Red Letter Day


cat2_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title Red Letter Day
Synopsis Rebel's been a busy little bee.
Date Jan 21, 2010

Cat's Penthouse, Village Renaissance Building

Thursday evening, and Cat is busy. She's at the penthouse here in the Verb, which she and Helena have opted to use as their primary and officially listed residence. More specifically, she's in the area set aside as office space within this large top-floor dwelling. Before her are several computer screens, one of them open to a screenshot of the New York Times webpage from January 11th. It's an article about efforts to reclaim Staten Island. Several letters in that article are highlighted in red, as well as various symbols before and after. The first set of symbols have been copied onto a sheet of paper, then the highlighted letters extracted from the article, followed by the second set.


do not truSt them they are building camps rebel


Another monitor has the most recent NY Times page up. Selected letters are highlighted in red here too, and Cat has written them down.

Yet another monitor has that website up. It's a simple thing, a satellite photograph of an icy place with a nuclear mushroom cloud spreading across the sky and information about the bird which captured it at the bottom in small print. Among that info, a date: January 16, 2010. The image has been copied to a file, which is open on yet another monitor.

Elisabeth still has access to the penthouse, her keycard and key are valid. Should she search and find Cat, the pamnesiac's face is a puzzled expression, mixed with one of determination.

She does call ahead to verify that her presence is acceptable, but Elisabeth willingly uses her key card to gain entry to the Verb and to the penthouse floor. When she lets herself into the place, she heads toward the office due to lack of much noise to give away Cat's presence. "Do I dare even ask?" she queries calmly from the door, not seeing the picture as yet because she doesnt' come around the computer. Her mood seems… cautious. More wary than it ought.

"Evening, Elisabeth," Cat replies in a pleasant enough voice, eyes lifting from the displays. "I'm trying to figure out a puzzle and making little headway." She pauses. "Actually none at all." There's neither objection nor invitation to come around the row of monitors and see what she's focused on. Instead, her eyes linger on the blonde. "Helena told me about some troubles happening while we were away," the panmnesiac relates, "something you should watch for. Seems there's a dreamwalker entity making random attacks on sleeping SLC people, trying to manipulate them into suicide."

"I'm sorry," Elisabeth replies automatically — she knows that's frustrating. A frown creases her brows and she steps closer. "A dreamwalker? Has anyone spoken to the one who helped me? Maybe she'd be able to help in this instance? The people I've touched base with didn't mention it, but I'll start asking around." She pauses, studying the woman. "Unless, of course, you've decided that working with me at all is somehow a threat," she comments with a quirk of an eyebrow. "Got to admit, I find myself pretty pissed off to be referred to as Kershner's minion."

"Helena told me Hokuto Ichihara created passageways where people can enter the dreams of others and assist with what she calls the Nightmare Man. There's a way to resist his attacks, it's a Jungian psychology thing partly based in the power of will but also involving shadows and avatars, or patronus," Cat explains. "I went out the next morning and bought a few books of his writings and comments by others on them."

"Apparently there are a number of people assisting, and room for more. I intend to join in. The entity has a taste for people who've used or been dosed with Refrain, and a taste for the SLC too. Beyond that, I'm not aware of any pattern. It seems random among those groups, with Refrain serving as a sort of road sign to it. Peyton Whitney said she, Wendy Hunter, a friend called Aaron and another named Logan have all been assaulted, they joined forces and slept in shifts for a while."

Only after getting that out does she address the topic of Sarisa Kershner and information sharing. "Interesting," she remarks, "it was meant to have Claire consider the issue seriously. And to test if she'd just raise it, or quote me verbatim. Worrisome, that. You know the risks. They could have telepaths, and Kershner herself is a psychometrist. Gets info from skin contact. What's your strategy for avoiding her touch, given that if you obviously avoid she'll know you're hiding something? The result will be she grabs you, possibly learns what she's after, and sends Rene to edit all our memories. There's already evidence two people in Operation Apollo, who served in Madagascar, have been brainraped. It would be really, really, good if Kershner never learns we have any idea of the Pinehearst link to Rasoul, that Refrain was found there in large tanks, and that the negation gas even exists."

Elisabeth listens to the information she's being given with every evidence of being mostly willing to put aside the anger. With a brief nod, she finally says, "If you don't mind dropping me the intel you've got into email, I'd appreciate that. Hokuto helped me immensely — and the idea that someone out there is driving people to suicide really scares the hell out of me. Especially after that case last year." The 36 — technically 35 — is a case that will haunt her for the rest of her life. "I'll put out feelers among my contacts and see if anyone else has made contact within the dreams and give them whatever intel you give me about what could help."

Drawing in a deep breath, Elisabeth says calmly, "Claire didn't merely repeat you verbatim — she also addressed the situation with me. ANd the bottom line is this: Kershner's already gotten a slew of things from you because you remember everything that you know and none of us knew what her power was. So. I think now that we do know her power, the question is mostly moot. The Madagascar information was removed from people, from what we can piece together, because the US government wanted whatever it was they were actually developing there. Which means she already knows the negation gas exists. In addition, Kershner is aware of exactly who sits in the Oval Office. Just before we all shipped out, she spoke to Richard about working specifically with her to get him out of office — along with Mitchell."

"So. Here's the thing. We need to keep close tabs on her, and she needs to keep close tabs on us. The best way to do that is to make it clear that I am, in fact, cooperating. But don't you for one remote little second, Catherine Chesterfield, accuse me of buying in. Your world is entirely too black and white, which is a liability in an analyst. There is no government in this whole world — our own included all the way back to the Founding Fathers themselves — that is NOT corrupt in at least some fashion. Our job is the same as it's always been. To deal with it in a way that saves most of the people most of the time."

