Are There Really Any Coincidences?


cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif mason_icon.gif

Scene Title Are There Really Any Coincidences?
Synopsis While holding one conversation, Cat has a surprise second, both of them causing the title question to form in her mind.
Date April 6, 2009

Greenwich Village

In a time that seems long ago, Greenwich Village was known for its bohemian vibe and culture, the supposed origin of the Beat movement, filled with apartment buildings, corner stores, pathways and even trees. There was a mix of upper class and lower, commercialism meeting a rich culture, and practically speaking, it was largely residential.

Now, it's a pale imitation of what it used to be. There is a sense of territory and foreboding, as if the streets aren't entirely safe to walk. It isn't taken care of, trash from past times and present littering the streets, cars that had been caught in the explosion lie like broken shells on the streets nearest the ground zero. Similarly, the buildings that took the brunt of the explosion are left in varying degrees of disarray. Some are entirely unusable, some have missing walls and partial roofs, and all of the abandoned complexes have been looted, home to squatters and poorer refugees.

As one walks through the Village, the damage becomes less and less obvious. There are stores and bars in service, and apartment buildings legitimately owned and run by landlords. People walk the streets a little freer, but like many places in this scarred city… anything can happen. Some of the damage done to buildings aren't all caused by the explosion from the past - bullet holes and bomb debris can be seen in some surfaces, and there is the distinct impression that Greenwich Village runs itself… whether people like it that way or not.

He wanted to meet, and she supplied this location as the place. Cat is careful to avoid traffic cameras in coming here, as has become standard practice for clandestine activities engaged in. She is well aware the contact may wish to take advantage of shadows, and so the chosen spot is rife with them.

It's in Greenwich Village, next to an abandoned building that may soon be turned into something new. Maybe it'll fit within her tastes, maybe not, but for now it's just an empty shell.

She waits, having a bit of time on her hands before he arrives and/or makes his presence known. Having time on her hands on occasion causes her mind to wander, to review things seen and recorded without being processed.

It's the third day of April, just before noon.

She's walking along East 4th Street, returning to the Village Renaissance Building after having gone to check the condition of Dani's Corvette where she has it stored, the vehicle being unused but kept in pristine condition as if she might want to drive it at any moment. There is traffic on the streets, passing by her is a yellow cab with an older woman in the back seat. The face is seen along with so many other faces spotted at that time.

The recall of this, as she now pays attention to the things and people spotted, makes her features shift into displeasure and wonder. Addressing no one in particular, it may as well be the wall, she asks a single question.

"What the hell are you doing in New York City, Mother?"

An unhurried fall of feet against the concrete sidewalk is audible in this quieter part of the Village, Cardinal's hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket. Just after she speaks to the thin air, the shadowmorph's voice raises in a rather dry response, gaze hidden behind dark shades but undoubtedly reflecting some of the amusement that stirs beneath his tone.

"I'm not your Mother. At least not for the prices you pay."

"No, Mr. Cardinal, you aren't," Cat replies with a dry chuckle. "But I just discovered she's recently been in New York. I have to wonder what she's up to." Her eyes shift to where his voice is coming from, and her tone takes on one of interest, maybe even mild amusement. "I see you've opted to grace me with your physical rather than shadowy presence tonight. What's on your mind?"

"I could go tail her if you want, seems like that's what I do more often'n not these days," suggests Cardinal with a roll of one shoulder in a careless shrug, glancing off to the street briefly before turning his attention, and a faint smile, back to Cat, "Well, I thought you might want that print. It seems… kind've important, given what you hot li'l birds are up to. Was hopin' you could tell me more about ol' Linderman, too."

"Thank you for your offer, Mr. Cardinal," she replies with a mild grin forming. "I'll contact Mother later and see about that myself." Most likely after the raid on Moab. Or in the morning before the transport happens. She'll decide then. Mr. Red Bird has her attention now, and what he says is intriguing.

