2008-05-20: Let's Get Dangerous


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Summary: The stuff Kory's going through lately is enough to turn her hair white! Or not. But she gets her Brain Trust and her boyfriend up to speed on the latest List related ups and downs.

Date It Happened: May 19, 2008

Let's Get Dangerous

The Deveaux Building - Kory's Apartment

When you've got something big on your mind, the work day can seem to either fly by, or drag like molasses in front of a police station. Today has been more the second type for Randall - by the time he finally gets out (and he has to stay in; the bills don't go away just because there's a crisis), he's built up enough nervous energy that he finds himself pacing back and forth in the elevator car. Finally, as the doors open, he rounds the corners to Kory's place as quickly as he can without whacking an ankle along the way.

Sophie is coming by mostly to say hi. She is still in process of moving into an apartment right next door on a college student salary. Which means it is currently pretty barren, and boring. So, she ends up meeting with Randall almost running into him as he rounds the corner. "Oh.." she gasps, more surprised than scared. She takes a breath and chuckles, 'Oh, hello, Randall.' glancing at Kory's door. "'You decided to visit too?'

Kory is, for once, not on the computer. Nor at the Lair. Nor is she dreamwalking. She's sitting in the room which, in daylight, would be spectacular with sunlight. Tonight it's dim with city light and what moonlight comes in, and a reading lamp. She's stretched out in one of the comfy chairs from the old apartment. And she still really needs to fill this huge place up with furniture and decor at some point, but — well, stuff on the mind. Stuff on the plate. Not to mention she's a bit wigged out by recent developments. Getting a dreamwalk hijacked is nothing short of freakoutable in the Kory lexicon.

"I've been doing that a lot," Randall says to Sophie, "my own place is pretty close to being a storage shed these days." Why hasn't he sought out his own place here, with the friendly landlord and all? Lack of time, mostly. Unlocking the door, he takes a quick look around, heading toward the kitchen first… no, wait, there's Kory over there. "Hey, it's me," he calls out. "It's us. —Wait, are you all right?" Not sure what her body language is saying, but it's saying something, all right; he quickens his pace a step.

Sophie walks in after Randall, saying, 'Its me, Sophie.' singing it out. Then she pauses, worriedly, at Randall's comment. She then walks over more quickly, "Kory, what's wrong?"

Why hasn't he sought out his own place here, with the friendly girlfriend and all? A question that hasn't been asked. Kory's gotten more confident lately. But the romance situation — well, she still has her skittish moments.

"Oh, god, don't look at me!" Kory squeaks, and hides behind her book, reaching for a large, floppy, Cat-in-the-Hat hat.

A moment later, she's brought the book down, and all her hair is hidden under the hat. "Oh… hiiiiiiiiii?" She smiles crookedly. "Hi, babe. Sophie." She gets up to greet them, Randall first. Boyfriend privilege, y'know.

Randall blinks. Okay, no obvious new disaster in progress; he steps forward and steals a quick kiss, reaching up to toy with the hat but not remove it. "Bad hair day?" he asks, stepping out of Sophie's way at that point. "I noticed it was stuffy in the subway but I didn't think the humidity was what was doing it."

Sophie takes a breath, and gives a bit of a smile. She touches her own hair with some wry commiseration. "Mine goes a little crazy in the humidity."

"It wasn't the humidity," Kory says, a little sulkily, glancing up crosseyed at the brim of her hat. "It was bad labeling on temporary hair color." She remains in Randall's arms — well, one of them — for a minute. "I was doing some disguised work. And apparently my hair's so porous that it takes to the stuff way too well. It should've washed out days ago, and multiple washes ago, but, um. It hasn't."

On instinct, Randall does lift the hat up just a little on one side, enough to get a look at the shade in question. "Not that it looks bad on you, but what if you tried dyeing it in the other direction to compensate? Or would that turn it gray instead?" Well, at least he's trying to help, even if it's just guessing.

"More to the point," he continues, "what sort of disguise work?" Dealing with covert events in person isn't her usual thing.

Sophie looks a little puzzled. "Disguise? Are you trying to spy, get some information?" then says, "I think you can go to a salon and they can change it back to your own color.. Mine's too dark, I never tried coloring."

"Probably a bit too late for that, Sophie." Kory's hair is blue now — the sort of blue that only occurs in candy products marketed for tween-age children — so apparently in a moment of frustration she went too far to the other extreme. But she blushes at the compliment. Maybe she remembers Randall complimenting her in blue on a subconscious level. heroesmush-bluekory.jpg

"I had to get close enough to someone so I could touch them, because I can't really dreamlink easily on someone who's a perfect stranger. And I had to dreamlink this person like — right away," she explains. The blush has faded, though. She's all business now. "You guys ever met Elisabetha Belmont?" she asks, looking anxiously from one face to the other.

Randall did meet Elisabetha once, but it was back around Christmas and his attention was mostly elsewhere. "Not that I know of. Sounds like a Ivy League type, just from the name— but I knew a girl back in high school had a name like that, and she was plenty down to earth." And long since hooked up with someone else. No threat here, Kory. "Anyway, what about her?"
Sophie shakes her head, frowning in thought. 'Well, at least the name doesn't sound too familiar.' she admits. "Why? Who is she? Is she on that list, too?"

