Plans Within Plans


alexander_icon.gif cat_icon.gif cameron_icon.gif helena_icon.gif peter_icon.gif

Scene Title Plans Within Plans
Synopsis Another meeting on the rooftop. Helena reveals Mohinder's intentions to Cameron and Peter suggests taking out the Walker Tracking System.
Date September 16, 2008

Condemned Tenement

Once home to dozens of working-class families, this building has long ago been officially evacuated and condemned after it was partially gutted by a fire. The brick exterior is covered with layer upon layer of graffiti, the windows are boarded, and some sections of the roof are less than sound. The fire took hold on the fourth floor and expanded upward. Below that, many of the apartments are still intact.

The evening hours bring a semblance of calm to the PARIAH headquarters, a certain level of activity drops off once people have come and gone from their places of work, stopped by to receive assignments, and by the time the sun sets head back to the places they call home. There are but a scant few who actively reside here, for all the building's dilapidated charm. Tonight, however, brings a new guest into the water-damaged walls of this crumbling urban remnant.

They arrive with a rush of air pushing away from where their bodies suddenly appear. Snapping into place like a forgotten puzzle piece, Peter and Cat emerge in the middle of the wide open foyer at the front of the building. His hand rests on the musician's shoulder, having drawn her through a fold in space-time along with him, a sensation she isn't entirely unfamiliar with, but at the same time isn't quick to become accustomed to. "Mind the holes," Peter says warningly upon their arrival, motioning to a spot in the center of the foyer where layers plywood has been set over an area where the hardwood floors have split open to reveal the basement.

Despite the fact that she grew up in the lap of suburbia, Helena loves this building. It's a home, something she hasn't had since her mother was killed. She knows all the little abberrations to the lay out, and as the door to her apartment has been left open, when she hears Peter's voice, she perks from her reading like a meerkat and bounds to the door. "Hey, Peter." she greets with a warm smile, and adds, "And hey, Cat." She steps out to meet them, saying, "I guess Cam said it was okay to bring you? I'm glad." She looks at Peter. "You had a visitor today, sir. But I think it might be best for us to go find Cameron before I give it to you."

She stumbles a bit when the pair appear in mid-foyer, her inexperience with such rapid travel thus evident. Cat spends the next few moments getting her bearings back. It's only then she lets her eyes travel and spots the covered hole where plywood rests. From there they move along to take in the rest of the interior and settle upon Helena when she emerges. "Evening, Helena," the five foot eight inch brunette in tank top, dark shorts, and athletic shoes greets in return.

Peter raises one brow, moving his hand away from Cat's shoulder to slide into his jacket pocket, "Visitor? Here?" He scowls, visibly. Straining a sigh afterwards, Peter takes a few steps towards the center of the foyer, looking up at the stairs to the second floor, then back to Cat. He considers something for a moment before finally turning back to Helena. "I spoke to Wireless tonight, she's going to get us all of the intel we need. Should be on the computer within a day or two…" His eyes divert to the floor momentarially, "Yeah, Cam gave me permission to bring Cat along." He looks over his shoulder to her, "I figured it's a good idea to keep friends close, instead of at arm's length." He tilts his head to the side, considering Cat for a moment.

"This is it, with all its peeling and moldering charm." One shoulder shrugs helplessly, eyes flitting back to Helena, and one of Peter's hand comes up to rub at his chin, stroking through the beard that's clearly filling in on his face. "Is Cam around still? I know him and Eve were… up on the roof," There's a sense of something awkward there in Peter's tone of voice, "But, ah," He dithers, waving his hand dismissively.

"I don't know." Helena admits carefully. "Remember the messenger from the other day? Well, this time it was the horse's mouth." Whatever that means. "C'mon. Sorry the elevator doesn't work. Watch the twenty-third step, it creaks, but it won't break on you." And with that, she starts to climb.

She follows the blonde, ascending those stairs and taking care with number twenty-three when she reaches it. Cat doesn't comment on the business matters mentioned by Helena and Rock; for the moment she opts to observe and speak only when addressed.

