2008-05-18: Fools of Faith





Summary: Kory is unexpectedly pulled into a dream to hear a message from a source she wasn't anticipating.

Date It Happened: May 18th, 2008

Fools of Faith


"Six washes," Kory grumbles under her breath, coming out of the shower. Clearly that's not true, because the so-called 'temporary' hair dye she wore for finding and contacting Elisabetha the other night? It still hasn't washed out. This is annoying. She's one of the few women in the country who likes herself mostly as she is, and she likes her hair color.

But since she needs to be distracted, and it's too early for the Listmates to have called it a night, she decides to look in on her former upstairs neighbours from her old apartment. The newlywed couple always has fun vacation dreams — presumably because they're saving for a house and can't afford one in the waking just yet.

Something funny happens.

Something that very much makes this night not like other nights. Kory's routine is, quite simply, about to be broken.

Oh, her former neighbours are out there somewhere, dreaming of Maui, but something in the realm of dreamers tries to draw Kory elsewhere. A magnetic pull, dreamer to dreamer.

The iconic rooftop of the very building Kory lives in imprints itself at every corner; is it a dreamer, doing this? It's strangely unclear, but no less powerful. Here is where you need to be, the imagery it seems to insist. It's snowing, somewhere on the Deveaux rooftop. Come here.

Kory blinks. Okay, that's unusual. She doesn't normally find the dreamscape tugging at her. She sometimes encounters the subconscious of a dreamer shoving at her, or pulling away when she pings a tender spot, but telling her she needs to be somewhere? Odd. Odd, and a little scary. Odd, a little scary, and curious. Which of course makes her think of Peter. But only for a second. Peter Petrelli as she knows him now lies in a drugged stupor mostly. She checks on him every couple nights and reminds him he's loved; he isn't capable of something like this. And the other Peter? The one with the scar? The one who infuriates her as much as he pings her protective instincts? He's not generally this direct. Or, rather, when he's direct, it's not like this.

Curiosity wins out, but Kory has a little bit of caution involved. She shimmers into invisibility on the dreamscape and lets the sunny beaches of Maui fade away for the chilly, snowblown rooftop of the Devaux Building.

The sun is rising, somewhere behind the skyscrapers. It's dawn. The sun itself is blotted out by a building, but its beams stretch out like arms of hope over the cold city.

The rooftop is newer than it is in the real, present day world. It's difficult to tell, given the snow and the dullness winter creates, but there are differences. The sheen of the stonework. The lack of a decrepit pigeon coop. Topiary, bundled up in what look like little burlap straightjackets for the winter.

A silent breeze blows across the rooftop; as it does so, it becomes apparent that there is someone sitting at a round white table there, because the figure's long, black coat stirs. A likeness, there, to Peter Petrelli of the future, but Kory was right to have her doubts. A white scarf blows in the breeze also. It's a woman, her back to the dream walker. "Hello, Muse."

Kory raises a brow. She's had years to hone her perceptions. The building is different in little ways, rather than big ones. And she's silent, observing these changes. Then a voice addresses her. Someone can sense her presence even though she was on inviso-power?! Disturbing. Frightening. And again, curious. There might be danger involved, but it could also be significant. Important. Particularly given the person with the scarf has used a name that isn't widely known by more than Peter and one or two people she doesn't feel comfortable sharing the real name with yet.

"…good morning," she says, politely. Because being polite rarely hurts.

Politeness is a virtue. "Don't be alarmed." At first, the woman speaks without moving. The voice is as calm as it is commanding. "I know who you are. There's no need to hide from me." A hint of reassurance, as if, somewhere, the figure is smiling.

The woman at the table rises silently and, her back still to the dream walker, strides toward the rooftop's edge. It starts to snow lightly, a calm fall of greyish flurries. She clasps her hands behind her back. "You're here because you've been put on a very important path." Angela Petrelli turns around. "I believe it's about time we've met."

Don't be alarmed are meant to be reassuring words. And generally speaking, they are. But when she's been tugged off her normal dreamwalking path by a stranger? Perhaps not so much. She tries to give the benefit of the doubt, though. She drops the inviso-power with a thought, materializing in a warm bomber jacket a couple sizes too big. She hovers an inch or two above the rooftop, but is so startled she drops to stand on the roof proper as the woman turns and reveals her face. "Miss…that is, Mrs. Petrelli." Kory catches herself and greets the woman, still keeping tone and voice polite. Peter said Angela Shaw was his mother. And though there is a bit more time on the features, the eyes and mouth are the same. The knowing eyes, the patient yet sardonic smile. "Nice to meet you, ma'am." Nice? Not precisely, given the woman clearly has some manner of dream power herself. But the least she can do is hear Mrs. Petrelli out. For the sake of whichever Peter. Or both of them.

