Not Going to Kentucky


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Scene Title Not Going To Kentucky
Synopsis Knox returns to New York to settle some business, and to meet with a Phoenix Lieutenant.
Date February 19, 2009

Staten Island, Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plantlife, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

It's nearing dark when she arrives on the coast of Staten Island, alone. Cat is once again making the crossing in her own boat, having taken care to dress shabbily so she fits in better with the locals. Sure, she could play the part of a rich woman seeking to watch action at the fight club she heard about, or even a lesbian seeking to hire a prostitute for some rough play, but those also make her a target of persons who might seek to deprive her of money. And it might not even work after she was forced to reveal herself as tied to Teo and draw a weapon after Victor pulled his mailbox crashing stunt at superspeed.

She'd told the Ferryman contact she'd meet with the man in question on this forsaken island, specified this as the hour, and named a location.

Stepping up to the abandoned boathouse, she pulls the brim of her beaten-up Yankees cap down a bit more and steps inside to wait just inside the door where she can see anyone coming in before they see her. She's armed, the M16 rifle is slung over one shoulder and her .40 caliber pistol with silencer attached is in hand.

The roar of a motorcycle's engine is the first sign of anyone approaching, its headlight winking out long before it pulls in off of the road and down the broken concrete driveway to the boathouse, the rumbling engine of the old, beat-up harley giving a rather obvious alarm to the man's entrance. Riding without a helmet, the stern-looking man on the back of the motorcycle looks like he fits in to this rough island, slowing down and coming ot a rolling halt some twenty feet from the abandoned structure.

Carrying no weapons, he swings one leather-clad leg up off of the motorcycle, coming to settle a foot down on grass that pokes up through a crack in the pavement. His head quirks to the side as dark eyes look up at the building, turning the key to shut the engine off as his boots scuff along the ground. Head tilting to one side, the biker rolls his shoulders, "You're nervous; It's alright, you can come out. I can feel you in there."

It takes a brief span of seconds as Cat eyes the man outside through a space between boards and determines him to be unarmed as best she can, then she steps out into the doorway and stands there eying him. "Nervous," she replies questioningly, with an eyebrow raising, "or prudent? Some would say both. The chance exists this could be a trap. And I don't have the tools you apparently do, to sense the presence of people."

She holds her head high, speaks with poise, keeps her face neutral and businesslike as she steps forward from the door. "Knox," she repeats, "Cat."

"Nice to meet the Lioness of Phoenix." Knox's dark brows rise and he offers one leather-clad hand to the woman who never forgets, "I don't know how much Scott told you about me — or hell, if Scott was even the one who got in touch with you." His head tips to the side, "I used to work for PARIAH, Cameron got me involved back when this all first started. Had me out in California managing some work on the west coast, since I got myself some influence back home… When shit went sideways, and I heard Cam died, it took me a while to want to come back home. Figures, everybody's gone, PARIAH, all'a it. I brought some of my boys with me, and Scott Harkness and his people took us in, differences aside and all that."

Her silenced pistol is tucked away in the back of her jeans and covered by the bottom of the well-worn coat she's in, then her right hand comes out to shake once and release. Smooth skin, warm, soft, but with callused fingertips. Cat's grip has some firmness to it. "Lioness," she replies with a slight grin breaking out, "I like it. Maybe I'll tag you Fort Knox." Although it has yet to be determined if the man is full of gold. "Cameron…" The memory plays out in her mind's eye of that night at the Hangar.

When she emerges from that recall, the words are simply and coldly spoken. "We found the man who made him a pile of ash. He's now dust himself. Nazi nutjob bastard."

And back to business.

"Nazi?" One of Knox's black brows rise slowly, "Well, just as damned good then that he's six feet under. Cam was a good man, and he saved my ass when it needed savin'. I'm just — " One shoulder rolls, and Knox waves a gloved hand towards Cat, dismissing the comment. "Scott and his buddies told me what was going on with Phoenix. I didn't know how big you all were, word didn't spread far out west, 'sides from those videos you had in the internet. Got all sorts of people talking, even in PARIAH's West-Coast followers."

