2007-06-10: Geek To Senator, Come In Senator

Starring:

Gene_icon.gif Nathan_icon.gif

Summary: Nathan meets with Gene, and receives something he doesn't expect: a good talking to!

Date It Happened: 10th of June, 2007

Geek To Senator, Come In Senator


The Lancaster Building

When Nathan follows the simple address on the card, it leads to a decent-sized office building. The logo on the card matches that of the building, Gene seemingly working at Lancaster Electronics. When Nathan makes his way in, he'll find the usual large lobby. Nice clean floors, a couple security guards, as well as a metal detector, perhaps put in after the horrid events of 9/11. There are a couple of people manning the large front desk, taking calls and dealing with the large amount of sales people trying to sell goods to the employees working inside. Currently, the young man responsible for the super-powered political powerhouse coming is not present.

It went like this. Upon receiving his dry cleaning, Nathan was also given a business card left abandoned in his pocket. Rcollection occurs. However, this was about a week ago - busy Petrelli has been busy. But now he's caught himself a break, and curiousity has finally gotten the better of him. Though it's not between the hours the card states, Nathan walks into the Lancaster Building with fake authority - he has no idea what the hell he's doing, but doesn't look like it. The metal detector, naturally, gives him no trouble, and as instructed, he moves towards the front desk, offering whoever he encounters a polite smile. "Excuse me," he says, "could someone point me in the direction of," quick glance to the card, "Gene Kensington?" Not a name he's very familiar with.

"May I say who is asking for him?" the black forty-something lady at the front desk inquires as she looks toward Nathan. She doesn't seem to recognize Nathan, or if she does, she isn't too impressed.

The young adult male that is also working the desk blinks at the fellow administrative assistant. "That's Nathan Petrelli, girlfriend! I'll ring up Gene right away! Just take a seat right there, he should be here soon," the friendly man offers as he flaps his hand toward one of the chairs along the wall of the lobby. Regardless of what Nathan does, the young man begins to call for Gene. Whatever the response is, the male receptionist hangs up after talking for about ten seconds.

Nathan opens his mouth to say his name, but fellow administrative assistant is to the rescue, and gets a smile from Nathan. "That's right. Thank you," he says, withdrawing from the desk and moving to stand /by/ the chairs, not actually sitting down, evidently not expecting to wait that long. As he lingers, he slides the business card back into his pocket. He's dressed as though he's been spending time at his HQ, minus a tie which has been abandoned somewhere.

About fives minutes pass. After that, an elevator dings in the back of the lobby and the doors opens. Oddly enough, it didn't show that it was coming up or down like the other elevators. Just a ding, the doors open, and Gene is there, holding a small briefcase in his hand. He doesn't seem to be really dressed for work, clad in a simple white t-shirt with a pocket with a plush baby chick stuffed in it. On the back of the shirt states the obvious bad pun: Chick magnet. At least there is no lame jokes to be had on the blue jeans and black sneakers he has on.

The eighteen year old genius looks toward Nathan for a looooong time as he notices the senator across the room. While this would be the perfect time to do a business man's power strut toward Nathan and offer a firm handshake, Gene merely pulls out a small inhaler from his pocket to takes a couple of whiffs before he walks over toward Nathan. He does offer his handshake. "I'm Gene Kensington… Not sure why I'd be honored with a visit by someone of your st-stature, but I hope I can help in anyway possible, Mr. Petrelli."

Spying the somewhat familiar young man as he approaches, Gene gets treated to yet another polite smile - Nathan is getting into the habit of it these past few days - and a handshake in return. Where Gene might not be coming across as the professional businessman, Nathan is making up for the slack. A glance is cast to Gene's T-shirt - but no comment is made. Just a distracted glance. Nathan might not even get the joke right away - it'll hit him in five seconds. "I'm sure you /can/ help me," Nathan says, now taking out the business card, holding it up for Gene to see, turning it over once so he can see his own handwriting on the back. "I was curious about this."

After the handshake, Gene peers over at the card. "Hrm, that's interesting. Well, here, let's talk about this… I'll be able to use one of the meeting rooms down here unless someone else is using them." It's fairly obvious that Gene knows exactly what he's talking about, unable to hide the slight smile under his features. While there are many skilled liars in this world, Gene is not one of them. At least, not yet.

