What Happened Out There?


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

Scene Title What Happened Out There?
Synopsis Cat's back in NYC. Elisabeth has questions, and something to report.
Date April 8, 2009

A Ferrymen safehouse in the city somewhere

There had been a call made late on the night of the seventh, but it didn't have an incoming call number in the way they usually would given it was patched through by Wireless from Cat speaking into her comm gear from somewhere in the United States. The message was fairly simple: Cat is headed home. Raid details inconclusive, regrouping efforts underway. Tell no one of this contact.

Early the next morning, the eighth, Elisabeth is contacted again. She sends the location of a Ferry safehouse somewhere in the city and asks the officer to meet her there.

Although she wasn't happy with the directive not to tell Abby, Elisabeth understood the logic: If Abby's being watched, her relaxation would signal to those watching that something had been heard and might prompt her pick-up. God, what a paranoid world we live in. When the second contact comes, Liz slips out of the house early in the morning and takes a circuitous route to the address she was given. When she arrives, she knocks briefly.

The door is opened by a Cat who looks paler than normal. She's in a tank top and jeans that probably aren't hers, and the left shoulder features a bandage which is tinged with blood. "Morning," she murmurs, moving out of the way to let her in and retreating to a seat inside the structure. That bandaged left shoulder isn't used much, it sort of hangs there. Closing of the door is left to the officer.

"I've discovered it possible to be in three places at once."

"Shit, Cat…. how bad?" Elisabeth immediately moves to close the door behind herself. "Why didn't you let me bring Abby? What happened out there?" She peppers the brunette with questions, unintentionally abrupt.

"Because we're scattered, and I've not located others yet," Cat replies quietly. "I can't know if there's watchers yet, or raids having happened last night. I want time to watch and have some idea of safety before I approach Abby. If they talk to her, and she knows anything, she'll tell. That's why we don't tell her anything," Cat reminds. Her eyes shut for some moments.

"Bastard out in the yard on Green level, he was one of the security team. The man was sparking with electricity, and I was stupid. Thought that was all he had. He's electromagnetic too, discovered when he made bullets reverse course. One of them, despite not being armor piercing, still got through."

"Jesus," Liz breathes softly. "Do you need anything? Painkillers? More bandages to rebandage? Or is the Ferry….?" Never mind. Dumb question, of course the Ferry folks are taking care of her. "All right…. so… what the hell do we do now? So far there have been no raids, and neither Cardinal nor I have spotted anyone following or watching Abby. There's also been no news of a raid or of any kind of disturbance out in the desert."

"I'm good, and I'll be better," Cat asserts, though it's clear from the paleness she's having some degree of blood loss issues. "Prisoners got out, I saw a number of them making their way out into the desert. I wasn't able to tell them to head for the cargo plane at the time, or shepherd, being busy with two of the security team people. The other up on Green was a mountain of a man. Diego took him on, and it was like the guy was as thick as ten bears. Last I saw of Diego, Mountain threw him at me."

"Electromagnet was briefly negated by Trask and I tried taking a shot at him, but he'd been knocked off balance and I missed. Just about then there were more guards up on the prison roof shooting darts of suppressant. One hit Trask, this was clear because his magnetic field came back while they fought."

"The last things I saw were Helena and Jessica coming out of the interior, then Hiro near them. I was trying to get Helena to come my way and use one of those darts on Electromagnet to help out. DHS had a helicopter team present by then, too, shooting at people from the air."

"Teo went into the interior to help on Red level fairly early after one of the security team, a female speedster. He was still there when all this started taking place. I saw Helena and Hiro coming toward me by something, and Hiro was saying Peter was still downstairs, things hadn't gone as planned, but he stopped talking. Something confused him.

"Next thing I know, I'm in a field of grass and it's dark. Night. Hours had gone by."

"…. Hours had gone by while you were unconscious in the field? Or… you blinked and hours had gone by?" Elisabeth things the distinction could be really important here. "Are you telling me you were teleported madly across the country? Or that you were flung madly through space and time?"

She manages a quietly dark chuckle to preface replying. "I mean there was a distortion in the air, Hiro looked confused, then suddenly I was in a field and it was night. There was a sign not far away and marking at a junction of two rural highways telling me I was at the meeting place of Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. Three places at one. I was in pain from being shot, but hadn't seemed to have lost more blood than moments before. If I'd been there for hours, I can't say I'd have ever awakened, at least not outside of someone having found me that way."

"So as best I can judge, the distortion was a temporal effect. Fortunately the comm gear still worked, I contacted Wireless."

