2007-08-04: DF: A Wrench in the Plan


DFAileen_icon.gif DFGeorge_icon.gif

Summary: George does some spin-doctoring. Aileen does the opposite.

Dark Future Date: August 4, 2009

A Wrench in the Plan

Fabulous Fireproof Hotel, New York City

Carrying her laptop and a lot of papers with her, Aileen looks a little tired, and definitely a little annoyed. Moving into the hotel room, she settles down on the couch, setting her work aside.

George is sprawled in the side chair, staring up at the ceiling as he talks on a cell phone. "What? Oh my God. Put that up front. And leave out the— right, right." He listens for a while, glancing over and raising an eyebrow. "Perfect. Run it." With a beep, the phone is hung up and tossed onto the desk.

There's a long breath, and Aileen shut her eyes, settling back on the couch. "Good day?" She questions, slowly opening her eyes back up. She leans forward, resting her head on her hands.

George shakes his head. "Over three hundred dead." So, no. He gets up and walks over to the bathroom, rinsing his hands. "What about you, another twelve-hour shift?"

"Shit." Aileen watches him walk off before she lets out a long breath. "Yeah, I had to write up a formal proposal for the project." She pauses for just a moment before she lets the words come out. "I met with the President."

The water is shut off. After toweling off, George goes to sit on the bed, looking out the window. Or would, if the curtains weren't drawn. "How did that go?"

There's a pause as she glances back to George. "He asked me about what happened. I thought he wanted me to come look at his shoulder.. he was injured." Aileen frowns. "He asked about the project. So I told him. He's taken control of it." She shakes her head, looking away. "George. He's.. dangerous."

George makes a sour face. "I've heard that countless times." The mention of an injury doesn't faze him, either; he'd know about it already if it were that serious. "What makes you say it?"

"I've never seem him snap like that." Aileen murmurs, reaching up to touch her shirt where she had been grabbed. "Scared me more than the damn terrorists." She looks back at George. "He.." She trails off.

"Well, he is under a lot of stress. Has to blow it off some time. But—" He turns, bothered more by the silence than by what was said out loud. "What is it?"

"I know, but.." Aileen shakes her head. "He just grabbed me, like he was going to strangle me, once I told him what the project was about, and that I thought it was actually possible. He told me it was a wrench in the plan. Asked me what right I had to even do this. He didn't even care that it agitated the wound. He just sat there, bleeding, holding me there by the shirt." She shakes her head. "He wants control of the entire project now. Said there's too much risk."

George leans back against the wall. "Grabbed you? Seriously?" There'll be a discussion about that, later. He's not completely blind. "It… could be, though. Not the plan itself, but what people would think it was, especially if it wasn't carefully explained. People could assume that it would be forced on them— or even if they didn't, they could just be scared of what would happen if it worked."

"I know, George, I know." Aileen settles on the couch, pulling her knees to her chest. "The men back there.. one of the terrorists? He suggested the President would use it like a reward, or force it on people. I'm not really much for listening to them, but.. after seeing that look with the President, I'm not sure what to think anymore." She sighs. "I'm scared. I'm honestly.. not sure what's going to happen. If I make one wrong move.. if I don't do this correctly, George.. that could be it."

George scratches at the back of his neck, pacing back and forth. "Hedge your bets, then," he suggests, finally. "Leave a copy of your notes in a safe place— and try to work up an antidote. Worth doing that anyway, in case some people turn out allergic to it. If he cracks--" The President is way ahead of you on that one, George. "--then we send it to the other side."

"Already done." Aileen sighs. "Ran into someone who seemed to have heard about the project too, simply because he discovered I was doing the same research. Thought I was stealing his notes or something. Either way.. he's definitely on the other side and working on the same thing. He's sending me his information, and I've left him with a copy of mine. If something happens.. he can do it." She looks back at him. "If it comes to it, George.. if things get crazy over this, I'm trusting you to do the right thing."

George walks over and rests a hand on Aileen's arm. "I will," he says, leaning his head forward. "If both sides are thinking along the same lines… that has to be a good sign. Anyway, put me in touch with him as well, if you can. Backup line of communication." Not that he hopes he'll ever need it.

Aileen nods. "I'll make sure of it." She looks back over at the wall. "Don't get in too deep, George. Just.. be careful. I know you've worked for Nathan Petrelli for a long time.. but the way he looked? Something's wrong."

No doubt he keeps that look carefully hidden from those closest to him. Why he let it slip this time, who knows? "I've been in deep for a while now, Aileen. I'll keep an eye out."

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