2007-03-27: Over Their Heads


Cass_icon.gif Ramon_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Nima_icon.gif

Summary: As per Cass' request, Ramon comes to Enlightenment. She lets him in on her clinic idea and the two talk about stopping a serial killer. Lee and Nima drop in and things are awkward until Ramon collapses.

Date It Happened: March 27, 2007

Over Their Heads

Enlightenment Books

The last couple days have left Cass a lot to think about. Not only personally, but professionally. Or what's about to possibly turn out to be a side-profession. It's just after closing time and the few people who are left in the store have lined up to make their final purchases to leave. Ringing people up and counting out change, it's easy to see that Cass is a little distracted. However, she still smiles and chats with her last customers before they turn around to leave.

Ramon arrives quietly, standing in the back with his hands in his pockets and waiting around for the customers to go before bothering Cass. When they do, he steps up, and gives a split second wry half a smile. "Hey, Cass," he rumbles.

When Ramon comes in, Cass smiles at him in greeting before she gets back to her customers. Finally, they file out and she can talk to her friend freely. "Hey Ramon," she grins. "Thanks for stopping by. It's been…a really weird week. How're you?"

"I'm alright," Ramon says. "You got any of that coffee back there?" He slides his hands in his pockets. "What did you want to talk to me about?" Direct and to the point as always, he's nevertheless not urgent. He seems utterly at his ease here.

"Coffee. Right. Sorry, my manners are lacking." Cass moves forward first to lock and flip the closed sign and then to lead Ramon to the employee room. Grabbing two mugs, she fills them and hands one over while keeping one for herself. "A lot, actually. Um, first of all, I think I'm opening a sort of…clinic I guess you could call it. I might have just gotten funding for it. It's weird. Anyway, it's going to be hopefully helping people understand and develop and control their powers. I figure most people are trying to do this on their own and that we should all just pool everyone's resources together."

"Sounds like what my daughter is doing right now," Ramon says, scratching at his beard. He leans back and smirks. "You don't have to worry about manners with me. I just want coffee." He rubs the back of his neck. Slowly and carefully. "What would you like me to do?"

"Um. Yeah." Cass gives a nervous laugh about that. "That's kind of why I wanted to talk to you. We're…uh…working on the same thing." She gives a sheepish smile, knowing how protective Ramon is, she's trying to do the right thing here. "I, uh, wanted to let you know that. Since she's your daughter and all. I was hoping you wouldn't mind her helping me. It…well, I'm not sure if it /will/ be, but there is the possibility that it could be dangerous. Who knows what powers people may have and testing them may get a little dicey."

"I'd rather she work with someone older and wiser than do it on her own anyway. I know there's only so long she can poke around on our kitchen table with her lap top." Ramon sighs. "Everything's changed too much to truly protect her or anyone else anyway. Cass, where's the funding from, exactly?"
Cass almost chokes as she's taking a drink from her coffee at the 'older and wiser'. "Well, I'll give you the older, but I dunno about wiser," she smirks. "Okay. Good. I just would feel…wrong if I didn't run it by you first. She's legally an adult and all, but we're friends, so I wanted to let you know." As for funding, that's another thing she sighs and shakes her head. "I'm not totally sure if it's for real, but Jaden Cain promised me space and equipment in his new hospital. There's no contract or anything, but he's really gotten my hopes up about it."

That makes Ramon's eyebrow tick up curiously, but he does not seem to be alarmed by the notion. "Who else knows about this?" he asks, again seeming perfectly calm. Then again he's been busy losing his mind lately. It can lead to an odd sense of calm.

"Counting you and Elena?" Cass laughs. "Um, three people. Oh, wait four! Sorry. Jaden knows. Sort of. He just knows I want to open a research clinic, not what I want it for. I think he's kind of insane." She tilts her head at Ramon curiously. "Why?"

"Because I'm paranoid," Ramon says, without a hint of shame about it. He slumps down in his seat, clutching his coffee. "No more, and no less. These days I'm paranoid." He finally takes a swig of it. "And anything in connection to powers and special DNA these days is a good reason to start being paranoid."

