Let The River Run


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Scene Title Let The River Run
Synopsis Liz, Cat, and Helena discuss the action plan to get back to the past, and Helena understands that the river will flow as it must.
Date April 10, 2019

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.

So apparently Helena's ability has come back sometime within the last sixteen hours or so, she footage also shows that she snuck out very late last night and did not return until very early this morning - the sky was still dark. She left walking, but came back in a limo. Mysterious! Now she's had a couple of hours sleep and is curled up on Cat's couch with a laptop - she's been devouring information in the past couple of hours since waking up, as well as gobbling down every bit of breakfast food available to her. Helena's been eating like a piggy. A little bit longer and she'll actually look like she should. She's currently staring at one of her own speeches, looking thoroughly spooked even as she sips apple juice, a plate of crackers with cheese on the coffee table. Did we mention eating like a little piggy?

It's a building of seven floors in 2019, the penthouse being on the seventh after Cat converted the original sixth floor to the headquarters of Village Renaissance Corporation where her business interests are handled, several years earlier. Helena was able to get in and out with no trouble, a story was told to the staff about her in addition to the keycard and key she was given to use the elevators and open the doors here. Along with the laptop came access to funds with which the recovering weathermaker could order clothing and have it brought here the same day.

In short, help was provided to settle in as needed and accepted.

Cat hasn't yet looked at any footage of the previous evening after she left for the society party. When she returned Helena hadn't been there. Maybe she was in bed asleep as far as Cat knows. She'd headed off to sleep herself soon after returning, muttering about idiot men who reverse gravity and throw people into the sky.

It's only now, late morning of the 10th, that she emerges from her bedroom in shorts and a plain tank top sans shoes. Her hair is untended to, and she's rubbing her eyes a bit. The kitchen is her destination because there must. be. coffee.
Helena looks up as Cat trudges into the sizable living area. She smiles faintly, offers, "Morning, Cat." but does not seem to expect a response until the poor woman has had her caffeine transfusion.

There's a nod of acknowledgment when she's spoken to, and a noise of greeting which might have been "Morning" sent in Helena's direction, but her path is undeterred. The kitchen at the far end is reached and preparations made, then she sits at the kitchen table. Food is thought of briefly but no move is made yet to get any. She instead gets up and walks back toward Helena, getting close enough to be heard asking "Want coffee?"

It's late enough in the day that Elisabeth expects Cat to be awake. Even in the wake of last night's fiasco (which she missed, just barely) because she left the gala a bit early. Her keycard lets her into the building and the elevator, but she still politely buzzes the top floor before she steps out of the elevator into Cat's penthouse. It's just the nice thing to do.

"I wouldn't mind some coffee." Helena admits. She did get in very late. "Good morning, Liz." she calls out. "Did you bring doughnuts?" She's a tease, cuz you know, cop. "You looked beautiful last night, how was the gala?" Her brain clicks. The gala. That must be why Gillian was so dressed up.

"It was unexpectedly non-boring," Cat remarks. Eyes travel from blonde to taller blonde. She seems a bit more awake now, perhaps the anticipation of coffee is sparking synapses into action. "I went out onto a balcony at one point, was talking with Abby and a flying policeman named Baxter, when suddenly Flint Deckard flew by. He hit the rail, bounced off, and kept going. Before I had time to wonder how Deckard got that trick, I heard a man shouting at him to just fucking die."

There's a smile for Helena, and she says, "Thanks. I love to go to those things. Felix inevitably presents me with SOME kind of entertainment for the night… last night it was dodging the junior New York congressman, who apparently made lewd and obscene comments to him the last time they were in a budget meeting," she laughs. And then Deckard's adventures get mentioned. "Wellllll…. he was drunk enough to announce to a whole room full of people that he was fucking Abby, and if he said that in front of Magnes? Yeah… I could see that." She tsks and heads for Cat's coffeepot, clearly at home in the penthouse. "I took Norton to the park to watch Cam this morning. It was…. strange." She looks to Helena as she pours both herself and Cat coffee. "How're you holding up with all this?"

