You Don't Stop Time


cat_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif hiro_icon.gif

Scene Title You Don't Stop Time
Synopsis The basics of a plan are discussed.
Date February 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.

It's been a few days since the sojourn to Staten Island, fairly quiet days. Four days since she met Hiro in the Rock Cellar. He'll find her, Cat knows. She doesn't let herself worry about it. Her mind at the moment is on catching up with Elisabeth, who she's invited to come here this fine cold and sunny Saturday afternoon in Nuked York City. She's got some food set out to be eaten. Fare from Piccoli's, to wit. There's two glasses on the counter and a bottle of red wine sitting out, ready to be opened.

Cat's in the security room, watching the lobby camera feed so she can see her guest arrive there and go for an elevator, so she can call it to her floor.

Her plan is to be at the door waiting when the elevator arrives, to spare the need for knocking. Clad in jeans, athletic shoes, and a blue hoodie with Yale across the front in white letters, she glances at the time display on her iPhone.

Elisabeth comes through the club with little glance around, stopping at the elevator to wait for it to open. She knows Cat will be watching, and she waves toward the camera. When it drops to the ground floor and opens for her, she steps in.

It's a short trip to the penthouse, when the elevator opens she's there waiting. "Hey," Cat greets with a slight smile forming. "Good to see you finally get a day off." One of the double doors stands open, she's leaning her left shoulder against it. Inside the penthouse tunes are playing. Old rock, the Rolling Stones classic Gimme Shelter at the moment.

Elisabeth snickers mildly. Though she's wearing jeans and high-heeled boots with green long-sleeved top and a lighter green and white cardigan over it, she's also armed and badged, both clipped to her waist beneath the sweater. "It's not a day off. It's just the late shift," she tells Cat. "I haven't seen a day off since the incidents."

Hiro Nakamura's particular ability allows him things that most people would find mind-blowing, if they really knew the true extent. If they knew that rather than stop time he could merely slow it down for others and speed it up for himself, giving himself a sliding scale of superspeed that is limited by conception. If they knew he could stand one planck-distance removed in a fifth-dimensional frame of reference from this spacetime continuum and yet see what occurs here. It is, for all practical purposes, invisibility. And can sometimes be intangibility.

The value of stealth is something that Hiro has learned. The payoff for self-amusement is, in spite of tragedy, not something that Hiro has ever unlearned. That's why he stands behind Cat, utterly silent, watching the monitors with her. And when she leaves the room to go meet Elisabeth the Japanese man lets himself 'click' fully into this dimension and lean over the monitors. He whispers to himself, "Her?"

By the time they make it back from the elevators he'll be waiting, seated. Sword taken off and laid across his thigh where he sits. It doesn't agree with chairs that have backs.

"Still, your shift is over, right?" Cat replies, closing the doors and securing them after both have entered. She hopes so, at least. Being able to relax is something she wants to give the blonde officer. "I think a plan is taking shape to get our friends back, or at least the first steps of one are being planned out. A way to get information we need, and a person to get it from." In starting to cross the floor, she has yet to detect the presence of a sword-wielding Nakamura.

"Over? Yeah… about 4 hours ago. I'll be back on the clock in a couple more," Elisabeth replies with a faint grin. "But since you asked me to lunch, I figured…." Her voice trails off, and she stops in the living room, staring at the man sitting in the chair. "You!" she says in surprise.

"I'll put the wine away, then, and get out the cola," Cat replies, her attention on the blonder and shorter one as they walk. She stops when her guest does, a confused expression coming to her features. There's no one else here, she knows, having watched the security monitors, unless Claude maybe made his way here from Staten Island and followed Liz. She's not accustomed to people suddenly teleporting in, the last time she experienced that was when Peter Petrelli discovered she had a more than roommate, Dani, there.

She turns to check out whoever's being stared at, and her face shifts into a brief expression of surprise too.

Once that moment has passed, she looks from one to the other and deadpans "I guess introductions won't be needed?"

"Hello Officer Harrison." greets Hiro with a nod once he's acknowledged. He even stands when Elisabeth and Cat enter the room, sheathed sword held surreptitiously just to keep it from falling to the floor. "It's nice to see you again. You as well, Dr. Chesterfield." The formality is at once familiar and distant. He likes to be polite. Always has. It's very hard to make a Japanese man NOT be polite as he understands the concept. Clearly he bears no ill will for the laughable attempt at taking him in for 'battery'.

