Playing Intelligence


cat_icon.gif melissa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Playing Intelligence
Synopsis Melissa goes to Cat, trying to find out all she knows about Luis and the Institute.
Date June 17, 2010

The Verb: Cat's Place

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.

Contacted by phone and asked for a meeting, Cat made arrangements for Melissa to reach the penthouse. The time of arrival was anticipated by security cameras, and an elevator with the security panel open sent down, allowing use of the button marked 6. She waits for her guest at the penthouse threshold, a pair of double doors at the end of a short corridor the elevator opens onto. Clocks say it's 11:00, the massive HD set in her entertainment room is showing the World Cup match between Greece and Nigeria.

Casual comfort is the theme of attire, Cat being clad in Yale t-shirt and dark shorts without shoes. Soft carpet allows for such things. Hair is tied back into a ponytail, she seems to have perhaps been engaging in some variety of physical training earlier.

Melissa is dressed comfortably, at least for her, in a black skirt and corset. Most might not consider it comfy, but Mel seems to like it. She heads straight for the elevator and up to the penthouse with no fidgeting or noise other than that of her shoes on the floor. When the doors open she steps out and glances around, taking in the penthouse before she really looks for or pays attention to Cat.

When her inspection of the area is done, Mel looks to Cat and smiles, nodding slightly to her. "Hey Cat. Thanks for seeing me so soon."

An eyebrow raises and a slight chuckle escapes, with Melissa walking right by her through one side of the paired doors without speaking. Cat takes the opportunity of her guest checking out the area to enter the elevator and close the access panel, once again concealing buttons which lead to floors above the third. Then she re-enters the spacious residence. "Not a problem at all, Melissa," she offers in greeting.

Her features show a measure of concern and curiosity. The Mistress of Pain coming here could be because of trouble. "Have you run into trouble regarding Kendall, something that calls for legal advice?" Hopefully not.

Melissa's lips curve and she shakes her head. "No, no trouble with Kendall. Or me. No, I'm here because of that memory of yours. Need some information, and I got referred to you. I've been doing some info gathering so that I can get it to the right people to help out a friend. Try to collect it all, you know?"

Her features shift, the concern disappearing as curiosity surfaces in its place. "Good to hear," Cat provides smoothly. "And you've heard correctly, memory is very much my thing. As is information. Sometimes I come right out and say so, sometimes I make cryptic remarks about remembering and see if it's figured out." She closes the entry doors and turns toward the interior. "Are you hungry or thirsty, Melissa? I've got beer, wine, cola… a wide range." It's the entertainment room with the massive HD set covering an entire wall she's heading for. In effect, a sort of private theatre with small refrigerator and microwave near the entrance. Comfortable seating and a computer too.

Nothing is said about what data Melissa seeks or has to share, she anticipates the visitor will get to that as she desires.

Melissa shakes her head, though she follows Cat. "No, I'm good. I can wait though if you wanna grab something to drink or whatever before I start pestering you with a bunch of questions."

"Have a seat and relax," Cat offers with a gesture toward the various sofas and recliners around the room, while she opens the small refrigerator and takes out a bottle of Guinness stout. An opener is used to remove the cap, then she moves for the chair behind that computer. A remote is used to mute the HD set showing that soccer match. She's recording, will be able to watch it with sound later. "I've gotten into the practice of keeping some things out here, it takes a few minutes to reach the kitchen and come back." Let the questions commence.

Melissa nods and moves over to a sofa, flopping down onto it and stretching her legs out. Yep, she's relaxed. "Guess it'd be easier to just tell you who I'm wanting information on, and let you spill what you remember. Liette and her adoptive dad, Dr. Luis. I need family, location, background…Anything you've got. The more the better."

"Ah, Doctor Luis," Cat begins, "he was born in Domont, France." Her fingers move the computer mouse around a few times, clicking at intervals, then she uses the remote to have the HD set display whatever she just opened. The man's image appears, and below it a compilation of data regarding him. She doesn't look at the screen even once, however. She just keeps speaking.

What Cat says matches the screen's contents word for word.

When the TV is used to display information, Melissa glances over towards it, her head tilting. She continues listening, nodding here and there while she studies the screen. "Ouch. The DoD?" She shakes her head with a grimace. "Not good. Any idea where his work is based out of? Someone mentioned a Massachusetts facility?" she says, glancing back to Cat.

Then she pauses, her head jerking back towards the screen and she leans forward, eyes narrowing. "Wait a second. You mentioned Suresh. As in the Suresh Center, Suresh? The son?"

"The Institute's publicly stated headquarters are in Cambridge, Massachusetts," Cat supplies. "There are indications at least one of their secret locations is there, or nearby. Perhaps Ipswich. But nothing's been verifiable, we don't have a fix on any hidden physical sites. Yet." Her head inclines into a nod, providing answer to Melissa's question regarding Mohinder. "I don't have any proof of Mohinder Suresh being tied to the Center, or of the Institute having ties to the place, but… logic says Mohinder Suresh would have some involvement. His father was indeed Chandra Suresh, author of that very famous book."

