The Spark


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Scene Title The Spark
Synopsis Cat has more guests than she expected.
Date May 21, 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.

Before, trying to come see this woman has met with minor disasters that sent her packing back home before she managed to see her. After a few days of laying low, the woman in the Penthouse got a secured phone call to warn of her visit, and get instructions on how to get up to the Penthouse itself. Entering the lobby, dressed in usual dark attire, Gillian tries to give just about everyone a wide berth, though she does glance around to see if the redhead might be walking around. The girl had been nice, and it's not really her fault that she picked up the ability anyway…

Just as she was told, the elevator on the left of the security door comes down for her, and she enters. No sign of her shorting out the panels this time, pushing the button for the sixth floor and waiting until it opens to deposit her.

Welcome to the Penthouse. "Never actually been in one before," she muses to herself rather than anyone else, before she steps further inside, holding her small carrier bag close.

When her guest arrives, Cat is there waiting for her, standing near the open double doors across from the elevator she sent down for Gillian. "I rather like it," the Hostess chuckles. "though it can be a bit tricky keeping my connections to the place on the down low. Fronts and shells, Wireless is a Godsend. That and letting people believe I'm the guest of some eccentric music type who set me up here."

A few steps are taken, she moves to close the doors behind Gillian. "Could I get you something to eat or drink? I hope you've been well."

"Yeah, Wireless… I met her once," Gillian says quietly, thinking back on one specific time when she didn't have a perfect memory. Or the ability to pick up whatever it is that makes Wireless, Wireless. She's grateful for it too. Got enough crazy going on in her own body, doesn't need anything more right now. "It is nice," she admits, glancing around politely, but also admiring it.

"I'm— I've been better. Once we figure out how to switch this back, I'll probably be better." There's a serious expression on her face for an instant, as if she's considering something, before just nodding to the food and drink. "A couple of these abilities I got leave me hungry. I've been packing energy bars in this bag for the last couple of days— and I'm sure whatever you got tastes loads better than them."

There's a nod, then Cat steps off toward the kitchen. It's not so far from then, given the entry point chosen. At this same time a question forms in her mind and is spoken, regarding Gillian's appetites. "Is it just carbs you're burning through for energy, or protein too?" In the kitchen she has both. There is soda, soon poured into a glass, and steak with baked potato. The very thing she suggested someone else make the bulk of his diet on sight of his condition.

Cat herself doesn't seem hungered, she only fills a glass with Pepsi for herself and sets the goods on the table, remaining on her feet until Gillian sits.

"No idea. I just know I could eat enough for six people sometimes," Gillian admits, moving to set her carrier bag down, take what food's she's given and sit down and start eating. It's one of those very quick things where she eats big pieces of meat and large mouthfuls of potato only really pausing to briefly chew, swallow and occassionally take a drink. It's a little bit before she let's the fork rest, let's the food digest, and looks up at the woman. Yeah, she remembers what diet was recommended to Peter, but—

"I called my parents," she says, clearing her throat and then taking another drink. "A couple days ago. I— from a public payphone near a bus station. I wanted to ask them if— if they're really my parents." The raw look in her eyes is visible, but she keeps her jaw set. She got enough tears out of her already… "They're not. So you weren't just overthinking it. They recognized the name Winters— they mentioned something about… he— I'm not sure who he is… but he wasn't supposed to tell me. That he just wanted to find me… and I think they were having someone trace the call. I overheard something right before I hung up."

It's unsettling given the context of Gillian's words when the buzz comes from the intercoms, a sufficiently irritating electrical noise that makes it readily obvious when someone is trying to buzz in from downstairs. The noise doesn't come often, as the doormen at the front of the building are notified when guests are expected. So this, especially when the buzz comes again, is unexpected.

"I have to think it was Arthur they meant by 'he', Gillian, Cat replies. "The names were on a list he started to show me, but seemed to think better of after I'd seen a corner of it. Or maybe he meant for me to see that corner, and only that corner, all along. This whole thing has a bit of the feeling like being pawns on different chessboards." Her expression sours some while speaking.

