2007-08-17: DF: Atonement


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Summary: After Cass and the other rescued captive scientists are taken care of, Elena visits Benjamin at his "holding cell" in the Saints' base. She informs him of his options.

Dark Future Date: August 17th, 2009


Basement Levels, Phoenix Rising Penthouses

When Benjamin awakens, he's in a secured room in the medbay area of the Phoenix Rising Penthouses' basement levels. There is a dim light overhead, just to make things comfortable. Instead of a cot, there's an actual bed, and an IV in his arm. His torso is bandaged up - he didn't need any stitches because the wounds were shallow, and someone seems to have morphined the wound some so he wouldn't feel it. It wasn't an injection - but more like the powder that World War II medics used to treat wounded soldiers. It was apropos, for the time being.

He has no shirt, but he's got a blanket over him. There is a chair next to his bed, some reading materials….and….a menu? If he picks it up, there's all sorts of good stuff on it. There's even a TV with a remote. It was like being in a hotel room, except not.

The secured door opens up, and Elena walks in. She looks exhausted, but unharmed. She closes the door behind her, and walks up to the bed. She's got a sandwich on it, and a glass of cold orange juice. These, she sets on the table and takes a seat next to his bed.

Benjamin is slow to awaken, all things considered. Despite Peter's efforts in healing him, his body has a long way to go to adjust and recover. The dim lighting is appreciated as he starts coming back around, as there aren't any lights glaring in his face. His surroundings are barely registered as the door opens and Elena walks in. He doesn't try to get up, in fact, his eyes close again, but it's brief. ".. how's Cass and the doctors?" he asks, voice a little hoarse.

"We're working on checking out the doctors, and then we'll ship them off to a secure location. We'll figure out where they'll go once they're all set up." Elena lets him close his eyes. He looks so tired. "Do you want anything to drink? I can easily turn the juice into a screwdriver." A glimpse of humor there, but she's examining Benjamin a little bit with her eyes. She reaches out, pulling the blanket up further. "Normally this isn't protocol. A government agent in our hands doesn't usually have too long a lifespan from the time of capture." She pauses. "…but you're a special case. Cass might not be too happy that you're here, I'll talk to her tomorrow once she's awake - she's going to be fine by the way. Gene took an X-ray scan of her, there's no trace of radioactive anything in her person. She got bluffed." There is a few moments of silence, and then she speaks up again. "How are you feeling?"

"S'good.. Look after Dr. Walsh.. she's good." Sorry his vocabulary seems to be suffering at the moment. Benjamin shakes his head, in refusal of anything stronger than the juice. Although.. vodka sounds fantastic about now. "Sorry I had to put Cass out.. she kept threatening to jump.. didn't know what else to do with her." He gave his word dammit, and he kept it. There's no blanching about the explanation about government agents, just a silent acceptance. Whatever happens to him next happens. "Feel like shit.. and knew that pole smoker was bluffing about it."

"We will," Elena says, and she can't help but bite back a smile when she hears Benji swear. Her expression is carefully neutral though, even if she's doing her best to take care of him. And when he apologizes about Cass, she shakes her head. "You did what you had to. That's all we need. I'll explain it to Cass tomorrow, but I can't guarantee that she'll listen. I believe you though. I trust Papa's powers - you mentioned you've had basic training in blocking telepaths, but you didn't bother blocking my father when you know full well what he's capable of." It would take more than a basic block to stop Ramon anyway, these days. She nods. "I know Cass isn't tagged, but what about you? You were tagged before you were even one of the President's men. I've injected something in you just in case to screw with the gamma ray emissions, but do they actually still use this method of tracking people down?"

Benjamin doesn't move much, just a little shifting there on the cot. He's now mindful of the IV, so takes care with that arm. "Because.. I wanted to do this for you guys.. so I didn't block." His eyes close briefly again, and he raises a hand to rub at his forehead, "I was.. when the Company first took me… as for the isotopes.. From what I'm privy to, that method is out of use. The Company went down and basically absorbed into the government.. they have other ways that I'm not aware of. I'm basically recruited for specific kidnappings."

She doesn't have any reason not to believe Benji at this point. Part of her wishes she was the telepath, and not her father. But Benjamin, if he knew where everyone was, could've put everyone to sleep. She isn't sure if she was actually strong enough to resist his powers when he's conscious, despite her mastery. From her experience in studying the phenomenon when she was helping Cass out with Bat Country, powers need to mature. She was 21, she got her powers at around 16. She knows at this point it's only starting to, despite her level of power and control. "Did they send you to Cass because of your connection to her?" she asks quietly. "When did the Company recruit you?"

Benjamin drapes his arm across his eyes and falls silent. If anyone's worried about him putting folks out and setting up.. rest easy. He's in no shape. It might be a few days before he can manage something like that. Not that he will. Unless it's to get people to not stop him from disappearing. "June.. 2007 .. They threatened to go after Rose if I didn't join willingly." So he signed his life away. There's a single harsh and bitter laugh, "Before or after the war? They had me spying on the labs after recruitment.. and kidnapping Cass? Petrelli wanted her unharmed and knew I could subdue her easily."

