Stranger In The Sky


f_cat_icon.gif elle_icon.gif

Scene Title Stranger In The Sky
Synopsis Though not very helpful in the way of giving useful answers, Cat takes Elle for an aerial tour of the city. Part of it, at least.
Date May 9, 2019

Village Renaissance Building - Rooftop

Village Renaissance is the haunt Elle has chosen to approach. The frequency of her visits to any place the time travelers might congregate has dwindled, since there's never much to do and not much people will say to her, though hanging around Django always provides mild amusement. It's— not a place she'd choose to go to in pursuit of happyfuntimes, since there's plenty of that around the city; rather, it's information that's been tickling her mind lately. The want of it.

After visiting with Elisabeth yesterday, she's not feeling really inclined to go banging on any more doors. Cat had thus been a perfect target to approach; if there's a chance that the doctor is up on the roof, then Elle will instigate a chat that way. If not, then she'll just hang around for a few minutes, appreciating the view, and then head back down. Less danger of making it look like she's desperate for conversation or something silly and untrue.

That's just what she does now, the hum of the elevator dropping away behind the agent as she steps into the fresh, early evening air. The sounds of passing traffic can be heard far below, but it's the presence of any other human being she scans around for now, the outdoorsy silence heavy around her.

The roof's where Cat is found, sitting in a comfortable chair near the edge where she can look out across the city's skyline and Unity National Park as well as the street below, reveling how this particular corner of it has returned to a semblance of what it had once been, a Bohemian kind of area. She has her red Fender Strat in hand, plugged into an amp, but her fingers are currently still.

The play area for Cameron Harrison is still present as is the dining and cooking area near the elevator. A helicopter is on the pad in that far corner, resting idle in the late day sun.

The woman herself is clad in casual clothing, shorts and a t-shirt from Yale. Her head turns toward the arriving electric person for a moment to confirm the identity, then she looks back out over the scenery. "Good evening," Cat offers with a muted smile. Words beyond that are left to the visitor's option.

Just the two of them again, isn't it. Nobody else around. Elle approaches the chair where Cat's sitting with hands partly shoved into the pockets of her slacks, looking trim herself in an azure blouse with three-quarter sleeves, hair loose around her shoulders. For the duration of her stopover here, at least, it seems like she's forgone her habit of wearing obscenely high heels.

"Didn't know you played," is the simple observation she uses as a greeting, raising an eyebrow at the instrument in the other woman's lap. The idea had certainly never occurred to Elle, the professionally got-up way she usually sees Cat. She halts when she's a comfortably talking distance away, upturning her forearm to fix something minor on her sleeve as she watches.

"Whenever the chance finds me," Cat replies with a chuckle, eyes turning toward Elle again as fingers move over the strings and frets to play out a riff of a classic tune. It's a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner in the style of Jimi Hendrix, and she's very good with the instrument. "Music's my first and best passion. It's what I came to New York for, all those years ago. Other interests were things I found and which found me, they took over larger parts of my life than I expected." There's a wistfulness in her voice on saying that, a hint of traveling paths of memory back to younger days before the murder which started her on this path and the second murder which drew her again into a larger role; taking up Helena Dean's mantle and throwing herself into a more publicly prominent role. In both cases, there remains lingering guilt over having failed to save people close to her.

Elle listens stoically, the expression on her face not changing much, though she does tilt her head to one side. "Uh-huh. Yeah, it's just something I wouldn't have seen you doing," she answers honestly but without much enthusiasm, strands of blonde hair ruffled by wind as they lie on either side of her chest. Her unaffectedness has quite a lot to do with the fact that she hasn't had much exposure to pop culture. At all. Can you tell?

"Hey, listen. I came here to talk to you — to ask you — about what's going on with the whole time mess." Will Cat even talk to her about something like that? That's something the electrokinetic tries to gauge as she sizes her up, eyes narrowing critically. More likely than someone like Helena would, she decides, but the fact remains that circumstances have been the only thing keeping the dividing line between Phoenix and Company representatives from glowing a bright red.

"Departure time isn't far off," Cat shares quietly. "The plan is still forming, there are details to sort out. We'll make contact when the time comes." She's calm about it, although solemn. It entails so many things, not small among them the possibility of Arthur's opposition. That's a facet she won't speak of. There is also the knowledge of sending Helena and others among that group back to repeat their deaths at Columbia or somewhere else.

