2007-05-23: Death First!

Starring:

Natalie_icon.gif Jane_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif

Summary: Trying to help Daphne, Jane finds herself having an entirely unexpected adventure, and calls in a bit of PetrelliHelp.

Date It Happened: May 23, 2007

Death First!


Natalie Foster's Apartment, Upper East Side, Manhattan, NYC


Two mornings after the unpleasant encounter with Natalie and Daphne, Jane rises around nine. She has business to transact, an address to discover. Her usual rock guitarist clothing won't do for this task, no, she has to project the image of a lawyer. By ten, having had a bit to eat, showered, and dressed she's out the door in a Brooks Brothers ensemble of gray blouse and charcoal skirt with a matching jacket and two inch heels. A briefcase is in her left hand as she walks, and a few blocks away approaches the nearest police precinct. There's a female detective there, a woman in her mid-thirties; Jane gave her teen daughter some legal advice not so long ago about how to avoid the pitfalls of contracts. The name is mulled over in her mind. Detective Karen Franklin.

The Detective is there, and as it turns out, more than willing to help Jane out. Off the record, of course, since it would not be a good thing to be found out doing. But the car is registered to a "Natalie Foster", address in the Upper East Side. Seems fairly straightforward.

"Thanks," Jane replies, taking the information given and turning to leave after a bit of small talk about her daughter and the music business. She's a lawyer with bar card and all that, but she still doesn't like to draw too many questions about an inquiry like this. If the detective chooses to believe this is about locating someone regarding a quiet civil matter, she'll let that be what it is. Back out to the streets she goes, boarding the subway at the nearest station, and a short time later emerging on the Upper East Side. From there it's up to the door.

The place is a fairly expensive apartment, certainly not looking like the home of any evil mastermind. It's in a good part of town, brightly lit, looks safe. Presumably the occupant is inside; the car is parked in the lot.

She checks the display on her phone for the time, nearly eleven now, and raises her hand to knock on the door. Three times the sound is made. Not so loud as to seem like urgent banging, but no so soft as to be unheard, and Jane waits with briefcase in hand.

Natalie heads to the door when she hears the knocking. She looks at the peephole, and inwardly groans. Oh, NO. She debates not opening the door for a long moment, but finally she does. "Yes?" she asks, hesitantly. She's standing in the opening; it's clearly not an invite in.

"Good morning, Natalie," Jane begins, speaking quietly. "I'm sorry to disturb you at home like this, but I wanted to talk with you under better circumstances. I can't begin to excuse the way she behaved, and I'm annoyed with her myself. Can you spare a small amount of time?"

Natalie hesitates a moment longer, then steps back so Jane can enter. "How did you get my address?" She doesn't know who Jane is, or what she does. The inside of the apartment is almost fastidiously clean and organized…someone's got more than a touch of OCD…except for the vast number of books, all hardbound language texts, that are propped open on almost every horizontal surface.

She moves inside, just far enough that the door can be closed behind her, and replies in that same quiet voice. "I saw your license plate number and made some inquiries. I should introduce myself more formally. I'm Doctor M. Jane Forrest, Yale '06. A lawyer who practices very little law. Playing guitar and singing are much more enjoyable. And… I'm not unlike you and her. My voice can reach some extremely high pitches." Her eyes drift for just a moment. Languages. She's got some of those.

Oh, hell. Natalie looks to freeze up just a moment, and then looks back to Jane. "So…you know I can do things…and you can do things yourself." Oh, this is so not good. "How do you know about all this?" The company is not going to be happy.

Clueless? Yes, she is. If she had any idea who the woman's employers are, she likely wouldn't be here like this. "I saw that she suddenly couldn't read after you left, and, well, you admitted changing her accent from what it was to what it is now, as well as saying you could change it back. I'm sorry for her behavior toward you, it was entirely uncalled for," Jane offers, taking the diplomatic road. "Thanks for agreeing to speak with me,"

Indeed, Natalie's ex-CIA and current-company and now Jane's blown her cover. It's likely a good deal more dangerous than the lawyer-musician can know. The nerdy blonde nods once. "Sure. So…I'm figuring you're here to ask me to fix her?"

