2007-09-09: The Future Is Past


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Peter and Cass meet again to discuss the future as well as all the new abilities he picked up while gone. There's a lot to do!

September 9th, 2007:

The Future is Past

Peter's Apartment

With his balcony repaired, and various other things ready, Peter's prepping his apartment to be liveable again. Though one really couldn't tell that by the state of clutter. The dog, who's still a puppy by breed standards, is curled up on one of the chairs, sound asleep and not listening to a damn thing, not even the noise as her owner moves things around on the bookshelf. Time to get the books in order, it would seem. The laptop is open and powered on, though the screensaver plummets through outerspace at warp speeds, giving no real indication what he might have been working on. There's some treats on the kitchen counter.

Not one to be scared of clutter or of dogs, Cass walks down the hallway toward Peter's apartment. Quite comfortable in knowing where he lives now, she makes her way to the right number and raps her knuckles against his door. It's not a particularly loud knock, but it should carry. Shaking out her umbrella just a bit from the rain, she also adjusts the bandage wrapped around her hand in the interim of waiting for Peter to open up.

Man, it better stop raining. He has a date this weekend. But— Peter isn't going to complain. Rain keeps it cool, and cool means… something selfish to him. At the knock, he puts down the ship in the bottle on top of some manly books, and walks over to the door to open it. Snowy doesn't even lift her head. Rain makes her sleepy. He did check to see who it was, before opening it, but Cass doesn't bring any sense of hesitation, "Hey— come on in. Little bit of a mess, sorry. I'm still settling back in, trying to make this place presentable."

Giving a subdued smile, Cass steps into Peter's apartment, but doesn't seem to mind the clutter. "I think I can forgive you a little mess after being in the future for a month." Even if Snowy doesn't lift her head, the store owner drifts in that direction anyway to give her a bit of a pat on the head. "It doesn't actually look too bad. Good to see that the balcony got fixed." As the last time she was here it was just a gaping hole. Pulling something out of her trenchcoat she holds it up for him to see - a flashdrive. The one he gave her. "I tried this on my computer, but it didn't work. I don't know, I might have done it wrong." She's not exactly the most adept with new technology. "Figured you might be able to help me with it."

With the door locked and closed behind the bookstore owner, Peter shakes his head. "No— it— I just did a flat copy, didn't bother opening any of the files. They don't work. At first I though Gene— Future Gene— might have encrypted them or something, but… that wouldn't make any sense. I guess computer files don't time travel very well." He's grimacing, though, because they would have been pretty helpful. "I spent most of this morning typing up what I remember. It's not nearly as much information, obviously, but— it should be enough." Taking the flashdrive, he takes it over to his computer. "It won't be much, but I can give you what I wrote up…" But— it won't be much. "There's still some scientific files that Elena— Future Elena— shoved in my backpack at the last minute. She said she'd scan them and get you a copy."

Nodding, Cass gives Snowy a pat and scratch of greeting and then stands up so that she can move toward the computer. "That must be a lot to remember." Especially since he was gone for a month. And so much happened. "Well, I'm glad to know that it wasn't just my ineptitude with computers. Though not really all that glad." Those files would be mighty handy. But, they'll manage. "I'm kind of wary about information from a future we hope to change. Just by the few things that we've done already, what was on this may be changed or inaccurate." Pocketing the little drive again, she shrugs off her jacket and looks for a place to hang it where it won't get anything to wet. Her umbrella gets leaned up against the wall by the door where it can drip and not harm anything. "That sounds fine. I'll look over those once she has them for me, then. See what I can do." Fiddling with the bandage on her hand, she pauses before continuing. "Did…did you meet a future me? Was I still alive?"

"It already is," Peter says softly, agreeing with her a little. "Even before I came back— Elena being here is one of the big ones. The one in the future'd gone to MIT and didn't come back until the war killed her two youngest siblings." For him, it's a happy change, but he has no idea why it happened, even before he came back here. There's a long pause, before he moves over to the couch to sit down. He knew she'd ask this question eventually, but it's not an easy one to respond to. "You were still alive when I got there. First place I went was Times Square— hoping to see something totally different from my painting— and that isn't even where it happened." For some reason. He doesn't know. That changed already, it would seem. "I stopped by Bat Country— after checking out the bookstore, and your apartments. The bookstore was gone, but Bat Country'd survived. That's where I met you again. You and Abby and Lachlan…" There's a sigh, and he can't quite look at her for a moment. "You… died about a week before I left to come back."

