2007-03-11: Weaves On Fire


Cass_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Nima_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Nima drops by Cass' for their Weekly Trash TV night only to find Cass not expecting her and Lachlan in his boxers. Lee comes by to join in and Jack stops by to update Cass about Team Rescue. New plans, and betrayals are revealed! Kind of. Scary Twin Mind Melding below. Beware.

Date It Happened: March 11, 2007

Weaves on Fire

Cass' Apartment

It's getting later on in the evening and Cass is still up and pacing through the apartment holding onto her phone. She hasn't heard from the so-called Team 1 yet, poor Padfoot was killed in the heroics and she just involved two more people who didn't actually need to be. She's a little out of sorts. If that phone actually rang, she'd probably jump and drop it. By now she's convinced that something dreadful has happened to Hiro and whoever it was went with him and she needs to figure out how to fix it. Somehow. Because, obviously, that's something she has the power to do. She's not in over her head at all.

And on the other end of the scale is Lachlan, who is not pacing and distraught, but /squeaky clean/ thanks to Cass' shower. He crashed here last night and has since remained in a mopey state, being about as helpful as a lump — on the couch. Which is what he has been. It's a whole thing. The Scotsman emerges from the shower wearing boxer shorts (they're a manly shade of purple) and carrying a towel that is currently being applied to his hair. Spotting Cass and her pacing, he frowns, brow furrowing. "Nothin', huh?" This one is observant.

It's that time of the week, again: Trash TV Night. If Cass weren't so distraught, she probably wouldn't suddenly be wondering who is knocking at her door. No, she'd be aware it was Nima, laden with a picnic basket of homemade goodies, showing up for their ritual double-date with that crazy-ass bitch New York and a bunch of man-hos. *ding*

It's true. Cass has forgotten all about her weekly girl-date with Nima. Lachlan coming out from the shower doesn't phase her or stop her pacing. She just shakes her head, looking down at her phone just in case she somehow passed out and missed a call by any chance. The knock on the door startles her and she almost drops her phone. Frowning, she goes to the door and looks carefully through the peep-hole. Nima! Glancing over at Lachlan, she raises an eyebrow. "You might want to get some pants on or something." Then, she waits a moment and pulls the door open slightly with or without Lachlan's pants. "Nima! Hey!" She looks at the basket and then back up at Nima's face. "Food?" Then, it hits her. "Oh my God. New York. I totally forgot."

There's a blink or two from Lachlan at the mention of pants and he glances down at himself in confusion. "'M wearin' pants," he grunts, as though it's the most obvious thing in the world. Boxer shorts /clearly/ count as pants. They do, after all, cover the essentials. He is still wearing those boxers when the door is opened, and he is still mussing his hair with the towel, muttering something incomprehensible.

Duh, Cass. The HBIC and her 4 remaining men are going to Palm Beach tonight. According to last week's scenes about tonight's episode, there even will be a golf cart going where no golf cart should. And who can forget the hot air balloon ride where New York's weave might catch on fire? Clearly, something is wrong. Or perhaps not… Although Cass is not even remotely a skank, unlike one Tiffany Pollard, the sound of male grunting and a door that currently is not opened wide, as per tradition, warrants a blink. And an impish quirk of Nima's lips. "Y'know, it's totally cool if you have something more entertaining to watch tonight. You just, y'know, could've let us know."

Yes, them. Chewie is there, as he often is, and he is wagging his tail and looking at Miss Aldric with those big brown eyes of his. And the look says: 'WHY ARE YOU NOT MOVING? I CANNOT EAT UNTIL I AM INSIDE. I WANT TO EAT. WHY ARE YOU NOT MOVING? MOVE. NOW. plzkthx!'.

"I demand to see what he looks like before we go, though," Nima asserts.

Cass rolls her eyes at Lach. "Boxers are /not/ pants," she hisses at him, though it's mostly good-natured. Mostly. She knows Nima will find this more funny and entertaining than anything else. "No, I'm sorry, I've just…I have a lot on my mind today." She pauses and then looks at Nima expectantly for a moment. "You….haven't talked to Lee, have you?" She's not sure. They are siblings and they live together, so it's possible, even likely that Nima heard about the meltdown of last night. Chewie is given an absent scratching behind the ears, like she normal does for that dog. Sighing, she opens the door to let Nima and Chewie in. "Look, you better come in. And not just to ogle Lachlan."

Who is still valiantly standing in all his be-boxered glory somewhere in the vicinity of the couch. The mention of 'ogle' and 'Lachlan' in the same sentence gets his attention and he lifts his head to peer curiously at the person and dog entering the apartment. Dog. /Dog/. He stops drying his hair to stare at Chewie in the manner of someone who has just been given a surprise birthday gift and doesn't quite know what to do about it. After a moment's pause, he grins. "Hey, pup!" he greets, simultaneously sending happy signals to the dog's brain. "Jesus, yer a shaggy bugger." It's all good-natured ribbing. The fact that Nima is accompanying the dog doesn't seem to register. "Ye hungry? Cass, ye got anythin' fer the dog?" Feeding the dog is /top priority/.

