No Guarantees


brian_icon.gif cat_icon.gif claire2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif maya_icon.gif

Scene Title No Guarantees
Synopsis Help is sought and given, but there are no guarantees.
Date July 26, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Fourth Floor Safehouse

The floors here on the fourth level of the Village Renaissance Building at 14 East 4th Street are of polished grey marble and the smooth walls are painted a cream color. Four corridors with four apartments each are found here, with stairwells at the front and back and elevators centrally placed in each corridor. The elevators have buttons for the first three floors visible, and control panels requiring both key and keycard to open.

The apartment doors, made from sturdy pine, are operated by keycards only on this floor. Like the second and third floors, they're numbered 401-416.

But that's where the similarity ends. This floor isn't for rental to the general public. It's a place reserved for temporary stays by whomever the person who lives on the top floor chooses to give sanctuary.

It's a safehouse of the Ferrymen, operated by a member of Phoenix, using the cover of musician's eccentricities to explain away the motley crew of folks who might come and go if anyone should ask.

It's been a fairly long walk from the shelter to the address she was given. But she doesn't exactly have money to spare, so shank's mare is the only way to get from point A to point B. At least it's summer, and nice weather…it makes the trip somewhat more tolerable. Still, Maya's technically a homeless person right now, and despite best efforts at the shelter, she still looks the part a bit. Her attire is threadbare and hand-me-down, and she's seen better days. She thus looks more than a little out of place as she comes into the lobby, looking about before approaching the security desk. "Hello…I'm looking for Catherine Chesterfield?" Her voice is accented, moderately strongly.

The man spoken to, in a golf shirt with the logo, an image of the building, on the front listens as Maya speaks her purpose, and nods once. "Of course, Miss. It'll be just a few minutes." He is polite and professional in manner. From his pocket comes an iPhone, a number is tapped out. He listens.

Four floors up, just stepping out of an elevator, the device rings with the tone she assigned to this source so she knows immediately who it is without even having to check the ID. "Yes?" she asks.

"We've a Hispanic woman asking for you, Doctor C."

"Interesting," she replies. "Does she look like DHS or the police?"


"Tell her take the first elevator, left side of the building. The access panel is left open, she sends the elevator down to the first floor. "Tell her press button four."

He ends the call, and he relays the instructions.

When instructions are relayed to Maya, she does as asked. She moves over to the elevator indicated, steps inside, and presses the button marked "4". From there, there's nothing to do except fidget nervously, which is exactly what she does, as she waits for it to get to her destination.

The doors close and the machine moves, it can barely be felt doing so. The most noticeable evidence of it is the numbers lighting up and going dark in sequence overhead. 2. 3. Then 4, and there's a soft ding as the doors open. Just to one side of the elevator is a brunette of five feet and eight inches, her clothing casual and in good repair. A tank top with the face and logo of Joan Jett, dark blue shorts, and athletic shows. Brown eyes rest on the woman inside.

"Morning," she greets. "I'm Cat." Her features are calm and appraising, as if she's taking a measure of Maya to determine if she seems like a cop undercover or anything of the sort and seems to decide no, she isn't. "Welcome."

The woman in the elevator is several inches shorter, and so she looks up when greeted. She definitely doesn't look like a cop, though it wouldn't be impossible for one to grunge down for the look. Her voice is a bit uncertain as she opens the topic, since there's not really any good way to ease into it. "Good morning. I…got your name from a woman. She said you might be able to help me find my brother."

"I see," Cat responds quietly. "Are you also needing shelter?" She waits until the elevator is clear before stepping inside to close and lock the access panel which hides the buttons for floors above 3 from the general public. "I have room for that also," she informs, before tacking on a second question in two parts: "May I ask your name, and your brother's?"

The woman answers "I'm staying at the Brooklyn Women's Shelter right now. My name is Maya Herrera. My brother is Alejandro." She looks to Cat, her expression hopeful for some kind of news…any kind of good news will do.

"Alejandro Herrera," Cat replies, her eyes going a bit distant as they focus on a wall for some moments. She's pulling memories out of the few tendrils of fog lingering from Tyler's suppression on the Pinehearst roof and watching them play out. March 11th, on Staten Island, parts of it are unclear because of Trask being nearby, but there's enough.

