Blasts From The Past... Part Two


f_cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif f_peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Blasts From The Past… Part Two
Synopsis In which Peter sees a dead woman.
Date March 15, 2019

Cat's penthouse at the Village Renaissance Building

There are three people she's aware of having the ability, and the sometimes curse, of never forgetting. Of those three, Cat believes, she's had it the longest. One stole it from the redhaired Texan waitress and is now a police officer. The other is a longtime friend who proposed to the woman whose mantle she took up in part after her death, then married another friend and used the same engagement ring.

She stands near the windows overlooking 4th Street in Greenwich Village, indulging that memory. Comparing how the area looked in 2009 with the sight now, and a smile forms. So much progress. Then she moves forward in time to 2011, the day the fourteen died. Those terrible images fill her mental vision, and the smile becomes a few shed tears.

Soon enough she jumps to the present and the matters at hand. Time travelers, keeping this world on course to exist, the problem of Elle Bishop… And the reunion of Peter and murdered fiancee.

Earbuds to the wireless iPhone are put in, and she speaks two words into the open air which are picked up by the microphone feature. "Call Peter."

It's a long time before Peter finally answers, but it's the first time calling him hasn't gone straight to voicemail. "Peter Petrelli," he answers, his tone of voice calm and business-like. It's been this way ever since Helena died, treating the members of Phoenix — people he used to call friends — like acquaintences, distancing himself from the people he once truly cared about, putting himself just beyond arm's reach. He truly was the isolationist that the media made him out to be.

"Peter, it's Cat," she begins after he picks up. "I've some things to talk over with you. Could you join me at the penthouse?" Her tone remains professional, calm. She continues to look out the windows at the Village below a few moments longer, then turns toward the door behind which Helena is concealed. "Some things have surfaced and I'm pondering solutions."

The only reason Helena is concealed right now is the very real possibility that Peter might simply teleport into the living room. And she really, really doesn't want him to go nuclear. So she waits in one of the adjacent rooms, the door slightly cracked so she can keep an eye and ear on the goings-on. Her chest feels tight, and she's oddly scared.

"Can it wait?" She should've expected as much, "I'm in Madagascar right now, there's a meeting with Pinehearst's board of directors and the Prime Minister in six hours… and…" he's reaching for an excuse, "Maybe you could call my office and leave a message with Miss Reid?" It's so much different from the way things were, to the way things became. A future at the cost of lives and friendship, a realization of the needs of the many over the needs of the few.

Can it wait? Well, truthfully, the people who came aren't going anywhere without help, so in that sense there's all kinds of time. But things need to happen just the same, and Cat knows this will be Peter's course no matter where he is when she calls. He'll try to stay distant, not have contact, because she knows how it works. He's a different person and may well have different motives, but she believes they're close enough to her own ways. Throw self into work, stay busy, try to avoid the triggers of memory and reviewing events. The panmnesiac's coping strategy, at least for Cat.

But this one has long ago reconciled with avoidance being as futile as resisting the Borg. It just has to be lived with.

"No," she tells him. "I really need to go over this with you, Peter."

A strained sigh groans out over the phone, "Look, Cat I— really have to be going. There's…" so much he wants to say, and none of it that will, "there's a lot going on here, and I need to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Just forward whatever it is you're working on to Kayla and I'll check it the moment I get back in the office. This is about the Chesterfield scholarship situation, right?" A rather keen assumption, but at the same time wrong.

He's turned into such a beaureaucrat.

Riiiiight. She's so not going to tell Kayla there are visitors from the past who need to be tended, and one of them is Helena Dean. Cat's eyes close and she looks ready to throw something. The voice tenses a bit as she states "No, this is another matter entirely. I have unexpected visitors, and the issues they raise are crucial. Now, I do understand you being busy. You've got six hours free right now, your meeting is that far away."
No matter how much things change, some things stay the same.

"What," Peter's voice is so much more present now, echoing both from the phone and from the direction of a strong gust of wind in the apartment where he spontaneously appears, "could possibly this important, Cat? We haven't spoken in months, and now you just…"

Peter Petrelli never knocks when he visits Cat.

Standing in the middle of her living room, Peter looks so much more than what he was the last time Helena saw him. Not a year has aged his face, and unlike everyone else she's met from the future, Peter remains almost exactly as she remembers him, albeit viewed through a crack in the doorway. The only difference, is the gold wedding band on his hand clutching a small mobile device, and the notable lack of a scar across his forehead. "You've got three minutes, and then I'm going to need to go back. Most people will overlook an uncharter inter-continental teleportation, but I can't just get away with that all the time. We have laws against that sort of thing now." Tucking the phone away, Peter slides one hand into the pocket of his pinstriped slacks, walking slowly across the room, dark eyes wandering the walls and furntiure. She's redecorated since he's been here last, it's jarring.

