2007-10-01: Who's the Bigger Monster?

Starring:

Mariska_icon.gif Noah_icon.gif

Summary: (Wonder where Misha disappeared to after the chaos? Here's your answer.) Mariska and Noah contrast and compare who's the bigger monster.

Date It Happened: October 1st, 2007

Who's the Bigger Monster?


Midtown, NYC - Kirby Plaza Building

A minute. Two. Then ten. Then thirty. An hour ticks by… so painfully slow… And then another. Six excruciating minutes into the third, Noah Bennet returns to Kirby Plaza and opens the door to his make-shift office and finds that, with only one exception, things are entirely as he'd left them before he'd taken that fateful drive Upstate and hell's second coming was seemingly unleashed.

The exception comes in the form of a familiar woman seated in one of the chairs that shares cramped space in front of the man's desk. When the door is finally opened she turns her head and, sure enough, it's Mariska Mikhailova.

The door to Noah's office opened and shut. To say that he is tired would be an understatement. Sylar's antics combined with Sasha's unintentional chaos as led to a day filled with tranqs, high speed driving, and bossing people around. Now, HRG is in the final leg. Just two loose ends to tie up and he can call it a night. "…I'm surprised to see you here," Noah admits as he moves toward his office chair, having to squeeze by the wall and his desk to get in.

"You shouldn't be," says the Soviet, her tone harshed on the edges by her heavy accent but more matter-of-fact than lambasting. She's been squaring herself for this - inevitable conversation or confrontation - but she's not hostile. "You have my daughter."

"The situation is the same as before. The specifics have changed, but she is secure, her powers are still unstable, and the situation is in hand." The words are calm and firm as Noah seats himself down. "You, on the other hand… You've done some things I'm not pleased with. You have two minutes to explain your actions tonight." With that, Noah waits, his fingers intertwining as he leans back into his chair. His brown eyes remain steadily on the mother's.

Mariska's pale green may not be easy to meet; her gaze is steely and hard and she's had some time to reign in her rampant emotions enough to at least appear tightly put-together on the outside. But, if there's anyone capable of being a rock-solid hardass in times like these, it's the man with horn-rimmed glasses. "I was following orders." Simple enough. Even the best laid plans, eh? "You shot someone in front of my child," she adds grimly, dismay evident.

"Whose orders and what were they?" Noah questions back as soon as Mariska is done speaking. Clearly, he thinks the woman is lying or he wouldn't be having this conversation. He doesn't discuss the woman's motivation. He'll get to it soon enough.

No, no. Let's go back. Mariska's not apt to let that little hitch in the giddy-up go by unacknowledged. She leans forward and repeats herself, an index finger jabbed against the desk top as she tries to emphasize her point. "You shot someone… in front of a six-year-old girl." Go ahead. Let that sink in. Of course, she doesn't realize that it was a tranquilizer gun but… does that matter? Sasha clearly didn't know the difference either. The issue remains the same. Mommy doesn't like it when bad men make her baby cry. The index finger on the desk indicates a blank space on the corner where, at Hartsdale, there used to be some sort of childlike piece of clay bric-a-brac; it screamed 'my child made this'. She says nothing for a moment but the implication is that he should think about what things would be like if their roles were reversed. After enough uncomfortable silence has passed, Mariska says, "If you want details, you can talk to Mister Bishop."

"Your child killed someone. Tonight, I only injected sedatives to ensure she would not kill again. Now that she has innocent blood on her hands, do you really want to continue 'who is the bigger monster'? I hope not."

Noah is unfeeling for the current attempt of pity, his words firm and without mercy as he delivers the painful truth. In the end, it actually makes him strength his resolve a bit more. He's willing to kill to protect his daughter, among other horrid things. A tough meeting is nothing.

Yes, apparently she does, because the next words out of Mariska's mouth are gasping and horrified. "Don't you dare try to blame what happened in that house on her!" Even though, yeah, okay, technically… but, admittedly, maybe sending someone who could suck all of the air out of someone's lungs to play freak-of-the-week sidekick to poor Miss Ferris was the poorer choice. Not that Mariska really knows what happened. But, hey. "She's just a child! You are grown man. You make choice… you pull trigger." And that makes all the difference in Mariska's mind.

There is a long pause. Noah says nothing during this time, letting the silence linger. Finally, he nods to himself before saying, "So, those are your final thoughts on the matter."

Not even close. And if that was supposed to be a subtle hint for Mariska to shut up, she either declines to take it or misses it completely. This is kinda like her 'hot button' issue. "No! Give me my daughter back! I refuse to sit back and watch while you people traumatize her and call it 'help'!" She's on her feet now, knobby-knuckled hand gripping the edge of the desk while the composure that she'd been able to muster up earlier slowly dissolves. "I know… I understand. She's dangerous. She needs to be watched and taken care of and kept out of harm's way… and if you want your doctors to try and help her then, fine. Okay. I get it." Those green eyes are getting awful soggy. "But, please… I'm her mother." Sniffle. "…give her back to me."

Mariska's plea falls on Noah, who remains almost like a statue. So this is what he is like when Claire's endangered? It's surreal to be on the other side of the desk. If the child was not such a danger to the world, perhaps he would side with her and plot to get the two away. Tragically for Misha, that is not the case.

"Tonight proved exactly why that cannot happen. Not yet. Between you and your daughter, the entire city of New York and perhaps the world was in danger. Are you aware that there are those with the power of radiation manipulation? Can you imagine what would happen if that person was there when that all happened. I want you to think about that tonight." Eden tried to guilt and convince Noah to do things he shouldn't as well. It rarely, if ever, worked. And he cared for her like a daughter.

Slowly standing up, Noah moves toward the door, opening it for Mariska. "I am leaving for the night. I'll be talking with Bob tonight or tomorrow morning to verify that you were acting under his orders. You have until tomorrow to get yourself under control and agree once more to the deal we made which included letting you be with your daughter once her powers were under control. If not, we will have to reconsider the conditions. Good night, Mariska." With that, Noah motions the Russian to get up and out. Yet again, Noah plays the role of the villain… or is it the hero? The magic that is morally grey.

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