2008-02-02: Dying Breed

Starring:

Church_icon.gif Angela_icon.gif

Summary: Angela and Church reflect on the follies of this generation and the last.

Date It Happened: February 2nd, 2008

Dying Breed


Angela Petrelli's Office

Company Headquarters, NYC

After seeing Elle off and making sure she would be able to get back to where she needs to be, Lawrence has trudged all the way back down to Angela's office in a repeat visit. Though last time he took it slow and actually knocked his way in, this time it is more of a swagger that he approaches the door with, and he does knock- only to crack open the door almost immediately anyway. Suffice to say, the absence of a crippled Elle has had an effect on how he actually sees these meetings.

Angela doesn't seem to have moved much, since Church escorted Elle away from the building. In truth, she's only just sat back down, just long enough to have placed her reading glasses on the bridge of her nose and open a file. When the door opens — left unlocked, as she was expecting Church and fairly confident in the safety of the corridor outside her office — Angela glances up, over the frames of her glasses. "Welcome back," she says neutrally. Less neutral are her next words: full of stoic regret and weighty with meaning, she wastes no time in saying what's on her mind. "Bob's death was a herald. A herald we should have seen coming the moment Gabriel was sent to kill him. Kaito saw it. It's why he hid. Peter was an unexpected variable."

Church shuts the door carefully behind him, the wood and hinges surprisingly quiet so he can listen better. He stays with his back to the door and his hands hovering beside him for Angela's first explanation. After a pause, Lawrence makes his way closer to the two chairs opposite her.

"Do you think Peter knew what was going on, when he…" When he killed Kaito. But then again, Church doesn't seem all too sure on how to be phrasing questions if he can put them together anyway. "What would you say this was a herald for?" Besides that whole… 'your dead husband is a maniac'.

Angela shakes her head, seeming close to giving a sigh at the mention of her youngest, but holds it back. "No, Peter was just looking for answers. I imagine Kaito's loyalty to the Company was his downfall, in the end. It was probably Bob's as well, but I won't let it be mine."

The Founder removes her glasses, gesturing with them as she looks Church in the eye. "Our generation is a dying breed, Lawrence." Carefully, she folds the glasses, setting them aside, dark gaze settling on the senior agent in front of her. "The Founders, dying off one by one. The newer agents don't realize what we've been through. What it means to have vision anymore. I don't honestly trust half of them not to turn against us like some already have. But you've been here for the ride. I can trust you." A brow arches as Angela gives the man a very pointed look. The kind of look that says 'answer right or you will suffer'. "Can't I?"

While she speaks first of Peter, Lawrence is close enough to the chairs now to sit down in the one most parallel to hers. This is going to be heavy, and he can tell even before she removes her reading glasses. Way to make him feel both old and in the spotlight. She knows just how to do it. But he knows that she knows, and so when the older woman continues, Church is hopefully ready for it.

"And some of the new ones- they know what they were brought to do. Even if they haven't got the experience, they know what we're about. But I think the sword cuts both ways- you can see that there are some agents now- they're not so fitting for what you and the others started. But sometimes, I see some of the people I've worked with over the years in the same light. Not everyone, and not all the time. Sometimes what worked for everyone back then- isn't really what works for everyone now." Note how he names no names, nor says any events. But it's there, in pieces. And he gets his point across.

"Yes. You're not misplacing your trust in me, Angela."

"My generation made many mistakes over the years. Somewhere along the way, some of us lost our vision. First Adam— then Arthur. Change was inevitable then, it's inevitable now. I'm not saying we don't have good agents these days, Lawrence, but when push comes to shove, you know as well as I do that some of them are soft. When it comes to the hard decisions we're forced to make, some of them know little of loyalty." The Petrelli matriarch, more vexed than she usually allows, refolds her hands, one on top of the other, fingers curling like claws. Voice heated by urgency and gravity, it takes on a hiss.

"We're preparing for a kind of war, and I need to believe I have an army instead of insurgents."

Angela leans over the desk, hardly at all; it's her intense stare at Church that shortens the distance more than anything. Quieter, she says: "Tell me the weak spots."

Though Church doesn't quail under that scrutinizing stare, he does find himself shoved into the spotlight. "Is this an interrogation or a conference?" About a second after, he realizes that he did say that out loud. Oh well.

"I know what you mean." He manages to amend that soon enough, lifting a hand from the chair to wave it once, in some sort of motion to make sure his brain is still feeding its hamsters. "Weak spots as in disloyalty, or as in simply inability? Even if I started telling you what I thought was weak, I think my opinion may just be as biased as anyone else's. Some people would say that Winters is incapable of making tough decisions- but I don't think I would say that. He's not weak, just …too cautious. He's coming into his own as of late, though." See, Ben isn't a weak link. Just one that needs forged longer.