Helena's hands go to her mouth and press tight to suppress the noise that rises in her throat. She'd been prepared, or so she thought, to see Peter - a ten years older Peter. But not Peter, aged no older than he was when she met him. Groomed and well dressed and powerful, and looking like the man she knew he could be. She actually has to turn away from the door and press her back against the wall for a few moments, hands still to her mouth to keep herself from calling out, or walking out there and flinging herself at him. She closes her eyes a moment. I'll be right behind you. Then she swallows, opens her eyes, and turns back to the open space between door and frame, unable to keep from staring.

Three minutes. She gets right to the almost point. "Thanks for coming, Peter. Here it is: Last week a group of people from the past showed up. Elle Bishop is one of them, Jessica Sanders is another. There are eight in total. Of those I'm most concerned about, Elle's close to the top. If she makes her way back, she will likely try to stop Roger Goodman from cementing the downfall of Primatech."

A pause follows. "Another person in that group will shock you, Peter," she tells him quietly. "You should brace yourself for that."

There's a crook of Peter's head, brows raising as the facts as hammered down on him like a Judge's gavel declaring a death sentence. Peter looks around the room abruptly, then back to Cat, hands coming out of his pockets, every bit of tension in his shoulders gone. "She— that's not possible. Elle never— " there's a look of confusion and disbelief that keeps Peter's focus. "If this is some sick idea of a joke, Cat, to get me up here to talk about things with you, then I'm not amused."

Peter runs one hand over his head, and knows full well the pointlessness of that question. Cat doesn't joke around, not like that. She isn't the practical joke type — never was and never will be. She probably has Mason to thank for that, or at least that's the best Peter could surmise. Turning back around, his gaze is leveled on his former friend, breathing in a slow and derisive breath.

"How did they get here? Where are they? And how long have they been here?"

Helena can't stand it any longer. The door is gently pushed open, and she takes slow, soft steps out of the room. Her arms are folded tightly against herself, like she's protecting herself from something. She seems to believe her reception will be cold, and though it's unbearable, she's had to bear the unbearable quite a bit these past few months. She slowly turns her gaze to Peter, afraid of what she'll see in his face. "You promised you'd be right behind me." she says, unable to stop herself from letting it out in a quiet whisper. Even if this isn't that Peter. Or it is, just…still not the same. She's torn between gazing at him and desperately wanting to look anywhere but.

"Ten years ago, there was an assault on the Moab prison in their timeline. It didn't go the same as ours," Cat begins, her voice steady. "Eight people who were present got brought here. I'm still figuring it all out, interviewing the guests, and a picture is taking shape, but I still need to confirm some details, see if stories match. They arrived a week ago. They are Elle Bishop, Jessica Sanders, Alexander Knight, Norton Trask, a man called Django, Isabelle Sanford, Lucrezia Bennati, and…" Her voice trails off here, eye contact is made. When she speaks again the voice drops in volume, almost to a whisper.

She really wishes it wasn't happening this way, that he would stand still and listen, letting her build up to it. In this moment she remains unaware of the emergence behind her, the voice doesn't register yet.

"Helena Dean."

As timeless as he is, as many physical wounds Peter has weathered, nothing cuts him to the bone like the sound of Helena's voice. The expression Cat sees on Peter's face is like a man who had his heart ripped out from his chest and deposited down onto the ground in a bloody, unceremonious mess. His breathing abruptly stops, mouth hanging open as he looks over Cat's shoulder. For a time, he just seems frozen, as if he chose to freeze time for himself and never have to confront whatever horrible truth just walked through those doors. For the time time, in a very long time, both Cat and Helena see the angry facade of Peter break away to emotion. The glassy look of his eyes, the color drained from his face — her presence here has done what no weapon ever has.

"I— " His words are more of a rasping croak, as if he were doing some failed imitation of Grace. One hand slowly, shakily goes up to cover his mouth, fingers spreading to allow a few hurried breaths between them. Reacting the way one would wen presented with the flesh eating variety of walking-dead, Peter takes a few stumbling steps backwards, heels knocking into a coffee table, eyes unable to move from the blonde form approaching him like some vengeful specter.

"What— what's— " He can hardly form words, form sentences, form anything. Peter just stands there, unable to process everything, the story, the explanation, the list of people that have survived somehow, against all rational thought and probability.

"What the hell is this?"