The buzzing draws her attention and stills her voice briefly, after which she resumes.

"The dates to the fire don't match up, but the names… I think Brian Winters is our Brian, that's the name being used by the captured copy who now works with the Company."

Then there's that second buzzing. What the? Last time this happened, it was Edward Ray. She doubts he'd signal his presence again, though. He'd probably just have Nathan drop him in unannounced. "Just a moment, please, Gillian. I've got to check something." An apologetic expression is shown, just before she heads into the room where cameras are monitorable.

Their Brian. The man who she seen too many versions of naked of. Gillian can't help but put the utencils down so she can rub her face with her hands, as if that might help with the whole mess. "God, he used to hit on me," she can't help but rasp into her hands as the woman gets up and heads away to check on the cameras. There's really not much she can do besides nod, and try to think if she even wants to bring it up to he of many selves. It's not even that they could be called friends… "Fuck, I'm so glad I rebuffed his flirts now," she mumbles, almost wanting to kick something.

Arthur. But couldn't he have found her anywhere if he really wanted to? Isn't that what Peter'd said? It doesn't make sense… maybe for some stupid reason he couldn't find her anymore! She'd… like to believe that's true. Cause she never liked the idea of someone being able to see her anywhere anytime anyway.

After a few moments of being alone, she'll get to work on finishing up that meal. The one her stomach seems to want more and more of.

Staring the camera above the intercom down is a scowling young man displayed on the security camera feed. Beads of sweat cling to his brow, bright sunlight beating down outside. His dark eyes stare into the screen, ones remarkably familiar in their intensity to Cat. "Damnit Lioness," it's been a long time since she's been called that, "you wanna' open up or do I gotta' bake out here in the sun on your sidewalk?" Of all the people to come by this place, Benjamin Washington is not one that Cat expected.

Tilting his head to the side, the man otherwise known as Knox raps his knuckles on the camera, "Just buzz me in, right? Cause I know you probably got a whole lotta' questions, but gal, you ain't goin' to believe half the answers." Behind him on the screen, a man in a tan windbreaker and a navy blue baseball cap stands with his back to the camera, hands tucked into the jacket's pockets. "'Cause I really got a lot to lay on you."

The images on the camera are studied, Cat being genuinely surprised to see the man there. She's also glad to see him resurface after Moab, the way they were all scattered just as the fire they were under became intense. Her phone is quickly used, instructions are sent to let those two in and tell them to take the elevator to the left of the desk and press button 6. The control panel is already open, since the elevator is on this floor and Gillian just used it.

Then she emerges from that room, heading for the double doors to open them and send the car down. Along the way, there's words spoken to Gillian intended to alert her and present a choice. "Would you like to get really strong and be able to tell if people are nervous? The other guy, well, I don't know what he has, if anything, but an interesting person's come to call."

Out she goes, and down goes the elevator.

"I'm already crazy strong when I'm the Iron Maiden," Gillian mumbles, using the nickname she kinda gave herself in that form. Yeah, she listens to rock bands too. There's no protest, though she seems to be grimacing. "If you think you can trust me with it, then I won't try to find the back door and run for it." Sometimes she wishes she had the ability to fly in these situations. It would be very handy. Peter could fly. Gabriel couldn't. Though the one time she got flown wouldn't be exactly called the nicest moment in her life…

While she waits for Cat's return with guest, she finishes up the last of her food and drink, then takes the plate and glass back into the kitchen and rinses them off. Despite being a polite guest, she forgot to make sure she had a coaster. Gabriel would be grr.

As the elevator begins heading up from the ground floor, Cat notices a distortion in the image on the security camera, one that moves across the screen, followed by a flickering of lights in the hall away from that room, as if the electrical feed were being interrupted by something. There's a crackle and a pop that comes from the entertainment area as speakers kick on, followed by a brief but aborted playing of the national anthem with the volume far too loud.

