Coincidental Baldness


cat2_icon.gif colette_icon.gif

Scene Title Coincidental Baldness
Synopsis Cat doesn't believe in coincidences, Colette doesn't believe in— baldness? No that's not right at all.
Date April 28, 2010

Village Renaissance Building

She'd just finished passing along the word of her contact with Vincent Lazzaro to Noah Bennet and Eileen Spurling and sat down to have more coffee while she scans through those newspapers she bought when the phone went off, with Colette saying she was on the way. It was a brief conversation, much to the effect of "hey, come on by, it's been a while" and Cat hoping it doesn't at some future point result in another angry visitation from Nicole Nichols because she dared disobey and associated with her sister. There was even a full-detailed flashback of their meeting at the Cellar when Nicole left and an electrical effect which caused the replacement of lightbulbs happened.

Having seen to her ability to reach the top floors, Cat awaits her arrival. She's got food and coffee, also soda, in the entertainment room with the immense HD and small refrigerator plus microwave. The entry doors closest to it are open, she's leaning against the wall just inside it. She's not bothered with watching for her to show by means of camera, because this guest can be invisible.

When the doors to the stairs open into the penthouse rather than the elevator, the length it took for Colette Nichols to make her way all the way up to the top floor of the Village Rennaisance Building seems to make sense. Taking a few shaky-legged steps into the penthouse lobby, Colette slouches her shoulder against one wall, swiping a gloved hand over her head to pull off her black knit cap with hot pink pompom. Slung over her shoulder, a stuffed and heavy olive-drab courier bag looks filled with who knows what, but more importantly looks heavy.

There's electricity here, courtesy of Cat's generators in the basement so dutifully installed by a once prolific replicator. Breathing in deep and then blowing out a sigh, Colette straightens and makes her way down the penthouse lobby's narrow corridor towards the double-doors into the penthouse itself. With the doors left unlocked by Cat, Colette's entrance comes with a cursory knock anyway. "Yoo-Hoo," she chirps, brows lifted and lips pursed on creeping in on booted feet that track melted snow behind them.

"I come bearing stuff!" Colette exclaims, lips quirking into a smile, green eyes flicking around the penthouse— Cat hasn't rearranged the furniture at all in the nine months its been since she's been here, it's staggeringly static to Colette.

"Oooh, stuff," comes the response from a woman three inches taller and some forty pounds heavier than her arriving visitor. The eyes are brown, resting on Colette. "I like it when people bring me stuff. Thanks, Colette." Cat flashes a smile and chuckles slightly. "Close up the doors, get out of all that weather gear. I hope the trip over didn't make you a Colettesicle."

She reaches to accept that heavy bag and moves a few steps, gesturing toward the entertainment area. The music zone next to it is between that room and where they're now standing. The bag, if Colette surrendered it, quite possibly seems less heavy to her.

There's a huff of a laugh, dark brows furrowed and Colette hardly looks like she knows how to handle Cat's demeanor. There's a perk of one brow up as she hands off the courier bag, some fifteen pounds of laptop, books and other assorted junk. Leaning against the wall by the doors, Colette starts the slow process of shedding her survival gear that she's donned to make it across town. "Sorry I didn't make it out yesterday, I— got blindsided by some stuff." Tamara-shaped stuff. "I ah, the recorder's in the bag, should be right on top. I showed it to my dad…" there's a hopeful look at that, and Colette drops one of her boots ot the floor with a noisy clunk, a black and white striped toe-sock revealed from within, borrowed from Tasha.

"He ah… it helped change his mind." There's a crease of Colette's brows as she shifts feet, unlacing the other boot, this one with a knife strapped to the side. When it hits the floor, it's— a regular hot pink sock. She borrowed one sock. "He said he's going to volunteer information to the Ferry whenever he can get it, he's— he's in all the way."

Wiggling her toes, Colette sets down on her other foot, shifting weight back and forth as she unbuttons the front of her black peacoat, still crusted with snow on the shoulders. "I think, um… I was totally honest with him, told him about the vaccine raid, everything. He— he took it really well, all things considered. I haven't gotten a chance to draft a bulletin yet, I figure Eileen'd like that. I— guess I could do it while I'm here."

Watching the younger woman remove her cold-weather shell, the one pink sock is spotted, and in her mind she flashes the sound and lyrics to a ZZ Top song. Cat only just catches herself short of singing that segment of Tube Snake Boogie and avoid commentary. "Parents generally turn out to be more understanding than we give them credit for," she provides in a more somber voice, "I found that out firsthand not long before Pinehearst. Came out to Father, turned out he already knew almost the full story. It's good yours is on board." She pauses briefly, speculating, before she asks "Do you think he'd be up to doing background checks on people for us too?"