Elisabeth nods slowly and frowns. "So….. did Hiro's power misfire because of augmentation, or…. do we have any clue whatsoever happened? Wireless and I figured time displacement was involved. A few people popped on the radar after just a couple of hours, so we've just been waiting for people to pop back in. Of the ones who have trackers that she can get to, that is." She hesitates. "We still don't know if people got left behind, though. Sergei's comm gear and tracker went out probably as soon as the EM guy's power popped back in." It's a reasonable assumption, now that she knows Sergei was negated. "And she still hasn't heard from Teo."

"Unknown," Cat replies. "I'd not really taken time to think over how it happened yet, my focus has been on getting back and working to find others. I was alone where I found myself. No word from the others yet. Their comm gear may well be out. Some don't have any, having been in prison."

A silence settles in as she contemplates the situation, recalls again what was seen at Moab.

"Teo was inside at the time, as were Peter Petrelli, Gillian, Gabriel, and Alexander. I didn't see any of them emerge." In her musings, the mention of augmentation is indeed considered. "I didn't see Hiro do anything. It didn't seem as if he was concentrating, and Gillian was still apparently down on Red. I'd given the call to withdraw just moments earlier, if we'd stayed longer it was going to become impossible."

There's a slow nod, and Elisabeth says softly, "Well, if it was temporal and Hiro was confused about it and not the source… perhaps there was another time manipulator in Moab."

Of course. Peter was in the prison, and he was near Hiro. If Teo was correct and augmentation broke people at least temporarily free of the suppressants, then Peter exposed to Gillian could have lost it. Again. But she can't know for sure without speaking to people who were down there. "There was a prisoner who takes on the abilities of others, he adapts to have the same capability by being close by," Cat states somberly. "Having access to his abilities after being under suppression for a time could've caused it. But I can't be sure until we talk to people who were there. What I do know is I didn't see Hiro touch everyone, and he wasn't anywhere near Gillian at the time."

Elisabeth nods, aware of Petrelli's power and Teo's theory. "We're just going to have to sit it out and wait, I guess," she finally says. "I don't want to dump more on Teo's plate, but we've also got something here that needs to be addressed when he gets back, too." She grimaces. "You up for another thing on your plate?"

She doesn't let on being relieved to hear the topic shift away from Peter, Cat not wanting to dwell there because she's very much aware of the first time Peter lost it. That's still his story to tell, although it seems to have spread to a few other people over the time since it was infodumped directly into her brain. Someday, she still hopes, he can be persuaded to confess and seek a better way of atonement than locking himself up.

Her eyes rest on the officer, curiosity showing. "What would that be?" Cat already knows, but this too she pokerfaces.

"Remember that guy you wanted me to check into? The engineer?" Elisabeth shakes her head. "I screwed up. Royally. When I checked into him for you, there were a couple very minor things that didn't quite add up, but EVERYTHING else balanced out. So I stopped digging. Turns out, I should have kept on digging. Alec Bonder's some kind of high-end thief along with being an engineer. And he's paranoid enough that the fact that I'm a cop made him start digging into ME. He's got a lot of Phoenix names." She shoves a hand through her hair. "He and his 'benefactor', who I don't have a name on but I've got Cardinal looking into him, are offering us their services. The benefactor for a price, Alec for free."

She listens quietly, but on the revelation he tracked Elisabeth a smile starts to spread and her head shakes a few times. When the floor is hers, Cat laughs softly. "Impressive," she murmurs. "If we involve with him, we at least know he's security conscious and very capable of running counter-surveillance."

But there's more silent speculation taking place in her brain. The eyes show turning wheels now. Another thing to ask Teo about when she can. When, not if. Confidence.

"It was said there's another faction out there interested in us, one that wants Peter free. I have to wonder if that could be them, perhaps willing to help get him out, but thinking of a fee for things other than that."

Perhaps the Linderman Group or someone attached to it who double deals like Kain Zarek, one of their arms dealers? Does Zarek do that with or without Linderman's knowledge? Unknown. But, also… Arthur Petrelli. Peter's father.

"We should meet with Mr. Bonder soon. What's your recommendation?"

There's a roll of the blue eyes. "Oh, no…. he's definitely not affiliated with whatever group wanted Petrelli out. Alec's definitely ONLY in this for the money. Or at least…. his benefactor … how'd he put it?" Elisabeth thinks. "They think we're doing the right thing, and they're willing to help us out — Alec will build your panic rooms for just the cost of materials, and his benefactor is willing to offer his own services at procurement or whatever the hell for a fee." She shrugs a little.

