You Were Dead?


cat_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif helena_icon.gif

Scene Title You Were Dead?
Synopsis When Gillian brings news, the question could be asked of two among three present.
Date July 2, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Roof

She's been thinking here and there since the meeting with Adam and his group the night before, on a group of subjects. It's brought Cat up to the roof of her building where she sits in a chair with a bottle of stout and her favorite guitar plugged in. The door leading here is left open atop those stairs close to the kitchen, making it easy to join her up here. Where the note she left in Gillian's safehouse unit said she'd be if the multi-powered woman chooses to venture forth. A means to enter the penthouse was also provided.

Also on the roof are a variety of planters with dirt and sown seeds she'd had brought up not long after Helena gave the order to leave the Old Dispensary HQ and began spending more time here.

At least the clouds over Staten Island never fully gave way into rain. That might have had something to do with a certain experienced weather manipulator more than gaining any kind of control over her emotions. Gillian's trip back had been just as slow as her trip there had been. Paying for boat passage, waiting for it to be willing to go back, and then getting a ride. When her brother's ability is supported by positive emotions, it's difficult to access now.

The note gievs her access, and she shoves it into her pocket, making her way up to the penthouse, and then to the roof. The long trip has given her some time to settle, even if there's sluggish movements and something unfocused in the way she looks around, like she isn't noticing everything going on around her. The drab clothes also seem out of style for her, loose pants and a hoodie as opposed to anything stylish. Doesn't look like she brushed her hair after a shower, or put make up on either. "Hey," she says in a hoarse voice, eyes reddened and bloodshot.

Helena's on the far side of the roof. It's not that she's disparaging of Cat's company, but sometimes you can be hanging with someone while at the same time giving and getting a little space. When she sees Gillian, she rises to her feet and starts walking over. At best, she's conflicted. Who Gillian is to her isn't an easy thing, but that doesn't mean she really wants to see the other woman (ha! the other woman) suffer, non-serious jokes about concrete shoes aside.

Brown eyes move to settle on Gillian as she steps out onto the roof and speaks her terse greeting, they take in her emotional state quickly. Cat places the guitar in a stand not far from her seat and places the bottle on the surface next to the chair as she stands. "Good to see you," she offers quietly. There's no asking if she's okay or any other standard question which might be asked. She clearly isn't.

"I'll just… get right to it," Gillian says quietly, voice whispered as her eyes settle on Helena for a moment. There's a unsteady inhale before she looks off into the sky at the spaces in between. Some unconscious part of her wants to manipulate the weather, but the more experienced person can keep it from ruining their outdoor time. "I— went into Pinehearst. I know I didn't tell anyone, I'm not very good at reporting to people when I— I used Brian's power, sent a clone in. I figured if he tried to take a clone's power it'd fail cause they're not completely me and…"

"I went to talk to Peter. To try and find out if they're keeping Gabriel alive, if he knew anything about it… He didn't know anything about Gabriel, but…" She takes in a slow breath, voice still shaking. Explaination time done. Meaty information to follow.

"He thinks the injection is ready and Pinehearst has a meeting with the government sometime next week involving it."

Helena takes a breath. "That's bad enough, but something obviously went wrong. Very wrong, with the thunder-strike and the way you look - you used Brian's power? You sent a replicant in?" She moves closer to Gillian, peering intensely. "You were killed. Or very badly injured. You look like Brian did when Peter killed one of him."

Listening in silence, Cat's features show solemnity at what's spoken of. There's not really much to say, and Gillian seemingly still has more story to tell, even as her thoughts become operational. Serum ready, trial to happen soon. Time is growing very short.

"Kinda wish I'd known about that beforehand," Gillian says shakily, still not quite looking at them as she does. "I was— leaving and Arthur just appeared out of nowhere and… didn't even hesitate, didn't even try to take my ability. Grabbed me with his powers, held me, swatted Peter out of the way when he tried to… he said he was disappointed in me and… He cut my head off with a laser." Hence, death. "Not even sure he knew it was a clone."

Helena stares, wide-eyed. "There's no way Peter would have just accepted that. He must be a prisoner, even if he wasn't before. I'm so sorry - I remember how hard it was for Brian. Why did Arthur attack you? Did he know right away that you weren't on his side anymore?"

He what? Damn. Cat's operational thoughts stop short and turn fully to Arthur's recent actions, and this prompts her to speak. "I can't say if he knew you've got that ability or not, but the odds seem against it. He doesn't seem one to let a chance like that slip away, especially if he intends killing. He likely believes there's only one of you. I was tossed out a window and the house set afire. Chances are he thinks I'm dead too, not that it matters. He only needs to try pinpointing where I am to know the truth."