Despite this, he merely turns and begins to walk down toward the elevators, but turns to go down the hallway, still holding the briefcase in his hand. He knocks on a closed door and opens it, only to find a small group of people inside. "Sorry, didn't know anyone was in here, continue your brainstorming plus two!" Gene offers with a nervous laugh before shutting the door. He moves to the next door and while the room is only twenty feet by twenty feet, it has three chairs and a table. Works for Gene.

Waiting for Nathan to come in, Gene closes the door and locks it. "There, don't have to worry about anyone interrupting our conversation about stuff that we needed to discuss. I was tempted to go to your house to discuss what I felt we needed to talk about… But I didn't want to intrude upon your privacy."

All this mystery isn't quite Nathan's thing, especially surrounding people he's quite sure are tied into things such as, oh, powers, killer robots, and wife kidnappings. Because yes, Nathan does recall Gene as the get away car guy, not just someone encountered at random in Jack's bar. However, despite instincts he should have by now, Gene just comes off as too harmless to put him especially on edge. Hard to see someone as a danger with they have a plush baby chick in their pocket. IT COULD ALL BE A PLOY, PETRELLI. Severely doubtful, though.

Nathan pulls out a chair for himself, glancing towards the door as it's locked, with a nod of attempted understanding. He straightens out his jacket as he settles into his chair, looking at Gene with a slight frown. "Thanks for not," he commends, guardedly. "We get our fair share of that already." The card is tossed onto the table absently. "So what do we need to talk about?"

Gene takes his seat as Nathan starts talking. If Gene is dangerous sort, Nathan might be in serious trouble. Leaning on the back of his chair as he takes a '90 cool kid style pose, Gene hrms. "I suppose you're a big man with a lot to do, so I'll be to the point." There is a dramatic pause before Gene gives the big revelation. "My car seats are stained with blood."

Ke wha? Nathan's eyebrows lift. This is 'the point' what they need to talk about? Is this a metaphor? He's not good at me— oh. Right. There's a pause, and then Nathan nods, once, agreeably. "Well I got shot in the arm," he says, cautiously. "And Peter… well, you saw. There was a lot of blood shed." Gene gets squinted at, a little.

"Yeah, you got shot in the arm. Peter got shot to hell. Elena almost died along with your wife…" Gene pauses as he looks down. He's trying to be strong and cool, but he can't keep eye contact with Petrelli and maintain his air of Diet Coke Bad Ass. With eyes to the floor, but with a small frown building on his face, he goes on. "She was saved, so I guess you're happy and think that it all worked out for the best, right?"

The short answer? Yes. Though Gene is looking down towards the floor, Nathan's expression clearly states this one worded answer, although he tries to summon up a statement that he might guess the guy opposite might want to hear. A difficult thing to anticipate, he's quickly finding. "I don't know if it worked out for the /best/," he states, honestly, remembering how much personal damage control he had to handle afterwards, "but the fact that everyone is alive is a pretty good outcome." There is the faintest edging of sarcasm, there, but otherwise, his tone is pleasant. More patient than he'd like it to be.

The young man's eyes never leave the floor, as if looking to it like a script. One arm folds itself to support Gene's head while the other hangs lazily at his side. "An ex-nurse, a college girl, and a politician go up against a group of hardened and heavily armed criminals with only one gun between the three of them and powers they don't fully understand… And they get the girl and come out alive? That's not a 'pretty good outcome'. That's would be a damn miracle." Gene looks up, finally training his unamused stare right back at Nathan. "But there were more factors involved than just that, weren't there?"

When Gene looks back at him, it'll likely be obvious that Nathan is getting impatient with the younger man, polite demeanor frosted over. "Right," he agrees, flatly, meeting Gene's serious stare with a raised eyebrow. "It was a very dangerous situation, we had the element of surprise along with our abilities, and— what do you mean, factors?" May as well ask, rather than guess as to what Gene is alluding to.