So Cat counters with a question. "What are we hot little birds up to? And yes, I am interested in that print. As to Mister Linderman, most of what I know is in the public doman already. He's a white-haired man of means, his net worth is immense. He has contacts with the family of President Petrelli through the President's father, Arthur, who served as his attorney prior to his documented death. It's been learned recently he has an interest in artworks which may or may not be prophetic. It's also alleged he has his fingers in organized crime pies. Allegations of that sort are what caused Dani to end up working for him in public relations."

The voice trails off there, her features taking on an expression of loving remembrance and somber recall.

A brown envelope's pulled out of a pocket of that jacket, and Cardinal offers it over towards her. "I'm not blind, or deaf, you know. I work for Chicago Air, at least as far as legit business goes," he notes in rather wry tones. Which means that he works for Fedor, of course. Inside the envelope is a print of 'Dual' - a darkened prison beneath a burning phoenix, mirroring a grey-walled prison shrouded by smoke that births a skull.

After it's handed over, he grimaces a bit, "Damn. I was hoping you might know more — and it's not his fingers. Hell, the pie's been baked in his tin. Who's Dani, friend've yours?"

The envelope is taken, but not yet opened. Her eyes rest on the man speaking with her, as if making an assessment. If he looked into her, asked around, he would probably already know what Dani was, and be aware of the tense being past. Was. That he asks suggests he hasn't. Or that he has and was told, but opted here to discover what her telling of the story entails. When Cat speaks the voice is quieter than it had been. "Courtney Danielle Hamilton."

"We met at Yale, both of us in our first year there. We became friends. In our second year, it was she alone I trusted with my secret, after my unusual ability took hold. She became my closest friend, and I hers, through the troubles she had with her family. After she graduated in '05 she moved to Boston and got work as a reporter, I stayed at Yale."

"After my second graduation from Yale, almost a year ago, I spent the summer in Hartford playing music, relaxing, and took the bar exams for Connecticut and New York. Came here in August, she turned up a week later having gotten a job in the city. It was always her ambition to make her mark as a reporter." The story is ongoing, her eyes are distant, perhaps viewing things as if they were happening again right before her.

As she begins to speak, Cardinal's shoulder finds a resting place against the wall not far from her; arms folding over his chest, head canting a bit to one side as he listens to her attentively. He doesn't interrupt, seeming legitimately interested. Or, at the very least, he's faking it well. Those shades make it hard to tell, sometimes.

It's in her mind to tell the story in detail, but Cat becomes succinct in the sharing. "Soon after she arrived, we became more than friends." Lovers. "We were reasonably happy until December, when we found ourselves on the Vanguard's radar. Now she's dead."

It isn't said directly, but the expression she wears now says volumes about how thoroughly that put the Vanguard on her personal radar.

"Ah." Cardinal's chin dips just a bit, his lips pursing in a faint frown, "Sorry. Didn't mean to dredge up unhappy memories, there…" A turn of his head, gaze following a car that drives past, "…Linderman's behind Staten Island. I either need to break that hold, or make a deal with him, if I want t'get Logan and Muldoon out."

"Memory is something I just have to deal with, more so than most people," Cat replies cryptically. "It's the breaks for someone incapable of forgetting. Ever." The mention of Linderman being behind Staten Island doesn't surprise her much. "Dani tried to investigate him soon after she got to the city. It got her beaten up, damaged her brain. She had trouble remembering things that happened just minutes before. But she had evidence that incriminated some people. It wouldn't have done much to him, I can't say he was behind it, but the detective she went to, a Kay Damaris, was threatened. It was said her daughter would be killed if the case didn't go away. Evidence was stolen, and Dani went to see Linderman against my advice. He healed her, and she went to work for him. Dani was never one for making the hard choices."

It's not said directly, but the inference is that Cat doesn't shy away from such options. Perhaps that's how Dani got dead at the hands of the Vanguard. It's also apparent she didn't know Abby then; if she had there'd have been a solution other than Linderman's healing.

"I'll research him, see what's stored up on the web I can dredge out. But him being in organized crime, proving it and surviving is the problem."

