2007-11-08: Camera Instillation

Starring:

Beck_icon.gif Bekah_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Guest Starring: NPCs, Danny Ferrera

Summary: These guys are installing a camera at the back door of Enlightenment Books. A couple passersby get suspicious. And then Peter invites them into the store out of the cold. Only to get even more suspicious than anyone else.

Date It Happened: November 8, 2007

Camera Instillation


East Village — Outside Enlightenment Books

East Village. New York City.

11:08pm. It's dark, it's damp — a light mist hangs in the fall air. Somewhere, someone is having a loft party; happy shouts and laughs drift through an open window over distantly blaring music. Sounds like Electric Six. Festive! Very few citizens of the city that never sleeps know that, a year ago today, they were almost obliterated by a human nuclear warhead. To say it's "any other day," however, would be a lie. No day is ordinary anymore when you have people lurking around who can do extraordinary things, is it?

Everything's changed.

Pan in on: the nearby exterior of Enlightenment Books. It hasn't been such of a hotspot of unusual activity in recent times, but it's still a beacon of crazy. It's well after hours. The windows are darkened. There are no signs of activity inside. Outside, though… in the alley beside the building, a figure shuffles and reaches into his coat. "What kind of bookstore needs a back door that secure? Ground zero, that's what. Ground zero for freaks."

Lee actually has some reason to be in that alleyway, because the little tangle of tiny concrete connects up behind and between the various shops and the tiny-nook parking spaces behind, one of which his family has owned for some time. But rather than go straight up the back stairs and into the Jones residence above the Secret Lair, he decides to take a quick walk around the corner for a cup of coffee, cutting along the path without fear. It comes from the confidence of knowing the territory. He is talking on his cellphone: "I'm not arguing that with you." he says. "I'm not arguing that with you. I'm not arguing that with you. I'm….I'm not arguing that with you. I'm not arguing that with you." Caught up in not arguing about whatever he is not arguing about with whoever is on the other end of his phone call, he more or less ignores the coated figure even when he turns directly into the alleyway near the mysterious person, completely destroying the whole point of the mysteriousness, which Lee would be pleased with doing, on a literary level, if only he knew he had done it. "I'm not arguing that…I…I'm not arguing that with you. I'm not arguing that with you." he says as he continues.

It's the East Village, a place she's very familiar with. The bookstore, the Secret Lair where she buys stories about someone similar to her and met a dreamwalker… There are also music clubs in the area, places Jane can go when she feels the urge to play for an audience and be loud. Sure, she can and does still occasionally play on the streets with her case open, and she's got the studio gig, the band too, but stage performance is always exhilarating. Have guitar, will walk the streets, basically. To that end, she's got her case over one shoulder and backpack across the other as she passes near the store Cass owns. And something behind it catches her attention. The five foot eight inch brunette starts toward it, trying to be quiet and careful, not wanting to be noticed, as one hand pulls the iPhone from her hip and prepares to make a call.

Really, it's rather late for Bekah to be out and about, but well, she does live in the area, if not as close as Lee. From the ratty jeans and plain coat she's wearing, it doesn't look like it's anything too exciting. Anyone close to her might be able to see her eye roll when she hears Lee saying the same thing over and over and over.

Some people might be getting off work around this time. Others might have gotten off hours ago and be preparing to go to sleep. Beck? Well, he's on his way to work … or at least spending all the time he has to wait out on the street. Hands plunged into the pockets of his jacket, he makes his way down the sidewalk although he's still a fair distance from Freakish Ground Zero.

There's at least one person in the city who's very much aware that one year ago today the city nearly got woken up to a nuclear explosion that would wipe out part of New York City. This area probably wouldn't be as nice looking as it is if it wasn't for one new Senator-Elect. Speaking of nuclear bombs, there's one walking down the street in the direction of Enlightenment Books. Peter's not quite heading in the direction of the same alley that Jane just turned to go into, but he's moving toward the front door. Not in a hurry, he's unaware of the happenings in the back, instead distracted by the sound of a voice he just recently heard— not-arguing loudly into a phone.

The man's partner doesn't make a noise, his eyes fixed on the back door of Enlightenment Books. He crouches down, head pivoting back and forth as his eyes roam up and down the alley. "Freaks," he repeats, almost as if he were mulling over the thought. Glancing up at his partner, before standing and picking up the duffel bag at his feet. "We'll have to make it high," he says, head tilting back as he looks around for a suitable spot on the wall opposite the book store. "Have to make sure they don't see it." He reaches out and places a hand against the brick, eyes moving back to his partner.

Then, without warning, there's someone in the alley. The man's attention snaps directly to Lee, and he drops the duffel bag onto ground, instictively stepping in front of it. He slides his hand into the deep pockets of his coat, keeping his eyes on Lee as he talks to his partner. "Who…?"

"They won't see it. I ordered top dollar," the other man says, glancing around the alley every few seconds. When someone else nears and his partner makes note of it, he's already scurrying back to flatten against the wall. Twitchy, he brings a black-gloved finger to his mouth in a silent 'shh', reaches into his coat, and watches Lee.

