2008-03-29: Lodging A Complaint


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Summary: Cass files a complaint with the head of Pinehearst.

Date It Happened: March 29th, 2008

Lodging A Complaint

Fort Lee, NJ - Pinehearst

The time has come. That time that is Cass' breaking point at seeing too many Xs next to names due to testing. Too many Xs really would have been one, but this is really just too much to not actually start up a conversation with Nathan. He may be Logan, he may be evil, but he still thinks she thinks he's Nathan. Which should give her some sort of a leg up, right? As she stalks down the hallways of Pinehearst, her anger is getting more and more pronounced until she is all but buzzing with it by the time she reaches Nathan's office. There's a loud rapping knock that she gives as her only announcement and then opens the doorway and storms through, waving off the flustered secretary that tries to stop her.

"Nathan, this has gone on too long, we have to talk. Now." There is no mistaking her very upset tone of voice and the fact that she's not going to let him brush her off, either.

The chair behind the desk is facing away from the door Cass bursts through, but it isn't long before its occupant swivels around to reveal himself. It's not Nathan, but it's most certainly a Petrelli. The patriarch of the Petrelli clan, as a matter of fact, and the amused smile on Arthur's face can't be helped as he watches Cass. "I hear you wanted to lodge a formal complaint, Miss Aldric. Unfortunately Nathan can't join us at the moment, but I'm sure I can be of help. What can I do for you?"

Well. That changes things a little. Stopping almost immediately in her tracks, Cass just stares at Arthur for a moment, trying to comprehend what just happened here. The whole thing certainly threw her for a loop, that's for sure. "Mr…" She shakes her head to try and get herself back on track. It's just that when she was so single-minded on how to talk to Nathan about this, getting Arthur doesn't really help her case. She takes a deep breath. "You're right. I would." There's no going back now, any way. Not for Cass. "And I'm sure you can. I wanted to talk to Nathan about the use of test subjects with the formula. Namely, how they're being misused and we should stop using them."

The amused smile never leaves Arthur's face. He waits patiently for Cass to recompose herself, folding his hands in front of him on the desk, eyes kept directly on hers. Once she's finished speaking, he stands from the desk, moving around it and taking a seat on the edge of it. "Miss Aldric, all great leaps in science require some… sacrifices. I assure you we're doing everything we can to make sure our test subjects are in no pain. Unfortunately, with every new attempt at a better formula, there are certain side effects we can't predict."

There's a flash in Cass' eyes and as Arthur is watching her so closely it would be hard for him to miss it. However, she reigns it in and merely takes a breath before she continues. "When I said I'd join this company, I was under the impression that it was going to be a place that was different from the Company. That it wouldn't treat people as test subjects. There shouldn't even be anyone being tested on. The drug is highly unstable even when it's not being injected into someone else's veins. You know that, everyone who is working on this formula knows that."

The flash in Cass' eyes most definitely does not go unnoticed. Arthur Petrelli pushes himself off of the desk, crossing his arms over his chest as he watches Cass. "Miss Aldric," he begins slowly, eyebrows raising just slightly, "the work we do here is for the greater good. We have a vision at Pinehearst— a vision you should know about by now. We are not the Company. We want to help people, help those that do not have any sort of hope in this world. If we have to make some sacrifices along the way to reach that goal, so be it." He turns away from her, moving back behind the desk, hands placed flat on the desk as he continues to watch Cass. "Now. If you have a problem with that, Miss Aldric, there are ways we can deal with it."

There are times to open ones mouth and times to keep it closed. Most of the time, Cass can tell the difference, but this is a subject she feels very strongly for. And she's not about to be cowed by just a veiled threat. No matter how lightly veiled it is. "The Company thinks it's doing it's work for the greater good, too. You just have to ask yourself whose greater good." Before she can rant for too long, however, she bites back her anger, just slightly. "These are sacrifices that could be prevented," she reiterates in a somewhat more pulled together sort of voice. "I can't believe I'd be the first one to come forward and state that I have a problem with people being killed over a formula everyone here knows is not stable yet."

"The Company knows exactly what it's doing, as do I," Arthur says, his voice getting as close to frustrated as it can. If Cass wasn't good at what she did, Arthur would have no qualms taking care of her himself. Still, that's not an option he's going to completely throw out the window; rather, it's an option he only wants to use if he absolutely has to. "If you can find a way to avoid killing people, then I have nothing against that. However, I will not let my research grind to a halt simply because of a few sacrifices. I've had to sacrifice plenty of things to make it this far, Miss Aldric, and I have no qualms sacrificing more." The pointed look the man gives Cass seems to suggest that she may be something easily sacrificed.

The look is obviously received as it was meant to. For now, Cass knows she has some sort of cover, as the formula isn't finished yet. However, she's not stupid enough to think that that defense will hold her safe forever. Her anger, while still smoldering, is put on a back burner at this moment to keep it from overflowing again. "There's a difference between choosing your own sacrifices and having someone else choose for you, Mr. Petrelli," she tells him quite blandly. Obviously, she doesn't think much of the second. "Your research won't suffer." It's pointedly his research now, nothing she wants to claim as her own. Even if she feels as if staying silent brings those deaths upon her own head just assuredly as Arthur must feel that they are merely stones in the road toward his goals. "Thank you for your time." She's been disgusted by this whole conversation, but she's trapped in it all now.

"I am quite aware of the situation," Arthur says, the same look from before kept on Cass. At her final words, he gives her a small nod, not without a smile. "Of course," he says, standing from the desk and moving to open the door for her. "My employees are always welcome to discuss their reservations about our research. My door is always open, Miss Aldric. I hope we can put this little incident behind us and get back on schedule as soon as we're able to. After all, lives are dependant on your research, whether you believe it or not."

The jury is still out on whether Cass truly believes that lives depend on her research. Mostly, she feels that they depend on her stopping it at whatever the cost, but she's going to leave that little tidbit to herself, obviously. "I'll keep that in mind," she replies tightly before turning around and heading back out the door, past the nervous looking secretary and back to her lab. This isn't over. Not as far as she's concerned. But, now, she has to be much more careful.

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