Present Day Planning


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif gillian4_icon.gif

Scene Title Present Day Planning
Synopsis Returned to the present, Gillian gets a new assignment from Cardinal, and catches up briefly on what she's missed.
Date October 14, 2010

Redbird Security: Basement

At the bottom of the stairs there's a sturdy metal-reinforced door, locked not with an electronic mechanism but with an old-fashioned mechanical combination lock. A bright yellow biohazard sign is hung up on the door.

Once through the door, the basement is mostly open space interspersed with support columns of grey brick. A thick layer of grey latex paint covers the walls and floor, the ceiling overhead tiled with squares of sound-suppressing foam. A few filing cabinets are pushed up against the near wall, and a single computer desk, the box unconnected to anything except for power, sits between some of those cabinets. The rest of the front part of the roomis an area with folding chairs around a table and a pull-down screen across from a podium with a projector sitting on top of it, evidently for meetings. Deeper in the room, two dozen free-standing posts with sand-filled bases are scattered about, with strings and lines of yarn of all manner of colours connecting them. Post-it notes and photographs have been attached here and there with little pieces of tape. The far wall, behind the string map, bears the legend in stark white block letters upon the grey that stretches across most of the wall and from floor to ceiling: 'FIGHT THE FUTURE'.

The right third of the room has been divided from the rest by a wall of bulletproof glass and metal framing, accessed by a simple glass door near the main entrance of the basement. Inside, three locked gun cabinets sit against the wall, and the rest of that section of the room has been turned into two shooting lanes. Cheap pulley assemblies on the ceiling attached to electric motors hold target posters.

There's papers and maps scattered across the surface of the table in the midst of the basement, and it's at that table that Cardinal's seated; arms folded on the edge as he goes over the ones directly in front of him with a frown of concentration creasing his expression. One hand drifts over, brushing against the edge of a map and tugging it closer, head canting a little to one side.

"Shit," he mutters under his breath, "I can't even read this. Are all these dots supposed to mean something?"

"You sure it's not braille or something?" a voice asks as steps can be heard coming down the stairs. That husky voice hasn't been heard at al in this time for over a week. Gillian had said she might be gone, but after moving into her apartment she disappeared for quite a bit longer than one might have suspected. No where to be found. As she step into the basement, she's touching a locket around her neck between two fingers.

"Probably not, but all I heard was dots," she says with a hint of laughter on her voice, though it sounds rather forced.

"I'm pretty sure…" Cardinal's gaze flickers up from the map, a smile tugging up at one corner of his lips as he straightens, "It's an FCC coverage map for New York city, I printed it out, but somehow that didn't help." He rakes a hand back through his hair, offering easily, "Been wondering when you'd show back up, I know you said you were going off for a bit…"

"I was meeting my parents," Gillian says quietly, that smile replaced by something more sad than forced. "And Brian's too, both our parents. I'd never really remembered them, so…" There's a sighing sound in her voice. "Time travel's a weird thing. I wasn't expecting to be gone as long as I was— I was there two days. But my 'ride' dropped me off a little later than I'd hoped."

"Nakamura doesn't go by anyone else's schedule…" The map's pushed away, Cardinal's weight sinking back in a lean against the chair as he looks to her with a faint smile of his own, "You're lucky. I never knew my parents either… must've been hard, though."

"The hard part was leaving," Gillian says quietly, tucking the locket away into her shirt. Jewelry wasn't something she wore often, but it seems she brought a reminder of her trip, besides the butterfly that's tattooed to her ankle. "Anyway— what do you need an FCC coverage map for?"

"It always is." A wistful smile, Cardinal's gaze dropping back down to the map and smile fading entirely. "We figured out what's going to happen on the eighth… we need to block all the broadcasting, radio, everything on that day to prevent it. Or else we'll be wading through blood."

At about this point, Elisabeth slips down the stairs and hears that last. "So…. it is the broadcast, then?" she asks as she joins them. Her arm slips around Gillian in a hug. "Good to see you, lady." There is relief that Gilly's back and safe.

"That what the meeting I missed was about?" Gillian asks, moving forward to look at the map and the dots that are visible. There's a lot there that she doesn't understand, because she's missed a lot, but… November the 8th. Is there anyone who saw something good that day? "Hey, Liz," she says, dropping her hand and then taking a small step backwards to put some distance between her and Cardinal. Maybe she's still over thinking the whole situation too much.

