You Really Hate The Man


cat_icon.gif helena_icon.gif mona_icon.gif

Scene Title You Really Hate The Man
Synopsis Mona is shown disturbing things.
Date August 4, 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 still early in the evening, though Mona had given Cat a call with plenty of advance notice that she would be coming, as well as a casual request to include Helena if possible. It's sometimes nice working the way she does; though she's quite often as busy as a little bee, her workday is still flexible enough to schedule in mini-visits where she wants them. And this particular visit has the potential to be the start of something important— at least in that it's been something she's been promising for a while, now.

Wearing a grey peacoat, jeans, and a black-and-white scarf, the writer'll show up the security cameras clearly enough as the elevator doors sliiide open to let her into the entryway of Cat's domain. She clears her throat quietly, taking a moment to reorient herself as she focuses on unwinding her scarf from her neck. The slim, silver watch on one wrist is given a brief glance. If she's not right on time, then she's pretty dang close to.

Helena is sitting on Cat's couch, a bowl of cereal and milk fitting into her curved hand. She's a bit lazy about getting dressed, as evidenced by her yoga pants and camisole top, her hair in a messy ponytail. "You know what Mona wants?" she asks Cat with curiousity, just as Mona's making her way up. She sits calmly, like a Delphic Oracle…if the great prophetess would ever eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch and allow herself to be draped in a cami with the picture of a baby chicken and the text: Chiks rool.

"Maybe she just wants to hang out and talk," Cat replies as she starts toward the doors, "or it could be business. Ethics, maybe training. We've also yet to show her the files," she muses. About a minute later she reaches the appropriate set of doors and opens them to greet the telepathic blogger, two bottles of stout in hand. Both are open, but one is entirely full.

And there Mona is, her mouth quirking into a small smile when she's met in the entryway. "Hey, Cat," she greets as she steps into the room where the two women are already gathered, brushing a strand of dark hair out of her face. She adds another "hey," too, for Helena's benefit as soon as she spots the blonde. "Glad you two could both make it. You're probably wondering what this is about, huh." It's just as if she can read minds! …Well.

"Hey, Mona." Helena says with an ease she doesn't really feel. Bottom line: Telepaths make her nervous. The wall is up, and she occupies the surface of her thoughts with…let's make it Evanescence lyrics today! Yes, Hel is feeling suitably tragic and sorry for herself these days for it to fit. "Kind of curious, yes. What's up?"

The bottle of stout remains extended toward Mona as Cat secures the doors and turns to head further inside with the mindreader, to rejoin Helena in the entertainment area. "It is intriguing, though you're one of us now, so it seems natural you'd come around at times. Eyes move from her to Helena and back again, as she lifts her own stout and takes a drink from it.

As it's presumably being offered to her, Mona takes the stout with a thankful lift of both eyebrows. But then— I've been living a lie*— there's **nothing inside The unexpected Amy Lee-style assault makes her blink, once, as she heads over to take a seat in a comfy armchair close to the couch. She shakes her head slightly, probably to clear it. "Wouldn't have guessed you like 'em," she comments at the cami'd, cereal-toting Helena as she settles herself in with the bottle in hand, but she doesn't digress from the question for too long.

"It's about that, actually. Reading minds, Cat mentioned that a little bit of training in that area wouldn't be unhelpful and I… well." There's a one-shouldered shrug. "It seemed appropriate to ask someone over who's already had a bit of experience with it." Plus, she's pretty curious to see just how much of a wall Helena can actually put up.

Helena sets the bowl to the side on one of Cat's endtables, her knees coming up to her chest. "You want training in how to get past people's mental defenses?" she asks, failing to hide the edge of raw nerve at the end of her question.

"I think the idea goes in both directions," Cat offers, "she helps us get better at keeping telepaths out, and in the process sharpens her own skills." She settles into a seat and drinks from the bottle again as she lets her thoughts wander. What Mona might soon pick up on isn't Evanescence or Abba, no, it's Rush. The overture to 2112.

