How Far Is Too Far


bf_bast_icon.gif elisabeth3_icon2.gif

Scene Title How Far is Too Far?
Synopsis She's trusting that they will agree on the answer to that.
Date November 16, 2014

Unity Park

This is not a meeting she's looking forward to in the least. They have enjoyed one another's company, become friends… but he at least believes her about where she's from. And she hopes that their friendship is strong enough to withstand what she's about to do. It's a risk. A huge one. But he's going to need time to digest the information.

We need to talk.

Those words never bode well. It's cold out, but she asks him to meet her in Unity Park despite the cold morning. Old habits. She can see all egress routes, determine if they're being followed, have an escape route or twelve. Despite the chill, they aren't alone in the park, though. There are always those willing to bring the kids, the dogs, the joggers running the paths. She shoves her hands into the pockets of her fleece-lined coat as she waits for him near the entrance. She's casual today — blue jeans, sneakers, her brown hair loose around her face. And for the first time in many months she has that look of wariness about her, the one he remembers from when she first arrived. A weight on her shoulders.

We need to talk. Those words have never been uttered with happy intent. Bast has been a bit of a mess the past few days. Since he got news of Liz’s death. This Liz, the Liz from his world. Opened up like a can of pringles. But Gabriel Gray’s story checks out, his alibi his solid. So who? It’s something that has had Bast wracking his brain, combing through file after file of registered evolved. But not finding anything. Then he gets a text from Liz. The other Liz. The one that’s not dead.

She asks to meet in Unity Park, and he agrees. He shows up in his normal attire despite the chillier air. Jeans, t-shirt and leather jacket over that, his sturdy biker’s boots scuffing on the ground heavily as he walks, his feet dragging a little, thoughts and heart weighing heavily. He doesn’t have a wary look on his face. He has an angry look, and a sad look. Mad that her killer hasn’t been caught, sad that she’s gone.

He steps foot onto the park proper and leans over to give the alternate Liz a hug. Not a tight or a long one, but quick and trying to be reassuring before he tucks his hands back into his pockets and tips his head back, looking up at the sky for a few seconds, speaking once he looks back down at her. “How are you holding up?”

"That really should be my question, yeah?" Liz asks him quietly, returning the brief hug with a solid squeeze of her own. "Is there anything I can do for you?" she asks him, shoving her hands into her pockets quietly. She starts walking slowly, perhaps more just to keep in motion than out of any real desire for exercise. It makes her feel safer to continually move.

"I can't imagine that any of her friends are very satisfied with any of the answers you've gotten so far," she observes softly. "Given that Samson Gray is supposed to be dead, it seems like a more difficult than usual case."

Bast steps back from the hug, a pensive look on his features, actually giving thought to her question, not just the normal dismissal of offers of help that most people do. "Not unless you have more information on the murder than I do." He starts walking as well, his pace slow though, not in any great hurry. He walks with his shoulders hunched and his head hanging a little bit, the soldier's eyes on the ground in front of him. "MO was all Gabriel Grey. But his alibi completely checks out. I've done as much digging as I can but there's nothing else to go on that I've been able to find out. I just want to bring her killer to justice. Find some closure for her family. And her friends." THere's a hard clench of his jaw that only gradually loosens as he walks.

"Gabriel's alibi checks out. His father is dead. According to all official channels, and unofficial. Doesn't mean someone else couldn't have tried to make it look like them though. The Sylar killings weren't exactly a secret. Copycat murderer maybe? Something. The thing I don't get. Is if it is someone that killed her for her power… why her? Why someone so prominent? There are other sound manipulators out there. Many that wouldn't attract so much attention. So what is special about her or your ability that would make her a target. Or was it because of something else? A case she was involve with maybe?" HIs voice is growing angrier as he talks, his frustration definitely showing in the hard step of his boots on the park's pathway.

Elisabeth walks with him and lets him put all of his frustrations out there. She's quiet for a long time, and then she says finally, "I'm not entirely sure it's about her. It very well could be more about… drawing Gabriel into something." She hadn't thought of it that way until speaking with Gabriel, but the possibility makes a great deal of sense. "If someone is using that ability and picking a high-profile target, they want someone's attention," she observes. And she points out, "And it has the side effect, of course, of making sure all of the police are looking in all the wrong places, too."

Her hands ball into fists in her pockets, and Liz sighs heavily. "I don't really know the answer, Bast. I wish I did." She huffs out a soft sound. "Or in some ways, maybe I fucking don't. Because it's possible that it's me they're trying to get the attention of, and frankly? That idea fucking sucks and I don't know if I want to know I have still more blood credited to my account," she admits.

"But Gabriel's story checks out. So I don't know what advantage there would be there." Bast lifts a hand, fingers raking through his hair in frustration as he walks with her, his pace slow and even, his eyes constantly moving around him. "Who knows about you that would do this though? And frankly why? How is th is going to get your attention? If anything it's going to make you hunker down and lay low." There's heavy sigh from the large man as they walk, his steps heavy, boots scuffing lightly on the path that they walk.

