cat_icon.gif stella_icon.gif

Scene Title Woodstock
Synopsis Someone grew up there.
Date February 19, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Fourth Floor Safehouse

Clocks are approaching nine a. m. now, as Cat steps out of the unit Delilah's in. That went fairly well, she thinks. Now to see if Stella is still here, hoping she is. She glances at the door of the one where Victor went, and pauses. I get it, I really do. I understand grief, firsthand. Miss you, Dani.

A moment is taken to compose herself and not show that, then she knocks twice on the door to Stella's accomodations.

Stella has been reading the paperback that was tucked into her back pocket from the night before, a Jim Butcher mystery. She looks up at the knock, and rises to open the door. "Hi there," she says when she sees Cat standing there, offering a tentative smile. Stella still hasn't quite gotten a read on the other woman.

What was true the night before remains true. Cat has no idea she's speaking with a telepath. "Morning," she replies. No attempt to enter is made, she remains in the doorway. "Things went strange last night," she comments. "You think Victor will be okay?" Her head turns briefly in the direction of the door to his unit. The expression to her face is pensive, but calmly so.

"I hope so." Emotion rings clear in Stella's voice, and it is clear by her face that she is concerned for him. "Did you talk to him? What did he say?" Turquoise eyes look up at the taller woman, eyebrows lifted inquisitively.

"I haven't yet, but I'm hoping to," Cat replies. I may call his sister first and have her come here to talk with him too. I get where he's coming from. Loss, grief. Her too, a little. Can't pick who we love, and it doesn't go away easily.

That track of her thought process stops there, and turns to something else. What Stella saw, and how she takes it. Her position on certain things. "The way he blew by everybody with him, the Evolved ability. Wow. Does that sort of thing scare you?"

Stella shrugs a little. "He actually told me before. Seeing it in action was different than hearing about it, but it's not like the Evolved are a new concept. I've known people who were Evolved before." And I'm a telepath, she added silently. "You handled it pretty well," she added. "Have you seen a lot of that sort of thing before?"

"Here and there," Cat replies. "One can never tell how people will react, what they're thinking after encountering an Evolved person. The Linderman Act requires registration, calls for people to sign up and be tracked like sex offenders. Some become targets, get killed for it. People discriminated against, just for something they were born to be."

As she goes silent, her thoughts turn to the Founding Fathers and their thoughts on the role of government. Ben Franklin's maxim comes to the fore. They that trade liberty for some measure of temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.

Stella nods, her face serious. "I've certainly seen that happen. A friend of my mother was killed because she was Evolved, and she was hardly the first. It's so wasteful, to treat such talented people like they have a curse." Her tone hints at passion beneath her words, and she stands a bit straighter.

Cat's head tilts a bit, as she listens. Her voice has a speculative tone when she speaks. "You sound as if you'd not register, if you had such an ability in your skillset. I can't blame you there. Everybody should rise up and demand the Congress throw the Linderman Act out. People who aren't Evolved have to realize what it really means. It's an expansion of police power, permission to treat others like freaks. Sooner or later, it can only lead to other groups being targeted the same way."

The thought that comes to the fore now is one that might not require telepathy to perceive. It's a question, one she won't ask outright any more tha she intends to share the truth about herself yet. Are you Evolved, Stella?

Stella nods. "I've thought about it; what I'd do if I were put in that situation. I don't know if I'd register or not. Would you?" Are -you-, Cat? That's what she wants to know, but she's too wary to ask, or even probe the woman's mind to see if she could find the answer that way. Some people could sense a mental probe, if they were aware enough.

"I doubt it very highly," Cat replies. Neither confirm nor deny, just like Stella did. "I'd probably think the world is dangerous enough without adding that to the mix, even if I did seriously consider it. But, those tests are coming out, they'll probably force the hands of people who've chosen to hide."