"That sounds like what I've heard," Cardinal admits, his head bobbing in a slight nod - or three - to the explaination of what happened with Dani, one hand raising up to scratch under his chin in consideration, "As for proving it - well, I'm not exactly on the up an' up myself, Cat." A look over, and he smirks a bit, "I just need some raw data to work on in forming a strategy, is all."

A pause, then, "You heard of Alec Bonder? This might be've some interest to you people."

"I met him once. Had him looked into, he's an engineer with some possible shady dealings," Cat shares, "I've got him in mind for if I need someone of his trade to handle things in a clandestine way." Her head tilts to one side. "What about Mr. Bonder?"

"You're not the only one that's been looking into people," notes the thief, his tone a bit dry as he slants over a look past the rims of his shades, "Mister Bonder's been compiling a list of Phoenix operatives. Claims to have some 'benefactor' he works for, but if it's true, I haven't seen hide nor hair've the guy yet. Always possible his boss is pretty hands-off, though."

Her posture stiffens, not that it was very slack to begin with, Cat being a woman of some poise in most cases. But this definitely has her attention. "That's very interesting, Mr. Cardinal. What's the source of this information?" There will soon have to be a conversation with Mr. Bonder, quite possibly one of the sort was held with Agent Carmichael, Cat decides.

"Ah." A hint of embarassment, and Cardinal slants a look over to Cat, "You never heard any of this from me, right? She's already pretty fuckin' pissed at me. Vice versa, too, but— "

She. That's a start. "Of course," Cat replies calmly.

Cardinal coughs into his hand, "Elisabeth's been dating him. He's been tailing her. She just found out. I'm lookin' into him, but, I kind of figured she wouldn't have mentioned this… little fact… to you guys."

Her reply is laughter. It's more hearty than a chuckle, but less so than finding something hilarious. More like a reflection of being impressed and amused at the same time. "So the person asked to look into his background is in turn checked out by the mark, and he learned some details. That's very… resourceful of Mr. Alec Bonder. Thank you, sir, for sharing this with me.

"Just take it easy on Liz," says Cardinal with more than a touch of rue threaded through his tone, "She's had a lot've stress lately." A pause, and he adds more sharply from where he's leaning against the wall, "…but do not fuckin' tell her I said that, I'm still pissed at her for throwin' Izzy in Moab."

A nod. "It'll be a fire to put out when or if Isabelle sees her next. Elisabeth told me the story, that they were given a tip someone involved in the thirty-six was at her bar and Isabelle was named. She didn't add it up with the firemaker who was with us on Staten Island until she saw her, and then it was too late. Fire was flying. The whole thing made me wonder if maybe someone in the PD was testing to see how she'd react, toying with her, or if it was an attempt to have us fighting against each other."

"Unfortunately, Isabelle chose to make with the flames before there was any chance to demonstrate she didn't have the ability she'd been accused of."

Cat glances at the still sealed envelope with the print of Dual, opting to not open it yet.

"I can believe that," Cardinal admits, sinking against the wall with a disgruntled sound in the back of his throat, "I'm still pissed off 'bout it, though. Fuckin' cops. Oh, hey, since I'm givin' you all this other information— any chance you could run a background check on this other guy I've been hired t'find?" Time for a subject change!

"Who's the subject?" Cat asks with some mild curiosity surfacing. Her mind turns briefly back to the topic of Linderman, then Alec Bonder, and the sighting of her mother in the city three days earlier. There are a number of things being mulled over in spots, with the attack on Moab coming tomorrow. That will be priority, other things get added to the list.

"Some small-time crook," Cardinal admits, "Not exactly priority, just if you have a free moment— " A grin curves to his lips, as if he knows just how unlikely that is, "— name's Maury Parkman. No relation to the Agent, I'm told, just a coincidence."

Unfortunately for Cardinal, Matt Parkman is full of lies.

