It's Enough


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Scene Title It's Enough
Synopsis Coffee and brainstorming at Elisabeth's place.
Date February 13, 2009

Elisabeth's apartment at Dorchester Towers

This is a pretty standard two-bedroom apartment, although the occupant has gone to some effort to make it her own. Although the carpet is the ubiquitous beige, the walls are painted a soft rose-gray mauve shade, giving the main living space warmth. A dark gray sectional sofa sits in the living room facing an entertainment center that contains a state-of-the-art stereo system and a less upscale television setup. A coffee table sits in the curve of the sectional, and floor lamps bracket the ends of the furniture. The dining area hosts a four-seater square oak table and chairs, with the table generally host to a slew of mail and papers. An oak sideboard against the wall has candles on either end of it and a glass bowl with a fake arrangement of flowers. A small wine rack sits next to the sideboard, home to no more than nine bottles. The kitchen is small, but functional, painted a soft yellow color with a transparent blue glass backsplash. Off the living room are two bedrooms, one of which has the door closed and the other appears to be a home office. Its walls are a soft shade of green, and it contains a desk with a high-end computer setup and a bookcase stocked with textbooks.

It's a strange sensation, being suddenly cut off from all things Phoenix, being wholly in the realm of police work. Elisabeth has come to remember all the things she loved about being a cop…. and all the things she hated too. Without being able to make a lot of contact with Phoenix operatives due to the influx of Homeland Security agents in SCOUT's squad room, with whom she has to work closely and to whom she does not want to give any appearance of impropriety, Liz has managed to immerse herself in the life of a police officer as it exists post-bridge collapse.

And in some small way, though she makes a point to check in every night for updates and information, it's like she's gone back to living her life before Phoenix ever blazed through it…. except for the gaping hole where her best friend used to be. There are no concerts in the park right now, there are no movies to be seen, there are no casual walks. There is only looting and killing and rape and robbery and more than half of them seem to be Evolved criminals lately. And there's no sleep, either. At least… not nearly enough of it. Finally, after days and days of not checking with Cat, Elisabeth picks up the phone and calls the other woman, asking her over. Just coffee. Company.

She's agreeable to this, very much so. The phone conversation is fairly short, after it Cat is on her way. She comes with her guitar case and backpack over opposite shoulders, clad casually. Thoughts in her mind are constant; she's a woman who rarely lets her mind rest. Helena and the others in prison, the library having been poked through, Conrad dead, Sergei still missing, plans, plots, Rickham, Ygraine and Jennifer, lieutenancy, registration, becoming a Howard Hughes-like recluse, Staten Island recon, Kinson Sayers, brutal revenge on Ethan… and the one person who's never far from mind. Courtney Danielle Hamilton.

She makes her way into Dorchester Towers, comparing the place with her memory to see if there are any differences, then the elevator, and from there to the door marked 304.

A hand lifts, sounds are made. Knocking.

When she lets Cat in, Elisabeth looks…. less like she's going to break under the strain and more just physically tired than when Cat last saw her. She offers a small smile, gesturing the other woman inside and closing the door. "I'm sorry," she offers, first thing. "I should have called sooner. I've been…. paranoid to death." She looks at the room, and then asks, "Let me take your coat? Coffee's ready and waiting." Along with the last of the coffee cakes she baked when she was suspended. "Things have been somewhat crazed," she finally says.

"We're not even working with our own partners very much right now, we're being paired up with whoever happens to be in the room when a call comes in. Which means I'm too close to Homeland Security to be as accessible as I feel like I ought." She grimaces.

Her gear is set down, the coat is shed, and Cat listens while Elisabeth speaks. "I can imagine," she replies in a voice kept quiet. "Who'd have thought the time after saving billions of lives would be more stressful than the operations themselves?"

A chair is settled onto, her legs crossing at the ankles as she turns her gaze back to the Hostess. "You don't have anything to be sorry for."

Elisabeth grins a little. "Oh, I kinda figured the aftermath would be stressful. Killing people is pretty godawful stressful, Cat," she offers. "And that was before I started getting deliveries of corpse hands to the precinct. How are things going on your end? The information I've got is…. somewhat limited."

"I know," Cat replies in a voice that becomes a bit more hushed as her eyes go distant. They regard a wall.

It's October 20th, 2008, in Greenwich Village.