Helena doesn't advance. She might have done the same as he's doing if their positions were reversed. "We don't know." she says. "In 2009 Phoenix attempted a raid. Only for me it was a few days ago. I started a fight in the yard to get to Red Level, so I could see you. Well, not see you," she ammends bitterly, "But get as close to you as I could. It was after Verse had tricked me into thinking he was you in my head. And while we were down there, I told you that if we were stuck there forever, I still wouldn't let you go another minute believing I didn't love you." And this exchange, unless he's shared it with his wife, is a truth that no one could possibly know…except Helena herself. "Do what you need to. Check my blood, read my mind, ask me any question you think only I would know. I'm me. Not the me who - died. That hasn't happened to me yet." She sounds oddly calm about that. She turns away a little though. Looking at him and not being able to - well, it's breaking her heart. For the millionth time.

There's not much to say now. Peter's expression, his reaction, tells Cat there are now three people in the room. Her face says it all, says this is the real Helena Dean, or a version of her more properly. It says she's been through the same shock herself, registers that she undertook verification against it being a trick before accepting it.

She's silent now removing herself from between them, but still watchful in case this produces a volatile reaction as it all sinks in.

She feels it, the search for truth, the probing presence of Peter's mind in her own. But while Helena had been used to the intrusion in the past, the hand that delves in her mind now has lost that gentle touch it once possessed. There's is force, strength, aggression and fear that swells with the mental link, images of scenarios of the raid on Moab flash through her mind as he accesses them, like he's triggering different points of her memory. It doesn't feel like telepahy, it feels more like something else, a power he had never used on her before — but it begs the question — in ten years of power acquisition, in ten years of a future where the Evolved population has raised — what is there that Peter can't do?

"Christ." He spits out, hand still covering his mouth, "you— you're— " he saw the bubble, the wall, the explosion and more horrifyingly the result of where she arrived. Perhaps it's the dawning realization of what happened, or perhaps it's something else, but Peter's expression turns from horrified to overwrought in a moment's time. "Oh my God, no."

Helena makes a sound like she's pain - and really the way he's going through her memories is painful - and most recently the raid, the fight where she nearly killed Tabitha - the mental rapine, it's all there and it's fresh, along with her reaction to seeing him. That in and of itself is a fresh twist of pain in her heart. She takes a tenative step closer, and another, can't help but lift her hand to try and touch him even though she expects to be rebuffed. "We have to go back." she says softly. "I know that. This future can't happen unless we do. I need to - " she swallows, "I need to die. But we have to get back. And Pinehearst, I thought they could help - and maybe we could find Dr. Ray." Her body language is begging, pleading for something she can't ask for, and hasn't the right to, and has no real hope of actually recieving.

She's removed herself from the conversation, face reflecting anguish over not being able to help either of them, but Cat knows they have to sort this out themselves. There's nothing for her to say or do but observe and be available if adressed, to answer questions. Her focus goes again to the street below, steps taken so she once again faces the windows.

Peter grabs the hand before it reaches his cheek, taking it by the wrist firmly with the same hand that bears his wedding band. Every muscle in his face works to display the frown there, even as for the first time in a long time, she can see the same pain she feels reflected in his eyes. Peter's expression is a crushed one, and the frown on his face cuts deeper than any scar across his brow could ever have. "You're not going anywhere," Peter strains, jerkily letting her hand go before stepping away, rubbing his palm across his brow. "Jesus Christ."

"None of you are going back," his dark eyes turn to look back to her once he's a few feet away. "Just— Just knowing what you know, going back could change everything. You could— the future is such a delicate thing and I— " Peter closes his eyes and shakes his head, "I can't send you back even if I wanted to. I don't know how or where or when or— " Both hands fly up in a frustrated gesture.

"Edward Ray is dead." Peter strains out the words through his teeth, "he died in Company holding back in 2010 after he tried to kill Nathan. Kaito Nakamura is dead. Mason is— " Peter cuts himself off, waving one hand in the air, "I don't know anyone I can trust that could help me plot where you're supposed to be. One wrong nudge, and I could send you back to the prehistoric era, or worse. But— " He can't even believe he's entertaining any of this, "but we're not going to cross that bridge. You're staying here. No one is going home— did you actually expect me to send a psychopath like Elle Bishop home?" Peter's brow lowers, "Did— I just— " he reaches into his pocket, pulling out his mobile device again, sliding his finger over it as it begins to dial on its own.

