Blasts From The Past...


f_cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif

Scene Title Blasts From The Past…
Synopsis … are what Cat finds when she visits Elisabeth.
Date April 8, 2019

Dorchester Towers, Elisabeth's apartment

There's a voice mail message on her phone, one which had come while she was in the shower.

Later in the morning of April 8, 2019 the message is still present when she picks up her phone, having neglected it while working on something. Nothing is wrong with Cam, Cat believes, because there was just one message. If it were a crisis involving him there'd have been several. So instead of returning the call she gets coffee and a copy of the day's New York Times then makes her way to Dorchester Towers.

Ten years later, it still has an effect on her to be here. Memories are triggered just seeing the place. At the elevator she pauses and looks down the hallway at the door to apartment 101, which she still keeps but doesn't use, before she presses the up button.

Less than a minute later she's on the fifth floor, and knocks on the door to Special Agent Harrison's apartment. Hopefully the FBI agent is at home.

It's not so much that Helena's asleep. She took captivity of one of Elisabeth's spare bedrooms last night and proceeded to cry herself to sleep. Now she's in that level of consciousness where one is aware of their environment, but not fully committed to being wakeful. The moreso Helena, because wakefulness would constitute dealing with what's beyond the door of the bedroom, and Helena really, really doesn't want to do that.

Besides, this is the first night she's had in a proper bed in nearly three months. It's almost too soft. Either way, if she can stay here forever, she doesn't have to face how life has rushed past her, the bitter price she's been forced to pay for her freedom. The knock on the door may have been heard, but she doesn't answer, in part because she doesn't want to, but mostly because it's not her home.

Elisabeth may be busy, and anyone else in there still asleep, but there is at least one resident who isn't. Cameron hears the knock, but doesn't go to the door at first. He doesn't know who's out there. But then a female voice he knows very well comes through, and on hearing it he opens up. "Cat!" he calls out, throwing arms around her waist. She seems very much a hit with the seven year old.

She bends down to his height, rather lack of height, and tousles the boy's hair. "Hey, Cam," she starts. "Mom's getting dressed or in the shower?"

"I dunno," he tells her. "We got company! Somebody's in the guest room." And the boy's off to the couch, trying to drag her with him.

Mary Grace comes back out of the kitchen carrying Cam's backpack, exasperated. "Cameron Harrison, you're not supposed to open the door!" She looks up at Cat and smiles, "Sorry Dr. Chesterfield. We're getting out of your hair. He forgot his lunch for the museum field trip today, so we popped back to grab it."

Cat laughs. "She'll come out when she's ready. So… You know, the Fender company's coming out with a new model soon. I can maybe get it before most people do. You want?"

Helena won't be ready anytime soon. Not in a year, not in ten years, not in a million years. At least, that's how she feels right now. She's awake enough to form coherent thoughts. Create sentence structures. Reluctantly her eyes open, gummy with sleep and weeping. For a moment, all she does is stare at the ceiling without sitting up. Then she turns her head and faces the window a moment. With a groan, she pulls the covers over her head, curls herself in a fetal ball, and it starts all over again. She cannot face this day, the rest of her life, even knowing so much beauty and so much good came out of her life, for the price that was paid. And her freedom, too. It's a childish thought, that forms in her mind: she must have been bad, for God to punish her so.

"Really!" The boy is excited by this prospect. He still has the red Stratocaster Cat gave him when he wasn't even two years old. Since then he's become very musical under his own steam.

"Yes," Cat tells him. And she smiles. "So… the guest, who is it?"

The boy wrinkles his nose a bit. "I dunno! I saw a picture of her once. Some blonde lady. She's cryin'," he confides to his godmother, chewing at his lower lip and fidgeting a little.

She absently tousles the boy's head again and walks toward the guest room. The door to it slowly opens, Cat stands in the doorway and looks for herself. "Get to school, you don't want to miss your field trip."

Mary Grace hustles Cam back out the front door without pause, they're already late.