Kory gives up on the hat. It's late May in New York. The hat is too hot. Vividly blue curls flop out from under it as she tosses it back to the chair she was occupying. "She's like us. Only not in a good way." She looks at Sophie. "And no. She's not on the List. Nor should she be. She's an entropokinetic." Is that a word? It is now. "And her father, Novak, is training her to bring about the end of the world if I'm interpreting his dreams right. He has her thinking that we're all suffering, and her ability is the only way to release us — us being mankind — from our suffering." Kory's focusing on her disgust at the man twisting a young woman's mind to his own purpose more than she is horrified. This is probably a self-defense mechanism, given how sensitive Kory tends to be.

Randall winces. "Oh, that's just what we need, huh? Buddhism twisted into fascism. I used to know a guy who talked like that, too, but he was just running his mouth, using reincarnation as a half-ass excuse. But if this woman can actually make it happen… wow, that's pretty bad." He wanders over to another chair and sits down, consciously assuming Rodan's Thinker pose. "You think maybe something like this is why Pinehearst is pushing the way they are? Because they spotted her, or someone like her, and they're desperate to throw numbers at the problem?"
Sophie listens with some repulsion. She says, softly, "There was supposed to be this band of monks, near the beginning days of Christianity, that, they claimed, would baptize people, babies, supposedly, and then kill them. Send them, shriven and temporarily free of sin, to paradise." she takes a breath, 'Entropokenesis? She can.." she takes a moment, "move.. manipulate entropy?" she shivers at that idea, "Do you think she could, with her power? It is bad enough that she would even want to."

"I haven't seen her use the power as such, but she was pretty up front about it when I talked to her in dreamtime. Peter — Four Years Hence Peter, that is — he's seen it. And it bothers him. Badly. Enough to consider …handling…the problem." Gentle Peter Petrelli of the present day would be horrified that in four years he considers cold blooded murder 'handling the problem', but by Kory's expression and halting way of phrasing herself, that's just what she's getting at. "She calls it Thanatos, and I'm kind of wondering if it isn't some kind of disassociative thing she's attached to the ability."

She curls up on the floor at Randall's feet. "Truth to tell, y'all, I'm scared to get back in her head, even though I think I made some headway." She regards Sophie with serious, haunted eyes. "I don't know if she could, but I'm pretty sure her father is working Pinehearst so he can distill her power. Or magnify it. Somehow he thinks Sylar can help with that too. He was dreaming of cracking the earth like an eggshell. And I'll be damned if I let him get near Gabriel. He's worked too hard to put Sylar down and keep him there to let some honest-to-freaking-god Mad Scientist undo it all!" Turning fear into anger is potentially a little more productive than letting it turn her into an acrophobe.

Randall, meanwhile, draws a knee up to his chest and clasps his fingers around it, squeezing tightly enough to drain the color from them. Intellectually, he knows that Kory can handle the Sylar situation, whatever that is; they spent a few months working through that. Emotionally? It still scares the hell out of him. Plus Pinehearst and their apparently operational formula. And now there's this Elisabetha and her father, on top of it all. "So… yeah, we've gotta do something, but what? Who do we know that can stop an ability like that?" Stopping the person with the ability - permanently - may be easier, but only as a last resort.

Sophie shakes her head as she pales, then she pauses at that question. "I don't know about.. permanently. But, I do know someone who has the ability to.. stop other people's abilities."

Kory senses the motion and looks up at Randall. "Babe, it's okay." She flows to her feet, almost unconsciously, and moves to embrace him. "He's different now. In a good way. He hasn't hurt me. And he won't." It's been weeks of her visiting the former killer in his dreams, to say nothing of the actual in-person visit. And to say nothing is where that encounter remains, given Randall's reaction to the mere mention of the name. She strokes through his curls, pondering his question.

As Sophie mentions someone who has the ability to stop abilities, Kory realizes she does too. "Rochelle?" She asks. "Rochelle! She's on the List! I just haven't been able to find her lately, and I don't know her well enough to dream link. I'm not even sure I could, given her ability!"

Randall glances up at Kory, untensing one hand. The other remains where it is. "That's a good point— if she's an energy sink, then you might not. Do we know her last name?" After all, while 'Rochelle' isn't as common as Mary or Jennifer, it's not exactly rare either. "I can always try making some phone calls."

Sophie shakes her head, "I don't know.. Hiro knows her, though, if you can get ahold of him. She can put off this field, where nobody's will work. And I know, when I first got them and was, well, upset at how they worked, she was able to turn them off temporarily."

"Hiro? He's been promising to help with the Panic room, but he's been …I have no idea. I don't have the scientific knowhow to make little Kory-tracers and tuck them on people I want to keep track of." She shakes her head and gives a rueful little smile, still soothingly stroking Randall's hair. "Wouldn't be right to put Rochelle in a situation where she has to follow Elisabetha around all the time. And who knows if the power'd work right around somebody who controls entropy?"