Moving closer slowly, her eyes briefly on the non-arguing guy she remembers from the Secret Lair, Jane returns focus to the men near that back door. She lets a slight smile appear, grateful for the presence of such a loud and chatty man to draw attention and keep it away from her. Her hand remains poised on the phone, ready to tap out a number, but she waits. She watches to see what they're up to, and listens. What they say makes an eyebrow go up. The store has been bugged before, she knows. Put something where it won't be seen? Hm. Sounds like that's what they're up to. Her smile grows wider. She intends to watch and listen, and… let them do it. She takes advantage of their attention on Lee and moves to press her back against a wall on the alley's other side.

Lee comes up the alleyway, leaving the mystery men just behind him, oblivious to their significance, with Jane approaching in front of him and the mouth of the alley just beyond, he pauses and says, in a torrent of emphatic words accompanied by pointing his long, graceful index finger at the ground as if stabbing it at a C- paper on an imaginary desk: "I'm not arguing that with you, /all I'm saying/, Joan, is that Dickens' influence over the so-called New Reformation's ideas being successful in French laity is overestimated, you have to look at Gasquet, Zola, Zola, for god's sake, promoted direct political action, there's no need to trace it all the way over to Sikes and Crackit and back again. What about Carlyle, what about Zola, with Zola, there you have direct political action and….Joan, I'm not arguing that with you. I'm not…I'm hanging up the phone now. Yes. Right. I'll talk to you soon. Right. I'm not…right. I'm…" He looks at the phone. Joan hung up. He shakes his head, addresses Jane, somewhat randomly: "Can you believe the nerve of structural post-Marxists?" Following her gimlet-eyed gaze back behind him, he turns and spots the duffel bag, and the two shadowy figures. "Oh, hey, I didn't see you back here, are you trying to make a delivery? You have to go around front for that, they close up the delivery gate back here after six."

Bekah rolls her eyes again as she catches what Lee's arguement was about. "Figures it wouldn't be anything really important." She mutter under her breath. No, she's not at all still mad at Lee. Of course not. She's moving past the alley as she mutters, just still strolling along.

Beck passes by the front of the store, the conversation (what he can hear of it) in the alley causing him to crane his neck as he goes past. Unfortunately he still hasn't entirely learned to keep to his own business in the big city.

It's not the conversation in the alley that attracts Peter's attention and eyes— it's the man getting off the phone, having been forced to cease his argument. He's already opening his mouth to call out to them, just now recognizing Jane in the shadows, but not recognizing the other strolling by— despite having briefly met her through a hazmat suit one time— but then Lee mentions deliveries in the back. He's not on shift for the bookstore these days due to… sick leave… but… that's suspicious. Moving at a brisker pace, he tries to catch up to the alley, forehead creased. "What's going on?" he asks, a blanket question to those close by. Which seem to be quite a few people. This is New York.

Taking his partner's heed, the second man falls silent, his back falling against the wall, bunching his arms in close to his chest in order to gain extra heat from his coat. His eyes fall to the ground, even if they follow Lee's feet as he passes by, and he begins to think everything's in the clear.

It's not. When Lee turns around and addresses him, the man looks up, somewhat taken aback by Lee. "Me?" he says, taking a look at the duffel bag, then looking back up at Lee. "I don't work for this place. I don't have a thing to do with it. We're just waiting for some friends. What, do you own this place or something?" That's about when Peter shows up, asking questions. Heaven forbid more people start showing up and asking things. He looks over at Peter, then back to his partner, shrugging as he says outloud, "So hard to have privacy in this city anymore."

The other man leans around his partner. This alley's getting too crowded. Nervousness dances around his already wary eyes and his hand shuffles within the confines of his dark windbreaker. He nods quickly, moistens his lips— "Yeah." He eyes Peter up and down, critical. "Yeah, you work here? We didn't mean to loiter or anything, jeez."

Damn. Busted! Lee speaks to her, and possibly draws attention her way. So much for Plan A: watching to see where they put whatever it is they came to place and alerting Cass, her mind hatching strategies to use it for misinformation. Plan B, now. Peter's voice and the men trying to lie to him is a welcome development. Jane will need help. Her eyes don't leave the men near that back door as she answers Lee's question. Ivy League hat: on. "I've not paid much attention to structural post-Marxists. My interest in college was more toward mainstream Western theorists and personalities. The Roosevelts, all three of them. Kennedy, too. And lately this apparently rising star from Illinois."

Lee replies to the two, helpfully enough: "No, no, my sister owns the shop up the street, all the alleyways are connected, though, so…oh, I just saw your bag and figured you were bringing the latest UFO pictures or lizardman fossils or whatever…" Something doesn't strike him as right about the story, so he naturally concludes that the two are drug dealers or some other entrepreneurial folks, since there's no conceivable way anyone could think there was anything worth looking at, listening to, or thinking about in Enlightenment Books. He grins at Jane's response, then concludes his remarks: "Anyway, uh, people /do/ come in and out through here, it's the only way into the upstairs of all those buildings that face that way? So…. Just a FYI. Might want to try somewhere else." People who say 'FYI' in real life are inherently annoying, aren't they? He turns away from them - past Jane with a brisk nod - and almost runs into Peter and Bekah. "Bekah, hey." he says with a smile of recognition, then, a moment later: "Oh, hey, Peter." But it's in passing, it's Bekah he wants to talk to: "How's it going? I was just about to grab a coffee at the stand, do you want to join me?"