Immediately thereafter, there is another crackle and pop from the intercom speakers throughout the apartment, and a disembodied voice of a young man carrying over them. "If you could come down to your television, Catherine, that would be of great assistance. So I don't have to shout, as it were." The track lighting around the apartment flickers in rythm with the cadence of the young man's voice.

The elevator rumbles to a stop, doors sliding open as two sets of footsteps carry down the hall from the elevator to the apartment doors. There's a click of the electronic locks in the doors on the way from the elevators to the living space before the people even get to them, followed by a hesitantly mumbled curse under Knox's breath.

Arriving from the halls, Knox is the first out into the main living space. He looks thinner that Cat remembers, but not by much. Though the nearly threadbare black tanktop he wears looks like it's seen better days. Even his jeans are torn at the knees, dark stains on one leg suspiciously looks like blood.

Behind Knox, a tall and wiry man walks with his head down, the windbreaker he wears only a little too heavy of a coat to wear in this weather, and with the collar flipped up to the back of his neck, it gives the very conspicuous impression that he's trying to hide who he is. But when he finally looks up and around, those high cheekbones, distinctive wrinkles and sad eyes are what was plastered on every television across the United States for months in the fall. It's the missing president — Allen Rickham. Most notably, however, an Allen Rickham who isn't made of solid iron.

It had been her intent to greet them at the double doors across from the elevators, but the loud voice and flickering lights draw Cat back inside the penthouse before they arrive. It doesn't actually thrill her to see and hear this evidence of technopathy, it triggers remembrance of Edward and Robin Hood playing on the same team, but… This one is clearly already present and has very well demonstrated he's going to make himself be heard one way or another. So Cat goes to the entertainment area where the HD television she's been summoned to is. It covers an entire stretch of wall from floor to ceiling. "Okay, you've got my attention," she offers, "but for reference, that song sounds so much better the way Hendrix played it. Or U2." She then sits. But not for long.

Knox, entering ahead of Rickham, is spotted first. "Fort Knox," she greets, "welcome. This technopath is with you?" Her vocal tone shows relief at seeing him alive and mostly healthy, the dispelling of concern over what might've happened after Moab.

But the second man to arrive gets a very different reception. First is a careful study and comparison with her memory to make sure he isn't ten years older than he should be. Then, with that satisfied, she rises to her feet. "Mister President."

Fuck. Did— Gillian nearly drops the plate into the sink, and abandons the kitchen when track lighting flickers and she's draw back to look at the television, and the two men who enter. Definitely signs of fear already showing from her, though the most it looks like is frustration on the outside. Someone else could tell different, though. Technopath isn't actually here though, right? Cause that's the last thing she needs. Being able to tell people are nervous and bend pipes? She can handle that. Stuff in her head that isn't hers is something she's not really ready for. Tele-anythings better keep their distance…

And… the President. "…Uh," she says awkwardly, looking at Cat, then backing away a little, as if to put some distance between her and him. The President. No, it's not exactly awe so much as worry. He looks very different from the one time she saw him in person, but… "What— what's going on here exactly? Who…" She waves a hand at 'Fort Knox' and then the HD TV that's way too big to be a TV— and then… President. Lots of hand waving going on. Though she knows who Rickham is.
"Christ." Allen mutters at Cat's address of him, one hand smoothing over his face beneath the brim of his hat, "Allen— Allen will do just fine." A wary stare is given to Knox, and the considerably shorter man gives Rickham a look over his shoulder that is little more than the flash of a toothy grin.

Turning back to Cat, Knox nods once in an emphatic manner, "Yeah, Kitty, he's been playin' shepherd to Rick," Knox motions over his shoulder to Allen, "For a while now. Goes by the name of Rajas or something like that." The lights in the apartment flicker once, and the voice from the intercoms comes over with a slightly lower volume.

