You Had Hope


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Scene Title You Had Hope
Synopsis Marilena is briefed.
Date October 13, 2009

ACB Floor Two: Helena's Zone

This is the second bedroom. It's got more than ample walk-in closet space. She has no shortage of separate spaces for each type of clothing. It even has a private bathroom with a full size shower and an enormous tub to take baths in.

A full size Sleep Number bed covered with pink cotton sheets and a pale blue comforter rests at the center of it all. The other furniture; including a nightstand, a full length mirror, a dressing table, sixty inch HDTV set with cable converter and DVR under it, a tall set of shelves holding a large number of CDs on one side and a stereo system with equalizer, radio tuner, speakers, and an iPod dock on the other, are placed at equal intervals around the room.

Up from the basement she comes, stepping out of the freight elevator. Her jacket is carried, which means the silenced pistol is in full view. The guitar case with weapons inside is over one shoulder. They remain on her person as the floor is crossed and the door to Helena's zone is opened. Cat moves quietly, knowing the speedster body now hosting Miss Dean is or was asleep. She expects that'll be unchanged; her plan is to slip in, sit, and think until she wakes.

Her features are grim; thoughts turn to earlier such situations and unfavorable outcomes in the recent past. The only time a captured person's been extracted was the Moab raid.

And mixed in with all that lies the issue of Mother's campaign and really bad decisions.

Marilena is not asleep. She's instead rooting through her own drawers, eyeballing the clothes that are now too tiny for her. "Where do I shop, kid stores?" Marina sighs. "None of this fits me. I just want one spare set of clothes, so I can wash these." She looks over her shoulder at Cat's arrival. No knock? Her smile shows too much teeth. "Hey, Cat."

"Try some of mine," Cat offers, "since the speedster and I are closer in height." She sets down her gear and settles into a chair, seeming to let some of the focus slip. A slight crack to the mask of focus and poise she normally conceals things behind. "I've been busy," she relates quietly. "Efforts are underway, information is being gathered. Eileen says she's looking for possible places with her birds, Peyton had a look last night and reported back the possible locations are Midtown, Jersey City, and Long Island. Some underground structure, maybe a parking garage. Not terribly descriptive, but it does start to narrow things down."

The best piece of news," she shares while making eye contact, "is someone we've not seen in some time surfaced."

Marilena pushes in the drawer and moves to sit on the bed. She eyes her own long legs with something between envy and disparagement. "Those do seem like they'll take time." she admits. "But what's your big news? Who's popped up on the radar?"

"Candy Allard," Cat reports, "made contact. Brian and I met with her, she says she got in deep. Bill Dean spoke with her. Bill and some Irish guy. She says they have something planned."

A pause follows before she reports "I called Peyton up and she met with Candy, but cautions were taken so she doesn't know who Peyton is or what she can do in case she gets captured and tortured. I told Candy what the risks are," she assures, "and what she can expect if caught. Contact isn't expected, it may be too dangerous, but in any case we'll have Miss Whitney occasionally looking through her eyes and reporting back. Having them meet covered the base of her maybe needing familiarity with the person."

Marilena's brows raise. "If she finds my body, she's going to be key in getting me…or Marina? I guess, out. Has she reported in since going undercover?"

"Not yet," Cat shares, "it was just this morning I talked to them. I'm mulling over plans, and shared the situation with the group. Ideally, we can find a way to get you and Wendy Hunter without needing to engage them at all. There's no need to make martyrs of them. I'm hoping to extract you, then call the police and anyone else I can think of to come grab the HF members."

"McCoy was skeptical of that working, he says we'll have to battle in and out, and is probably right. But we should at least try to avoid a large fight."

After musing in silence for a time, she asks "What are the limits on Carolina's portals? If we can pin down a location, we can maybe have her open one. Grab and dash. Something you can help with. All that speed."

"If it does come to a fight, though, you'll be key to things. Disarming a group of men is easy if you're too fast to see."

Marilena blinks. "You're asking me if I know? You need to ask Carolina. She's the one who knows her own limits. But yeah, a grab-and-dash would be ideal. As soon as you hear back from Candy and can tell you where my body is. And once we've got my body back, we need to get Doc to make the switch. Where are we on handling that?"
"I've contacted Claire and asked her to dig up all she can on Doc," Cat reports. "McCoy is also looking for him out on Staten Island. Once he's located we can make a plan to grab him." Her jaw sets, she studies a wall in silence for some moments.

Marilena presses her lips together thinly and peers. "What is it?" she asks. "I'm glad we recruited Scotch. He's a really good resource on a lot of levels."

