cat_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Sparingly
Synopsis Cat meets with Eileen to discuss her findings at Coyote Sands, Avi Epstein, the Institute and the possibility of a network leak.
Date July 22, 2010

North Cove Marina

North Cove Marina is located on the northern end of Battery Park City on the southern tip of Manhattan. The marina itself services yachts and sailing vessels that ply the waters around Manhattan and Staten Island. Unlike many of the other privately owned Marinas, the North Cove Marina sells docking to any and all paying clientelle, ranging from cigarette boats to sailing ships that make ferrying runs into Staten Island to the south. Rumors about suggest that the marina's ownership is tied to the Linderman Group.

Mega yachts can dock stern to along the north and south walls of North Cove. Closer to the east wall is space for smaller yachts. There are 12 slips which can accommodate yachts of 100 feet and greater and the depth of the marina is 18 feet in most locations and greater near the breakwall.

Directly behind North Cove is the World Financial Center. This stunning marble and glass office complex was designed by Cesar Pelli. It is home to the world headquarters of American Express, Merrill Lynch, Dow Jones and Deloitte & Touche. Next door is the New York Mercantile Exchange. And Goldman Sachs is building their new world headquarters across the street.

Sun nearly at the highest point in the sky, with only a smattering of clouds, on a twenty-nine degree day means hour thirteen is ending soon. That yellow orb beats down through the shroud of airborne water vapor on a wide collection of boats around the marina. They come in all sizes and descriptions short of vessels which would traverse the Atlantic.

Only one of these boats holds Cat Chesterfield, a motorized model less than three years old she uses to make crossings to and from Staten Island when needed. She has her balalaika in hand, skin protected versus solar radiation by a wide brimmed hat and comfortable light clothing. Fingers cause sound to emerge from the instrument as she waits sans electronic communication devices for Eileen to arrive. Given that situation, she keeps her eyes open for the presence of birds nearby.

Birds and the waterfront go hand-in-hand, or wing-in-wing. Gull shit covers the North Cove Marina's docks, where they convene in large flocks to squabble over discarded scraps and buckets of spoilt chum thrown overboard by the fishermen who tie up their boats here but can't be bothered to dispose of their leftover bait in a way that won't attract the local wildlife.

It's around the time they start taking a keen interest in Catherine's boat that a young woman in a black dress, matching flats and a knit shawl to protect her bare shoulders from the summer sun steps out onto the pier, her windswept hair blowing freely about a pale, austere face.

"Good afternoon, Eileen," Cat quietly offers to the avians when they take interest in her watercraft. Fingers which were strumming out a balalaika version of Back In The USSR continue, though the quiet singing she'd been engaged in stops. She doesn't look around for the woman herself, perhaps believing she may have decided to communicate from a distance by this means instead of face to face.

Eileen's voice fills Catherine's ears instead of her head. "Bonjour," she returns. "«Would you mind if we conducted this conversation in French? The subject matter is sensitive to me, and I'm in need of practice.»" The sound of her footsteps halts a few meters away from her boat, a spindly shadow cast across its bow.

Sunlight glances off the silver rings on her slim fingers, which are curled around the grip of a lightweight white cane. "«I would also appreciate if you could speak slowly.»"

"En francais, certainment," dit Catherine. "Bonjour a vous aussi, Eileen." The words are slowly spoken, well enunciated, though tinged with the telltale sound of a woman who doesn't speak that tongue natively. Eyes shift to the source of the voice, studying her for surety of health recovered since the meeting with Rupert or lack thereof. "Merci beaucoup pour venir ici."

"«It is nothing.»" It's difficult to determine whether or not a fine dusting of makeup is responsible for the rouge tinge that colours Eileen's cheeks, but there's no handkerchief pressed to her mouth today. "«What do you want to know?»"

"«Whatever you would decide to share,»" Cat replies. A mental decision is made that Eileen's health has improved, whether or not she notices evidence of lacking sight is an open matter. "«A few weeks ago I visited a place in the Arizona desert related to an earlier incarnation of Project Icarus, and there encountered Avi Epstein. He said the Institute's Doctor Broome is actually Simon Brum…»" She pronounces the name in a way which rhymes with rum. "«… the son of Otto Brum, who'd been tied to an incarnation of the same project during the 1940s overseas. Epstein claimed he'd told you and Jensen, it sounded as though there were more he didn't share.»"

Silence settles for a stretch of heartbeats, the panmnesiac perhaps waiting for Eileen to step into the watercraft before continuing whether or not she does. "«Some pieces of documentary film made by Chandra Suresh were also found there, containing a theory and math equations among other things. That's what I wanted to discuss with Gabriel a few weeks ago when I asked you to arrange a meeting.»"

Eileen appears content to remain on dry land, at least for the time being. A gull alights on a wooden post to her left, rumpling its sooty feathers. "«Epstein is a reliable source of information,»" she says. "«I have no reason to believe that he would intentionally mislead us where Jensen is concerned, but we prefer to use him sparingly. For his own protection.»"

"«Epstein was with Kershner, aboard the carrier, he was present when you spoke with Noriko Amagi. Jensen gave him what looked to be a reenactment of Michael Corleone's kiss of death given to his brother Fredo in the Godfather.»" A hand gesture is made, unspoken invitation for Eileen to enter the boat. "«Epstein didn't say more than what I've already relayed regarding the Brums and Icarus, and I didn't ask, preferring instead to ask you or Jensen directly.»" There are a few more beats of silence before she presses on with her portion of sharing.