"That's a close enough pronunciation. I'm sorry for sneaking in uninvited, Catherine, but you're the last piece of the puzzle, as it were, and I didn't want you to alert K— Wireless— Before I had a chance to talk to you." Knox arches one dark brow, looking up to one of the speakers, then back down to Cat with an inscrutable expression.

"He's been hitchhiking in Rick's cell phone for a while. Tellin' us all about these people we're supposed to be gettin' together. There were supposed to be three of us here— uh— physically," dark brows scrunch together, "But we kinda' ran into a problem when we went to go see Sparrow."

Allen hangs his head at that mention, rubbing at the back of his neck. "Look, we really don't have time to talk about that, Ben." Allen narrows his eyes and reaches up to sweep off his hat. "We're here because there's a war coming, Catherine, and.." One hand is waved at the speakers overhead, "Our guide told us to come here to prepare to fight it."

"Allen," the panmnesiac concedes as instructed. Cat seems to relax a bit then, glancing at the television. "Mr. Rajas, if you've been hitching in Allen's phone, are you right now close enough that anyone could copy your ability?" Her eyes trail over from there to Gillian, she informs her "It's not the older one. They aren't with the older Edward." That much, at least, she feels certain about.

Time is then spent in silence to process what they've shared and get the handle on it. It shows on her face, the process of thought and calling some things up from the storage banks.

"I'm the last piece of the puzzle, and we're building an army to fight it." Nothing is asked of Sparrow, she speculates maybe that's a code name for someone with a power like Eileen Ruskin's. The war she can definitely see coming. Two corporations with unknown depth of resources, partnership between one and the government, plus so many other factors.

Another glance toward Gillian. "My friend is a bit wary of you, Allen. She had an encounter with a man called Tyler Case, and a you from ten years forward. As a result, she has your ability and a few others. She copies by proximity."

"I'd give it back if I could," Gillian mutters, before she walks over to try and sit back down at the assurance. The nervousness doesn't fade, and she seems overly cautious of them, and the television person all at once. It's not something she cares much for. She settles down, picking up her carrier bag and setting it in her lap as if it might offer some protection. Or to hide behind it. There's a lot she's capable of to defend herself, and none of these things she trusts in the least.

"War's started— and we're all getting caught in the fucking cross fire," she continues. It's a grouchy comment, as if she thinks she personally had been a kind of a victim. And as far as she's concerned she is. But if they're here to give warning… "Hope your 'guide' has some advice on how to fucking fight it, or even what exactly we're fucking fighting against…"

"No, but Peter isn't here right now, so…" It seems the technopath isn't omniscient, at least. "I'm still trying to get over the fact that he's alive at all. He— I thought he was dead." The youth and uncertainty in the voice of R.Ajas is surprising, but their an earnest way in which he speaks, a style of mannerisms not found in young children today.

Allen turns to look at Cat, both brows raised, then looks past her to Gillian. His expression is one of remarkable distress, given how casually Cat brought up those facts. "Well… if you already know about them, then that's half of what we came here to talk to you about."

"The war is not one that those people — as dangerous as they are — are going to cause though. My mentor is handling that situation, and I have directed the proper people to investigate Tyler Case. What I am here to warn you of, Catherine, is not a war of arms, but a war of ideology."

The voice over the speakers grows silent, followed by a faintly audible click by the television as it begins to warm up. A moment later, video footage of recent global conflicts from news broadcasts begin to cycle over the screen. A majority of them cover something happening on the island of Madagascar off of the east coast of Africa, a place beleagured with genetic cleansing and civil war. Footage of burned out husks of cities, injured children wandering barren streets flanked on either sides by burning cars, and tanks rolling over broken pavement are like some horrible nightmare made real.

The images all cut out, and the screen goes black. "These aren't portents of a future that is to come, these are current events around the world." Knox listens, but gives a slow, solemn shake of his head as he walks past Cat, patting a hand on her shoulder as he heads towards the entertainment room, pausing only to look up at Gillian as if she said something to him. One dark brow rises, inquisitively, but he continues on towards the leather sofa with a tired and slow gait.