"I went on a raid with some friends and other people a few months back," Cat reports when her eyes shift back to Maya's face. "He was among people kept captive there by a private operation which we took objection to the existence of. Captivity was caused to end. That Alejandro," she isn't certain this is him, Alejandro's a common enough name much like it's English equivalent, "was looking for his sister. Were you also in trouble on Staten Island, Maya?"

Her momentary tension is probably answer enough, if someone is watching her body language, but the nod comes long seconds after, as if it takes her a while to decide that it's safe to answer that. "Yes. But out of it now. Please, do you know where he is?" Her voice has a pleading edge to it. "I need to find him."

"I wish I did," Cat replies honestly. "He was taken to a safehouse in the city, but within a few days he'd moved along, possibly looking for you, I'm told. There hasn't been contact since. But," Cat adds, "we'll pass his name around the network to see if there's been any sighting and pass the word also on how he can reach us. What I'd recommend most is you stay put, keep your residence at the shelter in Brooklyn, so you can be found easily when he is."

"We will look, Maya," she asserts, "but there are no guarantees." There is confidence about her, even while she speaks the disclaimer. Some quality relied upon to hopefully keep the latina from despair.

Her shoulders slump with the news, but she nods. The projected confidence doesn't seem to make a dent in her mood; the first trace of hope has now hit a dead end. "Thank you." she manages a faint smile that doesn't reach her eyes. She's trying to be nice, but she can't entirely keep the disappointment at bay. "If you hear anything, please, tell him where to find me."

"I will," Cat assures. "And there's room for you here if you need or want it." Maya seems, to her at least, in need of assistance. Is this her only set of clothes? Is she legal to work in the US?" A question forms in Cat's mind, two of them actually. "Is it safe for you to work in this country, and… do you like rock music, Maya?" She offers a forming smile, a real one.

More hesitation. She likes the idea of a safe haven that's a little more private than the Shelter. But at the same time, she's not sure she can trust anyone yet. Long silences are becoming her watchword today. She answers the first question with a quiet voice "No. It's not safe for me to do anything official. And…I suppose?" She's no musician; she just listens to it on the radio.

A nod. "On the way here you probably saw the Rock Cellar." Cat doesn't elaborate on that, having decided against offering work in such a public spot on hearing it's not safe to do anything official. She can maybe come up with something else over time, but this doesn't seem the occasion to discuss it. The first step will be to contact her technopathic allies and ask what they can find on Alejandro Herrera who was on Staten Island and in the pipe afterward. Maybe a photo of him is out there to pass around too. In fact… "Do you have a picture of your brother, Maya?"

She does, and so her first reply is a nod. "But only one. Can we make a copy? I don't…I don't want to lose my only picture of him." Sometimes just remembering helps to get her through, and in her case, getting her through can be important. It saves people. She reaches to a pocket and pulls out a much-battered wallet. No purse; they're too easy to lose or be stolen at the shelter.

A copy. Yes, lots of copies. She has a scanner, and once it's scanned it can be reproduced on paper and electronically with ease. That said, also, Cat only needs to see it once. "Certainly," she answers. Her hand is held out to accept the image. "My office is upstairs. I'll be back shortly, Maya." Her intent is just that: to scan the image and return with it.

She hands over the photograph, tugging it out of the wallet and handing it over. Once Cat is gone, she's pacing the halls, more than a little agitated. She feels nervous and exposed, and there's definitely part of her that's being the Voice of Pessimism inside her head.

Time passes. Five minutes or so, during which Cat is upstairs scanning the photo and taking first steps toward locating Alejandro. Once the image is a data file, she opens the instant messenger program and types.

From: Cat

To: Wireless T.Monk R.Ajas

Subject: Maya and Alejandro Herrera

Request information on possible locations of Alejandro Herrera, former captive on Staten Island, once guest of the Ferry. Sister sent to me for assistance. Both are believed undocumented aliens, country of origin unknown. Thank you.

She attaches the scanned image of Alejandro and inserts a shot of Maya from the building's cameras for extra measure, then sends the request out.

When she returns to the fourth floor, she promptly gives the photo back.

Maya takes her picture back. It's tucked protectively back into her wallet for safekeeping, and that in turn goes into her jeans, where it will be hardest to be pickpocketed without her feeling it. "Gracias." It's offered back in her native language, a heartfelt thanks for the assistance. "I shouldn't keep you too long. I don't want to impose." That and it's a very long walk from here back to the Shelter.