"I'm hopeful you will, Natalie," Jane admits, adding "But I'm not asking for that yet, no, I can't quite guarantee she'll be civil if you did agree to it. I just hope you'll be open to the possibility of it. It's a remarkable talent you've got, I have to tell you." She pauses then, her expression solemn, as she offers "I hope you don't use it in public very often. It can be… dangerous." There's nothing about her posture and voice that indicates a threat of any sort, just honest concern.

Natalie frowns. "Yeah…" she says. "I don't. Usually. But then, most people don't know. About people who can do things like that." She sighs, and heads towards one of the bookshelves. "How do you know about all this?"

"I first discovered what my voice can do a few months ago," Jane explains. "Since then I've explored what I can use it for, and come across a number of people with their own talents. I assure you, just as I've assured each of them, what we talk about stays between us unless you consent to anyone else being told. My eyes are just… open. I know what I can do, so I pay attention more to what others do. Things that might have been dismissed as coincidence before I found my voice aren't anymore." A few steps are taken, she sets the briefcase down and opens it, pulling out a black and white photograph. "This man is one of the dangers out there."

Natalie takes a thick book off the shelf, before walking back and taking a look at the photograph. She looks at the photo, but she hasn't been briefed on him yet. "Who's that?" she asks.

"His name is Gabriel Gray," Jane replies, "sometimes also called Sylar. He kills people like us to take our abilities. He's very dangerous. If you see this man, don't call attention to yourself. Leave the area as quickly as you can without getting noticed and call the police." The tone of voice here is very grave, showing her desire this be taken very seriously and followed.

The blonde opens up the book she's carrying…and the inside of it has been hollowed out. Inside is a small automatic pistol with a silencer fitted. She lets the book fall to the ground, holding the gun on Jane. "Please don't move, Dr. Forrest." she says, matter-of-factly.

Well. This is interesting. Jane doesn't move, except to tilt her head. "What's that for?" she asks, calmly. "You don't need it." Having a gun pointed at her for being decent enough to warn about the serial killer out there who targets people like her and the woman holding it? Very puzzling.

Natalie looks back at Jane. "Because you know too much about me and what I can do, and people with abilities, and I'm not certain what to do with you. You've got too much information for me to just let you go."

Something dawns on her, and she chuckles slightly. "Oh. You work for them," Jane guesses. "Am I right? You know, you're not handling this too well at all. I wouldn't know anything about you, if you hadn't chosen to let it be so. You used your ability in front of the woman from the zoo, then you did it again in front of me. Even after that, I'd still never have guessed who your bosses are, until you chose to draw out a gun."

Hey, what can you say? She is, as Candice has noted on multiple occasions, a newbie. "I'm not going to hurt you. But I can't let you go telling anyone what you know until I find out what to do." she tells Jane, looking back to her. "I'm sorry about this…"

"I think you can let me go, Natalie," Jane replies calmly, "and you will. I already gave you my word what's discussed stays between us. But if you tell your bosses about this, that's no longer true. They'll know you exposed yourself, and used an ability in public."

Natalie concentrates. "I'm sorry, Dr. Forrest. I can't take that chance. I…look, I promise I'll fix this, as soon as I have a chance to find out…what they want me to do." She reaches out with her power, finds the centers of Jane's brain that handle "outgoing" communications, and scrambles both. Unlike what she did to Daphne, Jane can still understand speech, still read just fine…but any attempt at speaking, writing, or typing is going to come out utter gibberish as her brain sends different signals than the ones she wants.

The eyes widen as Jane sees Natalie concentrate, and opens her mouth to speak. Anger sets into her features as what comes out makes no sense at all. "What the hell did you do?" she attempts to ask. "Fix it now!" She's not just going to stand still and wait for some Company goons to come get her so she can get brainscrambled by whatever person they have do that, not again. Left in some New Jersey craphole, convinced she was addicted to drugs. No, no, just no. A step forward is taken, then another, and her hands move as if she might be intending to pull the gun toward herself and get herself shot. She came here to nicely ask for Daphne's voice back, and to decently warn about Sylar, and for her troubles she gets this? Brainscrambled again by a fool without enough sense to keep her temper and not reveal herself, and possibly have her memories taken away again?

