2008-02-26: Gaining Ground

Caution: contains Season Three material!


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Summary: Angela and HRG discuss plans for the current threats to the future.

Date It Happened: February 26th, 2008

Gaining Ground

Angela Petrelli's Office, Company Headquarters

New York City

The owner of the massive antique desk — by inheritance; it once belonged to a Mr. Bishop — is not at its side, today. She is, however, in her office. If it had a window, she might look out it; as it is, under the Yamagato Industries building, Angela Petrelli is forced to examine the many articles and maps pinned to her bulletin board. Hands clasped at the small of her back, she acknowledges the presence of her visitor — and long-time colleague, although they have never quite been on level ground. "I have two guesses as to why you're here," she says coolly, neutrally. "But save me the gamble. Enlighten me, Noah."

Making his way into Angela's office, Noah's employer is swift and to the point. Of course, he respects that about her, so he mirrors her straight forward attitude. Standing a respectable distance, Noah clasps his arms in front as he briefs Angela, as if he were a solder… In a manner of speaking, he is.

"I wanted to let you know that I talked with Niki Sanders. After a couple of encounters, one with myself and one with Winters, she is willing to assist us in the capture of Nathan. I plan on having him in captivity by the end of the week." Silence lingers for only a beat or two before, the Company Man feels the need to add an important fact. "We can't let him be. Not now."

Angela seems to be examining the bulletin board closely all the while, her head tipped up to look at its expanse. The newer clippings include an article about Pinehearst aiding in the Congo, while another is, oddly, a copy of a tabloid page about experiments in the Nevada desert. Presently, she faces Noah in the same manner in which he faces her, although her hands remain behind her back, one clasped over a gold-linked watch. "He's a US Senator," is the first thing she says. "To take him out of play now would summon a host of red flags. Besides which, there's someone else we must stop: the head of the totem pole."

"Covering things up from the general public is something the Company excels at. Pinehearst will come to us, seeking answers and to free Nathan, but that means that we'd be able to decide time and place of conflict. If they don't come for him, we can try 'save' him if you feel its possible and it might give use some time."

The Company Man looks down, as if ashamed to admit the next point he has to make. "We can't wait any longer. The longer we do, the weaker a position we will find ourselves. We've already lost a lot of ground in just two months." Noah's blue eyes lift back up, staring his strong-willed boss right in the eyes. This last fact is given with fire, urgency, and an anger that is perhaps less than noble. "If we don't strike when we are somewhat equal ground-"

"We're not on equal ground," Angela snaps with a sense of urgency and fire that's borne from a different place: something rarely seen in a woman such as herself. Fear. Worry. And conviction in both of those ugly emotions. "The head of Pinehearst happens to be a man far more dangerous than the man masquerading as my son," she says heatedly; she is sombre, however, as she adds, "I know we're running out of time."

While Angela expresses doubt, Noah does not give in. Of course, the pair have two very different personal interests driving them. After giving Angela a few moments before he speaks again. While his tone softens with a hint of empathy, it is confident and sure. "Sylar was powerful, but we've taken him down before. As long as we work to control the situation, we can do this."

"I'm not saying we can't. I'm saying that I've seen what will happen if we don't succeed, and it is not the future we want." Tiredness has settled into her bones; this is a woman who has seen many futures, many potential outcomes. "The past has come back to haunt us, Noah," Angela says, an equal mix of reflective and matter-of-fact, now strolling a few feet away. A few aging fingers gently twirl the intricate wooden globe that sits upon a nearby table. "Your first mistake is underestimating my husband."

The Company Man is matter-of-fact, just watching Angela move with a careful gaze. His hands drop from the clasped position as he uses various hand gestures as he speaks, seemingly an intentional move. It is clear that Noah is focused on the present and only the near future, but that is why he has been such an effective agent over the years.

"If our past is back, then we need to overcome it and avoid making these mistakes in the future. We let Sylar be and it almost damned the world. With the Haitian's help, neutralizing Arthur IS a possibility. We just need to ensure that he doesn't have help. Rogue teleporters always make things complicated."