Looking back at Cat, Liz seems…. at a loss. "Okay…. what on earth is going on here?" She looks back at Hiro and says, "Given that handcuffing you obviously does me no good, I'll refrain — for now." Until Cat or Hiro tell her what the heck he's doing here in Cat's very secure apartment.

"Handcuffing? When did you handcuff Mr. Nakamura? Why? He's a recently found ally, with some interesting talents." Cat's face shows complete confusion. She turns from Elisabeth to Hiro, asking questions of him as well. "How did you come to know her name?"

Elisabeth's reaction to Hiro, her words mainly, cause him an expression that is a smile's shy cousin. "Yes. For now." As if he might very well be willing to let her arrest him again. Allowing a person their implications and assumptions is the politest lie there is.

He then looks to Cat to explain, "I allowed myself to be arrested after cutting a man's hand off. I man who tried to kill me." He inclines his head toward Elisabeth while his eyes meet hers and adds, "I had a look at her identification before I left. She wouldn't tell me her name at the time."

"An ally, hrm?" Elisabeth smiles faintly. "You were dealing with the man I was partnered with at the time," she tells Hiro. "Parkman," she says in an aside to Cat. Then to Hiro, "I didn't really feel I had the need to attend to niceties given the fact that you'd just responded to a baseball bat by nearly killing a guy. Your response was not entirely commensurate with the attack, given the fact that you could have just gotten out of his way." Her eyes are stern on Hiro. "If you're gonna be an ally of ours, there are ground rules. And the number one ground rule is you don't run about cutting up innocents or stupid people just because they're stupid. Cut up people who deserve it."

She glances back at Cat. "You said something about a plan? I want to hear about it."

Her eyes close briefly as Cat listens and absorbs the information relayed. Baseball bat. Amputated hand. Hiro under attack. Parkman. Those eyes reopen, and roll a bit, the name connected to it all perhaps causing her a bit of mild annoyance. "Agent Parkman," she murmurs. Then Hiro is addressed. "If you would, please do refrain from doing things which will cause my friend the officer to have conflicts. She takes her job seriously, and it is a needed job. But she isn't without understanding of issues we face."

Silence resettles for a few seconds.

"We've identified an agent within DHS who may have information we need. We intend to lure him out, get him to tell us some things, and remove all memories of the encounter."

Hiro's response to both of the women is a neutral expression and a deliberate bow. And then he sits again, calmly placing the Kensei sword in his lap. No arguments from him. There is a concentrated nature to the man that seems to consider the arguments from these women little more than distracting chatter.

Once they begin with business, Hiro offers, "The information we need…there's quite a bit of that."

Elisabeth gives Hiro the Eyeball. She can tell he's brushing off her rule, but so long as he doesn't pull that shit where she has to see it, well… there are certain realities of life that she's becoming more willing to overlook. She looks to Cat and asks, "What agent? Anyone I know? And how are we planning to go about removing their memories? *And* what kind of information do you think this agent has?"

"His name is Jonathan Carmichael, he seems to have some sort of supervisory rank. He's known to have the ability which was used in capturing Helena, Brian, and Al," Cat explains. "We plan to use an associate whose voice is very persuasive to get his compliance, and cause him not to remember the encounter. If we can pull this off without our opponents knowing anything happened, that would be perfect."

"If he was able to capture others with his ability, just what is it he can do?" asks Hiro with mild interest, leaning on the table with both elbows, arms crossed.

Elisabeth raises a single eyebrow at Cat. "I hope you're not referring to *me* when you talk about him not remembering. My ability doesn't work that way, Cat. I *might* be able to convince him to be compliant, but that's about as far as it goes."

Hiro is addressed first, Cat answering his question. Her features shift into a scowl, she's experienced that ability firsthand. "He causes people to become incapacitated. The limbs grow numb, as if drugged, and fail to move properly. It's what caused me needing to crawl to the virus container to use that thermite grenade. The closer I got to the target, the better I was able to move, which suggests a range to the ability. It may have been him, it may not. Can't rule out more than one person having that particular tool."

A thoughtful expression forms during a pause. "Do you think you can stop time and exempt three people other than yourself from the effect, Nakamura-san? If that can be done, we might be able to pull it off without any time passing while we have him."

Catext she turns toward Elisabeth. "No," Cat answers. "I hadn't actually realized you could do anything like that. The plan turns on someone else, whose voice has potency. We'll be doing some tests, one of which is to gauge how memories can be affected with his tool. I'm the guinea pig for that trial."

