2010-01-09: Bloody Repercussions

Starring:

Marilyn_V4icon.pngNathan2_V4icon.pngPeter_V4icon.pngTracy_V4icon.pngAngela_V4icon.png

Date: January 9th, 2010

Summary:

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."


"Bloody Repurcssions"

Washington, D.C.

Security is high at the press conference meant to speak on that very matter. Security. Thick as thieves, guards lurk the room which rapidly filled with journalists. Mostly journalists. There are certainly politicians and their staff lurking about as well. There is a low hum as people talk amongst themselves in wait for the Secretary of Homeland Security to step out. Television cameras and photographers are placed all around in their allotted locations, ready to broadcast the conference to the country, journals, and newspapers. The security, even higher than it might normally be for a press conference, and the buzz in the air holds a certain tension.

Finally, everything starts to quiet as a stately, bold featured woman steps up front toward the podium. Blonde hair, pulled back into a bun, seems to tug at her already severe cheekbones. She wears navy blue suit; almost black, very minimal. Her face is expressionless. It's Marilyn de Souza.

Among the politicians in the room is Nathan Petrelli. He stands near the back, hoping that she doesn't do a mind scan (if that's even her ability?) of the room. Frowning, he glances from one guard to the next. There doesn't seem to be an easy escape route if its needed. But then this is a press conference, nothing unusual will go down here today. Probably. He smoothes his black Armani suit jacket as he watches her thoughtfully. He's never seen her before. Crossing his arms over his chest, he stands at the back, just in front of an onslaught of guards, waiting.

"Good evening," de Souza announces as she steps into place. "I'm here to speak on behalf of Homeland Security and also on behalf of the President, who I spoke with just minutes ago as he is quite busy dealing with these very issues." As expected, her voice is full of authority, and somewhat deep, for a woman. Her speech is delivered without emotion.

"As you know, our country has been advancing its efforts, especially in these last few months, to better protect our people from threats within our borders. We've been looking to move forward to deal with the issue of homeland security in the very broadest sense of the word."

Marilyn scans the room: cold, penetrating. She seems to stare right at Nathan. "We've made some real, true progress but unfortunately the homeland terrorist threat is out there and it's real. In light of recent developments and threats to our country involving a possible attack right here in the D.C. area — " She raises a hand as journalists become aflutter. " —precautions are being taken. Safety is our priority. We're raising our threat level…"

Furrowing his eyebrows, Nathan tilts his head. Fear mongerer. But it seems to be working. As he glances around the room he can see that the reporters and most of the politicians are buying into this idea. Pursing his lips he watches DeSouza carefully, silently studying her features, looking for any signs of a tell.

"The public will be made aware of changes to the threat level. Right now, it is being raised to yellow. Elevated. However, there is the possibility that it will be raised to red in the days to come. We are dealing with a new kind of threat. A before unknown sect of terrorists who also happen to be Americans. Well they don't deserve to be called American."

There is no tell; not on a face like Marilyn de Souza's. She's a living statue. No tell, that is, of her motives. Of her power. But there is a sign of something else entirely. Her penetrating stare moves away from Nathan at the back of the crowd — from everyone. It goes distant and her expression (or lack thereof) tenses; becomes strange. Unnatural. "We don't want you to be s… sssscared… We're not a nation of fear. Every … every ef… I?…" The Secretary of Homeland Security stumbles where she stands and grips the podium. She starts to slip. "… ffort is bnng made to stop… stop… stop…"

De Souza collapses.

Chaos erupts with shouts of "Someone call a doctor! 911!"

Eyes widening, Nathan reaches into his jacket pocket and extracts his cellphone before he darts towards the front of the room, weaving between people with the pandemonium. Quickly he dials, "This is Nathan Petrelli. I need an ambulance." He rattles off the address as he reaches the front of the room. "I'm Senator Petrelli," he says to the guards at the front of the room — guards who may not let him attend her, "I was a US Naval Officer. We all get basic first aid training. I'd like to help if I can —" He's sincere although a frown plays on his lips.

Don't deserve to be Americans.