She pauses, takes a breath and adds. "Oh, and I met Peter and Nathan's mother. Her husband? He's the bad guy. Pinehearst is his deal." Whee, bombshell after bombshell. But it will at least distract Randall, hopefully, from his OMGSYLAR! reaction.

Randall shrugs. "Well, let's try to get in touch with Rochelle separately, anyway? At least she might be able to buy some time." Who knows what Hiro's up to; with their luck, there are another half-dozen disasters waiting to happen, and he's tied up with one or more of those.

"Peter's mother… I take it she's not in it with him. How much does she know about all this, or do we know yet?" The mention of Nathan is met with a largely blank look; to Randall, he's mostly just another face on the TV.

Sophie shakes her head, 'It must be so hard for the man, though.. trying to save everything and his own father is part of what's causing the problem.' She nods to the suggestion. 'At least, if Rochelle's power does work, we can try something."

"If it's the Rochelle I'm thinking of, I know how to get ahold of her cousin. She's supposed to do a signing at the Lair sometime soon, for her new book," Kory says thoughtfully. "Though Leah's not on the list herself."

"Peter's mother? She's with The Company." Audible. Capital. C. Yeah. That Company. "And no. She's not with him on this. She wants Pinehearst to go down as much as we do. She also thinks that the Company and the Listies are going to have to put aside their differences and work together to succeed. Not like that's a tall order or anything," she says. "Oh, and she hijacked my dreamwalk. Did not like that one little bit." Even less than having Dale Bozzio blue hair, by the tone of her voice. "The old saying goes, Sophie, 'the villain doesn't see himself as one. He thinks he's doing right.' But yeah. Peter's being pulled in two by this, I'm sure. Maybe that's why his mother locked him up and drugged him. To keep him from experiencing it all directly."

Randall says, "The—" Somehow, after a year and change of looking for Weird Things, Randall's closest approach to a direct run-in with the Company is Kory mentioning them a couple months back. "Well, at least there's some precedent for that sort of thing. Although they probably think we're playing the Megavolt role, instead of the other way round." Having said that, he falls quiet, considering: the Company has people with abilities working for them? It makes some sense on a practical level, but at the same time, it sounds that much more complicated."

Sophie looks a little puzzled and she says, "I can't even keep up with groups. Company.. just 'The Company'? And I guess they aren't so good either? So, each of Peter's parents are with a different agency, ones that may not even like each other?"

"For sure, they don't like each other," Kory says to Sophie, after giving Randall a quirked 'huh' look for the Megavolt remark. Was that Darkwing Duck? "Thing is, by my lights? The Company is just as bad as Pinehearst in their own way. They kidnapped Elena. Peter's girlfriend. To blackmail him into turning himself in. They used Benjamin Winters to do it. He betrayed a friend on orders from them. And Gabriel doesn't think highly of them either. They have some unpleasant past together, too. So while she wants us to work together and put differences aside, I'm not sure how reasonable a request that is." She shakes her head. "I haven't eveen succeeded in getting ahold of everyone Peter's put on the List yet, and that's after having told Micah and Niki I need help. But I guess building the Micah.net is taking up all his time. That's probably a lot of work."

It was. They had to team up against Negaduck once. ('If he destroys St. Canard, there'll be nothing left to rob!') And there's even a point to the pop culture reference: "I don't think it is, either," Randall continues, "Megavolt turned right back into a threat as soon as the bigger threat was brought down. Personally, if they're the type to use Elena as bait" - another familiar name, though one he hasn't seen very often since before she and Peter hooked up - "then the furthest I'd go is to stay out of each other's way, just hit Pinehearst from two directions at once."

Sophie nods thoughtfully. "Most movies I'd seen, even if the bad guy does follow through and help, because its dangerous for him too, he goes back to his old ways as soon as its safe again." she makes a face, "Yes, that sounds pretty awful. Though, if it can't be done any other way, we may have to. We'll just have to watch our backs.

Kory gives a tired smile to Randall and Sophie, nodding. "Yeah, that was about the way it parsed to me, too. 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend', as the saying goes. But only as long as the common enemy is a problem. And that's my concern. I dont want to wake up when this is over in the Company's clutches." She leans over Randall, embracing him around the shoulders and resting her chin atop his head. "But Peter trusted me to do this, and it's too late to turn back now."

Ooh, way to push Randall's overprotective button there. "I don't want you to wake up in their clutches, either! We'll work out a way to keep them at arm's length." Reaching up, he grabs the side of Kory's arm and gives it a quick squeeze.

Sophie nods to that, quickly. 'If there's anything I can do.. you said you are having a hard time with finding the List people, can I help with that?"

"Nor I you, Randall," Kory says gently, tightening her embrace. She looks over at Sophie. "Yeah, that would be a huge help, Mnemosyne," she says, smiling knowingly. "The file's on the computer nearest the kitchen." She lets go of Randall long enough to key Sophie a login of her own. After getting a password from her Brain Trust, she returns to Randall's side. "Feel free to scroll through everything in there as long as you want. I think I'm gonna brew Randall a cup of tea and work this knot out of his shoulder." She gives said shoulder a gentle squeeze.

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