The Healer Protocols


abby_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title The Healer Protocols
Synopsis The leader of Phoenix is enlightened as to the rogue healer's new protocols. Blindfolds are suggested, but not in the way that would make many people happy.
Date January 16, 2009

New York Public Library

Once upon a time, the New York Public Library was one of the most important libraries in America. The system, of which this branch was the center, was among the foremost lending libraries /and/ research libraries in the world.

The bomb changed that, as it changed so much else.

By virtue of distance, the library building was not demolished entirely, like so many others north of it; however, the walls on its northern side have been badly damaged, and their stability is suspect. The interior is a shambles, tattered books strewn about the chambers and halls, many shelves pulled over. Some have even been pulled apart; piles of char in some corners suggest some of their pieces, as well as some of the books, have been used to fuel fires for people who sought shelter here in the past.

In the two years since the bomb, the library — despite being one of the icons of New York City — has been left to decay. The wind whistles through shattered windows, broken by either the blast-front or subsequent vandals, carrying dust and debris in with it. Rats, cats, and stray dogs often seek shelter within its walls, especially on cold nights. Between the fear of radiation and the lack of funds, recovery of the library is on indefinite hiatus; this place, too, has been forgotten.

There was an exchange of texts or a phone call or something, but long story short, Abby has asked to speak with Helena, and Hel is of course inclined to oblige. A majority of the comforts that made the library home are gone now, save for enough to facilitate a smaller group of people. Helena's in the kitchen, making the last minute prep on a pot of stew she's going to leave for those staying behind. Cooking helps her think, even if it's the simplest process of cutting vegetables and seasoning the stock.

Passwords are fun, especially when you know them. Because it means you don't end up with a gun to your head. Today, there's no gun to her head. Abby ducks into the library, still unpeeling her toque, gloves, unwinding her scarf. She's keeping her jacket on. "Smells good Helena" Abby calls out when she spots the woman cooking.

"Thanks." she says, over her shoulder. "I hope you don't mind if I chop while you talk. Ever feel like there was too much to do and yet you still had time on your hands that you couldn't realize use to any effect? That's kind of how things are right now. Did you get the call about Monday?"

"Yeah, I got the call. Isabelle's letting me come in late, so I'll be here. I get days like that. I had a day like that the other day. Those days, the apartment is sparkling clean and Pila is the fattest budgie known to man. It still smells good though" Abby's steps are swift, sure and she comes to stand beside the other blonde, stealing a carrot to nibble on.

"You know, I've never actually met Pila?" Helena remarks. "I wonder if Teo will bring her when he moves." She resumes her chopping once the healer's fingers are out of the way. "So what's up?"

"Pila's coming with Al and I, but he's under orders to come once a week and take care of her. Unless he takes her with him." Whats up though, Abby moues her lips out, looking to the chopped up veggies, stealing another veggie to nibble. "Well, Al and I are moving, Jessica showed up at our apartment, in search of phoenix and answers from me that she couldn't get from Elisabeth. Combined with the Vanguard, and who knows what else, we're going to move. Teo's going to the dispensary, and Al and I are going to take up in chinatown, place called Confucius something"

"I know." Helena says. "Elisabeth turned Jessica over to the cops. Which I suppose is better than the options I'd considered. And provided she doesn't try to bail herself out with what little she does know about us." Helena's tone is casual, but she knows where Jessica got the information.

"I know. I was at the station, Niki called and asked for a lawyer, I had to fetch one for her. She.. stuff happened, Jessica came out, Niki knows who she is. Elisabeth sedated her, but it all went wrong and I spent over an hour trying to fix Elisabeth's mistake. Thank god I was there" But that's stuff. "I'm getting the apartment under a fake ID. Isabelle's letting my real mail go to the bar and my registration will go to the bar. But the apartment will be under a new name. If phoenix needs healing, call the number you have for me now. I'm keeping it, since it's the one that people have. But…"

Helena cocks her head, pausing and laying down the knife. "But?" she prompts gently.

"I'm changing how I heal" There's a tic by Abby's eye. 'I had a talk, with a few people, picked thier brains. I'm still going to do, what I do, but now.. If I heal, it comes with a cost. It's no longer free"

Helena is struggling between angry and amused. Which probably settles at bemused. "What are you charging, exactly?" she inquires. "And am I expected to negotiate a price on your services when we face off with Volken?"

"For Phoenix" Abby grins, a little. "Red bull. Transportation home if I need it. The thing, with Volken, nothing. Everyone else, not associated with Phoenix or Ferryman, they owe favors. But I think.. a can of red bull, is fair enough"

Helena lets out a soft 'heh'. "Fair enough." she says amicably, and resumes her chopping, moving onto the next vegetable. "But obviously there's more, yeah?"

'In a way. She came gunning for me Helena, to get to you guys. I know.. that I used to be phoenix and that others treat me like it, like I'm still but.. I know there's a new place, just not where, and I need you, and Teo and the others, to not tell me. I don't want access to the Catabase and.. I need to be cut off Hel" Abby leans against the counter, her lower back flush with the edge. "I don't want to be the downfall of phoenix even more than I already have"

Helena considers. "If we need you to come to us…would you go so far as to let whoever we send for you bring you back blindfolded?"

Abby nods her head. "I'm fine with that. It's not like you'd turn around and dump me in a field Helena. But if needs be, yes, I'm okay with being Blindfolded"

"No," Helena says emphatically. "We wouldn't do that. I just need to know what precautions we have to take. You understand if someone's super critical, it'll be us coming to you instead?"