The bag is opened and recorder extracted, along with the laptop. Book titles are only briefly looked at, compared against memory to see if she's read them. One thing Cat notably seems not to have, given her wealth and what she does have, is a collection of books.

"Maybe. I can ask him, but probably not frequently. Important stuff, yeah, but I don't think he could do it all the time without gettin' the stink-eye." As Colette talks and Cat inspects the bag, the contents are heavy because they're //thick. High-School and College-level physics books and one specialized and considerably thick hardcover entitled, "Physics of Light and Optics." Likely, given her ability, some personal research.

Also, the laptop is Jennifer's.



"There's a copy of the video on the laptop that I edited together in Quicktime. I didn't get a shot of the second coffin-thing, it was gone when I got up in the morning. But i've got the first one, and shots of the two trucks riddled with bulletholes an' stuff." Colette's nose wrinkles as she sheds the jacket, hanging it ont he coat rack nearby to the door, yet still layered with a familiar carnation red hooded sweatshirt that has seen better days, judging from the patches and holes in it.

"Oh! I got you something else, too." Colette notes as she comes padding over on her toes, following after Cat, "there's a lose page from a notebook in there somewhere. It's Else's writing from when she went all fruit-loopy and sick. I thought you might like a hard-copy of it. I tore it outta' the book since I started using it myself."

Innnnnpuuut. Cat is tempted to look at the pages of the books and commit them into her brain, but resists. She did, however, see the titles. Easy to obtain them another time. "I get it," she remarks with a nod. "Any little bit helps. Since Elisabeth joined Frontline and Wireless has been taking it easy, we're a bit short in that area." No commentary is made on the laptop and its source being Ygraine's lover. But it's sad, to her, how things went with them after the anti-Vanguard ops.

"Back into the bag she goes, seeking the notebook page. "I've still not sorted out just what all of those writings mean," Cat admits. "Most telling thing I've heard from her was Shores Of The Empire State."

"That didn't turn out to be anything though," Colette notes with a quirk of one brow up into the air, "unless she meant when all this fucking snow melts…" which has Colette's lips pursing to the side at the thought, brows furrowed and head quirked. "Okay I meant that as a joke but that's— kind've worrying…" Rubbing at her cheek with one still-gloved hand, Colette pauses in her walking, looking up at Cat then around the spacious pentouse with a crease of her brows again.

"So…" Turning left and right, Colette eyes the penthouse again, then looks back to Cat. "You're pretty in on things, from what everyone tells me. Sorta' like the Ferry's mother-brain or something." There's a smirk, one brow lifted as she moves back into pace behind Cat. "How much do you know about the uh, Department of Evolved Affairs?" Now there's a loaded question.

"It might've turned into something," Cat remarks nonchalantly. She realizes, of course, it still might. "Possibly, but I think we'll have a plan. My friend Helena and some others are good at weather, just right now someone stronger than they are is playing games, causing all this. But when it breaks, it'll be different. They can make the temperatures rise slow, starting at maybe thirty-four and going up a few degrees per day. Controlled melting. And we know someone who can make fire from her hands, Magnes can go up high and use binoculars to spot storm drains blocked by snow, tell firelady where she's needed."

Coffee is poured for each of them, one cup offered to Colette. "The department's an enigma so far. I met the secretary at a party, seems a decent enough guy. And one of his agents, Vincent Lazzaro, who turns into smoke. I don't think they're tied to the Institute, might even be worried about their agenda."

Then comes the full iceberg, when Cat commences to recite every fact she's read about the department since it's creation. Ask, Colette Nichols, and ye shall receive. But do you really want to?"

"Woah wait, Lazzaro?" Colette immediately comes to a halt, the doorway to the video room to her right. Canting her head to the side, the teen fires a crooked look to Cat and makes a twirling motion with gloved fingers. "Back that tape up, rewind and playback— turns to smoke?" Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, Colette's green eyes slant to the side, look at one of the walls, and then she's nodding her head into the video room, padding thorugh the open doors as she paces. Where better to download information from a video camera, right? If only she were lucid enough at the moment ot have made that distinction.

"How— much do you know about Lazzaro?" It's a seemingly innocent question phrased as awkwardly as Colette can muster, which of course makes it seem lacking in innocence. "Like, do you know how big of a douchebag he is? I'm kinda' curious… uh, for— some stuff." Smooth.

Chuckling, Cat's voice stops briefly. Colette is perhaps spared the full details of her knowledge on the Department of Evolved Affairs. "He's an ass, at least sometimes. I wasn't sure until recently, and I can't verify it completely, whether he worked for Praeger, Sarisa Kershner, or both. He wanted one of our people, Elisabeth, to do a job and kidnapped her, had her taken to the location in cuffs, when she'd have done it just by asking. He also wrote an article about whether or not SLC people are any good as cops. But right now, he seems interested in helping us keep Liette safe."