"I - no." Helena's sitting straight up and a touch pale and looking like she wants to run for the hills. And now she can't help it, it's not thoughts that break past her own wall, but images: Helena, strapped to a chair while Verse painfully invades her mind, Helena, strapped to a table, heat lamps making her sweat and writhe while Verse does the same as before, a mindscape memory of Verse, holding a gun to Helena's mother's head…the memories are jumbled flashes mixed with terror and anger. "I'm sorry, I - I can't."

…no. No no no. There's another blink from Mona, this time a much longer one, one hand coming up to perch on the arm of her chair like an uncertain butterfly. "No. Nothing like that. Cat's got it closer, but— I want to help you stop people hacking their way in." She lets out a laugh, trying to defuse the tension of Helena's gesture and retort but also a little nervously. "God, no. It— has nothing to do with me wanting to do anything. What do you think I am." A monster, or something.

"I do think you need it." This is soft and extremely apologetic; Mona actually shudders from the influx of images she suddenly receives, and her voice lowers into something far quieter. "I shouldn't be able to see that. Nobody should."

Not being privy to what Helena's projecting, Cat simply listens. There aren't words coming from her, this is between the weathermaker and the blogger. Concern is on her features, though, and thoughts form behind her eyes. Musings, mullings. About what sorts of unpleasant imagery would force a telepath to pull back. She calls up an image of Matt Parkman, and imagines him being held upside down by his ankles over the edge of a roof while she shakes him viciously a few times and threatens to drop him unless he signs a document denouncing his job as working for the Devil and vows to resign just as publicly as he stood up and helped Nathan Petrelli expose people with powers.

Helena takes a few breaths, and the images recede, though she's not looking at either woman. Brick by brick, her mental wall is rebuilt. "The person who taught me initially wasn't a telepath." she admits. "Most of my um, practice - it hasn't been practice at all." She looks apologetic, and still can't bring herself to look Mona square in the eye just yet.

"Hence why you probably need it," Mona reiterates as she lets her hand drop into her lap, swigging deep from the stout to calm her nerves. "This is good stuff. —But, Helena, you get my point. You're the leader of Phoenix. If someone just happened to get ahold of your head, it'd all be over." And as for the picture of Agent Parkman being dangled over a rooftop, well. Cat receives a light lift of her eyebrows. "You really hate the man, huh." Not saying that she likes him, but, wow. Vicious imagery.

Her lips curve into something of a smirk at Mona's comments on the imagery she called up, but she doesn't speak verbally. Instead, what she has to say is conveyed mentally. He knows whom he serves, and still chooses to do so. Not to mention he could've acted to keep Helena out of prison for the grand crime of stopping Kazimir's plans and chose not to. Whether or not Matt is guilty of that doesn't matter, Cat believes he is. She was tortured by a telepath at Moab. And Matt's a telepath. Whenever defenses against them is the topic, Matt is remembered easily.

Helena blinks at Cat. Really hate who? Well, admittedly, there's a lot of people to hate. "No, I get you." Helena says quietly. "I just - let me think about it, okay? It's hard for me." Helena is seldom vulnerable. Or at least, seldom shows it.

"Matt Parkman," Mona clarifies for Helena's sake, even though it hadn't been asked aloud. "And yeah. Yeah, of course you can think about it. There's no 'have tos', here." She shifts her position slightly, resettling one leg so it's crossed against the other. "The offer's for anyone in Phoenix, though, not just Hel. You…" Speaking at Cat, of course. "Elisabeth… anyone else. They're important, too."

The image in her head shifts as she seeks one which might cause Mona to withdraw in shock and call for her to stop. It's not a pleasant memory she goes for at all, one far darker than the imagination of Matt previously shown.