"I'm still trying to mentally grope the Abby and Deckard thing," Helena admits. "Isn't he like, old? Like old-old?" She suddenly smiles. "You named your son Cameron?" she asks, delighted, and then shrugs. "I kind of had an adventure of my own last night. Sorry Cat, my ability's come back and I just needed to get out. This cabby saw me and he gave me a free ride because I looked just like Helena Dean," her mouth turns wry. "Anyway, long story short, I saw Gillian in Central Park. She was dressed really nice, and she was pretty drunk."

Elisabeth gets there just in time, the coffeemaker finishes brewing just seconds before her hand reaches it. Cat groans. "That might explain it. But, oh hell, the look on Abby's face. I thought she might spontaneously manifest fireballs from her eyes and immolate Magnes Varlane on the spot. So Baxter takes off after Deckard and catches him, but he's still going, and going, and going. Baxter and Officer Gray eventually managed to get him re-gravitated, though. I should check in on Abby soon, see how's she's doing."

She pauses when Helena speaks of her adventure, and seems a bit puzzled. "I neglected to mention in," she comments, "I thought you'd find it, but," one hand gestures to the elevator near the kitchen, "that one goes to the roof."
Public> Lost Girl Helena says, "Nope, just made it up."

"Yeah, well…. a lot of us even now are still trying to grok the whole Abby/Deckard thing. But somehow it just seems to work for them. Go figure," Liz replies with a roll of the eyes. And then she smiles a bit at Helena, "I did. Cameron Alexander Trask Harrison. Cat's duly amused by his initials, being his godmother and all. He's a good kid. Want some coffee?"

Helena looks between the two. "So you two aren't going to have a fit about my meeting up with Gillian? Good." She seems glad of that. "She thought I was some kind of hallucination at first." And really, if Hel could have, she'd have let her go away thinking it, but that's not how things turned out. "Man," she says, "It's weird, all these people I know suddenly having kids."

"No fit," Cat replies quietly as she takes the coffee brought to her and enjoys the scent of it. "Just concern. How did that go, with you and her?" she asks. "It makes sense you'd want to get out, have to get out, really, considering where you were just three days ago. As much open space as possible. I'm sorry I didn't take you up on the roof."

A pause and a quiet chuckle. "It wouldn't surprise me if you asked for a guest room bed to be put in the middle of this room. Or on the roof with no walls around."

Not going to have a fit? "What good would it do, Helena? To have a fit?" She looks sympathetic. "Since it sounds like you didn't hunt her down, the best I can say to you about it all is that…. I'm more sorry than you know." She sips from her own mug as she studies Helena. "I think we need to seriously have a pow-wow here — any luck tracking down Edward Ray or … anyone? It's only been a couple days, but I feel like we're treading water here. And I have to admit… I'm wondering about something else. The lack of current-time bodies. Maybe they only slipped to this point in time because they don't have a current-time self?"

"No offense, but Liz - I'm kind of used to you being all we are so totally fucked about things." Helena says with a frank shrug. "Nice to see you've mellowed out, though. Gillian wasn't thrilled, but she didn't go all psycho Queen of Hearts on me, either." Whatever that's supposed to allude to. "I don't think we've really gotten things in gear, people are still settling. And Peter it would seem is away on business, not that it should matter. He's a teleporter, for God's sake. Maybe we could talk to Tamara about finding Dr. Ray. Or what about Kaito Nakamura? He might be able to help, too. And based on everything I've read about them, Pinehearst could be a good resource as well." She smiles faintly at Cat. "Don't apologize." she says. "I needed something bigger than a rooftop. Gillian touched me last night, and it was…I think I could consciously sense of every drop of moisture in New York state."