She blows on the coffee to cool it a little, as she grouses "Made my coffee freeze, standing out there talking with him. Then he turned into smoke and blew away." Her head tilts. "You've run into the guy, Colette?"

"Liz?" There's a furrow of Colette's brows, head tilted to the side and eyes shifting away. Grumbling, she sinks down onto the arm of the sofa, hands folded in her lap. Trying to puzzle it all together looks to be something of a Herculean task for Colette, but one she's managing to soldier through. "So— he— that girl everyone was freaking out about in the meeting… he— he's helping us?" Green eyes go wide and Colette leans back, rubbing one hand over her mouth, head tilting to the side again and teeth toying at her lower lip.

When she looks back to Cat, there's a glimmer of something positive there, a hopeful expression, but it's masked behind a partial veil of uncertainty. "I— I haven't met him, no. I saw a bunch of other guys from the department one day at Summer Meadows like, back in the fall. But not him, I don't think." It's a careful evasion. "This— Lazzaro, do you think he really does want to help us? I mean— this is serious business with the girl, like— A-Team stuff most of the Ferry doesn't even know about. Do you think… we can trust him?"

"He might be," Cat provides. "Lazzaro told me he was in contact with Brennan about her, said he hopes we're still keeping her safe. I don't think we can completely trust him, but he does at least seem to be on the right page where the Institute is concerned. See, I thought about it some. I've seen him work with Sarisa Kershner, and I've seen him with Praeger. Kershner might have ties to the Institute. But if she does, and Lazzaro has ties to the Institute, he'd not have needed to come see me. He'd already know what's up with the girl and where Brennan's been." She blows on the coffee again.

"He might've been trying to trick me, to see if he could learn more than the Institute already knows, but it isn't likely. Either way, I'd like to know what he and Brennan talked about. It's very… interesting. Lazzaro did suggest, though, if the girl is given back he can find her and her sister again."

Rolling her tongue across her teeth, Colette tips her head down into a slow nod, then looks askance at the recorder, then back up again. "Thanks… I— can't really say why I wanted to know all that right yet, it's… it's personal, but if it goes anywhere I— thanks." There's a ghost of a smile that spreads across Colette's lips, dark brows lifting as she sways slowly from side to side on the arm of the sofa. "I dunno a lot about what's going on, who all these people that get mentioned and stuff are, so— I try to keep up with it best as I can. I'm not really a decision maker though, just a courier."

Eying the steam rising from the top of Cat's coffee, the teen's nose wrinkles and she shifts her stare to linger out one of the windows showing the frosted skyline of the city. "Hey, you— said he turns to smoke?" Green eyes look back from the window to Cat, one brow lowered and head tilted to the side.

"He does," Cat confirms. "And it does help to be me, when it comes to keeping stuff straight." The teen is shown a brief smile, as an idea settles in. "A courier… you know, there's this place in Chelsea, Alley Cats, they deliver things all over the city. Pay's not bad, from what I heard. It's closed right now, with all the snow and cold, but after spring happens it'll reopen. You could probably get a job there."

Distracted by the comment about a job, Colette lifts one brow, head tilting to the side. "I— Ygraine used to work there, didn't she?" There's a searching expression on the young girl's face, shoulders hunching forward and head bobbing. "You know, I— I was thinking about looking for a legitimate job once things warm up, and— heck that'd let me do my job for the Ferry and a paying job at the same time. Do— do you know if they require proof of Registration to work there?"

Colette purses her lips to the side, one brow lifted in quizzical nature as she considers the offer. "I um, you know we— all— kind've— well you're registered but… I've gotta' be careful what I do, 'cause if I get found out it'll cause a lot've problems for my dad."

"They won't ask for a registration card, and yes, Ygraine worked there. So did a few other people we know. Like Helena." Cat sips at her coffee. "It's the perfect job for someone with the Ferry, this is true." She won't say it, but maybe the mental math will happen. How Cat is saying she can get work there and won't have to show a reg card, how it would fit so perfectly with the Ferry work… Almost as if someone Ferry had influence over it.

She starts setting up to play the recording Colette brought, the single page of Elseness put aside.

It's a shoddy recording, that much is certain. Colette stumbling around inside the Garden with Tasha and Jonas, trundling outside into the snow to check on one of the coffins, filming it from different angles, the trucks the Ferry used all riddles with bullets. While it's playing, Colette sits forward and watches Cat instead, brows furrowed and something puzzling out behind her eyes, right up until Jonas appears on the screen and his redheaded frame reminds her of why he was even at the Garden, and the things he talked about.