Melissa frowns at Cat's answer about Suresh, then she stands and moves to the screen, pointing out where it speaks of Suresh and Luis forming a partnership that led to the Institute, in the fifth paragraph down. "Isn't this proof? Or is this speculation?"

"That's a matter of public record," Cat provides as her eyes settle where the questioner indicates. "As was the sale of the Institute to the Department of Defense. They founded the Institute. What remains uncertain is how tied Mohinder is to the Suresh Center, and how tied the Suresh Center is or isn't to the Institute." She takes a long drink from the stout bottle before going on.

"Look above that, at the area which mentions Luis having a daugher, Juliette Luis, who died in 1973. The virus which killed her was contracted during a family visit to India."

Melissa nods as she glances at the appropriate bit of data. "Hence Julie and Liette. Is Liette back with him? Is that why the weather changed? Or did Julie just run out of time with her ability?" Looking back to Cat she smiles faintly. "No one bothered to let me know how that all turned out. I kinda miss Liette."

"The similarity in names has turned out to be coincidence, at least apparently. We rescued their biological mother from a tank the Institute was using to transport her for illegal experimentation, and she identified their biological father. He had no idea of their link to him before that. As the story goes," Cat states, "an organization called the Company got hold of them at some point, and at some point prior to their destruction Pinehearst Research, Incorporated, got them. The mother says she was tricked into cooperation with those activities. She has been enlightened as to their true functions. Right now Liette is with her true parents, who are with the Ferry." Another pull from the bottle is taken.

"We broke the weather pattern ourselves, Melissa. Assembled a group of atmokinetics and an augmenter to boost them all, with Liette also being enhanced so she could snatch the weather ability away from her sister and block it being taken back. Then the group set in place a pattern to gradually restore normal temperatures."

Brows lift as Melissa listens, her hands settling on her hips. "Liette helped? Last time I saw her she was all gung-ho to do nothing but go 'home' to Luis. But if Liette is with her parents, whoever they are, what about her sister? Is she still with Luis? Or was she recovered as well?"

"Things change," Cat provides, "once one is united with parents one hasn't known and begins to see broader truths. She came to understand the true cost of what was going on. The sister is still held by the Institute. If we knew where she was and had an idea of how to pull the job off, we would like to change that fact. But at present we don't have the needed data." Melissa is studied now, Cat still has a wealth of information she may elect to share, but something else is taking center stage in her mind.

"I have a question for you, Melissa," she voices after a few seconds of contemplative silence, "what and who have you out seeking information from me now?"

Melissa shakes her head. "No one has me hunting for information, Cat. I'm doing this on my own. If you get involved with others you're just bound to get screwed, just as I got screwed by members of the Ferry."

"I've not been screwed," Cat replies, deciding to perhaps seek a touch of humor. "Rather unfortunate," she remarks dryly, "it's been ages since I got laid. I'm not going to agree or disagree with what was done regarding you, Melissa. I can only say in many situations the group, and principles, are more important than any one person. Decisions have to be made, and they won't always be popular. We are stronger together than apart, and that strength comes from at times accepting things we don't like."

Melissa smiles, but it's too tight to be genuine. "Maybe, but I won't be a part of the Ferry again. I'm not an enemy to the Ferry, don't get me wrong. The work is important. But I won't be considered a Ferrymen again." She glances towards the door, then back to Cat. "Anyway, thanks for the information. I appreciate it."

"Before you go, Melissa," Cat invites, "consider this. It's not anything I can prove, simply a belief supported by alignment of facts and persons. Mohinder Suresh had a sister, her name was Shanti. She died of a virus in the 1970s. An entity called the Company named it the Shanti Virus. I believe this same pathogen also killed Juliette Luis. One of the things it did was suppression of SLC abilities. I did some research months ago when the 510 surfaced, learned it doesn't look similar to the Shanti virus image I have. That fact, however, doesn't rule out it having been used to engineer 510."

She rises, bringing the bottle of stout with her to walk Melissa to the elevator. "The things I could tell you," Cat remarks quietly, "but not all at one shot. I find most people easily reach the point of information overload. Or they simply refuse to believe. Sometimes one must wait until the audience is ready to hear."

Melissa arches a brow, but she's clearly listening since she nods and looks thoughtful at that little tidbit. "Something else to think about. And maybe I'll stop by again sometime. You learn anything else about Luis, will you let me know?"

"Of course," Cat replies. The doors are opened, revealing the elevator across that short corridor. "Take care, Melissa." She won't mention the man's name, she can only hope the Mistress of Pain has come to understand what she meant by claiming Doctor Brennan was in over his head.

"I will. See ya later, Cat," Melissa says, giving another nod before stepping into the elevator.

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