Boots thud against the ground of the hallway as Winters makes his way through. He lost a lot of himself in the Pinehearst incident, which unfortunately means he has to take on the role of being mopey and depressed. Sometimes pretending to be Brian irritates him to no end. But nonetheless, Brian walks down the hall, complete with red rimmed eyes and tear tracks. Dressed in a pair of dark blue jeans and a gray shirt, courtesy of Veronica, he pauses at the sound of voices. Going to lean against the wall, he peers on down the hallway.

A new face. Is it someone he knows already without knowing? Time to proceed with caution. "Cat?" He asks softly, voice trembling a wee bit.

And this one, if Brian has learned anything at all about her, needs the most caution. The slightest things that doesn't seem perfectly like himself could trigger suspicion. His many recent deaths, though, work in his favor now. It makes him more believable as Brian Fulk. Cat's eyes turn his way briefly, then back to Maya.

"You're not imposing at all, Maya." And an idea comes to her. Perhaps something to do, something good like reuniting siblings will help his depression, especially given the recent discovery of kinship with Gillian. He can be in many places at the same time, this will help in seeking Alejandro, at least as far as looking in NYC goes.

"Yes, Brian?" she answers quietly.

Maya starts to make her reply, but then Brian arrives, and she immediately clams up. The Latina woman is discussing things best not discussed in open company, and the tension shows on her face for a moment before she banishes it. Calm down, Maya. You don't want to get agitated. That would be bad. A deep breath comes before a nod to Brian, as she adjusts her threadbare attire a bit self-consciously.

"Do you…" A slow breath. "Do you know where Gillian is?" He asks weakly, his eyes wandering up to settle on Cat. Before they wander over to Maya. Watching her nod it takes him a long moment to reply before finally he can say. "Hi. I'm Brian." It's practically choked out.

"I think she went out, Brian," Cat replies quietly. Her eyes travel between Maya and Brian, she notes the Latina's agitiation and the control of it, saying to her "I know these people are new to you, and that can be daunting. Some of the people staying here came for help, others are part of the network who help them. They'll be helping me to look." She doesn't say what or who for, that's left to Maya's discretion. At least while Maya is present.

Elisabeth steps out of Cat's apartment, dressed in a pair of jeans borrowed from the brunette's closet and a T-shirt probably from the same source. "Who're we looking for?" she asks as she steps out. It looks like she might have been heading somewhere, but the gathering in the hallway has brought her up short. At least her voice works once more.

Her eyes sweep up Brian once, up and down, before she finally nods to him. "Maya. Nice to meet you." Even though she hasn't REALLY met him…a name isn't the same. But then her attention swings back to Cat. "Network." Organization. Group. The woman who gave her the business card dropped words like that, too. "What is all of this?" Her curiosity gets the better of her, with the need to ask.

"Gillian." Brian answers dully to Elisabeth before his gaze swings back to Cat. "We were supposed to go get the kids today and look for a place." He sounds a tad troubled that Gillian went out when they were supposed to go do something together. But, oh well. Taking a few steps forward he looks at Maya for a long moment. "Nice to meet you too.." He mumbles, though from his tone it hardly sounds like it's nice to meet her. Bringing up one hand he scrubs vainly at tears that aren't present anymore. At Maya's question, he glances over at Cat to explain.

"It's called the Ferry," Cat replies, "among other things." She looks from Maya to the man, saying "This is Brian," and to the woman who just stepped out of the elevator after coming down from the Penthouse, this being the fourth floor, "and this is Elisabeth."

Back to Brian her gaze goes, and she nods. "Brian operates a place which helps children in trouble, he's looking for a new place to set up." She won't elaborate on that. It's for him to speak further about, or not.

Then she nods toward Elisabeth. "She can help me find people. I trust both of them. You can also."

There is the sound of soft humming just before Claire comes out of the unit she's using with a bowl in her hand and a spoon in her other. She's not even paying attention to the world, her eyes on the cereal bowl as she shovels in another spoonful. Wearing a pair of gray sweat pants, a white tank top, and her blonde hair is pulled back into a ponytail. She's obviously only gotten up a short time ago as there is a pair of fuzzy bunny slippers on her feet.

