Somebody Else's Business


cat_icon.gif victor_icon.gif

Scene Title Somebody Else's Business
Synopsis It's all about Sylar
Date February 19, 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.

The phone call which truncated her talk with Stella ends, and Cat puts the device away, then turns attention back to this particular Thursday morning's business. Nine-thirty a. m., and here she is, about to knock on the door of the two bedroom unit she put Victor in. Like the others, it has the basics in appliances and furniture, the beds are kept made, there's food that won't expire in kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. It even has washer and dryer. The whole thing is approximately the standard size of a middle-income apartment in Nuked York City.

Standing there outside that door, Cat takes a moment to reflect on her own dealings with grief, so recent. It's all fresh for her, the memory. Even if it had been fifty years, it'd still be viewable like it was happening right in front of her. But within a few moments, she puts those recollections aside and raises her hand.

The knock comes as three impacts on the door. Not loud enough to constitute banging, but loud enough to be heard.

"C'min" calls Vic's voice. He's sitting on the (made) bed, elbows on knees, staring at the wall. Never took off his clothes from last night. Didn't bathe. He's not disgusting, but he feels a little so. Sometimes a guy just feels like he needs a shower. And to brush his teeth. But he hasn't cracked open a cabinet or anything. Hasn't done anything more intrusive than use the toilet and sleep on the bed.

The door is opened with her keycard, and she steps through it. Next comes the sound of the door closing behind her, and feet crossing the carpeted floor. Cat makes her way through the place, arriving within a minute at the doorway of the bedroom where he sits. She, looking rather different than she had the night before on Staten Island, leans her left shoulder to the doorframe. "Morning, Victor." Her eyes rest on him calmly, assessing his state of mind as best it can be through outward appearance.

Vic does the partial headturn to glance at Cat and says, "Good morning." Neutral. He doesn't look like he's distraught or anything. Just kind of pensive while being vaguely bothered. "I'm sorry, but I don't know your name." he adds.

"I wasn't sure if you'd claim the morning was good, Victor," the woman answers in a quiet voice. "Only that you'd agree it was morning. And I'm Cat." Her shoulder remains pressed to the doorframe, the eyes still on him. They, and her face, show a number of things. Grief, loss, understanding, smoldering rage, vengeance…

"I get it," she states in that same voice. "Why you're after Sylar personally. I've had my personal issues with him too. Not so severe as yours, but they exist."

There's a noise. One of those "Mm." noises that accompanies a shrug. "It's a good morning. Yesterday was crappy. Today's better. Has to be." Vic looks more directly at Cat and remains sitting. "So do you have any kind of information that would help me find Sylar? Or are you one of those people protecting him too, like that guy I probably scared the crap out of yesterday." That makes Vic sigh to recall that, and he runs a hand over his hair. "Man I wish I could tell him I didn't mean that…"

"I don't know where he is," Cat replies. "But if I did, I'll tell you I've got no interest in either protecting him, or taking him on directly. I rather like my skull in one piece. If you want to find him, that's your business, and your funeral. If you do find him, better have some kind of plan in mind. Truth is, Victor, you could find him and you'd never know you had, until he was slicing through your skull. I'm fairly certain he'd love to possess your impressive speed. And it is impressive, truly." She pauses there. "As for the guy you drove into a mailbox, I know him. I'll pass along the message."

Vic's expression is rather stony as he's 'warned' about Sylar. Again. "Yeah. I keep hearing this, about how Sylar's this. How Sylar can do that to you. How bad he is. How dangerous. You know what? Bullshit." It's the first thing like a curseword he's uttered in anyone's presence in weeks. Remarkable really. "I mean I'm sure he's dangerous, but you know WHY that's bullshit? Because he's only out there because somebody's hiding him. Because somebody's helping him. He's only free right now because somebody wants him to be. Whoever's helping him and hiding him, they're the dangerous ones. Not him. Because even when eventually Sylar gets killed or locked up those other people will be out there hiding other bad people, ruining other lives. And your friend, Mailbox Man? If he's one of those people hiding Sylar? He's one of those people I'm talking about. And you can tell him that for me too." Beat. "…and if he was telling me the truth I'm sorry."

Her features don't shift in the slightest as she listens to him speak. Cat just watches him. Oh, it would be so easy to burst his bubble and tell him what she knows, that his other sister was attacked by Sylar and let go. That she herself stitched up the nasty wound the event left in her forehead, and how she seems to value having the scar it left her with. That Gillian loves Sylar, despite their sister's murder, and if she could, would probably be protecting him. But she won't. That's Gillian's story to tell him, or not.

But she does speak, that same even toned and quiet voice. "You'll do what you feel you have to, Victor. I don't know if Mailbox Man knows where Sylar is, or if he doesn't. We haven't discussed him. There are worse things in the world than Gabriel Gray."