"If anyone has the right to be mad here, Nathan Petrelli, it's me, not you." The cool response from Gene lacks the social awkwardness of previous statements. Anger is often a stumbling block, but sometimes it's the kick in the pants one needs to express their view. "You made a critical mistake. You got my friend involved. I know what you might have been thinking. 'I couldn't have gone to the authorities; they could have cost Heidi her life due to their unwillingness to bend or their bureaucratic red-tape.' 'I can't hire hitmen because they might be willing to let Heidi die or I can't hire them in time.' Whatever your logic was, it led you to do what you did. Your plan was to try and sneak in and save a girl. When my people arrived, the place was a one-sided firefight. You, Elena, and Pete fought pretty well, but you needed some help. Hell, without my connections, you wouldn't have been able to find the place."

Yes, Gene is being vague. He doesn't like lying, but that doesn't mean he wants to tell the truth. While Nate might not be able to understand perfectly what Gene means, the young genius is giving strong hints, a rare bout of rage clouding his usual meek and paranoid sensibilities. "It came. I came. But I want to make sure something like this NEVER happens again. Elena's life is dangerous enough without you looking to have her as part of your task force here. So, my first question to you is this… Can you honestly say that something that will never happen again?"

Message received. Nathan remembers the sound of guns and chaos from the level below, and saw exactly how bad it got due to Peter's appearance afterwards. However, he wasn't there, exactly. Easier to dismiss that way, especially when he was able to rescue his wife in the end. Throughout Gene's lecture, he studies the younger man, and it's hard to tell how he's taking this chastisement.

When Gene ends with that question posed, Nathan doesn't answer it right away. Just pauses, thoughtful, then speaks, patience coming to its grinding halt. "Your friend got herself involved," he says. "The same way she got herself involved in trying to rescue my brother, months ago." He doesn't know if Gene is aware of this event or knows what he's talking about, but he doesn't much care. "I don't plan to ever do something like that again, no. Whether Elena plans to, you'll have to take that up with her."

There is a bit of silence on Gene's part as he rubs his forehead. This isn't how he wanted it to go. Sadly, unlike Nathan, he has no idea how to handle grown-up conversations like top secret missions and endangerment of lives. "I don't expect you to control Elena, just yourself, Mr. Petrelli. I might be mad, but I am rarely, if ever, unreasonable. All I want is to prevent this from happening again. While I can't pretend to know what it would be like for my wife to be in mortal danger, I do know what it's like to watch a friend get hurt and almost killed in front of your eyes," the young man replies in a cool tone. "If you don't plan to do something like that, that's fine. If something like that happens again, let me know, you know where to reach me. While I'm just an intern… I have a friend or two that helped you before, whether you know it or not." The young geek pauses again, looking around awkwardly. "So, um, anything you wanted to say? Because I think that was it for me." Yeah, it's no wonder that Gene was never elected class president.

While it's clear that Nathan is less than impressed with getting called here for a lecture, it's not like Gene's point is entirely missed on him. Hence why, perhaps, he's still seated without proclaiming he has better things to do, or something equally dramatically irked. He picks up the card, turning it over in his fingers, before taking out his wallet to slip it inside. After a moment's contemplation, he takes out his own, slides it over to Gene. Olive branch! It details an email address, a phoneline to the HQ, and a personal phoneline as well. No address, save for the HQ location. "I'm not going to actively try and get Elena into danger, if that's what you wanted to hear," he says, as he does this. "She's got enough going on." He actually smiles faintly, because he'd probably be having this conversation too, had he been in Gene's shoes. And Nathan probably /was/ elected to class president. He moves to stand, now, though pauses. "We good here?" Hey, if Gene can be clunky with the social norms of things, Nathan's allowed.

The young inventor takes a deep breath as he waits for the response. Nathan is telling him he's a crazy kid or something like that? Whoa! He smiles as he considers the conversation a smashing success. Taking the card, Gene checks it out before he puts it away. Standing up soon after Nathan does, Gene offers his hand for a closing handshake. "I think we're golden. Thank you for coming, Nathan. Wish I could change more with you, but sadly, I've got some errands I need to do… You know, how work in a electronics company gets."

No, he does not. Nathan smiles like he does. "I'm sure you have your work cut out for you," he says diplomatically, executing that one last professional handshake - there should be a dice roll - before he moves to unlock the door for both of them. "Take care, Gene." Not the weirdest of conversations he's had in the past few months, but possibly one of the more stranger acquaintances made.

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