Bekah gives Lee a look that shows he has no chance in hell tonight. "Thanks for asking, but I'm hoping to get home soon. It's been a horribly long day at work." And all she wants this late is to fall into bed. The two men are given a look. "Right. Because we all meet our friends in dark alleys late at night. Totally normal. Yep."

Beck isn't part of this network of friends although he does hear part of the conversation as he's passing the alleyway and it does seem a little strange. He pauses because, well, unlike most people he doesn't take off at the first sign of trouble in a dark alley. He lingers there a moment, retrieving his cellphone from his pocket in an effort to look like he's got other things on his mind rather than eavesdropping … even if his supervisor is the only number in there.

Lee says, out of the side of his mouth, sotto voce: "Uh..Bekah…drug dealers. Ixnay on the onfrontation-kay." Still looking out for her, even though she's made her position clear. "All right, I'll see you around, then."

There's Peter. Everyone else at least suspects that the two might be up to no good, but him? "I hope you meet up with your friends." It's said in a genuine tone, as if he really does believe they're waiting in a dark alley next to the store, for their friends. In his defense, he's witnessing at least four people randomly encounter each other right outside this very same alley, and many of them seem to know each other. "Hello Lee, Jane," he says to both of them, moving away from the alley at this point and starting to pull his keys to the front door out. There'd been a reason he came to the store after all. He wanted to pick something up, again, and he couldn't remember the location well enough to Jack it from across part of the city.

This might not be so bad. The man who was on the phone seems to be leaving, and he's drawing the attention of at least two of the others. For now, all the men can do is wait it out. The second man continues to lean against the wall, hands still tucked deep down into his pockets. At Bekah's comment, he shrugs, responding under his breath. "That's New York City for you." He nods to Peter, offering a small smile, casting a quick glance in his partner's direction before looking over at Jane, waiting for her to hopefully move along.

Catching the look of his partner in… whatever it is, exactly, this pair is up to, the gloved man exchanges a tense glance. Bringing a hand out of his coat — empty — he wraps his arms about himself as if cold. He's the shorter and more nervous of the two, but maybe he's just impatient. He peers at his watch. "Well, uh, Alex late. Surprise, right," he says casually to the other man. "I'm going to give him a call." He starts to drift out of the alley, with a curt nod to those he passes in the direction of the storefront. He pulls a cell phone out as he goes, flipping it open and shut in a matter of seconds. "My uh, my phone died…" he says behind Peter. "Don't suppose I could use the store's?"

She can't watch now, they know she's here, and staying means she'd be alone. Not at all good, that, they might have weapons. Or they could be Company, which means another memory hole if they figure out she suspects anything. Them catching her or not means little: she has a file and the tracking marks, these two heard her name spoken and saw her face too. Damndamndamn. But inspiration strikes for Jane, at the same time the shorter of the two moves toward Peter and speaks. She starts to head that way herself. "Say, Peter, it's really good I came across you. Maybe we could disappear from here and go get a cup of coffee or something." And… another flash of inspiration, when the shorter man asks to use a phone. "Here. You can use mine, sir."

Bekah looks to the men and then towards Lee. "Fine. You use your obviously totally marvelous skills and deal with them. I'm going home to bed." And with that statement of snark, Bekah turns and walks away from the alley. She even covers an exagerated yawn with her hand for effect.

Lee sniggers at Bekah's remark; "Okay, I'll do that and you bravely run away and hide under the covers." he quips right back at her. Beck's the only one who's left out there with him. "Ex-girlfriend." he explains. He doesn't go rushing right over to screw with the 'dealers', though, despite the sarcasm. He seems to be working up the nerve to do something, though, leaning back and forth on his feet, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his coat.

Beck remains at the mouth of the alley … although as he pretends to chat with someone on the other end of the phone, he makes his way as close as he can while still looking like he's idly strolling, "Yeah, hang on," he says into the phone, even though there is nobody on the other end, "I'm just trying to get off the street so I can hear you better." Or hear the people in the alley better.

"Sure, I don't see why not— but I need to go inside and pick something up first." Peter says, as he's already unlocking the various locks on the door. After all the break-ins, Cass put many in. With them all unlocked, he puts his keys into his pocket, glancing toward the man with the busted cellphone. Even as Jane responds to make an offer of her own cellphone, he says, "Why don't the two of you come inside for a few minutes— it's pretty cold out here. Only until I find what I'm looking for— but at least you can warm up a little." It seems, despite everything else, he notices the shivering and the chill outside. He's dressed warmly himself.

Midway through opening his mouth to answer Jane, the man looks relieved when the Enlightenment employee makes his polite offer. "Thanks, man." Giving Jane a brief, twitchy smile, he turns to follow Peter. Scrubbing his gloved hands over his arms against the chill, he scurries up the steps to the store, nodding to his partner in gesture - c'mon! "Nice of you," he adds to Peter, who he watches very, very closely.