Looking up at the sky, Knox closes his eyes and then lowers his head, tucking his gloved hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. "He said you were lookin' to get a message to your missing kids. I ain't got anything here for me, no family, no friends. My boys out in Los Angeles got raided by the LAPD and Homeland a couple weeks back, all them got hauled off to hell knows where…"

Pacing in a circle, Knox looks restless, like a huge caged animal seeking to release some of his frustrations. "I got some words out west that a prison was being built in Utah, big som'na bitch. Before we got raided, a few of my boys went out there to scout it out, they never found it, but they heard the locals talking about big black helicopters going up into the mountains at all hours of the day. They got caught in Vegas before they could do any more recon."

Scowling, Knox bristles with frustration, looking back up to Cat. "Look. I want to help out, and the only way you're gonna' get a message inside, is by having someone inside. I ain't no spy or nothin', but I've been in the slammer before, and I know how to handle myself. Know what the guards look for." His dark eyes linger on Cat's, "I got a plan. Make it known who I used to work for, start a good ol' fashioned Pro-Evolved riot in ol' Cam's name. Get my ass arrested, and maybe they'll think a man with super strength might just belong in a prison he can't punch his way out of."

She listens, silently and intently, through all of his reply, watching the pacing. Her features go pensive. The eyes are calculating. It doesn't escape her notice that word reached the left coast of their media project. More reinforcement to the concept of doing more, making it a regular thing. They would have already, but for finding their attention occupied with other things. Namely Kazimir Volken. "Wars have to be fought on several fronts. We aren't pacifists by any means. Our largest difference is where and when to apply violence."

Cat's internal speculation goes on, she realizing this man is going to do what he's going to do, she can't stop him or dissuade him. The only thing to do is use the offer he's making. Cold decision? Yes, but that's what wars are made of. Whether or not to firebomb Dresden into burning rubble. Whether or not to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On that scale, this is such a miniscule thing she's opting to take advantage of.

"The prison you're talking about is called Moab, we've learned. It currently houses Peter Petrelli. Three of our own were taken in, we don't know where they are, exactly. Two of them are men, and thus possibly in the same prison. Jesse Alexander Knight and Brian Fulk. The other is Helena Dean, being held in a women's prison somewhere. I want to have them get word they've not been forgotten. In prison it can be so easy to lose hope, think they've been left to rot. They haven't."

"But the problem is not knowing where they are, and laying the word on them in such a way as it doesn't seem we found them. If they're moved…"

"Petrelli… like the President?" One of Knox's dark brows kicks up at the statement, and his eyes narrow slightly. He paces, all of that tension building up in his shoulders as he circles around Cat, stopping only when he realizes just how restless he's being. "Alright," his head bobs into a nod, "That all you want them to know, that they ain't been forgotten? If I see 'em, if they're still there — " His words hitch for a moment, "I'm gonna need photographs" is added as a side-thought, as he has no idea who any of these people are " — If they're still there, I'll pass it along. Nobody'll be any wiser, I know how to stir things up, get people's attention the right way and the wrong way."

Staring off into the distance past the boat house, Knox's words take on a more distant tone, "There anything else you want me to tell 'em? Anything you want me to look for — a sign that you and your people are coming to bust me out." He pauses, looking over his shoulder with a crooked smile, "YOu are plannin' on bustin' us out, right?"

"Yes," Cat replies, "like the President." She opts not to elaborate further than the shared name. And she came prepared. Knowing the subject of this meeting, and that if it panned out she may need to share images of the persons that message is aimed at, she brought photos of Helena, Brian, and Al. These are pulled from a pocket and handed over one at a time, the names being spoken with each to link them to the faces. It's tempting, as she does so, to ask if he knows of any woman who'd make the same sacrifice.

"We've got some plans in the pipe," she assures Knox. "But I won't give you any details, since you're going in. We have to presume they have telepaths to try prying into people's heads. We have to also assume they're capable of digging in and finding things without the target knowing it's happening. We can't be too careful there."