There has been a delay. This has mildly discombobulated the lovable mutt. Chewbacca looks back to Nima. 'DO I GO IN, NOW? I AM BEING SCRITCHED. CASS SMELLS OF A MALE WHO IS NOT LEE. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU, TOO, PICNIC BASKET.'

"Nope." That's Nima's response about her brother. Beat. "Why?" Yeah. Cass is asking for a reason. "What did he do this time?" Oh, she loves Lee but she is fully aware that he can be an utter jackass. Entering, dark-haired otaku no miko amiably greets the Scot, "Evening, eye candy." And Chewie starts heading to his usual spot, only to be waylaid by Lachlan. Friendly pooch that he is, he wanders over to say hello. 'YOU SMELL LIKE CASS BUT NOT LIKE CASS. HELLO.' Food? 'FOOD. FOOD. FOOD.' Wagging his tail, tongue lolled out, the shaggy mutt looks back to the picnic basket and his already oh so affectionate heart overflows.

Cass smiles as Lachlan goes goo-goo eyed at Chewie. Oh, if only he would look at her like that some time. Is it possible she's getting jealous over a dog? No, not really. "Um, actually, I don't have any dog food on me. But I'm sure Nima has some in her basket of goodies. Lachlan, this is Nima, Nima, Lachlan. Everyone has names now." She frowns at the mention of what Lee has done. "Um, well. It's not really what /he/ did so much as…it's a long story. But you'll probably hear a more confused version of it from Lee when you talk to him next, so I might as well just tell you straight up."

When Chewie approaches to sniff and investigate him, Lachlan crouches to put himself at near-eye-level with the dog and reaches out to ruffle the dog's shaggy ears and face. Murmurings of a ridiculous nature soon follow. /Doggy/. Lachlan is so totally thrilled. At the mention of food in the basket, the Scotsman finally manages to pull his attention away from Chewie long enough to glance at Nima. He rises to a standing position once again, though he does keep one hand on the dog's head, if he doesn't move. "Well feed 'im then!" he exclaims jovially. "Bloody hell, he's starvin'!" How he knows this? Nobody knows. Except maybe Cass. And as for Lee, Lachlan squints at Cass quizzically and pipes up with, "Lee was the one tha' got nutted last nigh', righ'?"

A hungry Chewbacca? Yeah, that's a shocker. And if by dog food Cass means turkey sammiches: yeah, Nima has dog food. No 7-layer nacho dip or brownies, though. The latter will kill the beloved furball and the former will make him gassy /and/ runny — once he finally goes. Eww. "Nuttered?" From Lachlan, then back to Cass does Nima look. "He had to have done something for that to have been done to him?" Oh, yes. Just like she knows her dog, she also knows her brother.

"Um…yeah," Cass manages to answer to both Lachlan and Nima at the same time. "It…was a long weird night last night. Let's break out that food and I can tell you all about it." Lachlan knowing all about Chewie's hunger doesn't really phase her. In fact, she doesn't really think twice about it. Putting her phone down on the table, she goes to get some plates and some glasses for drinks. "Lee was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Scoff! goes Lachlan, who continues to fondle Chewie's ears … fondly. "Tha's a nice way o' puttin' it," he grunts in response to Cass' remark about Lee, but he doesn't seem eager to elaborate beyond: "He said somethin' tha' wasna very nice an' he got nut-punched fer it." The fact that the "somethin'" was in relation to the dead Padfoot is not mentioned or anything else of that sort. Lachlan drapes his towel over his shoulders and flops lazily onto the couch, clicking his tongue and patting his thigh at Chewie as an indication to follow. As far as the Scotsman is concerned, the rag-mop dog is /his/ for the rest of the evening.

Chewie loves the lovins but, tonight, his heart belongs to the basket of goodies. At least until it again belongs to Nima, once she gives him the turkey sammich. 'course, then he will be utterly faithful to his meal, forgetting everything and everyone else. Until he's ready for his second sammich, thus repeating the cycle. For the nonce, though, scritches suffice. 'YAY! SCRITCHES!'

Settling down, so she can start to unpack, the soon to be immortal beloved of the dog (for a few moments, anyway) starts removing items. First, a large casserole dish containing what may well be the best 7-layer nacho dip evah, "I hope you like olives," she tells Lachlan, "and, yeah. That sounds like Lee." 'course, she has no idea what he actually said. Had she been there, she would've done more than enough smacking for all present.

Lee knocks and comes wandering in without being further invited. "Hey. I got caffeine, milk, sugar, soy, chai and coffee in various combi…" He espies Lachlan with his sister's dog and immediately seems suspicious. "That dog's a coward. He's of no use to you," he points out. "Sorry, I didn't know you'd be here or I'd have got something for you." Cass has some crazy mint-infused chai something or other, Nima has a chai latte with '2 %' on the side, and he has…a cup of coffee. No Starbucks. The local shop. He looks around suspiciously as if expecting an attack.

