We're All In A Web


alia_icon.gif cat_icon.gif

Scene Title We're All In A Web
Synopsis Alia, bearing evidence, comes to find Cat.
Date March 14, 2010

The Verb, 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.

Sunday morning, 10:41. Except it's really only 9:41. Cat's body doesn't protest the difference, she woke an hour or so before when she was ready to wake. Coffee and food was had, then she spent some time at her computer keyboard perusing various sites in search of information on a few locations of interest.

Sometime between then and now, security desk personnel in the Verb's lobby called up to notify her of an arrival. A latina, approximately twenty-two or three, of a height close to Cat's own, who introduced herself as Miss Decrypt and asked for Cat. Just Cat. The nature of it raises flags for her, so she first goes into the room where security camera footage is fed and checks in on the location. She's seen the woman before, and based on the name she gave, the panmnesiac believes she was perhaps sent by a technopath. It wouldn't be the first time one has led people to her. Probably won't be the last, either.

A few minutes later, after Cat instructed the man on the phone to send her up, Alia was shown to the elevator down a corridor on the right hand side of the lobby. The access panel hiding buttons for floors four through six was unlocked and opened, and the machine set into upward motion after doors closed.

When they reopen some twenty seconds later, the view is a pair of double doors across a short and narrow corridor. One of them is open to admit the visitor, with a brunette standing in wait just inside. Casual attire: jeans, athletic shoes, Yale hoodie. "I've seen you before," she comments in greeting. "I'm Cat."

Alia is dressed for the weather outdoors… which is to say, the only reason you can see Alia's face is she's removed the scarf. Whatever it was that brought Alia here, not even the record snowfall could convince her to wait. "Yes. Class at Suresh Center." Alia's words are clipped by nature. She takes off her hat and jacket, leaving a sweatshirt and boots on. "Found something. Rebel said… Share it with you." She digs into a backpack she had on over the jacket, pulling out a DVD-R, which she hands to Cat without any further explanation thus far.

"I thought as much," Cat allows with a chuckle. "The name you gave tells me someone like them sent you my way. Miss Decrypt." One hand takes the disc, then she crosses that corridor to re-secure the access panel so no one can even come to this floor without being authorized, and returns. "Come in, we'll have a look at this. Want coffee? Food?" Feet move, leading toward an office area perhaps one quarter of the entire width of the penthouse away. It takes about thirty seconds to reach. It's got what could serve as an outer office for reception and an executive office beyond. She settles into the chair behind the desk and activates the monitor, then inserts disc into drive and waits for the display to begin while turning it so both can see what comes up.

Alia follows slowly. "Coffee. Sugar and cream?" She asks the later almost wistfully. She smirks. "Name is mine." She lets THAT speak for itself. "… You…" She looks for the right words. "Not vaccinated? For flu?" She asks this with a look of worry.

"So you're a technopath," Cat verbally concludes, preceding the question of "Can and do you respond to messages sent to that name?" Her fingers tap the mouse button, pausing the display, so she can walk with the latina to the kitchen and get coffee as offered. "No, I'm not. I was out of the country when they were first offered, when I got back I caught up on the news, as well as getting into things Rebel put out to be found. Bad vaccines, disappearances of registered people near the centers they'd visited to get the shots, CDC stonewalling on questions…"

Alia nods, releaved. "Outbreak of new flu. Almost all vaccinated." She smirks. "Messages, yes. Several." She shakes her head. "Sorry. Words… are work for me. In over my head. In more ways than one."

Once they're in the kitchen, Cat pours a cup for the visitor and adds the requested things, then stirs briefly with a spoon before starting back toward the office. Her head tilts to study Alia for a moment, nodding. "Technopaths work in different ways. At least one I've encountered goes beyond maniplulating machines, to being a receptor and transmitter for wireless signals. Rebel, I think, also has a similar branch to their ability. Do you, or do you require a physical machine and hands on to function?"

Back at the computer a short time later, she's seated and about to start the disc again.

