Minea, Norman, Tyler, And Refrain Too


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title Minea, Norman, Tyler, And Refrain Too
Synopsis A discussion of multiple topics.
Date August 14, 2009

The Verb, 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.

She's been meeting people here more and more lately, making use of the office space. The reception area is still featuring various printed items related to matters at hand, and the executive office is once again occupied. Cat is seated behind the desk with coffee and food; sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffins just as she was when Mona visited two days previous, and just as then the computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse are at the edge for the use of others.

When the detective arrives, Cat slides one of the breakfast sandwiches and a cup of the coffee across. "Morning," she greets.

"Morning," Elisabeth greets with a tired smile. She avoids the breakfast sandwich, eyeing it warily, in favor of the coffee and says as she drops into a chair, "Just wanted to keep you in the loop, and figured I'd do it in person."

"Likewise," Cat replies, letting the sandwich sit there. The screen in front of her has the directory where Cat keeps certain files up, and there are new entries. A number of them. She gestures with one hand, while using the other to lift her own coffee and drink from it. Her eyes close and the features take on a brief blissful expression.

Elisabeth scoots her chair to skim the newest entries before filling Cat in. She leans back in her chair and says quietly, "I made a meeting with Denton today, for several reasons. One… I turned over most of the information on Norman White that I have in my possession. The more eyes we've got looking for this bastard, the better off we are. Especially since he's been seen in the vicinity of Adam Monroe. I also informed him of the information that you put in on Danko — not much of it, just that I'd heard he was a high muckety-muck and that he was an ex-Marine and loose in the city, been doing some business. I also asked after Minea Dahl, and though all he'd tell me is that last he knew she was okay…. it bears out the idea that they snatched her back. She'll either turn up mindwiped because they were pissed at her, or she'll turn up fine because she was a mole." She pauses and looks at Cat, candidly stating, "I think you should assume, regardless of which way it went, that the safehouse floor and anyone or anthing Minea saw is compromised, though. She'd have no options but to tell them what they want to know; they'd just take it from her if she tried. So either way, they'd have it."

"It was suspicious," Cat allows darkly, "that the info she brought us was not the kind we could really make public without shooting ourselves in the foot like the accusations of Hana helping Linderman rig an election, or which could be refuted in the public eye without much trouble. Documents can be formidable, some would believe, but in the end they can also be forged. Falsified."

"Minea is a rat of the lowest order. She'd have to crane her neck to look a turd in the face. But the nature of this beast is risks must be taken. Turning away someone shot at by Company agents, whether a possible setup or not, is something we can't do."

"Having said that, I don't believe we're in danger from being raided by Company operatives."

There's a faint tilt of her head and Elisabeth merely smiles. "I am not the one who told you to give her any information. Hell, the only reason I brought her here was the safehouse and I figured they already knew about you, so the building itself was a non-issue. I didn't realize that you would overlook the open fact that she's always been loyal to the ideals of Homeland Security and the Company," and yes, she's making a differentiation there between the scum of the Company and the ideals that Minea Dahl believes — she believes them to be two different things, "and just let her have free rein with people's faces."

She shrugs a bit. "But no, I don't believe we're in danger of being raided. I'm merely pointing out that you should pretty much assume that this place is completely compromised as a safehouse from the Company. If we have someone they want, they'll need to be housed elsewhere. That's all." She shoves a hand through her hair and says, "And just for the record, I'm keeping Cardinal as up to date as I keep you on this kind of thing."

"Pardon me," Cat deadpans, "for trusting Father's word she wasn't playing a game on us and him. It was he who sent her to me. She wasn't, meanwhile, given any information. What was given was from her to us." She takes a long drink of her coffee, silent as a consequencs, before stating with something smoldering in her eyes, "What I object to is them playing us as pawns to do their dirty work and not have to take on Arthur themselves. Not that they needed to. This is why they won't raid us; if they had any such intention they'd have come already and not left Cook to get away. We're too useful to them as proxy muscle. But someday, Elisabeth," and this she intends very seriously, "we will pull their strings."