The ring. She stares at it a moment, and when he releases her hand, she rubs her wrist. "We have to go back." She argues. "If we don't, this future that you've created won't come to be. We have to figure out a way to make it work. We'll figure out what to do about Elle but - god Peter, have you ever known me not to do what's to be done?" This isn't fair. This isn't right. Outside, thunder starts to rumble, and the temperature begins to drop noticably. She steps away, shivers violently, and shakes her head. "If you won't help us, we'll find a way, but we're going back." she says. "I have two years left, with you. Two years! I want my two years!" Her voice has raised unexpectedly.

It's here Cat chooses to speak up, finding something to contribute. "I've considered the matter of Elle Bishop," she begins. "I've thought of making her irrelevant by editing her memory. I've also undertaken to convince her the Company is doomed no matter what, so she should help bring Primatech down and save herself in the process. And I've considered the angle of dredging up all the info they'll need to make sure Primatech falls even if Elle does try to undo things. Having enough copies to make sure the truth comes out."

"It seems to me the broad strokes are safe," she quietly opines. "It all starts with Primatech's end and your father coming forward."

He can feel the barometric pressure lowering, he can feel the shift of the weather, it's been a long time since he's felt the way Helena does on the wind. Peter's eyes close as she raises her voice in pitch with the shifting weather patterns, but he doesn't speak. He just brings the mobile up to his ear, eyes wrenched shut and head downturned. "Dad…" his voice is tense, "no— I'm back in New York. Look, we've got to talk about something, okay?"

Peter glances up to Helena, jaw set and neck tense, eyes more watery than they were a moment ago. He can't make himself look at her anymore, not the way he remembers her, espescially not his last memory of the Helena from this timeline. His focus goes to Cat, but it's a distant and pleading one, as if hoping she'll understand his rationalle, his reasoning.

"Dad, look, I— something huge has come up and I need to talk to you right away. We have a serious problem, I— " Peter's expression changes, lips parting slightly as something is said over the other line. "What?" Peter staggers back, one hand pawing at the side of his face, "when— when did that happen? Are you sure? Are you absolutely sure?"

A moment of silence on Peter's end, and his eyes track back to Helena, then flick almost immediately to Cat. "I— right, I understand. I'll come there right away." His fingers slide over the small device's flat front, and it is held in his shaking hand as his eyes upturn to Helena and Cat.

"Ar— my dad— he— " Peter stammers out, looking down at the mobile and then back up to Cat. "He says the government informed him that there's been a security breach at the Moab facility, eight prisoners from Red-Level escaped, and we can't find them anywhere." And when you consider the vast resources Pinehearst has at its disposal, anywhere is a long, long way away.

Helena looks between Cat and Peter. "This can't be a coincidence." she says tightly. "I'm willing to bet the breakout coincides in some way with what happened to us." She looks over at Peter then, expression tight, but contained. "Nathan's gone, isn't he? I know he was there." Yes, Helena is well acquainted with the current goings-on. "There may be answers there. We need to go see what we can find." Again, her look includes them both. Yes, she said 'we'.

She hears, and in starting to wrap her mind around all of it, the image appears. It's described as she recalls it, the voice solemn. "Eight for eight, an even trade," Cat remarks. "The painting of the prison at Moab, with the Phoenix over the walls and the mirrored image. I never understood just what that meant," she tells them. The unspoken part. Until now.

Painting? Another question to ask, when there's more time.

"We are not going anywhere." Peter blurts out, pointing a finger at Helena sharply. "This isn't two-thousand and fucking nine," he hardly ever used to swear, back then. "We have laws and regulations for this kind of thing, there's a taskforce already there investigating, it's how my father found out. We— this isn't Scooby Doo— we don't have the goddamned mystery machine anymore." At least some cultural references remain behind in the future.

Peter rubs his forehead, stress rising in him; he's so much more tense than he once was. "We are going to go see my father. He needs to know about what's going on, and he'll know what to do about all of this. You want to learn what created this future, how we all got to the place we are now? It wasn't by vigilantisim alone, it was because of my dad's work." Nathan. Nathan. No mention of how Nathan figures into this at all.

"Cat, where are the others?" Dark eyes settle on her, "I want them watched, at all times. They aren't to go anywhere unsupervised unless I say they can. He snorts out a breath, pacing back and forth across the living room. "Christ I— I need you to keep an eye on them until I can get my dad to assign chaperones to them, I can't just— this is a serious problem. Half of these people aren't registered with the Unity act, half of them probably don't even— " He shakes his head, "We're going to need to take Bishop in. She's an enormous liability and a danger to anyone around her. But— " Peter hesitates, "it can wait. I need you," he motions to Helena, "to wait here, and after I explain things to my dad, we're going to have a talk."

