Assembling The Puzzle


cat_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif helena_icon.gif sal_icon.gif

Scene Title Assembling The Puzzle
Synopsis Cat is retrieved. There are pieces to find and put together.
Date June 12, 2009

New York City, Hartford, and New York City on the return.

Hartford is the capital of the State of Connecticut. It is located in Hartford County on the Connecticut River, north of the center of the state, 24 miles (39 km) south of Springfield, Massachusetts. Its 2006 population of 124,512 ranks Hartford as the state's second-largest city, after Bridgeport. New Haven, 40 miles (64 km) to the south, has a population nearly identical to that of Hartford. Greater Hartford is also the largest metro area in Connecticut and 45th largest in the country (2006 census estimate) with a metropolitan population of 1,188,841.

Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", Hartford houses many of the world's insurance company headquarters, and insurance remains the region's major industry. Almost 400 years old, Hartford is among the oldest cities in the United States, and following the American Civil War, Hartford took the mantle of the country's wealthiest city from New Orleans. In 1868, Mark Twain exclaimed: "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see, Hartford is the chief".

With a new convention center and hotel, a nearly completed science center, the reclaimed riverfront, and an infusion of residential and commercial ventures in the city, Hartford has begun to attract new development, especially downtown, after years of relative stagnation. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest public park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public), and until its recent closure, the sixth-oldest opera company in the nation (Connecticut Opera).

In 2004, the Hartford metropolitan area ranked second per capita for economic activity, behind San Francisco, California. Hartford is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and generates more economic activity than sixteen U.S. states.

On Friday afternoon, once R.Ajas is gives Helena the address of the hospital Cat is currently at, she runs out and bangs on Delilah's door. Upon getting the redhead's attention, Helena tells her to come along without delay and she'll get who else she needs via phone. The only disguise Helena opts for is a hat and sunglasses as they head for Helena's boat - one procured for Phoenix back to Staten Island, and while en route she calls Sal, telling him to meet her and Delilah at Chicago Air. When they finally convene that's when Helena offers up the details.

"Cat got a call from someone she thought was her father, telling her that Arthur Petrelli is dangerous and that they should meet at her house in Hartford. Except now that house is burning down in flames as we speak and Cat's in a nearby hospital. We need to make sure she's okay and get her out if necessary - Fedor's got a chopper waiting for us, and we can be there in just under an hour. Sal, do you think you can give me a hair color change while we're en route? Sunglasses and a hat are going to scream suspiscious in a hospital."

"Who's Arthur Petrelli?" Sal's shown up, as requested, though the doc still looks fairly understandably ill at ease. He hasn't done anything with Phoenix yet that didn't involve tending a clinic. And considering what he was entrusted with got stolen, well, his confidence is not particularly high. He also appears a bit distracted, like his mind is somewhere else.

But he nods to Helena's request. "Not a problem. I can make you look like anyone you want." A small, tired sort of smile twitches. "And I promise I can put you right again."

Nothing like 'Cat's in trouble' to get Delilah moving; she's become attached to Catherine in the first place, and now that things had progressed with Helena and Phoenix, Cat is practically a mentor figure. When the two meet with Sal at Chicago Air(one more place to mark on the head-map), Delilah is to say the least- harried. For Cat's sake, and because aside from tagging jobs, this is her first real tag-along.

"What he said." Pulling her hair back into a tail, Delilah is quick to back up that 'Who is Arthur Petrelli?' from Sal, eyeing the two in turn when Helena requests some …color changes? It does make her wonder what it is that Sal can do, but there is not really time for finding that out.

"I want her to be able to recognize me, but I'm not keen on anyone else doing so. Can you give me a color close to Cat's? It'll be more believably if I tell them I'm her sister." She'll make sure she's seated in front of Sal so he can do things to her hair and eyebrows en route even as she explains. "Arthur Petrelli is Peter Petrelli's father. He's also the big man in charge of Pinehearst. He's extremely dangerous, his ability involves being able to touch you and steal your power. Most of the world thinks he's dead. Given the message, I'm sure he's involved with this, though I don't know if he was at the house or just ordered it. But obviously it was a setup."

"I…think I missed reading files somewhere. Who's Peter Petrelli? And what's Pinehearst?" Sal's just the doc. His brows arch together and he glances towards Delilah to see if she gets any more than he does. "T -…" he stops, "…no one's really briefed me on anything."

