What Do You Want To Learn?


cat_icon.gif kinson_icon.gif

Scene Title What Do You Want To Learn?
Synopsis A conversation after the Phoenix meeting.
Date February 6, 2009

Cat's penthouse at the Village Renaissance Building

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.

After the meeting broke up, and her talk with Brian, Cat makes her way back to Manhattan. She brings food with her, and reaches home just before the day's curfew goes into effect. A bottle of Guinness Stout is taken from the refrigerator and opened, then she sits to eat quietly and think. Her features reflect a bit of disquiet; here in this place she abandons the mask of calm and poise so often shown to the world. There's less need to seem on an even keel here. Her eyes fix on a section of wall and she enters the Zone of Replay.

She picks up the urn and holds it against her chest, looking at it, and lapses into silence. Something isn't right with her at present. She's in lawyer clothes, a very rare thing, and holding that container.

"Ow, fucker!" Helena yelps when Brian sets it on her sensitive shoulderblade, and gives him a thwap on his side, though the urn, it makes her blanch, suddenly and hard. "I'm sorry." she mumbles, looking ashamed. "Is that - ?"

Brian can't help but laugh a little bit when Helena gets oh so mad. His hand recoils quickly enough, and he lowers his arm to try and protect himself a little but. "Ow." He comments though his grin and laughter quickly fades at the urn and sudden sad look. Oh F. "Oh.. I'm.. Real sorry."

She picks up the urn and holds it against her chest, looking at it, and lapses into silence. Something isn't right with her at present. She's in lawyer clothes, a very rare thing, and holding that container.

"Ow, fucker!" Helena yelps when Brian sets it on her sensitive shoulderblade, and gives him a thwap on his side, though the urn, it makes her blanch, suddenly and hard. "I'm sorry." she mumbles, looking ashamed. "Is that - ?"

Brian can't help but laugh a little bit when Helena gets oh so mad. His hand recoils quickly enough, and he lowers his arm to try and protect himself a little but. "Ow." He comments though his grin and laughter quickly fades at the urn and sudden sad look. Oh F. "Oh.. I'm.. Real sorry."

"That's how I came to be meeting with Kain Zarek," Cat replies. "He came to the apartment while a classmate of mine was overseeing removal of the tree, finally, asking for me. The classmate contacted me, and I met with Mr. Zarek to sign documents related to being executress of the estate. Then he told me where she was. Bones, just bones. Dumped somewhere and set on fire. That was yesterday. Today after I met with Conrad I put on this lawyer suit and claimed her from the morgue, had her taken to a funeral director." Her voice breaks a little there, she closes her eyes and forces herself to keep composure.

"Her parents turned their backs on her years ago, and I won't allow them to be around when I scatter these, at some point. I can't exactly call on classmates from our time at Yale, without explaining what happened. So many questions they'd have. So I came here to find you, Stormy, one of the people who knew her here, to talk about when to do something. A celebration of her life. I need to do the same with Debater too."

Helena is silent and solemn for a long time. Then, "Do you want me to arrange something, Cat?" She asks, gently as possible. "The Dispensary right next to the Atlantic. Unless you wanted to do something here. But if it's a private thing I mean. Whatever you want."

Brian brings a hand to his chin as he fixes his gaze on Cat. Though he was teasing her not long ago, his face gradually morphs into concern and sympathy. His lips tugged down, his finger taps on his lips. Though he does feel very bad he can't help but wonder if she really is going to call him Heckler for the rest of his life. That would suck. "Yeah. If there's anything I can do, Cat. Just let me know."

Her eyes move from one to the other in silence for a long stretch that may feel even longer by the simple fact of quiet. Cat's face seems a bit stricken. "It wasn't supposed to be like this. To be here, dressed this way, and get mocked for pondering the obvious, while something plain as day is missed. I" Her voice trails off there, she lets the thought go.

"I haven't decided yet, what to do or when. I think I'll store her somewhere safe until we pull all of this job off, and have a celebration of her life then. I might be able to bring some people from Yale then, maybe. I I think the thing to do is to beat Kazimir and scatter her ashes from the highest point of a still standing bridge, in a city where people aren't getting sick and dying, where the military hasn't napalmed everything into ashes to stop the plague from spreading."

