Just In Case We Vanish


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Scene Title Just In Case We Vanish
Synopsis Elisabeth and Cat discuss Cardinal, Molly, Matt, and other people.
Date June 5, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Cat's Penthouse

Arriving by any of four elevators, visitors will find they open into three foot corridors facing wide double doors made from sturdy southern pine which swing outward and have the strongest locks available. The stairs lead to single doors, also outward opening, at the end of three foot corridors. Entry requires both a key and a keycard; other security measures are a video camera and voice communication terminal at all doors. The 4th Street side has floor to ceiling windows interrupted only by the access points. Cream colored curtains are normally kept closed.

This level has enough space for sixteen apartments. There is an office space with reception area, conference room, and executive office; a room for archery practice and other forms of physical exercise; a very well appointed kitchen and dining area; a music zone with an array of instruments, electronics, and amplifiers; an entertainment area with an HD set covering an entire stretch of wall from floor to ceiling; a locked room where security footage for the building is recorded and can be monitored; a laundry room; a staircase for roof access; central air and heating; the main bedroom and a few smaller guest rooms; plush deep wine carpet everywhere except the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms; and track lighting everywhere overhead. The light levels can be lowered or raised in the entire place, or selectively by segments. The overall decor suggests the occupant is a woman.

This stop she makes before heading in to work. Carrying a large cup of coffee with her, Liz lets herself into Cat's elevator to the penthouse floor, not bothering to ring ahead this time. When she steps out, Liz rings the doorbell on Cat's door and then waits patiently for Cat to let her in.

There's a stretch of time before the door is opened, she needing to make it across the place for that purpose, but open it does. Cat stands there other than dressed for the day, perhaps having rolled out of bed. Her eyes rest on the detective, and a slight smile forms. "You're a good detective," she greets, reaching out to take the cup Elisabeth holds, "knowing I'd need that and bringing it for me. Thanks."

Liz laughs and shares the cup with Cat. Doesn't seem to bother her a bit. "C'mon, you…. are you awake enough to have a full conversation this morning?" she asks as she steps into Cat's apartment.

"I am," Cat replies, her eyes closing as she drinks from the purloined beverage. It seems to be an experience of more than pleasurable proportion for her. "What's on your mind?" she asks next, hands still clutching the cup. Mine. Not giving back.

Elisabeth would grumble, but she'll just get another on the way to the precinct this morning. "If I talk to you about something and asked you to keep it between me and you, would you do it? And I mean in this instance…. it'd be a 'you keep this to yourself no matter what, and you don't tell ANYONE' kind of don't talk about it. And you don't go see fuckin' Arthur Petrelli again either if you agree to talk to me about it." She's blunt on it… she needs a little of Cat's insight into the possibilities, and she wants to let someone know what she's doing in case it gets her and the others dead.

She isn't entirely cruel on the coffee front. Cat starts walking as she listens, headed for the kitchen where she'll start a pot and replace that which she confiscated. All the while she's enjoying it, and her expression becomes pensive. Clarity is present, despite having been awakened. "Of course," she replies, asking next "What's going on?"

Elisabeth nods slowly. "So not too long ago, I got asked to pick up a case for a friend, off the record. And it has turned into a big huge honkin' deal. During the course of the investigation, I learned a couple of things….. that Petrelli and his henchmen have kidnapped a cop's kid. And I learned the names of the Founders of the Company." She looks steadily at Cat. "And at this moment, I'm keeping my information to myself and choosing to investigate it as well as I can without bringing in our mutual friends."

She's listening intently as the mechanics of making coffee are gone through, some of it already perhaps known to her. "Who's the officer?" Cat asks, "and who are the founders? I already know of Petrelli, Petrelli, Deveaux, Bishop, Nakamura, and Linderman." After adding water and turning the device on, she moves to a chair at the table and occupies it.

There's a nod. "Those were the names most familiar to me, too. Maury Parkman is another name on the list, and the child missing is Matt Parkman's daughter Molly," Elisabeth tells her quietly. "I'm reasonably sure based on the way Parkman himself has acted that dear grandpapa and Arthur snatched the girl. Proving it? Getting a warrant to move on it? No way it's going to happen." She can only imagine the hell Matt Parkman must be going through. The other names are not likely to be as familiar to you. They aren't big names here in New York, from what I can gather."

