2008-04-24: Faith Is The First Step


Angela_icon.gif Noah_icon.gif

Summary: Angela takes what might be a surprising turn.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Date It Happened: April 24th, 2008

Faith Is The First Step

Fountain Room, Company Headquarters

New York City

Corridors from four directions lead into this room, meaning that it must be passed through to access most areas on the main floor of the Company Headquarters. Small but spacious due to its simple design, it's dark, lit by a soft light from above; the walls are a dark jade, and the floors, like most of this level, are black tile flecked with white, industrial and plain. In a subtle tribute to the building's tie to Yamagato Industries, there is a fountain in the very center that is slightly Japanese in design: dark stone, three tiers, clear water spilling down into river rocks. "Fountain Room", is, in fact, etched in bold lettering along the base. Low wooden benches line the fountain.

The fountain may be the central focus of the room, which is, in and of itself, an interruption from the business-oriented corridors around it, but its purpose holds more meaning. The western wall is home to the Company Gallery, where row after row of framed portraits pay homage to Company employees. In remembrace, each picture is fixed with a brass name plaque.

Bob Bishop. Jordan Bonham. Charles Deveaux.

Familiar faces, young and old, portraits behind glass, names in plaques. Timeless.

The quiet trickle and splash of the fountain in the center of the dark, well-designed room of memoriam and peace provides the background for Angela's thoughts.

Daniel Linderman. Rainer Madson. Eden McCain.

One of the few remaining Founders of the Company sits on the low, wooden bench in front of the fountain, a characteristically stoic figure in a black skirt and matching jacket, strands of small antique pearls below her throat. She appears stronger than she has. Less pale. More lively. More rested. The woman sits straight-backed, hands folded on her knees as her dark and deep gaze absorbing the gallery.

Kaito Nakamura …

As most encounters in Angela's office, it all begins with a polite knock.

Either after a verbal response or roughly three seconds, Noah makes his way into the room, the gallery is given a glance as well by the Company Man, though the gaze is only for a brief second or two. Standing a few feet with his hands clasped in front of him, Noah gives a brief nod. "Angela."

As usual, the two speak without speaking. It seems like either Noah has no idea why he's been called here, is expecting to be reemed out again, or is called for what upper management does in times of great crisis… Brainstorm (and/or kill people in the Company's case).

Angela does not acknowledge Noah's presence, not at first. Her attention slowly draws away from the most recent portrait — that of Kaito — and her focus shifts, allowing her to see her reflection in the glass instead of Kaito for a moment, even from this distance. "Protection. Safety. A better future. This Company meant hope, once, Noah." She looks to HRG, smiling fleetingly and giving a subtle nod down to the bench that sits beside hers. "Why ever it is you think you're here, you're not."

Kaito. It is odd how a man can so quickly become a symbol by one action, even one not of their doing. But one's death can change a lot of things and Noah knows that far better than most would or should. Lifting his eyes toward the honor bound Founder, Noah moves to where he is requested, his hands at his side for the walk. His demeanor is unsurprisingly; business formal as is almost always is.

"Compromise for power led us here. Some thought it was to better serve, others because they thought they deserved it," he offers calmly before he takes a seat, giving a tired smile, more to return the gesture than feeling the need. His eyes rest on his dead pupil's. He tells Angela the same thing he told Eden a few years ago, in a time that feels so alien from now. "It's never too late to change things. We can fix this. It won't be easy, but as long as we can just…"

"I know how we have to do it. I know what needs to happen." It's said with surety that goes beyond simple confidence. When Angela Petrelli knows something… She knows it. Her gaze returns to the wall of fallen Company employees, her minimal expression as calm and determined as her statements a moment ago. "It's amazing what a few nights of good rest will do."

Noah glances over toward Angela, arching a single brow to the woman's proclamation. "I'm all ears," he offers simply.

Angela's head tips back ever-so-slightly, her countenance seeming bolder with the tiny gesture. "In order to change, we need to embrace it. Our walls have been holding us back. No more. We have rules for a reason but some of them…" The matriarch lets herself trail off; Noah can fill in the blanks. She stares quietly at the gallery before turning to regarding. "We're going to need an allies." A pause and, a rare occasion for Angela Petrelli, she corrects herself: "No." She narrows her eyes on Noah, determined, a sincere hiss to her words. "We need to be allies to those who need us. Those who hate us."

Noah takes in a deep breath at Angela's words, taking them in as if he was thrown into a slightly chilly pool. There is a short pause before Noah offers a little white lie to further the conversation and try to hide the faint concern and reluctance in his voice. "I'm not sure I follow you," he states plainly as his gaze goes from straight ahead to look Angela mostly in the eyes as his head mostly turned toward her.

"Peter's future self may be recklessly endangering everything simply by being in the here and now— " Angela's dark brows lift for an instant. "I hate to say it, but he's on the right track. Some of the ripples he's making may be worth it if we lend our hand and finish what he's begun."

Noah could argue of the dangers of time travel, but Angela knows. He could say how they never approved of using it much in the past, but she understands and likely doesn't care. He would ask her if she knows what it could lead to, but that is just pointless considering the woman he is talking to. Left with little recourse, Noah looks straight ahead without a shred of amusement in his voice or facade. "I presume you both have a plan of some sort."

"A plan is something developed in advance. This isn't a scheme. It's just the truth of things. I haven't spoken to … 'Peter'— " Angela says the name of her 'son' from the future with a hint of distaste. "Since the rescue. If we do what we must, the only plan we need to worry about is the grand plan." She allows a knowing smile. "I won't bore you with talk of destiny. But I will need you to do something for me."