Aaaaand… moving on. "Mr. Redbird texted me recently to say Norman White intends to submerge Staten Island. That would very much make beaches on 34th Street."

With a faint grin, Elisabeth says quietly, "It's not an accusation … what's done is done. We'll just have to see how it plays out. I agree with why they're not raiding us — thus far, we are no direct threat to them, and we're taking some of their workload. Doesn't mean that can't change at a moment's notice, but… " She shrugs. "When that day comes, just be prepared. Because they're likely to be better prepared for us and our abilities than you may like."

Liz does nod slightly at Cardinal's information to Cat. "Yeah. Actually I was about to tell you that myself, so I'm glad he's already done it. The fact that the two of you are sharing information makes my life much simpler. If you don't mind, I'd like you to keep it up," she says with a wrinkle of her nose. "I think at this point, we're doing all we can to contain it, though."

"I invited him to come compare notes more completely some time ago," Cat replies evenly, "he declined to acknowledge it in any way, but just the same I've kept him more than informed of what we have." She gestures toward the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. "What do you have that isn't already recorded in the files?" Up goes the coffee, more of it imbibed, as she eyes the thus far untouched food provided for the detective.

Elisabeth leans forward once more to read more thoroughly. That takes some time, and she's silent for the minutes it takes for her eyes to take in and her brain to comprehend. "No…," she finally says, a furrow to her brow. "Cat…. can I ask you something?" She looks at the brunette. "What do you do in a Kobayashi Maru? I mean… a situation where you can't just rewrite the holodeck program, where you have no true options but to sacrifice some for the good of the many?"

"That's a question leaders have asked and answered many times," Cat replies gravely, "by doing it and by having deep guilt over what they'd done afterward. Lincoln, it's said, had extreme bouts of depression. At the end of his war slavery was dead, secession was dead, and 500,000 men were dead. So it isn't surprising he was so nonchalant about Pinkerton's warnings of threats and danger, why he left himself so out in the open. It was as if he'd decided if a bullet comes, it comes, his turn to join the ranks of all the death he ordered."

"Or how Eisenhower felt, giving the go order for hundreds of thousands to charge a French beach into the teeth of big guns, with just their rifles and grenades, to seize a foothold so the bigger stuff could be brought to bear."

Yeah…. somehow that's not comforting, and Elisabeth's expression is neutral. "Sometimes I wonder if whatever Edward was trying to do on that roof with Case… should have been left to happen," she admits quietly, sipping her coffee. "Nothing Case could do would have killed people — it wasn't in his abilities. And I wonder… sometimes… if the tiny bit of future knowledge that we have is enough with which to make the decisions we're making." She sighs. "Am I the only person having these doubts?" she wonders to the panmnesiac.

"Facing the choices placed before us and making the difficult decisions, even when they cost lives, is one thing. To go the long haul, to not give up, to stay out of despair. But to arbitrarily alter hundreds of thousands of lives in one grand stroke, to force on them that which nature didn't bestow as Edward was attempting, that's madness. As it was madness for Arthur to undertake all his political machinations. Hell, Hitler tried to do that too. Trying to wipe out entire races of people and make the world what he wanted it to be… If he'd succeeded in that," Cat asks, "who would've been next when he needed an enemy to point at in justifying his stranglehold on power?"

"The people who history holds up as great are the ones who led boldly, not by grand strokes, but by inspiring the best qualities of never giving up and leading people to justice. In the end, against all manner of tyrants and degrees of fear, hope and justice always win."

There's a sigh. Elisabeth smiles faintly. "You're spouting lofty rhetoric at me again… when what I wanted was your honest opinion," she tells her friend mildly. "In general, when someone starts spouting rhetoric, they either don't want to say what they would do, or they just plain don't know. It's easy to criticize everyone else's actions; it's far harder to actually look at the circumstances and offer a useful alternative, Cat."