His comrade is left eyeing the various people who still linger nearby. Don't they have anything better to do? He hefts his duffel bag from the ground and meanders after his partner. "Lucky break," he mutters, glancing back over his shoulder.

She isn't feeling so cold, at all. Jane's dressed for the weather, after all, and her focus on matters at hand makes her not pay much attention to that anyway. Damn, Peter. As she moves to follow them into the bookstore, seeing little choice given the invitation and with her code word disappear not being picked up on, she moves on to Plan C. Hoping Peter will look her way and see what she does, one hand starts to rub at a temple. A few seconds after beginning that, she thinks at him. Loudly. Peter! Wake up, man! These guys are trying to bug the store or something! I heard them talking about it!

Lee says, apropos of nothing, to Beck, "Wish me luck." and scampers up, his long legs whisking along swiftly, to grab the door before it closes behind the second guy. "Hey, did you say you studied politics?" he asks Jane. This conversational gambit takes place over the heads of the two plumbers. "Were you involved in the special election at all? I'm a civics teacher, I've been looking for someone who was involved who could come talk to my class about the election process." The black bag operation now swims in a sea of transparency.

Beck cranes his neck to watch after Lee and the rest as they make their way into the store. With nobody left around to fool, he closes the phone and slips it back into his pocket. And, without a valid reason to chase after them, he turns and begins to make his way back down the alleyway towards the street.

They don't get too far into the store, because Peter has to start punching numbers into a keypad. There's alarms! Also a product of all those breakins at the store. "It's no problem— Though it might be best if you still use the cellphone. I just work here— I don't tend to use the store phone very often," he adds, looking toward Jane to see if the offer is still open for them to use her phone, when— rubbing her temples? There's a moment's hesitation, before he realizes what she must mean and tries to tune in. What he catches near the end is: bug the store or something! and beyond. That makes his eyebrows raise. With his hand still against the alarm pad, though it's disarmed for the moment, he looks at the two men, keeping his attempt to read minds open.

What the— ! "Crowded store for being closed," the first man mumbles. "Oh. Uh. Sure." He holds out his hand to Jane for the phone after all, forcing a smile through his stubbly-faced grimace. While his thoughts are fairly mundane — or at the very least, vague (maybe there'll be a better chance…), his partner is a different story.

The man with the duffel bag stays near the door, off to the side. His eyes are fixed on a display of Activating Evolution books that he can see further inside. He just stares. His stare is as burning and intense as his thoughts.

…Shouldn't even exist. Freaks of nature. We'll wipe them out. One by one. I hate waiting.

She continues to think, even as the phone is handed to the man, though not as loudly now as that first burst. He's looking at me. Good. I hope he's getting this. And if this guy uses my phone we'll know what number he called, can maybe check out who's on the other end. I hope we can still let them bug the store and know exactly where they're placed. Maybe use this to give false information, trap whoever they work for. This, of course, means Jane's a bit distracted. Lee's question only partly registers. "Sorry," she offers with a mildly apologetic look in turning toward the man. "You asked about my education?"

Lee repeats, "Uh, you said outside you studied politics, I was wondering if you volunteered for the election or were involved in it in some way. I'm a civics teacher, I'm looking for guest speakers for my class when we cover the electoral process." Oh christ, she must be the stupidest person in the world, was she not listening at all? That thought will help.

*wince* Though the thoughts do flood in, Peter's not great at handling multiple thoughts at once. There's tension along his forehead, and his hand rests a little too heavily along the keypad, pushing a few random buttons that he ends up having to cancel when he pulls out of it finally. With the very end of Lee's thoughts. For a moment it looks like he might need to sit down, or something, because he's leaning against the wall a little heavily. "We're all friends…" He explains, moving a little deeper in the store as he flashes a pained glance towards Jane, meant to say 'keep an eye on them'. He might have even intended to keep listening in to their thoughts, but if the strain around his eyes is any indication, normal perceptions only for the moment. He'd said he needed to look for something, though, so why is he staying near the alarm pad?

Taking the phone, the first man dials a number. "Yeah, Alex? Yeah. Look, maybe we should cancel our plans." He looks, pointedly, at his friend while he says this. "It's getting late, man. See you another time." The phone is handed back.

The second man snaps out of his hateful reverie. "I'm warm, let's go," he announces, turning to leave.

Her attention is divided between Lee repeating his question, Peter at the alarm pad, and the two men. She has to answer the teacher, lest she give away something is suspected, and so an opportunity to plant something unnoticed may surface. "Sorry," Jane begins, flashing a quiet smile. "I did. I'd love to address your class, sir. I'm a Yale graduate. Political Science, music, and law." A tap of her fingers on the guitar case over her shoulder testifies to which she prefers of the three, while the other hand reaches out to receive the returned phone. She places it back on her hip.
Lee stands aside for the gents, who are already called Sikes and Crackit in his mind. He was surprised they came in in the first place. He studiously avoids bidding them farewells, they might turn into I-told-you-sos, and that might end badly for him. For once he is taking the advice he gave to someone else. "Great! Did you work on the campaign? I saw that you and Peter knew each other, so I figured…his brother…" he prompts.