"That was part of it…" Cardinal glances up as Elisabeth comes down the stairs, raising one hand in an easy gesture of greeting, "…yeah, it's pretty much confirmed. Did you get the e-mail from Wireless…? Rebel's been compromised, and admitted that Carmichael intends to 'send a message to the world'. It's pretty clear that he's going to be sending out the Prophet message on that day."

Shaking her head, Elisabeth appears to see nothing amiss in the way Gillian is standing or anything else. "Shit," she sighs quietly. "Well, at least we know for sure that it's a broadcast vector. I still can't see how Carmichael's power would work over airwaves — I mean, most persuasion abilities would logically seem to require proximity to manipulate. Like telepathy or even my own, you know?" She shrugs a little, glancing at the map. Tilting her head, her brow furrows. "Christ…. do I even want to know what that's a map of?" It might as well be hieroglyphics to her.

"So what happened with Claire and— with Claire in the flashes is really important, huh?" Gillian says, remembering her own flash a little as she looks at the map again, specifically trying to figure out where her own happened— it didn't seem detailed, a construction site, but it still felt familiar… If horrific. "Joseph's precog ability is only supposed to work a touch. So it's possible he could use something like the doctors did to make it— broadcast. I mean I did meet him too."

"Radio coverage," provides Cardinal to Liz's question, glancing to Gillian, and then he shakes his head a little bit. "I don't think he's using his power - I think he already has. It's just a matter of getting the trigger phrase out so that it… activates his sleeper agents. God knows how many hundreds - thousands - of people he might've set up." A reluctant nod to Gillian, "Yeah… exactly. Now imagine a few thousand people having a sudden psychotic episode… including extremely destructive Evolved. And if he can use his power over a broadcast system, it'll be even worse…"

"Hmmmm," Elisabeth says thoughtfully. That actually makes sense. After all, Rupert's been running amok in the city for ages. He's had contact with a ton of people, and it might not take much. Shaking her head, she says quietly, "What a fuckin' mess." She ruffles Gillian lightly and says, "I need to clean my pistol. I'll be in the range," she says.

"Well that explains what some people saw in those flashes, at least," Gillian says, speaking from experience, yet keeping that part silent at the same time. What people saw isn't always shared, and at least, perhaps… She looks toward Elisabeth as she disappears into the range, and keeps her eyes in that direction for a moment as she asks, though not toward the woman who just disappeared, "Anything I can do to help?"

"That depends…" Cardinal looks up and over to her, quirking a little bit of a smile as he gestures with one hand over the papers sprawled over the table, "…when you were at librarian school, you ever learn how to read blueprints?"

"No, but I learned how to read, does that count?" Gillian says with a laugh, that sounds far more genuine than the other laughs that she's done. "I'm a fast learner, though, or at least I try. After all librarian school didn't teach me how to cook or do half the stuff I had to teach myself to do at the Lighthouse."

"You've probably got more patience with reading them than, say, Jessica would," observes Cardinal in amused tones as he leans back, both brows raising upwards a little as he changes the subject - only not really. "I understand you met Warren."

"…How did you know that?" Gillian asks, tilting her head to the side and remembering a man that she met recently, one named Warren. "I don't remember mentioning meeting a guy named Warren to anyone…" She reaches into her pocket as if searching for that card that she tucked away. She had left it up in her room when she went through time. A search of her apartment to find her would have turned it up.

"A wild guess. I knew that he'd met an augmentor recently, and since Tyler's still in custody, lo and behold, the only one I know…" Cardinal's hands sweep to either side of himself, and he crooks a smile to her, "…is you. He was busy raving about how he'd seen the city as a broken machine and other nonsense."
ORDER: It is now your pose.

"You know, I told him not to mention meeting me to anyone," Gillian says, shaking her head a bit as if she knew the whole thing has been a mistake. "I guess he figured not mentioning my name was enough— considering how rare my ability seems to be I don't really want certain people knowing I'm still walking around." Like, say, the people she really wants to think she died when that hospital got bombed. "Guess I'm glad he told you and not others— I augmented him by accident. Even when I think I have it under control it still slips away every so often. That's why I wanted to get rid of…" she cuts off. "So how do you know Warren? I know he's Edward Ray's kid, at least, so it makes sense you would."

"Unfortunately," Cardinal admits, one hand coming up to rub against the side of his face, thumb rubbing back and forth beneath his temple as if driving away a headache lingering from mention of the other man. "Warren Ray… he used to be called Mortimer Jack. He was a complete bloody psychopath. A disassociative spree killer with a cult of insane followers - the Locos, if you've heard of them. He signed on with the Institute, but even they wouldn't deal with him. They finally had the Haitian wipe his personality. He's seemed… more sane and stable since then, but no bets how long he'll stay that way."