Helena doesn't hear the door. She doesn't hear the door because she is crying, feeling sorry for herself, having a pity party. Whatever one might want to call it. The blanket is still over her head, but the curvature of her fetal position is apparent under the blanket, as is the muffled sound of her tears.

The voice she speaks with, addressing the curled up person under blankets is quiet, but curious mixing with mild confusion. Cat takes what the child told her seriously, and she's come to check it out. Two steps forward into the room, one hand closes the door behind her, then the voice is heard. "Who are you?" she asks. "And why are you crying?"

The crying halts, a hand coming out furtively at the top of the blanket, followed by a head. And Cat is greeted with the sight of an underfed, hollow-eyed Helena, looking much like she did when Cat first saw her in the doorway at Moab - minus the bruises and cuts and supplimental damage of the event. Cat can surely recall it with crystal clarity. Helena stares at her, tries to smile, but it's more like her lips twitch in a way that desperately wants to and just can't commit. "Cat, I - "

She's frozen when the woman uncovers and looks at her, when she sees the face. Her mouth drops open, the jaw closes and repeats the process a few times. It may well be the only occasion she's seen Cat made speechless. The sight does register, very much.

In Cat's mind it plays out again, the raid as it happened in this timeline which failed. She sees Helena standing there in the doorway, and the guard behind her who clubbed her over the head with a rifle butt, then two others dragging her back inside to continued imprisonment as the yard began to swarm over with security personnel, the moment she'd known it was all a bust and her heart sank.

The differences between this one and that are minimal, she assesses. Aside from that one being dead now, of course. Her voice returns after a long stretch of seconds in undetermined quantity.

"Tell me something only you and I know about." Because she knows well how people can be impersonated, as does Helena. They nearly got darkholed together because of such acts once, outside this very apartment building.

Helena blinks at her a moment, and then the light dawns. Oh. She considers. "The firs time I heard you play and sing, it was at the Surly Wench. Dani was there, and you did 'I Fought The Law'." She wipes at her eyes, waits to see if that passes muster. It is morning, and Helena is in one of Elisabeth's spare bedrooms, still in bed, and looking rather miserable for it. Cat is standing and looking shocked.

It's a start. And an avenue to further surety. "Dani," she muses, her features solemn. No offense to Helena, but as to the dead people she most wants to see again, the slain companion is tops and always will be. So Cat inquires "She learned something we kept from her. What was that, and how did it get out?" That, Cat's certain, will be something only they know between them. The playing of a song and the location, well anyone could've seen that by being in the crowd.

Helena's eyes threaten to spill again at the mention of Peter. "He'd lost his memories. We were in his apartment, and she heard the truth about the bomb." The tears start to spill. "I can't do this right now. It's me, and if you don't believe me, just - " she can't even finish the sentence, because it's Cat, because the last time she saw the woman, Cat had been trying to rescue her. She deserves better than just get out.

Jessica comes out of one of Liz's rooms. The tall blonde looks over. Helena she knows, Cat she doesn't. "Helena?" She asks, coming out in time just to see the Phoenixette near crying.

"You're you," Cat replies, her voice quieter, stunned again. "You're really you. Oh, my god." Her legs fold up and she's sinking to sit rather heavily on the floor. The flood of memory comes, flashing her back to the eighteenth of May, 2011, the last time she spoke with the woman, heard her voice. Her eyes go distant, the telltale sign of Cat having a trip of this variety. And it all plays out again. Speech. Explosion. Rebar. Blood. Death."

She doesn't seem to hear Jessica behind her, this woman Miss Sanders might remember coming into Old Lucy's one morning and playing guitar briefly when Niki was in charge of the body.

Helena puts her hands to her face and starts to cry in earnest. It's a lot of things, truthfully. It's the ten years stolen from her, and the news about Peter. It's Conrad's death. It's being barely twenty and imprisoned and being witness to Alex's mind going and the multiple times in which Verse violated her mind, over and over again. And now it's the shock on Cat's face, and the sudden feeling, however true or false that it may be, that she has no one left. She curls into a tight ball, rocking a little as she weeps and trembles, almost choking on her own sobs.

