Follow The Leader


brian_icon.gif cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Follow The Leader
Synopsis Helena doubts her leadership, and not for the first time in recent days.
Date August 29, 2009

Village Renaissance Building - Roof

This is a flat roof, the surface grey concrete, which covers a building with enough space for sixteen apartment units on each floor along with elevators, stairwells, and maintenance areas at the center. It can be reached by an elevator and/or staircase near the right edge, a large freight elevator just back of the center, and stairwells centered on front and back of the building. The back left corner holds the large machinery needed for climate control of the interior. Discreet cameras placed all around the edge monitor the roof.

Near the elevator and stairs from the penthouse below is a pair of picnic tables and a sophisticated grill for cooking outdoors and eating when the weather permits. It's covered by an open air tent of sorts for shelter when rain and snow come.

The right front corner, overlooking 4th Street, has a sturdy wooden structure ten feet back from the edge. Here there are outlets for plugging in amplifiers and other electrical devices should Cat choose to come up here and make music. It has a set of glass doors which can be folded aside to allow approaching the edge and closed to protect against weather.

The front left corner features four each of small apple and cherry trees with garden chairs here and there around them, a number of sunflowers, tomato plants, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and various other plants chosen for their appearance in pots or planters large enough to hold them. Someone with access to the roof likes to garden, and has been doing so at any chance.

Sal came and undid Helena's alterna-look, and now she's back to being her blonde self. But she has also been noticably quiet throughout the day, and at one point, she took her phone and texted Brian with a request: if he's in the Village this evening, would he stop and see her at the Verb? An added note: be careful, there's the possibility it's being watched, but no proof.

By the time the sun's going down on a Saturday night, Helena's been up on the roof most of the day. There's a half-eaten chicken parm sandwich from Piccoli's and a three quarters drunk bottle of Red Stripe on the patio table she's seated at, but all she's doing is staring out at the sky.

Clapping across the roof building, Brian steps up onto the bench Helena is seated on. Half turning, he goes to sit on the table itslef. Lowering himself down he goes to pick up the bottle of Redstripe to momentarily examine it. Then it is set back down. Reaching out he places his hand on Helena's head briefly and gives it a gentle ruffle.

Smirking faintly he places his elbow on his knee, letting his hand dangle. Reaching up his tinted aviators are withdrawn from his face and tucked next to the half eaten sandiwch. Straightening his suit jacket, "Whassup?"

Helena turns her head to look at him, tilting her head briefly toward his hand before straightening it. When she speaks, it almost feels like it's a dropped bomb in the middle of a conversation that started with pleasantries about the weather, but yet it's not. "Do you think I'm doing the right job, leading Phoenix? Or if I'm doing a good job?"

Taking the bottle of redstripe for himself, he goes to take a pull from it. Then he blinks down at her. Bwuh? Letting out a little cough, his eyes narrow. "Isn't this the type of thing you would ask Cat? Or Delilah?" Or who else? "Elisabeth?" The bottle is set back down. "You usually don't talk to me… Like this. What's wrong?"

"Cat will tell me nothing's wrong with what I'm doing, Delilah will give me a kiss and a cuddle, and Elisabeth's just back after being tortured and God only knows what by Humanis First." Helena says frankly. "I feel like we're losing who we are, and I don't know if it's my fault or not."

"You and Delilah are that close." Brian notes, trying to lighten the mood slightly. Oh right. Elisabeth was kidnapped. He gives a solemn nod before, he brings his hand up to his lips. "What makes you feel that way?"

Helena smiles faintly. "Delilah's just kind, is all." She leans back in her patio chair. "It feels like any time we do good, we also mess up huge. All the dangerous people who got freed from Moab. This thing going on over at Staten with Norman White. And the nuclear bomb that the Vanguard had. Peter says it's gone missing. There's Humanis First, and everyone seems to be turning around and saying we need to keep our noses clean and not engage them in any way."

"Very kind, it seems." Winters, finishes off her bottle of redstripe before slapping it back on the table. Sinking down onto the bench, he swings his legs around so that he is facing the same direction as her. Flinging his arm around Helena's shoulders, going to bring her in close to him. "This is the world, Hel. Not a book or a movie that ends after the fight is won. Every thing we do have consequences. If we don't like the consequences we're bringing on ourselves, maybe we should switch the way we make our choices." A little shrug. "Whatever that means."

Helena is sitting at a patio table with Brian, a now empty bottle of Red Stripe and a half eaten Piccoli's sandwich between them. Helena makes a face at him. "Jesus Brian, I'm not six. That doesn't help me any. I'm worried that I'm not doing right by the group. I haven't even gone near Liz yet. I keep asking myself if I'm wrong to be leading this group."

The elevator doors open with their customary 'ding', having brought another person up from the penthouse just under them. Cat steps out and treads across the surface, the red Fender Strat over one shoulder and a saxophone carried in hand. People at the picnic table draw her to approach them, instead of heading toward the music area. Nothing is said at first, she not being sure what if anything they might be discussing.