"We're looking into that," Cat replies. "Tamara could be one to look for Doctor Ray. As could Special Agent Harrison." A grin forms there. "Mr. Nakamura, too. Peter and his father. It just may take some time to get results."

Silence for a moment as she thinks. "I'd like to have Elle Bishop checked out to see if she's in prison now, given she was Company. If so, that makes her more likely to behave. We can look at the others too, make sure they are in fact all not currently alive."

And a smile spreads at Helena's story. "It's good to see you got clear of the poison, Helena. Now, your health. You're having carbs and proteins morning, noon, and night."

Elisabeth laughs at Helena. "Girl, back then we were so totally fucked constantly. I mean…. c'mon. Put yourself in my shoes. I was constantly stressed out about being under surveillance. And come to find out, I was right! Not from the sources I thought, but," she looks at Cat. "Remember when Alec thought bugging my apartment with laser bugs was the Smartest Move Ever?" She snickers with laughter. "Jesus, was he in over his head." She shakes her own head, though. "He turned into a pretty good asset for Phoenix, though." She then nods to Cat. "I'm running a query through the databases to see if I can locate him, but I don't have to be present for that. I'm going to have to read Felix in, though. Especially if this takes a while, I'm going to need leeway to be absent from work — or 'on a special case' or something."

Helena eyes Cat mock-warily. "You gonna make me fat?" she asks with a laugh, and then notes, "I need to go downstairs and see Django too. Cat, I'd like to tell him he can come up here anytime he likes. Moab was hard, and he was just…Alex just fell apart, and Peter was tossed into Red. He was the kindest soul to me. I can't abandon him." She grins at the pair. "So anyway. I'm a little leery of big companies, but Pinehearst seems to have made these huge strides and if Peter's involved, I don't see how he'd allow it to become anything sinister."

Elisabeth's question is met with a roll of Cat's eyes and a small amount of words. "Please. Have you met me?" Does she remember what Alec did, indeed. But she moves on. "So the first step is to verify whether or not each person who came forward is actually dead. That could be a key, it's true."

One thing at a time. Her attention shifts to Helena. "I'll get you a key card for Django, she says, "and Alexander too, up here." It also, she knows represents more open space than either have had for some time. Pinehearst doesn't get mentioned, they already agreed to contact Peter. Topic covered.

Helena points out, "I haven't met Alec. I mean, maybe the other me did, before the now-me, but now-me hasn't." She blinks. "Was that too confusing? And can one of you speak to Tamara about tracking down Ray? Or maybe you can look into it, Liz?"

There's an immediate nod from Elisabeth. "Insofar as Tamara can be convinced to do anything, I'm sure I can ask her." She smiles a bit. "Some things don't change," she tells the weather witch, referring to Tam's somewhat flaky nature. "Alec is….. yeah, let's just not go there. He's out of town at the moment anyway. And it'd just take too long to explain." She smiles faintly and says, "In the meantime, …. I tapped Hana to put some identities in place and I'm hoping to have documents for everyone by the close of business tomorrow. Cat… can you handle putting some money into the accounts Hana set up for them? Doesn't have to be a lot, don't want to draw much attention, but enough to be able to do whatever buying of food and what have you they may need. No point in always having them feel like they're begging for everything."

"I almost wish I could have gone with you to the gala." Helena admits. "Do you know how long it's been since I put on anything close to resembling a fancy dress? High school prom." She sighs. "I mean, is it awful? I just spent three months in a hellhole, my life's been insane the past two three years, and here I am whinging about I want to play princess dress up."
With a quiet chuckle, Liz answers softly, "It's not awful, Helena… it's perfectly reasonable. It's a way to feel like you're really out… like it's all real." She looks between the women and then raises something that may or may not be on everyone else's mind too. "So… here's a conundrum. We've all been focused on finding the people we need to get everyone back to 2009… has it occurred to you guys that this could be far more problematic with some of the people who came here than others? I mean…. like Lucrezia, and perhaps Elle? What if some of the group don't want to go back? If this is an alternate timeline, maybe it's not such a huge problem to solve, but …. if it's not, we have to assume that a decision to not go back could have pretty drastic repercussions for our present…. couldn't it?"