She means no sting to her words, sipping from her coffee cup and letting her eyes roam the screen one more time.

"Anything that I need to know about at this point that's not in the computer? My brain is fried with a couple of serial killer cases on top of all this." And then she says, "OH! There's a new drug on the streets…. street name 'Refrain'. Warn every single one of our people to stay AWAY from the stuff. It's apparently extremely addictive. Like one-dose addictive. I'm looking into whatever other information I can get on it."

"That is my honest opinion," Cat replies simply. Her voice is quiet, the words come with calm confidence. "History makes my point. Name any tyrant in history, and think of what happened to him or her in the end. And think of how they were beaten when they fell. It wasn't by the actions of madmen like Norman White with God complexes. That sort; Napoleon, Hitler, Kazimir Volken, Edward Ray, Norman White…"

"Another nutjob on the rise. These are the people the heroes of history defeated. Think of those words Jefferson wrote, and how they were pretty much a sham when he wrote them, only applying to pale people, and for that matter only applying to people with penises. The main story of American history is the struggle to hold our country to those words, and to expand them. The battles were long and hard, but tell me which side has eventually won them all? And they got there because leaders arose to inspire courage and perseverance, to bolster belief it would happen. To never give up."

"No, what I have doubts about is keeping secrets like we have," Cat admits some moments later. "Part of me will always want to expose Nathan Petrelli as a coward and let the chips land where they fall, even knowing it could mean Mitchell becomes President. He won't last forever. The truth will set you free, the saying is, but here we are withholding it."

She does eventually get to other topics, though. Perhaps finally, Elisabeth may well think. "Refrain. Fort Knox went walkbout two weeks ago, to check into Triad moves and Refrain. He left a note, saying just that, and I've not heard from him since. Had no idea what it is…" The memory of Else Kjelstrom and their most recent conversation surfaces, the shining blue vial she had and the rubber tube for prepping a vein. It's an apparent drug Cat hadn't seen before and definitely wasn't an opiate.

"Is Refrain a shining blue liquid taken by injection? What are its effects?" she inquires.

Although she listens quietly, Elisabeth doesn't seem to really think Cat's going to answer her. And frankly, she doesn't need the history lesson, but she lets it be. When Cat admits to being worried about hiding information, that's when Elisabeth's full attention turns to her intently. "Information is power," she says quietly. "And I have to admit that it's the aspect of being part of this group that I don't like. We say we're out there trying to defend the greater good, but you know what? It's always been public debate that makes things better or worse — and the tides shift back and forth naturally when people have all the information with which to fight. We don't all have to agree, but you can't mount a good argument and change things without all the facts." She shrugs a bit and smiles faintly, because she fully realizes how hypocritical what she just said is.

"Edward foresaw the possibility that we'd stop him. And while I'm not sure whether I agree with his actions… I have to tell you that I think his intentions may have been good ultimately, Cat," she says quietly. "In the event of his own failure at Pinehearst, he left information about Norman White — nothing more than what I've already found out on my own and given you, so you're not out of the loop except in the fact that Edward predicted the possibility." Elisabeth looks at Cat and says quietly, "And now instead of 245,000 new Evos who might have ushered in a new era of FORCING some kind of change toward equality ust by virtue of sheer numbers… we've got 400 Evo criminals, a number of them Tier 3 and who deserved to be in jail, are loose. Not entirely sure we traded up this time."

There's a shake of her head and Elisabeth says, "I haven't seen Refrain personally, but injection is right. And apparently it's some kind of reliving memories in full living 3D color. Whoever it was that used the drug, they were even able to access suppressed memories — like mindwipe suppressed memories. So… to give it to you might actually not be a huge problem, depending on what memories it pulled up for you. But it apparently incapacitates the person until it's run its course."