If Helena takes his hand when it's offered, the change happens within about twenty seconds. Hair's easy compared to rearranging someones' face and he's getting faster at that, too. He matches the shade of her hair to Cat's as best as he can remember, though he's only met her in passing a few times.

Dee gets to huddle in the seat behind Helena, next to Sal, pulling the thin hooded jacket she is wearing closed. Zippers are easy to play with, but she's trying to stop that. Sal's glance over gets nothing more than a blink. Don't look at me!

"I hear bits and pieces, but I'd say I'm on his boat. But I'm sharp enough to not like this guy already." The redhead's lips thin together, but her consternation with The Mystery Men lasts only as long as it takes Sal to start changing Helena's hair color- at which point she does stare, first at Helena's hair, and then at Sal. Holy crap! Walking Chargen?

"Thank you, Sal." Helena can't help but note ruefully, "Wish I had a mirror. The Catabase has information on both of them, but Peter, he's - well." There's a faint flush. "Let's get Cat, and then we can get back to HQ. It'll be Dee's first trip there. Oh, and Delilah, this is Sal, Sal, Delilah. Sal, you might need to be doctor-y when we get in there, I'm not sure." She'll fill in what she can about what Pinehearst is and who Peter is until they land, and take a five minute taxi to the hospital.

Sal is not usually sullen and quiet, though given this is the first time he and Delilah have met, she's bound to think he is. He does give her a small grin and a murmur of, "I can fix anything I change fairly easily," as he gathers that instant dyejob her a little uneasy.

He listens to Helena's explanation as attentively as he can over the noise of the chopper. He looks tired, quite frankly. Tired in a way a good night's sleep won't fix.

Even if he is- and even if Dee thinks he is like this all the time- Sal is still bound to get the same exact fluffy friendliness as everyone else. And of course he does, quite possibly during the whole segment of time after Helena finishes the explanations for them until they land again. Why? Because he is the one sitting next to her. If Helena was there, she'd be easier to talk at too. Luck of the draw, Sal ol'buddy ol'pal.

It hurts. She hurts all over, some areas worse than others. The purple dress she's in has numerous tears. Bare arms below the short sleeves have bruises and a few shallow cuts visible. The largest of those bruises is on her left forearm, and it looks swollen. More cuts can be seen on her back where the dress is torn, some others are on the woman's legs. There are pieces of a bush stuck here and there in her hair as well.

Parked by itself, a fair degree of space left between it and others nearby, Cat's 2008 Dodge Neon, purple in color, can be seen on the taxi's approach to the hospital. The dome light is on, one of the doors are open, she's on the passenger side with a hand in the glove compartment as the clock closes in on 19:00. Her left arm is held close to her body as if being protected and the right hand has a few documents in its grip as she settles onto the seat with her legs outside the vehicle. These documents she begins to look over with a confused, scared, and angry expression to her features.

Helena is the first one out of the car, and makes a bee-line for Cat. "Jesus," she breathes. "Cat, oh god, Cat? Are you okay?" Once she's near the car door she squats next to the other woman, furtively checking her over to make sure she's not much worse than she appears. "What happened? Did Arthur send people after you? Was he there? Did he take your ability?"

Once it's obvious that someone has been injured, Sal grabs for the backpack he brought with him and moves towards the car. Gently, he sets a hand on Helena's shoulder and pushes her back. "Let me have a look, please."

It's like someone threw a switch in the back of Sal's skull. He was sullen and quiet a moment ago, but injury puts him into doctor mode. If Helena and Cat both cooperate, he'll start assessing her injuries.

If Delilah wasn't a half step behind Helena, she probably would have been in Sal's way too, but for now the redhead hovers in peripherals. "Hell, were you attacked by Ents too?" It looks like someone dropped her out of a tree, so Delilah's mouth runs a bit faster than her brain. It could be worse. Brown eyes turn over towards the hospital, which is examined for any possible reaction from the people inside. It doesn't look like Cat has gone in, so there's always a chance someone could come running out, right?

One might guess, by the way she's holding that left arm and the choice made in parking her car here away from other cars and at a slightly odd angle, Cat had some trouble driving with precision. The hospital emergency room entrance is about half the lot away, and there doesn't seem to be anyone running in that direction. When the trio reach her, she's staring in disbelief at what looks like a car title and registration. The corner of her driver's license is visible at the stack's bottom, the photo can be clearly seen. Under that is the edge of her iPhone.

It isn't hard to start assessing her injuries, the bruises and swelling on her left forearm are easy to see, as are some of the marks on her legs. But the cuts to her back are concealed, what with Cat being seated and facing outward.