Two men. Thinking about freaks who need to die one by one. In this store— with everything else going on. Peter raises a hand while the other two talk, and holds the door closed. It's not the most subtle thing in the world, but maybe the door's stuck and he's just making a mysterious gesture at it, but he's not wanting them to leave. What if they come back later? What if they come back while one of the others are in the store? Cass, for example? "What were you two meeting your friend for?" Sorry, Lee and Jane— Or at least, sorry, Lee.

"Dinner."
"Bowling."

Oops. At least the man with the duffel bag had a better answer — that is, bowling. He could have bowling shoes in there! Or a team shirt! Both men tense up, and the shorter, nervous man, the one who used the phone, scowls, double-taking from Peter to the door. "What do you think you're doin'? I used the phone, we're good to go, right?"

The other man growls. "Open the door."

"I did some work for the Petrelli campaign," Jane confirms for Lee, still smiling. "Mostly making legal arrangements for use of music." Perhaps no surprise the guitar-case bearing attorney keeps her practice of law to things involving music. "Which school do you teach at, sir?"

No more than a few seconds pass after the question passes her lips than she's turning toward the now closed door, those two men, and Peter. She hasn't the first clue Lee knows anything of such matters as are afoot, and now suspects he may soon learn a ton.

Lee says: "Brubaker Secondary, on the Upper East Side." but he looks nervous now, reaching out to help them, yanking on the knob, twisting it left and right. "Door must have stuck. These old buildings jam up all the time." he says. He doesn't want to be on the receiving end of a drug courier's pistol. The concern is so significant to him that he missed Peter's hand motion.

Dinner and bowling. "Somehow I think it might be a little late for dinner," Peter says, still holding his hand up before he asks, voice gaining a slightly different tone for at least one person in the room— he picks the one who mentioned dinner to address, "Answer my questions honestly." It's a command, and he follows up with a few questions, "Who are you? Who do you work for? And what do you really want in this store?" He knows that Lee knows enough to figure out what's going on— eventually.

Both men just want to get out of here. When the shorter man makes a grab for the door, following Lee's help, he gets an unpleasant surprise - his hand stays right where it is on the knob while he takes the painstaking time to answer every one of Peter's questions. He does not, however, turn around. "My name is Danny Ferrera. I work for a business called Compusure. I was here to set up a videocamera at the back door and— " He hesitates, but quickly snaps: "I was considering the possibility of writing rude phrases on some books if all of you freaks hadn't followed us in here, if you really want to know."

His partner in crime stares. "What the hell? What the hell?! You idiot!" He swirls around, swinging his duffel bag at Peter in the enclosed space — meaning, everyone's at risk of being in his way. "Stop talking! Shut up!" Is he ordering his friend to shut it, or Peter?

The bag is swinging, and she's in its path. Trying to both avoid the blow and interrupt it, Jane slings the guitar case off her shoulder and counterswings. It only gets halfway along the needed trajectory when impact happens and she's knocked off her feet. The case lands at her side, the backpack strikes floor when she hits, and she lies there only moving a little, with quiet groans her only sounds.

Lee says, "If you lift up when you turn the knob, maybe…" Danny speaks…..then, suddenly, the force holding the door /shut/ is now yanking the door /open/. Maybe Peter was distracted by the impending impact of the bag. Maybe Danny was strong enough to push through the force of the telekinesis. Maybe it's a twist in the very fabric of space such that the concept of direction itself is suddenly and impossibly reversed for the door - though really, on the list of possibilities, that one has to rank pretty low.

Thus, although Lee does a surprisingly swift and utterly graceful limbo-style dodge and ducks under the swinging duffel bag, he, and perhaps Danny, are smacked by the door Peter is suddenly yanking open with his mind. Right in Lee's giant nose. "Ow, christ! …A camera? For what, to see which bigfoot enthusiasts are too embarassed to use the front door? Jesus, people in this town need fucking hobbies. Go bowling for real next time." He staggers slightly over towards where Jane is to see if she's okay. Lee has clearly reclassified these two from entrepreneurial drug dealers, thus dangerous, to ineffectual middle management suckups, thus, who cares.

The door flying open takes Peter by surprise— especially in the midst of watching Jane take bag body and fall over. There's not so much he can do about that right now— and with the door wide open, they could probably run for it, so he does the last thing he can think of… he reaches out as if to grab the bag, but he's a few feet away. And grasping at air. And with his mind at the same time. "What does Compusure deal in?" he asks, trying to get one last question out before the partner in crime just drags the man out, or clamps his mouth shut.

The two men add more confusion to the jumble of things happening at once. "We fix PCs!" one shouts in apparent honesty, while the other slings his bag over his shoulder and grabs onto his comrade roughly by the arm. Together, they scramble out of Enlightenment Books. "You freak!" the taller shouts with pure hatred and disgust ripping his voice raw.