Helena throws up her hands. "Do not ask me about Elle, or why Norton's treating her like she's his personal fluffy bunny to protect from the big bad world. I'm just blithely assuming he's suffering from a temporary bout of stupid on that score." She frowns. "If you ask me, knowing that the Company is pretty much ground into dust would incline Elle to be good and not get anyone pissed in case she gets turned over. I…think we can count on Lucrezia to behave. She's not evil, she's just kind of…selfish. And even then, I have to give her credit. She brought me a message from Teo while in Moab. As much as I suspect the nature of her former alliances. She also didn't try to kill Peter and Hiro and Gillian while in Moab, and you know, that's kind of a plus."

She rests eyes on Helena at first, even while starting to mull over Elisabeth's question. "It seems natural you'd want to do that, and it was a police function. There has to be some part of you that wants to walk around in haute couture with police and dignitaries present knowing you're free and seeing you as the heroine you truly are, rather than the prisoner you never deserved to be."

This is followed by silence during which she hears Helena speak again, prompting still more ponderance on Cat's part. But she does eventually speak again.

"I don't think Trask is so much protecting Elle as us. She's electric, and as long as he's close to her, she isn't. My thought is it's best to give Elle a new face and keep her here. If she goes back she probably tries to give up Roger Goodman and Carmichael. If she goes back, she needs to somehow be made to forget everything. And even then… You should find me immediately, tell me to call Goodman and warn him to up the timetable."

As to the alteration of the past, that's already happened. People were broken out of Moab. Not the way planned, they're probably wondering what the hell happened, but you are indeed out of Moab."

"Which brings us where we should have started anyway, the beginning. What did happen in the prison, Helena?"

Elisabeth opts not to talk about why Trask is doing what he's doing…. even she doesn't know. She's ten years out of practice reading the man, and she chose not to ask why he was being kind to a Company agent instead of killing her. She looks at Cat, though, and says, "Realize that if they go back, they could wind up right back at Moab. In our timeline, the raid failed to free anyone." Elisabeth looks worried about that idea. "For all we know, it's the same timeline, just…. the repair involved them going back to before all hell broke loose and us failing." She looks at Helena, though, and says quietly, "If talking about it helps, we're here."

Helena gently puts the laptop on the coffee table and curls in her knees to her chest. "You mean what happened during the three months, not the raid itself?" she asks, wanting to be clear.

"The raid, and the time just before it," Cat quietly replies. "Something happened to send you forward, yet you didn't arrive with anyone having the power to send you by conscious decision. Hiro isn't with you, nor is Peter. Where were you in Moab on the seventh, and what were you doing, just before the assault. Describe what you saw. Please."

After speaking, Cat calls images of the prison as she knows it into her head to compare locations with what Helena describes.

Elisabeth is glad for Helena's sake that Cat's asking about that. She was offering an ear for the other stuff, and she hopes Helena knows the offer will remain on the table, but she also knows the blonde's not going to talk about it. Not yet. Maybe not ever. She moves toward the kitchen to put her cup in the sink. "I'm sorry I have to slip out… gotta take care of some things at work still, talk to Felix, and pick up Cam. Norton and I aren't telling him anything for a few more days, but he knows something's up, so I need to spend some time with him." She gives Helena a quick hug, and then says, "I'll talk to you later today."

After saying farewell to Liz, Helena leans back a little, if possible pulling her knees in tigher. "After seeing Eileen's messenger bird, I decided I needed to let Peter know somehow. And there were other things…I needed to get into contact with him. As it happened, the morning of the raid, I deliberately got myself into a fight with one of the yard alpha bitches so they'd toss me in Red for 24 hours."