Cass snorts, but then smiles. "I can't say I blame you. It's a good time to start being paranoid." Finally, she starts to take a seat. "Elena seemed to know all about him, so I think it should be fine if he doesn't just change his mind last minute. Or decide the space would be better used as…who knows, a room made entirely of cotton candy. Yeah. I've just….I know the only other option that people have when it comes to coming to grips with their powers. And it's not an option at all."

Ramon grunts in agreement without really commenting on it. "You know what keeps occurring to me is that there's nobody who is really just…" He spreads his hands. He's never been good with words, and he grimaces as if feeling his thought process is stupid.

Cass smiles. She dated a guy who was never very good at words. So, she's used to people trailing off in the middle of sentences. "Really just what?" She's trying to job his vocabulary, but also to show that she's listening.

He looks up at her. "The police," he rumbles, "are full of mostly normal people. Now. Take your pick of the superpower psychopaths running around. My psychopath, some of the others whose names are floating around. Now maybe they can handle some — I'm a pretty easy guy to arrest, for example. But maybe not others. Our we-don't-want-to-talk-about-them other option has a pretty bad track record when it comes to doing something about them."

The smile that Cass has on her face is starting to fade while Ramon talks. She thinks she knows where this is going. It's what Jaden was spouting off the night before in a much more enthusiastic and less comprehensible way. "You're talking about people taking the law into their own hands?" Pulling her legs up onto her chair, she rests her mug on them.

"I'm not talking about anything right now. Right now I'm asking questions. Who protects others from people with powers if the law can't? All I'm doing is asking questions, Cass." Ramon rumbles softly. "Because I can't come up with an answer."

"I don't know," Cass shakes her head. "Honestly, I have no answers. I'm not a crime fighter, I don't have any powers, but I worry. I've read comic books, I've seen the news. I don't know what to do about this Sylar guy or your murderer or how they can be stopped. If they can be stopped. But, what I do know is that that other option…oh, this is stupid, the Company thinks it operates outside of the law and I don't like what it does. All I can do is open up my clinic…help people…and hope that's a step in the right direction." She sighs and pauses, looking into her coffee mug for a few moments. When she looks up again, the smile has yet to return. "So they haven't caught him yet?"

His eyes tighten. "They aren't even trying," he growls. "They don't even care. It looks fine like it is on the books, right?" The cynicism rolling off his tongue is hard, painful. "It's neat that way. Nice and tidy." His hand clenches around the coffee cup.

Cass's frown deepens. This is definitely not what she wanted to hear. "But…what about the information from the DA? And the lady? And the necklace and the knife? That's got to be /something/. There's got to be something they can go on from there." Now she gets where Ramon's frustration is coming from and his desire to spring into action.

"Do you remember that call I made right in front of you? To the DA?" Ramon asks quietly. "He ignored me. He hasn't returned my call. We haven't heard a thing from what's her name. Damaris. The detective he assigned. I started looking around. I started asking questions. I found things they never bothered to find. I've made some stupid mistakes doing it, but they've abandoned these women. He sent someone to shoot my daughter and she's only alive because Eric Walker took bullets for her."

"I…he did /what/?" Cass nearly drops her mug of coffee onto the floor. Embroiled with all her clinic and personal stuff, she had no idea. "Eric…oh my God, is he alright?" After all, she knows that Elena's alright. She just saw the girl the night before. "And…and they're doing /nothing/ after that? That's ridiculous!"
"He'll live," Ramon says. "He's in a coma, but I spoke to him and he's stable." He rubs a hand over his face. "Nobody's doing a thing anymore. I've been hounding them for three years, Cass. There's leads, there's evidence, the DA himself says this is a serial killer, and even with that…"

"Wait. He's in a coma and you spoke to him?" Cass is curious about that detail, but the truth is that it's not the most important one. "I…I just don't understand. But then why aren't they going after him? Or at least investigating /something/?"

"Mind to mind, Cass, mind to mind," Ramon grunts. "And I don't /know/, bonita. My guess is there's something else occupying their attention. They're overloaded. And what are they going to do anyway? Put him in prison so he can use his power to persuade everyone in the jail to let him out again?"