"«Coyote Sands was the site of a relocation center for people with extrahuman abilities. It's not known when it opened, but it was operating in 1961. Among the internees there, used as subjects for research, were Angela Shaw, Alice Shaw, Charles Deveaux, Robert Bishop, and Daniel Linderman. Events at the center eventually led to a massacre, the research victims present being shot dead by U. S. soldiers guarding the camp. Alice Shaw didn't survive, but the other four I named did. They weren't present, having used their abilities to slip away. Agent Epstein was surprised to learn children had been among the people kept there.»"

Eileen's silence can probably be attributed to the additional amount of time it takes for her to translate what Catherine is saying into English before she can even begin to process it. It goes the other way, too. She raises one hand, trailing her knuckles down the length of the gull's oily back, and is rewarded with a fond nip that catches the tips of her fingers in its beak.

It's hungry, but she has nothing for it. "«His clearance level is not as high as I would sometimes like,»" she says. "«If it was, I suspect he'd do as Jensen has and cut ties. We don't know much more than you do, Catherine, and neither does he. You would have my gratitude if you made an effort not to bring Epstein's name up in conversation with anyone else. By providing us with information about the Institute, he's endangering not only his own life, but the lives of his family as well. It's important that his involvement with our network remains a secret.


Silence is held in listening to Eileen's reply and request, then for some seconds afterward, before Cat solemnly assures "«Discretion is assured. The others present at Coyote Sands that day are few in number, and they're not likely to disseminate any of this farther than they must. Richard Cardinal, Veronica Sawyer, Robert Bishop, Angela Petrelli, Avi Epstein, and another senior Company official. There've been a few senior members of the Ferry I spoke with regarding that trip, I've no wish for there to be even the appearance of secret meetings with Company leaders. Suspicions do enough damage simply by existing, whether true or not. Epstein's name will not be mentioned to anyone not already in the loop.»"

There's more, perhaps to come after a pause during which she picks up and holds out a few scraps of bread, looking for a place to deposit them where the gull can feed.

"«Chandra Suresh discovered people with SLC give off a form of EM radiation which gets stronger when near each other. He had an equation on a blackboard and a diagram for making a compass. I made one, which doesn't work, yet. Gabriel's studying the device to see if he can solve the issue. Sadly, the Institute already has such compasses. Some of their agents have been seen with them, and the electromagnetic emissions are real. Jonas Regan of the Garden is able to see them.»"

The gull hefts itself up onto the side of Catherine's boat and snaps greedily at the bread while she's still holding it. It at least has the manners not to draw blood, which may or may not have something to do with the reproachful sound Eileen makes at the back of her throat.

"«It would explain what happened at the Thompson commune,»" she says at length, "«and perhaps the Armory as well, though there's not much we can do except be mindful about how many of us are in one place at any given time.»"

Fingers release the bread swiftly when the beak closes on it, aiding in Cat's avoidance of drawn blood. "«Aside from my efforts to make one of the devices, and perhaps more from there, with the goal of figuring out some way to block their effectiveness. Experiments can be conducted, for example, with Jonas to gauge the distance where increased emissions start and stop, along with figuring out what it takes to contain the emissions. Mass production, use of compasses to augment and replace blood testing can't be far off.»"

As she continues speaking in that same slow manner, the gull's activity is watched. "«Time's getting short on the children being kept at Gun Hill. Linderman's people passed along word they won't be able to hold off Social Services much longer, Eric called to tell me that. We've got Toby to handle Gun Hill and Eric to retake the Lighthouse, whatever other arrangements we need can be raised at the Council meeting. But the move needs to happen sooner than later.»"

"«I trust you to do whatever it is that needs to be done.»" And presumably to make Eileen aware of the results of any experiments Cat might conduct. "«I want to be able to use Pollepel Island as a fallback point in the event that the visions come to pass, but evacuating our people to a central location won't do us any good if the Institute has a way of tracking our movements en masse. Make that a priority. As for the Lighthouse—

"«They'd have to be very bold to seize the children unless Brian loses Linderman's support. Broome could have taken them at any time but he chose to isolate Gillian instead. Their safety is assured, for the time being.»"

She nods agreement. "«True enough. Broome didn't need any of the children for his designs,»" Cat mutters darkly, "«he only needed Gillian and Joseph for what happened on June 10. And since Gillian's still held, there's got to be more planned for her.»" This topic causes features to shift some from her customary demeanor. There's simmering murder in her eyes.

"«I've also spoken with Hana about our alleged leak. She doesn't recall any communication such as Rupert claimed Rebel intercepted in December, but acknowledges it might have happened. Her counsel is to raise it when we meet, and I concur. More heads to consider a solution, ways to search out a leak without turning the whole network against each other. All I've got is using bits of individual disinformation to see what happens, an approach which she finds faulty. We have to find resolution, and do so in a convincing manner. Leaks don't have to be real; the simple possibility of one does damage by itself.»"

"«If a leak existed,»" Eileen concedes, "«then Liette Fournier wouldn't still be with her biological parents. She's too valuable of an asset for the Institute to lose. Unfortunately, even if we are able to prove this beyond any reasonable doubt, it won't do much for our reputation. Assuming that the transmission was a deliberate act of sabotage, we should be prepared for the situation to escalate.»"

She turns her shoulder away from the boat, and a moment later the gull is taking flight, wing tips skimming across the water's glittering surface. "«We'll see each other again at the meeting tomorrow,»" she says by way of farewell. "«If my sources provide me with something new, you'll be among the first to know.»"

"Au revoir," Cat offers in reply. No further words are used, she remains seated in the boat which itself stays tied to the pier for some minutes after the Mistress of Birds has departed.

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