//The situation, as it comes into the eyes of others it's one of those nightmares of the "ordinary" person. There are broken windows, dented cars, screaming and running people. And two people? Who are not running and screaming. Both are dressed in scuffy, tattered attire. Both seem in a frenzy shrieking and flailing at anything at hand. But not running in terror; apparently lashing out at anything around them. Oh, and both apparently Evolved. One seems to have a powerful acid spraying from his hands, substances dissolving in wide arcs with his wild flailing. The other is the source of the boom, apparently. His body begins to glow, and then emits a pulse of energy, lashing out and blasting things around him. The two are on opposite sides of the streets, and separated by about a block.

This isn't good at all. Not only are they destroying things, they're adding to potential public fear and giving ammo to anyone who believes the Linderman Act is a good thing. Cat won't disagree these two need to be locked up forever, she'd just argue they can be tried, convicted, and imprisoned under laws that were already on the books prior to that Act. Her gaze rests on the pair as they move along, the faces and details are committed to memory quickly; an easy thing for Cat. And she moves to pop open the trunk of her car. Her bow and several arrows are in it. One is picked out and strung in the bow. Cat turns sideways, closes the eye not needed to fire, takes aim on the radioactive one's chest, holds her breath, and lets loose. She hopes to strike his heart and end his destructive career.

Both of them are shrieking incoherently. The destruction continues to build up, as another pulse booms out from the one man, denting cars, throwing people too slow to flee about, shattering windows. The other grapples with a woman who'd fallen, as her screams fill the air, her skin beginning to melt away under his touch. The arrow flies through the airand strikes true, apparently. Or true enough. It catches the man in the chest. His features twist in befuddled confusion, and he falls to the ground.

There's a streak of light in the night's sky, something like a small comet burning its way against the black and the stars. It arcs around one of the buildings in a way unbecoming of a meteorite, then emerges in a blazing streak of fire at near street level, blazing past Cat where she stands by her car with a wave of thermal wind. The flames explode outwards as the comet is revealed to be a man ablaze and not a celestial event. The explosion of fire from the sudden stop flares outwards from all sides, a rippling curtain of heat and smoke rising off of his shoulders. He touches down on the street, looking at the one man laying on his back with an arrow in his chest, then back to Cat. The scar across his brow, that look in his eyes, she knows it's Peter.

"It is stressful," she agrees on emerging from that recollection. "Things on my end are brainstormy, for the most part. The library was crawled, Teo said. The dispensary not, apparently, but he's extended the gone to ground period."

Elisabeth sighs heavily at the news that the library was compromised. "What about news on Abby?" she asks quietly. "I saw the report zip across my desk the other day. Any luck so far? There's been nothing on our end, but then again… given that nothing indicates to the cops that she was coerced, it's low priority."

"I've not heard much about Abby," Cat shares, "other than her apparent vacation to Louisiana. Teo thinks Sergei is alive and on Staten Island, I'm assembling teams to go look for him there. You most likely already knew that, he said the police are also looking."

She lapses into thought briefly, then studies the blonde for some moments. "What sort of persona should I display for going there and talking with locals in dicey areas?"

Elisabeth picks up the coffee pot as Cat answers about Abby, pouring the brew into mugs for both of them, and then Cat pipes up with her information about Sergei. Liz's head whips up and she drops the coffeepot, which shatters on the tile at her feet spraying hot coffee everywhere. "What??" She clearly didn't know anything about it. At all.

That was unexpected. She thought the knowledge was present. Cat was wrong. It's not the first time, and probably not the last. This time? There's hot coffee spraying around from the dropped and shattered pot. The mug Cat had reached for is left where it rests, because there's suddenly a splash of hot liquid soaking through the left cuff of her jeans and scalding the skin below.

She's quickly on her feet and moving away from the blast radius. Her eyes snap to the blonde officer, concern showing on her features, and a question forming.

"Elisabeth… are you okay?"

Elisabeth doesn't even seem to notice the liquid splashed all over her khaki-clad legs and sock-clad feet or the shattered glass on the floor either. Her eyes on Cat reflect shock. "H… He survived?" There's a momentary pause and hope, fragile and oh-so-cautious, is ruthlessly squashed. "What kind of evidence? What cops? No one is looking for him on this side of the river because I covered for his disappearance, told them he had an out-of-town emergency … that I had taken him to the airport on my personal days."

