So About Your Dad...


bf_cassandra_icon.gif elisabeth2_icon.gif

Scene Title So About Your Dad…
Synopsis Surprises on all fronts.
Date May 13, 2019

Cassandra's Apartment

Usually when Elisabeth stops by, it's with Aurora in tow and the three of them do something fun. Today… doesn't look like one of those days as Cassandra opens the door and allows the audiokinetic entry. Liz has the vaguely tight 'we need to talk' look about her today. It's a look that Cassie sees less and less these days, now that they're here and settling in. But she's been friends with Elisabeth long enough to pick up on the nuances of mood.

Giving the younger woman a hug as she enters, Elisabeth tries for a small smile. "Sorry for the cloak and dagger shit," she apologizes. "I just… learned a few things that I think you should know before the ball starts rolling, kiddo." The tote bag over her shoulder comes off and is set next to the table. "I doubt there's going to be an easy way to have this conversation," she reluctantly adds, "so… you should maybe sit."

“Its okay.” Liz is, of course, allowed entry into Cassandra’s apartment. It’s a bit cluttered, like she decided to take a break from anything more than minimal house cleaning for a couple of days, but it’s not as bad as it was in the dimensions before here. “Really. It’s just that my life’s been full of not-so-easy conversations over the past few days.” There’s not much elaboration on that just yet, Cassandra leading the way to the living room. There’s a quick stop in the kitchen to fill a mug of black coffee for herself and one for Elisabeth if its wanted, passing it off and re-taking her spot on the couch. The fireplace has been cleaned out and replaced with a potted Rosemary plant with tiny lavender blooms, the scent filling the room if a passerby brushes too close.

Minou the kitten is lounging bonelessly on the couch where Cassandra sits, allowing ease of petting and, after a fortifying sip and a few pets between Minou’s ears, she looks to Elisabeth, a resigned expression evident. “I know I can trust you, Liz, through thick and thin. Hell, we’ve gone through thick and thin and none more times than I care to remember with you and Rory. So when you come to me with something you think I need to know, I probably need to know it.” She pats the couch next to her, inviting the audiokinetic to sit. “C’mon. Let’s get it out. One word at a time.” Like ripping off a bandaid.

Taking the coffee, Liz settles into a seat with a sigh. When they were in Bright, Cassandra had been young and bright-eyed and idealistic… and Elisabeth was always careful to keep from bursting that bubble when she could be. It wasn't until the younger woman went to work at Pinehearst that she really allowed herself to give up on protecting Cassandra. So, as has become her wont, she doesn't sugarcoat it.

"Remember the crazy trip out to the ruins of Midtown that I told you I was taking? Well… we went. We saw. It was just as fucking crazy as I expected." Elisabeth's tone is dry — because when has anything with her life been simple and clear-cut in the time Cassie's known her? "I have to go to Liberty Island to see Alfonse Baumann," she tells Cassie quietly. "He was one of Arthur's agents in the Company. Codenamed and all. And he may have answers on this situation with the thing that came through the bridge with us. Or on some of the projects we're trying to find information on."

Band-aid ripped.

Coffee is held gently in two hands between crossed legs, steady, where it won’t be knocked over or spilled while Cassandra listens. She did remember the trip to Midtown. She spent the evening babysitting Aurora with the family bodyguard somewhere in the orbit of the shared apartment at Raytech’s home base, watching Disney movies and replaying a few of her own. The statement comes in two chunks. The first causes a jolt of confusion and wariness while the second has color draining from Cassandra’s face entirely.

She takes another sip of her coffee, wishing that she had added a spike of whisky to it to help steady her nerves. “W…when I got here, they said my father had gone to prison.” That was certainly known - Cassandra had shared that little tidbit about her family here with Elisabeth almost the instant she knew it. It was a good way to separate what was then with what was now, and she had been really, really good. “They told me he was in jail but wouldn’t give me a reason or a location.” Perhaps for good reason. Can’t have a psychic daughter prying into what happened in the past with an unfounded delusion about rescuing her put-upon old man, even if it really wasn’t him.

Not that Cassie would do that, of course, but the people who were making these decisions didn’t know that.

“Go talk to him. If he’s anything like the father I grew up with, he’s very good at keeping secrets. He was a terror at Uno, and you didn’t want to sit down with him and play poker for anything more than pennies.” She smiles faintly for a second before speaking again. “I may have some information on those older projects and events, too. From a different source.” She pauses for a moment. “A forgetful primary source or two. You remember Lucille, right? That lady with Wolfhound that you sent to me to help out using my ability? She had a bunch of items. Pennies, from this man named Caspar, full of memories of other people he ripped out of them. Kind of like what I can do with my own memory except a lot more intrusive.” Elisabeth may already know this, or may have heard of Caspar and his pennies. She doesn’t really know and hasn’t asked, but the things she’s seen…

There’s got to be /something/ there important, even though she doesn’t know what.

"Oh fuck," Elisabeth breathes out. "How many pennies are we talking here, Cass?" She holds up the one that is embedded into the small square of metal that she still wears from Cassie's own world, the one the postcog retrieved Bright Elisabeth's memories from. "It's the same guy."

“Twenty-seven.” Cassandra says quietly. “Each layered with memories on top of memories. We’re only on the first penny, but I’ve got 3 really…really messed up memories from each, all from this Adam guy.” The way she says the name, it’s apparent she has no clue who he is or his involvement with anything. “He seems to be really, really hard to kill. Must be a regenerator or something from the damage he survived.”

