The Not Naked Truth


cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif alec_icon.gif

Scene Title The Not Naked Truth
Synopsis Alec makes a confession to Cat and Helena. It isn't the naked truth, though.
Date June 17, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Cat's Penthouse

Arriving by any of four elevators, visitors will find they open into three foot corridors facing wide double doors made from sturdy southern pine which swing outward and have the strongest locks available. The stairs lead to single doors, also outward opening, at the end of three foot corridors. Entry requires both a key and a keycard; other security measures are a video camera and voice communication terminal at all doors. The 4th Street side has floor to ceiling windows interrupted only by the access points. Cream colored curtains are normally kept closed.

This level has enough space for sixteen apartments. There is an office space with reception area, conference room, and executive office; a room for archery practice and other forms of physical exercise; a very well appointed kitchen and dining area; a music zone with an array of instruments, electronics, and amplifiers; an entertainment area with an HD set covering an entire stretch of wall from floor to ceiling; a locked room where security footage for the building is recorded and can be monitored; a laundry room; a staircase for roof access; central air and heating; the main bedroom and a few smaller guest rooms; plush deep wine carpet everywhere except the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms; and track lighting everywhere overhead. The light levels can be lowered or raised in the entire place, or selectively by segments. The overall decor suggests the occupant is a woman.

Once everyone is gathered in place Alec, being the slightly paranoid man he is, pulls free a device from his pocket and presses a button on it. He sets the device down on the table and then takes a deep breath. "We have another, potentially disastrous concern." he says evenly, his arms crossing over his chest. He glances around, "By all rights Elisabeth should be here for this too, she's earned it." Alec isn't the sort of pace much, but he does so anyway now, not hurried, but slow and thoughtful. With a serious expression, almost dire, he takes a deep breath. "It may be best were I not part of the team that went into Pinehearst if Arthur is there." he starts.

With documents gained from Minea in hand, Cat looks up when Alec speaks. One of her eyebrows lifts in a measure of curiosity, attention settling upon him completely now. "Why is that, Alec?" she asks. Thoughts of starting to scan the information into a computer and digitize it thereby are set aside. Moments later, her eyes close and her head shakes. "Damnit," the brunette mutters. "Alec, tell me that mysterious mentor you told us about isn't Arthur Petrelli."

Helena is on one of the couches, going through her rather worn looking copy of the CIA intelligence manual. She hasn't cracked it since back at the old tenament in the PARIAH days. She looks up from her book with a sort of 'Huh?' expression, which promptly grows curious. "Why is that? You're not Evolved. If he tries to touch you, nothing's going to happen, and that's if he's even there."

Alec tilts his head to the side and makes a face, "Well see there's the issue. You'll remember how I'm amazingly good at everything?" he asks, "You know how I out tailed a cop, bugged a paranoid sound controlling agent and tagged her with a GPS all without her knowing? And that part where I'm sort of paranoid and a bit of a loner?" he asks, "Yeah… Survival instincts have always been my forte. So is lying." he sighs. "It's… complicated, but the short version is that I'm Evo and we can /not/ allow Arthur to get a hold of my ability. It would spell the end of us all." Yeah, he said 'us'. That actually makes him stop cold and look confused for a second.

"Interesting," she comments on hearing the explanation. "We certainly don't need to feed the beast any more than he already has. But Cat also follows with a question. "What is your ability? I'm fairly solid in knowledges myself. It helps only needing to read things once. Made law school almost a breeze," she adds with a grin. "But this sounds like more than memory. Teleportation could work, but that doesn't make a person amazingly good. Telepathy, perhaps, to know from reading thoughts where someone is going and thus be able to arrive when she's absent. But that doesn't add up to all your attributes either."

In her head she's pulling up Chandra Suresh's book and going through it ability by ability.

"Superspeed? Owen was good like that." Helena recalls. "There's a few powers that allow you to get a lot done in a very short time. We could be here for hours trying to guess. If you can't do it, you can't do it. Which just means it's more important that I convince Lucrezia to help. That wouldn't stop you from planning an ops mission for others to execute, I hope."

Alec eyes Cat, "I'm ninety-seven years old and counting… sort of." he admits with another tilt of the head. "What you have in the way of book learning, I have in the way of experience, real life experience. No offence, but reading a book on how to be a surgeon doesn't prepare you to do an angioplasty any more then reading a law book teaches you how to argue a point of law intelligently before a jury. School does that, time in a court room does that, that's what I have." he sighs again.

"It's a sort of… Well, in terms of physics I'm the very embodiment of Einstein's theory of relativity. Energy equals mass times a constant squared." for the uninitiated. "Look, it's hard to explain, the short version is I need one of you to hit me. Hard. And I /can/ do this, especially if Arthur's not there, but if he is we cannot allow him to touch us or he'll be able to anything he desires."

Studying Alec, curious, she gets to her feet. Cat takes a position not so far away from him and uses a Krav Maga move to impact the man's chest sharply just to see what happens. "School isn't needed to argue a point of law effectively," she disagrees. "Charisma and stage presence cover that. It's working a crowd, same as taking a guitar onstage and blowing the room away. And if a person has that kind of dexterity, surgery gets easy to learn too. Read the instructions, have them in mind, and only need to practice a few times to get the right touch with pressure and sharpness of tools, the precision."