Alia shakes her head… though the computer she's near suddenly opens up the files on the disc, research records, linked together like webpages, to show the link between vaccinations in NYC, coming down with the Superflu, and the fact that it's a near 100% correlation. The next thing that opens up is an image editor of some type. it quickly fills with an image of a little girl curled up with a big heavy blanket or cloak around her. Alia blushes a little and says "Visual person. Not… good with words." She sighs. "Expressive Language Disorder. I… comprehend. Trouble putting my thoughts… back into words. Lots of work."

Attention settles on the screen, Cat using the mouse to move through image after image among the files. She looks at each just long enough to have fully seen it, then continues on. "Don't speak, don't try to speak," she suggests, using the mouse to open Word. "Maybe this makes it easier to communicate?" An invitation to use her brain non-verbally. Then the image of the blanketed girl is studied. "One of the patients?"

Alia shakes her head… the image redraws itself… it's more obvious now that it's an artistic rendition of a scared Alia. Several other images open and draw simutaniously. Some might be recongizable faces, some might not. Among them is Claire with her shotgun in hand, and Elizabeth, in formal uniform and looking all business in one. Another picture by itself shows Adam Monroe. A third shows the Summer Meadows gate. A fourth shows Hokuto's picture. It's obvious that this girl has a lot on her mind and it's dumping out given the opportunity.

"I see," she replies, "that's you. I get what you're showing me. This one," Cat indicates Elisabeth, "represents Frontline. This one," Claire pointed out, "represents violent trouble facing Frontline. This one," Hokuto now, "an organization called the Company, tied to DHS? Summer Meadows, that's the location of the trouble ahead. But now, this guy…" Her features darken, the eyes flash with something dangerous, "is Adam Monroe. Is he tied to the release and development of 510 virus? Because he's tried shit like that before."

It's Cat's turn now to open folders and show their contents. First it's all the goods she gained from Rebel's site, then it's the contents of Else's recent writings.

Alia shakes her head and points to Claire and Liz. "Together. Working that way." She asks out loud, in query "Company? … Hokuto… is a friend." She shakes her head. "… Helped at Summer Meadows… Rebel's… news… about it." She sighs. "Adam… former employer. Doesn't KNOW he's former."

She just nods. Adam. He could be tied to this virus. Cat wouldn't put it past him, even if Miss Decrypt doesn't know. "Do you need shelter from Adam when and if he finds out you no longer work for him?" Eyes linger on the technopath, assessing her reaction. It will speak volumes to her, even without words, as to the situation with Mr. Monroe. "I know Elisabeth and Claire, they're friends. Have worked with them both. Both also work with a man called Cardinal. Hokuto is a dreamwalker, who runs a bookstore on Roosevelt Island. I know her too." Silence settles in, the panmnesiac's expression thoughtful, before she breaks it with a combo of statement and question.

"You're in the strands of quite a web, and maybe feel like a fly caught there, waiting to become dinner?"

Alia pauses as she 'reads' through the Else writings. Part of it pulls itself up and highlights "Representatives from the department of Homeland Security have stated that the riots began somewhere around the neighborhood of Summer Meadows and spilled out." There's a pause, a brief one. Then there's another set of pictures drawing themselves. A picture of one Kain, heading into a bank, to find the balance empty. Another picture showing it paying a bill. A third picture… an actual picture pulled from the web of a news article of two semis arriving at Summer Meadows. She blushes a little as she signs her name to the work.

Her reaction to the offer of shelter is a thoughtful one… before a second picture opens infront of the first, not willing to overwrite it just yet. This one… shows a sequence of fencing… between Alia and Adam, with practice weapons. A speach bubble from Adam contains the Olympic Rings. What she means by it is open to interpretation. "Web. We're all in one." She says out loud.

"Yes," Cat agrees to the image of Adam with Olympic rings, "he's good with a sword. He's a few hundred years old, and may have once been a samurai." One by one, images shown are addressed. "Kain Zarek," the man with the empty bank account. "He works for Daniel Linderman. Someone… you? took money from him and used it to pay for these?" She mouses over to indicate the trucks. "Helping Summer Meadows."

Alia shakes her head to the first statement. That's not what she meant. The SECOND statement earns a further blush and a slight nod. The image of Adam alters a little, under the olympic rings, is a picture of Alia, in a fencing outfit. The question mark includes both the rings and this new lower image however. Apparently he thinks she's pretty good with a blade too… or at least, good enough to get a complement.