She has to wonder. Are there really any coincidences? She comes to New York and meets the youngest scion of the Petrellis, her lover goes to work for Linderman after that debacle when she tried to investigate him, then Peter goes to prison and his brother becomes President after all their work to keep Rickham safe. Then she goes to interrogate a DHS agent and finds out he works for Roger Goodman. Goodman, in turn, works for Arthur Petrelli, allegedly. But Arthur is supposed to be dead. Is it really Arthur, or someone claiming to be him? Unknown. Cat makes a mental note to ask Peter directly tomorrow, if she gets a chance, whether or not he actually saw the body. And now she's asked to look into a man named Parkman, who isn't related to Matt Parkman. But, the woman decides, that has to be a common enough name in the English language. So common as to be a real coincidence.

"I'll get him checked out. Any idea what he looks like?"

The buzzing hum of a cell phone on vibrate catches Cat's attention before it catches Cardinal's, due to its proximity to her body. It's an unexpected interruption from the line of questioning in Parkman geneaology. The biggest surprise is that it isn't the phone she uses to contact Phoenix, but rather a legitimate cell phone she's had in her possession since coming to New York, one not weighed down by the illicit activies of Evolved freedom fighters.

One that no one ever calls her on.

"I'm not— " Oh, that's her phone. Cardinal glances down to the direction of the buzz, a single brow lifting over the edge of his shades as he notes with a hint of amusement, "— you got a call, I think."

"Yes," Cat answers simply as fingers pull the device off her hip and hold it up so she can see the display. An iPhone, with the accept and decline buttons at the bottom. But it's the name and number Cat looks for in deciding whether or not to take it, as the thing vibrates again in her palm. Split-focus, at the same time she's addressing Mr. Red Bird again. "That would be helpful, if there's a description."

"I wish I had one for you," Cardinal gives his head a bit of a shake, "It's no big deal, really, like I said— jus' a favor for a friend, I've already got Liz pulling the guy's file. Just figured I'd ask, 'case you'd heard of him already, or anything."

The voice on the other end brings back just as many memories as Cat might have guessed it would, a flood of memories of younger years and different times, all accompanying "Hey Kitty," she hasn't been called that, by him, in a very long time. "It's dad." The tightness in the voice of the man on the other end of the phone is readily evident, and when a man as stoic as Mason Chesterfield shows even a sign of emotional discord, it's a noted event. In all of her life, Cat can count only a handful of times she witnessed her father show raw emotion, and while this is not quite on the same level of reaction, he's trying to hide being choked up none the less.

"I just… I'm sorry for interrupting you, I— just wanted to see how you were doing." Unlike her father in nearly every way, these thoughts of concern and parental responsibility once shirked over a disagreement on how he saw her future. "With— You know how everything in the city is. I… " He clears his throat, tries to play it quiet and calm, "I just wanted to be sure you're alright."

That this particular line was called is a surprise in itself, added to by the name seen there which had prompter Cat to tap the area marked answer. She raised the device to her face, using one finger of her other hand to indicate 'just a moment, I have to take this' for Cardinal. Then she listened as he began without her having a chance to even say hello, adding a little to the unusualness of all this. It's surreal, and her mind becomes a whirlwind. The sight of her mother in the city three days before flashes into her mind's eye, and now this. Sounding like that. It provokes, among the images surfacing, the recollection of a conversation with Doctor Edward Ray on the nineteenth of December.

What has the ability he clued Mason Chesterfield's daughter in on told him, which prompted this call and the rawness of his voice, the day before she's taking part in storming a Federal prison? There's a delay of extended seconds before she speaks.

"Dad," Cat starts, sounding confused. And she called him Dad, not the standard term Father conversations with him usually feature. "I'm okay. What, what's going on?" Hell, she has to even wonder if he might be the one Alec Bonder allegedly works for. Angles and agendas, knowing her father has some form of probability perception only complicates things. "Are you okay? You sound like something upset you."

To Cardinal, there is evidence of things being out of sorts on her face. She looks visibly and clearly like she's trying to figure something out.

At the look upon the woman's face and the way she answers the phone, Cardinal's head cants a little to one side, brow furrowing in subtle lines. First she was fretting about her mother, now her father called? Clearly family business, but he lingers to listen in anyhow. He hasn't been waved away, after all.

"I'm fine I'm just— work has been inordinately stressful as of late, perhaps I'm cracking in my old age, mmn?" He tries to pass off anxiety behind a vaneer of polished calm, one that is too clear-coated to hide all of the cracks in his vocal exterior, the tells a daughter sees in her own father after so many years.