One less thing worse than Sylar in the world, Cat thinks to herself, after Sergei forced Kazimir out of that body and Abby healed him into oblivion, but that's not a tale she'll be sharing today.

The day of reckoning with Gillian is yet to come. But come eventually it must.

"Yeah well, that's somebody else's business right now, isn't it?" asks Vic rhetorically, looking away from Cat again and sighing. "I'm alone in this." he says, as if to himself. And after a second nodding about it as if in agreement.

"Somebody else's business," Cat echoes dryly. It must be nice to think so. "It's your affair if you're registered or not, Victor. If you are, then I suggest caution. I'd not put it past Federal agencies to round the Evolved up and stick them into concentration camps once they've got most of them identified, located, and cataloged, rather like the Nazis did after they first made all the Jewish persons they could find, or label as Jewish, in Germany wear yellow stars. After they confiscated all their property."

She shifts to lean against the other side of the doorframe, features solemn and serious. "And if you aren't registered, be careful who you let see you use that phenomenal speed. Those tests are coming, within the next few months they'll probably start grabbing people at random and using it."

"I'm registered." answers Vic dully. Like it doesn't matter. "I couldn't compete in the athletic programs at my school. In high school. Or university, when I went. Heh. Who'd allow me on a team? Really." He frames his face with both hands and makes a pushing gesture away from himself. "You know, I've heard those arguments. About how they're all gearing up to throw us in prison camps and have us euthanized and everything and…if they're gonna do that they're just gonna do that. But they're not gonna do that, because they're us." He starts to speak with that half-laughing voice one uses to make a point that should be ridiculously obvious, "What're they gonna lock up their own families? Their own kids? Moms and dads and cousins?" shaking his head, "Maybe some people at first. Definitely a lot that don't deserve it. I mean, people that don't deserve it go to jail all the time for crimes they didn't do. Because cops get lazy or make mistakes. But it can't last. And seriously? If anybody needs to be at the head of the line for prison camps, it's our boy Sylar."

She can't empathize with him much on the athletic score, with her talent not being of that physical nature. But she does know the tremendous advantage she had in academics at Yale, taking two undergrad degree programs and then law school, never needing to spend time cramming for exams after the full bore of her DNA kicked in. And how so few could compete with her for most mental jobs. If she wanted to be a linguist, well, within a few years she could conceivably know any human language she can find books on. Medical doctor? She's already got Grey's Anatomy in her brain. From there it would just be a matter of practicing the surgical skills, to perform them and remember firsthand how carefully things needed to be done. Dexterity isn't a problem, in Catbrain anyone who can play guitar has the touch to perform delicate operations.

All that thought process leaves her silent for some moments as she regards the man. She isn't going to debate him. He can't be swayed, and isn't entirely wrong. Sylar should only stay in a prison camp for the length of time it takes to strap him on a gurney and use the potassium chloride. If it got that far. Taking him into custody probably requires a sniper blowing his head off, something he can't see coming.

Really, there's only one practical course she can pursue. "Do you have a place to stay, Victor? An income to live on?"

"Yeah. I take care of myself. Got a roommate, make ends meet. Work odd jobs." It seems this is becoming Victor's confession time. "College dropouts don't make a lot of money. But whatever." This whole Ahab's Quest for Sylar has all but consumed his life in many ways.

"Then you won't be staying around here, I imagine, much longer. I value my privacy, I don't call attention to my resources much. The owner of this place has eccentricities, likes to offer temp lodgings to people on a case by case basis. A musician type, you know how they can be. Links between that person and me, between me and this place, are obscured. I have to hope you'll respect that desire for privacy and not speak about this place."

"Good luck in your life, Victor. I hope it's a long one, with your skull unruined. You're one of the decent men in the world."

As she becomes silent again, Cat's thoughts have moved on to vengeance and the cost of it. There are two things she needs to do soon. Contact Gillian to tell this story, and find Eileen Ruskin to discuss Ethan and vengeance.

"Yeah, I'm about ready to get out of here." agrees Vic, getting to his feet. He closes the distance between himself and this lady briefly and extends a hand to her. "Thank you for the shelter. Whoever you are. I hope you really are what you seem to be, but I kinda don't know if anybody is anymore except myself. I won't be bothering you."

Her own right hand comes out to shake his once and release. Smooth skin, warm, soft, except for the calluses at fingertips. Playing guitar leaves evidence. Her grip isn't limp like some women have. She moves from the doorframe while doing so to let him pass, and replies. "I'm just Cat, and you're welcome."

"Thanks again, Cat." Vic says, swallowing and giving her a brief nod. He passes her and lets himself out of the room, but once he's hit the hallway, he's gone.

February 19th: Woodstock
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