Knowing it could all turn out different, they might not necessarily become martyrs doesn't take away the image she once saw in a painting of Helena dead from rebar piercing and the memory of her dying with rebar in her body. That piece of metal could be out there to find her still, the only question being where and when.

But beyond that is confidence, the same quiet optimism Cat always exudes about operational matters.

It actually isn't the exact departure time that Elle's interested in anymore so much as how, now that she's fairly confident she has a way back home on her own. In general, there's a lot of questions she wants to ask about it, most of them vague enough to be hard to figure out how to phrase. "When the time comes," she repeats, her gaze on Cat's face distant and dark. Dying sunlight beats down on her small figure. "So you guys did find a time traveler after all. Someone just you guys know, or did you look him up in the phonebook of special people?"

"It's not in the phone book," Cat offers. "He's a person we were told about." She seems entirely unconcerned about the subject, much like she shows no evidence of concern about Elle's post-return actions. And that may well be the extent of what she's willing to share, for at this point she smoothly shifts topics and leads with a question of her own, pleasantly asked. "Have you been sightseeing, Elle?"

Bwuh. The sudden jump in topics makes Elle stand still for a moment without saying anything. As she straightens in skepticism, a line of of electricity buzzes across the first joint of her fingertip — mercifully on the hand behind her back, that Cat can't see, straightening the bottom of her shirt. It's easy to register that she's already pushed Cat to the limit of things the doctor is willing to tell, a boundary that's annoyingly close to the start of any other question she might ask — and what's more annoying is that she can't do anything about it. That is, not if she doesn't want to smack down the beehive by killing one bee.

She decides to just go with it, though her lips press together in judgment before she speaks. "Not really," she responds, shifting her weight to her other foot as she clasps her wrist in front of her. Empty-handed. "I've been getting around — and it's nice, having the freedom to walk around and do whatever I want." Implying that it's a freedom she doesn't have at home. "But you know, I do live here. Ten years ago. I'm not new."

"Some things are new," Cat replies with a nod, "but a good many are the same. Restoration and renewal doesn't mean complete replacement, after all." She rises, slipping the guitar from her shoulders and placing it on a nearby stand. Eyes travel to the helicopter, then back to the visitor. "The view's good from up above, in that," she adds as if offering a ride in it.

Yeah, it is kind of weird to see the Gotham of the real world so shiny and green and happy. A far larger part of it than normal, anyway. "Are you offering me-?" she states in surprise as Cat puts away her guitar, her gaze also flicking to the helicopter and back. This she wasn't expecting.

"Yes," Cat replies with a spreading grin. Maybe she's being nice to hopefully sway Elle's opinions. Maybe she just wants to fly it right now and Elle happens to be in the right place to ride along. It could be both. Or it could be Cat just doing a spontaneous kindness. A few steps are taken in the direction of the rotary-wing aircraft, then she looks back toward Mademoiselle Electrique.

"Are you coming?"

Elle actually shakes her head (as thought to clear it) in a quick and minute movement, eyebrows lifted, before she does indeed pick up her feet to follow Cat to the aircraft. It's doubtful that she'll be swayed in any serious capacity by the offer of a single helicopter ride, but if it's out there, then hey, she'll take it. "When'd you learn how to fly it?" she calls out once she's finished hurrying to play catch-up, eyes flickering up to the aircraft's body as she approaches it, actually looking impressed to some degree.

On reaching the craft she sets about performing a number of pre-flight checks without consulting any kind of list, Cat seems to just know all the things to be looked over. The grin returns as she gives answer to that query. "I learned to pilot planes and helicopters about eight years ago. I read the books about the mechanical operations of both types, then got some hands-on training to have the feel of what it's like to operate the machines. It's useful for travel wherever I need to go. Get in, the passenger door's unlocked."

Once inside in the pilot seat she sets about turning on various features, and soon rotors begin to turn above and behind. Communications happen, she doesn't need the benefit of the headsets available. Outside noise is dampened so as not to fill the craft's interior.

But that seems to imply that the bulk of Cat's knowledge comes from reading those books. Training, second. Elle's brows remain arched all the way as she hoists herself up and closes the door behind her, sliding into the passenger seat just as Cat is competently fiddling away beside her with whatever needs to be checked out among the craft's mechanics. It's pretty clear that she herself has never been in a helicopter before.

