ending with everything tied up in a neat little bow, without death getting hold of the central players any more than it already has.

“We….we’ll get you….and Rory…home.” She finally says, reaching out to take the older woman’s hands in hers, giving them a squeeze. “I just don’t have any idea how…”

"I don't expect you to," Elisabeth tells her. "What need from you — and God forgive me for putting you in this position — is for you to keep working at Pinehearst. Remember the request I made earlier. I still need that, and I need you to tell me… whatever else comes out of that lab. Because they are trying to open that portal again. And they cannot be allowed, if we can stop it."

She looks away briefly. "The project that Ness was part of, one of the things I know they were struggling with was the calculations, the math of the machine, how to calibrate it." She looks back. "I need you to remember enough about this conversation to know you can trust me with any intel on the project that you can glean but not enough to draw the attention of Arthur Petrelli. How do we do that for you?"

“I don’t have access to the lab at all, though. They’re making noises that I might be, but with the whole explosion thing that went on, I won’t know anything until they sit me down and explain what they’re looking for and what’s happened. If this is as dangerous as you say it is….if it caused you to come here, I…I might be the only way that they get this thing back on its wheels at all.”

Pinehearst certainly knows that. Cassandra’s value has gone up to stratospheric levels now. The pit of Cassie’s stomach goes cold. “Th…they’ll never let me go, will they?”

"They will," is the soft, grim response. "Things will be in motion soon enough. You will be covered, Cassandra. Felix and Leland will always have your back." Of that, Elisabeth has made sure.

The question of how to remember things once you’ve forgotten is a bit tougher. “I can’t excise small sentences or concepts - it’s big chunks. Part of the reason I go to sleep when it happens. It makes more sense to my brain temporally if I wake up and don’t remember some things. It’s also why I leave notes to myself. This..I don’t do the memory thing very often, and if people check somehow…” She’s sure there are psychics who can. “The gap in the memory looks like I went somewhere and went to sleep.”

She goes quiet. “I think it would be best if I forgot everything past the door….the vision, obviously, but this conversation too. Trusting you….that isn’t a problem. Trusting others would be difficult because this is…well….it’s just you I’m working with, and I know you. Just….”

She ducks down to rummage in her pack - helpfully placed close to the couch, taking out a small zippered pouch that is undone, the contents dumped into Elisabeth’s hand. It’s a simple disk of dull pewter with hand-stamped letters in a half moon around the top.

Baumann, Mathieu. CORP. B CO. 4TH INF. USA

She sits there quietly, glancing from the dog tag to Elisabeth after a second or two. “Just…just show me that. Show me that and say what you need and if I know it, I’ll give it. That’s…precious to me. And I wouldn’t have given it without a good reason. You having it would be…a key to a lock, so to speak. And we’d do this over and over again.” She does chuckle, sniffling a little. “I hope we can skip the whole ‘different timeline Liz’ next time, because this is rough on a girl’s sense of world order.”

She reaches down to claim the little notebook in her bag, tearing out a page from it and writing, simply. “Discussion with Liz about home.” along with the date. Vague enough for no-one to get information from what she wrote, but unique enough for her to be able to find it if necessary.

“I just hope they don’t start recording me, tracking me, or something like that. I’m not very unique, as far as patterns go. I go to school, to work, home, and here, with various restaurants and shops scattered here and there. I guess I need to be sure to not give them a reason to look.”

"You won't," Liz assures her. "Nothing about what you do day to day is going to change much, kiddo. And I have to go back to hiding in plain sight again too. Just…" She pauses. "If or when the day ever comes that Rory and I aren't here… you go to Felix. He will have the items that you'll need… and when you watch this again, know that you're one of the best things that has happened to me and to Aurora, okay? We both love you."

She reaches out briefly and pushes a lock of hair back off Cass's face. "Even if we're not here, we won't forget."

There’s an irony for Cassie saying that sort of thing - she can forget, if she chooses. She won’t choose to forget Liz, though, no matter what happens. At those words, she leans in to give Elisabeth a hug, taking a deep breath of the scent of her clothes and hair, her eyes closing to lock that into her memory, even though it’s about to be excised.

“I love you both too.” she croaks finally, peering up from beneath her brows, still giving Liz a hug. “You’re the family I’ve got up here. The family that I blundered into, but you’re mine. And if you go, you go. I’ll miss you when you do, but let’s not talk about the end anymore. Let’s talk about all the wonders between now and then we’ll experience, and how we’ll get you there.”

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