"Rajas is the student of another person who works with electronic devices, he's only told me that his alias is… Monk, or something like that." There's a tired, strained sound in Allen's voice, like he's only reluctantly following these events. As he takes his turn to pass by Cat, a polite nod is given to Gillian coupled with an awkward smile, and he makes for the same couch Knox was, moving more like an old man with sore joints as he slowly lowers himself down onto the cushion.

"Thelonious Monk, to be precise." A Jazz Musician from the Fifties? "He saw something on the air, something that worried him. The threat of people who do not belong in this time is only one spark that he feels will ignite a very dangerous fire, one that it is too late to prevent."

On the television, images begin to appear depicting photographs of United States Military branches training videos, quick vignettes of Army, Marines and Air-Force cadets in uniform. Thoe images cut away, revealing a shield-shaped emblem with wings outstretched to either side, the word FRONTLINE written on the front.

"Monk was following the activities of a technopath who calls himself Robin Hood, attempting to assess his skill level. Robin Hood delved into a database connected to a global biotech firm called Pinehearst. While Robin Hood did not discover much information there, Monk stepped in to see what the boy was interested in. He intercepted a correspondance from a Doctor Alison Meier to a General Sebastian Autumn, discussing Pinehearst's private development of an organic compound that could potentially induce Evolved abilities in non-evolved subjects. General Autumn is connected to Vice-President Andrew Mitchell by way of a project called FRONTLINE, which has gained strong media attention as of late."

The images on screen change to depictions of news coverage of the FRONTLINE Act's re-proposal by global media. "It is General Autumn's intentions to contract Pinehearst for this biotech development, secretly supplementing naturally Evolved soldiers in FRONTLINE with artificially generated ones. When my mentor discovered this, we realized what this could potentially be a precursor to…"

There's an immediate change in the images that show clips of Ferdinand Marcos, Benntito Mussolini, and Fidel Castro in rapid succession, followed by the smiling and waving countenance of Nathan Petrelli. "My mentor has seen it happen before. He believes it will happen again."

And by it, R.Ajas is implying the rise of a dictatorship.

She listens, and watches, and records. Every image perceived, every sound spoken or heard. It doesn't much surprise her, all of this. Or at least not so much as she lets on. Cat is silent through the presentation, her first words after it being somewhat dry. "You forgot to add Hitler to that list," she deadpans, "but, then, you probably know we already defeated someone trying to copy him." Her face has shifted into solemnity, all seriousness.

"The White House is lining up people to endorse Frontline. One of the people approached is the woman who helped heal you, Allen. Staten Island is a mess, she was victimized by someone there, and when we spoke about the program she told me she believes Frontline might've spared her that. The police won't touch the place, they're shorthanded, and it might practically take a division of the Army to restore law and order there. I advised Abby not to do anything that helps Nathan Petrelli look good. I told her the man was a pure coward, plain and simple, and she should tell Tracy Strauss she'd only endorse Frontline if Nathan came to take the Evolved test right in front of her and on camera. Whether she took my advice, I don't know."

"So I see the nature of the problem. It's classic Fascism. Inspire fear and despair, create chaos, and cause people to abandon liberty in exchange for security provided by the Gestapo, which in this case is called Frontline."

Then more silent speculation. Processing.

"It really doesn't matter, at this point, if Pinehearst succeeds in exposing the Company from the inside," Cat surmises. "If they recreate the serum, they have the leverage to force the Government into terminating ties with it and carry out actions to draw all its acts into the open.

There's a raspy grunt from the other woman in the room, in multiple areas, looking down right from the time Peter Petrelli is mentioned, and only looking up to look at the flickering screen. So much of what's being said is of interest, and she'll have plenty of time to run it over and over in her memory in perfect detail. There's no need to pay too close attention when she can replay the memory in her head any time she wants.

