Read It. Remember.


cat_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif

Scene Title Read It. Remember.
Synopsis Hiro shows up with an important document.
Date February 23, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Fourth Floor Safehouse

The floors here on the fourth level of the Village Renaissance Building at 14 East 4th Street are of polished grey marble and the smooth walls are painted a cream color. Four corridors with four apartments each are found here, with stairwells at the front and back and elevators centrally placed in each corridor. The elevators have buttons for the first three floors visible, and control panels requiring both key and keycard to open.

The apartment doors, made from sturdy pine, are operated by keycards only on this floor. Like the second and third floors, they're numbered 401-416.

But that's where the similarity ends. This floor isn't for rental to the general public. It's a place reserved for temporary stays by whomever the person who lives on the top floor chooses to give sanctuary.

It's a safehouse of the Ferrymen, operated by a member of Phoenix, using the cover of musician's eccentricities to explain away the motley crew of folks who might come and go if anyone should ask.

She's alone here on the safehouse floor, having come down to check things out and maybe speak with Delilah as she goes about the work accepted when Cat hired her the day after bringing that group back from Staten Island. So many things are on the woman's mind, this task being just a minor one among them. The move they'll make when they're advised the time is right to strike is foremost in her concerns. She has no idea who's being used as bait to accomodate that effort.

Among those things occupying her mind is the situation of the prisoners themselves. Helena, Al, and Brian. The thought of that fact causes a scowl to settle on her features. She can't know if Knox got the message to Al and Brian, getting Helena word is out of the question. Women and men aren't imprisoned together.

Cat flashes back to the 30th of December, reviewing part of a conversation from that day.

"Do you want to go to college, Stormy?" Cat asks, just before testing the chocolate to see if it's cool enough not to burn her mouth when drinking yet. Then she turns to Ben and nods. "The books are good here. I've looked at a few of them, got still more to look at." A quiet smile forms, some measure of playfulness entering her eyes.

It's almost as if Ben exists in a realm outside playfulness. He was serious, they have free books here. "How do you keep homeless people out?"

"I don't have time for college." is Helena's reply. She looks to Ben. "We're on the edge of the rad zone. Most homeless don't bother with this area. We have more problems with stray animals in the outer corridors than homeless people."

"If you did," Cat speculates, "what would you study?" Her question is calmly asked, and punctuated with another small drink of her chocolate. The eyes close, she enjoys the warmth and the taste of it.

Ben considers that; he nods. "I can see it," he tells Helena. Cat's line of questioning gets blinked at.

Helena blinks a bit, it's like Cat's asking her about her life in an alternate universe. "I have no idea." she says. "I don't know what I'd like. I don't even know what I'd be good at anymore." A pause. "My mom used to say I was her little chef. Maybe culinary school?"

The panmnesiac's reverie is interrupted by, of all things, a tap-tap-tapping gently rapping at her chamber door. Or hallway corridor, as the case may be. Hiro stands with his arms crossed, shoulder leaning against the wall and in a position that Cat can easily find him just by turning around and looking. Unlike some of his entrances, this one's at least a little bit announced. Unlike almost every time he's shown up, he's smiling. A secret sort of I Just Got Away With Something smile, but a smile.

She emerges from it, drawn back to the present by the tapping sound. Cat turns toward the source of it, not seeming alarmed. It might be Delilah emerging from one of the units where she'd been tending to stocking and keeping clean. Elvis is gone now, the one she occupied while healing now free again. Her eyes settle on the sword wielding Japanese man, and a measure of surprise does come to them then. His face is studied, and she becomes curious as to his visitation, the source of that uncustomary smile he's wearing.

"Good afternoon, Nakamura-san."

Without a word Hiro pushes away from the wall and takes the few steps it requires to cross the room toward Cat. When he gets within reach of her, he holds up a paper that was surreptitiously held behind his back and says, "Read it. Remember."

It's the very same paper, vital intel on the Moab prison facility, that Hiro received from a man named Petrelli who lives in Washington. But he makes no mention of that.

Her head tilts, fingers close around the page at a place which has no ink upon it so as not to obscure any vital data on the document, and Cat begins to read. Brows raise at the first sight on recogntion of what it is, the eyes widen. "Nakamura-san," she breathes out, "well done! Very well done." All of that information enters her memory without lack of detail.

A bow-nod of the head to the compliment and Hiro says, "I would like to have the paper back, but feel free to make a copy." The usually reserved man can't help but show his pride at this particular coup, for a coup it is. "It should make it easier to ask Carmichael the right questions."

She takes just a short time longer to read the document from top to bottom and side to side, then hands it back to the sword-carrier. "It's already been copied," Cat blithely assures him. From there it's a simple matter of typing the data out longhand if needed or wanted. "And indeed it will, Nakamura-san." Her features shift into a genuinely wide smile. This is a badly needed thing they now have.

"Domo arigato."

"Doitashite." comes the reply. And Hiro explains, taking the document back and looking at it himself. He hadn't yet done more than a cursory once-over. "Any news on the plans? Aside from this." Glance up. That smile again.

"I believe the word to move will come fairly soon, Nakamura-san," Cat replies smoothly. "Kinson and I have gone over the details of his part, and he can indeed affect memories. That angle was tested, on me."

That's interesting. Hiro gives Cat a look and asks, "Really? What don't you remember now?" Which is a complete trick question. It just proves Hiro's in a good mood.