"He came at me with confessions and dumped the whole 'I'm only telling you because you can't tell anyone, and if you try to make it a problem, I can totally burn you' attitude on me. I don't really know if the offer's a trap, but I suppose that technically…. he's right. If he wanted to actually make trouble, he could have already. He had no way to know about the Moab run, and I was keeping it quiet until after that just in case. Cardinal has said he's pretty damn boring so far. I thought he could be trusted to make your safe rooms — I told you that before. But right now, I'm doubting my own judgment."

She can't say why that other faction would be interested in helping free Peter for free and charge for other things, because Elisabeth herself asked to be denied memory of that interrogation. Arthur Petrell is a name Cat won't mention to her. At least not without Kinson around to reverse the command so she knows she agreed to it. No, and hell no there.

"Not so much just panic rooms, but exits into the sewers and such that don't appear on any blueprints or have any visible entrances. Just building them is tricky enough, given the likely unavoidable trail of workmen and the like. Anyway… your assessment is they won't give us up, and they're a decent potential contractor for clandestine services?"

There's a grimace. "Before he confronted me with what he had on us? I'd have said he could be trusted to assume you're a rich, eccentric New Yorker, yes. Now? He would know clearly why you wanted such things. And since I can't just go take the information away from him, well… keep your enemies closer and all that. Might be a good idea to bring him in, I just…. " She shakes her head. "He's basically offered that if we don't want anything from him, that's fine — and so long as we don't burn HIM, he won't burn us."

Elisabeth adds ruefully, "My taste in men clearly leaves much to be desired."

"You like a taste of the danger," Cat replies with a slightly knowing chuckle. "I've a streak of that too," she admits. "Kinson could make me do things simply be telling me to, with his ability. It's the combo of possibility that he could while feeling safe he won't that forms a lot of the appeal. It didn't hurt that he's also a wordsmith."

Left unsaid is that it was something similar that initially fascinated about Petrelli and his telepathy, until he turned away at the moment of truth and she decided he'd likely have too much luggage to let that close again. She's sympathetic about Helena's travails since those two came together, sincerely, and she does hope they can somehow become happy together, but the truth is Peter doesn't have issues. He is Issues. Confidence is low on that score.

"Don't beat yourself up over this, Elisabeth," Cat supportively offers.

Liz glances at Cat and says quietly, "Oh, I'm gonna beat myself up over this for a long time to come. Here I've been so damn paranoid that I'm going to do something to expose the group to the cops, and now I've exposed it to the possibility of blackmail too. Just… this is crazy." She sighs. "I've considered walking several times, just … getting out altogether. But honestly, I don't think I can just sit on the sidelines of all of this, either."

"You're essential," Cat asserts. "We should meet with him soon, you and I. Who else do you think he knows about, among us?"

Once more, she grimaces. "He knows… about me, obviously. Trask, because he bugged my damn apartment. Abby. You. He knows Parkman's name. He knows the name of a bunch of cops that I'd consider safe to talk to if we had to, though he thinks they're part of Phoenix. Teo."

Elisabeth adds, "He said he knew more, but those were the ones he listed off the top of his head."

She seems amused now, mildly. "He thinks Agent Parkman is one of us?" Cat takes a moment to not laugh about that.

Liz does grin at that one. "Well… at the very least he's heard the name."

"So what we may need is a strategy of subtly calculated disinformation to test what he might do with it, while you and I meet with him and see what he has to say," Cat suggests. "Perhaps he can be persuaded to tell us who his contact is."

"It certainly can't be riskier than accepting Gabriel Gray's word. I'll need to contact Brian soon and brief him on the situation, but I won't go to the lighthouse. There are children present and he's in Linderman's pocket to some degree. I'll also still be working to find the others and bring them back, passing along word as I have it."

There's a slow nod, though Elisabeth isn't so sure about keeping Brian in the loop due to his ties to Linderman. Especially with a clone of him now a Company agent. That's Cat's call, though. "Keep me updated. If you want to sow disinformation, I'll help you where I can. Do you want me to make a meet for you, or wait til we hear from Teo?"

"I'm interested in meeting with Alec after I feel comfortable approaching Abby and getting this wound handled," Cat answers. She winces a bit and looks down to check the bandages. Still in decent shape. She hasn't resumed bleeding. "That guy had a powerful magnetic field. He threw my rounds back with the speed of a rail gun. Standard rounds even, and yet one went through Kevlar."

Elisabeth winces. "Damn," she says quietly. "All right. Give it a couple more days, see what they do about it. Call me if you need me, okay? Right now, I'll get back to my regular routine and see what I can do from that end."

"Will do," Cat replies with a nod. "Take care." Then she takes up a phone and contacts Wireless again for the latest update or lack thereof. Back to the regrouping effort.

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