"You….infiltrated Bat Country?" Elena says, staring at Benjamin. But at the same time, they threatened Rose. What the hell else was a father going to do? She knows Ramon would've done the same thing….maybe. He was a simple man, all he wanted was security and to keep his family safe. His words echo at the back of her mind.

At the end of the day, chiquita, a man doesn't give a shit about ideals. He gives a shit about his children.

She takes up the remote on the bed, and depresses the button. As comfortable as the mattress is, it's automated, and it shifts, to help Benji up in a lounging position. She knows Peter's primary purpose is to go back and stop the devastation of New York. Stop his brother. Stop the war. But this was Cass's life's work. And Benjamin clearly hates what he's become. Maybe…there's a way to stop that too. She has to tell him. Of course, she says nothing. She picks up the glass of orange juice. "Drink, Benji," she tells him gently. "You need the carbs." She'll help him if he can't do it. "We're…trying to figure out what to do with you. You're a special case. You helped us out. You….and Papa were old friends. You lived up your end of the bargain. Papa and I can have you smuggled out of the country. Give you a new identity to make a new life for yourself and forget about the shit that's going on here. Are you amenable to that?"

"I did.. it was ordered in July of that year.." Benjamin is not proud of this. He detested it at the time, but he didn't have much of a choice in the matter. There's no protest as Elena has the bed shifting him to an upright position. It's tempting to ignore the juice that was brought, but he's thirsty, and feeling a little less suicidal. The glass is taken and small sips made. "Smuggle out someone more worthy. I'll get myself up to Canada or something.. I made mom go to Toronto in the early days. As for what's going on here? Can't be forgotten."

"Benjamin." She uses his full first name. "After what happened back there, if they have some other way to track their agents now, they will kill you." Elena glances to the side. "I know that's your choice. If you want to throw yourself off the proverbial cliff, I can't stop you. And I can't blame you for it. But no matter what it looks like….I'll settle for the people I can save. I want to save you. For old times sake, I want to save you. But that's your call, and not mine. There's….still so much you can do to stick it to the people who forced you to do the things you hated. There's still so much you can do with your life and make it worthy of living it again." She smirks. "Even if it's to impregnate a Salma Hayek look-a-like in Mexico."

Benjamin doesn't seem fussed about the truth of the situation. "I know they will, and let them try." His expression is very much 'bring it on', even if the fire isn't in his voice. "Let someone else have her, why should I get smuggled off to Mexico to have fun with women? Give that chance to someone more deserving." A few more sips of juice are taken before he lowers the glass to the table at the bedside. Going quiet, he's turning the options around in his head. Not answering just yet.

Sniper shots. Bombs. Elena is like her father, she operates under the assumption that their enemies are as competent as they are, no matter what the bloody Alliance says behind their back. Speaking of they were probably going crazy right now once they figure out that the president was kidnapped. She'll be anticipating an official break from them soon, but she's nonplussed considering she knows it's been a long time coming. She watches Benjamin for a while as he falls quiet, mulling over his options. "It's up to you. You know I can't force you, and even if I could, I won't. But I need to know what you intend to do so I can make preparations. I know you don't want us to expend our resources on you more than we have to, but you're here, in one of our bases." She doesn't tell Benjamin this was their headquarters. "No matter what you decide, we're going to have to do it right."

"I'll think about it.. over.. I guess it's night." Benjamin has no clue as to what time it is. His mind is slowly being made up, but he wants to sleep on it. Just a bit longer. Closing his eyes, he goes quiet again. Just when it seems like he's fallen asleep, he asks, "If I want to help.. will it be a problem?"

"Any help would be appreciated, but I'll check," Elena says quietly. She watches him lean back on the bed, and she depresses the button on the remote she holds. The bed slides back down, so he'll be lying fully again. "I can't give you any guarantees, but if you want to help, and if you seriously want to atone for your mistakes…..I'm going to do what I can to make it happen. We're all we've got, Benji. We all lost someone or something important. If anything I think it's the driving force for the Saints. Try and keep the shit we have, or bond over our losses to keep us strong. If that's the case, you're a good fit." She stands up then. "I'll let you sleep. You don't have to eat the sandwich, but I would like to see that glass empty by tomorrow. You need to get your blood back in order." And with that, she turns to move for the door.

Benjamin nods his head and utters, "Yes mom." Was that.. he was making a funny!

Elena smiles over her shoulder - just a tiny bit. And then she opens the door, closing it behind her. Putting in the security code so no one can get in but herself and Jack, she leans against it, and sighs. Progress. Slowly, but surely. With luck, if Peter manages to fix the past, Benjamin won't have to be this broken.

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