She starts to push herself up to her feet slowly, one hand moving hair out of the way to look at Lee as he's apparently near her to offer help. The fleeing men are detected, and Jane groans again. There's a red mark near the temple she rubbed to signal Peter earlier, one which will turn into a bruise. Groggily, she remarks with a voice showing unhappiness, "They're getting away."

Lee says, "Good, they're idiots. Getting tied up with idiots is never a good thing. A camera. Really. That's their plan." He helps Jane up: "Can you stand, are you okay? Take it easy, you are going to have a knot there."

"Let them go. We got enough information from them…" Peter says, though his eyes follow them as long as he can, which isn't long. He can find them both again— he saw their faces, heard their voices— he can find them again if he needs to. But he glances at Lee and Jane. "Sorry. I didn't realize they were up to no good until I already let them inside. I should have just triggered the alarm and had the police show up and handle it." He moves over to Jane, touching her shoulder. "Are you okay? Is your vision steady? Not doubled or anything?"

"I'm good," she murmurs, touching the injured spot as she moves into a sitting position. Jane looks up from one man to the other, winces a bit, and remarks solemnly "I was hoping to watch them do whatever they came for, see where the put it, and warn Cass. I thought it could be used for misinformation, maybe a trap, since we'd have known about it."

Her eyes rest on Lee for a long moment, studying him, before moving back to Peter. An eyebrow raises, as if to ask without words how much the teacher knows.

Lee nods. "Yeah…I just thought they were drug dealers waiting on a re-up, that's why the 'oh, people come through this alley' thing. When you invited them in, I figured you'd be robbed, but not /bugged/." he says. He grew up around here. He knows about drug dealers. "Cameras on an occult bookstore. Un frickin' believable." he says, shaking his head. "Misinformation? About what goes on /here?/ Seems an awful long way to go to prank someone. Just let them sort through the endless pictures of fat goth girls looking for wicca stuff and hair-pulling crazies mumbling about magic bullets, that's punishment enough."

"Lee— you know Cass. You know about the organization that held me— Jane was one of the ones who helped get me out of there. And those people— they might be similar to your parents, in knowing about these things. Except instead of wanting what they wanted— I think they— one of them at least— wanted to destroy us," Peter explains quietly, reaching to close the door again, leaving them inside. "Compusure— Danny Ferrera… I need to write this down before I forget." He starts to move towards the office now that the door is closed, opening that and searching for paper and pencil, so he can write those down. Compusure. Danny Ferrera.

"Calling us freaks really narrows down their intentions," Jane asserts as she stands slowly and picks up the guitar case. "They could work for that company, but not be doing things like this for them, Peter," she adds after some thought as the instrument is leaned against a wall and she slides the backpack to the floor. Another groan escapes, she rubs her temple slowly. "Damn." A trace of anger enters her features, the jaw sets.
Lee shrugs, perhaps callously, and says: "I want a million dollars. It's not going to happen." He says, "You gotta get a Hipster PDA, Peter. Here." He writes the name and company name down on his own PDA, pulls out the index card, and hands it over. He looks quizzically at Jane: "You think he meant people with powers? Sheesh, I thought he was just griping about the Village. Let me get your number for that election unit."

PDA? Peter looks over and doesn't even make it to his finding of a pencil and paper when he's handed a card with the information. "That's nice. I'll have to get one. Thank you, Lee." He tucks the card into his pocket, because if all else fails, they'll have to look them up at least. "One of them was thinking about how… we shouldn't exist. Freaks. And how they would wipe us out. One by one. And how he hated waiting. I'm starting to think I asked the wrong one to be honest to me…"

Her expression shifts when Lee speaks, Jane seems to be thinking his words over. The result is a question, aimed at both men. "Am I getting tunnel vision? Thinking by default whenever something like this happens it's all about people with extrahuman gifts? It's possible you're right, Lee," she concedes. Her phone is pulled off the hip and her info brought up, so he can see the number. 283-2260. "But being safe, I think, means taking that leap. Better than underestimation."

Lee also records Jane's number on his high-tech index cards with his high-tech pencil before tucking them both back away. "Well, it sounds like if what Peter read out of their heads is true that you may have been right." he concedes. "By the way, Peter, my condolences on having the worst power ever. I only /surmise/ I'm surrounded by idiots, you have proof beamed at you twenty-four-seven." Oh, so he doesn't actually know what Peter does. He tucks away the cards casually and says: "I'm headed out. See you two later."

Worst super power ever? He has no idea. Peter inclines his head toward Lee before watching him go. "I'll have to call Cass, leave a voicemail. I don't think they were hired to set up a camera by us though— so I doubt I made too dangerous a mistake back there. I should have told them not to go anywhere— but…" He trails off, shaking his head. He's already shifting to pull out his phone to call his boss. "Are you sure you don't need to be healed? I can make sure you get home safe, at the very least."

"It's going to bruise, I think," Jane replies, touching her temple and wincing again, "but I'm good. Healing's up to you, I'm neither asking nor refusing." She turns to open the guitar case and check the instrument inside for damage. "Lee," she muses, "interesting. I'll wonder if he eventually figures out my interest in Black Canary." There in the case, visible as she lifts the guitar to check the underside, are a few copies of that title. "They might come back and try again. Doubtful they'd go for the same purpose again, but a guy like that, who wants to destroy us, might decide to retaliate violently. Can't rule them out as freelancers who came across things they shouldn't know."