Stella nods. She then offers her hand to Cat, "I'm Stella, by the way. Stella Hightower. I'm new to the city, just moved here from Woodstock. Thank you for helping me back from Staten Island.. you have a nice place here." Stella smiles warmly.

"Woodstock," Cat replies, her features shifting into something less pensive. "That's got to be an interesting place to live. I watched the film made at the festival there once." I never need to watch anything twice. "Good to meet you too, Stella," she adds, extending her own right hand. The skin is warm and smooth, soft, but with calluses at the fingertips. Her grip has a bit of strength to it as she shakes once and releases. "And you're welcome. I'm glad you like it. But, you know, the ownership of this place is murky. Some eccentric musician type told me it'd be a good place to bring people if they needed a bit of help temporarily. I wouldn't want word to get out so much, though. Can't be doing this for just anybody, Staten Island is simply dangerous and I couldn't just leave people there, not after all that happened."

Stella smiles. "I liked it. I was born and raised there. Picked up some interesting skills. I can read tarot cards, for one," she offered. "It's always good to have a haven for people. You seem like the type who can take care of people." Another smile, this one warmer, taking up more of her face, softening it. "Good to know."

"I can be," Cat answers with a chuckle. "But I'm also not so much about the credit." Or the potential of people asking about this place. I hope she doesn't go telling stories. "Are you looking for work, Stella? Looking for a place to live, maybe both, since you just got into the city?"

"I applied for a job over at Old Lucy's. Still haven't heard back on whether I've gotten it or not. Fingers crossed, though. And I'm looking for a place to live still, yeah.. do you know anyone looking for a roommate? I don't mind living with someone if we can split the price of everything." Stella looks questioningly at Cat.

"I see," Cat answers. "You can stay here until you find something, of course. There's food in there, washer, dryer, the basics, two bedrooms." She trails off. "But you know all that, having stayed there last night. What sort of work are you interested in, Stella?"

Her thoughts continue to form, possibilities are pondered. It'd be good to have her here, I can use more help. I think she's Evolved, and sympathetic. It's a big risk to take, she's wary of coming out and saying it, as am I, but she also knows Gillian's brother…

Stella beams at Cat. "Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I can do any kind of work, really. I chose Old Lucy's because it seemed like a fun job that also paid really well, and I like interacting with all sorts of different people. I don't have any official training in anything, but I can play the guitar pretty well. Not enough to make a career out of it or anything, though."

"You're very welcome again, Stella," Cat replies. A slight smile settles onto her face. "I'll have a look around and see what might turn up with some people I know. There could be something for you in the building, even."

Stella nods. "Thanks. I'll have to see how I did at my interview before I consider any alternatives, of course, but it will be good to have options. Say.. you never told me your name." Stella had been waiting for her to let it drop but she had yet to, so she decided to pry it out of the other woman. "You know mine. Fair's fair."

"I'm thinking of something related to music for you, Stella," Cat answers after a moment's reflection. "You know, Greenwich Village for a long time had a Bohemian reputation about it, and it could again. It should again, don't you think? So your job, headquartered here, could be to scout for musical talent in the city. Keep your ear to the ground, check out people you hear of, report on them. It could pay, oh, let's say forty thousand per year. Does that sound good?"

And here the request for her name is mulled over. We danced around the whole question of being Evolved or not, neither of us confirms or denies. I'd like to not have my name tied to this place, but it is what it is. She'll know my name through Victor anyway, most likely, after he and Gillian talk. So I have to trust her. Hopefully she'll come to trust me too.

"I'm Cat," she supplies a few moments later.

Then her iPhone goes off; she checks the display. "I should take this, Stella. Could we pick this up later?" Cat grimaces, not wanting to truncate the conversation at that point, but seeing little choice.

Stella nods with a smile, "Sure thing. I guess if I'm going to live here, I should get my stuff and everything. We'll talk again soon? She half-asks, already knowing the answer.

February 19th: Welcome Mat
February 19th: Somebody Else's Business
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