"Drawing Gabriel into something I can sort of understand. Though what is a pretty big question. But moreover /how/? How is someone using that ability. A power mimic? Those are exceedingly rare. So either Samson Grey isn't dead. Or someone else out there has the Grey family power. Though that sounds incredibly unlikely. I'm no geneticist but I know that Evolved powers vary widely. Even evolved powers that do similar things vary widely. It just… it doesn't make sense. None of it."

Elisabeth sighs heavily as they walk, and she seems … reluctant. "My suspicion is that Samson Gray was never actually dead. That he was black-holed into Moab prison, down on Level 5 or something. Evo Gitmo." She glances around and then very obviously — at least to him — she encases them in a silence field that moves with them. "There is a prophetic painting out there that indicates that Gabriel may be able to use the same portal power that brought us here. Certain people would really like to have that ability at their disposal." She shrugs a little. "Perhaps what they're hoping is that hauling Gabriel in will somehow flush the rest of us out. Or perhaps they were hoping that by running him in, he'd get caught up in the system and stay out of whatever they're up to. I don't really know."

As they move down the path, steps in sync, Liz hesitates again. "That's not what I asked you here to talk about, though, as much as I wish I had these answers for you and her father," she finally says. "I'm honestly not sure I want to tell you any of this at this point… you have enough in your plate. But I also don't want you to get blindsided."

There is genuine regret in her tone. "Do you remember the conversation we had early in after I got here? You said if I could bring you proof that Pinehearst was … doing things, you'd be willing to look at it." She looks at him. "Are you still? Even if it's very personal and you're going to be very pissed off?"

"That could make sense. I don't exactly remember my time in there. And I know you know I was in there. If Pinehearst's fall was the event that changed things then that means other me went in there too." Bast isn't stupid, he knows who Elizabeth would assume is up to shenanigans in this world. "I think that seems a bit high profile for Pinehearst. If, and I do mean if… the rumors are true, and people do get taken from time to time. Again. If. They do it quiet and secret. Not big and messy like this. You don't find that to be out of character for their MO?" Bast's head shakes a little bit. "I just… I don't know. It doesn't click for me. Keeping Gabriel out of things though, that makes a lot more sense. He's a powerhouse. Literally."

There's a brief pause from him as they walk, and he's just about to continue speaking when she starts talking again, so his mouth closes and he listens. He doesn't say anything for a time, he just continues to walk, slow and even steps, giving it honest thought. "If you have proof then yes. I would like to see it. I can't make any promises how I'll feel afterwards. But I would like to see it yes. Just tell me where and how."

She nods slightly at his input, seeming perhaps thoughtful when he agrees with the thought that it could have been intended to keep Gabriel right on out of all this. Curtis — Bast — is someone who's always had a perspective that helped her, even when she wasn't sure she could trust him. But he's proven himself in both worlds to be an honorable man. Still… she's reluctant to blow his world to smithereens. No one wants to learn the things she's about to hand him. And yet, she takes a thumb drive from her pocket and hands it to him.

"Do not, under any circumstances, open this somewhere that has an internet connection," she tells him. "Make sure all external connections to the machine are completely cut off. And think long and hard before you commit to opening it, Bast. Because once you do? You can't unsee it, and it will fundamentally change the way you view a lot of things… and a lot of people." That last she stresses, regret in her blue eyes. "If you let rage get the better of you, if you let on that you know these things… they will either kill or disappear you too. If you're willing to help figure out a way to deal with this problem… I'll put you in contact with the federal agent who is working on it."

Elisabeth goes quiet and then looks at him steadily while they walk. She'd been trying to decide whether to warn him ahead of time, but she's reluctant to just blurt out that the evidence on the drive shows General Sebastian Autumn as fully in the know and complicit in human experimentation so as to create supersoldiers for the U.S. military. "And I'm sorry, Bast. Really sorry. I never wanted to get anyone else involved in all this. I just… don't see a lot of options anymore."

"Don't open anywhere… that doesn't have an internet connection. That's actually not an easy task." Bast lifts a hand to rub fingers at the bridge of his nose and up onto his brow and forehead. "I'm not sure I own anything that's not wireless." He admits with a slow shrug of his shoulders. "But I'll figure something out and look at it." Bast glances around them. Not a big obvious glance, but a gradual one, like someone who's walking and just taking stock of their surroundings. Not like someone who's just been handed a potentially world shattering piece of information on a thumb drive. He take sit, and slips it into his pocket as they walk.

"I'm not sure disappearing me is all that possible. Anyone that came for me would have to come with overwhelming force, which would get noticed. Because I would not die easy. A Frontline officer going missing is also pretty obvious. Then again… so is killing… Liz…" His head bobs to the side. Other Liz he means. Only that's not other Liz. The Liz he's walking with is other Liz. "World hopping stuff makes my head hurt." He mutters after a few moments, a faint and sad sort of laugh leaving him. "But don't worry. I control my rage. Not the other way around. I let it fuel me. Not consume me."

