Like Double Exposure


cat_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Like Double Exposure
Synopsis Monica and Cat partly fill each other in.
Date July 20, 2010

The Verb, 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.

She's been busy, as is usual for her, most of the time since Monica came to stay here. There've been greetings and the like, fleeting morning conversations and contact at other times across these days, but no real time spent talking at length. Cat gets up early, practices Krav Maga and other skills including archery in her physical training room, showers, goes through her stack of newspapers from New York and around the world, checks out surveillance camera footage of the building, spends some time with her guitar, then spends several hours away from home before returning in the evening to still largely avoid being idle. It's as if she seeks to always have her mind occupied, to avoid letting it drift into unpleasant territory.

The food is good, a small refrigerator in the entertainment room and the large one in the kitchen always full, featuring a wide variety of choices. There is stout, cola, tea, coffee, wine, and sometimes whiskey too. While she does elect to consume beer and wine on multiple occasions, Doctor Chesterfield isn't by any means a drunk as some would label her.

The guest room provided to Monica is apartment-sized. Sleep Number bed, extremely high thread count sheets, HD set with cable, and a large private bathroom.

07:30 arrives, and as might be expected there Cat is in sports bra and shorts in the training room, practicing the Israeli martial art on a large punching bag suspended from the ceiling. Among other items present are the archery target with Nathan Petrelli's arrow-pierced face and a sword in scabbard leaning against the wall.

Awake, but clearly still tired, Monica makes her way along into the training room, a bowl of cereal in hand. There is the tiniest lift of an eyebrow for the visage on the target with just might be amused, but no commentary. After all, who hasn't wanted to put an arrow in a Petrelli now and then? "Looks like you're doing pretty good with this archery stuff," she says, by way of greeting.

"Morning, Monica," Cat greets with a nod as she lands a blow on the heavy bag, a sharp kick with the left foot. "Is this early for you, getting up?" When the foot comes back down after impact she moves to lean against a wall and grab a towel. It's used to wipe her face, then draped over one shoulder. "I had to be in a sport at high school," the panmnesiac explains with a nod at the target, "so I chose archery. Sometimes I wonder if I should've gone for basketball, hockey, tennis, or soccer. Maybe all of them."

She focuses on a wall for some moments as if considering having done just that or experiencing a remembrance. On emerging from it, the sword is glanced at. "I'm hoping to take up fencing soon. You're more than welcome to watch the trainer."

Monica chuckles a little sheepishly and lifts a shoulder a bit. "It's a might earlier than I'm usually going, but I didn't want to miss breakfast." Because the food here is amazing. And probably a far cry from what she usually has. That offer does seem to perk her up, though, "I'd appreciate that, thanks. Then maybe we could spar. Or… whatever they call it in fencing."

"You and I, she and I, you and she," Cat muses, "as time makes the combinations available. She'll be surprised at how quick a study you are." A grin is flashed, commentary continuing. "I think I can hold my own well enough, was taught formal dance as a girl. I'd remember the moves just by seeing them. Getting my body to reproduce them takes work, practice."

"I'll try to bring it down a notch. For her sanity's sake," Monica says with a crooked smile. "I think you'll pick it up in no time. Like ya say, you're not starting from zero. What made you decide on fencing?"

"I like to learn things," Cat replies easily, "and she fences. Seems a decent thing to pick up." The towel is set aside, her bow taken up a span of seconds later. Without a word she draws an arrow and nocks it back, raises the bow and goes through the mechanics of turning sideways to aim. One hand grips the bow, the right hand draws the string tight and touches the cheek there. One eye closes, she inhales and holds the breath so her torso won't move, then she releases.

With a quiet twang, the loosed arrow flies and impacts the tip of Paper Nathan's nose.

"Good we finally have a chance to talk, Monica," Cat segues, "you didn't say much about what happened besides your apartment vanished."

"You never know when something'll end up useful to have in your back pocket," Monica says, and she'd be one to know, too. When Cat picks up the bow, though, Monica watches, but Cat can tell she's not watching watching, as there's no familiar trance this time. Or yet, perhaps. "Unfortunately, I'm really not sure what happened that night myself. I think about it, go over it in my head, but it never makes sense. Or, well, there's this… element I can't put my finger on." She taps a finger against the side of her bowl, frowning in thought.

