2009-12-06: Hope in Our Government



Guest Starring: Terry (played by Serotonin)

Date: December 6, 2009


Nathan gets interviewed.

"Hope in Our Government"

Meeting Room in Nathan's Hotel

Sunday interviews are nothing new to either politics or papers. Many a scoop was divulged of Sunday brunches. Nathan Petrelli should know that from past experience at least. This time, however, there is no brunch and there isn't a table filled with Petrellis to buffer or distract the reporter. In a small meeting room of Nathan's hotel, Helen has commandeered a nice spread of bottled waters and a cheese and snack plate in case the small gathering of people should get hungry. It should be rather small, too, just herself Nathan and another reporter from the Times Magazine section. The section, normally dedicated to longer pieces and spotlights on interesting facts and people important to New York and around the country, it seems like the perfect spot to bring Nathan back into the people's minds. It's a fortuitous day for such an interview, as everyone on the Petrelli team is already buzzing with news of the resignation of Ivory Wynn from government. This could be the very interview they need to vault Nathan back into the spotlight and from there into contention for the Senate.

A pair of comfortable chairs sit across from each other and Helen is busy buzzing about to make sure that everything set and nervous about how Nathan will dress up to this occasion. No plaid, for the love of God, please no plaid the redhead thinks as she smooths down her own skirt and shirt, waiting for the two people this is all for to arrive.

Brayden pads into the room with a broad toothy spread across his lips. He's decked out in his Armani suit (purchased by Hallis — the first suit he ever remembers wearing). The suit is black, pressed, and well-tailored to Nathan's form. Paired with it he's wearing a crisp white dress shirt and a forest-green tie. His hair is smoothed, his shoes are polished. All-in-all he appears Senatorial, or political at the very least.

"Helen," Brayden smiles warmly at his publicist. "This is great. Thank you for all of your work." He glances at the two chairs, "Which one should I take? Or does it matter?"

The reporter arrives on the mark just after Brayden. Perhaps it's a good sign that he appears quite unthreatening, not a hard-nosed political reporter but someone more suited to this character piece on a Sunday afternoon. Brown-haired, brown-eyed with rectangular-framed glasses and wearing a courduroy jacket which happens to be brown as well, he looks to be in his mid-twenties. He's an up-and-comer with a sharp eye and a pleasant look about him, despite being not-quite-shaven and a little scruffy-haired.

"Mr. Petrelli!" The reporter appears slightly out of breath and pink-cheeked from either chasing down the once-senator or from racing to make the interview on time, but not flustered. "Good to meet you, my name is Terry Law, I'm here for the piece with the Times." Smiling politely, he opens a hand for shaking. Next, he's already looking to Helen. "You must be Ms. Muth. Thanks for the arrangements. It's a pleasure." We're off to a good start.

Helen gives Nathan a bright smile and a look over when he enters. It's very much like she's studying him as one might look at a model or anyone else being judged on appearance, as she's sure that he will be. Nice suit, check. Clean shaven, check. Good shirt and shoes, check. And, oh my God, is that a tie? That isn't plaid or paisley or anything else eye-bending and terrible? This may just be too good to be true. The smile warms into something more personal and less publicist. "You look great, Nathan. Perfect. Hopefully they'll do a picture, too." While others may have taken to calling him by the name he had chosen, she has yet to. Especially today, when she knows he has to get used to being called Nathan and respond to it naturally.

When the door opens again Helen turns her attention to the reporter. Show time! "Hello Mr. Law, we've spoken on the phone a few times, I believe. It's a pleasure, thank you so much for coming." While Terry may look harmless, many reporters do. It's not their need to look intimidating, it's their words that will end up doing that for them. "Please, have a seat. Can I get you anything to drink?"

"Thanks Helen," Brayden takes a deep breath at the comment as he straightens his tie again. He nods at the sound of the name, his name.

And then the door opens and all attention is directed to the reporter present. A broad grin is shot to Terry as Brayden accepts the procured hand, offering a confident handshake to the reporter. "Pleasure to meet you, Mister Law." He raises his eyebrows while glancing at Helen, but without affirmation, he urges with that same smile, "Please, call me Nathan. We're going to be talking for some time, and it just seems easier that way."

He motions towards the chairs and positions himself on the one further away from the door. "I'm glad you agreed to meet with me." He grins.

"In that case, call me Terry, I don't want to be confused with Jude, I'm not that good looking," the reporter jokes to break the ice further. He moves to the table, but despite the offer to sit, waits for the others to take their seat before choosing his own. In the meantime, a small voice recorder and a notepad are taken from his jacket and an unassuming blue scarf removed. "I'll just grab one of these bottles of water here, thanks," he says and does just that.