The damage is already done. Helena flinches like Cat just hit her. "That sounds like a good plan." she murmurs, rising swiftly. "Um. Excuse me." Feeling ashamed and rather terrible, Helena flees for the door.

The mission remains unfinished. There can be no laying to rest without getting Stormy free first.

Kinson follows behind and isn't shooed away or slyly motioned towards his safehouse place. So he joins Cat on the elevator. He grabs a bottle of Guiness as well, and sits down next to you. You stare at the wall, and Kinson stares at you. After a few minutes he reaches out and puts a gentle hand on your shoulder and squeezes.

She's emerging from her memoryscape just ahead of the contact to her shoulder, with eyes closing, and takes a short drink from the bottle. Her eyes rest on the man, and a question is asked. "What were your impressions of the meeting, Kinson?"

Kinson takes a deep breath. "Honestly?"

A brief chuckle escapes as Cat answers, the question drawing out a piece of mild sarcasm. "No. I want you to lie to me, tell me everything but your real thoughts."

Kinson smiles and leans in and kisses you on the cheek. "Smartass" he whispers, before leaning back and takes a pull from the bottle. "It's a mess. It's not unsalvageable though. We are each other's greatest strength though. Our bond as more than a group of likeminded individuals is going to be what gets us through this. Not just training like live action GI Joe figures. Yes, we need to do that… but we need to be a family more. Acting like we're a military organization any deeper than just where it's required will ruin this."

"Most of that was aimed at reducing our losses when we go on ops," Cat starts. "Not having people captured or killed. We can't prevent that entirely, but we can streamline and improve our methods. Helena led us well, and she will again. What she needs to find when she returns is an organization that's learned through its experiences. Doctor Ray's plan was solid enough, we achieved the mission with it, but things could've been smoother. We could've plugged you into the mix, we already had subs from the Ferrymen coming aboard to fill slots in the ConEd mission. Claude could've been aboard, should've been aboard. I'd hoped to see Edward's plan as it formed and offer opinions, but he wouldn't show anyone until he finished it, and left town that day. I should maybe call him or visit his office at MIT sometime."

"Anne's idea for GPS locators and instant extractions, we really need that one. If we'd already had it, Brian and Al might not have been taken in."

Kinson nods, thinking for a moment before speaking. "So, it sounds a lot like a majority of the problems come from a decided lack of across the board training and from a lack of resources management. Not to sound so inhumane."

"I think we can fine tune things, as far as capabilities," Cat replies after some reflection. "Stormy leads well and the core is good. I think we'll apply what the operation taught us, and become stronger." Her voice has confidence in this as she says it. When one thinks about the magnitude of what we just did, we took on a force numbering in the hundreds, potentially, spread out across those different locations, with only one team larger than four people, and in the end only one of us was killed against three captured, and the four total missing after we began to regroup."

Kinson nods, pondering it, "Yeah..when you put it like that, that's pretty damned impressive."

She just nods, considering the whole thing in its entirety for some extended stretch of seconds before breaking that silence with quietly spoken words. "That's why I mentioned Special Forces, because the truth of it is we operated somewhat like a team of them. Small units against larger forces, specific objective, get in, get out, vanish."

Kinson nods, "It's a good way to work. I suppose I'm going to have to learn some of this stuff, though."

"What do you want to learn?" Cat asks, as she takes a pull from her stout bottle. Her mood remains quietly contemplative, not darkly so, however.

Kinson takes a drink. "Probably should learn to shoot, first. I've never even picked up a gun though, let alone shot one."

"One never knows what might be needed," she supplies. "You've a tool I don't, so you might not have to do so, but situations might not allow for use of your voice, if the area is loud. I basically taught myself. Got the weapons, read about how they work, taking them apart and putting them back together, all of it, then I went to the new headquarters basement and applied the material, practiced actual use."

Kinson nods quietly, "I think it'd be a little more complicated for me. I have a feeling I better stick with hockey sticks and baseball bats." he says with a slight grin, and drinks some of his beer. He reaches out, not suddenly but abruptly, and rubs your back gently. "I know you're not big on affection..but sometimes..I like to do little things like that."