Coming back with an armful of cups and plates, Cass hands them careful out to each person so that they'll have a place to put that delicious looking 7-layer nacho dip! Lee's ears must have been ringing because in he comes with their drinks. Aha! No need for these cups. She leaves them on the table just in case people want refills. She smiles at Lee and waves at him to take a seat. "Hey Lee. You're just in time. We were just getting into storytime. I owe you an explanation of what you saw last night. And since I figure Nima'd figure out anyway, I was going to tell her too."

Lee says, "Plus I sort of tell Nima everything, except when I tell it, it's /improved/," with a smirk that everyone in existence would actually hate to admit is pretty charming.

The entrance of Lee gets a raised eyebrow from Lachlan, but it's more of a quizzical expression than anything. The Scotsman doesn't seem to hold much of a grudge against the man and his comment from last night. "Nah, I'm fine. 'Ve got some scotch in the back." Scotch is totally superior to coffee. With a grin, he asks, "How's yer ba— ?" but then Cass comes in and starts talking and the moment passes. Lachlan shrugs and rises from the couch with a soft grunt. "S'pose I'll go put on some jeans," he remarks as he heads back toward the bathroom. It's totally okay for him to run around in his skivvies in the presence of /ladies/, but Lee's being here takes all the fun out of it. Besides, the Scotsman's starting to get cold.

Lee says, "It took me twenty minutes to go up the four flights of stairs from the street, but other than that, A OK." His /voice/ sounds okay.

Yet again, Jack's phone vibrates. For the first time today, he's in a position where he can actually /answer/ it. Still, he lets it buzz. After all, he's almost to Cass's.

The better part of his morning has been spent inspecting Kirby Plaza from every conceivable location and angle. Then, thinking that agents inside the building had made him, Jack fled and spent the rest of the day hiding in the trunk of a rusted, wheelless sedan someone thoughtfully left behind in a vacant lot. Having also taken a spill during his flight, a narrow gash above his left temple has leaked blood that's now drying and clotted into his hair. Sorry, ladies. No time to get pretty for you today.

Knock, knock. Jack's at the door, looking suitably creepy and downtrodden. Let the Jack in, won't you please?

*click* "Previously on 'I Love New York'…" No, Nima is not going to miss the recap. Especially when it details how 12 Pack had worked in a gay strip club. "Totally pinging," is the XX twin's comment about the shlub— which is pretty much is what she's said since she first laid eyes on the shlub. Then, restating what she said last week, "I really do hope he and Heat end up together." As if that's about to not happen. Just watch the 'Reunion' show that'll take place one month from now. "So, wait…" Yeah. She was distracted. "You really /were/ kneed in the nads?" It was a literal statement? Bwuh? Not that it stops Chewie from going to greet Lee. With a friendly sniff to the crotch. 'HI, LEE."

Lee says, "Punched. For no reason!" He pushes Chewie's head over onto his knee to pat. Still sensitive, my lad.

That's okay. Chewbacca hears — and smells — sammich. 'SAMMICHSAMMICHSAMMICH.' Nuts no longer hold interest.

There is suddenly trashy tv on the tube and people knocking and this is not exactly how Cass planned this whole thing to go. Of course, Nima doesn't know what she wants to talk about and she's not sure Lee even remembers much of it, either. "Yes, jeans would be nice, Lachlan. Thank you for the chai, Lee. Nima….just keep being there." She's walking to the door while she's trying to get everything under control. Opening it just a bit, she sees Jack standing in the doorway. Looking exhausted. "Jack!" she's surprised and incredibly glad to see him. "Any news? Have you heard anything yet? I figured he might not call me, since I wasn't there, but he must have called you." Always the optimist, despite her worry, she is convinced Hiro called Jack.

"Ye like it when I dunna wear jeans, Cass!" comes the bellowed response from the bathroom, which may or may not be inappropriately timed with the opening of the door. Other than that, there is nothing from Lachlan. He's getting dressed.

Clearly distraught, Jack shakes his head. "Nothing," he murmurs. That's right, no news at all. Not only that, Eliana has been gone for long enough for Jack to mentally declare her missing. Not exactly a banner day. Then he spots the one thing capable of cheering him up. Lee.

"Smooshie!" he calls out, grinning. "How are you? How's your breadbasket?"

Yes. There is trash tv. And the realization that someone really and truly did hit Lee in the jimmy. And she knows that he's no Coach Buzzcut. And a dog who is eating a half-unwrapped sandwich that she's holding. "I'm rather certain that no one is ever kicked in the crotch for no reason," she tells her twin. "I'm positive if the person is you." Love him as much as she does, Nima knows that Lee has a faulty brain-to-mouth filter. He might well have never had one installed during production. And then, she has to ask, "Was it a girl?" But then Jack's comment rings out over New York asking in her annoying pitch, "Do you have love for New York?" It is then that the geek's deep blue eyes alight upon the new arrival, her brow gently furrowed.