Neither asking or refusing seems to make the decision for him. Peter reaches up and touches her cheek gently, and heals away the bruise. She'd gotten hit because he couldn't hold them. "I know. That's why I'm going to have someone run a search on the company and the guy who works for them. The one whose name we got. And if all else fails… I have ways to find the other one." There's a pause, he's still holding the phone. "Do you want me to see you home?"

Her eyes close as the touch comes and the injury vanishes. Her eyes seem a bit less clouded, wooziness seems to vanish as well. They're bright and clear again. "Thanks," Jane offers quietly. "I might do some checking myself. I never really wanted my law degree, but I have it, and when needed it's a solid tool." Her guitar seems to have passed inspection moments later; she places it back in the case which is then summarily closed before she moves on to inspect the contents of her pack. "I'll get home okay. You should too. Emma's probably waiting. Hell. I don't even know where she lives anymore. I was going to help her hunt, review lease agreements, but she never called. Did she ever find a place?"

"Never hurts to have more than one person looking into things," Peter says, nodding a bit, before… there's a hint of regret as he continues, "Elena's staying with the rest of those still showing symptoms." He's no longer showing symptoms, so… "She did find a place to stay, the one I was trying to get her to take once we started dating…" Because— well— "She lives across the hall from me. 1406."

She nods as he agrees with her on the research angle, and stops in her survey of the pack's contents when he provides the rest. Her head shakes a few times, and a quiet chuckle escapes. "Of course," Jane muses. "That would explain her not taking the lease review offer. It's probably same as or similar to yours, you've not gotten ripped off, no need of a lawyer's advice. Especially when it meant drawing attention to a new relationship. And I get it. Might've felt weird for a while, given you were with…" She trails off, her body still for that moment, before the words resume. "But you can't help who you love. It would've passed soon enough. I… just hope to not be so cut off from friends again. There aren't many I can be totally honest with. Even my band, I have to hide it all from them."

"Nathan was my lawyer— he looked over the lease to make sure on it." And has his key and is his main contact for if anything happens to him or the place. Peter didn't even sign the lease alone on that— which is why he didn't lose his apartment when he kept vanishing for months and months. "It was odd, yeah— but now I don't even know who I was with. There'd always been strain on our relationship— especially after she lost her memories— but I never thought that…" He trails off, shaking his head. "I'll do my best to keep you in the loop from now on. Everyone keeps telling me I need all the help I can get, and I can't say they're wrong."

She's silent for a stretch of time while examining the pack's contents, to see what might've been damaged from falling on it, and finally closes the thing. "You're a good man. Not like Jaden, who one week is saying he loves me and the next is found in bed. With the Doublemint Twins." Jane's head shakes. "I don't even have it in me to hate him for that."

And apparently not wanting to discuss that further, she shifts topics. "I met Kory. I went to buy some Black Canary issues, and she recognized me. There was a boy with her, called Cam."

Jaden— that's one man that Peter's honestly not sure what to think of him. Every time he's met him, the few and far between, it was like meeting a different person. In the future, there'd been so many versions of the same person… the topic shift makes him look back, and he doesn't bring it back up. "I met her too— at the comic book store. I went in there to meet her, though. I've been meaning to catch up with her again. I have a few questions I need to ask her— help with things— but the last time I tried I met Lee— and then ended up going to see you." That day. "But Cam… I met him too— not through Kory or the comic book store, but— he should be okay too. If all those Villains are back behind bars again…" He trails off, suddenly realizing something. "Though I— forgot to mention it. Sylar's not held anymore. Elle told me when she stopped by to see me, to warn me. He escaped after they captured him."

"That's why I want to talk with Kory again, hear all she can remember about the dream, and who got me in it," Jane responds. "To know what they look like, so I can id them if I see them and be aware. To not just help someone in trouble and get surprised. That precognition is open-ended, after all, and, well, we know people who are locked up don't always stay that way. Like Sylar." The guitar case is slung over one shoulder, and the backpack over the other. "It makes me angry Cam has anything to do with this; that he saw enough to draw him into the spider's web. His biggest worry should be grades and discovering girls."

"I think Cam has more worries than just the dream," Peter says, though he puts his phone away and starts to consentrate— because he knows something she does not know. There was a newspaper article, and he kept it. For the very reason of— well— it had the pictures of the two he had not seen. Nothing happens at first. "The dream isn't exact, Jane. I had dreams before that— dreams where I blew up New York, but I was in the middle of the street— outside my brother's campaign headquarters. And it was day. When I blew up I was in Kirby Plaza— well— above Kirby Plaza— and the people in the dream… not all of them were there. Two of them were dead by that point, and I don't know why Ando wasn't there." Finally— poof. Newspaper in hand. He unfolds it and points at the mugshot of the unnamed man. "This one."