Helena's spine stiffens. "Don't you dare." she hisses. "Don't you dare act like you think I consider this some sort of child's game. Her fists clench, and now lightning cracks across the sky only moments before thunder booms. "I did what you told me to, Peter! I led! I did what you were always too selfish to do because you had to do it on your own, or too cowardly so you got yourself locked up for! I know what you and your father did, and I know about the Columbia 14, and I know it was Gillian who got you to pick yourself up off your ass, and - yes, I know about Gillian, and she knows about me, so you can spare yourself the pain of that talk," she's so furious a moment she can't even speak. "Don't you dare treat me like a child. You don't get to do that anymore. I am not staying put, I am finding a way back. You know what letting you take the lead to get things done has gotten me, Peter? A whole lot of pain. I can't control what I feel, but you can damn bet I can control the rest of my life. I will not sit back while you try to fix things."

"Helena," Cat starts as she hears the thunder boom behind her, "please stop altering the weather. That will draw entirely the wrong kind of attention, as well as being very illegal. Please." Her eyes are widened a bit, pleading with her once and returned friend for restraint. Then she addresses Peter, trying to keep both of them focused, provide a measure of calm. She knows the laws, a lot of them fit what was in her essays under Dani's name. Helena may well have read them by now.

"She knows much of what stands now is your father's work, Peter. She doesn't see this as a game by any means. Nor do I. As I said, one of the most important things in the past is your father coming forward."

Both of them are looked at, she hopes calm is starting to settle in. "The others are at a few places. Miss Bishop is staying with Abigail Beauchamp and is in the near constant company of Norton Trask. Jessica Sanders is with Special Agent Harrison. Django is on my fourth floor. Alexander is with Teo." Locations of the others are shared too.

"I'll put out the word and have them brought together. Would you advise having them all on the fourth floor here?"

Peter's face contorts into a frown as Helena blows up on him, and the hand at the side of his head massages gently, turning away as he paces several steps from her. His shoulders tremble, back stiffens, and when he turns back around his eyes look even more reddened than they had before. He swallows, tensely, but when he speaks again his voice sounds so different, so much deeper and smoother, like gravel wrapped in silk. "You will— " It's an aborted command, and Cat has heard the tone before, not just from Kinson years ago, but from Peter in this day and age as well. He almost, were it not for Cat's interjection, used his persuasion to command Helena.

Instead, his words hitch in his throat, and he breathes in a slow, ragged breath. His eyes downcast, then look up to Cat. Everything in his expression looks so much like the man who explained to her that he was to blame for the destruction of New York, so much guilt pressed into his countenance from what he did there to Helena. "No… don't— don't do anything to alert them that anything might be wrong." Trask, Alexander, Jessica, Izzy, so many people he knows. So many people he would spare words with, change things, make things different — but he can't — he won't. Because the one person he wants to share his words with most is right here in front of him, and he can hardly bring himself to look her in the eyes.

It hurts too much.

"I'll…" He's straining to control the emotion in his voice, "be back… It— " One hand wipes across Peter's brow, a weak and shaky hand, "it might take an hour, maybe more. It's hard to say — but I'll be back." He's speaking to the floor, but the wordsa re for Cat. He can't face Helena, not like this, not when she's yelling at the man of ten years past. "My father's going to want to talk to you as well, since you're likely the most impartial witness to all of this." Impartiality and Cat was a difficult thing to manage in the past, but times have changed, and it seems a decade out she still has Peter's trust. "I— I'm sorry."

The man of ten years past is the only man Helena knows. But she's learning. At Cat's request she closes her eyes, lifts her chin. In the space of a few breaths, she's brought herself to calmness, with a swiftness and discipline that neither Cat nor Peter may have witnessed in her before - or maybe they have, but just not in this Helena. When she opens her eyes, the storm has passed, though the temperature is still cold. She wordlessly goes to the couch, drops down on it. "Go." she says quietly. "And when you come back…

…we'll talk."

"I'll have my eyes open, without saying anything to anyone of the situation at hand," Cat tells Peter, "and keep them out of the public eye as best we can without alarming or alerting." Her eyes close, she has the impartiality and calm some often find uncommon, but there are times she shows evidence of holding it all together and being at risk of letting loose too.

"We've undertaken to get identification for them in this time, and constructed cover stories too. For example, I'd be saying I'm working to get a Helena Dean biopic made and found the perfect actress, a shapeshifter or illusionist. I'll meet with your father at his convenience," she assures.

Then her jaw sets. "This future will not fail to happen. Helena Dean is going back to die. Helena Dean did not, and will not, die for nothing."

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