It takes a moment, but Claire does finally notice there are people there. Swallowing her current bite of food she offers a curious look as she greets the room, "Hey."

Elisabeth raises a brow, her left arm cradled to her body protectively. She casts a look at Brian, sympathy in her gaze, "Last I saw, Gillian was here. I'm sorry, off the top of my head I don't know anything else." She turns her eyes back to the women, though, and her expression is wary. Are they looking for someone else too?

Lots of people. They're coming out of the woodwork now, and it's enough to make Maya a little nervous, especially when Cat makes mention that they're all involved with some special organization. On the other hand, the tiny blonde girl in the bunny slippers is not exactly fear-inspiring. Elisabeth's wary expression though, that's more offputting. The Latina looks about, taking in the people there, and then back to Cat. "Really, I should get going." Or at least she wants to, for her own safety. "Nice to meet you." she repeats, even though she really hasn't met Elisabeth or Claire.

"Cat said she went out." Brian mutters pathetically. He glances over as Claire enters, never really getting to meet her before but knowing of her he gives a little nod. Then glances back to Maya. "The Lighthouse. We're looking for volunteers to help around with the kids if you're ever interested." It sounds rehearsed and forced through his dismal display of requesting help. "I should be going too, if Gilli isn't around." Says Eeyore.

The Latina's body language is telling Elisabeth that there's a big problem, but it's not like all of us aren't in trouble around here. She gestures to Maya, "Are you sure you don't want a place to stay?" she asks gently. Because well… it sure looks like she could use it.

She leans against the door way for a long moment, but then she pushes away and moves into the corridor. She lets her spoon clatter into her bowl, so that she can wipe her hand on her sweatpants and offer a hand to Maya. "Nice to meet you too, " she offers with a small smile. "My name is Claire… you are?" A glance to Brian adds him to that question. "The Lighthouse?" She looks thoughtful, "I use to babysit… when I was in high school. " Course it's been a few years, would she be able to handle kids after all this time? So much has changed. "I could try helping out sometime."

Maya frowns a little at the offer from Elisabeth. "Didn't know that was an option." Cat had mentioned it briefly, but it hadn't been really a formal offer. On the other hand, it would be really nice to not have to be in the shelter anymore. She shakes Claire's hand once when the younger woman offers it. "Maya." She doesn't give a last name, just the first.

"Of course." Brian murmurs, looking over his shoulder to Claire. "Brian. By the way." He adds in, trying to compose himself and shake off the fake tears now that he's in a hallway full of women. "One way you could help, we're looking for a temporary place to keep the kids while we try to get the Lighthouse restored. So if you know any place.." He gives a nod.

"I'm sorry," she offers. "Elisabeth." There's a glance at Brian and a surprised look. "The Ferry didn't have a place to put the children, Brian?" She's actually shocked — she thought they were all accounted for and in safe locations at this point.

"Ooo.. Nice name. I like it." Claire offers cheerfully around a bite of frosted flakes. "It's a good place to lay low.. Good group of folks." Brian's question makes Claire thoughtful and then she shrugs. "I… wouldn't know. I can only think to talk to Hel or Cat on this side of things. I'm kinda on the homeless side myself. Staying here for a time till I figure things out." There is a glance to Liz, before continuing. "Yeah, kinda surprised my dad didn't take them in… or you know.. others?" She frowns a bit, she hopes her father, Noah, didn't turn them out. You don't turn out kids.

Maya's nervousness is still telling her it would be a good idea to get out of here. But contrasted with the possible offer of a place to stay, as yet nebulous, and it's a good reason not to get out of here. The uncertainty shows in her expression. Finally, she seems to make her choice to stay till she knows what's going on, and settles in, just shifting her weight from one leg to the other, rather than the more open fidgeting she was doing. "So…what's this place? Awful high-end for a shelter."

"The Ferrymen do." Brian responds. "The kids are scattered in different Ferry safehouses. But.. that's not their place. I'm going to get them all back together and under one roof with me. Until we get the Lighthouse functional again. And if any of you want to get in on the rebuilding.. We'll be having work days and stuff like that." A look over to Maya as he takes a breath to compose himself.