"He said you should be in the Games," Cat states, catching on. "I never fenced. Archery was my thing in private school. It was mandatory to be in a sport of some kind. That was mine." Miss D.Crypt is regarded in silence for some moments, before Cat sets aside the matter of her various associations. She can come back to those later.

Right now, she's bringing the medical records and information on 510 flu back to the fore. "What else do you have on the virus? Do the Feds have a vaccine or curative treatment ready for it, to be given only to people when and if they register? I think it might've been engineered to do what it's doing."

Alia shakes her head. The only other thing she brings up is a satellite picture, a few weeks old, of the hospital and army base on Staten… As a small image on the side opens up… a picture of a Japanese-style bow, with a question mark by it

"So you're saying the base and hospital on Staten Island are, or were, used as a place to create this virus and start spreading it, people were taken and held there for experimentation?" Cat looks from images to the woman and back again. "I use a more American and English style of bow. I still practice," she relates, "it's good for stress relief when I need it. I make large copies of photos and put them on the target."

Alia smirks in understanding, then shakes her head. She instead opens up a website…it lists a history of 'concentration camps'. Alia puts a question mark on the screen as a 'Not sure, but suspect' sign.

She's quiet for a long moment, looking over the list, before nodding once to signal understanding. "It's an internment camp, a prison, one they'll fill under the excuse of quarantine." Cat's eyes lift to settle on the woman once more, her voice gravely intoning "There are still Nazis in the world, wanting to carry out their version of a Final Solution, and some of them have infiltrated the Federal and local governments, I'm sure."

More speculation, and silence, broken with a somber query. "You don't believe the Feds have, or ever intend to have, a vaccine or treatment for 510, that whichever of us don't die from it will be interned."

Alia sighs, and it's a worried image of Alia on the screen as an awnser. Not a firm belief, but a worry. She points to the history site again, scrolling up a bit and highlighting the events leading up to the camps… including 'Registration of the Jewish Population'.

"Yes," Cat provides, "the similarity of Linderman Act registration to being required to wear a Star of David is troubling. And recent events seem headed toward a version of Kristallnacht, where things really began to ratchet up. The systematic goading and encouraging toward acts of racial violence. I also suspect Summer Meadows may be made into a ghetto, like the one in Warsaw, built by the residents and taken over by the Feds for their own purposes." Fingers move the mouse, she pulls Else's writings up and highlights this: I see what is happening and I still can't believe my eyes. How did we not see them putting this all together right under our noses?

Alia nods in sad agreement. What else can she say to that? Oh, there's an obvious one here. A picture of Alia comes up, working inside the Suresh Center. While the Alia on screen looks happy to work there, the Alia looking at the screen now seems… doubtful that everything even there is all as it seems. She has no awnsers.
Seeing this, Cat doesn't use words to reply. Her face shows understanding, and once more fingers move the mouse to open a file. It's a document she wrote herself some months previous, an opinion. Nothing is said or done, she lets Alia read it at her own pace.

Alia doesn't rush through the file, as she's giving it careful thought… even though she's already reading it before the program fully opens it.

Alia speaks slowly. "If basement, I don't know about it. Definitely not on network." She speaks affirmatively on that subject. "They know. About me. Technopath. Not extent."

"Places like the Suresh Center are necessary, if we're ever to have peace, but we must always keep our eyes wide open," Cat comments. "Never blindly trust. It can too easily be a Trojan Horse, and as you've seen happen more than once since I wrote that after attending the opening, it's been a lightning rod for Humanis First attacks. It's the sort of place that presents a neat little trap for organizations advocating people like us. We have to support it, if we don't we undermine our own stated goals unless we can prove claims of ill intent."

Alia nods a little. There's a momentary bit of thought, then Alia reaches into her pants pocket and pulls out her wallet… to pull a business card from inside. It's simple, and to the point. The name on it is Alia Chavez. The job titles listed are Suresh Center: Network Administrator and Brooklyn Public Library: Computer technician.

Alia says, "Trust."

She looks at the card but doesn't take it. "Thanks, Alia," Cat offers. She doesn't need to have it, she's seen it and for her that's enough. It's in her head forever. Unless she encounters someone like Arthur Petrelli, a negator, or a memory thief. That ponderous expression is returning in the moments afterward.