December 9, 2008

She comes to slowly, as the drugs wear off, and as the fog clears begins to take stock of her surroundings. Movement of the hands is tried, she finds they won't move. The floor is cold, there's not much light. The cockney voice is missed for the moment, escaping her perception as it came before the dizziness faded. Her mind is at work, however, and connections are made. Man less than six feet two, Caucasian, balding, between thirty and forty. Ethan? Possibly. She tries to speak, the sound being muffled by tape she can feel, and confirms the purpose of it. Her eyes move to seek out Dani and spot her location, to judge the distance between them. For the moment she remains lying on her stomach.

"So, I should probably establish the rules." Comes the voice from the darkness. "I'm going to ask for information. I don't play games. So if you tell me to fuck myself, if you stay silent, or give me an answer that I don't like I will hurt the other girl. It will go in three strikes. The first time you mess up, I will beat the girl with my fists. The second time I will cut off a toe, or a finger. The third I will shoot the other girl. After that, you're both simply dead."

A moment passes, Ethan allows it to settle in. He pulls up his foot to set on his knee. "You try to fight me, you try to escape, I shoot you in the kneecap." Another moment. "I am not joking, and these things will happen. Now, I know most people feel like they need to exercise a bit of a fight at the beginning of an interrogation. I will not tolerate that, that's why I'm giving you the rules now. Nod your 'eads if you both understand."

It's in such perfect clarity, not fuzzy from the amount of time passed like it might be for some. Cat's face has hardened, the emotional effect of what she's replaying in her head can be seen there. The rage that smoulders, held down by force of will. The pure hatred for that Cockney accented man.

Mona does not visibly withdraw in shock, nor does she call out for it to stop. She does close her eyelids in a disturbed fashion for the bulk of it, so as not to be overwhelmed by the layering of the images in her mental eye atop reality; Helena might notice that her entire posture has gone somewhat stiff. Good god. That projection, for a projection it is, is for Cat's mind's alone, filtering in as a murmur after the second time Ethan threatens to shoot the girls.

"Jesus, Cat. Jesus."

Helena looks between the two of them suddenly, registering Mona's shock. "Did you think this would be easy?" she asks softly. "Or that either of us thought this was a game?" She's not yelling, nor angry at Mona - but now the woman's got a real idea of what both have endured for their cause.

The images vanish from her head, pushed aside in favor of more pleasant things, though the woman's face is still stony. Eyes come to settle on Mona, as the expression eases. "Jesus had little to do with it," Cat exhales quietly. "Perhaps I should have warned beforehand the sorts of things I might choose to call up as part of this, Mona. But it is serious business, and figuring out what works in persuading a telepath to get out of my head can't be gentle. Because anyone wanting to burrow in with hostile intent certainly won't be anything of that kind."

"I didn't imply that either of you did." Though at least the first couple words that come from her are defensive, Mona appears to regain her composure if not speedily, then at least efficiently. "I didn't come at this thinking it was a game, either. But." She takes the moment to wring her hands together, letting several breaths go by in troubled silence before speaking again. It's a lot to take in!

"I think I - Mona, would you excuse me?" Helena rises, her cereal forgotten. "I think I need to get some air. I promise I'll think about it. I understand that more taining is a wise idea, I do. Just give me a little time." With that, she flees almost hurriedly, no doubt retreating to the upstairs garden.

There's no move made to follow, Cat seeming to believe Helena wants alone time up there. She may seek to join her later, but for now she remains with Mona. Her bottle of stout is lifted and drawn from for an extended moment, then she rests attention on the blogger again. Despite the tone of things so far, or perhaps because of it, Cat displays kindness in not seeking to go further. Truth is she has no desire to call up such memories any more than Mona would wish to receive them.

Miss Rao, though, might pick up the fleeting thought that such tactics are only useful if she knows a telepath is around, they do nothing against a subtle intrusion by a practiced person after specific things, and this is what she'll need to figure out resistance for.

"Stout is one of my favorite beers," she states, drawing the talk to much more pleasant things.

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