She listens in silence, picturing the areas she described and placing persons there. Green, yellow, orange, red. Eileen Ruskin with a messenger bird, fight in the yard, Helena gets herself put in Red. She knew something was coming. Peter was also in Red. Cat makes eye contact, nodding to signify she's got it and invite continuing.

"As Peter and I were talking, the klaxons went off." Helena continues. "I started yelling for someone to get me out, and the door opened. Gillian was standing there. Peter and Sylar and Hiro Nakamura were there, and so was Tamara…I couldn't see Alex, but Verse had been torturing him in a room nearby. Verse…" she shudders. Oh god, Verse. "Tamara killed him. He needed killing."

Most of the names she knows, but there's one she hasn't heard yet. And mental placements occur. Helena in a cell next to Peter, somehow they were able to talk in their Red level cells just before the raid. Vents, duct works? Not important, she decides, at least seemingly. Door open; Gillian, Peter, Officer Gray, and Hiro near the cell Helena was in. Alex out of sight being tortured, then Verse comes out. That's the unfamiliar name.

"Tell me about Verse. What was his method of torture, does he have an Evolved ability?" Her mental picture of that level now features two people capable of manipulating space and time and one person who augments abilities.

Helena notes, "Elle was there too. Verse didn't count for much in the entire scenario, because Tamara killed him right quick. You really want me to talk about him, or focus on the scene?"

A shake of Cat's head. "Not important, really. He was dead, so he couldn't have been the one who caused this." Two more people added. Elle Bishop and Tamara. Company agent, Elle, working as a guard? Doesn't matter. She can't teleport people.
"I think Gillian had been augmenting Sylar." Helena offers. Elle - I don't know why or how she was there. But she saw Peter, and she saw Sylar, and she fired some of her electricity at them, and it was sort of close to Gillian and me by default. Sylar did something with lasers - there was a lot of confusion. Tamara killed Verse by putting injecting something in his neck, I don't know what it was. Sylar found Alex in the next room…a lot was happening really fast Cat, so if it's a jumble, I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Cat says quietly, her voice taking on a soothing tone. Comforting, if possible, while seeking to encourage more tale. The answer has to be somewhere in here as far as what happened, the moment of being transported. And a good deal of it may be unnecessary. So she opts to move forward some.

"You're out of the cell, there's a fight. The only two people present who could do this were Hiro and Peter?" And now the million dollar question. "What's the last thing you remember before you found yourself here?"

Helena considers. "Peter told me to run. He said 'I'll be right behind you.'" Helena shakes her head. I took the elevator, but everyone was fighting on Green. I managed to catch up with Jessica and she killed four people - three inmates, and the doctor who administered our suppressant every morning. Then she grabbed me and hauled me toward the yard exit and I saw you and I screamed, and she started trying to for the actual front doors…and then things went wonky."

Each piece and person is added to Cat's piecing together of things, then the last word is spoken. She seizes on it. "You're in the doorway of the yard now, or close enough to see me there, Jessica behind you. Peter said run, so at this point he's still downstairs with Gillian, Officer Gray, Hiro and Tamara against Elle. Could you define wonky?"

"Hiro suddenly appeared and he said something, like about Peter insisting that he make sure I was okay or something…" Helena shakes her head. "I don't know, it's like something twisted and suddenly I was outside Moab and it was a different time of day and there were all of us about and Tamara there with the plane. It made me feel nauseous, though."

"So you didn't see Hiro do anything which could have caused this, and he was with you at the time of the effect, he also didn't arrive with you." Cat goes silent to think over what she's just heard. A piece is seized upon in this. "Tamara and the plane. She was waiting. The same Tamara as had been on Red Level?"

Helena shakes her head. "No. She looked different. It was this Tamara."

Helena adds suddenly, "Wait…go back. Officer Gray?"