Peter tenses and shoots a glance to Cat, straining a breath before following Helena up the stairs. "This is it, what you're seeing here." It's perhaps out of force of habit that Peter still places on hand on the railing as he ascends the stairs, despite knowing that even if he fell down every step in this building, he'd only be dusty as an overall outcome. "What is habitable is powered by generators in the basement, some rooms have heat and running water — most don't." On the way up, Peter seems fatigued. Every day Helena has seen him up at the crack of dawn, helping the newer members of PARIAH acclimate themselves to their duties as well as lending a hand on heavy lifting in the repairs, much of the same work Alexander does. But she also knows he doesn't get himself off to sleep until the wee hours of the night. This, coupled with the over-exertion he's pushed himself to, espescially in Chinatown, only goes to show how hard he's been working. Too hard, one might say, espescially since Eve's prophetic dream came about. Even now, he looks ragged, not having shaved in two weeks, his hair clearly growing in too much. He hasn't taken a day for himself yet since he started coming here.

"Did Kathleen ever come back with the salvaged wood from the adjacent buildings? We're going to need that to patch up 2-A's floor." And, from the sounds of it, that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon.

Helena puts her hands to the door that leads to the roof proper. As she pushes it open she calls out, "Cam? You up here?" The rooftop has a very servicable veggie garden set up in tubs, with one single sill pot devoted to the growth of sunflowers. She looks over her shoulder. "I haven't seen her all day. But I've been at work. Can I get you anything, Cat? We've got filtered water, and I could scrounge up a soda or some juice." Despite living in squallor, some of Helena's mother's training kicks in - be a good hostess.

Condemned Tenement - Rooftop

While some parts of the roof are less structurally sound then others, someone seems to have sorted out which areas are dangerous and blocked them off. Some overhangs have been jury-rigged up to block a direct aerial view that gives definite indication of the presence of squatters - a rooftop garden, clearly meant to provide sustenance rather than aesthetic. Tubs full of dirt are situated to take best advantage of the light despite the overhangs meant to keep them from prying eyes. Tomatoes, beans, carrots, even potatoes and onions and chili peppers are carefully tended, little laminated labels indicating what each row of planting is. There's a seperate section for a small variety of herbs, and a sole small window sill style planter that houses the one concession to beauty; a row of sunflowers, and even these can be harvested for their seeds. Here and there decrepit lawn furniture has been scattered to give the illusion of abandonment; a stone bench here, an ironwork table with chairs there, one of those latticed metal fold-up chairs leaned at an awkward angle in a corner. Aside from the overhangs, the rest of the roof is open to the sky, providing a view of the city and the span of rooftops surrounding the tenement.

Stepping out onto the roof, the cool night air brings a relaxed sound from Peter, and passing between the rows of plants, he hesitates and looks over his shoulder at Helena, "I'm good for now too, thanks for asking." He cracks a sarcastic smile, "I'll grab a beer later…" His eyes wander over the rooftop, then beyond, losing his focus as he spots the jagged city skyline again, that empty spot where central midtown's most devastated — but still standing — buildings reside drawing a long and mournful stare. Soon, Peter is lost in his own thoughts.

Helena snorts. "You can teleport and get a beer." she tells him. "Besides, you live here. Cat is a guest. It's all under the three times rule." She pauses a moment, peering around for Cameron.

Stepping out onto the roof, Cat closes her eyes for a moment to enjoy the cool air. When they reopen she wanders a bit, scanning the skyline and taking in how it looks from up here. It doesn't take long to fix the building's location in the city, and within a few moments more her eyes find the Surly Wench very much nearby. Nothing is said at present, with her not having been addressed. And soon she's training her eyes in the direction of the blast area, if she can see it from here, while privately speculating about potential plant life there.

Cameron is already on the roof, sprawled out on an old lawn chair by the rooftop garden with a pair of headphones draped around his neck. The headphones are attached to an old cassette-player sitting in his lap, partially hidden by the paperwork he's presently sifting through. Either the light is better up here than it is down in the boiler room, or he came up when he decided that he was in need of some fresh air.

Peter glances at Helena crookedly, "I could, yeah…" He shifts his weight to one foot, winking away from where he was standing with a quick rush of air, reappearing seated on the brick and concrete railing at the edge of the roof, facing Cameron in the lawn-chair. "I saw Wireless," He says quietly, taking a sip from both an already open and half-finished beer, "She's going to be sending the intel on what we need either today or tomorrow, I'd imagine." His eyes drift over to Cat, "Also, Catherine, the woman I told you about?" He seems unabashed to invade Cameron's quiet and privacy, "Here she is." He motions with his beer-laden hand towards the brunette, "Guess Lena' says there was someone here looking for me, too…" From the tone of his voice, he knows who to expect.