Mrs. Petrelli arches one eyebrow in the most subtle of scathing inquisitions. Perhaps she didn't expect the dream walker to recognize her quite so readily; no matter. "I believe you were given a list." The older woman clasps hands in front of her, clad in dark, soft leather gloves to match the realistic dreamscape around them. "And as I understand it, you mean to bring certain… people, certain… people of importance… Together in order to bring down an organization that my husband created. Is that true?"

It's rhetorical. The sharply perceptive eyes of the matriarch don't hide their wisdom.

Kory is hard pressed not to take a step back at that sharply raised eyebrow. But with an effort she doesn't show, Kory keeps her head up, her gaze on the other woman, and nods. Peter had mentioned his father's involvement in passing. Back when he first handed her the List. "Yes, Mrs. Petrelli. That is the plan." A small quirk of her lip indicates she feels humored; like the other woman knew the answer to the question she just asked before she even opened her mouth.

"The individuals on this list are quite varied," the woman comments, only marginally more dire than if she were remarking on the colour variations of the gardenias from the nearby rooftop greenhouse. "For some, participation is something like redemption." Angela's gaze is no less intense in the dream world than it is in the waking, not that Kory has yet had the chance to know as much. That gaze now settles on the younger woman, as if to say 'isn't that right?'. Without waiting for an answer, however, she adds smoothly, "What has Peter told you of the Company?" The capital C is nearly audible.

"Yes, ma'am, I'm aware." Kory jams her hands in her pockets rather than dreaming up a pair of gloves. She doesn't want to come across as mocking the older woman in any way, and plus, it's just not her style. "I'm helping one of the participants toward that." Originally at Peter's behest, but also because Kory is a big believer herself in redemption, and somebody drove the man she's thinking of into the man who needs redeeming.

"Only a little," Kory answers the question. "The Company believes in protecting the …for want of a better term, Muggles…from people like us." Because, yeah, Angela's one of Kory's kind, if she sought the Muse out in a dream. "That they have their own agenda. They're dangerous. And that they do not necessarily let anyone go once they have them." That's all Kory feels comfortable relating. Peter's told her more than that. Particularly about his own mother being involved in plots to capture Peter, to kidnap Elena. But she doesn't particularly want those cards on the table if she doesn't have to show her whole hand.

She conjures beside Angela a hologram composed of snow and icy rain; The Man in the Horn Rimmed Glasses. Image kind of blurry, because she's never met him herself, and only has Peter's description and sole transformation to go by. "And him. Claire's father. Very dangerous."

Of all things, Angela laughs.

It's short-lived, quiet, a smirk capable of being heard. "He's only dangerous if you have reason to fear him. That can be said for the Company as a whole. Its agenda is more simple than its made out to be." She moves gracefully to the table she left behind and waves a hand at one of the empty seats. "Have a seat," she offers (demands?) before neatly lowering herself into another one. "We're interested in making a better future. Just as you are. Just as most of the people on your list are. For that to occur, there is something further that must happen first."

"Given what I know of the Company, I consider a little fear simply an extension of a healthy sense of self preservation, Mrs. Petrelli," is Kory's rejoinder to the laughter. She obliges the other woman by having a seat. At least she's not insisting Kory eat half a giant colossal mountain of eggs. Though the tendency to snark rings familiar. "Most?" she repeats. "Do I have a mole I need to be concerned about?" Whatever further thing must happen first falls seconadarily in priority. That one word could be the harbinger to a multitude of problems that would undo all of Scar-Peter's hard planning, long suffering vagueness, and leave a horrible future an inevitibility rather than a possibility to be stopped before inevitability solidifies.

"No." A simple enough answer, but it certainly leaves unanswered questions. There's serious downturn to Angela's mouth as she folds her hands on the table and regards Kory with all the intensity of leaning forward while keeping a perfectly straight posture. "Not a mole. Peter of four years from now is smart enough to avoid something so foolish. However, he doesn't know everything." And she does? Well, given her confident poise and shrewd eyes… "There will be another form of betrayal, once this is all said and done. Peter's faith in humanity makes him a fool."