New York, NY (AP) - New Yorkers are being told to be on the lookout for three inmates who recently escaped from a prison at an undisclosed, high-security location earlier this week. The three escapees are described as very dangerous convicts who may or may not be traveling together. They are believed to be in the city. If spotted, authorities are requesting that the public contact police immediately. Authorities insist that under no circumstances should the public engage these individuals, who were jailed for crimes of a violent nature.

A recent rash of robberies in the area, including that of a liquor store and 7/11, may be related, say sources, who urge store owners — and the public — to be on guard.

(Included in the article are three mugshot-style pictures of a woman and two men: Mandy, Lukas, and Jeremiah. They go unnamed.)

"Things are fluid," she opines while looking at the paper and photos. "Having the dream, knowing, lets things get altered. But the basics, the broad strokes, still remain possible." Jane's finger comes to rest on the one Peter indicates. "This one makes cuts by moving his hands like an orchestra conductor, I'm told. I have to wonder if that's a limited ability, or just his favorite way of using telekinesis." The face is studied long and hard so she'll be certain to remember it. Then she indicates Mandy. "Kory and Cam also talked about a woman attacking a musician in the park, said she burned his arm, and claimed she would come after me. Is this her?" Her eyes lift. "That's why I still want to talk with her more. Different people remember different details. Or see the same things differently."

"I don't know if it's just cutting, or telekinesis. But only thing I've heard that he's done is cut people. I healed a woman who was cut quite a bit by him," Peter explains, looking down at the picture. "Yeah— that one has some kind of acid touch. She killed me." It's said quietly, but she already knows about his many, many deaths. "I went to try and stop them— at least her— and she killed me. I don't know what the third one does."

"Damn," she comments in a hushed voice. "Acid, or alkaline? Hopefully there was some of whatever she makes to test, so we know what it is if she ever gets out again." Then Jane's attention goes back to Jeremiah. "Best to presume telekinesis. It fits his actions, and overestimating is better than under." Finally her eyes go to the top of the page so she can find and remember the date it was published. At some point in the very near future she'll contact their offices to get a back issue. "Thank you," is offered solemnly and sincerely. "I should be on the way. And you don't want to keep Emma waiting. Tell her I said she's coming to my place on the thirtieth, if not sooner, to share that bottle." She shows perfect confidence the virus will be resolved by then. But what's with the specific date? Does it mean something? "And give my regards to Nathan, tell him I said congratulations on the giant win. Please."

"I'm not sure what it was, but whatever it was— she doesn't just exude it from her hands, and it burns through flesh and bone fast enough to kill within moments." Peter should know— he went through it. Twice. "Best way to deal with her is from a distance." Don't get close. Don't let her touch you. Which makes her a perfect partner for the man, whose name he does not know since the article did not list it, because he can attack from a distance. It worries him what the third man might have been capable of. "I'll let him know, and I'll be talking to Elena soon, but— why the thirtieth?"

"Maybe figuring out where a big vat of something which can neutralize acid and alkaline is, so you can do that relocation thing, would be good. Just in case," Jane muses. "And, oh, that… it's the big two five," she shares. "Actually on the twelfth, but that's probably a little too close to count on, and I don't want to say it, might sound less than confident."

There's a nod. Peter's idea of how to get away from that is not not deal with it again— but that's a good idea for other people, certainly. "Twenty-five?" An eyebrow raises in surprise, before he actually hints at a smile for one of the few times tonight. "Somehow I figured you were older than that— but I'll make sure she'll be there before the end of the month. I'd like to have Thanksgiving with her, if possible."

"Twenty-five," she confirms with a mild grin. And a brow arches in mock offense. "I look older than twenty-five? Oh, sir, you wound me to the quick." Jane places a hand over her chest, followed by dropping it and a short laugh.

"I didn't say you looked older," Peter says, still smiling faintly, but… "You're a lawyer as well as a musician. I wasn't even a registered nurse by the time I turned twenty-six, and I can't play guitar, though I should look into those lessons again someday."

"Got it," she answers. Having already shouldered her gear to that end, Jane starts toward the door without another word. After a few steps she taps the temple on the side he indicated with two fingers, not knowing if he's watching her or not. Good night, or, actually, good morning, Peter. Moments later the door opens and closes. She's gone.


Outakes

GAME: NPC Great has rolled BLUFF and got a result of MEDIOCRE.
<OOC> Adrenaline says, "Oh come on that was good! >("
GAME: Peter has rolled PERCEPTION+NAIVE and got a result of MEDIOCRE.
<OOC> Peter believes you?
<OOC> Serotonin pets. "Perception for those nearby to — haha."
<OOC> Adrenaline says, "Oh, Peter."
<OOC> Adrenaline says, "How you please me. XD"

GAME: NPC Average has rolled BLUFF and got a result of MEDIOCRE.
<OOC> Peter says, "…oh great."
GAME: Peter has rolled PERCEPTION+NAIVE and got a result of POOR.
<OOC> Serotonin dies.
<OOC> Serotonin just dies.
<OOC> Peter says, "TAKING ADVANTAGE OF MY TRUST. :("

<OOC> Peter says, "But Jane they're cold. :("
<OOC> Serotonin shiver. :(

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