Natalie can't understand the random sounds coming out of Jane's mouth any more than Jane can understand it herself. She levels the gun more purposefully. "Please, Dr. Forrest." The barrel is aimed at the center of the musician's chest. "I don't want to hurt you. I just can't let you go telling people what I can do. Once I report in, they'll come up with a solution, and I'll fix it then."

"No!" She wants to communicate what she's been through, and why, but she can't. All she can do is scream demands for her to be fixed, right the hell now, and advance on that gun. Don't want to hurt her? It's already been done. "Stop your fucking lies! You're going to have me brainraped again by those bastards who torture eight year old girls! I won't just let you do that!" Still closer she comes. Right toward that gun.

Oh, hell. The woman is still coming towards her, and when it comes down to it, Natalie -doesn't- want to shoot her. But there's not a lot of choice, and she is a professional. She steels herself, but then the gun drops target quickly, as she aims instead for Jane's left thigh. Something that shouldn't have any real chance of killing her, but will stop the advance. She pulls the trigger.

The leg collapses under her and blood flows as Jane's struck by the bullet. She starts to breathe heavily, and the pain begins to take its toll. First thing a person usually does after being shot? Scream. But in her case, the mouth is open but no sound emerges, apparently.

Natalie looks confused for the first instant…even with the scrambling, she should be able to scream. And that's the point when the windows in that part of her apartment blow out, and worse, so do her glasses. There's a cry of surprise as the blonde woman stumbles back, hauling blindly at the broken frames on her face, and then a cry of pain. Teeny glass particles in your eyes SUCK.

And here Jane comes again even as the glass is flying from her agonized scream. She's not able to get to her full height, no, but she's moving as best she can, to continue on her course of either getting fixed right now, or getting killed, with a third option now added. To seize the gun away from Natalie and hold her with it, until she figures out how wise an idea it is to give her speech back and fast. It's Number Three she goes for.

Natalie can't really see without the glasses. All she knows is there's a vaguely person-sized blob coming her way. She backs up a couple steps, trying not to let her gun get taken. "Get off me!" She swings with it, like it was a club. NOT going to shoot blind.

She moves out of the way of that blow, still trying to grab for the gun, and still demanding to be fixed right now in the gibberish she can only speak. Jane is intent on that. There's no way she goes back into the hands of the company if she can prevent it, to go through all that again.

Natalie has the extreme disadvantage that without her glasses NORMALLY she's pretty damn blind. Without them AND with bitty glass particles in her eyes? Effectively totally blind. It's not that hard for Jane to time her flailings, and yank the gun away from her. Oh, shit.

Soon as she has the gun, she limps away from the woman and aims it at her. The gibberish is still being insistently spoken, Jane demands to be fixed, and right now! She doesn't expect to be understood at this point, but she does hope the woman can figure out that's her first demand now that she has the weapon and some measure of the upper hand. Or that she'll at least decide it's a good idea to restore her voice so she can find out what it is.

Natalie does, indeed, get the general gist. Unfortunately, she's also got a lot of -pain- at the moment. She tries to concentrate enough to fix Jane's language centers.

"Fix me…" The voice, at first demanding she be set right again, stops when she hears the gibberish become English again, and Jane quietly offers "Thank you, Natalie. Now… Stay right where you are, don't move, and no tricks or I'll kneecap you." She holds the weapon in one hand and uses the other to pull out her phone. "Why'd you go and make this hard? There's no way in hell I'm just going to fall into Company custody and have them steal memories again, and for what? Being nice to you, warning you about danger, and because you don't take time to think before acting? You're exposed, because you outed yourself."

Natalie is trying not to cry at the moment, cause well, it hurts a lot. "P-please, can I flush my eyes out?" It feels like they're on fire. "I promise I won't do anything."

"Go do that," Jane replies as she watches, ready to limp along and keep watch on the woman while she washes her eyes but not get close enough to allow any attempt at regaining the weapon. She also begins to dial a number on her phone.

Natalie does just as she promises. She goes to the bathroom, turns on the water in her sink, and flushes out her eyes. She's not going to try anything stupid while Jane has the gun. She finishes. Still blurry as hell. She'll continue being model prisoner, at the moment. "I have a spare pair of glasses in my bedroom, in the nightstand. May I please get them?"

