Seven Month Old Hearsay


cat_icon.gif hana_icon.gif

Scene Title Seven Month Old Hearsay
Synopsis Cat consults the lioness.
Date July 15, 2010

The Verb, Penthouse

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.

With concerns regarding the Ferry and some of its members in mind, both potential new ones and those already existing, added to issues with damage being caused to relations with other factions, Cat has taken to resolve a nagging detail which on reflection doesn't quite add up. To this end, she has invited Hana Gitelman to meet without giving much explanation other than desiring to speak in person. At the appointed time, just past 09:00, she emerges from the area kept for physical training clad for such pursuits and approaches the entrance she expects will be used. One of the double doors is opened, she waits there for the elevator to arrive with a white towel draped across one shoulder and hair held in a ponytail.

In physical appearance she's come quite some distance since that first Krav Maga session nearly twenty months before. Arms and abs have definition without seeming musclebound or masculine, legs are well-toned. When her guest arrives, there's a ponderance of speaking in the language of Israel, but it's set aside swiftly. Hana's not taken the opportunity to converse in that tongue, and while she's certain if it were found offensive Wireless would've said so, or demonstrated so physically, but she's being careful just the same.

"Morning. Would you like something to eat or drink?"

Stepping out of the elevator, Hana glances briefly around the room, then lets her gaze settle upon Cat. "No, thank you," she replies. "I'm fine." She herself is dressed in an olive tanktop and black pants, her shoes dark brown. Walking in past her hostess — it's not Hana's inclination to wait on invitations if she doesn't have to — the technopath selects a chair that suits her preferences and commandeers it for her use. Turning to face Cat, her posture is relaxed, or near enough; but her gaze is intent upon the younger woman. "What's the issue?" No one asks Hana for personal meetings unless there's an issue.

Two chairs are indeed present, one of which is now filled with technopath, Cat having anticipated Hana would opt to commence just inside the door. While she's labeled all business and to a large degree it's very true, Hana Gitelman is even more so. "Some weeks ago Eileen and I met with Rupert Carmichael," she begins in stating a fact not kept secret from the Israeli, "and during that session he claimed Rebel told him we had a leak in our network, that they'd intercepted a transmission indicating such a thing. It's a concern which hasn't yet been ruled out, but… it's odd we weren't told any details on this alleged situation. No information on the source was given. If it's true, however, any transmission Rebel could intercept would also be known to you."

Hana closes her eyes, bringing three fingers up to the bridge of her nose. "Not strictly. We both… hear… far more than a person can process and remain — capable," the technopath answers matter-of-factly. "I have no doubt Rebel uses an entirely different set of filters to manage the datastream. It is possible— " Although not, her tone suggests, likely. "— he observed something that did not reach my conscious awareness. Particularly given the nature of his… current state," she concludes with a hint of distaste. "Do you know when this was intercepted? What it was? Who it was between?" Even though Cat said 'no details', Hana has to ask.

"Rupert said it was found in radio chatter on the Institute side in December," Cat reports when Hana returns the speaking floor. "It's possible nothing of the sort happened, or if it did the Institute had people do it knowing there'd be interception, as disinformation. That a leak might exist has to be taken seriously, and in a network like ours looking for it whether real or not causes damage."

Relay of information continues as she settles into the other chair and smoothly crosses her legs at the ankles. "This alleged leak has also impacted on the network's reliability in the eyes of others, causing allies to withhold valuable information and to be wary when asking for help. A few days ago I brought Richard Cardinal to Susan Ball, and he cited this leak as reason for not wishing to give details about a man he needs false documentation for. Susan in turn cited concerns over the nature of persons assistance is given to. In the end, the matter was settled when Richard agreed to let his associate be interviewed by Abby Beauchamp and Delilah Trafford."

Hana accepts Cat's words with impassive equanimity, remaining quiet for a few moments after the woman's finished speaking. Finally, she looks to her companion, head tilted slightly. "And what would Cardinal suggest we do about seven-month-old hearsay?" the Israeli asks, an edge to her tone that, admittedly, isn't truly meant for Cat. She just has the misfortune to be here.

"I couldn't care less what he suggests," Cat replies with a slight edge coming to her own voice, in turn not meant for she who hears it. "My concern is over the potential for such claims and commentary to undermine confidence among the network. Susan, for her part, voiced an objection to having helped former members of the Vanguard and a desire not to give aid to persons of similar stripe." Eyes have focused on a wall, as if she were replaying the conversation in her mind.

When they return to Hana, she quietly states "What I would try is difficult, perhaps impossible given the size of our network. Feeding out individual pieces of information the Institute would be likely to act on, each person told something different, to see if it causes the Institute to make a move."

Sitting back in her chair and folding her hands in her lap, Hana looks askance at her companion, dark brows arching queryingly. "What information do you think the Institute is likely to act on? Do you think we have so much of it as that, and can avoid actually compromising ourselves in the process?"

"We know they like to collect people with abilities and compel them to do things in their interest," Cat states, "so it could be suggested to persons one at a time or in small groups that we have something they might jump at, and tell them there'll be a movement at a certain time and place. A place we can easily watch to see if a capture attempt is made. Pure disinformation."

Hana looks at Cat for a moment, then shakes her head. "No, we don't know that they collect 'people with abilities'," the analyst disagrees. "We know they have taken some people. We do not know that they would take all Evolved, or only specific abilities. Past evidence suggests they know very well what they want, and don't need us to tell them. For that matter, it could be they have no interest in acquiring more; we simply don't know. We don't know what they're doing or what ends they drive towards, and without a base of information… To leak a statement as ambiguous as 'we have something the Institute wants' is much like saying 'we have a trap set, come turn it on us'."

"I don't by any means propose any one of our people would actually be present at the chosen spot," Cat provides, "simply that we'd have a means to observe it and see if the bait is taken. The idea is, as stated, difficult to put in practice, but it remains in my opinion the best way to find a leak. By use of something we can track back to a single person. Perhaps the only way."

After another brief lull, she states "Any potential leak is a matter of concern. I would, however, be less troubled by this were it not for people sent to Canada somehow being found."

"I would suggest," Hana says after a brief period of thought, "that you bring this before the council for their due consideration before attempting any such endeavor. If it fails, and I believe it is not likely to succeed, it could make the Institute wary and impair any further attempts at counterintelligence."

"Of course," Cat agrees, "I'm not so arrogant to embark on such a course without consultation, as I'm doing even now. Perhaps other members on the council will have a simpler and easier to use method. I don't."

Hana nods, acknowledging Cat's statement. Presuming that matter settled, she continues, "Is there anything else you need from me, in that case?"

"Robyn Quinn," Cat answers. "Has the opportunity to look into her provided itself?"

The technopath inclines her head, presumably in assent. "Nothing much to look at," Hana replies. "She has essentially the background you'd expect." Her lips twitch in an almost-smile. "And not in a suspicious manner."

"Thank you, Hana," Cat replies. "Things can proceed on that front, her name put before the council with favorable reviews."

Drawing herself up to her feet, in the estimation that necessary business has been addressed, Hana nods once more. "Take care, Cat," she remarks; adding, just as she begin to take her leave, one last injunction: "Keep me updated."

"And you, Hana." The panmnesiac rises as well, following Wireless to the doors that she might secure them after her departure.

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