Sleeping On It


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title Sleeping On It
Synopsis It's all she asked for.
Date July 30, 2009

Village Renaissance Building Roof

This is a flat roof, the surface grey concrete, which covers a building with enough space for sixteen apartment units on each floor along with elevators, stairwells, and maintenance areas at the center. It can be reached by an elevator and/or staircase near the right edge, a large freight elevator just back of the center, and stairwells centered on front and back of the building. The back left corner holds the large machinery needed for climate control of the interior. Discreet cameras placed all around the edge monitor the roof.

Near the elevator and stairs from the penthouse below is a pair of picnic tables and a sophisticated grill for cooking outdoors and eating when the weather permits. It's covered by an open air tent of sorts for shelter when rain and snow come.

The right front corner, overlooking 4th Street, has a sturdy wooden structure ten feet back from the edge. Here there are outlets for plugging in amplifiers and other electrical devices should Cat choose to come up here and make music. It has a set of glass doors which can be folded aside to allow approaching the edge and closed to protect against weather.

The front left corner features four each of small apple and cherry trees with garden chairs here and there around them, a number of sunflowers, tomato plants, potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, and various other plants chosen for their appearance in pots or planters large enough to hold them. Someone with access to the roof likes to garden, and has been doing so at any chance.

It's not like she requested a formal 'meeting' or anything, but Elisbeth does drop a quick text to Cat and Helena that says, Really could use a chat. Got time this evening? When she comes by Cat's penthouse to see the two of them, she comes straight from work and she looks somewhat wiped. Between the fight with Arthur and the flurry of activity in the cop sector, she's not exactly sleeping well. At all. But she's got some things on her mind, and now that Phoenix issues have mostly begun to settle, she figures it's time to meet up with the women and talk. Letting herself into the place, she calls out, "Hey Cat? I'm here!" She's carrying a tray with cups of takeout coffees. You know… the girly froufrou kinds.

What greets the calling out Elisabeth is not Cat and Helena, but an empty penthouse and a note on the elevator to the roof, the one near the kitchen, which says 'We're there' and has an arrow pointing up. When the elevator door opens with its telltale ding, Cat is spotted sitting at a nearby picnic table. The grill is closed and cold, she seemingly having decided against grilled cow slab this evening, or maybe they already ate.

What Cat does have is a guitar in hand, the red Fender Strat, as if she's thinking about using the place near the roof's edge soon. "Thanks for bringing drinks, Elly," she greets with a spreading smile.

Helena is laying out on one of the roof's deckchairs, her eyes hidden behind sunglasses and her face turned up toward the sun. 'Evening' is relative when it's summer. Helena's ability keeps the roof pleasant - warm enough to know it's summer, but cool enough so that it's a pleasant one.

"For God's sake, Cat, don't ever call me that again," Elisabeth says in a flat tone. "I'll be forced to kill you." She's only half kidding. Setting the coffees down on the table, Elisabeth drops into one of the chairs, pulls her sunglasses back out to plop them on her face, and picks up the cup that she's designated her own to take a swallow from.

"Okay, girls…. here's the first meeting — that I know of — of the Phoenix Women's Leadership Association," she quips mildly. "I hereby call us to order and place as the first item on the agenda 'what the fuck are we doing with ourselves next?' Cuz I've had a couple thoughts and I want to lay 'em out, but if they don't match what you two already got in mind, I'm not gonna bother."

"If you say so," Cat replies, one hand reaching to snag a cup and lift it. Elisabeth is studied briefly at her declaration, a chuckle escaping. "Madame Speaker, what are your thoughts?" She leans her backside against the table, sneaker clad foot resting against the bench part.

Helena lifts an arm up to casually drape over her head. "The chair cedes to the floor to Liz, because I'd rather hear what she wants to do as opposed to not hearing it because she worries we won't be in synch."

Plopping her ankle boot-clad feet onto the bottom of Helena's lounge chair and crossing them at the ankles, Elisabeth considers. "After talking with Cat the other day and hearing her thoughts on beginning to at least try to draft legislation that might even have a chance of working for Evos and non alike, I had a conversation with someone else about what we've been doing. And the thought was raised that although there are any number of crises still looming on the horizon, now is the time to step back and make that choice we've been talking about for …. ever, as far as I know."

"What exactly is it that we're standing for? The point was made to me that we cannot continue to walk both sides of the fence — that if we want the court of public opinion to be swayed in our direction, preferably WITHOUT the martyrdom of Helena and a bunch of other people being the cause, that maybe we should start considering how best to go about the positive publicity angles."