PHONE: You dial the number 283-1407. It begins to ring.

PHONE: The other end answers, "Peter Petrelli."

Still wary as she dials the phone and watches Natalie clean her eyes, Jane holds the phone to her ear and waits for an answer. "Yes," she answers, moving to limp behind the woman and still watch from a distance for safety.

PHONE: Peter might be eating lunch, from the sounds of silverware clinking around him. He didn't take the time to look at the caller ID before he answered, so she gets the generic one.

PHONE: Jane sounds a bit pained. "Jane here. I need help, fast." She relates an address on the Upper East Side.

Natalie moves to her room, and still moves very slowly and exaggeratedly, in the "don't shoot me" fashion. She takes out her other glasses and puts them on. "There's gauze and bandages in my bathroom." she offers to Jane.

PHONE: Peter gives a small cough, as if nearly surprised into choking on something. "That's in— All right, I'll be there… just— I'll be there." Man, he really needs to stop running when anyone calls for help, but this is a friend, and she's helped him. He's pretty sure Elle's no where near that area, but… Standing up, he grabs money and drops more than enough for the bill and the tip, and adds on, "I'll be there as soon as I can."

PHONE: The phone call has been ended by the other person.

She closes the phone after listening for just a moment, and glances in whatever direction the bathroom might be. Jane gestures with the weapon, saying "Go get them and throw them over near me. Don't come close, Natalie." She winces, as she's continuing to bleed and the pain is increasing from her upper thigh wound.

Natalie gets them and lobs them in Jane's general direction. Not -at- her, just near her. She's still watching the other woman cautiously, since she's got the gun.

Limping, she moves over to pick up the materials and lean against something so she can start putting pressure on her wound to work at ending the loss of blood while still watching Natalie and keeping the gun on her. "Damn, this really hurts," she murmurs, visibly showing the pain and breathing a bit heavily. She'll be doing that for the time it takes help to arrive, if nothing else develops.

Natalie is waiting. If Jane gets too distracted, she'll make a move for the gun, but otherwise, she's playing it on the safe side. She doesn't want to get shot by a rookie with a gun.

Usually Peter avoids daytime flight. Too much of a chance of being spotted on camera. Fly too high and the traffic copters might get him, fly to low and the traffic cameras might get him. Lose lose situation. Hopefully if anyone got a shot of him, they dismiss it as a really weirdly shaped bird. Luckily, the broken windows cut down travel time a bit, because when he gets to the building he's sure it is— he sees Jane's handy work, and takes advantage… flying into the building through there. And avoids crashing into the wall. His shoes do skid against any floor that there happens to be, and he stumbles. Someone order a distraction? "Jane?" he calls out, glancing around for the woman.

She's in there, all right, bleeding from a bullet wound to her upper leg and keeping pressure on it while also watching Natalie with the gun in hand. Jane's starting to look a bit pale as well. "Hey," she begins, "thanks. Kinda got shot by this one, for trying to be nice. And that's not the worst of it."

Natalie looks upset. "I wouldn't have shot you if you would have just stayed still!" Of course, that may not make her any friends here. "I was just trying to get you to stay put!"

No, it won't earn her any friends. Peter may not have a clue what's going on, but he moves towards Jane and braces himself. This might be too soon, but he reaches over to attempt to help with the bleeding and the damage, hopefully making it so she can stand better. At least he's pretty sure the healing works /some/… but completely, but some. "Okay, so— why was there a gun involved?" He's asking them both, technically.

"Why would I do that, Natalie?" Jane asks, quietly, "after you raped my brain, stole my ability to communicate, and left me unable to tell you I've seen what your company does?" Judging by the way she advanced on the woman when the gun was pointed at her, she's telling the complete truth. And her voice is getting a bit louder, rising in volume and pitch. "They've stolen memories from me twice, and I'd sooner die than just let that happen again. You. don't. think. before you act. You exposed your ability, then exposed yourself as an agent, then hold a gun on me, because I tried to get you to fix something you did, and was decent enough to warn you about Sylar." Her bleeding stops, the skin closes, there might be a bit of injury still under the surface, but she at least might be able to not limp so much. "Thanks." There's gratitude in her expression for the Petrelli brother.