Once the other man has been seated, the reporter sits down across from him. Time to get down to business. He sets the recorder on the table, looks to Brayden and Helen, and smiles. "If you're ready, let's get down to it." He begins recording regardless. "I'll start with the question that's been on the minds of everyone who knew or supported you in the past or, really, anyone who's had their eye on the news. Where have you been? Think of it as a— an opportunity to separate fact from fiction. There've been rumours…"

Here we go. The comfortable chairs are for Nathan and Terry. Helen is quite willing to sit in one of the fold outs that have been sitting unobtrusively against the wall. Already, her mind is whirring through the answers the two have prepared together, the topics that might be brought up. She has confidence in Nathan, but she also is just a touch nervous. Sitting down, she chooses a chair near to between Terry and her boss so that she can see both people's reactions to questions and answers. Plus, she'll be close enough to stop anything should questions get out of hand and not have Terry feel like she's intruding or shouting from the opposite side of the room. Attentive, she crosses her legs at the ankles and looks between the two men in front of her, though she attempts to make herself fade into the background. Just pretend she isn't here, gentleman.

"Alright, nice to meet you, Terry, then," Brayden smiles as he glances at the recorder. Swallowing, he mentally reminds himself not to think about the recorder on the table. Yes, he's nervous, this is the first interview he ever remembers having. Shifting in his seat at the first question, he considers his answer for several seconds before answering. A quick glance is given to Helen, but he keeps smiling as he looks back at Terry.

"I imagine the rumours have been somewhat outlandish." His smile fades a bit as he remembers the last year and a half, now would be the time for tact, "I've been a lot of places, I have to admit." He leans forward as he takes another deep breath, "You see, I woke up in Ireland a year and a half ago with amnesia — that's my official diagnosis. But there was a yearning for the familiar that drew me here to the United States back to the country and people I love." He grins.

"Ireland," Terry the reporter repeats with a raise of brows. "Well that is mysterious, Nathan," he says with a quick smile, not unable to stop himself from giving the man something of a strange look before easily going on. "You were missing here in the States during that time. Do you have any idea what brought you to Ireland? Are you aware of any criminal investigations into what happened to you or is that something you haven't pursued?"

Helen finds it hard not to be staring at Terry when Nathan gives his answer to his question. She doesn't want to take over the interview and instead, she adds when there is an appropriate pause in the conversation, "His medical records - for his amnesia, that is - will be available to you to look over once the interview is over." Everything else will be off limits to the reporter, as they're confidential, but a few things can be given to help clear matters up. Though she'd like to, she's unable to answer all of Nathan's answers for him. Instead, she remains seated in her chair, willing this to go well.

"Yes, Ireland," Brayden nods. "It's as much of a mystery to me as it is to you, but my understanding is that I will begin to remember more over time." He swallows and then considers the question, "As far as criminal investigation is concerned… it really is secondary to retrieving my memory. Once I can remember then I'll consider my options in that regard." He tilts his head and offers a very small smile before nodding, "And yes, you're able to look at the records regarding my amnesia."

Terry nods to Helen, a brief 'thanks' mumbled — politely, if such a thing is possible — under his breath. He refocuses on Brayden, who he nods to also. The reporter seems thoughtful and jots something on his notepad for later before he carries on. "Tell me a little about your time in Ireland. Waking up with no idea who you are, where you came from? What was that like?"

"In all honesty, it's terrifying waking up somewhere and not knowing where you are let alone who you are," Brayden offers the reporter a small frown. "Ireland is a beautiful country, but even in its beauty, there's little comfort if you can't remember who you are. I woke up outside a pub, and no, I hadn't been a patron — the bartender was kind enough to provide me assistance though." Pause. "I had a nasty blow to the head." As well as other parts of his body. This is what happens when you stop flying while high up.

"I did make myself a life. Considering where I'd woken up we thought I was from the area," Brayden leans back in his chair after reaching for a bottle of water. "The pub owners were kind enough to provide me with shelter and food. I, of course, tried my best to pitch in where I could. I learned to wield a hammer and work with my hands." He grins. "And after a few months living in the safety of the pub, I moved on to try to rediscover myself and remember who I was." He glances at the ceiling to remember everywhere he went, "I went from one country to the next for clues. I was certain someone had to remember me — went through Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, but to no avail."

Terry nods along. Nathan's history in the past year certainly make for an interesting story. "And when you came to America?"