"Jesus Hel, I'm trying to make you feel better. You don't have to criticize my consoling skills." Reaching over he picks up the sandwich as well with a little mumble. "What if I told you, you were doing a horrible job? That no one respected you and you made all the wrong decisions. Would you abandon Phoenix? No you wouldn't. You might sign someone else up to leadership but you would still be one of the more adamant members. Would you do anything different?" He brings the sandwich up and takes a bite, his eyes flick over to Cat, his hand coming over for a brief wave.

Helena smiles, but in a sad sort of way. "I don't want you to make me feel better, I want you tell me the truth. I don't know if I'm leading well, or if I'm really leading at all. What have we accomplished lately? We're apparently not even keeping our heads down." She looks over her shoulder, sees Cat. "Hey."

The pair of them are looked at in turn as she sits and faces both equally, placing the sax on the picnic table. "Storms," Cat greets, "Brian." She thinks for a moment as if to answer the question she heard asked, but elects not to, it having been asked of someone else.

Brian gives a little shrug. "Everything we've done causes problems that people don't like. Maybe we should try something that everyone would like. Like…" His hand go through vague wavy motions in front of him. "Like rebuild Midtown." Another shrug. "Hey Cat."

"How is rebuilding a radiated zone going to do anything for the fact that Evolved are being treated like criminals? That terrorists are taking it upon themselves to kill us?" Helena counters. "I'm all for civil action and trying to make things better, you know that - but you think we should just let things like this happen?"

"It's often not about what people like or don't like," Cat states quietly as she weighs in. "Some things they'll only understand in the long term. But at the same time it can't be a bad thing to rebuild Midtown, or at least make it no longer radioactive." She saw what Delphine was capable of, the thing she asked Cat and Abby to keep between them, but that project would go beyond her capacity given the need for a painkiller after assisting just one person. What the hell did Arthur do to her?

"How would we accomplish that, Brian?"

Brian gives up yet another shrug. "We figured out how to take down whatshisface and Petrelli. We devote our brainpower or whatever to fixing things, I'm sure we could pull something together." He frowns lightly at Helena. "Not that I am promoting apathy. But there are innocent people all over the world being treated like criminals. Not just the evolved. There are genocides, xenocides, etcetra as we speak. We're supposed to give hope to the Evolved, right? Want them to be able to lead better lives. Maybe we should give the world things that they want. We're not hunters. Unless that's what you want us to be, then we can go hunt and kill Humanis First members." He purses his lips. "Cops do still exist though and they're not completely useless. But while we're taking out hate groups we should go take out the KKK, maybe the Bloods as well."

Bringing up his finger he taps it at his lips softly. "Not saying I'm one hundo percent right. Just giving you something to think about I guess. I'll support whatever decision you make."

"I don't want to hunt and kill anyone." Helena admits quickly. "But I want to be able to defend ourselves, and I want others to be able to defend themselves." She frowns. "Which Petrelli are you talking about? Nathan?"

"Humanis First is beyond our ability to handle," Cat remarks, "the best we can do there is defend ourselves if they come at us, and gather as much information as we can for sharing with the police and other agencies who have the manpower and the money. After last night I don't think there'll be any lack of the Feds taking them seriously. And hopefully they'll have learned not to try arresting any of their operatives anywhere they might be without a full-on team. Because even when they seem alone, they aren't." A scowl comes to her face, and anger in her eyes. It still burns to have been in a battle unarmed twice in a week. "We have to be careful which cops we tell, though. Some of the police are HF. HF said so themselves."

"Which reminds me, Brian," Cat adds after a two second pause, "I've been trying to get a chance to show you the files, they've changed quite a bit since you last saw them."

"Arthur. We took down Arthur." Brian murmurs, giving a slow nod. "So we defend ourselves. We take some karate classes. While we aren't hunting down huge threats to humanity, let's take this time to do what we should be doing. Your miracle day thing, let's have a billion of those. Or whatever." Shrugging he goes to pat Helena on the shoulder. "You'll do fine, kid."

With that he picks himself up off the bench. "Sounds good, Cat." Winters mentions, starting towards the elevator.

Helena nods a little bit to both of them, and then suddenly snorts at Brian. "You know, I turned twenty while I was in the pen. You're what - three years older than me? Maybe pushing four?" She smirks a little bit. "When do I get to stop being a kid and start being a woman to people? Sheesh."

She chuckles, replying to Brian first. "The computer's in the office area. Pull up Explorer, the folder isn't hard to find. It's got subfolders by topic. Sometimes people appear in multiple places because they tie in to more than one thing. Structure's changed some since you last saw it." Cat doesn't call it Catabase, though, because Brian mocks that term. She doesn't want to remind him of that.

"I never thought of you as less than a woman. That happened at eighteen, Helena."

Pausing at the door, pressing the button Brian only grins back to Helena. When the elevator opens with a ding he steps in crisply. "As soon as you stop caring that people are calling you 'kid'." Is his answer, as he presses 'down'. "Goodnight, Lena."

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