Natalie looks frustrated, and upset. "I don't know anything about that. I just wanted to get you to not be able to tell anyone classified information until I could report in and find out what to do."

"Think that's the most I can do. Not sure it works a second time," Peter admits, though now he's too busy looking between the two to try and figure out what they're talking about. "What classified information are you trying to protect enough to shoot someone?" An agent who has no idea what The Company is capable of does not surprise him as much as it probably should. Claudine, for example, seemed to lick the Company's boots… at least until recently.

"Classified information." Jane's eyes roll, and she trains them on Natalie. "Yeah, it's a big threat to let people know they shouldn't lose their tempers and use abilities like you did, because every single one of us is a target for Sylar. Doing things like you did with that woman could. get. you. killed." Anger is starting to rise again, she takes a moment to get calmer before going on. "Here's the solution, Natalie. He and I are going to leave here soon. You won't tell your bosses or associates about any of this, because you'd have to admit first you were reckless with your abilities, exposed yourself as an agent, and let me get the drop on you. You shot a woman who said she reaches incredible pitches. People scream when they get shot, because it hurts. And… you'll come fix what you did when I set up the meeting."

Natalie looks frustrated. "I can't do that." she says. "It's my job. For better or worse, I have to tell them." She actually believes the Company is doing a good thing. "It'll probably get me grounded from field work. But it's still my job."

"It's not exactly classified information if you were flaunting it where people could notice," Peter says, looking over at her, wanting to ask exactly what she's capable of doing, but not knowing how to do that. There's a long glance towards Jane before his upper lip twitches and he looks back at her. "You can tell them everything that happened, except substitute everything involving Jane and say it was me instead. The Company knows me." Had a meeting with one of her bosses yesterday, in fact. But he's a terrible liar! And maybe she is too. But they might figure he's protecting someone on their own. "If you have to tell your bosses about your mistake— there's no need to further punish someone you've already shot."

"You should see if there's any damage to her eyes," Jane suggests, sounding a bit tired, "she got glass in them when being shot caused a scream and wiped out her windows. Her glasses too." She faces Natalie again, and quietly states "I'll send money to fix the windows and replace your glasses. I don't loose that very often, it's shameful when I do, even after being shot. You'll tell people whatever you want. I'll make contact with Company people myself and tell them what happened, if you won't agree to keep this quiet. If I were a lesser person, not a woman of my word, you'd be shot several times by now." But she isn't a killer. The weapon is offered toward Pete, she asks "Destroy this, please, and we should just go."

Natalie looks at them both. She doesn't say anything, though, and watches warily. Name, rank, serial number at this point. She's not willing to risk any more at this point.

The gun is taken, but not pointed in her direction, in fact he's turned it towards himself for the moment. First things first… If she REALLY has glass in her eyes… Peter approaches her, reaching out with his hand with a quick, "I'm going to try to heal you— that's all." Only nothing at all seems to happen. He takes a slow breath and says towards Jane, "I need a second…" After a few deep breaths, she'll feel a warmth go through her and any minor injuries will fade away. He lets his hand drop away and backs up. Destroy it… "Not sure I want to risk it right now. Already dangerously close to overloading," he admits to Jane, hoping she understands what he means before he steps over towards her. "How you feel about flying?"

Natalie's eyes water furiously, as they expel the glass dust particles. She watches the two of them, but says nothing; her powers are of no help in a combative situation like this.

"I can fly," she answers with a slight chuckle. Then Jane turns toward Natalie one last time, to say quietly "If you have any decency at all, you'll go fix what you did to her. It's not right for her to be mean like she was, but also wrong for you to strike back that way. I didn't know you were Company until you pulled a gun. But I know how to contact them, I came to talk with you in person instead of just telling someone I'd met a reckless person." She falls silent from there and moves to be flown away. After, that is, Jane closes and takes her briefcase.

For safety sake, Peter unloads the gun, including the one in the chamber, and sticks the clip into his interior pocket for safe keeping. The weapon itself, safetied is stuck dangerously into his pants. But at least he doesn't have to worry about shooting himself. Then he grabs Jane and pulls her closer to the broken windows, before he wraps his arms around her and up they go. The flight won't last long, just enough to put distance between them. Flying during the daytime is dangerous.

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