For now. Gillian shakes her head bitterly, muttering under her breath. "They think they can play with people's lives to get what they want." Which seems to be power. As someone who recently acquired some, she doesn't much care for it. Unstable power though it may be. "It's funny. I actually liked Staten Island for that reason. A little fucking freedom went a long way." Sure it came with danger, but she didn't actually get victimized there. That happened to her right in the 'safer' places. A park in Queens. In her own fucking apartment.

Nathan Petrelli. There's a grimace.

"History has thousands of dictators. I'm not completely sold on Nathan Petrelli being one of them. How do you know he's not just a puppet like the rest of us seem to be?" Maybe had something to do with talking to the man, even if she'd not known she had been talking to him. Change his future… Then again, maybe he just wants to change it cause he failed to be the dictator he wanted to be. There's a shake of her head.

There's a moment when her eyes settle on Knox, as if she caught the look, before she looks back at the screen, "So what do you want her to do?"

"Strauss?" Allen's brows rise, "Christ, that woman is the proverbial ice queen of Capitol Hill." There's a laugh from the weathered old ex-president, shaking his head as he leans it back against the sofa. "I'm not surprised Mitchell, Petrelli and Autumn have her in their court, she's a firebrand; really good at her job, sort've in the way the Devil is good at his."

Knox looks a little bit lost in the conversation, rubbing at one side of his head with a couple fingers. "I'm not sure I follow all of this, but I ain't gonna' rule it out. I woke up outside of Boulder Colorado about a week after everything at the prison went sideways, so I'm pretty sure anything's possible."

"We are well past the crossroads when this can all be stopped. There is, according to Monk, nothing that can be done to prevent the tidal wave of violence from reaching its breaking point. He feels history is going to repeat itself in a cycle of violence that will be the screaming wail compared to the brief shout that was this year's violent beginning."

Knox sighs loudly, wiping a hand at his forehead. "You didn't answer the lady's question." One hand is waved in the direction of Gillian, "Why're we here if this is all so damned inevitable? Why aren't we going to smash some of these jokers' heads in?" Allen gives a stern look over to Knox, and catching it, the younger man relents some. "Come on, you dragged us all the way from the west coast for this— who the hell are you anyway? Who's your mentor? Why're you hidin' behind these fake names?"

There's a long moment of silence from the television, and in that quiet Allen leans forward, resting his hands on his knees as he looks over to Cat. "It's good to see you again," he whispers, "I'm sorry, for how everything — " Despite wanting to clear the air about what happened to him, and the displaced hope and faith Phoenix had placed in Allen Rickham, Rajas speaks up over the older man.

"I apologize for not knowing who you are," there's a depiction of Gillian as shown by the apartment's security cameras on the television, as if giving her context in which to reference his words. "But Catherine I know of, and Catherine is why I brought Washinton and Rickham here, why I tried to get Rosen and Redhouse here as well, but ultimately could not. Because they are people I know I can trust, people who have a sense of what is right. Catherine earned Wireless' confidence, and Monk trusts Wireless explicitely. We need you — Catherine — to warn Phoenix about what is coming, to warn them that when all is said and done with the people who do not belong here, the real war will start. I need you to rally people. Draw like minds together, and prepare for what we all fear will come."

Knox glances to Cat, then over to the darkened television, hanging on R.Ajas' words. "You are right, though, Nathan is a puppet. He has been a puppet for two years, since Daniel Linderman utilized a technopath to rig the New York Senatorial elections in which Nathan won by a landslide."

There's a moment of silence, and R.Ajas tone becomes a bit more somber, "I intend to clean up that mess."

More and more pieces fit as she listens. Arthur Petrelli saying a coup had already been pulled off. That much Cat already knew about before that point: the installation of Nathan. What had been new was the involvement of Linderman and Angela Petrelli. Now she sees deeper into it all. And a rigged election just days before his brother nukes a chunk of the city. Before Gabriel Gray's murders drew him there to lose it. She can ruminate on all of that more later. Other things draw her mental focus presently.