"We didn't stop Edward," Cat shares somberly. "His plan was working, it was going to happen. Both Tylers were on the roof, they were in an augmentation loop and building up to endow all of Fort Lee. We were all suppressed first by the older Tyler, none of our abilities could've been used to stop him. They were gone. I was suddenly foggy and wondering how the hell I got up on a roof tending to Helena's rebar wound. Arthur nailed her through the abdomen. Mother had made her blood clot before Tyler showed up, fortunately. I do remember it seemed fairly clear shooting either Tyler would only make things worse."

"The attempt failed because the younger Edward showed up with Tyler's sister, and the older Tyler pulled out of the thing when she asked him to, at the cost of his life."

And now she's back to Refrain. "Maybe it's what I saw. And memories," her head shakes, "shit. That's got potential for some serious happy times, but also loaded with risk of a bad trip, maybe even a coin flip in which a user gets. I mean, a thing like that, the memories drawn out must be random." Of course, as Cat thinks Refrain over, Elisabeth has the keyboard and mouse; this puts her in a better position to open a file on the drug.

Elisabeth nods slightly at that information and admits softly, "It makes me wonder what he saw in the probabilities that changed his younger self's mind." Then she looks at Cat. "I don't know if you're aware, but the elder Tyler Case's body was recovered, and since he's in the system, he's been officially declared dead. So far as I can find, however, neither of Edward Ray's bodies have been recovered. Nor has the body of Peter Petrelli."

And then she nods on the Refrain comments. "Yeah. I can't imagine there's anything actually in there that would trigger one particular KIND of memory over the other. Seems somewhat farfetched for it to be tailored that specifically." She sighs and sips her coffee, then sets it down, shoving the breakfast sandwich far away — typing on a keyboard here! And she fills in what little she knows about the stuff with quick movements of her fingers on the keys.

"Peter isn't dead," Cat shares. "He's holed up somewhere, dealing with the ability he wound up holding. Man showed up at the Cellar a few weeks ago, wearing gloves and being an ass. He wanted to see Else about her songs, she wasn't there, so he demanded her address. I wouldn't give it to him, he stormed out, but not before giving Claire and Helena the brush-off. Claire touched him on bare skin, and he jerked away from her, because her skin started turning to dust."

And Cat is annoyed. "If he would've just sat down, shut up, and listened for once, I might've been able to ask the critical question, find out if he absorbed that from someone else, or if he wound up with it after being around Arthur and Tyler. Because if it's not something he absorbed, maybe Delphine could fix him."

And with that lonely, perfectly good sandwich sitting there getting cold, Cat has a query. "You don't want that?"

Elisabeth glances at Cat with the news that Peter Petrelli survived. Why that should be of any kind of surprise to her, she really has no clue. "I kind of figured that might be the case. Same with the idea that BOTH Edwards are gone." She just shakes her head. "I don't know why you expected the man to actually listen to anything anyone else has to say," she comments as she types the Refrain information — what little there is — into the machine. "From what I've been told, he's very much a Petrelli in that regard. But that's second- or third-hand info, too. And no, I'm not hungry. I'm going to finish this and head to work. Got a lot to do."

"I didn't say I expected him to listen," Cat informs dryly, "just that he wouldn't. So Claire said he was being an ass, I told him to get over himself and be respectful or I'd tell him nothing and recommend Wireless do the same. Helena basically told the man to get out and not come back until he grows up."

Elisabeth laughs softly, and reaches for her coffee to finish it off as she stands up. "Sounds good to me, I guess." Not that she expects to ever lay eyes on the man, honestly. "All right. You have the info I've got, Cat. I gotta get to work. Denton's got some of his people looking into both White and Danko, so … maybe between the lot of us, we can make this work." She shoves a hand through her hair and smiles. "Thanks for the coffee." She's clearly ready to head back out.

There's no acknowledgment of Denton being mentioned, Cat chooses not to voice her belief they'd try to use Norman White as a weapon or hire Danko to work for them, it would be pointless. The sandwich is rescued from loneliness as she nods once and lifts coffee with the other hand. "Welcome," she offers. "See you. And let me know if you want my brain to look at that serial killer."

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