"This is a difficult nut to crack, if camps happen. We need to find people who can develop a reversal for the virus in any case, one which won't be in Federal hands. And there will probably be violence. Nasty fighting. But I've fought things like this before, and come out on top. We can again. We have to."
Alia nods quietly. An image comes up… Alia, with a shovel, digging. It's metaphorical obviously.

"Thank you for trusting me, Alia. And yes, keep digging. We need all the proof we can get. If we dig up enough to make it all believable, to positively blow away skepticism, we can maybe make violence less necessary. Or, if it is, have a larger pool of people rising up. Meanwhile, we have to literally dig snow. The weather is tied to this, I think. Conditions created to make viral spread easier, there's a weather manipulator out there that others with that power can't overcome. They've told me about it."

Alia frowns a little, then shakes her head. A picture of an airport comes up. then another picture comes up showing a map of the US, coloring in where the new flu has popped up. Most the color is right here in NYC. "Not spread. Contain."

Alia says, "… if spread. they have to admit trouble."

Alia frowns a moment. Then, finally, Alia has one last question to ask. The file you had up on the Center comes up to the front, and one word gets highlighted: "Company" An animatedly curious questionmark hovers near the highlight a moment.

Her head tilts, the words are considered. "The weather does perhaps make it easier for virus to spread among people, but… I get it. This much snow closes roads, wipes out mass transit, keeps people from leaving city so virus runs its course here but doesn't get carried out?" As to the Company, Cat doesn't answer with words. She instead pulls up a file and lets it be read.

Alia before reading the file, Alia pulls up the mass transit picture again, and circles it. It is, after all, the number one way colds and flus spread in the city. The cold, in a way, is a blessing. It's keeping everyone ISOLATED, except those brave enough to risk the snow.

Alia scrolls through the other file, then comes to a dead halt, as Adam's picture and profile is listed as a FOUNDER.

"He's no longer with them," Cat states, "they came to a parting of the ways when he tried to release a dangerous virus in the 70s. He was locked up for thirty years and maybe more after that. When he escaped, he embarked on a campaign of tracking down and killing other Founders. Some remain, but many are dead. The blonde telepath has seen the error of her ways and is no longer with him. The woman called Huruma doesn't seem to be with him anymore either, but I can't verify it either way."

Alia nod. "Kaylee." She rolls the name off her tounge. "Was there. At the robbery. First met him then." She frowns. "Shanti." Her eyes narrow as she sees the name, in recongnition. She continues through the names…Alia leans back and sighs. "Much… much to learn. To keep… friends… safe."

"Not all at once, on learning, Alia," Cat recommends. "You're not me, I read things once and they stay with me. I've got this really incredible memory. And not everything I know, some things are private until someone needs to know them." The technopath's face is watched to determine understanding and acceptance. "I do know the 510 virus isn't related to Shanti, I checked it out."

Alia sighs in relief at that knowledge, she nods, however, in understanding. "Safety of others." She notes with a dry smile. And then there's the fact she didn't mass copy files off your computer. After all, that'd just be a horrible breach of trust. Alia looks at the screen once more, Hokuto's picture coming to the top. "… She… alright?"

"I haven't talked to her in some time," Cat replies, "but I believe so. Her store is called the Ichihara Bookstore, out on Roosevelt Island. I might go look in on her." She writes down the address to the place and passes it over, but doesn't give Hokuto up for having been the Nightmare Woman. That's her story to tell. At least for now.

Alia shakes her head. "Bookstore… I know." She grins. "Put… solar panels in." She smiles at the memory.

Fingers go to work, using the mouse to copy files from that disc into her records in case she needs to use them at some point. It may well be Cat's intention to make it all public once the pile of proof is large enough. "Thank you for coming to me, Alia." Once she's finished that task, she extracts disc from drive and offers it back.

Alia smiles and takes the disc, putting it back in the bag. "… If you need something…" She offers, then pulls on the jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. It's a long walk ahead of her after all.

When the technopath is ready, Cat rises and walks her out to the door. She very much contemplates digging into the finances and buying the woman a snowmobile. Maybe someday soon.

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