"I know," Cat replies with a scowl of self-reproach, "she got info from me because I shook her hand. I wish I hadn't. It's such an easy trap. Never had a suspicion until she got antsy about Abby declining to accept that gesture. That much is done. The point I'm getting at, though, is how to keep her from learning more. From becoming aware we know things we didn't know then. Like the discoveries on Madagascar. It strikes me, and worries me, that Kershner and Autumn were the Federal point people working with Arthur Petrelli to use that serum and pad Frontline. And that they've now recovered research done in Rasoul's labs, along with Doctor Gregor. The goal, then, is probably to resurrect attempts at making the serum and cementing political power with it."

"How will you prevent Kershner from having any idea we know about the Pinehearst and Rasoul link, when she may well only need to grab your arm?"

She seems to trust Elisabeth will consider it and try to craft a solution, because her next action is to gesture at the displays in front of her. "What I'm looking at now is dangerous," Cat states somberly, "things the Federal government should never know we're even looking at. It adds to my concern they'll soon enough order you to violate the Constitution and basic decency, and of you refuse throw you in a deep dark hole so you can't warn anyone it's coming." As she utters this, eye contact is made, and the concern is genuine. "But if you want to know, come look at the exhibits," she invites.

Coming around the desk to lean her hips back against it, Elisabeth's attention is on the conversation. "Believe me, that worries me as well. Kershner's response on the whole time-travelling Petrelli tidbit was that he was better than the current-time guy any day, but that she'd voted for Rickham. I didn't have the opportunity at that moment to point out that he's a huge-ass hypocrit for hiding the same thing that got Rickham blackmailed out of office." She shrugs a little. "She needs skin contact, from what I gather. And since Teo spilled the beans to me right in front of her about what her power is," Liz smirks faintly, "I think that it's moot. She'll not be surprised if I'm not much of one for being too close to her. I don't necessarily trust her, Cat — but at the same time? FRONTLINE has its place. If it's run right." She tilts her head, though.

"Show me," she sighs softly. And when she turns her attention to the one screen, she goes visibly pale. "Shit… you could have warned me," she murmurs softly. The sight of the black mushroom cloud clenches her guts into knots.

"I couldn't have warned you," Cat states soberly, "without telling you before you chose to come see. Had to let saying it's dangerous be enough. It starts over here," she goes on to point out, "while we were gone." A hand gesture indicates the January 11th hack of the NY Times website with the red letters, then moves to the assembled words in her handwriting. The warning of camps being built, between two bands of symbols.

"And continues with this, today." Here she points toward the most recent hacked Times site, and the url gotten from connecting red letters. "Rebel hacked the site to point people at their own address, which shows a satellite photo of the detonation. They want to warn the public, but are being cryptic, and haven't contacted me directly in weeks."

Following along, Elisabeth tenses slightly at the comment about camps. "Christ," she murmurs softly, unable to rip her eyes from the screens. "All right… uhm… what the fuck?" She looks at Cat, puzzled. "Do you think… Rasoul was working for us?"

"I doubt that," Cat replies. "It's not clear Arthur and the Feds had any idea of Rasoul's Vanguard connection. It's not clear if they didn't. I should ask more questions of people who were there, learn if anything about it was said. But I do know Pinehearst contracted out research and production to his labs. Eileen believes the operation there wasn't about Munin, but about recovering the research. I see it as necessary to have taken down Rasoul in any case. The Vanguard needed to stop existing, completely. It would just have been far better to make sure not a shred of product or person knowing how to recreate it fell into Federal hands."

Focus goes back to the Rebel transmissions. "They're wanting to draw attention to something, but I can't get what that is. Yet. It's a complete mystery why they want to publicize what happened at the south pole."

Moving back out from behind the computers so that she is no longer looking at that photo, Elisabeth says quietly, "I'd like to be kept in the loop, Cat. If I feel like I'm actually in danger of compromising anything, I'll let you know. But with Richard gone, it falls to me to take care of his…. our people. And it's on me to keep working the angles that we were working." She looks at her friend. "Since all of the people in Phoenix have been given immunity, at least I'm not violating my agreement," she smirks wryly.

"We also didn't violate the classification on Operation Apollo events," Cat states. "You'll be in the loop," she also assures, "information will be provided in such a way as you can choose to know or not before reading or hearing. Kershner worries me, and I won't pretend I'd be far more comfortable with infiltration if it were someone she has no idea is connected to us. It also occurs to me that disagreements, arguments, over it among us possibly serve her agenda too. I asked Rebel to do a background check on her, they haven't replied. I suspected they might not, they've got no intention of performing services Wireless provided, but it was possible. They like keeping tabs on Feds and sharing things, sometimes."

Elisabeth studies her and then smiles faintly. "Disagreements are what keep us honest, Cat. If we all agreed on everything, we'd be mindless sycophants in a cult." She turns back toward the door. "Kershner worries me, too. Whatever Rebel will or won't provide us in terms of information… we'll make do. We always have." She pauses and looks over her shoulder, pain flashing through her eyes though her tone is calm. "There's going to be a funeral Mass said for Cardinal at St. Paul's — sans body of course — on Sunday morning. I'd be…. much obliged if you'd attend."

"I'll be there," Cat responds.

There's a brief nod and Elisabeth comments softly, "Richard would probably laugh his ass off. Not like either one of us has practiced in years. Hell, he hates nuns. But…… I need it. It's the last thing I can do for him. We'll have an old-fashioned Irish wake at Old Lucy's afterward." She shoves her hands in her pockets and says, "I'll see you there."

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