Make Me A Chart


cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Make Me A Chart
Synopsis Cat and Helena do some planning.
Date May 23, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Cat's Penthouse

Saturday afternoon, and Cat is taking some time to relax, let pressures slip away for a bit. It's rare enough in the life she leads, and those led by people around her, but it does happen. Three o' clock has come, and she's settled into a comfortable seat, leaning back, and watching a baseball game. Yankees versus Phillies. There's a bottle of stout in one hand, and her guitar across her lap. Being who she is, it'd been inevitable she'd have it plugged into an amp and play the Hendrix version of the National Anthem when the game started.

The elevator doors open to admit Helena into the penthouse. "Hey, Cat!" she calls out in greeting, padding into the living area to flop onto one of the nearby seats in a sprawl. "Baseball? Didn't know you were a fan."

"Stormy," Cat greets in reply, looking over that way. The set before them is immense. HD, taking up a section of wall from floor to ceiling. Great sound too. She flashes a smile and takes a long drink from the bottle of Guinness. "I am. You?" If Helena said yes, Cat might be rather surprised herself. "There's Red Stripe in the refrigerator," she offers. As if she could forget Helena's choices when she played onstage.

Helena bounces to her feet with a murmured thank you and admits, "I can take or leave it. I mean, I won't turn down going to a game, but I don't generally watch it." She heads for the kitchen to root around for the promised beverage. "You look so relaxed." Helena calls out. "I kind of don't want to disturb you now with business things."

"What's on your mind?" Cat asks, taking attention away from the screen as the blonde makes her journey. There's silence for a stretch of time, given the distance involved in crossing the floor from entertainment area to kitchen. Lots of open space. There's baseball, but something's up, and she's at least mildly curious. While waiting for the return, she imbibes more stout.

Helena leans in the kitchen doorway and chugs her Red Stripe. "A bunch of stuff, but first and foremost, Abby's agreed to try and help Elle recover her lost memories. I imagine we'll take both to a neutral location for it. Elle already hates the Company, but I think this might be what we need to nudge her enough to bring it down from the inside if it succeeds." A thoughtful pause. "I think though, one of the other things she's afraid of is having no place else to go. She doesn't know who she is outside of the Company."

A finger moves, the sound goes to mute so conversation can be had, and Cat nods as she listens. "The back room of Old Lucy's usually works, but I doubt it's a good idea to take Elle there. It'll be interesting if healing can restore those memories. How was the memory removal achieved?" She returns to silence then, taking a long pull from the bottle, her face pensive. She's calm in hearing and speaking of so many things, but some do still have a visible effect. For this one, the issue of memory loss seems to disturb slightly.

"Torture and an Evolved who pulled it out of her." Helena explains. "There was video in the future, on record. Bennet knows." She moves back to a seat and collapses gingerly to avoid spillage. "Maybe Abby can fix it - she's already agreed to try. Beyond that, we need to convince Elle that there's something for her, a life outside of the Company."

"She needs a job and an income, I would imagine," Cat speculates. It's a sort of half question, uttered with her eyes settling on the blonde. "What's Mr. Bennet's take on all of this?"

"He's the one who suggested it might amount to brain damage to me." Helena admits. "He spoke to her, and told her what they did. She seems to believe him, enough for her to take me up on the healing arrangement. I offered it to her without any strings other than she not double cross us or harm Abby."

"It's possible," Cat agrees, her voice going hollow and distant for a few moments. "After Dani got slapped around by thugs when she tried to investigate Linderman, there was head trauma. It caused her memory issues. Long term was all good, short term was out of synch. She'd fail to recall things she'd seen or heard just moments before. We worked out a plan, and I was starting to find a healer, but she made a decision I couldn't talk her out of. To approach Linderman."

Her eyes close, she's silent for a long stretch.

"We just didn't meet Abby soon enough."

Helena sits there in silence. She's unsure if this is one of Cat's memory fugues, or just grief, but she'll be patient and wait until Cat is ready to talk again.

"Her memory cleared up after she went to Linderman and took that job with him. That was a case of standard trauma, but the principle seems mostly the same. Something worked, then it stopped. Is Elle going to play ball? And… what sort of work could we give her to build that life on?" Cat muses.

"I don't know." Helena admits. "Elle's willing to go along so far. But I think figuring out how to help her rebuild her life is a 'cross that bridge when we come to it' scenario." She takes another sip of her beer. "My big concerns right now are organizational."

"The options are only two: Let her go, or not let her go, but the decision isn't easy," Cat states. "Letting her go is a risk. Sometimes we just have to take risks."

"I want to wait and see what happens with the memory loss." Helena says. "After that, if we can talk to her and make her realize she has options, get her willing to commit to undoing the Company…" she shakes her head. "We weren't quick enough. Roger Goodman is dead. That means Elle might be our only option."

"What?" Cat's eyes close. "Damn. I don't know that any speed could've been fast enough, really. All the Company agent in Edward's crew needed to do was tip her younger self off so the word could be passed along. I don't doubt they're ruthless enough to have put him down over what he was up to, given everything else their hands are dirty with."

Helena nods. "That's why it's important that we cultivate Elle. But she's not the only reason why I wanted to talk to you, like I said."

Her bottle goes up, more is taken from it and imbibed. "I'm listening," Cat offers.