"I had meant to call you sooner," it comes off as a bit dismissive, as if he had more important things to attend to. It's usually how it was, and presumably how it still is, "but your mother and I are in New York currently, presumably for the next few months at the least." Then again, some things change faster than others, "I— don't have any delusions of you coming to visit, but I just, I thought I should just check in on you, see if there's anything you need." Something he can buy her to alleviate any sense of parental obligation for another year or longer.

"Where are you staying?" she asks, filing away the confirmation of their presence in the city among the right wikipedia of data stored in Cat's brain. Does he know she knows? It's not something she told him she'd learned. Yet. It's considered; how does this bode for the raid tomorrow? Maybe not at all, he didn't tell her to stay home, after all. But that could also be admitting something he doesn't want to let on about. So she undertakes to test the waters, to let him warn without having to admit warning. It's a fleeting thought in her mind, just before speaking, that if he really does have what the MIT physicist claimed he does, he may have some idea in advance just what she's about to say.

"I can come see you on Wednesday afternoon, Dad. I'm intensely busy tomorrow. I'd only be able to shuffle things around if something dire came up."

"No it— nothing dire." His tone changes notably, avoidant and distant once again. In the background, the chime of an elevator sounds out with clarity, "Nothing dire at all, Kitty. I…" His words stumble and falter, "it should have waited until I was more rested, I think Wendy was— " Wendy? Just as quickly as he spills the name, it's caught between his teeth and any further detail robbed. "I should go," he says abruptly, "I'll— we'll speak again, yes? I'm sure your mother can arrange a time and place for us to meet, once she's less preoccupied."

Only the briefest of pauses precedes his final words to her, "It… was nice talking to you, dear," followed by the abrupt click on the other end, and the face of the phone reading call ended. A call that, by and large, is the most profoundly confusing one Cat has ever had with her father.

She stares, just stares, at the phone in her hand; lowering it at the sudden termination. Her mouth opens a time or two, and the eyes show a trace of confusion. Her mind goes to work on those parting comments. Wendy. A name. She scans through her memory for anything connecting that name with her parents. What about Wendy?

"Family troubles?" Cardinal knits his brows a bit, watching her expression with curiousity — but not really that much concern. It isn't as if they know each other terribly well, after all, and God knows he has enough else to worry about.

Nothing clicks on that angle that seems pertinent to any current affairs. But what does surface in her head is a conversation held on the Deveaux Building roof between Cat, Helena, and Gillian. The augmentor labeled the leader Windy, because she produced wind at their first encounter. Dorchester Towers, Agent Woods thought Helena was Sylar and only the gust saved them from being darkholed. Worse than that, she recalls vividly. That same wind knocked Peter out and prevented him from going nuclear a second time, saving Cat from having to shoot him in the brain with the agent's gun.

Is Helena going to get shot dead in this assault? They're coming. This won't change that. Cat will just have to keep alert and find the weathermaker fast, yell at her to duck.

With that decision made and the thoughts still lingering in her head, she regains some awareness of Cardinal being nearby. It's been demonstrated for him that her armor can so easily be displaced by her father. To be seen so is disquieting further. Eyes come to rest on him as she puts the phone back at her hip and straightens. Poise recovered, the armor goes back into place. Nothing is said to further confirm or deny family issues.

"Maury Parkman, no description," she remarks. "And you need a thorough researching of Linderman." That manila envelope still remains unopened.

A slight nod, Cardinal's chin dipping just a bit in acknowledgement of her words. "Parkman's low priority," he reminds her, even as his stance shifts to push away from the wall - just enough so he's on both feet - and he tucks his hands away in the pockets of his jacket. A rueful smile touches his lips then, and he allows, "Good luck tomorrow."

"Thank you," is Cat's simple reply. "I'll be in touch." She turns then and begins to clear the area headed for home. She won't let on any further, enough has been displayed and then some tonight, but the steely confidence she'd worked herself up to hold of the action being successful has been dented.

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