Trench coat and umbrella taken care of, Cass moves back to the couch as well. She's not exactly comfortable standing while Peter's sitting. It makes her feel like she's towering over him or something. Sinking onto a spot on the opposite side, she sighs at what she hears. "Yeah. I…I knew something must have happened. Lachlan - Future Lachlan, man it feels weird to say that - had read my letters to him. So…I knew something must have happened." She remains quiet for moment. The thought of being unable to change the future made her inexplicably angry before. Now it just makes her feel tired. "I destroyed your painting," she says softly. "The rally one. Before I even knew what I was doing." She's not sure if she should be apologetic for ruining something he painted, but she doesn't, really. Her tone is more numb than anything else. "I couldn't stand to think about it any more. That already happened. I don't think I need it around to remind me of what's at stake."

"It won't happen again," Peter says firmly, not seeming to be insulted that his painting had been destroyed. He has picture copies, after all, and they're good enough. At least this way no one from the Company will steal them and try to do something with it. With her sitting opposite of him, he reaches out and takes her hand. "I'm sorry I couldn't save that… you." It's an apology he doesn't get to make to people very often. And he's trying his best to fight the tears that want to come. He's doing pretty well, but his voice is tight, and he very easily could start crying. "I'm sorry… maybe it would be best if I didn't tell people what happened there… I don't know…" Maybe it should be something he alone carries. "I… do have some new abilities we're going to need to practice." Nicer topics. Abilities.

"No, it won't." Cass shakes her head and gives Peter's hand a reassuring squeeze. She's had enough of being fatalistic and depressed about this whole huge future that seems impossibly too big to change. "Thank you, but…you have nothing to apologize for. Whatever happened…it's not going to go like that. We'll stop it." Though she doesn't exactly smile, the right corner of her lips drags upward just slightly. "It's okay. That's something I already knew might happen. As for the future…let's just worry about the present. Strangely enough, the future's already past." Strange but true news. She gives him another soft squeeze with her hand and then pulls her hands away. Yes, a different topic, please. "Oh really? Well, we should get started on those, then. We already had quite a few before you gathered all these new talents. Do tell!"

Future is already the past. There's something about that which speaks volumes to him. Peter's always had a difficult time letting go of things, and the place he left is no different. There's a slow nod. They'll stop it. He promised everyone there, and he promised everyone here. He'll make sure it doesn't happen— and in some ways there's already major changes. Abilities, for starters. "Well— I encountered a couple people, of course. I almost caused an earthquake, but I think she controlled it for me. She was making earth sculptures, so I know there's more to her ability than just that. Control over the air— I lost control of that one at first too. Putting people to sleep. Walking through walls and floors— and people too. Probably a couple others, too. I met a lot of new people— and when most the free population of the city were Evolved…"

A little nugget of wisdom for Cass Aldric. Sometimes that happens. As Peter starts to list off abilities they have to practice, she frowns. "Well. Some of those I don't think we should practice within city limits." Earth quaking and control over the air, for starts. "Putting people to sle—" she blinks. "So you met Benjamin." Another realization dawns. "That's how you found out he was infiltrating Bat Country." It makes sense. "We should just go out to a deserted island one weekend and work on all those abilities that aren't safe for densely populated areas," she sighs. Because he is collecting quite a few. "Might as well get them all done at once." Thinking a few things over, she starts counting things off in her head. "Maybe we should practice doubling up on some of your abilities just all around. It might prepare you for when you'll have to use a lot of them in a row. Get your stamina up and your body used to using multiple talents without much rest."

"I was able to use invisibility and flight at the same time— at least once or twice. Hard to tell if it stuck the whole time, though," Peter says, giving her some new power tips, at least. "Elena's ability also kept working when I needed to regenerate, or toss things with TK… so maybe the more passive ones can work when combined with another ability? I'm not completely sure how that works, but…" It gave him some options in the fight with Sylar— which he doesn't mention. "Yeah— I met Benjamin. That's part of my write up. I'm not sure how much of the Company got absorbed into the government, but at least part of it did." And the government was bad. BAD. "How are you wanting to find an island? I don't think we own one… Guess we could fly around until we find one, but we'd probably get spotted."