"Since late January, after the operations against the Vanguard, we spent a good deal of time looking into Moab and planning to assault it. Teo, Elisabeth and I also talked about the organization's future. One thing we agreed about is changing course. There are a number of organizations like ours around the country, but no uniting leadership. Without that, all we can ever really do is mount operations which accomplish smaller goals. Take out defined targets. While those have big stakes and are needed, they don't change minds. They don't inspire."

"When we discussed who to promote as the face of this thing, we came up with one person with both the spine and the sympathetic backstory to draw support." She turns toward Knox and nods in his direction. "Fort Knox, part of me understanding this came from you."

There's a nod from Gillian as she's not in the technopath's databases. A thing which she happens to be quite pleased with. She settles back in her chair, the fear beginning to settle down as more and more seems to not be about her. Which is good for her, at least. Even if her ability of the past could have been one to inspire in a way, now it's become something completely different. A way to put herself in everyone's shoes, whether she wants to or not.

A lot of information, that all makes sense. "Yeah, I figured something weird was going on with Petrelli…" Especially since she was told the big kaboom was planned. "I wonder how much he knows he's just a puppet…" One conversation. Sympathy might come hand in hand with the ability— or she could try to blame it on that. She showed the same kind of sympathy for the very man the man initially blamed for blowing up the city… And the one who really did it.

"Guess everyone wants Phoenix for something." Arthur, then, even she did for a while, when it seemed the only way she would get any help with what was going on with Gabriel.

Knox kicks a brow up, tilting his head to the side, "I inspired… what?" He seems unused to the idea of inspiring much of anything other than fear into people. It's what Cameron had him do in PARIAH, and it's what much of his life up unto this point had culminated in. Even inside of Moab, there was only so much Knox could do — aside from have faith in Phoenix. "Well," he ducks his head down, "Guess s'good somethin' came of that." Humble to the end.

"There's not much I can do openly," Allen notes with a tired tone of voice, "I'm fairly certain Rajas just wants me and Knox to be muscle when all of this comes to a head. But if there's a chance — any chance I can put my foot up Petrelli's ass," his eyes narrow, "I'm going to be right there." Why he's here now, why he's taken the risk to journey this far, is it all motivated by something as simple as revenge?

"You're correct, Catherine, in your assessment. Right now, what Monk advises you to do is gather people of like minds together and prepare. Inevitably you will come cross with Edward Ray's plans, whatever it is they are… but know that you must persevere in that conflict, and you must survive to continue to fight. In the end, there's no telling who your real enemy will be, but the signs are there… to prepare. Monk has been silent on the matter of our direct involvement, however, which concerns me. But for now…" The television turns off, and R.Ajas' voice returns to the loudspeakers, "I must depart to convene with Monk on another matter. I have filled my direct role by uniting you, and now I have to make certain that I do not fail to aid others."

Knox perks up, looking up and around, "Hey wait— you're just dumping us here?" One hand flies up into the air in an expression of disbelief, while Allen folds his arms, closes his eyes, and shakes his head.

"You are in capable hands. The Ferry can take you the rest of the way." Knox slouches back against the sofa with R.Ajas' words, letting out a groaning sigh.


"Good day, Mr. Rajas," Cat offers to the turned-off set as farewell. She seems to believe the technopath understands who she was speaking of. As she turns to the others, a name is spoken. "Helena Dean. Fort Knox, you mentioned hearing about her when we met. Thanks for carrying the message, by the way. The people who assaulted the yard last month, that was us. I was there, you might not have recognized me in a ski mask. Just before we all got scattered, I saw you making your way out, that helicopter was nasty business. I was busy trying to shepherd people out, we had a cargo plane on the airstrip to leave in. But the getting people out took care of itself. You said Boulder, Colorado? I found myself in a field at the connection of Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska after dark."