"Oh! Right." Cass blinks. "That's amazing. Mind to mind." Then, before she can geek out about that idea, she shakes her head to get back to the point at hand. A frown creases her face again. "I don't know, Ramon. I guess as good as New York's Finest is, they're not really equipped to handle this." Running a hand through her hair, she puts her mug down on the desk and lets her feet fall back to the floor. "You know." She pauses, frowns, thinks this option over again. Then she continues, "I know I said we'd go to see Dr. Suresh together…but I had the chance to see him. He's…well, he's questionable people, if you know what I mean, and I didn't want to risk anyone who they might have interest in. But, the point of this is, he said that there's a virus and maybe even some sort of pill that they have that dampens peoples powers. I don't like the idea of using it as a weapon, but maybe it's a way to even the playing field."

That gets Ramon's attention. "Anything permanent?" He asks quietly. It won't keep the man from killing, but…it will take away his ability to do it from afar. And the next time he does, there will be things that courts can actually deal with. The idea more than appeals.

"I'm…not sure." Cass frowns. "I don't think so. But, the virus keeps the powers dampened until it's cured." Leaning forward, she folds her arms onto the desk. "But I'm not sure how you could get a hold of either the virus /or/ the pills without walking right into the lion's den."

"Having already ruled out blowing his face off," Ramon rumbles quietly, "I had arrived at an original plan that involved them. The problem is, they keep letting them slip off and kidnap little girls and crap, so I've lost my confidence in that plan."

"Don't get involved in the Company if you can help it," Cass replies immediately. "I don't trust them and I don't think they do pro bono work." She frowns. "I'm glad you came to that conclusion. I don't see you as a killer. Who'd they let slip off?"

"This woman Kellie. She throws fire," Ramon says. A faint, unamused smile crosses his features again. "She threatened Elena too. I'm going mad, here, Cass." He stands up, pacing, putting his coffee to the side.

PHONE: Your phone begins to ring. The Caller ID says 283-2260.

"Kellie? Haven't heard of her." Cass frowns and thinks that one over. "She…what? You're not going mad, Ramon, you're getting frustrated." At that moment, her phone starts to ring. Blinking, she goes fumbling through her pockets until she finds it. Staring at the caller ID, she looks up at Ramon. "I'm really sorry. One second." She flips the phone open.

PHONE: You answer your phone, "Hello?"

PHONE: Jane says, "Cass? Jane here. I'm outside your store, hoped to catch you there. I've got an envelope for you, with some critical information, but I missed you. Is there a way I can give this to you? It'll be quick, just to pass it along."

Ramon nods his head and sits back down, and he finally retrieves his coffee. If he's at all fussed about the call it doesn't show. Moments later he seems to be staring off into space, looking haggard. The interlude at the jazz club where he danced with her was a brief one.

PHONE: Cass says, "There's a bit of scraping in the background, as if Cass is standing up. "Yeah. I"m right in the back rooms. One sec, I'll get the door.""

PHONE: Jane sounds as if she is indeed just outside the bookstore. "Thanks, Cass."

PHONE: You end your current call.

Ramon's eyebrows lift in concern but — it's Cass's shop. He touches his jacket and then lets his hand drop. There isn't anything there right now anyway. Grimacing, he glowers at the door.

Cass frowns. Even if she's on the phone, she's not blind. She can see the haggard look on him. Hanging up the phone, she stands up. "One second. It's my friend Jane at the door. She says it's important." Standing up, she heads over and unlocks the door to let the woman in. "Hey. What's up, is something wrong?"

There she is, when Cass opens the door. Twenty-something, five feet eight inches tall, wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt and two inch heeled boots. Over her shoulders are a backpack and guitar case, in her hands a number of sealed manila envelopes. One of them, on top, is marked Cass in a neat feminine hand. Jane extends this one to the bookseller, and replies "Info sharing, Cass. You'll know who to share it with."

Ramon remembers her. She was there, testing her abilities with Elena. He stays in the back though, letting the ladies conduct their business. He acknowledges Jane with a faint nod from where he is but, as usual, is less than chatty.