She nods once. "Current Tamara, waiting. I need to interview other people who were there, see if they saw anything, remember any detail you didn't. Jessica wouldn't share unless I find her a telepath to help Niki, but her viewpoint seems same as yours. No matter, we can get her the telepath anyway. Far better to have Niki driving that body."

Then her eyes close with the question. Of course, another piece of news for the leader who died and isn't dead. "Officer Gabriel Gray of Scout. He's very much reformed."

Helena admits, "Jessica helped me, but I don't trust her. She's too callous about taking lives. About everything. You might want to talk to Django for what was going on in the yard, and Trask. Elle and Alexander, if they'll talk about it." She shakes her head. "Man. Things have changed." Then softly, "You told me that Peter proposed to me, the other day. Did you know Gillian's wearing it? I mean, it was never really mine, not now-me. But."

"She and I talk still, we're friendly," Cat replies. "It is yours. I don't really think about what that means, Helena," Cat relates. "I can't criticize their decisions, after Dani died it was before the end of January that I was intimate with a man. No women have ever compared, though. It's an impossible standard to meet." The voice is wistful, she's clearly still carrying her torch. "We were about to go up against the Vanguard, and I indulged. Doesn't mean I loved her any less. I was just honoring her wishes as best I could." The unspoken part is she's still single. Hasn't ever been able to commit.

"You love him. It's hard, but I believe you'd want the same things for him that Dani wanted for me, that she told me she did. To live well and be happy, find someone else."

Helena nods a bit at that. "Yes." she says. "I understand that in my brain. But for me, two days ago, he said he would be right behind me." She shakes her head. "I'm not - I'm not going to muck things up for him." She hopes. She feels like she doesn't know what she's going to do, and is afraid to think about it too much.

"It feels like just five minutes ago, you died, Helena," Cat shares softly. "So I get it, in spades. The memory is that clear." Memory of what? "I can't tell you how good it is to see you again, even if you're not the version of you present for all those memories. The core person she grew from is still you. When you go back, you'll become like her."

"And then I'll die like her." Helena says matter-of-factly. "Won't I."

Oh, God. Cat closes her eyes again, because this is where she probably has to spill the full story, or lie. Maybe Helena will know if she lies, maybe not. The future of past Helena isn't set in stone, but given there was a painting of her in a situation, and part of that situation played out in a different place, well… Cat also knows there was once a painting of her being jumped in an alley, a thing which was prevented.

And she knows her guilt about having encouraged her to take that role which made her a target. It balances with the other truth: the cause mattered more. It mattered more when Dani was captive and abandoned to die. It means more now. She recalls her own words. Anyone among us not willing to die or be captured and abandoned is in the wrong place.

What comes when her eyes reopen is the simple truth. "The odds aren't in your favor, Helena."

"Even if I avoid a rock, another will come into the way. It's how Dr. Ray explained things to me, I've seen it in action. I could go back, marry Peter tomorrow, but I'd still die, and he'd still remarry." Helena says quietly. "So if nothing else Cat, I want my two years."

"I could tell you when and how, or you could find it on your own," she somberly informs Helena. "But I won't unless you ask, so you can choose whether or not to see it coming at a specific moment. After you died, well, you know how analytical I am."

"I thought about Martin Luther King and the speech he made on April 3, 1968. How he said he'd been to the mountaintop, and might not get there with them, but he'd seen things to come. I have to wonder if he might have had an experience like what you're having now."

"I don't know that I deserve to be grouped with King." Helena says in a wary voice. "And it doesn't matter what I know. I can avoid that particular circumstance, but another will find me to produce the result the river wants. So far that hasn't been proven to the contrary. Be that as it may, I want my two years."

"So you'll have it," Cat answers. "If you like, I'll tell you what decisions were made and why. You, being the person you were at the time, will probably suggest and make them yourself. Because in getting your two years, I think you'll want to make them as impactful as you can."

"But we don't have to cover any or all of that now. For the meantime, you can enjoy the success of what you worked to help build, what you died for, and you can go back knowing how to make it happen."