She wasn't, in fact, observing Monica in the act of observation as the arrow shot was taken. The bow is offered out toward Monica as though Cat believes Miss Dawson can now do exactly what she did. "What element is that?" she inquires curiously.

Glancing to the bow, Monica shakes her head a little bit, although she doesn't explain what exactly that gesture means. "The shaking, I can follow that. The building splitting open… weird, but not so far out of the realm of possibility. Terrakinetic, maybe… some sort of quake-power. Even the chunk of the building missing doesn't throw me. But what does, is that there was this… vision or something. Of Washington D.C.."

The bow is lowered as Cat's face takes on a mild sort of 'wow' expression. "Sounds like someone opened a portal to DC and sent the missing parts there," she remarks. "Maybe under standard power, maybe augmented. Or an augmentation loop. It was an augmentation loop that scattered everybody who was at Moab through space and time. It was augmentation along with a boosting drug called Amp that caused those blackouts and visions last month."

A few beats of silence later, her voice wistful, Cat relates "There was a woman with the Ferry who opened portals from place to place, they could be seen through to the other side. But she was murdered by Humanis First when we rescued Helena. I know of another, found her on the registry, who does the same thing. Neither of those made parts of solid surfaces around them vanish, but then again Joseph Sumter's precog ability always required physical contact until the 10th of June when the Institute had him loop-augmented."

More silence, then an idea surfaces.

"Maybe multiple abilities. Someone damages the building, someone else makes a portal, and an augmenter jacks both up."

"I thought about portals, and maybe… but it was like…" Monica pauses a moment to try to think of a good way to explain it. She's so much better at the physical things. -.- "Like double exposure. Harlem overlayed with D.C. And there was this… light. It was so strange." she does nod at those last words, though. "That would make sense. People working together. But then… why Harlem of all places. Why that apartment building? Either… someone there was more than they seemed… or maybe it was just… practice."

"It's a mystery," Cat agrees, her brows furrowing somewhat. "The media said DHS locked the place down, prevented talking to reporters, and are investigating. Did any of the agents talk with you, take a statement, Monica?"

"Ah… no. No, once things settled down, I got out of there." Monica moves to set her bowl down, her hands coming to settle on her hips. "But, if they really want to look into it, my name was on the papers. It's just a matter of finding me. Unless… they might just be assuming I was in my apartment when it disappeared."

"Possibly," Cat muses, "I've got some contacts who might be able to find out. I might even be approached to see if I've spoken with you, they know we're Phoenix." Yes, present tense. Not past. "Think I'll contact Veronica and see if she's willing to share information."

"You might be. I… haven't really worked out what I would say to them. Except saying I wasn't home at the time. So don't feel like you have to cover that I'm here." Monica always did care more about others' safety than her own, after all. "If she finds out where my apartment ended up… tell her I want my mother's picture." It's a joke, but… only partly.

"I don't think your location will be a problem at all," Cat replies, "but I will ask if they're looking for you and see if they want anything. Based on the media reports, I doubt your story adds much to what they've already got. Do you know if anyone else saw the flash of DC, and… do you know who lived in the missing/damaged apartments?"

Spoken more quietly, with a tone of understanding and support, she assures "I'll see if the photo turned up too." She's no stranger to loss. Dani. The man she called Father at the Pinehearst reactor. The woman she called Mother garrotted by Carlisle Dreyfus. Conrad Wozniak. Mona Rao. Carolina Perez. And then some.

"I'm not sure what their names were. It wasn't exactly a neighborly place. And I hadn't been there very long." Monica shakes her head lightly. "Somebody was screaming. I went into the hallway to see if I could help and there was the light from under her door, too. So I think… so. But I didn't get to ask anybody. That scream's the only reason I wasn't… still inside." There's a frown there, for a moment, before she looks back to Cat. "Oh. Thanks… I sort of doubt anything… survived, but if it turns up somewhere…"

"It's possible the missing building parts and contents of the apartments went to DC," Cat suggests quietly. "Even likely." Letting some silent beats go by, she lifts the bow a bit, checking to see if Monica is watching this time, in the mojo way. If so, she goes through the mechanics of another shot and looses toward the target.

Monica nods a few times, her gaze dropping for a moment in thought. But, it's only a moment before she lifts her head again and meets Cat's gaze. She nods again, more purposeful this time. And when Cat fires this time, Monica's expression goes blank, her irises fading to white for the duration of the demonstration. It's a little different this time, Cat would probably notice, Monica sits in the trance longer before she blinks and comes back to the moment.