"He signed up with the Institute?" Gillian hesitates for a moment. "If they couldn't deal with him and went with changing his memory, that means he didn't tell them that he met someone who augmented his ability, right?" It's kind of her worst possible fear right there. "I don't mind him telling you… but…"

"No, he wouldn't." Cardinal shakes his head a little, "He's… not a huge fan of the Institute anymore. You know, like most people who spend much time around them." Wry, "I think he dislikes Harper as much as I do. Anyway… he's building some jammers to stop the broadcast, but he needs some help assembling them."

There's relief. It seems mention of the Institute worried her way more than psychopathic killers. Gillian was involved with Sylar for a while, after all, so maybe her view of men's vices are skewed. "Well, that's good. That's why you asked about blueprints. I can probably help out, at least. I'd been meaning to call him back, cause I was going to try and get him to build me one of those fancy generators."

"Good." A smile tugs up at the corner of Cardinal's lips, "Give him a hand, then… try not to augment him again, though, mechanical intuitives are mentally fragile as it is. I'd rather he not have another psychotic break."

"I'll try not to, but… it's not as easy as that, unfortunately," Gillian says, reaching up to touch the locket through her shirt. It would have been easier if she could have done what she went back to do— when it turns out maybe she had to go back to tell them to inject her in the first place. "I'll do my best not to, though."

"That's all I'm asking." Cardinal watches her for a moment… and then he asks quietly, "So. Now that we've got business out've the way… how are you holding up? I'm sure that wasn't easy."

"I was trying to undo my entire life and then when I got there I failed to do it. I guess I should be grateful that the Japanese dude showed up to take me back, cause I don't know how I'd have gotten back otherwise," Gillian says with a shrug, before she adds, "I'm better now. I mean here I am. Nothing changed. Parents still died. Still have this stupid power that I can't actually turn off. And the world still sucks."

"You were…" Cardinal regards her for a moment, "…you were with Sullivan and Arnold. Oh, Gilli…" He braces a hand on the table's edge, pushing up to his feet, stepping over and reaching out for her, "It just would've made things worse."

"Maybe it wouldn't have made it worse for me," Gillian says, looking toward the many things in the room, rather than back at the shadow-man. "My parents were good people and they died because of those experiments they were involved in. And… it doesn't matter. It didn't work. I couldn't do it— and it may have turned out I was supposed to go back and change something, cause when I talked to them about injecting me they said they hadn't been planning to in the first place. They'd decided against it."

"That's why time travel gives me a headache…" Cardinal's hand slides over her shoulder as he says quietly, "I'm sorry, Gilli. If— I mean, if you really hate your power that much… when we rescue Tyler, he could probably take it from you."

"It's not a big deal anymore," Gillian says with a shake of her head, seeming to dismiss that very idea. First time she'd met Tyler, or a Tyler, she'd had many abilities for a while, and the way he's talking she'd have none when this was over. The physical closeness keeps her from moving away, in fact encourages her to move closer, leaning her forehead against his arm. "Don't worry about it. It's my ability. I'll deal with it."

As she leans against him, Cardinal slides his arm around her more fully, stepping in close to her and leaning down to brush a kiss to her brow. "Alright," he says quietly, "If there's anything I can do to help, Gilli…"

"Do you want me to contact Warren on my own, or do you want to do it?" Gillian asks quietly, keeping her eyes closed as she stays there for a few moments, wanting the warmth and the companionship. "And did you get Claire out of Messiah?"

"You can go ahead, I've got ten thousand things to do… just tell him you're some of the help I promised him," Cardinal says quietly against her temple, "And yeah. I did. She's upstairs… we're having to keep her locked up for her own safety right now. Her father came by to see her, and Parkman's going to try and help her."

"If you need me to help with Claire, just ask. Even if it's for my ability. Might as well use it for good things if I have to have it," Gillian says, pulling back and brushing a soft kiss against his lips before step steps back fully. "I don't intend to disappear for a while, so I should be around. Either on my phone, or up in my apartment." Which is a lot closer than the Garden had been. "And I'll let you know how it goes with Warren."

That kiss is returned ever so softly, Richard's hand sliding down off her shoulder as she steps back and away from him. "Alright," he says, "You know where to find me if you need anything yourself, Gilli."

"I know. I'll be sure to ask when I need something," Gillian says, before she moves past the firing range, which she looks toward for a moment, and then up the stairs. She has a phone call to make, and blue prints to get headaches over.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License