Cass blinking, Cass takes the envelope from Jane with a confused look on her face. "Oh! Okay. Well, thanks. I'll make sure to get this out." Gesturing over to Ramon, she introduces the pair since she doesn't know if they've met. Manners to be remembered and all. "Ramon Gomez, Jane Forrest. Thanks Jane. I'll look this over."

"Oh. Mr. Gomez. For your daughter too, sir." Jane takes another one, this one unmarked, and offers it to him. "Good to see you again. Wish it wasn't for this, though." She looks concerned, the air of business is about her. With her mission concluded, she turns to go. "Sorry to disturb, good night to you both."
Ramon takes the envelope, looking rather bewildered. "Ma'am." He replies, a polite leavetaking. Of course. He opens the envelope right up. Normally he wouldn't open his daughter's mail, but thiiiiis is striking him as a little different. What's in his eyes is a glimmer of suspicion.

"It's no problem, Jane. Have a good night." Cass closes the door and locks it again after Jane's left and then stares at the envelope she was given. Of course she trusts Ramon, so she rips it open and quickly reads what's written. "Oh shit." Her eyes widen. "They've got him. Dammit, Sylar kidnapped Mohinder. This is bad. This is so bad. And your firestarter….I think she's teamed up with him." Even though Ramon has an envelope of his own, she hands out the letter that she was given and along with the photos.

"I know. Peter called Elena last night. I thought he was looking for phone numbers." Ramon looks /pissed/, though. "Why in the hell is this information going to my daughter? This is extensive stuff. This looks like some sort of spy network in action. What's going on here, Cass?"

"I…honestly have /no/ idea." Cass is just as lost about this. "Wait. Elena /knew/ last night?" And she didn't tell her. "All I know is this Peter guy…he was locked up by the Company. And a group of people went to rescue him. It went haywire, but it worked because he got out. Elena and I and a small group of other people were sharing information, trying to figure out the best way to help others…that's how I got the idea for this clinic. Now…I don't know what this is. But, Ramon. This is really really bad. Sylar, he's the one that has this virus. It's dampening his power, which is /good/ because he likes to find people who have powers and cut off people's heads. But Mohinder…/he's/ the one with the cure. If Sylar has Mohinder he can cure himself. And then we're all are royally screwed."

Ramon's eye starts twitching. "Elena never told me. I met Peter. Peter called her. But she never told me she was in some sort of information sharing group." He sucks in a deep breath, trying to calm his temper down. "I wonder what else she's not telling me." He chuffs a humorless laugh. "For a telepath…"

"I…what….she didn't?" Okay, so now Cass feels completely torn. She may have done something infinitely bad. "I, well. It was just about five of us or so. It was mostly just because we didn't know what else to do to help ourselves and others. I'm really sorry…I thought you knew. Don't kill me. Or her." She's trying to lighten the mood a little. "I'm…she's a teenager, Ramon. She's probably not telling you a lot. But not in the bad way. God, I'm making this so much worse." For sure she's not going to tell him about the antics of Lachlan and the condom. Oh crap, she just thought it. Let him not have heard.

Luckily, he's getting better at not paying attention unless he really, really wants to pay attention. Ramon sighs and sits down, calming himself down. He actually lets his forehead drop to the table. He bangs it twice. And then he sits up, apparently composed. "Well its good that she's being warned about still more psychos," he says. He blows out a long breath. "You said if he gets cured we're all screwed. You advise me, Cass. You advise me on what I should do because damn it, I'm all out of ideas."

/Phew/. He doesn't seem to be having a coronary, so Cass thinks she' in the clear. Now back to the more important business. Tossing the information down on her desk, she frowns at it. "I…I don't know. We need to find Mohinder. And we need to make sure Sylar doesn't get cured. These people are banding up to do that. I guess we should help them? I figure a group of people are more likely to help him than just the two of us. But, then, that's what they said about getting Peter and it didn't turn out so well. I'm not really cut out for the whole 'rescue mission' thing."