Helena nods. "I'm not ready to know now." she says. "Maybe before I go. If there's time." She lets out a breath. "We're going to need to get the others together. I don't know if people will want to go back or not. Maybe we can convince Elle that this future is worth the sacrifice of the Company."

"Or we can tell her that we won't allow her to jeopardize it, but we won't interfere with her taking steps to protect herself against its fall. If she stays here, this much we do know. She can't mess up anything. Give her a new face courtesy of the President's son, a new identity, let her melt in."

"I'll interview the other, or you, I, and Elisabeth can do it separately… I think a big part of getting this reversed is understanding what happened. Conditions can't be recreated unless we know what they are."

"Is that what we need to do?" Helena asks. "Recreate the conditions?"

"Possibly," Cat answers. "We know something happened, you were sent through time by someone who wasn't with you when it happened, apparently. Hiro didn't say he was going to do that, he didn't touch you."

"But some things we do know, what needs to happen as the broad strokes of making this future. The Company needs to be exposed. It needs to become public what we stopped Kazimir Volken from doing. And Peter needs to be out of Moab to work with his father. I don't think it matters that you vanished from Moab in that timeline. Making sure the world learns the truth, having proof of DHS corruption and Volken's goals to release and putting that out there, these are essential. All these things happened after the failed raid."

"When I go back, does this mean I have to stay there?" Helena asks suddenly, her grip going tight. "I don't know if I can do that, Cat. I mean, I know there are others who've dealt with worse conditions, but I don't think I can…" Her voice becomes panicked, she sits up straighter.

"I believe you can, Helena," Cat replies with a voice not at all lacking confidence. "I know you can, because you were nineteen, just as you are now, and you did. I can't guarantee you won't wind up right back there. But I guarantee you're tough enough to make it."

"Twenty." Helena corrects with a faint smile. "The fourth was my birthday." Her smile turns wry. "A couple of the guards brought me a cupcake,."

She seems about to speak, when her phone goes off. Cat goes to pick it up and answers. "Chesterfield." Then she listens for just a few moments. "Send it up," she instructs. The call is ended, she puts the phone down and walks toward the kitchen. "Come with me, Helena."

Whether she follows or not, Cat grabs a wine bottle and two glasses, then heads for the elevator near that area and presses the button. Doors open, and she waits to be joined."

Helena rises up, puzzled, but obediently pads along. "Roof?" she guesses.

"Yes," Cat replies. She steps into the elevator and once she's been joined presses the button inside. Doors close, the car moves, and within a few seconds they reopen onto the roof. She steps out and waits, looking around.

The roof has one area, cordoned off for safety, where a helicopter can land. Another area has a sheltered play area for a child. Most likely it was or is still Cameron. Another area, near the elevator which brought them up, looks like it's meant for outdoor cooking and eating when weather is warm. Table, chairs, grill, etc.

But there is also plenty of open space. Cat gestures toward it and smiles. "Pick an area." She opens the wine bottle and fills the glasses, then sits.

Moments later, arriving by a service elevator near one of the climate control devices in a far corner, delivery men arrive. They've got large planters, dirt, and a cornucopia of seeds.

Helena pauses, her mouth open for a moment. "Oh, Cat." she says, but then, she picks a corner. "Sun'll be best from over there." she says at last. "You'll still take care of it after I've left, won't you?"

"Yes," Cat tells her solemnly. "I will. Taking care of things when you're gone… it's what I've been doing for years." She hands over a wine glass. "No more words for now. Drink with me."

When she leaves. And when she's gone. Helena's aware of the difference. She accepts the wine glass wordlessly, and lifts it in wry salute.

As the men do their work and set up the items delivered where Helena indicated, Cat touches glasses with her and tastes from hers. She watches without speaking, simply enjoying being in the company of someone she never expected to see or talk with ever again. Soon there can be planting. A relaxed smile spreads out.

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