The man who might have been President gets her attention next. "Allen. I know what happened to you. You were surprised with the test for Suresh Linkage Complex and blackmailed by the positive result. You've got nothing to apologize for. That's just one of the things I've discovered since being approached by Edward Ray Futura. He pointed me at Father with questions I had, and I'm starting to think by talking with him I've done what Edward wanted me to do in the first place. To become informed. The formula Pinehearst is after, it existed before. Failed versions caused people to melt, and if that viral plot had worked one of them would've merged with the Shanti virus and made what was already depopulating so much worse."

Then she goes quiet for a bit, after which a slight smile shows. "Mr. Rajas mentioned the Ferry. We're linked to them. The top three floors of this building are very restricted access for a reason. The fourth floor is a safehouse. I've got room for you both there, or we can take you elsewhere. Your choice. Soon I'll take you to Helena, but for right now I've no idea how long or far you've traveled. Food and drink is priority."

Well, that was informative, but she's not technically who would be protecting them, or helping them. Gillian does glance at the two men, before finally focusing on Rickham, "If possible— before you two go somewhere else— could you explain how your abilities work to me? Cat mentioned it briefly, but— my ability is all fucked up, and I was stuck in iron form for a couple days already. I figured out how to turn back on my own the second time, but the first time I needed a jump start. Don't want to be stuck like that again." It's not really so much about helping them this time as helping herself.

"And just being around you…" She gestures to Knox, sitting not too far away. "Cat said you're strong and feel people's anxiety, right? I guess there's something to that as well," It could happen over dinner for all she cares, but she's found getting explainations actually does help quite a bit… at least in basic levels of understand what it is she's feeling and going through.

Doesn't always work. Most the time she tries to run at high speeds, she can't. With the girl in the elevator, the warning was enough, though.

"If you could whip me up a burger I'll clean this whole damn building with my tongue," Knox says with a wave of one hand, "We just walked and hitch-hiked from Ohio to New York, and let me tell you that is a long and unfriendly road." Knox just lounges on the sofa, with absolutely no intentions of getting up and onto his feet again, and the far older Allen Rickham — for all his worth — seems even less inclined to get up.

Turning to look over at Gillian, Knox nods his head slowly, "People's fear makes me stronger, I sense it, and then…" he slaps a closed fist into an open palm, "just like that. I dunno who's stronger, me or Rick here," he motions with one hand to Allen, "but I know which one of us takes a punch better."

Allen smirks, looking over at Knox before bowing his head into a nod. "If you could set us up with a place to stay the night, Catherine, that would be wonderful. I know… there's a lot that we have to discuss, and I know it's poor of me to ask so much more of you, but if I gave you a phone number for someone, do you think you could get in touch with them for me?" There's a hesitant, anxious look on Allen's face.

"Stephanie Caiati, she— was my assistant. I wanted to— " there's a moment of hesitation, and Allen just closes his eyes and lowers his head. "No— no on second though, don't. Not— not right now." He instead turns to look at Gillian, expression softening. "You… can do what I do? I— " he almost wants to say he's sorry. "Yeah I— I've been dealing with it for a few years now," he understates, "once I'm not dead tired, we can talk about it some. I… don't really think I'm going anywhere soon."

The earlier wishy-washy words from Allen earn a confused expression from Knox, the man who's managed to brush much of the responsibility of secret formulas and world-ending conspiracies off of his shoulders like so much water. "So…" he claps his hands together, looking back from Allen to Cat, "I'll even settle for a Philly cheese steak."

"You've got shelter here indefinitely," Cat replies with a nod. Gillian is included in that, by the traveling of her eyes as she speaks. "We'll contact Miss Caiati whenever you're ready, Allen." She takes up her iPhone and taps in a set of numbers. An order for a number of Philly cheese steaks and cheeseburgers is given to the early arriving kitchen staff at the Rock Cellar, enough to feed both men and Gillian too very well, given the latter's displayed appetite, along with instructions to have someone named Delilah deliver it, and the simple statement "Delilah knows where to go."

"She works for me personally," Cat explains, "helps me tend the fourth floor, knows how to keep her mouth shut and not ask questions. Don't be surprised if you see her there."

And soon there shall be food.

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