Surprises abound. Cat's face briefly shows it. "I don't know what evidence he has. He simply said he believes Sergei is on Staten Island and alive, and the NYPD is looking for him. He may simply be unaware of arrangements you made to cover his absence, Elisabeth. I just know I'm planning recon excursions to look for him, asking around the locals."

Mentally, Cat makes a decision. Never again will she be speaking while Officer Harrison has a pot of steaming liquid in hand.

Elisabeth's hands are trembling again as she moves to try to carefully step out of the minefield of broken carafe shards to a broom and dustpan from the pantry. Her voice shakes as well. "I, uhm… you're going to need low-end denim, sneakers or work boots, nothing name brand. Things from places like Wal-Mart. You're going to need to think 'working-class' and 'blue-collar'. And you're going to need to be extremely careful. I believe there's a Ferryman safehouse there, where they'd be able to give you better coaching on handling and blending in with the locals. What kind of teams? And where are you supposed to be looking?" She swallows hard, bring the broom back to sweep up the mess, still ignoring that she's spattered and soaked with hot coffee. That'll leave a few nasty red marks that she'll notice later. "I may be able to get assigned to work over there, if that'll help. There are rumors about a bunch of things happening in the underground over there."

She listens quietly, watching also, stepping over to place her hands over the blonde's when they're seen to tremble as she begins to sweep up. Cat's goal is to impart calm if she can. "Inexpensive clothing, that much I understood," she replies in hushed tones. "Hourly wage earner persona, too. I'm not bad at stagecraft, this will be something of that sort. My Surly Wench act played on my name, I dressed in black and prowled like a cat while I played. There is a safehouse, one of the people will be from it. Teams would be me, Kinson, the ferrywoman, and maybe Teo, or having Claude in the mix."

When Cat's hands go over the top of hers, Liz looks up at her and blows out a soft breath. "Okay," she says softly. "Why didn't Teo tell me he'd found something to support the idea that he survived, Cat?" She searches Cat's face. "I told him…. to keep it to himself unless he found something, but he must have found something if he's sending you in."

"I don't know the answer to that question, Elisabeth," Cat replies solemnly. "He only said he believes he's there and alive. His thought was to send Kinson, I volunteered to go along. I didn't ask about specific evidence he might have come across." Her features, searched, are showing compassion and sincerity. "I don't know of any arrangements or understandings you and he have about Sergei's situation and discussing it. Would you prefer I don't tell you anything not based on solid evidence?"

There's a visible pause, and Elisabeth watches her. "I…. No. If he has enough faith to send you in…. I want to know if you find anything, Cat. Don't…. only if you find something you think is credible though. I don't want false hope."

"I'll do that," Cat replies. She goes silent, her eyes doing that thing where she goes distant again, eying a wall. For those who know her, it's a telltale sign.

It's the ruins of Midtown on December 19th, 2008.

Phoenix was in the process of rescuing Alle Rickham, preventing him from being outed to the world.

Helena looks up into the eyes of the President Elect, momentarily losing her words, but then, "That girl - she's a healer. Get Parkman over to her." She looks down at Norton. "She can't help him, he's - " she cuts off. "She can't help him." She doesn't want to just leave Trask here, but as she rises from her knees she speaks quickly and frantically. "Sir, please listen to me. There is a terrorist cell headed by a man named Kazimir Volken who we think are responsible for the attack on you. They've got some kind of apocalyptic scenario planned - and that's just the beginning of what you'll have to deal with, like the camps - I'm sorry, I have to go" She starts to step away, intent on taking off before the authorities get there.

Trask is attempting to push himself up, his blood leaking out into the snow around him, "Mr President, get Parkman over to her, she" He coughs clearing his throat "She can help"

She moves forward with Doctor Ray when he approaches, staying near him as she was asked to do. The man lying on the ground by Helena is looked at again, the face is studied. She knows Sergei was supposed to be somewhere around here. The image of Sergei is called up and compared against the downed one. Could be. Maybe. She'll hate it, she really will, but there's only one way to make certain of what she suspects. Cat moves to just inside the ten foot range and immediately feels the confusion. The swiss cheesing, the fog. One hand rubs at her temple a bit, and she steps back to outside the range. Things return to normal. Silence is maintained, she simply observes and waits for Helena to be on the move, also ready to give assistance if asked.

"I know his secret, Elisabeth. And I think you love him."

There's a faint smile, somewhat sick-looking. "He's been my best friend for two years now. I tell him everything. And I do love him. It's…. complicated. We knew the risks of that night, Cat. But losing him? It's like losing a part of myself."