"Molly has the ability to locate people," Cat replies. "And now Arthur has that same ability. We aren't sure he took it from her, but it's very possible. He took Claire's regeneration." Lifting the cup again, she drinks quietly, and offers a smile of gratitude. "Are you sure you aren't a telepath, coming with this at just the right time?" The right time to have it confiscated.

"The right time? How so?" Elisabeth sighs and shoves a hand through her hair. "Uhm, two Petrellis, Deveaux, Bishop, Nakamura, Linderman, Maury Parkman, Victoria Pratt — who I believe Cardinal is planning speaking with personally, she'd have been one of the primary researchers on the formula — Carlos Mendez, Harry Fletcher, Paula Gramble, and Susan Amman," she rattles off from memory. It's not so hard when you already know the first half of the list by heart.

"I just woke up," Cat replies with a dry chuckle. "That I'd be seeking coffee is just a natural extension of that." Her eyes rest on the detective for a moment, suddenly realizing they'd just spoken of two different things, and a question follows. "Those would be the rest of the Founders? Anyway, I hope Matt cools his jets and thinks to ask more questions about what he could be facing instead of just trying to steamroll in with agents and warrants." Not that she's really concerned about bad things happening to that guy.

Elisabeth ohs and laughs softly. "No worries." And then she nods. "Those are the rest of the Founders, yes. But as I said to you — NOTHING you and I talk about can be passed on to anyone, Cat. Let me work this angle my own way, all right? I don't know what Matt might do. He can be a rat bastard sometimes, but this is his kid we're talking about. And that just changes everything. My big concern is that if he bungling in there, they could steamroll right over him and take everything he knows…. and that includes a pretty significant list of membership. Though who the hell knows if they already have that — I know Minea knows the whole list, and she warned us from the start that she wouldn't lie if confronted, she just wouldn't volunteer information."

"It is the kind of situation which makes rational thought turn to smoke," Cat agrees. And she doesn't have a high opinion of Matt's capability for such to begin with. If the man had any such, he'd have purified himself of DHS and the cowardly President long ago. Maybe not ever have gotten in bed with them to begin with.

"I'm not, however, worried about him telling Arthur who our members are. Arthur already knows. When I met him, I was planning to say as little as possible, so he told me things about us. Helena, Teo and his lineage, you… He at the very least does his homework. Given that Arthur lifted an ability off his own granddaughter, I don't think it would matter so much that Maury works with him. He might just see it as a good time to become a telepath."

"Minea came to see me recently," Cat relates.

Elisabeth grimaces and asks, "What'd Minea want to talk to you about?"

"She was posthumously contacted by Roger Goodman, as his insurance policy," Cat shares. "Apparently the message from him directed her to Father, and Father aimed her at me. He called me to verify that, in case she approached, and she did. But not as herself, she wore a fairly ridiculous getup, disguised her voice, and called herself Miss Chance."

"She claims Goodman had a change of heart at the end and became in favor of bringing down both Primatech and Pinehearst, mentioning Father as someone of potential like mind."

There's a long moment here where Elisabeth just stares and then facepalms. "This whole fake name this is getting absolutely ridiculous." She sighs. "The question is … how much of that does she believe? And how much of what's going on is she reporting up her chain of command?"

"Unknown, and unknown," Cat answers. "But she claims to be on board with the end of Primatech, asked me what would be necessary to pull it off. I told her the simple answer. Information. Proof. I doubt she needed to be, but I warned her anyway, there are ruthless people on both sides of the equation."

Elisabeth blows out a breath and nods slowly. "All right. Well… it's the best we can do. I guess a lot is going to depend on how much she's telling Agent Denton, and how much he trusts any of us to be telling the truth." She grimaces.

Her eyes close a bit. "That guy. Is he really so naive as to think Primatech helps anyone at all, and deserves to continue existing? He seems to believe what he claimed. And his misplaced loyalty. If he had any decency at all, his commitment would be to justice and due process. There's not a single reason why any person they claim is dangerous and needing containment couldn't be handled through the courts, in the open."