"Useful, aren't you. You practice law, you play the guitar, you can — fly a 'copter. Anything else totally off-the-wall you can do?" She flicks her eyes upwards over the windows and then the interior of the aircraft, closing her mouth into a thoughtful line and swallowing once.

"I speak, read, and write thirty languages," Cat calmly shares, "among other things." She hasn't said what, if any, her Evolved ability is but after making such claims and the things she's demonstrated it's not a large guess to figure out. "I've an active mind, and like to keep it occupied. Often I'll fill a quiet moment by picking up a book."

Clearance is received, her flightplan filed, and with use of the controls her craft lifts easily from the roof. It steadily rises to a height which avoids power lines and begins to move forward.

Jeeebus. Elle gives Cat a lengthy sideways glance, brows distinctly furrowed. "It's nice that you have the time," she says shortly, moving to settle against the back of her seat as best as she can. Time, or something else.

The lifting off of the copter is sufficiently distracting enough to make whatever she was about to say drop, and indeed, take away her breath. Lit by the last of sunlight melting into darkness, the skyline of the city fills the windows, one of those gleams of light reflecting in Elle's eye. As the scene spreads before them and hundreds of feet of distance simultaneously fall away into emptiness below, her eyes widen and her mouth presses together more tightly, a change in facial expression which may be a cause for satisfaction on Cat's part.

Turns are made by banking as gently as possible, the speed kept low to maximize time spent crossing the city below them, but soon enough they're over the geographic center where the whole thing can be taken in through looking in the appropriate directions with the city lights coming on. A knowing smile lights Cat's features as she spots the reaction. She remembers so very well how it was to see it from the air at this speed the first time.

"I'm just a fast learner," she shares. "Haven't had to perceive anything twice in nearly seventeen years."

That's apprehensiveness in Elle's stance, that is. Being in something like this is quite different from the aircrafts she's used to (planes, mostly). But also, albeit slowly, enjoyment creeps over her features. She spares only another single glance for Cat before directing her eyes straight ahead again, immersed by the panorama outside the window.

"Enhanced memory. That's your power?" she questions, following the progress of several people moving down the sidewalk in the opposite direction before they fall out of view.

"It is," she confirms. The craft continues on its journey, now moving toward the water and monuments across it on islands. Cat approaches the Statue Of Liberty as closely as law and flight rules allow so a close-up view can be had and hovers at the edge of that range, allowing time to take in the majesty of it.

"Reading is sometimes enough, like with languages. Books say what words mean, how to spell them, and pronounciation, it doesn't take much practice to speak correctly and writing is purely about recreating from memory anyway. But some things are different. Like this. Or driving a car. Reading alone doesn't cover all of it."

"Then there are the memories I don't want," she jokes. "If I see a really bad movie I can't ever get it out of my brain."

"I knew another person with enhanced memory," Elle shares, visibly pausing as the memories of that experience return to her. "His name was Matt." The explanation of Cat's power is an interesting one, contrasted against what she already knows about the power in general, and she actively listens as it's given. She continues looking through her part of the window at the approaching landmark as Cat brings the copter near, gazing through the air at the statue's distant face as they hover. One corner of her mouth quirks upwards, wryly. "I don't think I'd want to ever have that power. There's some things I'd like to forget. Bad movies are just one thing."

There are memories she too would like not to have, extending beyond unpleasant cinema experiences. Cat won't speak of them, though one might surmise where her thoughts are by the wistfulness that comes over her features and the slow nod given in reply. "That's one of the reasons for having an active mind and wanting to learn as much as possible. To bury the less pleasant in sheer quantity and make it less likely to see them surface."

A short time more is spent near the statue, Cat moving the aircraft to hover at all four sides in turn for the full 360 degree viewing, then she moves on. Ellis Island is checked out next.

A slight smirk crawls onto Elle's face. "I wouldn't focus so much on cramming, if I were you. You can die from brain overload." She's seen it happen. Stood over the foot of Matt's bed, as it happened. She'd sworn she wouldn't let anything happen to him, but it was a promise she hadn't been able to keep.

As the Statue of Liberty vanishes to be replaced by Ellis Island, she sits up a little, leaning forward thoughtfully over her crossed legs. In truth, maybe it's better that she doesn't have Cat's power. Maybe in her lifetime, she'll forget some of the things she's seen just this week.

Maybe not.

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