No News Is Good News


cat_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title No News Is Good News
Synopsis Monica reconnects with a fellow firebird and learns of one abduction and one resurrection (sort of).
Date July 10, 2010

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.

The invitation was given a short time before, to come here on this pleasant Saturday morning which sees temperatures leveled off from the heat which was baking the city until just a few days ago. Monica's arrival was expected; at the Verb's front desk she was given a key and keycard to access buttons for the top floors hidden behind the locked access panel in the elevators. When she reaches the top floor, number six, she finds one of a pair of double doors open to admit her across a short corridor. Cat is standing just inside that entrance, clad casually. Shorts, Yale t-shirt, athletic shoes. "Thanks for coming, Monica, really good to see you." A cup holding coffee of the kind she remembers Monica preferring to drink is held out. The other hand gestures for her to come inside.

It's not an invitation she'd turn down, frankly. She seems a little… tired perhaps when she arrives, but not enough to deter her. And there is a smile when she sees Cat there. Oo, and coffee. "It's good to see you, too," she says, taking that cup with a quick, but quite genuine thank you. "How… how've you been?" She asks as they head inside, seeming a little sheepish, perhaps, in her greeting.

"Busy, as ever, the way I like it," Cat replies with a chuckle. Constantly making new memories keeps her from dwelling on less pleasant older ones. "You, Monica?" She closes the door and secures it, turning then toward the interior to walk across a portion of this spacious place where breakfast awaits. The entertainment room with that massive HD set from floor to ceiling and along the wall.

In that area there's food to be had and more coffee should it be desired. There's also two stacks of newspapers on a table next to a very comfortable chair. One stack is decidedly smaller than the other.

"Well… Busy, too. Still trying to finish my degree… I was able to get back into school," Monica says, although from her tone, she seems a bit doubtful of that lasting very long. When they step into the room, she whistles at that wall o' TV. "You've got your own theater in here," she observes with a crooked smile.

"Helena's gearing up for Columbia," Cat states in following the vein of educational achievement. "Keeps her busy most of the time these days, preparing herself. She's going for PoliSci." Stopping beside the spot where the stacks of newspapers rest, she remains standing to let her guest sit first. "Where do you take classes?"

And the admiration of the wall draws a quiet chuckle. "Yes, I do. Someone said I should live well, this is part of doing that. Make yourself comfortable, Monica. Relax."

"Yeah? I was supposed to meet up with her, but ah… the flashes happened and chaos and we just never got to sit down." Monica does take her coffee over to sit down by the breakfast, plucking out a piece of fruit for herself. "Oh, just over at NYU. Business management type stuff. Not sure I actually… want to do it anymore, but you know. Finishing things. Getting degrees." Relaxing seems a bit out of reach just yet, but give her a few. "Well, I gotta say… you're living pretty well… I didn't even know they made TVs this big."

"So she said. She lives here, it won't be hard for you two to reconnect." Cat settles into her own seat, paying the printed material no attention for the moment. Her head tilts, some mental consideration given to Monica's degree path, which prompts a question she floats. "Business management. Think you could run a recording studio?" Legs cross at the ankles, she folds her hands in her lap, back straight and head up.

"They don't make sets that size, as a standard thing, but can be persuaded to make them to order."

"Does she? And… how's Teo?" Speaking of people to reconnect with. Monica drinks a little more of her coffee as that question is posed, and her eyebrows lift up over the rim. "In theory? Once I studied the scene, yes. In practice? I've never run anything. It'd be something of an experiment."

"Helena's good," Cat tells her, "as is Teo. He lives in the West Village now with his boyfriend, a French doctor. They became close during an overseas mission against elements of the Vanguard trying to remake the world again." Like former Nazis will do. "The recording studio is mine, on the floor under this one. It'd be new, a start-up, so experimental would be all good."

"Oo, a doctor. Nice catch," Monica says with a chuckle of her own. "I'm glad to hear he's doing good. And Helena, too. I've been meaning to meet up with everyone again. I sort of got stuck on this… trying to figure what to do with myself kick. So… let me think about the studio? I'll get some research in, look into things… and see if I can make a decision. I don't want to say yes if I-… can't commit one hundred percent." That definitely isn't what she was going to say, and she's not good at covering that up. Alas, her lack of deceit training.

A nod. "Of course, Monica. Meeting up with everyone again, well… Gillian got grabbed by a thing called the Institute. They used her to make the visions happen. The precog they used for it was let go with missing memories, but they still have her. I intend to get her back. Just don't know how yet." Cat reaches for her own coffee, bringing it closer.

"The Institute is bad news, I'm working to learn all I can find about them and their operatives. Seems they're absorbing the Company, and it was them who put in the deep freeze up here."

That gets Monica to sit up a little straighter, that news. "They took her? Why'd they let the precog go and not her?" Fingers tap against her glass and she thinks a little on that news, "Never do get a break, huh? They made that storm? Well. I'll see what I can help with, with finding out about this Institute. How'd you find out it was them?"

"My guess is because Gillian's an augmenter and they have other things they want to use her for," Cat replies. "There's a woman working as a private detective, she's got mojo for seeing past events in mirrors placed at spots where things happen. Gillian's car was found abandoned out on Staten Island, the retrocog was hired to check things out there and said she saw a bunch of guys in hazmat suits putting her out with sedatives and hauling her off."