From the tremors shaking her legs, Gillian just tries to bite down for a moment to stop it. Brian didn't handle it well, and neither did she. "Peter was— I was trying to get information, without giving anything away, but the way he was talking… He doesn't remember things. Arthur said his… mind was an open book now. I couldn't handle some of the things that Peter was saying. I told it was a lie, that he was being manipulated. I asked him to leave with me, that I could help him and protect him. That he didn't need to stay there… So I guess I kinda gave it away when I did that."

"An open book." Helena repeats dully. Her knees shake for a second, and she silently moves to take a seat. "So alright." she says, silently willing herself not get worked up. "Peter's a prisoner, whether he knows it or not. Arthur is onto you, which means he's onto us, and that means if we have any time left, it's not terribly much."

"Beyond that," Cat intones solemnly, "if he has the serum and is about to make a demonstration, time is of the essence to destroy him and it before the thing is sold. I'll be contacting T. Monk soon to speak with him about Adam's approach and recent developments, get his input on who needs to go into motion with plans. At our last conversation, he felt we'd fail if we took him on, said this job was best left to others. Whichever others those are need to get moving."

As Helena sinks into a chair, Cat moves for another and slides it toward Gillian, aware she has shaky legs too. "We also need to hear whatever Lucrezia managed to learn. But about Arthur being onto us, well…" There's a few beats pause. "He's been that since I was tossed out a window."

"Peter's a prisoner who doesn't even remember the things are are important to him." As she says that, looking at Helena directly for a moment, there's a tremor in her voice and a flux of attempt to manipulate the weather— "Doesn't remember Phoenix either, I'll bet," Gillian says quietly, closing her eyes for a moment. There's those tears again, but she rubs them out quickly and sets her jaw in place. If she'd played along, she could have gotten more information, could have had power, could have had him… but instead… "I'll get this under control as soon as I can, so I can help out," she adds on, tightening her jaw and pressing lips together until they pale.

Helena's expression goes a little white, whiter than normal anyway. But message received, Gillian. "Nothing we come up with seems like a feasible way to stop Arthur." she admits. "And I'm not really sure of what to make of this offer of Adam Monroe's."

"That's not surprising, the lack of memory when a person's in the orbit of a Primatech founder," Cat opines darkly. "Adam's offer… that's perhaps the easiest thing to decide on, to me. I recommend we ignore it altogether unless absolutely necessary. He's an ally of Kazimir Volken, he was locked up for trying to release the Shanti virus before that, and he killed Kaito Nakamura to help Arthur get that serum to begin with. For all we know, that wasn't really Adam. It could just as easily have been Arthur out sniffing in his shape."

"Curse you, Edward Ray," she mutters under her breath. "You wanted Pinehearst acted against, and it's in the pipe, but you made the one person who could've helped us most unable to do so. Idiot."

Moments later, after setting that aside, her eyes come to rest on Helena in search of agreement. "So I contact T. Monk and let him know the time to rally forces against Arthur and act is at hand?"

Adam Monroe? The explaination of who he is makes her eyes narrow a bit, but it brings up something else. "Eileen said that a lot of ex-Vanguard people were preparing to go against him— I don't know for sure if they're doing it to help us, or just get Gabriel's body back, but…" Gillian trails off. Mentions of Gabriel seem to carry their own brand of shaking in her voice. Not too unlike when she spoke of Peter, either.

"I said I'd try to let her know when we're going in. Two groups, different goals… could act as a proper distraction. She said she'd give whatever intelligence they managed to find out too." There's another pause. "I'd been training to fight him. Knox and Rickham helped me out. I can switch between powers pretty quickly now." Even if Arthur killed her clone with little struggle at all. The clone had only been capable of a few small things.

"We can't rally forces, we need a plan." says Helena haplessly. "Throwing ourselves at a problem and hoping it doesn't explode doesn't work. We don't even have an idea of where to begin, so what's the point of getting people together? We need to decide who we're willing to include on this, then bring whoever their ops people are together to hash out a plan, and then we can rally like it's roller derby."

"Either way," Cat replies, "the first step to forming that plan is through T. Monk. Whoever he was speaking of is likely reachable to him, and the coordination can be made." She seems calm, focused. It's not so much that she intends to be or seem cold toward Gillian in this stretch of time, post-beheading. It's just how Cat operates. Focus ahead, not dwelling on the negative. Stay busy, especially when struck with grief and loss.