Lee says, "The name's Lee, and actually, the breadbasket is a bit higher than where you hit." He drinks his coffee and glowers, in what he mistakenly thinks is an ominous manner. He protests to Nima: "It was this guy. And he had just gotten done rushing into Cass' store with four or five people in ski masks, what was I supposed to do, be friendly and helpful to him?" Most would think 'don't antagonize them', however.

"Something's wrong." It's not a question, it's a statement. Cass knows the other team wouldn't go this long without updating them unless something went horribly wrong. "Crap salad." This might be time for a more important swear, but it's kind of hard to do with trash tv going on in the background. "We need to go over everything. Now. See if we can figure out who it was that betrayed you guys." Lee's colorful commentary reminds her that she has guests. Guests she said she'd explain things to. "Look, there's explanations. Obviously. Let's get that done now."

"Allow me to rephrase, then," Jack leans down until his face is disconcerting close to Lee's. "How are you penis and testicles?" Sadly, Cass's questions and comments are too pertinent to ignore, so he leaves off without waiting for a response. Uncomfortable, he reaches up to scratch at his cheek briefly. It's true, all of the things she mentioned are important. Really, they are. Not as important as one fact, though. "Eliana's missing," he blurts.

Enter the Scotsman, freshly decked out in the jeans and T-shirt he wore yesterday. They've been washed, but blood doesn't always come out of denim and cotton so easily, so he's still got patches of dried brown on his clothes. Lachlan comes back into the living room just in time to hear the bit about Eliana, and he hikes up an eyebrow. Part of him says "GOOD". The other part of him knows better than to say this aloud. Instead, he offers, "Ye sure?"

In contrast to the shrill woman on the television who's going on and on about being the Head Bitch In Charge, Nima seems rather easy-going and is blessed with a dulcet voice. "I'm sure my brother, to some extent, deserved some manner of thwapping. If you are not careful, though, you'll know first hand how he's feeling," she informs Jack with a wry smile. More brow furrowing, then a look towards Cass. "Who's Eliana?" And what is going on? A glance to the tv. Okay. No hot air balloon yet. Good.

Lee says, with broad casualness, "I deal with eighth grade bullies all day. I can spot the mentality a mile away. It doesn't give you satisfaction for more than a few seconds unless you're a real psycho…" Right on cue, Jack looks more diffident as the subject changes. "There, see? I feel sorry for you, and your dog didn't even die." A clear statement that he /does/ have sympathy for people whose pets die, just not in the crazy circumstances of the previous night. He doesn't know who Eliana is, so he drinks a bit of coffee and listens closer. "I remember pretty much what was said, sorta," he admits.

Cass allows a bit of a pause before she starts her little speech that she started. "Okay, so this is about that girl you saw walk through walls, Lee. It's possible. It really is. There are people who can do stuff like that out there and there's an organization out there called the Company that kidnaps those people and tries to test those abilities. I don't know much about it, to be honest, though I'm getting more information than I'd like to." She takes a breath and is about to go on when she hears Jack's news. "She…what? You're sure? But, she wasn't going with you guys. She thought you all were stupid!" Not exactly tactful, that's for sure, but she's surprised. "So that's two people I know of missing. Who all was going with you? And who all was at that meeting?" She looks over at Nima. "Eliana's a friend." Who is missing, now. Looking over at Lee, she frowns. "Maybe you'd do better by just not talking through this, Lee." In anticipation she gives Jack a warning look. No fighting in her apartment.

@emit "As sure as I can be without her calling to tell me she's missing. She hasn't touched her things or fed her cat in days." Frowning, Jack pulls his flask from the back of his belt and takes a swig, then offers it to Lachlan. "She hasn't returned my calls, either. And I know she isn't /that/ pissed at me. We were supposed to meet after the break-in." Though no time is really good to poke fun at an oft-drunk Irishman, now is particularly poor. For a long, ominous moment, he seriously considers the pros and cons of shooting Lee, thus reducing him to a leaky-but-silent meatbag. Then he shakes his head, not even needing the warning from Cass. Remember, Jackie-boy, rudeness is not an executable offense. If it were, Jack probably wouldn't be alive to carry on this train of thought.

In order to obtain sandan rank in Kyokushin, among many things, the practitioner must be able to break 2 regulation boards with 4 techniques standard in tournament tameshiwari, break 1 concrete block, and do fifty consecutive 5-fingertip push ups. Nima wouldn't kill Jack, unless he did something awful to Lee that would make her go all Darth Vader, but let's just say that testicles are MUCH squishier than things Nima is very capable of smashing into bits.

"Huh." That's pretty much all Lachlan has to say on the subject. He's never been known to be particularly helpful in the talk/think area. "Ye checked 'round? She got family anywhere?" See? Not helpful. The Scotsman sidles over to the vicinity of the food and begins to help himself to whatever is available. Hungry.

Let's get one thing straight. Jack will beat you all. ALL OF YOU. FOR NO REASON. He can do it, trust me. He's a pimp like that. Be nice to him, he's had a hard week.