"As to the specific words to use, I've thought about it some. Surrender, do not use your evolved ability, answer all questions immediately and truthfully, and forget this entire encounter."

"I can pull myself and other people through dimensions." says Hiro, nodding to Cat. "I don't know how many is too many, but I'm pretty sure three people wouldn't be too difficult. Once their…" he hesitates for the proper terminology, "…paths, I guess that's a good word. Once their paths are progressing in the dimension I pull them into, they're stuck there until I put them back where they belong."

While he's listening to what Cat says to Elisabeth, Hiro hesitates and betrays the slightest of scowls. More thoughtful than anything else.

There's a bit of a shrug and Elisabeth says quietly, "None of you ever really asked about the applications of my ability. But they're a bit different than Conrad's in a few respects. Not the least of which is a form of what they call subsonic telepathy in my case — It's one of the reasons I'm such an effective negotiator, and why I've been so busy lately. It's eminently useful for crowd control." She smirks faintly. "Or for inciting a riot, I suppose." She moves further into Cat's apartment now, fetching herself a soda from the other woman's regfrigerator. With the drink in her hand, she comes back to drop onto the couch, telling Cat as she moves, "I can't compel people to my will, but I can usually convince them to do what I want, unless their own mind is adamantly opposed to the suggestion I make. Think of it like a high level of hypnotic suggestion — the subsonic carrier waves can induce emotional responses that make people calmer or more agitated, with my voice as the focus. I might be able to do it without using my voice — Con was working on those applications with me before he died."

There's a moment of silence as Liz considers what Cat's doing, and she purses her lips. "You're better off going with a telepath — of which we only know one and I doubt he'll be convinced to help us in any way break people out of prison — or with… hell, I don't know what else would even do it."

"It works best if we can pull it off without anyone knowing the man was ever even taken," Cat begins, "so you may be asked to try that, Nakamura-san. The three people other than you would be me, to record the whole thing simply by being present and perceiving it; a man whose ability I've seen in use who can instruct people to do things by the spoken word, and the Agent himself. We'd need to act quickly, to prevent him using his ability before we can take any action, that's our first concern."

"And that's very interesting," Cat tells the blonde officer. "You're right, I hadn't asked, perhaps I should have." Cat certainly will in the near future. "Can you maybe amplify one person's voice so it seems extremely loud for a specified target, but is unheard by anyone else? Or… use your cone of silence to protect all but the persuader and target against the man's vocal effect…"

"It could be done, and accuracy of recall for whatever we learn from him assured, by means of a video camera, of course. If you can cause it to still work while time is arrested, Nakamura-san."

Well, it's sounding like the beginnings of a plan. Potentially a rather sound one at that. All this if you can do this, and if that can happen. Hiro offers briefly, "If you like I can try to explain to you exactly what it is I do. Would that help you?"

Elisabeth sips from the soda while she listens to Cat's plan, mulling on it. "I *think* it can be done — Con showed me how to dampen gunfire, for example. The principle would be similar — keeping the target and persuader alone in a bubble shouldn't be hard at all. I can certainly amplify a voice, narrow it to a target, but that would require …. probably a straight line to the target, and no one in the path." She frowns. "I'm not so sure about that part, it's a complex kind of manipulation — several layers of sound manipulation involved, and I'm not so good a those."

Her head inclines as she listens to the two others, Cat absorbing all of their comments. This is how Cat rolls. Think analytically, consider all the possible angles, and try to plan for them. Nothing ever goes completely to design, so minimizing what can go wrong and working to eliminate surprises is crucial. One never knows when a single New Jersey policeman could spot someone at a target location, decide to check out a possible terrorist, and start a chain of events which concludes with Homeland Satan boots on the ground to capture people.

"Please do, Nakamura-san," she requests.

With a glance at Elisabeth, Hiro remarks, "You might find it interesting the next time your associate Agent Parkman suggests arresting me." Of course what he really means is: The next time YOU suggest arresting me.

Then Hiro goes into it as simply as he can, "We are not what we appear to be. Everyone knows the Fourth Dimension is time. What not everyone grasps is that we all carry our own timeframe with us wherever we exist. I can stop the flow of time, but when I do that, I'm not really stopping time. I'm stepping down into the Third Dimension and bringing my own timeframe with me. If I pulled you," point at Cat, "or you" point at Liz, "with me, you would bring your timeframe with you. And you would exist in a lower dimension as your higher dimensional selves. The same goes for objects that I pull. Does that make sense to you?"