Angela glances away from Kory for the first time, looking out toward the familiar city. "But faith does that, it makes us foolish. We all want to believe there's hope for us. And sometimes, if we hold out, faith rewards us."

No is a hopeful response. But it's not hopeful enough. "A sleeper, then?" Someone not even Peter knows is set up to take them out from within? Genre savvy comic girl skills come in handy once again.

"You don't seem to have much faith in your son. Or in your son's choices. Or his faith in humanity." Which might explain why they're at odds…why the woman was okay with playing Peter's loved ones against his heart.

But Angela continues speaking, and Kory's eyes widen in surprise to hear that last, almost hopeful statement. "All we can do is our best." She folds her hands on the table and regards Angela evenly, resisting the urge to look where Angela has turned her gaze.

Angela looks back at Kory decisively. "I want you to listen closely." The weighty air of importance surrounds the words, rather than the belittling command it could be. "Peter has changed things by coming back, by rearranging time and settling people on their certain paths. My colleagues and I have been accused of playing God; well, that's what he's doing. If we're very, very careful, we'll succeed. That future will never happen, but only if the people on that list of yours set aside their differences with the Company."

Kory regards Angela evenly, listening. The woman is not, so far, telling Kory anything she hasn't considered already in the dead of night since the scarred face of her friend first showed in the Secret Lair over a month ago. "I know," she says to the first.

"Differences?" Kory says, mildly, tone belying a certain steeliness in her eyes. "That's a mild way of putting it." And she stands up. "Kidnapping your son's girlfriend? Blackmailing him?" She steps away from the table. "These are things that people on my list have pretty good reasons to differ with you about, Mrs. Petrelli."

Angela is quite aware of the opinions. She does not have to say as much. She follows Kory stoically with her gaze, unruffled. "You'll do your best," she paraphrases the own woman's words back to her. "But do you have faith?"

To say nothing of what Gabriel has implied about the Company since their acquaintance deepend toward the first forays toward friendship. She had turned away from the older woman, but she turns around and regards her for a long silent moment. "Do I have faith? Unshakable faith, Mrs. Petrelli. I believe in Peter. And I believe in what we're doing. I believe that stopping Pinehearst from making that powers formula available to everyone is better than letting them release it, or than it getting out by some crazy accident. My faith is Gibraltar, Mrs. Petrelli." This is the woman whose inner child still believes that her father will come home someday. Hoping against hope is as natural to her as breathing in and out. Believing when the odds, when common sense, when reality seem all to scoff at her is something she has long been familiar with. "We will do this."

The hint of a smile breaks Angela Petrelli's steeled features. "Good." Across the city, the sun rises, cresting over the skyscraper and shining golden light on the Deveaux Rooftop. "Then have faith that the only way to truly encourage a future without Pinehearst's influence… is if everyone comes together. The list. Allies. The Company. It's the only sure thing."

Kory remains dubious, because she is biased, but she also knows bias can be blinding. "Peter called me Muse because I inspire. It is what I do best. If I'm inspiring people to put their differences aside, with each other and with the Company, what assurances have I that the Company will put aside their differences with my people?" Her people? Maybe not; but she's gathering them together, and will have to hold them together most likely when the fracturing begins. It's as good a way to refer to them as any on short notice. "Forgive me, Mrs. Petrelli, but the motives of the Company are not always noble and pure to the best of my knowledge."

"Our world is sometimes ugly." In contrast, the morning sun is beautiful. It's stopped snowing. "Faith and trust don't always go hand in hand. However…" Angela smiles ever-so-slightly, reflectively, crinkling the lines around her thin mouth. "It's a new day." The matriarch tips her head back, smile banished. "I don't expect you to advocate us, nor even speak of our conversation; all I ask is that you keep an open mind for the coming times."

That was a response Kory hadn't expected; but it was also the right response. The woman made no excuses for her own faction. She simply asked Kory to keep an open mind, come what may. "Fair enough, Mrs. Petrelli." Although she thinks it unwise to give the notion voice, she can see where Peter gets his determination. She steps forward and offers the other woman a handshake. "Keeping an open mind, I can do."

Angela rises and takes the hand. Her grip is firm, and doubled, as she clasps her other hand over Kory's as well. As she looks into the eyes of the muse, the rooftop around them starts to melt like snow and look an awful lot like Kory's own apartment, floors below. "You would have liked the owner of this building."

A dream mirage, the Petrelli elder disappears.

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