"Well, it's a work in progress." Cass frowns a little at that idea, but, then she knows that he can go to a very dangerous future and come back alive with the few lessons they've had with each other. "We can see about that, but I meant more like using abilities one after another as opposed to at the same time." Though the first idea is quite a good one. Something worth looking into, for sure. "Well, that would make a lot of sense to me. If I were an evil government who wanted to experiment with human beings and evolved, I'd absorb the organization that knows the most about it and use all the files they've accumulated in Lord knows how long they've been in operation." Many. "I was mostly kidding, but I'm sure there's one or two up Canada's way or something. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some right in the Atlantic we could use. It could be a fun little road trip. No need to fly!" Because that's the last thing that Cass would want to do. Thank God Peter is already pretty good with flying and needs no training in that. Then, she changes the subject because something clicks in her head. "Wait, wasn't Nathan president?" That's a startling thought, and suspicious.

Touching the edge of the couch, Peter seems to be poking at it for a moment, and then gives up. Maybe he'll have a better time with this one once a certain blonde woman answers her phone. Damn women. He's tried calling every couple of hours… "Oh— yeah, using them in quick succession would be a good practice too. I almost went into a coma while I was in the future." The day that she died, actually. He did some really stupid things, but found out someone who was supposed to be dead was alive, so there was that. "Elena pulled me out of it— so if that happens… she might be able to keep me from going under completely." The future version had been much better at her abilities. He has to wonder if he could do that to himself… but he doesn't want to ponder it. If he's overloading already, it'd be difficult to manage. And hey— did she…? "There's always boats. I think there's a bunch of small islands along the coast upstate— we'd have to look into it." He'd thought of going to somewhere in Nevada when he thought he was going nuclear… but then he met Claude and… yeah. Nathan as president. There's a flinch. "Sort of. You… know what's happening with Niki and Jessica, right? The… the same thing… happened to him." In some ways it's a little weird telling people his brother went insane— in other ways it's easier than letting people believe he'd been an evil self-righteous bastard all on his own. "His new… personality… took over after my nephew, Monty, died… and became President."

There's a bit of a headtilt when Cass notices Peter poking at the couch, but she doesn't call attention to it. May just be a nervous habit or something. "Well. That's something to look into, too." My, there's a lot to do. "Yes. Boats. I like the idea of a boat. We could grab a boat and have a sailing day. Who knows, it could be fun." And then they can practice Peter making small explosions and earthquakes. Yes, very fun. "Huh." Cass thinks through all of that, Nathan pulling a Niki. She's recently had a run in with Jessica so the possibility of split personalities is already fresh in her mind. "Ah." That sort of explains things, but it's hard to imagine Nathan becoming an evil dictator president. Probably because it wasn't Nathan. It was someone else. "Wow. The future was a really crappy place." Understatement of a lifetime, perhaps.

A boat trip. This makes Peter smile, for more reasons than one. He'd had no idea that she was afraid of flying— and he definitely gets that picture now. Guess he shouldn't explain that him and Nathan recently flew over two hundred miles to their old house upstate just to sit in the tree house they built together and chat for a while. It'd been pretty fun. Hopefully no one caught them on radar and claimed to see an unidentified flying object. "As long as my nephews stay alive and his taste in ties remains questionable, I don't think we have to worry about Logan making an appearance." Which is a good thing. Standing up, he reaches to touch her shoulder, before asking, "Want something to drink?"

For now, Cass will live in blissful ignorance of not knowing that Peter knows of her fear. It's fine by her. Just as long as she doesn't have to practice it with him, everything will be fine. The idea of going 200 miles to upstate doesn't bother her. It's the in between that does. "Oh God, his ties." The woman rolls her eyes just slightly. "I don't think he even knows how bad they are. I think we need to do some sort of tie intervention. I may just swoop in and drag him out tie shopping one day. For the sake of the state." Especially if he's going to become a senator. "And I'm definitely planning for everyone to remain alive through all this." At the offer of a drink, she thinks for a moment. "Uh, sure! I guess some water would be fine. Even if it's already pouring outside. I could probably just stick my head out and catch a mouthful."

There's a laugh, and Peter shakes his head, patting Snowy curled up on her chair as he walks by. Moments later he returns with a bottle of water from the fridge. "Tie intervention might be a good idea, but… Logan had really nice ties. I always liked Nathan's questionable style, myself." It made him stand out as someone different. "I suggested her try to go back into law instead of politics, but… I don't know. Maybe he'll still be good for it. The future was kind of… dark." He holds the bottle of water out for her. "Elena told me that you're already engaged. Congratulations. He buy you a ring yet?"

"Well. Nathan can have some good ties, too. For special occasions." Cass grins and twists off the cap of her newly acquired bottle of water. "Thanks." Before she speaks again, she takes a long swig. "And if he ever starts answering to the name Logan, we'll take away those ties as punishment." Because that would be a big punishment for Logan, right? "Man, you've got to love a future where you know your friend has turned evil because his taste in ties has improved." That would be sarcasm there. The mention of engagement brings a wide smile to her face. She can't help it. It's a happy topic. "Thank you. Well, sort of." She holds up her hand where a duct tape ring is wrapped around her finger. "It was all sort of spontaneous. So, he made me one." She doesn't sound embarrassed by it, though. It's unique. Like Nathan's fashion sense.