Displaying a slight smile, once Monica emerges from the trance Cat offers the bow to her again. A few steps back are taken to let her have clear sights toward the target should she choose to indulge. "Have you thought much about the recording studio thing?"

Stepping over to pick up the bow herself, Monica eyes that target for a moment before she mimic's Cat's movements exactly, only she hits an eye. But there is the sense that that is precisely what she was aiming for. "In all this? I haven't. And I should tell you, Cat… I can't give you an answer until I see how November plays out. It wouldn't be fair to you." She doesn't look at the other woman, her expression trying to conceal a spike of fear at the thought of what waits for her there, her lips thinning as she moves to fire again.

"Fair enough," Cat replies, taking up the hook. "What did you see, on the tenth of June, Monica?" There's display of curiosity and concern for her.

There's a long pause at the question and Monica's arms relax to her side before she looks over at Cat. "Nothing." It isn't that she's being difficult, that's her honest answer. And she doesn't mean she was out of range for the flash or somehow missed it. Letting out a breath, she looks back toward the target, setting the bow down again this time.

Head tilting, studying Monica after she answers, Cat frames a solemn reply. "That sounds like you blacked out and didn't have a vision." Observation is maintained to see if it sparks a reaction indicating that's the case. "Things like that aren't set in stone, though, you know this. We've beaten them before, and will again. "

Monica doesn't argue the suggestion, she just looks back at Cat with a sad sort of half-smile on her face. "Oh, I know. I don't doubt that day will go differently that people saw… but still. I want to see how it goes before I commit myself to anything long term. Just in case."

"Right now, it's all about gathering information, working to figure out what causes those riots," Cat opines. "Information's not so easy to come by as it once was, someone who should be an ally has spent some time working to lure people away. There are people in the Ferry, though, collecting accounts of what people saw. Eventually I'll try to get a look at what they've compiled." She exhales a slow breath.

"It's all tied to the Institute. There's an operation planned to grab one of their scientists and see if we can get her to assist us. A few people from the Ferry and Richard Cardinal are in on the plan. Richard thinks he can get her to play ball without use of more coercive ways."

"Don't tell them about mine," Monica says, her voice gentler than usual, "I don't really want it… getting around. It's probably just nothing anyways, like you said." At the mention of Cardinal and his plan, the mimic looks back over and nods a bit. "I hope he's right. I always hated that part, back in PARIAH."

"Hopefully so," Cat agrees, "in any case I'm not talking about physical torture. Aside from objections I have to that, it wouldn't help us. We need to have the Institute not suspect her of giving anything away, or even be missing at all. No marks, no injuries, no disappearance. Anything to compel cooperation would have to be of a blackmail or psychic nature."

"I see. She's going to be a double agent." Monica thinks on that a moment, finger tapping her leg. "She's not happy there, then. If he doesn't even need to use blackmail. Which means maybe some of the scientists aren't there willingly, either."

Furrowing her brows and studying Monica again, Cat expresses a question. "You've met and talked with him about this, Monica? He said he doesn't need to use blackmail?" She doesn't yet speak opinions regarding other scientists at the Institute, this particular angle is holding her attention.

"Hmm? No, this is the first I've heard of it. But you said he thought he could get her without coercion. So, I'd assumed…" Monica looks over at her, her head tilted some. "If she doesn't need coercion, then she's aiming to stick it to her boss, you know what I mean?"

"Ah," Cat replies, "I see. What I said wasn't clear, by more coercive ways I meant implanted suggestions and physical violence. It's very possible she wants to trip up her boss, but I'm doubtful. She doesn't have much in the way of humanity, this isn't the first time she's been involved with kidnappings and experimentation on unwilling persons."

"Oh, well. In that case," Monica says, her hands going to her hips, "I hope they got something good on her. Maybe she can give us information so we can walk Gillian right out of their. And whoever else they've got." High hopes~

"Ideally," Cat comments darkly, "she's persuaded to tell all she knows about the Institute and keep feeding out information going forward, even if it means a telepath commands her to do so. It's only important to avoid doing anything which lets her employers know something is up."

She seems unintent to spend more time dwelling on that topic, a shift is made to things such as Bruce Lee movies and Cat having once read about a thing he called the One Inch Punch. She's most likely full of ideas for things Monica can view and absorb.

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