"I had an interesting conversation with Dr. Mohinder Suresh out on the stoop today." Helena says, placing her hands on her hips. "He told me to tell you that he wants to help and go with you to deal with Sylar." Helena sounds deeply skeptical. She also glances askance at Cameron - it's the first time she's seen him since the paintings were brought to the light, so to speak.

Hearing her name spoken, Cat turns away from the view beyond this rooftop and takes the few steps back toward the man dubbed Rock. Nothing is still said as Helena speaks of Doctor Suresh, though she does note the name and seem curious, evidenced by the raising of an eyebrow. Then her gaze shifts to Cameron, and she waits for the man to acknowledge her along with the others.

Rather than set aside his paperwork, Cameron folds it in half and sticks it under a nearby pot so it doesn't blow away in the evening breeze. He looks up at Peter, his hands on his knees, brow knitted. "Good," he says simply. After a moment or two of waiting to digest the information Peter has given him, he turns his gaze on Cat for the first time and squints. "Nice to meet you. Peter says you're pretty slick when it comes to the legal side of things. We'll need that." As for Helena? He's silent. He wants to see how Peter reacts to her news before saying anything further.

"Help?" Peter sounds more than bitter, taking a forceful swig from his beer, his entire focus is on the topic of Suresh. "Help with what, getting killed?" His eyes narrow and he shakes his head, one hand raking through his swept back hair, "The only thing Mohinder can do to help is stay out of…" Peter's eyes drift to the side, as if their attention is caught by some errant thought. They narrow, then, and he looks back up to Helena, "What else did he say?" Suddenly, he's more attentive, standing up from where he was sitting, walking back towards the young blonde.

Alexander has arrived.

"Apparently he's particularly interested in getting specific people out. Or a specific person." Helena says. "He didn't outright say that, but it's what I picked up from him. He told me he just wants to do what's right." She shrugs, blonde hair rippling with the motion. "But he also believes in the rightness of registration. I don't know. He strikes me as someone who's moral compass can quiver real easy."

"It's good to meet you also, sir," Cat replies to Cameron when he addresses her. A quiet smile forms. "I remember everything covered in law school and everything I read on my own. Formally, I'm Doctor Catherine Chesterfield, Yale Law '08. But Cat will do." Her right hand extends to be shaken once. Should he take it, the skin is warm and soft, smooth, but with calluses at the fingertips. Her grip is neither weak nor crushing. She turns partly toward Peter and Helena as the man named Suresh is discussed, something of a sour expression showing at the mention of him believing in registration.

Cameron does indeed take Cat's hand to shake it, listening to Helena all the while. "Cameron Spalding, Harvard Poli-Sci '05." No, he's not a lawyer, but like Ms. Chesterfield he too has credentials under his belt. They're just not quite as impressive. "He didn't mention any names?" he asks Helena. "Reeks of an ulterior motive to me."

Alex has no degree, save from the school of Hard Knocks. There's the sound of foot-steps on the stair - not so much with the soft or the subtle, is Mr. Knight. He pokes his head up, and peers at them. "Not in'errupting, am I?" he wonders, glancing at the little gathering almost diffidently.

"That sounds just like Suresh," Peter's fouled mood is immediately evident to Alex as he comes up the stairs, reaching up to rub one hand frustratedly at his forehead. "I think I know what Mohinder wants, but I'll wait until Wireless comes back with the intel on our target before I commit myself to speculation." Peter turns around, folding his arms as he stares out from the rooftop over the city.

"There… is one thing, though," There's a hint of resignation in his voice, "There might be another target at the facility, I won't know until I hear back from Wireless, but… Both she and Noah seem to think it might be located there." He doesn't turn around as he speaks, "It's called the Walker System, it's a tracking method used by the Company to pinpoint the location of Evolved at any point in the world at any time, with nearly perfect accuracy." There's something troubled about Peter as he talks about this. "I'm thinking… maybe it would be good to take care of that while we're there. Knowing what I know about it, I think…" He grows silent for a moment, "Alexander, I think you might be the right man for the job," He looks over his shoulder to Cameron, "I think he has the best…" Peter considers his wording, "Best qualifications for destroying the system." He nods, then looks back out to the darkened city, "That's… really all I have to say about that for now."