In some ways the man who can't be seen by anyone in the room doesn't quite disagree, at least about himself. Not at this exact moment. Peter Petrelli will disagree later, but right now, he can't help but see the hand that briefly touched her with blood on it— Even if it's completely clean of blood, and indeed covered in a small plastic glove, to avoid leaving prints behind anywhere.

Most assassins who work in public get caught on camera. He won't.

A step back, and he moves out of the way, sliding against the wall to watch for a few moments. For a lot longer than he probably should. But— oh god.

Nathan.

His unseen hand twitches, his shoulders sag. He didn't know Nathan would be here.

At least he manages to remain invisible. Somehow.

The chaos is quickly handled by security and de Souza's team, but controlled chaos is still chaos. The tension buzzing about the room before has now exploded for a whole new reason. So they think. No one is aware that there's an invisible man in the room.

A guard initially tries to keep the Senator back with a palm; with a secure perimeter of people around the collapsed woman, though, he does nod and let him pass.

It's too late, though. Behind the podium, De Souza, collapsed on her side, is dead. Given the grimace on her face, it might have been a stroke. It was quick.

Back in New York, a TV is on, mounted on the wall of an office. Nathan's office, in fact — at least his headquarters. A few people under his employ had gathered around watching the press conference, but none so much as Tracy, a folder in hand of updated notes that she meant to drop off to the Senator before quickly taking her leave again. Blue eyes transfix on the broadcast — now, an empty podium and someone who looks a lot like Nathan rushing past a TV camera. She gapes for a moment longer, conflicted, before zipping into her office. She nearly runs.

As he's allowed to pass, Nathan clambers up to the collapsed woman's side before pressing fingers to search for a pulse. Nothing. He can't find anything. He rolls her onto her back to attempt CPR. He looks listens and feels for breath against his cheek, but gets nothing. She's dead. Regardless he tries chest compressions, and attempts mouth to mouth, but the lifeless de Souza is unresponsive. Completely unresponsive, but Nathan continues anyways.

Several paramedics enter the building — they were onsite for a different reason, but were called here for this. Nathan backs up, as the professionals take over. Gasping for breath, the Senator's mouth gapes open at the ensuing chaos. His face pales as he backs away from the lifeless body, eyes studying the pandemonium occurring on live television, "I hope they're not taping this…." Fortunately, the familiar ring of his cellphone pulls him out of his shocked state. "Petrelli speaking," he says distantly into the phone as he looks up into one of the cameras.

For a few moments, Peter remains where he is, frozen in place, staring at his brother's efforts, despite knowing it's possibly all an act. It has to be. For the cameras, for everyone to see. See him as the one who tried to save her.

And not the man who may have asked for her death.

A deep breath is taken, and suddenly the space he fills unseen is emptied. There's no indication at all, except a hint of a foot print on the floor.

Back in the safety of his home on Staten Island, he reappears finally. The covered hands touch his face, hair sticking to the plastic gloves briefly, before they fall away. Kneeling down, he sits on the floor, closing his eyes. He may never know if he did the right thing. Right now he seems to be questioning it.

Tracy's voice instantly speaks into the Senator's ear. "Nathan, I saw the news." Alarmed, yes. Distraught, a little. Hopeful? For better or worse, hope plays a part too. She doesn't have to say anything else.

Elsewhere, another television is on. This one in a lovely living room, an environment much more calm and distant from the unfolding drama. A cup of tea on a small plate is handed to the person watching the press conference. By now, the line 'SECRETARY DE SOUZA COLLAPSES DURING PRESS CONFERENCE ON TERROR THREATS' scrolls along the bottom.

An aging hand decorated by a gold ring waves off the tea, to which its server, a woman in her fifties or sixties with bright red hair frowns in vaguely annoyed concern.

Just as the station cuts to a news anchor before anything gruesome is shown on live television (they'll undoubtedly show it later once its edited perfectly), Angela Petrelli gets to her feet. "Not right now, Millie. If you'll excuse me, I have a phone call to make." With that, she disappears into a dark room, leaving her old friend mumbling something along the lines of "don't see why she'd take it so hard…" Angela waits a few moments — to be safe — lifts a cell phone and dials. Peter's number.