"I'm sure you're savvy enough to know how to turn off your wifi, Bast," Elisabeth tells him drily. But his assurance that it would be hard and public to kill him and the realization that maybe it's not so hard after all? Her expression is sad as she sees him make that realization. "Yeah… world hopping and time travel always make my head hurt," she informs him, wrinkling her nose as she shoves her hands back into her pockets. "Spacetime and Superstrings can go suck an egg." She shakes her head, aggravated about the whole thing, honestly. "Listen… " she hesitates and then admits, "I'm scared, Bast. For the past two years, I've done my level best just to live and be a productive member of this society while I looked for a possible way home. This… Part of me is terrified that you're going to look at what's on there, you're going to decide that it's for 'the greater good,' and you're going to do what you think is right and … I don't know. Turn me in to Pinehearst. Or to the UEO."

The confession is hard — she seems to expect him to be pissed off about it, and she doesn't look at him as they walk. "I don't know which way you'll fall on what you see… because in both of the worlds that I've known you in, you've been black ops. So I know you can compartmentalize the deaths of a few for the good of the whole." Now she looks back up at him. "I think they could use you help when the time comes, but… if you can't for whatever reason, I'm asking you to also not try to stop the people who will try."

"You said no internet connection at all. Just because wifi is off doesn't mean there's no connection possible. Or that no one is listening or watching. I'll find something that has no wireless capability and make sure it's unplugged. No possible internet. Might be something at my parent's place." Bast's steps are slow still, taking his time, mostly meandering so they have plenty of time to talk as they make their way through the park. "Killing me wouldn't be easy. Covering it up wouldn't be easy. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't do it. Whoever they are. And yes I know you think you know who they are. But I'm still not entirely convinced. Maybe I will be after I watch what's on the thumbdrive." A thumbdrive that he tucks into his jacket pocket.

"Superstrings?" He asks, turning his head with a bemused and confused expression on his features. "If you think Pinehearst doesn't already know you're here I think you'd be sadly mistaken. But I don't think you're dumb. So I'm quite sure you already know that they know you're here. As for the UEO… half the time they can't tell their ass from their elbow so I'm not going to speak to their level of knowledge. And… I'd like to assure you that I won't decide it's for the Greater Good. But I can't do that. I've done things in my time. For my country. Things I am very much not proud of. Like the conversation we had at the club. I can stomach a lot if it means the safety and security of this country. Or better yet the world. I might not sleep well at night. But I can make that sacrifice. But…" He pauses a moment or two. "Some things are too far. Some things are too much. I honestly hope what's on this drive isn't too far, and isn't too much. But if it is? I'm going to have some hard decisions to make."

Bast is quiet as Liz continues and then asks him not to try to stop something from happening. "I guess both of you. Our Liz and you are not so different after all. Doing what you think is right despite the possible consequences. You could make a new enemy with whatever is on that thumb drive. But you're doing what you think is right. And I respect that a lot. A hell of a lot. I bet other me did too. Even if he didn't say it. Took me awhile to open up about things, to talk to people after I went reserves and joined Frontline. Mike was about the only person I could really talk to for awhile. Other me from the sound of it, never had that peace time to decompress from everything he'd done. One disaster after another. I can figure out where my mind would be. And it wouldn't be good places. Kind of babbling here but… I've enjoyed getting to know you. And I really hope we don't end up on opposite sides of this thing."

Elisabeth smiles faintly. The more she's gotten to know Bast, the more she's liked him over the years. And more, she respects him — he makes his decisions the same way she does, in many ways. "Well… for whatever this is worth to you… Other you trusted me when I told him it was going too far because he's worked with me long enough to know I wouldn't take the steps I was taking without significant proof. When you're talking about non-consent human experimentation on prisoners, covering up deaths of subjects of experimentation, and people disappearing with no trials, no due process, and no civil rights… those are where I draw my lines." She shrugs a little.

"I hate that you have to see what's in there. But I also know that you are exactly the kind of man who needs to see what's in there. When you offer the government a blank check for anything up to and including your life… you need to be able to have faith in them to use that blank check responsibly… and to not be lying to you to get you enforce agendas that are counter to the oath you swore. All enemies, foreign and domestic are not just words."

She looks at him. "I wouldn't bring it to you if I weren't dead certain that I had enough to convince you that I'm not just overreacting here." Liz's steps are easily in sync with his, their pace relaxed despite the topic. As to making a new enemy? Time has inertia, and Pinehearst is just as bad as the defunct Company. Elisabeth says merely, "You're one of the best men I know, Bast. And I trust you to make the right call… and to do the best you can to protect those who can't protect themselves." It's why they all signed up, after all.

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