"I'm not always opposed," Cat answers with a slight smile spreading out. Her shoulders relax and she leans forward some, letting him work at them. "It's a matter of public versus private, usually. And the reality of things. "You can learn what you want to learn. Might take more time for you getting there, but you can. You've got steady hands, that's the most important thing. If I didn't have that, nothing I read would matter, you know?"

Kinson nods and stands up and gets behind you to give you a right proper backrub. "Well, since we're private.." he says, beginning to massage. "Well, I'll still go through the proper ways to learn. I don't want to not know what I'm doing. I won't just point and click like that."

Her head goes forward and rests on the table, the bottle of stout slid aside for the moment, as Cat enjoys the attention. Quiet sounds are made, peppered with the occasional muted groan when a tender or tight spot is found. She carries a good deal of tension about her shoulders, this is clear from the massage and the way she behaves often enough. Her muscles begin to loosen up.

Kinson keeps working until the knots are all worked out. He steps up behind you and wraps his arms around your waist. "You feel good, you know that?" he asks softly.

"Yes," Cat answers, lifting her head from the table and taking a long drink from her bottle, with a smile displayed and rather more relaxed than she was. "I do."

Kinson leans in and gives the back of your neck a long, lingering kiss. "Smartass." he whispers.

"I think you find that appealing, sir," Cat replies as her eyes close and another drink is taken. "Tell me about your life, up to this point, Kinson."

Kinson smiles, "actually it is..along with your no bullshit demeanor…and your celestial body under those clothes.." he leans in and smooches you again. He slides into the chair next to you and takes a pull. "Well, I didn't have a horrible childhood..was a typically shunned nerd in school who ultimately took solace in band and drama club.." he begins settling in.

Her head turns, she leans back in her chair and rests eyes on him, listening in silence. Cat begins to commit his story to memory, simply by hearing it. The bottle is lifted, more of the dark brew enters her mouth.

Kinson takes a deep breath, "Then I discovered poetry. It was all over then..especially when I discovered spoken word and slam poetry." he says, taking another drink.

"College?" Cat asks.

Kinson shakes his head, "Never set foot there."

"It has its value," Cat replies, "but isn't necessary to learn. Simple reading is enough in most cases. Some things require lab facilities for the hands-on stuff, the equipment and all, libraries also offer access to all manner of books without having to soak up the cost of them directly. Beyond that, the things colleges are most useful for is the atmosphere of structure and discipline while learning. It sets a timetable, and standards for retention, understanding of material. Then there's the formal recognition that goes with completion."

"But I still believe a person, even without my kind of memory, can learn law well enough to pass any state's bar exam and practice."

Kinson nods "I think life has all the education I'll need. I learned of my abilities doing Spoken Word poetry..met the person who could help me refine its use there, too and ultimately put me on the path to be here. Had I went to school..who knows what would've happened."

"I grew up in money," Cat shares, "raised to be the proper society girl. Ballet, ballroom dancing, music, the whole bit, along with posh schools. Mother is in the DAR, the corporate wife. Father heads an insurance company. Mother's goal for me was to become a well-educated trophy wife, the kind who boosts a man's career by her background and suchlike, to a CEO or a prominent politician. Father wanted me to become a high powered attorney, the CEO, or the politician myself. But when I first touched a guitar, the struggle was on. I fell hard for it, and after that their expectations chafed, just chafed. But I kept being the dutiful daughter, earned my way into Yale…"

Kinson listens, sipping his beer. He's definitely interested. He wants to know more about you. "so what happened when you got into Yale..and the folks weren't there to control everything anymore?" he asks.

"They were," Cat replies with a rueful grin. "Yale is expensive, and they had the money. My trust fund had a clause saying I didn't get control until age twenty-five. I didn't want their world, but I didn't want to be cut off either. I still wanted to make Father proud. I joined a band, and sang with them, played guitar, put my focus on music education, until it was demanded that I go into prelaw courses. So I set out to study both music and politicial science."

She rises then, taking her bottle with her. "The rest of the story you'll hear another time," Cat informs him with a grin showing. She strides away, leaving the tale unfinished. It's another piece of the puzzle that is Doctor Catherine Chesterfield.

February 6th: Steady Light
February 6th: The Easy Lie
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