"Complicated, we can handle." Thumbing over the Americas on the globe, Angela regards Noah over the straight line of her shoulder for a moment before nearing him. "The only way to get to Arthur is to ensure that he's alone. I've enlisted help outside the Company — I know it's against policy and quite frankly I don't care."

Noah considers the choices at Angela's disposal for a few seconds before he asks the obvious question with a slightly furred brow. "Might I ask who that might be?"

"Peter, for one. We've come to an understanding. He wants this to end, and it's better he do it under our watch." Angela has not been the strongest supporter of her youngest son — but she gives Noah a hard-eyed look, unwavering. Do not challenge her decision. "Nakamura," she adds. "At the behest of his father."

"Nakamura's son and Nakamura's killer working together to stop the man you thought you killed." Noah doesn't fight the idea, but it's clear from his tone he doesn't like it. It's supported by the second fact. "You consider Peter under our watch?"

Angela is unmoved. "As much as he can be. Our goals happen to be the same: stop Arthur, stop Logan, stop Pinehearst and their plans. People like Peter and Hiro have a large capacity for forgiveness. They want to be heroes," she states the last with a vague air of flippancy. "It makes them determined, if nothing else. Peter is losing his naiveté. Arthur took his abilities. Kaito left behind something precious only Hiro could obtain. I'm investing in the future."

"Their ability to forgive is not what I question, merely their ability to do what is needed. Idealism makes a person determined, but predictable. I hope for all our sakes that your insight into the situation will see us through to the other side. Because if they don't do the job…" The world is doomed? He'll do it himself? Noah doesn't finish the statement, sighing as he does. He was able to get his daughter, but it would seem that Angela doesn't support his thoughts on bold forward action, instead trusting the next generation in what could be a world threatening crisis. Turning away, Noah seems to have had enough, giving a tired sigh as he pushes up his glasses, which have been sliding down slightly over the course of the conversation. "Unless we have other things to discuss, I need to get going. If I'm unable to bring in Nathan or get support, there is no reason to keep Sanders or cut her a deal."

Oh, Angela doesn't trust the new generation to do what's necessary — not well, and not without guidance. Easily picking up on the man's misgivings, she stalks closer to him, looking up with the aim to catch his eyes behind those horn-rimmed glasses. "The more angles we have the better chance we have of causing Pinehearst's house of cards to come crashing down."

The Founder reaches out to touch HRG's arm near the elbow in an effort to commandeer his attention all the more. The woman's gaze, her every pore, is hard, intent, and confident — as if there was never a flash of anything but strength there. "I trust Peter to see this through to the very end, but without Claire's ability, I wonder if he'll make it that far. Think of them — Peter, Nakamura, Sanders — and whoever else gets drawn into this wasp's nest as fail-safes. Distractions. Arthur will be looking for something I have, and as soon as I'm certain it's safe, we will make our move."

The unsaid request is ignored for the time being. When Noah gives his word of a punishment, it is rare he pull it back. Noah does not want his daughter around Petrellis if he can help it. Turning toward Angela as she reaches out, Noah arches a brow at the final statement. "How long will that take?"

"I can only predict so much." Angela draws her hand away. "But it's all on the horizon in the coming days." Days. Although her stern look does not soften, her mouth does, the finer lines around it becoming deeper as she smiles very faintly at HRG. "We're on the same page more than you think, Noah. Don't let vengeance cloud your sense of self-preservation when the time comes. There aren't enough men around here with a mind as sharp as yours." In other words, don't die. She's not through with you yet.

A smirk appears on Noah's face at Angela's words, despite her less-than-encouraging prediction. "You know better than anyone, Angela. When I set out to do something, the last thing I intend to do is die. I've only got fifteen or so years until retirement and Sandra always wanted to tour Europe." Of course, the last part is a joke because well, neither person here could imagine Noah ever retiring by choice. He'd take out Evolveds with his walker if he had to.

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