"Rescuing Peter was a little outside the law too," Ramon points out, a little dryly. He stands up, his voice gravelly. He taps the envelope against his flattened hand, falling silent for a long time, staring into space.

Cass frowns. "You…didn't hurt your head, did you?" She sounds concerned about it, of course. Banging your head against a hardwood desk can do that to a person. "Yeah. Well, rescuing Mohinder is probably outside the law, too. I don't know what to do, either, Ramon. I wish there was a course on how to be a hero. I'd take that for credit. Basic Heroing 101." She gives him a wry grin.

"I'm just an old man." Ramon grunts. "It seems like they've got all the help they need, almost." He grimaces. "I don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do, bonita. I don't like the feeling I'm having." the feeling, suddenly, of being overwhelmed, and helpless.
GAME: Save complete.

"I doubt it," Cass sighs and sinks back into her chair. "You can never have too much help. Just too many cooks." Maybe she's mixing up her metaphors. "Yeah. You and me both. This is a little over my head. Jack and Elena and Lachlan are more cut out for the whole 'get the good guys out alive' thing. I kind of freeze and stare stupidly when I get in trouble."

Ramon reaches out to touch her arm. "Hey." He stops there. That is it. All he can say is that much. That's as faaaar as it goes. Having just gotten down on himself he can't exactly chastise her for getting down on /herself/.

Cass sighs and puts a hand over Ramon's. It's good to be comforted. "Things are just such a mess, Ramon. I feel like the water is not-so-slowly getting over my head. I thought by just opening my clinic I'd be helping people and not getting in the middle of all this. But, I don't know if that's possible. I think I'm in it no matter what."

He leaves his hand in place then. "It's been over mine awhile," he admits. "But maybe you just…do what you can do. The problem with…" he gestures at the folder. "Is I almost feel like they're trying to take on /everything/. All at once. You know what I'm sayin'?"

Cass gives a humorless laugh. "Yeah, well, I did have some help." She pats his hand and then lets her own drop back down. "I feel that way, too. It's like everything is happening at once before I can even comprehend the first. Yeah. All we can really do is do what we can and hope that it's enough." She doesn't sound /that/ convinced, though.

He pauses thoughtfully. "Let me ask you a question." He looks into her eyes, as something occurs to him at last. "Lets say, hypothetically, that I were to catch my man. And lets say, hypothetically, that I were to deliver him to your research lab. Then, hypothetically, you could hypothetically perhaps come up with your /own/ serum to shut down those with powers."

Cass frowns, but she doesn't look away. "Hypothetically, I could come up with my own serum to shut down these powers. But, there's a lot of ifs here. I have no idea what it actually entails. It may take awhile. I don't even have the building blocks to start it. I'd…have to talk to Mohinder. Which is complicated not only because Sylar's got him, but because he's a Company Man." She frowns. "Not to mention the fact that I don't know what I'd do with a serial killer in my lab."

Ramon sighs and sits down. He never was good at science. He imagined she'd just stick the man with a few needles and that would be the end of it. "Cass," he says at last. "I'm getting this man off the streets." He seems to have come to a resolve. "I'm going to do what it takes. I don't know what I can do about Mohinder and Sylar and Kellie. I stood there, helpless, while she nearly killed my daughter, because flinging fire is way out of my league. But a honey tongued talker that affects minds? That's not. That's not out of my league at all, because I affect minds." He slides his hands into his pockets. "He's got someone prisoner. Someone he's making do his dirty work. I'm going to find him and I'm going to free him. Or keep working until someone else does. This is what I can do. What I can't do is step aside and let terrible things keep happening, knowing that if I don't do something, nobody else will. I hope you can understand that. I don't know what my road is yet, but I know I've got to do something."

Cass wishes it were that simple. "I don't doubt that you will, Ramon." She frowns. She can't fault him for wanting to go after him if no one else will. Not right now, at least. "I can't deal with any of them, though. I have no idea how I can stop anyone other than smiling sweetly and asking them not to kill me. What I /can/ do is start researching those things for you. The last place you should be forced to is the Company. I just have to find a way to get some information so I'm not starting totally from scratch." She sighs. "Last night I tried to stop someone from becoming a vigilante. From taking the law into their own hands. Is that what we're doing now?"