Cass actually blinks when Lee agrees to be quiet. "Woah, seriously?" But she won't let that get her down. No no, she still has things to explain and to find out. "Anyway, The Company takes people with these abilities and does tests on them against their will. The other night a group of people tried to go in and rescue some friends. That's why they came into the store bloodied and kind of a wreck. Because apparently someone betrayed them. Though I still don't want to believe that. I can't imagine that happening. Who would turn you in? Eliana thought you were stupid, but would never do that. And…that's all I know of our group other than the people I met at the store last night. And I know they wouldn't do it. Though I don't know that Eric kid." She frowns. "Is it possible she's at the police or something? It might /not/ be the Company."

"It could be a lot of things," Jack admits. And hopes, too. "It just seems too convenient that she disappears at the same time everyone else does. The only way I can figure, the Company /had/ to have known we were coming. Who the hell carries around flash grenades on a regular workday? They even had a damn medic."

Wait… Are these people serious? Nima's brow remains gently furrowed, looking at Cass, than drifting to one, then the other of the two men not related to her. She knows Lee would take the piss like this. She knows Cass can be cheeky and might be willing to go in on it, too. Can it be? Can the comic book queen actually /not/ believe any of this? Another glance towards the tv. New York has yet to get in a golfcart wreck on her date with Tango and Real. Good. And then she starts to absently pet Chewie, who is enthusiastically licking her now-empty hand. Oh, but then Jack asks the Million Dollar Question, and she proves that she very much is Lee's sister. "Evil masterminds."

Lee exchanges a glance with Nima, they do that. He doesn't seem disbelieving, nor does he seem like he has committed to the ideas, but he's willing to entertain the notions, even while non-drugged. Unusual. He says, "Can I ask a quick question about this Company?" Well, that 'keep quiet' thing lasted about four minutes. "How does it actually make its money? Because that sounds pretty expensive and not likely to produce any actual /cash/." He picked holes in the Superman movies too. "Do they develop patents or something? Because - not that anyone asked me - if /I/ was worried about a company kidnapping someone, I wouldn't think of a commando raid. I'd think of the shareholder list."
Lee is a nerd in his own way, it seems.

If anyone looks serious, it's Cass. This whole situation is never good. "I don't know what this Company does. They could carry around machetes and machine guns all day." That's how they do it in her head, at least. "But who would do that? Was there anyone you didn't trust at that meeting you guys had? Someone who got out too clean from the escape?" She looks over at Lee and shrugs her shoulders. "I'm not sure, Lee. I don't know how the Company's run at all, just that they seem to have their hand in a lot of things and they can make people conveniently disappear without anyone getting on their case. I…yeah. I don't think covert raid is the way to go again."

Hmmhmhmhm. Food. Lachlan has it. He slumps onto the couch again, half-listening to the conversation going on, and offers a few pats and a scritch to Chewie. "Dunno," he answers Cass' question with a shrug of one shoulder. "We got out fine, obviously. The other team dinna get out. Mebbe it was one o' ours." He's totally new to this entire operation and doesn't know anyone /in/ it, so he's just throwing things out there.

Lee looks rather dismayed that nobody seemed to think of his idea before. Clearly, he doesn't have such a high opinion of himself to think nobody could be as smart as him, and thus he's a bit aghast that nobody was. It actually appears to make him doubt the whole story a little bit, from start to finish, he leans back, falling silent again and listening.

"There were a lot of people at the meet I didn't trust, Cassie. Hell, I didn't even /know/ a lot of them, but it seems like they all got captured." Jack grimaces. "Anyway, if we aren't going to go in after them, what do you plan we do? Sue 'em to death?" Yes, yes. Jack wants to respond to adversity by punching things skillfully. Surprise, surprise. Then Lachlan vomits out one of his rare, beautiful pearls of wisdom. "The man's right. With everyone else captured, there's a decent chance the leak came from someone in our team."

Well. Being that Lee is just as crap a liar as she is, Nima is not at all sure how to take any of this. Apart from deciding now is a good time for chocolate. Reaching into the picnic basket, she pulls out a tupperware bin that contains 24 decadently delicious double-fudge brownies, made from scratch. She's awesome like that. Removing the lid, she delicately plucks one up, takes a bite, and starts to slowly chew. Swallowing, she takes her chai with her free hand deeply sips. Finally, she speaks. "If this is some nefarious organization, it's gonna be more complicated than that." She says this with the certainty of someone who has read nearly every published superpower comic book and graphic novel that exists. Story-arcs like this have a template.

"I don't know if that's possible. That'd take a /lot/ of money." Lawsuits don't come cheap. Cass gives Nima a bit of a smirk. "Oh, it's complicated, that's for sure." Then, she sighs. "I don't know what to do next. We can't leave them there. We /can't/. But…we've still got that other niggling problem of the tornado." She forgets for another moment that Lee and Nima might not know what she's talking about. "While we're trying to get /them/ back we're ignoring that whole problem. Which is a mistake. I doubt they'll thank us for saving them only to get destroyed a bit later by the reason this whole thing started." Putting a hand on her forehead, she closes her eyes to think. "We don't know who they have. We don't know who we can trust." A flash of inspiration. "Wait. I might know a guy I can talk to. Or at least get some information out of. I think he works for the Company. He's someone who might listen to me. I can see if I can talk to him again."