"Call me at work, or on my phone if someone is, and bring them here. I have someone who can get me across the island if I need to, in less than five minutes and won't ask questions. Red bulls can be put on a tab till there's a four pack, you know, to make it easier on you guys" The healer reaches over, stealing another carrot. "I'm doing this, because.. there are people who are going to treat me, like i'm a commodity, to be used, jump when called, taken at a whim. You guys never did, despite things happening all at once. But, favors… Like wu-long as my bodyguard for a week or so, protection from people… it worked. I won't be able to get that all the time, but.. it's not money, and it;ll.. make my life easier. SCOUT will tricky to figure out what to charge them, probably favors to be called in at a point but.. also, if I don't know where you guys are, when I come to heal, It can't be legally used against me. Aiding and abetting. Covers my butt and it covers yours"

Helena nods, dumping her efforts into the stew pot and reaching for some spice. "That's fair." she says affably. "I appreciate all you've done for us - for me, more than I can say. In a way, you're lucky - you have such faith, and it never so much as cracks. I wish I could be like that."

"Oh Helena. It cracks. You just never see it when it cracks" She turns then, now the front of her leaning against the counter, shuffling lcose, so that her shoulder touches against the other womans.

"I don't know if that's a comfort to know, or if that makes me feel worse." Helena mumbles, watching the pot after fingering in some of her spices.

"Means i'm human, just like you, if it doens't crack, how can you renew your faith when the good things happen. It doens't happen often. Take comfort in that. Besides, I appreciate everything that you guys have done, for me. Wasn't for you guys, I couldn't stand here and say i've touched Rickhams heart" She points out.

Helena falters. "For all the good it did." she says. "Whatever hope he might have engendered, it doesn't matter now. The whole country's out of whack, and if we defeat Kazimir I will definitely call it a miracle. I - " she pauses. "I shouldn't say that. What's more, I shouldn't let anyone in Phoenix hear me saying that."

"You and I are living breathing proof though Helena, that there are miracles, and you need to have that faith that Kazimir is not going to succeed Helena. I think, we could try and will try, pulling another one out of our communal hats" There's a nudge with her elbow. "besides, no on in phoneix heard you say it, because there's no one here"

Helena lets out a little laugh. "Yeah, and if Claude was here he would have smacked me in the back of my head with a saucepan by now."

"Well then, if he did that he'd not get a kiss on the cheek ever again" Abby clucks her tongue, inhaling deeply moments after, the smell of the stew. "He saved me, did you know that?"

"No." Helena says, with a smile, "But it doesn't surprise me. He's got this whole curmudgeon thing going, but underneath it there's a knight in extremely tarnished armor. I'm glad he helped you out."

"Nailed sylar in the back of the head with a brick. I met him, last week? Sometime. He was hiding out in the ruins. Said the moment you said you had a healer, he knew it was me" Abby smiles. "I Like him. But then, I have something in my heart for curmudgeons. They just want to be acknowledged, that they exist"

Helena smirks a little bit. "I don't know. We have our fair share, here. You've met Ben at least once, right?" She takes a spoon, stirs a little, then scoops up some. Holding it with her free hand underneath to catch spillage, she offers it to Abby to sip. "Pepper?" she questions, perhaps forgetting that Abby is a Louisiana girl.

The healer purses her lips, blowing gently over the spoon before leaning over to sip at the stock. "pepper, more, Maybe add some garlic. Your good on salt, that way everyone can salt it how they like it. It's good though. I may swing by after work and steal some before going home"

"Claude is staing here." Helena says. "So there'll always be a couple of people around, even if they're not um, visible." She shakes her head. "I'll be glad to not feel creepy whenever I need to take a shower, let me tell you."

"I think he has better manners than to stare at you while you take a shower. But it's good to know. I'll stop by with a meal every now and then, for him, and whoever might come by. Leave messages here, if it's not something that needs to be done right away, and i'll get it. Your on the way from home to work" Well for right now. "Or maybe I'll see about getting you and Teo into china town so you can cook me dinner every now and then. I've learned ot make many a drink can can bring some bottles home, we can have a party even"

Helena smiles. "That would be lovely. Which reminds me, are you anti-rock n'roll? Because Cat's going to open a rock club. There'd be a good place to go out sometime." Talking about things like they're going to succeed has a good effect on her.

"If I was anti-rock and roll, I wouldn't be working in Old Lucy's. That place has it blaring all the time. Just tell me when it opens and I promise i'll show up" But, times a ticking and Abby pushes herself up from the counter. "I should be heading into work"

Helena smiles. "Thanks, Abby." she says. "Your terms are more than fair, and…how is working at Old Lucy's, anyway? The owner seems a little unstable. I mean, Cameron was a pyrokinetic, but he didn't just randomly throw fireballs because he lost his temper. Be careful, yeah?"

"Isbaelle's got a temper on her, but she's good. She knows what I can do, and if i'm too tired, kicks my rear up the stairs to her place to take a nap. Like a mother hen, sorta, but a really short skirt and flame weilding one. Pay is good more than good, I made nearly a grand, new years eve in tips. She doens't make me jump up and dance on the bar or show my chest. We get along. Woe be ot sylar if he comes in there. She'll burn him to a crisp before he discovers she's special" The corner of her mouth turns up before she leans over, wrapping her arms around the woman. "Take care Hel, you have my numbers"

January 16th: Not A Special Snowflake
January 16th: Defenseless Girls In Parks
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