"I am not sure its in the same category," Ramon says. "For now, I have a thought. Would a vial of my blood be any good? What about the man's notes? Do you think he kept any at his apartment? If so, do you think there's any way we can get at them? Notes, journals, anything you can work with? It might keep them out of Sylar's hands if he hasn't thought of going back for them yet."

Cass nods slowly. "I…well, I'd have to get the lab first." Finally a slow smile appears on her face. "Right now all I have is my apartment and this store. I can start /some/ things in my apartment, since it's got a fridge, but everything else'll need actual equipment. I'm not sure if a vial of your blood is what I need. What I'd need is a vial of Sylar's. And a vial of Mohinder's. But I don't think just asking them politely is going to do that." She frowns. "If he kept notes or journals, they would be useful, but I don't know how to get them."

Suddenly, Ramon has a flash of insight. "I do," he says quietly. "You should call this Parkman. He's a detective. He's in your circle there. He will probably have the right to enter the apartment, or can bluff his way in." Oh the irony. "Explain to him what you want, who you are, why you want it, and you might very well get it."

"Detectie Parkman, hm." Cass looks down at the paper and stares at the number there. "I'm not quite sure this is my circle. But, I'll call him. See what I can do." She taps the desk with her fingers as she thinks about what she can possibly say to this Parkman character in order to let him just hand over Mohinder's things. "I'll see what I can do," she repeats.

"All you can do is try," Ramon points out. "You can't do anything more than that, Cass. And nobody would blame you even then if you really didn't want to get involved, or didn't think it feasable. I'm just giving out ideas for free tonight."

"So when do you start charging for them?" Cass grins. "No, I know. But I can't just not be involved when you are and Elena is and Jane is…all these people I care about. If I just sat back and said, 'have fun saving the world' I don't know if I could live with myself."

"I know the feeling," Ramon says dryly. "That said…I think…save the world? That's too much for anyone. That's the wrong mentality. That's overstating it. The world got on fine for a long time without superheroes, bonita. Don't let anyone pressure you. Find your comfort zone."

"I have a penchant for the dramatic." Cass replies just as dryly. "I was thinking more along the lines of Princess Bride. 'Have fun storming the castle.'" She laughs. "And no one's pressuring me into helping. I don't see a gun to my head. Not today, at least. No, I want to help. I think I passed my comfort zone awhile ago. But I'm not sure if I'm going to get it back by just sitting on my hands." She smiles. "You, too. Don't feel like you have to go out and save people just because all the cool kids are doing it."

"I think I passed my cool kids years long ago," Ramon laughs. "I'm the old geezer who everyone's trying to preserve from having a heart attack." A pause. "You need me, you call me. Anything. You know that." And he steps back, intending to let her get on with her evening.

Cass laughs along. "Nah, I hear the 80s are coming back, so you can be a cool kid again." She smiles. "Of course. You know you can call me, too." Standing up, she starts walking him to the door. "Hey, you know, there's this benefit that Jaden's throwing in a couple of days. I was…" she frowns. "Well, I was supposed to go with Lachlan, but now I don't think that's going to be happening. Do you want to go? I figure we can try to take a break for a night."

Ramon is startled enough to pause at the door. "Absolutely," he rumbles. "Surely. Just tell me when and where. What sort of clothes should I be showing up in?" He puts his hands in his pockets, but now the movement looks relaxed.

Cass shrugs. "Um, well a tux." Cass grins. She's not sure if he's okay with that. "I probably wouldn't still be going, but I already got myself a dress. And I don't think it should be punished because some guy was a jerk. I figure, it was fun dancing. We both could use some distractions. I'll call you with the time and place."

Lee comes in with Nima, and he's saying, "Well, sure, /technically/ it would be blackmail, but since he wasn't supposed to have the gun to start with and it's /your/ security tape, so…" He turns. "Oh." he says, seeing Ramon. "Sup."