"I can write down what abilities I know I have— which ones I can switch between easily," Gillian says, trying to take on the calm expression Cat seems so capable of. It's not as easy for her, since she felt like half of her got torn apart… "If I would've gone along with the lie, I could've gotten more for us— I'd still have my security card. But— I know what the security cards look like. I could draw them. If you got someone good at forgery, that could be something we could do." Fake IDs for the win? Also any codes used would have stuck in her memory, but…

"I don't like the idea of working with Monroe." Helena states. "And even if I'm now accustomed to certain individuals, the Vanguard working as a collective once more scares me." She shrugs, not bothering to hide her air of helplessness. "All of these might be good things, but we still need a plan. I'd suggest getting what you can from T. Monk and then deciding who we're willing to work with and who we aren't. God forbid Cat, you may have to deal with the likes of Ethan being on the same side."

"I've done that before," Cat replies solemnly. "He did, after all, turn against Kazimir and help block his plans. I still bear him emnity, my opinions haven't changed, but some time ago I chose to not let him have power over me anymore by chasing vengeance, and because Eileen asked. For whatever reason, she views him as a fatherly figure, and there are bigger things to be handled than what lies between him and us. She and I actually get along now."

"You know me, Storms," she adds quietly, "the mission comes first, even when the choices are hardest and things are intensely personal."

What she had to offer in the way of a plan, she already did, so Gillian stays quiet for a while. It isn't until Cat's finished her statement that she can make it not personal does she speak up. Unlike her, she can't keep it impersonal. Maybe she never could. It's not who she is. Eyes fall on the blonde weather witch, "Helena— I have to know something… Did Arthur manipulate his mind in the future you saw? Did he— change his memories and make him…" She doesn't finish the question, but the way she looks down, she might be able to figure out where the question would be going.

Helena nods to Cat in acknowledgment, looking thoughtful, at least until Gillian asks her question. "He didn't have to." Helena points out tightly. "I was dead." A sudden pause and then, "Why do you ask?" Her tone suggests it would be best for everyone if the truth were told here.

"You were dead?" Cat asks, eyebrows raising. That might be all of the why Helena shared so little about that future. Her demeanor shifts, indicating now how much she wants to hear this story, and then some.

The tone of voice makes Gillian look down toward the rooftop, hesitate visibly. "He kept— he kept saying things that— He said that he loved me." She doesn't look back up, but she turns away from them, still shaking as she had been much of the time she stood on the rooftop. "It wasn't real— his mind was being toyed with. When I mentioned you he just… didn't remember you as more than someone in PARIAH." And that's a big chunk of memory missing… "I don't know what he DID remember… but I don't want a lie. I just— wanted to know if…" If it'd all been a lie then. She doesn't finish before she shakes her head, still not looking at them. "It doesn't matter, I guess. Not like that future exists anymore."

Helena can't even speak for a few moments. There's pretty much nothing she can say which would be comforting, nor is she entirely certain that comfort regarding this matter is something she could even begin to attempt. So she answers Cat instead. "Shit. Yes. I was dead, killed along with thirteen others due to a suicide bomber from Humanis First. Peter and I were going to get married, and then I died. He married Gillian. There's more, and don't ask me, because I don't want to talk about it. I shouldn't have even told you this much."

"It's okay, Helena," Cat offers quietly. She won't ask any more, the topic is let go for now. Her intent is to learn more, as much as she can, but there'll be no attempt to get it from the shortest one present. She will instead seek to hear it from Teo 2019 and beat it out of him if she has to. Silence rules as she rolls this over in her head, along with a desire to choke someone for torturing Miss Dean whether he could help it or not.

"I'm going to— go," Gillian says quietly, rubbing a hand over her face before moving to the exit from the rooftop. "Still have my phone," she adds, so they know they can contact her without waiting for her to come back.

Helena doesn't say anything. She's not fuguing, but she seems to have completely lost anything further to say. She acknowledges Gillian with an uneasy nod before letting her gaze stray, looks only briefly sidelong at Cat.

"Take care, Gillian," Cat offers. "Thank you for coming." Her features are subdued, thoughts filled by their sufferings and the nightmare which is romantic tangling with Peter Petrelli. This latest bit, him not remembering Helena, is deja vu. They've been to this place before. Now there's his claim to love Gillian, and Helena having seen a future where she's dead and her lover married one of her friends.

In the back of Cat's mind, amid her feeling for both of them, is her sense of relief that she decided as she did when Peter was outside her bedroom door and turned away. That she then opted to not travel that path again. Because this is what it leads to.

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