Helena frowns a moment. "We've got enough on our plate, don't you think? We're going to be taking care of Sylar and freeing all those people. Which reminds me, what are we going to do about transportation? And where are we going to take them once we get them out?"

Harvard. In other circumstances she might comment on the rivalry between her school and his, but this is hardly the time. Serious business is afoot, so Cat listens and takes in information as it's discussed. Her features remain calm, the eyes moving from one person to another as they speak, with a nod of acknowledgement and greeting going to Al as he steps out onto the roof.

Cameron offers a silent nod of greeting to Alexander when he first appears, but anything he was about to say is abruptly cut short when Peter launches into his explanation. At Helena's question, he allows himself a small, self-indulgent sort of smile. "Maybe he plans on flying them all away," he suggests, spreading his arms wide. "Or would that take too much effort on your part, Super-Pete?"

Alexander is, for all his experience, in many ways an innocent. In that he still believes he can trust his leaders to guide him rightly. He blinks blue eyes at Peter, curiously. "What is this system?" he wonders. "Tech? What'd be needed to take it down?" he wonders, diction much crisper than usual, though he's still got that slow-as-molasses drawl. "I mean, I did some time in I-raq, but I weren't no Special Forces. If you can't destroy it with a pistol, rifle, or grenade, well, I'm gonna need to know, right?" His manner is still diffident, but his gaze is keen, as he hovers on the edge of the group.

Peter shakes his head a little to both Helena and then Alexander's question, "It all depends on the information Wireless gives to us. For now, it's just a possibility." He frowns, turning around and leaning against the wall as he looks out at everyone. "If it's on our way, it's on our way. If not…" He shrugs, "We'll cross that bridge once we have more information I think."

Peter eyes Alexander for a moment, then looks back down to the rooftop, "As for transportation," He casts a sidelong stare at Cameron, "I can get us all there in one shot, that's not a problem." He brandishes his beer as an example, "We're going to have to set a rendezvous point for once we split up, but that's Cameron's job once he gets the information and starts planning."

Peter glances at Cameron for a moment, then back to Helena. "Wireless works with a group called the Ferrymen, and an aquaintence of mine, Noah Bennet, who leads the group with her." Looking down at his beer, Peter contemplates something for a moment. "They're a group who secrets away Evolved, sort've like a witness protection program. Noah uses his contacts to secure documentation, and Wireless handles the electronic end of things. It's a tight ship they run, but I was able to secure from her their limited assistance." He takes one last and long swig from the beer, emptying it before setting it on the concrete railing. "If things don't go sideways, as she put it, they're going to be at our rendezvous points, ready to help us secure escape and bring our wounded back to their facility for care, and to process and hide the Evolved we free who want to slip away."

Helena seems content with that, though her gaze is still troubled. She steps a few feet away from the group, and absently noting some sprouts looking a bit pekid, takes a few moments to hold out a hand over them. A small grey cloud forms under her hand and begins to sprinkle water in a little shower of rainfall. The effort seems to bring her a modicum of comfort in an otherwise tense scenario.

Her eyes are still moving from one person to another as the conversation progresses, with Helena's tending to the plants drawing her attention too. Cat watches what she does and her head tilts. A slight expression of connecting the dots forms; she glances from the cloud and water summoning blonde to Peter, then back again. Interesting. She wonders if that's who he picked it up from.

A slight narrowing of his eyes is the only indication Cameron gives that might suggest he suspects Peter of holding something back. "Things had better not go sideways," he grumbles, "we have it bad enough already. Last thing we need are a bunch of pissed off men in black breathing down our necks." Gesturing to the paperwork, he snorts. "I have an order pending from a friend stationed in St. Petersburg, but the shipment won't get here in time if we're planning on hitting Primatech this week. Not counting Alexander, who here knows how to handle a gun?"

Alexander lapses back into his former silence, merely nodding. He drifts towards Helena, watching her tend the plants with a faint half-smile.

"Never fired one in my life, shouldn't be a problem though." Peter shrugs his shoulders, "There's only a handful of us who need to use firearms to defend ourselves — Sergei and Eve primarially come to mind." His eyes wander the rooftop, closing them for a moment in mild distress at something, then opens them, giving his head a shake. "I know Sergei's trained, Eve I don't know, but to be honest I'm leery of having her with a firearm at all." He shrugs again, "But that's your call. The only time I could even see a firearm being necessary is if the someone like Trask is around, I guess…" Peter seems to have a hard time putting his thoughts together, brow furrowed.