Right behind her brother is Nima. Between them, however, is one Chewbacca. Sighing, she replies, "I know. It's just…" It's just the topic of the conversation is Right There, which was not at all expected. A pause. Parsing. Processing. "Hi."

Ramon turns to look at them both. The subject of blackmailing him has him edgy and none too happy. He stares at both of them for a long moment and says, "Is there something you two need from me?" in a gruff voice that does little to conceal the sudden spike of anger and impatience and of course, gut wrenching worry that he's feeling.

"Nima! Lee! Hey!" Cass greets before there is sudden weirdness. "Um…so you three know each other? No introductions needed?" Trying to process the rest of the conversation, her eyes drift between all three. Yes, she is confused.

Lee says, "Well, /technically/ we haven't met. Lee Jones. You broke in my sisters' shop with a gun? Fortunately for both of us I'm a huge coward." He doesn't offer his hand, he instead leans on the end of a shelf and looks like he's loitering. "Hey Cass."

When Nima decided to not inform the authorities about that particular part of Ramon's indiscretion, blackmail was not at all part of the equation. Lee, however, is not the 'nice' twin, so it is only par for the course that he would pitch the idea as a viable option. Never mind that it doesn't rest well with his sister. "Hey, Cass!" is called out. Far more reserved but amicable enough is, "Hi, Ramon." Followed with a light kick aimed at Lee's shin. Clearly, she got all the good manners. "And, yeah," she continues, although this is not at all how she had intended to go about it. "Some answers, actually." Which is what brought the siblings Jones to the shop. "Turns out that something on the tape jumped-out at my brother."

Chewbacca stands there, also confused, for reasons different than the owner of the bookshop. 'WHY ARE WE NOT BY CASS?'

Ramon relaxes. He had been tense beyond measure. He nods to Lee with respect — he'd be the same if someone broke into his sister's shop, whatever the intention. He looks to Cass and rumbles, "I wasn't going after /her/ with the gun. I told you. I made some bad decisions. What answers would you like, Nima?"

"You…" Cass blinks, as if trying to compute all this. "You broke into Nima's shop?" It just doesn't really work. "But why?" She looks to Nima and then to Lee, as if they might have more information on this subject. Deciding this may just be too complicated at this gesture, she kneels down and reaches out for Chewbacca. She knows how to make Chewie happy at least. Scritches!

Lee says, "Ow," at the kick, then adds, "Well, yeah. Your daughter Elena - also prominently featured on the tape - was one of the ones that came busting in /here/ wearing ski masks, carrying a dog with a bullet in it, and selling Cass some lunatic story about an evil corporation kidnapping superpowered people. When I protested, they assaulted me - not her, she was nice enough. But it is a /bit/ much, two breakins, same family? We came over here to see Cass, ask her about the situation…" He looks at Cass with a wry told-ya-so look, then lets Nima finish the sentence, okay, paragraph.
"…And ended-up running into you." Which was not at all planned, judging by Nima's tone and expression.

Chewie <3 scritches. He <3 Nima more, though, and he recognizes Ramon. It's a scent that's been mentally linked to the command issued in Klingon, a few nights ago: "Watch him. If he tries anything, go all Wookie." Not that there really is a word for Wookie in Klingon. Tearing into limbs is universal, though. So, he watches Ramon. At least until Nima unfastens the leash and gently nudges him in Cass' direction, using the same leg that just moments before kicked Lee.

"Oh. That tape. Not the surveillance tapes from before, or the message I left you." But all about the dog and bullet story? Ramon looks…lost. A true and honest to god WTF look crosses his face. He's clutching a packet of paper, but the WTF turns from bewilderment to alarm. "She and the other lady came because I thought the man in the photograph in the shop was the killer. They figured out he wasn't. They came to sto—dog with a bullet?" He grimaces and holds a hand to his chest while he changes colors, going a bit gray. He stands there, slightly doubled over, holding his chest.

Having been given the go-ahead to get some quality ear ruffling, the dog ambles over to Cass, tail a-waggin' and oblivious to Ramon's daughter-induced heart attack in-progress.