"Right." The notion of someone digging around in his head is displeasing, frustrating and humiliating. But it's what Cameron would want, it's how Cameron would get things done. Someone has to bite the bullet here, and it may as well be someone who knows the turf. Reaching out to take the photos, Knox's head tilts to the side, flipping through the three before looking back up to Cat. "I thought Scott said one of these three was Phoenix's leader?" There's a somewhat incredulous look in his eyes, "You're telling me this," his finger taps down to Helena's picture, "is Helena Dean?"

There's a rough, awkward laugh that Knox gives in response, scoffing for a moment as he takes some time to familiarize himself with the photos. Giving one more nod, he holds them back out in gloved hands towards Cat. "I'm gonna' get workin' on this soon, probably tonight, maybe tomorrow. Ain't no need for me to be cooling my heels here while your people are locked up." There's a pause, one of selfish hesitation, "How soon're you thinkin' about springin' everyone?"

A thin smile flits across the woman's features as he looks at the photo of Helena and expresses disbelief. "Don't judge a book by its cover, Fort Knox," Cat replies. "Sometimes the biggest hurt comes in the smallest packages." Unless the hurt is suppressed by whatever drugs are in play; there have to be drugs. The world can't have enough people with negation as their ability to cover all prisoners they might have, or come to have, and if Stormy were unsuppressed, Cat believes, she wouldn't be in prison at all.

"As soon as we possibly can, Fort Knox," she asserts, her jaw setting, a sternness showing in her eyes. "One more day in prison is one more day too long."

"Hah!" He lets out a loug laugh, looking askance at Cat as she says that, "You're damned straight. I ain't never thought I'd be back in prison again, by choice." His expression screws up into something mixed with emotion and selfish want to just hop back on his motorcycle and get the hell out of the city. "I'm gonna head back out through Jersey," that's a pretty rough ride, "swing back to Manhattan and cause a ruckus. If I end up in the same place your friends got shipped off too, Cat, I'll send 'em your message." Beginning to walk back to the motorcycle, Knox tucks his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket, trying to seem nonchalant about the rather large risk he's taking here.

"If I don't wind up where they are," he looks over his shoulder, "Well you know what they say about third time's a charm." He flashes a confident smile to the Phoenix Lieutenant, letting his hands come out of the pockets, gripping one of the handlebars as he swings a leg over the machine, settling down on it with a creak of the old shocks. "There anything else to cover, Cat?"

She pockets the photos, eyes resting on him as he mounts the motorcycle. "Don't let the bastards grind you down, Fort Knox," Cat recommends earnestly. "And thank you." The odds, well, she isn't Doctor Ray or her father, she can't perceive them as they do, but they seem small to her. Compared to how she might once have viewed the odds of taking down an organization numbering in the hundreds with just twenty some people, though, it can't be that bad. She gave him all three photos, it sucks he won't be able to get Helena word in the women's prison, but two out of three ain't bad. Assuming he winds up where they are.

"Don't thank me yet." Knox notes with a grimace, turning on the motorcycle with a kick to the ignition, sending the sputtering and rumbling machine to life like some mad-scientist's experiment. "Thank me when we're all outta' jail, an you can thank me by buyin' us all drinks." His brows raise, revving the engine with one twist of the throttle as if to punctuate his sentence, a loud pop coming from the bike's exhaust along with a puff of gray smoke. Not the most beautiful method of transportation, but it seems to fit the island he's on.

"Good luck, Cat. If you need to get anything to me before I get hauled off, I'll be staying at a safe house. Harkness will know how to find me." One booted foot pulls up the kick-stand, using his other foot to keep the bike balanced.

"Good luck to you too," Cat offers somberly, watching him as he rides away, and returning to her thoughts.

There's a lot she doesn't know about this particular prison system, but she feels certain of one thing: the appropriateness of what she labeled the man. Security will be strong around him.

But Fort Knox probably is not going to Kentucky.

February 19th: A Friend Indeed

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…
You Have Not Been Forgotten

February 19th: Two Seconds
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