"I'm not an expert, but I won't shoot myself in the foot." Helena remarks, gently nudging her cloud over to the next row. "But I don't know that I need one. Then, "Trask should go with whoever handles Sylar. Don't you think?" Her tone has gone somewhat serene, as if the 'gardening' she's doing has indeed provided some manner of zen to her day. "We're probably at the point where we need to wait for intel before we can really make plans."

Remaining silent, Cat continues to listen and watch as people speak. Her speculation on the source of the weather ability Peter has being Helena segues over to plants as the blonde continues to water them. The books she got for research material, the images in that recent graffiti are pondered.

"Peter and I have already discussed Trask," Cameron assures Helena, "you and Daniel, too. Everyone who appeared in Eve's vision will be kept out of harm's way, just to be on the safe side." He retrieves his paperwork from beneath the pot and stands, rising from the battered lawn chair. "We can discuss things further when we have a floor plan to look at. Until then, let's play it by ear."

"Out of harm's way, but…" Peter smirks, "Not sidelined." He clarifies, just because he knows Helena. Then, after a moment of closing his eyes he adds, "I've got one more string I'm going to try and pull," Peter smiles awkwardly at that, "An old friend of mine, someone who might be able to help. I'm going to head down to his loft tomorrow, see if he's…" Peter shakes his head, "Around." There's a certain, almost joking, tone to the way Peter says that. "If I can get his help, this will make things easier. If not, nothing lost." Walking away from the railing, Peter wavers in mid-stride, steadying himself by resting his hand on one of the post-beam supports for the makeshift overhangs. "Nhh…" He manages to set his beer down in the empty soil of one of the untended pots. With a shake of his head he stands up straight again, blinking his eyes a few times while the other hand rests up against his temple, massaging lightly. "Ah…" He tenses his brow, "I'm fine." He shakes his head again, straightening his jacket. "I think… I'm going to go check the computer. Cat, will you need me to bring you home? We've got open rooms here if you feel like seeing more in the morning, or…" He dithers again, shaking his head, "Just let me know if you need me."

Only then does Helena look over her shoulder at Cameron, as if to guage his reaction to the news of her alleged impending demise when he has to actually look at her. But then, "I hope 'out of harms way' doesn't mean being held back from where we can do the most good." She nods in agreement with Peter, but then adds, "I can bring you something, if you've got a headache."

She watches the man seem dizzy and reach for support, an expression of concern showing briefly, but disappearing when he gets his bearings and becomes steady. "I'm good, Rock," Cat replies. "Turns out I know the area. The Wench is close by. And I need to get back to the hospital. She's being released in the morning. I'll need to arrange her some assistance for things, hopefully it won't last long. See you, Rock." And she turns toward Cameron. "A pleasure, again, to meet you, sir." From there focus goes to Helena among the plants and Alexander, to bid each good evening, and she starts to make her way out.

Sir? Cameron gives Cat a slightly bewildered look, tipping his head by way of farewell. The expression on his face is a troubled one, though the source of his discomfort isn't completely clear. It could have something to do with Cat, or it could have something to do with Peter's dizzy spell. It might even have something to do with Helena. "You can do the most good alive," he points out before he too heads for the stairwell. "Take care of yourselves. I'll see you all tomorrow."

"Ah, no thanks Lena', I've got it, I'll take something on the way downstairs…" Peter seems troubled by something as he looks over to Cat afterwards. "Oh, Dani, right…" He blinks once and smiles, "Yeah, yeah I'll… I'll stop by the hospital before I go out, then." He pauses, "Morning?" Peter eyes the city skyline, then nods with a mild smile. "I'll let you know if she's sent anything yet," Peter tosses over to Cameron, slowly making his way towards the stairs, his beer left stuck in the soft and untended soil of that empty pot. "Night to… uh, whoever I won't see." Waving distractedly behind himself, Peter finally makes his way to the door, leaning against it — presumably to hold it for Cat, at least that's the way it works out — He then glances back at Helena, then steps into the stairwell, the door swinging shut behind him.

September 16th: Looks Like Tomorrow Morning

Previously in this storyline…
About the Big Bad Boogeyman

Next in this storyline…
I Could

September 16th: I Could
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