Monica rubs her face, shaking her head for a second. "Poor thing. Can't leave us alone for five seconds. Got to ave nazis or storms or kidnappings." With a sigh, she looks over at Cat. "I'd like to help get her out. When there's a plan. You suppose… they wanted to look at that date in particular? Or just happened to stumble across the big stuff first?"

"I don't know exactly what they were after as far as information from the precog," Cat provides in a calmly somber voice, "though it's very interesting these visions center on November 8th. The man's ability isn't just prediction, it's more like he touches someone wanting to see a vision of possible things to come and he provides without knowing what's being seen. I'd never known him to transmit without physical contact before, but under multiple augmentations, well… you saw what happened." Coffee is lifted and partaken of.

"I won't bury you under too much info all at one shot, but the Institute is Federally supported. Has deep pockets. The deep freeze happened because Rebel freed a teenager they were using as a lab rat, a power collector, and the Ferry refused to give her back. The girl's sister, also in their hands, somehow got weather manipulation mojo and started icing things down. The scientists who called herself the teens' father knew what was happening, and did nothing to stop it. We finally broke Antarctica North when Liette helped snatch the mojo from her sister, worked with Helena and others to set things right."

"And now he can't remember what happened to him? They wiped him?" Monica sets her coffee aside, so she can fold her hands on the table and listen. "Rebel is… a Ferryman?" Someone's missed a step there. "Whatever happened to the sisters? Did they get… reunited?"

"They tried to remove the man's memories, it didn't completely work," Cat shares quietly. "Rebel are not with the Ferry, they're a collection of three technopaths," she goes on to say with her voice shifting into a more hushed tone. "I was on good terms with them for a time, but things soured recently. I'm hopeful that will soon change, but there are no guarantees."

"Is he okay, the precog? Did they hurt him or anything? Are we working with… violent people here or do they count on subduing and overpowering?" Monica folds her arms some, thinking caps are on. "Oh, wort of their own deal. I get that. well, here's hoping you can get things back on good terms. Maybe they'd help. Technopaths…" Well, she's got a bit of a soft spot for them, to say the least, "…very special people."

Her brows furrow, it puzzles Cat that Monica doesn't know the Rebel story. Didn't Niki tell her? Didn't Rebel themselves tell her what happened, for that matter? Should've done so herself, instead of letting it ride as a family matter for the Sanders trio of personalities or the technopaths to tell her about. Fuuuuuuck.

"Monica," she begins, making eye contact and taking on that sort of vocal tone which says unsettling news is coming from the first word, one calculated to break it as gently as possible, "you know one of the components in Rebel. Last spring, Allen Rickham and a man named Knox were brought to me, guided by a pair of technopaths. One called himself T. Monk, like the famous jazz musician. He sounded older in the words he used, and the voice he chose for himself in manipulating audio equipment. The other was far younger, had the hallmarks of being a teenager. That one called himself R. Ajas. They gave some advice, and on a few occasions electronic assistance." The coffee cup is taken from again, providing a brief break in the story.

"R. Ajas turned out to be Micah Sanders. His body had been kept alive, comatose, in a hospital under another name. Monk asked me to get Niki to him, but didn't tell me who he was. Niki wouldn't come at first, so I went to the hospital and got a photo to show her it was real. Only then did Monk tell me his name. By the time we got Niki there, it was too late. His body died of a disease only her blood would've cured." She sets the coffee cup down.

"There was machinery at the hospital. The body is gone, but the mind remains."

Give her a minute.

"…what?" Monica isn't so much shock that an evolved could live on without their body, but more that it's her cousin doing it. "He's… he's not… gone?" Standing up from her chair, she runs a hand through her hair and paces a few steps away. "Does Niki know?"

"She knows," Cat replies with a slow nod. "She went to the hospital with me to help him, but it was too late. Jessica took over, it turned into a dicey situation, Rebel helped us avoid security and get out. Micah spoke to her through my phone and calmed her down enough to avoid tearing the place asunder."

After another pause Cat quietly offers "I'm sorry I didn't tell you at the time. I thought between Niki and Micah, you'd be told, it was a family matter."

Monica lets out a breath at the answer to her question, relieved, it seems, that his mother knows. "No no, I… understand. It's… I've been… I haven't really talked to Niki in a while. And Micah… God. He's alive?" Sort of? She comes back over to drop back into her chair, her hand rubbing her face again. "And I came back to New York to get back to basics," she says with a bit of a mirthless chuckle.

"His consciousness exists, as part of Rebel," Cat answers. "You can talk with Rebel, or try to, easily enough, Monica. The same way we contact Wireless, by using a cellphone or computer to send a message with only that name as the address."

"My life is extremely weird." Monica shakes her head and straightens up again. "What… am I supposed to tell Nana?" It's a rhetorical question, though, as she goes right onward again. "Okay. Yeah, I… I gotta talk to him. He's family and he's… out there somewhere." Standing to her feet, Monica comes over to put a hand on Cat's shoulder. "I'll see you again soon. I've got to… go run this off or something." The weirdness, that is.

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