HRG doesn't say a word, only lifting his eyebrows as he waits for his orders. Unlike Sylar, whose arched brow looks like a dying caterpillar, the most visible sign of attention and concern is the worn wrinkles in his forehead which bunch together faintly.

Despite stating that she needed something from Noah, and despite the man giving her a prompting look such as that, Angela simply turns her head away, a faint smile settling over otherwise statuesque and proud features of her face. When that final moment approaches in which it seems as if she's not going to continue at all, she breaks the silence. "How's Claire?"

The mention of Claire right after things like 'grand plan' cause Noah to give a large frown. "As well as can be expected. Considering what Nathan did to her, I'd say that she is much more resilient than most of her peers. I presume that she gets it from Sandra. Maybe a bit from her grandmother." While the compliment of hardy gene might seem soured when delivered with Noah's stubborn refusal to distinguish Logan from Nathan, Noah shows no reluctance when saying either part. For Noah, he says what he feels should be said. Nothing more, nothing less.

"She certainly is. She's more resilient than she realizes." Beyond the ability to heal all wounds, that is. "She'll need to be stronger yet." Angela pauses after that reflection, but only transiently. "There's someone I have to meet. Once I have… it won't be long before Arthur and Pinehearst's dreams come crashing down. In the meantime, get me a list of sources outside the Company who have cooperated with you in the past. People with abilities."

One person is going to be responsible to bring down Pinehearst? Noah is obviously interested, but he knows that if Angela wanted him to know the information he'd get it. A little taken back by the request, Noah folds his arms as he considers her 'need'. "I would have thought that between Peter's many friends and your connections, that I wouldn't need to offer my own list," he replies with a faint smirk, perhaps the talk of Claire bringing out his more defensive side.

"I'm curious to see who you come up with," Angela counters with a faint smirk of her own, a distant glimmer behind her shrewd gaze. Perhaps 'need' was too strong a word; maybe not. Everyone has their own perceptions when it comes to deeming trustiworthiness. Everyone's list would be different. "Humour me."

One name comes up quickly, but it is swiftly put down. He promised a chance for the man to be with the family and having him side with the Company… Well, Noah knows the sacrifices that come with the suit and even Angela's well meant words do little to ease his mind about the Company becoming a gentler place. Even if it can, Noah always keeps his word.

Well, he does unless he planned to deceive them right from the start, that is.

"Are there particular skills we are looking for or this a 'anyone with a power that can keep a secret'?" he replies with a dry tone.

"You're coming at this from the wrong angle, Noah." Mrs. Petrelli smiles once again. She can't blame Noah; he hasn't seen what she's seen. She's only given him pieces of the puzzle pieces she has in her collection. "This isn't an army we're building. We're not looking for agents. There are people out there who want to make the world a better place for those we protect, the foundations this Company was built on. Sure, we haven't seen eye-to-eye with most of them over the years… but that won't matter. Not in the end."

Firm to the original vision, Noah looks to the floor, his glasses clinging desperately to his ears. "The system while executed poorly, was fundamentally sound. If we just had a more firm stance on restriction of power and a higher degree of accountability, we would be dealing with Sylar and we wouldn't be dealing with traitors," Noah states firmly, enunciating his words carefully.

His gaze soon lifts to Angela, a hint of disappointment and anger in his eyes. Ironically, it's usually Noah that has the cool and amused poker face while he watches people unveil before them. "I've put my trust in the next generation, Angela, and it has been abused as much as it has when I've been working here. We need some sort of safeguard and a network of friends just isn't going to cut it."

"I have the same reservations as you do, Noah, believe me," Angela answers instantly, a harshness falling down hard over her, pinching her features tight, spiking her voice with fierce conviction. "This — this network — it's not the whole picture. If I could tell you more, I would, but I simply know this is what we have to do. Here. Now. I saw it in a dream," she adds with vigor, meaning. "Bits and pieces of the future that won't make sense until everyone comes together."

HRG can only nod, expecting the reaction When it comes to conviction, Angela is often unyielding. It's things the two have in common and seemingly fiercely respect in one another. Despite, Noah doesn't seem moved, never having Church's personal approach and lacking the 'second wind' of idealism Angela is going through. "There are few that I've worked with outside of the Company. Outside of my duties here, there are few times I've interacted with anyone outside of my family… Unless you want me to give you the list of people I've bought fast food from in the last month." For now, D.L. is not mentioned. Noah figures if 'Destiny' wants D.L. to be dragged in Company affairs, it'll happen soon enough, but he won't be the one to ruin his life. Not when the man is seemingly more than capable of doing it himself.

With that, Noah rises, apparently deciding that this conversation is over or at least nearing its end. "If you need me to do something other than this list, I'll do my best to do it. Otherwise, I need to see about trying to get some ins on Pinehearst. Unless your dreams have an exact plan, we need make one and execute it quickly. The world can not afford idleness. Not now."

"You keep working. As you always have." Angela smiles thinly at Noah this time around, the tension of disagreement underlining her voice. Her eyes narrow ever-so-slightly on her colleague, knowing full well he isn't seeing things in quite the same light she is. No matter. "Maury's awake," she interjects. "I'm willing to give you your Level Five access back if you agree to walk past Peter's cell without a glance."

"That's fine by me," Noah replies, his poker face on at the mention of Maury. Whatever he was going to do is put on hold, as it seems as if Mr. Parkman needed some encouragement to talk. If there is someone good at getting their way, it's Mr. Bennet. As if offering the farewell for the sake of irony, the Company Man gives a simple "Take it easy" as he makes his way out the office, leaving Angela alone with the images of the departed.

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