Elisabeth looks at the floor and adds quietly, "I'm not going to say his death suddenly made me all kinds of sure of what I feel… but it definitely makes me realize how important he *is* to my life. I'm feel like I walk around every day in a fog."

"I figured it out the night we saved Allen Rickham," Cat shares. "His size, the voice sounding familiar with a different accent, and the clincher. I got close, inside ten feet, and he made me feel like I was in a fog. Couldn't think straight. And I've been there, still am. Seven years, the first person I told about my sudden memory upgrade. Best friend, everything, admitting to myself I looked at her in other ways too when she came to the city…" Her jaw sets a bit moments later.

"If Sergei Trask is out there, we'll find him."

Elisabeth squeezes Cat's hand on her own tightly. "Sergei Trask is dead. Norton's brother was Sergei," she says quietly. "I think it's his way of keeping him alive." She clenches her jaw. "If he's alive, I want to know, Cat. And if it means I have to go in there with a SCOUT team or a Phoenix team or a fucking Evo Company team and level the goddamned place, that's what I'm going to do."

"Anything conclusive found will be shared with you," Cat states. "Maybes won't, as you asked."

Elisabeth nods to Cat and says softly, "Thanks. The maybes will kill me. If I find I need them, I'll ask." She smiles a little. "At least I'll know WHO to ask now."
"You're very welcome," Cat offers. "I came across an engineer a few days ago. Alec Bonder. I'm interested in his background. Might not turn out to be useful, but contacts like that can always be valuable. Can you check him out for me?"

Elisabeth takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly, and nods. "Yeah, I can do it. It'll take a few days, what with needing to keep it off the friggin' HomeSec agents' radar. But yeah. I can make it happen." She looks curious. "Am I looking for recruitment purposes, or am I looking because we think he's a person of interest?"

"Which gets the more in-depth look?" Cat asks. "I've seen no evidence he has an Evolved talent, but that doesn't preclude anything. If I have the recruitment level check, then I can ask about his politics a little if I run into him again. In any case, persons engaged in engineering pursuits for me need scrutiny, by the very nature of what they do." And there's mention of agents, prompting a segue of topics.

"I ran across Agent Dahl some days ago. I rate her neutral to hostile, although she did offer to provide false identities within a time frame which might be as much as two weeks, but would end when she has a new assignment. She said she'd also spoken with you."

Elisabeth's hand is released, so she can resume cleaning up the destroyed pot. "Have you another?"

With a nod, Liz says, "They both get good scrutiny from me, but if you're looking for recruitment, I'll be looking for slightly different things than if you're looking at him as a potential threat." She pauses and nods slowly, "I think she only ever got involved at all because it was the right thing to do and her partner, Einliter, had committed to it. Mostly neutral, I think. We just need to steer clear as much as possible, so far as I can tell. She just flat doesn't want to be in the middle of this."

She looks at the carafe on the floor and says, "I think the one from my old coffee maker is in the cabinet over the fridge. Uhm… I can get you a pair of pants, too," she says, realizing that they're both soaked. "I'm sorry about that."

"It happens," Cat replies, declining the pants offer. She moves to that cabinet and eyes it, reaching up to extract the pot. "What do you make of the other one, Agent Ivanov, who gets a medal and hero treatment instead of a prison cell as his reward?" Her eyes cloud over, there's a cast to her features showing a restrained fuming over that state of affairs.

"I think Felix is a damn good cop, and that he's in a unique position. His agent in charge knew enough about what happened to determine that to cover her OWN ass, she couldn't expose his. So she had to play up his involvement in order to further her own ends. In my case… Will's just keeping silent." Elisabeth shakes her head. "He doesn't think the medal is worth the metal it's made of either. He's just trying to do the same as we are, Cat — saving as many people as he can, however he can. Hell…. I had to go to the police commissioner about those bombs. Do you think that, if we had botched that job, she wouldn't have hung me out to dry? Conversely, had anyone found out what I was doing out there, she might have been forced to make an example of me, too — would you be pissed if I'd been handed a medal for that clusterfuck?"

"I know you, and I'd know the situation," Cat replies honestly. "So no. Him I don't know." Silence settles in, as she muses for a short time. "So you don't think he's an enemy, but you also wouldn't advise letting him in on anything like rescuing prisoners of conscience? If he could be in any way useful to that end, as far as finding out where they are, or what decision makers are relevant?"