Honestly, if it were Niki, she'd go console Helena. But Jessica's the sort who when she sees an epileptic having a seizure in a bathtub, throws her laundry in. So she directs it to Cat. "What's going on?"

The voice coming from behind her breaks the imagery she'd been awash in, and Cat turns. What follows is something of the thing that happened when she saw the martyr in bed, being other than deceased. "You too?" she asks. "I'd like to know the answer to that myself," she murmurs, pushing up to sit on the edge of that bed.

Cameron, fortunately, has wandered back to his room and doesn't see Jessica at all.

"How did you get here?" It's directed to both of them.

Helena cannot speak. She's deep in the middle of catharthis, and it's not like it's over in a minute. She's clearly not ready to answer questions.

The tall blonde heads over now as well, moving to Helena. Yet more un-terroristy-leader behavior. She looks to Helena. "Shake it off." She says, harsh and firm. "Crying isn't gonna help." Jessica's about as sympathetic as Hiro is angstful.

For her part, Cat is insightful. Helena curled up in bed and crying like this, this isn't like her. She can clearly recall how the two of them handled things in a similar fashion, to let as few people as possible see them vulnerable, stricken. They both would go off to be in private and let the waters flow, and if anyone discovered it happening, they'd act as if it hadn't.

So, she deduces, someone must've told her about Peter Petrelli being married. If Helena and tears are happening, he has to be in the mix somewhere. "You're stronger than this," she quietly asserts. "No matter what shocks you've suffered, you're Helena Dean, the girl/woman who went to prison for saving the world and got recognized as a hero."

It's not so harsh as Jessica's way, but the message is the same. Get a grip, woman.

It takes time. But Cat gets through a lot better than Jessica does, and with effort, Helena pulls herself together. Eventually she's still shaking a little, but the crying has stopped, and she's silent. She manages to dart an upward look at the pair, still not quite ready to talk, but it seems for the moment, there is an end to tears.

It's in that same vein of thought that Cat acts next. She knows the desire to let things out and be handled in solitude, and how Helena has done the same by retreating alone to the roof of the New York Public Library. Standing, she turns to Jessica. "The seed is planted, she's getting it together, now we let it grow and she comes to us."

Turning back briefly, she offers "When you're ready, I've a place for you and facts to share." In addition to her questions.

But there is also Jessica, who can perhaps answer those same questions. "We should talk," is her simple statement just before she exits the room.

Jessica frowns. But, better a discussion than here with the weepy. She moves to follow Cat.

The door is closed before Cat speaks again, in fact she gets to a spot where Cameron will be unaware of Jessica's presence first. This so does not need to get complicated by him hearing her voice. Out in the living room she asks two questions. "Which one are you, and how did you get here?"

A wry smile. Of course, the Niki Cat knew in the future was JUST Niki, having successfully reintegrated. "The same way Helena did. And Jessica."

Okay, that's progress. Partly. Her face is impassive. She was good with the poker faces back in the day, and so it is now, perhaps even more so. "I first met Niki just over ten years ago. She was bartending at Old Lucy's. I'd seen your body around a few times before that. Once there seemed to be a teenager in the driver's seat. Another time you were at the Surly Wench. Some guy got handsy and was quickly screaming in pain on the floor." Cat faces the woman, comparing the features with those she'd seen all those years back.

"Based on what I saw and heard in there, you've already been filled in about at least some of what's going on." That's not a question, it's an assessment. The question is "How did Helena get here?"

The assassin smirks a little, remembering that. "Good question. We were all breaking out of Moab, and then all of a sudden, we were here. Or now. How, that I couldn't tell you."

"Interesting," she answers. "Tell me about the raid. What, and who, did you see?" Cat's businesslike still, keeping facial evidence of her thoughts at bay still.