Elisabeth looks absolutely lost. "Sort of"

"You don't stop time," Cat replies after a moment's ponderance. "Time works like a river. You can reach into the river and pull out stones or fish from the water. That river still flows, but objects which were in it are now outside the flow. The objects aren't changed by it, and they can be put back exactly where they were."

Elisabeth looks far more enlightened with Cat's explanation, obviously.

All things considered, 'sort of' is a pretty good start. Hiro nods to Cat, "Like that." Then tries to polish it a little. "Okay, look…" he sits back, rubbing his palms together and looking around the room. He sets the Kensei sword on the table he's been sitting at tries a different tack. "You think you're three dimensional, right? But you're not. You're four dimensional. Both of you are. The progress of what you were to what you will be is that other dimension. In the third dimension, nothing happens." He looks between the women to see if they're with him. "At all. It just…is. It exists. Nothing changes. The point is that yes, I can do…" he hesitates again, eyes looking up as if mentally doing some figuring, "…anything you think I can with that." Nodding. That seems about right.

"Meaning you can have a video recorder in use to capture the agent's information, and don't need me there for my flawless memory, which reduces the number of people you'd need to affect, or making room for another, to ensure no one but the target is affected by the commands given and they can be spoken as loudly as necessary, because a manipulator of sound is present to block off everyone else," Cat opines.

"Basically, yes." agrees Hiro. Though he's quick to add to Cat, "But I would have to hold it. Or position it. And it is possible that some abilities can reach across dimensional boundaries and affect me. There are forces that reach across dimensions. So there is that to consider."

Glancing between the two, Elisabeth looks curious. "So how does this play into the plan you've got in mind, Cat?"

"I think it means we need a human video recorder present, rather than a mechanical device," Cat replies. Meaning herself. "And we really, really need to prevent him from using his ability quickly." She spends a few more moments thinking, then suggests "We may need it to be myself, you," her head inclines toward Hiro, "you," this time her nod is toward Elisabeth, "Kinson, and Carmichael. Five people pulled out of the river and active."

Hiro's next word is a question. "Kinson?" He's not part of the social circle, remember.

Elisabeth raises an eyebrow at Cat. "I thought you said you had an ally you were going to use. Again… my ability is definitely NOT of the compulsion variety." She doesn't ask about Kinson only because she's aware of the name, though she's never met the guy.

"Kinson is a media specialist," Cat replies, "who'll be helping us put out more projects like the one we used around the time of the Miracles. He has a very silver tongue, when he needs to. Persuasion is his ability. It's his voice I'm thinking to use with Agent Carmichael. Your task, Elisabeth, would be to shield the rest of us from hearing his voice. I'm not certain he could target his ability to a single person hearing him, and he may need to speak loudly."

The explanation of Kinson causes Hiro to nod slowly in understanding. "Timeframe for this occurring?" he asks then. One crucial fact at a time.

Elisabeth nods, now understanding.

"I've not yet been told when this will happen," Cat answers. "I'll need to contact Teo and Wireless, to advise them what we've come up with here. They're handling the end of luring Agent Carmichael out, but once I have something I'll tell you. If I know a way to contact you, that is. A signal which will alert you to find me."

Hiro seems to consider this pensively for a brief moment. Here's what he almost does:

Tell Cat: Get a spotlight and paint a big H on it in matte black paint. Then shine it at the clouds at night, when you want to call.

This is why Hiro snorts just a little, shaking his head at himself. "I'm…going to need a phone." he decides. "I don't jump around in time as much as you might think. For the most part I am trying to stay here in the now. It's where we really need to operate."

Elisabeth blows out a breath and looks thoughtful. "Try and give me a day's warning so I can make sure to arrange my schedule to *not* be paired up on a call with a Homeland Security agent, okay? Kat Marks has been dogging my footsteps like NOBODY's business." She glances at Hiro and then at Cat. "We should still have the cache of disposables, but it means getting hold of them. Unless you have some of the extras."

"I do," Cat answers, getting to her feet. "I'll be back shortly." She heads to the room with the security monitors and comes out with a disposable phone. She's checking the number it answers to as she moves, and programming a number into it for one she carries. The device is offered to Hiro when she reaches her guests. "I'll be buying more soon, to keep the supply up."

Then she glances over at the blonde officer and shakes her head. "I'll get you as much notice as possible."

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