"The feeling of helplessness," Cat admits. "Each time a situation like this comes up, it all comes back. Wanting to rescue Dani, not being able to, having no clue where she was and no assets to find her with. I failed her, and she died. It hit me with Elisabeth being taken, and it hit me again." Standing, she begins to pace.

"The only time we've succeeded was with the Moab raid, because we had time to gather information and plan. We also knew you wouldn't be executed."

"This time has to be different. We've more assets than we did, we're able to track and locate better. I refuse to fail. But time is short. They'll kill the woman they believe is you in some public way."

Marilena shakes her head. "You're not helpless here. We have resources. And I know you won't let anything happen to my body. I have every faith in you." She attempts a joke. "Besides, like I'm ever going to get used to being this tall?"

"I like being tall," Cat replies with a grin. It lasts for some moments before fading out. "I've also got Mother's campaign on my mind." Her voice is quieter now, carrying a hint of feeling betrayed in it. "We should discuss what she said when we met."

"Alright." Marilena says amicably. She folds her long legs indian style and lets her hands rest in her lap. "Discuss." she prompts. "You do seem less than excited about your mother's campaign."

"When Delilah called to tell me what happened with you," Cat starts, "I was at Solstice Condos meeting with Mother." Her voice is quiet telling the tale, she sounds shamed. "She says a coverup is in about her involvement with Pinehearst, and arrangements are made to have Father reported dead in a plane crash somewhere upstate. Then she went on to say she's gone back to work for the Company. That Allen agrees with her decision."

Marilena flinches as if she just saw something ugly. "That's a heaping helping of suck. She understands she'll get no support from us, right? Though I'm sorry about your father. I was sorry to begin with, but he died a hero." That's something. Bill's likely to die a craven bastard.

"She asked me to come work for her at the Company, Storms," Cat shares. "She said nothing can change if you don't do something about it. Her brows furrowed, she dipped her head down to look at her hands. Then she said she doesn't have anything, not with Father gone. Her work at the Company was what motivated her, drove her, helped her keep her head on her shoulders. She's talked to Robert Bishop, the main director of all of the Company's global operations, and he's gave her old position back. There's a hard line of reform going through the organization since the destruction of the Bronx facility, she claims. They allegedly have an internal affairs department that's investigating the mishandling of management."

"I told her I'd believe the Company has changed when I see it in widespread practice. She… just doesn't get it. Claims working from the inside has value, is the only way to make change. And that… She isn't a stupid woman? How can she have slept through high school and college when we were all told about the outsiders who did achieve lasting change? Gandhi. Dr. King. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Ben Franklin…"

"I… It was such a ridiculous claim she made. But I'm also pragmatic. Part of me sees an opportunity here, to infiltrate the Company and work to do what Roger Goodman couldn't. To find the evidence and drag it all into the light of day. But I also, contrary to what some might believe, don't see myself infallible. A thing like this could corrupt me, get me killed trying, or both."

"What're your thoughts, Storms?"

Marilena frowns. "There's value in having an inside man. But that kind of work - I can't imagine they wouldn't watch you very closely for just that sort of thing. Depending on how loyal your mother is, she might even be the informant who reveals you. I've never wanted to deal with the Company at all, and honestly can't see how it won't be just another way for them to play us for fools."

"True enough," Cat nods, "I'm not someone they wouldn't suspect of such desires. The main thing is it did present an opportunity of a sort, and I wouldn't just cast it away without consulting. I'd also ask Noah Bennet how best to pull it off. Hana too. I didn't tell her the full story, just said I want to meet with her, and reported I believe she'll need to keep eyes open. Linderman will try to rig the election like he did for Nathan in 2006. Rebel, that's the combined name for T.Monk and Micah Sanders, were told of the expected tampering too."

"As if they wouldn't?" Marilena can't help but ask. "I'm surprised Hana bothered to give you the time of day once you even mentioned the Company. She absolutely hates them."

"I didn't tell her the full story yet," Cat comments. "I just told her to look for cheating."

"I'm a fool," she laments after an extended silence. I wanted to believe Mother saw the light, was capable of learning. But she isn't."

"You had hope." Marilena counters, "And your parent disapointed you. It happens, Cat. It doesn't make you a fool."

Silence. She doesn't have anything to say for the moment. Cat remains seated a bit longer, then leaves the room. When she returns she brings clothing that might fit Marilena, a bottle of stout which she starts to drink, and a Red Stripe for the transbodied leader.

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