"For example, the Day of Miracles you guys pulled off back before I got involved in all this. That, ladies, is a prime example of how to start turning public opinion in our favor. But the idea has been raised to me that if we're running about doing the other stuff — like if we get CAUGHT doing shit like blowing up Pinehearst — it's not going to matter if it was for the greater good."

"Even in proving that Pinehearst was doing what the news says they were doing, the public's not going to like the idea that vigilante Evos are running amok pulling that kind of operation. So….. do we want Phoenix to be a reactionary rebel army? Or are we making that move toward proactive and at least on the surface above the fray?" She looks between them. "I didn't know the answer when I was asked."

Helena finds Liz's words bothersome, but not lacking worth in consideration. "So are you asking if we're the French Resistance or the Black Panthers?" she can't help but quip.

Her head tilts as she listens, and by her features Cat seems to have entertained similar thoughts, but she still has opinions which don't quite fit the complete recommendation. "The issue is, as always, whether or not the forces of government can be trusted to do the jobs we the people hired them for," she remarks calmly.

"In the case of the Vanguard, they couldn't. All they could be relied upon for was swooping in to arrest people after the threat was ended, and lock them up without trial. I think, as long as this tendency remains to act against the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, as long as the Presidency remains a puppet of Daniel Linderman and Angela Petrelli, we've little choice but to be both paramilitary and political."

"To fight when situations call for it, and to defuse reasons for fear. The public might not like the idea of vigilante Evos pulling an operation like Pinehearst, but I believe they'd like it even less if we'd allowed Arthur to make his power grab and further boost the Evolved Gestapo by means of injected abilities."

"The point is, Cat… we can't be both political and paramilitary. Because if we do, any of the good that we do will be tainted. Any law we might help actually write in a fashion that becomes useful, any number of Miracle Days become tainted — they don't mitigate what happens if the paramilitary side gets outed. And believe me, there will come a time when it gets outed. Right now, though… I think public opinion would still sway our direction. If we keep on this path, that may not continue to be the case."

She grins faintly at Helena. "Basically, yes. I'm asking what you want to do. Because I'm thinking we might be better served, especially in light of the huge amounts of negative publicity Pinehearst is getting, if we start pushing the membership into more public works of good. The ones who can, anyway."

"Why can't we? Who wrote that rule?" Helena asks. "The action against the Vanguard was defensive - the only aggressive based action we've taken has been toward Arthur. I'm not looking to have us become an army, but if there's forcible action to be taken and it needs doing, it should be considered. Unless you think we should sit on things like Humanis First and their random pop up summary executions in libraries."

"Or sit still for Vanguard remains having nuclear weapons, potential access to satellites, and a plan to alter the coastline permanently," Cat adds. Helena is glanced at, she chooses not to interject the Moab raid was aggressive. "Nor can we just let people sit in prison where they were put without trial. There's no reason at all why any person, with a power or without, can't be dealt with in public under the law. And if an ability is judged dangerous, with the holder unable to control it, the same thing applies. There's no reason such persons can't be brought into open court and committed in much the same way as the mentally ill are institutionalized. Or diseases quarantined. It has to all be public."

"The Founders who led the breakaway from Britain understood the need to be both. It's why the right to bear arms is in the Constitution: so the people will always have the means of viable rebellion."

Elisabeth nods in agreement. "Yeah… see, now that is where we're going to hit the brick wall," Elisabeth tells Helena quietly, looking at Cat too. "Saving the world from Volken? Assuming we could prove we did it and why, that would almost definitely get us off in any court of law for whatever actions we took. We saved everyone. What we did against Arthur? A good defense attorney might still be able to make that argument because of the information that's already come out, but that case would not in any way be a sure thing in a jury."

"Attacking Moab? That would assuredly not be something we got off on. You wanna move on Humanis First? That right there is going to be something that in the minds of the majority of people crosses the line from altruistic vigilantism to militia cult. Which is why I bring it up now. It doesn't matter what you think the rule should be, what you have to look at here is what the majority perspective is… and how best to spin it."

She takes a swallow of her coffee. "Look…. you asked me to step up, and that's what I'm trying to do here. I'm asking these questions and playing devil's advocate a bit here to make you think about what we want from here. Not to make you decide one way or the other right this second. I'm suggesting that we need to consider if we want to continue on the present course or alter it. We've already changed the future… it's a blank slate. What do we want to write on it?"

"I'm not talking about aggressively rooting them out." Helena says, expression hard to read behind her shades. "But I don't see why we can't find a way to help people defend themselves against Humanis First. I mean, after all, if I'm going to worry about our reputation, HomeSec should actually live up to theirs and take care of them." Helena shrugs. "I can sleep on it." Sh leaves it at that.

Elisabeth nods easily, drinking her coffee companionably with the women. Sleeping on it is all she asked for.

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