Elisabeth drags both of her hands through her hair and murmurs, "Fuck, fuck, fuck." Blowing out a breath, she says, "Well — it looks like it's time Lu and I had a conversation. Because we're all looking for a way to contact Adam." There's a pause and she says, "To give you the thumbnail version of what you're looking at… Adam Monroe is … I don't even know how to describe him. Jesus and the boogeyman all rolled up in one?" A roll of her blue eyes accompanies this. "I've never been entirely clear on what the fuck is up with Adam, honestly — he pops up here and there in Evo history, literally, and shit goes sideways. At one time or another he has worked for the Company, worked with the Vanguard, worked against the Vanguard, and tried to kill everyone. I don't even know."

Her tone is exasperated, but there's an undertone to it that Cassandra has only really ever heard when it comes to a threat to Aurora or one of the kids — pure, unadulterated rage. "He's the one who took Devon. Experimented on him and tortured him." The Devon that stays with Jared Harrison, whom Elisabeth treats as much like her own as she does Cassandra. "Falling back into the old habits of keeping secrets is going to bite us all in the ass. If you see Lucille before I find her, you tell her I want to see her ASAP. We're not playing this game."

“I’ve got another meeting with her soon, to dig more into the penny. I’ll tell her to get in contact with you because I know that the stuff I’m seeing is way, way beyond what needs to be held close to the chest with Wolfhound or whatever reason she has for investigating this stuff.” Surely Lucille has a reason for wanting to keep this quiet, but whether or not it’s a good reason, hasn’t been adequately explained. $10,000 bought Cassie’s help, but not her loyalty.

"Her reasons are good, I'm sure of that much. She's a good person. I trust her at my back, Cass." And it's high praise indeed. Elisabeth just shakes her head. "I'm not sure any of us realized how far this would intersect. If I'm not here — I have to be out of town for a couple of days, starting tomorrow — then tell her that she needs to talk to Richard. The more information we are all sharing, the better off we're going to be. This can't go down like last time, with everyone playing *by their own rules?* on their own game boards." There's a subtle kind of fear, or perhaps just determination … she's seen this mess play out before, and she's not going to watch it happen again.

“If she decides to not share?” Cassie reaches beneath her shirt to pull out her grandfather’s dog tag, letting it dangle before tucking it back away “She doesn’t know that I can show you what I saw. It’s…pretty rough.” And that almost certainly is an understatement from the postcognitive, Adam being involved and all.

“I don’t know anything about this Adam guy, other than what you told me. He lost a lot, which may explain a few things. He’d married. He had children. And then this one memory of him meeting a woman from his past named Yaeko was taken from him. Still have no clue about that or, really, anything.” Cassandra blows out a breath. “You need me to babysit Rory while you’re away, or will she be okay with your bodyguard? Has she convinced him to let her paint his nails yet?”

Elisabeth laughs quietly. "No, she hasn't. But she shouldn't need anything — she'll stay with her father. It'll be easier when we're living in the same actual house, but his work schedule is nuts right now, so we're holding off on that for a bit." Since Elisabeth doesn't sleep well anyway, they're still trying to find the balance of being together and being apart.

She looks thoughtful at what's being divulged. And then she mmms slowly. "Try," she says quietly. "Lu knows she can trust me. Tell her… I can't have her back if she plays her cards too close. Maybe it will remind her that I'm going to have her back."

Almost every time that Rory and Cassandra get together, one or the other, but usually both, end up with brightly painted nails with little designs pressed in with delicate pokes with toothpicks or paint brushes. Nothing that lasts forever, except for the memories of making them. “Well, Lucille and I have at least two more meetings that I owe her. With the pennies and the sheer amount of stuff packed into them, I could sit with one for a month and still not get everything out of it. So it’s going to be haphazard and time consuming to get anything out of them.” Not to mention uncomfortable, but she doesn’t say that part.

“You be careful on your trip to see Da…um, that man in prison. I hope you get what you’re looking for.”

"I'll be careful," she promises. "I won't be going alone. Kaylee's coming as well." She smiles faintly. "Having some of my partners back is… pretty amazing," she admits. "We all start officially on the 1st." Including Felix Ivanov, a version of whom Cassandra knew well. Elisabeth isn't sure the two have run across one another here. "I won't be seeing Baumann until the end of the month."

Sighing quietly, she sips the coffee that she's been holding. "I want you to be very careful with those pennies. I have no idea if Caspar was capable of booby-trapping memories placed on them or what, but… even if not, some of what you find could well be exceedingly dangerous information to have."

“Well, as far as positives, I am building up a tolerance to the damn things. It’s still like eating an electrified jalapeno and it blasts through like a firehose, but at least I’m not bleeding from the nose anymore.” Cassandra’s a tough girl, it seems. “From what I’ve seen so far with these pennies, I don’t think he had the capability. He just didn’t seem to care. It was just a job. I mean…” Cassandra pets the kitten. “I can’t think of a worse person to handle others’ memories.”

There's worry in Elisabeth's gaze as she studies Cassie. She remembers how hard pulling information from the penny she wears was on the other woman. "Take it easy. If you know it's a marathon instead of a sprint, pace yourself on pulling the memories, okay?" Now she's going to keep on worrying, she can't help it.

"I think you should tell Richard what you know of Adam at this point. But don't break faith with Lu, okay? Talk to her first."

“I will.” Cassandra says softly, reaching to squeeze Elizabeth’s hand across the couch. “To both counts.”

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