"Are the cameras still rolling?" Nathan asks as he glances at another while the paramedics cart DeSouza off. DOA. That's what she'll be declared: Dead On Arrival. The Senator steps off the stage and wanders out of the room. He'll be back to help deal with the aftermath if necessary.

"T-Linda," he finally manages once he's out in the hall. "I. We wanted this." Sort of. They wanted her gone. Not necessarily dead. Likely murdered. By his brother. And he mandated it. Requested it.

Something inside his brain claws to get out. Murder. Blood. He finds a chair, in one of the capitol hill building hallways, that he manages to collapse into; the weight of the ordeal working its magic on his psyche. "We wanted this. Right? We did. This is good for us, right?" the tone has an edge of panic.

His pulse quickens as he looks at his own hands, and like his brother's he's certain they're red. He did this. Nathan. Not Logan. Nathan. And worse. He had Peter do this.

And then something odd happens on the edge of his lips, a smile. A dastardly wicked smile that lasts only a second.

It might be a good thing that Tracy isn't present in person to see the nature of Nathan's smile; but then again… "Yes. I know it's— " Immoral, or wrong, or otherwise kind of hateful to think this is a good thing? But… her voice quiets, on the other line, but it is nothing but sure. Confident— in part, to calm Nathan's panic. "This is a good thing, Nathan. No matter how it happened, it happened. You have a better chance of going ahead with our plans now." 'No matter', she said, but still, there's a pause and she adds: "Do you… think… that it was…"

The cellphone he left behind on the table chimes and vibrates all at once. Peter looks up, and then looks back down. The chime tells him who is calling, but it doesn't make him want to answer it anymore than he might normally. It rings. And rings. And rings. Eventually clicking over to a mechanical voice: The person you are trying to reach is not available right now. Please leave a message after the tone.

*Beep*

A moment of silence is all the voicemail receives until Angela, in the shadowy guest bedroom she's whisked away to, decides to speak, leaving her message to be discovered later. Hopefully. "Peter, it's your mother. … I had a dream and if I'm not mistaken, it's just come true. We need to talk. Don't put this all on yourself."

*Click*

"I am certain it was. Something. Someone." Nathan states matter-of-factly, the tone confident although not regretful. Finally, he says pragmatically, "We did what we needed to do. Now I need to meet the President." His lips twitch. He's internally fighting something, a feeling of defeat. Of concession. And an accompanying dissociation with the situation. He feels reality slipping, but wilfully, he clings to the moment — to the conversation.

"We need to move quickly before others vie for the spot. I'm going to visit the President."

"Today? Good luck. I'll see if I can't make some last minute calls to get you in since your assistant still hasn't bothered to show up," says Tracy on the other line. She pauses, quickly, before adding: "You can do this, Nathan." He'd better be able to.

The room Peter teleported in isn't furnished yet, not completely. But it does have a clock on the wall. The constant tickticktick of the second hand seems to get louder in the corner of his hearing. And a part of him knows it's off, running slow. He could fix it. But fixing it wouldn't help anything right now. The phone beeps, a red light flashing to show that he has a message. He ignores it.

The same as he ignores the clock.

"Yeah…" Nathan frowns at the comment about KeLyssa, but the frown only lasts a moment. "Alright. Make the calls, please. I'm going to deal with the mayhem and then, we'll reevaluate things from there." That said, he hangs up, and as he hangs up, he takes a few deep cleansing breaths and focuses on his place of calm: a log cabin near the water in a wooded forest. A rickety rocking chair sits on the porch on which he chooses to sit. It's a place of peace for him to clear his head — quiet, empty. Until…

A man that looks strikingly like Nathan appears on a rocking chair next to him. This one is dressed in plaid and is whittling a train-shaped whistle. Nathan's calm has disappeared. His eyes widen: this is not according to plan.

Out in the real world, a beaming Logan stands from the chair and replaces the phone in his jacket pocket. Straightening his tie, Nathan 2.0 takes a moment to resurrect Nathan's concern into his own expression.

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