So, the man could be faking. Or he could simply be being a melodramatic Catholic. (Is there any other kind?) If Nima were more cynical and less kind-hearted — which is to say, if she were Lee — she'd probably assume it was either one. Instead, genuine concern surfaces and she reaches out to help keep Ramon upright. "Hey— Hey! You ok?"

No, he's not faking. He opens his mouth to say he's fine — there's a determined set to his jaw. And then he passes out. People have been observing he hasn't looked too good for days. Everyone but him has paid attention.

Lee says, "The man in the photograph on our counter." Might as well say it. "Our father. You thought our father…" For all his bluff-n-bluster, he too looks alarmed at Ramon's condition. "You okay?" he asks in chorus with Nima. They do that sometimes. "Jeez." he says, as this ends up with Ramon pitching over into his and Nima's arms.

Of course Chewie still loves Nima more, but Cass will slowly turn him to her. Not really, just enough for the scritching. This is all so confusing. "So…wait. I still don't know why you broke into the Secret Lair, though. You thought the killer was in there?" From her spot on the ground, Cass looks up to Ramon with a confused expression on her face. Then, however, he's wobbling and she quickly straightens at the look on his face. "Ramon?" As soon as he pitches forward, she tries to grab a hold of him, but she's not quick enough. "Ramon! Oh my God, Lee, call 911."

"Um, yeah. About that, Cass…" Nima says, doing her part in keeping the fainted father's face from falling to the floor, "It might be better if you did that." Call 911, that is. 'cos, y'know, even though Nima probably could heft Ramon's weight on her own — competition-level martial arts keeps a gal fit — having Lee there for the assist is nonetheless very much appreciated.

Chewie barks, either in agreement or in response to the commotion.

Lee helps Nima lay Ramon down, and he clearly knows a bit of first aid himself. "He's breathing….heartbeat's steady. Yeah, 911." He surrepititiously pats Ramon down to see if he has any other incriminating evidence. No luck. He also loosens the collar, and so on.

It's true. Out of everyone here, Cass is probably the least equipped to drag him to the door. "Right. Me. Okay!" Grabbing her phone, she quickly punches in the numbers and tells the operator the address and situation. As soon as she hangs, up, she checks on the older man again.

"You got it?" Nima asks her brother, who appears to be doing whatever can be done whilst the call is being made. Plus, it helps that Cass went to medical school. True enough, she didn't finish, but it's not like Ramon is in a position to complain. Stepping aside to give her friend room, Nima goes about the task of collecting the papers that spilled all over when their carrier fainted. She even tries to get them in proper order, as best as she can determine. For his part, Chewie sniffs the bits that have yet to be gathered.

Glancing at the papers, there really is nothing to organize. They all are fliers pertaining to someone called Gabriel Gray/Sylar, who is accompanied by a modified human Zippo, and the abduction of people whose names Nima recognized. "Molly and Mohinder?" She looks to Cass. "Young girl, really bright? Long, straight blonde hair? Fair-skinned and rosy cheeked? And the guy is Indian, highly educated? Curly hair? Kinda cute but kinda square? Likes science."
Lee looks puzzled, he never saw their names, after all.

Lee blinks. "Wha? They got abducted by someone? That sucks." But what does it have to do with anything?

For the record, the liking science part is totally hawt.
Nima thinks so, anyway.

"They're coming," Cass responds to Lee quickly. Remembering she went to med school at some point, she tries to see if she can determine anything other than a pulse. She can't really tell much other than she doesn't /think/ it's too serious. "I…don't think it is." But, of course, she can't be sure. Just now she realizes that Ramon dropped the papers about what they were talking about before. The ones that Jane gave her. "Oh…um." She really doesn't have a good explanation right now. "I…I've never met Molly. But, it sounds like you're describing Mohinder. Didn't know you knew them. But, yeah. They were snatched by that Sylar guy. And a friend of mine is trying to put together a crew to help search for them." That's the most stripped down version she can think of.

Luckily for Cass, the ambulance, with it's flashing lights comes to the rescue from the nearby Beth Israel hospital. With all the hustle and questions to be answered, Cass can neatly step any other awkward questions until she's readier for them.

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