2008-05-16: Two Birds With One Stone


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Summary: Cass has been a bad girl, as far as Arthur Petrelli is concerned.

Date It Happened: May 16th, 2008

Two Birds With One Stone

Labs - Pinehearst Research

Fort Lee, New Jersey

It's the end of Cass' work day and, as usual now, she's been clocking out earlier than usual. Especially now when they're so close to finding a workable Formula, she's been trying to slow it down by just not being here. Pulling her hair out of her work ponytail and shrugging off her lab jacket, she grabs her purse and picks up her cellphone from out of her desk. Seeing she has a voicemail message, she listens to it while grabbing her keys and pulling the straps of her purse onto her shoulder. It's a quick and simple message in Niki's voice - "Cass, call me as soon as you get this." Frowning, she ends the call to her voicemail she starts toward the doorway while thumbing through her phonebook for Niki's number.

Things are not going well for Pinehearst. Nathan is off doing Things That Arthur Did Not Say To Do, Maury was taken by the Company, Claire is gone, so his supply of blood is cut off at the source, there's been questioning about the homeless people disappearing and they need a stronger, more able test subject, and on top of that, his supply of blood is getting destroyed. He needs to fix these problems. Luckily, today he'll kill two birds with one stone.

"Miss Aldric," the Petrelli patriarch says, suddenly appearing in the doorway. "I was wondering if we could have a little chat."

Knowing that things aren't going well for Pinehearst would make Cass feel at least a little better. However, a surprise visit by Arthur precludes that with making her more worried. The last time they talked, he told her what happened to people who rock the boat here. Flipping her phone closed without even getting to dial Niki's phone number, she slips it back into her purse and comes to a stop in front of the patriarch. "I'm sorry, Mr. Petrelli," she replies, trying to sound innocuous and genuine. "I was just on my way out for the evening. I have dinner plans. Could it wait until tomorrow morning?"

The screen of the monitor positioned on the countertop just behind Arthur, off to his left, angled toward Cass, used to show the double helix symbol and 'PINEHEARST RESEARCH' — a screensaver. It used to. That's the way it was a few minutes ago, but at some point, it changed.

The black screen is now blank, save for a single message.


"Unfortunately, it can't wait," the man responds, holding a hand up. In it, he holds a tape, and he shakes it slightly at Cass. "I need you to show me what's wrong with this; I can't figure it out for the life of me." He moves into the room, taking a look at Cass, gaze penetrating into hers. "Sit down," he says, leaving no room for argument, in the quite literal sense. A power his son gave him when he took his abilities.

That does not sound like good news. Cass frowns and readjusts the straps of her purse. While she doesn't want to directly disobey the head of the company, she also doesn't want to stay here longer than she has to. It sounds like something easy enough to do, check a tape. But, suddenly there's no question about what she will do. At the order to sit down, she does so in the chair by the countertop. There's little hesitation, but she seems to realize that this is against her will somewhere in the back of her mind. For now her eyes don't leave the father of the Petrellis, watching him warily.

Setup in the corner is a small, LCD TV normally used for reviewing tapes related to cases. A small DVD/VCR combo player rests next to it, however, and Arthur steps over to it, sliding the tape into the machine. He presses the Play button, taking a few steps back and settling on the edge of the desk, crossing his arms over his right leg. "I want you to tell me what's wrong with this tape."

The tape flickers, rolling across the screen, but eventually begins to play correctly. It shows where the stores of blood are being kept, the camera set high up in one of the corners. Whether the employees know about it or not is anyone's guess, and you only know that if you're cleared with access. It shows Cass entering, pulling a few bags of blood from one of the refridgerating units. The only thing is, the time stamp in the lower right corner shows that Cass is definitely not supposed to be in the lab and taking blood. The tape skips— apparently it's more than one clip all spliced together. A different day, but near the same time. Cass taking another sample.

As Arthur turns away to slide the tape into the VCR, Cass focuses on the computer behind him that's only flashing the words 'YOU NEED TO LEAVE THE BUILDING'. But, she can't. She's forced to sit in this chair. That only manages to make her heart rate speed up and by the time she sees herself playing on the small LCD TV, she knows without a doubt that this is not going to be a pleasant meeting. She takes a deep breath as she watches herself taking blood from the lab. She knows when this was and at first, she doesn't realize that Arthur must, too, until the third time and she notices the timestamp at the bottom of the screen. Though Arthur has asked her a direct question, her throat is dry and there's only silence. Cass' eyes widen and she looks between her boss and the TV screen. Uh oh.