Forget Lee and Nima; /Lachlan/ has no idea what Cass is on about. He's in the process of reaching for a brownie when she mentions something about a tornado, and he looks over at her with brow wrinkled in surprise and concern. "Wha'?" Tornado? Splutter? And then there's mention of someone who works in the Company, and the Scotsman's lips contort into a scowl. "Thouh' ye said the Company's /bad/?" he grumbles. "Why're ye talkin' ta someone tha' /works/ there?"

Lee chimes in with his sister. "Right, they'd have to be protected. I mean, not that anyone actually /checked/, but they'd have to be. Land records in someone else's name…"
Nima chimes in right back with him: "A patsy."
Lee says: "Or a shell company. Probably corporate records are doctored…"
Nima: "I bet they donate to charity…"
Lee: "…or offer grants. Good PR. So nobody looks too closely."
Nima: "And it saves money on their taxes."
Lee: "They'd have to have foreign ties…"
Nima: "…corrupt politicians on their payroll?"
Lee: "Not necessarily, they could just cooperate…"
Nima: "Because of the good PR, right! And a high-tech secret lair deep undersea!"
Lee: "…"
Nima: "Or Greenland!"
Thus ends the 'twin moment'. Lee says, "/Tornado?/"

"Relax. Let's slow down, guys." Jack is prescribing caution? Things must be bad. "Let her talk to her friend. Right now we're blind and deaf. We need all the info we can get. In the meantime, I plan to focus on the issue of our lost friends. I certainly can't stop a tornado, and I wouldn't know where to start. Evil Corporation is more my speed." Then comes the lengthy Lee/Nima rant, which is more than enough to elicit a stare from Jack.

"I didn't /know/ he worked for the Company when I started to talk to him," Cass tells Lachlan quickly. It's kind of a lie, but the truth just sounds horrible. "I wanted to talk to him about Activating Evolution, that book I sell in my store. His father wrote it. My…my father had met him, so he put me in contact with him." Lee and Nima's little fast-paced exchange is something she's seen before about other subjects. Movies, books…anything they can mindmeld about. As soon as they finish, she blinks at them. "Yeah. There's apparently going to be a tornado that tears through Manhattan and kills everyone here." Way to kill the mood, Cass. "That's how we all got together. To stop it."

Lee says, "Not…to put too fine a point on it Cass, but…we met at the local business association meeting. Not in a tornado shelter."

After a pause to consider Lee and Nima with a somewhat bewildered stare, the Scotsman looks once again to Cass with only a brief glance Jack's way. "How're ye trustin' 'im if he works fer the Company, then?" growls Lachlan, who sees absolutely no sense in this line of logic. It would be like him spewing out drug cartel secrets to Mara. Honestly.

And then it happens. Nima misses New York have an 'incident' with a golf cart. She does not yet notice. She is busy unwrapping Chewie's second and final turkey sandwich. 'SAMMICH!' The dog elatedly wags his tail. It's only when a State Farm Insurance commercial registers in her mind does she realize, "Aww, man!" Truly, the dark-haired dork is disappointed. If she misses weave on fire, she will be very vexed. And having lost focus on the conversation at hand, it's no shock at the 'wha?' moment that follows. "Wait… you're going to speak with a meteorologist?"

"Ha. Very funny, Lee. I meant the little rescue squad I just talked about." Cass suddenly remembers her weird mint chai concoction and grabs it. "Though the rescue thing is relatively new. I just knew it as the 'stop the tornado' thing." To Lachlan, she shrugs her shoulders. "I don't know. It's not that I trust him, it's that I think he's just confused. He seems like a good guy who wants to help. I'm not going to tell him anything important. I'm just…going to try and see what I can get him to tell me." How she does that is beyond her, though. "No, Nima, he's a geneticist. Dr. Suresh. I told you about his father's book before."

"Oh." A blink. Comprehension. Nima doesn't bring-up how she's used that as a source book for an X-Men one-shot she ran, letting players go through it since it was more interesting than the RPG sourcebook's chapter on Powers.

Lee doesn't quite follow the genetics-tornado-ology link, and doubt grows further, but he says nothing.

"Suresh!" Jack exclaims. "I knew that name sounded familiar." He crosses his arms over his chest and leans back against the wall. "He ought to know something. He was at our little meeting."

The brownie that Lachlan was going for is snagged finally, and he leans back into the couch again with a quiet grunt. He still doesn't like the idea of Cass going around talking with Company people. Not at all. And then Jack pipes up, and Lachlan's eyes narrow /further/. "He was, huh?" It's said /ominously/, as in, "He knew about the little operation we were planning to do, /huh/?"

"I…wait…what?" Cass blinks at Jack. Her line of thinking doesn't differ much from Lachlan's. "Mohinder was at your meeting? Mohinder Suresh?" Instead of narrowing, they're wide open now. "You're sure?"