"I'm sorry, Maya? Was it. I've been through a lot lately, I'll try to be more.. welcoming. I run a program that protects kids who are.. Evolved. And most of us are associated with a group that keeps those same types of people under wraps and protected. But it's not like we turn people away for not being Evolved. We try to help everyone." He thinks.

Elisabeth nods her understanding. "Gotcha," she says quietly. "Tell you what… let's get Maya a place to stay. Maya, for today, one of the apartments will do. Tomorrow if you'd rather go to a different safehouse, we can arrange it." She clears her throat. "I'm sure Cat can set up most of this. Claire, think you can help folks get settled in?"

There is a look of relief on Claire's face as Brian at least says the kids are safe with her daddy's group. Cause she was seriously considering a talk with him…. maybe. Maybe not. When Brian mentions rebuilding she points a finger at him, and gives him a friendly smile. "Count me in for that. I can easily help with rebuilding this.. Lighthouse. " It's something for her to do anyhow, not like she can sit up here day after day. "Who do I contact about that anyhow?" A glance to Liz and the blonde nods. "Yeah, I can do that." she then grins at Maya. "What do you think? You can bunk in the apartment I've taken over."

Maya nods to Brian, confirming her name. "It's okay. I think we all have things on our mind. Problems. I'm here trying to find someone." She'll give up that much at least. But then Claire says what she does, and it gets a doubletake from Maya. "Wait…but that's your apartment, no?" Did her English fail her? Is TinyBlonde asking for a roomie?

"Me." Brian says tilting his head. "I'm the founder and owner of the Lighthouse." He informs Claire before looking over to Maya. "Looking for someone? Who are you looking for. If you need help. I'm pretty good at finding people. Because of my ability mostly." And with that, on cue, at the other end of the hallway another man enters.

Completely identical to Brian except for the clothes he wears, he folds his arms and leans against the wall. Then right after him a third Brian enters, also leaning against the wall. "I can cover a lot of ground." He explains gesturing to his two duplicates.

Claire chuckles. "Sorta. I'm only here temorarily, really." She motions down the corridor. "I have friends in this group, and they took me in while I was well…. dying from a cold. I kinda haven't left yet." The former cheerleader literally has no reason or any place to go. Her expression falls a bit, "At least till I find my way."

She frowns a touch at a thought, but it melts away as the entrance of another Brian to one of awe. "Holy crap," she utters in awe. "That's useful." Is all she can really think to respond to that. "And you need help rebuilding your place?" she asks giving the orginal Brian an amused smirk. "You could have your own construction crew."

The second Brian gets a surprised blink, but Maya makes the assumption they're twins. But by the third? She just stares a little. "You…make more of yourself?" What about their souls? Maya starts off down a theological theoretical path till her practical side pulls her back to Claire's offer. "I…are you sure? That's really nice, but you don't know me."

"I do." Brian responds, giving a small faint smirk to Claire. "Yeah." Is all he says to the construction crew bit. And with that the two additional Brian's go back to whatever it was that they were doing before Brian made a demonstration of himself. Watching the two go through the motions as far as becoming roomates Brian waits for a moment until nodding. "So if you need help finding, whoever you're finding. I could probably be of use."
Public> La Llarona, Maya dies laughing, and shares:

"Well…" Claire starts, drawing the word out, "I kinda doubt your going to slit my throat in the night." A small smug smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. "Even if you do… I don't go down easily." She doesn't really explain the regeneration stuff. She turns her head a bit, her brows lifting as if asking, 'Well? What do you say?' "I don't snore. Or do you? That could be a sticking point." The grins she gives says she's teasing Maya. "

Turning a smile to Brian, after watching one of his clones walk away, she asks curiously, "How would I contact you? I don't exactly got a cellphone at the moment or I'd give you my number." It's one of the luxuries she misses the most.

Maya isn't going to turn down the offer of help. She takes out the picture of Alejandro from her wallet to display it to Brian. "This is my brother Alejandro. I'm trying to find him. Someone told me that Catherine could help." She then nods back to Claire. She's not worried about cutting the other girl's throat…more like killing her from an errant nightmare. But it's a way out of the shelter, and closer to the people helping to look for her brother. "I'd like that."