"People changed a lot— but the whole world did, so…" Peter shakes his head, moving to settle back down again. There's another idle poke at the edge of the couch, but nothing comes of it, so he puts his eyes back on hers— and the duct tape ring. That makes him smile. "Well— that's a little bit better than a ring carved out of a potato." But not very much. He'll have to see what he can do about that then… It shouldn't hurt to drag the older man out for a trip down to the jewelry store. He has something he needs to pick up as well… "I think I'll make a little file for you with all the abilities I remember using— I actually encountered a man who can talk to bugs— but I haven't been able to do it since then." Maybe he needs another shot at it? "And I asked a friend I met in the future to stop by Bat Country sometime— her name's Daphne. She… talks to animals. Apparently she's met you once already— but she was a pretty big help in the future."

"Well, when most of New York is destroyed and it's run by the evil alterego of a friend, I can't imagine it being the world as I know it." Cass gives a bit of a wry grin and swigs some more of her water bottle. "A ring carved out of a potato?" That gets an eyebrow raise. What in the world kind of future is this? Madness! "That would actually be great. I've already started my own little file on what you can do and what we've practiced already, but this is all the new things. It'd be good to have it all written down in one place. You're going to be able to talk to ever thing in the entire world soon," the woman laughs. "That sounds fine. I don't know if I remember her, but I'll remember her face more easily than her name." Someone else who talks to animals, hm? Interesting! "Well, I'll have a little practice with that one already."

"It wasn't that bad. He hand carved it for you— then I turned it into gold." Peter'd actually used that a few times in the future, since he didn't really have to worry about destroying the economy… "I think I have over twenty different abilities now," he adds, shaking his head a little bit. And he doesn't know for sure if he's off by much or not— he's definitely got that many, but how many past that, he's not sure. He could have many more that are just waiting to develope. "Though I'm only really any good at ten or so of them. Maybe we should start working on the ones I'm not any good at…" Like putting his damn finger through this couch. Stupid couch. He pokes at it again, then looks over at her. "Yeah— Lachlan and her were pretty okay friends in the future, I think. She controlled the Bronx Zoo. Kind of a strong-hold of sorts. She works there now." But he met her picking up dog supplies for Snowy. Who's still giving them a 'i'm sleepy, you're not here' face.

"At least it had some meaning." Cass laughs at the idea of having a potato ring made by Lachlan, golded by Peter. It sort of fits the relationship she has with the Scotsman. "Sure. I think that would be a good idea. Why don't you write down the abilities you'd like to work on the most and we'll start practicing those first. And then work our way up from there." Other than the most dangerous ones where he needs to make sure are under control. "I think that wind control thing should be bumped up, though, too. Just so we know what we're up against." Hm. Bronx Zoo. She did meet someone from the Bronx Zoo awhile back. Someone Lachlan had strong words with about a dog. Might be the same person. "Well, of course tell her she can stop by Bat Country. It's always good to see new people." Finishing off her water bottle, the bookstore owner stands up and kind of wobbles it. "I should probably start making my way over to Enlightenment. I just wanted to stop by, see how you were doing, ask about that drive thing."

"I'm working today, so… I'll drop off the files for you," Peter says, standing up again and moving to walk her to the door. There's a lot of priorities, and since he still has a job, he'll be able to drop off the files quite often. Though this means his shelf rearranging will have to wait for a while. He has a lot of powers to list out and try to tell her about, so she has them all for her records. "Sorry that the flashdrive didn't work out." It would've been handy if it had.

"That sounds perfect." Cass grabs her trench coat and slips it on and then stoops over for her umbrella. "We'll talk about our next lesson. We should probably get right back into those." Since they don't have any time to waste. A lot of priorities, a lot of things to do. "I'll start looking for desert islands." A bit of a grin at that. "Don't worry about it, Peter. I'm just glad you're back safe and sound." Everything else he brought back is just extra.

"Don't have to start out deserts," Peter says, touching her shoulder before she gets out the door, but making suer she has everything, including her umbrella, before he lets her out. "Be careful. I'll see you in a couple hours," he's got a smile on his face, and even if she's leaving, he's glad she stopped by. At least he got to see her. And planning for his lessons is important, too.

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