Helena looks rather offended on Cat's behalf. "For someone who's ninety-seven years old, you're not very wise about making assumptions about other people's abilities and what they can do with them." Helena says. "I've seen Cat learn how to pilot a helicopter with precision after reading the right textbook. Before you make assumptions about the limits and application of people's abilities, you might want to let them explain how they work - they're likely to be able to define them better than you would." She looks kind of disappointed that Cat didn't let her punch him, but then at the moment she thinks the other woman is more entitled.

Cat's fist touches his flesh and simply… stops. All movement in his body vanishes in the blink of an eye. There's no shock wave, no impact, no residual cloth ruffle even. All sense of motion simply ceases to exist. For most the image would be disturbing because in a world where kinetic energy transfers the sudden and obvious lack of it would be visually shocking. Now there are two Alecs, "I learned it by sending a clone to flight school." he states simply, "And putting in hours of work. When he returned I knew how to pilot. I'm quite good at it. I have several dozen lives lived and died in my head." he turns to eye Hel, "And I wasn't commenting on Cat's ability, I was commenting on simple fact."

"Reading a book doesn't teach someone anything but theory." the clone of him, or is it the original, walks over to check the device on the table to make sure it's still running, jamming all transmissions and generating a sub harmonic white noise that would scramble recording devices of any kind. "I can absorb any energy and turn it into mass." the clone says while the other him goes to check and make sure the door's locked. Just to be safe. They both turn and in creepy perfect harmony state, "So you see, we can never let Arthur touch me, or you'll be facing an army of him, not a single man." they're both fully clothed, identical in every way.

"That's unique," Cat comments, drawing the hand back and looking at it, then the Alecs. "Replication, but by using energy, any kind of energy, as fuel. And with clothing too." That causes her to show a slight grin, aimed at Helena, which quickly becomes confusion. "Wait. When did I pilot a helicopter? I'm fairly sure I'd remember that."

And she steps aside, letting Helena have room in case she wants to cause a third Alec. Inside her head is the thought that if he takes to mocking her in the style of Brian, she just might have to kill one of more of him.

"Didn't you? Or was it a plane? Whatever, the point is, what he's saying doesn't work, you can do. Alec's having a pointFAIL, and what's more, he's having a pointFAIL about the pointFA — oh, you're a replicator." Helena regards the dual Alecs with placid observance. "Why didn't you just say so? Ninety-seven years old and you're still so the drama?"

She grins a little bit. "On the bright side, at least you're not naked. I've seen Brian's penis far too many times when he replicates for my own comfort." Moving on! "If you answered my question, I missed it. Can you plan an operation that you're not directly participating in?"

Alec shakes his head, "No, I'm still a thirty-something, but I have ninety-something years of life in my head… Anyway, wait, did you say you know another one like me?" this seems to shock both of hims a bit, they start talking at the same time, each saying different things, "Of course I can plan an op. What do you mean naked? Replicator, well that's simplifying it a bit. Who's Brian and why are you staring at his penis?" it gets a bit hectic.

"You've probably heard of him," Cat replies with a chuckle. "Brian Fulk, he was in the papers some months ago, opened the Lighthouse on Staten Island, made a big splash with his fundraiser, got a sizeable donation from Linderman." She doesn't elaborate, it would've been far more her preference to not draw attention from him, but the deed is done. "But it works differently for him. He doesn't require an input of energy, and when he copies the replicant is naked. Similarity, though, is in them having a connected mind."

"What she said, and I never said I stared at it!" Helena protests adamantly. "When he replicates naked, it's just there!" She shakes her head quickly. "Anyway, yes. We know another replicator, a member of Phoenix, but his focus is elsewhere right now. "So are you going to suspend planning until we can see if Lucrezia can provide us some intelligence, or what? I mean, you're a replicator or whatever you want to call it, cool, but what are we going to do about Arthur otherwise?"

Alec blinks, "Huh. Wait. So… he doesn't require energy but replicates naked?" he snickers, "Wow. Looks like I got the better end of that deal." he seems to recover quickly. "I'm planning it right now." he points out, as it's obvious that he doesn't have to be there to plan it. "Planning it and doing some recon with a team of four right now." he shakes his head, "What I get from your buggy friend will only refine the exsisting plan, make it better, faster, easier. Of course, it'll be better if we can lure Arthur out, then I can do all this myself." he sighs, "Oh yeah, one more thing. Don't share this with anyone? I'm going to tell Liz because she's earned the right, but… I've kept this secret for thirty years I'd /really/ like it not to have been for nothing."

"Share what?" Cat asks. "I forgot." A grin follows, then she turns back to Helena. "There was that heavy truck in a warehouse once, which I could've used…" Then it hits her. "Maybe you're mixing present and future together? Am I a pilot in 2019? That'd be really cool."