"Everyone needs a cellphone." Even ex-company agents pretending to be other people have cellphones! "I'll get you one." He offers, apparently the prospect of helping people bringing him out of his depression funk. Or at least that's how he think Brian would do it. Winters strolls towards Maya and examines the picture. "Alejandro." Brian says sympathetically. "I was separated from my sister.. I recently was reunited with her. I'm.. Sorry. I'll do my best to get the word out on Alejandro."

As she listens to what's going on, Elisabeth glances at the photo and then doubletakes. She reaches for it, her brow furrowing. She's seen that man before. Call it a cop's memory — she's not as good as Cat at it, but you don't forget the faces of people you liberate from fight rings. Her blue eyes shoot up to Maya, "Wait…. this is your brother?"

The picture comes out and Claire's curiosity gets the better of her so she moves to get a better look. "Hmm," is all she says softly. "I can't say I have ever seen him," she says giving the woman an apologetic look. "I know how you feel though, seems like I'm always looking for my uncle. I'll keep an eye out for him as well.. I'm looking for my Uncle Peter.. again." Brian gets a chuckle. "Oh no.. Thanks, but I can't take that kinda charity.. I'll see if I can at least get my hands on some cheap Go phone, but it'll still be easier to find you I think."

Glancing over at the detective as she takes the photo, Claire takes a few steps getitng out of the way. A glance down at her bowl of soggy flakes she frowns a bit. Pondering more food, while listening.

Well, Elisabeth's reaction immediately gets Maya's attention, and offers of roommateness, even as appreciated as they are, suddenly take a back seat. "Si, that's Alejandro." She makes sure to display it so that Elisabeth can see it. Her voice is full of urgency as she asks "You've seen him??"

"Elisabeth was with me, Maya, "the night of the raid I told you about," Cat pipes up after having stood aside a bit to let her become acquainted with some of the others around her. Her words are quietly spoken, hoping the news of her having assisted in that rescue operation will further ease concerns.

"Uncle Peter?" Couldn't be. There's a lot of Peters in this town. So he dismisses it. No way it's Petrelli. Then he pipes down, glancing over at Maya. "So Staten maybe?" He asks, glancing between Elisabeth and Cat. "I'll see what I can do." And then he's taking off. "Someone call me if Gillian shows up, please."

Elisabeth looks up at Maya and studies her far more closely. "Yes… I've seen him. And no, he's not on Staten. I'm reasonably sure he didn't go back there, though I'm not sure where he *did* go." She looks at the group and nods to Cat. "The raid on the fight club, he was pulled out with Sergei. He was talking about a sister caught in one of the… houses." Her eyes flicker to Maya briefly, uncertain as to the other woman's feelings on being caught in a whorehouse over there, if that's what she was doing. It's what her brother said she was doing.

But something else, something the cop can't put her finger on at this moment, is niggling at her too. Maya and Alejandro together in the picture look very sweet. Maybe she saw a picture when Alejandro was rescued, she's just not sure. Eventually, maybe, she'll place it. "So far as I know, he's definitely safe. He may have vanished into the Ferry network, or he may be out on his own. We can put out some feelers, though. I know he was planning on staying close to try to find you," she says as she hands the picture back.

It's still the best news she's had in a while. Her brother is alive. Or was alive, and free. Now she just has to find him. She beams a bright, sunny smile, her worry and paranoia gone in that instant. «Oh, thank God. God bless you.» she says, lapsing into her native Spanish in the moment of emotion as she looks back to Elisabeth. Now she's definitely not leaving. "Thank you. Thank all of you."

Claire starts to answer Brian's question, but when she glances over he's already taking off. Okay, well…. The blonde shrugs and glances at the others and then at the bowl in her hand. "I need to go rinse out my bowl and get a shower…" ..then go out looking for Peter again.

Giving Maya a smile, she points at the door she came out of earlier. "That is the place I took over. You're welcome there." She smiles at the other woman and give them a little finger wiggle of farewell, before turning and shuffling off in her bunny slippers.

It's the same thing she told Maya when she arrived, that Alejandro had been taken to safety and chosen to move along in search of her. Perhaps, Cat muses inwardly, the blossoming of her confidence comes from now seeing there's a group of people to help look for him, instead of just one woman who can offer no guarantees. She is silent again now, leaving the talking to others, as she simply listens. There is, after all, strength and hope in numbers, and what Maya needs most is just that.


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