Sipping more chai, Nima then sets it down, eats more of her brownie, and starts ruffling her cuddly canine. Her eyes dart between those who have a clue about this Suresh guy and the meeting. She's trying to follow but they aren't making a whole lotta sense. Not to her, anyway.

And now it's Lachlan's turn to eye Cass meaningfully, his lower lip jutting out a bit in a dark scowl. "Looks like mebbe ye've found yer rat," he rumbles blandly before he takes to the brownie with a large bite. Now he has half a brownie. Mm, chocolate.

"Dammit!" Cass is none too pleased about learning this. "I totally believed all the crap he spewed about wanting to help people." She's now /angry/ since she has a face to put to this betrayal. The significant look is lost because she's too far involved in her own little hurt and angerfest. "Okay. You know what? Screw this. I'm still talking to Suresh. At least now I know who I'm dealing with. He's still our best bet to finding what happened to our friends." She looks at Jack, Lachlan, Lee and Nima. "I think what we should do is file missing persons reports on anyone we can't find. That way we have official records."

Lee is a little behind on this part too, he and Nima's attention slowly move back towards the TV. At the mention of missing persons reports, though, he looks back at Nima. He remembers that one. He takes a long drink of coffee, looks into the black liquid. Discovers nothing.

"Go ahead and file your reports. I'd like to be around when you talk to Suresh, though." Jack clenches both fists and his knuckles pop. "If this is his fault, I'll have a thing or two to say, as well."

"'D like ta see this Suresh fella m'self," Lachlan adds to Jack's input. Besides, Cass going in to talk to a rat all by her lonesome is none-too-pleasing to the Scotsman. He has nothing to add about the /lawful/ side of things, seeing as he's, well, /not/ very lawful. Filing missing persons reports isn't in his repertoire of Things Lachlan Can Do.

"Y'know," Nima begins, "being that I've read about this kind of thing alot…" Yeah, in comic books. Bite her. "…I feel compelled to point out that he may simply be a convenient fall-guy. Who's to say no one else in your meetings didn't know his ties to that company? I'm not saying that he didn't do it. I just think it's not such a good idea to so readily conclude that he did." A pause. "Then, again, as far a plotlines go, that /would/ be acting appropriately stupid."

Lee says, right along with her, "Seems like there's a lot of that going around." But it's just an observation; he doesn't mean anyone in particular.

Cass looks at Jack and frowns. "I don't want you to bust him up, Jack. We're not the Company. The one thing Hiro told me he was worried about is that something he started would turn into some sort of Army. If the Company snatches people of the streets and hurts them, we're going to be the opposite." She look sternly at Jack and then at Lachlan. "No. Violence. We're doing this entirely by negotiation." Sighing, she looks to Lee and Nima. "I'm really sorry to get you two involved in all this. It's…weird. I know. But, you're right. It might not be his fault. He might not have done this at all. So, that's why I want to go alone. More flies with honey then with beating them to a living pulp and whatever."

Nima does not make an Aeon Flux eyelashes joke. She simply offers Cass a supportive smile and extends the bin full of brownies.

Negotiating? "Speak for yourself, Cass. I find violence to be an extremely effective motivator. I mean, I got Lee to shut up for a few minutes last night." Jack grins over at 'Mooshie.' "Besides, if this /is/ his fault, I'd say he earned it."

Who said anything about violence? Jack may be gung-ho about popping in there and breaking a certain scientist's skull, but Lachlan looks appropriately subdued at Cass' warning. He raises his hands peaceably. "Dinna say I was gonna bust 'im open," he retorts, "but if he's the one's been flappin' his face, yer goin' in there alone's no' exactly smart. One wrong thing an' there's no tellin' wha' he'll do." And that's not a happy prospect for Lachlan, see.

Lee says, "I saw a black guy pull one of my students through a wall. You didn't do /that/." He looks at Nima as if to dare her to argue with him. His only response to Jack is: "Yeah, that was a real accomplishment. Write it down in your diary after? Mark your calendar?"

"Ha! You said black!" Nima retorts to her brother, who had been so adamant about using African-American just a week ago.
Clearly, she misses her sibling's point and zooms in on a point of previous contention.

Lee says, "Bite me, twerp," to his hour-younger sister.

"Maybe I'll let Penny over there do it." By which aforementioned hour-younger sister means Jack.

Cass smiles at Nima and then at Lee for not running screaming out the apartment the moment she started talking about abilities and conspiracy theories. Then she gives Jack another one of her stern looks. "I'm sure you do. But I'm done with something I'm involved in being about violence. If we're helping people we're helping them. And breaking open Mohinder's skull isn't going to help anyone but you. He might have earned a lot of things, but we're not the ones dishing out revenge or karma." This is something she wants to be firm on. She frowns at Lachlan. "I know, Lach. But, I don't know if he's going to talk with me and two intimidating looking guys baring down on him. He didn't look /dangerous/. I don't think he'd try to hurt me if I just try to talk to him." Her train of thought is totally derailed by Nima. She can't help it, she giggles even if she tries to hold it in. Ahem. "You guys can wait for me outside or we can have a rendezvous or something if you're worried."