"I came to America to remember," Brayden considers as he narrows his eyes. "I needed something to trigger my memories, and I learned of a monastery in California. I went there in an effort to retrieve what I'd lost." He smirks a bit as he remembers, "I'm not much of a monk though. Too competitive and easily distracted. So my time at the monastery was short-lived." He grins as he leans back, "I ended up in DC shortly thereafter as a sense of familiarity drew me there and then, through the kindness of Ms. Hallis Van Cortlandt and Congressman George Dawson, I found my way here. You see, Congressman Dawson worked on my staff prior to my amnesia and recognized me." He grins at the reporter, "And I think that about sums it up."

The reporter shows some surprise at the name-dropping, especially that of the socialite. Folding his arms on the table, he leans ahead slightly. His pose is relaxed, but he's moving on to a different form of interview questions. "Thank you. Then what are your plans for the future, looking forward, Nathan?" He doesn't put words in the man's mouth, but… "I'm sure you've heard about Senator Wynn's unexpected resignation this morning from his seat in Senate from this state."

Helen notices the surprise on Terry's face and she straightens just slightly, especially when he leans forward. She can't tell if that's a good interest or one that he will attempt to hang them with later. The name dropping can't be helped, actually, as that was the truth int he matter of what happened. And then, there it is, the question they've been waiting for. She's schooled Nathan to take the question slowly, leave some room for polls and to back out if they need to. He can't seem to eager to take up the position. What would be best is if the Governor would come to them rather than having to lobby him directly. Especially so soon after his re-emergence into the limelight. They want their name in the hat, but not because it seems like they are paying for it. She sits very still, listening intently.

Brayden considers the questions, letting them weigh in his mind before he responds thoughtfully, "I've given it some thought…" There's a pause as he explains, "We find ourselves in relatively dark times being told by our government that we need to suspect everyone of being a terrorist: our neighbours, our friends, our family. We're told to watch for unusual and strange things and report them onto the authorities." He frowns a bit, "But we've missed the point. Distrust and suspicion aren't going to make this country great again. Americans need hope. We need to have hope in our government. We need to cling to goodwill and focus on the goodness of American people." He grins a bit, "I've been working on a house with Habitat for Humanity. The project thrives on hope. It brings people together. It bonds them to each other. It makes America work." There's a pause as he clarifies further, "Our current administration is outstanding. I believe it can herald that hope to the people if it chooses to do so." He offers a small smile to the reporter, "I'm passionate about this country and what it stands for. Terry, I would be honoured to serve this country in any capacity. And I have, including military service."

The man makes a good speech, and the reporter listens closely, considering. He sits back slightly, gesturing with one hand slowly as he pauses. "On that note, uh— well, in the past, you were well-educated… experienced in serving the country. Right now you can't remember the structure that brought you where you were before you woke up without an identity; some people might say you're no longer qualified for the political game."

Easy, Helen. Don't speak up. Nathan can handle this. The speech was good, that's true, it's the right amount of past and present. It answers the questions while still leaving all sides open for debate. So far, things are going well. All she has to do is remain sitting and not interjecting anything and hopefully everything will stay the same. It's not in her hands now, let the man being interviewed answer.

Leaning back in his seat, Brayden laces his fingers together as he once again considers the question. "I admit that my memory has been compromised." There's a pause. "But memories, gifts, talents, and education don't evaporate from the human mind. I am Nathan Petrelli — these experiences still dwell within the spaces of my mind. They influence who I am and how I act." Pause. "And a good leader listens to the people first and foremost and consults the advice of others. My loyalty is to the people. Few can honestly make that claim."

Terry Law means no harm, but he needs a few different angles for his material. He smiles to the answer. "So honesty's a big part of you are— thanks for being honest with me Nathan. So, alright then. Besides the lovely Ms. Muth here," a gesture and grin to Helen, "Have you put together a staff? And what about your family, how have they felt about your return? I know they were looking for you in your absence but there's been some contention there in the past with your brother and I'm to understand your wife is remaining in another state?"

This is the part of the interview that honestly puts Helen on the most edge. The personal stuff. While the questions about his future as a politician and where he had been were important and necessary, the personal questions can really sink them. Especially when they have nothing to do with his job, but will draw the focus of many people. With a polite smile shot at Terry for being called lovely, she interjects quickly before Nathan can even begin to form an answer, "While Mr. Petrelli will take questions on how his absence affected his family, we would ask that his current marital matters be kept out of the article, Mr. Law. In fact, we'd appreciate it if they were not mentioned at all." She hasn't been told to call him Terry yet and she'll remain professional with him. "Mrs. Petrelli has had a difficult time coping with her second - life threatening - accident and has decided to recover outside of the bustle of Manhattan. Nothing personal against you, of course," she smiles again, "however, your colleagues can be quite…hounding and relentless when it comes to a story and we are trying to keep her health as our prime concern." She looks over to Nathan, then and adds, "We appreciate your thoughtfulness on the matter." Despite the fact that Mr. Law has yet to agree to not asking questions about Heidi.