"Silence can be deafening," Arthur says with a small sigh, pressing a button on the remote and causing the tape to stop. He moves off of the desk, turning to face Cass. "It doesn't take much to deduce you're the one who's been destroying my blood," he says, eyes flashing with a hint of anger. He leans in close, placing a hand on either side of the desk to support himself. "And I want to know what else you've been up to," he says, voice low. He stares into the woman's eyes, mentally reaching out to find out any information he can about what she's been doing, who she's been working for, or who she's been working with. "After that, we'll get to your punishment."

Of course silence can be deafening, but not only that, there's not much Cass could say lying-wise that would convince Arthur that it was for totally legitimate reasons for taking that blood. "It's not your blood," she manages to reply, knowing already that she's in trouble and there's little that will save her from it. "You stole it." And she stole it back. A regular Robin Hood of Pinehearst, expect she didn't give blood bags to the blood poor. Hands gripping onto the edge of the seat, she attempts to look away from Arthur, to not get locked into his telepathy, but there's very little she can do about it. Like a deer caught in the headlights, she's trapped.

Sitting across the kitchen table from Niki… "You're not able to protect against people reading your mind, either. If you know, you're already in danger."

Peter, upset at Enlightenment Books, "The man you trust at Pinehearst tried to kill Heidi."

Peter, again, but this one with a scar on his face, "I'm honestly not sure how much I can tell you, cause time travel is tricky… But the people you're working for… they're going to do something soon. Something that will change everything. Change you, me, everyone. You can stop it."

Niki, at her table, "I've been lying to Pinehearst for months. I don't want to get you in more trouble than you need to be in. Just know… that… there are people helping Nathan."

Peter, "I don't know what they have you doing, Cass, but the people you're working for are no better than the Company. They just have a better sales pitch."

Scarred Peter, "I'm already working on things that will try to stop what happened from happening again. All you have to do is try to delay the completion of the formula, and…" Now he does look back at her. His voice gains emphasis, "Never let them test it on you."


The images flash before Cass' own eyes as well as Arthur's and once they stop, she slumps in her chair, exhausted, scared. She has to find a way out of this.

As Arthur slowly probes deeper into Cass' mind, gaining more information and more information, a scowl slowly begins to settle over his face. Once he's got what he's needed from her, he stands up, pulling his upper torso away from her. Eyes glare down at her, shaking his head. "I hate a traitor," he says, referring to more than one person. Once he's through with this one, he'll be moving on to Miss Sanders.

His eyes turn to the monitor with the message on it, recognizing the moment he say it in Cass' mind. A short burst of electricity escapes from his hand, causing the monitor to explode and crack from the force. Cass won't be using it again, anyway. "I've been looking for a new test subject, as I'm sure you're aware of. Congratulations. You just got the spot." As if that were the command, four men move into the room. Security to escort Miss Aldric away.

Exhausted and terrified, Cass watches the electricity escape Arthur's hand and then the four men approach her. Test her. No. No no no. Without a verbal reply, she darts from the chair and tries to find an alternative way out of the lab. There is none, and she knows it, but she can't just sit there and let them take her. She has to try.

"Grab her!" is the angry response from Arthur, and the four men comply immediately. They all move in on Cass, attempting to secure her by the arms. Arthur is tired of playing games with all of this, and it's time things start swinging back in his favor. "Don't worry. We're fairly sure the formula will be good enough where it won't do…. well, too much damage," he says, as the men attempt tod rag Cass out of the room and to the labs.

Never much of an athlete, nor able to fight against one trained guard, let alone four, Cass doesn't really have much of a fight in her future. It's a quick scuffle, the four having surrounded and detained her relatively easily. Angry, she struggles, but they've got a strong grip on her and pull her away. "You can't do this to people without consequences." People will wonder where she's gone, why she hasn't returned home. Hopefully it will be in time.

The head of Pinehearst watches until his terminated employee is dragged away by the security officers. He doesn't bother to respond to what she says, finally turning away from the woman and moving down the hall. He has other employees to deal with, as well.


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