"I've been brainstorming the matter, cooking up ideas to get them out without putting anyone at risk. If we made a move and more are taken, we've achieved nothing at all, and would only need to mount more operations aimed at getting them back."

There's a pause as Elisabeth weighs her words here. "Honestly, Cat? I think if you said to him 'hey, we need help, these people are being held, we can prove they're not dangerous, and we're going in after them,' he *might*. We talked at one point…. about how to go back to just being a cop after learning about what's out there, about the plans within plans that are happening around us. And … he'll do the right thing. He's a good man. I don't know that he could be of help locating them or anything, though. He's not HomeSec. He's basically an NYPD cop like me, except he's got a federal badge. The Feebs don't know what to do with him, so they essentially permanently loan him to us as a "liaison."" The air quotes come into play, and then Liz goes back to sweeping up the mess. "If you're talking about Helena and Alex and Brian…. until we know where they are, we can't effectively brainstorm anything. And I have to tell you…. getting them out without inside help is going to be one hell of a long shot."

She nods, her features pensive and troubled. "My law degree is useless. Their captors don't believe in due process at all. Even Timothy McVeigh got better treatment than this. We can't even be sure they weren't taken somewhere and summarily executed or nailed to a barrel behind some Company facility. We've been told, though, that two were taken out of state. I think the other one is Stormy. The only prison I know of is Moab, in Utah. That can't be the only one. I hope to hear from Wireless soon, find out what more she's been able to learn. Right now, the most important thing is to somehow get a message of hope through, something that says they aren't forgotten."

Cat busies herself readying the coffeemaker, looking for the necessary things to do so.

With a slight nod, Elisabeth sighs quietly. When she gets the glass all cleaned up, she tosses paper towels down and uses her foot to pick up the coffee remains… the socks, she'll bleach later, and the floor she'll mop later too. She points Cat toward the coffee supplies and says quietly as she works, "I hope to God someone can figure it out, Cat. I don't want them to just vanish forever either. But they know we won't forget. Not ever."

Items are found, and measured out, Cat showing them to Elisabeth for verification the amounts are right, then the brew is started. "They really know I won't forget."

Elisabeth smiles at that. "Yeah… not like they could miss that." She shakes her head and offers, "Have some cake, Cat. I'm sorry about the reaction."

As dark liquid brews, Cat sits and picks up the mug already poured, drinking from it as she eyes the cake. "Thank you," she offers.

Sliding onto a chair nearby, Elisabeth sighs quietly. "Know what the worst part of all this is?" she asks. "I'm a freakin' coward. I don't want to hope and get shot down, so I'm just hiding behind this acceptance that he's more than likely dead. I don't do so great with uncertainty."

I've been there too," Cat relates, her face shifting to sorrow. "All the days between my release and the hamburger wrapper being left under the apartment door, found by a classmate I hired to handle taking out the Christmas tree and put the gifts, the stockings, the decorations into storage. Hoping we could discover where she was held and raid it to get her out, knowing there wasn't enough time… Then the time between that and when Linderman's goon Zarek came to tell me her bones…"

Her features show a smoldering rage, the fists clench with white knuckles.

"Her bones were found and at a morgue in Harlem. Just her bones. If I get my hands on Ethan… you really don't want to know what I'll do to him."

"And now I still can't even scatter the ashes as was planned."

Elisabeth grimaces softly and puts her hand on Cat's arm. "Believe me…. I do understand that part." She sighs. "This is a crazy world we're living in nowadays. Gotta admit, some days, I wish I'd been born before World War II so I could live in simpler times." She rolls her eyes. "Relatively speaking, at least that war was understandable."

"I had planned, after the battles were over, to go with Helena and Ygraine, the people in New York who knew her best besides me, and scatter them from the highest point of a bridge that didn't get blown up, because we stopped them from that happening, and stopped so many people from joining her in early death. The virus is gone, all but one bridge is standing unbroken, but Helena's not here. So I wait until she is."

Quietude settles in as Cat mulls over the officer's words.

"World War Two… this had elements of that," she opines. "We did, after all, defeat a mass murdering nutjob Nazi and block his plans."

Elisabeth chuckles softly. "That we did, lady…. and the world won't likely ever know it, but you know what? If I died tomorrow, I'd go knowing that what we did mattered. It's enough."

February 13th: Four Lights
February 13th: Lesson Plan
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