Elisabeth holds up a hand and stops Cat mid-rant. "Stop there. Because you could most assuredly make the same arguments about my day job, Cat," she says firmly. "I wouldn't keep BEING a cop if I didn't believe in the system. I couldn't keep being a cop if I didn't believe in the system. Does it have flaws? Yes. Are these people fucking it up majorly? Yes. But in most cases, none of these agents have a clue that they're picking people up and making them vanish. They think they're going to re-education camps or something. So seriously… some benefit of the doubt is in order here. I'm not saying Denton's right…. but hell, we don't even know if we're right."

"That's just it, Elisabeth," Cat replies. "You do believe in the system, which says police have rules to follow which limit their power, keep them from being a Gestapo. These people don't. And they have to know they don't. If your police department head had someone shot to stop secrets from getting out, would you stand right here and tell me he or she was a traitor that deserved it? Or would you not be worried, because you know your department is clean, and say if it isn't, then he or anyone else would be right to open all the files?"

"Not the point, Cat," Elisabeth says quietly. "There's a certain amount of following your conscience in being a cop, a fed, whatever. But when you sign up as a soldier or an agent, you also sign up on the understanding that you may not have all the information and you may be asked to do things that have been approved at the highest levels of government and you just do your job. Snipers do it, SEALs do it, the CIA does it, lots of agencies do it. Right or not, it's how the system is built. So … I'm not saying it's totally right, but I am saying let's not just assume everyone who WORKS for the Company is evil."

"The oath they take, the Federal oath," Cat states calmly, "says support and defend the Consitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That comes first, before the bits about obeying orders. As to the Company, they don't even follow the law. Abducting people, marking their bodies like we're zoo animals and removing memories, is that anywhere in the Linderman Act? How can they work with an organization which does this, and not understand completely it's kidnapping? What would your conscience tell you if Captain Harvard told you to grab someone, lock him or her away, ignore any request for an attorney, and even pretend you never saw that person?"

"You I trust as a friend and an honest detective. Them, I don't yet. I hope you're right, I really do, that there are enough decent people like you working with Primatech to make a difference. But I'll be skeptical until I see them prove it by actions."

Elisabeth looks at Cat and nods slowly, the worry lines in her face a bit deeper these days. "Me too," she says softly, though she doesn't elaborate on whether it's to the hope or the skeptical part… most likely to both. She shoves off her chair and says with a sigh, "I gotta get to work. Let me know if anything breaks."

"We don't have a lot of options, truthfully," Cat remarks. "We need information to pull it off, and we need them to either give it to us, or tell us where to look. So in the end, we may have to challenge individual agents on Primatech's current and past actions until their consciences kick in, or they grow them. A thing made only harder by them knowing just how ruthless their bosses are. Execution for being caught as Goodman was."

Then she turns back to Cardinal and the request for confidentiality. "It doesn't make me happy concealing things from Stormy, but I'll do it. She asks us to accept her reasons for holding back about the future, she'll have to also understand this if it comes to that. Mr. Redbird's reluctance is troubling. I think she should meet him again, and this time introduce herself truthfully. What should we do just in case you vanish?"

Elisabeth pauses and looks at Cat. "First and foremost… get me a list of things you want to know. We'll see what we can manage from our Company 'friends'," she says. "If something happens and one or both of us vanish…. it might be the impetus you need to get Agent Denton to actually commit to action. Right now, he doesn't trust us any more than we trust him, I'm sure. So… if I vanish, tell him. Tell him what I was working on, tell him as much as you think you can manage, and see what he can do about sticking the Company's nose into Pinehearst's business."

Elisabeth grins a bit. "Maybe, just maybe, it'll be worth something. Not that I think I'm all that, but it might be enough to give them a reason."

She nods slowly in commencing her reply. "Will do. Be careful out there on the streets, and in the precinct," Cat offers as she moves to close and secure the doors after the detective, also slipping cash for a replacement coffee into her fingers over and above any offered protest or refusal.

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