"Cat," Colette's green eyes flick back to the older woman from the television, "didn't— Jonas say something about a bald guy who could turn to smoke saving him and Tien when the Armory got raided?" The teen's brows lift up in a what the fuck expression. "How— many people do we know that can do that? Is— do we have a smoke dude in the Ferry?"

"He did," Cat confirms with a nod, "and Lazzaro is very bald. That does shed some light on things, as to his agenda. He could've turned smoky and snagged Liette himself if he wasn't interested in us keeping her, which he said he is. If we have a smoke man with the Ferry, I've not met him. And I doubt he's bald." More coffee sipping. "I've learned coincidences are very rare."

"Cat I— " Colette gets up off of the couch, mis-matched socked feet hitting the floor. "I've gotta go," there's a flicker of green eyes over her shoulder as she turns and motions to the recorder and laptop. "I'll be back for those later, I— I've gotta' go talk to someone. I'll call you when I'm on my way back…" Backpedaling towards the door, something seems to have spooked Colette into action. She pauses in the doorway, bouncing back and forth from one foot to the other.

"I owe you," Colette states firmly, "I super owe you." With that, she's turning and headed for the hallway and her things, with a mission in mind. God only knows what she has planned, but from the speed at which she's taking off it's probably not anything plan-like.

"See you, Colette," Cat replies, an afterthought forming as she watches the teen jet away without actual jets. She follows her out so she can lock up after departure, asking nonchalantly "Does your sister have some kind of electrical mojo, Colette?" Maybe the girl will be distracted enough to answer without asking why.

Colette looks up, one boot on and one boot off, a brow raised and stumbling. "Ni— cole?" There's a press of her tongue against the inside of her cheek, green eyes slanting to the side before she looks back up to Cat and nods her head once, slowly. "Yeah, she's like an electric blanket, s'cool. She pays like nothing on heating bills," there's a crooked cast of her lips into a smile as she tugs her other boot on, hopping on one foot while lacing it up. "She got struck by a lightning bolt once," the teen notes with an impressed tone of voice, "while she was out in Vegas, I guess? It's pretty cool."

Settling her foot down, Colette reaches out for her jacket, swinging it around over her shoulders and hastily buttoning up the front. "When— did you meet Nicole?" There's a quirk of one brow up as Colette's head tilts to the side. "I didn't think she liked to talk to, uh, Ferry— stuff— people. My talk with her didn't really…" there's a see-saw motion of her hand, and Colette's other is fishing for her knit cap, pulling it down over her head.

"She came to see me when she was looking for you," Cat answers somberly, "and was very angry. She was Mother's campaign manager at the time, and Mother suggested I might know how to reach you. So I told her a way to reach someone, and she left." There's a pause. "On the way out, she touched the wall and lightbulbs exploded. So I had to wonder if she did it."

Another pause. "I saw and talked to her again a few weeks later, when she found Mother's body. She was there at the scene when I arrived. So was Commissioner Lau and your father."

Colette tenses slightly at the mention of the violent end of Jenn's campaign, the very large elephant in the room that Colette had done her best not to bring up. "I— She— was really…" Colette's brows furrow, tongue brushes across her lips and gloved fingers curl up the bottom of her knit cap to keep it above her eyes. "I'm sorry…" is the best answer she can give, head tilted forward and eyes focused on the floor, it's hard to tell if she's sorry for her sister's outburst or if she's sorry for what happened to her mother.

"I— " Colette shakes her head, slowly, shoulder shifting with the lightened load of her courier bag over it. "I'm really sorry…" One gloved hand goes out, turning the doorknob, and the elephant in the room is pushing her out the door. "I— I really have to go, it— it's that personal thing. But— I— I'm sorry if Nicole freaked on you. She— it was a bad time for everyone."

"It's all good," Cat replies with quiet apparent good nature. "She loves you, and was just discovering the fullness of her life. She loves you, and it's hard sometimes to accept she can't protect you from everything, y'know? Even when she does, there'll always be that temptation. Don't ever be sorry you've got a loving sister." Her cup is raised, she walks closer to the door. "See you later. Don't freeze out there, yes?"

That right there causes Colette to pause, head quirked to the side and a brow raised. There's a smile though, afterward, and suddenly the weight in the room doesn't feel so oppressive. Teeth drawing over her lower lip, Colette nods her head, a bit of color coming back to her cheeks. "M'really lucky," she offers in a hushed tone of voice, "I'll never forget just how lucky I am too— to— to have her with me still." Wrinkling her nose, Colette turns the knob and opens one side of the double doors, looking up at Cat with a smile.

"Thanks, Cat. For— for everything. I really do owe you." Though she isn't going to give Cat the chance to cash in on that debt just yet, because Colette's narrow frame slips out that open door, a smile the last thing she offers before it closes. What's on her mind right now is more than debts owed.

It's a matter of the heart.

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