A quick glance is given to Helen at the mention of contention between him and his brother, but it's not a telling glance. "Honesty is important. When leaders aren't accountable for their words and deeds, democracy fails. The notion of operating for the people is only met when we are honest with constituents." He pauses as he grins at the notion of staff, "I'm in the process of putting together a staff. We have several other members, but there are still a few vacancies. Just looking for good people who believe in what we're about." He nods, however, at Helen's response, "Yes, Helen raises a good point. Please respect Heidi's health concerns. But as far as my family in general — I think there's been mixed feelings. They're overjoyed to see me, but it comes with its own sorrow as we try to recover my memory."

"Of course Ms. Muth. And you can call me Terry." Nathan has provided enough content about his family in general, vague but emotional, that Terry doesn't seem to feel the need to push further. He does walk the line, however. "Have you seen your children? Do they know what happened to you? Well I suppose no one knows what happened to you, but you know what I mean. Your memory loss."

"Terry, then," Helen nods, though she doesn't tell him that he can call her Helen. Not quite yet at least. "And, please, we did just discuss this." Though, really, they did discuss not talking about Heidi, the boys kind of go under that package of family. Especially when they're out of the state with Heidi while Nathan is here. It will lead to awkward questions later on down the road.

"I haven't yet seen my children face-to-face. Heidi and I had hoped I would be able acquire some of my memories about them before we put them through that. It's hard enough for a child to lose a parent, but to have a parent forget…" Nathan frowns a bit. "They are aware of my memory loss, and we've spoken on the phone, but after a nearly a month of phone contact, we think they might be ready for a visit." With that same frown he suppresses a sigh as best he can, and instead he forces a smile.

The reporter seems sympathetic, nodding. "One more question and any comments you'd like to toss in and we should be good to go." He smiles again and leans back.

"Before your disappearance, your image was kind of up and down despite some landslide wins. You've been removed from various offices not once but twice," Terry says, not accusing; he's simply leading into his next question. "One of the last things you did was to petition several influential members of government and executives to— sanction, I guess, an experimental military program while involved with a company that has since crumbled. Literally! I don't know the details and I know it wasn't widely publicized…" The reporter glances at Helen for a second. It's possible she might not know about this — a lot of people worked hard to keep the details silent, for some reason — and publicists can get antsy over such things. "But it got some officials in hot water for a short time. Do you think people are going to be able to put their faith in you as someone to look up to? How do the less positive things in the past of Nathan Petrelli shape how you see your life now? Do you feel good about it? You seem confident." Okay, that was a few questions.

That is a couple of questions. And ones that Nathan should answer to put all those stories to rest. While Helen has been sort of debriefed on the lobbying of officials about the facility Terry is talking about, she doesn't know what the facility did or how it came to disappear. Those details are things she'll have to discuss in more detail with Nathan, however, he doesn't remember them. It's a strange conundrum that she can't quite help him through when he's the only one that can remember what happened there. She looks to Nathan and then back to Terry, waiting for an answer again.

Brayden hmms a bit as he considers the comment and the questions. He glances at Helen for a reaction, but then returns his gaze to the reporter. "I think one of my — and most politicians' biggest mistakes is hiding these things from the public. We want to be better than that." There's a pause as he tilts his head, "I aim to be better — I want to include the people in the process as much as I can. I want everything that our people do to be above board. It's the only way to build this country into what our forefathers wanted it to be." He wrinkles his nose as he tries to remember, but nothing comes. "We can dwell on the past, or we can learn from it. I'm learning. The nice thing about amnesia is it removes that bias we had towards our own ideas and opinions. For the first time in my life, I can honestly be objective in my past political mistakes." Beat. "Beyond that I believe people are looking for something to believe in. And my mistakes don't cripple me; they make me human. Problems arise when we don't examine ourselves and refuse to learn from our mistakes."

"We can choose to ignore the past or confront it. And — with the help of my family and friends — I'm choosing to confront mine. All of it. I want to be a better husband, father, and man."

"Good— good, thank you, I think that's good for this piece. I'm done if you are!" Terry stands, takes a drink from his bottle of water and gathers his thins. Voice recorder, off. "Best of luck, alright? The Times will be in touch and— oh, uh, I think there's a photographer waiting in the lobby."

He holds his hand out across the table. "A pleasure sure. Best of luck. I'd vote for you, you know, off record."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License