"I'm scared. What if my weave catches on fire?"

At those words, it is a Pavlovian response. Nima IMMEDIATELY shifts her attention to the tv.

What she sees is New York, Chance, and White Boy in a hot air balloon.

Lee is about to make some crack about Jack's ability to bite him or the advisability of such a course, when Nima's attention shifts. "I'll write down my response and pass it to you next commercial break."

Jack lifts two fingers to his brow and salutes Nima. "Anyway, I applaud your pacifistic attitude, Cassie. I mean, it's going to get you killed, but it's still admirable." There's no malice in Jack's words. He's just tired. The way he sees things, no one, himself included, has got any better ideas, so he lets out a sigh. "Sorry," he mutters. "The thought of disavowing violence after people were trying to kill us yesterday sits a bit oddly."

But Lachlan's got a good idea. "Will ye at least take a dog? If ye let me hang 'round outside the place while yer in there, the dog'll— " he pauses and peers at Lee and Nima — but since they're obviously okay in Cass' book, he'll not worry about mentioning such things "— gimme an in. An' if Suresh starts messin' with ye, I'll have the dog rip inta 'im."

Nima does not even know Lee will have a pressie for her at the next break. She is entirely engrossed. Her entire face lights up like seeing a new line of action figures being revealed at Comic Con International. She leans forward, eyes rapt, hoping, waiting, wondering… will the weave catch on fire? Chewbacca understands. He's like that with sammich. And as there is no more sammich and Nima has slowly ceased the scritching, he moseys towards Lachlan, tail a-wagging.

Cass frowns at Jack. "It's /because/ people were trying to kill you yesterday that makes me want to not use violence, Jack. I don't want anyone to go through that again." She looks at Lachlan, not mentioning the loss of Padfoot. "Yes, I'll take a dog. I don't think anything is going to happen. He's a scientist, for God's sake. I doubt he could land a punch." She certainly can't. Once again, TV trashness totally distracts her. Weaves are catching on fire, perhaps. It's intriguing.

Lee looks rather amused at Jack's reluctance. "I guess you only got the 'resort' part of 'violence is a last resort', and thought, 'hey, beaches and drinks with umbrellas in them. Sign me up for some of that resort stuff.' It's gotten you where you are today."

Good. Cass is agreeing to his terms. Lachlan likes this. When Chewie comes over, he cups the dog's face in his hands and ruffles his head with a smirk. Hi puppypuppypuppy. "Mebbe ye can take Chewie here," he intones. "He's no' scary one bit, are ye?" /No/ he's not, silly puppy.

Whether or not anyone mentioned the dog's name is just plain ignored.

"Fuck this. I'm outta here. Next time leave Mooshie at home, or I'm going to kill him." Most of Jack's few friends are missing. Maybe dead. His girlfriend is gone. For an instant, the devastation he feels shows through clearly. Then, just as fast, he snaps his practiced poker face into place. "You want to meet with Suresh on your own, be my guest," he growls, then heads toward the door.

"Jack!" Cass obviously is distraught at the idea of Jack being angry with her. Not only is he one of the only ones she knows she can trust in this whole thing, she considers him a friend. "Just…I'll call you, okay?" She glares at Lee. "Stop being an ass to my friends."

And speaking of not noticing things, Nima is oblivious to the death threat leveled at her brother, which may or may not be legitimate. She is still waiting for synthetic fibers to go up in flames.

Lee replies magnanimously, and agreeably, "Why not?"

"Oy, Jack." But Jack's leaving. Sigh. Lee's little remarks are frowned at, and then the Scotsman glances at Chewie, smirking as an idea enters his head. He lays his head back on the couch, goes limp, and closes his eyes. A little concentration and he's soon peering out through the eyes of the dog. And soon those dog's eyes are turning to Lee. With a 'woof!' of enthusiasm, Chewie goes barreling right toward Lee and, if he doesn't move, the dog will take a flying leap towards his lap.

Lee URF! "Chewie, aw, come on! My coffee!"

Jack's already gone and that keeps Cass distraught. Is she wrong to not fight violence with violence? Or to go to Suresh's alone? Shaking her head, she decides to let it all pass for later. "Because it makes me want to hit you with something heavy." When Chewie goes barreling for Lee, she snickers and gives Lachlan a look before dropping on the couch next to him for the rest of the trash tv segment of the program. Even in her current mental state, she can't help but enjoy such entertainment.

There's shrieking from a spoiled skank and an acrophobia freak-out by a would-be thug rapper who grew up on a horse farm. And a tattooed white guy who's just chillin'. With only slightly less disappointment than the viewers feel, the hot air balloon conductor brings them all down with scarcely a singe. "Damnit," Nima laments. And it's only after the next commercial break that she realizes that Jack has gone. Blinking, she looks to Cass and asks, "Is someone watching his friend's cat?"

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