"Whatever he told me not to remember," Cat answers with a chuckle. "It doesn't even feel weird, like a hole in the files, at all." Her brain simply doesn't go near whatever it was. The existence of it is ignored and rationalized away completely.

Interesting. Privately Hiro determines not to have more than he must to do with Kinson. That's a pretty disturbing prospect. "You're very brave to have done that." he says, watching her steadily. And then he broaches another topic, "Dr. Chesterfield, how many people are we planning to break out of Moab?" He himself only signed up for one. But others are unavoidable, he knows that.

"That's a difficult question, Nakamura-san," Cat replies. "I can't really answer yet, given we don't know how many prisons of its type they have. I can only say there are five people in total to extract from their prison system. Of them, Peter may be the hardest by the need to convince him to actually leave. But…" she contemplates for a span of seconds, "maybe not. His abilities are most likely suppressed, you could probably grab him and go, to have the argument over whether he belongs in prison another time."

At the suggestion of Peter needing convincing, Hiro says, "Oh, he'll leave." The implication by tone of voice is clear.

He will leave or I will drag him out. Probably by some painful appendage.

"I just want to know how many people specifically we are planning to get. It's important for some of my own personal planning." Pause. "I am working with you on this but I am planning a little on my own to better help. Like with this." And Hiro holds up the covetted paper to show what he means.

She runs the names and faces down again in her head. Helena Dean. Peter Petrelli. Jesse Alexander Knight. Brian Fulk. Benjamin (Knox) Washington. "Five," Cat confirms. "Of them, we only know Peter is at Moab because a man we placed trust in, a predictor of probability, told us he'd be taken there in mid-January. Exact locations for people are atop the list of things to ask Agent Carmichael about. If he doesn't know, he probably knows where exactly we can find out."

This is good information, and stuff that Hiro perhaps should have discussed with Cat before this point. But there's no time like the present. Or the past. Or the future. What's the difference? "A very important question is what do they do to…" he struggles with the word. That doesn't happen so often anymore. Hiro's English is pretty much fluent. "fight? Counter. What do they do to counter abilities? It's the only reason I haven't risked going myself."

"I would believe the prisoners are suppressed by chemical means," Cat speculates. "I find it unlikely they've got enough negators to handle a population of inmates. As to measures aimed at blocking people from using abilities to get in, that's on the list to ask our target. Some things I imagine wouldn't be hard to guard against. Super strength, for example, likely requires only making the walls thick and hard enough to slow the attacker down while forces are brought to bear. Extreme speed, the same thing, with slickness added to make traction difficult. But insolidity and teleportation, manipulation of time, I'm unsure there's a way to counter those. We'll ask him directly."

There's a nod along with each of those examples. "They know I exist. I don't know for sure, but there may be others that can do what I do. I only know of one so far and he can't help. But once we're in and if there's nothing stopping me I could very easily take as much time as I like to search through whatever documents or references I can get at." Hiro explains.

"We have a teleporter among our ranks," Cat relates, "but she does only that. She hasn't the ability of pulling people outside the stream of time." Her features are businesslike and calm now, as she continues to brainstorm. Ivy League graduate organizing skills are in play. "Three commands, given from the start. 1. Do not use your evolved ability. 2. Surrender. 3. Answer all questions immediately, truthfully, and completely."

"Then we go to the questions. 1. Where are Helena Dean, Jesse Alexander Knight, Brian Fulk, Benjamin Washington, and Peter Petrelli being held? 2. What defenses against Evolved abilities are in play at these prisons? 3. How do we defeat those defenses?"

She trails off there, clearly still pondering specific questions to ask, and posing one of Hiro. "What would you add to the list?"

Well, that's an interesting question. Hiro props an elbow on a wrist and strokes the patch of facial hair on his chin, thinking. "Use him while you have him to take all his identifying information. Whatever numbers it takes. Don't you Americans have an identification number? Security number?" He's Japanese. He doesn't explicitly know about Social Security because it's different over there. "Get all that from him in case you need to try to manipulate him in the future. It might help."

She nods emphatically in agreement. "Social security number. I think we can perhaps give him a latent command, too. One that makes him cooperative to us on demand without remembering anything in the future. We can find out who he takes orders from, where that person is located, how to obtain identity documents for posing as guards…" Cat's features take on a grin there.

"If we could pull that off, we could maybe even get them to do all the hard work. Show up with the right ID and documents authorizing movement of prisoners. But…" she admits, "that may be thinking too large."

Hiro is quick to agree to that last point. "Too large." he says with a nod. "We can trust ourselves. I wouldn't trust him even with commands." As if musing to himself he mutters quietly, "I sometimes consider just going there and opening the doors. It couldn't be that easy though." With a team of Phoenix operatives at his side, it needn't be that easy though. Cat is a valuable ally. "Well." He glances at the paper in his hand. "I'm going to see about putting this back. If it's not missed then they may not know the information's leaked. I'll see you soon." He turns and starts for the hallway.

As he turns to go, Cat consults her memory quickly, calling up the pertinent page of a book on the Japanese language she recently began reading. «"Yes. See you soon,"» she replies in the man's native language. "Domo arigato, Nakamura-san."

February 23rd: The Good Of The Country
February 23rd: Can't Stop The World
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