"I could tell you the weak spots in everyone, Angela. Even myself." The agent shifts in his chair, nudging himself to sit more on the edge of the seat. "Let me ask you something else- you ask me about the weakest links like I'm not subjective. What is it that you see as weak here? If you were on the other side- what would you do?" Sure, this is a loaded question, but this time it is Church asking, and not Angela. "If you ask me the same thing, I would be going not so much after the people who have the most to lose, but the most jaded with their place. The agents that just take dossiers and operations, and go out and do them, and then come back until they have another. Robots are programmable. The human heart, not so much."

"It's a fine line we walk, but at least robots do their job. Sentimentality only gets in the way." Unless is can be manipulated and channelled. The woman sits back, adopting a statuesque, straight-backed pose, and gives a slightly, dismissive wave of her hand. "I'm asking you because most of the time, I trust your judgment." Let's face it, though; the only judgment Angela truly trusts is her own. There are many things she could say at this juncture, many she could reply to, and though thoughts — judgments — buzz palpably behind those intelligent of hers, she keeps them private. "Don't spread the word too freely about Arthur being alive. The last thing we need is a leak to the press."

"If there were someone that I thought was not fully able to do their job, I'd probably be helping them like I am Benjamin. Advising, so to speak. If there were someone I worried about, I would probably let you know." Lawrence gives a little smirk as the woman waves her hand. That conversation is over now. He knows that his personal reasoning is somewhat obscure and probably full of holes- but to each their own, right? As she goes on, his smile does fade and his brows have creased together slightly. "I'll keep it to myself." After a few moments of silence: "…You know, some women might be less angry that their husbands aren't dead." Is he suspicious? Probably. Not that ol'Artie was the best guy in town, though. She should know that Church knows that much. Not blind and stupid, thank you.

Oh, but Angela was, in part — to the worst parts of Arthur. "It's only a matter of time before he comes for me," she tells Church, sounding quite sure; not resigned to fate, by any means, but experienced in the way her husband's mind works. It's a fact, plain and simple. "I'm a liability to him."

It's sort of strange, when one of the people above you on the ladder of life miss a rung going up and fall down a few notches. Luckily, your head is probably there to cushion their shoe. The man across the desk is keeping his eyes on her now, the expression on his features one mixed between concern and the personal feeling of being amiss. If he could say 'I'll stop him if he does' and mean it, he obviously would be saying it by now. It would be in his nature. In the end, Lawrence can't say that in good faith. "Well-" The man's lips pull flat in mild frustration. "-then I'll be around for when he does." In some form or another.

The vaguest of smirks flashes across the woman's stern features. Angela does not reply to the words from the agent, but she does acknowledge them - a silent and subtle nod, after which she holds her head up even higher yet. "Go home, Lawrence," she dismisses with an air that's more casual than strict, a hint of old familiarity. Angela smiles, tired around the eyes, but not enough to crack her armor. Not by far. "Get outta' here, you've had a long day."

"So have you." Church makes a note of that as he lifts himself from the chair, giving the woman nearby a new smirk and a suspicious, playful look, brown eyes glinting for just a second. That's a familiar look to her, and it means that he's probably up to something again. "Now that I think about it, do you ever sleep anymore? …Do you run on the souls of little children? Puppies? Do you have a puppy-to-gasoline engine?" Get out, Church. Even if his words are completely ridiculous and insisting that she is an intimidating woman- they're not faking nice. At the very least, he is trying to briefly get her to react to something that is not serious. Let's see if it works, documentary style.

By this point, what dubiously good nature Mrs. Petrelli was showing has faded to just a ghost of a smile — her lips a thinning line, it shows more in her eyes as a faint glint as she watches Church like a hawk. Unflinching. "Yes, I run on the souls of children and puppies," she deadpans. "Now get out of my office."

"We'll have to fix that." He's stepping backwards now, but of course still facing her. "I remember when you used to run on merlot and fancy parties." Which was possibly never, or possibly just before she actually had to start taking care of the Company almost by herself. In a way, Lawrence is only saying he misses the Angela from before she was sitting at her desk until ungodly hours of the night, hawking over files minute after minute, and constantly dealing with people like him! It's endearing, but he probably could have used better parallels.

Angela glances down to the files on her desk - hawking over them, indeed. She pries a folder open, flips through pages studiously until opening it up where she tucked an elegant stamped leather bookmark with a silken tassel earlier to mark her progress. This file happens to be on Pinehearst Research, rife with scientific jargon and miscellaneous articles. "Another time, another world," she says distantly. Several moments pass with silence from Angela before she points out, without looking up again, sharp, singsong, and chastising, "You're still in my office, Lawrence."

So he is. The only sound out of him is a sigh, which if he wasn't standing right there- might sound like there was a bored dog lying by the door. Not that she's looking up, he makes a fidgeting movement with both hands in front of himself before reluctantly turning around. The least you could have done was throw a frisbee!

"…Goodnight, Angela." And with the creaks of her office doors, he's gone and only followed by the sound of the doors thunking shut again.

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