She hadn't noticed them coming up to her, caught up as she is with the documents being stared at. Helena's voice makes her jump, and her features intensify. Fear and anger. Wide eyes shift from one to another and another among the three and she perhaps seeks to bolt away from the passenger seat, but stays put because they're in the path. "Who the hell are you people?!" she demands. Helena is stared at as if she had two heads.

Helena steps back out of the way. "Cat," she stares, appalled. "I'm Helena - I know my hair's different, but I promise, it's me. And you know Delilah and Sal. How can you not know us? Look at your iPhone. My number is in there, and so is Delilah's probably. Let Sal look at you please, he's a doctor, don't you remember?"

"She could be in shock," Sal says to Helena. "Cat, I want you to relax, all right? I'm a doctor. I want to make sure that it's safe to move you, then we'll get you into the hospital." His voice is soothing. The doc's got an excellent bedside manner no matter what face he's wearing. "Can you hear us all right? Are you in pain?"

He won't touch her if she's going to flinch away. But if she doesn't, all he does is gently assess the severity of her injuries.

Delilah is always stuck saying whatever nobody wants to hear, frowning visibly as she watches Helena and Sal try to tend to Cat. "Shock, maybe- that, or whassis-face stole her ability." The ability of Memory. Memory that probably manifested when she was younger. It would be like losing the most recent data off of a drive- only in Cat's case, it could be years of data! Not good.

Her eyes latch onto Helena's face and study it, the anger seeming to ease a bit, but the confusion remains. "iPhone," Cat murmurs, as she eases the device out from the bottom of things in her right hand. The left moves to pull it out, a thing quickly abandoned with a gasp and a grimace. She instead lets the documents fall into her lap and holds the item up with her right. "This thing? Is iPhone what it's called? It's got this picture in one corner that says iPod, and one in the other bottom corner saying Phone. It's mine, I mean my name is in it among the settings, but… there aren't any numbers at all in here."

Then she's angry and confused again. "Nothing makes frickin' sense! It's the middle of October 2002, I'm a nineteen year old sophomore at Yale! But this,"

Her eyes latch onto Helena's face and study it, the anger seeming to ease a bit, but the confusion remains. "iPhone," Cat murmurs, as she eases the device out from the bottom of things in her right hand. The left moves to pull it out, a thing quickly abandoned with a gasp and a grimace. She instead lets the documents fall into her lap and holds the item up with her right. "This thing? Is iPhone what it's called? It's got this picture in one corner that says iPod, and one in the other bottom corner saying Phone. It's mine, I mean my name is in it among the settings, but… there aren't any numbers at all in here."

Then she's angry and confused again. "Nothing makes frickin' sense! It's the middle of October 2002, I'm a nineteen year old sophomore at Yale! But this," she holds up the driver's license, "says I'm twenty-six and I live in New York City. And these," the title and registration, "say I own this car since 2008. I've never seen it before, and it's frickin' '02!"

"Earlier I was in class, wishing I was out playing guitar, suffering through boring ass PoliSci crap, next thing I know I'm at home, and nothing's right. House is all dusty, some old guy heaves me out the window, then the place is on fire and the only car around is this weird thing! And now you three show up knowing my name!"

"He took her power, and with her power, he took her memory." says Helena, appalled. As gently as possible, "Cat, it is 2009, and you are twenty-six years old. The man who attacked you is named Arthur Petrelli, and he took your memory away. You've been hurt very badly, and if you would please let us take care of you, we will, and we'll get this fixed." She looks at Sal. "Any chance we can just take her home? It might be wiser to avoid the hospital. I have a healer I can contact, we've got the funds to make it worth his while."

"I can't tell how severe it is by just looking. The superficial injuries don't seem that serious, but she may have a head injury." Sal pulls out a small pen light and shifts on the seat across from her. "Cat, I need you to look at me, and look into this light, all right? I need to see if you have a concussion. We're going to make sure you're taken care of."

Sal conjures up training from his ER days. He knows how to talk to people who have been through traumatic experiences. And losing seven years sure counts as trauma. He'll worry about the implications of that later. Right now, he has a patient to tend to.

Told you so! Delilah wishes it wasn't such a bad thing to be right about, though. Bad day for Cat, in the gentlest terms. "Should I go get someone from the building?" The teenager jabs a thumb in a motion over to the hospital. "Just in case? Or should we get her out of here as soon as possible?"