Helena taps her finger to her temple and points at Cat. "Mind like a steel trap, I've got." she snickers and then looks to Alec. "I'll keep it a secret as long as it doesn't become necessary to reveal it. If it comes down to a scenario where we're in trouble and you doing your thing is what's going to save us? I'm gonna tell you to do your thing."

Helena adds, "Even if I call it," she finger-quotes, "Your thing."

Alec eyes Hel, "Done, but don't think I'm an army. I don't like violence, it is the recourse of lesser minds." he quotes softly. "You can try it, but I'm more likely to get in the way then help." he notes simply. "So… we're in agreement then? Arthur plus me equals badness?"

"We don't know that he can sense abilities in others the way a mosquito can detect the presence of its favorite meal," Cat relates, "but we also don't know he can't so it's safest to presume he can. And that would be very bad."

After giving that opinion, she turns toward Helena and lets a quiet laugh escape. "Doing his thing is all good, especially since we don't have to, y'know, see his thing," she deadpans.

"Show me any major change in this world that didn't occur without violence, and I'll show you the happy land of fairies and pixies and rainbow gumdrop clouds and unicorns." Helena can't help point out wryly. "Sign me up for being of a lesser mind. You do at least know how to defend yourself if you're cornered, right?" Cat's remark makes her flash a Colgate smile. "Oh, thank God." she agrees.

Alec eyes her, "Gandhi." he states flatly, "Never threw a punch or fired a bullet. Pasture never did either and he invented a method to fight bacterial infections. I can keep going if you like. The advances made by those who insist on the power of intellect over that of violence will always be more memorable then those that can see no way through save through violence." he says softly, "But that doesn't mean I'm not a realist either. When another resorts to violence, violence is required to defend ones self. I just think when you resort to that you prove you were incapable of thinking your way out of the situation. It's a sign of weakness, and yes, I know how to defend myself. Usually I run away." he's only half kidding.

"Gandhi's methods worked, also, because of timing. Right after War Two, and the crimes of the Nazis, the British crown couldn't have used the heavy-handed tactics needed to crush the movement without being seen as just what so many fought and died to wipe out. The same premise applies to here at home in the sixties," Cat asserts. "The Reverend Doctor King also chose his sites well. He picked Birmingham because he knew what the response would be, and there'd be cameras running as well as making the jails so full they couldn't hold everyone arrested. If no one had seen Bull Connor and his deputies with the fire hoses, clubs, and dogs the impact wouldn't have been the same."

Helena points out, "Gandhi's movement was surrounded by violence, and he himself as assassinated. Steve Biko was brutalized and murdered by police. Bobby Sands died on hunger strike and I highly doubt the guards in his prison were civil. This country was founded as an end result of violence. Slavery's end in the United States had to be asserted through violence. Germany wasn't defeated in 1945 by sitting back and letting the Reich walk all over us and the rest of the world before it's too late." she then echoes him,

"I can keep going if you like. Sometimes the answer has to be violence if you're going to do what's right. The distinction is, you do what's needful, not what's cruel. Phoenix doesn't advocate violence, but we won't roll over for threats, and we will be aggressive when necessary. If you feel that you have to deem me a lesser mind and weak because of it? I will somehow find a way to live with myself."

Alec grins at her, "If I deemed you a lesser mind I would have taken what I had to the police, not joined your cause." he points out. "I was merely wondering where your stance on violence was. I've been on the receiving end of those that find violence is a past time," Hel's seen the scars she knows, "I so long at it's the means to an end, and not the end itself we'll get along fabulously… But I wasn't lying about being not much of a fighter. I avoid conflict when I can because it draws undue attention. I pride myself on getting into and out of places wihtout anyone having ever known I was there." he waves one of his hands and the clone simply pops out of existence. It was the one that was talking.

Alec sighs, "This is all moot. I'm here for the cause, I'll follow orders up to the point they become cruel or cross the line, and I'm a professional criminal so that line's pretty far out there. If there are any questions you have for me we should make them quick. I have to get back to the office because, lest we forget, while I'm planning your incursion, doing recon of the Pinehearst's surroundings, talking with you, going to two sperate colleges, and chasing down a lead on a side project of mine I'm also responsible for some of the private rebuilding efforts in the city including portions of the bridge."

"And here I thought it was something when I found myself at the joining of Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, being in three places at once," Cat quips in hope of defusing any looming eruption. She's tempted to remark about Helena having lightning powers, but she realizes he might enjoy that. It's energy, after all.

"See you, Alec," she opts to bid the man who's no longer two men.

Helena grins back. "Scoot." she says. "Go forth and do multiple things at once. I'll let you know the status of my…oh my god, you totally called Lucrezia my 'buggy friend'." she starts cackling, and fluttering her hand in a shoo gesture. "Man, if you met her, I'd give money to see you call her that to her face. If it was her face you'd be staring at. See you, Alec."

Alec chuckles a bit at that and shakes his head. He's not angry, he doesn't seem the sort to get angry, he's just… busy. He has the air of someone literally pressed for time, made funny by the fact that he has so much more of it then others. "If you need anything else just gimme a call and I'll send me over to help you out, I have a few left before I start reaching extremely bad deja-vu."

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