"I want to review our organization." Helena says. "Break down our internal procedures, see if we can make it better. But I also want to look at our goals and the issues we're dealing with, and decide concretely what we can do about a given issue."

"Teo and I had talks like this a time or two recently, as have Elisabeth and I. I've spent time mulling it over. The tasks we've taken on have big stakes, and they were important, but we don't make progress being limited to just that. They don't inspire anyone. They don't change any minds. The goal, as I understand it, is same as it was. Advocating change in the law and acceptance of us, and resisting threats by force of arms when we must."

Helena nods to this. "That's pretty much it in a nutshell, except we keep getting further away from that because we seem to be trying to meet various threats. Maybe we need to step away from that, I'm not sure. I do know that trying to be 'legitimate'," Helena finger-quotes, "Isn't going to serve anyone. You can't fight legislation while playing in its rules."

"It's about cohesion," Cat replies. "Right now, there are a number of smaller organizations like ours dotted around the country. We know of each other, we've had contacts, but there's no central pull based around a leader with a sympathetic story. We only get beyond the treadmill we're on by achieving that goal."

"There's also our message. It needs to be that we understand not all people in DHS are bad. Not every member of every law enforcement operation. It's not lost on us that one of the first things George Washington, the leader of a military conflict which started as a tax revolt, did as President was sending troops out to collect taxes because his government needed to function and be effective. But we also insist they take a careful examination of what they do. Question orders they follow."

"Just following orders is a common excuse individuals make. But it didn't work for the Nazis at Nuremberg, and it can't be allowed to work here."

"I - I don't think that's what I'm saying." Helena says, looking a bit confused. "Peter asked me a few days ago why we didn't go legit - why we're remaining subversive instead of working with the system. I want to be able to know what I'm pitching to people when I pitch it, and I want us to be able to look at the individual problems we're dealing with and know where we stand, what course of action we're taking."

"I'd like to step out into the open," Cat answers honestly. "The Founders certainly did. But they were also on mostly friendly turf, with the enemy being from across an ocean. It's not quite like that. We also lack the means to ensure we stay free if we take that step, remain able to operate and speak. We also need something to give us credibility, make us be seen as not just some routine group of hotheads. Like proving that virus existed, who created it, and that it almost got out."

"But we also need a platform to advocate. The issue of being more than the average human and scary because of it isn't going away. There has to be law and order, and we have to accept it on ourselves. A code of ethics for use of abilities, basically, that we can say is easily written into current law and administered by Constitutional means."

"I think that's a bit broader than what I'm prepared to deal with right now." Helena admits. "I just want a concrete mission statement, some outlined plans of how we're fulfilling it, and plans of action for the various threats that have been thrown our way."

"Meaning how to go about our affairs without having to sell our souls to a shadowy corporation tied to DHS, or to another corporation that wants to take their place," Cat replies.

Helena still looks vaguely confused. "Well, yes but - the organizational stuff is the point. I'd like to um, almost bullet point them in a way. Maybe I'm not making any sense. You know, like making those organizational cloudy chart things in Power Point?"
Her head tilts, she thinks for a moment, before stating "You're after a list of things we face put on paper so they can be reviewed, debated, discussed, and a concensus reached on how to proceed." Cat's bottle tilts, she has another drink of her stout, then checks the status of Helena's Red Stripe.

Helena looks suddenly relieved. "Yes." she confirms. "If not on paper, then on a whiteboard, but you know. Collected points for presentation."

She laughs quietly. "I've been thinking big for a long time, Storms. All you had to say was Cat, make me a chart."
Helena lets out a giggle. "Cat, make me a chart."

"Okay," Cat replies, followed by a question. "When do you want it?" Then she takes a moment to enjoy more of the stout. "I think we should look at bringing Delilah into the fold, or starting to."

Helena nods agreeably. "Have Liz or Diego background check her, and if she comes up okay, start bringing her in. I met a potential when I was out with Alex a while ago. Guy who eats anything. He was chomping on bottlecaps like they were popcorn and thinks cellphones are yummy."

"That's interesting," Cat replies with a raised eyebrow. "I can buy a cast iron stomach, but… does he have three hundred rows of teeth like a shark too?" She drinks a bit more. "You probably met Delilah. Late teens, a bit taller than me, red hair, works on the fourth floor keeping things clean and stocked. She's demonstrated she can keep her mouth shut and not ask questions well. I've also worked with her from time to time with her ability. It triggers when she gets nervous or scared, if she feels under threat. A defensive ability, psychoactive skin secretions."

Helena shakes her head. "Not that I can see." she says of Cook and notes, "Oh hey, I remember her! I helped her out one day when a crowd almost got to her. I don't know if she'll remember me, though." She frowns a little. "Sal - the new doctor? Suggested I consider a face change. But I don't want to."

"Teo knew her too," Cat replies. "I came across her one night when checking out a place on Staten Island, the whole thing of the Rookery and things happening there. She was wandering around, and things got hairy between Teo and Victor Childs. Afterward Teo went wherever Teo goes, and I brought her here."

"And no, your face should stay your face."

Helena nods. "That's what I've pretty much told everyone." Helena says with a sigh of relief. "As to when the chart should be ready…could you have it within say, a week?"

"Of course," Cat answers, as she settles back a bit more in her chair and restores volume to the set. Hey, baseball. Her head tilts a little, she's watching Derek Jeter scamper after a ground ball and lay out for it. Nice view, she seems to feel.

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