She lets her eyes wander around the three of them again before returning to fixate on Helena, and her voice loses some of the distressed tone. "I… There's so much static in my head. Fragments of faces, things that are a mess, that don't make any sense. The only things I can be sure of are being nineteen and in year two at Yale. The house, there's supposed to be staff, but it was all dusty like no one had been there in a long time. Can't reach Father or Mother, they're in the south of France. Lawyers will get them, I guess, or the insurance people who work for him, if I can't eventually. The house… it's probably gone," Cat laments. While speaking, Cat cooperates with Sal's attempt to assess whether or not she's concussed, and there's no evidence of it.

Her eyes shift over to Delilah. "ER's all crowded. People with heart attacks and strokes, sick babies," the woman murmurs. "It'll take hours to get seen, so I came out here, trying to figure things out." Sal is glanced at briefly, before Helena gets her attention again.

"I really live in New York City, at…" she lifts the license again, "Apartment 101, Dorchester Towers? I found keys, and keycards like hotels have in here too." A pause follows, she muses and murmurs. "Powers, Arthur Petrelli, stolen memories…" The head shakes side to side several times. "I'm not crazy," she asks quietly, fearfully, "if I believe that guy who threw me out the window never touched me, he just flicked his fingers like brushing lint of a suit coat? And all this static, these snippets I can't really make anything of…" Her head leans forward into her right hand, the left is still held aside carefully.

On the floor inside the car is a set of keys with the Chrysler emblem on one and a keyfob for locking and unlocking doors.

Helena says gently, "We know where you live, Cat. Let us take you home, and we'll get you taken care of. If it was Arthur Petrelli, then he did touch you at some point and you just don't remember." Because her ability is her memory, so it makes perfect sense to Helena. "Let us take you home…we can move your car for pickup later, and we've got a helicopter waiting that can take us back to the city. Will you come with us?"

"I think she's safe to be moved. I can bandage her up back at the infirmary. Nothing looks too serious." Sal drops back, moves out of the car to give Helena room to talk to her. He barely knew Cat to begin with, so he doesn't imagine he'd be the one to jog her memory if any memory still exists. He zips up his backpack and slings it over one shoulder, then glances to Delilah. Weird.

Delilah is only able to give Helena a look as if to say 'hey, if she doesn't come, I'm bigger than her…', but really she is hoping it does not come to that. "Even if your memories are gone, I guarantee you'll feel safer with us, back home." They came all this way to get her and they're not leaving without +1 Cat.

She places the documents and iPhone back into the glove compartment, then closes it, before picking the keys up off the floor and holding them out toward Helena. "You drive," she says, swinging legs into the car and reaching for the door so she can close it. "I want to see where I allegedly live." The voice is quieter, she seemingly calmer now. Most likely, though, she's still trying to make sense of everything in silence behind her eyes for some moments.

"That old guy, I could swear he just gestured with his hand," she flicks her fingers, "and I flew out the window."

Helena gets into the drivers' seat, unlocking the back for Sal and Delilah to get in. "Probably better for us to take her back to the Village." Helena notes to Sal. "If you don't mind seeing to her there. Delilah, you wouldn't mind staying with her, would you? When we get back, I'm probably going to have to take care of some business. Because effectively, Leo and I are all that's left reliably of Phoenix leadership." Once they're in and safe, Helena pulls out of the parking lot.

"Sure, whatever's easiest," says Sal. "I think I have everything I need to patch her up in my kit." He doesn't try to jog Cat's memory or reassure her about anything. That seems like a job for someone who knows her better. So he just goes silent and picks over the content of his backpack to confirm that yes, he has what he needs with him.

Time for a trip! At least, a short one. Delilah crawls in with the rest, and provided that Cat is still in the front passenger seat, Dee is behind her with a hand trying to rest gingerly on the woman's shoulder ahead of her. "I can stay with her. I can change bandages and what not if I need to, too."

She may need a cast for that left arm, it may be broken, and some cleaning for the cuts, but it doesn't seem stitches are needed in the event Helena isn't able to locate a healer. Cat stays quiet for the trip back to New York City, adrift in trying to make since of things, see if she can sort out any of the fragments without coherence. Perhaps starting to train herself to access whatever of it can be reached without the benefit of ability.

Her introspection ends, however, when they near Midtown and she catches sight of how things stand there. The eyes grow wide, her jaw drops open, and she whispers in shock.

"What the hell happened to this great city?"

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