Jessica looks more amused than anything. "Annnd, you think I'm going to just tell you all this why?" It's a far cry from the sweet woman Cat knew.

"Because what seems to have happened is you came from the past, Jessica. You have to have, looking as young as you do, and being out of Moab on top of that. We tried to break people out of there ten years ago. It was a disaster. But, obviously, in the time frame you've come from things went rather differently. Maybe it can all be figured out. That requires sharing data."

"Unless you're not as curious as I am about why dead people are in front of me, walking, talking, and being not dead."

Jessica replies "I'm not dead. I may be to you. But not to me. And right now I've got other fish to fry. So if you want information, you're going to have to wash the other hand, as it were."

"Fair enough. What do you want, Jessica?" Cat, straight and to the point.

She replies "A friendly telepath. Or a friendly psychologist. Preferably the former."

A psychologist, Cat isn't. Though she's read on the subject a few times over the years and her knowledge is better than most, she's never been interested or unbusy enough to really absorb all she could to that art. And she isn't a telepath, but… This is 2019. "The Linderman Act is no more," she begins while moving to find something. "What took its place is called the Unity Act. Voluntary registration, and colleges set up to help people handle their talents. We're much better accepted than we were in your time. People now advertise their services and make a living from them out in the open."

Locating the phone book, she opens it and begins to leaf through the yellow pages. T… ta… te… tele. There it is. She indicates the page and steps away so Jessica can view it. Handing it over isn't much the happening thing. That's a New York City phone book, after all.

Jessica looks very dubious at the Yellow Pages listing. "Thanks, but I'd rather not put my brain in the hands of someone we don't trust, implicitly."

"I'll look into it and check some of these out," Cat states. "And beat the bushes for some who can be trusted to handle clandestine work, like not telling anyone he or she worked with someone certified dead." Her eyes rest on Jessica a few silent moments longer. It's unusual to come across a woman equal to her in height. "You're a very much it is what it is person."

Jessica can't help but smirk a bit. "I like to think of it as practical. I do what needs to be done."

"Been there, done that," Cat agrees. "So, the terms of this arrangement are that I find you a trustworthy telepath and you tell me what I'm curious about." She has to wonder what the goal is, if it's to be integrated again and stay here. If so, well, she'll be in need of Dr. Bianco's services too. But that can be covered another time. "What do you want the telepath to do, Jessica? It'll help, knowing that, to target the inquiries and find one who can both be trusted and is good at that type of work."

Jessica hesitates, and then decides the information is more good revealed than concealed. "Moab had a telepath. He mentally tortured people. Niki needs help."

This pulls Cat out of her poker face. A scowl forms. "Tell me you picked the mindrapist up by the legs and used him to punch through a wall." Her eyes drop back to the page as she scans it, memorizing the details there by simple sight before she looks up again.

Jessica shakes her head. "No. They had our powers surpressed. But Niki is catatonic. I can't reach her. She's going to need someone who can, to help her."

"So you don't need a telepath and a psychologist," Cat concludes. "You need someone who's both. Now, the guy who did this, I'd like his name so I can ask some questions and find out if he's in prison. If he isn't, well, he needs to be." Although dead for several years would be better.

Jessica shakes her head. "Never had his name. Just came in and tortured me trying to get information out about Phoenix." A dry tone. "Which is all the funnier, since they spit on my offer to help them."

"It was probably seen as a thing where you were broken out of Company holding by people who later formed Phoenix, then turned Company agent, and beat one of our people up looking for info you probably could just have asked for," Cat answers calmly. "We moved in dangerous circles, and trusting people associated with DHS didn't pay off very well. We shared intel we had on the Vanguard with Parkman. Now, either he had no influence over his fellows or he was in on it, but given what we had on them, DHS should've been there with us every step of the way to handle the job. Instead of leaving it to us and locking us up afterward."

But that's all in the past. She has the information she needs, and she's not about to argue much over things. "I'll start looking into this and get back to you." Then Cat exits.

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